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God

by

John Lennon



Songfacts®:  You can leave comments about the song at the bottom of the page.

Lennon wrote this about the worship of false idols. He felt organized religion did more harm than good. In "Imagine," he sang about a better world where there was "no religion."
Lennon was not an atheist, but believed that god was something different to everyone. He also believed that people focus too much on the teacher (God) rather than what is supposed to be taught. In songs like this and "Imagine," Lennon's was trying to send the message that we should not let religion and other things get in the way of how we think life should be lived. In "Imagine," "Living for today" means to live as if there is no afterlife or god and to do the best you can. In this song, "I just believe in me" states his belief in his life regardless of anything else. (thanks, Justin - washington, DC)
Before recording this album, John and Yoko began "Primal Scream therapy," which was a very emotional time for them. Lennon was dealing with the breakup of The Beatles and the death of his mother.
At the time, Lennon had some hard feelings toward The Beatles, especially Paul McCartney. He made a statement that he was moving on with the line, "I don't believe in Beatles."
Billy Preston played piano. He played on some of The Beatles songs, including "Get Back."
Ringo Starr played drums. He and Lennon had a good relationship even after The Beatles broke up.
This contains the classic line, "The Dream Is Over." This summed up the feelings of many who felt their idealistic goals of the '60s were not going to come true.
In the January 1971 edition of Rolling Stone, Lennon said that this, "was put together from three songs almost." He went on to the explain that the words for this "just came out of me mouth." The former Beatle continued: "I had the idea that 'God is the concept by which we measure pain,' so that when you have a word like that, you just sit down and sing the first tune that comes into your head and the tune is simple, because I like that kind of music and then I just rolled into it. It was just going on in my head and I got by the first three or four, the rest just came out. Whatever came out."
Among the list of idols in this song, which Lennon said he didn't believe in was The Beatles. Lennon explained why to Rolling Stone: "I was going to leave a gap, and just fill in your own words: whoever you don't believe in. It had just got out of hand, and Beatles was the final thing because I no longer believe in myth, and Beatles is another myth. I don't believe in it. The dream is over. I'm not just talking about the Beatles, I'm talking about the generation thing. It's over, and we gotta - I have to personally - get down to so-called reality."
Lennon starts this song with the line, "God is a concept by which we measure our pain." He explained to Rolling Stone that, "pain is the pain we go through all the time," Then added: "You're born in pain. Pain is what we are in most of the time, and I think that the bigger the pain, the more God you look for."
When Lennon was recording this stark denunciation of Christianity at Abbey Road studios, George Harrison was next door completing work on All Things Must Pass. "I was in one room singing 'My Sweet Lord'," said Harrison, "and John was in another room singing 'I don't believe in Jesus, I don't believe in nothing'."
John Lennon
John Lennon Artistfacts
More John Lennon songs
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Comments (96):

John was coming up for 30. He was leaving Cynthia, The Beatles, The '60s his son Julian, the UK - all that he had known and grown up with - Aunt Mimi, everything. Janov introduced him to Primal Therapy and releasing rage by screaming, hence Mother-GOD was from a conversation and the concept idea of God was discussed with Janov. The seed was sown - that opening line - he said it twice - the list, like the Pepper LP cover had so many potential choices. He chose abstracts then philosophies, religions, all possible sources of thought and then his own idols. Having idolised Elvis when he met him he probably could see he was just a simple man - and like him - was a lucky man who made it. By 1970 he was sick of being the centre of attention and wanted to kill off The Beatles. The Dream Was Over for him and us. In the last months of his life he wrote a song called Help Me To Help Myself (see YouTube). He talked about how The Lord helps those who help themselves. He was once again asking questions - he never ever said he had all the answers - he asked us to go and find out for ourselves. He respected the words of Jesus, slated the disciples, at one time under LSD over use he considered he may in fact be Jesus reincarnate. Such was their status in The Beatles. He lived from 30 ironically like Jesus espousing Peace And Goodwill to all men. He respected his country loved to laugh and enjoyed being alive. God and Give Peace A Chance still stand. Each song one can make a list of today with new targets. Love you John now and forever.
- Gary, Crdiff, United Kingdom
The Dream is Over line refers to those who were still clinging to the Beatles as the messiah, and even a reunion. Lennon wanted them to move on.
- Jim, West Palm Beach, FL
John Lennon is one man I could never understand! Writing Songs like Imagine, Give peace a change and then How do you sleep? A blistering attack on McCartney.
Read Goldman's Biography "Lives of John Lennon". There's so much into it..
Anyway This song gives a good message, Self Belief. A very important thing.
- Kunal Somaiya, Mumbai, India
@norm, hanover, MD What did i just say in my past 4 comments?!
- Sebi, bronx, United Kingdom
I use to like john lennon until i found out that he said Christianity would come to an end.All i can say is Jesus Christ lives forever, he is the only way to the one true god and christianity will never die!
- norm, hanover, MD
John Lennon said: "The Beatles is over, but John, Paul, George, and Ringo…God knows what relationship they’ll have in the future. I don’t know. I still love those guys! Because they’ll always be those people who were that part of my life"
George Harrison said: "As long as you hate, there will be people to hate."- Just something to clarify your image of John Lennon and the Beatles as people, not illusions, and John Lennon also said: "If you want peace, you won't get it with violence.”'
He also 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". They told me I didn’t understand the assignment. I told them they didn’t understand life."
Sorry to post so much, but I think this is really important.
- Sebi, bronx, United Kingdom
Here it is from John Lennon:“My role in society, or any artist's or poet's role, is to try and express what we all feel. Not to tell people how to feel. Not as a preacher, not as a leader, but as a reflection of us all.”
- Sebi, bronx, United Kingdom
Just remember to believe in yourself. Before you try to better your community, better yourself first, otherwise you will ruin more than you are trying to better. I apologize, my comment below is not very well checked, and is very long. Please just understand my point that peace is achieved by simply coexisting with your neighbor, but only if you truly do take into account what coexisting with love and peace means.
- Sebi, bronx, United Kingdom
This is to Den, Utica, NY and to anyone else, just please hear me out! I just read about Mark Chaplin because recently i moved and the school i go to now, i feel like it has a lot of phonies in it. Then I remembered Cacher in the Rye and how Holden Caulfield (the protagonist) said that he couldn't stand phonies. I read that Mark Chaplin thought Lennon was a phony and i realized that this is what I also think when I see these people in my school and if I continue being closed minded, then what do you think will happen to me? I'm a Catholic and I believe in Jesus but do you think Jesus would be closed minded to Peace and Love? He preached it! Back to Lennon:what does it matter what mistakes Lennon made if he did so much to better the his own world? That's like your spouse telling you she doesn't love you anymore because of a mistake you made before even if you did so much good either way, now is our spouse being opened minded? I know that I wasn't just a few hours ago. Jesus forgave, and if I ever saw everyone who tells me they believe in Jesus actually using him as a role model for their life, I think we would all be one giant step closer to World Peace and Love. The song "Revolution" can be a peaceful revolution, John Lennon even said" But when you talk about destruction, you can count me out...in' but then he said that what he means is that you can count him in the destruction of the truly corrupted business that don't truly care what happens to other people. In the song "God," John's telling you what he believes in, not what you should or shouldn't. He once said in an interview the day that he died that "as artists, we shouldn't tell people feel, not as a preacher, or as a hero, but as someone reflecting us all, or rather ourselves, or our friends." He didn't believe in the illusion that the media or some people created of what the Beatles were but he believed in the actual Beatles. He even stated that Paul McCartney is still his best friend though he didn't see him much anymore and dispite all the arguements they had in public. They still hung out, he said that the Beatles could go back to being together (musically) even if just for once since the bad feelings they were having was gone by then. So just please be Universal {open-minded). Love is all around and I've truly experienced Real Love even from my parents and brother and it is a great t6hing that is and should be Universal anyway. Anyone can find it along wih True Peace regardless of religion , or race. Jesus wasn't prejudice, neither is love, and neither should I be.
Sebi, from the New York, by the way since I had a problem when i created this account, sorry.
- Sebi, bronx, United Kingdom
God is dead. You Christians need to learn that if you want to grow up .
- Mark, California, CA
This song has little to do with religion. Though he says god is a concept he leaves its intentionally vague what he means by it. He is just saying he can be a concept.

