John Lennon - Woman.jpg
Single by John Lennon
from the album Double Fantasy
B-side"Beautiful Boys" (Yoko Ono)
Released12 January 1981
Recorded5 August, 27 August, 8 September, 22 September 1980
GenreSoft rock
Songwriter(s)John Lennon
John Lennon singles chronology
"(Just Like) Starting Over"
"Watching the Wheels"
Double Fantasy track listing

"Woman" is a song written and performed by English singer, songwriter, musician and peace activist John Lennon from his 1980 album Double Fantasy. The track was chosen by Lennon to be the second single released from the Double Fantasy album, and it was the first Lennon single issued after his murder on 8 December 1980.[1] The B-side of the single is Ono's song "Beautiful Boys".[1]

Lennon wrote "Woman" as an ode to his wife Yoko Ono, and to all women.[2] The track begins with Lennon whispering, "For the other half of the sky", a paraphrase of a Chinese proverb, once used by Mao Zedong.


In an interview for Rolling Stone magazine on 5 December 1980, three days before his murder, John Lennon said that the song "came about because, one sunny afternoon in Bermuda, it suddenly hit me what women do for us. Not just what my Yoko does for me, although I was thinking in those personal terms ... but any truth is universal. What dawned on me was everything I was taking for granted. Women really are the other half of the sky, as I whisper at the beginning of the song. It's a 'we' or it ain't anything." In that same interview, Lennon said that "Woman" was his most Beatlesque song on Double Fantasy and that the track is a "grown-up version" of his Beatles song "Girl".[3]

On 5 June 1981, Geffen re-released "Woman" as a single as part of their "Back to Back Hits" series, with the B-side "(Just Like) Starting Over".[1] In the United Kingdom, "Woman" replaced Lennon's 1971 track "Imagine" at number 1.

A promotional film for the song was created by Yoko Ono in January 1981. Throughout most of the video, Lennon and Ono are seen walking through Central Park near what would become Strawberry Fields across from The Dakota. This footage was directed by photographer Ethan Russell on 26 November 1980.[4] Other footage of Ono alone, along with photos and newspaper coverage of Lennon's murder, were also included.

Ultimate Classic Rock critic Stephen Lewis rated it as Lennon's greatest solo love song.[5]

Chart performance

The single debuted at number three in Lennon's native UK, then moving to number two and finally reaching number one, where it spent two weeks, knocking off the top spot his own re-released "Imagine". In the US the single peaked at number two on the Billboard Hot 100 (kept out of the top spot by REO Speedwagon's hit "Keep On Loving You" and Blondie's hit "Rapture") while reaching number one on the Cashbox Top 100.[6]



Region Certification Certified units/sales
New Zealand (RMNZ)[21] Gold 10,000*
United Kingdom (BPI)[22] Silver 250,000^
United States (RIAA)[23] Gold 1,000,000^

* Sales figures based on certification alone.
^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.


See also


  1. ^ a b c Blaney, John (2005). John Lennon: Listen to This Book (illustrated ed.). [S.l.]: Paper Jukebox. p. 196. ISBN 978-0-9544528-1-0.
  2. ^ Playboy Interview, Sheff, 1980
  3. ^ "1980 Rolling Stone Interview with John Lennon by Jonathan Cott". John-lennon.com. Retrieved 27 October 2006.
  4. ^ Woman - John Lennon (official music video HD)
  5. ^ Lewis, Stephen (20 March 2013). "Top 10 John Lennon Love Songs". Ultimate Classic Rock. Retrieved 2023-01-08.
  6. ^ Blaney, John (2005). John Lennon: Listen to This Book (illustrated ed.). [S.l.]: Paper Jukebox. p. 326. ISBN 978-0-9544528-1-0.
  7. ^ a b "National Top 100 Singles for 1981". Kent Music Report. 4 January 1982. p. 7. Retrieved 11 January 2022 – via Imgur.
  8. ^ Pennanen, Timo (2021). "John Lennon". Sisältää hitin - 2. laitos Levyt ja esittäjät Suomen musiikkilistoilla 1.1.1960–30.6.2021 (PDF) (in Finnish). Helsinki: Kustannusosakeyhtiö Otava. p. 146. Retrieved 29 June 2022.
  9. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Woman". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved 15 February 2018.
  10. ^ "Classifiche". Musica e Dischi (in Italian). Retrieved 27 May 2022. Set "Tipo" on "Singoli". Then, in the "Artista" field, search "John Lennon".
  11. ^ "SA Charts 1965 – March 1989". Retrieved 5 September 2018.
  12. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company.
  13. ^ "John Lennon Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard.
  14. ^ "Adult Contemporary Chart". Billboard. Retrieved 25 April 2021.
  15. ^ "Cash Box Top 100 3/21/81". Cashboxmagazine.com. Retrieved 25 April 2021.
  16. ^ Kimberley, Christopher. Zimbabwe Singles Chart Book: 1965–1996.
  17. ^ "Top Annuali Single 1981". Retrieved 29 January 2022.
  18. ^ "The Official New Zealand Music Chart". Nztop40.co.nz. Retrieved 25 April 2021.
  19. ^ "Pop Singles", Billboard, 26 December 1981, p. YE-9.
  20. ^ "Billboard Hot 100 60th Anniversary Interactive Chart". Billboard. Retrieved 10 December 2018.
  21. ^ "New Zealand single certifications – John Lennon – Woman". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved 16 May 2020.
  22. ^ "British single certifications – John Lennon – Woman". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 27 December 2022.
  23. ^ "American single certifications – John Lennon – Woman". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 27 December 2022.