'Imagine' Lyrics Changed To Push Pro-Religion Views

Soul singer Cee Lo Green came under fire for changing the lyrics to John Lennon's "Imagine" when he performed the song on New Years Eve in New York.

'Imagine' Lyrics Changed To Push Pro-Religion Views
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Soul singer Cee Lo Green has come under fire for changing the lyrics to John Lennon's "Imagine" when he performed the song on New Years Eve in New York. Critics say Cee Lo "bastardised" the original by changing the lyric "and no religion too" to the exact opposite: "all religion is true." Lennon fans took to Twitter in force to condemn the rewrite. According to Billboard (via NME), Cee Lo tweeted an explanation saying: "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." The message was soon deleted. Is the edit really that bad? Lennon's original song wasn't so much an antheist anthem than a set of ideas which draw a picture of a free world. If Cee Lo's ammendment imagines a world where every religion is true, then perhaps Cee Lo remains within the creative remit of the song. But we digress. Perhaps the damage was done when Cee Lo dared to meddle with Lennon's poetry, but it remains a contentious issue. Did Cee Lo mess with the wrong artist, or do you think there was integrity to his decision? Share your reaction in the comments.

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    BryceD546
    If the original lyrics were all religion is true, and he changed them to and no religion to, this would have been everywhere
    WhoAMEye
    bassplr19 wrote: It's a very ignorant lyric change, "all religion is true" is about the stupidest thing he could have changed it too. Sure he would have been criticized more if he would have suggested a certain religions were true, but at least it would have made sense. Just a second of thinking would give you the reason, every religion says they're true and all other religions are false.
    Yeah but just Imagine
    Eirien
    "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." Yeah I can see where he's coming from and I agree with him but why sing a song if you disagree with it's message? Maybe he could write his own song (or at least rip off an old soul song) that promotes his own ideals.
    iommi600
    "I was trying to say a world were u could believe what u wanted that's all." totally agree with him, despite I don't believe in what he said in the song.
    bassplr19
    It's a very ignorant lyric change, "all religion is true" is about the stupidest thing he could have changed it too. Sure he would have been criticized more if he would have suggested a certain religions were true, but at least it would have made sense. Just a second of thinking would give you the reason, every religion says they're true and all other religions are false.
    guitar7masta
    OT: not a big deal. as expected, the comments have all gone to shit. off topic: i consider myself an atheist, but i also have respect for those that believe in ANY religion. i wish there were more atheists like myself, because quite frankly, people like Bill Maher and Christopher Hitchens just give us a bad name. they make all of us rational atheists look like arrogant, self entitles asswipes, and that just simply isn't true. you can throw around your pathetic anecdotes of "atheists think they know everything" or "atheists always shove their beliefs down our throat", but the truth is, that is only a minority of those people, which could be comparable to the "Tea Party" activists. the real problem is stupid people. we live on a planet which allows stupid people to believe in whatever they want, or, to NOT believe. whatever choice the fool makes doesn't matter, for he is still a fool. choosing one belief over another does not make one inherently smarter than anyone. I CANNOT be alone on this...
    metlahead666
    zomgguitarz1234 wrote: Incoming shitstorm and people bitching about how they will force religion down our throats, despite the fact they're forcing atheism down our throats.
    ...Despite the fact that atheists have been forced to shut up about THEIR views of life for the past 2000 years by christians and any other religious sects. It's not that atheists are forcing atheism down your throat, it's that you feel threatened by hearing those kinds of things. Atheists have been less vocal than any other religion so far. Think about it, you didn't mind seeing a billboard prompting how we'll go to hell if we don't bow before god, yet a message by atheists saying that you shouldn't waste your life expecting there to be a next one disturbs you greatly. Now ain't that some shit?
    Rock.Domination
    zomgguitarz1234 wrote: Incoming shitstorm and people bitching about how they will force religion down our throats, despite the fact they're forcing atheism down our throats.
    What we are advocating is something called "secularism" where the country shouldn't be biased towards any religion (read: Christianity). Which is in-line with the American's favourite constitutional amendment: Freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and separation of Church and State. And if you're referring to the teaching of solid scientific theories such as evolution in schools, education is education for a reason. We don't teach children 2+2=5 in Schools, anyone can believe that 2+2=5, and it might prove to be true someday, but currently, the most plausible answer is 2+2=4. And we should be teaching our children that, and not our personal beliefs. Besides, atheism being forced down your throat? I'm sure we atheists like to teach people about science and empirical evidence, but isn't that what the Evangelists and Jehovah's Witnesses do as well? Please be fair, kind sir.