The real song is about his pain from the Beatles breaking up. "I don't believe in Beatles" The Dream was gone "yesterday". He is telling everyone who was a Beatles fan its over and get over it. I don't believe in Beatles just me.
- James, Mon Mottawa, ON
Dear John, You were a living GOD
Rick, Windsor, CA
- rick, windsor, CA
I Totally Agree with what Lennon wrote here! I happen to be an atheist because I don't believe in God, Jesus or the Bible! I Believe in Humanity! I have turned away from organized religion. To me, rebellion is a part of life. Johnny Rebel's message of Love and Peace will Live Forever. When Johnny screamed "God is a concept by Which we measure all our pain...I Don't Believe in the Bible/Kings/Jesus/Beatles!...I Only Believe in Me!/That is Reality...The Dream (Nighmare of my Past) is Over!," Lennon's Cry for Another Help was and will always be Sad, True and Real. In the best Classic Rock, John Lennon was an Honest Man who never wanted to be perfect or have all the answers. He just believed in rock & roll and the Truth! The Fact that John Lennon is not with us still Saddens me with Rage. I miss Johnny Rebel because Rock was his calling. To me, Lennon is Rock because it's still the most honest music out there. Rock in Peace, Johnny Rebel! You Will Never Be Forgotten!-be me or by Anyone Else who Loves Rock!
- Leo, Westminster 1, MD
Todd Rundgren needs to shut up and look in the mirror.
- Ekristheh, Halath, United States
Todd Rundgren and John Lennon had an exchange of letters which Rundgren called Lennon out as a "hypocrite." Lennon was always "Preaching" to others about their hypocrisies and "their" propensity to violence when Rundgren let Lennon have it with some of his own medicine. An incident at the Troubadour did get blown out of proportion but it did prove one thing, JOHN was not the peaches and cream guy that some think he was. Lennon in one breath sing songs like "all you need is love," and with the next breath sings about "REVOLUTION." One thing people should do is open up a history book ever once in a while and see "revolution," is virtually never peacefully, it is bloody and millions upon millions wind up dead. Joseph Stalin was kicked out of seminary and turned his back on God renouncing any faith in His existence. He proceeded to killed more than 20,000,000 people to purge those who came against him and those of faith. Stalin's death was gruesome and slow and was fighting of the wolves in his demented stupor. Rundgren let Lennon know of what he thought of Lennon's view of his LOVING PEACEFUL world view. Lennon as a musician was truly amazing and had the world at his feet. I think that was part of the problem. People that become famous start to look at their selves as being above the rest. Mark David Chapman is insane and wanted to prove his LOVE for Jody Foster by killing LENNON but I guess that is my point. Lennon didn't have a clue of what real love for others was, neither did Chapman. Love isn't about telling others of what love is. LOVE is laying down your life for someone else. No one has greater love than this, that one should lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13 . I hope that those who listen to the Beatles or Lennon come away with one thing that you can sing of what love is all you want and your just dancing around the subject. Love is found on a barren cross. Jesus Christ is the only true way to find out what real love is and what it means to have a real Love relationship with the creator of the universe. You may laugh if you want and say "just another religious nut," but there is no religion here, just a person who found love in God.
- Den, Utica, NY
I believe what John meant by "God is a concept by which we measure our pain" was that religion or religious icons were what people were investing in to relieve their pain. Faith in religion becomes a crutch for many people who has been damaged by their lives and "God" becomes a larger entity to those who are most in pain.

