Hey Jude by The Beatles Lyrics Meaning – Unraveling the Layers of a Timeless Anthem

You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for The Beatles's Hey Jude at Lyrics.org.
Article Contents:
  1. Music Video
  2. Lyrics
  3. Song Meaning


What’s that?
Camel sunshine

Hey, hey, he-he-he-hey

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

Oh-oh-oh, 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


Hey Jude, don’t let me down
She has found you, now go and get her
Remember to let her into your heart
Then you can start to make it better
Better, better, 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
La, la, la, la, la
La, la, la, la, mm

Hey Jude, don’t make it bad
Take a sad song and make it better
The minute you let her into your heart
Then you can start to make it better
Better, better, better, better, better, whoa, yeah

Na, na, na-na-na, na
Na-na-na, na
Hey Jude, oh, Jude
Na, na, na, na-na-na, na
Na-na-na, na
Hey Jude, oh, Jude
You’ll make it, Jude
Na, na, na, na-na-na, na
Oh, hey Jude
Na, na, na, na-na-na, na
Na-na-na, na
Sing it, Jude
Yeah, yeah
Na, na, na, na-na-na, na
Sing it, Judey-Jude
Na-na-na, na
Hey Jude
Yeah, yeah, yeah
Na-na-na, na
Oh, yeah
Na-na-na, na, na
Oh yeah, Jude
Sing it to me
Na, na, na, na-na-na, na
Na-na-na, oh yeah
Oh, ooh-ooh-ooh

Na, na, na, na-na-na, na
Na-na-na, na
Hey Jude
Na, na, na, na-na-na, na, oh-oh
Na-na-na, na
Hey Jude, Jude, Jude
Na, na, na, na-na-na, na
Sing it, Jude, sing it
Oh, oh, oh, whoa
Na, da-da, ah, la-di-di-da
Oh, whoa, whoa
Na, na, na

Na, na, na-na, na-na-na, na

Full Lyrics

A beacon of comfort and inspiration, ‘Hey Jude’ by The Beatles doesn’t just permeate through the airwaves; it penetrates the heart. With its simple melody and profound lyrics, this staple in music history continues to be a source of fascination and interpretation, tantalizing fans and critics alike with its depth and simplicity.

Beyond its immediate charm, ‘Hey Jude’ reassures and empowers, its hidden intricacies and memorable lines providing a refuge for anyone who’s ever needed a heartening friend. Here we delve into the expanse of its lyrics, seeking out not just the meaning, but the pulse that has kept this song beating in the global jukebox for decades.

The Backstory of Jude: Beyond the Namesake

While often seen as a universal message of encouragement, ‘Hey Jude’ stands as a comforting hand extended by Paul McCartney to John Lennon’s son Julian during his parents’ divorce. However, the universality of its appeal lies in the relatability of its themes. Specifically, the duality of its address – a particular ‘Jude’ that also reflects every listener’s personal struggles.

Crafted during a period of personal and professional turbulence for The Beatles, the song captures a moment of raw emotional support that transcends its origins, becoming an anthem for overcoming adversity. Its intimate association with real-life events provides a compelling foundation for the song’s emotional weight.

Peeling Back the Layers of Encouragement

At first glance, ‘Hey Jude’ radiates as a straightforward plea for positivity: ‘Don’t make it bad, take a sad song and make it better.’ But beneath its surface, the song becomes a masterclass in emotional intelligence. It teaches us to acknowledge pain, not to avoid it. The subtlety with which ‘Hey Jude’ transforms a message of consolation into a guide for emotional resilience is nothing short of poetic alchemy.

Eschewing the trope of blind optimism, the lyrics encourage embracing vulnerability (‘Remember to let her under your skin’), suggesting that strength comes from confronting, rather than evading, our fears and sorrows.

The Verse That Carries the World

In the lines ‘Don’t carry the world upon your shoulders,’ McCartney’s words gesture towards the weight of perceived responsibility and the unnecessary burden of perfection. It’s a stark reminder of the folly of isolation and the value of shared human experience in the healing process.

This profound empathy crystallizes in the recognition that to be ‘a fool who plays it cool’ is to deny ourselves the warmth of communal support and genuine connection, a notion as relevant today as it was at the song’s inception.

Finding the Movement You Need

Arguably one of the song’s most memorable lines, ‘The movement you need is on your shoulder,’ initially may appear cryptic. However, this lyrical gem reveals its brilliance upon closer inspection. It suggests that the solution to our troubles doesn’t lie in some grand gesture or external savior; it lies within us, in the small, manageable actions we can take to improve our situation.

The allegorical ‘shoulder’ is symbolic of personal responsibility and the power of small steps towards change. It’s an encouraging pat on the back from The Beatles, affirming one’s agency in times of hardship.

An Unforgettable Crescendo: The Mantra of Resistance

Transitioning from intimate advice to a rousing coda, the song’s final minutes become a collective mantra. The ‘Na-na-na’ outro is not mere filler, but an act of resistance against despair. With each repetition, the listener is drawn deeper into a communal space of perseverance, each ‘Na’ pushing against the tide of downheartedness.

The enduring power of this seemingly simple outro exemplifies the enduring appeal of ‘Hey Jude.’ It morphs from McCartney’s supportive whisper to Julian into a global chorus of defiance and camaraderie, a testament to the song’s infinite capacity to act as a vessel for human emotion and solidarity.

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