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A popular song (or even [[CoveredUp a nearly unknown one]]) has a cover version released. Rather than stick to the tone of the original, the band covering it decides to take it a different way. If the original was a happy song, it may be redone sarcastically or sadly. If the song was about the breakup of a relationship, it could be changed to being about the character's SanitySlippage. Either way, the meaning or the tone of the song is completely different in the cover version.

See also SofterAndSlowerCover. Can overlap with TheCoverChangesTheGender and RepurposedPopSong. Can also overlap with InTheStyleOf if the cover changes the tone or the style of the ''music'' as well.

Compare DualMeaningChorus, where the original song is written to offer up several different interpretations of its chorus. Not to be confused with the WeirdAlEffect, in which a ''parody'' of a song becomes more popular than the original. If the new version becomes more popular, it may result in the original being CoveredUp. When done with a song meant for small children, it's an IronicNurseryTune.

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!!Examples:
[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder: Songs 0-9]]
* "One" by Three Dog Night: The [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UiKcd7yPLdU original version]] is soulful, regretful, and wishful, with the singer lamenting that his relationship turned south and he lost his love. Filter's [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yApB48sGfAo version]], on the other hand, is more of a message of "Screw you for leaving me, you bitch!"
* "99 Problems" by Jay Z: The original rap song enumerates the many problems Jay experienced as a young, successful black rap artist from Brooklyn. Hugo's reinterpretation turned it into a more existential bluegrass piece about reclaiming one's soul and finding meaning in life.
* "99 Red Balloons" by Nena: [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cOhap4AHT8o Jimmy J's]] SpeedyTechnoRemake only uses the first verse, thus leaving out the nuclear war references, and changes the line "something's out there" to "someone's up there", making it sound more like a case of {{Balloonacy}}.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Songs A-M]]
* "All That She Wants": Nathan Oliver's cover of Music/AceOfBase's original sounds like a Music/NickCave murder ballad crossed with a SpaghettiWestern soundtrack and makes the woman in question sound more sociopathic than shallow.
* "Always On My Mind":
** The PetShopBoys' cover completely changed the meaning of the song by ending it with the line "Maybe I didn't love you".
** The creepy and sorrowful cover in Silent Hill Shattered Memories does it's share of changing mood and meaning.
* "Amazing Grace"
** The Blind Boys of Alabama set the lyrics to the tune of "House of the Rising Sun."
** Meanwhile, Barry Cryer did the opposite on ''Radio/ImSorryIHaventAClue''.
* "Music/AmericanPie": Music/{{Madonna}}'s cover turns the fairly downbeat and abstract song about Music/DonMcLean's life starting from the deaths of Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper ("the day the music died") into a patriotic American pop-dance song.
* "American Woman" by the Guess Who is a Canadian's opposition to certain unsavoury bits of Americana (loose women, warmongering, shoddy lower-class living quarters), directed at the Statue of Liberty (the titular American Woman). Every other cover changes its perspective:
** Lenny Kravitz's version sounds like he's singing about an actual woman, and the music video reinforces this, indicating the titular woman (played quite well by Creator/HeatherGraham) is sexually tempting, but the singer realizes that they are no good for each other.
** The Music/ButtholeSurfers' version...God knows what it does to it, exactly. Safe to say they don't exactly approach it with the most reverential tone.
** Krokus' version turns it into just another song about dumping a groupie.
* "Amor de Conuco": In a strange example of self-cover, Juan Luis Guerra recorded two versions of this song about ten years apart. The original was a happy song of a humble man declaring himself and his love interest accepting him anyway, sung in a duet with a female singer. The second version was more slow and downbeat...and he [[TheCoverChangesTheGender sang the parts that were originally from the girl's perspective]], making the song the man's own full declaration and turning it in a declaration of hopeless love.
* "Angel of the Morning": [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cbUNVm1k3nU Merilee Rush's version]] is about a woman who wants to spend the night with a man she loves, even though she knows that it isn't likely to be anything but a one-night stand. Shaggy's [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_j_HYMUakpk cover]] is about a convict thanking his girlfriend for being true and waiting for him to get out of jail.
* "Army Ants," from Music/TomWaits' ''Music/OrphansBrawlersBawlersAndBastards'' is made entirely out of quotes from nature encyclopedias, but sounds like a psychotic conspiracy theory.
* "Baby Got Back": Music/JonathanCoulton's version is a marginal example, making one of Music/{{Sir Mix A Lot}}'s most well-remembered songs less a song about liking fat ass, and more a love song about... fat ass.
* "Baby, It's Cold Outside": This Christmas (or rather, Winter, as the closest thing there is to a mention of Christmas is repeated references to a snowstorm) song has been covered numerous times over the years. Depending on the chemistry between the male and female[[note]]or [[Series/{{Glee}} gay male]][[/note]] singers in the duet, it can come across as anything between a welcome seduction and the lead-in to a date rape (its writers intended the former).
** The version by [[Creator/ZooeyDeschanel She & Him]] ends up flipping the genders of the speakers, thus adding another interpretation of the woman trying to seduce the man. Meaghan Smith performed a similar cover.
** Additionally, the original appearance of the song in the film ''Neptune's Daughter'' has it sung alternately between two couples, one with the man pursuing the woman and the other with the woman pursuing the man. Unfortunately, the cover most often played on the radio omits the GenderFlip, thereby eliminating the comedic juxtaposition and creating the UnfortunateImplications the song is most famous for nowadays.
* "Baby One More Time" by Music/BritneySpears: Dweezil Zappa's cover is... well, it's odd. And decidedly creepy. Gone from a song which seems to be about break-up sex to something straight out of [[MasochismTango masochistic stalker love]].
* "Back In The High Life Again" by Steve Winwood: Music/WarrenZevon recorded a slower version with minimal production and instrumentation, turning it from an upbeat comeback celebration to a wistful retrospective and perhaps a prayer for the next time 'round.
* "Bad Company" by Music/BadCompany: While the original was a song with a premise similar to the movie of the same name, about a gang of thieves in the old west, Music/FiveFingerDeathPunch's version is about a Military overseas fighting a war (more specifically, in the music video, the US Military in Iraq and Afghanistan).
* "Bad Moon Rising" by Music/CreedenceClearwaterRevival
** Music/SixteenHorsepower's cover is genuinely creepy instead of humorous.
** Music/{{Rasputina}} does a pretty damn eerie version of it with cellos.
* [[Music/AntichristSuperstar "The Beautiful People"]] by Music/MarilynManson: Music/ChristinaAguilera's cover for her film ''Film/{{Burlesque}}'' was criticized by Manson for completely changing the intended meaning of the song from a criticism of the standards of beauty enforced by the media to a celebration of fame and the celebrity life.
* "Beautiful World" by {{Music/Devo}} is a sarcastic anthem to the facade of happiness in a very flawed and imperfect world. Devo 2.0's "Beautiful World" is a peppy tribute to life and how great it is. It almost seems like the first is a deconstruction of the second.
* "Because the Night" by Music/PattiSmith: The Music/BruceSpringsteen version changes the tone from a song about the passion of two lovers to a song about the plight of the working man, longing for the comforts of being off-the-clock [[note]]In other words, he sings it as ''a Bruce Springsteen song''.[[/note]] Consider for example some of the lyrical differences: where Music/PattiSmith's lyrics on ''Music/{{Easter}}'' have "Come on now, try and understand / the way I feel when I'm in your hands", Springsteen has "Come on now, try and understand / I work all day pushing for The Man," and where Smith has "Touch me now," Springsteen has "They won't hurt us now." Interestingly, while Springsteen first wrote the song, he did not release or perform it[[note]]He actually recorded it for ''Darkness on the Edge of Town'' but didn't like it and gave the song to his producer Jimmy Iovine, who was also working with Patti on ''Music/{{Easter}}''.[[/note]] until after Smith's version, and later performances have shifted closer to Smith's lyrics. He has since released two recordings using her lyrics.
* "Believe It Or Not (Theme to Series/TheGreatestAmericanHero)": Pretty much the only difference between the TV and radio versions of the song is a bridge and a repeat of the chorus. But the words of the bridge "This is too good to be true/Look at me - falling for you" change the theme of the song from an everyman being amazed about the fact that he can now do incredible things like fly to an everyman who ''feels'' like he can fly because he's fallen in love.
* "Big Yellow Taxi" by Music/JoniMitchell has been covered a number of times, often with minor changes to the lyrics. While the overall environmentalist message remains, the titular "Big Yellow Taxi" (which is the one part where politics gives way to the personal) keeps changing. Music/BobDylan's version takes out the taxi entirely and replaces it with a bulldozer, thus keeping with the rest of the song, and by necessity the more recent versions make the taxi [[TheTaxi a literal taxi]]--which it originally ''wasn't''. It referred to the Metro UsefulNotes/{{Toronto}} Police cars which were, up until 1986, painted yellow, and thus the line "a big yellow taxi took away my old man" actually means that he was taken away by the authorities.
* "Billie Jean" by Music/MichaelJackson: Music/ChrisCornell's cover changes the tone of the song from a catchy dance song in which the singer seems to (at least try to) dismiss the titular character as crazy [[note]](considering the original inspiration of a fan letter that made this very allegation of Jackson himself)[[/note]] to a mournful, emotional song where the singer must face what he knows to be true.
%%* "Bitches Ain't Shit": Music/BenFolds' cover.
* "Black Pearl" by The Checkmates was originally about falling in love with a black woman, but Kandystand, who has a female vocalist, turned it into a [[HoYay Les Yay]] song.
* "Music/BlackSabbath": Music/TypeONegative actually recorded two versions of their cover of this song. The second version rewrote the lyrics to describe the same scenario (Satan rising from Hell and conquering the world) but from the perspective of Satan himself. The lines parallel the original in speaking to the person depicted in the original.
* "Bodies" by The Sex Pistols: Babes In Toyland's cover is so much fiercer and more punk because it's an all-female group singing about abortions and a 'screaming bloody mess' in rather sweet voices.
* "The Book of Love" by Music/TheMagneticFields: [[Music/TheMagneticFields Stephin Merrit]] said the following about Music/PeterGabriel's cover:
-->Its a totally different interpretation. My arrangement and recording of it is emphatically skeletal and all about the insufficiency and helplessness [of love], whereas his sounds like hes God singing to you about his creation.
* "Boss DJ" by Sublime: Reel Big Fish turned a mellow acoustic song into a reggae-styled ska song.
* "Boys of Summer", originally by Don Henley (male) and covered many, many times (most famously by pop-punk band the Ataris) changes the perspective depending on the gender singing, i.e. the female version by DJ Sammy. It's either the male singing he'll still be waiting for the woman after her summer relationships are over or the woman singing she'll return to him once her summer boyfriends leave. All without changing a single word, just the gender of the singer.
* "Boyz in the Hood" by Eazy-E: Dynamite Hack's cover takes a hardcore rap about drinking, smoking crack, and throwing hoes at their fathers and turned it into a pleasant accoustic guitar song [[LyricalDissonance about the same damn thing]]
* "Breaking The Law" by Music/JudasPriest is about a guy who is down on his luck, bored and has nothing to lose. So he decides to have some fun and get some excitement by breaking the law doing things you'd expect from a young rebel. It's all done in a "rebel without a cause" sort of way.
** "Breaking The Law" by Fightstar however tells a very different story, by simply changing music and revamping the chorus we get a tale of someone who is driven to his edge, psychologically and physically to the point where all he cares about is his own survival. Taking out his bitterness on society, the chorus serves as a soundtrack to his rampage of destruction.
** Music/PansyDivision's version inserts the word "sodomy" and takes it to a different place. Though, given Rob Halford's more recent revelations, perhaps not...
* "Breaking Up Is Hard to Do" by Neil Sedaka is a rare case of an artist covering one of his older tunes, Sedaka had his first No. 1 hit in August 1962 with the song, which spoke of a typical teen-age romance that ultimately failed but that it was still difficult. In 1975, Sedaka in the midst of his mid-1970s comeback re-recorded the song in a vastly different arrangement; now done as a ballad, Sedaka changed the meaning to one of reflection and that while still difficult and bittersweet, there is still a lot of good that can be taken from the relationship; the remake was a top 10 hit in February 1976.
* "Call Me Maybe" by Music/CarlyRaeJepsen is a teenage fantasy about a girl shyly flirting with a boy she has a crush on. The cover by Music/{{Pomplamoose}}, retitled "Do Not Push", changes it into a disaffected and plaintive song about a relationship that's being torn apart by replacing its chorus with that of "Somebody That I Used To Know" by Music/{{Gotye}}, and setting it to a video based on the ''[[TheTwilightZone Twilight Zone]]'' episode "Button, Button".
* "Can't Help Falling In Love" by Music/ElvisPresley: UB40's cover was done for the soundtrack of ''Film/{{Sliver}}'' and makes very effective use of synth to turn a mushy love song into an icewater-creepy, StepfordSmiler stalker song.
* "Can't Take Love For Granted" by Mary Chapin Carpenter: Carpenter did two versions. The original album version was slow and regretful, but a later compilation album featured a live version that had a much more upbeat, rock-type tempo. It turned it from a sad post-breakup song into a "well, you're gone and I learned my lesson, but hey, I'm feeling okay about it!"
* "Can't Take My Eyes Off of You": Music/{{Muse}}'s version turns it into a NightmareFuel ObsessionSong.
* "Cathy's Clown" by the Everly Brothers: RebaMcEntire's cover changed it from first mocking of a young man who is to stupid to realize he's being mocked and used by his girlfriend, to a sympathetic, third-party observation in a mournful arrangement.
* "Cats in the Cradle" by Harry Chapin:
** Ugly Kid Joe turned it from a song of regret into something far more... wrathful. There are just as many who see this cover as being Joe's PetTheDog moment, and tellingly, it's been played on soft rock stations nearly as often as the original, as well as derided by more metal-oriented fans as the song they can't believe the band did. The only thing that really feels "wrathful" about the cover is the heavily distorted guitars during the chorus, and that still makes it feel pretty tame from a band who wrote a song about a serial killer in Disneyland.
** At one point during the [[TheTroubles Troubles in Northern Ireland]], "Cats in the Cradle" was used in a TV anti-terrorism ad, with the lyrics kept the same but the video showing that the reason the singer wasn't around for his son was because he was in prison - by the time he gets out and tries to reconnect with his grown up son, it's too late, his son's followed in his footsteps (gunning down an unarmed man in front of the man's child).
** Rapper [[Music/RunDMC DMC]], backed by Music/SarahMcLachlan, put his own spin on "Cats in the Cradle", adding his own rap lyrics that explore his coming to terms with the discovery that he was adopted and finally meeting his birth mother. The song ends on a positive note as DMC announces, "I'm alright, Mom."