He goes on to name all the icons and philosophies that he's invested his faith in (but now no longer) to help himself deal with his personal tragedies. At the very end, he included the Beatles which he himself was part of and a farewell message to the popular icon he helped create. He's abandoned the icons that he perceived gave him strength to deal with his pain, and now turns to his inner self and Yoko's support.

Some may find this song as a manisfestation of arrogance, but I feel this is John's declaration of independence - and a brave, honest and sad goodbye.
- Jarod, KL, Malaysia
Let me first say, his death is especially sad and tragic to me because he was on his way to finding God. That is the reason behind all this songwriting about religion. It is sad because he died before he got there, and that is also extremely dangerous for the effects it has had on society. When someone as popular and revolutionary as John Lennon has a strong belief, it is guaranteed to shape the way they all of society thinks. So what has come from this is only increased atheism and rebellion towards God. It would have been great if he would have lived only a bit longer to have time to change his viewpoint. The fact here is that religion in todays world has become more of an intellectual battle, NOT an emotional one as in the past. You cannot argue whether or not religion is right or if John Lennon was stupid or smart for believing or not believing in God just because you "feel that way" or because of the traditional response that "i know gods real". In todays world that is not an acceptable answer. I encourage you all to read William Lane Craig's "Reasonable Faith". He is a theologian and philosopher. This should end the classic "Lennon argument" over religion. In all truth John Lennons view was absurd and unplausable. But don't sit here and argue with me unless you've really researched the facts and theological evidence.
- David, Louisville, KY
I'm hearing this song over and over and only gives me one meaning every time, the chords and voice says a lot. John was very sad about the things he thought can heal the pain. He had special feelings for Beatles, Elvis, Zimmerman, he realized at the end that was a not permanent solutions for happiness. Also deity like God, Jesus, Budah, etc, couldn't help him. I think he was ironic when talk about Hitler, like 'not even Hitler as the bad side'. He was so afraid at the moment about what can he trust, until he gets only to himself and Yoko as the unique way to relieve the pain he was carrying. Is the way a man tries to find a meaning for life.
For me is not correct, but we feels that way sometime, the difference is that Johns wrote that and make it public in a great melody.
- Aleps, Chihuahua:Chihuahua, Mexico
Dan, one must believe in themselves in order to build self respect and the ability to see outside of themselves. It a funny thing the way it works but John was able to go into a knowledge of knowing himself, his strengths and weaknesses and from that by believing in himself and what he had discovered along life's road he grew into the better person that he became. It is a sorry thing to think that Bob Dylan has never had any regrets that he actually stole a lot of his lyrics and used them as his own. And Elvis was such a strong believer in GOD that he was able to hold onto this through his fame and his fall. He sang gospel like he did because he had it in his soul.
- Harmony, Du Quoin, IL
Okay I am probably much older than any of you posting. First, John barely knew his dad. His mother was everything to him even though she was not raising him most of the time but the bond of a child and mother is utterly unique (except in the case of Stewie and Lois).I lost my mother several years ago and I cannot explain to anyone what kind of loss that is. It is a feeling of floating in nothingness for the rest of your life unless you can find a way to let it go. John had carried this pain for so many years and had that in common with Paul. But the primal screaming therapy came much later and it had to be a release at last for John. Now we have to look at the breakup of the Beatles (and some of you guys don't even know how to spell this bad kids) when a band has lived together and played together grown together then begun to develop their own lives things begin to unravel. John met Yoko and he was very intrigued by her in many ways. He realized that his marriage to Cynthia was not what he wanted it to be and he was torn and afraid at times. But when someone gets married at a younger age because there is a baby on the way as does happen so often then there is a time when both partners come to a standstill and know that together they are not compatible except for the sex they had and that has even disappeared. John had already met Yoko and it we a kind of love he had never known it wasn't like the love he had had that was based on sex alone it was a finding of a inner person that intrigues another that is true love. Paul was upset about the divorce of John and Cynthia and he was
- Harmony, Du Quoin, IL
"Before recording this album, John and Yoko began "Primal Scream therapy," which was a very emotional time for them. Lennon was dealing with the breakup of The Beatles and the death of his mother." This is bull. John's mother died when he was 17 years old before the Beatles even started, and this album came up out after the Beatles broke up when John would've been 30. There wasn't an "emotional time where John was dealing with the breakup of the Beales and the death of his mother". These were two completly different times!

