Legendary musician John Lennon is the subject of new postage stamps issued the same year his iconic song, “Imagine”, turned 50.
On Tuesday, which falls on the International Day of Peace (September 21), the United Nations Postal Administration (UNPA) is issuing a series of three different stamps in honor of the late and former Beatle. Each depicts a portrait of Lennon from various times in his life illustrated by engraver Martin Mörck.
“We can best honor the International Day of Peace by standing up against acts of hate and spreading compassion, kindness and hope so that the world can ‘live as one’ – just as John Lennon imagined it. . ” UNPA said on its website announcing stamps.
In addition, three souvenir sheets feature a stamp with a black and white photographic portrait of Lennon taken by Bob Gruen, Ian Macmillan and David Nutter. These sheets also contain the words of “Imagine” and the signature of the musician.
As with all UN shipments, clippings for new Lennon stamps reflect the location of UNPA offices in New York (dollars), Geneva (Swiss francs) and Vienna (euros). UN stamps with US denominations can be used as postage if mailed from the United Nations Headquarters in New York.
September 9 marked the 50th anniversary of “Imagine”, the song Lennon co-wrote with his wife Yoko Ono, and taken from the 1971 album of the same name. Considered the rocker’s flagship song, “Imagine” was revived by many artists, including Madonna, Elton John and Lady Gaga, and was recently performed at the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.
“John would have loved it,” Ono said in a recent press release about the song. ““ Imagine ”embodied what we believed together at the time. We’re still together now and we still believe in it. The sentiment is just as important now as it was when it was written and published 50 years ago.
In a Playboy interview with David Sheff from 1980, Lennon Explain from the song: “The Concept of Positive Prayer … If You Can to imagine a world at peace, without religious denominations – not without religion but without it, my God-is-greater-than-your-God – then this may be true … the world Church called me once and asked me: we use the lyrics for “Imagine” and just change it to “Imagine a religion ‘? “This showed [me] they didn’t understand it at all. It would defeat the whole point of the song, the whole idea.
This is not the first time that Lennon has been commemorated on a postage stamp. The United States Postal Service issued a singer’s stamp in 2018 with another photo taken by Gruen, who is known for his classic image of Lennon in a New York City T-shirt that appears on one of the new UN stamps. In May, Britain’s Royal Mail paid tribute to former Lennon Beatles band member Paul McCartney with a series of stamps. The Beatles themselves have appeared on posts in the US and UK before.
“I think my greatest pleasure is writing a song – lyric and lyrics – that will last for more than a few years,” said Lennon, quoted in the 2020 box set compilation. Give me some truth. “Songs that anyone could sing. Songs that will probably survive me. And that gives me my greatest pleasure. This is where I take my kicks.
For more information on United Nations John Lennon stamps, click here.