mercredi 8 décembre 2010

A Working Class Hero: John Lennon on his 30th Anniversary




"If you want to be a hero, well, just follow me..."

Thanks so much to my friend Paulette Thomson for remembering this song, so poignant on this 30th anniversary of John's death by the hand of a lost soul. The line above is so ironic in retrospect because it's a path that few would choose, a path made from the actions of heroes, people who sacrificed vain glory and lived fearlessly in order to see a better day for others, ordinary people like you and me who did the extraordinary.

We raise our hands to the sky and demand, Why, in the end, are the great souls of peace and justice murdered? I think we already know one answer: because they and truth stood in the face of powers that will do anything to silence them and maintain the imperialist status quo. Religious powers. Political powers. Powers of the powerless driven to irrational acts.

The documentary "The U.S. vs. John Lennon", written and directed by David Leaf and John Scheinfeld, details the file the FBI kept on John Lennon. The final shots that rang out on December 8, 1980, were as politically brutal as those that struck Gandhi, John Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Bobby Kennedy. I'm sure there are millions more heroes throughout history whose names we will never know. For then and for now, we salute you. ~LT


Working Class Hero
(John Lennon, 1970)

As soon as you're born they make you feel small
By giving you no time instead of it all
Till the pain is so big you feel nothing at all

A working class hero is something to be
A working class hero is something to be

They hurt you at home and they hit you at school
They hate you if you're clever and they despise a fool
Till you're so crazy you can't follow their rules

A working class hero is something to be
A working class hero is something to be

When they've tortured and scared you for twenty odd years
Then they expect you to pick a career
When you can't really function you're so full of fear

A working class hero is something to be
A working class hero is something to be

Keep you doped with religion and sex and TV
And you think you're so clever and classless and free
But you're still peasants as far as I can see

A working class hero is something to be
A working class hero is something to be

There's room at the top they are telling you still
But first you must learn how to smile as you kill
If you want to be like the folks on the hill

A working class hero is something to be
A working class hero is something to be

If you want to be a hero, well, just follow me
If you want to be a hero, well, just follow me






2 commentaires:

Boris a dit…

great and insightful tribute to the hero of so many, Laura! I love the answers that you provide to the burning question of "Why?"

Moineau En France a dit…

thanks so much to you, boris. i loved your poem and image too! he was so creative and prolific, one in a million... there's still so much work to be done for peace. i wonder what amazing action he would have undertaken before the invasion of iraq?! mike keville, a poet i know on facebook, wrote a great haiku yesterday:

thirty years
without a song
imagine

xoxooxox