150 John Lennon Quotes on Music, Peace, and Love

These 150 John Lennon quotes will help you understand how he followed his dreams and how he rose to fame in the 1960s as a famous singer.

John Lennon was a talented singer and guitarist who was a member of The Beatles, a British rock band. He was also recognized as a solo music icon for his popular songs, Imagine and Strawberry Fields Forever. 

From humble beginnings, John and his band members rocked the world with their hit songs. He used his talents to write songs about peace and love. We hope you find inspiration in the quotes we’ve gathered for you.

Check the complete list below.

And make sure to read these Paul McCartney Quotes and George Harrison quotes.

Best John Lennon Quotes

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1. “Time you enjoy wasting, was not wasted.”

2. “We can’t help everyone, but everyone can help someone.”

3. “You’re all geniuses, and you’re all beautiful. You don’t need anyone to tell you who you are. You are what you are.”

4. “You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. I hope someday you’ll join us. And the world will live as one.”

5. “The more I see the less I know for sure.”

6. “Love is the answer, and you know that for sure; love is a flower, you’ve got to let it grow.”

7. “Reality leaves a lot to the imagination.”

8. “Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans.”

9. “Everything will be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end.”

10. “If everyone demanded peace instead of another television set, then there’d be peace.”

11. “Rituals are important. Nowadays it’s hip not to be married. I’m not interested in being hip.”

12. “A mistake is only an error, it becomes a mistake when you fail to correct it.” 

13. “All we are saying is give peace a chance.”

14. “A dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together is reality.”

15. “When I was five years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy.’ They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.”

Related: The Beatles Quotes

Famous John Lennon Quotes

16. “How can I go forward when I don’t know which way I’m facing?”

17. “Count your age by friends, not years. Count your life by smiles, not tears.”

18. “God is a concept by which we measure our pain.”

19. “Only by trying on other people’s clothes do we find what size we are.”

20. “It’s better to fade away like an old soldier than to burn out.”

21. “As usual, there is a great woman behind every idiot.”

22. “When I cannot sing my heart, I can only speak my mind.”

23. “One thing you can’t hide is when you’re crippled inside.”

24. “Declare it. Just the same way we declare war. That is how we will have peace—we just need to declare it.”

25. “There’s nowhere you can be that isn’t where you’re meant to be.”

26. “We are all water from different rivers. That’s why it’s so easy to meet. We are all water in this vast, vast ocean. Someday we’ll evaporate together.”

27. “Living is easy with eyes closed, misunderstanding all you see.”

28. “Everything is as important as everything else.”

29. “There’s nothing you can know that isn’t known.”

30. “Peace is not something you wish for; It’s something you make, something you do, something you are, and something you give away.”

Also read: Jimi Hendrix Quotes, Johnny Cash Quotes

Motivational John Lennon Quotes to Live By

31. “Trying to please everybody is impossible—if you did that, you’d end up in the middle with nobody liking you. You’ve just gotta make the decision about what you think is your best, and do it.”

32. “When you do something beautiful and nobody noticed, do not be sad. For the sun, every morning is a beautiful spectacle and yet most of the audience still sleeps.”

33. “I’m not going to change the way I look or the way I feel to conform to anything. I’ve always been a freak. So I’ve been a freak all my life and I have to live with that, you know. I’m one of those people.”

34. “Produce your own dream. If you want to save Peru, go save Peru. It’s quite possible to do anything, but not if you put it on the leaders and the parking meters. Don’t expect Carter or Reagan or John Lennon or Yoko Ono or Bob Dylan or Jesus Christ to come and do it for you. You have to do it yourself.”

35. “There are two basic motivating forces: fear and love. When we are afraid, we pull back from life. When we are in love, we open to all that life has to offer with passion, excitement, and acceptance. We need to learn to love ourselves first, in all our glory and our imperfections. If we cannot love ourselves, we cannot fully open to our ability to love others or our potential to create.”

36. “One thing I can tell you is you have to be free. Come together, right now, over me.”

37. “There’s nothing new under the sun. All the roads lead to Rome. And people cannot provide it for you. I can’t wake you up. You can wake you up. I can’t cure you. You can cure you.”

38. “Yeah we all shine on, like the moon, and the stars, and the sun.”

39. “Nobody controls me. I’m uncontrollable. The only one who controls me is me, and that’s just barely possible.”

40. “What we’ve got to do is keep hope alive. Because without it we’ll sink.”

