Perhaps not everyone knows that Jealous Guy, such a wonderful song, was written by John Lennon. It was included in his first solo album Imagine in 1971. Lennon, in some interviews, said he took inspiration for this song during a trip to India. A very special trip: In February 1968, the Beatles – with their wives and girlfriends, roadies, Mia Farrow, Donovan and Mike Love of the Beach Boys – had retired to Rishikesh, at the foot of the Himalayas, to learn transcendental meditation in Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s Asham. Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison have written more than 30 songs there. Ringo Starr also wrote one.
Jealous Guy’s original lyrics were inspired by a Maharishi lecture on a “son of mother nature”, which also influenced Paul McCartney’s song Mother’s Nature Song.

Paul & John

McCarteny’s song was included in the White Album. The Indian experience stimulated the two to write about the same themes. Lennon, however, initially set aside the melody of the piece, but then completely overturned it. He eliminated the parts that he considered too ascetic and transcendental, bringing the song “back to earth”. He then transformed it into a delicate apology request to Yoko Ono and all women.


A curiosity: Jealous guy was never released as a single while Lennon was alive. In the video, as in the Lennon-Ono style, you see essentially a shot taken from the other side of a river where John and Yoko are traveling in a funeral car from their Tittenhurst Park residence to a nearby lake, where they then board a rowing boat. It would seem like a metaphor of the song itself, which invites you to abandon the sense of possession, which makes you slave and makes suffer both those who try it, and the person to whom it is addressed. Water would symbolize the purification and rise of the soul. According to his publicist Elliot Mintz, in 1977 Lennon performed the song with acoustic guitar in a hotel in Tokyo. It was one of the last times Lennon played a song in public.