Personally, I think they would have done better to play “Piggies” from the White Album:
It’s the last place you’d expect to hear John Lennon’s anti-religion anthem “Imagine,” but the tune rang out yesterday from the bells of an Anglican cathedral.
Churchmen in Liverpool say they carefully considered ‘sensitivities’ surrounding the lyrical content of the former Beatle’s 1971 hit – which begins ‘Imagine there’s no Heaven’ – before allowing the performance at the city’s cathedral, which boasts the highest and heaviest ringing peal bells in the world.
Actually, I can’t imagine, pardon the pun, that they could have given the slightest thought to the lyrical content, which is maudlin, utopian (not idealistic–there’s a definite difference), and atheistic, as well as perhaps the most overrated song in the history of pop, but other than that, I can’t see any problem with it. And hey, it’s not like they had anyone sing it.
Hundreds of people gathered outside the cathedral to hear the tune, which Lennon, who was murdered in New York in 1980, described as ‘anti-religious, anti-conventional and anti-capitalistic’.
A cathedral spokesman said: ‘We feel this performance has inspired many people to think about their relationship with God in their lives. From what we have heard, it’s been received really well. It sounded absolutely fantastic.’
Lennon’s widow, Yoko Ono, said on her Facebook page that the idea was ‘so beautiful, it made me choke up’.
Leading the recital was cathedral ringer Sam Austin, 23, a student at Manchester’s Royal Northern College Of Music.
Mr Austin said his team of six prepared by playing the tune on hand bells before moving on to the church bells.
The team now hope to take the performance to New York.
At St. John the Divine, no doubt. Hopefully, they can then do it at the National Cathedral, where some of the staff might want to use it as the opening hymn some Sunday.