‘Imagine’: John’s and Yoko’s Hymn to Progressive Utopia

For the last 15 years, I have been making good educational use of Lennon’s famous song “Imagine.”  In one of my classes, analyzing the song helps Japanese students think critically about song lyrics.  The song is very well known and popular in Japan, in part because Lennon’s wife was Japanese.  Yoko Ono’s leftist beliefs also left their mark on the content of the song, a fact that will probably soon receive official recognition by the National Music Publishers Association.

The song’s doubtful assumptions and internal contradictions make it an instructive instance of the sloppy, shallow thinking we often find in the world of mass entertainment, which unfortunately then goes unfiltered into the minds of countless consumers.