February 3, 2021
One of the most beautiful parts of music is that it tells a story. The lyrics and the instruments intertwine in ways that help express what the writer wants to depict.
Writing a song is similar to writing a story: you have to build up to the turning point. You have versus that lead to the chorus and a bridge that enlightens the true meaning of the chorus.
John Lennon’s song Imagine is set up in such a way that it makes the audience listening truly feel what he is portraying. For a book to be considered good, it has to be able to make you think. You should feel every emotion. In Lennon’s song Imagine, he leaves you yearning for the world that he desired.
The song starts off with a verse that without prior knowledge of the song, you may be confused of what he’s asking the listener to do. “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.”
What I like about this verse is that he is making the listener visualize a life in which there is no heaven or hell. Some people believe that religion is a bunch of people that are scared of going to hell. Lennon is wanting you to imagine what a world without fear would be like. He wants you to picture a society where people live everyday like it’s their last.
The second verse is next and it says, “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 in peace.”
This verse is another one that can be taken in many ways. What I believe he is trying to say is a world without countries would be a much more peaceful place. No one would have any ownership of land; we would all just be living in harmony. There are many cases that the scenarios of a perfect world we come up with could go terribly wrong, but in a perfect world it would be amazing.
I think a major theme of this song is to imagine the world as a better place and strive to make it that way.
The chorus is next and I think Lennon makes his intentions for the song very clear.
“You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. I hope some day you’ll join us, then the world will be as one.”
In the chorus Lennon is saying that he dreams of the world he depicted in his music and he knows he’s not the only one who has wishes for something better. In the song, he says that he hopes more people will envision a better world, in hope that it will bring everyone together.
What I find cool about this song is that you can hear the yearning in his voice. He truly wants to see a change in the world and he’s tired of the wars we wage against ourselves. He sees the potential we as a society carry to be able to build each other up and make one another better.
There is one last verse to the song that carries just as much as the first two do.
“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.”
There are a lot of different ways that this verse can be taken but there is one that sticks out to me. In today’s society, we are controlled by our possessions. We’re so focused on what’s ours; we’re quick at forgetting that some people don’t have anything at all.
I feel like people, myself included, are greedy and take the little things for granted. Lennon wanted people to understand this, so much in fact that he wrote a song about it.
Lennon spelled it out for us. Imagine a world where things weren’t yours, a world where we shared. What an amazing world that would be.
The song ends with the chorus playing one more time and Lennon’s dream rings true. Imagine the world as you want it and change it.