In 1968, John Lennon and his wife Cynthia Lennon separated because of John’s affair with Yoko Ono. Soon afterwards, McCartney drove out to visit Cynthia and Lennon’s son, Julian. He composed ‘Hey Jude’ on the car ride there. (Source)

McCartney said, “I started with the idea ‘Hey Jules,’ which was Julian, don’t make it bad, take a sad song and make it better. Hey, try and deal with this terrible thing. I knew it was not going to be easy for him. I always feel sorry for kids in divorces … I had the idea by the time I got there. I changed it to ‘Jude’ because I thought that sounded a bit better.” (Source)

Julian discovered that the song had been written for him almost twenty years later. He said of his relationship with McCartney: “Paul and I used to hang about quite a bit – more than Dad and I did. We had a great friendship going and there seems to be far more pictures of me and Paul playing together at that age than there are pictures of me and my dad.” (Source)

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