John Lennon was by far one of the greatest songwriters in the history of music. His ability to turn a simple melody into gold was nothing short of miraculous. This is perhaps nowhere more apparent than in his iconic 1971 song Imagine. Imagine is in my humble opinion, the greatest solo artist song ever written. The song is in C major, a very warm key, but not so warm that it sounds overtly cheery. Imagine is a dream and it sounds like it. The strings in the background and the filter given to the piano make it sound as if it’s hovering over you. The lyrics can be a turn off to some and are purposely provocative, but I think the point is missed if you don’t pay attention to the fact that the pursuit of something noble is better than blindly accepting something as reality.
Whether you agree with the message or not, I really don’t care. Lennon is almost asking why? Why do we keep holding onto things instead of each other? This is why the song is simple…it’s a simple message with a little wrinkle, brought out in that stray but memorable B flat in the right hand. It’s simple but we buck it all the time. My takeaway and application is to love people, not their ideas. Love people, not stuff. Love people, not what they do. An idea came to me as I listened to Imagine no less than 100 times in preparation for my podcast:
Stop looking to people to change the world
Start looking for people to change the world.