Almanac Music: Extraordinary Musical Moments – Ozzy Osbourne Sings John Lennon’s ‘How?’


Ozzy Osbourne, 2010. [Wikimedia Commons.]


Extraordinary Musical Moments: Ozzy Osbourne Sings John Lennon’s ‘How?’


Some time back, a couple of articles of mine, under the ‘Extraordinary Musical Moments’ banner, appeared on The Footy Almanac website. I’d intended them to be the start of an occasional series. Basically, what I wanted with this series was to write about striking and unexpected combinations in musical terms, particularly in relation to artist and song, or artist, song and venue. I did write ‘Extraordinary Musical Moments’ pieces about Elvis Costello singing ‘Penny Lane’ at the White House to an audience including Paul McCartney and Barack Obama, and another in which Patti Smith sang ‘A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall’ at Bob Dylan’s Novel Prize Award Ceremony in Sweden. Many other different musical articles of mine followed, as regular Almanac readers would know, but today’s piece marks what may turn out to be an occasional return to that formerly put-aside series.


The ‘extraordinary musical moment’ today is former Black Sabbath frontman, solo artist and raconteur Ozzy Osbourne singing the John Lennon song ‘How?’, from the latter’s Imagine (1971) album. This probing, poetic song about love, emotion, and progressing through life is, to put it simply, something I never expected the eccentric heavy metal frontman would do. In fact, Ozzy released the song in 2010 as a 70th birthday tribute to Lennon, with the proceeds benefiting Amnesty International.


Most importantly, how does Osbourne go with his version of the wonderful Lennon song? Very well indeed, and maybe I shouldn’t be that surprised or find the ‘moment’ so ‘extraordinary’ after all. I’d encapsulate Ozzy’s version with the words powerful, moving, and sincere. What do you think, readers? I’ll follow Ozzy’s version with Lennon’s original, which is certainly a hard act to follow.



Below is Lennon’s original version of ‘How?’



Your comments on this piece are, as usual, warmly encouraged, dear readers (and listeners).



For more from Kevin, click HERE.



Read more stories from Almanac Music  HERE


If you would like to receive the Almanac Music and Poetry newsletter we will add you to the list. Please email us: [email protected]


To return to the  home page click HERE


Our writers are independent contributors. The opinions expressed in their articles are their own. They are not the views, nor do they reflect the views, of Malarkey Publications.


Do you enjoy the Almanac concept?
And want to ensure it continues in its current form, and better? To help keep things ticking over please consider making your own contribution.


Become an Almanac (annual) member – CLICK HERE




Kevin Densley is a graduate of both Deakin University and The University of Melbourne. He has taught writing and literature in numerous Victorian universities and TAFES. He is a poet and writer-in-general. His fifth book-length poetry collection, Please Feed the Macaws ... I'm Feeling Too Indolent, will be published in late 2023 by Ginninderra Press. He is also the co-author of ten play collections for young people, as well as a multi Green Room Award nominated play, Last Chance Gas, which was published by Currency Press. Other writing includes screenplays for educational films.


  1. Colin Ritchie says

    Thanks KD, very interesting, I wonder what Lennon would have thought of the version?

  2. Kevin Densley says

    Hi Col. I think Lennon would have liked Ozzy’s take on the song. He would certainly have approved of proceeds going to Amnesty International.

Leave a Comment