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PUBLIC OPINION > Cee Lo Green's 'Imagine' Cover Was Offensive

SodaHead Music 2012/01/04 20:00:00
New Year's Eve didn't turn out quite the way Cee Lo Green anticipated. What started out as a peaceful performance quickly spiraled into a Twitter tirade against the "F--- You" singer, who made the mistake of switching up some of the words to John Lennon's "Imagine." It didn't seem like a big deal at the time, but when the public took a second listen at home, they realized Cee Lo had replaced the popular lyrics "and no religion, too" to "and all religion's true." Chaos ensued.

But just how much offense did people take? It's easy to overestimate the public's reaction by quoting a few strongly worded tweets, but we asked SodaHeads whether or not they were offended by the change to find out how widespread the damage was.

Cee Lo Green Changes Lyrics to John Lennon's 'Imagine': Acceptable or Offensive?



63% Were Offended

Note to self: Don't mess with John Lennon's lyrics or you're in for a verbal beatdown. It wasn't a landslide, but the respondents who were offended by Cee Lo's lyric change were more than a little peeved. One commenter wrote, "If it was only a minor change, it would be acceptable. However, his changes changed the complete tone of the song." A lot of voters suggested he should have picked a different song if he wasn't completely down with "Imagine" in the first place. For the sake of propriety, we'll leave out the harsher comments.

chart

Even Christians Are Offended

At first glance, it seems a little strange that religious voters would be offended by a lyric change that essentially injected Lennon's song with a sympathetic attitude toward religion. But when you think about it, stating that "all religion is true" isn't exactly a religious sentiment.


Libertarians Liked It

Conservatives were actually more offended than moderates, but libertarians didn't take much issue with the change. Only 44% of them were offended. Progressives, on the other hand, could hardly stomach the thought. 86% of progressives said they were offended.


Drinkers Don't Really Care

There wasn't much of an outburst during the live performance of the modified song, and we can attribute that to two things: First, it sounded pretty similar to the original lyrics, so there's a good chance people thought they misheard. Second, it was New Year's Eve. People were drinking. Who cares?

If you'd like to vote on this question, dig deeper into the demographics, or engage in existing discussion about the topic, visit our original poll about Cee Lo Green's "Imagine" cover. We'd love to hear from you!
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Top Opinion

  • Adam Julian 2012/01/04 21:43:12
    Adam Julian
    +6
    This "incident" inspired me, I'm going to find a song about peace and change the lyrics so it's pro-war, then I'm going to Photoshop the musician of said song and make it look like he's in a war.

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Opinions

  • TT 2012/01/09 13:56:11
    TT
    smh when you do a cover you make the song your own in some way or another, why is this such a big deal. Something is always gonna offend somebody in some way
  • Werewolfgirl1995 2012/01/09 06:13:43
    Werewolfgirl1995
    I don't see it any different then any other cover,some people that do cover songs add lyrics,change them or take some out.And for the people who say it's offensive,he'd have to get permission from whoever owns the rights for it and obviously they gave him permission
  • KB 2012/01/07 20:58:51
    KB
    +1
    It is really that big of a deal? No. No it isn't.
  • Mr.Right KB 2012/02/15 15:36:04
    Mr.Right
    Yes. Yes it is.
  • KB Mr.Right 2012/02/16 02:00:33
    KB
    Not really.
  • Mr.Right KB 2012/02/18 15:52:06
    Mr.Right
    Yes, really.
  • KB Mr.Right 2012/02/18 23:06:46
    KB
    In that instance try listening to Shootyz Groove's cover of Dear God (O My God). The lyrics are slightly different but it was done much better than the original.
  • Bobovich3 2012/01/07 01:53:47
    Bobovich3
    +1
    It shouldn't. Trust me, I consider Imagine to be among the greatest songs of all time, but to say someone who changed half one lyric is offensive is just stupid.
  • Mr.Right Bobovich3 2012/02/18 15:52:31
    Mr.Right
    No. You're stupid.
  • Rocko 2012/01/06 04:18:06
    Rocko
    +1
    dont they all do that (change a song to suit themselves at the time)