* "Centerfold" by J. Geils' Band: When [spunge] covered the song, they turned the upbeat, yet regretful tale of a crush-turned-nudie model, into a quick paced skaterpunk's tale of almost drunken woe over a lost love's new life as a magazine model.
* ''Series/{{Cheers}}'' theme: The ''Series/{{Scrubs}}'' sitcom fantasy episode ended with a melancholy cover of the ''Series/{{Cheers}}'' theme, as JD leaves the harsh tragedies of the hospital to seek some comfort and escapism in television sitcoms. Tragically, this performance is [[HomeVersionSoundtrackReplacement removed for the DVD release of the season.]]
* "The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don't Be Late)" from Franchise/AlvinAndTheChipmunks:
** The Lost Dogs' cover altered the banter between the verses, changing it from a song about wanting a hula hoop for Christmas to a song about synthesizeritis, [=Y2K=] paranoia (the cover version was recorded in 1999)...and wanting a hula hoop for Christmas.
** WebVideo/TheNostalgiaChick, on the other hand, changed the meaning of the original recording simply by slowing it down to the speed at which the singers' voices were originally recorded. Juxtaposing it with assorted NightmareFuel clips didn't hurt, either.
** Creator/PattonOswalt has a [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R69_mZj6YWo routine]] where he mimics Dave's "demonic" slowed-down voice.
* [[ChristmasSongs "Christmas Wrapping"]] by The Waitresses': Save Ferris did a cover with entirely original lyrics. The original is about a woman wanting to spend a quiet Christmas alone while reflecting on a guy she met and, thus far, had not been able to connect with. The Save Ferris version is about a Jewish woman dealing with the holiday season.
* [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OjsUkExCcQ4 "Closer"]] by Music/NineInchNails: The version by Jane Distortion has the psycho-sexual oddness of the original, but it's very... different, mood-wise.
* "Cod Liver Oil" (a 19th Century advertising jingle): Great Big Sea changed the key, and transformed it from another happy, mindless bit of fluff into a dark, suspicious diatribe.
* "Cold, Cold Heart" by Music/HankWilliams: SelfDemonstrating/TheJoker's version (performed by Creator/TroyBaker) in ''VideoGame/BatmanArkhamOrigins'' turns a brokenhearted love ballad into a crazy ObsessionSong about Franchise/{{Batman}}. Many of the words are changed slightly: "Another ''love'' before my time made your heart sad and blue / And so ''my heart is paying now'' for things I didn't do" in the original becomes "Another ''crime'' before my time made your heart sad and blue / And so ''now you make me pay'' for things I didn't do"; and "The more I learn to care for you the more we drift apart" becomes "You won't admit that [[NotSoDifferent we're the same]], and [[Film/TheRoom it's tearing me apart]]!" The entire third verse is changed from the original so it now reads like this:
-->You'll never know how much it hurts\\
To never see you smile.\\
You know you need and want to laugh,\\
Yet you claim it's not your style.\\
Why do you hide behind that mask?\\
I'm trying to do my part!\\
Why can't I free your doubtful mind\\
And melt your cold, cold heart?
* "Come On Eileen" by Dexys Midnight Runner: The original is a herald to Eileen to stop being fleshcandy and trying to seduce him. Save Ferris's version seems to be more in the vein of not growing up so quickly and making foolish choices.
* "Comfortably Numb" by Music/PinkFloyd:
** Music/ScissorSisters' [[LoveItOrHateIt not universally loved]] cover brings out a different facet. The original is overflowing with angst, about someone who can't quite get numb '''enough'''. The remake sounds like someone who really has been medicated into oblivion, to the point of losing both their neuroses and their identity, and is ''loving every minute of it''.
** Dar Williams and Music/AniDiFranco also did a cover that was closer to the original in overall feel, except that Ani's higher-pitched backing vocals matched with Dar's mezzosoprano sound less like Roger Water's creepy doctor singing through a drug haze and more like auditory hallucinations in the midst of a thundering hangover.
* "Cotton-Eyed Joe": The folk song has a large number of traditional verses. Depending on which ones the singer chooses to include, it might not be saying anything at all, it might be a song about dancing and having fun - or it might be a murder ballad.
* "Crank Dat" by SouljaBoy: Not quite a cover, but ScroobiusPip did a track based on a quotation from "Crank Dat" to make it about ''literal'' soldier boys. "Soldier Boy, now ''kill'' 'em, we need YOU!!!"
* "Crazy" by Seal is a somewhat whimsical love song based around the line, "But we're never going to survive unless we get a little a crazy." When Cleveland-based metal band Mushroomhead released their version, it comes across as a man losing his religion and resigning himself to madness.
* ''Crazy He Calls Me,'' by Music/BillieHoliday: Music/EmilieAutumn's cover turns it simultaneously into a post-apocalyptic echo ''and'' a song about a woman's slide into madness.
* "Crazy In Love" by Music/{{Beyonce}} is a SillyLoveSong. Sofia Karlberg's cover is HotterAndSexier, changing it into a more sensual song.
* "Creep" by Radiohead:
** Northern Kings' cover is infinitely more creepy, changing the mood from that of a shy, depressed man [[CannotSpitItOut unable to express his feelings]] to a possibly mentally ill stalker, especially with the raspy whisper of "I don't belong here" that ends the song and the discordant sound resembling a broken music box.
** Amanda Palmer's ''ukelele'' version of "Creep" changes the mood from that of individual isolation and depression to that of people acknowledging they're alone in the world like everyone else - especially in this ([[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Duk2Q1rkj00 sing-along version]]) from the 2009 Coachella Festival.
** Ingrid Michaelson's cover turns it around completely. It goes from being critical of the narrator to being critical of the other person.
* "Dancing With Myself" by Music/BillyIdol [[CoveredUp (originally by the band Generation X which included Idol)]]: Nouvelle Vague takes the upbeat hit and changes it into a Bossa Nova song about depression and alcoholism.
* "Danny Boy": Brian Setzer plays an extremely upbeat rock version as "Irish" Terry Conklin's boxing ring entry music in ''TheGreatWhiteHype''. [[note]]This version was never released on CD and fans have been clamoring for it for years.[[/note]]
* "Danny Says" by Music/TheRamones: Music/TomWaits' cover from ''Music/OrphansBrawlersBawlersAndBastards'' sounds like he's been riding on a bus for several days and his heart has just been broken at a truck stop.
* "Day Tripper" by Music/TheBeatles: Music/TypeONegative's cover transformed a lighthearted ode to LSD into a mournful lament on being driven to suicide by an apathetic lover.
* "Death Is Not The End": Music/NickCave and the Bad Seeds covered it on ''Music/MurderBallads'' with pretty much an all-star cast of singers: Music/PJHarvey, Music/KylieMinogue, [[Music/ThePogues Shane McGowan]], and various members of the band. The orchestration and singing are deliberately upbeat, which somehow makes the apocalyptic content of the song bleaker than the original.
* "Diamonds" by Rihanna: The steampunk band Steam Powered Giraffe, whose stage personas are robots, did a cover. Instead of being about love and loss, it becomes a song about how shiny one of the robots is.
* "Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap" by Music/{{ACDC}}: At the end of the song, JoanJett's cover simply omits the usual lead vocals that would name a bunch of random tools of destruction, meaning you can take a far different meaning from it than [[TheCoverChangesTheGender the original]].
* [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lAfZZyWUFZQ "Dle Yaman"]], an Armenian song about a [[AnguishedDeclarationOfLove woman who misses her beloved]] [[TheLostLenore changed]] after the genocide.
* "(Don't Fear) the Reaper" has had a couple cases. (And all of them happen to be [[MemeticMutation completely devoid of cowbell.]])
** HIM's cover - rather than the spaced-out mellowness of the original, it now sounds like someone is actually being murdered in the studio.
** Unto Ashes cover is really depressing.
** Music/{{Evanescence}} did a live cover in their early days of performing, slowing the tempo down and adding violins. It sounds like a wistful song about longing for death.
** Babes in Jazzland also covered the song, making it sound like a plaintive reassurance for someone to FaceDeathWithDignity.
* "Don't Say a Word" by Music/SonataArctica: Music/{{Xandria}}'s cover changed several lyrics, most prominently changing "I promise you your death before the first light" to "The king is dead but the queen is alive" changing it from a song about a Main/{{Straw Misogynist}} attempting to kill his ex girlfriend to a song about a woman killing an abusive ex lover, making it double as an example of Main/{{The Cover Changes the Gender}}.
* "Don't Worry Be Happy" by Music/BobbyMcFerrin: Music/KatMcSnatch reworked it into [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oIKyz_YgHsA "Don't Worry Be Ugly"]].
--> '''Kat:''' ''I've decided that "ugly" is just a word that makes us feel bad for no good reason, so I'm going to have some fun with it instead. I'm tired of feeling the pressure to worry about pimples, bad hair, waxing, crooked teeth, wrinkles, make-up and all the other bullshit that we think we need to make us feel less "ugly." None of it works! I hope this video inspires us to stop worrying.''
* "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y1gxkRve4Q0 Down By The River]]" by Music/NeilYoung is creepy enough. It's a murder ballad, possibly inspired by [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7C3r9PnoNTw Banks of the Ohio]], combining Neil's mournful voice with occasional frenetic blasts of guitar jamming, over minimal background and an implacable walking bass line. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0a_NQoXvE-w Indigo Girls' version]] is fairly straightforward aside from the [[HoYay Les Yay]], but [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9E5V7edC2rI Mc_Kendree Spring's version]] sounds more like ''Johnny'' Rivers, [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cOxbGEXM89g Low and Dirty Three's version]] sounds as if it were recorded ''in'' the river, and Empty Mansions' version sounds like it's coming from the afterlife...
* "Down In the Park" by Gary Numan is a dark '80s synth song about robots. The Foo Fighters cover is substantially more apocalyptic, somehow.
* "Down with the Sickness" by Music/{{Disturbed}}: Music/RichardCheese and Lounge Against the Machine recorded a cheery showtunes version. They also altered the lyrics slightly to make it about an actual sickness, rather than a metaphor for societal oppression.
* "Do Ya Think I'm Sexy" by RodStewart: N-Trance did a cover version that comes off more as a Eurodisco crowd song than Rod's original intentions!
%%* "Do Ya Think I'm Sexy": The Revolting Cocks' cover. Watch the parody [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aZCdK6x1hks first]]. Now watch the [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hphwfq1wLJs original.]]
* "Dreams": The cover band the Bon Bon Club released, as part of their first EP, an incredibly, incredibly creepy version that seems to make it about a someone imprisoning their lover.
* "Enola Gay" by OMD: The cover by Nouvelle Vague completely changes the tone of this poppy, bouncy Hiroshima bombing themed song into something yet more creepy and intense.
* "Everybody Knows" by Leonard Cohen: RufusWainwright's cover changes...well, suddenly it sounds like its set amidst a casino underworld that's about to crumble and is having one last revel in its own shallowness and debauchery. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J26UlYXPi7o Worth a listen]]
* "Everybody's Got Somebody But Me" by Hunter Hayes is an upbeat (though bitter) song about being single, surrounded by couples, and wanting to get back together with an ex-girlfriend. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pIMqwnwtabo Sam Tsui's cover of this song]] is exactly that- but without the "upbeat" part of the equation, turning it into a regretful, heart-wrenching piano ballad.
* "Every Breath You Take" by Music/ThePolice:
** Aaron Krause and Liza Anne's [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RBeFu5E4sLI cover]] slowed the song down, and transformed it from a creepy ObsessionSong into a sensual and dreamy {{Silly Love Song|s}}.
*** When this arrangement was featured on ''Series/DancingWithTheStars'' for Bindi Irwin's performance in honor of [[Series/CrocodileHunter her father Steve]], the meaning was changed even further by using it in the context of a late father watching over his daughter as she grew up.
* "Everything Counts" by Music/DepecheMode: The Music/InFlames cover completely altered its meaning. The original was a [[LyricalDissonance simplistic synth driven pop song about the greed, competitiveness and materialism of 80's Wall Street capitalism.]] However in the In Flames version the song describes the [[HumansAreBastards failure of humanity as the greedy and selfish nature of people]] destroys their Utopian society. And how only [[AfterTheEnd after the world ends the people realize their failure.]]
* ''Everything I Own'' by David Gates was the lament of a grieving son at the death of the father who had brought him up and was responsible for much of the person he became. Boy George's cover version was the lament of a man for the death of his gay lover, presumably from AIDS.
* "Everybody Wants To Rule The World" by Music/TearsForFears about popularity. Music/{{Lorde}}'s cover makes it into a dramatic VillainSong about wanting to literally rule the world.
* "Eyes On Me: Obsession": The OC remix by Children of The Monkey Machine feat. Dani changes the {{Silly Love Song|s}} from ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVIII'' into an ObsessionSong. The lyrics are spoken out loud and sound like Julia explaining to the police in an interrogation room why she had to murder Laguna.
* "Fashion Party" by Music/AceOfBase is a song of disdainful decadence. The cover by Beatdrop reinvents it into a song about nightmarish inquisition.
* ''Film/{{Fame}}'': Amy Gerhatz and John Roberts take this peppy, upbeat number about wanting to be famous and turn it into a tragic, desperate song about needing to be ubiquitous. It doesn't help that it was used in the trailer for a Lifetime movie about Anna Nicole Smith.
* "Feeling Good" from the musical ''The Roar of the Greasepaint, the Smell of the Crowd'' went through this at least twice:
** Music/{{Muse}}'s cover is downright creepy.
** Music/MichaelBuble's cover sounds like the theme from a lost Creator/SeanConnery era Film/JamesBond movie. [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Edwsf-8F3sI The video might have something to do with that impression.]]
* "Feelings", originally a romantic song made by Morris Albert in TheSeventies, was picked up by Music/TheOffspring and reworked into a fast and furious song about hatred.
* "Fields of Athenry" is typically played by bands like the Dubliners as a sad, wistful ballad about carrying on in the face of a sad parting. The Music/DropkickMurphys turn it into an enraged rant against an uncaring and destructive government. It's amazing how differently one can interpret a line like "Against the famine and the crown/I rebelled, they cut me down/Now you must raise our child with dignity."
* "Fire" by Arthur Brown: Originally the song was a gleeful upbeat song that [[LyricalDissonance chimed about creating suffering and misery for others.]]
** God Dethroned's version is psychotic, menacing, and extremely aggressive. It features the same lyrics accompanied by death metal guitar storms and demon-like screams and growls.
