Madonna staked out a spot on the Place de la République in Paris Wednesday and delivered an acoustic rendition of John Lennon’s “Imagine” as part of an impromptu set to honor the victims of the November 13th terrorist attacks.
The video, shot by fan Jules Mahe, finds the pop star and guitarist Monte Pittman surrounded by a small crowd, who quickly lend their voices to the song as well. Their rendition is charmingly clunky at times, with Madonna sporting a wide grin as she corrects herself during the third verse before easing into one last, rousing chorus.
“Everybody knows why we’re here,” Madonna told the crowd, according to a report from The Guardian. “We just want to sing a few songs about peace, just to spread love and joy, and to pay our honor and respect to the people who died almost four weeks ago. And to spread light … we all need it.”
Madonna’s busking excursion occurred after her sellout concert at the Bercy arena in Paris Wednesday. While various artists were forced to cancel or postpone their European concerts after the November attacks, Madonna decided to soldier on, delivering a heartfelt speech at a show in Stockholm, Sweden one day after the massacre.
“It’s been really hard actually to get through the show, because in many ways, I feel torn,” she said. “Like, why am I up here dancing and having fun when people are crying over the loss of their loved ones? However, that is exactly what these people want us to do. They want to shut us up. They want to silence us. And we won’t let them.”