Yoko Ono

yoko's birthday gig in paris


The ballad by Jorge, Christ, Jens and Ruud

18 February 2006

We be soldiers three
Christ, Jens, Jorge and Ruud
Pardonnez mois je vous en prie.
Lately come forth from the low country
With never a penny of money.
Here good fellows I drink to thee,
Pardonnez mois je vous en prie.
To all good fellows wherever they be
With never a penny of money.
Here good fellows I'll sing you a song,
Sing for the brave and sing for the strong
To all those living and those who have gone
With never a penny of money.

On the stage
At left: drums, piano and guitars.
In the middle an empty wooden oval frame of a mirror
the size of a person. On the other left, a gigantic
chair maybe taken from "odyssey of a cockroach "
Behind and centred, there is a big screen with a still
of a dining room in which one of the chairs is fallen
to the floor.

Vincent Gallo and Sean Lennon get out and start playing sitting on the floor, with a white chess set, placed on the floor in the middle of the stage by the side of the audience. They play for several minutes accompanied by the music the audience provides with their coughing, nervous smiles, comments, etc.

Then on the screen appear the beautiful family photograph of Yoko, John and Sean while in vacation in Karuizawa, smiling at us mixed with the picture of a forest, with a background of birds singing. Sean and Vincent stop playing by trust white chess and go to the drums and the guitar on the left

Yoko came into the stage from the other left side dressed in a white and very baroque coat dress and a big white hat walking into the middle of the stage very near of the audience standing there, doing a pose like saying: "Here I am". Someone shouts "happy birthday" and Yoko smiles, then she takes off the hat, the coat dress and throw them on the floor of the stage; she keeps a little white jacket with stains of splattered blood on it and her black shirt and pants. Then she take off three neck laces of pearls and throw them to the audience, like saying "Yes, here I am, naked and battered. Yes, here we are all naked and battered".

Then she puts on a black hat like adding, "But I have many hats. Wait and see."

On the screen appears that image of her as a child mixed with the window at the Dakota overlooking Central Park. Then Yoko goes behind the wooden mirror frame and she checks if there is glass or not, so she decides to come through the looking glass and starts dancing on the other side a very sensual dance with a happy face, framed by the oval wooden frame of the mirror. Then she starts wailing and comes to the front of the stage, gets down and starts destroying the chess game throwing the pieces to the floor and into the audience, like wanting to erase the game. Continues wailing and lamenting looking tired and depressed, and then she sees the big chair on the other left and tries to get up like if it was the salvation for her wrecking, but she cannot climb. She tries to save their belongings: white coat and white hat by putting them over the big chair, but when she tries to be with their possessions by using another chair of a regular size, to jump into the big one, she hasn't the strength to reach the sitting top of the big chair. She tries and tries, but she cannot jump up the big chair, so she changes her strategies and drags along the regular chair through the stage, without knowing exactly what to do. She sits in very different positions on and by the fallen regular chair, and she returns to the big one, always carrying with her the regular chair that sometimes looks more like a burden than a help, then she takes her hat and coat from the top of the big chair and throws them under and she stays there ducking down under the big chair like looking for protection from an invisible enemy. She looks for a while to the big screen, looking at the child that she was, like saying "so many years have passed and here we are always looking for protection..." Then she goes to the screen looks at the little child and taking a razor, makes a large vertical cut on the screen following the line of one of the sides of the window, and gets through it, like if she was returning to her mother's vagina and disappears.

On the screen the film "Freedom" is screened. In slow motion, a woman attempts to get rid her of her bra, by trying to broke it with her hands.

Then the image fade and the last fragment of the film "Fly" appeare on the screen. This time the lying woman, with several flies strolling over her naked body, seems a corpse ,or a body who has given up, and is being raped, or has been raped.

The image fades again and the portrait of a burned, beaten and distorted face of a woman appeared: a victim of domestic violence? a victim of a mental asylum? a victim of herself? of society? of terrorism? of a family? of a neighborhood? of friends? of us? of me?...

Yoko appeared without any hat and started with the dialogue in French of I WANT YOU TO REMEMBER ME I , mixing it with a sad wailing coming out through her broken throat, expressing the feelings of people living in pain, fear and despair, Sean and Vincent play guitar and drums.

And Yoko finished with a recitation in French.

