How Do You Sleep? (5:00)

Cover of Lennon

From Lennon and 6 other releases

“How Do You Sleep?” is a song from John Lennon’s 1971 album Imagine, in which he attacks his former The Beatles songwriting partner and close friend Paul McCartney. The song features a slide guitar part played by George Harrison.

According to the How Do You Sleep Songfacts, the feud between Lennon and McCartney originated after The Beatles manager Brian Epstein passed away. Paul wanted his new father-in-law to manage the group while the other Beatles wanted the notorious Allen Klein. Lennon and McCartney maintained a frosty relationship after the band broke up.

The song’s lyrics refer to the Paul is dead hoax (“Those freaks was right when they said you was dead”).

The song begins with the words, “So Sergeant Pepper took you by surprise”, referring to the landmark album that the Beatles made. Preceding this first line are ambient sounds evocative of those heard at the beginning of the Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album.

The lyrics “The only thing you done was yesterday/And since you’ve gone you’re just another day” are direct shots at Paul McCartney as well, the first lyric being a reference to the Beatles’ 1965 song “Yesterday”, McCartney’s most popular song and technically the first Beatles’ “solo” track because no other Beatle was involved in the recording. The second lyric could be considered a reference to McCartney’s hit single “Another Day”, released earlier in 1971.

Although Lennon receives the sole credit as the song’s author, multiple reports indicate that Ono as well as Allen Klein, John’s manager, also contributed lyrics.


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So Sgt. Pepper took you by surprise
You better see right through that mother's eyes
Those freaks was right when they said you was dead
The one mistake you made was in your head

MetroLyrics Full lyrics at MetroLyrics


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