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God by John Lennon (1970)

Story of the song

"God" remains Lennon's best-known album track. The opening line came from a comment Lennon made to his therapist: "God is a concept by which we measure our pain". The song buries everything from magic and the Bible to Hitler and Elvis. "The first three or four just came out," Lennon said, maintaining that he could have continued. After the revelation that he no longer believed in the Beatles, Lennon took a breath. "Just fill in your own," he said.

At Abbey Road studios Lennon was accompanied by bassist Klaus Voormann and pianist Billy Preston, and the recording was kept at pallbearer's pace by Ringo Starr. Next door George Harrison was completing work on "All Things Must Pass". "I was in one room singing 'My Sweet Lord'," said Harrison, "and John was in another room... singing 'I don't believe in Jesus, I don't believe in nothing'." It was recorded by Brian May in 1993. May missed the point and trashed, among other things, newsprint, torture, colour and Queen.