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Songs of the Weekend: John Lennon's "God," "Working Class Hero," "Mother"

Published May 4, 2012 5:04 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

When graduating from the Coast Guard Academy, those of us left — about half of those who began the four-year program, we were given a whole page in the yearbook to design however we wanted. I chose to simply have a picture of Elvis Presley and some words from John Lennon's "God," which he released on the best non-Beatles album ever recorded by a Beatle, "Plastic Ono Band":

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wv3ic6OOXns

Also on that album was the harrowing "Mother," where Lennon used the "Primal Scream" therapy he had been using to express the pain he felt about his mother — "Mother, you had me but I never had you / I wanted you but you didn't want me" — and near the end of the song, he sang as he hadn't since threshing his voice on "Twist and Shout":

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eDVkkwl6aJo

And, also on the same album, "Working Class Hero," where I've spent years thinking about what he really means by the refrain:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4lKwXwU5iWs

It's a good weekend to check out The Art of John Lennon, exhibiting at The Gateway this weekend only near the entrance to Dick's Sporting Goods on the ground level. It's free.