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Blake Shelton Not Sure Why ‘Lord’ Was Removed From ‘Will the Circle Be Unbroken’ on ‘The Voice’

The Voice
Joe Scarnici, Getty Images

The ratings juggernaut known as ‘The Voice‘ is facing a storm of controversy over the omission of the word ‘Lord’ during the Top 8′s performance of the hymn ‘Will the Circle Be Unbroken’ with the Seattle-based Starbucks Chorus, which is a vocal group that raises funds for charity. Twitter went nuts over the fact that the word was ditched, and coach and country singer Blake Shelton was also at a loss.

“I don’t know how it happened… I’m learning about it just like you guys are,” Shelton admitted. “I was sitting in my chair singing that song how I grew up on it, with ‘In the sky, Lord, in the sky.’ I sang it as loud as I could. And that might be why I didn’t realize until after the fact that ‘Lord’ was either taken out, or it was just performed some other way.”

Shelton didn’t have an answer, and he wasn’t consulted about the lyrical change, saying, “I know it was performed — and it’s meant for a good cause, and they’re trying to raise some money. And that’s a good thing. But I will say, that’s not the version I grew up on. And that’s not the version I was singing, sitting in my chair.”

‘The Voice’ performance uses the word ‘oh’ instead of ‘Lord.’ Now, while ‘Lord’ is commonly accepted and used, it’s not in 1908 hymnal page of the lyrics. But it’s still largely performed with the word ‘Lord,’ like in Johnny Cash‘s popular version. That’s what is familiar to people and why their feathers have been ruffled.

Producer Mark Burnett was also befuddled over the word change, although he did say that in order to give the song away for free on iTunes, the public domain version needed to be used, and that’s the hymn which is sans ‘Lord.’ He assumed the country version with ‘Lord’ was the public domain version, and it isn’t.

“I realized immediately what had happened,” he said. “I thought I’d misheard on the sound. Then came the next chorus, and I’m like, ‘OK, it’s live TV, so I’ve got to wait until the next commercial break. I’m running over there and asking the question.’”

Still, no one knows why ‘oh’ was used. It sounds like the left hand didn’t know what the right hand was doing with this song.

Watch ‘The Voice’ Performance of ‘Will the Circle Be Unbroken’

Next: See Blake Shelton's Best Videos

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