Imagine: In the Wake of 9/11, the lyrics sung by a young Emmanuel Kelly creates hope for mankind

My sister sent me a link to this video last night and since then I have watched it 4 times, each time with fewer tears, and a greater sadness.

The Anniversary of 9/11 and watching this video made me realize how fragile humanity is. We live in a world of fear, a fear that brings with it judgement and intolerance and hate. We weep for those who perished at the hands of those who wanted control–who wanted to make a statement to the world. We weep for the families who had to move on without their loved ones. We thought that war and vengeance would help alleviate all this sorrow we were feeling; and “fix” the problems we perceived were the root of all this suffering.

Along the way we forgot about the destruction and additional suffering that would inevitably weigh on our consciences. Casualties of war, we would say. Necessary means to an end, we would convince ourselves.

And along came Emmanuel Kelley, a child of war, who knew nothing about this incredible hatred that permeated and targeted his country and his people. He was a casualty of war, a victim of fear and judgment. And yet he sings John Lennon’s song of hope for this world: Imagine and suddenly we all sit up and listen. With all the emotions compounding each other: guilt, inspiration, pity, love, hope, appreciation, anger, futility.  This world is being pulled apart by distrust, money, and power and the one message from this song that can serve as a panacea for all the world’s pain is being brought to us by someone who has endured more in his young life than any of us could ever in a lifetime. How sad and yet, how hopeful at the same time. “I hope someday you’ll join us… and the world will live as one.”


  1. Such an inspiration , such beauty & joy in that smile.

    The song Imagine means more now than ever !

  2. leah pallaris says:

    I will tell all Australians and overseas people, that what we have here is a national treasure,
    this fantasatic young singer, is top of the pops, if you hear him sing AMAZED with the kelly gang at horsham festival with Jeremy yam , then no X factor or aussie idol needs to speak a word.
    THIS GUY IS THE BEST SINGER I HAVE EVER HEARD, BECAUSE HE SINGS IN TUNE WITH HIS SOUL…. AND NO ONE CAN DO THAT SO WELL… I thankyou so much you will be famous and great, and still remain HUMBLE because you have AN ANGEL for a mother. GOD BLESS YOU…

  3. leah pallaris says:


  4. Thomas Garber says:

    Can someone please tell me how I can get in touch with Emanual Kelley. I would like to send him a CD of a song I wrote that I think is in line with his story and everything he stands for. The song is called ‘Let’s turn It Around’.

    I appreciate any help you can offer. I think his story is the most heartening thing that has happened in our lifetimes.

  5. Really too bad he got sacked. X faxtor USA just kept a singer who forgot all the words to her bootcamp song… then again she had all her limbs. Sigh.

    I do hope that somebody will do right by Emmanual Kelly!

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