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:

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[[folder: Songs 0-9]]
* Three Dog Night's original version of "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UiKcd7yPLdU One]]" is soulful and 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!"
* Hugo's reinterpretation of Jay Z's "99 Problems" takes a rap song enumerating the many problems Jay experienced as a young, successful black rap artist from Brooklyn and turned it into a more existential bluegrass piece about reclaiming one's soul and finding meaning in life.

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[[folder: Songs A-M]]
* "Friends in Low Places" by Music/GarthBrooks. Early in 1990, the song had been recorded by a fellow country music artist named Mark Chesnutt for his first album, to be released later in the year. 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 incidentally 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. Even though Brooks' version (on his second album ''No Fences'') was actually released before Chesnutt's version (on his self-titled debut album), guess which one became the hit?
* "Breaking Up Is Hard to Do" by Neil Sedaka. 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.
* Nathan Oliver's cover of Music/AceOfBase's "All That She Wants" sounds like a Music/NickCave murder ballad crossed with a SpaghettiWestern soundtrack and makes the woman in question sound more sociopathic than shallow.
* The original "I'll Be Home For Christmas" 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]].
** Several country versions have recently returned the troops feel by adding Christmas messages from soldiers stationed overseas.
* The Crystals, a 1960s girl band, sung "He Hit Me (It Felt Like a Kiss)" in a way that is easily interpreted as sincere. It's worth noting that their producer was PhilSpector, who was never known for the most positive attitudes towards women, and was eventually convicted of murdering a woman he was on a date with. Grizzly Bear covers the song and makes it haunting and tragic. Also, Grizzly Bear's lead singer is male.
** The story behind the song might qualify as an example in itself -- 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. Spector somehow got his hands on it and gave it to the Crystals as a ''punishment''.
* [[SixteenHorsepower 16 Horsepower's]] cover of Creedence Clearwater Revival's "Bad Moon Rising" is genuinely creepy instead of humorous.
** Music/{{Rasputina}} does a pretty damn eerie version of it with cellos.
* One {{WMG}} about Morrissey's creepy-as-hell cover of "Moon River" is that it is either sung from the perspective of a murderer, or addressed ''to'' a murderer, possibly Perry Smith.
* Music/JoniMitchell's "Big Yellow Taxi" has been covered a number of times, often with minor changes to the lyrics, and 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.
* Music/ChristinaAguilera's cover of ''The Beautiful People'' for {{Burlesque}} by Marilyn Manson was criticised 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.
* Related to the Music/DavidBowie example below, [[TheMagneticFields Stephin Merrit]] has had the following to say about Music/PeterGabriel's cover of "The Book of Love".
-->It’s 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 he’s God singing to you about his creation.
** Gabriel's CoverAlbum, ''Scratch My Back'', really is all over this trope.
* The folk song "Cotton-Eyed Joe" 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.
* The Armenian song [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lAfZZyWUFZQ "Dle Yaman"]] about a [[AnguishedDeclarationOfLove woman who misses her beloved]] [[TheLostLenore changed]] after the genocide.
* "Honey Honey" from Music/{{ABBA}} as used in the ''MammaMia'' musical: by cutting out the male vocals, and changing every use of "you" to "he", the song is changed from being a song about being aroused to Sophie reading aloud from her mother's diary entries about her flings with Sophie's three possible fathers.
* Say Anything covered "I Got Your Money" by ODB and it becomes extraordinarily sarcastic.
* By changing a few words, and the [[TheCoverChangesTheGender gender of the singer from male to female]], Cyndi Lauper turned [[CoveredUp Robert Hazard's]] "Girls Just Want to Have Fun" into a bouncy feminist pop anthem.
** And Greg Laswell then turned it from a giggly pop song into a BreakTheCutie ballad.
** EmilieAutumn's cover puts in self-destructive undertones.
* Richard Berry's "Louie Louie" has been covered by a crapload of artists, and talks 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).
* Music/{{Muse}}'s cover of "Feeling Good" from the musical ''The Roar of the Greasepaint, the Smell of the Crowd'' is downright creepy.
** Their version of "Can't Take My Eyes Off of You" turns it into a NightmareFuel ObsessionSong.
* Ugly Kid Joe turned Harry Chapin's "Cats in the Cradle" from a song of regret into something far more... wrathful.
** Debatable. 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).
* The cover of Music/DonMcLean's "American Pie" by Music/{{Madonna}}. Turns a fairly downbeat and abstract song about [=MacLean=]'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.
* The original Music/BlackSabbath version of "Iron Man" 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.
** The Cardigans did something a little more subtle with another Sabbath cover, "Sabbath Bloody Sabbath": Both versions are basically about feeling betrayed by society - the original is an angry take on this, while the cover is more of a sadly resigned ballad.
* The Revolting Cocks' cover of Do Ya Think I'm Sexy. Watch the parody [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aZCdK6x1hks first]]. Now watch the [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hphwfq1wLJs original.]]
* Music/JonathanCoulton's version of "Baby Got Back" 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.
** His cover of Music/AlanisMorissette's [[http://www.jonathancoulton.com/2007/04/19/you-oughta-know/ You Oughta Know]] also changes the context from a woman scorned to a gay man whose lover ''leaves him'' for a woman.
* FrouFrou's cover of Bonnie Tyler's "Holding Out For A Hero" turns a silly, peppy disco song about waiting for a KnightInShiningArmor into a cynical song that seems to be questioning if there ''are'' any heroes left in the world.
** The Fairy Godmother's version in ''{{Shrek}} 2'' 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.
* Music/DavidBowie's "Heroes": mildly disinterested and cynical about the world and the capacity for heroism. Music/PeterGabriel gets a hold of it, and it's a TheRuinsICaused shot in lyrical form.
* The Lost Dogs covered Franchise/AlvinAndTheChipmunks' "The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don't Be Late)." By altering the banter between the verses, they changed 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.
