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Author Topic: Cee Lo Green changes Lennon's "Imagine" lyrics to include pro-religion message  (Read 8790 times)

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I am the Paulrus

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Cee Lo Green changes Lennon's "Imagine" lyrics to include pro-religion message enraging fans

Monday, January 2, 2012

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2081011/Cee-Lo-Green-changes-lyrics-Lennons-Imagine-include-pro-religion-message-enraging-fans.html

New Years Eve performer Cee Lo Green dropped a bomb on John Lennon fans Saturday night after changing lyrics to his song Imagine while on live television.
The last words of lyrics 'Nothing to kill or die for And no religion too,' by the late Lennon were changed to 'And all religion's true' by the hip-hop artist who sang in New York's Times Square.

Broadcast before 2.304 million viewers of NBC's New Year's Eve with Carson Daly right before the ball dropped, Mr Green's change didn't go unnoticed and attracted immediate criticism.

Mr Green swatted off those critical responses left and right on Twitter following, in sometimes similarly obscene rebuttals, but by late Sunday morning he had removed all of the postings.

'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,' Mr Green was seen as explaining in a tweet.

'People need to respect the very man that you're trying to honor by playing his song,' New York musician Gary Heimbauer vented in a YouTube video 20 minutes after seeing the performance.

'You just changed his lyrics and completely reinvented the meaning of the song. That's just one of the most arrogant things I've ever seen, especially to do when the whole world is watching on New Year's Eve and John Lennon was just such an important person to New York City.

'That was just horrible and I hope that there is some more outrage to that and not just my own,' Mr Heimbauer said.
In agreement, a forum on Reddit mentioning the lyrics change collected 1,150 comments by Sunday afternoon, most of them in heated agreement.

One viewer originally came to Mr Green's defense explaining, '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,' Reddit user Chrispdx wrote.

'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...' he concluded.
Several other Reddit users mentioned other artists changing Lennon's lyrics in the past too.
Moments after his post, Chrispdx's updated his response, however:

'Edit: read his tweet, he meant it, f--k that guy.'

See the video of it here:
http://bcove.me/3garx48t
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Nada Surf

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This is rapidly becoming Janet Jackson's wardrobe malfunction of Beatle fans.
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I am the Paulrus

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He should have sang "Imagine" the way it was written and intended to be performed. If he was going to prematurely change those lyrics, he should have sought Yoko Ono's permission, first! Who knows if she would have granted him permission or not? No matter what the outcome would have been, it still would draw the outrage of fans as it is now. I respect freedom of speech,but, there is a time and a place to do it. Cee Lo for messing up a beautiful and revered song as "Imagine" is the equivalent of forgetting the words or changing the words of the Nation Anthem. You screwed up big time! Cee Lo, you have just sunken to a new LOw!
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Nada Surf

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He should have sang "Imagine" the way it was written and intended to be performed. If he was going to prematurely change those lyrics, he should have sought Yoko Ono's permission, first! Who knows if she would have granted him permission or not? No matter what the outcome would have been, it still would draw the outrage of fans as it is now. I respect freedom of speech,but, there is a time and a place to do it. Cee Lo for messing up a beautiful and revered song as "Imagine" is the equivalent of forgetting the words or changing the words of the Nation Anthem. You screwed up big time! Cee Lo, you have just sunken to a new LOw!
Under no circumstances does anyone EVER ask Yoko Ono for permission on ANYTHING! Beatle fans complaining about this word change (and it's not just here) give Beatle fans a bad name ...and, as always, it's the Yoko supporters.
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I am the Paulrus

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Under no circumstances does anyone EVER ask Yoko Ono for permission on ANYTHING! Beatle fans complaining about this word change (and it's not just here) give Beatle fans a bad name ...and, as always, it's the Yoko supporters.

I'm on about him asking for Yoko' permission because she represents John's estate covering his music publication, art, etc. They are both in the enterainment business. They have agents/lawyers who could work that kind of thing out if they wanted to. Yoko is approachable because she sees over John's interests. I'm not the least bit interested if you say it's pro-Yoko people vs. anti-Yoko people! Or if we, as Beatles/Lennon fans, are going to make ourselves look bad by complaining about a word or lyric or verse change in "Imagine". There are going to be those who say it's the singer's freedom of expression that they can do what they like. I don't agree with that. If you are going to sing it, sing it as it is written. Don't go sticking your own words into it, unless you are "Weird Al" Yankovic. There are people who like to do different musical variations of a song. Fine.  Even "Weird Al"  had to ask for permission of an artist to do a parody of whichever song of theirs that he's going to do.
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nimrod

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my take on this is that, Johns lyrics were a huge part of his songs and very integral to what the song was portraying so he should not have changed them.

BUT......am I the only one thinking this is a publicity stunt to get his name in the press big time ?
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tkitna

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Who gives a sh*t? Seriously, who cares? If anything See More Green ,or whatever his name is, changed the song for the better. People should feel lucky to have nothing but this to worry about.

peterbell1

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my take on this is that, Johns lyrics were a huge part of his songs and very integral to what the song was portraying so he should not have changed them.

BUT......am I the only one thinking this is a publicity stunt to get his name in the press big time ?

Agreed ... and agreed.

He should have left the song lyrics alone - why choose to perform a famously anti-religious song and try to shoe-horn some religious comment into it? There are many religious songs he could have sung instead.

