"Nowhere Man" is a song by the English rock band the Beatles. It was released in December 1965 on their album Rubber Soul, except for in the United States and Canada, where it was first issued as a single A-side in February 1966 before appearing on the album Yesterday and Today. The song was written by John Lennon and credited to Lennon-McCartney. In the US, the single peaked at number 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 and number 1 on the chart compiled by Record World magazine, as it did the RPM 100 chart in Canada. The song was also released as a single in some countries where it had been included on Rubber Soul, including Australia, where it topped the singles chart.
Recorded on 21 and 22 October 1965, "Nowhere Man" is one of the first Beatles songs to be entirely unrelated to romance or love, and marks a notable example of Lennon's philosophically oriented songwriting. Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison sing the song in three-part harmony. The lead guitar solo was performed in unison by Harrison and Lennon. The pair played identical "sonic blue"-coloured Fender Stratocasters on the track. The song appears in the film Yellow Submarine, where the Beatles sing it about the character Jeremy Hillary Boob after meeting him in the "nowhere land".
Lennon wrote the song about himself after racking his brain in desperation for five hours trying to come up with another song for Rubber Soul. Lennon told Playboy magazine:
I'd spent five hours that morning trying to write a song that was meaningful and good, and I finally gave up and lay down. Then 'Nowhere Man' came, words and music, the whole damn thing as I lay down.
McCartney said of the song:
That was John after a night out, with dawn coming up. I think at that point, he was a bit...wondering where he was going, and to be truthful so was I. I was starting to worry about him.
The song begins with the chord of E (I tonic) on "He's a real" and then involves a 5-4-3-2-1 pitch descent between the B (V dominant) chord on "nowhere man" and A (IV subdominant) chord on "sitting in"; a twist comes where Am (iv minor) replaces A in the final line ("nowhere plans") and the simultaneous G♯ note melody creates a dissonant AmM7. The refrain, which appears three times, seesaws on a G♯ minor/A major (iii-IV) sequence before falling back on an F♯ minor and leading back to the verse on a B7.
The final note of the guitar solo uses a string harmonic to create a high, bell-sounding note.