That’s disappointing. A song that embodies inclusion gets edited.

So, the other day on television, I caught a rather nice rendition of Lennon’s “Imagine.” It was during an episode of Glee, which is newish show that has a lot of musical theatre elements (it’s a favourite of my wife’s).

Anyway, this episode had a plot that focused around the highschool glee club (of which the entire show is based around) meeting a choir for the deaf. And the song in question was this really great collaboration of spoken word (from the deaf choir) and singing (from the glee club). It was quite moving really, since it nicely showcased the sentiment of Lennon’s iconic song.

Check it out – you can see and hear the version of song as shown on TV (at least for now since I think it’s technically copyrighted material):

It is, by any measure, a very strong performance, and I liked it enough that I thought this would be a good song to purchase on iTunes. I thought my kids, in particular, might like it.

So, it was all rather disappointing to discover that the version released on iTunes had completely edited out every element of the deaf choir’s performance. Which is a shame really – because I thought it was actually the best part of the song. Now it sounds like a decent but otherwise mundane version of the song.

Of course, this begs the larger question. Why would Twentieth Century Fox (the ones who produce the television show as well as release the music for purchase) feel like the parts with the deaf choir would not merit a listen? It’s puzzling really – is the music buying public that averse to this sort of thing?

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David (@ng_dave) is Faculty at the Michael Smith Labs. His writing has appeared in places such as McSweeney's, The Walrus, and He plans on using Terry as another place to highlight the mostly science-y links he appreciates. In fact, if you liked this one, you might also like his main site generally - this can be found at