The Cover Changes The Gender
Music may be a universal language, but it's nigh impossible to find a song with lyrics that apply to everyone
Sex is quite possibly the most common barrier. Many songs (particularly ones about love
), are unambiguously addressed to a woman or a man, or specifically sung from a male or female perspective. While it's not uncommon for musicians to perform songs "in-character" rather than as themselves, some people can't accept an artist singing from the viewpoint of a different gender or sexual orientation than their own. So, when covering a song that was originally sung by a member of the opposite sex, what's a singer to do?
Change the lyrics, of course! Most of the time this will entail no more than switching a couple of pronouns or changing "boy" to "girl" (or vice versa) but in some cases it can require a much more extensive rewrite. Another common way of doing this is giving the song a Perspective Flip
- i.e. "then he kissed me" becomes "then I kissed her."
This can work well in many cases
, while sometimes it can seem forced and awkward, sometimes becoming more of a distraction than it would've been if the artist had simply used the original lyrics. It can also come across as Have I Mentioned I Am Heterosexual Today?
, especially if the original version is particularly well known.
For obvious reasons, the trope is almost always averted
by openly gay artists - and frequently averted by still-closeted ones as well. Not to mention gay artists putting a Gender Flip
on the object of a song that is
traditionally sung by their gender, in order to accommodate their sexuality.
See also The Cover Changes The Meaning
, Gender Flip
, and Perspective Flip
. Double Standard
may or may not be involved.
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Female perspective changed to male
- Elvis Presley performing Dusty Springfield's "You Don't Have to Say You Love Me" turns out pretty well, since there's no specific pronouns used. But regardless of gender it does come of with some Ho Yay subtext.
- Tony Bennett did this all over his album For the Ladies which was entirely covers of songs made famous by female singers or written for female singers. This is averted in his live shows, however where he feels the original song is more important than the pronouns. And really trying to make "Black and Blue" about anything other than the colorism black women experience doesn't work.
- Frank Sinatra performed "The Man That Got Away" as "The Gal That Got Away." (Aside from pronouns and such, the only difference in the lyrics was changing "A one-man woman" to "A lost, lost loser.") However, this was averted in Jeff Buckley and Rufus Wainwright's versions. (Then again, Rufus Wainwright is openly gay, so that's not surprising)
- Sinatra also recorded "The Girl Next Door," an alternate-pronoun version of another song originally done by Judy Garland, "The Boy Next Door" from Meet Me in St. Louis.
- Used by The Beatles ("my girl says when I kiss her lips...") in their cover of The Shirelles' "Boys." It's still full of Ho Yay, though.
- Another Beatles example: the obscure girl group song "Devil in His Heart" was changed to "Devil in Her Heart."
- Not to mention their cover of The Marvelettes' "Please Mr. Postman."
- Vanilla Fudge's cover of Sonny And Cher's "Bang Bang" is sung from the boy's perspective rather than the girl's.
- The Beach Boys remade the Crystals song "Then He Kissed Me" as "Then I Kissed Her."
- Counting Crows' cover of Joni Mitchell's "Big Yellow Taxi" turns "a big yellow taxi took away my old man" to "a big yellow taxi took my girl away." This stands out as it is in no way clear that the "old man" in question is, in fact, a love interest. It could as easily be the artist's father.
- Wally Whyton did this first; he changed "old man" to the slightly clumsy "wo-man".
- Bob Dylan’s cover changes the entire line to “A big yellow bulldozer took away the house and land.”
- Neil Diamond covered "I Dreamed a Dream" from Les Misérables, changing the pronouns.
- All of the various "I Kissed A Guy" covers on YouTube.
- Used for the French song "Mon amant de la Saint Jean": the original is sung from the point of view of a woman ("I loved him.") When it was covered by a male singer, the lyrics were changed to the point of view of an outsider ("She loved him.")
- Soft Cell's cover of Gloria Jones' "Tainted Love" changes the line "all a girl could give" to "all a boy can give."
- In their cover of Queen's "Sleeping on the Sidewalk", Los Lobos changed the lyric "Now I'm sleepin' like a princess" to "Now I'm sleepin' like a ki-ing". Not only did the change throw off the rhythm, but it changed the meaning of the lyric. The intent is to show that, like the protagonist of the fairy tale "The Princess in the Pea", the singer has become so spoiled that he would notice if there were a pea under his mattress.
- "Mr. Sandman" was originally performed by The Chordettes with the desired "dream" (a.k.a. love interest) being a "he." In The Four Aces' version (it is this version which is heard in Back to the Future), the "dream" is a "she."
- This is also the case on the Blind Guardian cover. This is made somewhat weirder in the music video, in which the band's singer is dressed in drag. Of course, according to the video the (not-so-desired) "dream" is apparently a bunch of Monster Clowns.
- An interesting variation: Damien Rice's "The Professor" is originally entirely sung by him, but there is a recording in which Lisa Hannigan sings the second half, changing the pronouns so that she is singing as the woman who the first half is talking about, so that the song is about both perspectives.
- The Jonas Brothers' cover of "Poor Unfortunate Souls" removes the singer's gender ("I'm a very busy person/And I haven't got all day.") It also replaces the gendered term "witch" with "kind of strange".
- Parodied heavily in an episode of Malcolm in the Middle, in which a male singer does a cover of "Papa, Don't Preach," in which he sings "She's keeping my baby!" while pregnant showgirls pose on stage. It's every bit as sexist and disturbing as it sounds.
- Shaun Cassidy did a male version of "Da Doo Ron Ron" - "her name was Jill" instead of "his name was Bill," and so forth.
- The Doors' cover of "Alabama Song" (or "Whiskey Bar") changed "Show us the way to the next little boy" to "Show me the way to the next little girl." Originally, the song was sung from the perspective of prostitutes.
- David Bowie covered the same song about a decade later again changing "boy' to "girl" but keeping a verse that the Doors dropped entirely.
- In Moulin Rouge!, "Like a Virgin," sung by Zidler to the Duke (who joins in later), explaining why Satine wasn't there for an arranged rendezvous.
- "When She Loved Me" was originally sung by Sarah McLachlan for Toy Story 2 from the point of view of the doll Jessie, which makes perfect sense in context. Michael Crawford and a few other male singers have covered it, which makes a whole lot more sense if you think of it as a song about lost romantic love. The funny thing is, there's still female singers covering it, like Jordan Pruitt on Disneymania 5.
- Bruce Springsteen wrote "Because The Night" from a male perspective, but couldn't make it fit with the rest of Darkness on the Edge of Town. He ended up giving it to Patti Smith, who recast it from a female perspective. Springsteen released a live concert recording of the song, however, and he included a studio version of it on The Promise, his 2010 album of Darkness outtakes.
- Springsteen also used to sing the aforementioned Crystals song "Then He Kissed Me" in live shows as "Then She Kissed Me."
- KISS also recorded a version of this song.
- "Bachelor(ette)", originally recorded by Björk, is covered by Voltaire with the point of view changed.
- Tobias Sammet's Avantasia's cover of "Lay All Your Love on Me" by ABBA changes the "Now every woman I see" to "Now every man that I see."
- Alan Jackson's cover of Charly McClain's 1981 hit "Who's Cheatin' Who" changes the pronouns so that it's a male singing about a female, instead of vice versa. (Yes, Charly is a female.)
