It has been almost half a century since the world first heard the epic peace hymn “Imagine”, and today, Yoko Ono, John Lennon’s widow and artistic partner, will finally appear as co-writer of the famous song.
The announcement was made when the 1971 iconic ode to world peace was declared song of the century at the National Music Publishers Association gala, last Wednesday in New York.
Ono and her son Sean Lennon were at the ceremony to pick up the award in honor of Imagine, and were not expecting the announcement.
The association explained the move by playing a clip of Lennon shortly before being assassinated, saying Imagine “should be credited as a Lennon-Ono song”.
“A lot of it—the lyric and the concept—came from Yoko,” he said. “But those days I was a bit more selfish, a bit more macho, and I sort of omitted to mention her contribution. But it was right out of Grapefruit, her book. There’s a whole pile of pieces about ‘Imagine this’ and ‘Imagine that’.”
An emotional Patti Smith and her daughter Jesse Smith played Imagine while mother and son accepted the award.
After the announcement, Sean Lennon wrote on his Facebook: “When they officially acknowledged—through my father’s account—that my mother co-wrote Imagine, the song of the century, it may have been the happiest day of mine and my mother’s life”.
Yoko Ono already was a recognized vanguard artist when she met the then Beatle. She closely collaborated with Lennon and since his death, she has tried to preserve his legacy.
Imagine with its call to a world without divisions, remains as one of the most well-known songs of pop music, and a hymn for peace.
Credit where credit’s due to Yoko Ono at last!