I went to a funeral service for my good friend Tom Kenney click here last night and driving home listening to the radio heard John Lennon’s song “Instant Karma.” Got me thinking about John and the 30 year mark of his passing,
As soon as Howard Cosell on Monday Night Football announced that Lennon had been shot, Mike Raley called me and said “I bet whoever did it was really trying to shoot Yoko and missed and hit John instead!” He continued “Or she paid someone to knock him off.” Mike thought about as much of Yoko as I did.
Along those lines then I have 4 categories of favorite John songs. First there are Beatles songs he co-wrote with Paul where he doesn’t mention Yoko and then there are those songs where he does mention her. In the latter category my favorite is the “Ballad of John and Yoko” click here. My favorite non-Yoko Beatles’ song that he co-wrote with Paul is “In My Life.” Pictured below is an exhibit showing the original lyrics by John. I’ve seen this exhibit four times in the British Library (click here for more info) and hope to see it several more whenever I revisit London. (I remember seeing it with Buzzy once on one of our trips there. When I told him that these were the lyrics to one of my favorite songs he said “Never heard it.”) The British Library contains numerous important and original documents such as Chaucer’s Beowulf, a Gutenberg Bible and a room devoted solely to the Magna Carta. However, seeing John Lennon’s original lyrics to “In My Life” is what impressed me the most.
Then there are my favorite post-Beatles songs by John in the same 2 categories – no Yoko and the ones with or about her. As I’ve discussed previously (click here) “Beautiful Boy” is still my all time favorite Lennon tune and maybe of any tune.
Favorite post Beatles Yoko-related Lennon song is “Just Like Starting Over” click here for video. (For song background info click here.) However, there is another one in this Yoko category that always makes me listen closely to the lyrics as John scats about who and what he doesn’t believe in: “God is a Concept” video of which I’ve included below. (It contains the line “God is a concept by which we measure our pain” and if that doesn’t make you reflect on who or what your God is, nothing will.) At the end of the video below he says “I just believe in me and that’s reality.” In other versions of the song though he says “I just believe in me and Yoko.” Like Mike Raley would say we all know she made him put that in there!
Notice I do not mention John’s most famous song “Imagine” as being a favorite because it’s actually one of my least favorites of his. I’ll do a separate post on that later.