- Most songs on Masaaki Endoh's cover series ENSON. These range from the still-working (Wing of Destiny], Eternal Blaze) to the... less so (God Knows, Sousei No Aquarion).
- They Might Be Giants played this straight with their cover of "Maybe I Know" by Lesley Gore (best known for "It's My Party").
- ("You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman" has been covered by Rod Stewart as "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Man"
- The Sunset Takeover are a group who explicitly exist to cover female-sung pop hits into male-sung rock songs. Many, although not all (like their cover of "Circus"), use this (such as their cover of "I Kissed a Girl"). Though one song, "Poker Face," starts off like this in the first verse, averts it in the second, and uses it in the chorus... because the original song was allegedly a meditation on bisexuality.
- "Caught a Lite Sneeze" by Tori Amos as covered by Evans Blue. The lyrics were changed to "You're on my left/right side" and "I'm in the middle" instead of "Boys" which made the last line of the chorus make a lot less sense ("And you're not here." Wait, aren't "You" on my left and right sides?)
- Danyl Johnson did this in his cover of "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going" from Dreamgirls, prompting a sarcastic comment concerning whether it was necessary by one of the show's judges, effectively outing him on live TV. The Internet Backdraft has been... significant.
- The Mika version of "Poker Face" (it's all downhill from here, folks) changes the intermittent "she's got me like nobody" (fast version, referring to Lady Gaga)/"he's got me like nobody, she's got me like nobody" (slow version, referring to her lovers) to the more neutral "you've got me like nobody," and replaces some of the uses of "he" in the lyrics with "you" to match...some.
- The same for Daughtry's version, which does change the word "he" to "you" or "she" every time.
- The rock band A New Found Glory (now known as simply "New Found Glory") recorded two albums of covers of songs from movies called From the Screen to Your Stereo. The second one features a cover of "Kiss Me" by Sixpence None The Richer (which is featured in She's All That). One lyric originally goes, "You'll wear those shoes and I will wear that dress"; NFG's version appropriately changes it to "I'll wear those shoes and you will wear that dress".
- It's worth noting that "Kiss Me" was written by a man (Matt Slocum, who writes many of Sixpence's songs).
- The Kingston Trio's cover of "Someday Soon" is gender-flipped, and makes a lot more sense once you know that.
- Westworld's cover of Alanis Morissette 's "Uninvited." It helps that the singer Tony Harnell is a high-octave singer.
- Joe plays this trope straight in his cover of Carrie Underwood's "Before He Cheats" as "Before I Cheat"
- This happens a lot when male artists cover Lady Gaga: Greyson Chance's cover of "Paparazzi" as well as both Daughtry and You Me At Six's covers of "Poker Face" are examples.
- And let us not forget the Artist vs. Poet cover of "Bad Romance."
- In Easyworld's cover of Olivia Newton-John's "Hopelessly Devoted to You," singer David Ford changed nouns and pronouns accordingly. However he later sang Candi Staton's "Young Hearts Run Free" in its original form, and even Carole King's "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman". At least in his Easyworld work, he had a voice that could sometimes be confused for female anyway.
- Used by Forever The Sickest Kids in their cover of Taylor Swift's "Love Story."
- Boyce Avenue did a Perspective Flip of Katy Perry's "Teenage Dream" and turned it into a Heartwarming Moment:
"I will get your heart racing, if that's what you need, in this teenage dream tonight. Let you rest your head on me, if that's what you need, in this teenage dream tonight."
- He's done the same thing with Rihanna's "Only Girl".
- Madness's cover of "Money, Money, Money" by ABBA changed "If I got me a wealthy man" to "If I were a wealthy man," among other changes.
- Bowling for Soup's cover of Britney Spears' "Baby One More Time" changed "boy you've got me blinded" to "girl you've got me blinded".
- Hilariously, in their cover of Fergie's "London Bridge", the line "I'm such a lady but I'm dancing like a ho" was kept intact (although Jaret replaced "Fergie-Ferg" with his own name).
- One odd example is the Naked Eyes version of "Always Something There To Remind Me." While it was first released by a male singer (Lou Johnson), it was popularized by female singer (Sandie Shaw), and the original lyrics are completely gender neutral. However, Naked Eyes changed them slightly just to make it clear that the song is addressed to a girl.
- Played with by Mark Weigle, who invoked a Gender Flip with the subject of Tommy Tutone's "867-5309/Jenny," even though the singer stayed male. He's remarked that this changed the song's tone in more ways than its sexual orientation, as it hints that "Jenny's" Spear Counterpart "Jimmy" wrote his own number on the men's room wall.
- This Lady Gaga medley by Sam Tsui and Kurt Hugo Schneider changes any gender-specific pronouns to "you."
- Stevie B and Alexia Phillips' duet remake of Jaya's "If You Leave Me Now" gender-flips Stevie's sections.
- Meat Loaf did this on Bat Out Of Hell III, kinda. The song It's All Coming Back To Me Now, previously sung by Celine Dion, is here a duet by Meat and Marion Raven. Although Meat did say it sums up his relationship with the song's writer Music/JimSteinman, so, you know. Take from that what you will.
- WASP have a cover of Jefferson Airplane's "Somebody to Love" in which Blackie switches the one gender-specific line to "your eyes, I say your eyes may look like hers," which makes it no longer rhyme with the next line.
- An odd case is Example covering Beyoncé's 'If I Were A Boy', which is about a changed gender perspective. The original is about a woman promising to herself that she'd be a better boyfriend than her past lover, and lamenting the difference between the hearts of men and women. Example's is about a man looking back and seeing how he ruined his relationship with a girl who faithfully loved him, and that though he promises to do better, it's in his nature to let her down.
- The Eurobeat song "Hot Vampire", originally by Go Go Girls, was gender-flipped by Go2.
- "House of the Rising Sun" is often gender-flipped, despite the fact that doing so completely obscures the fact that the house in question is a brothel.
- Actor-singer Christian Kane covered Tracy Chapman's signature "Fast Car" on his 2011 album The House Rules, changing the subject of the song to a guy instead of a girl.
- One male cover of "Girls Just Want To Have Fun" changes the refrain to "Girl, I try to have fun".
- Richard Thompson's cover of Britney Spears' "Oops, I Did It Again."
- Local H have a rock cover of Britney Spears' pop song "Toxic" that changes the line "A boy like you/should wear a warning" to "A girl like you/should wear a warning". This cover also changes the meaning of the song somewhat as well, it goes from about how a nice girl loves a bad guy to how a nice guy is being corrupted by his love of a bad girl (and she knows she is corrupting him as well.)
- Butch Walker and the Black Widows covered Taylor Swift's "You Belong With Me," with pronoun swaps and a few other changes ("she wears short skirts" becomes "he wears Izods"). The gender flip also has the effect of changing the perspective from that of a Girl Next Door to a rather unfortunate Dogged Nice Guy.
- When **NSYNC covered Janet Jackson's "That's the way love goes" they only had to change the line "go deeper baby deeper" to "I'll go deeper" changing who is doing the penetrating because the pronouns were all first and second person.
- Faster Pussycat's version of Carly Simon's "You're So Vain" changes the perspective (e.g., "And all the boys dreamed that they'd be your partner") and some other lyrics that the band potentially may not have understood (e.g., "As you watched yourself gavotte" is changed to "And you think you're so damn hot.")
- Clan of Xymox's cover of "Venus".
- A variation: "The Impresario", the Overclocked Remix version of the opera sequence from Final Fantasy VI, uses a male vocalist, and therefore gives the aria to Draco instead of Maria.
