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John Lennon said a song from The BeatlesThe White Album was about his lack of secrets. During another interview, he said the song was about hiding his true self. Notably, The White Album performed very differently in the United States and the United Kingdom.

The Beatles' John Lennon wearing blue
The Beatles’ John Lennon | Ron Howard / Contributor

Yoko Ono discussed the relationship that she and John Lennon had to the public sphere

The book All We Are Saying: The Last Major Interview with John Lennon and Yoko Ono includes an interview from 1980. In it, Yoko discussed her relationship to the world. “Everything is public,” she said. “Whatever you’re doing, even if you cough or sneeze or something, is going to affect the world. 

“Even things you think you are doing in private,” she continued. “We’re all sharing the whole world together. There is no reason why you can’t do these things publicly. On the contrary, you have to do it publicly.”

John Lennon said 1 song from The Beatles’ ‘The White Album’ was about how he had ‘no secret’

John elaborated on his relationship with the public. “You write about what you know, at least I do,” he said. “There is no line between private and public. There is no line. ‘Everybody’s got something to hide except me and my monkey.'” For context, “Everybody’s Got Something to Hide Except Me and My Monkey” is the name of a song from The White Album.

“There is nothing to hide, really,” John added. “We all like to s*** in private and we have certain little things that we prefer to do privately, but, in general, what is there to hide? What’s the big secret? The secret is there is no secret.” Notably, the book Lennon on Lennon: Conversations with John Lennon includes a 1980 interview in which John said the exact opposite — that the song was about hiding his true self.


Paul McCartney Said 1 Song From The Beatles’ ‘White Album’ Is a Western Parody

How The Beatles’ ‘Everybody’s Got Something to Hide Except Me and My Monkey’ performed on the pop charts

“Everybody’s Got Something to Hide Except Me and My Monkey” was never a single in the United States, so it did not chart on the Billboard Hot 100. Meanwhile, The White Album was a big hit. It topped the Billboard 200 for nine weeks, staying on the chart for a total of 215 weeks. The White Album was one of the Fab Four’s most popular albums in the U.S.

“Everybody’s Got Something to Hide Except Me and My Monkey” was not a single in the United Kingdom either and The Official Charts Company reports it never chartered there. On the other hand, The White Album hit No. 1 for eight of its 37 weeks on the U.K. chart.

John’s life continues to fascinate fans but the singer said he had nothing to hide.