** The Who covered "Fire" as part of Pete Townshend's solo album ''[[TheIronGiant The Iron Man]]'', where it becomes one of the space dragon's {{villain song}}s.
** MonkeyDust CrossesTheLineTwice, with The Paedofinder General playing and singing it while he turns [[BurnTheWitch his usual acticity]] into a light-and-music show.
* "The Foggy Dew", an Irish traditional song, has been played in a variety of manners by many artists, anywhere from a [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=13MQFCfCYdQ melancholy lament]] to a [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=28Bq_2soGIA furious rebel anthem]].
* "Folsom Prison Blues" by Music/JohnnyCash:
** It was a dark song to begin with, but Nine Pound Hammer's cover of it is grittier and rawer than the original, making it come across as resigned, rather than regretful.
** When blues singer Keb' Mo' covered it for a tribute album, he altered a couple of lyrics, so that in his version the narrator is a wrongly imprisoned victim, rather than an admitted murderer who hates being imprisoned but fully realizes he deserves it. The famous line "I shot a man in Reno just to watch him die" becomes "They said I shot a man in Reno, but that was just a lie", while "I know I had it comin', I know I can't be free" becomes "I didn't hurt nobody, I know I should be free". Cash fans [[TheyChangedItNowItSucks generally were not happy about this]].
* "Forever Young" by Alphaville is about making the most of one's youth in the face of the fear that [[TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt they'll drop the Bomb any day now]]. Jay-Z did a rap number based on and sampling the tune ("Young Forever"), which is based more on the idea that you can be young forever as long as people remember you after you die.
* "Friends in Low Places" by Music/GarthBrooks: Early in 1990, the song was recorded by a fellow country music artist named Mark Chesnutt for his first album, to be released later in the year[[note]]Brooks' version (on his second album ''No Fences'') was actually released before Chesnutt's version (on his self-titled debut album).[[/note]]. Chesnutt's reading is that of a man depressed over the breakup (from sometime earlier) with his girlfriend and intends to wallow in his misery on the night of her wedding. Brooks (who had earlier recorded a demo version) decided to completely change the meaning...while still reeling from his breakup, he turns it into a kiss-off version and decides that his ex's wedding night is one to party with his real friends at a nightclub and that she can screw herself.
* "Fuck It (I Don't Want You Back)" by Eamon is a song about a man pissed off with his girlfriend and leaving her. The Italian version, "Solo" ("Alone [with you]"), sung by Eamon itself... is about a man thinking back about the girl he met on the beach last summer which he'll never see again.
* "Further" by VNV Nation carries LyricalDissonance by having such lines as "I know in darkness, I will find you've given up inside like me." while having a distinct upbeat tone to it. The Lifeforce cover resolves this by giving the song a more somber tone. It was later used in the ending of VideoGame/{{Iji}}... [[TearJerker Let's just say it was appropriate]].
* "Georgia on My Mind" by Stuart Gorrell and Hoagy Carmichael: Gorrell originally wrote the lyrics for Georgia Carmichael, sister of Hoagy Carmichael. However, Georgia native RayCharles, finding the lyrics to be ambiguous enough to refer to the state as well, dedicated his performance of the song (the B-side of his hit single "What'd I Say?") to the state. "Georgia on My Mind" became the Georgia state song in 1979, mostly because of Charles' cover.
* "Get Away With Murder" by Jeffree Star: The original version is clearly using metaphors. The Difference's cover sounds far more literal and is more like a MurderBallad.
* "Get It On The Long Hard Road," from the Kleptones' mashup album [[http://www.kleptones.com/pages/downloads_24h.html ''24 Hours'']], takes the playful IntercourseWithYou lyrics from T.Rex's song [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dIZRD4Noxnk "Get It On, Bang a Gong"]] and makes them creepy and possessive... using the original vocals. The only alteration is the music that plays behind them.
* "Get Lucky" by Music/DaftPunk is an upbeat techno song about going to a dance club to... well. UK indie band Daughter's [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T5Cp55MvX54 cover]], however, slows down the tempo and [[TheCoverChangesTheGender swaps the gender]] of the lead to tell the same story from the point of view of the [[ButLiquorIsQuicker drunk]] (and possibly [[SlippingAMickey drugged]] ) girl as she is [[QuestionableConsent picked up]] in the club.
* "Get Up" by Nate Dogg: Dance-punk band !!!'s cover of this party jam ''seems'' to be relatively straightforward...until about three minutes into the song, when it suddenly becomes clear that the band is interpreting the line "Shake it baby / Driving me crazy" ''literally''. The remaining 6 minutes are thus comprised of sonic insanity.
* The theme from ''Franchise/{{Ghostbusters}}'' got a metal treatment via [[http://armcannon.com Armcannon]], and the Drummer dressed up as a pizza just for this song during a rehearsal. Pure. Awesome. They also did a slooooooooow version in "Black Hole Enlightenment".
* "Gimme More" by Music/BritneySpears: Music/MachinaeSupremacy has a cover that sounds more like a mockery of Britney Spears herself.
* "Gimme Shelter" by Music/TheRollingStones: Angélique Kidjo added in African choral vocals and changed the instrumentation to transform a song about the [[TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt apocalypse]] and Vietnam into a LyricalDissonance filled song about the situation in some parts of Africa.
%%* "Gin and Juice": The Gourds' [[MisattributedSong commonly misattributed]] cover.
* "The Girl From Ipanema", via TranslatedCoverVersion. The original Portuguese version was more of a praise to said girl. The English version ([[TheElevatorFromIpanema you know the one]]) is all about the UnrequitedLove.
* "Girl from the North Country" by Music/BobDylan. [[Music/TheWho Pete Townshend]]'s electro-pop cover of the folk ballad alters two lines in the song's final verse, changing it from a song about a man wondering how his old flame is doing these days, to a song about a man wondering if his old flame is still alive [[AfterTheEnd after a devastating nuclear war.]]
* "Girls Just Want to Have Fun" was originated by Robert Hazard and covered multiple times:
** By changing a few words, and the [[TheCoverChangesTheGender gender of the singer from male to female]], Cyndi Lauper turned "Girls Just Want to Have Fun" into a bouncy feminist pop anthem.
** Greg Laswell then turned it from a giggly pop song into a BreakTheCutie ballad.
** EmilieAutumn's cover puts in self-destructive undertones.
* "Gloria" by Music/VanMorrison: Music/PattiSmith's cover from ''Music/{{Horses}}'' contains ''just barely'' enough elements of the original song to qualify as a cover, as she nearly triples its length, ''averts'' TheCoverChangesTheGender with gratuitous amounts of [[HoYay Les Yay]], and conflates the song with the hymn of the same name and her personal disillusionment with organized religion, to the point that the song's refrain is "Jesus died for somebody's sins, but not mine".
* "Gloria" as originally written in Italian by Umberto Tozzi is a mushy, erotic, slightly obsessive ode to a nearly unattainable woman. Adding CoveredUp and an ''extreme'' case of LostInTranslation, Laura Branigan's InNameOnly cover is a scornful hatchet job directed at a lonely, obsessively promiscuous frenemy of the singer.
* ''Film/TheGodfather'' love theme: The Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra transforms it from a love theme into a song which seems to be about a fast paced chase, possibly running away from madness. They do this by changing the instrumental portions and discarding the original lyrics replacing them with barely understandable Engrish.
* "God's Gonna Cut You Down," also known as "Run On," is a traditional folk song that has been recorded by several artists. Perhaps the best known recent examples are Music/JohnnyCash and Moby. Cash's version almost sounds like it's being sung by an Old West gunslinger about to clean up town. Moby's version is more upbeat and gospel-inspired.
* "Good Times, Bad Times" by Music/LedZeppelin is about growing up and learning how to be a man. Sung by the all-female Lez Zeppelin, it could be from the point of view of a trans man learning how to deal with his new identity, or a young gay woman who's been abandoned by her bisexual lover.
* "Go West" by Music/VillagePeople: The PetShopBoys' cover turned an idealistic song about San Francisco as a utopia for the gay rights movement into a somewhat sad and nostalgic song about the hopeless optimism of the movement in the aftermath of AIDS. The orchestral instrumentation, allegedly not intentionally based on the Soviet anthem, and the music video also give a nod to an entirely different context: former Soviet citizens having the ability to literally "go West" to freedom after the fall of Communism. This context also has a layer of hopeless optimism.
* "The Guns of Brixton" by Music/TheClash: Nouvelle Vague's cover turns the bouncy gangster tune into a deeply creepy (yet sexy) cabaret number about life in a fascist dystopia.
* "Happy Together": Filter's [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xgi0IpZTvYo version]] changes the normally cute song about puppy love to a twisted tune about a {{Yandere}} StalkerWithACrush.
* "He Hit Me (It Felt Like a Kiss)" by The Crystals. The original was sung in a way that is easily interpreted as sincere.
** This sincerity was apparently not the intent of the ''writers'' -- Music/CaroleKing and Gerry Goffin wrote it in response to finding out that Little Eva (who was moonlighting as their babysitter at the time) had an abusive boyfriend.
** Music/GrizzlyBear then covered the song and made it haunting and tragic. Also, Grizzly Bear's lead singer is male.
* "Heigh Ho" from Disney's ''Disney/SnowWhiteAndTheSevenDwarfs: ''Music/TomWaits' [[http://www.coveringthemouse.com/2007/10/heigh-ho-tom-waits.html cover]], recorded for the multi-artist Franchise/{{Disney|AnimatedCanon}} CoverAlbum ''Music/StayAwake'' and later made available on his own release ''Music/OrphansBrawlersBawlersAndBastards'', turns it from a chipper work song into something decidedly more depressing, if not {{nightmar|eFuel}}ish. The tempo is slowed to a crawl, and the arrangement features the clanking percussion and minimal, dissonant instrumentation his later material is known for, along with some ominous subterranean reverb. Kind of puts the idea of dwarves putting in hours of back-breaking potentially deadly labor in a mine for no clear reason in a different light. At least one reviewer commented that it sounded like "noises from Gacy's basement."
* "Hello, Goodbye" by Music/TheBeatles: [[WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck]] turned it into a DuckSeasonRabbitSeason argument. (''Bugs & Friends Sing the Beatles'' did this to a number of songs.)
--->'''Daffy:''' I ''say goodbye, and'' you ''say hello.''
--->'''Bugs:''' ''Hello, hello, I don't know why you say goodbye,''
--->'''Daffy:''' I say hello!
* "Here Comes the Sun" by Music/TheBeatles: ''{{Music/Ghost}}'''s cover changes the key from major to minor and the meaning from a happy celebration of spring to a song about the coming of TheAntichrist ("Here comes the Son").
* "Heroes" by Music/DavidBowie: The original was mildly disinterested and cynical about the world and its capacity for heroism. When Music/PeterGabriel gets ahold of it, it's a TheRuinsICaused shot in lyrical form.
* "Hey Joe", a tune of dubious authorship but famously recorded by The Leaves and especially Music/JimiHendrix. Music/PattiSmith's cover adds a spoken word intro about the Symbionese Liberation Army's 1974 kidnapping of Patty Hearst. In addition, the lyrics themselves cast Hearst as the titular "Joe."
* "Hey Ya" by Music/OutKast:
** Obadiah Parker took the upbeat original and cut through the LyricalDissonance to spotlight the message about a troubled relationship in all its introspective glory.
** Series/{{Scrubs}} had [[TheCastShowoff Ted]] do an acoustic version with a guitar at a wedding while J.D. monologued about relationships. It was turned into an actually sweet love song.
* "His World" by Music/ZebraHead: Originally, it was a fast paced Punk Rap song with rebellious and carefree lyrics that perfectly fit Sonic. Music/{{Crush 40}}'s cover was slower paced, and had a more epic feel to it. Its lyrics were mysterious and weighty and more befit Shadow.
* "Hit Me Baby One More Time" by Music/BritneySpears: Black Nail Cabaret actually managed to turn the pop anthem into a dark, gothic, and HeadTiltinglyKinky bit of FetishFuel.
* "Holding Out For A Hero" by Bonnie Tyler is a silly, peppy disco song about waiting for a KnightInShiningArmor.
** Music/FrouFrou's cover turns it into a cynical song that seems to be questioning if there ''are'' any heroes left in the world.
** The Fairy Godmother's version in ''WesternAnimation/Shrek2'' double subverts it. It's the main villain singing a song about heroes coming to the rescue, while unbeknownst to her heroes really are coming to the rescue.
* "Honey Honey" by Music/{{ABBA}}: The version featured in ''Theatre/MammaMia'' cuts out the male vocals and changes every use of "you" to "he", transforming it from a song about being aroused to Sophie reading aloud from her mother's diary entries about her flings with Sophie's three possible fathers.
* ''Hot In Herre'': Jenny Owen Youngs took an IntercourseWithYou hip hop song and [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JIYKPjalb6Q turned it into]] a rather romantic and cheery pop-rock song.
* "House of the Rising Sun":
** The Animals' cover of this folk song (arguably the most famous version of that song) changed the lyrics so that the narrator is male and struggling with gambling and addiction, casting the titular house as a "gambling house." It was originally a song about a woman with tremendous money woes who turned to prostitution, making the house a [[BandOfBrothels very different house indeed]]. Most covers of the song after 1964 hearken back to The Animals' version leaving the original [[CoveredUp all but lost]].
** The Blind Boys of Alabama took the song and set the lyrics of "Amazing Grace" to it.
*** On one ''Radio/ImSorryIHaventAClue'' Barry Cryer did the same, but with both songs switched around.
** Music/FiveFingerDeathPunch change all references of "New Orleans" to "Sin City". The house in their version is considered to be a metaphor for Hell.
* "Hungry Like The Wolf" by Music/DuranDuran: Music/ReelBigFish turns it from an IntercourseWithYou song into a surprisingly Stalkerish Ska song through the magic of LyricalDissonance, a jazzy scat section, and a crazy MotorMouth section of singing. The whole effect makes it seem like a happy murderous Schizophrenic wants to eat you.
* "Hurt" by Music/NineInchNails: The original and Music/JohnnyCash's cover showcase similar but very different messages. The original NIN version is an introspective ode to self loathing, alienation, and [[DrugsAreBad drug addiction]]. Music/JohnnyCash's cover made it into a reflective contemplation on his whole life, looking back at what he had gained, and more importantly what he had lost. Instead of a young guy in his late 20's writing down his depression, it's an old man looking back at his life that was soon to end. Trent Reznor himself, the writer, expressed himself as having goosebumps and tears when he heard the Cash version and feeling like he'd "lost a girlfriend, because he'd lost the song" to Cash's version.
* "I Am Woman": The Music/DougAnthonyAllStars' [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=49mFJRWYhqo baritone cover]] lends a whole new meaning to the Helen Reddy feminist anthem.
