Cee Lo Green Alters IMAGINE Lyric, Outrages Pacifists Everywhere
By Morgan Shanahan on January 03, 2012
BlogHer Original Post
Cee Lo Green, what ever were you thinking? You're kicking off 2012 by performing John Lennon's beloved IMAGINE on New Years Eve with Carson Daly, and rather than just add your own artistic spin to the arrangement, you choose to switch up perhaps the most controversial lyric to the late superstar's anthem of universal love...
Cee Lo Green‘s small change to the lyrics to John Lennon‘s song “Imagine” is causing a very big uproar.
Charged with singing Lennon’s famous solo-era tune on NBC’s New Year’s Eve show shortly before the ball dropped in Times Square , Green changed the lyrics from “Nothing to kill or die for, And no religion too” to “Nothing to kill or die for, And all religion’s true.”
Minor deviation, no?
John Lennon was not exactly an arbitrary guy. He was an iconoclast who made his often radical philosophies known, and die-hard fans have no doubt his intention was clear in his suggestion of "no religion too." Lennon supporters have charged that Green's change inherently alters the intention of the lyric and the meaning of the song as well.
Cee Lo's spidey sense must have started tingling immediately - because he tweeted out in his own defense before the verdict was rendered on whether or not it was a mistake and the storm of criticism began to reign down --
"Yo I meant no disrespect by changing the lyrics guys! I was trying to say a world where u could believe what u wanted that's all." - @ceelogreen
Nice sentiment, but not one that John Lennon would have likely shared. As a Beatles fan (and one apparently unhampered by the dramz, Green tweeted this morning that he was listening to The Beatles "I'm Only Sleeping") Cee Lo must have known that an intentional messing with the late frontman's most successful solo effort would cause ripples across the vast community of Lennon Lovers.
Green has since deleted the defensive tweet, opting to go silent on the issue instead, offering twitter followers a simple "Happy new year everyone!!!!!!" in it's place.
Check out the now infamous performance below:
What do you think? Was Cee Lo out of line? Or is every performance a new opportunity for artistic re-interpretation?