The song John Lennon wrote out of guilt

John Lennon

Some songs are written with emotion in mind: love, rage, and joy, all of which are universal and timeless. Other tracks, particularly protest songs, are more of a reflection of their time. Many musicians are hesitant to write about current events because they do not want to date their music. Protest music, on the other hand, is critical because it gives a voice to those who are often unable to speak up for themselves. And no one wrote it better than John Lennon.

During his solo career, Lennon became far more political than he was in The Beatles. He wrote Imagine as an ode to the possibility of world peace, and then he wrote ‘Power to the People,’ intending it to be a political rallying cry. While his passion for politics and trying to right injustice was at the forefront of this song, he also created it out of guilt.

Although Lennon did not coin the phrase “Power to the People,” he was unquestionably instrumental in popularizing it. It became popular in the 1960s and 1970s, indicating a need for people to reclaim control from the government. “I wrote ‘Power to the People’ the same way I wrote ‘Give Peace a Chance,‘ as something for the people to sing,” John Lennon said of the song. I make singles in the style of broadsheets. It was just a quickie.”

The song coincided with the filming of the Imagine documentary, and as a result, Lennon and Yoko Ono were constantly surrounded by cameras. Offering a little more insight, Lennon gave a more concise meaning behind the song to the cameras. He said, “The people are the government, and the people have the power. All we have to do is awaken the power in the people.”

Despite his enthusiasm for politics and his desire to give the people a voice, Lennon was plagued by guilt when he wrote the material. He discussed the British Pakistani activist and writer Tariq Ali during an interview on BBC Radio One. “[He] kept coming around wanting money for Red Mole or some magazine or something,” Lennon said. “Well, I’m working class, and I’m not one of them, but I’m rich, so I have to,” I reasoned.

This presented Lennon with a dilemma that he frequently faced. “Anytime anybody said something like that, I would fork out,” he said. “He was hustling for whatever he was hustling for. And he wrote ‘Power to the People’ as a sort of guilt song for himself. ” It’s like a newspaper song in which you write about something that is happening right now.”

With his fame and solo career, Lennon became much more aware of the world around him. However, with that increased awareness came guilt. The former Beatle could not, of course, change the world on his own. But he tried through donations and his music. ‘Power to the People’ is the epitome of this.


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