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Published on Sep 6, 2006
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"Imagine" is a utopian song performed by John Lennon, which appears on his 1971 album Imagine. Although originally credited solely to Lennon, in recent years Yoko Ono's contribution to the song has become more widely acknowledged. In 2003, Rolling Stone magazine voted "Imagine" the third greatest song of all time.
In the book Lennon in America, written by Geoffrey Giuliano, Lennon commented the song was "an anti-religious, anti-nationalistic, anti-conventional, anti-capitalistic song, but because it's sugar-coated, it's accepted."
The lyrics were thought to be inspired solely by Lennon's hopes for a more peaceful world. In reality, the song's refrain was coined by Yoko Ono, in reaction to her childhood in Japan during World War II. According to The Sunday Times, the song's refrain can be found in several of her poems written in the early 1960s, before she met Lennon, and in her 1965 book Grapefruit.
Lennon's claims against property and religion, as well as his repeated use of "the people," have led some to posit the song as being advocative of humanism, communism, and anarchism.