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The diary below was originally posted in my blog, the Intrepid Liberal Journal and adapted for Daily Kos.

Allow me to digress from the usual politics and current events topics of my blog writing to acknowledge the anniversary of John Lennon's death. I was only eleven in 1980 and watching Monday Night Football when Howard Cosell delivered the news. I had recently learned all the lyrics to the Beatles, Rubber Soul album and was especially moved by the lyrics to "In My Life."

Personally I've never been a great believer in icons. Lennon himself delivers a stirring rebuke to the myth of icons with his classic composition God early in his solo career. Yet Lennon to me was different. Lennon was an artistic genius and international statesman.

His personal journey and evolution took place in a fishbowl. As a chauvinist from Liverpool, Lennon abused his first wife Cynthia. Under Yoko's influence he became a feminist who sang, "women are the nigger of the world." During Beatlemania, Lennon was an absentee father and detached from his first-born Julian. With his second born Sean, Lennon opted to jettison fame's narcissism and dedicated himself solely to raising his son.

A tormented soul Lennon in his youth was violent and got in more than his share of scraps. But in 1969 he wrote "Give Peace A Chance" and a timeless rallying cry for antiwar protesters was born. Four simple words that sent shivers down the cowardly spines of the Nixon Administration who wanted to deport him when Lennon moved to America.

By 1980, Lennon had confronted his inner demons, reconciled with his fame and established a fulfilling private life. He could jump in the studio, compose music and enjoy public adulation. And he could also retreat to his private world with Yoko and Sean. A bond was also developing with Lennon and his son Julian who had his own interest in music.

The champion of peace had found inner peace.

And a madman with a gun took it a way.

Lennon wrote "In My Life" in memory of his close friend Stuart Sutcliffe, an artist from Liverpool who died of a brain tumor. He was a young man paying tribute to a dear friend. It's perhaps the most beautiful and poetic of Lennon's songs and captures my feelings as I think of him now:


  There are places I remember 
  all my life,
  Though some have changed,
  Some forever, not for better,
  Some have gone and some remain.

  All these places had their moments
  With lovers and friends I still can recall.
  Some are dead and some are living.
  In my life I've loved them all.

  But of all these friends and lovers,
  There is no one compares with you,
  And these memories lose their meaning
  When I think of love as something new.

  Though I know I'll never lose affection
  For people and things that went before,
  I know I'll often stop and think about them,
  In my life I'll love you more.

  Though I know I'll never lose affection
  For people and things that went before,
  I know I'll often stop and think about them,
  In my life I'll love you more.
  In my life I'll love you 

Originally posted to intrepidliberal on Fri Dec 08, 2006 at 08:00 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  You were a troubled man, John, but I miss you (3+ / 0-)

    and I love you.


  •  Imagine (3+ / 0-)

    What a man he was..

    Imagine there's no Heaven
    It's easy if you try
    No hell below us
    Above us only sky
    Imagine all the people
    Living for today

    Imagine there's no countries
    It isn't hard to do
    Nothing to kill or die for
    And no religion too
    Imagine all the people
    Living life in peace

    You may say that I'm a dreamer
    But I'm not the only one
    I hope someday you'll join us
    And the world will be as one

    Imagine no possessions
    I wonder if you can
    No need for greed or hunger
    A brotherhood of man
    Imagine all the people
    Sharing all the world

    You may say that I'm a dreamer
    But I'm not the only one
    I hope someday you'll join us
    And the world will live as one

    Save $ on image hosting account at smugmug - use my mYYrlt9brzUDE token to save $5

    by Blue in VA on Fri Dec 08, 2006 at 08:08:24 PM PST

  •  Imagine (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sj, intrepidliberal, Blue in VA


    Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity. Horace Mann (and btw, the bike in kayakbiker is a bicycle)

    by Kayakbiker on Fri Dec 08, 2006 at 08:11:08 PM PST

  •  David Gilmour wrote this (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    About MDC

    A song called murder..

    Some of them standing, some were waiting in the line
    As if there was something that they thought they might find
    Taking some strength from the feelings that always were shared
    And in the background, the eyes that just stared

    What was it brought you out here in the dark?
    Was it your only way of making your mark
    Did you get rid of all the voices in your head?
    Do you now miss them and the things that they said?

    On your own admission you raised up the knife
    And you brought it down ending another man´s life
    When it was done you just threw down the blade
    While the red blood spread wider like the anger you made

    I don´t want this anger that´s burning in me
    It´s something from which it´s so hard to be free
    But none of the tears that we cry in sorrow or rage
    Can make any difference, or turn back the page

    Save $ on image hosting account at smugmug - use my mYYrlt9brzUDE token to save $5

    by Blue in VA on Fri Dec 08, 2006 at 08:11:19 PM PST

  •  I am a Primal Therapy guy, as was Lennon and Yoko (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Being such, you believe in youself, not in some God or Guru or such. I know he went through his different belief system phases and these are reflected in many of the songs he wrote prior to his getting into Primal Therapy. Believe in yourself and your own mind unless you are crazy. Then you need some help to get in touch with your real self.And Primal Therapy can be harmful in the hands of unqualified Therapists.What can I say.   ...Oscar

  •  Thank you for this. John Lennon is so missed. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sj, ljm, intrepidliberal, Blue in VA

    A great, great man.

  •  All we are saying is give peace a chance (n/t) (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Enough about me, let's talk about you. What do you think of me? Janis Ian, "My autobiography"

    by captainlaser on Fri Dec 08, 2006 at 08:33:36 PM PST

  •  He was a genius. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Imagine the music that would have been.

    Man who live in glass house wear pajama!

    by sylvien on Fri Dec 08, 2006 at 08:58:02 PM PST

  •  ice cream bar (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I think you're actually commemorating a certain college ice cream bar sponsored by you-know-who. ;D

  •  A good diary, except that... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sj, intrepidliberal

    I do not know if Chapman was a "madman" with a gun. Chapman seems to have had clear political motives for killing Lennon, and I would classify him as a terrorist.

  •  I heard the news that night, oh boy... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sj, intrepidliberal

    My wife woke me in the wee hours, saying Bob Dylan had died. She heard, "a musician and poet..." had died, and assumed Dylan. She was listening to WNEW in NYC at the time. I thought she was dreaming.

    Then it became clear who it was. It's still unfathomable to me how so gentle a man could be killed so violently, and so senselessly.

    We went to Central Park that weekend and participated in the ten minute moment of silence. The only sounds were sniffles and helicopters.

    John Lennon was rock and roll.

    Don't blame me, I voted for Bill and Opus.

    by Trim Your Bush on Fri Dec 08, 2006 at 10:25:23 PM PST

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