New Year’s Rendition of ‘Imagine’ Endorses All Religion

I’m listening to local radio news and I was not aware that the person who sang “Imagine” for the ball dropping in New York changed some of the lyrics. This person being Cee Lo Green and the change in lyrics: “nothing to kill or die for/ and all religion’s true.”

I did hear the song on TV, but I did not catch that lyrical change. All I remember was that the singer was doing a horrible job of actually singing “Imagine.”

The original lyrics were: “nothing to kill or die for/ and no religion too.” The idea being that with no religion there would be no gods to kill for or commit martyrdom for. I think John Lennon would have been appalled to hear an endorsement of all religion.

Maybe “Imagine” is an idealistic song, as in all likelihood, if religion goes away we’d find something else to fight about (though killing would be harder to justify without God), but it’s a good ideal to strive for. It takes some pretty big balls to change a classic song and if you’re going to do it you better have the genius to back it up. Cee Lo Green failed in multiple ways and his balls have been deflated.

That said, I think Cee Lo Green is talented as I have listened to his work with Gnarls Barkley, but he made a major error on this creative move. Sometimes an artist should apologize, take a step back and reflect.

The beauty of John Lennon’s song shouldn’t be diminished in regards to religion. Like I said, we probably would find other things to fight about (politics, land, etc), but imagine no Allah for a Muslim extremist to die for or no Christian god for an anti-abortionist to kill for? Or no god to justify bigotry against homosexuals? Imagine if people in general didn’t fear hell and they didn’t block scientific progress? Imagine if education taught kids real science and  history instead of a dumbed-down, censored version because of school board politics? Violence would be curtailed and minds would be expanded beyond the restraints of an ancient mythology. It would be one hell of a step in the right direction.


Imagine there’s no heaven
It’s easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people living for today

Imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people living life in peace

You, you may say
I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one
I hope some day you’ll join us
And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people sharing all the world

You, you may say
I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one
I hope some day you’ll join us
And the world will live as one

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *