Song of the Day #535: ‘Hey Jude’ – The Beatles

I don’t remember when I first became aware of ‘Hey Jude.’ It’s one of those songs that I’ve just sort of always known. I have only one specific memory of the song and it’s a rather lame one.

It came on once when I was bringing my high school girlfriend back to her house and we sat in the car listening to the whole thing. Those “na na nas” seemed to last forever. I’d love to spin that memory into something salacious but we were in fact just sitting and listening to the song. I told you it was lame.

‘Hey Jude’ was written by Paul for a young Julian Lennon, who was dealing with his parents’ divorce. It started out as ‘Hey Jules’ but Paul changed the lyrics, much as his “Father McCartney” became “Father McKenzie” in ‘Eleanor Rigby.’

The song was the band’s biggest hit and spent nine weeks at #1 on the U.S. Billboard chart, quite a feat for a song clocking in at more than seven minutes. I’ve always felt the coda goes on way too long (it takes up more than half the song’s running time) but I guess these guys knew what they were doing.

Hey Jude don’t make it bad
Take a sad song and make it better
Remember to let her into your heart
Then you can start to make it better

Hey Jude don’t be afraid
You were made to go out and get her
The minute you let her under your skin
Then you begin to make it better

And any time you feel the pain, Hey Jude, refrain
Don’t carry the world upon your shoulders
For well you know that it’s a fool who plays it cool
By making his world a little colder

Hey Jude don’t let me down
You have found her now go and get her
Remember to let her into your heart
Then you can start to make it better

So let it out and let it in
Hey Jude begin
You’re waiting for someone to perform with
And don’t you know that it’s just you
Hey Jude you’ll do
The movement you need is on your shoulder

Hey Jude don’t make it bad
Take a sad song and make it better
Remember to let her under your skin
Then you’ll begin to make it better
Better, better, better, better, better, Yeah,Yeah,Yeah

4 thoughts on “Song of the Day #535: ‘Hey Jude’ – The Beatles

  1. Amy says:

    It’s “Hey Jude,” for crying out loud! It can na na na as long as it wants.

    I don’t think your memory is lame; it’s actually rather sweet.

    One of the associations I like best with this song is the way it opens The Royal Tenenbaums. There is something about that music playing as Mordecai soars over the city that I just adore.

  2. Dana says:

    Why do I picture a young Clay, looking and acting a bit like Michael Cera, sitting in that car, thinking, “Okay, it’s the coda…I have 3 minutes and 59 seconds to make my move….oh, but she seems so into the song….what if I ruin the moment?….okay, surely she wants a break from the monotony at this point…..but she seems to be singing louder with each na na na refrain….maybe this isn’t the moment…..but what a great story this will be years from now if I ever write about this song….instead I’m just creating a real lame memory….well, at least my sister might find this awkward moment sweet….oh lord, is Paul really still singing….if I’m not going to make a move, I really would prefer the boys from Liverpool to just wrap it up….I wonder how much gas I’m wasting just sitting here in the driveway….this can’t be good for the environment….do I even like this girl?…if I liked her, I would have made a move…..maybe I can find a more aggressive Hispanic girl in Miami who would tell me the redundancy of this song is killing her…and then she would make the move….okay, he’s on the 88th na na na….there are a total of 19 repetitions of na na na in this coda…yes, that’s right I counted one day in my bedroom….good lord, I am lame….of course she wouldn’t want me making a move!….I wonder if she knows that I am in the process of typing out every Beatles lyric on my typewriter….best to keep that one to myself….ah, the song is fading…..and what a great song it really is”

  3. Clay says:

    Now THAT was entertaining! 🙂

  4. peg says:

    Dana, that was hysterical!

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