Quick Analysis: "Imagine" by John Lennon

Ok, I'm not making this an official series or anything, I just need to get something off my chest and I need to do it fast.

It's pretty telling that of the top three aggregate-voted best songs of all time, I could say that one of them is even close to good. Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen is frankly one of the best songs of all time, that's not disputable. It's a risky, concise, beautifully constructed piece of rock opera that shows music at its most cinematic.

The other two on the other hand....ok, I haven't softened on Led Zeppelin as a band at all, but Stairway to Heaven becomes more insufferable every time I hear it...which really means it's just mediocre. Now how about that third one, Imagine by John Lennon?

I'm not making friends with this one.

I don't say something like this often, so keep in mind that I mean when I say that this song deserves to be on this list, a list of the worst songs of all time. Probably really high. Probably higher than most of what's in the top 20 of this list right now. It's interesting how the death of a "rockstar" can lead to such unreasonable worship of such a terrible song.

"But like, the sound--" This song is boring. On a frankly criminal level, when you consider that I don't even get intensely bored by most music people find boring. This song really gets all its atmosphere from reverb that swallows John Lennon's shrill, obnoxiously frail vocal tone whole, with the rest being hints of strings and percussion devoured by a desaturated piano line that plays the whole way through.

But you might say, the lyrics are so meaningful! Well they're not. If nothing else, they reveal a toxic self-unaware hypocrite who has no idea what he's talking about. I could go on about the many ways that John Lennon is a terrible human being...so I will by dissecting the lyrics to this disaster.

"Imagine there's no heaven
It's easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people living for today

Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people living life in peace, you

You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope some day you'll join us
And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people sharing all the world, you

You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope some day you'll join us
And the world will be as one"

Wow, that's actually not a lot of lyrics to go through.

There's a bit of an obvious pattern going on here "Imagine no heaven", "Imagine no hell", "Imagine no countries", "Imagine no religion", "Imagine no living for the future", "Imagine no possessions".

Ok, you know what, let's get the obvious out of the way. If there weren't any countries, you wouldn't get away with your constant tax evasions. If there wasn't a hell, there wouldn't be a way for you to get what you deserve for beating your first wife, cheating on her, and emotionally traumatizing your first son onstage. Or how about no possessions, when you obviously say that as the lead of one of the most famous bands of all time over an extremely high-quality piano (for the day, this song sounds dated now)?

But that's besides the point, it's the framing and the utter lack of lyrical care or nuance. This song could have worked if Lennon was willing to take the time to analyze the effects of how too much of what he wants to rid of causes this world chaos, but he doesn't do that. If this were converted to a statement on this country and systemic racism, this wouldn't so much be Kendrick Lamar and more Dave Mustaine on Dystopia. He just hits with broad strokes and pretends he's the Messiah as he wants to rid this world of...well, I can't really describe it better than ridding people of individuality.

But here's what King Pretentious here doesn't understand: some people WANT those things. Some people WANT to be identified by their country, or believe in a God above, or believe that there's a sustainable future for them, because you know what? That makes them happy. It gives them hope. And Lennon just seems content on ripping that away from them carelessly. And on that note, the idea you're presenting of "no possessions" essentially sounds like you want this world to be poverty, or in hunger (which if I'm not mistaken is something you said that a lack of possessions would remove, you idiot).

"But respect for the dead!"

...you know what? That actually makes it worse, because that means that people are willing to give him a pass just because of the late star of one of the most acclaimed rock bands ever. And that scares me. People are inspired by this? This sludgy, broad, arrogant slosh that would have been rejected by your average nu-metal or edgemo band?

So yeah, I think it's safe to say this is one of the worst songs of all time. I'm feeling generous today, so I'm giving it an extremely low 1/10 and wowwww I'm not making fans with this one. This is WonkeyDude98, signing out, but I guess I'm literally still breathing on my own.