* [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tTLLQU1jnXs "I Don't Wanna Know"]] by Mario Winan is a song about your girlfriend cheating on you and coming to terms with it. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OhGDYaFmfqY "I Don't Wanna Know" performed by]] Music/FlorenceAndTheMachine becomes a song about a girlfriend coming to terms with her boyfriend being homosexual (giving the lyrics "if you're playing me, keep it on the low" a delightful double meaning).
* "If I Had A Hammer" is a fun ditty about a man saying he wants to use a hammer, a bell and a song to spread happiness. The Italian version [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lGIXrziSLCQ "Datemi Un Martello"]] is a fun ditty about a woman [[LyricalDissonance wanting to]] DropTheHammer [[MurderBallad on the head of people she doesn't like]] (plus the telephone before her parents tell her to go home).
* "I Fought the Law" by Bobby Fuller:
** The Music/DeadKennedys "covered" it in the loosest possible sense - about half the lyrics were altered to make it into a ProtestSong about the murders of George Moscone and Harvey Milk, and the song's refrain becomes [[ScrewTheRulesIHaveConnections "I fought the law, and I won."]]
** Bell X1 covered "I Fought The Law" as an acoustic country song and turned it into a quiet little tale of the consequences of mis-spent youth. [[http://media.daytrotter.com/audio/dt/bell-x1-i-fought-the-law.mp3 It turns out there's a really pretty melody in there]].
* "I Got Your Money": Music/SayAnything's cover of the ODB original made it extraordinarily sarcastic.
* "I Heard It Through the Grapevine" by Gladys Knight and the Pips is hurt, but almost puzzled and wondering if it's true.
** Music/MarvinGaye's version seems more heartbroken.
** Music/CreedenceClearwaterRevival's version, with the instrumentation almost thundering, sounds wrathful about the situation.
* "I Kissed A Girl" by Music/KatyPerry:
** Scottish indie band Travis totally change the meaning with their cover, turning a [[HoYay Les Yay]]-infested hit single into a folk-tinged ballad about a gay man questioning his sexuality. The versions by Attack!Attack! and Max Vernon both have similar subject matter.
** Israeli singer Ivry Lider, who is in fact gay, did a [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BEG-X7BL-sM very melancholic cover]].
** Paul [=McDermott=] [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SUpioV2I-8U&playnext_from=TL&videos=W4uV0Bv2jPI changed the meaning in two different ways when he sang it on]] ''Series/GoodNewsWeek''. First, the monologue he lead into the song with, and the sad, [[BuffySpeak piano-y]] feel made the viewer think it was a melancholic reflection of the year. After the first chorus and the joke was made, it was turned into a [[SugarWiki/AwesomeMusic kickass song of kickassery.]]
** William Fitzsimmons' cover turns it into a song about a straight guy who might be cheating on his girlfriend.
** Music/CobraStarship turned it into "I Kissed a Boy" about a guy and his friends just trying to start a fight for fun.
* "I'll Be Home For Christmas": The original had a melancholy soundtrack and was meant to echo the feelings of troops overseas [[HomeByChristmas who had hoped the war would be done in time for Christmas]]. More recent versions have replaced the original melancholy music with an upbeat music and [[LyricalDissonance the most melancholy lyric is sung almost triumphantly]]. That said, a number of modern versions have returned the troops feel by adding Christmas messages from (or at least in Creator/JoshGroban's version, to) soldiers stationed overseas.
* "Imagine" by Music/JohnLennon: Music/APerfectCircle changed it from an upbeat ode to idealism to a cynical ode against totalitarianism.
* "I'm Your Boogie Man" by KC and the Sunshine Band: The original was an IntercourseWithYou song. The cover by Music/RobZombie is unnerving as all heck.
* "Iron Man" by Music/BlackSabbath: The original version is about a time traveler killing those he attempted to save after being turned into a statue and [[AndIMustScream slowly going insane]]. The Cardigans' version turned it into... well, the same, but with a ''lot'' of added LyricalDissonance.
* "I should be so lucky" by Music/KylieMinogue: The NorthernKings' addition of a telephone, some heavy breathing and a very slow and doomy growled vocal style turn the song into the ultimate creepy stalker tune.
* "It's The End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)" by Music/{{REM}} is a song whose humor is extremely subdued. It was put in the hands of upbeat Canadian East Coast folksters GreatBigSea, sped up (requiring MotorMouth lyrics, given the sheer obtuseness of them), and turned into a a great happy tune about meeting the end of the world with a smile on your face.
%%* "I Turn To You" by Mel C: Music/MachinaeSupremacy's cover sounds very aggressive.
* "I Want to Hold your Hand" by Music/TheBeatles: Music/{{Sparks}}' cover is performed as slow and smooth Philadelphia Soul, making the song much more mature and heartfelt than the teen love Pop of the original.
* "I Will Survive" by Gloria Gaynor: The perennial disco hit was originally a triumphant feminist anthem about moving on from a bad relationship. When [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xgJJ4quoCZ4 covered by]] Music/{{CAKE}}, it becomes a last quavering cry of defiance from a man about to fall back into one. (They even add a PrecisionFStrike which Gaynor hated.)
* "Jailhouse Rock" by Elvis Presley: Music/JohnMellencamp did two covers of this song. The original was a silly showtune with a somewhat notorious moment of (intentional?) HoYay, but Mellencamp recasts the song in a minor key with mostly acoustic instruments to make a song that sounds like a hot prison yard with absolutely nothing for the inmates to do except party half-heartedly.
* "Jenny" by Music/StudioKillers: Lily Sevin's cover turns a song about a woman unapologetically wanting to date her best friend into a {{gayngst}} filled ballad about unrequited love and [[IncompatibleOrientation falling for a straight girl]].
* "Jerk from Johannesburg" by Music/KinkyFriedman: Finnish country rock band Freud, Marx, Engels & Jung made a Finnish language cover "Buuri Johannesburgista" (Boer from Johannesburg) as a VERY satirical take on {{Apartheid}} system. Unfortunately too many people understood it as a white power anthem...
* "Johnny Are You Queer?". Josie Cotton's version is about a girl who is concerned that her boyfriend might not be interested in her because he's gay. Music/ScreechingWeasel's version has a male singer similarly worried about the sexuality of his male love interest. Both versions are ridiculously catchy.
* "Johnny B" by Music/TheHooters is about a bad relationship. Music/DownLow reworked it into a song about a thief.
* "[[Memes/{{Music}} Jozin z Bazin]]": The original, performed like a folk song with over-the-top cheesy sound effects, is a comedy about a local "drop bear"-like scare story turned into [[Film/TheAdventuresOfBaronMunchausen Munchausen style]] tall tale. Its cover by Dawid Mika ends up somewhere between a parody on action songs and speed metal ballad.
* "Juliette & Jonathan" by Swedish Lotta Engberg reached third place in Melodifestivalen 1996 and describes a young couple who find love together in spite of racial and cultural differences. When Finnish singer Anna Eriksson covered the song one year later, it retained the "us against the world" theme, but reverses the outcome of the story; instead of being protected by nature itself and serving as inspiration for other lovers, "Juliet ja Joonatan" end up as restless spirits and love "shatters into pieces, sharp as the shards of glass marbles." [[AmericanKirbyIsHardcore Finnish schlager is hardcore]], indeed.
* ''Kidnap the Sandy Claws''. When it was originally used in ''WesternAnimation/TheNightmareBeforeChristmas'', it was [[TerribleTrio Lock, Shock and Barrel]] gleefully singing about all the ways to capture Santa they can come up with, and what they'll do with him once they have him. The lyrics were kinda creepy, but it was a song about a prank. On the cover album ''Nightmare Revisited'', Music/{{Korn}} took the song and mixed it up to sound more like a group of psychopaths planning to violently kidnap someone [[ToThePain and torture them in many horrible ways]]. [[NightmareFuel Brrr...]]
* "Kill Your Sons," an unreleased Music/VelvetUnderground anti-war ProtestSong, was later rewritten slightly by Lou Reed to be about his parents' attempts to [[CureYourGays "cure" his bisexuality]].
* "Land Of A 1000 Dances" by Wilson Pickett is a fairly mundane 60's dance pop song. Music/PattiSmith's cover is a [[http://www.metrolyrics.com/land-horses-land-of-a-thousand-dances-la-merde-lyrics-patti-smith.html 10-minute psychedelic freakout]] about a male-on-male rape victim who commits suicide by slitting his throat.
* "Last Day in Heaven" by Barathrum is about an invasion of Heaven, with demons slaughtering angels and so forth. In the second verse of ''Timo Rautiainen & Trio Niskalaukaus''' cover, [[AuthorityEqualsAsskicking God]] enters the fray and [[CurbStompBattle shows]] why [[RageAgainstTheHeavens raging against Heaven]] is a bad idea.
* "Layla" by Music/EricClapton: Clapton did two versions of his own song. The original electric version with Derek & the Dominoes is a young man, pining so hard for the woman he loves that he's raging. The solo acoustic version, a few decades later, is an older man softly regretting the love that was lost.
* "Le moribond" ("The Dying Man") by Belgian singer Creator/JacquesBrel is better known to English-speaking audiences as "Seasons in the Sun". In this form it has been covered by multiple artists, most recently {{Westlife}}. The original is a song about a cheating wife, and it was freely modified when translated into English by Rod McKuen (and bent even further by Terry Jacks); the original is substantially snarkier, with the singer taking digs at his best friend, who is the one who his wife was cheating with, and who apparently didn't realize the husband knew everything.
* "Music/LetItBe" by Music/TheBeatles: Israeli composer Naomi Shemer decided in 1973 to write new words inspired by the breakout of the [[DarkestHour Yom Kippur War]]. When she played it, her husband said that this is a Jewish song now and it should have a Jewish melody to go with it, so she... [[DarkerAndEdgier tweaked]]... the melody to be more in the spirit of the new lyrics, ending up with less of a cover and more of a GrittyReboot. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=76PZCxyVkbg Here]] is an Israel's-American-Idol contestant performing it. The lyrics with an English translation can be found [[http://www.hebrewsongs.com/?songID=176 here]], and note that this is the watered-down version without the verse that starts with "If your soul wishes for death".
* "Let It Go" from ''Disney/{{Frozen}}''
** In an interesting version, it was written as a VillainSong, then when Creator/IdinaMenzel sang it for the film, the film was rewritten to have her character, Elsa, be heroic instead of a villain. So it's a case of TheCoverChangesTheMeaning before the song ''was properly released''.
** The pop version by DemiLovato changes the context further to be about letting go of a broken relationship.
* "[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r0e8Uve7cJU Like a Virgin]]" by Music/Madonna: Sister Cristina, winner of Italy's version of The Voice, has a SofterAndSlowerCover version that completely removes all of the innuendo from the original.
* "Lithium" by Music/{{Nirvana}}: The Polyphonic Spree's celebratory cover works about as often as it doesn't since some lyrics can be taken at face value and others are [[LyricalDissonance "I killed you, I'm not gonna crack"]]
* "Louie Louie" by Richard Berry: The Kingsmen's take on it has been covered by a crapload of artists, and both the Berry and Kingsmen versions are about a sailor at sea thinking of his lover. Iggy Pop's cover only keeps the chorus - the rest is changed to a very politically charged rant (context: TheGreatPoliticsMessUp and contemporary events).
* "Lovers In A Dangerous Time" by Bruce Cockburn is a stark guitar ballad that was written to emphasize anger (especially in the music video) about the racial, socio-economic and political issues of the decade, and how they reflect on love. The BarenakedLadies' version from the 1992 ''Kick At The Darkness: The Songs of Bruce Cockburn'' tribute album is a faster-paced, softer and almost wistful tune. The group is resigned and cheerful about the fact that "sometimes you're made to feel as if your love's a crime". The Ladies' music video, which goes from floaty slo-mo to frantic, and includes lots of comedic bits, just emphasizes it.
* "Love Stoned" by Justin Timberlake: The Hoosiers' cover changes it from a poppy dance song to a melancholy ballad of addiction, or something. Just watch [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KUY16qSYeow here]].
* [[Theatre/TheThreepennyOpera "Mack the Knife"]]: Most versions contrast a light, peppy tone with disturbing lyrics about murdering prostitutes.
** The PsychedelicFurs cover has an aural menace to match the lyrics.
** Music/EllaFitzgerald sang it (in the style of Louis Armstrong and Bobby Darrin) for the first time on her live album ''Mack the Knife: Ella in Berlin''. Three verses or so into the song, she ''forgot the rest of the lyrics'' and improvised her own. Ella's version went metafictional, as she poked fun at herself for botching the song and at the label executives who suggested she cover it in the first place.
* "Mad World" by Tears For Fears: The well-known ''Film/DonnieDarko'' cover by Gary Jules and Michael Andrews turns it from a synth-filled catchy song into one much slower, more somber, and depressingly down-to-earth (though still catchy). In an odd case, this version has somewhat CoveredUp the original AND become the basis for nearly all future covers of the song, such as the one by Alex Parks.
* ''TheMagicRoundabout'' theme was reimagined by BillBailey, complete with the "secret middle section" which reveals that Zebedee is a deformed, demonic megalomaniac with a DarkAndTroubledPast.
* "Many Rivers To Cross" by Jimmy Cliff was turned by UB40 from one of melancholy to one of empowerment.
* "Material Girl" by Music/{{Madonna}} became hit with this due to massively MisaimedFandom.
** Some have claimed that Music/BritneySpears' cover completely missed the {{irony}} of the original and subscribes to its message.
** The [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pMLTbs4Dnw4 Spanish cover version]] reverses the meaning, the singer stating that she is not at all impressed with those who brag about their income, fancy parties and travels, and that she does not have "a soul made of metal."
* "Me and Bobby [=McGee=]", written in 1969 by Kris Kristofferson. Since the name "Bobby" can apply to either a man or woman, very little change in the lyrics is necessary (at least if the singer wants the relationship to be heterosexual). It was originally written for a male singer (the Statler Brothers), though Roger Miller was first to chart with it. The version by Music/JanisJoplin is the best known, and it was the first time the song had been performed by a woman. Nearly all covers since then have been done from the female perspective (it helps that "Bobby" is normally a male name).
* "Merry Christmas From The Family" by Robert Earl Kean is a song about a dysfunctional family in a trailer park having a drunken Christmas filled with disasters and red-neck jokes. Jill Sobule's cover uses the exact same words to produce a song describing a dysfunctional family in a trailer park...having a wonderful Christmas filled with singing children, quirky relatives and a relative performing a last minute Christmas miracle.
