May 16, 2013 at 8:05 pm (By Realpc)

Of all the songs I ever heard, the one I hate the most is Imagine by John Lennon. I think the music is pretty, but the words express exactly the opposite of everything I believe.

I don’t feel like analyzing the whole song right now. But I will just point out a little of the irony.

The lyrics recommend that everyone should give away all their possessions and live in peace. John Lennon thought the whole world could get along — billions of people — and yet the four Beatles weren’t able to get along.

And I very much doubt that any of the Beatles gave all their money away. Even if they gave some to charity, I’m sure they kept enough to make sure they would always have a comfortable life.

I could say a lot more about why I hate that song. It’s stupid, and it’s wrong in every way, and it’s a naive expression of communism, a political/economic system which has failed, sometimes horribly, every time it was tried.

Well John Lennon was never expected to be a political/financial genius. But I know a lot of people who are crazy about that song and see nothing wrong with it.


  1. Annie Gottlieb said,

    I hate it too. And to my embarrassment, someone gave me a T-shirt her daughter had made with the word “IMAGINE” on it. It’s large, so I’m using it to sleep in, but I’m not even happy about that.

  2. Melinda said,

    “Imagine” is a wimpy song. When it comes to Saint Winston O’Boogie, I prefer “Sun King,” a song where Lennon makes up his own language.

  3. Melinda said,

    Similarly, “#9 Dream,” which I always used to think went “Kava Kava Jose Jose.”

  4. LouiseM said,

    I’m no fan of the song, nor even the Beatles, but I am intrigued by the power of imagination. Today, in a discussion on desolation and depression, I was introduced to the awareness that the human ability to imagine and experience desolation is matched with an ability to imagine and experience consolation.

  5. realpc said,

    Imagine is now the anthem of Richard Dawkins’ followers. But it seems that New Age progressives also love it!

    I just attended the funeral of my 23-year-old nephew, who killed himself, and Imagine was one of the funeral songs.

    I have a sense that the Dawkinites have joined forces with the New Age progressives, united by their hatred of organized religion.

  6. kngfish said,

    Paul and George have both commented on the irony of the song’s lyrics and the reality of the Fabs split. Lennon varied wildly between sentimental sap and Liverpudlian thug, not knowing which he really wanted to be! I have no love for the song either…

    My funeral music would include:
    “Pretty Vacant” — Sex Pistols
    “Magic Fire Music” from Die Walkure, Wagner
    “C’mon Darkness” — Camper van Beethoven
    Maybe an Irish reel or two from Altan
    A bit of the Mozart Requiem? Probably
    3rd movement of Symphony #7 from Beethoven for the actual funeral itself
    “North by Northwest” — opening score from Bernard Hermann (or “Vertigo” also from Hermann)
    “A Day In The Life” — my nod to the Beatles

  7. karen said,

    “… spinning ’round and ‘rou-ouww-owow-nd.
    “cause you’re not the only one… our life could be as one.”

    What’s that Beatles song? Because that was the song i danced to w/my 1st ever love of my youth- not the love of my life, thanks be to God.

    Also, Penny Lane was our Senior skit song- and we did have a Penny in our class and every time the refrain came along, Penny strolled across the stage:0).

  8. karen said,

    real:0(- i’m so sorry about your nephew.

  9. realpc920 said,

    And by the way, I was insanely in love with all the Beatles when I was a teenager, and I still think they wrote many great songs.

    But after they split, they all just sucked, especially Paul. I hate some of his songs almost as much as I hate Imagine.

    But Imagine is my all-time most hated song. No wonder the Dawkintes love it, and my ultra-progressive new-age socialist relatives.

    How come they don’t see a contradiction between New Age beliefs and the New Atheists?

    I actually had an argument after the funeral with a close friend of my sister’s family. He expressed ALL the New Atheist progressive ideas (scientists understand how the brain works, we are living longer thanks to the new drugs, etc., etc.) I said he was a materialist, and he strongly disagreed, then he expressed all the typical New Age beliefs.

    Never seeing that the two philosophies are in opposition, and can’t both be valid.

