Beatles, Cee Lo Green, censorship, dogma, heresy, John Lennon, NBC, New Year's Eve, New York City, Religion, sacred texts, shut your mouth!, the Word of God, Yoko Ono
If he had to do it again, musician Cee Lo Green most likely wouldn’t have ushered in 2012 with a blasphemous appearance on national television. He did, however, and just a few days later a reeling public is still hurt and confused.
It remains unclear just why the singer insulted the faith of millions with his callous comments, but unless he can somehow manage to right his rapidly sinking ship, Green’s actions may have seriously damaged his career. With the exception of the lunatic fringe, the music-buying public tends to avoid those artists associated with hate.
Here’s what happened: Green was scheduled to perform John Lennon’s Imagine before an audience of millions on NBC’s New Year’s Eve broadcast from Times Square. But Green, apparently ignorant of the sacrosanctity of Lennon’s lyrics, changed the words of this immortal song. While Lennon originally sang “nothing to kill or die for/ and no religion too,” Green sang, “Nothing to kill or die for/ and all religion’s true.”
This is highly offensive to Lennon’s fans, who despise the dogma and rigidity of organized religion, and have loudly lambasted Green for his insensitivity. Lennonists contend that the Word of John must remain inviolable if it is to act as a bulwark against the crippling conformity and monomania of organized religion.
There’s folklore among Jehovah’s Witnesses that John Lennon composed his song following a plane ride next to a JW who witnessed to him about God’s purpose to live forever on a paradise earth, in which even religion will be no more (um….except for ‘pure worship,’ of course)
It’s probably urban legend, and it’s not as widespread as the John Denver or Johnny Carson legends, (which I tend to believe) but it persists. it’s more on par with the John Wayne legend, which I almost certainly believe, trusting the source.
Hmmmm….all our legends involve Johns…..why is that?
We haven’t heard any of the legends/rumors, but the Lennon one is interesting. It’s universally agreed, however, that Ringo was the real talent in the Beatles, and without him, John was never quite the same.
Some Guy said:
I’m skeptical that Cee Lo Green’s lyrical changes did much to please the religious members of his audience, either. The notion that my religion has it right and yours is mistaken is well ingrained across a wide swath of faiths, so I suspect that the notion of a world where all religions are true caused at least a couple mental short-circuits.
Also, the Beatles will never amount to anything without Pete Best. Pete forever, Ringo never!