#1 Love, written by John Lennon, John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band, 1970
1. Love is free, free is love
Love is living, living love
Love is needing to be loved
#2 Facebook [S]
2. Love is having to say you’re sorry every five minutes.
#3 Facebook [S]
3. Everything is clearer when you’re in love.
#4 Mind Game, 1973
4. Love is the answer and you know that for sure
Love is a flower you got to let it grow
#5 When asked, “Why can’t you be alone without Yoko?”, John Lennon and Yoko Ono interviewed on the Beatles and Plastic Ono Band, Rolling Stone, 8 December 1970 [S1], [S2]
5. I can be, but I don’t wish to be.
There is no reason on earth why I should be without her. There is nothing more important than our relationship, nothing. We dig being together all the time, and both of us could survive apart, but what for? I’m not going to sacrifice love, real love, for any fuckin’ whore, or any friend, or any business, because in the end, you’re alone at night. Neither of us want to be, and you can’t fill the bed with groupies. I don’t want to be a swinger. Like I said in the song, I’ve been through it all, and nothing works better than to have somebody you love hold you.
#6 In My Life, song by the Beatles written by John Lennon, credited to Lennon–McCartney, 1965
6. There are places I’ll remember
All my life though some have changed
Some forever not for better
Some have gone and some remain
All these places have their moments
With lovers and friends I still can recall
Some are dead and some are living
In my life I’ve loved them all
#7 Man of the Decade Interview 2 December 1969 [S]
7. To work on this relationship with Yoko is very hard, and we’ve got the gift of love. But love is like a precious plant. You can’t just accept it and leave it in the cupboard, or just think it’s gonna get on with itself. You gotta keep watering it. You’ve got to really look after it, and be careful of it, and keep the flies off and see that it’s alright, and nurture it.
#8 How, Imagine, 1971
8. How can I give love when I don’t know what it is I’m giving?
How can I give love when I just don’t know how to give?
How can I give love when love is something I ain’t never had?
Oh no, oh no
Excerpt from Wikipedia: John Winston Ono Lennon, (9 October 1940 – 8 December 1980) was an English rock musician, singer, songwriter, and peace activist who gained worldwide fame as one of the founding members of The Beatles. With Paul McCartney, Lennon formed one of the most influential and successful songwriting partnerships of the 20th century and “wrote some of the most popular music in rock and roll history”. He is ranked the second most successful songwriter in UK singles chart history after McCartney.
Sayings by John Lennon
#1-2 Interview at Apple offices in London on 8 May 1969 by David Wigg [S]
1. So you go out and do it. If we inspired you to do something positive, we say we’ve done something positive. You know, you say, ‘Well I can do better than that.’ Do it. That’s the point.
2. Violence begets violence, you know. And you can’t kill off all the violent people or all the murderers.
#3 “Do you take everything you do seriously?,” Interview at Apple offices in London on 8 May 1969 by David Wigg
3. Seriously with a pinch of salt. You know, I don’t take it too seriously because I think that’s the trouble with Art quotes, Music quotes, the Peace Movement quotes and the World quotes, you know. So I take everything with a pinch of salt. But I take life seriously, you know. The serious job of being happy.
#4 “Do you really feel you are God?”, Interview at Apple offices in London on 8 May 1969 by David Wigg
4. We’re all God, you know. I mean, Christ said, the kingdom of heaven is within you. And that’s what it means, you know. And the Indians say that and the Zen people say that. It’s a basic thing of religion. We’re all God. I’m not a God or the God, not the God. But we’re all God and we’re all potentially divine and potentially evil. We all have everything within us. And the kingdom of heaven is nigh and within us, you know. And if you look hard enough you see it.
#5-6 Interview at Apple offices in London on 8 May 1969 by David Wigg
5. There is a power which people tap and they use it for whatever ends they use it. Now God is a power which we’re all capable of tapping. We’re all lightbulbs that can tap the electricity. You can use electricity to kill people or to light the room, you know. And God is that. Neither one or the other but everything. And we use him to our best ability and it’s no good blaming God for war because you can use the H-bomb for cheap power throughout the world or you can use it for a bomb…
6. And I’m not afraid of dying. I don’t know how it’d feel at the moment. But I’m prepared for death because I don’t believe in it. I think it’s just getting out of one car and getting into another.
#7 Man of the Decade Interview 2 December 1969
7. You’re left with yourself all the time, whatever you do—you know, meditation, drugs or anything. But you’ve got to get down to your own god and ‘your own temple in your head,’ like Donovan says. Etc. And it’s all down to yourself, you know.
#8 When asked, “What songs really stick in your mind as being Lennon-McCartney songs?”, John Lennon and Yoko Ono interviewed on the Beatles and Plastic Ono Band, Rolling Stone, 8 December 1970 [S1], [S2]
8. When it gets down to it, like she said, when you’re drowning you don’t say “I would be incredibly pleased if someone would have the foresight to notice me drowning and come and help me,” you just scream.
#9 Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy), 1980
9. Before you cross the street take my hand
Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans
Variant credited to Allen Saunders, 1957: “Life is what happens to us while we are making other plans.“
#10 The Tomorrow Show, with Tom Snyder, April 1975
10. If being an egomaniac means I believe in what I do and in my art or music, then in that respect you can call me that, I believe in what I do, and I’ll say it.
