Hey Jude

Yesterday my mother-in-law Lemin handed me a small hand-written note saying “Beatles Hey Jude“. I was so surprised, as I didn’t think she even knew about The Beatles. I was also curious why she was asking about that song in particular.

I asked (through Rosa) what format she wanted and where she wanted to listen to the song. I wasn’t sure if she just wanted the CD to play or an MP3 for her computer. She wanted something to play on her computer. So I pulled out Past Masters Volume 2 and ripped a copy of that one song for her. I put it on a USB stick and moved it onto her computer and showed her how to play it in Windows Media Player.

At first, it was nice to hear The Beatles playing from her computer. I sang along as I worked around the house. She is loosing her hearing so she was playing it loud enough that I could make it out even in the basement.

She played it all throughout the day. Over and over.

This morning she started playing it again. Over and over. And again when I got home. Over and over. “Hey Jude, don’t make it bad“. Over and over.

It just got stranger and stranger. Why, I wondered, did she want to hear it over and over?

This evening, after her shower, Rosa came down to start working on her computer too. We were both doing work on our computers and not paying attention.

Then Rosa stopped and said that she had had a very strange exchange with Lemin that had left her in a weird state. She told me why Lemin wanted to listen to “Hey Jude”, over and over.

Yesterday, Lemin went to a Chinese New Years celebration at the Chinese (Catholic) Church. Lemin is a very devout Roman Catholic. We were both glad she went, as she has not been very social since her husband passed away 14 months ago.

The reason, Rosa explained, was that someone at the church told her that it was a song about one of the Apostles of Jesus.

I fell out of my chair.

I could not imagine the confusion of ideas that would have led anyone to that conclusion. Lemin was treating it as a hymn about Jude the Apostle, without knowing the real story. “Hey Jude” was written by Paul McCartney not about one of the Disciples but about bandmate John Lennon, who was (in)famously quoted in 1966 as saying:

Christianity will go. It will vanish and shrink. I needn’t argue about that; I’m right and I’ll be proved right. We’re more popular than Jesus now; I don’t know which will go first—rock ‘n’ roll or Christianity. Jesus was all right but his disciples were thick and ordinary. It’s them twisting it that ruins it for me.

I was so surprised at what Lemin had been told. She stopped listening to the song once she learned that it was not about Jude the Apostle.

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