Imagine: A Song for the Current Political and Social Climate

Perhaps you've watched the news recently and caught a glimpse of the Middle East disintegrating into violence, the on going war in Iraq, tension of Iran, clashes of religion, political squabbling, teen violence, college shootings, corruption, corporate scandals, tens of thousands of people dying of hunger and AIDS, and climate change threatening to forever change the planet as we know it. I know I've caught a glimpse or two and it has made it increasingly difficult to focus on music when there is so many negative things in the world. I'm only a simple music blogger, not a political analyst, scientist, activist or anything else, but I think there is something I can do to help with all these issues and these difficult times we live in, while still remaining within my site genre.

Music can certainly make a difference if we let it, and so I thought to help highlight some of these issues, as well as urge people to help do something about them, I would highlight one of my personal heroes and one of my favorite songs: "Imagine" by John Lennon.

I cannot think of too many songs that are better suited for our modern political and social climates than "Imagine", just read through the lyrics:

"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...

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 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

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...

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 live as one"

And here is the video for the song, thanks to sethtann and youtube for it:

Such a great song, the words are simple and straight forward, no really intricate word play or dense poetic imagery, just honest idealism that the world can be a better place if we want it to be. It's really quite an interesting song when you delve into it as it's idealism is pretty deep, with blatant statements against religion, patriotism and capitalism, and very Utopian ideas. I see this song more as trying to promote working towards that ideal, rather than believing we can actually achieve it. I think Lennon realized that a Utopian society is more or less an impossibility, but also that that doesn't mean that we can't make the world a better place or shouldn't try. It's more about mindset than about reaching the goal; believing that we can live together in harmony, helping one another and get past greed, corruption, fear, cultural differences, religious differences, political differences etc and working towards that goal no matter what.

Then again that's just my take on it... This song has had such impact throughout the years, has inspired thousands to action, is still very popular to this day and both it and John Lennon will surely inspire many for generations to come. I think that is a testament that something as simple as a song can make a difference by inspiring people to not accept the status quo or mediocrity and to strive for a better world for everyone.

Like I said, I can't really think of a better song (at least off the top of my head) for today's political and social climate, and I think why I chose this song is pretty obvious. Next time we look at the world around us, maybe we should take a listen to "Imagine" as well and see if that changes how we look at things, how we respond, what our goals for the future look like and whether we decide to act.

Also, make sure to check out the Instant Karma Amnesty International's campaign to stop genocide in Darfur through John Lennon's music here: http://www.instantkarma.org/InstantKarma.html

You can sign the petition and/or purchase the album Instant Karma Save Darfur, an album dedicate to covers of John Lennon's music where proceeds go towards stopping the atrocities in Darfur.

This is just a little reflection through song, lyric and video on today's political and social climate because I believe music can make a difference and that we can make the world a better place for everyone..."You may say I'm a dreamer... but I'm not the only one.."

(Lyrics courtesy of http://www.oldielyrics.com/lyrics/john_lennon/imagine.html)

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