The Beatles' Revelatory White Album Demos: A Complete Guide

We delve deep into the 1968 home recordings that planted the seeds for the band's classic self-titled double LP

Load Previous

"Child of Nature"

Upon first listening to the breezy demo of "Child of Nature," it's tempting to wonder if the rural reverie of Rishikesh had soothed Lennon's permanently tortured soul. He sounds relaxed, even peaceful, but something about the way he allows his voice to trill with faux folky tremolo on the end of the verses suggests that his country-boy facade is, to some degree, tongue in cheek. He later claimed that it was inspired the same meditation lecture that led McCartney to write "Mother Nature's Son," offering a fascinating contrast of their two perspectives. Lennon's first-person travelogue brims with all the earnestness of the most dewy-eyed flower child as he songs of "mountain ranges," "desert skies" and dreaming "on the road to Rishikesh." Whether the song was meant to be satirical or sincere, only he knows for sure – perhaps the goofy vocal affectations were intended to take some of the sweetness out of the syrupy verses after his feelings on the Maharishi had soured.

The Beatles never attempted "Child of Nature" during studio sessions for the White Album, though it remains unclear why. It's possible that the band felt it too closely resembled "Mother Nature's Son," or perhaps, as historian Richie Unterberger points out, Lennon was uncomfortable with the naïve tone of the lyrics. History would suggest that the words were the sticking point and not the elegant tune. When the Beatles resurrected "Child of Nature" for the Get Back project the following year, he switched the opening line to "On the road to Marrakesh," divorcing the song ever so slightly from its true origin. Lennon would eventually give the lyrics a complete overhaul, finally releasing it on his 1971 solo opus Imagine under the title "Jealous Guy."

Back to Top