Cee Lo’s Controversial New Year’s Eve Version Of ‘Imagine’

Cee Lo Green’s taking a lot of heat from fans of religion and John Lennon, with both groups vying for his blood. The controversy surrounds his substitution of “Nothing to kill or die for, And no religion too” to “Nothing to kill or die for, And all religion’s true” in Lennon’s 1971 classic song “Imagine.” He then tweeted “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” (since deleted). Here’s the performance from New York’s Times Square, shortly before midnight on New Year’s Eve, lyrics conveniently subtitled:

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  • MadHierophant

    Nothing is true. Everything is permitted.

    • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

      When everything is true, nothing is true, so whats the big deal?

      • MadHierophant

        We pretty much said the same thing, in a roundabout way. 

      • Gregory Wyrdmaven

        Exactly!

  • Anonymous

    Nothing is true. Everything is permitted.

  • Honu

    While Cee Lo has the right to sing publicly, I don’t see his artistic output reflecting anything substantial or thoughtful enough to warrant personal editorializing to a song as profound (if not overplayed at this point) as Imagine.  He clearly doesn’t know where Lennon was coming from when he wrote it as that line is probably the most controversial but also an essential one to the song. Changing it the way Cee Lo has turns the song into something very different.  But we all know Cee Lo doesn’t mind changing lyrics to sell more tunes.

  • Honu

    While Cee Lo has the right to sing publicly, I don’t see his artistic output reflecting anything substantial or thoughtful enough to warrant personal editorializing to a song as profound (if not overplayed at this point) as Imagine.  He clearly doesn’t know where Lennon was coming from when he wrote it as that line is probably the most controversial but also an essential one to the song. Changing it the way Cee Lo has turns the song into something very different.  But we all know Cee Lo doesn’t mind changing lyrics to sell more tunes.

  • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

    When everything is true, nothing is true, so whats the big deal?

  • Anonymous

    We pretty much said the same thing, in a roundabout way. 

  • Gregory Wyrdmaven

    I’ve never liked “Imagine” as it is a song about Nihilism, to me…the eradication of everything.  Lennon said many things but really didn’t have clear ideas about how to bring about this utopia he imagined.  It’s one thing for a wealthy artist to sit in a bed and say let’s all grow our hair long and hang out, it’s another to understand the complex issues that cause war and poverty and all the other negative issues that plague the world at the present.

    At least…the idea of having “no religion too” needs a footnote.  We will have no need of religion when we understand that all humans should be at peace with each other, for the benefit of all.  While one should be able to practice their own personal religion, we see how major world religions are really cultural identifiers and are used to divide us, not unite us.  Xianity is the religion of the white man and the cultures he has dominated, like the negro and the hispanic.  Islam is the religion of the arab.  Judiasm the religion of the Jew, etc.   These “religions” have long ceased to be about spirituality but galvanizing groups together politically, exploiting peoples’ need for at least some spirituality to keep them in line.   

    As long as one group insists their culture is superior and that they should rule the world, there is little hope…which is why the apocalypse can’t come soon enough for me. 

    Here’s  my blog entry from yesterday that deals with this very subject:

    http://vigilantius.blogspot.com/search?updated-min=2012-01-01T00:00:00-08:00&updated-max=2013-01-01T00:00:00-08:00&max-results=1

    • Eric_D_Read

      How can you be eagerly anticipating an apocalypse yet still be turned off by nihilism?

      • Stopclick

        Because if he were a nihilist, he could not eagerly anticipate anything. It’s a paradox, I say!

    • jigglyboobs

      It’s about the annihilation of FALSEHOOD.
      to most of you, that would be the annihilation of everything you know, so sure, real scary…

      • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

        you something something not something monopoly something something truth.

  • Gregory Wyrdmaven

    I’ve never liked “Imagine” as it is a song about Nihilism, to me…the eradication of everything.  Lennon said many things but really didn’t have clear ideas about how to bring about this utopia he imagined.  It’s one thing for a wealthy artist to sit in a bed and say let’s all grow our hair long and hang out, it’s another to understand the complex issues that cause war and poverty and all the other negative issues that plague the world at the present.

    At least…the idea of having “no religion too” needs a footnote.  We will have no need of religion when we understand that all humans should be at peace with each other, for the benefit of all.  While one should be able to practice their own personal religion, we see how major world religions are really cultural identifiers and are used to divide us, not unite us.  Xianity is the religion of the white man and the cultures he has dominated, like the negro and the hispanic.  Islam is the religion of the arab.  Judiasm the religion of the Jew, etc.   These “religions” have long ceased to be about spirituality but galvanizing groups together politically, exploiting peoples’ need for at least some spirituality to keep them in line.   

    As long as one group insists their culture is superior and that they should rule the world, there is little hope…which is why the apocalypse can’t come soon enough for me. 

