Are you ready for cover number two? This month, Imagine by John Lennon was the nominee. Given my feelings about John Lennon, I almost declined this suggestion, but I decided to move forward with it regardless. Why? Imagine is a song that helps a lot of folks dream of and aspire to a better world. If I can present a version of that message so folks can enjoy it without listening to John himself, that’s a win.
That being said, I would feel irresponsible to release this song without talking a little bit about the reality of John Lennon’s legacy.
- John Lennon assaulted and abused multiple women.
- John Lennon assaulted a man for suggesting Lennon had engaged in homosexual relations.
- John Lennon consistently made antisemitic jokes.
- John Lennon emotionally abandoned his first son.
And… these are only the accusations that are given beyond a shadow of a doubt.
Keep in mind that when Imagine was written and released, Lennon was a multimillionaire. In his memoirs, Elton John talks about teasing John Lennon over it because Lennon and Yoko Ono were incredibly wealthy and owned multiple apartments full of possessions, more than they knew what to do with.
Lennon certainly left a mark and a legacy, and you are likely already aware of his accolades so I won’t discuss them here. His music clearly struck a chord and inspired many.
However, I think it’s important to stay critical of the art we consume and replicate, particularly given the artist’s misgivings, biases, and shortcomings. Humans are not perfect, and therefore there will never be a perfect artist. Especially if we must consume the art of those who turned out to be not just imperfect but arguably wretched… I think it’s a good thing if we remain critical, identify hypocrisy, and use those lessons to become better than the artist. Then we have created something truly beautiful.
With these criticisms in mind, I encourage you to consider the following while listening to my cover:
- Defund the police
- Provide reparations for Black people
- Abolish bail (and prisons, probably)
- Fund universal healthcare
- Fund free education
- Redistribute billionaire wealth
- Reduce military spending
- Protect trans and queer lives
If you’re prepared to imagine these things with me, then you’re prepared to listen to my cover of Imagine.
The song preview is available as an early access release for 5€/mo tiers and higher below, or you can simply download the song from your dashboard. If you’d like to pre-save the song on Spotify, you can do so here.