This is literally your worst opinion yet. - ProPanda

Hear me out buddy lol - WonkeyDude98

Think of it this way, he's not wanting no possessions or no countries or all that, he's saying imagine a world where we wouldn't need these things to get along as people, and we can stabilize life in harmony. Also, everything else is amazing. - ProPanda

...that wouldn't bother me, an equilibrium of contentment is a good idea, even if a tad cheesy. But not only is John Lennon (whose personality I could argue was worse than Bieber's) the very LAST person I want to be telling me that I don't need riches and that the world should live in harmony, he's not willing to convey that message with anything other than broad strokes. - WonkeyDude98

Well... I guess in 24 hours we'll be picking your bloody remains off of the pitchforks, then. - Zach808

Host my funeral and play the bagpipes, boi - WonkeyDude98

I can't wait for all the triggered people to tell you that your opinion is wrong
but honestly you're gonna make a lot of people mad with this review - wrests

I disagree with the premise of this song wholeheartedly but this is still a classic. - ryansliao

Well, you see Wonkey...I uh...I think you have a...uh...it's just that...

Ah screw it, I 100% disagree with you on this. But there's no denying, that logic was put behind your argument, rather than going for the obvious edgy "it's overrated" bullcrap.

Of course, I disagree with said logic but you have your points and I have mine. Agree to disagree, I will suggest. - cjWriter1997

I've always felt this song was simplistic and the lyrics were silly but at least I can see what he was trying to say. If there was no religions there wouldn't be holy wars, and every other lyric could be analysed in a similar fashion. Overall, this song honestly depends on how well you can take it. Me personally the Beatles always felt like a 6/10 band and that's the score I'd give the song that. Sure he's talking way too broad, but (and I know this is gonna make sound pretentious as hell), a lot of the public needs there songs to be broad. - MrQuaz680

I see where you're going with this, but as someone who likes analyzing music that is asking to be analyzed (especially one as acclaimed as this one), this just strikes an extremely vitriolic and rage-inducing chord with me. - WonkeyDude98

I guess that's fair. We both process music differently and I feel like this is one of those songs where a lot of people would interpret it differently which, know that I think of it, is what makes people compare it to Bohemian Rhapsody. - MrQuaz680

I think that Imagine is a good yet highly overrated song - Martinglez

Agreed - Neonco31

THANK YOU FOR SAYING THIS! finally someone spoke up on how bad a song imagine is. I think it's decent
musically, obviously not one of the best songs ever, but the lyrics are just stupid. I hate how people just swallow up the lyrics without ever thinking about what they mean - RecklessGreed

*takes a bow* - WonkeyDude98

Eh. Imagine is better than most Led Zeppelin songs. It's overrated as well. I'll give it a 5/10. Could've been better. - AlphaQ

Yeah. - WonkeyDude98

My only complaint is your over-rating of Bohemian Rhapsody. I mildly like the song, and it's noteworthy for its multiple sections and artistry. However, it's a parody of truly artistic music. Way too campy to be beautiful. - Crwth

Eh, it doesn't really feel that way, and I place all of that on Freddie Mercury. - WonkeyDude98

Have you ever read my post about this song? - visitor

I see where you're coming from, but John Lennon is just a disgusting and conceited human being, and it bleeds through in the writing so much that it's unavoidable. - WonkeyDude98

Https://www.thetoptens.com/best-john-lennon-songs/42109.asp - visitor

Eh, the lyrics are pretty terrible, but it's still way better than Revolution #9. Either way, this doesn't deserve to be in the Top 10 Best Songs of All Time list. - visitor

Anything is better than Revolution VIV. - WonkeyDude98

Revolution 9 is a masterpiece. - djpenquin999

I don't agree with this being deserving of being on the worst songs of all time list (I actually really like the piano), but Imagine is easily one of, it not the most overrated song of all time. If you want a very successful classic song to put on the worst of all time list, let it be We are the World. - visitor

I love this song but I hate those who criticize others who don't like this song - Neonco31

Love it - PeeledBanana

Imagine is one of The Beatle's worst song. The Beatle is very overrated in my opinion. I don't like some of the fanbase of classic rock bands like Beatles and Led Zipper. - AlphaQ

I don't consider Imagine to be a Beatles song since only John Lennon was in it. - PeeledBanana

One of the best songs - PeeledBanana

Should definitely not be so high on the list but honestly everything else you said I completely disagree with. - visitor

Are you saying the world shouldn't be one? - LightningStrike