Which certainly seems to point to the fact that he did it purely to attract attention - no publicity is bad publicity, as they say.
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tkitna

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famously anti-religious song

This is why the song sucks. The fact that humanity idolizes the song due to its message, and the person who wrote it, paints a clear picture as to why the world is so f***ed up. John could of wrote it as a positive tune, but as usual that was too hard for him. Now we have somebody who did display it in a positive light and he's getting berated for it. Whats wrong with this picture? People suck. A little piece of positive energy being crushed for that very reason.

In My Life

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This is why the song sucks. The fact that humanity idolizes the song due to its message, and the person who wrote it, paints a clear picture as to why the world is so f***ed up. John could of wrote it as a positive tune, but as usual that was too hard for him. Now we have somebody who did display it in a positive light and he's getting berated for it. Whats wrong with this picture? People suck. A little piece of positive energy being crushed for that very reason.

I used to have a problem with this song myself but I look at it differently now than I used to;  still within the context of my faith. As far as Cee Lo Green goes, I don't disagree with his sentiment but I think he should have written his own song to express it. This was a lot like plagarism.
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Kelley

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Ovi

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I used to have a problem with this song myself but I look at it differently now than I used to;  still within the context of my faith. As far as Cee Lo Green goes, I don't disagree with his sentiment but I think he should have written his own song to express it. This was a lot like plagarism.

I actually agree with that. If he didn't like the song's message and John's vision he should've picked another song. But then again, the fans' reaction is ridiculous and exaggerated as always. Hope it doesn't go as far as the "We're more pupular than Jesus" "war" in '66 though. :)
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Joost

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This is kind of stupid. If you're not behind the message of the original song, then don't sing it.
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peterbell1

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This is why the song sucks. The fact that humanity idolizes the song due to its message, and the person who wrote it, paints a clear picture as to why the world is so f***ed up. John could of wrote it as a positive tune, but as usual that was too hard for him. Now we have somebody who did display it in a positive light and he's getting berated for it. Whats wrong with this picture? People suck. A little piece of positive energy being crushed for that very reason.

I have to disagree here.

Lennon is basically saying that the world would be a better place if there were fewer things to fight about, such as countries, possessions, and - yes - religion.
Whatever your views of religion, it can't be denied that it has been behind much trouble on this planet over the years - as have struggles between countries over borders, or fighting centered on assets ("possessions") such as oil or whatever.

He is advocating peace - what is not positive about that? I don't think that the song "sucks" in the slightest. Yes, it's a very simplistic message, and yes, he is "a dreamer", but I don't think it is a cynical attack on religion - I see it as a pro-peace song.

And getting back to Cee-Lo Green, I still think he should have left the lyrics alone or else left the song alone altogether and performed something that did suit what he wanted to say.
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nimrod

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I have to disagree here.

Lennon is basically saying that the world would be a better place if there were fewer things to fight about, such as countries, possessions, and - yes - religion.
Whatever your views of religion, it can't be denied that it has been behind much trouble on this planet over the years - as have struggles between countries over borders, or fighting centered on assets ("possessions") such as oil or whatever.

He is advocating peace - what is not positive about that? I don't think that the song "sucks" in the slightest. Yes, it's a very simplistic message, and yes, he is "a dreamer", but I don't think it is a cynical attack on religion - I see it as a pro-peace song.

And getting back to Cee-Lo Green, I still think he should have left the lyrics alone or else left the song alone altogether and performed something that did suit what he wanted to say.

well said Peter, I agree with all you say..

The song sucked so much its been voted best single ever quite  few times in polls, wish I could write such a bad song  ha2ha

Its a publicity stunt, he knew exactly what he was doing and it worked.

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Joost

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John could of wrote it as a positive tune, but as usual that was too hard for him. Now we have somebody who did display it in a positive light and he's getting berated for it.

I suppose that the question if it's a positive song or not depends on your personal view on religion.
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stevie

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Who is this Green guy?
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In My Life

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Who is this Green guy?

He's the lead singer for the band Gnarls Barkley.
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Kelley

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tkitna

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I suppose that the question if it's a positive song or not depends on your personal view on religion.

I guess it does.

tkitna

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Whatever your views of religion, it can't be denied that it has been behind much trouble on this planet over the years - as have struggles between countries over borders, or fighting centered on assets ("possessions") such as oil or whatever.

Because people are stupid. If its not religion it would be money, or politics, or something else. Lets face it, the human race is just too dumb to live in peace. Its not our nature. Put two people together on a table with a glass of water and theres bound to be an argument for some reason. Once again,,,people suck.

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He is advocating peace - what is not positive about that?

By imagining things dont exist? Its such a negative message I cant fathom how people love the song so much (the sheep are followers though). Instead of thinking there is no heaven, how about we all believe that there is one. Wonder how people would react to that? Well, if Imagines message isnt clear enough, I suppose people can always listen to his 'God'. There's a real happy one.

Quote
I don't think that the song "sucks" in the slightest. Yes, it's a very simplistic message, and yes, he is "a dreamer", but I don't think it is a cynical attack on religion - I see it as a pro-peace song.

I think its horrible. Even without the message, the song itself does nothing for me.

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And getting back to Cee-Lo Green, I still think he should have left the lyrics alone or else left the song alone altogether and performed something that did suit what he wanted to say.

I commend him.
[/quote]

tkitna

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The song sucked so much its been voted best single ever quite  few times in polls, wish I could write such a bad song  ha2ha

Three chords, a negative message and there you go. Shouldnt be very hard.
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