Imagine (song)

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"Imagine" is a song written and sung by John Lennon; it was released in 1971, was very successful commercially, and has become a world-wide classic.

Though the overall theme of the song is utopian, a strong thread which appears twice is the absence of religion. The first verse (four lines) and the chorus speculate that if people didn't have to fear hell or feel compelled to qualify for heaven, they could spend more time "living for today"; the last two lines of the final verse imply that people feel compelled to kill and die for the sake of religion, and imagines an improved world if religion were absent from it.


Richard Dawkins said: colleague Desmond Morris informs me that John Lennon's magnificent song is sometimes performed in America with the phrase "and no religion too" expurgated. One version even has the effrontery to change it to "and one religion too".

from "The God Delusion, page 2

This, of course, completely changes the meaning of the song into something that it seems unlikely Lennon would have agreed with.