    in summary who cares !!!!
  • john doe 2012/01/05 13:25:13
    john doe
    +2
    Religion is garbage, c-lo is garbage.
  • Mr.Right john doe 2012/02/18 15:53:42
    Mr.Right
    Thank you , John Doe. Finally, someone with a brain.
  • mblack 2012/01/05 12:34:35
    mblack
    +2
    Lyric Police Alert. I wonder if the same people are offended when they hear the national anthem changed up. won't make a bit a difference how I live my life. As a christian I find the entire song offensive - no heaven, no hell, no religion, no country, no greed.
  • Guru_T_... mblack 2012/01/05 14:43:48
    Guru_T_Firefly
    +2
    Of course, you would. LOL!
  • Nicholas Rios 2012/01/05 05:08:24
    Nicholas Rios
    +3
    There is nothing offensive about the lyric itself. For a spiritual person the lyric change is pleasant. I wonder what goes through the minds of all these lyric police who are jumping on Cee-Lo for doing his job.
  • Mr.Right Nichola... 2012/01/05 15:41:21
    Mr.Right
    +1
    Intelligence goes through their mind.
  • some idiot who thinks he kn... 2012/01/05 04:23:34
  • john doe some id... 2012/01/05 13:27:39
  • Mr.Right john doe 2012/01/05 15:42:48
    Mr.Right
    I agree with "John Doe". "Some idiot: is exactly that.
  • some id... john doe 2012/01/06 13:15:22
    some idiot who thinks he knows everything
    +1
    Dude. Chill out. You just made everything ever so sideways. Try to insult me without even pointing out what you think the song means... awesome man, no ignorance there at all, totally. I am not Lennon's biggest fan by any means but it's not rocket science to understand what this song means. That spot Cee Lo changed in particular, of course, as I would assume we both know, is DEFINITELY opposite from what John was talking about.

    Now, the point I'm trying to make.... John ... wouldn't.... care.

    Another thing, I get that it's also not clear that Cee Lo gets that lyric, I would only assume he did but I myself wouldn't take notice of anyone replying to my comment. Oh well, just relax.
  • john doe some id... 2012/01/06 14:15:08
    john doe
    You spoke on Behalf of a dead man you have never met, how does this make me an idiot? You can't claim he wouldn't care because you simply do not know. There is that arrogance again.
  • some id... john doe 2012/01/07 14:31:46
  • john doe some id... 2012/01/07 21:18:36
    john doe
    You spoke on behalf of a dead man, just let it go, your feeble attempts to defend yourself give me a small chuckle. I don't care what you believe in I just comment to provoke a response (for fun), you seemed like an easy target.
  • some id... john doe 2012/01/07 22:50:44
    some idiot who thinks he knows everything
    So was I another easy target?
  • john doe some id... 2012/01/08 14:09:16
    john doe
    if you speak for dead people you obviously will spout any garbage that comes to mind either if you are right or wrong, I guess your name says it all.
  • Guru_T_... some id... 2012/01/05 14:44:50
    Guru_T_Firefly
    +2
    If he understood John's point, he wouldn't have changed the lyric.
  • some id... Guru_T_... 2012/01/06 13:16:38
    some idiot who thinks he knows everything
    +1
    Yes I know I had that in mind. I assumed he got it, imo. No one could be wrong are right there Rufus.
  • whipnet 2012/01/05 03:58:38
    whipnet
    I couldn't figure out why Cee-Lo was singing a song about Marxism to start with.

    *
  • john doe whipnet 2012/01/05 13:28:20
    john doe
    +4
    It's not about Marxism.
  • whipnet john doe 2012/01/05 15:01:58
    whipnet
    +1
    John Lennon was inspired by Karl Marx. What do you think he means when he speaks of "No Religion" or "No Countries" and "No Possessions"? "No need for greed or hunger"? Those are pretty much Karl Marx' words.

    *
  • Karl Marx whipnet 2012/01/09 06:20:55 (edited)
    Karl Marx
    +1
    Goes to show that fox news rots the brain. Do you know what else were Karl Marx's words? Shut the hell up.
  • whipnet Karl Marx 2012/01/09 14:54:06
    whipnet
    I don't watch Fox News. Pick up a history book from time to time genius..

