'Imagine': How John And Yoko's Provocative Anthem Became A Hymn For Peace

Saturday, September 29, 2018

In times of trouble and grief, there is one song that millions of people turn to for inspiration and solace: John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s ‘Imagine’.

Leading musicians often reach for the song in moments of need. When Stevie Wonder was told of the death of Senator John McCain in August 2018, during a concert in Atlanta, he broke into a beautiful version of Lennon’s masterpiece, released as a single on 11 October 1971. Though the song was banned from radio in the immediate aftermath of 9/11, Neil Young recognised its potency, singing it at a memorial concert, America: Tribute To Heroes. Coldplay performed a version after the terrorist attacks in Paris in 2015. Following discord around North Korea in 2018, ‘Imagine’ was the natural choice for a group of Korean musicians to perform at the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics.

Source: Martin Chilton/

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