10 Best John Lennon Songs of All Time (2023)

John Lennon, born on October 9, 1940, was a legendary English musician, singer, songwriter, and peace activist. As one of the founding members of the iconic band The Beatles, Lennon played an instrumental role in revolutionizing popular music and shaping the cultural landscape of the 1960s.

Lennon’s talent as a songwriter was unparalleled, and his collaboration with Paul McCartney produced some of the most beloved and influential songs in the history of popular music. Hits like “Imagine,” “Hey Jude,” and “Strawberry Fields Forever” showcased his introspective lyrics, innovative melodies, and his ability to captivate audiences with his distinctive voice.

Beyond his musical contributions, Lennon was also known for his activism and advocacy for peace and social justice. He and his wife Yoko Ono used their platform to promote peace movements, staging events like the iconic “Bed-Ins for Peace.” Lennon’s songs, such as “Give Peace a Chance” and “Imagine,” became anthems for peace and continue to resonate with audiences around the world.

Tragically, John Lennon’s life was cut short when he was fatally shot outside his New York City apartment on December 8, 1980. His untimely death shook the world, leaving a void in the music industry and the hearts of fans.

However, Lennon’s influence and legacy continue to endure. His artistic vision, songwriting brilliance, and commitment to social change remain an inspiration to countless musicians and activists. John Lennon’s impact on music and his unwavering pursuit of peace make him an enduring cultural icon, and his music continues to touch the lives of people across generations.

Table of Contents

1. “Jealous Guy”

This iconic song by John Lennon explores the themes of possessiveness and regret. Delivered in his signature melodic style, "Jealous Guy" has become one of his most celebrated tracks and showcases Lennon's ability to capture raw emotions through his lyrics and music. It was featured on his 1971 album "Imagine" and continues to be cherished by fans today.

John Lennon reminds us that even during war, we can still find some festive cheer with 'Happy Xmas (War Is Over)'.

2. “Happy Xmas (War Is Over)“

This iconic track, released in 1971, “Happy Xmas (War Is Over)” by John Lennon and Yoko Ono, is a beautiful anti-war song wrapped in the festivities of Christmas. The tune delivers a powerful message of peace and hope while denouncing war.

It opens with a children's choir singing, "War is over," adding another warmth to the already lovely tune. This particular song has become synonymous with Christmas Day for many music fans worldwide.

The lyrics are genuinely outstanding as they deliver an optimistic viewpoint about the conclusion of war. The classic song begins with Lennon repeating lines like "And so this is Christmas," building up into more captivating choruses, where he calls out to listeners' hearts saying "War is over if you want it." Moreover, one can also hear Yoko Ono’s harmonious vocals effortlessly blending with John Lennon's tunes.

It is fascinating to know that Phil Spector produced “Happy Xmas (War Is Over),” incorporating his celebrated wall-of-sound production technique that he used routinely throughout his career. The inclusion of chimes and bells adds another layer of depth to the already magical song.

If you still haven't had the chance to experience this masterpiece melody during Christmas, then you have definitely missed out on something unforgettable. Listen and get in the spirit!

John Lennon proves that being a working class hero is just as cool as being a rockstar.

3. “Working Class Hero”

This track tells a vivid story of the struggles faced by the working class, capturing Lennon's political ideology in its purest form. The song's emotionally charged lyrics and gritty narrative make it an unforgettable addition to Lennon's discography. This anthem is a bold expression of Lennon's commitment to both social justice and personal freedom, delivered with raw honesty that remains timeless.

Lennon's depiction of the limitations that ordinary people face resonates deeply today, making "Working Class Hero" an enduring classic. It is a powerful reminder of the social conditions many face, and the challenges associated with overcoming them.

While other songs may have garnered more commercial success, none captured Lennon's passion for social justice quite like this poignant masterpiece. "Working Class Hero" continues to inspire generations to fight for their rights and break free from oppressive systems.

