Too little too late? Yoko Ono to receive songwriting credit on John Lennon’s Imagine

The National Music Publishers Association has announced that Yoko Ono will be credited as co-writer on John Lennon’s 1971 classic, Imagine, as per his request.

yoko ono imagine

The American National Music Publishers Association has announced that, more than 40 years after it was recorded, Yoko Ono will be credited as a co-writer on John Lennon’s Imagine. 

Earlier his week, Ono and her and John’s son Sean, visited the NMPA to attend an annual meeting where the announcement was made. As Pitchfork reports, during the event, NMPA CEO David Israelite presented a video of Lennon in 1980 saying that Ono deserved songwriting credit on the song due to her “her influence and inspiration” towards its lyrics.

In the clip John is quoted as saying: “A lot of [Imagine] – the lyric and the concept – came from Yoko. 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.'”

Lennon acknowledged that his failure to credit Ono was illustrative of his sexist double-standard. “If it had been Bowie, I would have put ‘Lennon-Bowie,'” he said.

During the evening, Yoko and Sean also accepted the NMPA’s new Centennial Song award for Imagine of behalf of Lennon.

“It is my distinct honour to correct the record 48 years later and recognise Yoko Ono as a co-writer of the NMPA Centennial Song Imagine and to present her with this well-deserved credit,” Israelite said.

“While things may have been different in 197. Today I am glad to say things have changed.”