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Learning English - Words in the News
12 December, 2005 - Published 12:29 GMT
Cubans remember John Lennon's music
John Lennon
Forever famous: John Lennon of the Beatles

Hundreds of Cubans attended a concert on Sunday to commemorate the twenty-fifth anniversary of the death of John Lennon. Lennon's music, and that of the Beatles, remains very popular in Cuba, but it was disapproved of by the island's communist leadership in the 1960s. This report from Stephen Gibbs:

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For some in the crowd, this was an extraordinary event, a reminder of just how much things can change. As the fans sang along to some Beatles classics performed by Cuban musicians, many remembered the days when such an act would have been considered almost counter-revolutionary.


It was prohibited, said this woman, who says she well recalls secretly listening to Beatles recordings in the 1970s.

Just how much the times have changed could be seen from the setting of this concert. It was held in Havana's John Lennon Park, in front of a statue to the former musician which was unveiled five years ago. In the crowd was none other than Ricardo Alarcon, president of Cuba's national assembly. He says he's been a lifelong Beatles fan. He insists that the group was never banned in Cuba, just misunderstood by Cuban officials.


"As time passed by, Lennon's dimension has grown, not only here but everywhere and I think that today, he's a real symbol of a better world."

Listen to the words

Beatles classics
very good songs (by the Beatles) which have been popular for a long time

considered almost counter-revolutionary
thought to be nearly against the government (the party that is in power because of a previous revolution)

not officially allowed, illegal, banned

well recalls
clearly remembers

the setting
the place (where the concert was held)

uncovered in a formal ceremony

none other than
we use this expression to emphasise that the person involved in something is impressive or surprising

only, nothing more than

reputation or image

he's a real symbol of a better world
he's someone who very much suggests, or represents, the idea of an improved world

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