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Remembering the Life of Lennon

posted Mar 26, 2011, 3:45 PM by Golden Knight

By Chris Ferro


Picture Credit: Eli

Seventy years ago on October 9th, a legend was born. John Winston Ono Lennon would later revolutionize the worlds of songwriting, activism, and music through his simple messages of peace and love. This being the 70th anniversary of his birth, and the 30th anniversary of his infamous death, Lennon continues to live on wherever ambivalence and unity prosper. Whether in his hay-day with the Beatles or in his long and arduous solo career, his ideology remained static. Peace, love, and prosperity were always tugging on his mind, and these messages inspired him to write the way he did.

Lennon’s first big hit was “Give Peace a Chance”, off the namesake album released in 1969. In direct opposition to the Vietnam War, Lennon stressed peace when peace seemed impossible. Lennon, being a strong activist himself, used his lyrics and music as a form of retaliation and protest. By 1969, Lennon was already an icon and was about to leave the Beatles a year later in 1970. However, this power he held in his hands was used to benefit amiability and the spread of a message in which everyone could hopefully relate to.

In remembrance of Lennon’s 70th birthday, all of his solo albums and singles have been digitally re-mastered and re-released this week. The album entitled “Double Fantasy” (1980) was the last he would release before his death, and featured various special effects on his voice throughout the album. The stripped-down version is not only re-mastered but highlights the absence of effects that were so prevalent in the original. This gives the album a new light in which many listeners can appreciate.

The silence before the piano introduction of “Imagine” speaks volumes. In the split second before the song starts, one can already envision the power that ensues. The namesake album, released in 1971, is the climax of Lennon’s solo career. It is the epitome of all that he stood for and all that he would ever stand for. “Imagine” not only includes the song that would define an age, but other well known Lennon songs such as “Gimme Some Truth” and “How Do You Sleep?”

“Imagine there’s no countries/It isn’t hard to do.” Lennon transforms his utopian beliefs into a reality that can be attained with the simple use of one song. All in which he fights and stands for is put on display. Even the opposite side is described, “You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one”. And then the climax, “I hope someday you’ll join us/And the world can live as one.” Surrendering to love is what made Lennon such an incredible human being. On the surface, this idea is simple, but it takes true perseverance and fortification to believe so strongly in something for the entirety one’s life. Lennon personified love and called upon humanity to rid of its vanity and become part of one whole. Remember, it’s easy if you try.