Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Examining lyrics: No 1, Imagine

(Getty Images)

Further to my posting several days ago on John Lennon, I was listening to Imagine this morning, and as I have an ear for lyrics I thought I would share you my Ricky Gervais-like pedantic thoughts on this:

Written by: John Lennon
© Bag productions inc.

Imagine there's no Heaven

(Well that knocks off a lot of the World's religion and the tendencies of a no of agnostics in one go!)
It's easy if you try
No Hell below us
(Again, offends a no of religions and irritates people who think that otherwise Hitler, Stalin, and Genghis Khan got away with it)
Above us Only Sky
(Incidentally this is my most major bone of contention here! We know that above the Sky are areoplanes, balloons and the like, and above the sky, Outer Space. That is something no one can really agree with, unless Lennon is totally talking in relative and/or analogical terms, in which case this knocks my whole pedantic argument. But heck, it's fun, so I will keep digging ;) )
Imagine All the People
Living for today

Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do

(Well that takes a knock at any sense of national identity)
Nothing to kill or die for
(I agree to a point about killing, although I am not a pacifist and agree with the Just-War philosophy. But many good people died for a cause. Christ, Sir Thomas More, Gandhi, Martin Luther King, John F.Kennedy and Robert Kennedy (and possibly Lennon himself).)
And no religion too(I suppose I could argue about the difference between religion and faith, but it is a bit of a knock at the religions who were prepared to listen to Lennon)
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace


You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope some day you will join us
And the world will live as one

Imagine no possesions
I wonder if you can

(Does he mean personal or general, and if personal, what sort of personal possesions?)
No need for greed and hunger
The brotherhood of man

Imagine all the people
Sharing all the World


You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope some day you will join us
And the world will live as one

Please bear in mind I am tounge-in-cheek here, all I am saying is that Imagine is a bit of a divisive secular hymn, as much as a uniting one. That said, I am sure Lennon was painting an ideal, rather than a creed, and in that sense it is something to live up to!
Hard song to dislike though ;)


GaffaUK said...

Lennon was a great songwriter and singer but I can't help thinking how come he didn't give his possessions away?

Paul Burgin said...

But then he wouldn't have been able to do some of the great things he did!