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The song is a ballad in the traditional folk sense of a narrative poem in a song, not in the sense used in modern pop music where the term usually refers to a slow, sentimental love song. Authored by Lennon while on his honeymoon in Paris, it tells of the events of his marriage, in March 1969, to Ono, and their publicly-held honeymoon activities, including their "Bed-In" at the Amsterdam Hilton Hotel and their demonstration of "bagism".
Lennon brought the song to McCartney’s home on 14 April 1969, before recording it that evening. "Paul knew that people were being nasty to John, and he just wanted to make it well for him," said Ono. "Paul has a very brotherly side to him."