*** PattonOswalt has a routine where he mimics Dave's "demonic" slowed-down voice.
*** Patton's [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R69_mZj6YWo routine]] and the [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Rcl1obPIbU real thing]].
* Music/APerfectCircle changed Music/JohnLennon's "Imagine", an upbeat ode to idealism, to a cynical ode against totalitarianism.
* Some have claimed that Music/BritneySpears' cover of Music/{{Madonna}}'s "Material Girl" completely missed the {{irony}} of the original and sincerely believed its message.
** Then again, a substantial portion also thought the original song sincerely believed in its lyrics. This interpretation may have gotten worse after the song debuted, as since then, TheEighties have become very known and parodied for crass consumer capitalism, to the point people may not actually believe a similar parody could have been written during the era.
* God Dethroned covered the psychotic and menacing "Fire" by Arthur Brown. Originally the song was a gleeful upbeat song that [[LyricalDissonance chimed about creating suffering and misery for others.]] However this version is extremely aggressive and features the same lyrics accompanied by death metal guitar storms and demon like screams and growls.
** Similarly, 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.
** Then MonkeyDust picks it up, and CrossesTheLineTwice, with The Paedofinder General playing and singing it while he turns [[BurnTheWitch his usual acticity]] into a light-and-music show.
* TomWaits' [[http://www.coveringthemouse.com/2007/10/heigh-ho-tom-waits.html cover of "Heigh Ho"]] from Disney's ''Disney/SnowWhiteAndTheSevenDwarfs'' 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."
** His cover of "Danny Says," by The Ramones, sounds like he's been riding on a bus for several days and his heart has just been broken at a truck stop.
** And "Army Ants," which is made entirely out of quotes from nature encyclopedias, sounds like a psychotic conspiracy theory.
* The two versions of Music/NineInchNails' "Hurt" showcase similar but very different messages. The original NIN version is an introspective ode to self loathing and alienation. But Music/JohnnyCash covered the song and 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.
** He also used the lines "I wear this crown of thorns/Upon my liar's chair" from the censored version instead of the original "I wear this crown of shit/Upon my liar's chair" to draw a connection to Jesus.
** The song was actually (though it could also have been additionally) [[DrugsAreBad about drug addiction]] ("The needle tears a hole / The old familiar sting / Try to kill it all away / but I remember everything"). The shift in focus is still the same, though; Reznor's original is about someone still struggling with his addiction, whereas Cash's character overcame it long ago, yet still greatly laments that part of his life.
** On the same album, Cash covered Music/DepecheMode's "Personal Jesus," turning it from a cynical blast against organised religion into a spiritual song about the power of Christ.
*** The original version is a reference to a quote by Elvis Presley's wife
** "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.
* While we're on the subject of the Man in Black, "Folsom Prison Blues" was never exactly LighterAndSofter, but Nine Pound Hammer's cover of it is grittier and rawer than the original, making it come across as resigned, rather than regretful.
* HIM did a cover of "(Don't Fear) the Reaper." Rather than the spaced-out mellowness of the original, it now sounds like someone is actually being murdered in the studio. It also happens to be [[MemeticMutation completely devoid of cowbell.]]
** Unto Ashes also did a cover. It's 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.
* What happens when the Music/BlackEyedPeas release a song ("My Humps") 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.
* [[Music/TheWho Pete Townshend]]'s electro-pop cover of Music/BobDylan's folk ballad "Girl from the North Country" 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.]]
* The Music/DeadKennedys "covered" the Bobby Fuller classic "I Fought the Law" 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."]]
** They also covered "[[Musiv/ElvisPresley Viva Las Vegas]]" in a similar manner. Although in that case they only used a few lyrical changes ("Let me roll a 7 with every shot" notably becomes "Got coke up my nose to dry away the snot") and just let the dripping sarcasm in Jello Biafra's voice do the rest.
** 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]].
* Obadiah Parker took Music/OutKast's upbeat "Hey Ya" 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 accoustic version with a guitar at a wedding. It was turned into an actually sweet love song.
* Music/TypeONegative actually recorded two versions of their cover of Music/BlackSabbath. The notable example of this trope is the second version which rewrote the lyrics so that it describes 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.
** Not to mention their cover of Music/TheBeatles' "Day Tripper", which transformed a lighthearted ode to LSD into a mournful lament on being driven to suicide by an apathetic lover.
** Or their cover of Seals and Croft's "Summer Breeze," which becomes a song about domestic violence. At the very least.
* Music/InFlames covered the synth-pop number "Everything Counts" by DepecheMode and 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.]]
* "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"]] and makes them creepy and possessive... using the original vocals. The only alteration is the music that plays behind them.
* Everyone in the world may well have covered Music/KatyPerry's "I Kissed A Girl", but 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.
** Same with Attack!Attack!'s cover.
** Max Vernon's cover.
** As well as the [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BEG-X7BL-sM very melancholic cover]] by Israeli singer Ivry Lider, who is in fact gay.
** Paul [=McDermott=] meanwhile, [[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]] ''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.]]
*** Almost better - a curiously threatening version of [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_e7uLil65us Oops I Did It Again]].
** Meanwhile, 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.
* Hillary Duff's cover of The Who's "My Generation" 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."
* "Fashion Party" by Music/AceOfBase: disdainful decadence. "Fashion Party" by Beatdrop: nightmarish inquisition.
* Angélique Kidjo covered the Music/TheRollingStones song "Gimme Shelter," adding in African choral vocals and changing the instrumentation to change a song about the [[TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt apocalypse]] and Vietnam into a LyricalDissonance filled song about the situation in some parts of Africa.
* The Animals' cover of the folk song "House of the Rising Sun" (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]].
* ReelBigFish takes the Music/DuranDuran song "Hungry Like The Wolf" and 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.
** On the same album JimmyEatWorld turns the song "New Religion", originally a hyperactive rant about information overload, into a somber reflection on belief.
* Nouvelle Vague takes the upbeat Music/BillyIdol Hit "Dancing With Myself" [[CoveredUp (originally by the band Generation X which included Idol)]] and changes it into a Bossa Nova song about depression and alcoholism.