- Kenny Rogers and Ronnie Milsap changed Kim Carnes and Barbra Streisand's "Make No Mistake, He's Mine" to "Make No Mistake, She's Mine" in this fashion.
- The a capella group Straight No Chaser did this version of Adele's "Rolling From the Deep" about a lover vowing payback on a treacherous, betraying ex.
Male perspective changed to female
- Anne Murray, a country-pop crooner from Canada, was quite adept at this during the 1970s and early 1980s, with at least two big hits fitting this trope to her credit:
- "He Thinks I Still Care," where the male perspective was changed to female (for Murray), and then back again when another man covered the song. Written by Dickey Lee (best known for "Patches" and the country version of the tearjerker hit "Rocky"), the original hit version came in 1962 from country legend George Jones. In 1974, Murray recorded her cover and released it as part of the double A-sided single (along with another cover, this one being the Beatles' "You Won't See Me"). Then, in 1976, it was shifted back to male when Elvis Presley's version was the B-side to his hit, "Moody Blue." All three versions went to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart, the only known time three versions of the same song topped any of Billboard's major singles charts (Hot 100, country and soul/R&B/hip-hop singles charts).
- In 1980, Murray changed the gender perspective of the Monkees' 1967 pop hit "Daydream Believer" and had a huge country and pop smash hit.
- Her 1972 hit, "Cotton Jenny" was told as a third-person narrative (example, "And she waits by the door/Oh Cotton Jenny, he's sore.") to accommodate the gender issue. Gordon Lightfoot had written it in first person. ("Oh Cotton Jenny, I'm sore.")
- Louise Mandrell, the younger sister of Country Music Hall-of-Famer Barbara Mandrell, had a string of hits in the mid-1980s, including a gender-changed cover of "Some Girls Have All the Luck," the hit made most famous by Rod Stewart in 1984. Her version? "Some Guys Have All the Luck," which became a top 25 country hit in early 1986.
- The aria "Sposa, son disprezzata" from Vivaldi's opera Bajazet, which was about a wife raging over her husband's infidelity. The original libretto, "Sposa, non mi conosci", from Geminiano Giacomelli's opera "Merope", was originally sung by the husband, who was denying his infidelity.
- The Cowboy Junkies cover of The Beatles' "Run for Your Life" does this, to mixed results: It does jarringly break the rhyme scheme at times ("you'd better run for your life if you can little boy / hide your head in the sand, little boy / catch you with another woman, that's the end"), but it's still sort of interesting to see their Obsession Song receive a Gender Flip.
- Sarah Brightman's genderflipped version of "The Music of the Night" from The Phantom of the Opera is a tad creepy, simply because Miss Brightman was the original Christine in that musical.
- Alison Moyet's cover of "Windmills of Your Mind."
- Kate Rusby has covered a few folk songs that were written from a male perspective. And she wrote one ("Game of All Fours") with a male narrator.
- Bonnie Raitt turned Skip James's "I'd rather be the devil than be that woman's man" into "that man's woman."
- Ashley Tisdale's cover of "Never Gonna Give You Up," which had already gotten tons of Internet Backdraft, replaced the lyrics "Any other guy" with "Any other girl," which doesn't really rhyme with "I."
- The Bow Wow Wow cover of "I Want Candy" is a straight-up gender flip, but it does make the line "I like candy when it's wrapped in a sweater" sound a bit odd— we don't have a Sweater Boy trope.
- DEV2.0 flipped the genders on Devo's "Girl U Want" to result in "Boy U Want." They didn't change any other words though, so you had a pre-teen girl sing a song about sexual arousal. Hilariously wrong.
- Heart's cover of "Black Dog" by Led Zeppelin changes some pronouns from third-person to second-person ("started telling your friends you gonna be a star") and others from first-person to second-person ("tell you no lies, make you a happy man").
- In the Robots in Disguise cover of "You Really Got Me," all references to "girl" (i.e., "Girl, you really got me now") are changed to "boy".
- Sheryl Crow's cover of Guns N' Roses' "Sweet Child o' Mine" changes she/her to he/his ("he's got a smile that it seems to me...").
- On her most recent album, Quiet Night, Diana Krall sings "The Boy From Ipanema".
- Which is still way better than the grammar bending in Astrud Gilberto's version "But each day when she walks to the sea, she looks straight ahead, not at ... he."
- She actually sings "not at hiiiiim." It's more evident on the album version (same take, but on the single the vocals are cut off by the repositioned saxophone solo).
- The Bangles' cover of Jules Shear's "If She Knew What She Wants" changed the perspective from first person ("I'd be giving it to her") to third person ("He'd be giving it to her").
- "Girls Just Want to Have Fun" was originally written from the male point of view by songwriter Robert Hazard before Cyndi Lauper recorded it. Being sung from the perspective of a man turns the song into a slightly more sexist one, with fast women instead of an empowering jingle about a girls' night out.
- The song "I Drove All Night" was written for Roy Orbison, but went to Lauper instead. Orbison ended up doing his own cover of it later on.
- The Girls Aloud cover of "Teenage Dirtbag" by Wheatus flips the gender, and breaks the rhyme scheme. "Dick" rhymes with "kick". "Bitch" doesn't.
- The Scala cover, on the other hand, averts this.
- Pandora's Box's recording of It Just Won't Quit, a song originally written for Meat Loaf (their version was released first, though). It actually works out quite well, changing 'There used to be every hope in the world' to (slant) rhyme with 'girl', to 'There used to be every hope, every joy'.
- Reba McEntire did this twice:
- "Cathy's Clown," a cover of the Everly Brothers' 1960 No. 1 pop hit, was changed from first to McEntire's sympathetic, third-party observation.
- "Ring On Her Finger, Time on Her Hands", covering Lee Greenwood's top 10 country single from 1982. The song's lyrics were changed to first person, with McEntire taking the role of the long-neglected housewife who is forgotten about by her frequently absent husband, and making the decision to turn to another man to fulfill her sexual needs. Oddly, even though this meant changing the hook to "Ring on My Finger, Time on My Hands", it still kept the original title on the album and on the charts.
- In Kirsty MacColl's cover of Billy Bragg's "A New England" the first verse changes "People ask when will I grow up to be a man/But all the girls I loved at school are already pushing prams" to "People ask when will I grow up to understand/Why all the girls I knew at school are already pushing prams" and "I put you on a pedestal, they put you on the pill" to "I put you on a pedestal, you put me on the pill". The line in the chorus "I'm just looking for another girl" becomes "Are you looking for another girl?"
- Lydia Lunch's version of Classic IV's "Spooky" changes the lines "spooky little girl" and "when a fella looks at you" to "spooky little boy" and "when a girl looks at you." (Daniel Ash's version also uses the "when a girl looks at you" variation while keeping the "spooky little girl" line to add a bit of Les Yay.)
- Shirley Bassey's cover of Ben E King's "I Who Have Nothing" is another perspective-flipped example.
- Used in Cat Power's version of "Satisfaction", but averted in Björk and PJ Harvey's version.
- Britney Spears' cover changes the line "how white my shirts can be" to "how tight my skirts should be", and cuts out the verse about trying to get a girl.
- Toni Basil's famous cover of Racey's "Kitty" was changed to "Mickey," though retaining the line "Anyway you want to do it. I'll take it like a man."
