Anorak News | John Lennon’s Imagine Banned

John Lennon’s Imagine Banned

by | 20th, July 2006

“YOU COULDN’T MAKE IT UP,” says the Sun’s badge.

But you could. It’s all too easy to make up the story of how pupils at St Leonard’s Church of England school in Exeter, Devon, have been banned from singing John Lennon’s dreary air-hugging dirge Imagine.

The song was to be part of the school’s Songs for a Green Earth show. But it was deemed “anti-religious” and scratched, replaced by something called The Building Song.

The school’s headmaster Geoff Williams ruled that the words are unsuitable. As he tells the Mail: “As a church school, we decided it was not appropriate… We are a church school and believe God is the foundation of all we do.”

And Lennon’s lyrics (“Imagine there’s no heaven, it’s easy if you try, No hell below us etc.) are not in keeping with religious principles.

So the show went ahead without the song. And the aghast papers set about finding people to say how upset they are.

The Mail hears a mother of one of the would-be singers call the ruling “nonsense”. Jerry Goldman of the Beatles Story museum in Liverpool, says Imagine is a song of “peace and love”. Schoolgirl Ellie Dorman tells the Sun that she thinks Imagine is “fantastic”. And the British Humanist Association informs the Mirror that this is an example of “fun-hating orthodoxy.

But it is nothing of the sort. Listening to 430 four to 11-year-olds singing about a “brotherhood of man” and chiming “whoo-hoo-whooo-hoo-hooo” in rough time is too awful a thing to stand. It is something you could not make up.

And rather than condemn the school, parents and guardians should be slapping the headmaster and his school governors on their backs and pumping hands with something akin to religious fervour.

Posted: 20th, July 2006 | In: Tabloids Comment | TrackBack | Permalink