‘Ballad of John and Yoko’

The Beatles (1969)


Although John Lennon wrote some timeless universal songs about the human condition, he also wrote a few overly autobiographical songs that should give pause to anybody that tries to cover him. The title alone should be a giveaway that this tune is one of the worst offenders. At least he comes across as comical after three refrains of “the newspapers said” and the “they’re gonna crucify me” refrain that recalls his comment to the press that The Beatles were “bigger than Jesus” just a few years earlier.

Sample lyric: “The newspapers said/She’s gone to his head/They look just like two gurus in drag.”

Does it stand the test of time?: Well, it is The Beatles, the group who invented being a group, and the whole world knows their story well enough that the listener can almost laugh at the narrative. Plus the country music git-along pace is hard to not like.