    The ONLY common ground between them is intense hatred of organized religion.

    And of course, the New Age progressives have no idea that HATRED, as much as LOVE, is what pulls people together and unites them into groups/tribes.

    For the New Age progressives, life is just a bowl of fluffy marshmallows — an idea that the song Imagine expresses so well.

  10. LouiseM said,

    realpc, I am sorry to hear of your nephew’s death and the loss you and your family members are experiencing. When I read of his age and cause of death, I felt sad.

  11. realpc said,

    I wish there were some way to get insight about it. He had caught some kind of disease last year, and that seems to have been devastating to him. We looked at his email account, and he was on a lot of medical forums.

    But things were wrong before he ever got sick. A couple of his ex-girlfriends talked to my sister last week — they had broken up with him even though they loved him, because he was so troubled.

    My sister never knew he was troubled, until after he got sick.

    It really doesn’t make any sense.

    Why did the ex girlfriends know he had psychological problems, while his mother did not?

    And if he was so concerned about being physicailly sick, why didn’t he let his mother take him to doctors?

    And he blamed his mother for the fact that he caught whatever it was he caught. But she had nothing to do with it. He was blaming his mother for everything, terribly angry at her, for the past year.

    He would not answer any emails from anyone in the family. He shut out his relatives and old friends, people he had been very close to.

  12. Donna B. said,

    I not only hate the lyrics to Imagine, I also gag at the overall effect of its sound — the melody, the tempo, the instrument choice, the harmonies, the chords, everything about it — all work together to create an ambiance of a smooth sappy disingenuously harmless appearing hell pit of sterile musical death.

    No, I do not like that song.

  13. Donna B. said,

    real, I am so sorry to hear about your nephew. It’s hard on the family when anyone that age dies and a suicide… well, that adds a layer of pain. Please extend my condolences to his mother. Even though none of it was her fault, it wouldn’t be surprising if she’s blaming herself anyway.

  14. realpc said,

    I am not sure it was entirely not her fault. Of course everyone has to say that to the mother of a suicide victim. But how could his own mother have not known he had been troubled for years? His ex girlfriends knew — several of them were at the funeral, and they told my sister.

    My sister has always been in her own world, and has extreme progressive/socialist beliefs. She loved/loves her kids, and they are/were a great source of pride. Too much of a source of pride. Pride could have blinded her to who her son really was.

    I am still in the process of investigating, but I’m starting to have reasons to suspect the main cause of his despair was philosophical. I have the email address of one of his friends, who may be able to explain it.

    Believe it or not, I am starting to suspect that the New Age / New Atheist alliance could be involved. I promise I won’t over-simplify and bend the facts to fit my own ideas.

    But how horrible it would be if my nephew died because of ideas that have been my philosophical enemies all my life.

    I hardly knew him. Maybe I am glad, because if I had known him then I would be finding ways to blame myself right now. But on the other hand, if I had known him, maybe I had the philosophical answers he was looking for.

  15. Donna B. said,

    I think you’ve illustrated the sort of guilt I’m talking about in your last paragraph. You, who hardly knew him, wonder if maybe there is something you might have done. Imagine how many opportunities his mother has to wonder about what she might have done, done differently, not done, etc.

  16. realpc said,

    Yes Donna I know. Every one of his relatives and friends is probably wondering if they could have done something. I know I will always feel some guilt, probably even more than his mother, since she is “perfect” in every way and therefore doesn’t feel much guilt about anything.

    I always wondered if my sister, who grew up in the same crazy family as I did, could be the perfect mother she claimed to be. I know that she tried. I hoped that somehow she would know how to raise kids, even though our mother didn’t. I trusted her judgement and did not try to interfere. I knew she would never listen to me anyway.

    The only advice I gave her about her son, recently when she asked, was to pray for guidance. I don’t think she knew what I was talking about.

    Now I think maybe I should have offered more advice, since I know a lot about dysfunctional families and 12 step programs, etc. At least, I should have prayed more. I was focused on my own life, assuming things would work out in her family. Assuming that my sister is somewhat sane, even though she often seemed insane, to me.

