The Self-Penned Beatles Song John Lennon Called "Abysmal"

Sunday, March 31, 2024

It’s natural to find yourself at odds with your art when looking back on it years after the fact. People change–as do their tastes and opinions. Even an undisputed songwriting force, such as John Lennon, isn’t safe from the inevitable change of heart. In fact, there was one song that Lennon found so unappealing, he went as far as calling it “abysmal.”

In the earliest days of the Beatles’ career, they tended to lean toward songs that had an ear-worm melody and a relatively simple lyric. “I Want To Hold Your Hand.” “Love Me Do.” “Please Please Me.” Don’t get us wrong, they are classics, but they certainly aren’t songs someone could deem to be intricately written.

It was an affinity Lennon felt carried over unto “It’s Only Love” from Help! As always, Lennon wrote this tune with Paul McCartney–though most of the song is credited to Lennon. While McCartney remains somewhat favorable of the track, Lennon found it to be one of his worst songwriting bouts.

“‘It’s Only Love’ is mine,” Lennon once said. “I always thought it was a lousy song. The lyrics were abysmal. I always hated that song.”

It’s only love and that is all
Why should I feel the way I do?
It’s only love and that is all
But it’s so hard loving you

In contrast, McCartney found the song to be right on par with what the band should be aiming for.

Source: Alex Hopper/


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