* "The Metro" by Berlin is a poppy, somewhat sad song about moving on after a bad breakup. The cover by Music/SystemOfADown is a rage-filled rant about being abandoned by a loved one.
* "Moonlight Shadow": ''Pathfinder''s cover goes from a very tragic song about a woman watching her boyfriend getting shot to pieces in a crossfire between policemen and a fugitive and hoping she gets to see him in heaven to her sounding extremely happy about, well, her boyfriend getting shot to pieces in a crossfire between policemen and a fugitive.
* Morrisey inspired a {{WMG}} involving his creepy-as-hell cover of "Moon River", that his version is either sung from the perspective of a murderer, or addressed ''to'' a murderer, possibly Perry Smith.
* "My Generation" by The Who: Hillary Duff's cover actually ''does'' seem to have a theme similar to the original: "older people don't get it." But one word addition brought the whole thing crashing down: "Hope I ''don't'' die before I get old."
* "My Humps". What happens when the Music/BlackEyedPeas release a song that [[StealthParody tries to parody]] the mindless materialism and misogyny of crunk rap, and [[RedundantParody winds up sounding just as stupid as the source material?]] Have Music/AlanisMorissette sing the song [[http://ca.youtube.com/watch?v=W91sqAs-_-g exactly as written]] [[LyricalDissonance in her famous angsty style]], turning it into a tongue-in-cheek lament of the same while simultaneously getting the song's original intended message across.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Songs N-Z]]
* "New Religion": Music/JimmyEatWorld's cover transforms the song from a hyperactive rant about information overload into a somber reflection on belief.
* "No Depression": Uncle Tupelo's cover is about...well, [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin depression]], whereas the original song was written about the Great Depression.
* "Oasis" by AmandaPalmer was redone by the same artist, making it more "serious," after people complained that the song was making light of rape and abortion.
* "One More Colour", Jane Sibbery's 1985 hit, is an upbeat Canadian pop song inspired by a developmentally-disabled boy Sibbery once met who found joy in looking at the sky. It has been covered with very different intent by other Canadian musicians.
** Creator/SarahPolley's version (used in ''The Sweet Hereafter'') turns it into a melancholy, almost mournful reflection on the death of innocence.
** The Rheostatics' version plays it up as a schizophrenic, fast-paced track full of guitar solos and a "party-like" atmosphere.
* "Only Girl (In the World)" by Music/{{Rihanna}}: The original comes off as a girl telling her boyfriend that he will spoil her and make her feel special or else there's no more relationship. Music/BoyceAvenue's [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8cVZuJP6YRU cover]] changes the perspective to a guy singing to a girl about how he chooses to make her feel so special. This changes it from a spoiled woman demanding worship to a man devoting himself to his beloved. In addition, the cover changes the music from a club-type music to a romantic tone.
* "Paint It Black" by Music/TheRollingStones:
** The original version sounds moody and vaguely depressing. When heavy-metal band The Black Dahlia Murder plays it, it sounds angry and vaguely homicidal.
** Gob's cover of it has a relentless, driving feeling of a losing grip on sanity, and somehow also manages to sound almost happy about it.
** When Music/TheResidents play "Paint it Black", it's a song about complete insanity and hatred for all living things or near-suicidal depression and loss, depending on the performance.
** The [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NJwSEDE5x2I Tea Party's cover]] is unsurprisingly, dramatically over-the-top and emphasizes the [[AuthorAppeal Middle Eastern elements]] of the song.
* "Parachute" was originally written by Ingrid Michaelson, but written ''for'' Cheryl Cole whose version was released several months before Ingrid's--which is the cover is a matter of opinion and definition. Cheryl's is far more upbeat (being R&B-Pop) while Ingrid's is mellow. Cheryl's sounds like someone falling in love with someone or who has recently began a relationship, while Ingrid's sounds more like someone talking about a long-time relationship.
* "Personal Jesus" by Music/DepecheMode. It was originally inspired by Elvis Presley and sounding like a mocking of religious faith.
** Music/JohnnyCash turned the cynical blast against organised religion into a spiritual song about the power of Christ.
** The Blind Boys of Alabama turned it into a straight-up Gospel song.
* "Piano Man" by Music/BillyJoel: Ana Belén's cover has little to do with the original's lyrics. The titular piano man is now an old man who can't forget about the woman that refused to stay with him "locked up in a cage", and now only plays sad songs that "taste of honey and defeat".
* "Piece of My Heart" by Erma Franklin is a song of defiance in the face of her unfaithful man.
** Music/JanisJoplin sang it with a rage not commonly seen from female vocalists.
** Faith Hill made a flighty, bubble-gummy cover and then later rerecorded a much harder-edged version[[note]](it's on some rare foreign hits collection)[[/note]].
* ''Pineapple Princess'' went from being sung by a female, ending with "I'll be his pineapple queen" to being sung by a male, ending with "I'll be your pineapple queen".
* "Pirate Jenny" from ''Theatre/TheThreepennyOpera'': Music/NinaSimone's cover is still essentially about an frustrated hotel maid's revenge fantasies, but has racial and political overtones. (The "Black Freighter" serves as a metaphor for a black uprising.)
* "Please Don't Leave Me" by Music/{{Pink}} got this during the 2009 Australian Idol season. When contestant Toby chose it for a Pink-themed night, it resulted in some DoubleStandard and UnfortunateImplications (or DoubleStandardAbuseFemaleOnMale) due to lyrics such as "I'll cut you into pieces", and "You're my perfect little punching bag". Judge Ian 'Dicko' Dickson lampshaded this by pointing out that sung by a female (and with the somewhat lighthearted, AffectionateParody / BlackComedy-esque portrayal of the subject matter in the music video), Pink sounds much like the badass FemmeFatale, but Toby's version would probably come off with a creepy serial killer/wifebasher vibe.
* "Poker Face" by Music/LadyGaga: Chris Daughtry's cover sounds more like a cad's depressing lament than the upbeat ode to promiscuity of the original.
* "Pumped Up Kicks" by Foster the People is a [[LyricalDissonance very upbeat, catchy, yet mellow dance tune]] about a guy who shoots a bunch of hipsters. Rapper Yonas took the chorus, added rap verses, and set it to a music video [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MthoZXOdz84 of children running around with water pistols]].
* "Pure Imagination" from ''Film/WillyWonkaAndTheChocolateFactory''
** Music/{{Buckethead}}'s cover is much more downbeat than the original.
** Jazz saxophonist Steve Lehman's version is FAR in the opposite direction. His intention was to give it the same sort of manic, dervish energy that John Coltrane gave to [[Theatre/TheSoundOfMusic "My Favorite Things"]].
** [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9BkBGdnUNSk Fiona Apple's]] cover is very downbeat and haunting, to the point where it was used very appropriately in a Chipotle ad called "The Scarecrow".
** Music/MaroonFive's [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cWGeCqszY8s version]] of the song makes it sound more into an IntercourseWithYou song.
* "Oops I Did It Again" by Music/BritneySpears was originally sung as if she genuinely didn't realize she was leading someone on so much.
** Richard Thompson's performance was of someone who knew exactly what he was doing.
** Paul [=McDermott=] performed a curiously threatening [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_e7uLil65us version]].
* "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mDvX7rM8tro Rap das Armas]]", a Brazilian song (widely known for its use in ''TheEliteSquad'') was originally written by MC Junior and Leonardo as protest on the violence in Rio de Janeiro. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZthNYozVwNM The better-known cover]] by Cidinho and Doca instead tells a story from the point of view of drug dealers about to fight off the police.
* "Respect" by Music/OtisRedding: The original version was about a henpecked husband pleading with his wife for respect and recognition. Aretha Franklin's cover transformed it into to a song about a woman telling a lover that she wasn't going to accept his dismissive attitude toward her any longer, thus giving birth to a major theme song for Second Wave Feminism.
* "Richard Cory," the poem by Edwin Arlington Robinson, is from the point of view of the people of the town where the title character lives and describes how they envy his wealth and standing, until [[WhamLine the last line]], in which he [[StepfordSmiler commits suicide]]. The Music/SimonAndGarfunkel song is more pointedly sung by an individual person who works in a factory owned by Cory and [[DualMeaningChorus repeats even after reporting the suicide]] that he hates his life and wants to be Richard Cory, making it a commentary on wealth and poverty rather than a warning that money doesn't buy happiness.
* "Ring On Her Finger, Time on Her Hands" by Lee Greenwood: Although the only lyrical change was changing the pronouns to first person, RebaMcEntire's cover, taking on the female perspective, changes the song from a song of regret as told by a now-enlightened-too-late husband (as in Greenwood's version) to a long-neglected housewife who is forgotten about by a frequently absent, cold, emotionally distant and uncaring husband, and that even thought she knew it was wrong, she justifies her decision to turn to another man to fulfill her sexual needs. Despite changing the hook to "Ring on My Finger, Time on My Hands", the song still kept the original title on the album and single releases, and on its chart entry.
* "Runnin' Down a Dream" by Tom Petty has the singer following his muse. Wednesday 13's cover sounds like the "Dream" being run down is a person. The lyrics putting the singer in a car don't hurt that image.
* "Running Up That Hill" by Kate Bush. The original version is quite upbeat and hopeful, while two notable covers turn it the other way.
** Placebo's version is a depressive (and somewhat NightmareFuel-y) lament. It changes the subject of the song from finding God to a deal with the devil.
** Music/WithinTemptation's cover sounds like someone who is [[TakeAThirdOption taking a third option]] and riding out to take action - despite the wishes of heaven ''or'' hell!
* "Run to the Hills" by Music/IronMaiden: Sign's cover seems to be sung exclusively from the Indian perspective with a much more somber tone in contrast to the original which was much more aggressive and sung mostly from the white men's point of view (except for the first verse).
* "Sabbath Bloody Sabbath" by Music/BlackSabbath: Both versions are basically about feeling betrayed by society. The original is an angry take on this, while The Cardigans' cover is more of a sadly resigned ballad.
* [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MejtR81RzCo "Satisfaction"]] by Music/TheRollingStones is a mid-tempo song about a man's frustration with his sex life.
** {{Music/Devo}}'s [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-pMqSyIwmA8 version]] is a fast-paced rant against consumerism.
** Music/PJHarvey and Music/{{Bjork}}'s [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2AX2bcWtg1Q&feature=related version]] is what happens right before insanity.
** Music/TheResidents' [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KYWebOq1J9I version]] (at the very beginning of the video) is about a guy who is just down right AxCrazy.
** Music/CatPower's cover drops all the choruses, leaving only the parts of the song that nobody knows.
** Phyllis Diller's version of the song is a self-deprecating tune about how much it sucks to be Phyllis Diller.
** The often forgotten and somewhat underrated BritneySpears version references societal pressures on young girls to behave and look a certain way. [[note]]Quite interesting given the evolution of Britney's [[MadonnaWhoreComplex public image]] and the subsequent fallout.[[/note]]
* "Season Of The Witch" by Donovan: Vanilla Fudge's cover plays an originally largely tongue-in-cheek tune dead straight in the most horrifying manner possible.
* "Secret Agent Man" by Johnny Rivers has a romanticized third person view on the secret agent in question, portraying his life as one of danger, intrigue and mystery in exotic locations. Music/{{Devo}}'s warped semi-cover of "Secret Agent Man" alter the lyrics and changes to a first person view, in which the secret agent is portrayed as a PunchClockHero everyman who is just doing his job of "safeguarding America's health" which rarely gets him "off [his] ass".
** Laurie Anderson quotes the opening lines of "Secret Agent Man" in the eerie, melancholy title track of her album ''Big Science'', making it seem like it's about alienation in general.
* ''Series/SesameStreet'' theme: ''Series/{{Scrubs}}'' once had an episode which guest starred ''Series/SesameStreet'' characters. It ended with a mournful cover of the ''Sesame Street'' theme which makes it sound like someone trying to forget their troubles, in keeping with the theme of the episode.
* "Sexy Bitch" by David Guetta: In girl group Girlicious' cover, instead of the male narrator admiring a sexy bitch, the song is turned around so that a female narrator is referring to herself as a sexy bitch. Paloma Faith took [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N9hazmsUxrM what can only be described as the most typical song ever written]] and recast it into [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_xW3zjLPoAI a ballad of envy tinged with lesbian lust that really has to be heard to believed.]]
* "She Moves Through The Fair" (traditional Irish song): Richard Thompson's cover changes one word from the usual version. The last verse usually goes, "Last night she came to me/my own love came in". Alternatively, the lover merely "came softly in". RT changes it to, "Last night she came to me, my '''dead''' love came in" (Interestingly, the same wording used in the earliest recorded version by Padraic Colum). The different wordings change the meaning of the song ''completely''.
* "Shining Light" by Ash: The subject of the original song is a girl. In the covers by Emm Gryner and Annie Lennox, it's God. It does make the line, "a full on chemical reaction," sacrilegious.
* "Siul a Ruin", an Irish folk song, has 18 million versions. Solas does a sweet, wistful version. Lorelei's verges on emo. The version done by Rosheen, sounds as though the singer is going to pick up her own sword and follow her love into battle.
* "Sixteen Tons" is a ProtestSong about a coal miner who complains about being "owned" by the CompanyTown. The Brazilian version [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Beo_jHowU-I "16 Toneladas"]] is a party song, where "16 tons" is just the nickname of a particularly fun person.
* "Sledgehammer" by Music/PeterGabriel: While the original was full of {{double entendre}}s, Northern Kings' cover expresses a man's loyalty to do anything for his woman.
* [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kud96a_5r3s "Slowly"]] by the Swedish band Gemini: The English version is a ballad in which the lyrics talk about how the love in a relationship is gone and they're about to part ways.
** The Spanish cover [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p1TbOGu8Olg Muriendo Lento]] by the Mexican band Timbiriche retains the same music and guitar riff but changes the lyrics so that the relationship is over, but the couple miss each other and want to be together again.
** Add [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VCUh8xZVGXA the cover of the cover]], by group Moderatto and singer Belinda, which now is a perky pop-rock song, that still has the same guitar riff.
* "Smells Like Teen Spirit" by Music/{{Nirvana}}: The original version is a chainsaw of anger hitting an iron spike of angst over something deserved but never received.
** Music/ToriAmos's cover of the song is a soulful lament for something once possessed but now lost.
** Music/PansyDivision's cover ("Smells Like Queer Spirit") is about homophobia and gay sex.
* "So Into You" by Atlanta Rhythm Section: Shudder To Think took a southern rock IntercourseWithYou song and somehow simultaneously played the ObsessionSong angle to the hilt ''and'' made it sexier. In particular, Craig Wedren sings the refrain "I am so into you / I can't think of nothing else" as though he means it ''literally''.