** Applying this trope to '80s songs via Bossa Nova versions is basically Nouvelle Vague's raison d'etre. The best is their take on Music/TheClash's "The Guns of Brixton", which turns the bouncy gangster tune into a deeply creepy (yet sexy) cabaret number about life in a fascist dystopia.
* JoanJett covered quite a few songs, but her cover of "[[Music/{{ACDC}} Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap]]" is the most blatant use of this trope. At the end of the song, where the lead vocals would usually name a bunch of random tools of destruction, she just leaves that part out, meaning you can take a far different meaning from it than [[TheCoverChangesTheGender the original]].
* A strange example of self-cover with Juan Luis Guerra, he recorded two versions of his song "Amor de Conuco" 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.
* Barathrum's "Last Day in Heaven" 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.
* The Music/DropkickMurphys turned "Fields of Athenry", which is typically played by bands like the Dubliners as a sad, wistful ballad about carrying on in the face of a sad parting, 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."
* [[http://armcannon.com Armcannon]] did a heavy metal cover of the famous Ghostbusters theme (Bhost Gusters to fans). And the Drummer dressed up as a pizza just for this song during a rehearsal. Pure. Awesome.
** And then its slooooooooow version in "Black Hole Enlightenment".
* "I'm Your Boogeyman" by KC and the Sunshine Band: IntercourseWithYou. "I'm Your Boogeyman" by Music/RobZombie: unnerving as all heck.
* Music/BenFolds' cover of "Bitches Ain't Shit."
* The Gourds' [[MisattributedSong commonly misattributed]] cover of "Gin and Juice."
* [[Music/{{REM}} R.E.M's]] "It's The End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)", a song whose humor is extremely subdued, 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.
* RichardCheese and Lounge Against the Machine recorded cheery showtunes version of Music/{{Disturbed}}'s "Down with the Sickness". They also alter the lyrics slightly to make it about an actual sickness, rather than a metaphor for societal oppression.
** This is basically Richard Cheese's entire bit. He covers preexisting songs, mostly rap and metal, in the style of a schmaltzy lounge singer.
** For that matter, Disturbed's covers themselves usually become this (usually much angrier and occasionally cynical). The only time they don't do this is when covering bands they like.
* Music/ScissorSisters' [[LoveItOrHateIt not universally loved]] cover of the Music/PinkFloyd classic "Comfortably Numb" 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 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.
* The original "The Girl From Ipanema", in Portuguese, was more of a praise to said girl. The English version ([[TheElevatorFromIpanema you know the one]]) is all about the UnrequitedLove.
* Music/NineInchNails' [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OjsUkExCcQ4 Closer]] done by Jane Distortion has the psycho-sexual oddness of the original, but it's very... different, mood-wise.
* "The Metro" by Berlin: A poppy, somewhat sad song about moving on after a bad breakup. "The Metro" by SystemOfADown: a rage-filled rant about being abandoned by a loved one.
* [[WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck]] once turned Music/TheBeatles "Hello, Goodbye" into a DuckSeasonRabbitSeason argument.
--->'''Daffy:''' I ''say goodbye, and'' you ''say hello.''
--->'''Bugs:''' ''Hello, hello, I don't know why you say goodbye,''
--->'''Daffy:''' I say hello!
** ''Bugs & Friends Sing the Beatles'' did this to a number of songs.
* Lenny Kravitz's version of "American Woman" by the Guess Who. The original 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 American Woman). Lenny'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 HeatherGraham) is sexually tempting, but the singer realizes that they are no good for each other.
** While 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.
** Also, Krokus' version, where it becomes just another song about dumping a groupie.
* Jenny Owen Youngs took ''Hot In Herre'', an IntercourseWithYou hip hop song, and [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JIYKPjalb6Q turned it into]] a rather romantic and cheery pop-rock song.
* The PetShopBoys' cover of "Always On My Mind" completely changed the meaning of the song by ending it with the line "Maybe I didn't love you".
** Creepy and sorrowful cover in Silent Hill Shattered Memories does it's share of changing mood and meaning.
** Their cover of the Music/VillagePeople's "Go West" 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.
* FiveFingerDeathPunch did a cover of Bad Company's song, "Bad Company". 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, FFDP's version is about a Military overseas fighting a war (more specifically, in the music video, the US Military in Iraq and Afghanistan).
* ChrisCornell's cover of Music/MichaelJackson's "Billie Jean" is perhaps a lesser example: while it doesn't change the meaning ''per se'', it very much 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 (considering the original inspiration of a fan letter that made this very allegation of Jackson himself) to a mournful, emotional song where the singer must face what he knows to be true.
* "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.
* ScreechingWeasel did a cover of "Johnny Are You Queer?" by Josie Cotton. Cotton's version is about a girl who is concerned that her boyfriend might not be interested in her because he's gay. Screeching Weasel's version has a male singer similarly worried about the sexuality of his male love interest. Both versions are ridiculously catchy.
* Swedish Lotta Engberg's "Juliette & Jonathan", which reached third place in Melodifestivalen 1996, 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.
* "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.
** And 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...
* "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]].
* The OC ReMix "Eyes On Me: Obsession" 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.
* Music/EricClapton did this with his own song "Layla". The original electric version is a young man, pining so hard for the woman he loves that he's raging. The acoustic version, a few decades later, is an older man softly regretting the love that was lost.
* "I Heard It Through the Grapevine" has been performed many times, and understandably falls into this a bit. The Gladys Knight and the Pips version is hurt, but almost more puzzled and wondering if it's true. Music/MarvinGaye's seems more heartbroken, and CreedenceClearwaterRevival's version, with the instrumentation almost thundering, sounds wrathful about the situation.
* Brian Setzer plays an extremely upbeat rock version of ''Danny Boy'' as "Irish" Terry Conklin's boxing ring entry music in ''TheGreatWhiteHype''. However, this version was never released on CD and fans have been clamoring for it for years.
