In My Life

I was 4 when John Lennon was killed outside his New York apartment building 30 years ago today and I vaguely recall my family talking about the news reports on TV, but for the most part I was unfamiliar with Lennon and The Beatles. Several years later, as my parents were copying their record albums to cassette tapes, I discovered the music of the greatest rock band that ever played on masterpieces like Meet The Beatles and Rubber Soul (which I’ve managed to hold onto even though I no longer own a record player) and songs like 64, Rocky Raccoon, Hey Jude, Blackbird and All You Need Is Love (some of which my youth advisers played on Sunday nights during youth group at Shades Valley Pres in Birmingham, Alabama).

Over the last two decades, I’ve grown in my admiration of the brilliant work, words, stories and melodies both The Beatles and Lennon shared with the world–songs filled with timeless messages of love, peace, hope, lament, friendship, brokenness, humanity, and everyday life. And I became inspired by the ways in which Lennon spoke out against war and hate in the short life that he lived.

On our second trip to New York in December 2006, Elizabeth and I visited Strawberry Fields in Central Park, a memorial erected across the street from where Lennon was shot.  It was fascinating to see all of the objects people left on the “Imagine” mosaic…flowers, photos, a guitar, a teddy bear, apples (representing The Beatles record label Apple), and people–mostly the homeless whom Lennon championed for through his efforts as a social activist–still shaking their heads at a tragedy that was long past.  Lennon’s was a life, like many others, that left an incredible mark on humankind.  In remembrance, here is the song and (unofficial) video In My Life–a diddy that I will forever associate with a friend of mine’s parents who sung this to one another while sitting on the front porch of Reynold’s Lodge on the Monday morning of the Montreat Youth Conference in June or July of 2000.

There are places I remember
All my life though some have changed
Some forever not for better
Some have gone and some remain
All these places had 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

But of all these friends and lovers
There is no one compares with you
And these memories lose their meaning
When I think of love as something new
Though I know I’ll never lose affection
For people and things that went before
I know I’ll often stop and think about them
In my life I love you more

Though I know I’ll never lose affection
For people and things that went before
I know I’ll often stop and think about them
In my life I love you more
In my life I love you more


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