Julian Lennon performed his father John Lennon’s “Imagine” for the first time on Friday, saying he was inspired to sing the peace anthem to show his support for Ukraine.
In a video shared on his Instagram account, the 59-year-old singer can be seen singing his late father’s song against a candle-lit backdrop.
“The War on Ukraine is an unimaginable tragedy,” Lennon wrote in his post. “As a human, and as an artist, I felt compelled to respond in the most significant way I could. So today, for the first time ever, I publicly performed my Dad’s song, IMAGINE.”
In the caption, he elaborated further on the decision to perform the iconic song.
“Why now, after all these years? — I had always said, that the only time I would ever consider singing ‘IMAGINE’ would be if it was the ‘End of the World.’” he wrote. “But also because his lyrics reflect our collective desire for peace worldwide. Because within this song, we’re transported to a space, where love and togetherness become our reality, if but for a moment in time…”
“The song reflects the light at the end of the tunnel, that we are all hoping for…” he wrote.
Over the weekend, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy warned of a ramped-up Russian offensive in the country’s east, as civilians rushed to flee the region ahead of what many fear could be a brutal new phase in the war.
“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,” Lennon wrote.
He urged his more than 300,000 followers to donate money to Ukraine, and “to stand up for refugees everywhere!”