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I can only imagine -karaoke (MercyMe)
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A karaoke video for MercyMe's hit. Now you can turn this song into your own song.

You can watch the original video here:

I CAN ONLY IMAGINE (by MercyMe)

I can only imagine
What it will be like
When I walk
By your side


I can only imagine
What my eyes will see
When your face
Is before me
I can only imagine
Yeah

Surrounded by Your glory
What will my heart feel?
Will I dance for you Jesus
Or in awe of you be still?
Will I stand in your presence
Or to my knees will I fall?
Will I sing hallelujah
Will I be able to speak at all?
I can only imagine
I can only imagine

I can only imagine
When that day comes
And I find myself
Standing in the sun

I can only imagine
When all I will do
Is forever
Forever worship You
I can only imagine, yeah
I can only imagine

Surrounded by Your glory
What will my heart feel?
Will I dance for you Jesus
Or in awe of you be still?
Will I stand in your presence
Or to my knees will I fall?
Will I sing hallelujah
Will I be able to speak at all?
I can only imagine
Yeah
I can only imagine

Surrounded by Your glory
What will my heart feel?
Will I dance for you Jesus
Or in awe of you be still?
Will I stand in your presence
Or to my knees will I fall?
Will I sing hallelujah
Will I be able to speak at all?
I can only imagine
Yeah
I can only imagine
I can only imagine
Yeah
I can only imagine
I can only imagine
I can only imagine

I can only imagine
When all I will do
Is forever, forever worship you

I can only imagine

CAN= The verb "can" in an affirmative sentence is pronounced /kən/or /kn/

I CAN ONLY IMAGINE= It's impossible for me to know.

WHAT IT WILL BE LIKE...= The complete sentence is: I can only imagine what it will be like when I walk by your side.
As you can clearly see, this is not a question, but a statement, so there is no inversion. Many people (depending on their mother tongue) tend to use an inversion with interrogative words, always. In English we only use an inversion if it's a question, but not if it's not a question, so be careful. Here are some examples:
1- Who are you? (question, inversion)
2- Tell me who you are (no question, no inversion)
1- Where do they live? (question, inversion)
2- I don't know where they live (no question, no inversion)
1- What will you do? (inversion)
2- I can only imagine what I will do (no inversion)
In this song, you can find more examples of both direct and indirect questions, for instance:
- Will I dance for you, Jesus? (direct question, inversion)
- I can only imagine what my eyes will see. (no question, no inversion)
------
The LIKE in this sentence is not the verb, but the preposition:
- What's your father like? – He's very tall and handsome.
- What is heaven like? – It's a place where everybody's happy and everything's perfect
In this context, the sentence "I can only imagine what it will be like..." means "I don't know what I will feel" (because he's talking about emotions here).

WHEN I WALK BY YOUR SIDE= In biblical language, talking about God, this sentence expresses the idea of company, being with (not necessarily walking), so this sentence here means "when I am with you".

JESUS= /dʒi:zəs/

IN AWE OF YOU= (poetical or old fashioned) The word AWE /ɔ:/ expresses the strong emotional reaction before something/someone really powerful: an intense feeling of admiration or terror; so today we use as part of two very different words: "awesome" (=fantastic) and "awful" (=horrible). The meaning in this context is positive, so "in awe of you" means more or less "feeling overwhelmed by your sublimity, power and beauty".

STILL= (Adjective) quiet, without movement. If something is still, it's not moving. Don't confuse this adjective with the adverb or the connector:
- Everything stood still (adjective) = Nothing was moving
- I'm still waiting for her (adverb) = She hasn't arrived yet
- He's horrible. Still, he's my friend (connector) = He's horrible but he's my friend

TO MY KNEES WILL I FALL?= If you fall to your knees, you kneel down. The complete sentence is: "will I stand in your presence or will I fall to my knees? This change in the correct order of the sentence (placing the adverbial "to my knees" before the verb) is called a hyperbaton, and it's a literary figure of speech that makes the sentence more beautiful and poetical (but if you are a student of English and say this in normal language then it's not beautiful, it's simply incorrect)

HALLELUJAH= /hæləlu:jə/ (Hebrew word from the Bible, also spelled Halleluyah, Halleluiah or Alleluia) A joyful word of praise to God, something like "glory be to God" or, in modern language, "God rules!", "He's the best!". The strange J that we pronounce /j/ (like an Y) here is an old spelling that has survived because it was used in the standard Bible for the English (King James Version), but you can also use the I (or even Y), which fits better with its pronunciation. Spellings without H are also possible because you can also pronounce this word without /h/.
We can also use this word to express a great joy for something good that happened, specially after a long wait (e.g. "halleluiah! you finally passed your driving test!")