* "Someone Like You" by {{Adele}}: The original was about a childhood friend settling down with someone else. Karmin recorded a duet cover that seems be about the two wishing to get back together, although at least one of them is already married.
* "Son Of A Preacher Man": StraightGay singer and voice actor Creator/CamClarke's cover changes it from a song about a preacher's son sneaking around behind his dad's back to a song about a preacher's son sneaking around behind his dad's back... ''with another boy''. The entire song takes on quite a different and altogether more scandalous feel. It's actually [[{{Flanderization}}a Flanderizing of the most popular version]]: Dusty Springfield was openly bisexual, so you can imagine how "the only boy who could ever reach me" went over when the song was first released.
* "SOS" by Music/{{ABBA}} is about former lovers drifting apart. The cover by Music/{{Portishead}}, recorded specially for ''[[Creator/TomHiddleston High-Rise]]'', makes it more about how a rotten society inevitably breaks emotional connections between people.
* [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YWq7MKYzZNI&feature=related "Star Above My Bed (Call of the Tiger Woman)"]] by Glassjaw was redone by the same band, retitled simply as [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z1u55wL3s30 "Stars"]]. But it's not so much that they changed its meaning as they spiced it up and altered its lyrics.
* "The Star-Spangled Banner": JimiHendrix famously played a live version that, through his use of noise, feedback, and guitar wizardry, managed to sound like a village getting destroyed in the Vietnam war, complete with explosions, machine gun fire, screaming, and the sound of bombs falling, all interspersed with the actual anthem. The resulting song was not exactly intended to be patriotic.
* "Starstrukk": Original artist 3OH!3 sounded proud of stringing their lovers along, but Music/MarinaAndTheDiamond's "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6nCRqL5UmN4 version]]" sounds far more regretful about it.
* "Still I'm Sad" by The Yardbirds: The original is a somewhat obscure ambient chanting-type song. Rainbow then took the basic melody, removed all the words, and rerecorded it as a 70s hard-rocker. The live version has the lyrics again, but expands the whole thing into 10 minutes of EpicRocking.
* "Such Great Heights" by Music/ThePostalService: Music/IronAndWine changed it from a synthpop acid trip of a love song into something more poignant and sweet.
* "Summer Breeze" by Seals and Croft: Music/TypeONegative's cover becomes a song about domestic violence. At the very least.
* "Sunglasses At Night" by Corey Hart is an energetic but mournful tune about a man turning a blind eye to being cuckolded by his out-of-his league girlfriend. [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2jT-Bb-Nkv0&feature=kp In this cover]] by TheMegas, the singer is much more competitive and determined to win her affections, and seems self-assured enough to actually wear SunglassesAtNight.
* "Superstar", originated by Delaney & Bonnie and made famous by the Carpenters, is about a groupie who's fooled herself into thinking that the one night stand she had with a rock star was forgotten by said rock star
** The ghostly, eerie quality of Sonic Youth's cover makes it sound like it's about a dead lover. That, or a vengeance-obsessed hookup who's stalking an unaware victim.
** Luther Vandross' version sounds like someone wondering about a long-lost love.
* "Sweet Dreams" by Music/{{Eurythmics}} is about finding fulfillment in your own way.
** Music/MarilynManson's cover makes it about the futility of finding meaning in life.
** Music/EmilyBrowning's [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P8tHYSVr5fY cover]] is sung in a slow, emotionless voice that has an effect similiar to Manson's version, with the added bonus of sounding defeated and numb to the world that wants to use and abuse.
* "Tainted Love" by Gloria Jones is an angry and defiant take on a failing relationship.
** [[CoveredUp Soft Cell's version]] is a poppy, up-beat take on a failing relationship.
** Music/MarilynManson's version is an angry, paranoid, descending-into-homicidal-madness [[RuleOfThree take on a failing relationship]].
** Coil's take on it is a slow dirge, likely reflecting the last thoughts of a man dying of AIDS.
* "Take Me to the River" by Al Green: Talking Heads took the rather upbeat song and turned it into a funky, eerie narrative, complete with ominous atmospheric keyboards and David Byrne's [[CreepyMonotone menacing, on-the-edge delivery]].
* "Teenage Dream" by Music/KatyPerry:
** Music/BoyceAvenue covered it in a more romantic tone, to the point of changing the more IntercourseWithYou lyrics to stuff like "Lets just talk all through the night, there's no need to rush."
** Creator/DarrenCriss pulled a similar trick with the same song (the arrangement was also featured on ''Series/{{Glee}}'').
* "This Is Halloween" from ''WesternAnimation/TheNightmareBeforeChristmas'': While the original is talking about a land of wonder - albeit a morbid one - the Music/MarilynManson cover comes across as a truly hellish place where they delight in the torment in store for you. When Manson sings "That's our job but we're not mean," [[NightmareFuel you know]] [[BlatantLies he's lying.]]
* "Music/{{Thriller}}" by Music/MichaelJackson: [[http://soundcloud.com/imogenheap/thriller-live Imogen Heap's cover]] changes it from a slightly creepy but mostly catchy dance number into an eerie, melancholy song that in some ways matches the lyrics much better.
* "The Times, They Are a-Changin'" by Music/BobDylan: The Bank of Montreal's use of a children's choir was not only vaguely weird, but also completely subverted the meaning of the song. As comedian [[Series/ThisHourHas22Minutes Rick Mercer]] once put it: "What used to be an anthem against people like the bank is now a jingle ''for'' the bank. If you listen closely you can hear the sound of Woody Guthrie spinning in his grave."
* "To Make You Feel My Love" by Music/BobDylan, originally released on ''Music/TimeOutOfMind'', plays almost like a desperate cry for help, asking the woman the song is being sung to to not give up on the singer despite the hard times.
** Music/GarthBrooks's take on the song is confident, rather than desperate, promising the woman that he (the singer) will soothe her hurts and make things all better.
** Music/{{Adele}}'s cover from the album ''[[Music/{{Nineteen}} 19]]'' is more like an offer being made to a potential love interest that if he chooses her, she would do anything for him.
* "Tonight", originally from Music/IggyPop's ''Music/LustForLife'', is a [[Main/TeenageDeathSongs teenage death song]] about a drug overdose, as the singer assures his dying sweetheart that "everything will be alright". Co-writer/producer/backup singer Music/DavidBowie recorded a cover version as the title track of a 1984 album, but dropped the opening section that establishes the girl's dying -- which leaves only a straightforward love song, one he performed as a duet with Tina Turner.
* "Torn" by Ednaswap: Natalie Imbruglia's [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VV1XWJN3nJo cover]] is upbeat and poppy, a 180 degree turn from the ([[CoveredUp considerably lesser-known]]) [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V1SH1YdITDI original]], which is emotionally raw and more in line with the actual lyrics.
* "Toxic" by Music/BritneySpears:
** Yael Naim's cover is soft, slow, sensual, and truly gives off the air of an addict. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ETh0Kfxk2BY&feature=related Here it is.]]
** Music/MauriceWhite's cover version ''Tomorrow'' changes a classical J-pop sequence into RhythmAndBlues; comparison [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D3gnVtkg-Xk here.]]
** The cover version by the Canto-pop singer Hacken Lee, ''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d2wS64xhQi4 Daybreak]]'' downright changes the meaning of the song from star-crossed lovers to a male apologizing for hurting her girl.
* "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star": ''VideoGame/DeadSpace''[='=]s [[http://www.deadspacegame.com website]] is home to quite possibly ''the'' [[NightmareFuel creepiest]] [[IronicNurseryTune version]] of the classic nursery rhyme ever recorded.
* "Under My Thumb" by Music/TheRollingStones: The original version has Mick Jagger being very smug, self-satisfied and quite pleased with his place in the world. Mike Ness performing it with Social Distortion, on the other hand, is extremely angry, depressed and comes off with the air of intending to exact a brutal, hateful vengeance.
* "Viva Las Vegas" by Music/ElvisPresley: The Music/DeadKennedys covered it in a very different tone. They only made a few lyrical changes ("Let me roll a 7 with every shot" notably becomes "Got coke up my nose to dry away the snot"), but let the dripping sarcasm in Jello Biafra's voice do the rest.
* "Viva la Vida" by Music/{{Coldplay}}: Music/JoyElectric changed one important word from the chorus in his cover: from "I know St. Peter won't call my name," to "I know St. Peter will call my name."
* "Waterfalls" by Music/{{TLC}} is an upbeat 90's chillout tune about how DrugsAreBad. Bette Midler's cover is a slow, bittersweet ballad where the lyrics are emphasized a lot more.
* "What A Wonderful World" by Music/LouisArmstrong, a bittersweet observation about the transient beauties in the world:
** [[Music/TheRamones Joey Ramone's]] [[Music/DontWorryAboutMe cover]] changes the song's tone to someone experiencing dance-inducing synesthesia over how fucking awesome the world is. The fact that Mr. Ramone recorded the album while dying of cancer just seems to add another layer of awesome to it.
** The cover by Joseph William Morgan featuring Shadow Royale plays the song in a much more somber manner.
* "What Hurts The Most", originally by Mark Wills but CoveredUp by Rascal Flatts: Cascada has a very energetic pop version that downplays the GriefSong undertones.
* "What Is Love?" by Haddaway: Jaymes Young's cover isn't upbeat like the original. It sounds like it's about someone who has had past troubles with love or someone who is in a turbulent relationship.
* "What's the Use of Won'drin" from Theatre/{{Carousel}}: AmandaPalmer's cover is a depiction of domestic violence and misogyny. Even when done straight, ValuesDissonance makes it pretty hard not to see the song any other way. The creepy music box style Amanda does it in makes it even more obvious, though. At some points in the song, a woman can be heard faintly sobbing.
* "What's This?" from ''WesternAnimation/TheNightmareBeforeChristmas'': The original is [[AttentionDeficitOohShiny incredibly excited]] about Christmas, while Music/{{Flyleaf}}'s cover sounds scared of the changes.
* "What's Up" by by the 4 Non Blondes: The [[WesternAnimation/HeManAndTheMastersOfTheUniverse1983 He-Man]] [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fy6faAgrLg4 version]] turns it from a morose grunge anthem about trying to get through an empty, directionless life into an inspirational [[ClubKid gay disco number]] about having a good time no matter what your troubles are. It seems to have been inspired by an actual dance mix of the original, though that remix could be considered as just adding a massive dose of LyricalDissonance.
* "When Johnny Comes Marching Home" is an upbeat, joyous song about how wonderful it will be when the soldiers come back from war. When Johnny Horton sang it, the tempo was slow and it seemed to take on a melancholy ironic tone, like he knew that Johnny may not come back.
* "When the Ship Comes In" by Music/BobDylan is an apocalyptic protest song about all the people who will be up against the wall when the revolution comes. In the hands of The Pogues, however, it sounds like the boat is full of drunken, cheerful pirates.
* Music/{{Prince}}'s "When You Were Mine" was about a guy whose live-in kinda-sorta girlfriend gets involved with another man. Music/CyndiLauper's version is about a woman whose live-in kinda-sorta boyfriend gets involved with... another man. And is a transvestite.
* "While my Guitar Gently Weeps" by Music/TheBeatles:
** The Spineshank version turns a guitar-driven song about the relative connection between all things into a critique of society and human nature through the eyes of a unchanging passive observer. The vocalist screams and chants the lyrics as if calling out the world around him for its mistakes.
** Lemon Demon's version "While My Keytar Gently Weeps" is probably a joke about synthesizeritis.
* "White Rabbit" by Music/JeffersonAirplane: Sanctuary, a HeavyMetal band that would later be known as Music/{{Nevermore}}, turned it from a catchy drug song that referenced ''Literature/AliceInWonderland'' to a creepy, ominous crusher about a drug trip that goes wrong with fatal consequences, and replaced Grace Slick's enchanting vocals with Warrel Dane ''screaming his balls off''.
* "Whole Lotta Love" by Music/LedZeppelin from ''Music/LedZeppelinII'' is a full-on piece of masculine cock-rock. The same song played and sung in exactly the same way by the all-female Lez Zeppelin, including such lines as 'Gonna give you every inch of my love' (and they don't change the gender either), adds double handfuls of LesYay and HeadTiltinglyKinky.
* [[Disney/{{Aladdin}} "A Whole New World"]] has had this happen twice.
** It was [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_QetNuHb38E&NR=1 covered by Late Night Alumni]]--a female group who didn't even change the word "princess," so now it's a [[HoYay Les Yay]] song.
** Before that, Ruben Studdard and Chauncey Matthews covered it [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fx4ipyyhA_U here]]--but [[UnfortunateImplications Ruben's an]] [[HoYay adult and]] [[MayDecemberRomance Chauncey's a kid.]]
* "Wild Thing" by The Troggs is about loving a HotBlooded woman.
** Creator/SamKinison's version is an extremely bitter (albeit tongue-in-cheek) song about a woman who broke his heart.
** Series/TheGoodies version is a very tongue-in-cheek song about two {{Wild Child}}ren who end up getting married, until the singer realizes he doesn't love her anymore.
* "Word Up" by Cameo is a flashy dance riff filled with braggadoccio. It's all about the "Look at me, Ladies!" vibe.
** The version by Country-Soul artist Willis, however, sounds haunting and desperate.
* "The Worrying Kind" by The Ark: The Maia Hirasawa version takes the over-the-top {{Camp}} lyrics of the original and sings them, slowed down, without a hint of irony. The effect is surreal, to say the least.
* "You Can Leave Your Hat On" by Randy Newman: People who've only heard the Music/JoeCocker or Music/TomJones versions know it as an amorous come-on, but the original is a lot more sinister - the narrator is meant to sound seedy and lecherous.
* "You Oughta Know": Music/JonathanCoulton's [[http://www.jonathancoulton.com/2007/04/19/you-oughta-know/ cover]] of Music/AlanisMorissette's original changes the context from a woman scorned to a gay man whose lover ''leaves him'' for a woman.
* "Zippe-dee-doo-dah": BillBailey, during his ''Part Troll'' routine, suggests "Zippe-dee-doo-dah" as performed by Music/{{Portishead}} as a new British National Anthem, and [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EfjUburwcnU goes on to play what he thinks that would sound like]]. Unsurprisingly the song loses some of its upbeat tone.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Serial reinterpreters]]
* Absolutely any cover made by Music/{{Laibach}}. One notable example is their version of Music/{{Queen}}'s "One Vision," which is translated into German to highlight the unintentional fascist undertones of the original. Compare [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0_1IMZmJe-U&feature=related this]] to [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1YE_j0xIsJA this]].