- Ripu Bhatia
- Ripu, North Shore, New Zealand
I agree with Lydia, Surrey, BC, but I also have to say, if your gonna trash the song or John, or anything else on here please do it with evidence, don't say this song led to John's death because it didn't, don't say John called cops pigs that was George Harrison, don't say anything with a "fact" attached to it inless you can back it up, because thats just wrong, everyone can have an opinion but PLEASE make sure your informations right because I will be right there to snap you back for it, and yes count on it.
- Breanna, Henderson, NV
Just simply an inspiring song. I mean I BEELIEVE in the people, especially Kennedy, Jesus, God, the Bible, etc., but 100% NOT HITLER.
- CrazyC63312, Pittsburgh, PA
I think that everyone who's posted a comment here defending John needs to shut up. I love John, and his music, however, wasn't he the one singing "Give Peace A Chance"? we're talking about religion, and wars.. we're starting our own war about whether John was an idiot or a genius! while I personally agree that those insulting John have no clue about who he was. John had a dream of peace on earth, and here we are fighting over him! let's all just.. stop.. and love each other.. we're allowed to have different opinions, so why do we do this all the time? My opinion is better than yours?.. just respect each other and there'l be peace.
- Lydia, Surrey, BC
Hey Nicky Busch, you know that didn't get John Lennon shot, Mark David Chapmen shot him so he could be somebody. Chapmen was a giant fan of John Lennon and he wanted to be somebody so he thought if he couldn't be John Lennon John Lennon couldn't be John Lennon. You can have your opinion, but don't go preaching stuff that's not true, that'll lead to another message like this one.
- Breanna, Henderson, NV
Im sorry to whom this may offend but this song sucks. Its just John telling us what he doesnt believe. I dont care what he believes. I believe he was a pompous ass. A genius? I dont think so. Believing in himself got him 4 shots in the back.
- Nicky Busch, fort wayne, IN
Hey Gia, before trashing one of the greatest song writters in the history of music you may wanna get your facts strait! Ok about "calling cops pigs" that happened to be George Harrison, NOT John! He was not selfish and quite frankly your the one who needs the dose of karma! Look before you go trashing some of the best artists atleast have a ground to stand on and not just random stuff that you think may have been true! Get your facts strait and get a clue as to who the best of the best are.
- Breanna, Henderson, NV
I now feel really ashamed that the only other person from Kentucky on here is a right-winged fundamentalist redneck who condemned another person and laughed about it. Such an embarrasing stereotype, that, alas, is shown expertly here by Montgomery from Florence, KY. You and your redneck friend from Alabama are both sick hypocrites.
- Brad, Lexington, KY
Wow Dave from Sterling, you've got it completely backwards. Lennon became better after the Beatles for the most part. The album this is on, Plastic Ono Band, is better than any Beatles album ever recorded. How dare you say he became lazy and ignorant. I'd like to see you even try to write a song half this good. All of Paul's post-Beatles music sucked, 99% of it was hideous pop crap. Lennon sang from the heart, and this is a prime example. How dare you insult it and one of the greatest songwriters of all time.
- Brad, Lexington, KY
First of all, The Walrus is John. Paul and John decided to put in the "here's another clue for you all, the walrus is Paul" thing to mess with the "Paul is dead" people and other fanatics. They actually had a good laugh out of it too. Second, this song was covered by Jack's Mannequin on the Instant Karma album.
- Ryan, Clifton Park, NY
Lennon could be just brilliant or lazy and ignorant . I think he let himself go after the Beatles. His singing and songwriting was a ghost of what it was.

Im sorry but its true and John loved truth. I cant blame him for wanting to take it easy after 10 years of non-stop go go go with the Beatles. I just wish he would have kept his chops up a little and not been co-dependant.It was his life though ,who am I to say.
- dave, sterling, FL
for all of you who say, 'i bet he believes in jesus now!' he did not. he never did, he had too much sense to get caught up in religious crap. get over yourselves. this song does depress me a little- its basically saying,the era's over. the sixites are gone, the beatles are gone, and now you need more than love and your friends to get by.
- chloe, st. louis, MO
yes i understand that he was not believing in these idols and he was depressed, but that's not a reason to push his pessemistic ideals or realities on other people. and even if the "real" john is an unhappy john, those feelings shuld be sucked up, because since there's no reason for most tings in life you might as well be happy, and pessemistic songs like this are not important. and lennon, as much as i love him, should not ruin everyone's comfort in religion and the thought of the after lifee, especially considering that nobody has any idea if and what it is, and ruining peoples only chance for happiness in life is wrong. and useless. he shuld express his opinion, bu the only way to truly be happy is either to know the truth or not know that there is a truth, so let's not make judgments about the truth. it's not what we as happy people are supposed to do. think about it, what meaning and importance is your life really? why not just be happy?
- kika, nyc, NY

I think I hate you. Let's not be sad because that's sad. Let's allow others to live their lives in slavish devotion to a BAD MARKETING PLAN from 2,000 years ago, let's even let them kill eachother over it, because hey, at least they'll die thinking there's something else. There's not. This is it, same for you as for a dog as for a fish as for an amoeba. Everyone's life is completely worthless unless they make it worth something. And having the balls to tell the whole world that is a pretty damn good start in my opinion. I don't believe in the Walrus, don't much care for John, but I believe in him because he was real. And to whomever observed "I bet he believes in Jesus now" If there was a god, you'd be punished for pride. Read your books and realize your wrong before you're ninety and have never really been happy.
- D, Chicago, IL
We don't know who people are in private - their private selves that is...and I think this is probably Lennon in a very private moment.
- Linc, Beaumont, TX
some of you people are disgusting! i mean John was a genius and you all know that. i'm christian and i believe what he meant,"believe what you believe." i always questioned my religion and john gave me the answer i wanted. i love the meaning of the song and the song itself.