    Here’s  my blog entry from yesterday that deals with this very subject:

    http://vigilantius.blogspot.com/search?updated-min=2012-01-01T00:00:00-08:00&updated-max=2013-01-01T00:00:00-08:00&max-results=1

  • Gregory Wyrdmaven

    Exactly!

  • Anonymous

    How can you be eagerly anticipating an apocalypse yet still be turned off by nihilism?

  • Smash & Grab

    At last checking this video only had 303 views… I’m glad no one is REALLY caring about any of this religion/atheist bickering bullshit.

    Let the man sing and let a playa play, for fuck’s sake.

  • Smash & Grab

    At last checking this video only had 303 views… I’m glad no one is REALLY caring about any of this religion/atheist bickering bullshit.

    Let the man sing and let a playa play, for fuck’s sake.

  • Anonymous

    Isn’t this the opposite of controversial?

  • nemoide

    Isn’t this the opposite of controversial?

  • http://www.facebook.com/themaurizio Maurizio Mezzatesta

    lol what a controversy!! No big deal.

  • mauriziojuvefc

    lol what a controversy!! No big deal.

  • Namelesswon

    changing the lyrics to a song that is held in high regard thus altering its meaning is a big fucking deal. you miss the point if you think this just about a theosophical debate. i guess some pop artists will always be someone else’s bitch.

  • Namelesswon

    changing the lyrics to a song that is held in high regard thus altering its meaning is a big fucking deal. you miss the point if you think this just about a theosophical debate. i guess some pop artists will always be someone else’s bitch.

    • Bacon WRapscallion

      John Lennon will always be a bitch.

  • Bacon WRapscallion

    John Lennon will always be a bitch.

  • Stopclick

    Because if he were a nihilist, he could not eagerly anticipate anything. It’s a paradox, I say!

  • NoneUniverse

    In what universe is “Imagine” a profound song?

  • jigglyboobs

    It’s about the annihilation of FALSEHOOD.
    to most of you, that would be the annihilation of everything you know, so sure, real scary…

  • Andrew

    The same universe in which Cee Lo is relevant.

  • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

    you something something not something monopoly something something truth.

  • Danny J Albers

    Cant help but think Lennon himself wouldn’t care in the least

  • http://www.facebook.com/danny.j.albers Danny J Albers

    Cant help but think Lennon himself wouldn’t care in the least

  • Parabolee

    The same one where you are an idiot. So this one.

  • Misterfurious1

    Just another example how everyone in this society wants to play the victim for some reason. This is a huge non-issue, no one was victimized, but many would like to imagine they were. I guess it makes them feel special. 

  • Misterfurious1

    Just another example how everyone in this society wants to play the victim for some reason. This is a huge non-issue, no one was victimized, but many would like to imagine they were. I guess it makes them feel special. 

  • GoodDoktorBad

    There is a huge difference between “…and no religion too” and “all religions true”. The two are opposites essentially.

    Not that I want to rag on Cee Lo really, but the change is an abomination of the spirit of the song “Imagine”. Oh well….

  • Anonymous

    There is a huge difference between “…and no religion too” and “all religions true”. The two are opposites essentially.

    Not that I want to rag on Cee Lo really, but the change is an abomination of the spirit of the song “Imagine”. Oh well….

  • Anonymous
  • Corporate_felon

    May as well shit on John Lennon’s grave for that one!

  • Corporate_felon

    May as well shit on John Lennon’s grave for that one!

  • Anonymous

    Black people and atheism don’t mix too much. American Black people are among the biggest religious fanatics in the world.
    And their religion mostly comes from their slave ancestors’ owners.

  • tooCents

    Black people and atheism don’t mix too much. American Black people are among the biggest religious fanatics in the world.
    And their religion mostly comes from their slave ancestors’ owners.

  • http://www.comicbookandmoviereviews.com comicbookandmoviereviews

    John Lennon by his kith an kin – http://www.comicbookandmoviereviews.com/2012/01/inside-john-lennon.html

  • http://www.comicbookandmoviereviews.com comicbookandmoviereviews

    John Lennon by his kith an kin – http://www.comicbookandmoviereviews.com/2012/01/inside-john-lennon.html

  • darren

    Do people not realize that “all religions” being “True” would mean that OF COURSE their dogmatic idiosyncracies WOULD NOT EXIST.  THIS IS EXACTLY what John Lennon was saying to begin with. WTF people, getting angry about a song about everyone getting along. I guess there is no hope whatsoever, at least Lennon isn’t around to see this.  

  • darren

    afterthough: i wonder how many of the people angry about this also believe a number divided by zero yields infinity.  Guess what, no matter how many zeroes you have, even if it’s an infinite number, you’ll never reach any other number. The mathematical limit of all religions being true is no religion, too.

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