The Ballad of John and Yoko
- John Lennon – lead vocal, lead guitars, acoustic guitar, percussion
- Paul McCartney – harmony vocal, bass, drums, piano, maracas
Ballad of John and Yoko was written mainly by John Lennon in April of 1969 and released a month later as a single in the UK. The song, in traditional ballad style, narrates the events of John's marriage to Yoko Ono and their life afterwards. It mentions the first "Bed-In" in the Amsterdam Hilton. When released, the second "Bed-In" was ongoing in Montreal. As a single, The Ballad of John and Yoko reached number 1 in the UK charts and number 8 in the US. It would be the last number 1 Beatles hit.
Recording took place in April of 1969, just ahead of the sessions for recording the Abbey Road album. Only two members of the group were present: John and Paul. Ringo was off making a film and George was on vacation. John had just conceived the song and wanted to record it right away, rather than wait for the others. Lennon played three guitar tracks and percussion in addition to singing lead vocal. Paul sang harmony vocal and played bass, piano, drums and maracas. In the last months of the group's existence the members were beset by jealousies and minor fits of temper. Many believe that John was peeved with the fact that McCartney's songs had been released on the a-sides of the singles for a couple of years, and Lennon's songs took the back seat. The other members were less than enthusiastic about Yoko Ono's presence in the studio, and John resented that. The single release of The Ballad of John and Yoko was apparently a gesture to mollify him so that the Beatles could complete the recording for Abbey Road. The single was released on May 30, 1969 in the UK and on June 4 in the US.