Imagine

Discussions related to John Lennon as Beatle and his solo career.

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Re: Imagine

Postby efghijiloveyou » Sun Nov 18, 2012 9:40 pm

blmeanie, I'm not crapping on the song at all. In fact I'm a huge Lennon fan. I recently wrote a review of sorts on John's whole solo career and gave him pretty great marks. I was trolling the archives and came across this entry and thought I'd put in my two cents in a thoughtful and critical way. To say I 'crapped on it' is to take everything I said in a defensive way that didn't figure in to my intentions. This site has been pretty static lately and I wanted to see some activity here, so I'm glad you responded. :smile:
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Re: Imagine

Postby flextint » Mon Nov 19, 2012 12:07 am

I always felt Paul's answer to imagine was tug of war.(the song)If you listen to the lyrics their is a message from Paul that is like Johns but it never got the airplay and possibly few people even know the song.Which is too bad.
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Re: Imagine

Postby efghijiloveyou » Mon Nov 19, 2012 1:34 am

I love Tug of War (the song). That one I never tire of. Truly a beautiful track and one of my favorites of Paul's. Sometimes it gives me shivers, especially on the line "in years to come, we may discover what the air we breathe and the life we lead are all about". It sounds profound without being particularly specific. And the production is classic George Martin; sounds almost like a lost track from Abbey Road. Imagine is more pie-in-the-sky, whereas Tug of War laments that the here and now is not at all what we would like it to be and in fact we don't really know for sure that there's something better to be had; life's a struggle and it might be all we get. However, there is room for hope. As in a real tug of war there is pushing AND pulling and at the end of the song, we hear the beautiful orchestration resolve into a fragile, tenuous hopefulness.
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Re: Imagine

Postby flextint » Tue Nov 20, 2012 1:09 am

efghijiloveyou,yes you got it!To bad more people haven't.Its a great under apreciated song i think. :salute
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Re: Imagine

Postby james1985 » Wed Nov 21, 2012 4:09 am

efghijiloveyou wrote:The older I get, the less and less I like this song. The music is beautiful, the musicianship is top notch and John's singing is great, but the lyrics don't do it for me. I don't mean to offend anyone here, but phrases like '"imagine there's no heaven", "no possessions" and "no religion" seem hollow coming from a man who seemed to always be looking for meaning to his life. He also says "you may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one. I hope someday you'll join us and the world will be as one". What does it mean? Is he saying we should all be godless communists? It seems like an anthem for Marxism and as much as I love the man's music, I can't abide his politics. Also, for a man who belived in the truth as he did, the lyrics remind us of how disingenuous the song's message is in regard to the way John himself lived his life. To those who say "yeah, but it's a good song, John meant well", I say John would have ripped this song to shreds if it came from someone who didn't mean it. This song really is a powder keg, but it's slathered in honey and good intentions. It's a pretty big political statement that doesn't capture my heart or my soul.


It's not a manifesto. It's not even political. The lyrics don't say 'imagine collective farms' or anything.

It's just saying, you know, imagine how much easier and peaceful the world would be if there weren't all these man-made constructs that divide us: religion, wealth, inequality, 'having stuff', etc.
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Re: Imagine

Postby efghijiloveyou » Wed Nov 21, 2012 11:20 pm

You may not view it as political, James and I understand that , but I can't help but hear it as political. I'm not averse to political ideas in music, but Imagine just isn't my cup of tea anymore. I love Lennon's catalogue for the most part and he got a whole lot right on Imagine.
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Re: Imagine

Postby james1985 » Thu Nov 22, 2012 4:02 am

efghijiloveyou wrote:You may not view it as political, James and I understand that , but I can't help but hear it as political. I'm not averse to political ideas in music, but Imagine just isn't my cup of tea anymore. I love Lennon's catalogue for the most part and he got a whole lot right on Imagine.


Well, it's simply not political. John Sinclair's political, Attica State's political,

It might be overplayed and unfairly seen as Lennon's 'icon song', but there's not a political bone in those lyrics, sorry.
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Re: Imagine

Postby efghijiloveyou » Thu Nov 22, 2012 2:45 pm

If it isn't political, James what is it? The message is about changing social order isn't it? I could write a book on the politics of "Imagine". Lennon described himself as a utopianist. Utopianism is a political stance. It is defined as "the views or habits of mind of a utopian, having impractical schemes of political or social reform. Reforms based on the belief that a peaceful society can be brought about by persuading those in power to accept peace". Sounds like "Imagine" to me. Now, put that it context with all of John's political activity at the time it was written and it becomes obvious that "Imagine" is charged with ideology and has a distict political bent.
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Re: Imagine

Postby Jeremy K2 » Thu Nov 22, 2012 5:11 pm

At last I've encountered others who actually have bothered to listen to the lyrics
and try to understand them. :-D The fact that this song is played at so many
war memorial days, political events, church services etc... with the majority of people actually not
actually bothering to listen to the lyrics or worse still, misundertanding them, is so annoying.
It's as if individuals like to use the song to image themselves as deep and meaningful.

Musically I also find it a little dull and rather melodically uninteresting.

I also agree and get annoyed when this is voted the top of 100 songs on those stupid
T.V/magazine lists. It is a good song, with interesting, if not hypocritical lyrics but
it is no Strawberry Fields Forever (whilst attributed as a Lennon/McCartney composition)
this is a far superior song of John's than Imagine.

Sadly I think this is yet another case of humanity/society having to mythologise and turn
departed famous people into saints/matyrs. Paul has often said John would hate to be remembered this way.

I also agree that Paul's song 'Tug of War' is far superior and a beautiful compoistion musically.
For all the bagging of Paul's lyrics they are often of a very high standard.

i.e. 'In years to come we may discover what the air we breathe and life we live are all
about but it won't be soon enough for me...'

with Martin's stirring string arrangement. WOW!!

Sadly I don't think Paul will be regarded with the recognition he deserves until he too has departed.
May that day be a very long time away but how sad that society needs a death to bequeath status.

So overall Imagine C
Tug of War A
Strawberry Fields A+
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Re: Imagine

Postby james1985 » Thu Nov 22, 2012 5:28 pm

efghijiloveyou wrote:If it isn't political, James what is it? The message is about changing social order isn't it? I could write a book on the politics of "Imagine". Lennon described himself as a utopianist. Utopianism is a political stance. It is defined as "the views or habits of mind of a utopian, having impractical schemes of political or social reform. Reforms based on the belief that a peaceful society can be brought about by persuading those in power to accept peace". Sounds like "Imagine" to me. Now, put that it context with all of John's political activity at the time it was written and it becomes obvious that "Imagine" is charged with ideology and has a distict political bent.


The most political thing he'd done up to that point was him and Yoko giving their hair to Michael X and Power to the People. Power to the People is a political song, not a very good one, but if you want to slate John's politics, do it on Power to the People. All the David Peel, running round NY in khakis stuff was a year away.

Imagine's not a call to arms. It's not about changing the social order. The key is the title: Imagine. Take five minutes out of your day and think about how much fairer and more compassionate the world might be if x, y, and z weren't there. "Imagine what that might be like, and go about your day a little nicer" is the message. It's not saying "burn down the churches" "seize the factories" "hate your parents". It's Imagine that stuff never existed. The world might be nicer.

To say the song is "charged with ideology" is beyond hysterical if you ask me.
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