"Hey Jude" is the Ultimate '60s Anthem
It topped the charts for virtually the entire summer of 1968, which was the crest of the '60s spirit. The chart performance of this song ranks it with the greatest rock hits, probably the greatest if you take into account the cultural significance. Importance is measured by more than statistical artifacts, since all statistics are broken eventually just by sheer chance. Paul still does this in concert a lot, but it's just not the same. He wrote this for John Lennon's son on a ride through the countryside.