- Joss Stone covered The White Stripes' "Fell in Love With a Girl" as "Fell in Love With a Boy," despite the fact that it doesn't fit with the song's rhyme scheme.
- Tiffany covered the Beatles with "I Saw Him Standing There."
- The cover of Public Enemy's "Black Steel in the Hour of Chaos" by Tricky uses a female vocalist and doesn't change the lyrics, leading to Martina Topley-Bird repeatedly referring to herself as "a brother" and "a black man," and BEAVIS called her on it.
- Blondie's more famous version of "The Tide Is High" by The Paragons does this ("I'm not the kind of man that gives up just like that" becomes "I'm not the kind of girl...", for instance)
- For that matter, Denis is a cover of a song originally called Denise.
- Conway Twitty's "Lost Her Love on Our Last Date" became "Lost His Love on Our Last Date" when Emmylou Harris covered it.
- The Lady Gaga version of "Viva La Vida" leaves the gender the same in the first few verses, but she eventually screams "who would ever want to be...QUEEN!" and even changes "St. Peter" to "St. Mary" at a few points. Lady Gaga being Lady Gaga, these are some of the more normal changes.
- Aretha Franklin's feminist hit "Respect" was originally written and performed by a man by the name of Otis Redding. If you read the lyrics from a male point of view, it begins to sound a little bit... hmmm
- On the other hand, the "Sock it to me!" part definitely sounds harsher being sung by Franklin....
- Odetta Sings Dylan. Most of the political stuff is gender-neutral, but some of the personal songs needed some pronoun tweaking.
- Minor Contemporary Christian example: Near the end of DC Talk's career, they released a song called "In the Light" which would be covered several years later by Sara Groves. For obvious reasons, a couple of lines were slightly changed, but otherwise remains the same ("I am the king of excuses" changing to "queen of excuses"; "...That I'm still a man in need of a Savior" substitutes "girl" for "man")
- In her cover of "You Can Leave Your Hat On", the magnificent Etta James tells her man to "take off (his) vest" instead of the original "dress". It rhymes very neatly with the following "yes, yes, yes"es.
- The popular George Michael Christmas song "Last Christmas" has been covered by many. When a female artists covers it, the lyric is almost always changed from "a man on a cover" to "a girl on a cover but you tore her apart". Except for Michie Tomizawa singing it as Sailor Mars in another one of the Christmas CDs for Sailor Moon, who left it as is entirely in broken English.
- There is a cover version of Luis Miguel's song "La Incondicional" by Edith Marquez. Since articles, adjectives and nouns are gendered in spanish pretty much all the song is song is changed while remaining the same; the most notable change however, is the line "tu cuerpo de mujer" for "mi cuerpo de mujer".
- All female covers "(If Loving You Is Wrong) I Don't Wanna Be Right" change the point of view from the cheating husband to the other woman.
- Across the Universe featured a cover of The Beatles' "I Wanna Hold Your Hand" sung by a woman. Only it was about being a lesbian.
- Cayman Ilika's recent cover played this trope straight, replacing "you'll let me be your man" with "you're going to be my man".
- A country singer named Sunday Sharpe covered Paul Anka's "(You're) Having My Baby" as "I'm Having Your Baby".
- A strange variation occurs with the country music song "Don't Go Out." The song was originally recorded by Foster & Lloyd, a male duo. When Tanya Tucker and T. Graham Brown covered it, they alternated the lead vocal on the verses. Tucker's lines were changed to a female perspective, while Brown kept the original male perspective.
- Scala & Kolacny Brothers' cover of Puddle of Mudd's "She Hates Me" (which, of course, became "He hates me)"
- "Fire," written by Bruce Springsteen and originally recorded by Robert Gordon, was made much more famous by The Pointer Sisters who sang it with a Perspective Flip.
- XTM's Speedy Techno Remake of the Olsen Brothers' "Fly on the Wings of Love" is sung by a woman, but still has the line "she's the greatest love I've ever had", making it a lesbian relationship.
- "Different Drum" was written by Michael Nesmith and contained this verse: "Well I feel pretty sure you'll find a man/who can take a lot more than I ever could or can...". When Linda Ronstadt recorded it, the whole verse was eliminated, probably because there was no way to change "man" to "woman" without changing the rhythm/syllables.
- Most vocal versions of "I Can't Get Started" were for male singers (the original was written for Bob Hope). Ira Gershwin created a female version for Nancy Walker.
- Speaking of Gershwin, there are male versions of "Someone to Watch Over Me" and "The Girl I Love."
- Corrinne Bailey Rae's cover of Justin Timberlake's "SexyBack" changes "them other boys they don't know how to act" to "them other girls...", but leaves the "come here, girl" parts alone (probably to appeal to a certain demographic).
- Judy Collins covered The Incredible String Band's "First Girl I Loved" as "First Boy I Loved."
- Alanis Morissette's cover of The Police's "King of Pain" for her MTV Unplugged' album. Notably, even though she changes the lyrics to "but it's my destiny to be the queen of pain", the title remains the same.
- Twisted Sister's cover of "Leader of the Pack" reverses both the singer's identity and the relationship's outcome, having Betty die in a car crash rather than Jimmy wipe out fatally on his motorcycle.
- Savage Garden's songs are for the the most part very much gender neutral so long as it's not a song with a plot (such as To the Moon and Back and Two Beds and a Coffee Machine). Truly Madly Deeply was covered by Cascada.
- Mario Winans' plaintive R&B ballad "I Don't Wanna Know" - the 2004 single which, due to copyright law dealing with sampling of other tracks, hilariously co-credits both P. Diddy and Enya - is sung by a man who suspects his girlfriend is cheating and just prays that she keep it secret because if he discovered it for sure it would break his heart. Shola Ama came back with a devastating response from the woman's perspective called "You Should Really Know," the gist of which was that if the guy was so in tune with the woman and so invested in the relationship he should know her damn well enough to know that she's not cheating. Oh, snap.
- A rather neat version, the female cover of "Kiss from a Rose" as sung by Katherine Jenkins. "There is so much a man can tell you...," becomes "There is so much someone can tell you...,".
- For Mamma Mia!, the song "Does Your Mother Know" is sung in a female perspective, while the original ABBA version is in a male perspective.
- Rockell's version of "The Dance" changes "king" to "queen", which interrupts the rhyming.
- Billie Holiday and other female singers have done "She's Funny That Way" as "He's Funny That Way," though the earliest female versions are "I'm Funny That Way."
- In Donna Summer's version of "MacArthur Park", "Spring was never waiting for us, girl" became "Spring was never waiting for us, till (it ran one step ahead)"
- Amii Stewart's cover version of Eddie Floyd's "Knock on Wood" has her telling the partner rather than herself to knock on wood. Mary Griffin's version, featured in the film Studio 54, leaves the lyrics unchanged.
- Max A Million's and Unique II's covers of Matthew Wilder's "Break My Stride" both used a female singer, and thus "she said" became "you said", and the bridge changed from "another girl like you" to "another boy/guy like you".
- Dusty Springfield's cover of "Twenty-Four Hours from Tulsa".
- David Guetta and Akon's "Sexy Bitch" was covered by Leah, who changed any instance of female pronouns into first-person pronouns (including changing "Yes, I can see it" to "Yes, boys can see me"). So it's changed from the male singer talking about a girl he finds sexy to a female singer bragging about how sexy she is.
- Tori Amos did an entire Concept Album (Strange Little Girls) based on this trope.
