Song facts

"Imagine" was originally recorded by the ex-Beatle John Lenon in 1975 and it bacame his most famous and popular song. It became a big hit again after Lennon's death in 1980 and again after the attack on the World Trade Centre in 2001. It was recently voted the UK's most popular song of all the time.

Who wrote "Imagine"?

Imagine, John Lennon's most famous song, was recently voted 'Britain's favourite song of all time. It's an idealistic song about peace and the hope for a better world. 'Imagine all the people living life in peace.' The song was a big hit in 1971, and again in 1980 when Lennon was murdered in New York. It became a hit for a third time after the terrorist attacks of September 11th 2001.

But who really wrote the song? Until recently the answer to this question was always John Lennon. But on a TV programm-this week Lennon's wife, Yoko Ono.. spoke for the first time about how she, in fact, helped to write the song.

Ono said that the idea and inspiration for imagine came from some of her poems that John Lennon was reading at that tirm The poems began with the word 'Imagine': 'Imagine a raindrop, Imagine a goldfish.' Ono said, 'When I was a child in Japan during the Second World War my brother and I were terribly hungry. I imagined delicious menus for him and he began to smile. If you think something is impossible, you can imagine it and make it happen.'

In an interview just before he died, Lennon admitted thai Yoko deserved credit for Imagine. He said, 'A lot of it - thi lyrics and the concept - came from her, from her book of poems, imagine this, imagine that.' Lennon said that he was 'too macho1 to share the credit with her at the time.

Ono said that some of the song was written when they were flying across the Atlantic and the rest was written on the piano in their bedroom at their home in England. Ono said, 'The song speaks about John's dream for the world. It was something he really wanted to say.' Imagine became a popular song for peace activists everywhere.

In March 2002 the airport in his home town of Liverpool was re-named John Lennon Airport. A sign above the mair entrance has a line from Imagine: 'Above us only sky'.


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 religions too,
Imagine all the people
living life in peace.

You may say I'm а 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 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 live as one.

"New English File", Intermediate Student's Book