Oh My Love

Imagine album artwork - John LennonWritten by: Lennon-Ono
Recorded: c.20-28 May 1971
Producers: John Lennon, Yoko Ono, Phil Spector

Released: 8 October 1971 (UK), 9 September 1971 (US)

John Lennon: vocals, piano
George Harrison: electric guitar
Nicky Hopkins: electric piano
Klaus Voormann: bass guitar
Alan White: drums, Tibetan cymbals

Available on:
Imagine
John Lennon Anthology
Wonsaponatime

Providing a moment of tranquility between the polemic of Gimme Some Truth and the McCartney-baiting How Do You Sleep?, Oh My Love was perhaps the tenderest moment on the Imagine album.

Oh My Love - Imagine (Remastered)


Oh My Love was the only song on the Imagine album to be a songwriting collaboration. The lyrics, which reveal feelings of clarity and rebirth at having fallen in love, are among Imagine’s most elegant and direct, and the references to the wind and clouds are reminiscent of Yoko Ono‘s instructional works.

The song dated back to 1968, and was the oldest song on Imagine. George Harrison’s delicate guitar work which opens the song echoes White Album songs such as Julia and Happiness Is A Warm Gun.

In the studio

Lennon recorded various demos of the song before bringing it to Ascot Sound Studios in May 1971. Film footage from the studio captured Lennon performing the song for Harrison before recording began.

The early rehearsals featured Lennon on a Steinway piano and Harrison on acoustic guitar as they worked out a suitable arrangement. At one point they considered adding a dobro, before Harrison switched to a Les Paul electric guitar. Nicky Hopkins’ electric piano added further elegance to one of Lennon’s most affecting solo recordings.

A studio outtake of Oh My Love was featured on the John Lennon Anthology box set in 1998.

4 responses on “Oh My Love

  1. David Fernandez

    I love this song. Very touching. Also, I love the part in the Imagine film when they are arranging the song: Lennon asked the musicians to «ring off» their instruments in order to let Harrison’s hammer on-pull off guitar lick «ringing» nice and clear at the end of the song.

  2. carlos

    I don´t remember the scene in the film, but I´m sure that George played a spanish acoustic nylon strings guitar in the final recording, similar as the one he played on “And I love her” and “Till there was you”

  3. David (from Peru)

    I really love this song and consider it among the best of all Lennon’s production. I’ve been hearing the separate tracks of this song, available somewhere in the Internet, and I’ve came with some “conclusions”:

    1. There are no drums in this song (not a single hi-hat, snare, bass drum or anything similar).
    2. The only percusive sound is the “small bell” in the bridges (which sounds pretty close to the bell at the start of (Just like) Starting Over. I doubt that Tibetan cymbals could produce a sound that high, though it could be an altered recording.
    3. The bass guitar is very simple in the verses (just one stroke per bar) but it gets really cool in the bridges, imitating Harrison’s counter-melody guitar and adding some extra notes there.
    4. After the first line of the second part of the song [...my mind is wide open], John cleans his throat. This is inaudible in the recording.

    By the way Joe, congratulations for this site, I regard it among the best.

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