Sean on the piano starts a sweet and slow melody. The white fields covered with snow from "APOTHEOSIS" appear on the screen, and while the image gets up in the sky, Yoko appears from the other left of the stage with a white scarf and a white hat and starts their vocal modulations, essaying a melody this time, inserting from time to time some lines in French. When the screen is blank while crossing the clouds, Yoko, Sean and Gallo go in crescendo in a cool manner, like trying to resolve inner battles, until the sun appears shining over the clouds and some kind of release arrives, a moment of joy and hope, with the morning light.

The image of a cemetery fills the screen and Yoko leans on one of the legs of the enormous chair and starts reciting in French "WILL I" while looking at the screen.

A little girl from Hiroshima is crying sitting on the dusty floor by an empty plate of rice. She's naked and her body is burned and dirty. The image frozen on the screen and Sean starts a tender melody on the piano. Yoko sits on a high chair on the left side by the musicians and sings a melancholic song that she dedicates to this girl who died in Hiroshima due to the consequences of the atomic bomb and she wishes she could meet her in another life.

On the screen the photograph of the cover of "SEASON OF GLASS". Again Sean on the piano starts tender melody and Yoko starts singing, always repeating in a very sweet voice the sound Aia Aia Aia Aia Aia Aia...in hundred different ways, like if it was a kind of lullaby, a kind of dialogue of mother and child, or like she was a baby born essaying a sound trying to express love or needs or asking for attention, or maybe she was like a mum or dad caressing with sounds their baby trying to give comfort, tenderness or confidence to the new born. A very sweet song with a kind of Brazilian air. A love song sung for somebody that feels that no existent words could express their inner feelings, so a new sound-word is created to express something that not known word by now can express.

Sean and Gallo on guitars and Yoko starts "Rising" and the audience starts rising as the song rises. A song like this should never end, and in fact it never ends, because "We are rising. Together". After RISING, Sean and Gallo continued playing, and on the screen appeared Yoko Ono doing ONOCHORD, and on the stage Yoko started doing ONOCHORD too with a big flash light. People responded to her massively with the little ONOCHORD flash-lights received when entering the theatre. After several minutes of sending ¡ ¡¡ ¡¡¡ messages to each other , on the screen appeared in big black letters over a white background in French:

si vous le voulez"
if you want it.)


Click for ONOCHORD Paris 2006 by Yoko Ono
click image


Yoko thanks the audience for coming and Sean appears with a big bunch of 2.000 beautiful flowers, one for every one in the audience, and gives it to Yoko and encourages all of us there to sing "Happy Birthday to Yoko". Which we do:
"Happy Birthday to you
Happy Birthday to you
Happy Birthday Dear Yoko
Happy Birthday to you."

Au fond de la Seine, il y a de l'or,
Des bateaux rouillés, des bijoux, des armes.
Au fond de la Seine, il y a des morts.
Au fond de la Seine, il y a des larmes.

Au fond de la Seine, il y a des fleurs;
De vase et de boue, elles sont nourries.
Au fond de la Seine, il y a des coeurs
Qui souffriront trop pour vivre la vie.

Et puis des cailloux et des bêtes grises.
L'âme des égouts soufflant des poisons.
Les anneaux jetés par des incomprises,
Des pieds qu'une hélice a coupés du tronc.

Et les fruits maudits des ventres stériles,
Les blancs avortés que nul n'aima.
Les vomissements de la grand'ville.
Au fond de la Seine, il y a cela.

O Seine clémente où vont les cadavres,
O lit dont les draps sont faits de limon,
Fleuv' des déchets, sans fanal, ni hâvre
Chanteuse berçant, la morgue et les ponts,

Accueil' le pauvre, accueil' la femme,
Accueil' l'ivrogne, accueil' le fou,
Mêle leurs sanglots au bruit de tes lames,
Et porte leurs coeurs, parmi les cailloux.

Au fond de la Seine, il y a de l'or
Des bateaux rouillés, des bijoux, des armes.
Au fond de la Seine, il y a des morts.
Au fond de la Seine, il y a des larmes.

Kurt Weill: Complainte de la Seine (1934), text by Maurice Magre


Plein Jour: Yoko Ono
February 18th 2006
Théâtre du Châtelet
2, rue Edouard Colonne 75001 Paris, France

Yoko Ono with friends at Théâtre du Châtelet:
Sean Lennon and Vincent Gallo


arrow Photos of Yoko at Théâtre du Châtelet by Philippe Auliac
arrow Before and after the show pictures




The last image by Philippe Auliac

© Sari Gurney
Biography Interviews From Yoko Bibliography Discography Art and exhibitions Photos and stories Links Search Editor