- Cristina's cover of "Drive My Car" gives the song a Perspective Flip, which really only requires the changing of a few lines - For instance "Asked a girl what she wanted to be" becomes "He asked me 'Girl, what do you want to be?'".
- Sarah Brightman's cover of Scarborough Fair changes "she once was a true love of mine" to "he was once a true love of mine."
- Alina's version of "When You Leave" (aka "Ma Ya Hi" aka "Numa Numa" aka "Dragostea din Tei") replaced "Picasso" with her own name and "your duke" with "your babe".
- Dandoo's cover of Dead or Alive's "You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)'' perspective flips and completely changes the verse lyrics.
- In recent years, since Ashley Tisdale did a cover of "Kiss The Girl" in 2006, it's become common for that song to be sung by women. Before that, in The Nineties it was a rarely covered song and it was done by men, but look on YouTube and you'll find cover songs of "Kiss The Girl" done by women outnumber those done by men by about 20 to 1. It's gotten to where people forget that it was sung by Sebastian and not Ariel in The Little Mermaid. The unusual thing is, the words entirely remain the same, but the connotations completely change, when sung by a man it's always a third person urging to just follow his heart and kiss the girl he loves, when sung by a woman it becomes a not-so-subtle hint to the guy she likes that she's growing impatient with his hesitation.
- Sammi Smith's "Help Me Make It Through The Night" from 1971 was originally intended to be sung by a man.
- Female covers of "Save the Last Dance for Me", such as Dolly Parton's version, generally change "the man" to "the girl" or "the one".
- When Swedish jazz singer Monica Zetterlund wanted to cover Olle Adolphson's song "Trubbel", he was initially dubious, according to her autobiography. The song is about a man whose girlfriend is unfaithful, and in one verse he approaches his rival "with a hammer hidden in my coat." Adolphson thought that a woman wouldn't do that, but Zetterlund convinced him differently.
- Cher's cover of Marc Cohn's "Walking in Memphis" changes the singer's gender from male to female, but also the bar pianist's gender in the bridge from female to male.
- Roseanne Cash's cover of The Beatles' "I Don't Want To Spoil The Party" changes the song's perspective from male to female.
- Cimorelli's cover of Justin Bieber's Boyfriend is this. The cover mostly sounds like what a girl promises to the guy she likes, anything she can be if he was her boyfriend.
- Both Shawn Colvin and MYMP have covered "Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic" by The Police as "Every Little Thing He Does Is Magic"
- A rather extensive example exists in Bazooka Girl's cover of Eurobeat song "Bazooka Man". The original was a rather masculine song about destroying stuff and sleeping with women, while the female cover massively reworks the song to make it more feminine. The change is so drastic that there's little similarity left between the two songs outside of the chorus.
- "This Guy's In Love With You," written by Bacharach and David, was first recorded by Herb Alpert and was a #1 hit in 1968. Dionne Warwick's cover "This Girl's In Love With You" charted the next year.
- "Blues in the Night" was originally written to be sung by a male prisoner about women with lines like "a woman's a two-face, a worrisome thing who'll leave you to sing the blues in the night." Rosemary Clooney and Dinah Shore later recorded versions where a woman is being warned about men by her mother.
- The Les Luthiers song "Ya no te amo Raúl" ("I don't love you anymore, Raúl") revolves around Daniel Rabinovich trying to do this to a song on the fly... and failing miserably.
- Joan Jett's I Love Rock 'n' Roll was originally by a British band called Arrows and sung by a man about a woman. The way Arrows sang it seemed rather dirtier, even though the words aside from the pronouns were the same.
- A significant portion of Jett's career is this trope.
- Sally Anthony's cover of "Turn the Page" does this, along with a Perspective Flip. "The girl you knew the night before" becomes "the men I knew the night before." In fact, while Bob Seger approved of the cover, he refused to let her release it officially because she ended up changing too much of the song.
- "She's My Rock," a hit for George Jones, contains the line, "She played her game with many, many men." When Brenda Lee gender-flipped it as "He's My Rock," she changed the line to, "He played his game with many women friends," to preserve the scan and most of the rhyme.
- When Marie Osmond covered Lee Greenwood's "God Bless the USA" in a television performance, she changed the opening lines to reflect her gender. Instead of:
If tomorrow all the things were gone I'd worked for all my life
And I had to start again with just my children and my wife
the lines became:
If tomorrow all the things were gone I had when I began
And I had to start again with just my children and my man
- Straight No Chaser, with guest lead vocalist Sara Bareilles did this with the Jackson Five's "I Want You Back." Making the song about a woman who dumps a Nice Guy, only to regret losing him when she sees said Nice Guy in the arms of another (who better appreciates him).
- "21st Century (Digital Boy)" by Bad Religion was turned by Groove Coverage into "21st Century Digital Girl". They also updated the lyrics to mention recent trends like Botox.
- "(She/He) Called Me Baby," a Harlan Howard-penned song that was recorded by multiple artists of both genders. As "She Called Me Baby," the most famous version is by country singer Charlie Rich; when he took this song - originally recorded in the mid 1960s - to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart in December 1974, it gave him his fifth No. 1 song in one calendar year (and sixth within 12 months), a record that, shared with Eddy Arnold (1947-1948), stands today. As "He Called Me Baby," Patsy Cline recorded a well-known version - one month before she was involved in a fatal plane crash - that gets lots of oldie airplay on classic country stations, and R&B Candi Staton (best known for her 1976 pop-disco hit "Young Hearts Run Free") had a top 10 R&B hit with the song in 1971.
- Sufficiently old folk songs can go either way. "Black Is The Colour" by... whichever bloke it was originally by has been covered by Cara Dillon, who left it straight, and The Corrs, who flipped it.
- "Me And Bobby McGee" (Kris Kristofferson, Roger Miller, Janis Joplin, Jerry Lee Lewis, Joan Baez, Johnny Cash)
- "House of the Rising Sun" is an interesting case. Originally written from the perspective of a woman who falls for a drunken gambler and ends up becoming a prostitute, many male artists have altered it to be from the gambler's perspective. Some versions, however, juggle the narration between both characters, and some male artists like Bob Dylan averted this trope altogether and used the original female lyrics.
- No one is sure which version came first, or even who made the first version. Another variation is the version by The Animals, which is probably one of the best known, and is actually from the view of the gambler's son.
- "(He/She) Thinks I Still Care" has been covered by several country music artists of both sexes, with the title getting changed accordingly.
- "I Heard It through the Grapevine" is another odd case. Originally written by Motown hitmakers Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong, it was first recorded by the Miracles and the Isley Brothers, but never released. The gender was changed for Gladys Knight's version, which was released and became a number one single... only to be Covered Up a year later by Marvin Gaye's iconic recording, which used the original male lyrics.
- Subsequently semi-flipped, semi-averted by The Slits, who retain the male lyrics for added weirdness.
- "I'm Just Wild About Harry" (which is still remembered mainly due to Looney Tunes), is interchangeable with "I'm Just Wild About Mary."
- "Scarborough Fair" (aka "Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme"). Depending on the choice of pronouns, the lyrics can be addressed to a man or a woman, or the singer can switch halfway through so that both lovers asking each other to do various impossible tasks.
- Many old songs from musicals were written to be sung by characters of both genders, by means of a second chorus or a reprise. "Hey There" from The Pajama Game is one example of this; the female version preserves a rhyme by substituting "like a mother" for "like a brother."