41. “The world is still spinning and so are we and so are you. When the spinning stops, that’ll be the time to worry. Not before.”

42. “The more real you get, the more unreal the world gets.”

43. “Get back to where you once belonged.”

44. “Everyone deserves to believe they are beautiful.”

45. “Turn off your mind, relax, and float downstream.”

Related: Quotes to Live By

John Lennon Quotes About Honesty and Happiness

46. “Happiness is just how you feel when you don’t feel miserable. ”

47. “If everyone could just be happy with themselves and the choices people around them make, the world would instantly be a better place!”

48. “Happiness is inside you, not with another person.”

49. “Being honest may not get you a lot of friends but it’ll always get you the right ones.”

Also read: Kurt Cobain Quotes

Insightful John Lennon Quotes on Imagination and Reality

50. “I believe in everything until it’s disproved. So I believe in fairies, the myths, dragons. It all exists, even if it’s in your mind. Who’s to say that dreams and nightmares aren’t as real as the here and now?”

51. “Surrealism had a great effect on me because then I realised that the imagery in my mind wasn’t insanity. Surrealism to me is reality.”

52. “Our society is run by insane people for insane objectives. I think we’re being run by maniacs for maniacal ends and I think I’m liable to be put away as insane for expressing that. That’s what’s insane about it.”

53. “The thing the 60s did was to show us the possibilities and the responsibility that we all had. It wasn’t the answer. It just gave us a glimpse of the possibility.”

54. “Sometimes you wonder, I mean really wonder. I know we make our own reality, and we always have a choice, but how much is preordained? Is there always a fork in the road, and are there two preordained paths that are equally preordained? There could be hundreds of paths where one could go this way or that way—there’s a chance, and it’s very strange sometimes.”

55. “I was the walrus, but now I am John—and so my friends, you’ll just have to carry on. The dream is over.”

56. “You have to be a bastard to make it, and that’s a fact. And the Beatles are the biggest bastards on earth.”

Quotes That Show How John Lennon Values Peace and Love

57. “Remember to let her into your heart.”

58. “Guilt for being rich, and guilt thinking that perhaps love and peace isn’t enough and you have to go and get shot or something.”

59. “Everything is clearer when you’re in love.”

60. “We all have Hitler in us, but we also have love and peace. So why not give peace a chance for once?”

61. “You either get tired fighting for peace, or you die.”

62. “If you want peace, you won’t get it with violence.”

63. “Get out there and get peace, think peace, and live peace, and breathe peace, and you’ll get it as soon as you like.”

64. “It matters not who you love, where you love, why you love, when you love or how you love, it matters only that you love.”

65. “Love, love, love. All you need is love. Love is all you need.”

66. “As in a love affair, two creative people can destroy themselves trying to recapture that youthful spirit, at 21 or 24, of creating without even being aware of how it’s happening.”

67. “I’m not claiming divinity. I’ve never claimed purity of soul. I’ve never claimed to have the answers to life. I only put out songs and answer questions as honestly as I can—but I still believe in peace, love, and understanding.”

68. “We live in a world where we have to hide to make love, while violence is practiced in broad daylight.”

69. “If someone thinks that peace and love are just a cliche that must have been left behind in the 60s, that’s a problem. Peace and love are eternal.”

70. “We’ve got this gift of love, but love is like a precious plant. You can’t just accept it and leave it in the cupboard or just think it’s going to get on by itself. You’ve got to keep watering it. You’ve got to really look after it and nurture it.”

71. “Love is a promise, love is a souvenir, once given, never forgotten, never let it disappear.”

John Lennon Quotes About God and Faith

72. “We’re more popular than Jesus now. Jesus was all right, but his disciples were thick and ordinary. It’s them twisting it that ruins it for me.”

73. “I believe in God, but not as one thing, not as an old man in the sky. I believe that what people call God is something in all of us. I believe that what Jesus and Mohammed and Buddha and all the rest said was right. It’s just that the translations have gone wrong.”

74. “Part of me suspects that I’m a loser, and the other part of me thinks I’m God Almighty.”

75. “I believe Jesus was right, Buddha was right, and all of those people like that are right. They’re all saying the same thing—and I believe it. I believe what Jesus actually said—the basic things he laid down about love and goodness—and not what people say he said.”

76. “You’re just left with yourself all the time, whatever you do anyway. You’ve got to get down to your own God in your own temple. It’s all down to you, mate.”

