‘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...’
Oh, if only…
I remember many years ago, when my father was dying, he asked if ‘Imagine’ could be played at his funeral as he held beliefs matching those in the song.
In those days, in a church funeral, it wasn’t considered appropriate to play that sort of music. And it is something I have long regretted, that we didn’t play ‘Imagine’ at my father’s farewell.
However, as I ponder it today and consider that John Lennon wrote those words in 1971, I truly wonder what effect the words had (if any) on anyone’s – let alone the world’s – attitude to war, separation of ideals, tyranny and persecution. Nil, I see now. Over 40 years later, a song with that profound message is considered just a sweet and naïve piece written by a ‘hippie sort of guy’.
Even further back than the 1970s….in fact way back into the 18th Century…. smart cookies such as Frenchman writer & philosopher, Voltaire, the writer, Dr Johnson and poet & cleric Jonathan Swift were actually ridiculing wars and oppression. Fat lot that did for the future of warring mankind. No one took notice of them either – apparently!
Some time ago I wrote about the Ed McCurdy’s anti-war song, ‘Last night I had the strangest dream’. It was written in the 1950s and has been recorded in some seventy-six languages. Yes, so many of us agree with the sentiments expressed but so few in power carry out such dreams.
‘Last night I had the strangest dream
I ever dreamed before
I dreamed the world had all agreed
To put an end to war….’
And, now, on our television screens, night after night, we see the truly dreadful sights of people fleeing war and persecution. On and on they go; searching for peace and rarely finding it.
Will it ever stop?
What can we do?