miss you John
- Tay, San Diego, CA
This is a rebuttle to "Gia, Visalia, of CA"'s statement. First of all if you are going ot try to make a intellectual bash on one of the mnost spiritually enlightened human beings that ever lived, you must first spell words correctly. "beetles" is spelled the Beatles and its Eric Clapton not eric clampton. John Lennon was a wonderful father says both yoko and julian themselves if you didnt even look into it enough to figure out the names of his family members. if you were nearly half aware of your surroundings as John Lennon was you'll understand that there really is no god, there are only two things you can rely on in today's society. 1. Death 2. A repeated cycle in the production of under excelling seeds such as yourself. Get a f***king clue and understand that John had his run and this song is about his falling back to ground and the metaphorical or sybolic meanings behind the text mentioned in the song. The song was also about his true love, not his music(althought he loved it dearly), his wife yoko.
- mike, Bristol, United Kingdom
I think this is about remembering to listen to yourself, and not to completly give yourself to your idol. If you do so, you'll become obsolete.
- henry, baltimore, MD
John Lennon is in fact an uneducated, low class English bloke! He has no more realization about God or love, than anybody else. The Beetles simply brought out the love in our OWN hearts, with songs written by all of them and even Eric Clampton! It was the fashion of the times, just like "humping and getting it on," is the theme in most music today! John Lennon was a neglectful parent, selfish, and completely controlled by his relationship. He had no mind or original thought of his own. He was the ultimate follower! He is overrated and he wrote a songs criticizing others...where's the love there?! What about calling all cops Pigs?? Where is his love and compassion for others? I respect Ringo,George and Paul, so much more that him! He was the opposite of love and self sacrifice or self realization! He was a very selfish person who had little regard for others, especially his own son! I think it was awful the way he died, but let's face it... it was his KARMA!
- Gia, Visalia, CA
John was a genius, and for those of you who think badly of him, you are simply to small minded for his brilliant words. youre so caught up in this fake world and 'religion', you cant understand his message. he never stated his hate for god/religion, he was just saying how we shouldnt revolve our lives and worship these things. and as for imagine? same concept. he was simply saying 'IMAGINE' a world with no religion. so many wars are cause by this, and if there wasnt any, there would be less conflict. some just dont understand his positive message he tried to portray. educate yourself, and dont be so simple minded.

john lennon, RIP.
- Erica, Orlando, FL
If Lennon died as someone against religion, then I'd say, in that sense at least, that the story DID have a happy ending.
- Rich, Bellevue, WA
You can look at Lennon's lyrics and see someone against religion. I think we see the opposite. He was working out all his feelings on God through his music, and let's face it, most young men have hostile feelings towards God. The horrific tragedy is that we never got to see Lennon work out the whole riddle. Such a tragic, tragic, horrific thing. I believe his story would have had a happy ending. After all Lennon was searching and "he who seeks finds."
- mark, worcester, MI
A song featuring the Walrus. As was always expected, the Walrus was revealed to be Bob Barker. No, I'm not serious.
- Peter Griffin, Quahog, RI
a very minimalistic Lennon, who believed in his own way,obviously. it's simplicity merely drives home that point, and makes the whole thing a powerful statement. pure art.
- BEth, pittsburgh, PA
I haven't heard the original version of this ong, just the one on acoustic and wow is it brutal The "bigger than jesus" one strikes again!
- nate, cedar crest, NM
The Lennon estate still receives songwriting royalties, regardless of who owns the songs.
- Eric, Byron, NY
Lennon, idiot?
Lyrics & Melodies that have obviously stood the test of time....
Of course no-one has to agree with everything said or sung but it cannot be denied that Lennon had balls to put out songs & opinions that were sure to upset some people, untalented envious people perhaps?
- Peter, Hutt City, New Zealand
This song is a great song if you just want to completely cut through the crap...Lennon very plainly lays his feelings on the line, without trying to be overly poetic and without the slightest trace of pretention. This, of course, is not always true of his music (think Strawberry Fields Forever, which, while a great song, is quite pretentious). Of course Lennon also has other songs that are like this one in its stark, honest emotional expression (Yer Blues, for example). Just a great song and (at least according to what I've heard second-hand) an exact representation of the disappointment and spiritual exhaustion generally being experienced by the 'love generation.' This song feels particularly tragic in the context of John Lennon's death, especially when he says "Yoko and me." It's sad that their "double fantasy" couldn't continue. Really a fitting elegy on a par with the other songs of his which have been so identified (imagine, strawberry fields forever, etc.) Oh, and that's interesting that "Zimmerman" is a reference to Dylan (Robert Zimmerman). Wondered who that referred to...
- Paul, Cincinnati, OH
Lennon was at, perhaps, the most f***ed up time in his life. If he was anything like McCartney he was in the middle of a breakdown, and by his comments (i.e.Rolling Stone c.1970), his musical tastes, his eccentric demonstrations and art shows, and not to mention the heavy narcotic use, he certainly seemed like he was giving McCartney a run for his money in the mental stability of their lives too.
- Brian, Sydney, Canada
If it wasn't for that kind of similar backwards thinking from another redneck John Lennon might still be alive today Bobbo, Killen, Al. Anyway, miss you John.
- Wes, Las Vegas, NV
"yes i understand that he was not believing in these idols and he was depressed, but that's not a reason to push his pessemistic ideals or realities on other people" - kika, nyc, NY

