John Lennon – God – Meaningful Lyrics.

My favourite Lennon song. Beliefs need to be constantly questioned. Where do we get them from? Have they got a basis?

Opher's World

For me this is Lennon’s best track. He was stripping himself down and examining everything he had believed in. It was like the most honest and stark evaluation of the person he had become.
In many ways his life had shattered. His marriage had split up. The Beatles had split up. He had begun to lose faith in all the things he had held dear.
Before going off to a new relationship with Yoko it was as if he had to take his head apart and look at all the jewels he had put in there and decide which he was hanging on to and which have turned out not to be diamonds but paste.
He decided that all the religion, politics and friends he had put his hopes and trust in had proved phoney. The dream was over and it was time to move on and create a new…

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26 thoughts on “John Lennon – God – Meaningful Lyrics.

  1. I think you might have the sequence of events screwed up a bit here in terms of his marriage status. He and Cynthia had split up long before and he was long over her.
    He and Yoko got married in March 1969 after having been an item for a year.
    He didn’t actually write and demo ‘God’ until 26 July 1970, where he laid down 4 takes at home at Tittenhurst, the home he shared with Yoko.
    This is what he came up with whilst being with Yoko.
    Therefore, it had nothing to do with preparing himself for a new life with Yoko.

    1. I’m sure he was over Cynthia. But he still split up with her didn’t he? In 1970 he was still in the first flush of Yoko and the Beatles were bust. Enough said. You’re being very pickie again Andrew.

      1. And why did he split up with her?
        Because HE was leaving her, his decision on his terms.
        There’s a big difference.
        Meanwhile, he’s in another relationship and married.
        Yoko had already had a miscarriage a year before.

        Do you think 2 years into a relationship that was of a constant and continuous nature represents “first flush”?
        No it isn’t. First flush?! Are you serious?

        Again, I tell you to go and have a thorough listen to his 3 and half hour Rolling Stone magazine interview – that is if you possess that level of attention span, that all things considered, I fear you may struggle with – and hear him tell you what he has to say. Better that than you talking a load of shite.

        But without being “pickie”, here’s what a real Beatles expert, Bill Harry (you won’t ever have heard of him) has to say about the song ‘God’. Oh, and a few words from Lennon himself.
        You won’t agree with them though, because as per usual, you know better, don’t you?
        “John recorded four acoustic-guitar demos on 26 July 1970 at Tittenhurst Park. (I’m correct with that) Initially, it was suggested that he’d composed the number as a comment on George Harrison’s involvement in religion. The iconoclasm came soon after he’d been exposed to primal therapy and reeks of pessimism. He’d originally began composing one sentence, ‘God is a concept by which we measure our pain.’
        This developed into a litany in which he denunciated a number of former idols, including Bob Dylan (whom he called by his real name, Zimmerman), Elvis and The Beatles.
        Describing the song, John was to say, “A lot of the words, they just came out of me mouth. It started off like that. “God” was stuck together from three songs almost. I had the idea “God is a concept by which we measure pain”, so when you have a word like that you just sit down and sing the first tune that comes into your head and the tune is simple because I like that kind of music. I don’t know when I realised I was putting down all these things I didn’t believe in. I could have gone on. It was like a Christmas card list. I thought, Where do you end? Churchill? And who have I missed out? I thought I had to stop. I was going to leave a gap and say, Just fill in your own and put whatever you don’t believe in. It had just got out of hand.”
        Among the many figures denied by John were The Beatles themselves. When asked about this, he said, “I don’t believe in The Beatles, that’s all. I don’t believe in the Beatles myth.
        “I don’t believe in Beatles” – there is no other way of saying it, is there? I don’t believe in them, whatever they were supposed to be in everybody’s head, including our own heads, for a period. Beatles was the final thing because it’s like I no longer believe in myth, and Beatles is another myth.”
        Other figures dismissed by John include Bob Dylan, Jesus Christ, Buddha, the Kennedys and Elvis Presley.
        He announces that “the dream is over” but ends on a less pessimistic note by affirming that he believes in himself and Yoko.

        It would appear that he’s pretty clear on what he thinks of The Beatles. And poor Cynthia didn’t ever figure in his thoughts either.

        I don’t think Constructive Criticism of literature was ever one of your strengths, was it Opher?

      2. That pretty much conforms to what I have heard and think about the song.
        John was still besotted with Yoko and the Beatles were a myth. Why make such a silly scene over nothing?

      3. It doesn’t conform at all with what you were saying.
        Read you own stuff above here. You were on a different plain altogether.
        You talk of before he went off to a relationship with Yoko.
        You talk of, quote – “In many ways his life had shattered. His marriage had split up. The Beatles had split up.”
        Where did you reflect that The Beatles were a myth?
        You didn’t.
        None of what you said was reflected by Lennon’s own words.

        That’s why I questioned you, long before I dragged out Lennon’s own words.

