John Lennon’s Son Said ‘Imagine’ Isn’t the Former Beatle’s Best Philosophical Song

John Lennon‘s son, Sean Ono Lennon, isn’t the biggest fan of “Imagine.” During an interview, he praised aspects of the song. On the other hand, he said one of his father’s other songs did a better job discussing philosophical issues.

The Beatles' John Lennon wearing yellow glasses
The Beatles’ John Lennon | Ron Howard/Redferns

John Lennon’s son doesn’t like rock stars getting philosophical

“Imagine” is one of the most famous political songs in the classic rock canon. During a 2020 interview with Rolling Stone, Sean said he usually doesn’t like rock stars discuss philosophical issues. Sean said he doesn’t think it’s wrong for rock stars to talk about important issues, he just usually doesn’t enjoy when they do so.

“And somehow my dad pulls it off with ‘Imagine,’ this almost impossible feat, which is to sincerely talk about world philosophy and not sound like an arrogant person,” Sean opined. “I think there’s something about his personality. I don’t think anyone else could have pulled it off, and I think it has to do with how obviously cynical he is as a person.”

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Why John Lennon’s son prefers ‘Gimme Some Truth’ to ‘Imagine’

Sean said “Imagine” was out of character for his father. “He is clearly coming to those ideas with a great effort to overcome his own kind of extreme cynicism and sarcasm about everything,” he said. “It’s very interesting to me, because usually it’s not my favorite song. ‘Gimme Some Truth’ is an even better example of that, though.”

Sean said “Gimme Some Truth” had socially relevant lyrics but he didn’t to interpret the song for others. “As a message, it transcends tribalism and I think it’s maybe the most necessary lyric of my dad’s right now,” Sean opined. “That idea of being sick and tired of b*******, because I don’t know how it got this way.” Sean decided to name a compilation of his father’s music Gimme Some Truth. The Ultimate Collection after the song.

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The way fans in the United States and the United Kingdom reacted to ‘Imagine’ and ‘Gimme Some Truth’

“Imagine” became a major hit. It peaked at No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100, remaining on the chart for nine weeks. On the other hand, “Gimme Some Truth” never charted on the Billboard Hot 100 because it wasn’t a single. Both songs appeared on the album Imagine. Imagine was No. 1 for one week, lasting on the Billboard 200 for 47 weeks altogether.

“Imagine” was popular in the United Kingdom as well. According to The Official Charts Company, the song was on the chart for 42 weeks in the 1970s. “Imagine” was No. 1 for four of those weeks. Meanwhile, “Gimme Some Truth” did not reach the chart. The album Imagine was No. 1 for a pair of its 101 weeks on the chart.

“Imagine” is more famous than “Gimme Some Truth” — even if Sean prefers the latter.

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