Song 22:365 is my version of John Lennon’s Imagine, one of the 100 most-performed songs of the 20th century according to the BMI. Lennon wrote the song on a Steinway piano in a bedroom at his Tittenhurst Park estate in Ascot.
When asked about the inspiration behind the lyrics of the song, Lennon explained in a 1980 interview that he and Yoko Ono had been given a Christian prayer book:
The concept of positive prayer … If you can imagine a world at peace, with no denominations of religion—not without religion but without this my God-is-bigger-than-your-God thing—then it can be true … the World Church called me once and asked, “Can we use the lyrics to ‘Imagine’ and just change it to ‘Imagine one religion’?” That showed [me] they didn’t understand it at all. It would defeat the whole purpose of the song, the whole idea.
There was further controversy in 2011 when CeeLo Green performed Imagine just before the New Year’s Eve ball drop in New York’s Times Square, changing the line “and no religion too” to “and all religions true”. This resulted in a huge backlash from Lennon fans who believed this change in the lyrics went against the original meaning of the song.
Imagine has been covered and performed in many situations, including at the closing ceremony of the 2012 Summer Olympics by the Liverpool Philharmonic Youth Choir and the Liverpool Signing Choir. The BBC used a cover by Emeli Sandé in their closing montage for the Olympics, prompting the song to reenter the UK Top 40. It was also performed by Lady Gaga at the 2015 European Games opening ceremony.
I hope you like my version, and if you’d like to hear more John Lennon / Beatles songs in my collection, click here. If it’s your first time on the site, find out more about why I’m posting a song a day here.