Child Of Nature

Written by: Lennon
Recorded: May 1968

Unreleased

John Lennon: vocals, acoustic guitar
Ringo Starr: shaker

Child Of Nature was a song written by John Lennon in 1968 in India. The tune eventually resurfaced as Jealous Guy - with different lyrics - on Lennon's 1971 solo album Imagine.

The Beatles


Like Paul McCartney's Mother Nature's Son, the song was inspired by a lecture given by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in Rishikesh, India. It is variously known as Child Of Nature or I'm Just A Child Of Nature, after a brief mention given by Lennon in a 1980 interview for Playboy magazine.

[Mother Nature's Son] was from a lecture of Maharishi where he was talking about nature, and I had a piece called I'm Just A Child Of Nature, which turned into Jealous Guy years later. Both inspired from the same lecture of Maharishi.
John Lennon, 1980
All We Are Saying, David Sheff

Lennon taped a demo of Child Of Nature at Kinfauns, George Harrison's bungalow in Esher, Surrey. The Beatles assembled there in the last week of May 1968 to record demos for the White Album. Lennon double-tracked his vocals and guitar, and a shaker - possibly played by Ringo Starr - was also added.

A number of theories have been put forward as to why The Beatles didn't record the song for the White Album. Its lyrical similarity to Mother Nature's Son may have been a factor, but it seems more likely that the innocence and openness of Lennon's words sat uneasily next to the likes of Sexy Sadie and Yer Blues.

A second version was attempted by Lennon and Harrison on 2 January 1969, the first day of the ill-fated Get Back sessions. This time, Lennon changed the opening line to "On the road to Marrakesh", perhaps in an attempt to distance the song from the Maharishi. A 25-second extract appeared on the Fly On The Wall bonus disc included with early copies of Let It Be... Naked.

The third version was recorded on 24 January at Apple Studios, again during the Get Back sessions. This was the only full-band attempt by The Beatles.

Child Of Nature was one of the few previously widely-bootlegged songs which The Beatles chose not to include on the Anthology collections. The reason is unknown, but it seems likely that its similarity to Jealous Guy, published as a solo Lennon composition in 1971, may have been a factor.

Lyrics

On the road to Rishikesh
I was dreaming more or less
And the dream I had was true
Yes, the dream I had was true

I'm just a child of nature
I don't need much to set me free
I'm just child of nature
I'm one of nature's children

Sunlight shining in your eyes
As I face the desert skies
And my thoughts return to home
Yes, my thoughts return to home

I'm just a child of nature
I don't need much to set me free
I'm just a child of nature
I'm one of nature's children

Underneath the mountain ranges
Where the wind that never changes
Touch the windows of my soul
Touch the windows of my soul

I'm just a child of nature
I don't need much to set me free
I'm just a child of nature
I'm one of nature's children

9 responses on “Child Of Nature

    1. Beatlemaniac

      Agreed. It is very interesting hearing the original demo, but truth be told the lyrics are kinda crappy and cheesy by Lennon standards. I’m glad he re-wrote them as Jealous Guy.

  1. Albert Hall

    A complete demo version, with John only (vocals/acoustic guitar), was played on the 6th episode of “The Lost Lennon Tapes” Westwood One radio series. The episode was originally broadcast the week of February 29-March 6, 1988. It, along with the entire series, is available via podcast at http://littleabby.podomatic.com/.

  2. GeorgeTSimpson

    Who played on the let it be… Naked recording? I think this is more important than who played on the demo because the get back sessions recording was officially released. You could write
    Esher:
    Lennon…
    Starr….
    Get Back Sessions
    ……

    And the unreleased is not really true is it because it is released on let it be naked and that’s an official album

  3. sertaneja

    There are already people saying he didn’t record it because Paul finished his first and spoilt john and George’s plan because there was always a bitterness between John and Paul. I imagine they never lived with the Beatles to know what happened. But some people really love to spread bad vibes around them. I don’t know why he gave up but for someone who wrote Sexy Sadie and after his problem with the Mararishi this seems to be the real reason. It makes sense. I love the way he played the guitar sounding like a mandolin. I never heard this sound in any other of their songs. Amazing.

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