"Hey Jude" is a rock ballad written by Paul McCartney (credited to Lennon/McCartney) and recorded by The Beatles in 1968. Originally titled "Hey Jules", the song was written by McCartney to comfort John Lennon's son Julian during his parents' divorce. "Hey Jude" begins with a verse-bridge structure based around McCartney's vocal performance and piano accompaniment; further details are added as the song progresses to distinguish sections. After the fourth verse, the song shifts to a fade-out coda that lasts for more than four minutes.
"Hey Jude" was released in August 1968 as the first single from The Beatles' record label Apple Records. Over seven minutes in length, "Hey Jude" was at the time the longest single ever to top the British charts. It also spent nine weeks as number one in the United States—the longest run at the top of the American charts for a Beatles single. The single has sold approximately eight million copies and is frequently included on professional lists of the all-time best songs.