Julia ( Beatles Cover ) 10.18.09
Julia is one of the most delicate and heartfelt songs on The Beatles White Album, ending the first cd. Originally it was the last song on the second side of the two-album set. It followed another chestnut, Paul McCartney‘s underrated I Will. Like Beatles fanatics don’t know this! Duh. ;-P
John Lennon wrote about his mother in this song, someone he suddenly lost at the age of 16, and the lyrics are loving and dreamy.
There is so much to love about The White Album, and there’s little I could possibly add to what has been written about it over the years. This is a song I’ve always come back to again and again. Most likely it’s because I was not familiar with it as a child, and didn’t really listen to the song until The Beatles released their music on cd for the first time in 1987. I was 21 at the time, having just finished college, and I studied The White Album for months. There were many songs I had not heard on the radio before. Once you’ve heard it, Julia is a song that stays with you. I resonate with it every time I hear it.
John’s acoustic guitar playing on the song makes me wish I had learned how to play the instrument. Since I never learned, I had to discover some way to play this piece on piano. Replicating the arpeggios (is that what they are?) that John did on acoustic guitar didn’t seem like the way to go for me. I play the chords as written, but I hit them a bit harder than Lennon did. I add a waltz time signature in a couple of spots too. Hopefully not to the detriment of the lyric, one of the gentlest Lennon ever wrote.
I think I was going through a Brian Wilson mid-career piano attack style of playing when I first learned this song, over a decade and a half back. My version isn’t as delicate, obviously. But I love the chords, so I chose to experiment.