Thursday, December 08, 2005


Today we remember John Lennon. Twenty five years ago my Dad died during all of the eruptions of Mt. St. Helens. In fact, I have written on here before that I believe the ash precipitated his death from a massive heart attack. But also, a few months later John Lennon was shot and killed. To be honest, I remember only numbness because I could not be any more sad than I already was---and it was about to be Christmas.

Anyway, in the November 28 issue of Newsweek is an article about the legacy of John Lennon, "Lennon Lives" by Jeff Giles. A quote from Dave Matthews was included which particularly touched me. (A little trivia--Dave Matthews calls Seattle home. His wife is a medical student at UW) This is what Dave Matthews said about John Lennon's "Imagine":

Very often, songs of protest or songs that have some sort of social message are just dated and unlistenable. They're earnest--and they're bulls--t. But this is an absolutely stellar song. It's wrenching. Even if he'd written only "Imagine," he would have been the greatest songwriter of all time. Nobody in a position of power had ever made that clear a statement. It's very hard to look at that song and not say, "Well, you know, he's right"--even though he wasn't saying "I'm right." He's just asking you to think about something, which is the genius of it: imagine if everything we take for granted as unchangeable was not there, imagine what the world would be like. And he does it in such a beautiful, humble way that you have to be an insane person not to go, "Touche."

After we invaded Iraq, my children played "Imagine" at church. My son played the melody on the viola and my daughter accompanied on the piano. No person was singing the words. Nobody had to; we all sang along silently in our heads. You could have heard a pin drop. It was completely haunting and I will never forget it. Never.