EVERY UK NUMBER ONE SONG: ‘Hey Jude’ – The Beatles

What was the number one song in the UK on 11th September 1968?

Here they are again, no introduction needed, but they were number one with Hey Jude for 2 weeks.

Never ‘eard of it. Jokes of course. Do you remember when Paul McCartney played this at the London Olympics Opening ceremony and everyone moaned that Paul and Hey Jude had seen better days? It is true that this song is possibly one of the most over played songs ever, but let’s just remind us of a few facts about the song. It was the best selling single in 1968 in the UK, the US, Australia and Canada. It stayed at number one for 9 consecutive weeks in the US. It sold over eight million copies worldwide. It got to number one in 19 different countries. And is often considered the greatest song of all time by many music critics. This critic? Well no, but is it as outdated and terrible as many seem to now think? Also, no. Hey Jude was written by McCartney (for all the criticisms that McCartney now seems to unfairly face, he really has written some of the greatest songs in pop history). He wrote it for John Lennon’s son Julian (the song’s title evolved from Hey Jules) to comfort him when his parents split up and John left his mum for Yoko. At the time, it was the longest song that had ever got to number one in the UK charts, lasting 7 minutes; 4 minutes of those is the coda (a musical passage that brings a song to an end- in this case it’s the lengthy na-na-na-na bit). The coda bit is what gets everyone singing. It’s the bit at the Olympics that got a whole stadium na-na-naing to their hearts’ content. It is the bit of the song that I think solidified the song’s immense success. Without it, it would just be another nice Beatles song. Here’s the thing we should remember. Not many bands had done a catchy and lengthy coda like this before (if any?). Hey Jude influenced many bands to do this  into the 70s. Despite the fact The Beatles journey as band was nearing its end, Hey Jude was The Beatles way of demonstrating that they were still musically ahead of their time. They were still a huge influence. Love it or hate it, you cannot deny the importance nor the herculean status of Hey Jude.

Lyrics

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 anytime 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
Na-na-na, na, na
Na-na-na, na
Hey Jude, don’t let me down
You have found her, now go and get her (let it out and let it in)
Remember to let her into your heart (hey Jude)
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
Na-na-na, na, na
Na-na-na, na, yeah
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, ah!
Na, na, na, na-na-na na (yeah! Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah)
Na-na-na na, hey Jude
Na, na, na, na-na-na na
Na-na-na na, hey Jude
Na, na, na, na-na-na na
Na-na-na na, hey Jude
Na, na, na, na-na-na na
Na-na-na na, hey Jude (Jude Jude, Judy Judy Judy Judy, ow wow!)
Na, na, na, na-na-na na (my, my, my)
Na-na-na na, hey Jude (Jude, Jude, Jude, Jude, Jude)
Na, na, na, na-na-na na (yeah, yeah, yeah)
Na-na-na na, hey Jude (yeah, you know you can make it, Jude, Jude, you’re not gonna break it)
Na, na, na, na-na-na na (don’t make it bad, Jude, take a sad song and make it better)
Na-na-na na, hey Jude (oh Jude, Jude, hey Jude, wa!)
Na, na, na, na-na-na na (oh Jude)
Na-na-na na, hey Jude (hey, hey, hey, hey)
Na, na, na, na-na-na na (hey, hey)
Na-na-na na, hey Jude (now, Jude, Jude, Jude, Jude, Jude)
Na, na, na, na-na-na na (Jude, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah)
Na-na-na na, hey Jude
Na, na, na, na-na-na na
Na-na-na na, hey Jude (na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na)
Na, na, na, na-na-na na
Na-na-na na, hey Jude
Na, na, na, na-na-na na
Na-na-na na, hey Jude
Na, na, na, na-na-na na (yeah, make it, Jude)
Na-na-na na, hey Jude (yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah! Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!)
Na, na, na, na-na-na na (yeah, yeah yeah, yeah! Yeah! Yeah!)
Na-na-na na, hey Jude
Na, na, na, na-na-na na
Na-na-na na, hey Jude
Na, na, na, na-na-na na
Na-na-na na, hey Jude
Na, na, na, na-na-na na
Na-na-na na, hey Jude

The Playlist

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