♫ Imagine ♫

I’m sorry, friends … I know I redux this one a lot, but … it’s where my head is tonight.  😢

John Lennon wrote and recorded this song at his Tittenhurst Park estate in the English countryside where he and Yoko took up residence in the summer of 1969. When they moved to Tittenhurst, The Beatles hadn’t officially broken up, but they were on the outs and would never record together again (the last Beatles photo shoot took place there in August, 1969).

In early 1971, Lennon worked up songs for a new album – Imagine was one of them. In May, he summoned several of his musical cohorts to Tittenhurst to record it, including Phil Spector, George Harrison, bass player Klaus Voormann, piano man Nicky Hopkins, and drummers Alan White and Jim Keltner. They recorded on-campus in the studio Lennon had recently built, which he called Ascot Sound Studios. It was a genial atmosphere; footage from the sessions shows Lennon and his cohorts enjoying each others’ company, but also getting down to business when it came time to work – Phil Spector kept the sessions on track, and Lennon was exacting in his musical detail. Imagine was one of the first songs they recorded. With a very simple arrangement designed to spotlight the lyric, it required just Lennon’s vocals and piano, Voormann’s bass, and White’s drums. Strings were overdubbed later.

Some listeners had a problem with the “no possessions” line, finding Lennon hypocritical because he was so well-off. Yoko Ono addressed this in a 1998 interview with Uncut, where she said of her husband’s intentions: “He sincerely wished that there would be a time when all of us could feel happy without getting too obsessive about material goods.”

A sidewalk mosaic spells out the word Imagine in a section of Central Park dedicated to Lennon. The area is called Strawberry Fields, and is located across from Lennon’s apartment where he was shot.

Released as a single in America, Imagine climbed to #3 in November 1971. In the UK, John and Yoko decided not to release it as a single to put focus on their Christmas peace anthem Happy Xmas (War Is Over). In 1975, Imagine was issues as a UK single for the first time, reaching #6. Soon after Lennon’s death in 1980, it was re-released in the UK and hit #1 on January 10, 1981, where it stayed for four weeks.

John Lennon

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 (ah ah ah)

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 may say that I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday 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 may say that 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

Songwriters: John Winston Lennon
Imagine lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Downtown Music Publishing, BMG Rights Management

38 thoughts on “♫ Imagine ♫

  1. thank you, Jill. I love this song. I think I wore that album out and taught the song to one of my music students. I even loaned him my album but his mom immediately returned it to me with instructions to stay away from John Lennon music. Never could understand why she hated it and him so much, but this is still one of my favorites.

    Good news from here — they are finishing my paperwork at the new place and I should be moving into my new room very soon. I still haven’t told people here about the imminent move but a couple found out from people they know there. Anyway, I’ll be seeing them today when I visit my aunt, and am hoping I will be able to move in next week. Or tomorrow? Keeping my fingers crossed.

    Liked by 1 person

    • This is my ‘go-to’ song when I fall into a dark rabbit hole due to the goings-on in the world. It is timeless and I cannot imagine there will ever be a time we don’t turn to it and … Imagine. I never knew you taught music!!! Like you, I have no idea why anybody would feel such vitriol toward John Lennon.

      Your good news is GREAT NEWS!!! Please keep me posted and let me know once the move is complete! Love and hugs, dear friend!!!

      Liked by 1 person

      • The woman who hated Lennon would likely remember when he said the Beatles were more popular than God. A religious nut who likely broke her own Beatle records and unable to forgive like the Lord commands and still has the hate for a man who is long being dead.

        Liked by 2 people

        • Heh heh … I had forgotten about that! Yeah, you’re probably right. Religious zealots take those things far too seriously and they hold a grudge forever. Ah well, John Lennon had plenty who loved him and his music … I doubt he minded losing a few like her.

          Liked by 1 person

          • My daughter wore a black band around her arm for a few years after John was murdered. I was beginning to wonder if it would be forever, but then she met her future husband and the black band disappeared. Two opposite extremes I guess, but I prefer Gina’s black band to hating someone.

