Julian Lennon, John Lennon’s son from his first marriage, performed his father’s 1971 anthem of peace, “Imagine,” for the first time ever to benefit Global Citizen’s Stand Up For Ukraine. The charity is committed to raising billions of dollars to help refugees from the embattled country, which has now been under attack from Russian forces for more than six weeks.
“The War on Ukraine is an unimaginable tragedy… As a human, and as an artist, I felt compelled to respond in the most significant way I could,” Lennon wrote in the description of his performance, uploaded to YouTube last week. “So today, for the first time ever, I publicly performed my Dad’s song, IMAGINE.”
Lennon continued, explaining why he finally decided now was the right moment to go public with his rendition of the classic song in these fraught and tumultuous times we’re living in.
Why now, after all these years? – I had always said, that the only time I would ever consider singing ‘IMAGINE’ would be if it was the ‘End of the World’…
But also because his lyrics reflect our collective desire for peace worldwide. Because within this song, we’re transported to a space, where love and togetherness become our reality, if but for a moment in time…
The song reflects the light at the end of the tunnel, that we are all hoping for…
As a result of the ongoing murderous violence, millions of innocent families, have been forced to leave the comfort of their homes, to seek asylum elsewhere.
I’m calling on world leaders and everyone who believes in the sentiment of IMAGINE, to stand up for refugees everywhere! Please advocate and donate from the heart. #StandUpForUkraine”
If anyone else happened to notice that the production seems to have an extremely Extreme “More Than Words” vibe to it — well, that’s not a total coincidence, as Nuno Bettencourt from the ’90s hard rock band accompanies Lennon on guitar and vocals.
Lennon is just one of many artists who have dedicated performances to #StandUpForUkraine, from Billie Eilish to U2.