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Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Why Paul McCartney Still Sings The Beatles’ ‘Hey Jude’

The album cover for The Beatles' 'Rubber Soul.' George Harrison, John Lennon, Ringo Starr, and Paul McCartney pose in a diagonal line across the cover. 'Rubber Soul' is in the upper right corner.


Paul McCartney has played The Beatles’ “Hey Jude” longer than millions of his fans have been alive. The song was on an album that wasn’t released in the United Kingdom.

Paul McCartney has been playing The Beatles’ “Hey Jude” longer than millions of his fans have been alive. The “Silly Love Songs” star explained why he was still performing it in the 1990s. Notably, the song was included on an album that was not released in the United Kingdom.

Paul McCartney said if he didn’t sing The Beatles’ ‘Hey Jude’ others would

During a 1990 interview with Rolling Stone, Paul discussed playing Beatles tracks decades after writing them. “I’ve already done the thing where you go out and shun The Beatles,” Paul said. “That was Wings. Now I’ve done this whole thing. I recognize that I’m a composer and that those Beatles songs are a part of my material.

“The only alternative is that I turn my back on it forever, never do ‘Hey Jude’ again — and I think it’s a damn good song,” he said. “It would really be a pity if I don’t do it. Because someone else will.” 

Paul might have another reason to play “Hey Jude” years after the fact. During a 1989 interview with the Los Angeles Times, he cited “Hey Jude” as one of the best songs he ever wrote. Other tunes he cited as favorites include “The Fool on the Hill,” “All My Loving,” “Yesterday,” and “Here, There and Everywhere.”

Paul McCartney didn’t always feel the need to play The Beatles’ songs

Paul told Rolling Stone why he hadn’t been touring for a time. “I just couldn’t be bothered,” he said. “Until Live Aid came along, I didn’t think of doing anything live. I don’t know why. Maybe because nobody asked me. Nobody asked me personally, anyway. 

“I’d hear little things here and there; I heard that Elton John was quoted as saying, ‘What he needs is to get back on the road,’” he added. “But it never seemed that vital for me; I was already enjoying myself.” The world is so lucky that Paul decided he still wanted to perform live and that he’s been performing live regularly ever since. 

How ‘Hey Jude’ performed on the pop charts in the United States and the United Kingdom

The Beatles’ “Hey Jude” topped the Billboard Hot 100 for nine weeks, longer than any of the Fab Four’s other singers. The tune stayed on the chart for a total of 19 weeks. The track appeared on the compilation album Hey Jude, which includes other tunes that were originally released as stand-alone singles. That compilation reached No. 2 on the Billboard 200 and lasted on the Billboard 200 for 36 weeks.

According to The Official Charts Company, “Hey Jude” reached No. 1 for two weeks and spent 19 weeks on the chart altogether. In the 1980s, the power ballad recharted on No. 52 and stayed on the chart for two weeks. Meanwhile, the album Hey Jude was not released in the U.K. so it did not chart there.

“Hey Jude” is one of The Beatles’ best hits and we can only hope Paul will continue to sing it for many years to come.

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