Which isn’t something I plan on doing on a regular basis, but man. Man. Seriously?
Camels with Hammers has already fired off a blunt John Lennon Did Not Imagine That “All Religion Is True” blog-post (complete with video of the performance, which I can’t stomach watching for a second time):
I don’t even particularly like the song very much. But don’t take something deliberately provocative and counter-cultural and neuter it as an expression of inoffensive, bland conformity. Don’t take his dream of the end of religion and swap it out with a dream that all religions be equally accepted as true and good and pretend those are remotely the same things. They’re antithetical ideas.
I’ve read the Huffington Post page where they’ve documented the increasingly angry outbursts of several people, mostly documenting reactions by the singer himself – did arriving with Yoko Ono mean that he got a blessing to change the lyrics?I’ll conclude with a comment by John Morales (credit where due), which I also discovered after reading Huff Po:
BTW, the songfacts site has this:
According to Yoko Ono, who controls the rights to John Lennon’s music, the most frequent request she gets comes from musicians who want to record this song but change the “No religion, too” lyrics – a request she has always denied.
So, does this mean you can record any song, but you need special permission to alter the lyrics? Essentially, yes. Alex Holz at the music licensing and royalty service provider Limelight explained to us: “Artists can be afforded ‘some’ leeway in adapting a track to your band’s style (so long as you don’t alter the fundamental character of the work), though lyric changes/alterations typically require direct permission from the publisher as a derivative work. Every songwriter/publisher/song is unique and requirements vary.”