Imagine …

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, 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 some day you’ll join us
And the world will be as one
Songwriters: John Winston Lennon
Imagine lyrics © Downtown Music Publishing

42 thoughts on “Imagine …

  1. Jill, I wrote several years ago that this may be one of the finest songs ever written. Some religious folks took offense when it first came out, but the words connote let’s treat others like we want to be treated and seek out peace.

    When we marry these words with Edwin Starr’s “War” and Pete Seeger’s “Where have all the flowers gone?” the best path forward is obvious, but hard. We have to work at it. Keith

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    • Oh I fully agree that this may well be one of the best songs ever written. The music is beautiful and the lyrics so powerful. I wasn’t aware that religious groups had taken issue with the song. Based on what??? It seems to me that the song imagines exactly the world that religious groups claim to strive for. Ah yes, Seger’s Where Have All The Flowers Gone is also on my ipod playlist, as is his Against The Wind. There … have an earworm yet? Imagine has been running through my head for two days now. Well, better than my usual Fool On The Hill 😉

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      • Jill, I think it was the “imagine there’s no heaven” line. You are thinking of Bob Seger on the second song versus Pete Seeger who did the first, made famous by Peter, Paul and Mary. Both are favorites. Keith

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        • Aaaarrrggghhh … you are right. I have properly smacked myself upside the head for that goof! I know better, but I simply wasn’t thinking. And yes, I can see where that line, as well as “… and no religion too” would stir the religious. Thanks for setting me straight, my friend … too much time in the rabbit hole. You know what I was singing when I went to the grocery tonight? “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down”! I have no idea where that one came from!

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  2. Ode to John Lennon

    He was not our leader
    No five star general he
    But he was a soldier
    He fought the war for peace

    I lost the rest of that poem somewhere during the many moves I made in my life, but I will never forget those opening lines, they came to me shortly after his assassination. Anyone who thinks Mark David Chapman did this on his own without help cannot see the forest for the trees.
    But we are here to praise him, he lived life the best way he knew how, and wrote many songs looking at what could be, not what was. Idealism, certainly, but I suffer from the same idealism as John, just without the talent. Does it run contrary to human nature, kertsen, or just “what we are taught human nature is.” If human nature cannot change, I might as well shut up and kill myself. I have no intention of either, I not only believe human nature can change, I know it WILL CHANGE, given enough time. I believe in people. I believe in all living beings. On Earth, there are approximately 100 septillion living beings, and I know life will win out over whatever gets in its way.
    When Nan says, for the forseeable future, I almost agree with her. Most people cannot even see such a future, a few can imagine it, some can actually see it in the distance. I know it will come, it is unavoidable, even if life has to get rid of homo sapiens sapiens to do it.
    We humans are more than a roadblock right now, we are a vast chasm that needs to be bridged so all can cross over. If we fail, another lifeform will transcend us. Evolution guarantees there will always be somebody better.

    Thanks, Jill, for posting John’s gift to life.

    Maybe others will like this song, or the whole album: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6bmruh9tKxM&list=PLTTqJL23s5ptPNAxjOKfAxKN5u84zU65A

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    • Ahhh … as we have discussed before, you are much more the optimist than I, and I’m glad that you are. I can imagine a better world, but when it comes to believing it can happen, I struggle. I enjoyed the Donovan song … I had never heard that one before. In fact, the only one of his songs I recall at the moment is Catch the Wind.

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        • If you are a pessimist by your standards, what am I, by your standards? By my own standards, I think of myself as a ‘pragmatic optimist’. Well, maybe not as much these days, but in the pre-Trumpian era …

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          • Truthfully, Jill, I do not try to put any labels on you, except as a tireless fighter trying your best each day of your life to bring dignity back to your home and native land. (Oops, wrong anthem. But you get my drift.)
            Your energy is not boundless, your work is not without traps, but you are honest, and you stick to your beliefs. I can do nothing but appreciate your courage, and give you shit occasionally for not being the woman I think you can be, but why should you be anyone but yourself. I am happy to know you, and glad to call you friend. Do not change for anyone but yourself. That is what I think of you. Who I think you are…

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  3. It’s a wonderful song but in songs and poems we can be dreamers in reality we have to cope with our own and other people’s natures.
    Imagine there’s a marriage where a cross word is never said , imagine everyone put the needs of others before their own , imagine a man never complained about having to go to work and never was tempted to eat more than he required .
    It is called idealism and we love it because we know it can never be since it runs contrary to human nature.

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    • You are right … it will never be the ‘real’ world, but as I told Nan, what is life without hope, without dreams? I know I will never do certain things, but I talk about them as if I believe they are in the realm of possibility. It helps us, I think, to cope with the real world, with the realities we face every day. And I am actually a pragmatist, but even I have my dreams.

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    • It is highly likely that his words will remain imaginary for the duration of time, but what is life without hope? We can always hope, and more to the point, do our own part to try to make his words reality. Remember The Man of La Mancha … “To Dream The Impossible Dream … “

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    • After I responded to this, I was hit with a wave of inspiration … thank you for the idea! Check out my 11:00 a.m. post tomorrow (Tuesday) … I gave you credit for the inspiration!

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  4. I recently watched a rerun of the old TV sitcom WKRP in Cincinnati season 3 episode 22 (1981) titled “Clean Up Radio Everywhere” which highlighted this song in its exposure of media censorship pushed by Jerry Falwell’s Moral Majority. I recommend watching it because the episode covers a range of issues including the thorny subject of business profitability, and because the goofy character of radio station GM Arthur Carlson (played by actor Gordon Jump) is the one who finally says “no” to the religious activists even though he himself is religious and a conservative.

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  5. Dear Jill,

    Imagine such a world. I feel as if there is a war always going on with the dreamers like John Lennon who imagines a better world with peoples being tolerant, generous and gracious, being dragged down by the evil mongers like President Trump who wants us fighting among ourselves where selfishness, cruelty and greed prevail.

    Hugs, Gronda

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  6. Synchronicity, anyone? I watched that old movie, “The Gods must be Crazy” again last night. The Bushmen “have no need for nothin'” Indeed, they live a life of utter simplicity which supplies them with everything they need to live a happy and complete life. It’s all around them.
    Imagine no possessions
    I wonder if you can
    No need for greed or hunger
    What the F**K is wrong with us, that we can’t see the so obvious???

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    • I saw that movie many moons ago!!! I cannot answer your question, my friend … if I could, then I could solve the problems of the world, perhaps. “Greed” would be my simple answer, but it goes deeper, I suspect, than even that.

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