Rumored to be written to Brian Epstein, who had reportedly made some sort of pass at John while on vacation together, to keep his homosexuality private, You've Got To Hide Your Love Away was heavily influenced by Bob Dylan's Another Side Of Bob Dylan, which featured more personal and depressing tracks.
First outside musician
The song features tenor and alto flutes by Johnnie Scott. Scott is noteworthy in Beatles history for being the first outside musician (besides Andy White) to appear on a Beatles recording.
"That's me in my Dylan period again. I am like a chameleon, influenced by whatever is going on. If Elvis can do it, I can do it. If the Everly Brothers can do it, me and Paul can. Same with Dylan." - John
"You've Got To Hide Your Love Away is my Dylan period. It's one of those that you sing a bit sadly to yourself, 'Here I stand, head in hand…' I'd started thinking about my own emotions. I don't know when exactly it started, like I'm A Loser or Hide Your Love Away, those kind of things. Instead of projecting myself into a situation, I would try to express what I felt about myself, which I'd done in my books. I think it was Dylan who helped me realise that – not by any discussion or anything, but by hearing his work." - John