Reading the lyrics after so many years made me choke up.
It works now.
The lines “Are we gonna keep shooting the ones that try to change,
Are we gonna keep thinking it won’t happen to us” were hard to read.
When I wrote those lines, John and I were a proud and happy couple,
believing that it would make a difference to speak out.
And I think it did.
I didn’t know that John was the one who would be shot to death for trying to change…
But they couldn’t kill him.
His spirit is still alive and growing inside all of us.

Yoko Ono Lennon
Memorial Day, 30 May 2011


Are we gonna keep pushing our children to drugs
Are we gonna keep driving them insane
Are we gonna keep laying empty words and fists
Are we gonna be remembered as the century that failed

People of America, when will we learn
It’s now or never. There’s no time to lose.

Are we gonna keep sending our youths to war
Are we gonna keep scarring ricefields and infants
Are we gonna keep watching dead bodies over dinner
Are we gonna be known as the century that kills

People of America, when will we stop
It’s now or never, there’s no time to waste.

Are we gonna keep pretending things are alright
Are we gonna keep our mouth closed just in case
Are we gonna keep putting off until it’s too late
Are we gonna be known as the century of fear

People of America when will we see
It’s now or never, we’ve no time to lose

Are we gonna keep digging oil wells and gold
Are we gonna keep shooting the ones that try to change
Are we gonna keep thinking it won’t happen to us
Are we gonna be known as the century that kills

People of America, please listen to your soul
We can change the times to century of hope


A dream you dream alone is only a dream
But a dream we dream together is reality.

The cover of NOW OR NEVER is a photograph by United States Army photographer Ronald L. Haeberle on March 16, 1968 from the 1968 My Lai Massacre – the mass murder of several hundred* unarmed citizens of the Republic of Vietnam (South Vietnam), mostly civilians, and mainly women and children, by U.S. Army forces on March 16, 1968. The incident prompted widespread outrage around the world and reduced U.S. support at home for the Vietnam War.

* 347 according to the U.S Army (not including My Khe killings), others estimate more than 400 killed and injuries are unknown, Vietnamese government lists 504 killed in total from both My Lai and My Khe.

The Yoko Ono Plastic Ono Band single NOW OR NEVER was released by Apple on Nov 13, 1972.
Also available on the album Approximately Infinite Universe.

See also: My Lai Peace Park

Facebook Comments


Tagged with:  

22 Responses to On Memorial Day 2011: NOW OR NEVER by Yoko Ono Lennon

  1. Jennifer says:

    I love this. John and Yoko really cared about things that still plague us. Powerful song, Yoko, and John can never die in my heart and millions of others’ hearts. He was such a force, and a beautiful one at that. This song is amazing.

  2. OMG. This is incredible. I am again, so touched by your words Yoko.
    The photos are heart wrenching as well.
    What in the world?
    When I was pregnant with my second child, I was approached by a camera man and newsreporter, they asked me to sit by a tree as they played IMAGINE. The story was for a nuclear war update. That was in 1985. I feel the same now as I did then, the world is in grave danger, only we can teach our children.
    Peace and Love…

  3. angela says:

    Beautiful Yoko! Your message together continues and is as important now as it was when John walked this earth. John Lennon lives in all of our hearts and your love for him inspires me and gives me courage to go on with my life.

  4. Cássio says:

    Parabéns … linda música.

  5. John Aaron says:

    A very sweet & compelling song. A 21st century ballad crafted so long ago.
    It’s a universal and timeless piece. Almost 40 years old and it sounds like today.
    Imagine Peace…

  6. Jonas Sørbye says:

    Beautiful :)!!!
    Say helo to John from me…..


  7. Mary says:

    Wow…very important & powerful song, Yoko. Glad I listened today.

  8. Yoko, Yoko, my dear Yoko!, I’m touched by your soul!, I love you and I ‘m inspired by you in all the ways, thanks for being a great teacher! 🙂

  9. BIA says:

    Hi Yoko!!!
    Very beautiful and thrilling. You make me cry. Two warriors. My eyes are full of water.
    Many flowers for you!

    i ii iii


  10. Terry Mosher says:

    I’m a man of the universe, seeking peace!

  11. GlobalJustus says:

    Listen to the heartfelt, incisive, and prophetic call for peace in Now or Never, and go forth with a sense of duty to the blessed children of our beloved planet, of our HOME! It really is now or never to save our kids and home from utter ruin. Bless you prophet of peace, Yoko. And bless all of you out there, for you also are called to be messengers of peace! Together- We the People of the World can promote peace, and end war before it’s too late!

  12. What a woman – before, during and after John you have been a symbol of strength and a role model. Thank you for not just shrinking away, but showing us that when we have something to say we must still say it – no matter what trials we must go through. Keep spreading the words of peace Yoko and never stop.

  13. Jim Nichols says:

    Some of us continue to Imagine, and to teach our children to hold Love and Hope in their hearts. Peace to you Yoko, and to All the World.

  14. Christian says:

    Peace on earth seems so far behind, behind the times, it’s such a moral crime! C+Peace Yoko… My Condolences!!

  15. Stephen MUIRHEAD says:

    I wanted to send you a letter many months ago now I can say it here. When I saw the 70th Birthday issue of Q with the 4 covers I stared at them for ten minutes trying to decide which one to buy. I decided on the one with the one John, but there were two people on the cover. I saw two people that made the one John, the John who looked the most at peace and truly complete. It is one of the most beautiful pictures of John and I have seen thousands throughout his life. You Yoko made him whole. I hear it too in his song and voice when I listen to his love letter to you in Double Fantasy.

    Please share with you Beautiful Boy Sean.

    Always, PEACE, and LOVE.

  16. Jody says:

    Thank you for letting us dream with you, Yoko.
    i ii iii

  17. Mick says:

    As long as one heart carries hatred, there will be war. Do love. Imagine Peace.

  18. LOVE you and thank you!!! humble gratitude…

  19. Arjuna Kat says:

    “…love you now for a thousand years…” …and AIU for 38!

  20. Ms.Charity Luv says:

    May we live for peace each and every moment! 🙂 LOL!

  21. Csld says:

    Inspiring lyrics!

  22. I loved words and music, I love you … Congratulations on the life lesson, you are an example to me for a very long time. Hugs and kisses

Leave a Reply




IMAGINE PEACE © 2016 Yoko Ono

Empowered by REVL8



%d bloggers like this: