Cee-Lo Green Corrects The Weak, Faulty Lyrics of John Lennon's "Imagine"

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by PeterG, Feb 27, 2012.

  1. PeterG

    PeterG Argle-Bargle-ist

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    We've all been irked by Lennon's poor lyric-writing, no? Well Cee-Lo Green is a corrector of mistakes, bless his heart. His correction happened over a month ago when he sang the little ditty in New York's Times Square on New Year's Eve.

    Fans angry that Cee Lo changed 'Imagine' lyrics

    Here's the lyrics to the song, with Lennon's goof in red to Cee-Lo's improvement in green:

  2. Cachoo

    Cachoo Well-Known Member

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    Well there are two issues here: Changing the lyrics to one of the greatest songs we have in the rock songbook is --speaking religiously-- a grave sin.

    If whats-his-face had any grasp of history he would understand Lennon chose those words knowing what has been done in the name of religion.

    Idiot.
  3. triple_toe

    triple_toe Well-Known Member

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    He is such a tool.
  4. PeterG

    PeterG Argle-Bargle-ist

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    I can only imagine.

    :p
  5. Ozzisk8tr

    Ozzisk8tr Well-Known Member

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  6. BigB08822

    BigB08822 Well-Known Member

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    Saying "all religion's true" is just idiotic, anyway. Think about it, some religions teach some very horrible things and they can't all be true, that is just not logical.
  7. MacMadame

    MacMadame Internet Beyotch

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    But it rhymes. ;)
  8. John 3 17

    John 3 17 Well-Known Member

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    As much as I dislike the original words (and tune), Cee-Lo's re-write was no improvement. Both suck.

    -Bridget
  9. tarotx

    tarotx Well-Known Member

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    I think Cee-lo was trying to make it mean imagine if people allowed everyone their own religion without judgement or prejudice. People change lyrics all the time. The song isn't a national anthem or sacrament. It's a pop song. Plus It doesn't change the lyric meaning dramatically imo. I don't see why such an issue would be be made.
  10. znachki

    znachki Active Member

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    If you're an atheist, I'd imagine the change would be offensive.
  11. Garden Kitty

    Garden Kitty Tranquillo

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    I blame Purrfect the cat! :lol:
  12. Beefcake

    Beefcake Guest

    For reals. Now, if he'd corrected it to "and one religion's true" it would've made more sense. [But, alas, which religion is the true one? :drama:]
    Purrfect is obviously behind all Cee-Lo shenanigans and inappropriateness. Mrrrrrrrrrowwwwwwl!
  13. DarrellH

    DarrellH New Member

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    Imagine That!
  14. olympic

    olympic Well-Known Member

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    My first paranoid impression was that he was pressured into changing the lyrics / was afraid of any backlash to Lennon's original line.

    But, I think he released a tweet since then saying that he just wanted to make the lyrics better :blah: Write your own song. Don't change a classic. WTF was he thinking?
  15. danceronice

    danceronice Corgi Wrangler

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    Personally, I hate that song, so any crapping on it works for me.
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  16. taf2002

    taf2002 Well-Known Member

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    If you're not an atheist, that line is offensive. I'm not crazy about the song but that line has always bothered me. A world with no religion? No matter how much misery has been done in the name of religion, I would not be willing to live in a world without my religion.

    It bothered me a lot when John said the Beatles were bigger than God too. No they weren't.
  17. skatingfan5

    skatingfan5 Well-Known Member

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    I'm not an atheist, and I don't find that line offensive -- however, I'm sure that others feel differently.
    Because of that misery (some of it in horrendous proportions), I can understand the feeling behind Lennon's lyric. Although a world without religion would not be a world without misery, just free from the misery inflicted in the name of religion. Human nature being what it is, there likely will always be some "reason" to inflict intentional misery upon others. :(
    The actual quote was that the Beatles had become "more popular than Jesus" which may well have been true for some in that time/place (1966/England). It didn't get much of a reaction until it was requoted in a U.S. teen magazine months later, after which it triggered protests -- and album burnings and banning of their music getting airplay in some places. Talk about over-reaction.
  18. Cheylana

    Cheylana Well-Known Member

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    Hey, there's no such thing as bad publicity! So...good on Cee-Lo! :D
  19. milanessa

    milanessa engaged to dupa

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    And not getting the facts right.
  20. milanessa

    milanessa engaged to dupa

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    :respec: And not getting the facts right.
  21. MacMadame

    MacMadame Internet Beyotch

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    I would love living in a world without religion!

    For one thing, surveys show that atheists are more moral that believers on average.
  22. allezfred

    allezfred Prick Admin Staff Member

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    Well, none of us has any conclusive proof that God exists, so until then yes they were. :p
  23. Southpaw

    Southpaw Saint Smugpawski

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    Without religion there would be no "Crime and Punishment" or Mahalia Jackson or "Annie Hall" and that's just not a world I would want to live in. :drama:

    However, a world without that...that....Justin Bieber mangling ANY song on New Year's Eve is perfectly ok with me.
  24. gkelly

    gkelly Well-Known Member

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    Would you be willing to live in a world without countries (borders, governments, etc.)? Or a world without possessions (private property)?

    The point of the song is to imagine an idealized world that is not based on anticipation of an afterlife (no heaven or hell) or on drawing lines between groups of people to set them against each other.

    Countries, religion, possessions are all about drawing lines.

    Imagine a world where land, relation to the divine however you experience it, resources and manufactured goods all exist but are available for personal use or sharing without drawing lines and fighting over them.

