"I hope someday you'll join us...And the world will live as one" (S.5, L.3-4). Being one of the most recognizable and significant songs of the 20th century, just simply reading the lyrics will generate the song's rhythm in your head. Shortly after John Lennon's departure from the influential Beatles, he began his own solo career. Although fans all over the world were heartbroken by the disperse of the iconic band, many people were eager to see the kind of path that John would take as an individual artist. His most acclaimed song to date was "Imagine," for its saddening truthfulness and powerful meaning. The song signifies everything that John stood for as a peaceful revolutionist, and expresses the method of dreaming outside of humanity's social norms. Lennon makes reference to the disobliging ways of religion, war, and poverty all within only three minutes. In Lennon's stance in the song "Imagine," he remarks the wrongs in society by dreaming of a better reality and highlighting the contrast between the world's present and hopeful future.
In the first verse of the song, Lennon rebels against the dependence of religion and says to live in the moment. His resistance against religion's system of beliefs is abnormal to humanity and what the world accepts as true. He Imagines that there is no heaven or hell and that the here and now is the only world we will ever come to know. His simplistic way of describing this far-off dream comes off as calm and peaceful, since he is just stating his individual opinions: "It's easy if you try" (S.1, L.2). He then continues with his observation about the world's reality, by mentioning that there is only "sky." Lennon's tone is not angered or violent, he just wants people to join his movement, that declares a life of freedom and thought. This verse focuses on one single topic of how many people of the world worry about afterlife. He gives a substitute to humanity's crutch on religion by offering a way of existing without worry about where you will be next. This verse is divided by notifying the way that many humans live in today's world, then envisioning a community where all people live in the moment.
This theme of non-conformity continues to the second verse, where Lennon focuses on the unnecessary wars that take place in the world. Known for his tranquil protests against the Vietnam War, Lennon had influenced many followers to join him in his peaceful outlook on life. Lennon begins his statement by dreaming of a world without separation amongst the nations of the globe. Again with his uncomplicated tactic of dreaming, he tries to convey that anyone can dream of this contrasting lifestyle. Lennon then makes observations about the end to violence and war: "Nothing to kill or die for" (S.2, L.3). He wants his audience to become available to curiosity and a conduct of peace. Lennon views all war as unnecessary, so he resolves the solution in the last line, with a transparent attitude.
His last verse acknowledges the poverty that reigns in our world, then describing that the unity of mankind can put an end to this corruptness. Lennon first dreams of a world with no values or possessions, conceiving a society where everyone has a clean slate and everyone begins as equal. With this perspective on life, John says there would be "No need for greed or hunger" (S.4, L.3). Possessions are unnecessary, it's all about the type of characteristics that a certain person displays. He declares that the only way to put an end to this dependence on materialistic values, is to share them with all other people as a union. The most significant word that he provides in this stanza and possibly the song is "brotherhood." This single phrase captures the essence of his fight against poverty, representing that everyone in this world is equal and apart of a team with one common goal of prospering in life. He says that the only way to achieve at this ambition in life is to come together as a community and defy the unethical social gap in our communities.
The chorus that is repeated between the verses, throughout the song has the most definitive capture around the song as a whole. As each verse ends, it creates a solution to the problems that we have in the world, which lead to a positive hope for our future. Once the chorus begins, Lennon fully indulges himself into speaking directly to the audience that is listening to his statements. He claims that many of the listeners may think that he is the only person that believes in putting an end to these disputes, although provides clarity by asserting that he is just the first brave person attend to these subjects. He affirms the audience that anyone can be brave in the world, they just have to "dream" of providing hope to the world. In his final direction to how he wants the public to react, is to join "us" in this fight for peace and equality. In reference to this group that he represents, he recognizes all of the other non-conformists in the world that think like him. Lennon is knowledgeable of the fact that it is common for humans to think this way, but you have to start somewhere in order to make an impact on the world. His endings in both verses are slightly different, although have a giant connotation to them: "...will be as one...will live as one" (S.3, L.4-S.5-L.4). The difference in the word's "be" and "live" show the closeness that he feels with the audience by the end of the song. Lennon not only wants to form an alliance with all of the world, but also wants to unite as a family that "lives" as one. In each chorus, Lennon combines both the present and the future by speaking with the audience and claiming that it is not hard to join his cause for Imagining.
The future was not necessarily changed by John's effective words, but it takes a process to stray away from the conformity of today's society. Although Lennon was killed before he could finish his movement, his work is not undone, it continued after his death. Many followers continue to fight for the cause that he displayed, but this song provides a good reminder of how to remain curious and imaginative of a different life. The famous song will live forever as John's most memorable melody and shows that legends truly never die.