Julian Lennon, the son of the late Beatles star turned solo artist John Lennon, publicly performed his father’s hit song “Imagine” last week for the first time. He said he did so in support of Ukraine.
“As a human, and as an artist, I felt compelled to respond in the most significant way I could,” Lennon tweeted. “So today, for the first time ever, I publicly performed my Dad’s song, IMAGINE.”
In a video of the performance, Lennon and a guitarist sit in a room illuminated by candles. The camera slowly swings around them as Lennon sings the antiwar anthem.
“Why now, after all these years? — I had always said, that the only time I would ever consider singing ‘IMAGINE’ would be if it was the ‘End of the World’ …” Lennon said.
He suggested that the song represents “our collective desire for peace worldwide” and that it transports listeners to a place “where love and togetherness become our reality.”
Noting the millions of people who’ve fled the violence in Ukraine, Lennon called on world leaders to support refugees around the world and urged people to “advocate and donate from the heart.”
A version of this story originally appeared in the Morning Edition live blog.