“Too Late for Goodbyes” by Julian Lennon

Julian Lennon’s “Too Late for Goodbyes” is a proper love song, one centered on a troubled relationship in fact. However, it isn’t necessarily the simplest to understand, at least not as far as the first verse goes. 

You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for Julian Lennon's Too Late for Goodbyes at Lyrics.org.

So we’ll approach it verse-by-verse to try to get a comprehensive understanding of what Julian is putting forth.

First Verse

What is revealed from the onset of the first verse is that the singer is thoroughly heartbroken due to the addressee, his lover, “leaving” him. 

He then goes on to state that ‘now he knows how it feels for her’, thus insinuating that at some point in the past he may have also left her. 

So pretty much from the jump, it is established that this is a tumultuous relationship we’re dealing with here.

Second Verse

Then the second verse is set sometime in the future, with the two of them having now spent considerable time apart. 

In the midst of it all, Julian has observed that both of them have “been starting to lie”. And what that apparently means within the context of the passage is that they are pretending not to care about each other – or something like that. 

Either way, the vocalist is perturbed by the fact that the addressee, it would seem, hasn’t made any effort to maintain contact with him, i.e. not even caring how he is doing.

Third Verse

Also in the aftermath of the two of them parting ways, as illustrated in the third verse, the singer has now come to realize just how much the addressee means to him. It is also under such a sentimental foundation that the fourth verse is set. 

And going back to the third verse, he further implies that he wants to reunite with her, even though she’s “been far away”.


But all of that being noted, the singer clearly understands that this relationship is dead for good. That is the realization upon which the title and chorus is set.

So the premise of this entire track is that he and the addressee have broken up. Perhaps, as somehow insinuated by the first verse, his own actions had something to do with this. But either way, he has come to learn the hard way that losing this lady was a big mistake.

Lyrics of "Too Late for Goodbyes"

Julian Lennon

Julian Lennon, as his name suggests, is a relative of the late John Lennon (1940-1980) of Beatles’ fame. 

More specifically he is the son of John Lennon, with his mother, Cynthia Lennon (1939-2015), being John’s first wife. Thus he is the first of two children John had in his life, with the other being Sean Lennon whose mother is Yoko Ono.

Even though you may have never heard of him, Julian Lennon has actually managed to put together a notable discography. 

Between 1987 and 1998, he released five full-lengths. And this track we’re dealing with today is actually the lead single from his first album, “Valotte”. Simply put, “Too Late for Goodbyes”, which was released on 24 September 1984, was Julian’s debut single (in his homeland of the UK). 

And such was made possible by the collaborative efforts of Charisma Records in the UK and Atlantic Records in the US.

Did Julian Lennon write “Too Late for Goodbyes”?

Yes. Julian wrote this song himself. And its producer was Phil Ramone (1934-2013).

Too Late for Goodbyes
Official cover art for Julian’s “Too Late for Goodbyes”

More Facts about “Too Late for Goodbyes”

“Too Late for Goodbyes” proved to be the biggest hit of Julian Lennon’s career. It charted in nearly 10 countries and topped Billboard’s Adult Contemporary chart. 

Moreover, the track reached number 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 and number 6 on the UK Singles Chart, in addition to being certified gold in Canada.

Additionally, fans of the Grand Theft Auto series are likely familiar with this tune, as it is part of the playlist of the “Los Santos Rock Radio” station in Grand Theft Auto V (2013).

And as far as “Valotte” itself, it is the most-successful album Julian put out during the 20th century. It reached a peak position of number 17 in the US, number 20 in the UK. At the end of the day, it was certified platinum by the RIAA.

There is a music video to this track, which was directed by Sam Peckinpah (1925-1984).

At the time of this song’s release, Julian Lennon was 21 years of age.

2 Responses

  1. Anonymous says:

    Good for Julian. He deserved the success and happiness this brought him.

  2. King Mixer says:

    “Even though you may never have heard of him”..

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