Yoko Songs: ‘Don’t Worry Kyoko’…

‘Don’t Worry Kyoko  (Mummy’s Only Looking for Her Hand in the Snow)’  

By Madeline Bocaro 

© Madeline Bocaro, 2013. No part of this site may be reproduced in whole or in part in any manner without permission of the copyright owner.

This is an excerpt from my Yoko Ono biography…

An all-embracing look at Yoko’s life and work in stunning detail.

Read all about the book, see the reviews and

Order here:



This incredible rocking free-form desperate plea from a mother to her young daughter (kidnapped by Yoko’s ex-husband) was called ‘Mum’s Only Looking for Her Hand in the Snow’. It was first recorded at London’s Queen Charlotte’s Hospital with John on acoustic guitar while Yoko was pregnant with John’s child. She later miscarried.  This version was released by Aspen magazine, then on Ryko’s 1997 CD issue of John and Yoko’s Wedding Album.

Yoko mailed the “demo” (Queen Charlotte’s hospital)  version to Kyoko. It was auctioned via Christies in 2003 by Kyoko’s father, Tony Cox (Sale 9368, Lot 177 Estimate: £8,000-12,000) Description: Acetate of Ono’s song Don’t Worry Kyoko, recorded (as her handwritten annotation explains) while she was in hospital in late 1968, recovering from a miscarriage. Set to a different Lennon country-blues guitar riff than he played on the finished record, this acoustic rendition was recorded solely for Kyoko’s ears. The record is accompanied by a moving letter from mother to daughter, explaining that she wrote the song to prove she hadn’t forgotten Kyoko during the recent months when they had been apart. (See photos below).

The funky blues of ‘Don’t’ Worry Kyoko’ is always amazing to hear live. It was first performed at the Toronto Rock and Roll Revival festival in September 1969. John introduced the performance. “Now Yoko’s gonna do her thing all over you.” It can be seen in D.A. Pennebaker’s documentary film of the festival, Sweet Toronto. The live audio was mixed at Abbey Road studios and released on the concert album, Live Peace in Toronto. The band included Eric Clapton, Klaus Voormann on bass and drummer Alan White.

The opening guitar riff to The Everyl Brothers’ ‘Wake Up Little Susie was copped by John and repeated by himself and Eric Clapton throughout Yoko’s song ‘Don’t Worry Kyoko’. The song was recorded at London’s Lansdowne Studios with Lennon on rhythm and Eric Clapton on lead guitar and Ringo on drums. Yoko’s DWK vocals were John’s inspiration for his raw performance of their single, ‘Cold Turkey’ in October 1969.  The studio version of ‘Don’t Worry Kyoko’ was on the b-side. Both sides of the single’s label instruct, ‘PLAY LOUD’.

‘Don’t Worry Kyoko’ also appeared on Yoko’s next album Fly in 1971.

“John is the first person I met who knows how to be free, and that is why he plays such an important role in all of my pieces… Most of the pieces in this album are centered around a dialogue between my voice and John’s guitar. John and I crawl, roll and fly together. John brought in musicians that are fine samurais. John, as a rhythm guitarist, leads the rhythm track. He pushes them, drops them, chased them and frees them. He makes it easy for them to fly with me.”

– Yoko Ono, Notes on Fly, written at the St. Regis Hotel, New York City, Fall 1971

The fully recorded track is 9:09 – twice as long as the album track. The album version is edited to 4:55. On the unedited tape, Yoko sings for four minutes when she determines that this is the end of the piece, saying “That’s it.” at the 4:10 mark. However, and thankfully the band apparently does not hear her and they continue to play on. Forty seconds later, Yoko says, “OK.” but the musicians are still oblivious. This is where the album track actually begins. Yoko surrenders and begins singing again for the 4:55 that we have come to know and love. On the album, the edit takes place at the start by Yoko’s newly recorded vocal screaming the word ‘Snow’ and the sounds of the band fading up.



