Lab Tracks

NEW! Friday Lab Tracks

I am happy to announce a new regular feature here on Mad Art Lab.

Introducing Friday’s Lab Tracks!

Every Friday I (or one of the other Mad Artists) will post a video or a music track that can somehow be interpreted scientifically or skeptically.

My hope is that it will get us all thinking about how effective music can be in communicating ideas. I also hope Lab Tracks will give us a fresh perspective on some artists that we may not normally associate with science or critical thinking. Variety is the spice of life, my friends and so I hope there will be a discovery aspect to this as well!

I will try to include lyrics whenever available so we can critically analyze them in the comments. Or you know, just use them to sing along as we ease on into the weekend.

For the kick off, I thought I would toss out an oldie but a goodie and a classic of the classics which can easily be adopted as a humanist or freedom-from-religion anthem.

Imagine -John Lennon

Imagine there’s no Heaven
It’s easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today

Imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace

You may say that I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world

You may say that 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

Ok, now I will be the first to admit it. I’m not a huge John Lennon fan but this is arguably one of the best songs ever written. Seriously. It’s at least in the top 100. Rolling Stone even went so far as to rate it #3 out of the greatest 500 songs of all time. And the “Imagine there’s no Heaven. It’s easy if you try. No hell below us. Above us only sky.” gets me every single time I hear it.

Lennon once admitted that the song was-“virtually the Communist Manifesto” but it’s humanist message has rang out much louder as the days have gone by.

The song was released in 1971. It’s 40 years later and sadly, we can still only imagine a world at peace.

I hope someday you’ll join us. And the world will be as one.

Right on, John. I hope so too.

This has been the first installment of Lab Tracks. Feel free to send your musical recommendations in through our contact link at the top of the page! And tell us what you think of the song in the comments below!

Amy Roth

Amy Davis Roth (aka Surly Amy) is a multimedia, science-loving artist who resides in Los Angeles, California. She makes Surly-Ramics and is currently in love with pottery. Daily maker of art and leader of Mad Art Lab. Support her on Patreon. Tip Jar is here.

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  1. Just Fyi: We are going to switch this feature to Monday starting next week! Music to help get you through the week instead!

  2. I am not ashamed to say that at my sixth grade graduation, I played clarinet to this song while my friend sang it. I had only been playing for about a year and had no help with the arrangement, so it was essentially a godawful 12-year-old clarinetist playing in unison with a not-much-better 12-year-old singer belting words neither of us really understood past their literal meaning. Which, of course, is what John Lennon had dreamt of all along.

  3. I think of “Imagine” as a humanist anthem. If it also has a political message, I would think it is not communist but, rather, something more akin to anarchy-syndicalism as he has us imagine away governments.

    I remember singing “Imagine” in one of the largest crowds I’ve ever been a part of. It was the John Lennon memorial in Central Park a few weeks after his death. Estimates said that more than a million people came to the park to pay tribute. Yoko stood on the stage with such dignity and I, from afar, fell in love with her that day.

    Stand for peace.

  4. Along with Armstrong’s What a wonderful world, Imagine is one of my favorite songs of all time. And I’m not a Lennon fan.

  5. Back when I had pointy hair and a pointier attitude I believed that the world was doomed. I believed right down to my core that I was going to get nuked long before I became the age I am now. I never liked the Beatles, I never liked Lennon and my preferred music was a reaction against what we perceived as 60’s dinosaurs. Despite all of that for 4 minutes at a time Imagine filled me with hope for humanity. Genius is a word that’s been overused into impotence but I can’t think of a better one for this song.

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