John Lennon’s 13 Favourite Paul McCartney Beatles Songs
Words by Riley Fitzgerald
Graphic by Press
When it came to fellow Beatle Paul McCartney‘s songwriting John Lennon‘s views could vary wildly.
A self-professed jealous guy with little or no filter, his snipes at Paul’s work could be scathing.
Nonetheless, there were odd moments where Lennon expressed the admiration he held for Paul’s talents, which in the eyes of many a Beatles fan rivaled if not eclipsed his own.
“That’s his best song,” John told Hit Parader in 1972. ” It started off as a song about my son Julian because Paul was going to see him. Then he turned it into ‘Hey Jude.’ I always thought it was about me and Yoko but he said it was about him and his.”
Lennon was of course quite famous at contradicting himself.
“I always heard it as a song to me,” he told Playboy in 1980. “‘Hey, John.’ Subconsciously, he was saying, ‘Go ahead, leave me.’ On a conscious level, he didn’t want me to go ahead. The angel in him was saying, ‘Bless you.’ The devil in him didn’t like it at all, because he didn’t want to lose his partner.”
‘Here, There and Everywhere’
Revolver‘s ‘Here There and Everywhere’ was another of Lennon’s favorites.
“[Here There and Everywhere] was a great one of his,” John once enthused. “That’s Paul’s song completely, I believe. And one of my favorite songs of the Beatles.”
Paul recently noted that it may have been the only complimented Lennon ever paid him.
‘All My Loving’
The Beatles‘ early hits never earn too much praise from John though feeling charitable he once referred to McCartney composition ‘All My Loving’ “a damn good piece of work”.
“I should have written that song,” Lennon once confided, “it sounds like a song I’d write.”
As much as John rubbished it, Lennon could not deny that ‘Yesterday’ may just have been Paul’s greatest moment. “Paul wrote the lyrics to ‘Yesterday,’” John reflected in one interview. ” Although the lyrics don’t resolve into any sense, they’re good lines. They certainly work, you know. If you read the whole song, you don’t know what happened. She left and he wishes it were yesterday, that much you get, but it doesn’t resolve or anything. I have got so much accolade for ‘Yesterday’ but that’s Paul’s song, and Paul’s baby. Well done.”
‘Why Don’t We Do It In The Road’
Fans might debate John’s take on ‘Why Don’t We Do It On The Road’ as Lennon’s estimation of the White Album era song sits somewhere between a backhanded compliment and hidden nugget of praise.
While John declared the song “one of his best” in 1972 he also contended that it was most likely written as a joke.
‘Let It Be’
While John had a degree of respect for the Get Back project songs which would eventually be repurposed for the final Beatles album Let It Be, it was ‘Let It Be’ and the Long and Winding Road that he dubbed the Beatles last great burst of creativity.
‘Things We Said Today’
In his 1980 Playboy interview Lennon simply noted Paul’s 1964 song ‘Things We Said Today’ as “good”.
‘For No One’
He held ‘For No One’ is slightly higher esteem deeming it “one of my favorites”.
Got To Get You Into My Life
Likewise with ‘Got To Get You Into My Life’. John thought the Revolver song one of McCartney’s best.
‘Fixing A Hole’
John firmly believed that this Sgt Pepper‘s song had a good lyric.
‘The Fool On The Hill’
Received similar praise with John noting that it proved Paul could write lyrics.
Positive or negative, John’s views on Paul’s music didn’t detract from the deep feelings he held for the man since he had known since he was 16.
“At the end of the day when it’s all said and done,” John shared shortly before his death. ” I would do anything for him. I think he would do anything for me.”