In 1978-79 John wrote 4 songs to Paul and put them in a casette, right? What were the songs and can you speak about them?
Yes, he wrote 4 songs and put them in a tape for Paul, cause he intended to finish them with him.
These songs are: Free as a bird, Real Love, Grow old with me and Now and Then. They are all demos, so home recordings, not completely finished.
Free as a bird is one of the oldest song John wrote, he recorded it in 1977, when he got back to the househusband/dad period.
Since it’s a demo, the song wasn’t finished, if you listen to the demo on youtube (this is just one of the many demos you’ll find) when he goes to ‘Whatever happened to, The life that we one knew,’ then he goes ‘ mmmmmmmm bla bla bla’ so Paul finished it writing the part:
“Can we really live without each other? Where did we lose the touch That seemed to mean so much It always made me feel so”
It’s obvious Paul is talking about John here. I can’t imagine how hard it was for Paul to listen to this demo and had to finish it. He completed it in his studio in Sussex, and admitted how hard it was for him to do it.
Real Love was recorded, always as a demo, in 1979. I remember sometimes he changed it singing ‘Real Life’ instead of Real Love. The difference between Real love and Free as a Bird is that the first one wasn’t complete, there were huge gaps Paul had to fill with new lyrics. Real Love was a complete song, the hard work was to rearrange it and clean it cause it was a home recording. I firmly believe this song was written for Paul, and not just because John put it on a tape to finish it with him, but because we know in 1979 John was leaving Yoko, they were splitting up, and all the songs he wrote talked about this, like ‘I’m losing you’, written for her. They were splitting up (I believe it was more Yoko who was leaving John, and not viceversa), and in Real Love there are some references to a new life John wants to live:
From this moment on I know
Exactly where my life will go
Seems that all I really was doing
Was waiting for love
Thought I’d been in love before,
But in my heart I wanted more
Seems like all I really was doing
Was waiting for you
This is certainly not something you’d say to your wife who has lived with you for 10 years. This is a man who wants a new life, who is looking at his past life from a different point of view. He’s ready for something new. That ‘In my heart I wanted more’ says everything to me: he’s referring to his relationship with Paul in the 60s. He wanted more.
The last 2 songs, Grow old with me and Now and Then were included in the tape that Yoko gave to Paul but they didn’t finish them for many reasons: the
demo recordings required too much work, also George didn’t like them much. So they just focused on Free as a bird and Real Love.
Grow old with me is the very last song John wrote it in 1980 while he was in Bermuda.
Now and then was written around 1979, the same period he wrote Real Love and Free as a bird. I think in this song John is referring to the last time he saw Paul, and I’ll tell you why. Paul admitted that the very last words John said to him were ‘think about me, now and then, my old friend’. And the song is a mixture of feelings towards the old life with Yoko he was losing, and the new life he wanted to live with Paul, going back to work with him.
And now and then, if we must start again
Well we will know for sure, that I love you
If we must start again isn’t something you’d say to your wife, is it?
Now and then, I miss you
Why he would miss his wife? He lives with her. He misses Paul.
I love the melody in this song, it’s so melancholy and he sings it with such emotions. If you listen to it on Youtube, this song is mentioned as the very last Lennon/McCartney song:
“I love The Beatles for them and I’ll always love them, even when I’m 105 and an old Grandmother, I’ll love them! And Paul McCartney, if you’re listening, Andrea from Brooklyn loves you with all her heart!”