Saltwater (Julian Lennon song)

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Julian Lennon Saltwater single cover.jpg
Single by Julian Lennon
from the album Help Yourself
  • "Rebel King" (Edit) (7" only)
  • "Rebel King" (Edit), "Creo Que Voy A LLorar" (Saltwater) (12" only)
  • "Rebel King" (Edit), "Creo Que Voy A LLorar" (Saltwater), "Mother Mary" (CD only)
Released5 August 1991 (1991-08-05)
Format7", 12", CD single
GenreSoft rock
LabelAtlantic (US)
Charisma Records (UK)
Songwriter(s)Julian Lennon, Mark Spiro, Leslie Spiro
Producer(s)Bob Ezrin
Julian Lennon singles chronology
"You're the One"
"Help Yourself"
Music video

"Saltwater" is a 1991 song performed by English singer, songwriter, and musician Julian Lennon. It was written by Mark Spiro, Leslie Spiro and Julian Lennon. Originally released on the album Help Yourself, the single peaked at #6 in the UK in October 1991,[1] and topped the Australian ARIA singles chart for four weeks in March 1992.[2] "Saltwater" was the 14th highest-selling single of 1992 in Australia,[3] where it was certified platinum.[3]

Unlike most of Lennon's previous songs, "Saltwater" combines subtle melodies with gentle vocals to bring forward the issues of environmental conservation and world poverty. The lyrics juxtapose the many marvels and feats of human civilization with the death of the natural world, constantly emphasising the passing of time - 'Time is not a friend, 'cos friends we're out of time'

The recording features a lead guitar solo in the style of George Harrison. Julian Lennon originally wrote a guitar solo for the song. At the suggestion of his producer Bob Ezrin, he then contacted George Harrison to play the solo instead. George was busy at the time consoling Eric Clapton whose son had recently died. He recorded a couple of riffs and sent them back to Julian. Guitar player Steve Hunter then played the actual solo on the song, combining elements of both Lennon's and Harrison's solos. In the liner notes for the Help Yourself album George Harrison is given special thanks.

An instrumental version (Guitar Duet) of this song was recorded by Chet Atkins and Tommy Emmanuel on their album The Day Finger Pickers Took Over the World.

The song can be heard in its entirety during the 1991 Christmas Day special of Only Fools and Horses, "Miami Twice".

Anni-Frid Lyngstad from ABBA performed the song at the open-air gala concert "Artister för Miljö",[4] and included her cover as a B-side on her single "Änglamark".

In 2016 Julian rerecorded Saltwater releasing it as "Saltwater 25" on 14 December 2016 saying that a proportion of the proceeds would go to The White Feather Foundation.[5]

Track listing[edit]

  • CD/Cass single[6]
  1. "Saltwater" (3:46)
  2. "Rebel King" (4:30)
  1. "Saltwater" (3:46)
  2. "Rebel King" (4:30)
  3. "Cre Que Voy A Llorar" (4:07)
  4. "Mother Mary" (4:53)
  • CD single (Promo) [8]
  1. "Saltwater (Edit)" (3:46)
  2. "Saltwater" (LP Version) (4:07)
  3. "Creo Que Voy A Llorar" (4:07)


Chart (1991–92) Peak
Australia (ARIA)[2] 1
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[9] 18
Canada Top Singles (RPM)[10] 98
Germany (Media Control Charts)[11] 58
Ireland (IRMA)[12] 5
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[13] 15
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[1] 6


  1. ^ a b "Official Charts > Julian Lennon". The Official UK Charts Company. Retrieved 16 March 2016.
  2. ^ a b " > Julian Lennon – Saltwater (song)". Hung Medien. Retrieved 16 March 2016.
  3. ^ a b "The ARIA Chart – Best of 1992". Retrieved 16 March 2016.
  4. ^ Oldham, A, Calder, T & Irvin, C: "ABBA: The Name of the Game", page 217. Sidgwick & Jackson, 1995
  5. ^ "Saltwater 25 Released". Julian Lennon. Retrieved 4 April 2018.
  6. ^ "Julian Lennon - Saltwater". Discogs.
  7. ^ "Julian Lennon - Saltwater". Discogs.
  8. ^ "Julian Lennon - Saltwater". Discogs.
  9. ^ "Ultratop > Julian Lennon – Saltwater" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 16 March 2016.
  10. ^ "Image : RPM Weekly - Library and Archives Canada". Retrieved 19 June 2016.
  11. ^ "Offizielle Deutsche Charts > Julian Lennon – Saltwater (single)" (in German). GfK Entertainment. Retrieved 16 March 2016.
  12. ^ "The Irish Charts – All there is to know > Search results for Julian Lennon". Fireball Media. Retrieved 16 March 2016.
  13. ^ " > Julian Lennon – Saltwater" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 16 March 2016.

External links[edit]