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"God"
Song by John Lennon

from the album John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band

Released 11 December 1970
Recorded September 26 - October 9, 1970
Genre Rock/Pop
Length 4:09
Label Apple/EMI
Writer John Lennon
Producer John Lennon, Yoko Ono, Phil Spector
John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band track listing
"Look at Me"
(9)
"God"
(10)
"My Mummy's Dead"
(11)

"God" is a song from John Lennon's first post-Beatles solo album, John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band. The album was released on December 11, 1970 in the U.S. and the UK.

The song was considered controversial upon release, dealing with religious themes.

Contents

Meaning

He describes God as "a concept by which we measure our pain".

In the second section of the song, Lennon lists many idols that he does not believe in (including The Beatles), ending by stating that he just believes in himself and Yoko. The idols he lists are: magic, I Ching, the Bible, tarot, Hitler, Jesus, Kennedy, Buddha, mantra, Gita, yoga, kings, Elvis, Zimmerman (Bob Dylan) and The Beatles.

The final section of the song describes Lennon's change since the breakup of The Beatles. He states that he is no longer the "Dreamweaver" or "The Walrus," but just "John." The final line of the song, "The dream is over," represents Lennon's stance that the myth "the Beatles were God" had come to an end. "If there is a God," Lennon explained, "we're all it."[1]

Personnel

The musicians who performed on the original recording were as follows:[2]

Appearances and allusions in pop culture

  • The line "I don't believe in Beatles, I just believe in me" was referenced in the 1986 film Ferris Bueller's Day Off.
  • The song has been performed by Queen guitarist Brian May, with sweeping lyrical changes.[3]
  • Irish rock band U2 wrote a song entitled "God Part II", referring to the original Lennon song. The lyrics, written by lead singer Bono, continue the pattern of stating things he doesn't believe in.
  • "God" (and the album Plastic Ono Band generally) was mocked in the National Lampoon Comedy Radio song "Magical Misery Tour", also released on the 1972 National Lampoon "Radio Dinner" album. This parody reportedly consists entirely of actual quotes from Lennon's famous Rolling Stone magazine interview following the breakup of The Beatles. It ends with "Lennon" crying out, "Mother! They're trying to crucify me!", followed by a heavily-echoed fadeout of repeated primal screams "Fuck! Fuck!".[4]
  • "God" was covered by Jack's Mannequin and Mick Fleetwood for the 2007 benefit album Instant Karma: The Amnesty International Campaign to Save Darfur.
  • The David Bowie song "Afraid" makes a reference to "God" with the lyric "I believe in Beatles", part of brief list of statements beginning with "I believe in".

Notes

  1. ^ Wenner, Jann S. (2000). Lennon Remembers. London: Verso. p. 48. ISBN 1-85984-376-X.  
  2. ^ Blaney, John (2005). John Lennon: Listen To This Book. Guildford, Great Britain: Biddles Ltd.. p. 61. ISBN 0-9544528-1-X.  
  3. ^ God (the dream is over)
  4. ^ "Magical Misery Tour" appears on the compilation CD Greatest Hits of the National Lampoon, and can be heard in its entirety at this site: http://blogfiles.wfmu.org/KF/0512/Magical_Misery_Tour.mp3
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Simple English

"God"
Song by John Lennon

from the album John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band

Released 11 December 1970
Recorded September 26 - October 9, 1970
Genre Rock/Pop
Length 4:09
Label Apple/EMI
Writer John Lennon
Producer John Lennon, Yoko Ono, Phil Spector
John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band track listing
"Look at Me"
(9)
"God"
(10)
"My Mummy's Dead"
(11)

"God" is a song from John Lennon's first solo album, John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band. The album was released on December 11, 1970 in the U.S. and the UK.

The song was considered controversial upon release, because it was about religion.


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