3 Songs You Didn’t Know John Lennon Wrote for Other Artists

He’s regarded as one of the greatest rock ‘n’ roll artists of all time. As a solo performer, he would have earned this acclaim. But as one of the founding members of the Beatles and one of its principal songwriters, John Lennon remains one for the ages.

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But the Liverpool-born artist didn’t just save his talents for himself and his Fab Four compatriots. No, he spread the love. Here, we dive into a triumvirate of songs Lennon helped pen for other big-name artists.

[RELATED: 6 Songs You Didn’t Know John Lennon and Paul McCartney Wrote for Other Artists]

1. “Mucho Mungo/Mt. Elga,” Harry Nilsson

Written by John Lennon, Harry Nilsson

Lennon produced American singer Harry Nilsson’s 1974 album, Pussy Cats. The work came during Lennon’s time split from wife Yoko Ono and it was inspired by Lennon and Nilsson’s at the time bad boy image, when they were known for being boisterous and often under the influence. In fact, the album cover for the record includes an inside joke, with the letters “D” and “S” beside a rug under a table, implying “drugs under the table.” But while Lennon produced the album, first in L.A. and then in New York, he only co-wrote one song, “Mucho Mungo/Mt. Elga,” on which Nilsson sings,

Mucho Mungo, sweet thing
Sweetest little thing I’ve ever seen
Must have been a sweet dream brought you here
Brought you through the sorrow and the tears

C’est la, c’est la, c’est la vie
Sail upon the ocean, sail with me
Sail into tomorrow every day
Looking for the sunshine through the haze

2. “Move Over Ms. L,” Keith Moon

Written by John Lennon

This song was first written by John Lennon for his 1974 LP, Walls and Bridges. But in the end, it hit the cutting room floor. While Lennon later released it as a B-side to his single, “Stand by Me,” the track was first cut and released by former drummer for The Who, Keith Moon, on his album, Two Sides of the Moon. On the song, which features bright jaunty pianos and big horns, Moon sings,

Well, now the underground and overjoyed they come on just the same
Don’t wanna get too real man, just wanna play the game
I guess ya knew it all along we were just singing in the rain
Can’t get hipped to the down trip, the ship is sailing yet
And if it sinks, you know that all you really get is wet

Move over Ms. L
You know I wish you well
Move over Ms. L
You know I wish you well
Move over Ms. L

3. “Cry for a Shadow,” Tony Sheridan

Written by John Lennon, George Harrison

This instrumental rock song was written by Lennon and George Harrison and recorded in 1961 in West Germany while performing as the backing group for English rocker Tony Sheridan. At the time the Mop Tops were performing under the name Beat Brothers. It’s slippery, fun and surfy. The song marks the only one from the Fab Four credited to only Lennon and Harrison. Check it all out in all of its head-bobbing glory here below.

Photo by Michael Putland/Getty Images

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