Though it’s lyrically admirable, I never thought that “Imagine” was a very good song. Does that make me a bad person?
Yet at the very least, the deluge of that song today has provided a brief respite from the blitz of Christmas carols to which we’re otherwise subjected for the month of December.
A far more interesting remberance of John Lennon is this recording of New York radio the night he was shot.
5 Replies to “Imagine”
Absolutely with you on this. Even though I’ve been a Lennonite from the early ’60s, I hate the song, feeling it to be trite, sentimental & crass. It neither proposes action nor reflects usefully, or even poetically, on the state of the world. The sight of the man sitting at the keyboard of that white grand piano at Tittenhurst Park speculating on a world that would deny him the mighty wealth that writing infinitely superior songs had brought him has always struck me as risible at best, deeply offensive at worst. If Yuletide & the commemoration of Lennon’s tragic death are to overlap, then for me even So This Is Christmas has the lyrical edge.
I don’t have a problem with the song not proposing action–in fact, that’s what I find admirable about it. We’ve had enough of pop stars’ self-centered manifestos. I actually find the song’s passive stance somewhat wise and a little bit brave (along the lines of Thich Nhat Hanh’s adage “Don’t just do something, sit there”).
My problem with the song is aesthetic. It is, for lack of a better word, limp and even, dare I say it, a little lugubrious. I always thought that John Lennon’s great aesthetic strength, both with the Beatles and on his own, was his sharp eye for irony, of which, I agree, “So This Is Christmas” is a far better example.
“Imagine” is a great song, you’re just grumpy. I think “Revolution” was Lennon’s best however.
People just like to sing along with the “woo hoo…” part.
Instant Karma, now…that’s a great song.
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Roundup for Dec 5 – 11, 2005.