  17. realpc said,

    But my idea that the song Imagine killed my nephew is probably crazy. Well, at least my brother doesn’t think it makes any sense. But different people are very different. Philosophies are very real to me, they are a big part of my world. To some people, they might not matter at all.

    My bf said keep out of it, it’s none of my business, and it’s too late now anyway. But I think I might write to the friend and see if I can get even a tiny bit of insight.

  18. Donna B. said,

    I’m not going to say you should not have done something different, but I will say there’s not much sense in overthinking it. It’s not wrong to focus on your own life — if you don’t what will you have to offer some one else? It’s simplistic, but the best illustration is the airlines’ instructions for parents to put their own oxygen masks on before putting their child’s on.

    I don’t remember if I posted it here or not, but my son committed suicide in 2011. That’s why I’ve focused on mother’s guilt. His situation and your nephew’s were not similar before their death, but every other day or so (I’m getting much better, it was 10 times a day for a while) I remember and I close my eyes and tell my son “I’m sorry”.

    I also still get a little angry sometimes… because… I don’t know… he should have listened to me, dammit. Maybe he did listen. Maybe I said the wrong thing, the wrong way, at the wrong time.

    Beating myself up doesn’t help me or help the other people I know he loved… and I know he loved me too. So I try not to overthink the ways I could have done something differently. I try to simply acknowledge them occasionally and hopefully those occasions will become less painful each time.

    It’s easier now. I’m actually doing fine and have accomplished a few things I’ve wanted to do in his remembrance.

    I’m speaking only from my own perspective here – of course I don’t know your sister – but I suspect she will hide her most painful thoughts and feelings from you and almost everyone else. I have found that I can reveal one facet of the pain to one person, another facet to someone else… and so on. I don’t think I could stand to hold the entirety of it at one time again. Perhaps funerals are as much for the living to bury their pain as they are for burying the dead.

    So, go as easy on yourself and your sister as you can.

  19. karen said,

    i found this- a question and a possibility?,d.dmQ&cad=rja

    Idk why that address/linky thing is soooo long? i hope it glows blue.

    I think of my Brother-in-L: he was a handsome, capable man w/children who loved him and a wife he couldn’t keep from running off. It sickens my heart to know he was 1000x a better man than he thought he was and deserved a wife 1000x better than he thought he had.

    That equation killed him.
    In the end- it was up to him. I think @that point, drastic measures would have been the only answer to encourage hm to make different choices. We are afraid to interfere and afraid to be told to fu*k off. I was- it wasn’t my business.

    Also, last week a family friend’s son OD’d. he was living @home, his family loved him and he died @home. The questions of ~why~ can be asked-, the questions of ~how could i have helped more~ can be asked… but the fault and guilt doesn’t lie w/in mothers or ex s or God. That compounds the wrong of the whole situation, IMhumbleO.

  20. karen said,

    The son was 22yrs old:0(.

    It’s not the concepts of New Agism that twists Truth &kills.
    It’s Satan. That’s a taboo name in this new age– we shouldn’t forget it.

  21. realpc said,

    My nephew was not unemployed, he was a college student. Well, on medical leave the past year, we don’t know why. It seems that he could not accept being sick. He had always been a high-energy achiever, and maybe he needed to see himself as perfectly healthy. Just guessing though, based on little things I heard.

  22. realpc said,

    Donna, I am very sorry to hear about your son. Did you know he was unhappy or why?

    I have thought very little about this subject, because I never had a friend or relative who killed themself, before this. I have thought about wanting to die myself, whenever I have problems, but I knew I never would. I guess everyone thinks about it.

  23. realpc said,

    karen, that is one of the big problems with New Age thought — they deny the reality of Satan. They don’t worry about evil, because they believe evil is just an illusion.

    They are so wrong. Evil is real, and it has to be real, this world could not exist without evil.

  24. realpc said,

    I think that the worst part of this, for my sister, is the fact that her son was angry at her for the past year and would hardly communicate. She couldn’t tell what he was angry about — it was just everything.