      4. When Lennon produced those two early albums he was in the throes of separating with Cynthia and the splitting of the Beatles. His new Love, Yoko, was the subject of huge abuse and he went through his therapy.
        What came out of that was a stark reassessment and God was, in my opinion, the best song of all. It summed up his disillusionment with the whole religious experience, Beatles, relationships, politics, business and the rest.
        Now if that doesn’t agree with your analysis – fine.
        I didn’t set out to produce a nerdy blog of trivia. The premise I put forward holds up. You just obfuscate the issue by constant splitting of hairs. Pointless and of no interest except to a tiny group of trivia seekers.

      5. Oh Opher, you’ve only grasped half the story. Why after all this time do you only have half the story?

        You get shoved under your own bleedin’ nose Lennon’s own words and you still deny their existence.
        He wasn’t talking about any religious experience as you have just expressed. Nothing like it.
        He even explains why he’s using the word “God” in the song itself. Did that fly over your head or what?
        He left Cynthia at the beginning of 1968!
        He immediately filed for divorce.
        He married Joko in March 69.
        This song has got absolutely nothing to do with Cynthia.

        Your latest claim, quote: “When Lennon produced those two early albums he was in the throes of separating with Cynthia and the splitting of the Beatles.”

        Sorry, Opher, but you’re mistaken with the dates of events etc.

        What is also evident is perhaps a lack of knowledge regarding the genesis of any of his songs from this period.
        For example, the first one he wrote for the 2nd album, ‘Imagine’, was actually ‘Oh Yoko’ in December 1970.
        This would obviously oppose your belief that he was struggling with his separation to Cynthia – despite now being happily married to Yoko for some 20 months.
        Hardly trivial.

        I basically just think your nose is a bit out of joint on this one because you got the story just a shade tits up.
        But what’s new with that?

      6. For heaven’s sake Andrew you are incapable of taking anything at all without getting into some pedantic twaddle on utter trivia. Your nerdishness knows no bounds.

  2. I think the one thing Lennon failed to take into account was how he contributed to all those endings in his life. He was an idealist, but he wasn’t too great at accepting responsibility maybe.

    1. That’s true Cheryl. He did not take care of either Cynthia or Julian properly. I’m not sure what that was about but it always seemed to me that he had a hard, mean streak that ran alongside the other stuff and was not always pleasant.

      1. Some things you can’t excuse. Most people have flaws. He had big flaws. It is whether the flaws totally detract from the good stuff. Nobody is perfect. I tend to focus on all the great stuff and accept the bad stuff. How he treated Cynthia and Julian was inexcusable but Yoko certainly didn’t try and rectify it did she? John also displayed unpleasant attitudes to the disabled and various people. He could be cruel. We don’t forgive or excuse – we accept it as part of the package that was Lennon and the Beatles. People let you down.

      2. However, there are some things you simply can’t accept. With Lennon the good side was bigger than the bad. With Trump it’s the other way round.

      3. Yeah, like converting a large room (in one of their several apartments in the Dakota building) into atmospherically controlled long-term storage for Yoko’s fur coat collection.

        Not forgetting his hatred of Jews and Blacks in general.

        Sorry, remind me, what were his “good side” attributes?

      4. Err – a lot of activity against war, against sexism and misogyny, altruism – donations, a whole load of musically brilliant songs……….

      5. Erm….yeah, right, just for how long did that last?
        Over and above his honeymoon stint of lying in bed in 3 cities, you can just about count the number of anti-war marches he attended on one hand.
        The anti-war stuff finished 1972.
        It had to otherwise he wouldn’t get his Green Card.

        The anti-sexism and misogyny? Are you kidding? Oh, like the time he took some guy’s girlfriend – in full view of Yoko – into a bedroom and gave her one, and for all to hear.
        Getting chucked out the Troubadour Club with a tampon on his head.
        Yeah, that was in no way sexist or misogynist, was it?

        Oh, and his arranged 18 month relationship with May Pang, wasn’t in the least bit sexist or misogynist either, was it?

        Altruism – despite hating Jews and Blacks ?

        Donations. OK. Can you quantify any of these or is it just that of populist conjecture that leads you to such assumptions.

        Some musically brilliant songs. ‘A whole load’ is somewhat excessive. The vast majority of them were pretty straight forward really in terms of music.

      6. I’m not saying he wasn’t a prat but that doesn’t discount the other side. You write off most of the best Beatles songs, two brilliant albums and a few great singles. That’s enough for me.

      7. I didn’t write these albums and songs off. I’m well familiar with all his records.
        I’m just not kissing his ass, like you.
        He’d have hated you kissing his ass, too.

      8. You obviously don’t read things well. I praise what is laudable and the things I like. Your terminology is crass.
        When people do good things then they are worthy of praise. When they do boad things they get criticised. Simple

      9. Call it what you like, mask it with that inherent conservative joker card you like to play when it suits you, so straight laced and prudish to a fault.
        However, I just can’t do all that sycophantic and gushing act that you indulge in. I find it a bit flakey and immature.

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