- The verse of "I've Got A Crush On You" was written as a boy-girl duet; male solo versions that don't omit the verse change the pronouns in "you're my big and brave and handsome Romeo," while female solo versions may change "Annabels and Lillians" to "Tom and Dick and Harrys" (which breaks the rhyme with "millions").
- Older than Television: "How'd You Like To Spoon With Me" was originally from a Jerome Kern play that was meant to be a duet between a man and a woman, but as most of the sung is either a duet or sung by the woman, it wasn't a stretch to remove the male part and just sing everything else. Corrinne Morgan did it in her cover in 1906.
- Sonny Charles & The Checkmates' "Black Pearl" was originally about a love affair with a black woman (when segregation was the norm), but Kandystand's version turns it into a lesbian relationship, also resulting in The Cover Changes The Meaning. Their cover of Gary Moore's "Empty Rooms", however, does a straight gender flip.
- In On A Clear Day You Can See Forever, "She Wasn't You" was originally Edward's song, but the show was revised to have Daisy sing it too with different lyrics as "He Wasn't You." The lyrics were rewritten again for Barbra Streisand to perform in the movie as "He Isn't You."
- Averted in Irish and Scottish Traditional Music, where the genders are never flipped because - well - that's the way it's done.
- Female singers are quite happy singing Burns songs, despite "the lassies" being one of Rab's favourite subjects.
- Sinéad O'Connor's rendition of "I Am Stretched on Your Grave."
- Any version of "Danny Boy" sung by a man. It's sometimes suggested that the speaker is changed to Danny's father rather than his lover without altering the lyrics.
- Also, The Pogues' version of "I'm A Man You Don't See Everyday" from Rum, Sodomy And The Lash. Considering their usual singer is male, and it's the only song performed by bassist Cáit O'Riordan, it would appear they did it solely to enforce this aversion.
- Celtic Woman's cover of Black is the Colour. Most other female singers tend to change the "true love" to a male.
- Averted twice on
Sonic Youth's Ciccone Youth's The Whitey Album, with Kim Gordon's cover of Robert Palmer's "Addicted to Love" and Thurston Moore's cover of Madonna's "Into the Groove"; the album itself is a tongue-in-cheek "tribute" to 80's music and pop culture.
- Kaki King averts this with her cover of Justin Timberlake's "Lovestoned." Also might be an example of The Cover Changes The Meaning, it goes from being just an infatuation song to a song about discovering one's Closet Key.
- While not originally sung by a member of the opposite sex, J Mascis & The Fog's cover of the Smiths' classic "The Boy With The Thorn In His Side" manages to turn it into a particularily bad example of Have I Mentioned I Am Heterosexual Today?.
- On the other hand, this trope was averted by Morrissey himself when covering songs like "I Want a Boy for My Birthday," "Give Him a Great Big Kiss," and "Golden Lights." However, his version of Bradford's "Skin Storm" leaves out the line "when it's wet and warm", making the song gender neutral rather than specifically heterosexual.
- Averted, probably on purpose, with Los Campesinos!!'s cover of Heavenly's famed duet with Calvin Johnson of Beat Happening "C Is the Heavenly Option". That is, Calvin Johnson's part is sung by the female Aleksanda Campesinos!, and Heavenly guitarist Amelia Fletcher's part is sung by the male Gareth Campesinos!.
- Gareth has said in an interview that it was mainly because he wanted to do Amelia's spoken/rapped breakdown
- The Sisters Of Mercy averted this trope with their version of Dolly Parton's "Jolene."
- It's also averted in the Sisters Of Mercy's cover of... ABBA's '"Gimme Gimme Gimme," of all songs.
- Averted in Emily Picha's cover of Leonard Cohen's "Chelsea Hotel No. 2," which adds a whole new level of meaning to "You told me again you preferred handsome men, but for me you would make an exception."
- Averted by Max Vernon's cover of "I Kissed A Girl": he kept the lyrics, which changed the meaning of the song.
- Apparently there was a time when it was illegal due to copyright law to change the lyrics of a song, even pronouns- Art Deco released an album called "Can't Help Lovin' that Man" featuring many gentlemen (including Bing Crosby and Ukulele Ike) singing songs intended for women.
- Similar to the Los Campesinos! aversion, the Future Bible Heroes cover of "Don't You Want Me" by the Human League has Claudia Gonson singing the male verse and Stephin Merritt singing the female verse (complete with the line "I was working as a waitress in a cocktail bar"). And Chia Pet's version of the same song is a duet between two female vocalists, also without changing any lyrics.
- The Dan Band bases their entire existence around subverting this trope. This all-man band covers nothing but songs originally sung by female artists and never change the gender, but they do throw in gratuitous swearing for fun.
- Most times Blixa Bargeld sings the female part of "Where the Wild Roses Grow" with Nick Cave, there seem to be no pronoun changes from when it was a borderline-Soprano and Gravel duet with Kylie Minogue . Or differences in how the two act when on stage. It makes it either a little more confusing or a little more Ho Yay. (Though it would work fairly well as a song between two men if it weren't for the fact that a major part of the chorus is "for my name was Eliza Day".)
- This is partly due to Bargeld having sung the female part on the original demo track and the song and Bargeld being such fan favourites that there was no issue performing it like this live. Also, it follows the traditional folk song convention of not changing pronouns.
- Patti Smith's semi-cover of Van Morrison's "Gloria" leaves the gender unchanged.
- Averted by Mr Bungle performing the Portishead song "Glory Box", with Mike Patton leaving the lyrics (such as "I just wanna be a woman") unchanged.
- Averted by Richard Cheese, who has no problem asking his bandmate to "lick his pussy", in his cover of My Neck, My Back (originally by Khia). Male covers playing this trope straight will change it to "lick my weenie and my sack" or "suck my cock and lick my sack".
- In "Shaken And Stirred: The David Arnold Project", a James Bond theme song cover album, about half of the songs are done by opposite gender singers with none of the lyrics changed, including a Ho Yay-licious male version of the very feminine "Diamonds Are Forever", with lyrics "unlike men, the diamonds linger/ men are mere mortals who are not worth going to your grave for" left intact.
- Averted, or rather ignored altogether in the name of camp, in Erasure's cover of Abba's "Lay All Your Love on Me" and "Voulez-Vous" from the Abba-esque EP. The lyrics "I wasn't jealous before we met/Now every woman I see is a potential threat" and "I still don't know what you've done with me/A grown-up woman should never fall so easily" from "Lay All Your Love on Me" and "I know what you think/The girl means business, so I'll offer her a drink," originally sung by a woman, are sung unchanged by male singer Andy Bell.
- And don't forget "Gimme gimme gimme (a man after midnight)".
- They've done this with several non-Abba covers, namely The Partridge Family's "Walking in the Rain" and Ike & Tina Turner's "River Deep, Mountain High". It's rather amusing to hear a man sing "When I was a little girl, I had a rag doll/The only doll I've ever owned"...
- Averted in Blixa Bargeld's cover of Peggy Lee's "Johnny Guitar" which uses the same lyrics as the original. As a result, it sounds like a love song from one man to another.
- Bluntly averted by The Killing Moon's cover of Alanis Morissette's rather explicit song "You Oughta Know." Which brings us lines like "Are you thinking of me when you fuck her?" sung by a man. The end result is much like a guy being left by his boyfriend for a woman and being seriously pissed off about it (that he's singing about his girlfriend leaving him for another girl gets unlikely with the lines "Would she have your baby?" and "Did you forget about me, Mr. Duplicity?").
