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“I’m Looking Through You”

Listen to “I’m Looking Through You”
  • Published on 1965
  • Author: Lennon/McCartney
  • Track 10 on “Rubber Soul

JOHN 1980: “Paul. He must have had an argument with Jane Asher.”

PAUL circa-1994: “As is one’s wont in relationships, you will from time to time argue or not see eye to eye on things, and a couple of the songs around this period were that kind of thing… I would write it out in a song and then I’ve got rid of the emotion. I don’t hold grudges so that gets rid of that little bit of emotional baggage… I think it’s my song totally. I don’t remember any of John’s assistance.”

About “I’m Looking Through You”

The song was written by Paul McCartney about English actress Jane Asher, his girlfriend for much of the 1960s, and her refusal to give up her stage career and focus on his needs.

In his contemporary review of Rubber Soul for the NME, Allen Evans said that “I’m Looking Through You” sounded “like earlier Beatles numbers”, adding: “A quiet, rocking song about a girl who has changed after letting her boy down. Ringo on organ!”

Record Mirror’s reviewer recognized Starr’s unfamiliar role as an example of the album’s “spirit of everybody having a go at everything”. The writer admired the song’s rhythm, McCartney’s singing, and George Harrison’s “top-notch guitar-work”. Nikki Wine of KRLA Beat described the track as a “really swingin’ cut” and “Wonderful fun”, with an “almost-bluesy sound”.

Thomas Ward of AllMusic calls “I’m Looking Through You” one of the “finest” songs on Rubber Soul  and one of the “minor gems of the Beatles canon”. He highlights McCartney’s lyrics, describing them as one of the most “mature” of the period, and praises his lead vocal.

Meaning of “I’m Looking Through You”

The lyrics of “I’m Looking Through You” convey a sense of disillusionment and the feeling of growing apart from someone who was once close. The narrator is expressing frustration and disappointment with a girl who has changed, becoming distant or perhaps revealing a different side of herself.

The title phrase, “I’m looking through you,” suggests a sense of transparency or a feeling that the person they thought they knew has become elusive or inscrutable.

Overall, the song touches on themes of change, introspection, and the complexities of relationships. It’s a poignant reflection on how people can evolve over time, sometimes leading to a sense of disconnect.


  • Paul McCartney – double-tracked vocals, bass guitar
  • John Lennon – harmony vocal, acoustic guitar
  • George Harrison – lead guitar, tambourine
  • Ringo Starr – drums, matchbox, Hammond organ

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