** Another good example is Music/{{Laibach}}'s [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hhkvR9uMyU4 cover of "Sympathy for the Devil"]]. While the original Rolling Stones version sounds as if Lucifer is just some sort of {{T|heTrickster}}rickster, the Laibach version makes it sound as if Lucifer is just toying with someone before sucking their soul out of their nose.
* Music/ToriAmos's cover album ''Strange Little Girls'' is entirely based on this trope--every song is originally male-written and sung and reinterpreted from a female point of view. The musical arrangements are changed wildly but the lyrics are nearly the same -- the largest change is a missing verse in "I Don't Like Mondays", and none of the changes are enough to change the meaning of the song without the radical changes to the arrangement. Most notable is a cover of Music/{{Eminem}}'s "'97 Bonnie and Clyde," done from the perspective of the dead woman in the trunk. It's good but ''insanely'' creepy.
** The results were mixed: she did lovely, lovely covers of "Rattlesnakes," "Enjoy The Silence," "Time," and "Real Men." However, the covers of "Heart of Gold" and "Happiness is a Warm Gun" were... not some of her best work, to say the least. (The cover of "Happiness is a Warm Gun" is something like ''ten minutes long.''). It is worth noting that "Heart of Gold" is practically a garage-rock song in her hands.
*** Her version of "Raining Blood" managed to creep out ''Music/{{Slayer}}''. They sent her a T-shirt.
** And then there's Music/ToriAmos' version of Music/BritneySpears' "Hit Me Baby One More Time" which turns it into something sensual and dreamy.
** Amos enjoys doing this in general: since she can pick up a song just by listening to it, she tends in live concerts to, say, turn "Livin' On a Prayer" into a sensitive piano ballad. Part of the reason her concerts get so heavily bootlegged is that this is pretty much the only way to get those covers.
* Music/WeirdAlYankovic's [[InTheStyleOf polka medleys]] deserve an honorable mention.
** In particular, the line "Dont'cha wish your girlfriend was fun like me?" sounds way different coming from Al than MsFanservice.
** As do the "I Kissed A Girl" lines from "Polka Face".
* The film ''Film/AcrossTheUniverse'' seemed to enjoy doing this to various Beatles hits, the most memorable being "I Want To Hold Your Hand" re-imagined as a tragic song about a closeted lesbian pining for an unrequited crush. "Dear Prudence", following up on that theme, has said character literally locking herself in a closet, with the main characters urging her to "come out". On the opposite side was "Come Together," which was performed ''just right.''
** The best example has to be "I Want You (She's So Heavy)" from ''Music/AbbeyRoad'', which John Lennon originally wrote about his obsession with Yoko Ono. ''Across the Universe'' had it sung by army recruitment officers (who happen to live right in the middle of the UncannyValley) as Max is being drafted. Towards the end of the song, the drafted soldiers are carrying the statue of Liberty as a battering ram through the Vietnamese jungle while they lament "She's so HEAVY!". [[CaptainObvious It is very symbolic]].
* Another Beatles example: The soundtrack to ''Film/IAmSam'' is full of modern covers of Beatles songs. While most are just straight-up covers, Howie Day's cover of "Music/{{Help}}" and Paul Westerberg's "Nowhere Man" are both slow, sad, minor-key versions of the original upbeat major-key songs, and change the meaning of the songs significantly. Interestingly enough, John Lennon's original take on "Help!" was closer to Day's cover, but he was told to make it up tempo so it would sell as a single. In that regard, the cover is closer to the song's original meaning, since Lennon was fairly distraught when he wrote it.
* A third Beatles example is ''Music/InMyLife'', a CoverAlbum of Beatles covers produced by George Martin, sung or performed entirely by famous people. Most of the songs are straightforward but a few have their original meaning amplified or even changed entirely:
** A Hard Day's Night (Goldie Hawn) is turned into a sexy swing song.
** A Day In The Life (Jeff Beck) amplifies the despair inherent in the original to the point of TearJerker.
** Being For The Benefit Of Mr Kite (Billy Connolly) turns the whole thing back into the PT Barnum poster it was, by having Connolly sound like a ringleader and playing up the circus music sound.
** In My Life (Sean Connery) is turned into a spoken word song, that sounds like an old man reflecting on his long life and on what he has now, effectively reversing the original meaning. This carries some extra weight considering this was the last song on the last album George Martin ever produced.
*** Ozzy Osbourne's cover of "In My Life" is similar - it's slowed down considerably to the point of being a mournful tribute to the people in Ozzy's life who he lost too soon (particularly his first wife and Randi Rhoads), with the second verse becoming an obvious tribute to Sharon.
* In the 1978 film ''Film/SgtPeppersLonelyHeartsClubBand'', Paul's bouncy tribute to his father "When I'm 64" is turned into a creepy song sung by the evil old Mr Mustard as he kidnaps young Strawberry Fields.
** Later, the BigBad, played by Steven Tyler, sings "Come Together" about his EvilPlan to brainwash the planet.
* Jad Fair and Daniel Johnson's cover of "Tomorrow Never Knows" turns what was merely a trippy ode to LSD into a song about ''demon possession''. [[NightmareFuel The lyrics fit unsettlingly well]].
* "I Wanna Be Your Man", a [[Music/JohnLennon Lennon]]-[[Music/PaulMcCartney McCartney]] "throw-away", was written as Ringo's signature song for live performances, but also given to Music/TheRollingStones. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-8QEX3_aVig The contrast between the two recorded versions]] nicely sums up the classic Beatles vs. Stones debate: the Beatles version is bouncy, cheerful and up-tempo, while the Stones version is darker, brassier and more insistent.
* Music/TheBeatles themselves did this with Music/RingoStarr's cover of the song "Boys", a case of TheCoverChangesTheGender. The original, by girl group The Shirelles, was about how great boys are. Their version is from a male perspective, but it's about how great ''his own gender'' is, coming off as a tongue-in-cheek number about the singer and his friends attempting to pick up girls. The lyrics are changed slightly to support this ("Mama says when you kiss my lips / I'll get a thrill through my fingertips" becomes "My girl says when I kiss her lips / She gets a thrill through her fingertips"). It arguably works far better than the original.
* Several of the cuts on the album that Tom Waits did ''Heigh-Ho'' for (''Music/StayAwake: Various Interpretations of Music from Vintage Disney Films]]'') is made up of these:
** Music/SunRa and His Arkestra do a cover of ''Pink Elephants On Parade'' that's positively surreal. ([[DisneyAcidSequence As if the original wasn't already??]])
** Buster Poindexter and The Banshees Of Blue do ''Castles In Spain''. Their version sounds like it's being sung by a completely amoral monster.
** What Music/SineadOConnor does to ''Someday My Prince Will Come'' has to be heard to be believed. "Cynical" doesn't even ''begin'' to describe it.
* Music/TheResidents have made not one, but '''four''' albums consisting of experimental covers of music from the 50s and 60s, including ''Music/ThirdReichAndRoll''. Most of the material on these albums either make the song sound darker or more ridiculous, or actually amplify the original's true meaning.
* Music/TheyMightBeGiants have done this to their own songs, "Robot Parade". The original is a synth filled kid friendly song, while the "Adult" version is pure heavy metal that makes you figure that the cyborg in the said song annihilates the world. Or at least runs around blowing up bad guys.
** They also redid "She Thinks She's Edith Head". ''Long Tall Weekend'' has the original, angry, slightly grating version - the singer is obviously very frustrated by the girl's pretensions. On ''Mink Car'', though, the signer is scornful, but not angry, and the melody and vocals are much smoother.
** And on the same album, the rerecording of "First Kiss". The new version is a touching ballad love song. The original, as featured on their live album ''Severe Tire Damage'', is hard rock and is rather jarring if you heard the studio remake first.
*** Alternatively, if you heard the live version first, the lust and passion seem to have gone out of the song and it sounds a little wistful and nostalgic (though contented enough).
** They also have a song called "Pet Name" which does this ''within the same song''. It starts out sounding unhappy and frustrated about the ebbing of the tenderness in the relationship, and ends up upbeat and happy that the couple have got past the lovey-dovey stage and on to something real. This is all conveyed through the arrangement and delivery, not the lyrics.
** In a more traditional version of this trope, John Flansburgh recorded an eerie, drum machine heavy version of Gary Glitter's "Hello Hello, I'm Back Again" with Joshua Fried that makes the song sound almost like a death threat.
** Their song "Black Ops" from ''Nanobots'' is a slow, ominous song about secret agents. An alternate version from Dial-a-Song 2015 and ''Phone Power'' is much peppier and faster-paced, and sounds more like an ode to the TuxedoAndMartini style of spy fiction, much like their earlier song "Spy".
* Music/BlueOysterCult has also done this with a few of their own songs; a country song called ''I'm on the Lamb But I Ain't No Sheep'' was re-recorded with heavy metal instrumentals for their second album as ''The Red and the Black'', and ''Subhuman'' and ''Astronomy'' on the ''Secret Treaties'' album both received mellower, synthesizer-heavy redos for ''Imaginos''.
* Puncolle Voice Actress' Legendary Punk Collection is a collection of covers of punk and grunge songs by J-pop idols, turning songs like "Anarchy in the UK" and "Smells Like Teen Spirit" into something rather surreal. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pH6cASSPBoo Samples here]].
** And on the flip-side to that, the ''Punk Goes...'' album collection is arguably trying to evoke this trope. Such as Punk Goes Pop, or Punk Goes Crunk.
* All of the Disneymania CD's where Disney music, from ballads to comedy routines are re-imagined as jazzy speed-pop music. It's surreal to say the least and in many cases ruins the gentle flow of the music. Ironically enough, the covers of 'Cruella De Ville' mostly avert this trope.
** Notably, the Music/JonasBrothers' cover of [[Disney/TheLittleMermaid "Poor Unfortunate Souls"]] gets a lot creepier with a gender flip. When a noticeably villainous female is telling you to "hold [your] tongue" to get guys to like you, you know it's not true. (Well, except that in RealLife it sometimes is....) When hot boys are singing it, and the hot boys are supposed to be virgin icons of teen hormones... yeah. And the slight change of lyrics in the first verse ("well, a witch" being changed to "kinda strange" and "magic" being changed to "secret") makes the song sound like a drug dealer talking about his customers. Of course, the video [[MusicVideoOvershadowing makes the changes more positive]] - what was a song about making a DealWithTheDevil becomes a song about how adults are forbidding kids to play in a pool, making them [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin poor unfortunate souls]].
** The additional lyrics of Creator/EmilyOsment's version of "Once Upon a Dream" from ''Disney/SleepingBeauty'' seem to change a song about a princess finding the prince of her dreams into a song about a girl wishing to get back together with a boy she went on at least one date with.
* Music/{{Metallica}} has a habit of covering songs and making them... somewhat darker.
** For example, Bob Seger's "Turn The Page" - the original was was a slightly-bitter lament about a musician's life on the road. Metallica's version sounds like said musician is one bad gig away from turning a shotgun on ''somebody'', and the video turned it into a song about either A) a stripper who had a kid or B) a single mother who turned to stripping; either way the entire thing screams of hardship and desperation, and an anger at the world that looks down on her for being stuck in such a spot... Yet somehow ends on a HopeSpot with her realizing that life is hard, but she and her daughter will keep pushing and make it through in the end.
*** For added MoodWhiplash, watch the video, then listen to "No Leaf Clover".
--->Then it comes to be, that the soothing light at the end of your tunnel, is just a freight train coming your way.
** Their cover of Music/{{Garbage}}'s "Only Happy When It Rains" drains all the irony from the original song. What was once a mocking look at the prete ntiousness and self-absorption of the grunge scene is now a completely straight-faced emo song.
** Music/{{Queen}}'s "Stone Cold Crazy" is certainly tongue-in-cheek ("walking down the street/shooting people that I meet/with my rubber tommy water gun"). Metallica's version is certainly sociopathic ("walking down the street/shooting people that I meet/with my fully loaded tommy gun").
* The entire "vocalese" subgenre of jazz does this by necessity, as it consists in [[WithLyrics adding lyrics to songs that were originally instrumentals]].
* Modern jazz trio The Bad Plus has made some mainstream success in doing this. Some of their covers capture the same energy as the original, but some defy the original intention. For example, their take on "Iron Man", for the most part, is loud and doom-y like the original, but the last time they play the famous riff, they change the key from minor to major, giving it a finish-line-style feeling of triumph. Maybe their best example of CCTM is the Bee Gee's "How Deep is Your Love", in which they employ vocalist Wendy Lewis to turn the lovey-dovey disco hit into a quietly psychotic plea from an obsessed woman to her love interest.
* Recent Disney stars cover other Disney songs. However, it's possible that they don't really fit under this trope, since they don't change the meaning--they rip it away completely.
* Susanna and the Magical Orchestra's album ''Melody Mountain'' was a whole album of these. Their cover of AC/DC's 'Long Way to the Top' is positively ''tragic''.
* The Kid Stuff Repertory Company recorded [[http://wayoutjunk.blogspot.com/2009/01/songs-from-your-good-man-charlie-brown.html this album]] in which they sang their own version of the songs from ''[[ComicStrip/{{Peanuts}} You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown]]''. Among their weird interpretations of the songs, the most notable is that their version of the title song goes from sounding fun and boisterous to something you'd expect to hear at a funeral.
* {{Hong Kong}}ers use this trope very frequently.
** ''[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z8kYsCqOYq4 Green Water, Clear Breeze]]'', Hong Konger cover for ''Manga/NausicaaOfTheValleyOfTheWind'''s EndingTheme ''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gtv3-x5D99M Tori no Hito]]'', not only changed the style from a light [[ClassicalMusic classical]] that resembles ''[[Music/LudwigVanBeethoven Ode of Joy]]'' into a majestic [[TheEighties 1980s]] pop WithLyrics more fit of a NationalAnthem:
-->''With you we prospect''
-->''and new paths we'll pave''
-->''May it shine, this new light and spirit''
-->''together we create the glorious and resounding!''
** Another example: Luis Miguel's ''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CDssh2VuGJM Culpable o no?]]'' cover ''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c0XBV0_5AQ0 Who hasn't been wrong?]]'' were of completely different content. The former is "just tell a lie to me that you haven't cheated" while the latter is mainly "why do my life sucked so hard?"
* Neofolk group Death in June covered some songs from a gospel album recorded by [[DrinkingTheKoolAid Jim Jones's]] People's Temple Choir. It got creepier.
* Music/RichardCheese cover of The Killer's ''Somebody Told Me'' turns the song from the angry, in your face brit pop styling to a melancholic reflection by a washed out alcoholic with no game. Richard Cheese in general is known for taking songs of various meanings and turning them into lounge-type music, often to [[LyricalDissonance hilarious results]].