* The Irish traditional song "The Foggy Dew" 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]].
* The Music/BruceSpringsteen version of "Because the Night" 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 (So, in other words, he sings it as ''a Bruce Springsteen song''). Consider for example some of the lyrical differences: where Music/PattiSmith's lyrics 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."
** "Because the Night" is interesting, as, 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 ''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.
** Speaking of Patti Smith, her cover of VanMorrison's ''Gloria'' 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".
** And her cover of Wilson Pickett's "Land Of A 1000 Dances" 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.
** Patti Smith's cover of "Hey Joe," a song of dubious authorship but famously recorded by The Leaves and especially Music/JimiHendrix, 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."
* Let's not forget The Music/DougAnthonyAllStars' baritone version of "I Am Woman" ([[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=49mFJRWYhqo here]]), which lends a whole new meaning to the feminist anthem.
* Northern Kings' cover of "Creep" by Radiohead 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. And while the original [[Music/PeterGabriel "Sledgehammer"]] was full of {{double entendre}}s, Northern Kings' cover expresses a man's loyalty to do anything for his woman.
** 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.
* When dance-punk band !!! covered Nate Dogg's party jam "Get Up," it ''seemed'' to be relatively straightforward... until about three minutes into the song, when it suddenly became 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.
* Dweezil Zappa's cover of "Baby One More Time" (yes, originally sung by [[Music/BritneySpears her]]) 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]].
** Although the male vocalist and the harder, grungier sound do tend to give it a darker edge, [[FetishFuel that doesn't mean it's not far, far sexier than the original too.]]
* [[Music/ElvisPresley Elvis']] [[CoveredUp "Hound Dog"]] is edited for content and therefore sounds like it's about a dog. "You ain't never caught a rabbit" has nothing to do with bunnies, rabbit is innuendo for "nice girl" (virgin), making the line "You ain't never screwed a virgin". The Big Mama Thorton version is actually about a cheater and what should happen to him (making Elvis' version ironic). It also had more lines that The King replaced with repeating the chorus.
** That's a mighty interesting tidbit considering Big Mama Thornton's version didn't have the "rabbit" lyric. That lyric was added by Freddie Bell on his version, and though I question that he meant for it to be about virgins, I think it's not outside the realm of possibility. Also, Elvis's version is not about a dog... unless you thought he was THAT oblivious. It's meant to be a metaphor about a guy who's useless, like a dog that's never caught a rabbit.
* RufusWainwright's cover of Leonard Cohen's "Everybody Knows" 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]]
* Great Big Sea took a 19th Century advertising jingle (Cod Liver Oil), changed the key, and transformed it from another happy, mindless bit of fluff into a dark, suspicious diatribe.
* Black Nail Cabaret actually managed to turn the Music/BritneySpears pop anthem [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qgSgxUYPiqU "Hit Me Baby One More Time"]] into a dark, gothic, and HeadTiltinglyKinky bit of FetishFuel.
* Dynamite Hack's cover of Eazy-E's "Boyz in the Hood" 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]]
* Save Ferris did a cover of Dexys Midnight Runner's famous (see: {{on|eHitWonder}}ly) hit "Come On Eileen." The original is a herald to Eileen to stop being fleshcandy and trying to seduce him, while Save Ferris's version seems to be more in the vein of not growing up so quickly and making foolish choices.
** Save Ferris also did a cover of The Waitresses' [[ChristmasMusic "Christmas Wrapping"]] 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.
* When [spunge] covered J. Geils' Band's Centerfold, 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.
* Reel Big Fish covered Sublime's "Boss DJ," turning a mellow acoustic song into a reggae-styled ska song.
* "Gloria" as originally written in Italian by Umberto Tozzi: 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.
* "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 Put a Spell on You'. One can count on one hand the number of times the [[DomesticAbuse original intent of the song]] comes out in both the music and the lyrics- it's usually sung almost as a love ballad, leading to some real LyricalDissonance.
** It was ''meant'' as a love ballad. The "original intent" mentioned in the above entry became such after Screamin' Jay Hawkins and company got liquored up in the studio, recorded the song as it's known today, and decided that way sounded better.
** And then, of course, the version sung by Bette Midler in ''Film/HocusPocus'' makes the titular "spell" ''literal''.
** Then Sonique turned it into a trancy dance anthem.
* The legendary J-Pop producer MiyukiNakajima's classic ''Ashita'' (Tomorrow) has two very different sounding cover versions:
* Babes In Toyland's cover of "Bodies" by The Sex Pistols 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.
* One where just the artist name and the song, if you're familiar with the latter, is enough to make clear the change of meaning of the song: Sarah Jane Morris, "[[HoYay Me and Mrs. Jones]]".
* The cover band the Bon Bon Club released as part of their first EP an incredibly, incredibly creepy version of the song "Dreams" that seems to make it about a someone imprisoning their lover.
* "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.
* Boys of Summer, originally by Don Henley (male) and covered many, many times (most notably the female vocals used by DJ Sammy) changes the perspective depending on the gender singing. It's either the male singing he's 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.
* [[Disney/{{Aladdin}} "A Whole New World"]] has had this happen ''twice.'' First, 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. And 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.]]
* NorthernKings are rather good at this sort of thing. The addition of a telephone, some heavy breathing and a very slow and doomy growled vocal style turn Kylie's "I should be so lucky" into the ultimate creepy stalker tune.
* MachinaeSupremacy has a cover of [[Music/BritneySpears "Gimme More"]] that sounds more like a mockery of Britney Spears herself.
** And their cover of "I Turn To You" by Mel C sounds very aggressive.
* EmilieAutumn's cover of ''Crazy He Calls Me,'' by Billy Holiday, turns it simultaneously into a post-apocalyptic echo ''and'' a song about a woman's slide into madness.
* Depending on how the female[[note]]or [[Series/{{Glee}} gay male]][[/note]] part is sung, "Baby It's Cold Outside" can either be a coy flirtation between two lovers or a date rape waiting to happen (though it was originally intented as the former by its writers).
** The version by [[ZooeyDeschanel She & Him]] ends up flipping the genders of the speakers, thus adding another interpretation of the woman trying to seduce the man.
** 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.
* The Checkmates' "Black Pearl" 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.
* Alphaville's "Forever Young" 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, which is based more on the idea that you can be young forever as long as people remember you after you die.
* The cover of OMD's ''Enola Gay'' by Nouvelle Vague completely changes the tone of this poppy, bouncy Hiroshima bombing themed song into something yet more creepy and intense.
* Music/JohnMellencamp did two covers of "Jailhouse Rock" by Elvis Presley. 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.
* A soundtrack example: ''Kidnap the Sandy Claws'' from ''WesternAnimation/TheNightmareBeforeChristmas''. In the original movie, 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]].
* The well-known cover of Mad World (originally by Tears For Fears) 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.
* The original "[[Memes/{{Music}} Jozin z Bazin]]" 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.
* The Hoosiers' cover of Justin Timberlake's "Love Stoned" 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]].
* UB40's cover of Jimmy Cliff's ''Many Rivers To Cross'' turned the song from one of melancholy to one of empowerment.
** Their cover of Music/ElvisPresley's "Can't Help Falling In Love" was done for the soundtrack of ''Film/{{Sliver}}'' (which was way better, overall, than the movie) and makes very effective use of synth to turn a mushy love song into an icewater-creepy, StepfordSmiler stalker song.
* Most versions of [[Theatre/TheThreepennyOpera "Mack the Knife"]] contrast a light, peppy tone with disturbing lyrics about murdering prostitutes. The PsychedelicFurs cover, though, 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.
* {{Sparks}}' cover of Music/TheBeatles' "I Want to Hold your Hand" is performed as slow and smooth Philadelphia Soul, making the song much more mature and heartfelt than the teen love Pop of the original.
* Bruce Cockburn's song "Lovers In A Dangerous Time" 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.
* A particularly {{egregious}} example with Israeli composer Naomi Shemer, who in 1973 decided she would write new words for Music/TheBeatles' ''Let it Be'' 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".
* Seal's "Crazy" 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 Me First and the Gimme Gimmes covered it, the song's tone was kept intact, but when Cleveland-based metal band Mushroomhead released their version, it comes across as a man losing his religion and resigning himself to madness.
* Gary Numan's "Down In the Park": a dark '80s synth song about robots. The Foo Fighters cover is substantially more apocalyptic, somehow.
* David Gates's original ''Everything I Own'' 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.
* Stuart Gorrell originally wrote the lyrics of "Georgia on My Mind" for Georgia Carmichael, sister of Hoagy Carmichael, who wrote the music. 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.
* Mary Chapin Carpenter did this to her ''own'' song; the original album version of "Can't Take Love For Granted" 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!"
* [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tTLLQU1jnXs Mario Winan's "I Don't Wanna Know"]] 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).
* The Polyphonic Spree's celebratoy cover of [[Music/{{Nirvana}} Lithium]] 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"]]
* When blues singer Keb' Mo' covered "Folsom Prison Blues" for a Music/JohnnyCash 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]].
* Gloria Gaynor's perennial disco hit "I Will Survive" 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)
* "Call Me Maybe" by CarlyRaeJepsen is a teenage fantasy about a girl shyly flirting with a boy she has a crush on. The cover by {{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 {{Gotye}}, and setting it to a video based on the ''[[TheTwilightZone Twilight Zone]]'' episode "Button, Button".
* A minor example is "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) and in fact 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.
* Music/WarrenZevon recorded a slower version of Steve Winwood's "Back In The High Life Again" 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.
** Incidentally, it had nothing to do with his fight with cancer, which wasn't diagnosed for another two years after the cover's release. Zevon was just dark like that.
* "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.
* Filter's [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xgi0IpZTvYo version]] of "Happy Together" changes the normally cute song about puppy love to a twisted tune about a {{Yandere}} StalkerWithACrush.
* ''{{Music/Ghost}}'''s cover of the Beatles' "Here Comes the Sun" 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").
* Amy Gerhatz and John Roberts' cover of 'Fame' takes a peppy, upbeat number about wanting to be famous and makes it sound like 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.
* "Johnny B" by Music/TheHooters is about a bad relationship. Music/DownLow reworked it into a song about a thief.
* Music/{{Crush 40}} did a cover of "His World" by ZebraHead. Originally, it was a fast paced Punk Rap song with rebellious and carefree lyrics that perfectly fit Sonic. Crush 40's version was slower paced, and had a more epic feel to it. Its lyrics were mysterious and weighty and more befit Shadow.
* Eamon's "Fuck It (I Don't Want You Back)" 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.
* The steampunk band Steam Powered Giraffe did a cover of Rihanna's "Diamonds." The SPG band members' stage personas are robots. Instead of being about love and loss, it becomes a song about how shiny one of the robots is.
* "Get Lucky" by Music/DaftPunk is a pretty straightforward nu-disco "up with our glasses, down with our pants" party song. "Get Lucky" [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T5Cp55MvX54 covered by UK indie band Daughter]], is a dark, creepy-as-hell song about a confused woman being led through a dark, unfamiliar club in a roofie haze.
* Finnish country rock band Freud, Marx, Engels & Jung made a Finnish language cover Buuri Johannesburgista (Boer from Johannesburg) from KinkyFriedman's song Jerk from Johannesburg, as a VERY satirical take on {{Apartheid}} system. Unfortunately too many people understood it as a white power anthem...
* Apparently, SelfDemonstrating/TheJoker's version of Music/HankWilliams' "Cold, Cold Heart" (performed by Creator/TroyBaker) in ''VideoGame/BatmanArkhamOrigins'' has turned 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?
* Hunter Hayes' "Everybody's Got Somebody But Me" 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.
* NeilYoung's "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y1gxkRve4Q0 Down By The River]]" 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...
