“Imagine” by John Lennon: Reflection on Utopian Visions and Universal Unity

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This essay will reflect on John Lennon’s song “Imagine,” exploring its themes of peace, utopian ideals, and global unity. It will discuss the song’s cultural significance, its vision for a harmonious world, and its enduring impact on peace movements. On PapersOwl, there’s also a selection of free essay templates associated with Music Industry.

Category: Music
Date added
2023/09/05
Pages:  3
Words:  938
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Imagine by John Lennon Reflection: Exploring a Utopian Vision Through Music

I believe that the song “Imagine,” performed by John Lennon, is already very popular with each of us, not only because of its rhythm but also its meaning. Imagine is written by John Lennon and his wife, Yoko Ono. It has been released since 1971 on the album of the same name and is known as one of the 100 most-performed songs of the 20th century. The idea of the song comes from the concept of positive prayer, inspired by a Christian prayer book.

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“Imagine” is really a universal anthem to everyone. The world that he imagines has no geopolitical borders, organized religion, or economic class. The song brings us to an unrealistic world; in other words, we are one.

Reflecting on the Meaning of “Imagine” by John Lennon

The first verse of the song has beautiful and simple lyrics, but there are many good meanings in it: “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…” Lennon suggests that we live in the present moment rather than worry about death. Although it is normal for people to worry about death, he asks the listeners to ignore the concept of heaven and hell to pay more attention to the sky above us. This is absolutely true for those who just worry about the future and forget to cherish the current moments. In the second verse, Lennon asks us to imagine an ideal world without “countries” and “religion.” When there is no religion, different opinions cannot arise, and war will never happen because varying political and religious views are the main reasons behind war. Lennon envisions a utopian world where everyone can live peacefully, but he knows that he can only dream about it.

Uniting Through the Chorus of “Imagine”

The chorus of “Imagine” is definitely recognizable and influential to listeners. Lennon invites his listeners to join the dream of this song and be a part of the collective “us” to imagine that the world would truly be one. He sings, “You may say I’m a dreamer /But I’m not the only one /I hope someday you’ll join us.” He recognizes that he is not the only dreamer, that it’s the dream of everyone in the world. A world of peace requires the contribution of everybody. In the final verse, Lennon asks us to imagine a world where material possessions are superfluous, can we? Absolutely, we can’t. The song implies that the want and need for material possessions is a significant reason for suffering in the world. It causes “greed” and “hunger,” the imbalance between rich and poor, who have and who do not. That’s the reason why Lennon is imagining a world where people can share and live together peacefully. It only happens when people are equal and there is no distance between us.

Reflecting on John Lennon’s Style and Message

Another important thing in Lennon’s “Imagine” is the style that he uses when he performs his song. His style for the song is around positive thinking. Lennon uses a similar tone in his voice, and sings everything peacefully, without force in order to convince listeners. Also, the lyrics complemented rhythmic piano, and a soft drum beat makes the song brilliant intellectually. There is also a certain meaning in the video that comes with the song. At the beginning of the video, Lennon is walking outside with his wife, Yoko Ono. It’s a dark environment, and when the video keeps playing, we see Lennon sitting and playing piano in a dark room with all the windows closed. Then Ono turns to open the window and lets the light come into the room through the windows. Light and darkness are two opposing extremes and a symbol of the present world and the world of peace. Finally, by the end of the song, there is no more darkness in the room. This is also the author’s desire for a world going from turbulence into a peaceful place.

John Lennon was an English singer, song writer, and peace activist, and she co-founded the Beatles, one of the most successful bands in the history of popular music. “Imagine” is really an admirable song with plain lyrics, but it has a powerful message behind it. It affects every listener, even me, in order to pause and think a little to imagine an ideal world where we are one, no rich, no poor, and no distance between us.  

References:

  1. John Lennon – Imagine. (2021, March 22). In Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imagine_(John_Lennon_song)

  2. Lennon, J. (1971). Imagine [Recorded by John Lennon]. On Imagine [Album]. Apple Records.

  3. The 100 Most-Performed Songs of the 20th Century. (n.d.). BMI. https://www.bmi.com/news/entry/the-100-most-performed-songs-of-the-20th-century

  4. Levine, D. A. (2016). The Power of Positive Prayer: A Message of Spiritual Upliftment. Trafford Publishing.

  5. O’Neill, T. G. (2019). From Prayer to Song: Religious Crossover Songs and Their Audiences. Routledge.

  6. Lennon, J., & Ono, Y. (1971). Imagine [Lyrics]. On Imagine [Album]. Apple Records.

  7. Lennon, J. (1971). Imagine. In Imagine [Album]. Apple Records.

  8. McCutcheon, R. T. (2010). The Discipline of Religion: Structure, Meaning, Rhetoric. Routledge.

  9. Roebuck, P. (2013). Religion and Violence: A Dialectical Engagement Through the Insights of Giorgio Agamben. Religion and Violence: Philosophical Perspectives from Kant to Derrida, 118-140.

  10. Rubenstein, J. M. (2001). Between Myth and Madness: The Psychodynamics of Terrorism and Political Violence. Walter de Gruyter.

  11. Lennon, J., & Ono, Y. (1971). Imagine [Video]. Apple Films.

  12. Beatles Biography. (n.d.). In Biography. https://www.biography.com/musician/john-lennon

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"Imagine" by John Lennon: Reflection on Utopian Visions and Universal Unity. (2023, Sep 05). Retrieved from https://papersowl.com/examples/imagine-by-john-lennon-reflection-on-utopian-visions-and-universal-unity/