Growing up, and even today, you’ve heard this song everywhere – from weddings to funerals, celebrations and sombre occasions. John Lennon’s Imagine has been the all-purpose anthem of sentimentality for 45 years.
While there are millions who love the song, there are some who pretend to like it, but secretly hate it. If you’re one of them, you’re not alone.
Over the weekend, British music fan Edward Carter and some friends were casually discussing songs they hated when he decided to extend the conversation to social media.
“Dear Twitter,” he posted. “What is the song you most detest and despise? Thank you.”
Within 48 hours, the Brit who had only around 1,000 Twitter followers, had received several thousand nominations from all over the world, and Lennon’s ballad was a repeat offender.
“I think it’s the whole idea of talking about poverty and misery, while John was actually hanging around in his palatial New York townhouse,” Carter says. “It’s the duplicity of the whole thing.”
Amazed by the nerve he touched and the speed at which he received suggestions, Carter, a 36-year-old artist living in the southern coastal town of Brighton, collated the results into a blog post containing 337 deplorable ditties (listed on the New York Post). Since then, it’s gone viral, with people nominating even more songs they loathe.
“A lot of people seemed quite glad they weren’t alone in hating these songs,” he says. “It boils down to people feeling everybody is having this great experience, but feeling excluded because they can’t see what everyone else sees — and it makes them angry.”
For some, it was also a chance to air grievances against overexposed artists in general.
“There were some artists that people would tweet and say, ‘Anything by that person,’ ” says Carter, noting that Taylor Swift, Phil Collins and Coldplay fell into that category.
As a big Bob Dylan fan, Carter admits to being heartened that not one song by the recent Nobel prize winner for literature was nominated. But he was pleased to see two of his least favourite bands — the Byrds and the Eagles — in the cross hairs.
“I have never been sold on any Dylan cover versions, especially not the Byrds’ whiny version of Mr. Tambourine Man. As for the Eagles, I can’t stand any band that telegraphs their guitar solos.”
For those who love the song, here it is: