- John Lennon – double-tracked vocals, double-tracked acoustic guitar
Julia, which was written by John Lennon in India during The Beatles' retreat in Rishikesh in 1968, is the only John Lennon solo song in the Beatles catalog. It's a beautiful and personal song inspired by thoughts of his mother, Julia Lennon, who died at age 44 when she was run over by an off-duty policeman in 1958.
The lyrics also make allusions and references to Yoko Ono (as "Ocean Child," the literal translation of her name into English). There is an implication of catharsis in the song, in which John finally is able to release pent up feelings about the loss of his mother, and directing his affections to his current love and future spouse.
Lennon learned "Travis picking" from Donovan while in India. On this track he alone is heard, Travis picking his acoustic guitar.
The lyrics also paraphrase lines from Kahlil Gibran. For example, Gibran's phrase,
When life does not find a singer to sing her heart she produces a philosopher to speak her mind is rendered in Julia as
When I cannot sing my heart, I can only speak my mind.
George Martin placed Julia as the last song on side two of The Beatles (usually called The White Album), released on November 22, 1968.
In 1976 it came out again on the b-side of Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da. On Love, this song is a short instrumental, to connect Eleanor Rigby with I Am The Walrus.
Take 2 from the October 13, 1968 recording session was reproduced on Anthology 3. It is largely instrumental.