Take some time to listen to this masterpiece and allow yourself to be moved by Lennon's unmatched storytelling abilities. Don't miss out on experiencing one of the greatest musical legends of all time at his very best.

John Lennon's advice to hide your love away comes in handy when your crush is also a Beatles fan and won't stop singing 'Hey Jude'.

4. “You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away”

This song, by John Lennon, is all about concealing one's feelings.

Through touching lyrics, he sings about how love must be hidden away to avoid judgement and ridicule.

The song was released in 1965 and became an instant hit for its relatable message of forbidden love.

The acoustic guitar throughout the piece adds a softness that complements Lennon's soothing voice.

Its inclusion on the Help! expanded soundtrack only increased its popularity.

John Lennon's call for peace may have fallen on deaf ears, but at least it was catchy enough to make it onto every hippie's playlist.

5. “Give Peace A Chance”

This Lennon classic, known as “Give Peace A Chance”, is a timeless ode to peace and unity. It became an anthem for anti-war protesters in the early 70s, thanks to its simple yet powerful message. Lennon's signature voice and his acoustic guitar make this song unforgettable. The song was a huge commercial success and has since become a cultural icon. It’s not just an incredible John Lennon song; it’s also one of the most important protest songs in history.

Lennon performed "Give Peace A Chance" with his wife Yoko Ono during their popular sit-in style Bed-In for Peace in Montreal, 1969, where they recorded it live with other musicians and activists. The song was improvised by Lennon while he was campaigning for peace and protesting the Vietnam War. Despite its impromptu nature, it became a massive hit all around the world, inspiring generations of people to stand up against oppression and discrimination.

Interestingly enough, when the recording was released initially in 1969, it was attributed to “John & Yoko/Plastic Ono Band,” before immersing into Alan White-backed version released under their peace-themed subset called The Plastic Ono Band album label.

Fact: In an interview with Rolling Stone magazine in 1970, following the release of his first solo album, “John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band” John said "We're advocates of total peace."

Experience the ethereal journey through Lennon's mind with 'Across the Universe' – it's like floating in a cosmic sea of poetic genius.

6. “Across The Universe”

This iconic song, one of Lennon's best works, is a spiritual ode to the universe. The lyrics blend philosophical and transcendental themes with creative wordplay. The melody is simple yet powerful with mesmerizing soundscapes that transport listeners into a cosmic wonderland.

Lennon initially composed this masterpiece for his first wife, Cynthia. His inspiration came from the phrase "words are flowing out like endless rain into a paper cup," which was inspired by a mantra from his guru Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. The song's original version features Indian musicians playing traditional instruments such as sitar and tabla, which adds a unique cultural flavor to the track.

What sets "Across The Universe" apart from other Lennon songs is its ethereal quality; it creates a sense of cosmic timelessness and infinite space that amplifies the message of love and harmony that Lennon promotes in this song. It's no doubt that this song has influenced countless generations and continues to do so.

One suggestion for appreciating this song fully is to listen to it while stargazing or contemplating life's grand mysteries. Another recommendation is to watch the movie 'Across The Universe,' which features covers of classic Beatles/Lennon tracks performed by various artists in different genres and styles – an excellent way to experience modern interpretations of Lennon's universal message.

"Why settle for an ordinary child when you can have a beautiful boy like John Lennon did?"

7. “Beautiful Boy”

The memorable lyrics such as "Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans" have become a popular saying in pop culture, reflecting Lennon's wise take on life. With its gentle instrumentation and raw sincerity, combined with John’s velvety vocals, 'Beautiful Boy' is truly an enchanting piece of art.

Lennon even adds some personal touches like the sound effects of Sean talking and playing the piano, making it a unique addition to his catalogue. This song remains a timeless classic that continues to inspire listeners of all ages.

Pro Tip: Play this song during family gatherings or for anyone who needs a reminder about the importance and beauty of family bonds. Even if there is no heaven above us, John Lennon's 'God' is definitely one of the best songs.

