John Lennon wrote the Ballad of John and Yoko on April 14, 1969, just twenty-five days after he had married Yoko Ono. He was in such a hurry to record the song that he could not wait for George Harrison or Ringo Starr. Both were out of the country and unavailable. Only Paul McCartney was available on such short notice. (Harry, 579) Consequently, the two of them recorded, mixed, and edited to completion this song in less than nine hours. John played lead and acoustic guitars and sang lead vocals. Paul played the drums, piano, maracas, bass guitar, and sang backup vocals. The song describes his wedding to Yoko on March 20, 1969, in Gibraltar, and their succeeding honeymoon in Amsterdam.
This song has six stanzas and a refrain that repeats five times. Although the title of this song suggests a ballad, technically, it is not. According to the free web-based encyclopedia Wikipedia, ".
. . the song is missing many of the characteristics and requirements for a piece to be a ballad. The modern sense of the word 'ballad' generally means a slow song that is about love, and tells a story." Wikipedia's definition also tells us; "a traditional or old-fashioned ballad is an upbeat, comic story being told through song." (2006) While this song may not be a true "modern ballad," it is in every sense an old-fashioned ballad. It is a comedic love story put to lively music.
The first stanza describes the frustrations of John and Yoko as they try to leave England to marry. Their decision to get married came quite suddenly on March 14, 1969 while they were being driven to Dorset, England to visit John's Aunt Mimi. John had asked his chauffeur to go to Southampton and ask about the possibility of getting...