Today marks what would have been the 77th birthday of the legendary singer John Lennon
Beatles legend John Lennon would have been celebrating his birthday today. Lennon was shot dead outside his New York apartment in 1980.
He packed a lifetime into his 40 years, forming the most famous and successful group the world has ever known, becoming dad to two sons and promoting the idea of world peace.
His life, although short, influenced an entire era as he became an inspirational figure through his political activism efforts.
His post-Beatles track, “Imagine” was his most critically acclaimed solo work and was named number three on Rolling Stone’s “All-Time Best Songs” list.
Today, on what should have been his 77th birthday, we look back at some of his best lyrics - both as a solo artist and as part of The Fab Four.
"Life is very short and there’s no time for fussing and fighting, my friend"
Recorded over two days in sessions amounting to 11 hours - The Beatles' longest time spent completing a song to date - We Can Work It Out bore the distinctive hallmarks of both its songwriters.
But this poignant line was all Lennon .
He said of the song: "You've got Paul writing, 'We can work it out, we can work it out' - real optimistic, y'know, and me impatient: 'Life is very short and there's no time for fussing and fighting, my friend.'"
"War is over if you want it"
As relevant now as ever, John and Yoko's Christmas song echoed the earlier peace and political messages of songs like Give Peace A Chance and Power To The People.
Lennon said of the song; "It's still that same message - we're just as responsible as the man who pushes the button.
"As long as people imagine that somebody's doing it to them, and that they have no control, then they have no control."
"Words are flowing out like endless rain into a paper cup; They slither wildly as they slip away across the universe"
John Lennon wrote Across The Universe in the early hours one morning.
But he didn't even intend to. He said: "It's not a matter of craftsmanship; it wrote itself. It drove me out of bed.
"It's like being possessed; like a psychic or a medium. The thing has to go down.
"It won't let you sleep, so you have to get up, make it into something, and then you're allowed to sleep. I's always in the middle of the bloody night, when you're half awake or tired and your critical facilities are switched off."
"Living is easy with eyes closed, misunderstanding all you see"
An undisputed Beatles masterpiece, Strawberry Fields was first released alongside Penny Lane.
This lyric is a classic Lennonism - not seeing the truth makes life easy because you don't have to think about it and deal with it, you can just pretend that everything is fine.
"We all shine on! Like the moon and the stars and the sun"
Lennon wrote Instant Karma! in less than an hour.
He boasted his third single with the Plastic Ono band was "written for breakfast, recorded for lunch and would be put out for dinner"
And we absolutely have to mention its refrain 'We All Shine On' - which is almost too catchy.
"All You Need Is Love"
Lennon said: "I think if you get down to basics, whatever the problem is, it's usually to do with love. So I think 'All You Need is Love' is a true statement.
"It doesn't mean that all you have to do is put on a phoney smile or wear a flower dress and it's gonna be alright. Love is not just something that you stick on posters or stick on the back of your car, or on the back of your jacket or on a badge.
"I'm talking about real love, so I still believe that. Love is appreciation of other people and allowing them to be. Love is allowing somebody to be themselves and that's what we do need."
"Life is what happens while you're busy making other plans"
This paradoxical phrase from Beautiful Boy resonates with so many of us.We want to enjoy our life now but we can't help but make plans for the future.
Lennon doesn’t say we shouldn’t make plans, but that the true experience of being alive is beyond those plans, and “happens” to us.
"Sitting in an English garden waiting for the sun... If the sun don't come you get a tan from standing in the English rain"
With no obvious rhyme or reason, I Am The Walrus was written in three parts.
More than a decade after he composed it, Lennon said of the song: "The words didn't mean a lot. People draw so many conclusions. What does it really mean?"
Not a lot, apparently.
He went on to say: "'I am the Eggman?' It could have been 'The pudding Basin' for all I care. It's not that serious."
"All we are saying is: Give Peace A Chance"
Another that's as needed now as it ever was, the 1969 single by (John Lennon's) Plastic Ono Band became an anthem of the American anti-war movement at that time.
When asked by a reporter what he was trying to achieve by staying in bed, Lennon answered spontaneously "Just give peace a chance" - and it stuck.
"Picture yourself on a boat in a river, with tangerine trees and marmalade skies"
Shortly after the release of Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds , speculation arose that the first letter of each of the title nouns intentionally spelled "LSD"
However, Lennon simply said: "My son [Julian] came home with a drawing of a woman flying around and I asked 'What is it?' and he said 'It's Lucy in the sky, with diamonds' and it was beautiful, so I immediately wrote a song about it."
Source: Liverpool Echo. Read the original article here: "Happy birthday John Lennon! Remembering the star's most poignant lyrics".