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Imagine (John Lennon)

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Anton Pacheco

on 17 January 2013

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Transcript of Imagine (John Lennon)

IMAGINE 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 in peace You, you may say
I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one
I hope some day you'll join
And the world will be as one You, you may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will live as one 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 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 About the John Lennon We have all heard of the legendary John Lennon. A founding member of the revered Beatles band, his influence on music will forever remain present. And even without his band behind his back, John Lennon has weaved many other touching and popular songs.

Like Imagine.

He was born on October 9, 1940. In Liverpool, Merseyside, NW England, UK.

Despite his successful music career, John Lennon's childhood was quite sad. His parents separated when he was only a mere four years old and he found himself residing with his aunt Mimi. Although his mother kept regular contact with him, his father's career as a merchant seaman eventually estranged both of them.

He was a rebel at school, often causing mayhem and ridiculing his teachers. He had bad grades and was only accepted to "Liverpool College of Art" once his aunt intervened.

Then John met Paul McCartney, and together, they started what was one day going to be one of the most celebrated bands in history: the Beatles. With his growing romance with high school sweetheart; Cynthia Powell, this only made things better. Soon his first son, Julian Lennon, was born. However, soon, he divorced Cynthia and married Yoko Ono. Even with his initial success with the Beatles, the band slowly fell apart until it was torn at the seams when Epstein died of an accidental overdose from sleeping drugs. This event triggered the disbanding of one of the greatest bands in musical history.


Even after the break-up of the band, John still proved to be a very skilled musician alone. He continued to make music until October 9, 1975, when his second son, Sean, was born. The role of househusband fell upon him and he took what would be a 5 year hiatus from the music industry to nurture and tend to his family.

John Lennon was killed on December 8, 1980 at 10:50 PM by Mark David Chapman. Eerily enough, Lennon had autographed something for Mark earlier that evening. "Time you enjoy wasting, was not wasted."
-John Lennon "All you need is love."
-John Lennon "The more I see the less I know for sure."
-John Lennon IN RELATION TO SHATTERED Summary:

"Fifteen year old Ian must complete community volunteer service to pass social studies. Choosing to work at 'The Club' sounds like fun, until he arrives at what turns out to be a soup kitchen for the homeless."

"It is here that he meets Sarge, the pipe-wielding homeless man that saved Ian from a near mugging. His last tour of duty was as a peacekeeper stationed in Rwanda, an African nation Ian knows little about. What he learns will change Ian's view of the world-and may just help Jacques too." "One Death is a tragedy; a million is a statistic."
-Joseph Stalin "All that is required for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing."
-Edmund Burke "In spite of everything, I still believe people are really good at heart."
-Anne Frank Behind the Song Imagine is easily one of the most successful post-Beatles song John has composed. During its time, it garnered reverence and acclaim and even now, it is still internationally recognized as one of the "100 most performed songs of the twentieth century". It earned a "Grammy Hall of Fame Award" and an induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's "500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll." Rolling Stone ranked in third place in the " The 500 Greatest Songs of all Time." Imagine was admired by critics worldwide as it envisioned an ideal, perfect world. It is described by Rolling Stone as an "enduring hymn of solace and promise that has carried us through extreme grief, from the shock of Lennon's own death in 1980 to the unspeakable horror of September 11th Lyrical Interpretation 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 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 in peace You, 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 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 You, you may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will live as one Heaven: The dwelling place of the Deity and the blessed dead.

Hell: The nether realm of the Devil and the demons in which the damned suffer everlasting punishment

Religion has always been on the forefront when it comes to reasons for war; whether it be punishing the unrighteous or cleansing the impure. I have my own take on what these lines could mean; if there were no place in heaven to earn or no hell to be banished to, would religion still be as ubiquitous as it is?

In my opinion; these controversial words are supposed to trigger thoughts on what the world could achieve (and lose) if there were no religions to follow. If everyone lived only to struggle to earn a place in heaven or to avoid hell then what would the point in living be?

But then again, this is all perspective. I suppose it'd be easy to try imagining a world without religion considering it doesn't usually affect our everyday lives. I mean, the idea of Heaven and/or Hell are to be dealt with in death, not in life after all. Could you imagine a world in which all the people would live for today. Not for the future nor for the past but for the present. If people did good things just from the good of their hearts rather than to get a "ticket" into heaven or to avoid getting on the "highway" to hell. Honestly, it's quite hard for me to do. Connection: The Rwandan genocide, which was featured in Shattered, happened due to the religious conflicts between Hutu extremists and the Tutsi.

Could the genocide have been prevented if the Hutu hadn't been so opposed to the Tutsi religion? If neither the Hutu or the Tutsi had believed in any particular religion, then this whole ordeal might've never even happened. If there were no lands to win. No countries to fight for. No religions to prove.

"Nothing to kill or die for"

What would the result be? Would we strive to find other things to kill or die for? Or would we finally settle in world peace?

