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  • John Lennon explained the meaning of one of the songs from The Beatles’ The White Album.
  • He said he had a certain “defense” when he was in public.
  • He said the album Imagine captured his authentic self.
John Lennon with a guitar during The Beatles' 'The White Album' era
The Beatles’ John Lennon | Keystone Features/Getty Images

The BeatlesThe White Album includes songs about many topics. For example, John Lennon said one of the song was about hiding his true self. Notably, John said he tried to be authentic when he made music and films with Yoko Ono.

John Lennon said 1 song from The Beatles’ ‘The White Album’ was about his ‘defense’

The book Lennon on Lennon: Interviews and Encounters includes an interview from 1980. In it. John discussed “Everybody’s Got Something to Hide Except Me and My Monkey.” “As I put it in my last incarnation, ‘Everybody’s Got Something to Hide Except Me and My Monkey,'” he said. “It means really that one cannot be absolutely oneself in public, because the fact that you’re in public makes you … you have to have some kind of defense, or whatever it is.” 

Subsequently, John discussed the authenticity of his work with Yoko. “But we always tried, whether from Two Virgins through Imagine, through anything we’ve done together, the films we made together, we always tried to get as near to the uncensored, as it were, for what we are,” he said.

John Lennon revealed how working in the ‘pop business’ for so long affected him

John recalled his discomfort with his inauthenticity. “Because having been in that sort of pop business so long — I’d tried to retain myself throughout it but obviously not always being successful at that — it was most uncomfortable when I didn’t feel I was being myself,” he added.

John compared his job to another profession. “You know, when I would have to smile when I didn’t want to smile, and it became like being a politician, you know,” he revealed.


The Beatles: John Lennon and Paul McCartney Used These 2 Words in Their Song Titles and Lyrics to Connect to Fans

How The Beatles’ ‘The White Album’ and ‘Everybody’s Got Something to Hide Except Me and My Monkey’ performed

“Everybody’s Got Something to Hide Except Me and My Monkey” was never a single, so it did not chart on the Billboard Hot 100. Meanwhile, The White Album topped the Billboard 200 for nine weeks. It stayed on the chart for a total of 215 weeks.

According to The Official Charts Company, “Everybody’s Got Something to Hide Except Me and My Monkey” did not chart in the United Kingdom. On the other hand, The White Album topped the U.K. chart for eight weeks, staying on the chart for 37 weeks altogether.

John had to hide his true self, but he gave fans insight into his life in “Everybody’s Got Something to Hide Except Me and My Monkey.”