So I suppose that the religious people who go door to door handing out flyers should suck up how unhappy they are that there are people who DON'T think like they do? I suppose that it's okay for these people to push THEIR ideas and religion on other people, but John? Oh hell! John can't put out a song about how things are going wrong in his life can he? He ruined people's only chances of happiness by saying that "he believed that people focus too much on the teacher (God) rather than what is supposed to be taught"? If you think about it, sometimes religion does bring about more harm, pain, and pessimistic ideas than good.
- Brittany, Virginia
SC made a good point in saying they were already having problems, because john was thinking of leaving when the beatles stopped touring, and then they got back together for pepper, then white album wasnt very good for morale, ringo left the band at one point while they were recording that. As for the yoko thing, the more you look into it the more you realise she didnt really break them up, and the official beatles website makes a good point in saying that linda mccartney was also on the scene at the time. George was also becoming frustrated at getting no recognition. I'd point out for all those "yoko killed the beatles" people that ringo, george and john all worked together after the beatles broke up, and that george said he would work with ringo and john again in a band, and infact, george wanted to start another group at some point after the beatles (playboy interview with john lennon). So really it was more pauls dictatorship on the group that led to its demise (eg. hurrying over johns songs, not respecting george's writing ability). AS FOR this song, its great, and its what John believed, so its not an attack at all as far as i see it, just as you may believe in jesus, he didnt. He made an observation, not an attack. I think it is great. BUT for all your yoko haters, you will love the acoustic album of john lennons, it has God on it (slightly faster and obviously with acoustic guitar) and he doesnt say yoko and me. John Lennon was a great man.
- Sam, Dubbo, Australia
This song is great one of my favorite songs after the beatles.It explains so much and is very emotional for me.Rock In Peace John Lennon. =(
- Johnny, Phelan, CA
How can you not believe in Zimmerman?
- cristina, renton, WA
The meaning for the line "God is a concept by which we measure our pain" is that when we are in pain God is some how involved and more pain the more God is in it.
- Josh, Portland, OR
Hey Steve,
If you look in the Magical Mystery Tour Story Book, you will see a picture of the Beatles playing in their costumes. Paul plays a left handed bass guitar while George is lead, right? Well, someone is on piano, which John could play. The animal costume at the piano is a WALRUS suit. Just to let you know, John was the Walrus. The whole walrus thing was to fuel people into buying albums from the "Paul is Dead" hoax.
- emily, Kenova, WV
Catherine,
I take it that John had a sense among him that he knew more than most. Like said, he was not a non-believer. John looked at it that when people needed some avenue for pain, God was the one they turned to. God is what fixes it all, and one seems to need him more in pain than in comfort. Do you see someone loving and being there to believe more in a time of need or time of acceptance? John saw this as a time to mention to the world God is God all the time. People manipulate that.
- emily, Kenova, WV
OH GIVE IT A REST! JOHN LOVED YOKO! YOKO LOVED JOHN. END OF THE BLOODY STORY! This song is lovely...I love it.
- Loony Moony Lupin, Virginia
this song was quoted in "Ferris Buellers Day Off"
- daniel, Cincinnatti, OR
Hey Dino, The Beatles were good while they lasted, but nothing good can stay. Nothing is completely one person's fault in something that goes wrong. And you should get your facts straight before resonding on a topic. None of the Beatles could read or write music. John and Paul would write together, usually paul on the piano and john on the guitar. They would simply record their tunes and let others write what the music was. And they both wrote their share of excellent lyrics for Beatles songs in particular. I know my fact because I ave read several personal accounts of each of the Beatles. Also to the people discussing the walrus, the Beatles were on serious drugs at the time and wrote many nonsense songs, including this one. But I think that in "God" what he said: " I was th walrus, but now I'm John" meant that he was on drugs and wasn't his true self, but ater the Beatles was. You know everyone has their own perspective on things, especialy controversial songs, but that's just mine.
- Justin, washington, DC
I understand the "God is a concept, by which we measure our pain" sentence is a denial of God as an entity. Lennon says that the more pain and distress you feel, the more you need the "idea" of God. You don't claim God as desperately as when you are in big trouble. That's the meaning of God as a measure of pain. I think this is the way Judaism-Christianism looks at God.
- HHH, Chihuahua, Mexico
I love this song for its temperment. The song gives a "tough love" message to the fans and anyone else in particular that was listening. For him to state I don't believe in Buddah , Jesus , Kennedy , Kings , Elvis , Zimmerman , Beatles is very strong and , yes ,it does have a very bitter tone to it but thats part of the beauty of the song. These are the words of a bitter and disillusioned man who is totally content with moving on from phases of his life and now just being alone and happy with the woman he loves ; Yoko. He also comes across as being very defiant because the general public believes in just about all of those entities that he mentioned. So not only was John turning his back from the Beatles but he was also saying 'I'm turning away from the world.'.......but , in hindsight , that was obviously a phase too. To the benefit of Lennon/Beatles/and music lovers alike.
- Mo, Newark, NJ
I disagree with the majority - I don't think this song is depressing, it's a rejection of, as mentioned previously here, false idols. People placing their worship and faith in things other than themselves. In the line "I believe in me" John Lennon does something not many people do - place faith in themselves, ultimate belief on themselves.

Too many people are too quick to look to others for answers, to place their faith and future and happiness in others.

