The Last Great Song John Lennon and Paul McCartney Wrote Together

When The Beatles started out, the contributions of John Lennon and Paul McCartney could hardly be separated. They wrote lyrics and melodies together, harmonized on vocals, and took turns playing piano and guitar. A Lennon-McCartney song was exactly that.

Naturally, they developed their own styles over the years, and they grew apart as songwriters. Even though they had that Lennon-McCartney tag, you knew “Penny Lane” was a Paul tune and “Yer Blues” was 100% John.

However, their partnership didn’t end when “Good Day Sunshine” stood next to “I’m Only Sleeping” on Revolver. According to the Beatles Bible, 1967’s “Baby You’re a Rich Man” represented a late, equal collaboration between the two.

But that wasn’t that last time Paul and John made magic together. One more classic collaboration appeared on the final Beatles album. You can also hear the band deliver a spirited performance of it on the roof of Apple studios in Let It Be.

‘I’ve Got a Feeling’ featured parts of songs John and Paul wrote separately.

April 1968: John Lennon and Paul McCartney of The Beatles sit in the back of the limousine after arriving at Kennedy Airport. | Anthony Casale/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images

Few Beatles songs rock as hard as “I’ve Got a Feeling,” a track from Side 2 of Let It Be. With a stirring opening riff and often-shouted vocals by Paul, you know you’re in for something special within seconds. When the band kicks in and George Harrison fires up his lead guitar, it reaches another level.

But John has barely showed up yet. When he purrs “Everybody had a hard year, everybody had a good time” the song becomes an all-time Beatles classic. The song sounds so perfectly suited for John and Paul for a reason.

In fact, “I’ve Got a Feeling” was an original by Paul. John’s “Everybody Had a Good Year” was a standalone track he wrote earlier. By inserting the latter tune into the middle of the former, they created their last great song.

The Let It Be documentary, which concludes with the final Beatles live performance, makes it clear how the band felt about this song. Paul looks ecstatic from the get-go; Ringo bashes the drums with glee; John seems invigorated; and even somber George cracks a smile.

John and Paul looked their happiest recording the song.

The Beatles perform their song ‘All You Need Is Love’ on ‘Our World,’ June 25, 1967 in London, England. | Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

There are many things you notice watching Let It Be. John, for one, doesn’t seem fully committed to making the album. At one point, he waltzes through the studio with Yoko while George rehearses his tune, “I Me Mine.” (This must have made George furious.)

Paul, as committed as ever, annoys several members of the group (George especially) as he attempts to dominate the session. Meanwhile, George and Ringo are the only Beatles who seem cordial — happy, even — working together.

But “I’ve Got a Feeling” breaks that spell. Smiles are contagious throughout the studio. (Even a low-key Yoko smiles once John begins his vocals.) If you took the temperature of John and Paul then, we’d bet it was the happiest they felt late in the life of the band.

Later, when they head up to the roof with Billy Preston and tear into their fiery live version of “I’ve Got a Feeling,” The Beatles were a band again. It was the last time anyone could say that.

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