    She tried going to see him, she tried backing off and waiting. Nothing made a difference.

  25. Donna B. said,

    Thank you, real. Yes, I know (at least I think I know) the reasons why my son killed himself. But I wouldn’t say that it was because he was unhappy. Somewhere in one of the comments above the word despair was used — and that’s much closer to what I think he was feeling. Unhappiness is the first exit on the road to despair. I wish he’d gotten off there and stayed.

    Oh my… I’ve just said I wish my son would have been unhappy. Well, that’s not exactly what I mean, but “unhappy” seems sort of like a euphemism. Although an inability to feel happiness, well that sort of unhappy I can see leading to extreme measures like suicide.

    Despair — no hope — that’s ultimately why my son committed suicide. He was in constant physical pain of varying degrees. Imagine having a constant charley horse. His intellect was intact, but his ability to communicate was not. That’s frustrating. That intellect allowed him to understand what his physical and other disabilities were costing him socially, but then pain, anger, despair would override the intellect and he’d behave in ways that made everything worse and he’d know it.

    It was a horrid, downward spiral. He had attempted suicide several times and once told me that the only thing keeping him from it was the fear of survival and living in worse physical condition than before.

    He didn’t think he was important to anyone. I wish I could have told him about this hole in my life without him. He was 35, and he was my “go to” person for certain things that I couldn’t say to anyone else. I don’t think he knew this, knew how important he was to me other than the fact that I loved him because he was my child. I don’t think he understood that he was needed.

    I don’t think he knew that he had “go to” people ready and waiting for him. Did we fail because we didn’t let him know or was there something in him that didn’t let him know?

  26. Donna B. said,

    I feel for your sister, real… I do. When my son was that age, there were periods of 12-18 months that I did not know where he was or if he was even alive. He was angry not just with me but the world. I don’t know whether losing him at that angry stage would have been better or worse than losing him later… when no one was angry… when I had hope, though I didn’t realize he’d lost all his.

  27. LouiseM said,

    I’ve been at a seminar on “loss of heart” this week, with one of issues addressed being the death of spirit and body that can follow experiences of desolation and despair.

    Loss of hope was one of the factors brought up as significant, with mention made that it only takes a moment of lost hope for someone to take a life, their own or another’s.

    In addition to physical and brain chemistry issues which also factor into distortions in thinking, one of the spiritual and emotional issues mentioned with loss of heart and hope involved the experience of denial (by self and/or others) following disappointment and loss, where an “It doesn’t matter, It was no big deal” cover is applied to something that had significant impact. However, deep loss, trauma, and/or an experience of betrayal (of one’s own body or by others) can also have a profound effect on well-being. Any or all of which can lead to depression, a sense of desolation and estrangement; which in turn, drain a person of desire, anticipation, and vitality and culminate in loss of hope, heart and sometimes death..

    Whatever was involved in your nephew’s decision to end his life, realpc, the end result is grief, deep sorrow, and overwhelming thoughts and emotions for those who loved and knew him. Moving through something this big is going to take time and require endurance and care, for yourself and family. May you receive what you need to abide and see this through.

    Donna B, I was in the process of writing this comment when you posted your above response. What I’ve written is awareness from others while your words reflect lived experience and I don’t want to come on top of that. I’m hoping it fits alongside. I received your other words, expressing what your son meant to you, with sorrow and regard. They touched my heart as they revealed yours. As for failure, the picture that came to mind was one of a sailing ship floundering and taking on water due to accident, system breakdown, or a storm that could not be weathered. Once it’s turned over on its side, it is difficult to right, no matter how well-intentioned, purposeful or dedicated those who care might be. I appreciate not only your description of sharing one facet at a time , but also the facet shared. Thank you.

  28. karen said,

    Not only does it fit alongside- it is beautiful, Louise. Moving.


  29. Spud said,

    I know I’m a month late to the conversation, but I want to put my two cents in on the imagine song by John Lennon.Very few people dislike it. Although Bob Dylan said he didn’t like Imagine. But Dylan had great respect for Lennon and the Beatles, saying one time that America should build statues to them.

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