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By Rosa García Mora

The song Suppose was composed by Sylvia Dee and George Goehring and officially recorded by Elvis on March 20, 1967 and was released on the album “From Nashville to Memphis.” 

On June 20, 1967, Elvis recorded the song again in two versions, one long and one short, the short one being the one that would be included on the 1968 album Speedway.

Elvis had already made a home recording the previous year at his home on Rocca Place, in Hollywood, with his friends Charlie Hodge, Red West and others, putting special love and interest in it.

A beautiful and disturbing ballad, almost suicidal, that produces chills in Elvis’s voice, and that in my opinion, was not valued as it deserved, both by RCA and by its own producer Felton Jarvis, and that on the other hand, Elvis He liked it a lot, and he was very committed to the feeling of the song, making it a painful, intriguing and magnificent interpretation.

But where is the enigma of this song?

Well, it lies in the fact that many fans have drawn a connection between Elvis’ version of “Suppose” and John Lennon‘s anthem, “Imagine,” suggesting that Lennon was inspired by Elvis’s performance.

The evidence that suggests that Lennon relied on Elvis’ version to compose and perform “Imagine” lies in several arguments, which if you listen to both songs are very clear:

The first is that in both songs, the singer lists a series of situations that are really impossible, they are facts that “might not exist”, and that are only assumed or imagined.

Secondly, both songs begin their verses with a single word, always the same, repeatedly: “Suppose” or “Imagine.”

Thirdly, in both, the singer, desolate, is alone at the piano contemplating the perspective of another world, a dreamlike, fantasy world that is not real.

And finally, the phrase “it is impossible to imagine” is used in a verse from Suppose.

It is also striking to hear Elvis’ characteristic and prodigious phrasing, the way he pauses after the phrase “Suppose I had no wish” and before “to be alive”, and how Lennon, in a very similar way, does the same after “all the people”…

In the timeline we couldn’t rule it out either, since “Suppose” was recorded in the summer of 1967 and “Imagine” was recorded and released in 1971. And we all know that Lennon was a great admirer of the young Elvis and that he never lost his love for him.

All of which forms a set of circumstances, so perhaps it could be more than a coincidence, but also not enough to provide real proof, beyond what is just a reasonable doubt.

I invite you to listen to both ballads, and the debate and opinions are served. The truth is that the similarity is notable… In any case, two immense songs, the kind that leave their mark.

Article written and provided by Rosa García Mora.

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