The song was written by Lennon though credited to Lennon—McCartney regarding his mother Julia Lennonwho died in at age The track is the final song on side two disc one on CD of the band's double album, The Beatles also known as "the White Album" and was the last song recorded for the album.
It was written during the Beatles' visit to Rishikesh in northern Indiawhere they were studying under the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. It was here where Lennon learned the song's finger-picking guitar style known as 'Travis-picking' from the Scottish musician Donovan. No other Beatle sings or plays on the song. While Paul McCartney made several "solo" recordings attributed to the group, dating back to his famous song " Yesterday ", this is the only time that Lennon played and sang unaccompanied on a Beatles track.
The ballad itself was the final track to be composed during recording sessions for The Beatles. But after she split with John's father, John was taken in by his aunt, Mimi, and Julia started a new family with another man; though she lived just a few miles from John, Julia did not spend much time with him for a number of years.
He and Daddy got along well enough, and in the evenings when our daddy, a head waiter, was at work, John and Mummy would sit together and listen to records. She was an avid Elvis Presley fan, and she and John would jive around the room to ' Heartbreak Hotel ' and other early Elvis recordings.
John inherited his love of music from her, and she encouraged him to start with piano and banjo, making him play a tune again Julia - The Beatles - The Beatles again until Julia - The Beatles - The Beatles got it right. And once again when she actually physically died. The song was also written for his future wife Yoko Onowhose first name, which literally means "child of the sea" in Japanese, is echoed in the lyric "Oceanchild, calls me. The line "Half of what I say is meaningless, but I say it just to reach you" was a slight variation of Kahlil Gibran 's "Sand and Foam" in which the original verse reads, "Half of what I say is meaningless, but I say it so that the other half may reach you".
Lennon also adapted the lines "When I cannot sing my heart, I can only speak my mind" from Gibran's "When life does not find a singer to sing her heart she In Your Room (Zephyr Mix) - Depeche Mode - In Your Room a philosopher to speak her mind".
The second phrase expands on the word "Ju—li-a", in which the cadence overlaps with the beginning of the next phrase.
A portion of the song also appeared on the Love album mixed with " Eleanor Rigby ". Coinciding with the 50th anniversary of its release, Jacob Stolworthy of The Independent listed "Julia" at number 13 in his ranking of the White Album's 30 tracks. It remains the only Beatles song he wrote and performed by himself. According to producer Butch VigKurt Cobain covered "Julia" during sound checks for Nirvana's breakthrough album Nevermind ; Julia - The Beatles - The Beatles was also said to be Cobain's favorite Beatles track.
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