Saturday, October 28, 2006

John Lennon's Imagine 2

Once again Darren of Inveresk St Ingrate fame who does such a excellent job promoting current and archive articles from the Socialist Standard at My Space has produced a nugget of gold by re-printing Dan Vogel's excellent article about John Lennon's music , particularly , the song Imagine which can be listened to below .
However , I have to confess that my favourite John Lennon song is not Imagine but the much more grittier and angrier Working Class Hero to be heard at the link .

The article begins thus :-

" Many members of the World Socialist Movement have considered John Lennon's song 'Imagine' an anthem of universal hope. In few other songs, and perhaps in no song that reached as wide an audience as that one, is the socialist vision so accurately and movingly conveyed. It was originally featured on the 1971 album " Imagine " and made the top of the charts in England no less than 3 times (its first release as a single, 1975; in 1981 following Lennon's death in 1980 (when it shot up to number 1 for several weeks); and again during the Christmas season in 1999, after it had been voted the nation's favorite song lyric and second favorite all-time song in a large best-music-of-the-millennium poll.

Imagine is a humanistic song par excellence, denying humans the place they often accord themselves in the spiritual universe, and instead relegating them to their material and exquisitely beautiful home of Earth. This Lennon does to urge his fellow men and women to unite in creating a world fit to live upon, one without countries, war, religion, or private property. Sharing this world together as a true "brotherhood of man," some in the World Socialist Movement have wondered if he wrote this song after reading a copy of the Socialist Standard , which is not impossible considering his extensive reading of radical journals following the demise of the Beatles, although it is not known if he actually read the Standard, a journal that has also been advocating a nationless, classless, moneyless society of common ownership since 1904..."

And the article ends thus :-

'Imagine,' the song, was unquestionably Lennon's finest moment. Its lyrical and conceptual clarity shone sunlight of vision upon our dark and violent world. It urged us to imagine a world without property, without religion, without nations, living in peace. It postulated an economic order in which both greed and hunger would be impossible. Socialists also share this vision. They support the cause that approaches humanity towards the goal of a classless economic order in which wage labor, money and buying and selling have been replaced by free people working together to meet their needs without the constraints imposed by the market system, in short a world of peace, equality, abundance and ecological sustainability. You may think that we are dreamers, but we are not the only ones. I hope some day you'll join us. And the world will live as one...

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