Yoko Songs: Mind Train

Yoko Songs: Mind Train

By Madeline Bocaro 

© Madeline Bocaro, 2019. No part of this site may be reproduced in whole or in part in any manner without the permission of the copyright owner.

This is an excerpt from my Yoko Ono biography…

The true, complete and insightful story of the extraordinary woman whom John Lennon loved.

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Mind Train

The song appears on Yoko’s 1971 double album, Fly.

At her Concert for Japan (March 29, 2011) Yoko introduced the song with an anecdote. “‘Mind Train’ was about 16 minutes long. John insisted on playing it for an unnamed famous musician.” Yoko expressed her regret of having this person endure the whole 16 minutes. Hopefully, it was someone who was well deserving of the wrath of Yoko and wish that it could have been myself instead. After all, one man’s pain is another’s pleasure!

(I later realized that Yoko was referring to the time that she and John played ‘Mind Train’ for  Bob Dylan at the Isle Of Wight on 31 August 1969. Consider how preposterous and hilarious this is – that the prolific poet of rock ‘n’ roll politely listened to something so lyrically abstract and lengthy!! I have much more respect for Dylan now!)

Another recurring line is, “33 windows shining…”

In numerology, 33 symbolizes the highest spiritual conscious attainable by a human being. In astrology, the sun transitions into a new sign of the zodiac at the 33rd degree. The powerful number 33 is significant in all major religions. In the Bible, Jesus was 33 when he was crucified. Joseph was also 33 when he married the Virgin Mary. Christ in the Gospels accomplishes 33 miracles.   

The number 33 has a special meaning in Buddhist religion. It relates to the 33 forms that Kannon can adopt to save humans from danger, and bring prosperity and happiness. In Buddhism, the number 33 connects the familiar world with a higher spiritual realm.  

Krishna died at age 33. The Tibetan Book of the Dead has 33 heavens. In Chinese and Japanese Buddhism, the sacred goddess Kuan Yin assumes 33 appearances and undergoes 33 transformations in 33 holy places. She aids souls in reaching nirvana.  

In Japan, 33 (“sanjuusan”) is meant to be an unlucky years for women according to Yakudoshi, a set of unlucky ages in Japan.

‘Mind Train’ was released as a single on January 20, 1972. It was a four-minute edit of the 16-minute album version from Yoko’s album Fly. The single was also released in a picture sleeve and features the special Yoko/Apple label on the A-Side and the sliced apple on the B-Side.

“This was one of those ad-lib songs. I kept going on and on. John kept going on and on, too. So I didn’t stop. The next day, we listened to the tape in our hotel room. John loved this one the most amongst my songs at the time. Strangely, Sean loves MIND TRAIN, too. When Sean and I are making the program for YOKO ONO PLASTIC ONO BAND SHOW, Sean always says “And let’s do MIND TRAIN!” Like his Dad.”

– Yoko, May 29, 2011

The B-Side is another solo Ono composition, ‘Listen the Snow is Falling’, which had previouslybacked the single ‘Happy Xmas (War is Over)’ in America in December 1971.

Also see: Yoko Songs: ‘Listen, the Snow Is Falling’ (the B-side of ‘Mind Train’)

By Madeline Bocaro ©


Listen here…

Mind Train – album version



A REALLY COOL live version:

Yoko Ono & IMA – Mindtrain – live Melkweg Amsterdam Holland 25 May 1996

featuring Sean Lennon & Timo Ellis & Sam Koppelman


Live @ Concert For Japan, NYC 2011


Mind Train (Live @ Nakano Sun Plaza) Japan, 1974


(The live @ Meltdown version in 2009 is also amazing!)

Imagine film segment of ‘Mind Train’



‘Gold Rush’ The new single (June 2018) from Death Cab For Cutie samples ‘Mind Train’. Listen to a clip here… http://omusic.friday.tw/albumpage.php?album_id=1479740

Yoko picked up the train theme again in 2009 with ‘Waiting for the D Train’ on her album Between My Head and the Sky.

Waiting for the D Train – Live with Iggy Pop at The Orpheum Theatre Los Angeles, 1st October 2010 Yoko Ono – Vocals, Iggy Pop – Vocals, Mike Watt – Bass, Nels Cline – Guitar, Sean Lennon, Yuko Araki drums.


Waiting for the D Train

Live in Berlin 2013



© Madeline Bocaro 2019. No part of this text  may be copied, photocopied, reproduced, translated or reduced to any electronic medium or machine-readable form, in whole or in part, without prior written consent. Reproduction in any form without the permission of Madeline Bocaro is prohibited. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without 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.

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