John Lennon, forever

By Hannah Hoffman

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John Lennon was my first musical crush. He was the Walrus, the unequivocal leader of the best pop band in the history of rock and roll. He was the Nowhere Man. He was a father, a loving husband and a man who only wanted us to “give peace a chance.”Saturday would’ve been John Lennon’s 70th birthday. Even though it’s been 30 years since he was murdered for just being himself, his music and legacy have remained a staple of even our generation. Mention The Beatles and Lennon’s songs like “Helter Skelter,” “Yesterday” and “Ticket to Ride” all come to mind.

I’m sure that if John were alive today, both he and Yoko would still be fixtures in the music world. His life was brutally cut short when he still had so much he needed to say and do.

In honor of Lennon’s birthday, I listened to “Watching the Wheels” on Saturday. I’ve always loved the song, but this time I paid more attention to the lyrics’ meaning.

John Lennon, playing the songs of the century. Photo courtesy of

People say I’m crazy, doing what I’m doing/Well, they give me all kinds of warnings to save me from ruin/When I say that I’m okay, well they look at me kind of strange/Surely you’re not happy now you no longer play the game.

Lennon didn’t want to be famous; he didn’t want to be a member of the British Empire. He wanted to live a meaningful life and, at the time this was written, spend time with his wife, Yoko Ono, and his children, Julian and Sean. No one understood how the man, who had all the fame and fortune he could ever want, wanted a quiet life.

People say I’m lazy dreaming my life away/Well, they give me all kinds of advice designed to enlighten me/When I tell them that I’m doing fine watching shadows on the wall/Don’t you miss the big game, boy, you’re no longer on the ball.

I miss him. I regret not knowing what the music world would’ve been like if he were still alive. What would he say about the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks? What would he say about the mass produced music today that puts more value on the ability to dance to it than the message? Whatever the answer, I’m sure that he would still have the power and the feeling that he had.

John Lennon will live on forever.

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