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"Stand by Me" is a song originally performed in 1961 by American singer-songwriter Ben E. King and written by him, along with Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, who together used the pseudonym Elmo Glick. According to King, the title is derived from, and was inspired by, a spiritual written by Sam Cooke and J. W. Alexander called "Stand by Me Father," recorded by the Soul Stirrers with Johnnie Taylor singing lead.

John Lennon recorded his version of the song for his 1975 album Rock 'n' Roll. Lennon's remake became a single three weeks after the album's release and was his last hit prior to his five-year retirement from the music industry. Lennon filmed a performance of the song for The Old Grey Whistle Test in 1975. Cash Box said of it that "John's serenading guitar chords herald this bright new production of one of rockdom's favorites," and that it displays Lennon's "magical, mysterious voice...at his finest."

On the week of May 3, 1975, this version was in its second of two weeks at the peak position number 20 on the US Hot 100, right in front of King's comeback hit "Supernatural Thing – Part I" at number 21. Both tunes fell off the top 40 the next week and off the chart the week after that. Lennon's version stayed on top 100 of the UK Singles Chart for seven weeks, peaking at number 30 on its fourth week on the week of May 18–24, 1975. It peaked at number 13 on Canada's RPM Top Singles chart on the week ending May 3, 1975 and stayed on the peak position the following week. It peaked at number 11 on the Official New Zealand Music Chart on the week of July 14, 1975.

The single's B-side track is "Move Over Ms. L", initially intended for Lennon's previous album Walls and Bridges but was cut from the final lineup due to his dissatisfaction with his early takes. Keith Moon covered "Move Over Ms. L" for his 1975 solo album Two Sides of the Moon.

Before the parent album's official release, during Lennon's March 1974 sessions with Harry Nilsson for Nilsson's album Pussy Cats, Lennon recorded two takes of the song in collaboration with former Beatles member Paul McCartney. McCartney performed on the drums; Lennon on guitar. The unreleased recordings would eventually be included in a bootleg album A Toot and a Snore in '74.

Billboard regarded Lennon's version as "the best version since the original." Pitchfork writer Marc Hogan found Lennon's version "more affecting (just barely)" than the original due to the "acoustic guitar and Lennon's fervent vocals". A 2007 book The Words and Music of John Lennon by Ben Urish and Ken Bielen called Lennon's version one of the "stronger" tracks of the album. Journalist and book author Robert Webb in 2013 called this version one of the "greatest cover versions".

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