- 1,000 Mona Lisas did the same with their cover, which was something of a novelty hit in the 90's.
- Jonathan Coulton did this as well, but with less pissed-off and more being heartbroken.
- Amusingly averted in The All American Rejects cover of "Womanizer"
- Averted by Me First And The Gimme Gimmes' Are A Drag, an entire album of non-gender-flipped covers of originally female songs.
- They even returned to averting this trope a few more times on Blow In The Wind, a cover album that was generally themed around pop songs of the sixties, which included non-gender-flipped versions of "My Boyfriend's Back" by The Angels and "Different Drum" by Linda Ronstadt.
- John Barrowman's cover of "You're So Vain" averts this trope, leaving in lines like "All the girls thought that they'd be your partner". Might not be surprising given that Barrowman is openly gay.
- Marilyn Manson's cover does the same, which is just as unsurprising given that Manson is bisexual.
- The trope was averted more frequently in years past, which is (probably) the reason Dolly Parton did so when she covered "Rocky Top." ("Once I had a girl on Rocky Top, half-bear the other half cat/Wild as a mink but sweet as soda pop; I still dream about that.")
- Patricia O'Callaghan covered Leonard Cohen's "I'm Your Man" without changing the lyrics at all, turning a fairly standard love song into a wonderfully lesbian love song.
- Which has since been used as an epic background song for an International Femmeslash Day music vid.
- Averted by Marissa Nadler's musical treatment of Poe's "Annabelle Lee," giving the tale a new Les Yay flavor.
- Her cover of Leonard Cohen's "Famous Blue Raincoat" averts this as well.
- "Annabelle Lee" has also been adapted (with a very different melody) by Sarah Jarosz, again without changing the words.
- It probably goes without saying that Pansy Division averted this in their version of "Son of a Preacher Man," since that was the whole point of them covering the song in the first place.
- Averted by The Cardigans cover of Restless Heart's "The Bluest Eyes in Texas", turning a sad country song about leaving your woman into... well, the same thing, only now with lesbians!
- Averted by Sarah Blasko in her covers of "Flame Trees" and "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road." Yes, she sings "this boy's too young to be singing the blues."
- Averted by Cyndi Lauper when she covered Prince's "When You Were Mine". Given the image she was trying to cultivate, this may have been intentional.
- Also averted by Tegan And Sara's cover of the same song... Of course Tegan and Sara Quin are both gay.
- Sixpence None The Richer's cover of "There She Goes" kept the original gender pronouns, leading to lots of comment wars on Youtube over whether lead singer Leigh Nash was a lesbian or not. She isn't, she just didn't want to change the lyric.
- Averted by Tori Amos in her covers of "Famous Blue Raincoat", "Angie", "I'm On Fire", and many other songs.
- Of course the whole point of her Strange Little Girls album was to take songs originally written by men and to cover them from a female perspective.
- Averted in the Save Ferris cover of "Come on Eileen". Which is pretty natural, given a female name is in the title. "You in that dress/Oh, my thoughts, I confess/Verge on dirty..."
- Averted in the Anne Murray cover of "You Won't See Me" by The Beatles. The few occurrences of "girl" are merely omitted, which does not significantly alter the song.
- Averted by The Watson Twins' cover of The Cure's "Just Like Heaven". All the original feminine pronouns are kept intact.
- Averted by Joan Jett in her Les Yay-filled cover of "Crimson & Clover"...although played - er, straight - in her cover of "I Love Rock and Roll."
- Averted with Amy Winehouse's cover of "Valerie"
- Anya Marina's version of T.I.'s "Whatever You Like" averts this: The original is mostly addressed to someone in the second person anyway, but she does keep lines like "My chick can have what she want" and "I know you ain't ever had a man like that". The only thing that is a minor change is "Tell them other broke brothers be quiet".
- Andrew Huang's version of Rihanna's "Only Girl" is an aversion.
- Freek de Jonge's cover of "Peter" plays this for comedy. At the end of the song, he reveals that "Peter" is the name of a girl from Suriname.
- Oddly enough done by The New Pornographers to themselves: Carl Newman had written the love song "Go Places" for himself to sing, but he thought it sounded better in Neko Case's voice, so she sang it instead, without changing the line "Good morning, Christina".
- the brilliant green, whose vocalist is the very female Tomoko Kawase, did a cover of The Kinks' "All Day and All of the Night" for their single "Blue Daisy," without changing the repeated line "Girl, I want to be with you."
- KT Tunstall's cover of the Jackson5's "I Want You Back" has her singing "Let me show you girl/that I know wrong from right" to the apparent delight of many female fans, especially following her Eye to the Telescope album on which she's wearing a pair of rainbow suspenders/braces and sings endlessly about loving women.
- Averted in Shiny Toy Guns' cover of Peter Schilling's "Major Tom (Coming Home)," which still has the line "Give my wife my love" despite having a female singing the song. Though this is less relevant to this trope than other examples, as the song is a third-person narrative, so it's more like the female singer is quoting a male astronaut.
- Roxette's "How Do You Do" originally had alternating male and female singers. Cascada's version is solely from the girl's point of view, without any change in lyrics.
- Alison Krauss averts this twice on Raising Sand: once with "Through the Morning, Through the Night" and once with "Let Your Loss Be Your Lesson."
- Averted by Pet Shop Boys in "Try It (I'm in Love with a Married Man)," "In Private," and "If Love Were All". As a result, "Try It" has its premise changed to that of Incompatible Orientation.
- Notably averted when Swedish folk artist Sofia Karlsson recorded the album Black Ballads, singing songs written by Dan Andersson. His lyrics are so male-centered that the album is mostly known for the fact that a woman actually sings them unchanged.
- Often averted by English folk singer Kate Rusby. Subverted with the title track from the album "Awkward Annie," since she wrote the song that way on purpose.
- The Cub cover of The Hollies' "You Know He Did" leaves it intact, suggesting the subject would be happier not merely with the singer as opposed to her newly former boyfriend, but abandoning men entirely.
- The Lemonheads version of "Different Drum" leaves the lyrics as Linda Ronstadt sang them.
- Clara Moroni's cover of Michael Sembello's "Maniac".
- Luther Vandross averted this in his cover of Roberta Flack's "Killing Me Softly With His Song."
- Al B. Sure, on the other hand, played it straight.
- Jawbox didn't alter the lyrics when they covered Tori Amos' "Cornflake Girl". Hearing J Robbins sing it borders on surreal.
- Zebrahead's cover of Avril Lavigne's make's no attempt to switch around the genders... in fact, EVERYONE is a guy in their video
- Thoroughly averted in Madison's cover of Lil Wayne's ''Lollipop''.
- In The Gun Club's version of "My Man Is Gone Now" from Porgy and Bess, male singer Jeffrey Lee Pierce doesn't change any of the lyrics. Interestingly, Pierce was straight.
- Anna Nalick's cover of "Breaking the Girl" begins with the line "I am a man," which you would think would make it clear that she's singing from a male perspective, but a number of listeners got confused nonetheless. This may be because the lyrics aren't exactly explicitly clear even knowing the speaker is male.
- Gigi d'Agostino did a solo version of his most famous hit, "L'amour Toujours (I'll Fly With You)", previously a duet.
