Long time coming

Yoko Ono finally credited as writer on John Lennon’s ‘Imagine,’ a song directly inspired by her poetry

January 1970: John Lennon (1940 - 1980) with his wife Yoko Ono the first time he was photographed with short hair since his hippy days. (Photo by Anthony Cox/Keystone/Getty Images)

More than four decades after the release of John Lennon’s iconic 1971 song “Imagine,” Yoko Ono is finally being awarded the co-writing credit that Lennon himself admitted he should have given to her.

David Israelite, the chief executive of the National Music Publishers Association, announced on Wednesday that “Imagine” had won the organization’s “Centennial Song” award — and that work was underway to officially credit Ono on the song as a co-writer. Wheelchair bound due to a flu-like illness, Ono was pushed onto the stage in a wheelchair where she accepted the award with her son, Sean Lennon. Ono thanked the crowd, explaining that she appreciated the song and the award deeply. This moment, she said, “is the best time of my life.”

Speaking nine years after the production of “Imagine,” Lennon admitted in a 1980 video interview that the song “should be credited as a Lennon-Ono song because a lot of it — the lyric and the concept — came from Yoko.”

On Thursday morning, Ono shared a portion from a recorded interview with Lennon in which he explained that the inspiration for the song had come from Ono’s 1964 poetry collection, “Grapefruit.”

“I know she helped on a lot of the lyrics but I wasn’t man enough to let have credit for it,” Lennon said. “I was still selfish enough and unaware enough to take that contribution without acknowledging it.”

Read the full story at The Washington Post.


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