    The Spoon
    Personally, I think that lyric change is kind of interesting. Rather than saying one religion, or his religion is true, it sounds like he's saying there's some truth in all of them. I don't think he meant any harm, but he's probably still gonna get a lot of hate for some reason.
    rbramble18
    At first I thought there was no big deal with Cee Lo changing up the lyrics...I kind of get what he is saying in his message, However, even if all religion were true, would people take the time out of their religion to "live for today" or work with people from other religions toward a common goal? On second thought, it kind of ruins the original intent of Lennon's song.
    The Spoon
    iron_maiden93 wrote: I think all this arguing is far more against the spirit of the song than the lyric being altered.
    Finally someone who understands.
    metlahead666
    Ibeanez wrote: metlahead666 wrote: ...Despite the fact that atheists have been forced to shut up about THEIR views of life for the past 2000 years by christians and any other religious sects. No they haven't, EVER.
    Religious prosecutions, inquisitions, jihad, crusades, witch burnings (it didn't take much to be burned then really), all the European religious wars. Yes a lot of these may have been conflicts between major religions and religious branches, but that only goes to show you further how much tolerance the religious rights have for each other, let alone for atheists. The peaceful religious people are a silent majority/minority (depending on where you are) so of course i'm not pointing fingers at them. Don't be so ignorant please.
    RockInPeaceDime
    zomgguitarz1234 wrote: Incoming shitstorm and people bitching about how they will force religion down our throats, despite the fact they're forcing atheism down our throats.
    What country do you live in? Surely not the one where 80+% of the population openly claims Christianity as their religion. Surely not the country where saying you're a Christian is seen as a sign of great character, whereas saying you're not religious is a sign of how depressed and immoral you are. Surely not the country that has had FORTY FOUR openly Christian Presidents in a row. Surely not the country that has, what, one or two openly atheist/non-religious members in all of Congress? Surely not the country where a majority of people polled said they would not vote for a well-qualified atheist Presidential candidate. Surely not the country where a majority of people polled said they would disapprove of their son/daughter marrying an atheist. Surely not the country where prayers are said and a ****ing doorway is blessed by an evangelical Christian pastor (Rick Warren) before the President walks through it at inauguration. Surely not the country where a majority of people polled believe Jesus will come back and that humans WALKED ALONGSIDE DINOSAURS. Yeah, atheism is being shoved down your throat.
    SydBareass
    It's a cover. No one bitched when Johnny Cash said "crown of thorns" (a religious reference, mind you) instead of "crown of sh*t" when he covered Hurt. Grow up, everyone.
    Denjario
    Ok... So he sings: Imagine there's no heaven It's easy if you try No Hell below us Above us only sky (Chorus) Imagine there's no countries It isn't hard to do Nothing to kill or die for And all religion is true ...Ok, Wait a minute... Imagine there's no heaven but all religions are true? How is that even possible? So he just changed the lyrics for the sake of what? Just to be different? Why? The song was perfectly fine the way it was, it made sense, had a great message of peace and tolerance, and has withstood the test of time. Why change one of the important lyrics, but not change the whole verse that leads up to that lyric being important? Oh, and this: "Imagine no Possessions" Uh... What the **** buddy, you're wearing a fur coat that probably cost a metric ****ton of cash during an economic crisis. *facepalm* YOU ARE WHAT THE SONG WISHES THERE WAS NONE OF.
    Superperfex
    Lennon chose that line for a reason. He meant "no religion too" as a way of not separating mankind and segregating the people into different spiritual sects. He hoped of a world of universal love, without the need to l label spirituality and call other people wrong.
    iron_maiden93
    I think all this arguing is far more against the spirit of the song than the lyric being altered.
    Vinushka
    The original song was a load of nonsense anyway, with Lennon banging on about "imagine no possession" while having millions sitting in his bank account, fancy cars and homes all over the world. Lennon was like that friend everyone has who gets an ultra-liberal, rainforest-saving vegan girlfriend and suddenly changes to please her. Yoko ruined him.
    RockInPeaceDime
    Ibeanez wrote: metlahead666 wrote: ...Despite the fact that atheists have been forced to shut up about THEIR views of life for the past 2000 years by christians and any other religious sects. No they haven't, EVER.
