Please note! This essay has been submitted by a student.
Music has been part of humanity since the ancient times. Songwriters and composers have expressed emotions, thoughts, and feelings for a variety of people. Music can send the message that someone is happy, sad, or angry. Compositions have served to unite people of different backgrounds. Several songs unite people who are going through a rough patch in their life. Great Britain has a long history of different composers and singers. Several of these artists have sent messages throughout their history. John Lennon, a key musician, is a major contributor to British music and society. John Lennon is a major artist with much influence over British society because of his songwriting, and anti-war message.
John Winston Lennon was born on October 9, 1940 in Liverpool, United Kingdom. Lennon was born during the aftermath of WWII. When Lennon was just 4 years old his parents Julia, and Alfred Lennon decided to separate, which made him end up living with his Aunt Mimi. Lennon attended Dovedale Primary school. Lennon had many areas to his personality. He was a prankster, but was also artistic. Because of Lennon’s dyslexia, he struggled in school and often had a hard time spelling, and writing. Music was one thing he could do that he felt comfortable with and something he excelled with. After passing several mandatory tests, he then attended Quarry Bank High School in Liverpool. Lennon began his career in music during this time. Lennon started The Quarrymen in March 1957, this was the beginning of his musical career. In July of the same year he met Paul McCartney in Woolton, Liverpool. After that it was the beginning of forming The Beatles. While at the Liverpool College of Arts Lennon really began focusing on his musical career, eventually this led to dropping out to focus on it. Lennon’s dropping out of school was a symbol of what was going on in England at the time. Dropping out was his way of rebelling and doing what he thought was right to do. This focus on the individual versus a focus on an institution of education was new in England at this time. This behavior showed that he was influenced by society. Once Lennon became more famous more people were also influenced by his behavior. Lennon left behind a saying that will carry on forever, and will always be remembered.
In 1966, Lennon, and the Beatles started to receive some hate, and serious threats from their fans and from other people for their comments against certain Religions and comments about Jesus. During an interview Lennon had said that “We’re more popular than Jesus now”- John Lennon. Him saying that did not get attention at first, but as the year went on, popular articles started to publish it. People from around the world, mostly the United States, took those comments very seriously. Fans began to burn the Beatles albums, t-shirts, and other merchandise. Radio channels would no longer want to play any of their songs, because people would call in and complain that they do not want to hear them. Even with all this hate towards him, he continued to speak his mind and went on to say “Christianity will go, it will vanish and shrink”- John Lennon.
Lennon had grown up as an Anglican, he was also part of the choir from ages 8-14. Out of all of the Beatles, Lennon had the most religious background. As he got older he slowly grew away from his religion, and eventually turned into an agnostic.
One of Lennon’s main messages was his saying of “peace, love, and happiness.” Lennon had said “When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down “happy”- John Lennon. People interpreted this as a message to bring peace to one another. This message has influenced society by helping each other be calm during changes. One of the major changes that happened during this time was England had lost a major part of power, and many colonies, and they began struggling. “Peace, love, and happiness” was a huge saying of the Beatles during this time and is still being used by many of the fans today. Lennon was known as the song writer, singer, and poet for the band. It was through these songs that Lennon influenced society. Lennon’s first completed song was “Hello Little Girl”. Two of the major songs that influenced society were “Give Peace a Chance”, and “Imagine.” Lennon became one of music’s main social critics with his release of “Give Peace a Chance”, and “Imagine.” The release of “Give Peace a Chance” would actually help the protest against the Vietnam War, as at the next Vietnam Moratorium protest, people began singing the song, and more people joined to the point where it would catch Lennon’s attention. Lennon preached how to stand up for what you believe in and to dream big. Lennon used his popularity to boost what he believed in and other people joined him and it made the world a better place.
After the release of Lennon’s biggest hit, ‘Imagine’, they moved to the United States Lennon was constantly threatened by the Nixon Administration. Lennon was told that he was being kicked out of the country because of his 1968 marijuana conviction in Britain, but Lennon believed that it was because of his activism against the Vietnam War, which he later found out that he was right. The authorities had wanted him deported, so they used an old drug offense against him that threatened the musician. Lennon had said that the government was scared of how much power, and support he had. This immigration battle was the main reason his marriage went down hill, and in the fall of 1973, he and Ono separated.
Lennon and Ono got back together in 1974, and she gave birth to their only child, Sean. When his son was born, Lennon decided to take a break from the music world to focus on becoming a better father, and husband after releasing that when his first son was born, he barely got time to spend with him. Lennon’s first son, Julian, said that Paul McCartney was more of a father than Lennon ever was. One of Lennon’s songs was called “Beautiful Boy” and was written about Sean. Lennon was influenced by the chaos of the world and wanted to get away from all the protesting in the world.
Five years later, Lennon came back to music and released his first album back called “Double Fantasy”. A few weeks after his return to music, a deranged fan, Mark David Chapman shot Lennon outside his apartment in New York City. Lennon was only 40 years old when he died. Many people who were not even Beatle fans respected Lennon because he was all about peace, and he wanted to stop wars, which around the time of Lennon’s death was the Vietnam War. His tragic death was a sudden end to the life of a talented singer and musician who wanted to make a difference, and change the world. Lennon’s death symbolized the end of peace for many people.
Lennon was one of the most influential members of The Beatles. Even to this day he has left an impact on people’s life. Lennon had created many songs, spreading positive messages of peace, love, and happiness. Lennon lived his life by trying to spread peace to different people, as he said “Peace is something you wish for; It’s something you make, something you do, something you are, and something you give away” (Davies, 1968) His peaceful teaching, and songs went international to those around the world like no artist had done before. Many of the songs on Lennon’s first albums revealed to the world a new side of Lennon as he expressed his emotions through the music he created. Another main reason for Lennon being so influential is that when he was being criticized by the media he said “I’m not going to change the way I look or the way I feel to conform to anything. I’ve always been a freak. So I’ve been a freak all my life and I have to live with that.”-John Lennon. Lennon lived his life the way he wanted to live it. People saw that and they added that to their lifestyle. Lennon’s influence led to the new technologies to create music for not only rock, but all genres of music. Lennon tried new techniques such as audio feedback, sampling, artificial double tracking, which is used to enhance the sound of a voice or an instrument. Many musicians continue to use his music videos as messages behind their music, and they still use their music as extensions of themselves.
Lately Lennon’s music has been expressed for the fight of human rights and general equality for all people of the world. In Lennon’s songs he expressed what he had gone through in his life, and the challenges he had faced when he was one of the FBI’s top targets for his anti-war movement, and interest in politics. which led to the separation between him, and Ono. The authorities wanted him deported, so they used an old drug offense against him and threatened the musician. Lennon had said that the government was scared of how much power, and support he had.