77. “I don’t know which will go first—rock ‘n’ roll or Christianity.”

John Lennon Quotes to Tell You More About His Personality and Interests

78. “Well, I don’t want to be king, I want to be real.”

79. “My defenses were so great. The cocky rock and roll hero who knows all the answers was actually a terrified guy who didn’t know how to cry. Simple.”

80. “I never went to high school reunions. My thing is, out of sight, out of mind. That’s my attitude toward life. So I don’t have any romanticism about any part of my past.”

81. “I don’t believe in yesterday, by the way.”

82. “I’m cynical about society, politics, newspapers, and the government. But I’m not cynical about life, love, goodness, death. That’s why I really don’t want to be labeled a cynic.”

83. “It doesn’t matter how long my hair is or what colour my skin is or whether I’m a woman or a man.”

84. “I’m a freakin’ artist, man, not a racehorse.”

85. “If being an egomaniac means I believe in what I do and in my art or music, then in that respect you can call me that—I believe in what I do, and I’ll say it.”

86. “One of my big things is that I wish to be a fisherman. I know it sounds silly—​and I’d sooner be rich than poor, and all the rest of that—but I wish the pain was ignorance or bliss or something.”

87. “I’m not really a career person; I’m a gardener, basically.”

Interesting John Lennon Quotes About Arts and Music

88. “Before Elvis there was nothing.”

89. “Meanings of all songs come after they are recorded. Someone else has to interpret them.”

90. “They can take anything apart. I mean, I hit it on all levels, you know. We write lyrics, and I write lyrics that you don’t realize what they mean till after.”

91. “In ‘Baby You’re A Rich Man,’ the point was, stop moaning, you’re a rich man and we’re all rich, heh heh, baby!”

92. “I’m always proud and pleased when people do my songs. It gives me pleasure that they even attempt them because a lot of my songs aren’t that doable.”

93. “All we are saying is, ‘This is what is happening to us.’ We are sending postcards. I don’t let it become ‘I am the awakened; you are sheep that will be shown the way.’ That is the danger of saying anything, you know.”

94. “My role in society, or any artist’s or poet’s role, is to try and express what we all feel. Not to tell people how to feel. Not as a preacher, not as a leader, but as a reflection of us all.”

95. “The first line of ‘I Am The Walrus’ was written on one acid trip one weekend. The second line was written on the next acid trip the next weekend, and it was filled in after I met Yoko.”

96.“Art is only a way of expressing pain.”

97. “If you tried to give rock and roll another name, you might call it ‘Chuck Berry.’”

98. “All music is rehash. There are only a few notes. Just variations on a theme. Try to tell the kids in the Seventies who were screaming to the Bee Gees that their music was just The Beatles redone. There is nothing wrong with the Bee Gees.”

99. “I wouldn’t say I was a born writer; I’m a born thinker.”

100. “I put things down on sheets of paper and stuff them in my pockets. When I have enough, I have a book.”

101. “Music is everybody’s possession. It’s only publishers who think that people own it.”

102. “Creativity is a gift. It doesn’t come through if the air is cluttered.”

John Lennon Quotes on Friendship

103. “I get by with a little help from my friends.”

104. “Paul and I know each other on a lot of different levels that very few people know about.”

105. “I am he as you are he as you are me and we are all together.”

John Lennon Quotes That Give You Insight Into His Insecurities

106. “I remember a time when everybody I loved hated me because I hated them.”

107. “Don’t hate what you don’t understand!”

108. “These critics with the illusions they’ve created about artists—it’s like idol worship. They only like people when they’re on their way up—I cannot be on the way up again.”

109. “They hate you if you’re clever and they despise a fool.”

110. “I was feeling insecure you might not love me anymore.”

Deep John Lennon Quotes on Life and Death

111. “I’m not afraid of death because I don’t believe in it. It’s just getting out of one car, and into another.”

112. “Evolution and all hopes for a better world rest in the fearlessness and open-hearted vision of people who embrace life.”

113. “Everybody loves you when you’re six feet in the ground.”

114. “I don’t believe in killing whatever the reason!”

John Lennon Quotes That Describe the Pressure That Came With His Career

115. “We were all on this ship in the 60s. Our generation, a ship going to discover the new world. And the Beatles were in the crow’s nest of that ship.”

116. “It was like being in the eye of a hurricane. You’d wake up in a concert and think, wow, how did I get here?”

