Thursday, December 27, 2012

Yoko Ono | Mum's Only Looking for Her Hand in the Snow

The second flexidisc soundsheet included in Aspen #7 featured the three-part Yoko Ono track Song For John. It consists of Let's Go On Flying [ 1 min. 10 sec.], Snow is Falling All the Time [1 min 28 sec.] and Mum's Only Looking for Her Hand in the Snow [2 mins. 13 sec.].

The third section would later be reworked into the song Don't Worry Kyoko (Mummy's Only Looking for Hand in the Snow), which would be released as the b-side to John Lennon's 1969 single Cold Turkey, and would appear on Ono's 1971 album Fly.

A live version appeared on the Live Peace in Toronto LP, which was recorded at the Varsity Stadium in Toronto, on September 13, 1969. Lennon was invited to perform at the Rock n Roll Revival concert and hastily assembled a version of The Plastic Ono Band which consisted of Eric Clapton on guitar, their Hamburg friend Klaus Voorman and Yes drummer Alan White. Lennon played three rock standards, a Beatles song and two recent singles, and then announced "Now Yoko's going to do her thing, all over you". In addition to Don't Worry Kyoko (Mummy's Only Looking for Her Hand in the Snow), Ono also performed the more freeform John John (Let's Hope for Peace). The song was also released as a live version on Some Time in New York City (1972), with the addition of George Harrison and The Who's Keith Moon.

The Aspen version was record by Ono, accompanied by Lennon's acoustic guitar, when she was hospitalized in Queen Charlotte's Hospital in London, in November 1968. She was six months pregnant and there were concerns that the stress from their recent drug bust (and the general public hostility) was adversely affecting the health of their unborn child. She remained in hospital for three weeks, with Lennon at her side (first in a hospital bed and, eventually, a sleeping bag on the floor next to her). She suffered a miscarriage on the 21st of November.

Kyoko is Ono's daughter from a previous marriage to Anthony Cox, around the age of five at the time of recording. Following their divorce and a difficult legal battle, Ono was awarded permanent custody of the child. However, Cox had joined a religious group called the Church of the Living Word and vanished with Kyoko. Ono and Lennon hired detectives and relocated to New York in order to find her, but Ono did not see her daughter again for over twenty years.

The Aspen version was eventually included as a bonus track on the CD reissue Lennon and Ono's Wedding Album. The version from the record Fly, can be heard on Youtube, here.

The Aspen version, and the other sections that make up Song For John, can be heard at, here.

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