Don't Worry Kyoko

From This Might Be A Wiki

song name Don't Worry Kyoko
artist They Might Be Giants
releases Unreleased
year Late-1970s
run time ? · Know it? Add it!
sung by John Flansburgh, John Linnell


"What was the name of the first song you ever recorded?

We're not sure, but it might be a version of Yoko Ono's song "Don't Worry Kyoko, Mummy's Only Looking For A Hand In The Snow" that we recorded on Flansburgh's reel-to-reel when we were around 15. We sang with faux Rod Serling voices."
  • The song was written by Yoko Ono, and the original version appeared as the b-side to John Lennon's "Cold Turkey" single in 1969, and later both sides of the single appeared (performed live) on Lennon's live album Some Time in New York City.
  • The complete name of the song is "Don't Worry Kyoko (Mummy's Only Looking For Her Hand In The Snow)". Ono wrote it for her daughter Kyoko, who had been taken by her father, Anthony Cox (Ono's previous husband) when they disappeared. A few years after this was written, Ono and Lennon attempted to counter-kidnap Kyoko, but that failed.
  • The band discussed their earliest recordings, including this one, in a 2013 interview:

Flansburgh: Well we did a bunch of recordings right after high school, or I guess I was still in high school and you (Linnell) had just gone to college, and I had a four-track tape recorder. I was kind of teaching myself how to play the guitar - this is like in 1977. And we just did a bunch of recordings that were just, um, a lot of them were like covers. We did a version of "Don't Worry Kyoko". Oh no, now that really wasn't music at all.
Linnell: We did a lot of things which were just kind of sound experiments with John's tape recorder and various things. But, I mean, I think there was a musical element to all of them. There was just a lot of messing around with sounds - just letting the tape roll and doing some basic thing with echo. You know, it usually involved instruments. We weren't thinking specifically in terms of songwriting at that time. That kind of developed later on.

We did a recording of a Yoko Ono song in my parents' house when we were teenagers called "Don't Worry Kyoko". We did a version of that and both of us were singing. There was like a Farfisa organ and a piano and all these overdubbed... We just sort of bounced the tracks back and forth, experimenting with sounds. That was the first thing we did.

  • Flansburgh: "I found a tape of John and I performing a Yoko Ono song when we were 17 years old. It's pretty amazing in a weird way...but I don't think we're ready to go public with that." (ICE Newsletter, 1996)
  • In 2020, Flansburgh explained further, "It is hard to say if the tape has even made it through the years. It has not been stored in a completely temperature controlled environment. And although reel to reel tape is often remarkably resilient, surviving 40, 50, 60 years essentially at 100%, some 'media' is not as well made as other[s], and when I was I kid I only could afford the cheap stuff."[1]

Song Themes

Children, People (Real), Relatives, TMBG Remakes, Weather


Current Rating

You must be logged in to rate this. You can either login (if you have a userid) or create an account with us today.