Yoko Songs: Hanako / Ode To Meadow
By Madeline Bocaro ©
The song ‘Hanako’ (sung by Yoko in Japanese) appears as a bonus track on the Japanese version of Yoko’s album Between My Head and the Sky in 2009. Its twin song, ‘Ode to Meadow’ (sung in English) was released on an animal rights charity album in 2016.
Hanako, is a popular name in Japan meaning ‘flower child’. The song is narrated by a boy (in Yoko’s voice, of course). Hanako turns out to be about the disappearance of Sean’s dog Merry.
Hanako is gazing at me with sadness in her eyes.
She said, “I’ll come to pick you up as soon as possible, on a sunny day!”
Then she said, “The dog cut off its leash and ran away!”
That can’t be true. No, no! Hanako, tell me it’s not true!
In my dream, I saw the shadow of the city, windows and doors are closed
I saw Hanako walking.
What shall I do?
Come back! Come back! I can’t endure being without you!
You’re just skin and bones, sleeping under a stone and dry earth.
That was another dream of mine. I’m afraid something really bad happened to you.
Who is it? Where are you? My precious, precious Hanako! Say it! Scream it!
What happened? Where have you gone?
On a rainy day, you left, silently.
A newer version of the song with different lyrics (replacing the name Hanako) became “Ode To Meadow”!!
Yoko Ono wrote the song “Ode to Meadow” to reflect on John, Sean and their family dog, for the “Home on the Range” CD released June 24, 2016.
Yoko: “Once, Sean and I had a very sad and bitter experience. Our dog, Merry, who was the last Xmas present from John to Sean just disappeared from our farm house. We didn’t know what happened. We kept thinking ‘What could have happened?!’ Sean and I never discussed it. It was just too painful. Some time after, Sean got a new dog so I thought he had forgotten about Merry. But one day 10 years later, Sean and I were looking at old family photos and there was Merry… looking so good, just as she used to. Tears rolled down from Sean’s eyes, though he didn’t say anything. Merry is still in our hearts.”
Ode To Meadow
Her eyes were gazing full of tears
I said I’d take you back soon I’d find a way
And one beautiful day they said you ran away
You broke the chain and ran away
See you walking in the shadow in nowhere land
Where windows are dark and doors are shut
I’m sorry I’m sorry what can I do
Come back to me baby I miss you so
In my dream you’re looking wasted, skin and bone
Still dreaming under an unmarked stone
I’m sorry, I’m sorry what can I do?
Tell me what did they do to you
Meadow my pretty Meadow I miss you so
Please say it, shout it from wherever you are
One rainy day you had to run away
One rainy day you ran
‘Ode To Meadow’ is part of “Home on the Range,” a benefit compilation album which includes exclusive tracks by established artists who are passionate about animal rights and environmental issues. “Home on the Range” was made to raise funds for farm animal sanctuaries and to advocate for abused and neglected animals.