Yoko Ono has been recognised as co-writer of John Lennon’s 1971 hit Imagine by the National Music Publishers’ Association at its centennial annual meeting. In a recording played at the event, Lennon said that Ono always deserved credit and her omission was “selfish and macho” on his part.
I was never fond of Imagine. If this song were a scented candle it would smell of “wealthy hippy nagging others about materialism”. Just as, arguably, the infamous Lennon-Ono naked love-in probably did less to stop war than it did to remind us to take the giblets out of the turkey that Christmas.
Certainly, you wouldn’t need a strong imagination to work out that Ono’s co-authorship should guarantee millions for her estate for several more decades. For all that, this news is as heartening as it is overdue. Ono, now 84, always attracted criticism (“breaking up the Beatles”, wackiness, the fact that much of her music sounds like a swimming pool being drained).
However, like many women before her, it seems that Ono was wrongly classified as a muse, when she deserved creative recognition. It took a while, but it’s only right that she is now on the road to being given due credit.