John’s Song of Love – “Julia”

John’s Song of Love – ‘Julia’

By Madeline Bocaro 

© Madeline Bocaro, 2020. No part of this site may be reproduced in whole or in part in any manner without permission of the copyright owner.

While the Beatles studied Transcendental Meditation in India in early 1968, John Lennon received many letters from Yoko Ono whom he had met just before her first London art exhibition opening just over a year prior. While in India John received surreal, arcane, reassuring and intriguing messages from Yoko such as,‘I’m a cloud, watch for me in the sky. ’John was falling deeply in love with her, as his marriage to Cynthia deteriorated.

Upon their return from India, the Beatles worked from acoustic compositions they made there. Back in London, they recorded the now classic double white album (The Beatles).

John performs the delicate acoustic ‘Julia’ completely alone. The song is mainly about his estranged mother who was tragically hit by a car just as young Lennon was getting to know her. This was one of many tragic occurrences – the most traumatic one in John’s life. It scarred him forever.

In this beautifully gentle love song, John blends the auras of Julia and of Yoko who was soon to be his wife, using imagery from nature;

Ocean child (the meaning of Yoko’s name in English)
Seashell eyes / Windy smile / Floating sky
Morning moon / Sleeping sand / Silent cloud… 


In his song of love, John ‘quipped Kahlil Gibran’ quoting his 1926 poem Sand and Foamon ‘Julia’ in the opening line, “Half of what I say is meaningless; but I say it so that the other half may reach you.”

Several of John’s songs on the white album were about his relationship with Yoko. One was heavily influenced by her (‘Revolution 9’).

Two weeks before The Beatles was released in November 1968, John and Yoko had released their own first album together, Unfinished Music No. 1: Two Virgins. They appeared naked on the album cover.

John later wrote many more love songs to Yoko, including ‘The Ballad of John and Yoko’, detailing the rocky road that they had begun to travel, not really knowing the extent of ‘how hard it can be.’  Another poignant lyric in which John steadfastly declared his independence and new beginning after the Beatles’ breakup was in his song ‘God’ on his first solo album ‘John Lennon Plastic Ono Band’

I just believe in me

Yoko and me

That’s reality

The dream is over…

The joyful ‘Oh Yoko’ and the serene ‘Oh My Love’ appeared on John’s Imagine album in 1971.

John’s final song to his mother Julia, to Yoko and to all women was the beautiful ‘Woman’ on Double Fantasy.  The song begins with his spoken-word dedication, ‘For the other half of the sky’. The album was released just weeks prior to John’s death in 1980.

Julia was 44 years old when she died.

© Madeline Bocaro 2020. No part of the materials available through may be copied, photocopied, reproduced, translated or reduced to any electronic medium or machine-readable form, in whole or in part, without the  prior written consent of Madeline Bocaro. Any other reproduction in any form without the permission of Madeline Bocaro is prohibited. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without prior written permission of Madeline Bocaro.


Also see:

Unfinished Music No. 1: Two Virgins

White on White – The Beatles (white album) 50th Anniversary

Read more stories in my featured category: ABOUT A SONG…


The Beatles

Half of what I say is meaningless
But I say it just to reach you, Julia

Julia, Julia, ocean child, 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, glimmering
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

Mmm, mmm, mmm, calls me
So I sing a song of love, Julia, Julia, Julia

Songwriters: John Lennon / Paul McCartney

Julia lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC



Ocean child…





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