    *
  • Karl Marx whipnet 2012/01/09 22:29:31
    Karl Marx
    +1
    No history book will tell you that John Lennon was a Marxist.
  • whipnet Karl Marx 2012/01/10 01:31:06
    whipnet
    +1
    Every single line of this song is a basic prerequisite for a genuine socialist society as envisaged by Marx and Engels, which has nothing to do with the repressive regimes that arose in Russia, China, Cuba etc.

    Imagine there's no heaven
    It's easy if you try
    No hell below us
    Above us only sky
    *Religion is the opiate of the masses, Karl Marx

    Imagine all the people living for today
    *Marx believed religion is used to suppress the fight for a better existence in this life for the promise of paradise in the after life. This line signifies the struggle for a better life in the here and now--instead of waiting in hope for a paradise that does not exist in some amorphous after life.

    Imagine there's no countries
    It isn't hard to do
    Nothing to kill or die for
    And no religion too
    *The abolition of hostile nation states competing for limited resources and markets that is the cause of all wars is one of the most basic tenants of Marxism (highlighting the fact that individual states such as China and Russia cannot possibly be Socialist/Communist as they fail this basic criterion.)

    Imagine all the people
    Living life in peace
    *This means the united international working-class working as one.


    You may say I'm a dreamer
    But I'm not the only one
    I hope someday you'll join us
    And the world will be as one
    *"I'm not the...
















    Every single line of this song is a basic prerequisite for a genuine socialist society as envisaged by Marx and Engels, which has nothing to do with the repressive regimes that arose in Russia, China, Cuba etc.

    Imagine there's no heaven
    It's easy if you try
    No hell below us
    Above us only sky
    *Religion is the opiate of the masses, Karl Marx

    Imagine all the people living for today
    *Marx believed religion is used to suppress the fight for a better existence in this life for the promise of paradise in the after life. This line signifies the struggle for a better life in the here and now--instead of waiting in hope for a paradise that does not exist in some amorphous after life.

    Imagine there's no countries
    It isn't hard to do
    Nothing to kill or die for
    And no religion too
    *The abolition of hostile nation states competing for limited resources and markets that is the cause of all wars is one of the most basic tenants of Marxism (highlighting the fact that individual states such as China and Russia cannot possibly be Socialist/Communist as they fail this basic criterion.)

    Imagine all the people
    Living life in peace
    *This means the united international working-class working as one.


    You may say I'm a dreamer
    But I'm not the only one
    I hope someday you'll join us
    And the world will be as one
    *"I'm not the only one" is not an abstract comment, as John Lennon donated funds to the Workers Revolutionary Party who were dedicated to revolutionary overthrow of capitalism and the unification of the international working class. They are now called the Socialist Equality Party.

    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
    *Can't get more Socialist than this. Imagine no possessions in Socialist terms mean everyone owns the means of production and all the resources of the earth. No company or individual has the right to withhold basic food stuffs and the necessities of life for his own personal enrichment. This is what is meant by "sharing all the world." Can't happen under capitalism where we are about to have a world food crisis because of futures trading in food commodities on the Chicago stock market.

    BTW. Personal property is a right of every individual as is the size and type of car and home they have etc. "Each according to their own ability, each according to their own need"

    You may say I'm a dreamer
    But I'm not the only one
    I hope someday you'll join us
    And the world will live as one

    If you think I am exaggerating, Lennon's Power to the people is overtly revolutionary.
    (more)
  • Karl Marx whipnet 2012/01/10 01:45:11
    Karl Marx
    Have you been taking you meds lately?
  • painted desert 2012/01/05 03:55:42
    painted desert
    +4
    Either do the song the way it was written or don't do it at all! Especially a moving song like
    "Imagine".
  • Karl Marx 2012/01/05 03:01:32
    Karl Marx
    +1
    I didn't agree with the lyrical change because it clearly changes the meaning of the song, but to call it "offensive" is too much.
  • Mr.Right Karl Marx 2012/02/15 15:33:55
    Mr.Right
    Well, it offended me.
  • Karl Marx Mr.Right 2012/02/15 21:56:49
    Karl Marx
    How so?
  • True Genius 2012/01/05 02:29:49
    True Genius
    +3
    Its Lennon not the words of Jesus Christ for God sake! Cee Lo was just exercising his own artistic spin on the song. FRANKLY HE SANG IT POORLY, HE SOUNDED A BIT WORBBLY.

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