These lines are asking us to imagine an ideal world. Since nationalities and religions have caused so much strife.

But is a perfect world an ideal one? Connection: Romeo Dallaire believes that the Rwandan Genocide was an example of our racism. If there are no countries, would the UN have acted differently towards the Genocide?

If we had never been taught to loathe and look down on black people, could we have been able to prevent such a tragedy from happening? Dreamer: One who has ideas or conceives projects regarded as impractical.

It is no secret that there is much conflict in our world nowadays. So much conflict, in fact, that the very notion of world peace is scoffed at. Buddhism and Christianity;
two of the most influential religions in our world. Yes, there are many peacemakers and peacekeepers out there. Many dream of a world without conflict. So if you thought you were alone, then you're wrong. The concept of peace has been considered for years. It is only difficult to practice it. "I hope some day you'll join us."

To me, that line implies that there some who oppose the idea of peace. Sadly, that is very true. Many are against the virtues that are generosity and kindness and countless work against it.

"And the world will be as one."

Oddly enough, my opinions on this line is quite strange. I believe that we all are one already. I mean we live on the same Earth, don't we? The only things to say otherwise are shallow differences in race, faith and wealth.

More explanation later. Connection: In Shattered, people from the church often volunteered to help out in the soup kitchen.

I wonder if they did that because they truly wanted to help (and I'm not saying that idea is entirely impossible) or if they only did that, as I stated before, get into heaven. This is perhaps, one of the most difficult things to do. Could you imagine living without television, or any of your gaming platforms, or your computer/laptop? It's very hard to do, especially since our generations is so accustomed to them. The thought of these things being nonexistent is an idea few would wish to entertain.

On a more international scale, possessions also include riches, farmlands, things other countries would want. If we were to share all of the world's resources (and believe me, we have plenty to share) then conflict, strife and anguish could be nearly nonexistent. For myself, I believe this is a very crucial line. Did you notice the lyrical change?

"It's easy if you try."

"It isn't hard to do."

"I wonder if you can."

The first two say that it shouldn't be much of a challenge. But this one, the one that concerns possessions, has some doubt.

Just like I said before, imagining a world without possessions is so difficult because we are all guilty of greed. Whether it be on an individual scale or a worldwide one. If all of us were to share the world, then world problems like starvation and poverty would cease to exist. I, however, disagree on the "greed" part. Not to be a cynic, but I'm sure there will always be someone who wants more than they need.

"A brotherhood of man" suggests that we all care and look out for one another as if we were family. One could say that if this line ever became truth, then ultimate unity has been achieved. And here is my explanation. Take note on the lyrics:

"And the world will be as one."

"And the world will live as one.

Maybe this is simply how I see it and Lennon didn't mean anything by it at all, but in my opinion; I believe being one and living as one is different, albeit similar, things.

The world is one, whether you believe it or not. We are all human beings, no matter our colours or our beliefs. We simply have difficulties accepting that. It makes you wonder; how different would our lifestyles be if all of us did accept that fact?

Food for thought. Connection: In Shattered, the material gap between the homeless and the wealthy is insultingly obvious. If we imagined no possessions and sharing the world; this gap would've been nonexistent. Connection: Romeo Dallaire accused the world of ignoring the tragedy in Rwanda simply because Rwanda had no resources to offer. If this is true, then how differently could things have happened if riches weren't so important in our lives? Connection: If you think about it, if this song came true, then the problems in Shattered wouldn't even be happening. Shattered would cease to exist. Quite a thought, considering Shattered is based on real problems. One of the many symbols of absolute unity. Equality ACCLAIM CRITICISM Though Imagine has received countless praise, some are against the song.

Authors Ben Urish and Ken Bielen criticized the song, saying it was overly sentimental and melodramatic. One says that Lennon's song offered no reasonable solutions and that Lennon's hypothetical lyrics were obscure and contradictory, telling us to abandon political systems and adopt one similar to Communism.

Chris Ingham attacked by calling Lennon a hypocrite, singing about "Imagining no possessions" when Lennon himself lived in a mansion. Many agree that the "Imagine" theme of the song was used as a shield; by presenting a "what if" theme, Lennon was able to escape the most scathing criticism. Overall Connection My main connection between Shattered and Imagine is the strong "what if" theme both stories hold. In Shattered, what if people had been more aware of the Rwandan Genocide? What if Jacques had worked harder? What if Ian hadn't signed up for "The Club"? In Imagine, the "what if" theme speaks to you through the lyrics.

Another main connection I made was how strongly the lyrics of Imagine spoke to the turmoil in Shattered. "A brotherhood of man" As the song goes. What if we all did treat each other as family? Sometimes, it seemed to me as if the lyrics directly tackled the issues in Shattered. "No need for greed or hunger" This line reminded me of Mac, and how hard he worked to feed the homeless. The homeless, who depend on dumps and donations to sustain them. Us, who have never spent a night without a home. We are all so used to the things we have, we take them for granted.
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