* ''Series/{{Glee}}'' does this regularly:
** They managed to turn [[Music/LadyGaga "Poker Face"]] into a bittersweet duet between [[TheIngenue ingenue]] Rachel and her biological mother about how it's best that they keep their distance from each other.
** They also managed to turn "[[Music/TheBeatles I Want to Hold Your Hand]]" into a solo about a son's love to his father. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rhGWC4yq_Yg&feature=related It is heartbreaking.]] (The ''Glee'' version of this song is based on the cover from ''Film/AcrossTheUniverse'', where it's about one girl's inability to tell another that she's in love with her.)
** They also turned "[[Music/FleetwoodMac Landslide]]" from a song about a woman questioning whether she whould break up with her childhood sweetheart into a song about a young woman realizing that she is in love with her (female) best friend. It is utterly insane how the lyrics fits both these scenarios.
--> ''Well, I have been afraid of changes, / because I've built my life around you / But time makes you bolder, and children grow older / And I'm getting older too!''
** "[[Music/BillyJoel Only The Good Die Young]]" goes from a song about wanting to get into a Catholic girl's pants to a song about ignoring religious restrictions and enjoying life.
** [[Music/{{REM}} "Losing My Religion"]] is an ObsessionSong in the vein of "[[Music/ThePolice Every Breath You Take]]", as [[WordOfGod lead singer Michael Stipe]] has often explained. The title is a Southern expression (R.E.M. are from Georgia) for losing one's temper and behaving violently. ''Glee'', on the other hand seem to have taken the title literally since they made it into a song about Finn questioning his faith in God.
** Their cover of "Isn't She Lovely?" changes it from being about the singer's new born daughter to Artie serenading Brittany in order to apologize for accidentally calling her stupid the previous episode. [[LampshadeHanging They whack a giant lampshade on it]] by having Mercedes point out "I thought this song was about a baby." to Kurt.
** [[Music/KatyPerry "I Kissed A Girl"]] is originally a song about a girl simply fooling around and kissing other girls because she thinks it's fun. The second time it was used on Glee (the first being as Tina's audition song), it was a TakeThat against the entire concept: all girls in the show, gay and straight, get together to sing it in public to support a lesbian student who was being bullied. [[note]]"Screw you. I kissed a girl, and I liked it."[[/note]]
** Their cover of Music/{{Gotye}}'s "Somebody That I Used To Know" tried to change the meaning from a BreakupSong to a song about an unfulfilling platonic relationship between two brothers. Of course, it still sounded a lot like a BreakupSong, and the fact that it was sung by Blaine (a gay character) and his brother (played by Matt Bomer, who is gay) really didn't help things.
** The acoustic cover of Music/KatyPerry's "Teenage Dream" manages to do this for both the original ''and'' the first cover ''Glee'' did. Back on season 2, it was as happy a song as the original, only between two gay guys. The second version is also sung by Blaine to Kurt, but here [[spoiler:he breaks down crying, because he's cheated on him and they'll soon break up.]]
*** This version is also an example outside the show: it was a piano arrangement made by DarrenCriss, which he often sang at his own shows. There it changed from a song about teenage sex to a thank you to his fans for letting him live his teenage dream.
** "If I Were A Boy", sung by Unique Adams, who is a transgender character about the harassment and bullying she faces from the jocks. Her version reflects the incomprehension of others and how they treat badly people who are different. Overall, a very heartbreaking cover.
** Music/{{ABBA}}'s "The Winner Takes it All" was originally a bittersweet ballad about the singer accepting that their previous love has moved on. The version performed by Will and Sue in the GrandFinale is about Sue finally ceding defeat and telling Will that after five hard years, he finally beat her.
* The ''Red Hot + Blue'' AIDS benefit compilation consists of reinterpretations of ColePorter songs. For example, {{Erasure}}'s version of [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IyWArxIbn7w Too Darn Hot]] from ''Theatre/KissMeKate''.
* Pretty much Me First and the Gimme Gimmes whole hat. They only release covers, with each album focusing on a specific type of song (Classic pop standards on ''Blow in the Wind,'' show tunes on ''Are a Drag,'' etc.), all covered as upbeat pop-punk versions. For some of the sadder songs ("Rocket Man" and "Delta Dawn" come immediately to mind), this makes them come across much LighterAndSofter.
* Series/TheMuppetShow did numerous cover versions which often gave a literal twist to the lyrics. For example, Music/TheBeatles 'I'm Looking Through You' was originally about a couple arguing. The Muppets version is sung by two ghosts to a third.
** Much more blatant was their alteration of "For What It's Worth" (aka "[[RefrainFromAssuming Stop, Hey, What's That Sound]]") from a war protest song to one protesting hunting, sung from the animals' perspective.
** There was also a cover of Al Jolson's signature song, "You Made Me Love You (I Didn't Want To Do It)". Some of the words are changed as Cookie Monster is singing a love letter to a cookie, which he eats. It was covered by Creator/JudyGarland earlier, which makes it about a young girl's crush on movie star Creator/ClarkGable.
* ''{{Webcomic/Homestuck}}'' has a ''lot'' of {{Recurring Riff}}s, and some of the more popular ones are reinterpreted in a lot of different moods and ways. For example, [[http://homestuck.bandcamp.com/track/homestuck-anthem Homestuck Anthem]] is a very slow, somewhat melancholy song. [[http://homestuck.bandcamp.com/track/iv-anthem Anthem]], on the other hand, is upbeat and victorious.
** Dianne Warren's "[[Film/ConAir How Do I Live]]" and "[[Film/{{Armageddon}} I Don't Want to Miss A Thing]]" were once perfectly straightly-intended, honest, if cliché, {{award bait song}}s. Then Michael Bowman of the ''Webcomic/{{Homestuck}}'' music team covered them, giving them both a facetious satirical StylisticSuck treatment almost dripping in cheese and irony, emphasising just how [[SillyLoveSongs incredibly silly]] they are. Bowman later acknowledged their original intention when releasing a second "How Do I Live" cover, [[SubvertedTrope this one played]] [[TearJerker even straighter and serious than the original version]], saying that he wanted to give a perfectly good song its dues in intent.
* Mark Kozelek's ''What's Next To The Moon'', a whole album of AC/DC songs turned into [[SofterAndSlowerCover folky acoustic ballads]], tends to make Bon Scott's frequent IntercourseWithYou songs such as "Walk All Over You" and "Love At First Feel" seem outright romantic.
* Vitamin String Quartet, Vitamin Piano Series and Pickin' On Series make a business out of making songs into string instrumentals, piano instrumentals, and bluegrass tunes respectively. In some cases this vastly changes the feel of the song.
* The radio panel game ''Radio/ImSorryIHaventAClue'' has a round entitled ''One Song To The Tune Of Another'', which consists of the panel singing, well, one song to the tune of another. This has resulted in some massive LyricalDissonance and changed meanings -- one of the most beloved is [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tTfSYPjmTyo "Girlfriend In A Coma" to the tune of "Tiptoe Through The Tulips"]], which makes the tone sound ''way'' more cheerful than in the original, as if sung by someone who really doesn't ''want'' his girlfriend to survive and sees this as a great opportunity.
* The Beautiful South's 'Golddiggas, Headnodders and Pholk Songs' takes, among many others, S Club-7's "Don't Stop Moving" from a up-beat pop song about good music at a club to a slow, almost threatening song about spinning out of control under the hand of an unseen puppet-master, and their cover of "You're The One That I Want" from Grease takes it down a few notches and turns it sensuous and decadent.
* The Better Beatles' whole formula was turning Music/TheBeatles' cheerier-sounding hits into deliberately cold, detached PostPunk - usually making the songs virtually unrecognizable except for the lyrics. The main point seemed to just be trying to dismantle the "sacred" reputation of The Beatles with irreverence, but at times this approach ''did'' paint the lyrics in a different light: For instance, The Beatles' "Paperback Writer" seemed to be mocking the narrator's ambitions, but The Better Beatles version brings the tempo down to a dirge and has the lyrics sung in a more pleading manner, making it feel more like a sincere depiction of a desperate starving artist.
* Music/LimpBizkit did it twice, helped by modifying the lyrics. Creator/GeorgeMichael's "Faith" becomes more egocentric ("I know not everybody has got a body like you" -> "has got a body like ''me''") and Music/TheWho's "Behind Blue Eyes", in addition to losing a whole verse in lieu of a spelling bridge, adds even more angst ("No one knows what it's like, to be mistreated\ To be defeated, behind blue eyes \And no one knows how to say, that they're sorry \ And don't worry, I'm not telling lies").
* Pretty much any cover by Music/BoyceAvenue manages to change a pop song into a genuinely romantic ballad.
** The best example is, of all things "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" by Music/TaylorSwift. Original version is about a woman cruelly denying her ex a chance with her and sarcastically saying how she'll miss fighting and hating each other. The cover actually shows genuine regret in ending an on/off relationship that isn't good for either party, and wishing things were different, showing that they may legitimately miss the fighting.
* Karaoke Advice: Never [[DoubleStandard EVER]] gender-flip Music/{{Blondie}}'s "One Way or Another". Sadly, Music/OneDirection [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=36mCEZzzQ3o did not heed that advice]]. Granted, they do leave out the parts about ditching the other person.
* Up and comer Chase Holfelder does this with his series of videos called "Major to Minor":
** One includes turning "the Star Spangled Banner" from a war hymn about perserverance to a requiem for a fallen nation.
** "Animals" by Neon Trees is a SillyLoveSong. Holfelder's "major to minor" [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=280IZQ5oBx8 cover]] makes the song incredibly predatory and creepy. It sounds more like a MurderBallad or song about a StalkerWithACrush.
** American Author's song "Best Day Of My Life" is an unironically happy song about having a good day. Holfelder's [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dotCUp9HwNU cover]] turns it into something akin to a VillainSong.
* Music/PostmodernJukebox:
** Quite a few of their covers don't change the [[TheCoverChangesTheGender wording]] so songs like "Wiggle", "Careless Whisper" and "Creep" become about lesbians in the early to mid 20th century.
** Their cover of "Gangsta Paradise" reinterprets it as being about early 20th century gangsters.
* For lowbrow laughs, the band My Dick performs nothing but covers of pop songs replacing many of the words in the lyrics with "dick," "my dick," etc. For instance, their version of Wang Chung's "Everybody Have Fun Tonight" makes a song about dancing and partying sound like a song about a GagPenis (due to lines like "Rip it up / get down to the ground" changing to "My dick up / My dick down to the ground").
* Music/AnalCunt has covered many songs, but they tend to have two main ways of reinterpreting songs:
** One is to take a soft or otherwise innocuous song like "Stayin' Alive" by Music/TheBeeGees and turning it into a much faster, angrier-sounding song.
** The other is to do a more musically straightforward version of a song with altered lyrics. For example, most of the ''Howard Wulkan is Bald'' EP takes pop songs and changes the lyrics to make the song about their friend Howard Wulkan's lack of hair. For example, George Thorogood's "Bad to the Bone" becomes "Bald to the Bone."
* ''The Passion Live'' (2016), a JukeboxMusical by Creator/{{Fox}}, changes the meaning of all the songs featured to suit the Passion of {{Jesus}}. Examples include:
** Music/TrishaYearwood makes her live performances as the Virgin Mary (mother of Jesus), trying to contact her son with attempts to be comforting and maternal, with songs like "[[Music/WhitneyHouston My Love Is Your Love]]", "[[Music/{{Jewel}} Hands]]", "[[Music/JasonMraz I Won't Give Up]]", and "[[Theatre/{{Carousel}} You'll Never Walk Alone]]", before ending up mourning the loss of her son with a farewell speech called "[[Music/{{Lifehouse}} Broken]]".
** [[Music/{{Daughtry}} Chris Daughtry]]'s version of Music/{{Evanescence}}'s "Bring Me to Life" is different: while the original version was about "an incident in a restaurant, open-mindedness, and waking up to the things which are missing in the protagonist's life", his version is about a Judas Iscariot in turmoil, fighting his inner battles over whether or not to betray Jesus.
** "Demons" by Music/ImagineDragons. While the original was a BreakupSong about a protagonist warning their significant other of their flaws, here it's a song of betrayal, with Judas Iscariot (Chris Daughtry) and Jesus (Jencarlos Canela) exchanging VolleyingInsults and [[TheReasonYouSuckSpeech "The Reason You Suck" Speeches]] against each other along with ArgumentumAdNauseam[=/=]NoYou before Jesus gets arrested by a SWATTeam.
--->'''Judas:''' [[TheReasonYouSuckSpeech No matter what we breed,]]\\
[[TheReasonYouSuckSpeech We still are made of greed.]]\\
'''Jesus:''' This is my kingdom come...\\
'''Judas:''' ''[[[NoYou shoots back]]]'' [[BlasphemousBoast This is]] ''[[BlasphemousBoast my]]'' [[BlasphemousBoast kingdom come!]]
** Jencarlos' performance of "With Arms Wide Open" by Music/{{Creed}} is different: the original was about a man who is about to become a father to his unborn child who will grow up to become like him, whereas Jencarlos' version is about Jesus demonstrating his heavenly Father and his Last Supper to his disciples and giving them examples to follow, that they should do as he did. (John 13)
*** This is followed by his performance of Music/{{Train}}'s "Calling All Angels", involving Jesus' bitter anguish and demand for a heavenly sign as he agonizes in the Garden of Gethsemane.
** Prince Royce's performance of Music/{{Hoobastank}}'s "The Reason" (about a man trying to make amends to his {{Love Interest|s}}) sticks with St. Peter feeling deep regret over what he has done to Jesus by denying him.
** Music/{{Seal}} and Jencarlos' performance of Music/TinaTurner's [[Film/MadMaxBeyondThunderdome "We Don't Need Another Hero"]] (about children growing up in a {{dystopia}}n future and wanting to escape to a "life beyond the Thunderdome") becomes an AngryMobSong about the crowds wanting to rid themselves of rebellion and blasphemy by handing Jesus (their so-called Messiah and hero) over to crucifixion, unaware of the consequences of their actions they must face.
*** This is followed by Seal's performance of Music/TearsForFears' "Mad World", turning the theories of author Arthur Janov into an executioner's BSODSong.
** Jencarlos' RooftopConcert performance of Music/KatyPerry's "Unconditionally" becomes God's unconditional love for all humanity shown via Jesus' resurrection.
* Parodied in "[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CAXrgl_oF-8 Happy Sad Songs and Sad Happy Songs]]" which, [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin true to form]], changes the key of various songs. "Happy" by Pharrell Williams sounds sarcastic while "All Of Me" by John Legend is less romantic and more like a like BreakupSong.
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