Our song for today is a giant in the history of popular music. In fact, Rolling Stone magazine voted it the third greatest song of all time. And in 2005, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation named it the greatest song in the past 100 years.
The song that I’m talking about is no other than “Imagine” by John Lennon.
John Lennon is an artist who doesn’t need any introduction. But for those who have been living in a cave all this time, John Lennon is one of the founding members of the band “the Beatles.”
Now, if you don’t know “the Beatles,” I’m afraid you have a big problem and you really have to start asking other people or browsing the Net.
John Lennon was what some people might call a rebel. He was very witty in his writing, music and interviews. In the 1970s, his voice was the loudest in the political and peace protests, especially against the Vietnam War. Because of this, American president Nixon tried many times to have him deported. Many of his songs became anthems and iconic expressions of the anti-war movement.
He was murdered in 1980 by Mark David Chapman. He was shot 4 times in the back.
Interestingly, Chapman had a copy of the novel Catcher in the Rye when he killed Lennon, and he claimed that this was the statement behind his crime.
In a previous interview, Lennon talked about his song “Imagine”:
It's not a new message: "Give Peace a Chance"—we're not being unreasonable. Just saying "give it a chance." With "Imagine" we're asking, "Can you imagine a world without countries or religions?" It's the same message over and over. And it's positive.
And according to Yoko Ono (John Lennon’s wife), the song “Imagine” was talking about exactly what Lennon believed: That all of us are 1 country, 1 world, 1 people.
Here is the first part of the song, try and understand the message by yourself. It is simple enough:
Imagine there's no heaven
It's easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people living for today
Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people living life in peace
Because of the line about religion, some critics pointed out that this song was “atheistic” – or it doesn't believe in God.
Indeed, in the book Lennon in America, Lennon commented that Imagine was a lot of anti’s: Anti-nationalistic, anti-religion, and anti-conventional.
“But because it's sugar-coated*, it's accepted.”
*sugar-coated = a message is made softer than the original. So it sounds better and not too strong/ direct
Whatever politics or opinions you have about the song, you can share its idealism. And you will feel that it is the work of a true revolutionary, because of the wide scope of Lennon's vision:
Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people sharing all the world
The day after John Lennon died, Yoko issued this statement: “There is no funeral for John. John loved and prayed for the human race. Please do the same for him.”
And in the popular chorus of his song, he will forever be singing:
You may say
I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one
I hope some day you'll join us
And the world will be as one
This article uses material from the Wikipedia article <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Lennon">"John Lennon"</a>, which is released under the <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/ph/">Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0</a>.