A few years ago, my friend Activist gave me a compilation she’d made for my birthday.  She titled it ‘Uplifting Music for Winter Mornings’. On it was an incredible collaboration between Israeli singer Noa, and Algerian star Khaled: a cover version of Imagine.

I imagine you’re thinking you’ve heard a million American Idol contestants flay this song, a billion bad karaoke versions, and you never want the dulcet tones of anyone but Lennon applied to this piece of music.  Ever again.  That’s how I felt when I saw it on the track list.

What if I told you that this the most wonderful version I’ve ever heard?   They cover John Lennon’s Imagine to express their desire for peace in the Middle East. Parts of it are in Hebrew, parts in English. They add another verse which speaks to that conflict.   Khaled sings the line ‘…and no religion too’, expression for which Algerians were murdered in the recent past.  Middle Eastern flavour winds its way through the arrangement.  Click the link below to take you to it (right click for a new tab – I’m a luddite and I can’t work out how to upload one of those widget things to just let you click play). Things get really cool at about 50 seconds in.

Noa Khaled Imagine

If you want to see an excellent live version including an even better opening, and support from a parcel of other singers, here’s one I found on YouTube. It’s worth the ten minutes of your life to enjoy both.  Have a great weekend!


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