The failure to cover


We all have our favourite songs from the ‘Good old days’ – Summer of 69, Brown Eyed Girl, Forever Young etc. These songs hold tight the memories of childhood and all the moments that you just sang along with some high school friends but then one day while driving around town you hear on the radio a covered version of Forever Young by Jay-Z. Automatically you become confused and a little bit of anger flows through your veins.

A couple of weeks later the song becomes a hit and what annoys you the most is the fact that when you bring it up with some people they don’t even know that it wasn’t Jay-Z’s song to begin with, well besides the rapping in between. The history has disappeared.

The cover version of songs is taking over the music industry by storm, leaving a lot of people with mixed feelings especially when the new covered versions aren’t anywhere close to the original. In 2006 Gwen Stefani released the song Wind it up, a song that expressed lyrics such as, ‘I know he thinks you’re fine and stuff but does he know how to wind you up.’ While these lyrics are nothing compared to the lyrics that are heard nowadays, the song still came across as shocking to some as The Lonely Goatherd from The Sound of Music was played in the background. Many Sound of Music fans can say that the day Wind It Up was released they received a slap in the face. Surely whoever verifies the covering of music should take into account that when an artist covers a song they use that song in the same original context’

However it is wrong to say that covering is all bad, there are some songs out there that do justice unfortunately they are becoming more rare as the years go by. What seems to be doing well are the musicals, Across the Universe, Mamma Mia. These musicals consists of songs by The Beatles and ABBA but what these musicals have in common is that they didn’t try to change the song, they kept the original feel of the bands. This could be the key ingredient to covering music but some may argue that a show like Glee sometimes tend to change the feel of the song. This is true but the original meaning is still there.

Hopefully in future when an artist covers a song they will keep the context the same because sometimes if this is not taken into account it may end horrible and leave an annoying after taste in ones in ones mouth.


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