|"Gimme Some Truth"|
|Song by John Lennon|
|from the album Imagine|
|Released||9 September 1971|
|Recorded||25 May–5 July 1971|
|Studio||Ascot Sound Studios, Berkshire; Record Plant, New York City|
|Producer(s)||John Lennon, Yoko Ono, Phil Spector|
"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. Co-produced by Phil Spector, the recording includes a slide guitar solo played by George Harrison, Lennon's former bandmate in the Beatles.
In 1982, "Gimme Some Truth" was issued as the B-side of "Love" on a posthumous single. The song provided the title track for the 2000 documentary film Gimme Some Truth: The Making of John Lennon's Imagine Album.
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". A recording of the Beatles performing the song was officially released in 2021, appearing on the Let It Be: 50th Anniversary Edition reissue, and in The Beatles: Get Back documentary.
Side Two starts with 'Gimme Some Truth' which is one I started a year or two back - probably in India. We wrote a lot there. It was an old lick that I had around a long time but I again changed the lyrics. I like the track because it sounds good but it didn't get much attention, so it's a personal track that I like the sound of. The guitars are good and the voice sounds nice and, you know, and it says whatever it says. George does a sharp solo with his steel finger (he's not too proud of it, but I like it).— J. Lennon
"Gimme Some Truth" conveys Lennon's frustration with deceptive politicians ("short-haired yellow-bellied sons of Tricky Dicky"), hypocrisy, and chauvinism ("tight-lipped condescending mommy's little chauvinists"). The lyrics encapsulate some widely held feelings of the time, when many people were participating in protest rallies against their governments.
The song also 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 a verb. The mention of "soft-soap" employs that slang verb in its classic sense − namely, 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.
Lennon employs the recurring lyric "Money for rope/Money for dope", the former phrase being a variation of the British idiom "Money for old rope" (a profit obtained by little or no effort). According to Peter Jackson, it was Paul McCartney who came up with this line during the Get Back sessions. Jackson showed McCartney the footage from his documentary of the Beatles performing the song, who had no memory of working on it.
In a review of the Imagine album, music critic Robert Christgau said that the song "unites Lennon unmasked with the Lennon of Blunderland wordplay as it provides a rationale for 'Jealous Guy,' which doesn't need one, and 'How Do You Sleep?,' which may". Lisa Wright of the NME ranked "Gimme Some Truth" as Lennon's fifth 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". Classic Rock critic Rob Hughes rated "Attica State" as Lennon's greatest political song, saying "Lennon is at his acerbic best here, taking potshots at hypocrites, bigots, prima donnas and White House incumbent, Richard Nixon: 'No short-haired, yellow-bellied, son of Tricky Dicky/Is gonna Mother Hubbard soft-soap me/With just a pocketful of hope/Money for dope/Money for rope.'”
Lennon recorded "Gimme Some Truth" on 25 May 1971 at Ascot Sound Studios. Overdubbing of his lead vocal on 28 May was also captured on film.
Author Robert Rodriguez comments that Imagine is well known for its commercial qualities and "radio-friendly fare", but on the more substantial tracks, George Harrison provides "some of the grittiest playing", particularly on "Gimme Some Truth". Rodriguez highlights Harrison's slide guitar solo as being "equally [as] stinging" as his playing on "How Do You Sleep?" and describes the track as an "acidic attack on governmental hypocrisy".