This followup to my list of Paul McCartney list outlines my favorite Beatles songs that were primarily John Lennon's work. All of the music written while they performed as a band was attributed to both of them, but it is easy to distinguish which of them was the primary writer of their various songs. John's lyrics and tunes tended to be a bit darker than Pauls, but are timeless nevertheless. Here is my list of the greatest of the Lennon/McCartney songs that were mainly John's work. This list changes day-to-day depending upon my mood, with the exception of "Imagine."
"Imagine" is often hailed as John Lennon's greatest song, and I agree. The premise of "Imagine" is that, without many of the social structures endemic to humans, there would be far less war, strife, and pain. John asked us in this wonderful song to imagine a world without any of these things.
Having read much about John Lennon's life, I imagine that the song "Nowhere Man" gave vent to his feelings of alienation due to what he saw as his parents' abandonment of him for their own pursuits. Despite the song's darkness, it holds out a ray of hope, telling the "Nowhere Man" that "The world is at your command."
Most of the world thinks that "Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds" is about LSD. It certainly sounds like the imaginings of a mind on drugs. The official explanation of this song is that one day Julian Lennon brought home a picture he had done (presumably at school) and when John asked what the picture was he said, "It's Lucy. In the sky. With diamonds." Whatever its origin, this is a wonderful, fun song.
"I'm So Tired" gives considerble insight into John's feelings when he was moving away from his first wife, Cynthia, and toward Yoko Ono. I believe it shows the pain he experienced, not just because he couldn't be with Yoko, but due to the guilt over his failed relationship with Cynthia.
"Glass Onion" provides a look back at past Beatles songs as of September 1968 when it was recorded. In addition, it adds fuel to the Paul Is Dead controversity with the lines:
"I told you about the walrus and me-man
You know that we're as close as can be-man
Well here's another clue for you all
The walrus was Paul."
select one here...