John Lennon: Musician, Activist and a Visionary 

John Lennon, the man who used music as a tool for social and political change and leaves a timeless impact on the world.

People die, but exceptional art endures indefinitely. Well, there is no exaggeration in this assertion. Regardless of whether it pertains to political, social, or cultural matters, instability remains a constant facet of our world. In 1996, the American singer and songwriter Stevie Wonder delivered a beautiful rendition of John Lennon’s iconic song “Imagine” alongside the Morehouse College Glee Club during the closing ceremony of the Summer Olympics as a heartfelt tribute to the victims of the Centennial Olympic Park bombing. In 2018, during the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, Korean artists Ha Hyun-woo of the indie rock band Guckkasten, Ahn Ji-young of the K-pop duo Bolbbalgan4, Deulgukhwa singer Jeon In-Kwon, and solo artist Lee Eun-mi united to perform a verse of the same song. The renowned band Coldplay also offered their rendition of “Imagine” following the terrorist attacks in 2015. During the pandemic, prominent figures came together to sing this anthem in unison, conveying a message of peace and harmony during times of uncertainty. These instances represent just a few of the many occasions when people have joined their voices to sing this universal peace anthem, consistently moving the world to tears and inspiring a collective search for hope and love around us. This is the enduring legacy that John Lennon left us—an artistic gift that millions turn to for inspiration and solace.

“I think the music reflects the state that society’s in. It doesn’t suggest the state. I think poets, musicians, artists or whatever they are of the age, not only do they lead that age on but they reflect the age. And I think that’s what the pop music is doing–it’s mainly reflecting.”

John Lennon was a vital part of The Beatles, a band renowned for their role in driving social change and activism during the 1960s. The thing with art is that there are a lot of people who have something to say or something to show, but only a few can talk about resistance and make people resonate with their values, especially in times of global tension. Through his music, John Lennon recorded numerous politically charged songs addressing issues such as civil rights, social justice, and peace. Some of these include “Power to the People” and “Give Peace a Chance.” Moreover, Lennon’s “Working Class Hero” shed light on the struggles faced by the working class and encouraged discussion about their exploitation by the wealthy and powerful. Today, we witness many celebrities actively championing civil rights and equality, a positive trend highlighting the increasing mainstream acceptance of activism. However, when these songs were penned, the United States and many other nations were embroiled in social and political turmoil and in such a situation, Lennon’s music inspired people to work toward positive change. Beyond his music, John Lennon and his wife Yoko Ono organized a series of peace protests and events in 1969 to galvanize people against the Vietnam War. The influential couple also supported various causes, including civil rights and environmentalism. John Lennon possessed a deep understanding of what the world needed to hear, and he stood up for the rights of others with a dream that people would eagerly embrace living in an equitable and just society. Even after his passing, his music continues to inspire people worldwide, encouraging them to seek hope and harmony even in the most adverse circumstances.

“We live in a world where we have to hide to make love, while violence is practiced in broad daylight.”

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