    Except for those times throughout history that they were shunned from society or killed because they didn't bow down to the Church. LOL NO BIG DEAL!
    evening_crow
    The Spoon wrote: Personally, I think that lyric change is kind of interesting. Rather than saying one religion, or his religion is true, it sounds like he's saying there's some truth in all of them. I don't think he meant any harm, but he's probably still gonna get a lot of hate for some reason.
    +1 Cee Lo was only trying to promote a world where religion wouldn't be a reason for conflict which is the same thing that Lennon wanted. The difference is that Lennon thought that the sole existence of religion itself was a reason for people's differences, where as Cee Lo simply tried to say, "Hey, maybe we CAN have our different religions as long as we learn to accept each other's." I personally think it's a really clever change in lyrics to display a different approach to the same end result. Obviously the problem here is that people are too uptight regarding any public announcement about religion. Add to that that it's John Lennon's song, someone who a lot of people view as a musical god and whose work shouldn't be messed with. ... and I hate to say it, but a lot of UG's upset too because they're not fans of him or his genre in particular. Had Tool done that change when they released their cover of Imagine most people here would've thought they were geniuses.
    elcapitan1800
    Obviously you can't change an iconic songs most poignant lyric and not expect a shitstorm. And this whole thread will be about religion, but I think its more ridiculous that he sang about "no possessions" and "no need for greed or hunger" decked out in jewels and a fur coat. But that's just me
    Gridlock749
    metlahead666 wrote: zomgguitarz1234 wrote: Incoming shitstorm and people bitching about how they will force religion down our throats, despite the fact they're forcing atheism down our throats. ...Despite the fact that atheists have been forced to shut up about THEIR views of life for the past 2000 years by christians and any other religious sects. It's not that atheists are forcing atheism down your throat, it's that you feel threatened by hearing those kinds of things. Atheists have been less vocal than any other religion so far. Think about it, you didn't mind seeing a billboard prompting how we'll go to hell if we don't bow before god, yet a message by atheists saying that you shouldn't waste your life expecting there to be a next one disturbs you greatly. Now ain't that some shit?
    Hardly, I can't go on the internet without seeing atheists bashing Christians. In fact you see that now more than anything else. I'm not even a Christian but it's amazing how violently opposed to Christianity the internet has become, especially since they respect the views of pretty much every other religion. Atheists at this point are just as vocal as everyone else, maybe more so. As for the cover, who cares.
    placebic
    I believe people are forgetting to have fun with [their] music. Why the stiffness? Its not like he totally reworked the entire song, then made it into something completely different, then called it Dubstep. Lord forbid people want to change things up & experiment just a little. Oh, pardon me, was using the term "Lord" purely out of freedom going to land me in a never-ending spiral of career suicide? Then so be it. Get over yourselves. Cee lo can say all he wants that he's a dreamer; He's not the only one.
    ds24601
    As has been said before I find it rather amusing that all these people are going on about how atheism is being persecuted by Christians on the ****ing INTERNET for goodness sake. The internet is full of atheist elitists (not to say they are representative of all atheists but they're the most vocal and are pretty active on the internet) and any time someone mentions their religion--especially if it's Christianity--and how proud they are of it they will get ripped to shreds . Then you have people like Bill Maher or whatever his name is who goes to the Vatican to make a documentary about how bullshit he thinks religion is and laughs about how they don't allow him to do it. Whether you're religious or not that's really disrespectful and just plain douchebag behaviour. And have you not noticed the bashing fundamentalist Christians get on TV? And even just religion in general. How about that episode of Futurama with the ancient Egyptian-esque alien race worshiping their god? "strip us of all free thought", "we are dumb". And don't get me started on Family Guy, which is full of atheist propaganda. Yeah, there are fundamentalist Christians who think everyone who doesn't share their beliefs are inferior and will burn in hell, etc, but there is the same extreme on the other side and they are possibly more vocal and their views more acceptable in the media and ESPECIALLY the internet. Believe what you want but putting down other peoples' beliefs for your own amusement is just douchebaggy.
    guy_tebache
    This seems a pretty huge overreaction to me. I'm not religious in any way, in fact I rail against most religions, but it seems to me there was no malicious intent or hidden religious agenda behind this. He just changed a single lyric in a song he was covering-possibly to make it more personal to him.
