Each Christmas in the Disunited Kingdom there is an informal competition to see who can come up with the most memorable TV advert for the festive season. It would seem that this year the competition has been won by John Lewis with their advert for “Monty” the penguin (to see the advert follow this link). The song featured in the advert is a cover version by Tom Odell of John Lennon’s beautiful song “Real Love”. This Lennon song was written in 1979/1980, but he was murdered (34 years ago today) before he got a chance to release it on any record. Here are his hand-written lyrics to the song.
Lennon did record six takes of the song, and the first time it became known to the public was on the soundtrack to the 1988 film “Imagine”, a biographic film about Lennon put together from hundreds of hours of archive sound recordings and film. In 1996 the song was taken by the surviving Beatles who recorded accompanying music to Lennon’s vocal and piano track, and it was released as the last official (to date) Beatles single in March 1996 as part of the Beatles’ “Biography” project.
Here is a video of one of Lennon’s takes of the song, this one is just him singing and playing the piano. Enjoy!