Well, okay. All of these songs are real, but they’re about imagining.We accept the role of imagination in children’s lives, but among adults? Not so much. We’re cool with it provided we’re talking about creative people, at least we say we are, but only within certain parameters, specifically artists. We’re fine with artists having rich inner lives — Wes Anderson’s imagination, sure, or Spielberg’s. Both Prince and Bowie were celebrated for their imaginations, too, but a middle-aged man playing superhero at a comic convention is beyond our acceptable boundaries.
The stakes are much higher than overweight Batmen. Imagination is critical to our collective intellectual growth. Imagination solves problems. Climate change, hunger, social justice — all require new ways of thinking, and that requires imagination.
Listen to the reactions to political rhetoric, though, and you’ll hear how frightening adult imagination can be. Free college will destroy us! A woman president will destroy us! Universal Healthcare will destroy us! The wall will destroy us! Maybe one or all of these are true, I don’t know. I’m an idiot, but I’m an idiot with an imagination.
Anyway, imaginary songs:
“Hard to Imagine,” Pearl Jam.
“Imaginary Diseases,” Frank Zappa.
“Imagination (Is A Powerful Deceiver),” Elvis Costello.
“Imagine a Man,” The Who.
“Pure Imagination,” Primus.
“Theme From An Imaginary Western,” Jack Bruce.
“Three Imaginary Boys,” The Cure.
“Just My Imagination,” The Temptations.
Imagine there’s more songs to list. You can do it if you try. I’m listening.