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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  • robveiga

    John Lennon magic

    31 May 2:02am Reply
  • Ivartist

    Much love, very hippie, such peace, wow.

    14 May 8:55pm Reply
  • theironictea

    "In the DVD special documentary on RAM Paul McCartney said that on hearing "How Do You Sleep?", a song from John Lennon's album Imagine, considered writing a song "Very Well, Thank You." " LOL

    10 May 4:01pm Reply
  • konstantinlavr

    Это конфликт. Жаль. Оба талантливы.

    1 Mar 8:57pm Reply
  • GhostHaunted


    4 Feb 1:47pm Reply
  • SpankThru23

    this song is so good, would've been better with different lyrics about something else.

    26 Sep 2014 Reply
  • bensellars12

    The US Government assasinated Lennon because he was becoming too influential with his peace-loving ways.

    25 Sep 2014 Reply
  • Bastard1

    The way to the dark side anger is, young Jedi Lennon.

    18 Sep 2014 Reply
  • Ivartist

    "Those freaks was right when they said, you was dead". Damn.

    17 Aug 2014 Reply
  • TheSuperCrasher

    I'm glad they made up before John passed away.

    10 Aug 2014 Reply
  • MattZielkowski

    "So Sgt. Pepper took you by surprise" - wasn't that album Paul's idea, and Lennon even had issues with lack of his own songs on it? I'm not even sure what he's trying to say?

    29 Apr 2014 Reply
  • Songs_of_Myself

    John was being way too mean to Paul in this song. John the intellectual, the brain, Paul, the warm heart. It's like abusing a puppy.

    7 Mar 2014 Reply
  • jennica_med_c

    i love paul but man, this song is pure masterpiece <3 [4]

    1 Mar 2014 Reply
  • Ksimi

    OMG these relays on guitar solo...

    16 Feb 2014 Reply
  • Ksimi

    Wish the lyrics were completely different as the music was just perfection

    16 Feb 2014 Reply
  • theironictea

    Take that, Paul! :)

    5 Feb 2014 Reply
  • Ksimi

    Why I always get a demo version and not the one from the regular "Imagine" cut?

    20 Dec 2013 Reply
  • Kate_Ostin

    Do not fight, make love, boys.

    8 Sep 2013 Reply
  • santi_monse

    A pretty face may last a year or two, but pretty soon they'll see what you can do!

    20 Jun 2013 Reply
  • GabrielaCarrer

    The only thing you done was "Yesterday" <333 Adoro essa parte

    4 Jun 2013 Reply
  • All 130 shouts

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