Saturday, December 13, 2008


Half of what I say is meaningless
But I say it just to reach you, Julia.
Julia, Julia, oceanchild, calls me
So I sing a song of love, Julia
Julia, seashell eyes, windy smile, calls me
So I sing a song of love, Julia.
Her hair of floating sky is shimmering,
In the sun.
Julia, Julia, morning moon, touch me
So I sing a song of love, Julia.
When I cannot sing my heart
I can only speak my mind, Julia.
Julia, sleeping sand, silent cloud, touch me
So I sing a song of love, Julia.
Hum hum hum hum… calls me
So I sing a song of love for Julia, Julia, Julia.

- Released October 13, 1968

-One of the most touching and sensitive song by the band is about John Lennon's mother, Julia Lennon.

Julia visited Mimi's house nearly every day, where they would chat over tea and cakes in the morning room or stand in the garden when it was warm. On the evening of 15 July 1958, Nigel Wally went to visit Lennon and found Julia and Mimi talking by the front gate. Lennon was not there, as he was staying at Julia's house in Blomfield Road. Wally accompanied Julia to the bus stop further down Menlove Avenue, with Julia cracking jokes along the way. At about 9:30, Wally left her and she crossed the road to the central reservation between the two traffic lanes, which was lined with hedges that covered disused tram tracks. Five seconds later, Wally heard "a loud thud", and turned to see Julia's body "flying through the air"—Julia's body landed about 100 feet from where she had been hit. He ran back to get Mimi and they waited for the ambulance, with Mimi crying hysterically. Julia was struck and killed by a Standard Vanguard car (LKF 630) driven by an off-duty constable, PC Eric Clague, who was a learner-driver. Clague later said: "Mrs Lennon just ran straight out in front of me. I just couldn't avoid her. I was not speeding, I swear it. It was just one of those terrible things that happen." Clague was acquitted of all charges and given a short suspension from duty. When Mimi heard the verdict she was so incensed that she shouted "Murderer!" at Clague. Clague later left the Police force and became a postman. Ironically, in 1964, part of his round was to deliver bags of fan mail to the McCartney's house at 20 Forthlin Road, after The Beatles became successful. Reference

Sections of the song were adapted from lines from the poem Sand And Foam by the then-fashionable Lebanese poet Kahlil Gibran. The opening words of Julia were taken from Gibran's lines, "Half of what I say is meaningless; but I say it so that the other half may reach you." Reference

Lennon also adapted the lines "When I cannot sing my heart, I can only speak my mind" from Gibran's "When life does not find a singer to sing her heart she produces a philosopher to speak her mind". Other imagery, including 'seashell eyes', was also taken from Gibran. Reference

- Lennon recorded this by himself. He did it completely live with an acoustic guitar and occasional overdubs on the vocals. It is the only song he did completely on his own during his time with The Beatles. Reference

- Author's Note: Many of my findings during my research say that "ocean child" is the Japanese meaning of the name, Yoko. However, according to this source, the name "Yoko" actually means "positive child" This however does not take away the fact Lennon was still referencing Yoko as "ocean child" in the song, I am merely correcting other sources to say that "ocean child" is not the Japanese meaning of the name, Yoko.

- John Lennon's boyhood home on Menlove Avenue.

- During his solo career, after leaving The Beatles, John Lennon penned another very moving song about his mother, Julia. You can watch and listen to this profoundly emotional song here. And might I add, an excellent and very touching video.

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