Jack's Quarantine Music Box - John Lennon: Isolation
Hello Music Lovers!
I hope that you are all surviving ok in your quarantines. For today’s extra special quarantine edition of Jack’s Music Box, we are going to be looking at the song Isolation by John Lennon.
John Lennon is another name which needs no introduction, he made up 1/4th of the Beatles (aka the biggest and best band to ever exist!) And wrote many of the bands most recognizable songs such as Come Together and All you Need is Love along with many classic songs during his solo career in the 1970s such as Imagine and Instant Karma.
About the Artist
John Lennon was born in 1940 in Liverpool to parents Julia and Alfred Lennon. Because Alfred was a merchant seaman, he spent many months away from home leaving Julia alone with the baby John. During this time Julia became pregnant once again with another man’s child ending the relationship between the married couple. The custody of John was then given to his aunt Mimi who raised John for the remainder of his childhood and adolescence.
Although John lived with his Aunt Mimi he would maintain contact with his mother Julia, who nurtured his more rebellious side by allowing him to listen to rock n roll. It was Julia that bought John his first guitar in 1956. Tragically in 1958 Julia was hit and killed by a car, this would go on to have a profound effect on John for the rest of his life.
John began his first band in 1956 when he was 15 years old, the Quarrymen, named after their Quarry bank high school. During the Quarrymen’s second performance John met a young Paul McCartney who joined the band shortly afterwards.
McCartney and Lennon formed a strong friendship very quickly and began writing songs together. Soon after McCartney’s addition to the Quarrymen he brought in his young friend George Harrison. Along with John’s art school friend Stuart Sutcliffe the four became the Beatles in 1960, although it wouldn’t be until 1962 with the line up of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr that the band would find success.
Along with McCartney, Lennon was one the principal songwriters for the Beatles until they broke up in 1970. During this time the band had unparalleled success recording 11 studio albums and releasing 4 films. They are to this day widely considered to be the most influential band of all time.
Following the break up of the Beatles Lennon embarked on a solo career and became more involved in the American protest movement until he was tragically shot dead outside his apartment in 1980, he was 40 years old.
About the Song
For today’s song, I have chosen the song Isolation from Lennon’s 1970 debut solo album John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band. The song’s lyrics deal with Lennon’s experience with fame, however the lyrics are also relevant to our current situation following the Covi19 lockdown. I also thought this would be a good song to study as the lyrics are very simple and easy to follow making this perfect for English speakers of all levels.
People say we got it made.
Don’t they know we’re so afraid?
We’re afraid to be alone,
everybody got to have a home.
Just a boy and a little girl,
trying to change the whole wide world.
The world is just a little town,
everybody trying to put us down.
I don’t expect you to understand,
after you’ve caused so much pain.
But then again, you’re not to blame.
You’re just a human, a victim of the insane.
We’re afraid of everyone,
Afraid of the sun.
The sun will never disappear,
but the world may not have many years.
People say we got it made – People think we have everything.
Afraid – Scared
Everybody trying to put us down – Everybody trying to discourage/demonize us.
You’re not to blame – You’re not responsible/guilty.