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Nobody Told Me

"Nobody Told Me" is a song by John Lennon. The B-side features Yoko Ono's "O' Sanity"; both are on the Milk and Honey album. The promo video for the single was made up of clips of footage from Lennon's other videos, as are most posthumous Lennon videos.

Writing

The lyrics reference the yellow idol in J. Milton Hayes' poem The Green Eye of the Yellow God. Another line in the song is "There's UFOs over New York and I ain't too surprised". In the liner notes to his 1974 album Walls and Bridges, Lennon wrote: "On the 23rd August 1974 at 9 o'clock I saw a U.F.O. – J.L." The lines "Nobody told me there'd be days like these / Strange days indeed / Most peculiar, mama" are in contrast to the old adage "My mother told me there'd be days like this."

Recording

Recorded but left incomplete shortly before his death in 1980, the song was later completed by Lennon's widow Yoko Ono in 1983 and released as the first single from Lennon and Ono's album Milk and Honey in 1984. The song was later released in the UK in 1990 with "I'm Stepping Out" on the B-side. The song was originally written for Ringo Starr to include on his 1981 album, Stop and Smell the Roses, but due to Lennon's death, Starr decided not to record it.

Personnel

  • John Lennon – vocals, rhythm guitar
  • Earl Slick, Hugh McCracken – lead guitar
  • Tony Levin – bass
  • George Small – keyboards
  • Andy Newmark – drums
  • Arthur Jenkins – percussion

    Chart performance

    "Nobody Told Me" was Lennon's last new single to reach the UK top 10, peaking at number 6 (although a reissue of "Imagine" reached number 3 in December 1999). The single was also Lennon's last US top 10 hit, peaking at number 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 and number 6 on the Cashbox Top 100, and was his third single to enter the US top 10 posthumously.

    Cover versions

  • The Flaming Lips recorded a version for the 1995 John Lennon tribute album Working Class Hero: A Tribute to John Lennon.
  • The benefit album Instant Karma: The Amnesty International Campaign to Save Darfur contained a version by Big & Rich.

    Charts