JOHN LENNON – “Imagine”

There is one very obvious way to attack “Imagine”: you can accuse John Lennon of hypocrisy. He had, like, loads of money, and yet he was singing “Imagine no possessions” Isn’t that ironic, man? This argument was pursued by Elvis Costello, which is a fair indication of its arsewittedness: its great problem is that it seems to imply that had “Imagine” been written by a penniless tramp, it would somehow not be shit. As a quick listen will tell you, this is not so.

“Imagine” is a ‘standard’ – in other words it is MOR drek that your gran likes. Rockboys who would sneer at you for liking sappily tuneful stuff by Andrews Williams and Gold will defend “Imagine” to the death, not because of what it is (pawky shite) but because of who it’s by. This is the inevitable end result of paying more than cursory attention to the name on the label: such forbidden knowledge is fatal to your taste.

“Imagine”, with its dolorous piano and sleepwalked lyrics, is classic songwriting in precisely the same way that Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus is classic literature. Only in bloody pop music could this kind of mush get mistaken for meaning. “Imagine all the people, living their life in peace”. Yeah, I can imagine, John, I really can – now tell me! Tell me what to do to make it happen! Oh? Really? Well, fuck you, then.

I Hate Music