WILL I BE ABLE TO SPEAK AT ALL?= The verb "be able" is an alternative to "can", specially in cases where the verb "can" is not possible. We only have two forms for this verb "can" (present and future) and "could" (past and conditional). Any other tense will be formed with "be able to" (will be able, has been able, is being able, etc). The phrase AT ALL is used to emphasize questions and negatives:
- I don't like it at all
- Do you love him at all?


STANDING IN THE SUN= It is very common to use the sun as a symbol of God. This sentence also brings echoes of the angel from Revelations, who appeared in the skies "standing in the sun" (Rev 19:17). Many people think this sentence is "Standing in the Son" (The Son = Jesus, the son of God), but that doesn't make much sense, it should be "Standing before the Son". The confusion between SUN and SON is possible because both words have the same pronunciation /sʌn/, but the context and the Bible clearly favour "sun" here.

WORSHIP= Ardent devotion; adoration. If you worship God, you love Him intensely.
There is also a more "mundane" usage of this word, which is the ceremonies, prayers, or other religious forms by which this love is expressed, but in this context he is not talking about formalities and procedures, he's talking about intense love, which is the real worship (Hos 6:6)

This song is about heaven. Not about what heaven is like, but what the singer will feel when he gets to heaven and sees God. He thinks he will be completely overwhelmed by the presence of Love; the feeling will be so intense that it's impossible to know how he is going to react when that moment arrives, so he "can only imagine".

They say that when we are in great fear, when we panic, either of two reactions are possible: flee or fight; run away or confront the danger. The same is true when we are in great attraction, when we are in the presence of immense love: we can either jump with joy or stay petrified, because very strong emotions can make us move or freeze. This song also expresses the same idea using opposite reactions, with movement or stillness:

Will I dance for you, Jesus / or in awe of you be still?
Will I sing hallelujah / will I be able to speak at all?
Will I stand in your presence / or to my knees will I fall?

But whichever his reaction may be at that moment, he's quite sure about one thing: he'll feel completely overwhelmed because God is something too impressive to be assimilated and dealt with, and the feeling of love will be so intense that his reaction can be completely unpredictable.

So this song is a question without an answer, but this is not the question of the intellectual who needs to know, it's the question of the lover who enjoys anticipating the moment when he will be in the presence of the loved one and spends the time fantasizing about what that moment will be like, imagining "what it will be like when I walk by your presence".

It's all about love.



Well, all that was my personal perception of the song, but many songs have a background behind, so I investigated for this one's and this is what I found in Wikipedia:

MercyMe's vocalist Bart Millard's father died from cancer when Millard was an 18-year-old. Millard began writing the words "I can only imagine" on items when he was thinking about his father. He wrote the song in 1999 by drawing on his thoughts and personal faith about what one would experience upon meeting Jesus in Heaven. Millard estimated that it took him only ten minutes to write the lyrics and melody. Millard told Fox News that his father used to tell him that if he could choose, he would rather [=prefer] be in Heaven than here. "As a Christian I believed that, but as an 18-year-old it was a little hard to swallow. So the questions in the song came from me asking God what was so great about Him that my dad would rather be there."

Actually, the video also presents both interpretations. In the first part people are holding an empty frame. There's no picture inside because they have no idea what being with God will make them feel exactly, so they look at the empty frame and simply fantasize about how wonderful it must be. In the second part of the video people are holding frames with the pictures of people, and now they don't look happy and dreamy, but sad; a kind of "relaxed sadness", but sadness after all. That's because the people in the frames are relatives that died, so they feel sad remembering them, but at the same time they feel happy because their loved ones are with God, so they are probably thinking how happy they must feel, and also how happy they will feel when they get reunited with them in heaven, so we can also see some dreamy looks here. We can also see the singer himself holding a photograph of his deseased father, the one that inspired all this song.

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