The Song: "Julia," The Beatles. Words & music by John Lennon & Paul McCartney. Track 9, side 2 of The Beatles (the White Album), 1968.
How/when acquired: Gift LP, c. 1980
It's hard not to imagine what John Lennon would be saying and doing if he were alive today. It's hard to think about the fact that he was younger when he died than I am now.
This song, written in memory of John's mother, remains one of my favorites, and I quote this line all the time. It distills so much of John's public persona, I think. It was hard to know what he actually thought or felt, partly because he might not always have been sure himself; what he was looking for was engagement, for himself and the people around him. Even listening to his songs now we feel obligated to care, to pay attention, to think about things larger than ourselves.
It's work, of course. It's exhausting, which is why today's pop stars don't ask us to do anything more than raise our glass. Why so serious, Pink asks; what's the dealie-o?
Excuse me while I go yell at some kids to get off my lawn. Not that I have a lawn.