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"Imagine" by John Lennon

Imagine by 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

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…

This song is a classic to the soft rock and alternative pop movement in the 70s. Imagine was released on October 11, 1971. It is one of the most well known songs that John Lennon has ever written (besides his involvement to the Beatles).

(first verse)

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

John uses simple lyrics to get the message he wants across. He takes ideas about religion, war, and segregation and portrays that these ideals divide and separate people. The general idea of the song is that if we didn’t have these things, we wouldn’t be divided and people would be happier. His first verse is about religion. It’s true, there are as many religions as there are individuals- everyone sees religious beliefs differently. If everyone lived for today (now), then we would all have a common goal. We would all have the same beliefs.

(second verse)

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

John uses this verse to communicate that important things in the world can be the very things that makes us segregated. People are defined by their countries, their religions. That makes us different, and we have different opinions. The lyrics are almost contradictory. As long as people are unique and live for themselves, we will have different opinions and beliefs. If we all thought the same, we would be the same. There would be no good if there was no bad. What would make the world different, something worth living for- if all of it was the same? Almost seems like a worse reality.

(chorus/last verse)

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…

John presents extremely difficult ideas in the chorus/ last verse. There are people that think the same as he does, but it's more of a hopeful idea than a realistic one. Maybe we’ll never be the exact same, or join together. It’s more of a personal offering of hope to the life he wants to have. When he talks about possessions, he is most likely talking about greed. It is one aspect of life that brings the worst out of people.

Context of song:

While the song was being written, the Vietnam war was going on. Many people believe that Lennon’s desperate expression of peace was his hope for the people in the war, and it was his way of influencing the people involved and to communicate his thoughts. Many other artists at the time wrote songs regarding the topic.

The making of the song:

It was written in one session, while Lennon was playing on his white grand piano in Tittenhurst Park Estate in England.

Blazer Breakdown is a column that breaks down the lyrics, context, and background of a song. Want your favorite song on a Blazer Breakdown? Email me at kaileigh.stoia@greermiddlecollege.org.