Julia (1:56)

Cover of The Beatles (The White Album)

From The Beatles (The White Album) and 41 other releases

“Julia” is a song by The Beatles. It is the final song on side two (and disc one, in the CD era) of the band’s 1968 album, The Beatles (The White Album). It was written by John Lennon, and features Lennon on vocals and acoustic guitar. It was written during the Beatles’ 1968 visit to India, where they were studying under the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. It was here Lennon learned the song’s finger-picking guitar style (known as ‘Travis-picking’) from the Scottish musician Donovan. No other Beatle sings or plays on the recording. While Paul McCartney made several “solo” compositions attributed to the group, dating back to his famous song “Yesterday”, this is the only time that Lennon played and sang unaccompanied on a Beatles track.

“Julia” was written for John’s mother Julia Lennon (1914-1958), who was knocked down and killed by a car driven by an off-duty police officer when John was still only 17 years old. It was also written for his future wife Yoko Ono, whose first name, which literally means “child of the sea” in Japanese, is echoed in lyrics such as “Oceanchild, calls me.” An alternative theory suggests that the song was written for Julian Lennon, John’s son.

The first two lines of the song – “Half of what I say is meaningless/ But I say it just to reach you, Julia” – were adapted from the poem “Sand and Foam,” by the Lebanese poet Kahlil Gibran. The original line is: “Half of what I say is meaningless; but I say it so that the other half may reach you.


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  • moodymoondog

    I have always summed up this song in one word, haunting. Songs like his Julia is why I have always been a John Lennon more than a McCartney fan. But Paul has had his moments. I also really love George's music, I mean, All Things Must Pass is a master piece. I have a revised version where George with the help of his son Dhani recorded a different version of My Sweet Lord that changes the 3 notes that he was sued for. The owners of the rights to He's So Fine should have been ashamed of themselves, to me the songs are not alike. But, John DID warn George that the two were similar. That said, I will always agree with George when he said " They don't "own" those three notes".

    10 Sep 11:15am Reply
  • LoveisInfinite

    https://soundcloud.com/latarnie-montpellier/julia-the-beatles-cover Latarnie Montpellier - Julia (The Beatles cover)

    24 Aug 5:20pm Reply
  • spykr

    It's strange to think about how horrible the death of John's mother and its effect on his personality was but at the same time without her death we may not have had The Beatles or at least the cynical, anti-establishment, wicked-humoured version of Lennon that made his music so timeless.

    9 Jun 8:50am Reply
  • Jon-Lucas

    I'll take this over Blackbird any day of the week. John > Paul times infinity [2]

    7 Jun 1:58pm Reply
  • Storchel

    Loove it...

    9 Feb 10:28am Reply
  • JackMcFearless

    John's too fucking perfect.

    29 Aug 2013 Reply
  • asdfafdsdf

    I'll take this over Blackbird any day of the week. John > Paul times infinity

    15 Jul 2013 Reply
  • jillian8

    Unbelievable track.

    10 Jun 2013 Reply
  • talita_mendes

    19 Apr 2013 Reply
  • carlarafaelapf

    One of my favorite Beatles songs, and definitely one of my favorite John songs. It's so beautiful and sad... [2]

    10 Apr 2013 Reply
  • garebear4evr

    One of my favorite Beatles songs, and definitely one of my favorite John songs. It's so beautiful and sad...

    7 Apr 2013 Reply
  • jeemajamajimma

    To the deepest depths.

    21 Mar 2013 Reply
  • ibroxstadium

    Absolutely love this.

    18 Mar 2013 Reply
  • jimtheknight

    beautiful song

    15 Mar 2013 Reply
  • Fionajl

    Best Beatles song, imo.

    28 Jan 2013 Reply
  • patricksean123

    My favorite from The White Album

    23 Jan 2013 Reply
  • Carpe4Diem

    Люблю подпевать песне)

    20 Nov 2012 Reply
  • qurk

    This is so Gentle.

    24 Oct 2012 Reply
  • juhpecker

    My song <3

    23 Sep 2012 Reply
  • sogletho

    "Half of what I say is meaningless/but I say it just to reach you"

    10 Sep 2012 Reply
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