A killer live version of DWK is included on John & Yoko’s Some Time in New York City album (1972) on a live jam bonus disc. It was the first live performance of the Plastic Ono Supergroup – Dec. 15th 1969 at theLyceum, London (my favorite music of ALL TIME). This stunning performance of DWK was allegedly 40 minutes long, edited to 15 minutes on the album.

Here are VIDEO clips of the Lyceum performance!!!

Only 1 minute 20 seconds, but it has clips of ‘Cold Turkey’ AND ‘Don’t Worry Kyoko’!!!
J&Y are both wearing white suits, and Yoko looks so BEAUTIFUL!

You can see George Harrison and the TWO drummers!

At the start, after screaming “John I love you” Yoko screams, “Britain! You killed Hanratty you murderers – you killed Hanratty!”Then the chilling DWK starts and you can DIEat the end of it, knowing you heard the best thing ever!!! I wish this part was in the video, but it must exist somewhere!!!

During ‘Cold Turkey’, Yoko sat inside a white bag at John’s feet. During ‘Don’t Worry Kyoko’she jumped out of the bag, facing the crowd and proceeded to scream at them. At the end of the performance, Yoko broke down crying.

Additional musicians at the Lyceum included a horn section, Billy Preston, George Harrison, Keith Moon and Delaney & Bonnie.

Read my story all about the Plastic Ono Supergroup’s Lyceum gig:


Another wonderful performance of DWK was at the One to One concert at New York City’s Madison Square Garden (August 30, 1972). It was only done during the matinee performance (which I attended!) The band was Elephant’s Memory, adding Jim Keltner on drums. The song is not included on the LP or video versions of the Live in New York City album.

In February 2010, Eric Clapton reprised his slide guitar part for the first time in 40 years on DWK (they also performed ‘Yer Blues’!) at Yoko’s 77th birthday concert in the re-formed Plastic Ono Band, with Sean on rhythm guitar. Joining them were Klaus Voormann and Jim Keltner!

See my review:

We Are Plastic Ono Band – Live in Brooklyn –  February 18, 2010




Introducing DWK at her Bowery Ballroom concert (Sept. 15, 2013) in NYC, Yoko related the story of trying to find her daughter, “I know, I’ll write a song for her and it will be played on the radio, and she will hear it…well, probably my song wasn’t very good.”

However, her song WAS very good! After years of contempt, is now acclaimed as one of Yoko’s best musical pieces. Some of the best cover versions are by the B-52’s, The Tater Totz and Yo La Tengo.

Yoko and her daughter were eventually reunited in the late 1990s, almost a decade after John’s death.

My Review: Paradise In Hell – Yoko Ono live @ Bowery Ballroom, NYC

– Sept. 15, 2013


Also see my story about Yoko’s album:   Fly

By Madeline Bocaro ©

YOKO – FLY (1971)

‘Don’t Worry Kyoko (Mummy’s Only Looking for her Hand in the Snow)’

Yoko Ono
Don’t worry, don’t worry, don’t worry
Don’t worry, don’t worry
Don’t worry, don’t worry
Don’t worry, don’t worry, don’t worry, kyoko
Don’t worry
Don’t worry, don’t worry
Kyoko, kyoko, kyoko, kyoko, kyoko
Don’t, don’t, don’t worry, kyoko
Mummy’s only looking for her hand in the snow
Mummy’s only looking for her hand in the snow

© Madeline Bocaro 2013. No part of these written materials may be copied, photocopied, reproduced, translated, re-blogged or reduced to any electronic medium or machine-readable form, in whole or in part, without prior written consent of Madeline Bocaro. Any other reproduction in any form without permission is prohibited. All of the text written by Madeline Bocaro on this site is protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without prior written permission of Madeline Bocaro.

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This is an excerpt from my Yoko Ono biography

In Your Mind – The Infinite Universe of Yoko Ono

An all-embracing look at Yoko Ono’s life, music and art – in stunning detail.

Read all about the book, see the reviews and

Order here:


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