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Songs N-Z]]
* N-Trance did a cover version of RodStewart 's "Do Ya Think I'm Sexy" but it comes off more as a Eurodisco crowd song than Rod's original intentions!
* Natalie Imbruglia's [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VV1XWJN3nJo "Torn"]] is upbeat and poppy, a 180 degree turn from the [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V1SH1YdITDI Ednaswap original]], which is emotionally raw and more in line with the actual lyrics.
* NickCave and the Bad Seeds covered "Death Is Not The End" with pretty much an all-star cast of singers: P.J. Harvey, Kylie Minogue, 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.
* When StraightGay singer and voice actor Creator/CamClarke covered "Son Of A Preacher Man", it was changed 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.
** Ironically, 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.
* Uncle Tupelo's cover of "No Depression" is about...well, [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin depression]], whereas the original song was written about the Great Depression.
* Ana Belén's cover of "[[BillyJoel Piano Man]]" 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".
* "Le moribond" ("The Dying Man") by Belgian singer 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.
* The Delaney & Bonnie/Carpenters song "Superstar" is about a groupie who's fooled herself into thinking that the one night stand she had with a rock star [[ButForMeItWasTuesday]], but 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.
* Recently, Glassjaw covered one of their own songs, ''Star Above My Bed (Call of the Tiger Woman)'', and retitled it as simply ''Stars''. But it's not so much that they changed its meaning as they spiced it up and altered its lyrics.
** For further comparison, hear [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YWq7MKYzZNI&feature=related this]], and then [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z1u55wL3s30 this]].
* Vanilla Fudge's cover of "Season Of The Witch" turns a largely tongue-in-cheek Donovan tune and plays it dead straight in the most horrifying manner possible.
* [[{{Ramones}} Joey Ramone's]] cover of ''What A Wonderful World" changes the song from bittersweet observations about the transient beauties in the world to someone experiencing dance-inducing synesthesia over how fucking awesome the world is.
** Mr. Ramone recorded the album while dying of cancer, which just seems to add another layer of Awesome to it.
* BillBailey, during his ''Part Troll'' routine, suggests as a new British National Anthem: "Zippe-dee-doo-dah" as performed by {{Portishead}}. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EfjUburwcnU He then goes on to play what he thinks that would sound like]]. Unsurprisingly the song loses some of its upbeat tone.
** He also reimagined the theme tune to ''TheMagicRoundabout''. Complete with the "secret middle section" which reveals that Zebedee is a deformed, demonic megalomaniac with a DarkAndTroubledPast.
** He also did a reimagining of "The Hokey Kokey" and "Combine Harvester" by The Wurzels as if they were both done by Kraftwerk of all people.
* Talking Heads took Al Green's rather upbeat "Take Me to the River" and turned it into a funky, eerie narrative, complete with ominous atmospheric keyboards and David Byrne's [[CreepyMonotone menacing, on-the-edge delivery]].
* Go to the ''VideoGame/DeadSpace'' [[http://www.deadspacegame.com website]] to download the [[NightmareFuel creepiest version]] of "[[IronicNurseryTune Twinkle Twinkle Little Star]]" ever recorded.
* Spineshank covered the legendary Beatles' song "While my Guitar Gently Weeps." This 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.
** ...The original "While my Guitar Gently Weeps" ''is'' a critique of society and human nature through the eyes of a unchanging passive observer.
** On the other hand, Lemon Demon's "While My Keytar Gently Weeps" is probably a joke about synthesizeritis.
* The Blind Boys of Alabama took DepecheMode's "Personal Jesus," which is supposed to be about Elvis Presley and sounded like a mocking of religious faith, and turned it into a straight-up Gospel song.
** They also set "Amazing Grace" to the tune of "House of the Rising Sun."
*** [[Radio/ImSorryIHaventAClue Whereas Barry Cryer did the opposite]].
* Sign's cover of the Music/IronMaiden classic "Run to the Hills" 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.)
* BobDylan's song "When the Ship Comes In" 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.
** The Bank of Montreal's use of a children's choir to sing ''The Times, They Are a-Changin' ''was not only vaguely weird, but also completely subverted the meaning of the song. As comedien [[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."
* JimiHendrix famously played a live version of "The Star Spangled Banner," 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.
* Iron & Wine covered the Postal Service's "Such Great Heights" and changed it from a synthpop acid trip of a love song into something more poignant and sweet.
** It should be pointed out that Iron & Wine could cover anything from Metallica to John Phillip Sousa and make it sound poignant and sweet.
* Shudder To Think covered Atlanta Rhythm Section's southern rock IntercourseWithYou song "So Into You" 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''.
* [[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, [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-pMqSyIwmA8 Satisfaction]] by {{Devo}} is a fast-paced rant against consumerism, and [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2AX2bcWtg1Q&feature=related Satisfaction]] by PJHarvey and {{Bjork}} is what happens right before insanity.
** [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KYWebOq1J9I Satisfaction]] by Music/TheResidents (at the very beginning of the vid) is about a guy who is just down right AxCrazy.
** 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.
* Not so much "The Cover Changes the Meaning" as "The Cover has Absolutely Nothing to do with the Original": The Yardbirds recorded a somewhat obscure ambient chanting-type song called "Still I'm Sad." 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.
* ''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.
** The sitcom fantasy episode also ended with a melancholy cover of the ''{{Cheers}}'' theme, as JD is seen leaving the harsh tragedies of the hospital to seek some comfort and escapism in television sitcoms. Tragically, this performance is removed for the DVD release of the season.
** They also had Ted singing an acoustic version of Hey Ya while J.D. monologued about relationships. Wow.
* The Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra takes the love Theme from the Godfather and turns 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.
* AmandaPalmer's cover of "What's the Use of Won'drin" from Carousel 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.
** She covered her own song, "Oasis", making it more "serious" when people complained that the song was making light of rape and abortion.
