Many years after John Lennon recorded demos of songs that were never released, a fellow Beatles bandmate found a hidden message.

Lennon had written the song Grow Old With Me during writing sessions for his Grammy Award-winning record Double Fantasy, which was his last release before he was shot in 1980.

After years went by, Lennon’s fellow bandmate Ringo Starr was introduced to the song by Jack Douglas, who was the producer behind Double Fantasy.

Speaking to the BBC, Ringo said, I’d never heard about this track and I bumped into the producer, Jack Douglas. He said ‘Did you ever hear the John cassette?'”

(I said) ‘I don’t know what you’re talking about,’” Ringo continued. He said ‘I’ll get you a copy.’”

When Ringo received a copy of the demo recording, he discovered a secret message left for him by his late friend and bandmate.

It was hard to listen to in the beginning because John talks about me, mentions me,” Ringo revealed.

“‘It says on the beginning ‘This will be great for you, Ringo.‘” 

The idea that John was talking about me in that time before he died, well, I’m an emotional person,” described Starr.

The emotional message prompted Ringo to re-record the track, enlisting the help of Paul McCartney to play bass.

The new rendition was produced by Jack Douglas, and also featured the iconic string section from The Beatles’ classic tune Here Comes The Sun, which was written by George Harrison.

So in a way, it’s the four of us, Ringo described.

“John would have loved it.”

Image credit: Getty Images

This article first appeared on Over60.