Will the Beatles’ final song see daylight?

In the 1990s, John Lennon’s widow, Yoko Ono, gave Paul McCartney a cassette tape. McCartney recognized the handwriting on the front. It was Lennon’s script, and all it said was “For Paul.” When McCartney queued it up on his tape deck, he heard a rough demo of a song Lennon recorded before he died. “Then and Now,” the recording’s been dubbed.

The remaining Beatles considered polishing the song into something final when they got together in 1994 to work on the Anthology series.

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“George went off it: ‘Fucking rubbish this is,'” McCarney says. “It’s like ‘No, George, this is John!’ ‘It’s still fucking rubbish.’ ‘Oh, ok then.’ So that one’s still lingering around somewhere. I’m going to nick in with (producer) Jeff (Lynne) and finish it one of these days.”


The raw recording includes a chorus and rough snippets of lyrics:

I know it’s true, it’s all because of you
And if I make it through, it’s all because of you
And now and then, if we must start again
Well we were not sure, that I love you

I don’t want to lose you – oh no, no, no
Lose you or abuse you – oh no, no, no, sweet doll
But if you have to go, away
If you have to go…
Now and then, I miss you
Oh now and then, I…
I know it’s true to me…

I know it’s true, it’s all because of you
And if you go away, I know you…

I don’t want to lose you – oh no, no, no
Abuse you or confuse you – oh no, no, no, sweet darl’
But if you had to go, away
Well I won’t stop you babe
And if you had to go

“It was one day — one afternoon, really — messing with it,” producer Jeff Lynne would go on to say. “The song had a chorus but is almost totally lacking in verses. We did the backing track, a rough go that we really didn’t finish.”

Fans have seen taken shots at turning the song into something complete. Check out this version, which came to us via UltimateClassicRock:

Photo credit: “ParqueJohnLennon” by Scarton – Fotografía propia. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

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