In Johns own words -

"It's quite possible to do anything, but not to put it on the leaders and the parking meters. Don't expect Jimmy Carter or Ronald Reagan or John Lennon or Yoko Ono or Bob Dylan or Jesus Christ to
come and do it for you. You have to do it yourself... There's nothing new under the sun. All the roads lead to Rome. And people cannot provide it for you. I can't wake you up. You can wake you up. I can't cure you. You can cure you."
- Kieron, Swansea
Btw, I don't Yoko controlled every little thing he wrote, but I don't think the fact that she was there all of the time helped the situation the eatles were in either. They were already having problems.
- Stefanie, Rock Hill, SC
Mandy, he was having trouble dealing with the death of his mother, and he had some bitter feelings towards the other Beatles... especially Paul, and he felt that his music was the only way he could wxpress how he felt. Take that in mind, and then listen to those lines. I think Lennon was fed up with the fact that people worshiped people such as Dylan and himself as idols, and that they based everything such as what was right and wrong on God. He was giving us his opinions whether we like them or not.
- Stefanie, Rock Hill, SC
This song sums up my feelings exactly, though I do believe in Zimmerman.
- Nathan, Defiance, OH
To Catherine from Baltimore, MD: "God is a concept by which we measure our pain" is a very interesting line. I don't know exactly what he means by it (nobody can know), but I'll give you my opinion. Considering he's atheist (guessing from the lyrics), he finds it silly that people look for direction in the abstract concept of "God" instead of within themselves. There's nothing more real in life than you. It's kind of like, "I think therefore I am." You control what you think, what you say, what you do, and what you believe. Putting your faith anywhere else besides within yourself is irrational, because we all have the power to determine what is right and what is wrong, what is good and what is evil, and there's no place better to look for answers than within yourself simply by reflecting on your own experiences in life. Pain is the result of ingnoring your own judgement and intuition, neglecting all the lessons you've learned in life, disregarding your capability to think for yourself, and putting your faith, your whole understanding of what's good and evil in the world, and your whole being, somewhere else, such as God. Hence the more we believe in God, the more likely we'll be reluctant to see other people's point of view, which leads to misunderstandings, which leads to hate, which leads to pain. Of course, you don't have to agree with my interpretation, or with John (that's kind of the point).
- Jordan, WV
I love this song...I think Lennon is amazing and so is this song. I'm not 100% sure what he means by "God is a concept by which we measure our pain" ...does anyone here know exactly what he means?
- Catherine, Baltimore, MD
I'm sorry to everybody who is religious and doesn't like this song, but just like you would like people to respect you for your religion, you should respect others for their beliefs. John Lennon believed that there was no God or Jesus. I hate to hear people bashing him for this, or saying that he should be religious. Do you know how many songs have been made that are Pro Religion? This goes along the same lines, except with atheism, or whatever John believed. Give the guy some respect. He was a genious, and now he's dead. Leave him well alone now. And how can anybody be so sure who's right and wrong anyways?
- Max, Toronto, Canada
Ah but Wes you're forgetting that John didn't get any royalty checks for his beatles music as George Harrison was the only Beatle who ended up owning his songs. Besides both Paul and John didn't belive in selling their music. The only reasons you hear the Beatles music on commercials and stuff is cause Michael Jackson owns all the Lennon/McCartney songs
- Dwight, Calgary, Canada
I don't think that Lennon is bashing the Beatles or any religion at all. Its just where people take religion, and artists without the religion or the artists approval. Its like Elvis, they called him the King, he never said, hey people, im the king, gravel befor me. John never said hey people, im a musical genius, buy anything and everything i write and sing, the same goes with everything else in the song. We cant just appreciate music, religion artists or anything for what it is. I'm sure he enjoyed the success of the Beatles, but you wouldnt really know what him and the Beatles went through to get to the status they did. We see one Beatles when theyre performing together and we dont know what went on behind the scenes. The truth is they were just people who made some nice sounding music and nothing more. I think maybe at one point in time Lennon started believing what the people thought and that is that the Beatles were more than just a band, more than just mortal individuals who played nice music. He believed they were gods, in a sense, suddenly the band breaks up, all the bickering and arguing over this and that. There isnt anything divine about that. So, the dream is over. The Beatles were simply the Beatles and so goes everything else.
- Kief, Brighton, England
"He made a statement that he was moving on with the line, "I don't believe in Beatles." - I bet he believed in the royalty checks.
- Wes, Springfield, VA
Montgomery and Bobbo, after people die they don't change there minds. Have you ever thought about praying to a lampost? You will get just as much of a response as when you worship dead people like Mohamed, Jesus and Buddha.

Jesus said lots of good stuff and seems like a great guy, but you shouldn't go believing what some dude wrote 2000 years ago about him. Just think how easy it would have been 1900/1800 years ago to write fables about somebody as great as Jesus and have them believed? If things were the same as they were then I could go write a bible calling Gahndi or Lennon the "Son Of God". Don't go around believing everything you read!

Peace Brother
- Kevin, new york, NY
Also, I would like to say that John is WHIPPED. A term which here means: HIS LIFE IS CONTROLLED BY YOKO! I mean, changing the lyrics so that Yoko would be happy. Whipped. He'd do any-thing for that girl.

p.s. Yoko also contributed to the breaking up of the beatles.. another way that demonstrates how whipped he is.
- Mandy, Calgary, Canada
I think this is a very depressing song. I think John is living in a land of lies. Of course he is a musical genius and all of that, but that doesnt mean there cannot be negetive things said about him. There is no way that he didnt enjoy the success of the Beatles. There is now way he didnt like being in the Bealtes, no way that he didnt enjoy it. How could he just turn around and say that he doesnt believe in the Bealtes, he pracitcally MADE the Beatles. He was the one who started the band. And all he is really doing in this song is bashing every type of religion out there. I was just not impressed that he would take things that are/were dear to him (i.e. the beatles) and tear them apart like he did in this song. You know- every one looks up to him, they say he is... inspirational. But this song- is a let down. Its not inspiring, its depressing- and it makes me wonder if John is so great after all.
- Mandy, Calgary, Canada
Bobbo from Killen AL.....i agree with you. i think that is very true! I bet Lennon believes in God now (Jesus Christ being the manifestation of God).
- Montgomery, Florence, KY
If you want to learn a lot about John, read "A Hard Days Write". The author goes through every song and from interviews and comments he discusses the stories behind each of them. John was always in a lot of pain. He felt that money, adulation and stardom would alleviate that pain. What he found at the top of that mountain, we could all learn a lot from. It was empty and hollow. George found that out too.If that insect had't taken John from us, I think we would have learned a lot more from him.
- Charles, Bronxville, NY
Does the line, "The dream is over -- yesterday" have any meaning to Paul's "Yesterday"?

