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World Peace in Music Essay

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Updated: Jan 13th, 2020

Introduction

World peace is an important topic that needs a serious consideration in the modern world. If there were peace in the world, flagitious occurrences like war, terrorism and gang violence among others world be just but a history.

Many artists in the music arena have attempted, through their lyrics, to call for actions that would help in fostering peace around the globe. An example is Imagine by John Lennon recorded and released in 1971 and Heal the World by Michael Jackson released in 1991. From the content of lyrics, these masterpieces are good campaign tools for world peace.

Discussion

Peace, in the modern world is a sensitive issue that people in all circles should endeavor to achieve. Nations should avoid engaging in politics or actions that result in wars or acts of terrorism. In all Nations, the value of anti-war campaigns needs emphasis because it is only through fostering peace among nations in the world that people can coexist peacefully.

According to Mousseau the “existence of one democracy for all nations would help achieve world peace” (2003, p.484). Peaceful coexistence among nations comes with numerous benefits including international relations, free movement of people across international boundaries, sharing of knowledge, culture and religious values among nations and faster growth of nations among other pertinent issues that affect national and international relations.

The call for peace should not however be left to only influential people like politicians for in most cases peace is not an important agenda in their manifestos. According to Titze, “all religions over the world have a common belief about world peace” (1998, p. 121); that through prayer and supplication, people can achieve and foster peace in the world. Therefore, it is the responsibility of every individual to try their level best to contribute positively towards the attainment of world peace.

Even though the effort of an individual may seem negligible when comparing it with peace in the entire world, the overall effect of many individuals doing the same thing is great. For instance a musician singing about world peace in one of his/her albums, the number of people he/she will influence will be large, though the overall effect will be small. If all other musicians throughout the world emulated the same, there would be a significant impact.

Comparison of Songs

John Lennon’s song, Imagine and Michael Jackson’s, Heal the World, have a good and common message aimed at promoting world peace. In both songs, the message is the same; world peace and how people can achieve it. John Lennon approaches the issue by invoking an idea into the human mind on how it could probably be if there was world peace (Lawrence, 2005, p.95).

According to Lennon, the world can be in a state of peace only in absence of things that hinder peace or create conflicts. The things that draw Lennon’s attention include countries, religion, and possessions. In stanza one, Lennon says “Imagine there’s no countries” to provoke an imagination about people living together without originating from any nation.

In stanza two, Lennon says, “Imagine all the people Living life in peace,” to imply that having only one country in the world would help foster peace. Jackson’s view of a meaningful world peace is the peace that comes from people’s hearts; a deep rooted desire to make the world a better place. In the chorus, Jackson says, “If you care enough for the living, make a better place…” Jackson also suggests ways through which people can achieve world peace.

He urges people not to fear if they have love because there is a way through which they can foster world peace. In stanza five, he says, “Love’s enough for us growing…” and in stanza six Jackson says, “We cannot feel fear or dread…” Therefore to promote world peace, Lennon gives the conditions that would favor world peace while, Jackson suggests the actions that those who love the living should take to ensure the world is peaceful.

Music/Lyric Connection

The two lyrics have a strong connection as far as the message of peace is concerned. Even though they use different approaches to the issue of world peace, Lennon and Jackson seek to inform people that there is need to foster peace around the world. They argue that for peace to exist in the world, people have to make efforts geared towards changing this world for better. As a result, people should arise and start making the world a place of peace.

Referring to a time the whole world shall have attained peace, Lennon says, “…and the world will live as one.” By the world being as one, he implies that people will be united because of international peace that will exist. Similarly, when referring to a day when the word shall have attained peace, Jackson says in stanza nine that, “Together we’ll cry happy tears.” Here Jackson refers to the joy that will underscore the ultimate realization of world peace.

The musical instruments used in performance of these songs have played a great role in supporting the lyrics of the song. In Michael Jackson’s Heal the world, the performance employs the use of soft and low music. The aim of this type of music is to allow the listeners to pay more attention to the words rather than the sounds of the instruments.

As a result, the message carried in the lyrics would easily reach its listeners. In addition the soft and low music helps to create an impression of calmness, which is a symbol of peace. In John Lennon’s Imagine, the type of instruments used in performance equally supports the message that lyrics convey. The soft music from the piano not only creates an impression of peace but also allows the listeners to fully get the message that the lyrics carry

Conclusion

World peace is an important element that people in the modern world need to foster given the many benefits that accompany it. The song Imagine by John Lennon and Heal the World by Michael Jackson are good campaign tools for peace in the world. Even though they use different approaches, the composers have a common message to the world; people should promote world peace.

References

Lawrence, K. (2005). John Lennon: In His Own Words. Andrews McMeel Publishing: McMeel Publishers.

Mousseau, M. (2003). The Nexus of Market Society, Liberal Preferences, and Democratic Peace: Interdisciplinary Theory and Evidence. International Studies Quarterly, 47(6): 483–510.

Titze, K. (1998). Jainism: A Pictorial Guide to the Religion of Non-Violence. Mohtilal Banarsidass Press.

Discography

, The John Lennon Collection, Rovi Corporation (1990), R 78327.

, Dangerous, Epic Records (1991), EP 89134.

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