            Liked by 1 person

      • You got it! I haven’t told many of the people here and am hating the idea of having to tell one of the people who eat at the same table. One of them keeps calling me his angel, and I wish I could take him with me. He is mentally challenged and has been here for 32 years. I would be mentally challenged if I had to stay here that long as well. He is worried that the place will be closed if it keeps going downhill so fast. It’s almost like the national political problems. He can remember this place when it was a beautiful and clean place to live. Now all he sees is the dirt and the bad meals that don’t give anyone enough to fill their stomachs.

        My aunt is also keeping an eye on things from the Carmel Home, calling me every time she talks to Kenny about my move in date. Nothing like having some inside information like this. I’ve started packing a lot of things up in preparation for the move. She is as excited about it as I am.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Awwww … I feel so sorry for that man, and others who don’t have options but are at the mercy of people who cannot change that which needs to be changed. I realize, as I read this, just how lucky I am to have a daughter and granddaughter who love me and will never let me suffer in that way, will always take care of me. I wish everyone could be so lucky.

          But, I am THRILLED that you’ll be getting out any day now!!! Love you, my friend!!!

          Liked by 1 person

          • I’m beginning to pack things up foor now; The sewing area is almost finished here and I have quilts to work on while I’m sitting down. Now to pack the food into a larger box. I have so many cans of food that I can eat cold or take to the microwave for heating so I’ll eat as much of it instead of what they are serving in the dining room. I hate to do that while the others are eating food we wouldn’t even give the pigs on the farm, but I can’t buy good stuff for everyone. I am going to get a few things for Matt before I leave. He has been here 32 years and remembers when it was all good. I wish I could take him with me but that can’t happen. I’ve promised to visit him after I leave though, so hopefully that will help us both.

            Liked by 1 person

              • There are so many of them who have been here for very long times. The saddest part is that they can remember when this was one of the showplaces in town. It has deteriorated so much since I came to see patients when I worked for Hospice. So sad to think the manager could care so little for the people she is responsible for.
                Yesterday I saw one of the shower chairs when the sun was out and illuminating it. I’ve decided I will NOT take another shower while here! To think I’ve been sitting on that cruddy thing for six months not knowing how filthy it is. I will take sponge baths from now until I get out of here. I should have taken a photo of it in case I need proof of the filth in this place. Now I’m about to start gagging again!

                Liked by 1 person

                • I’m surprised they’re able to get by with such negligence. Doesn’t the state inspect those places periodically? And don’t the families of some of the people complain when they see the conditions? It breaks my heart to think of so many people who’ve worked hard all their lives ending up in such a hellhole.


  2. Not one of the best — THE BEST! It is full of a yearning for everyone to be able to live in peace, sharing everything — OWNING NOTHING! This is what “no possessions” means to me, that everything belongs to everyone, the perfect society.
    But humans hate perfection. Whenever we get near, someone ordains to destroy it. It is the last hill to climb, but it seems to be too high…
    Given enough time, we will get there. But is there time enough available?
    I say yes, there is!

    Liked by 2 people

    • You are more of an optimist than I am, for I don’t think we would get there if humans had another thousand years to live on this planet … and I don’t think we do. I figure that if we don’t wake up quickly, we’ll be facing extinction by the end of this century. And maybe, for all the other species on the planet, that would be a good thing. But I do agree with you that this is the best song!


    • I think the only people who came close to attaining that world were the Native Americans who believed the land was not theirs to own but to share with everyone. Unfortunately that belief was not shared by the rest of the people who came later and stole it from them. Our punishment for the white eyes who settled the land by force. I’m glad my ancestors didn’t get here until the 1800’s and fought for the rights of the black people who were the slaves at that time. And yes, I know that the Indians fought each other over the hunting grounds, but not for the right of ownership, but the right to hunt for food in that spot.

      Liked by 1 person

      • The Austrailian Aborigines were likely sharers-of-the-land, though I don’t know for sure. And a lot of people living in the Amazon were too, from what I can find about them.
        “Owning the land” is an abomination as far as I am concerned, but I doubt that will ever change now.
        Owning “things” is almost as bad. If I could go vack to times prehistoric, this is the change I would love to make — to help people understand sharing benefits everyone.
        For our time, the worst thing humans try to “own” is money. Monry is designed to be spent, but the upper classes think they can own it. The more they own, the less there is for everyone else!

        Liked by 2 people

  3. Whenever I hear that song, it goes deep. In my opinion, it is one of the best songs ever written. A few years ago I had a wall tattoo in my apartment with the lyrics of the chorus.

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