117. “We were really professional by the time we got to the States; we had learned the whole game. When we arrived here we knew how to handle the press; the British press were the toughest in the world and we could handle anything. We were all right.”

118. “I’ve got used to the fact—​just about—​that whatever I do is going to be compared to the other Beatles. If I took up ballet dancing, my ballet dancing would be compared with Paul McCartney’s bowling.”

119. “Nobody loves you when you’re down and out.”

John Lennon Quotes About War and Violence

120. “There’s an alternative to violence. It’s to stay in bed and grow your hair.”

121. “War is over—if you want it.”

122. “Life is very short, and there’s no time for fussing and fighting my friends.”

123. “I am a violent man who has learned not to be violent and regrets his violence.”

John Lennon Quotes on His Love for Family

124. “He didn’t come out of my belly, but my God, I’ve made his bones, because I’ve attended to every meal, and how he sleeps, and the fact that he swims like a fish because I took him to the ocean. I’m so proud of all those things. But he is my biggest pride.”

125. “It was very romantic. It’s all in the song, The Ballad of John and Yoko. If you want to know how it happened, it’s in there. Gibraltar was like a little sunny dream. I couldn’t find a white suit—​I had sort of off-white corduroy trousers and a white jacket. Yoko had all white on.”

126. “I was a working-class macho guy who was used to being served and Yoko didn’t buy that. From the day I met her, she demanded equal time, equal space, equal rights.”

John Lennon Quotes to Ponder On

127. “Whatever gets you through the night.”

128. “Paranoia is just a heightened sense of awareness.”

129. “Everything is true and not true about everything. That’s one thing I’ve learned.”

130. “Possession isn’t nine-tenths of the law. It’s nine-tenths of the problem.”

131. “Work is life, you know, and without it, there’s nothing but fear and insecurity.”

Short but Profound John Lennon Quotes

132. “Make love, not war.”

133. “Nothing is real.”

134. “It’s weird not to be weird.”

135. “Time wounds all heels.”

136. “I’ve never really been wanted.”

137. “Rain, I don’t mind.”

Funny and Silly John Lennon Quotes 

138. “You know the way people begin to look like their dogs? Well, we’re beginning to look like each other.”

139. “You can manicure a cat but can you caticure a man?”

140. “Love is the answer. What was the question?”

141. “I used to think it was mere homesickness, then I started getting it at home.”

142. “When you’re drowning you don’t think, I would be incredibly pleased if someone would notice I’m drowning and come and rescue me. You just scream.”

John Lennon Quotes About The Beatles

143. “You see, we’re influenced by whatever’s going. Even if we’re not influenced, we’re all going that way at a certain time. If we played a Stones record now—​and a Beatles record—​and we’ve been way apart,​ you’d find a lot of similarities. We’re all heavy. Just heavy.”

144. “I don’t believe in Beatles, I just believe in me.”

145. “Paul and I made a deal when we were 15. There was never a legal deal between us, just a deal we made when we decided to write together that we put both our names on it, no matter what.”

146. “Carrying The Beatles ‘or the Sixties’ dream around all your life is like carrying the Second World War and Glenn Miller around. That’s not to say you can’t enjoy Glenn Miller or The Beatles, but to live in that dream is the twilight zone. It’s not living now. It’s an illusion.”

147. “Why should The Beatles give more? Didn’t they give everything on God’s earth for ten years? Didn’t they give themselves?”

148. “It’s like saying, you know, ‘Did you remember falling in love?’ Not quite. It just sort of happens.”

149. “Without Jimmy Dean the Beatles would never have existed.”

150. “Nothing really affected me until I heard Elvis. If there hadn’t been an Elvis, there wouldn’t have been the Beatles.”

Which John Lennon Song Is Your Favorite?

John Lennon was a British singer, born in Liverpool, England, in 1940, and he was a member of the rock band The Beatles until the 1970s. After leaving the Beatles, he spent the rest of his career writing and performing music with his wife, Yoko Ono.

John Lennon was a silent activist for peace. Before he died of a gunshot wound, he used his talent to write songs about peace and love. He was tragically shot and killed by a former fan on December 8, 1980, in front of his apartment in New York City.

He was a legend and an icon whose music would live on forever. We hope that these John Lennon quotes were able to inspire you to pursue your dreams and not be afraid to try new things.

Which John Lennon quotes motivated you to follow your passions? Which quotes are your favorites? Let us know in the comments section below.