AUTHORSHIP Lennon (.75), Yoko Ono (.20), and Kahlil Gibran (.05)
LENNON: "Me [I wrote it]. Yoko helped me with this one." Hit Parader (April 1972)
LENNON: "Julia was my mother. But it was sort of a combination of Yoko and my mother blended into one. That was written in India.
"I lost her twice. Once as a five-year-old when I was moved in with my auntie. And once again at seventeen when she actually physically died ... That was a really hard time for me. It just absolutely made me very, very bitter. The underlying chip on my shoulder that I had as a youth got really big then. Being a teenager and a rock 'n' roller and an art student and my mother being killed just when I was reestablishing a relationship with her." September 1980, All We Are Saying: The Last Major Interview with John Lennon and Yoko Ono
The line "oceanchild, calls me" refers to Yoko's letters to John in India. Coleman In Japanese, Yoko means "ocean child."
The line "Julia, seashell eyes" was taken from poet Kahlil Gibran's "Sand And Foam." Beatles Forever
McCARTNEY: "It's very sad because he really did dote on his mum. Julia was the light of John's life, he idolised her: 'Julia' was his mother's song. She was a beautiful woman with long red hair. She was fun-loving and musical too; she taught him banjo chords, and any woman in those days who played a banjo was a special, artistic person. It was bohemian to do that. John and I were both in love with his mum. It just knocked him for six when she died. I always thought it was bad enough my mother dying and what I had to go through, but that was an illness so there was some way you could understand it, but in John's case, the horror of reliving that accident ... Oh, my God! That always stayed with me." Paul McCartney: Many Years from Now
DONOVAN: "Some afternoons we would gather at one of our pads and play the acoustic guitars we had all brought with us. Paul Horn, the American flute wizard, was there. John was keen to learn the finger-style I played and he was a good student. Paul already had a smattering of finger style. George preferred his Chet Atkins style. John wrote 'Julia' and 'Dear Prudence' based on the picking I taught him." Many Years
McCARTNEY: "The interesting thing for me on 'Julia' is the finger-picking style. He learned to finger-pick off Donovan or Gypsy Dave, I think John said it was Gypsy Dave but the two of them were fairly inseparable and they both would have known it, and if they were both sitting down picking, then who is to know? It was a folk picking style, and he was the only one in the band who could ever do that properly. I made my own variation. Once you can do it, it's really very handy, it's a useful style. Actually I should learn it, never too late. That was John's song about his mum, folk finger-picking style, and a very good song." Paul McCartney: Many Years from Now
October 13, 1968, at Abbey Road, by Lennon
LENNON: acoustic guitar (double-tracked), lead vocal (occasionally double-tracked)
This was the only song Lennon recorded alone during his time with the Beatles. The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions: The Official Story of the Abbey Road Years 1962-1970