John Lennon's lyrics for 'Revolution', 1968,
Lot 421
John Lennon's lyrics for 'Revolution', 1968,
Sold for £72,000 (US$ 121,019) inc. premium
Auction Details
Lot Details
John Lennon's lyrics for 'Revolution',
a Xerox copy with handwritten third verse added by John in blue ink, 19 x 23cm (7½ x 9in)


  • The somewhat illegible nature of the handwriting suggests this draft was for John's use only. The song, a blistering, upbeat remake of 'Revolution 1' on the 'White Album', was recorded in mid-July 1968 and appeared as the B-side to 'Hey Jude'.

    The hippie ideals of the Summer of Love were given a severe testing by the wave of political unrest and student protest that swept Europe in the spring of 1968. Violent demonstrations took place in London and Paris and Mick Jagger appeared on a march on the American Embassy in Grosvenor Square. While the Stones sang about 'Street Fighting Man', Lennon's position was that violence never really changed anything: political and social change had to come through a revolution in people's attitudes, overcoming prejudice, bigotry and hatred ('free your mind instead'). As the most overtly politically conscious of the Beatles, and clearly left wing, John was approached by various extremist groups to lend them his support. However, his initial ambiguity towards 'destruction' in the 'White Album' version, ('count me out/in'), was missing from the reworked, single release and his message to such factions was clear. In an interview in 1980, John stated that the sentiments in 'Revolution' were still a relevant expression of his political beliefs.