8. “God”

This particular piece of music, composed by John Lennon, is a highly controversial masterpiece that leaves no stone unturned in picking at the notions of traditional religion and deity related beliefs. The lyrics put forth include descriptions that cover everything from one's communication with God to the artist's newfound realization that he himself may be a manifestation of his god-like attributes. It's a deeply philosophical song, very well-written and thought-provoking.

Lennon mentions his disbelief in elements such as magic, Jesus Christ, Buddha or prophets stating instead “I just believe in me”. The famous lyrics “I don't believe in Bible/ I don't believe in Jesus/ I don't believe in Kennedy/ I don't believe in Buddha/ I don't believe in mantra/ I don't believe in Gita/ I don't believe in yoga..” are a highlight of this work that very aptly capture its essence.

It's interesting to note that this track came out at an epoch when most other musicians wouldn’t touch on issues as sensitive and tabooed such as religion and instantaneously faced backlash for doing so. However, John still did justice to this composition – by making it sound melodious and thought-provoking at the same time – leaving listeners completely spellbound.

Are you looking for a song that could shake up your thinking process? Do give “God” by John Lennon a listen. You'll find yourself revisiting it again and again!

Step inside John Lennon's psychedelic playground with 'Strawberry Fields Forever' – just be sure to bring your best trip-sitter.

9. “Strawberry Fields Forever”

This Beatles classic, subtitled as “No. 2” in the US Top 100 chart, was a music marvel of Lennon's psychedelic era. The three-minute seven-seconds track flows like a surreal daydream through Strawberry Fields – a Liverpool Salvation Army children's home where Lennon often played – showcasing bizarre imagery and a playful melody driven by Mellotron-flute, cellos and trumpets. Its ambiguous lyrics never fail to move listeners with its haunting honesty of lost childhood innocence.

Lennon's experimental recording methods gave the song its unique blend of two different takes at different tempos tapes – one major key and the other minor-key that he pitch-shifted to match tonally perfect, creating the famous 'nothing is real' introquence.

Did you know? A few months after releasing this song, Paul McCartney wrote his response to it – 'Penny Lane'.

Imagine all the people reading this article and realizing that they actually don't know all of John Lennon's best songs.

10. “Imagine”

This particular track by John Lennon, which is often categorized as his signature song, is a timeless piece of musical poetry. It is an anthem to world peace and unity that transcends time and space, inspiring generations since its release in 1971. The lyrics encourage listeners to imagine a better world without the barriers of religion, politics, or national borders. Its soft melody backed by an enchanting piano solo hits just the right notes to tug at your heartstrings.

Lennon’s vision in this song strikes a chord with people of different races, genders, and religions worldwide. 'Imagine' has become synonymous with hope for a better future in popular culture. The song continues to inspire musicians and activists alike to fight for equality and justice through peaceful means.

Interestingly enough, despite being such a well-loved and timeless John Lennon track today, it was initially not received warmly by critics during its release. Despite the mixed response, Imagine went on to conquer the hearts of millions around the world over time.

Edward Tomlin

Edward Tomlin is a frequent contributor to Singers Room. Since 2005, Singersroom has been the voice of R&B around the world. Connect with us via social media below.

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Dr. Pierre Goyette

Last Updated: 07/04/2023

Views: 5719

Rating: 5 / 5 (50 voted)

Reviews: 81% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Dr. Pierre Goyette

Birthday: 1998-01-29

Address: Apt. 611 3357 Yong Plain, West Audra, IL 70053

Phone: +5819954278378

Job: Construction Director

Hobby: Embroidery, Creative writing, Shopping, Driving, Stand-up comedy, Coffee roasting, Scrapbooking

Introduction: My name is Dr. Pierre Goyette, I am a enchanting, powerful, jolly, rich, graceful, colorful, zany person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.