Gimme Some Truth
|"Gimme Some Truth"|
|Song by John Lennon|
|from the album Imagine|
|Released||9 September 1971 (US) |
8 October 1971 (UK)
|Recorded||25 May–5 July 1971 |
Ascot Sound Studios, Berkshire and Record Plant, New York, NY
|Producer(s)||John Lennon, Yoko Ono, and Phil Spector|
|"Gimme Some Truth"|
|Single by John Lennon|
|Released||15 November 1982|
|Producer(s)||Phil Spector, John Lennon, and Yoko Ono|
|John Lennon singles chronology|
"Gimme Some Truth" (originally spelled "Give Me Some Truth") is a protest song written and performed by John Lennon. It was first released on his 1971 album Imagine. "Gimme Some Truth" contains various political references emerging from the time it was written, during the latter years of the Vietnam War.
Work on the song began as early as January 1969 during The Beatles' Get Back sessions, which would eventually evolve into Let It Be. Bootleg recordings of the group performing songs that would eventually go onto the members' solo recordings feature a few performances of "Gimme Some Truth".
The song expresses Lennon's frustration with deceptive politicians ("short-haired yellow-bellied sons of Tricky Dicky"), with hypocrisy, and with chauvinism ("tight-lipped condescending mommy's little chauvinists"). The song encapsulates some widely held feelings of the time, when many people were participating in protest rallies against their governments.
"Gimme Some Truth" uses a reference to the nursery rhyme "Old Mother Hubbard" (about a woman going to get her dog a bone, only to discover that her cupboard is empty) as verb. The song's mention of "soft-soap" employs that slang verb in its classic sense − i.e., insincere flattery that attempts to convince someone to do or to think something, as in the case of politicians who use specious or beguiling rhetoric to quell public unrest or to propagandise unfairly.
According to Robert Christgau, the song "unites Lennon unmasked with the Lennon of Blunderland wordplay as it provides a rationale for" a preceding track on the album, "Jealous Guy". Lisa Wright of NME ranked it as Lennon's 5th greatest solo song, stating that in the song Lennon "tried to sift through the maelstrom of media bullshit to find the light at the end of the tunnel" and concluding that "scorn never sounded so good.
- John Lennon – vocals, electric guitar
- George Harrison – electric guitar, slide guitar
- Nicky Hopkins – piano
- Rod Linton – acoustic guitar
- Andy Davis – acoustic guitar
- Klaus Voormann – bass
- Alan White – drums
Cover versions and performances by other artists
- Generation X recorded it as B-side to the single "King Rocker" in 1978. It appeared on the USA release of their eponymous first album and also appears as a bonus track on the remastered version of 1979's Valley of the Dolls
- The Wonder Stuff included "Gimme Some Truth" on the expanded version of the 1989 album Hup.
- Sam Phillips recorded a version for her 1994 album Martinis & Bikinis.
- Ash released it as a B-side to "Angel Interceptor" in 1995.
- Travis's version is a B-side to "More Than Us", released in 1998, and also appears on the various artists compilation "Causes 1" released in 2011.
- Pearl Jam has covered this song live on numerous occasions.
- On the 2007 compilation album Instant Karma: The Amnesty International Campaign to Save Darfur, The Wallflowers' frontman Jakob Dylan (son of Bob Dylan) covers the song and Dhani Harrison (son of George Harrison) reprises his father's role as lead guitarist. Mexican group Jaguares made another cover version for the same album.
- Primal Scream recorded this song as a B-side to their "Country Girl" single in 2006.
- Matthew Sweet and Susanna Hoffs released a version on their 2009 collaboration Under the Covers, Vol. 2.
- Lydia Canaan internet released a cover of the song as a single in 2014.
- Drive By Truckers covered this song live at the 40 Watt club in Athens Georgia on 2/16/2017 and 2/18/2017.
- Cheap Trick released a cover of "Gimme Some Truth" as a single in 2019.
- On December 8th 2019 The Full Story Band, featuring KT Tunstall, released a version of "Gimme Some Truth" in aid of the War Child charity.
Other works named after the song
- A 2000 direct-to-video documentary film showing the recording sessions and evolution of Imagine took its title, Gimme Some Truth: The Making of John Lennon's Imagine Album, from this song.
- Jon Wiener took the title of this song for his 1999 book, Gimme Some Truth: The John Lennon FBI Files, about Nixon's attempt to deport Lennon in 1972.
- Christgau, Robert (1981). "John Lennon: Imagine". Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies. Ticknor & Fields. ISBN 0899190251. Retrieved 2 November 2018.
- Wright, Lisa (9 October 2019). "John Lennon – his 10 greatest solo tracks". NME. Retrieved 20 October 2019.
- Madinger, Chip; Raile, Scott (2015). LENNONOLOGY Strange Days Indeed - A Scrapbook Of Madness. Chesterfield, MO: Open Your Books, LLC. pp. 239–240. ISBN 978-1-63110-175-5.
- "Generation X [US] – Generation X : Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 1 January 2013.
- Ankeny, Jason. "Martinis & Bikinis – Sam Phillips : Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 1 January 2013.
- "Pearl Jam – Gimme Some Truth (Live at the Garden'03) – John Lennon – cover". youtube.com. 29 October 2012. Retrieved 1 January 2013.
- "Five Horizons ] 2003 Concert Chronology part 3". Five Horizons. Retrieved 1 January 2013.
- Thomas, Stephen. "Under the Covers, Vol. 2 – Matthew Sweet : Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 1 January 2013.
- "Gimme Some Truth"—Lydia Canaan
- "CHEAP TRICK Singer Confirms New Album Is On The Way". Blabbermouth. 13 April 2019. Retrieved 4 December 2019.
- "CHEAP TRICK Gimme Some Truth". Record Store Day. Retrieved 4 December 2019.
- "Gimme Some Truth - 2019 Charity Single". Beyond the Pale. Retrieved 8 December 2019.
- "'Gimme Some Truth' - The Full Story, feat KT Tunstall". YouTube. Retrieved 8 December 2019.
- Wiener, Jon (3 February 2000). Gimme Some Truth: The John Lennon FBI Files. University of California Press. p. 368. ISBN 978-0-520-21646-4.