By Zachariah Friesen
Today is John Lennon’s Birthday. The founder of The Beatles would be 73 if he were still alive today. We salute him with 10 of our favorite John Lennon compositions and some fun facts along the way. Thank you for the music and the incredible influence you had and still have on millions of people.
- “Imagine” – Lennon best describes his composition as: “Anti-religious, anti-nationalistic, anti-conventional, anti-capitalistic, but because it is sugarcoated it is accepted … Now I understand what you have to do. Put your political message across with a little honey.”
- “Grow Old With Me” – One of the last songs John Lennon ever wrote and my favorite John Lennon song.
- “Free as a Bird” – The Beatles actually recorded this in 1995, 15 years after John’s death. It became a top 10 hit instantly in the US giving The Beatles a top 40 hit in 4 different and consecutive decades.
- “Beautiful Boy” – After Yoko Ono and John Lennon reconciled in 1974, Lennon’s second child Sean was born in 1975 and today is his birthday as well. Happy Birthday Sean! This song was written for Sean.
- “Give Peace A Chance” – The basis for Lennon’s famous Bed-In for Peace non-violent protest. When asked about his goals in participating in this protest Lennon simply replied “Give Peace A Chance.”
- “Happy Xmas: War is Over” – This song was one of the few collaborations with Yoko Ono which Ono did not actually contribute to the recording. The famed Plastic Ono Band recorded the instrumentals joined by the 30-some kids from the Harlem Community Choir.
- “God” – The band that John Lennon coined as “more popular than Jesus” leading to Bible belt denunciations, was actually started in a church where John and Paul met for the first time and joined musical forces.
- “I am the Walrus” – John Lennon joked that he had a vision when he was 12 that a man appeared on a flaming pie and told them “From this day on you are Beatles with an “A”.
- “(Just Like) Starting Over” – This was the first single after a 5-year break from the recording industry; Lennon chose it as his first release upon returning because of it symbolizes his music career starting over.
- “Mother” – John Lennon channels the pain of Oliver Twist, Annie, Harry Potter and other orphans while he expresses one of his deepest continuous plagues throughout his life, the absence of his parents.
Celebrate John Lennon’s birthday by performing some of his music! Check out some of our favorites below:
Zachariah Friesen is the online merchandiser at Sheet Music Plus. He is also a freelance trombone player and private lessons teacher in the bay area.