Sean Ono Lennon Clarifies The Mystery Behind John Lennon’s Lyrics In ‘Now And Then’

Recently, Sean Ono Lennon took to X to share the backstory behind John Lennon’s lyrics in the Beatles’ most recent song, “Now and Then.”

There has been discussion on the platform over “Now and Then,” namely whether John Lennon or Paul McCartney penned the song’s lyrics for Yoko Ono. A user posted the following theory on the music that director Peter Jackson had presented:

“Also of note, Jackson theorizes ‘N&T’ started as a song for Yoko (and presents evidence from ‘The Lost Weekend’) and later morphed to be about the Beatles. He asked Paul point blank if the song was about him, and he said he thought it was about Yoko.”

Sean’s Insight Into The Song

Sean intervened after seeing this remark and provided clarification:

“If you listen to my dad speak about lyrics, it’s clear he never felt any song was necessarily about one thing. Songs are not essays. Poetry is not journalism. Art is like life multilayered and elusive.”

Lennon’s Turn To Personal Songwriting

In a 1971 Rolling Stone interview, John Lennon talked about his brand-new album, “John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band.” Because it was so honest, the late rock star claimed that this album was his greatest. He clarified that he had not written songs about himself before, but that he had begun to do so during the recording of this album.

Writing about his personal experiences was more authentic, which is why John liked it. He also went back and listened to some of his older tracks, choosing the ones that he thought were genuine. The performer revealed:

“I don’t know about anything else, really, and the few true songs I ever wrote were like ‘Help’ and ‘Strawberry Fields.’ I can’t think of them all offhand. They were the ones I always considered my best songs. They were the ones I really wrote from experience and not projecting myself into a situation and writing a nice story about it. I always found that phony, but I’d find occasion to do it because I’d be so hung up, I couldn’t even think about myself.”

John On Writing Lyrics

In the same 1968 interview, Lennon disclosed that he frequently didn’t completely comprehend the messages he was expressing. It was only after that he grasped their significance. The singer made a comparison between this writing approach and abstract painting, implying that a more natural creative process results from spontaneous expression as opposed to overanalyzing and laboring over words.

You may listen to “Now and Then” and view the tweets below.

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