The biggest Beatles-related news story of 2012 has easily been Cee Lo Green's New Year's Eve performance of "Imagine," during which the Gnarls Barkley singer-songwriter/rapper impiously jettisoned John's original line, "Nothing to kill or die for, and no religion too," in favor of, "Nothing to kill or die for, and all religion’s true." To no surprise, many Lennonites responded to the edit with indignation and cried blasphemy. Defending himself on Twitter, Green pleaded, "Yo I meant no disrespect by changing the lyric guys! I was trying to say a world were (sic) u could believe what u wanted that's all."
Though I find all of the outrage to be needless, I'll side with the "Imagine" fundamentalists in this rather indirect, even insulting way: the proposition that all religions are true and will deliver what they promise strikes me as one of the few notions more implausible than John's vision of mankind living in harmony once countries, religions, and possessions have been eradicated. Which is to say, they're both bunk, but one is just a tad more so.
Here are some other takes:
- "Imagine there's no simplistic religious imagery"
- "The Ballad of John and Cee Lo"
- "Let Lennon be Lennon and forget Cee Lo Green"