Despite a vow to never sing his father’s hit song Imagine, Julian Lennon has released a cover in support of Ukraine.
Lennon, 59, performed the rendition as a part of Global Citizen’s social media rally, Stand Up For Ukraine, which is working to raise money for the war-torn country amid Russia’s invasion.
In a dim, candlelit room, Lennon sang the ballad originally sung by his father, John. He was accompanied by Nuno Bettencourt on guitar.
In the description of the YouTube video, Lennon very clearly outlines his reasons for singing Imagine.
“The War on Ukraine is an unimaginable tragedy… As a human, and as an artist, I felt compelled to respond in the most significant way I could,” he wrote.
Lennon added that he had always said he would never perform the song “unless it was the ‘End of the World.'”
Still, he changed his mind after recognizing that his father’s lyrics “reflect our collective desire for peace worldwide,” he wrote.
“Because within this song, we’re transported to a space, where love and togetherness become our reality, if but for a moment in time,” Lennon continued.
“The song reflects the light at the end of the tunnel, that we are all hoping for,” he wrote. “As a result of the ongoing murderous violence, millions of innocent families, have been forced to leave the comfort of their homes, to seek asylum elsewhere.”
“I’m calling on world leaders and everyone who believes in the sentiment of IMAGINE, to stand up for refugees everywhere! Please advocate and donate from the heart. #StandUpForUkraine,” Lennon concluded.
Lennon is the son of legendary musician John Lennon and his first wife, Cynthia, in 1963. The couple separated in 1968 when Lennon was five years old.
Later, John Lennon married Yoko Ono in 1969 and had another son, Sean Ono Lennon, in 1975.