It’s easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today
I was looking through the liner notes to “Let it be…naked” this morning and it shows some discussion the Beatles had when filming Let It Be. Anyways it’s somewhat silly but John says the following:
“Guest star Glyn Johns who played a Mormon Cathedral”.
Google found an online version here
Another aside, John Lennon’s “Mother” is a very powerful song too. (Warning of being bad parents)]]>
Well, it’s not so much that I find “Imagine” so especially deserving of condemnation that I would devote a blog post to it. It’s that the case of “Imagine’s” popularity among even believers illustrates some things I find interesting: that people often don’t understand something that they’re exposed to over and over, that people can embrace art that stands in opposition to their own personal beliefs, and how stealthily certain messages get propagated. There are other works, I’m sure, besides “Imagine” that also illustrate the point. It’s just that “Imagine” got me thinking about it so that’s what I used as an example.
That said, I really can’t see an interpretation of “Imagine” that doesn’t put at least part of its message in direct opposition to the Mormon view of what humanity needs in order to live in peace and unity. While the ultimate ideal that “Imagine” espouses does have a lot in common with our notion of Zion, the song clearly prescribes atheism and abandonment of religion as steps toward “Zion,” whereas the Mormon view is that belief in and obedience to God and the practice of true religion are what is needed. At least, that’s my understanding of the Mormon view.]]>
Clearly John Lennon lived a life contrary to what we believe to be in accordance with God’s laws. One might consider him to be a hypocrite for suggesting we live a life without possessions while he lived in the Dakota Apartments in Manhatten. But I suppose one could interpret the words to this song in more ways than one. As a child of the 60′s I guess I’ve shown my true colors in the things that I’ve said.]]>
The song describes their aims precisely in that they belief in no government, no heaven, no hell, no organized religion as these were all things used to control people, no possessions as people should have all things common and only then could there be world peace.
Sure, this is a picture of a City of Enoch, Zion type scenario, but the aim was to do it simply by the goodwill of man, making it humanistic rather than religious. It is humanistic, and denies the existence of God, or at least his involvement in man’s affairs. In many ways they adhere to the ideal of teaching correct principles and letting others govern themselves.
They also had a strong belief in free love that I think would not have gone over very well in the City of Enoch. In their eyes it was just another thing people fight over and use to control other people.
So yes, if you see much in common with our ideal of Zion it is because there is, and that does not make you and anarchist, as there are also clear differences. I hope this clarifies any previous comments.]]>
I recently discovered that a lot of popular songs have their own entries in wikipedia, which is awesome. Revolution is one of the many songs covered.
There are at least a few versions of Revolution. Here’s what wikipedia says about one of those versions:
“Revolution 1″ contains a notable lyrical difference to the final “Revolution”: Lennon’s vocal for the track adds the word “in” following the line “When you talk about destruction/don’t you know that you can count me out”. Lennon said in interviews that he was undecided in his sentiments toward the song’s theme so he included both options.