Sorry for the douchee post title. I just couldn’t help myself. Anyway, the story goes that during the New Years Eve celebrations in New York singer Cee Lo took it upon himself to change the lyrics of John Lennon’s famous song Imagine, the line “Nothing to kill or die for, and no religion too” to a super religiously apologetic “… and all religion’s true“.
Wow, what a message…! How urbane. How sophisticated. How regardful and diplomatic. What debonair! No, wait… What complete and utter arrogant, contrived, ignorant, wish-thinking nonsense.
Apart from the fact that the lyric change completely changes the message Lennon was trying to get across when he wrote Imagine, it’s a totally stupid concept that infers the impossible. How on earth can all religion be ‘true‘? Each and every religion is in juxtaposition with all other religions… All religions could never be true. How on earth could each religion have an omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent god? Every religion’s god can’t be stronger than all other religions’ gods simultaneously! It is a completely nonsensical and impractical statement, from someone who clearly wants to purvey a message of peace… but that’s the thing with religion. Peace could only ever be possible under one single religion. If any other religion exists, they by definition would have to be in opposition to one another, and be forced to compete until one lost out.
Furthermore, this sort of statement is going to upset everyone and please no one by the non-religious or weakly religious apologetic. It would only be accepted by anyone who doesn’t care enough to follow any single religion and its god already anyway… Meanwhile, you’ll be offending all Christians, Jews, Catholics, Muslims, Hindus, and atheists, the average of whom would see straight through such futile suggestion. And like myself write up a blog post poking the absurd idea full of holes.
It’s also offensive to musicians, who would have anyone covering their music and that of their peers follow the true meaning behind such songs and not reinvent and twist them.
Cee Lo sent out numerous tweets it’s reported, apologising and trying to explain himself, but later deleted them all. One was as follows:
Yo I meant no disrespect by changing the lyric guys! I was trying to say a world were u could believe what u wanted that’s all,
I loved the response of one redditor in a post on r/atheism:
You know, after watching the video of the performance, it’s possible that he either f–ked up the line on the spot, or that he learned the tune incorrectly,
I don’t think this is some kind of ‘powerful statement regarding God and Religion’, I think he just f–ked up the lyrics because he didn’t grow up with the song…
Moments after his post, Chrispdx’s updated his response, however:
Edit: read his tweet, he meant it, f–k that guy.
There’ve been quite a few people who’ve covered Imagine in the past who have also changed this one lyric, or even completely removing the verse like David Arculeta when on American Idol. He happens to be a mormon… So big surprise.
Meanwhile if you want to listen to a good cover of Imagine I highly recommend you watch/listen to A Perfect Circle’s cover. Sheer brilliance! And instead of changing the lyrics, all they did was change the key and make it more progressive.