John Lennon’s beloved song “Imagine” is a perfect example of how artists and musicians pour their feelings into their craft. Many people enjoy the fruits of their work and relate to the subject matter, whereas sometimes the art goes misunderstood. Some of these creative people will write an artist statement and others hope that the work speaks for itself. Oftentimes, the onlooker or listener must analyze the piece for themselves.
John Lennon’s “Imagine” was written to encourage peace. The songwriter obviously was trying to point out what measures can be taken to prevent war and other unhappy realities. The view of the song is of social reform and very political. It was a protest song that was written in 1971, during the Vietnam War. It was meant for a large audience of not only hippies, but anyone who supports peace.
It is hard to miss the fact that this is a song aimed at peaceful relations with such phrases as; “Imagine all the people living in peace,” “A brotherhood of man,” “Imagine all the people sharing all the world,” and “I hope some day you’ll join us and the world will live as one.” The theme is that if we all change the way we divide ourselves from each other; we can live together in a better place. This song contains very simple words to understand, yet it is so profound. There doesn’t seem to be any symbolism here. Lennon repeated the words “Imagine” and “all the people” numerous times for emphasis. His rhyme scheme was an end rhyme on lines two and four of every stanza. The suggestions that John Lennon makes are wise, because if everyone thought this way, it could conceivably work. That would be a perfect dream come true. It has moral value to it, because it is a humanitarian outlook. This is also esthetically pleasing. It is simple and sweet. In addition, it has perfect rhymes that are “catchy.” Sometimes historical fact can help with the context. This song was used to get people thinking about how to change things for a better connection with everyone. It was written while nations were warring. It had also been covered by bands like A Perfect Circle.
This song really is asking the listener to give up on discrimination based on ethnicity, social class, religion, nationalism, and the like. John Lennon is right that these prejudices can be eradicated when we stop believing in these categories that separate people. For example, almost any war ever fought had to do with religious beliefs. Maybe that wouldn’t happen if everyone could practice tolerance or even thrive with theological debate.There has been ethnic cleansing and genocide, too. When people have an unequal share of wealth, it leads to greed, power struggles, and hunger. This is not to say that he is a communist, but that it is unfair and ironic that one country will have a large percentage of it people starving and another country can have an obesity crisis.
That is just one take on the meaning of the song. Do you have anything to add? Feel free to comment below.
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