Yoko Ono Given Songwriting Credit On ‘Imagine’

Almost 50 years have passed since the release of John Lennon’s “Imagine”, but it’s taken that long to give credit where credit is due. So finally, nearly five decades on, Yoko Ono has received an official credit on the song as co-writer.

The acknowledgement came at the National Music Publishers Association’s Centennial annual meeting on Wednesday (June 14). “Tonight, it is my distinct honour to correct the record some 48 years later,” said David Israelite, president and CEO of the NMPA.

Lennon has previously spoken about Ono’s influence on the song in an interview with the BBC in 1971. A clip of that interview was played beofre the announcement of Ono’s addition to the credits.

“Actually that should be credited as a Lennon-Ono song because a lot of it – the lyric and the concept – came from Yoko,” Lennon 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.'”

“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 mother’s life,” Lennon told Billboard.

Indeed, when Lennon posted an image on Instagram he wrote in the caption: “Proudest day of my life: The National Music Publishers Association just gave the Centennial (Song of The Century) Award to ‘Imagine' […] Cut to my mother welling up in tears, and then Patti and Jesse Smith played ‘Imagine’! Patience is a virtue (PS Then they officially declared ‘Imagine’ to be a Lennon/Ono song!).”