#11 Happy Xmas (War Is Over), 1971
11. War is over, if you want it
War is over now
#12-13 How, Imagine, 1971
12. How can I go forward when I don’t know which way I’m facing?
How can I go forward when I don’t know which way to turn?
How can I go forward into something I’m not sure of?
Oh no, oh no
13. You know life can be long
And you got to be so strong
And the world is so tough
Sometimes I feel I’ve had enough
#14 All You Need is Love, Released 7 July 1967
14. There’s nothing you can know that isn’t known
Nothing you can see that isn’t shown
Nowhere you can be that isn’t where you’re meant to be
#15 Crippled Inside, Album Imagine, 1971
15. You can shine your shoes and wear a suit
you can comb your hair and look quite cute
you can hide your face behind a smile
one thing you can’t hide
is when you’re crippled inside
#16 Washington Post reporter Leroy Aarons did a 40-minute interview with John Lennon, then in Cleveland, August 1966 [S]
16. I believe in God, but not as one thing, not as an old man in the sky. I believe that what people call God is something in all of us, I believe what Jesus and Mohammed and Buddha and all the rest said was right. It’s just that the translations have gone wrong.
#17 1980 Playboy Interview With David Sheff
17. Produce your own dream. If you want to save Peru, go save Peru. 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.
#18 Imagine, written by John Lennon & Yoko Ono
18. You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us and the world will live as one
#19 All We Are Saying: The Last Major Interview with John Lennon and Yoko Ono, By David Sheff, St. Martin’s Publishing Group, 24 September 2010
19. Also, rituals are important, no matter what we thought as kids. So nowadays it’s hip not to be married. But I’m not interested in being hip.
#20 Borrowed Time, 1980
20. Now I am older
The more that I see the less that I know for sure
Now I am older ah hah
The future is brighter and now is the hour
#21 The Beatles: an oral history, David Pritchard, Alan Lysaght, Hyperion, 7 October 1998
21. You’re all geniuses and you’re all beautiful. You don’t need anybody to tell you who you are or what you are. You are what you are.
#22 News conference, Chicago, 11 August 1966
22. I suppose if I had said television was more popular than Jesus, I would have gotten away with it. I’m sorry I opened my mouth. I’m not anti-God, anti-Christ, or anti-religion. I wasn’t knocking it or putting it down. I was just saying it as a fact and it’s true more for England than here. I’m not saying that we’re better or greater, or comparing us with Jesus Christ as a person or God as a thing or whatever it is. I just said what I said and it was wrong. Or it was taken wrong. And now it’s all this.
Songs by John Lennon
Unsourced Quotes attributed to John Lennon
1. If someone thinks that peace and love are just a cliché that must have been left behind in the 60s, that’s a problem. Peace and love are eternal.
2. There are two basic motivating forces: fear and love. When we are afraid, we pull back from life. When we are in love, we open to all that life has to offer with passion, excitement, and acceptance. We need to learn to love ourselves first, in all our glory and our imperfections. If we cannot love ourselves, we cannot fully open to our ability to love others or our potential to create. Evolution and all hopes for a better world rest in the fearlessness and open-hearted vision of people who embrace life.
3. When you do something noble and beautiful and nobody noticed, do not be sad. For the sun every morning is a beautiful spectacle and yet most of the audience still sleeps.
4. I’m not gonna change the way I look or the way I feel to conform to anything. I’ve always been a freak. So I’ve been a freak all my life and I have to live with that, you know. I’m one of those people.
5. As usual, there is a great woman behind every idiot.
6. I believe in everything until it’s disproved. So I believe in fairies, the myths, dragons. It all exists, even if it’s in your mind. Who’s to say that dreams and nightmares aren’t as real as the here and now?
7. I don’t believe in killing whatever the reason!
Quotes misattributed to John Lennon
#1 Written by Roland Orzabal and Nicky Holland for the song “Advice for the Young At Heart”
1. Love is a promise
Love is a souvenir
Never forgotten, never let it disappear
#2 Rod McKuen [S]
2. It doesn’t matter who you love or how you love, but that you love.
Variant attributed to John Lennon: It matters not who you love, where you love, why you love, when you love, or how you love, it matters only that you love.
#3 Possible match: A Lotus Grows in the Mud, Autobiographical incident by Goldie Hawn [S]
3. 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, and I told them they didn’t understand life.
Excerpt from Goldie Hawn’s A Lotus Grows in the Mud: “Happiness was always important to me. Even at the young age of eleven, it was my biggest ambition. People would ask, “Goldie, what do you want to be when you grow up?”
“Happy,” I would reply, looking in their eyes.
“No, no,” they’d laugh. “That’s really sweet, but I mean . . . what do you want to be? A ballerina? An actress maybe?”
“I just want to be happy.””
#4 By Yoko Ono, Quoted in “All We Are Saying: The Last Major Interview with John Lennon and Yoko Ono,” by David Sheff
4. A dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together is reality.
#5 This could be from part of a poem credited to Dixie Willson [S]
5. Count your age by friends, not years. Count your life by smiles, not tears.
Full version credited to Dixie Willson: “Count your garden by the flowers, never by the leaves that fall;
Count your days by golden hours, don’t remember clouds at all!
Count your nights by stars—not shadows; count your life with smiles—not tears.
And with joy, on this your birthday—count your age by friends—not years.”