Was Lennon a jealous guy?

I have little doubt that the #metoo movement is going to involve some reappraisals of certain popular songs. Tunes that might have seemed innocuous or even comical will be found to have more threatening messages.

We’ve already seen this. For years, the song “Baby It’s Cold Outside” was perceived as a light take on the courting process until it got reappraised by many to be an endorsement of rape. (I find that charge to be overkill, by the way, but there’s no doubt the song has been re-examined.)

I’m currently sitting in a coffeehouse and John Lennon’s “Jealous Guy” has come on. Check some of these lyrics out.

I began to lose control
I began to lose control
I didn’t mean to hurt you
I’m sorry that I made you cry
Oh my I didn’t want to hurt you
I’m just a jealous guy

It sounds, frankly, like a wife beater begging his victim for forgiveness. Be he can’t promise an end to the violence because, at the end of the song, he sings:

Watch out baby I’m just a jealous guy
Look out baby I’m just a jealous guy

Now, of course nothing in the song directly speaks to violence. But the threatening lyrics don’t sit well, especially with the knowledge that Lennon did beat women.

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