    DoReMi
    I wanna respect what he's trying to get across... but on the other hand, no one who ever starts with "Yo" is going to be able to make a serious point
    Niiko
    metlahead666 wrote: zomgguitarz1234 wrote: Incoming shitstorm and people bitching about how they will force religion down our throats, despite the fact they're forcing atheism down our throats. ...Despite the fact that atheists have been forced to shut up about THEIR views of life for the past 2000 years by christians and any other religious sects. It's not that atheists are forcing atheism down your throat, it's that you feel threatened by hearing those kinds of things. Atheists have been less vocal than any other religion so far. Think about it, you didn't mind seeing a billboard prompting how we'll go to hell if we don't bow before god, yet a message by atheists saying that you shouldn't waste your life expecting there to be a next one disturbs you greatly. Now ain't that some shit?
    Firstly, atheism isn't a religion. Secondly, if any right minded christian saw such a billboard they'd probably either laugh at it or think "Man, that ain't right".
    Dime6String
    Religion is nothing but a bullshit lie! Religion is the root of all evil and war! Anti-religious and proud of it!!!
    Kilimacory
    Sure, it's kind of crappy that he changed Lennon's work, but look at what he actually said. He said "ALL religion is true." He didn't say one specific religion is true. He isn't cramming Christianity or any specific religion down anyone's throat. Imagine if all religion was true. There wouldn't be war over religion, no one would care. We wouldn't have people bitching about religion being force fed to them. Sounds very Lennon-esque to me.
    SydBareass
    I swear, UG could post an article about Dave Grohl using a new toothpaste and would somehow turn into a stupid, unending quagmire of a religious "debate" here.
    a7xb4d
    metlahead666 wrote: zomgguitarz1234 wrote: Incoming shitstorm and people bitching about how they will force religion down our throats, despite the fact they're forcing atheism down our throats. ...Despite the fact that atheists have been forced to shut up about THEIR views of life for the past 2000 years by christians and any other religious sects. It's not that atheists are forcing atheism down your throat, it's that you feel threatened by hearing those kinds of things. Atheists have been less vocal than any other religion so far. Think about it, you didn't mind seeing a billboard prompting how we'll go to hell if we don't bow before god, yet a message by atheists saying that you shouldn't waste your life expecting there to be a next one disturbs you greatly. Now ain't that some shit?
    Well that is a rather ignorant statement. I, being Christian laugh at those billboards saying God is going to damn those to hell who don't believe in X Christian sect because the people who put those up are being ridiculous. Yes I do find the comment that I shouldn't "waste my life" disturbing since it shows a complete and total state of despair, but that's not the point. You're labeling all Christians by these wacko groups that put up posters condemning people to hell. A true Christian doesn't condemn anybody, but instead hopes that all people may some day reach heaven. Also, the fact that atheists have been less vocal seems a little far-fetched to me. When you have figures like Stephen Hawking and Christopher Hitchens in the world, it doesn't really seem like atheism is being pushed to the side.
    ne14t
    Popcorn thread!! Atheism is not a form of religion; however it can certainly compare itself to many of today's religions. I know a couple atheist's and they preach about how there is no god and that god doesnt exist and people who believe in god are crazy. This is no different then Christians saying there is a god, that god exists and that people who do not believe in god are lost souls doomed to burn in the firey pits of hell. Believe what you want and if someone tries to change your opinion punch em square in the teeth.
    -xCaMRocKx-
    If you don't like the lyrics and the core message of the song, SING A DIFFERENT SONG. Ridiculous.
    jason878
    Its still the same message. Every religion is true, so everyone should get along. Or, no religion too, so everyone stop fighting over religion.
    zomgguitarz1234
    Incoming shitstorm and people bitching about how they will force religion down our throats, despite the fact they're forcing atheism down our throats.
    kratos379
    Ibeanez wrote: metlahead666 wrote: ...Despite the fact that atheists have been forced to shut up about THEIR views of life for the past 2000 years by christians and any other religious sects. No they haven't, EVER.
    Extremely ignorant statement. People have been killed for not believing in God. You can actually go further back in time. One of the reasons that Socrates had to drink hemlock was because some of his ideas were considered atheist, even though he was clearly influenced by Greek mythology.
    nimrod_hahahaha
    surely at its core the idea of no religion is the same as the idea of all religions being true (taking 'true' to mean 'true for the individual'). if either idea was accepted the result would be the same (i imagine he's going for peace and freedom)