Yoko Song: Open Your Box (Hirake)
Double A-Side of ‘Power To The People’ – March 1969
© Madeline Bocaro
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The best gift of all on the Yoko Ono Plastic Ono Band reissue (2016) is the previously unreleased 7+ minutes long ‘Open Your Box’ (a wild version of the double A-side of John’s ‘Power to the People single, later known as ‘Hirake’ from her album Fly). Both songs were also released as a double A-side (see below) There is an astonishing section on the reissue where Yoko’s voice soars, miraculously multiplying to resemble a distressed flock of angry birds.
Whenever I listen to Yoko, no matter what song it is, I’m thinking, “This is my favorite song!” My friends always say, “Oh is that the one that goes “Akkkk akkkk akkk akkk?!” I honestly must say, “YES!!!” But this version of ‘Open Your Box’ is my all-time favorite!
Here it is:
In the original lyrics (1969), Yoko asks us to:
‘Open Your Box/trousers/skirt/legs/thighs/flies/ears/nose/mouth/cold feet/
Let’s open the cities/let’s open the world’
In a censored single version, an added echo muffled the questionable lyrics. Yoko re-recorded the replacement lyrics in March at Abbey Road Studios. Trousers”, “skirt”, “legs”, and “thighs” were changed to “houses”, “church”, “lakes”, and “eyes”.
The song was completely censored in the USA, and a different Yoko song, ‘Touch Me’ appeared on the reverse of ‘Power to the People’ instead.
‘Open Your Box’ appeared on Yoko’s 1971 album Fly under the title ‘Hirake’ (ひらけ) which means ‘opening’ in Japanese.
The swishing sounds on the censored single version actually sound really cool! It’s also a really nice mix.
‘Open Your Box’ -censored single version
Yoko performed the song live on August 30, 1972 at the One to One concert in NYC. This is from the rehearsal:
Possibly more than five rare copies of the single were made for Yoko’s approval on a white label with ‘Greenfield Morning’ on the B-Side – ‘Made specially for Yoko Ono’.
‘Open Your Box’
Open your box
Open your box
Open your trousers
Open your thighs
Open your legs
Open, open, open, open, oh.
Open, open, open, open
Open your legs
Open your flies
Open your ears
Open your nose
Open your mouth
Open, open, open open, oh.
Open your cold feet
Open, open, open
Let’s open, let’s open the cities.
Open the cities
Open, open, open the world
Open, let’s open the world
Open, open, oh Open, open, oh!
Yoko Ono – Vocals
John Lennon – Guitar
Klaus Voormann – Bass
Jim Gordon – Drums
There is also a 2001 remix by Orange Factory.
This is an excerpt from my Yoko Ono biography
An all-embracing look at Yoko Ono’s life, music and art – in stunning detail.
Read all about it, see the reviews and
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