My Nomination for the Worst Song Ever Written

My nomination is: John Lennon’s “Imagine”

“But it argues for peace and harmony,” you might protest. I’ll give you my reasons. It is not because it is boring and maudlin, although that might be reason enough. It is not because it is played ad-nauseum, for some reason, at Advent and Christmas time.

My main reason is because it destroys hope in the very first verse:

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

It might seem easy to sweep away heaven and hell but in the process Lennon brushes aside a transcendent God who comes to earth to deal with the causes of war, conflict, brokenness and death. To create harmony we need to deal with the cause of our disharmony – our brokenness. Lennon’s approach is akin to putting a bandaid over an infection without dealing with the underlying problem.

Advent and Christmas are reminders that we have God whose desire is to heal our brokenness – to go to the cause of our human illness. He sacrificed His son for our brokenness. This goes beyond “living for today” and leads to an eternity of perfection, peace and joy.

OK, it may not be the worst song ever but it is certainly shallow and not at all fitting for a time when we celebrate the incarnation of God.

Categories: christian, Christianity, Faith, Reflections, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , | 11 Comments

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11 thoughts on “My Nomination for the Worst Song Ever Written

  1. In my “drafts that I might one day post” is my revised rendition of this song…..Imagine there is a heaven…..etc. I’ve not worked on it very much because it is frustrating trying to create a post that makes sense, while also making a song still sound like a song….I’m neither a poet nor a songwriter. This song has impacted our world for many years and I am grieved by the message it conveys every time I hear it. I appreciate your post…maybe I won’t have to finish my rendition now 🙂

  2. Well, Pieter strikes again! I so agree with you. There is this humanistic fog descending on our world once again. One of the proofs is the popularity of this song, and the other proof is the popularity of authors like Rob Bell! We all want to imagine a world without atrocity, without dark and evil hearts, without Satan, and without the effects of sin. Unfortuantely, that is not the case. And whenever older people bring up the fallacy in this paradigm, the younger generation and liberal hold-outs from the baby-boomer generation call us “gloom and doom” preachers! I have this discussion more often than I would like, but people just must understand that man cannot save man. Peace love and joy are a reality but only within the confines of Christ. Without Christ, there is no peace love or joy…only temporary lullabys that rock us to sleep to the reality that despite his best efforts to convince us otherwise, Satan and evil do exist, the human heart is innately dark and evil, and without the redemption of the soul through Christ’s sacrifice, we will implode upon the same ideals that sound so misleadingly lovely.

  3. Gets my vote too! Thanks Pieter.

  4. Dg. I agree. What is even worse is the church’s growing blindness. By the way, a friend wanted to add “I did it my way” to the nomination process. Humanism, strikes again!

  5. I agree we are all in one accord the song stinks. james

  6. Will Duwe

    It’s interesting to read your interpretation of this song and then your reaction and the other contributors reaction to it. I’m wondering if anyone has actually read or listened to any John Lennon interviews about the song. I won’t elaborate other than to say the general interpretation of the song is largely incorrect and thats not Lennon’s fault. Are we commenting on ones own interpretation of the song or the authors.
    Just to elaborate does anyone realize that Louis Armstrong’s interpretation of the song Wonderful world is very much a sarcastic view of the world. As if he is saying, and i think to myself what a wonderful world ( yeah right!). So i think it’s very important to get the meaning of the song right. After all thats why the bible is so thick, because of all the interpretations for every verse. How could we ever do without these, (being sarcastic now).

    • One more thought Will. What if everything John Lennon imagined came true? We would have a lovely harmonious life on earth ( which is impossible without our hearts being changed, but ” imagine”,) we die and rot in the ground. No eternity, no presence before God etc. etc. We would have lived the lives of very tolerant animals. That’s it.

  7. Will Duwe

    Just as a footnote to my previous comment. Ive read a few of Pieters blogs and he always seems to treat,people who dont always agree with his point of view very kindly. Just thought i would mention that:)

  8. Hi Will, I have read Lennon on the words. It doesn’t change my view. He wants harmony, but he refuses to look at the reason why we have disharmony – the human heart. Just thinking “something better” doesn’t t make it so. Your thinking missed me on the Bible comment.

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