* Music/BoyceAvenue's [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8cVZuJP6YRU cover]] of the Music/{{Rihanna}} song "Only Girl (In the World)". 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 relation stops. She wants to be spoiled, and dammit, you will do it. Which isn't how a good relationship works. With this cover, the perspective changes to the guy singing to the 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. When you add the fact that the music and tone changes from less of a from club type music to more of a romantic tone, it truly changes it entirely.
** They also did this to Music/KatyPerry's "Teenage Dream". It's similarly made into 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."
* The Maia Hirasawa version of The Ark's "The Worrying Kind" 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.
* {{Flyleaf}}'s cover of "What's This?" from ''WesternAnimation/TheNightmareBeforeChristmas''.
** To elaborate, the original is [[AttentionDeficitOohShiny incredibly excited]] about Christmas, while Flyleaf's cover sounds scared of the changes.
** Similarly we have MarilynManson's cover of "This Is Halloween." Whereas the original is talking about a land of wonder - albeit a morbid one - the Manson cover comes off as truly being a 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.]]
* [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fy6faAgrLg4 This cover]] of "What's Up" by the 4 Non Blondes 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. [[WesternAnimation/HeManAndTheMastersOfTheUniverse1983 Sung by He-Man]]. 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.
* Richard Thompson covers the traditional Irish song, "She Moves Through The Fair", and changes one word. The last verse usually goes, "Last night she came to me/my own love came in", and RT changes it to, "Last night she came to me, my '''dead''' love came in". Changes the meaning of the song ''completely''
** And on the subject of Richard Thompson: BritneySpears' original version of "Oops, I Did It Again" was sung as if she genuinely didn't realise she was leading someone on so much. Richard Thompson's performance was of someone who knew exactly what he was doing.
** Interestingly, that ''is'' the lyric as originally put down by Padraic Colum -- the person on record as collecting the traditional song -- so it's not so much a case of "The Cover Changes The Meaning" as "The Cover Restores The Earliest Recorded Meaning."
** In the original Irish ballard, the lover merely "came softly in". The ambiguity of what has become of her is probably deliberate.
* Erma Franklin's "Piece of My Heart" is a song of defiance in the face of her unfaithful man. JanisJoplin sang it with a rage not commonly seen from female vocalists. Faith Hill, who really should have known better, then pissed all over both their graves with her flighty, bubble-gummy cover.
** She probably didn't know better, honestly. She rerecorded the song later (it's on some rare foreign hits collection) and it's much harder-edged now.
* Soft Cell's version of "Tainted Love": A poppy, up-beat take on a failing relationship. Coil's take on "Tainted Love": A slow dirge likely reflecting the last thoughts of a man dying of AIDS.
** [[CoveredUp Gloria Jones']] version of "Tainted Love": An angry and defiant take on a failing relationship.
** MarilynManson's version of "Tainted Love": an angry, paranoid, descending-into-homicidal-madness take on a failing relationship?...
* People who've only heard the Joe Cocker or Tom Jones versions of "You Can Leave Your Hat On" will know it as an amourous come-on; the original, by Randy Newman, is a lot more sinister - the narrator is meant to sound seedy and lecherous.
** ''Any'' version of the song can sound a bit seedy and definitely lecherous.
* When iconic band Music/TheRollingStones play "Paint It Black," it sounds moody and vaguely depressing. When heavy-metal band The Black Dahlia Murder play "Paint It Black," 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 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.
* Paloma Faith took [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N9hazmsUxrM what can only be described as the most typical song ever written]] ("Sexy Chick" by David Guetta ft. Akon) 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.]]
* Cascada has a very energetic pop version of--wait for it--''What Hurts The Most''.
* Sanctuary, a Music/HeavyMetal band that would later be known as {{Nevermore}}, covered JeffersonAirplane's "White Rabbit", and 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''.
* The original version of ''Respect'' by OtisRedding 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.
* During the 2009 Australian Idol season, when contestant Toby chose 'Please Don't Leave Me' for a Pink-themed night, it created this trope along with a slight helping of DoubleStandard and UnfortunateImplications or even DoubleStandardAbuseFemaleOnMale coming from the lyrics, especially lines like "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 further example 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. {
* The cover of "Shake, Rattle, and Roll" [[CoveredUp (the one you've probably heard)]] is WAY cleaner than the original. The original has a line ("I'm like a one-eyed jack glaring at a seafood shop") that is easy to understand if you have a dirty mind (one-eyed jack= "cycloptic trouser snake", seafood shop= "fish taco"). That particular line is nothing compared to the later line that basically describes what the 1-eyed jack is doing inside the seafood shop in the most detailed way possible for the 1950s.
** That's mighty interesting considering Bill Haley's cover has that "one-eyed cat" lyric intact. It doesn't have the "get over hill" line later, though.
* The girl group Girlicious recorded a cover of the David Guetta song "Sexy Bitch." 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.
* Brazilian song "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mDvX7rM8tro Rap das Armas]]" (widely known for its use in ''TheEliteSquad'') was originally written by MC Junior and Leonardo a 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.
* The original RollingStones version of "Under My Thumb" 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.
* In Ash's "Shining Light" the subject of the 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.
* Chris Daughtry's cover of "Poker Face" by LadyGaga sounds more like a cad's depressing lament than an upbeat ode to promiscuity like the original.
** Same thing goes for Marina And The Diamond's version of "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6nCRqL5UmN4 Starstrukk]]". While the original singers were proud of stringing their lovers along, she sounds far more regretful about it.
* Placebo's version of Kate Bush's "Running Up That Hill". The original version is quite upbeat and hopeful; Placebo's version is a depressive (and somewhat NightmareFuel-y) lament. It changes the song from about finding God to about a deal with the devil.
** And 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!
* Yael Naim's cover of BritneySpears' "Toxic"? Her voice makes the song all the more awesome. It's soft, slow, sensual, and truly gives off the air of an addict. Go listen to it [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ETh0Kfxk2BY&feature=related NOW.]]
** 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.
* Buckethead's cover of "Pure Imagination" is much more downbeat than the original.
