Thursday, November 11, 2010

A brief comment on "Imagine"

I was on the Beatles Bible website earlier this week and noticed that, among its "latest posts," there's one (partly) entitled, "'And the world will be as one.'" Upon seeing this, my immediate reaction was to wonder if a mistake had been made. I obviously knew the line was a reference to "Imagine." Yet when I played the song in my head, I kept hearing, "And the world will live (not "be") as one." I then checked the full lyric on a website and found that (as many but myself already know) both lines are part of the song; the one I suspected of being incorrect comes in the middle, while the other one comes at the very end. The question that arises from this is why would John have cared to make that distinction with such a minor variation. Is there an important difference between the two? I would say no. In this particular case, "be" and "live" seem to convey the same meaning. So perhaps there's nothing to it. I'm guessing that the line which contains "live" has stuck with me because it closes the song, thereby achieving a more lasting effect.

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