Imagination: the wonderful ability of the mind to be creative, the source of films and plays, the food for writers and artists, where chefs’ search for new dishes, the driver of innovation, and the vision for a better future, is also best remembered as having the title role in John Lennon’s iconic song, Imagine, in 1971.
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 someday you will join us
And the world will be as one
Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Lennon would have been 80 last week. December this year will be the 40th anniversary of his tragic death when he was shot outside his home in New York. At the time of the song, many said he was a dreamer (his own words) and naïve. But was he? Look at some of the lyrics:
Nothing to kill or die for.
Imagine all the people – Living life in peace.
No need for greed or hunger.
A brotherhood of man.
Who’d disagree with any of that. All noble aspirations that most citizens of the world would want. Nothing revolutionary, no coups, no bloodshed, just peace and harmony. Sadly, 49 years on since he wrote it, our world leaders still have much to do.
For me, the song was beautiful, relevant, and a goal for the world, telling us what needed to done if humanity was going to progress. We have moved forward since 1971 in many ways, but there’s still much work in progress, and right now it could feel we’re going backwards.
By 2013, Imagine had sold over 1.6 million copies in the UK. More than 200 artists have performed or covered the song, including Madonna, Stevie Wonder, Joan Baez, Lady Gaga, Elton John and Diana Ross. After Imagine was featured at the 2012 Summer Olympics, the song re-entered the UK Top 40, reaching number 18. In March 2020, in response to the unfolding coronavirus pandemic, the actress Gal Gadot posted an informal but star-studded cover version of Imagine on Instagram. Wikipedia.
So, to our world leaders I say, take a few minutes to listen and learn from it, and try harder.
My latest book, Otto and Frankie, is available in all formats. It’s different from anything else I’ve written and took almost three years in the making.
It’s about a dying man’s fight against injustice, his wife’s unusual affair, and the love from his long-lost daughter.
I’m told it’s a compelling read.