This note accompanies the follow episode(s):
The Writer’s Almanac for October 8, 2017: Just Now

October 8, 2017: on this day: John Lennon’s ‘Imagine’ released

On this day in 1971, John Lennon released his second solo album, Imagine. The title track was the best-selling song of his solo career and was included on BMI’s list of the top 100 most-performed songs of the 20th century. Lennon said that he and Yoko Ono received a prayer book, which inspired him to write the song. He said: “The concept of positive prayer … If you can imagine a world at peace, with no denominations of religion — not without religion but without this my-God-is-bigger-than-your-God thing — then it can be true.”

The song’s call for peace and tolerance continues to resonate with people all over the world. Jimmy Carter said, “[I]n many countries … you hear John Lennon’s song ‘Imagine’ used almost equally with national anthems.”