Thursday, January 26, 2023

John Lennon described himself as a cynic – “But I’m not a cynic”

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John Lennon dreamed of a better world with “Imagine” – and criticized Britain’s attitude towards immigrants in the Beatles’ “Get Back”. Still, this songwriter describes himself as “slightly cynical,” though he doesn’t want to be labeled a cynic.

Lennon was a peace activist – even if he was “slightly cynical”. The Beatles became one of the biggest bands in the world, made up of “Fab Four” members Lennon, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and George Harrison.

Lennon performed as a Beatles songwriter, co-wrote with McCartney, and eventually branched out as a solo artist. In an interview, this songwriter described himself as “slightly cynical,” but he doesn’t want to be labeled solely as a cynic.

During a 1966 interview with Look Magazine, Lennon opened up about the sacrifices the Beatles made — especially early on. They had to wear suits and cut their hair to get jobs in London. From 1966 onwards, the songwriter said his life revolved around “truth as he sees it”.

“I’m not a cynic,” Lennon said (via Beatles Interviews). “You get my character out of some of the things I write or say. They can’t. i hate labels I’m a bit cynical, but I’m not a cynic. You can be crooked one day, cynical the next, ironic the next.”

“I’m a cynic about most things that are taken for granted,” he added. “I’m cynical about society, politics, newspapers, government. But I’m not cynical about life, love, goodness, death. So I really don’t want to be labeled as a cynic.”

Of course, Lennon found love in his relationship with Yoko Ono. The two married in 1969 after both separating from their previous marriages.

Through the music of the Beatles, these artists sometimes spoke about current events. “Get Back” functioned as a satire/critical look at attitudes towards immigrants in Britain. “Let It Be” contained some religious themes and also mentioned the “heartbroken people that live in the world”.

“When I am in difficult times, Mother Mary comes to me,” says the first verse. “I speak words of wisdom, let it be.”

After spending time in America, these artists also commented on the civil rights movement, with McCartney saying, “The way civil rights are being treated here, there are bound to be extremists who think we’re wrong if we do that say colored people are the same as white people.”

Lennon also campaigned for peace outside of his work with the Beatles. He created songs like “Give Peace a Chance”, “Happy Xmas (War Is Over)” and “Imagine” that dream of a better, more understanding world. With Ono, the artist performed on his infamous honeymoon, “Bed-In for Peace.”

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