Thursday, December 8, 2005

John Lennon – 1940-1980

This is one of those days where I remember where I was when I heard the news. On the morning of December 9, 1980, I turned on the TV to hear Charles Kurault, who did the early morning news on CBS back then, say, “I’m sorry to have to tell you that John Lennon was shot and killed last night.”

I was teaching English in Evansville, Indiana, and in an ironic twist of fate, I was using the lyrics from “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” in a section on poetry. In 1980, most of my freshman students knew who the Beatles were, and they were both shocked and disturbed by the murder of this gentle and witty man. Some of his best observations were not in his songs but in what he said in interviews. My favorite is “Life is what happens while you’re making other plans.”

That said, his best known song is Imagine. It has made its way into our musical fabric.

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 posessions
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