** And 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 "My Favorite Things".
** [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9BkBGdnUNSk Fiona Apple's]] cover is very downbeat and haunting as well, to the point where it was used very appropriately in a Chipotle ad called "The Scarecrow". On the contrast Music/Maroon5's [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cWGeCqszY8s version]] of the song makes it sound more into an IntercourseWithYou song.
* There are 18 million versions of the Irish folk song "Siul a Ruin". 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.
* The original version of Music/{{Nirvana}}'s "Smells Like Teen Spirit" is a chainsaw of anger hitting an iron spike of angst over something deserved but never received. Music/ToriAmos's cover of that same song is a soulful lament for something once possessed but now lost.
** PansyDivision's cover ("Smells Like Queer Spirit") is about homophobia and gay sex.
* "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".
* "Word Up" by Cameo is a flashy dance riff filled with braggadoccio. It's all about the "Look at me, Ladies!" vibe. The covers by Music/{{Korn}}, Melanie B, and Gun play this same vibe. But then you get to the cover by Country-Soul artist Willis and suddenly it turns haunting and desperate.
* Music/BobDylan's "To Make You Feel My Love" 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. A cover by Music/{{Adele}} is more like an offer being made to a potential love interest that if he chooses her, she would do anything for him.
* "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.
** 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.
* "Tonight", originally performed by [[Music/TheStooges Iggy Pop]], 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.
* "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 tounge-in-cheek song about two {{Wild Child}}ren who end up getting married, until the singer realises he doesn't love her anymore.
* Jane Sibbery's 1985 hit "One More Colour" (an upbeat Canadian pop song inspired by a developmentally-disabled boy she once met who found joy in looking at the sky) has been covered, to 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, while The Rheostatics' version plays it up as a schizophrenic, fast-paced track full of guitar solos and a "party-like" atmosphere.
* Karmin recorded a duet cover of {{Adele}}'s "Someone Like You". The original was about a childhood friend settling down with someone else, but the cover seems be about the two wishing to get back together, although at least one of them is already married.
* The song "Parachute" was originally written by Ingrid Michaelson, but she wrote it for Cheryl Cole who released it several months before Ingrid's was released; whichever 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
* Tom Petty's "Runnin' Down a Dream" 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.
* {{Devo}}'s "Beautiful World" 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.
* Not quite a cover, but ScroobiusPip did a track based on a quotation from SouljaBoy's [[{{Hatedom}} much maligned]] "Crank Dat" to make it about ''literal'' soldier boys. "Soldier Boy, now ''kill'' 'em, we need YOU!!!"
* Music/JoyElectric actually changed one important word from the chorus when he covered [[Music/{{Coldplay}} "Viva la Vida"]]: from "I know St. Peter won't call my name," to "I know St. Peter will call my name."
* [[http://soundcloud.com/imogenheap/thriller-live Imogen Heap's cover]] of [[MichaelJackson "Thriller"]] 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 english song [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kud96a_5r3s Slowly]] by the swedish band Gemini, it's a ballad in which the lyrics talk about how the love in a relationship is gone and they're about to part ways, while the spanish cover [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p1TbOGu8Olg Muriendo Lento]] by the mexican band Timbiriche, while retaining the same music and guitar riff, changed 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.
* "Pumped Up Kicks" by Foster the People is a [[LyricalDissonance very upbeat, catchy dance tune]] about a school shooting. 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]].
* NinaSimone's cover of "Pirate Jenny" (from ''ThreepennyOpera'') 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.)
* "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.
* The poem "Richard Cory" 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.
* Corey Hart's "Sunglasses At Night" 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.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Serial reinterpreters]]
* Absolutely any cover made by Laibach. One notable example is their version of {{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 [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hhkvR9uMyU4 Laibach's cover of "Sympathy for the Devil".]] While the original Rolling Stones version sounds as if Lucifer is just some sort of {{Trickster}}, 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 {{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.
* {{Prince}}'s "When You Were Mine" was about a guy whose live-in kinda-sorta girlfriend gets involved with another man. Lauper's version is about a woman whose live-in kinda-sorta boyfriend gets involved with... another man. And is a transvestite.
* ''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".
* 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 does 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)," 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 IAmSam is full of modern covers of Beatles songs. While most are just straight-up covers, Howie Day's cover of "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 ''In My Life'', an album 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.
* 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 [[JohnLennon Lennon]]-[[PaulMcCartney McCartney]] "throw-away", was written as Ringo's signature song for live performances, but also given to 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 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 (''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stay_Awake_(album) Stay Awake: Various Interpretations of Music from Vintage Disney Films]])'' is made up of these:
** Sun Ra 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 Sinead O'Connor does to ''Someday My Prince Will Come'' has to be heard to be believed. "Cynical" doesn't even ''begin'' to describe it.
* TheResidents have made not one, but '''four''' albums consisting of experimental covers of music from the 50s and 60s. Most of the material on these albums either make the song sound darker or more ridiculous, or actually amplify the original's true meaning.
* 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.
* 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.
*** Which is silly. We ''all'' know that Punk goes "OI!".
* 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 Jonas brothers' cover of "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.
*** Is it just me, or does the slight change in the lyrics -that is "well, a witch" being changed to "kinda strange" and "magic" being changed to "secret" in the first verse- make the whole song sound like a drug dealer talking about his customers? Seriously.
*** Of course, the video [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 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.
* {{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''.
** The video for Turn the Page 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 {{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.
** Also, 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 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 are actually masters of this trope. Another example: ''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SOfeGKwaVNI 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 ''[[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.
* 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.]] Glee's version is based on the cover from ''Film/AcrossTheUniverse'', where it's about one girls 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"]] seems to be a song about embarrassment over a public quarrel, possibly between lovers (we're talking about [[TheWalrusWasPaul R.E.M. here]]), and the title comes from the band's home state of Georgia, where it's an expression 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", sang 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.
* 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.
* 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 JudyGarland earlier, which makes it about a young girl's crush on movie star Creator/ClarkGable.
* ''{{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".
** Apparently, OneDirection [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=36mCEZzzQ3o did just that]].
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