Now and Then: A 46-Year Journey Culminated into a Masterpiece

Now and Then Cassette, Courtesy of
Now and Then Cassette, Courtesy of

The Beatles released their last single and a short film both titled, Now and Then, Nov. 2 2023.

The new single, which features all of The Beatles, was 46 years in the making. Originally recorded by John Lennon in 1977, in 1994, fourteen years after Lennon’s death, Yoko Ono, Lennon’s widow, gave four tape recordings to Paul McCartney, which included Free as a Bird, Real Love, Grow Old with Me and Now and Then.

The following year, in 1995, the surviving Beatles members began to work on Now and Then. The recording session ended without the likelihood of a third reunion single due to a loud humming that could not be removed.

In 2021, Peter Jackson’s film The Beatles: Get Back was released using revolutionary AI technology called MAL (machine-assisted learning) to separate vocals from instruments. This same AI technology was used to isolate Lennon’s vocals from the piano and loud hum. Later, Giles Martin, McCartney and Ben Foster added a string section. The backing vocals were taken from the songs Here, There and Everywhere, Eleanor Rigby and Because.

Now and Then (Music Video). Courtesy of The Beatles Youtube Page

The song opens with McCartney giving a count-in, only making it to two, a soft piano, Ringo Starr’s drumming, and Harrison on an acoustic guitar, shortly after Lennon’s vocals start with the line “I know it’s true / It’s all because of you / And if I make it through / It’s all because of you,” Lennon’s vocals continue with the lines “And now and then / If we must start again / Well, we will know for sure / That I / Will love you.”

The chorus of the song then begins with the lyrics, “Now and then / I miss you / Oh, now and then / I want you to be there for me / Always to return to me,” the song progresses into the second verse before continuing into the chorus. After the second chorus, the sound of a slide guitar can be heard, played by McCartney in George Harrison’s style. The song ends with the lines, “I know it’s true / It’s all because of you / And if I make it through / It’s all because / Of you.”

Now and Then (Short film). Courtesy of The Beatles Youtube Page

Overall, the song leaves the listener with a weird feeling, knowing that they just listened to the last Beatles song, and the lyrics themselves can be interpreted in many different ways, from an emotional song that McCartney wanted to finish as a tribute to Lennon, to a simple song with no underlying meaning. The song, however, is very catchy and has earned itself a 5/5 from The Bengal’s Purr.

View Comments (1)
More to Discover

Comments (1)

All The Bengal's Purr Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • J

    Jerrick EdwardsenDec 11, 2023 at 12:17 PM

    One of the best songs!

Skip to content