Julian Lennon, the son of the late John Lennon, once vowed to never perform his father’s iconic song “Imagine,” but the war in Ukraine caused him to reconsider. A singer himself, the younger Lennon sang an impassioned cover of the anti-war anthem as part of Global Citizen’s social media rally, Stand Up For Ukraine. The cause is working to raise money for the country during the Russian invasion.
“As a human, and as an artist, I felt compelled to respond in the most significant way I could,” Lennon tweeted. “So today, for the first time ever, I publicly performed my Dad’s song, IMAGINE.”
The video of the performance features the singer and guitarist Nuno Bettencourt sitting in a dark room illuminated only by candles. The camera pans the two as they perform, giving the words and meaning of the song the moment to shine.
“Why now, after all these years?” Lennon continues to explains in another tweet. “I had always said, that the only time I would ever consider singing ‘IMAGINE' would be if it was the ‘End of the World’ …” To him, his father’s lyrics “reflect our collective desire for peace worldwide,” and they ask us to envision a space in which love and togetherness “become our reality, if but for a moment in time.”
Lennon ended his tweets by urging world leaders to take action for those displaced by violence where they live. “I’m calling on world leaders and everyone who believes in the sentiment of IMAGINE, to stand up for refugees everywhere!”
Watch Julian Lennon perform a powerful rendition of “Imagine” for Global Citizen’s social media rally, Stand Up For Ukraine.
Lennon is the son of the late John Lennon, who first wrote and performed the song. The younger Lennon vowed to never perform it, but the war in Ukraine caused him to reconsider.