Long live Lennon

14 Aug

The John Lennon catalog is available on iTunes.

I’ve got plenty of Lennon already on my iPod, but I could use more – a lot more. I have a feeling I’ll be broke by the end of the night, but trust me, it’s money well-spent.

I’ve always admired Lennon, so in honor of his music going digital, I think I’ll dedicate today’s post to him, his music and ideas.

When I think of John Lennon, one of the first things that comes to mind is an illustration I cut out of, I think, an issue of Rolling Stone.
It was a drawing of a ringing bell named Truth, and the music note that comes from the bell is labeled “John Lennon.” It’s like Lennon’s music – simple and powerful.

John Lennon wasn’t a perfect man by any means, but he stood up for himself and his beliefs. Finding someone with that kind of conviction is rare these days, and even though he’s been gone for nearly 27 years, he’s still a breath of fresh air.

An excellent example is his song “Imagine.” It’s perfect. Its melody is classically beautiful, and the lyrics are brilliant and timeless. It does what music is made to do – it makes you feel.

And that’s what Lennon’s music makes you do, and that’s why he is so important. Better yet, he wrote politically-charged songs that not only made you feel but made you want to do something about what you were feeling. Take “Power to the People,” “I Don’t Wanna Be A Soldier,” “Give Peace a Chance.” The electricity in those songs is undeniable.
(If you want more info on his politics and his near-deportation, see “The U.S. vs. John Lennon”. It’s really terrific.)

Lennon also wrote some of the most gorgeous love songs. “Oh My Love” and “Woman” are mind-blowingly beautiful. I guess “Jealous Guy” isn’t a “love” song exactly, but it is my favorite Lennon love song, just because it’s so passionate.

Lennon wrote wonderful songs about life. You may not always agree with him or understand his point of view, but they’re still classic songs. “Watching the Wheels,” “Mother,” “God.” More amazing songs.

The world is in desperate need of more musicians – and people in general – like Lennon.  People who are passionate, strong, beautiful and intelligent. Now, with his music in the digital realm, maybe more folks will be inspired to walk in his footsteps.

I’ll leave you with a few Lennon lyrics…even if you don’t go download everything John Lennon, a few of these words may leave their mark.

  • “I’m sick and tired of hearing things/From uptight, short-sighted, narrow-minded hypocrites/All I want is the truth/Just gimme some truth.”
  • “Why in the world are we here/Surely not to live in pain and fear.”
  • “I gotta ask you/Comrades and brothers/How do you treat your own woman back home? She got to be herself, so she can free herself.”
  • “We make her paint her face and dance/If she won’t be a slave, we say that she don’t love us/If she’s real, we say she’s trying to be a man.”
  • “People asking questions, lost in confusion/Well I tell them there’s no problem/Only solutions.”
  • “I don’t believe in Beatles/I just believe in me.”
  • “I’m scared/Every day of my life/I just manage to survive/I just wanna stay alive.”
  • “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.”

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