So this happened.
And a bit of advice for Mr. Green: if you want to completely overwrite John Lennon’s clearly atheist message, it’s not enough to remove the line “And no religion too.” You might also want to take a look at the great humanist verse that begins the song, which you apparently had no problem singing:
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
By claiming that “all religion is true” but leaving the original opening lines in place, all you’ve done is turn Lennon’s message into a muddled and inconsistent mess. (Which, come to think of it, makes the song entirely compatible with the muddled inconsistency of religion; so perhaps it’s Mission Accomplished, after all!)
Beyond the God bits, it’s interesting to see how “Imagine” has been turned into a feel-good let’s-all-get-along number by people who seem to blithely ignore its underlying — and unsettling — revolutionary ideas. Believers squirm at the “no religion” line, but what about “Imagine there’s no country”? “Imagine no possessions”? These are very clear challenges to our deeply cherished notions of patriotism and capitalism, and Lennon was calling for no less than a complete overhaul of human society. The ideas are, arguably, stark and oversimplified, but surely they deserve discussion and debate; it’s heartening that they’re getting a hearing in the current conversations about the Occupy movement, but sad that the song itself isn’t seen by more people as the revolutionary anthem that it truly is.
More misunderstood songs here.