- Patty Griffin's version of Bruce Springsteen's "Stolen Car" preserves the line "I met a little girl and I settled down" unchanged.
- Me'Shell Ndegéocello's cover of Bill Withers' "Who Is He and What Is He to You" changes few of the lyrics, with the exception of "You tell me men don't have much intuition" to "Now you think I'm one not much for intuition." So it's either a woman singing to a woman about an affair that woman had with a man, or a woman singing to a man about an affair he had with a man.
- Averted by Electrelane in their Les Yay cover of "I'm On Fire".
- Joan Baez made several changes to "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down" (originally by The Band), but kept the line "Back with my wife in Tennessee, and one day she said to me ..."
- Blondie have a couple of examples of playing this straight, but have also averted it with their cover of Buddy Holly's "I'm Gonna Love You Too". Granted, the only line in the original that mentioned gender was "after all, another fella took ya", but leaving that in does change potential interpretations of the song: in the Buddy Holly version it's "another fella" as in "a man other than me", but having a woman sing that line makes it sound like both the subject of the song and the person he's currently with are men.
- Averted by Claudette's cover of Billy Joel's ''Only the Good Die Young''. This is also an example of The Cover Changes The Meaning, as the song goes from being about a young man trying to get with a Catholic girl by suggesting that she not take religion too seriously to being about a girl encouraging a potential girlfriend to embrace her true self (Come out, Virginia.), not to let her faith get her down about it (The stained glass curtain you're hiding behind never lets in the sun.) and become part of the queer community that already accepts her. (I'd rather laugh with the sinners than cry with the saints. The sinners are much more fun.)
- Xiu Xiu have a habit of covering songs without changing any of the pronouns. Considering singer Jamie Stewart is quite camp (and has written many songs of his own sung to men, both from male and female perspectives) this is almost always the least troubling example of The Cover Changes The Meaning in their versions however.
- Their version of Don't Cha by the Pussy Cat Dolls is a particularly notable effort. Instead of playing up on the joke of covering a dodgy pop song, he sings it entirely straight and turns it into a kind of moving - and deeply disturbing - tale of a man refusing to let his bisexual lover leave his wife for him.
- They even do it to their own songs, releasing two different versions of Helsabot, one sung plaintively by regular singer Jamie Stewart and the other by (now ex) musician Caralee Mc Elroy, who has quite a sweet, girlish voice. Though they don't change the lyrics, considering the song deals with the antics of a violent alcoholic robot, lines like "I did something bad, I got in a fight, about drugs, kicked him in the neck" they have wildly differing contexts.
- Though "Fast Car", originally by Tracy Chapman, doesn't really gender the narrator, they still manage it. The song changes from being a blue collar couple escaping for a better life elsewhere, to a young homosexuals dream of leaving for the big city.
- Linda Eder's "Man of La Mancha (I, Don Quixote)" averts this completely. She sells it anyway. Complete with blazing soprano note at the climax.
- Subverted by jazz singer Patricia Barber, who sang a cover of Tom Jones' "She's a Lady" and doesn't change a single word.
- Inverted by Incubus' "Promises, Promises"; Brandon Boyd, male, sings an original song from a woman's point of view.
- Similarly, Fugazi's "Suggestion", a song about the objectification of women, is from a female perspective, but is written and sung by male vocalist Ian MacKaye ("Why can't I walk down the street free of suggestion? Is my body the only trait in the eyes of men?")
- Bon Voyage (a female-fronted Starflyer 59 side project) covered The Smiths' "Girlfriend in a Coma" and didn't change a word.
- The Sucker Punch soundtrack is mostly female singers doing songs by male artists (The Beatles, The Smiths, Jefferson Airplane) - but the lyrics are unchanged (the most blantant is Search and Destroy", which is still "I'm the world's forgotten boy...").
- Judy Garland averts this completely when she sings "For Me and My Gal."
- Fastbacks' cover of Green River's "Swallow My Pride" keeps all the female pronouns, despite lines like First I fell for her looks / Now I just want to go for the throat", and the fact that the title phrase seems to be used as an Unusual Euphemism for fellatio.
- Netzwerk's version of Real Life's "Send Me an Angel" keeps the line "If a girl walks in", turning it into a lesbian Gayngst song.
- Otep's cover of Nirvana's Breed - fitting because Otep is a lesbian.
- The 1990's Randy Travis' song "I Told You So" is sung in the first person and has no gender-specific words. Carrie Underwood covered it with ease recently without having to change the lyrics.
- The Breeders' version of Aerosmith's "Lord Of The Thighs": They apparently covered the song specifically because they thought it would be funny for lesbian bassist Josephine Wiggs to Step Up to the Microphone and sing those sleazy Intercourse with You lyrics.
- Eurodance band Captain Jack covered both Rupert Holmes's "Escape (The Piña Colada Song)" and The J. Geils Band's "Centerfold". The original songs were both sung by men, about a clearly female love interest. In the Captain Jack covers, the female band member sang the lyrics, but didn't change a single word.
- Bananarama recorded a version of Steam's "Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye" without changing any of the lyrics.
- Joy Electric's cover of Paramore's "Decode" did not change the lyrics "What kind of man that you are/If you're a man at all". Considering that Ronnie Martin is a Christian and has a wife and daughter...it's kinda awkward.
- In the Screen-to-Stage Adaptation of Flashdance, Michael Sembello's "Maniac" is sung by the Chorus Girls, although the lyrics remain the same.
- Bratmobile's Les Yay version of The Runaways' "Cherry Bomb" changes the line from "Hey street boy" to "Hey straight girl."
- Veruca Salt's version of "Somebody" by Depeche Mode retains the female pronouns, resulting in Nina Gordon singing about wanting a woman "who cares about me passionately" and will "put their arms around me /And kiss me tenderly"
- Judy Collins' cover of "Cat's in the Cradle" by Harry Chapin, on her album The Wind Beneath My Wings, sounds rather odd when she sings about her son calling her "dad".
- When Buffy Saint-Marie sang the traditional American folk song "Cripple Creek", about going to see a girl, kissing her on the mouth and wrapping around her like a vine, she didn't change a word. Did I mention this was on Sesame Street?
- Patti Smith's cover of Them's "Gloria" adds enough new material to be substantially a new song, but still averts the trope hard.
- Strangely done by two Har Mar Superstar songs originally intended for other artists: he wrote "Girls Only" and "Tall Boy" with the intention of giving them to The Cheetah Girls and Britney Spears respectively. When both declined, he put out his own versions without any lyrical changes. The former is about a girls' night out and finds him singing about having "the cutest little cuticles". The latter is technically about large cans of beer, but it's also very innuendo laden ("where's my tall boy?/ to satisfy my needs/ feel like drinking/ so come on get inside of me").
- Averted conspicuously on Bryan Ferry's cover of Lesley Gore's "It's My Party".
- Some male covers of Robyn's "Dancing On My Own" retain the lines "watching you kiss her" and "I'm not the girl you're taking home", meaning that either the singer is a gay man, or his love interest is a lesbian.
- Averted in the Indigo Girls' cover of Dire Straits' "Romeo & Juliet". The lyrics mostly consist of Romeo expressing his feelings to Juliet, but the singer isn't actually "playing the part" of Romeo; to use a literary term, it's more like third-person limited p.o.v. than first-person.
- Averted by most, if not all, of Julia Nunes' covers (e.g. Mr. Brightside and Build Me Up Buttercup).