    Not a practical vision for a foreseeable future, but an ideal to make us question whether we really need to draw all those lines and put up all those barriers between us.

    One could argue that it's as much an anarchist or communist ideal as an atheist one.

    But it's really not atheist at all because it doesn't say imagine a world with no god.
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  25. skatingfan5

    skatingfan5 Well-Known Member

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    No the Reverend Mr. Collins or Vicar of Dibley, either, I guess. :( That would take away some of life's laughter, wouldn't it. John Lennon obviously hadn't thought things completely through -- or wasn't much of an Austen fan. :shuffle:
  26. hydro

    hydro Well-Known Member

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    Love the original song and love the original lyric. And I love how much it pisses off religious folks clinging to their dogma.

    Cee-lo's cover is just that, a cover. It's his take on it. I don't really see the change as a big deal.
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  27. Southpaw

    Southpaw Saint Smugpawski

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    Without religion there would be no "The Feeling Begins" or "Ave Maria". :drama:
  28. skatingfan5

    skatingfan5 Well-Known Member

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    No, it doesn't, does it. From the wiki page I linked in my previous post:
    Though, I suppose for some this way of thinking would be "atheistic."
  29. cygnus

    cygnus Liberal Furry

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    Not to mention York Cathedral, the Church in the Rock, Notre Dame Cathedral, the Book of Kells, the Parthenon (temple to Athena), Hagia Sofia, most Renaissance art...........
  30. PeterG

    PeterG Argle-Bargle-ist

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    I saw a video on youtube recently that included statistics that stated that things would be worse off without atheists (which I assumed was an implication that things would be better without religion being so prevalent in our lives). Here is the link:

    Imagine If All Atheists Left America

    But I don't know how accurate the statistics are that this video cites... :shuffle:

    I think the Beatles were as likely to take the p*** out of themselves as much as they were anybody else. I'm guessing they felt the mania around their group was off-the-charts crazy. They probably just saw themselves as some pop group, nothing worthy of all the attention they were getting. So when John made this comment, I think he was being flippant and meant that the kind of attention they were receiving should be directed at something greater than four young pop stars.

    :40beers:
  31. pollyanna

    pollyanna Don't blink

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    I don't remember John Lennon ever saying this. The quote I remember is "We're more popular than Jesus now." Which considering the Beatlemania of the time and the steady decline of Christianity in the UK since the First World War, this might have seemed true to a young man surrounded by the madness of fame. I'm not excusing or blaming, just stating the general feeling of the time. Lennon's quotes provoked no public reaction in the UK.

    After the quote was published in the US and other parts of the world, the outcry began. Lennon later tried to explain: "Well, originally I pointed out that fact in reference to England. That we meant more to kids than Jesus did, or religion at that time. I wasn't knocking it or putting it down. I was just saying it as a fact and it's true more for England than here. I'm not saying that we're better or greater, or comparing us with Jesus Christ as a person or God as a thing or whatever it is. I just said what I said and it was wrong. Or it was taken wrong. And now it's all this."

    So yeah, he didn't say they were bigger than God, he said that at that moment they were more popular than Jesus, at least in the UK.

    Here endeth the lesson.

    I can't imagine a world without Mahalia Jackson's "Go Tell It on the Mountain." :(
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  32. MacMadame

    MacMadame Internet Beyotch

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    And no boring skating programs to them either. Everybody wins!

    Also, the way they said it, they said it like it wasn't particularly a good thing.

    As for not having all the music people have said they can't imagine being without ... if Imagine isn't asking you to imagine a world without God, why wouldn't most of those songs still exist? The ones about spiritual themes certainly would.

    I don't know any great inspirational songs that are about how wonderful a particular religion's dogma is. A few comedic ones perhaps. ;)
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  33. Civic

    Civic New Member

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    I can't imagine Lennon's estate (controlled by Yoko Ono) signing off on this.
  34. BigB08822

    BigB08822 Well-Known Member

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    It would be one great World, wouldn't it? Probably for another thread, though. :lol:
  35. Southpaw

    Southpaw Saint Smugpawski

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    Gospel music certainly would not exist without religion. Gospel music is about loving Christ and being a Christian. If there were no Christianity then there would be no gospel music. No churches, no gospel. Dem's the rules.

    We'd probably have to kick that Lutheran Bach to the curb, too.

    And forget music, who the heck would poor Richard Gere go visit in Tibet if there were no need for the Dalai Lama?
  36. attyfan

    attyfan Well-Known Member

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    IMO, it is simply unfair to assume that all the misery caused by/in the name of religion would not have happened if religion did not exist, but all the good caused by/in the name of religion (such as care for the poor, discussed extensively in another thread) would have happened, even if religion didn't exist.

    More to the point, though, is that the merits (or lack thereof) of the ideas expressed in Lennon's song have nothing to do with Green's "changes". Lennon wrote the song to express Lennon's ideas; if Green wants to express different ideas, Green should write a different song ... not pass off Green's ideas as those of Lennon.
  37. MacMadame

    MacMadame Internet Beyotch

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    Again, you say that like it's a bad thing. ;)
  38. Rob

    Rob Beach Bum

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    And no Tebowing. :p
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  39. cruisin

    cruisin Well-Known Member

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    He never said that. He said they were more popular than God. And did not mean that as a good thing.
  40. duane

    duane New Member

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    If religion never existed, there would be no thoughts of being unwilling to live in a world without it.
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