Friday, December 12, 2008

Lennon Muerte

December 8, 1980. I was standing on the Zocalo in Mexico City, a large open plaza in front of the palatial government buildings there. The day sky blue, and I a stranger in a strange land, stood there taking it all in.

Surrounding the square there were newspaper & magazine stands, much like those one sees in the streets of New York. And as I walked to my left toward the vendor stands, every one of them was filled with newspapers displaying photos of the Beatles. This seemed so strange until the headline registered. Lennon Muerte. Lennon dead.

I stood gaping, the news failing to register. Perhaps the era of innocence had long past, but this brought it forcefully home. John Lennon's music connected with a generation, and one theme he was especially fond of was the appeal for peace. For Lennon, the only way to obliterate bad karma was through love, not violence.

I was in the midst of a three week trip to Mexico City with a Bible school choir from the orphanage. For a moment I forgot myself, remembering this man's influence. Here is a link to a collection of anecdotes by others who have remembered that moment, where they were, how it moved them when the learned of his passing.

As we prepare for the Christmas season, perhaps it is suitable to share this message from the Beatle known as John.

So this is Xmas
And what have you done
Another year over
And a new one just begun

And so this is Xmas
I hope you have fun
The near and the dear one
The old and the young

A very Merry Xmas
And a happy New Year
Let's hope it's a good one
Without any fear

And so this is Xmas (war is over)
For weak and for strong (if you want it)
For rich and the poor ones (war is over)
The world is so wrong (if you want it)
And so happy Xmas (war is over)
For black and for white (if you want it)
For yellow and red ones (war is over)
Let's stop all the fight (now)

A very Merry Xmas
And a happy New Year
Let's hope it's a good one
Without any fear

And so this is Xmas (war is over)
And what have we done (if you want it)
Another year over (war is over)
A new one just begun (if you want it)
And so happy Xmas (war is over)
We hope you have fun (if you want it)
The near and the dear one (war is over)
The old and the young (now)

A very Merry Xmas
And a happy New Year
Let's hope it's a good one
Without any fear
War is over, if you want it
War is over now

Happy Xmas

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