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How Do You Sleep?
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23 September 2022
Ron Nasty
Apple rooftop

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@forn said
Supposedly it is in reaction to some songs on Ram , but I think John might be a little paranoid about that.  The “You took your lucky break and broke it in two” line that is so often cited is, IMO, about Linda’s ex-husband, as is the rest of the song.  I think this is what Paul has said, and if you listen to it (and several other songs on Ram ), it makes sense that way.  Paul seems to be challenging him and rubbing it in his face a bit, “I have her now, I’m the better man”.  John always thinks everything’s about him though, so… 

But then you have Paul telling Rolling Stone in 1984:

I was looking at my second solo album, Ram , the other day and I remember there was one tiny little reference to John in the whole thing. He’d been doing a lot of preaching, and it got up my nose a little bit. In one song, I wrote, “Too many people preaching practices”, I think is the line. I mean, that was a little dig at John and Yoko. There wasn’t anything else on it that was about them. Oh, there was “You took your lucky break and broke it in two”.

While he has said it was about Linda’s ex, he’s also said it was about John. So, depends on which version of Paul’s account you want to believe because he’s told it both ways.

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The Beatles Bible 2020 non-Canon Poll Part One: 1958-1963 and Part Two: 1964-August 1966

4 October 2022
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Von Bontee said
I’ve never been able to parse that “You’d better see right through that mother’s eyes…line” – like is that ‘mother’ Linda? Or possibly “Sgt. Pepper “, either the fictional bandleader or the album, “mother” in this interpretation being “motherfucker”, either meaning an individual or an object? For awhile I speculated that possibly the Mother in question was Frank Zappa, leader and figurehead of the Mothers (…Of Invention), whose music John was quite enamored of in 1969/71, and who was infamously skeptical of much of the Beatles, to the point of parodying Sgt. Pepper ‘s cover and all it represented, but that may be a stretch. I still don’t get the line…


Think it’s just “motherfucker” in this instance. 

I’d also say Harrison was quite happy to play on this track because of what it symbolised – the end of Lennon/McCartney. It’s no coincidence he turns in one of his greatest solos. 

Helping drive a wedge between John and Paul is one thing, but if George thought it meant he was going to be closer to John as a result he was in for a shock. 

As for the song it’s the most extreme example of the beatles sending messages to each other in their writing. From “Run Of The Mill ” to “dear friend” to “i know i know” they did it across their solo careers.

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