John Lennon Lyrics
Who do many think of when they think of profound lyrics? John Lennon. When many think of the cultural impact of certain lyrics: John Lennon. From the light bubble gum pop of the early 60’s all the way to his utopia of “Imagine” and outcry of “Working Class Hero” the lyrics of John Lennon have been debated, revered, and downright worshiped.
With the outcome of the most recent mid-term elections, it’s clear that America has rejected the political path that is reflected in Lennon’s lyrics of the past. While it’s a great idea to think of a world portrayed in “Imagine” all too many of us live in this world. While some view the capitalism illustrated in “Working Class Hero” as the epitome of greed, again, in this country the free market has afforded us the highest standard of living in the world.
Not being born until the 70’s but growing up to be a huge fan of the Beatles and John Lennon’s solo work, I have the opportunity to look at this music and time as someone who only knows the effect of the aftermath. One striking theme I always stumble upon is the direct contact of John Lennon himself. Books written by those close to the whole Fab Four all insist that John really wasn’t as deep as he wanted others to think he was. The contrast of his public imagine of “spokesperson of the generation” and some of his actual lyrics are rather amusing. Take “I am the Walrus”, lyrics by John Lennon. Lennon wrote this silly word play because he found out teachers were using Beatle lyrics in class as lessons; much like us kids high school kids in the 90’s learned Whitman, Longfellow and Poe. (I have no idea what kids are learning today.)
Later in Lennon’s career when he either got more serious, or Yoko and drugs really took over his mind; there are concert and interview clips of him poking fun at his own lyrics. After a performance of “Come Together” at Madison Square Garden Lennon can be quoted as “I don’t know what I’m saying” in reference to his much debated anthem. I have seen clips in documentaries where he would find stoned followers on his property, just trying to get close there their cultural god. Even John Lennon would have the shake these leftover hippies and try to explain – dude I’m just a singer.
And this brings us to today. Is the recent resistance to the current administration a resistance to my original examples of John Lennon’s lyrics of “Imagine” and “Working Class Hero”? I don’t think so. Many of those folks in the Tea Party demonstrations look to be about the baby boomer age. The largest generation has to come down from their trips and get jobs in the corporate world, growing our great country’s wealth even further. Does this make John Lennon’s lyric have less of an impact on the minds and souls of his fans? Absolutely not! Just because you cannot create utopia with anything from songs to legislation, it doesn’t mean that you cannot be an instrument of peace and love in your daily life. If you work hard and think creatively doesn’t mean that you must lose your soul to be financially successful. You don’t have to “smile as you kill” to get that house on the hill. Just like the diversity of John Lennon’s lyrics, each of us has to learn the balance reaching our potential and love for our fellow man. I wonder if that is why John Lennon loved America so much . .. . .