Jealous Guy (J. Lennon)

Jealous Guy

I was dreaming of the past

And my heart was beating fast

I began to lose control

I began to lose control

I didn’t mean to hurt you

I’m sorry that I made you cry

Oh my I didn’t want to hurt you

I’m just a jealous guy

I was feeling insecure

You might not love me anymore

I was shivering inside

I was shivering inside

Oh I didn’t mean to hurt you

I’m sorry that I made you cry

Oh my I didn’t want to hurt you

I’m just a jealous guy

I didn’t mean to hurt you

I’m sorry that I made you cry

Oh my I didn’t want to hurt you

I’m just a jealous guy

I was trying to catch your eyes

Thought that you were trying to hide

I was swallowing my pain I

was swallowing my pain

I didn’t mean to hurt you

I’m sorry that I made you cry

Oh no I didn’t want to hurt you

I’m just a jealous guy

Watch out baby I’m just a jealous guy

Look out baby I’m just a jealous guy

 

Lennon wrote Jealous Guy during a trip to India. where the Beatles studied meditation with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.

After attending a lecture about a “son of the mother nature”, both Paul McCartney and John Lennon had been inspired to write songs on the same subject. Paul’s “Mother nature’s Son” was selected for The White Album, while Lennon’s “Child of Nature” was not.

Therefore, Lennon could use it on his 1971 Imagine album, changing title and lyrics to reflect on his relationship with Yoko, and how possessive he had become of her while The Beatles were breaking up.

Yoko Ono said she believed Lennon’s jealousy was not sexual, but more an unfounded feeling of inadequacy. “He was jealous about the fact that I had another language in my head, you know, Japanese, that he can’t share with me,” she said in 1998. “It was almost on a very conceptual, spiritual level. It wasn’t on a level of physical or anything ’cause I just would never give him a reason for that”.

However, she also declared that he had made her write out a list of all the men she had been involved with in the past, he wanted her around all the time because he was “scared that if (she) stayed out in the studio with a lot of other men, (she) might run off with one of them.”

On the other hand, Paul McCartney stated in 1985: “He wrote ‘I’m Just a Jealous Guy,’ and he said that the song was about me.”

As a matter of fact, the song, or parts of it, are about Paul, and about Cynthia (his former wife) and about Yoko, and also an apology to all the women in his life, and thus women in general. That’s often how lyrics work. A lot of song – (or any kind of) writing is inspired by all sorts of things, consciously and subconsciously. Sometimes the writers themselves may not realize until afterwards, sometimes years later, exactly what was going on in their minds

John and  Yoko Ono were almost always together, even as Lennon was working with the rest of the band in the studio.

This violated a previous tacit agreement between the members not to let wives or girlfriends into the studio. Frequently, Ono would comment or make suggestions, which increased the discontent between Ono and Lennon’s band-mates.

Jealous Guy was not issued as a single in the UK or US in Lennon’s lifetime. However, as with all the Imagine songs, a video was made in 1971

 

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