"I was the walrus but now I'm John" ---The walrus was Paul...just listen to Glass Onion.
- Steve, Troy, NY
Billy Preston played on the whole "Let it Be" album. They allowed him to do whatever he wanted. At the time he was unknown, and it can be said that the Beatles made his career.
- Steve, Troy, NY
jhon lennon was an idiot? i dont think that u understand that jhon lennon was one of the bigggest infiuences on music eva. probably even the meaningless songs u listen to dino wer infleuenced in someway by the beatles or by lennon. and for the comment he couldnt write music have u ever looked at the music he wrote frome a musicions point of view, well if u would take the time to do so u mite realise how complex and brilliant his music was, if mcartney was the only one who could write music how come he didnt write the greatest song of all time (imagine) after splitting up from the beatles lyrics are part of the music, your the idiot perhaps you would like to listen beatles songs without the lyrics then. for the comment"he was talking about peace and love but wen he was young he was beating anyone who didnt like him". he wasnt beating people who dont like him do you think thats why they wer so big cos he beat evryone up, ithink that u meant he was a rebellious kid but so wot. peoples views change as they mature and lennons did along with his MUSIC writing maybee one day you will grow up and get some sense and learn to apreciate real music and tallent love louis menguy xxxxxxxxxx
- louis, manchester, China
i don't how anybody can say that Lennon should have bottled up his feelings, and not have pushed them upon other people... are you crazy?!?! John Lennon used music as his emotional outlet. That was the only way he expressed his true feelings. And as far as not pushing his opinions on other people, don't buy the CD if you don't want it.
- mel torment, Portland, ME
lennon was an idiot. When he was young he wanted to rule everybody and make everybody laugh with his stupid jokes.He had a gang ang always wanted to be the leader. He is responsible for the break up of the beatles (he and yoko). he couldnt write music, only lyrics. McCartney did music. He was talking about peace and love, but when he was young he was beating anyone who didnt like him... And yoko was a b..ch who always was a nothing and will always be a ZERO...
I dnt believe in magic, i dont believe in elvis......bla bla bla....I DONT BELIEVE IN LENNON.....(yoko and lennon)
- dino, athens, Greece
also, complete self-dependance is another scary thing that i don't want to have to face, that i face everday. dino as much as i like lennon i agree with you
- kika, nyc, NY
yes i understand that he was not believing in these idols and he was depressed, but that's not a reason to push his pessemistic ideals or realities on other people. and even if the "real" john is an unhappy john, those feelings shuld be sucked up, because since there's no reason for most tings in life you might as well be happy, and pessemistic songs like this are not important. and lennon, as much as i love him, should not ruin everyone's comfort in religion and the thought of the after lifee, especially considering that nobody has any idea if and what it is, and ruining peoples only chance for happiness in life is wrong. and useless. he shuld express hisopinion, bu the only way to truly be happy is either to know the truth or not know that there is a truth, so let's not make judgments about the truth. it's not what we as happy people are supposed to do. think about it, what meaning and importance is your life really? why not just be happy?
- kika, nyc, NY
I don't believe in lennon
- dino, athens, Greece
I'm commenting on the "fact" (not comment) that John was dealing with the death of his mother. It's obvious in many of his songs (before and after The Beatles) that he had a hard time letting his mother go. His mother died when he was young...about 17 or so. She was hit by a car. But anyway, it just sounded like she had died shortly before he wrote the song.
- Jo Bob, McCleary, WA
My favorite Lennon song. I get cold chills EVERY time I hear him say, "I don't believe in Beatles"...I mean, it's 1970. At that point, people still had hopes that they would reunite.
- Steve, Tell City, IN
John wrote I am the Walrus and refers to it but on the Magical Mystery Tour album cover the walrus is Paul
- Marc, Philadelphia, PA
From what I understand, the 'walrus' was just a joke. John sang on "I Am the Walrus" but on the song "Glass Onion" (where John also sang), he said "I told you 'bout the walrus and me, I tell you we're as close as can be, well here's a little clue for you all... The Walrus is Paul".



That somehow fed the fire in the 'Paul Is Dead' theory but from what I understand, the 'walrus' was no one but was over analyzed into being something profound when it was just silliness.



But I dunno for sure.



-=The Prynce
- The Prynce, Dillon / Hamer, SC
In '71 Larry Norman recorded a follow up to 'God' called God Part II. He didn't release it as he thought it might upset John, considering all that he was going through at the time.
Then U2 came out with God Part 2, so he renamed his version to God Part III, and finally released it on his 1991 'Stranded in Babylon' album, & has recently released the original '71 version on an album called 'Agitator'.
- Gary, Melbourne, Australia
I bet he believes in Jesus now.
- Bobbo, Killen, AL
These lyrics are awesome, but they also coincide with the lyrics from Class Onion when it says the Walrus is Paul. I guess noone will ever find out who the Walrus really was . . . .email me your imput
- Alison, Fairfield, CT
John Lennon is a god of music
- Jello, Miamisburg, OH
Followed by U2's "God II". Of course, it was not an atheistic song in that the band was Christian.
- Brett, Edmonton, Canada
Lennon felt that he lived two lives. One was the happy, go-lucky "BeatleJohn", whom he would also refer to as "the Walrus". The other person was simply the real John Lennon. Hence the line, "I was the Walrus, but now I'm John."
- Matthew, New York, NY
Originally, the line was to be "I just believe in me." When Yoko heard the song, she was hurt and angry that Lennon didn't believe in her. In response, Lennon changed the line to "I just believe in me. Yoko and me. And that's reality."
- Matthew, New York, NY
John also debunked people worshipping the Beatles as well as the list of other pop stars and cultural and religious icons, including Elvis and Dylan (called by his real last name, "Zimmerman", in the song). Hence the line "I don't believe in Beatles, I just believe in me."
- Dan, Fort Collins, CO
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