Main The Cover Changes The Meaning Discussion

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07:17:33 PM Apr 2nd 2016
edited by NotOnAnyFlatbread
I removed these examples, because they're full of contradictory natter, and I am not familiar enough with the songs to fix them. If someone can rewrite them to be good examples with proper indentation, please add them back.

  • Elvis' "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.
  • 'I Put a Spell on You': One can count on one hand the number of times the 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 Lyrical Dissonance.
    • 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 Hocus Pocus makes the titular "spell" literal.
    • Then Sonique turned it into a trancy dance anthem.
  • "Shake, Rattle, and Roll": The cover 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 And The Comets cover has that "one-eyed cat" lyric intact. It doesn't have the "get over hill" line later, though.

Same for this Zero-Context Example. If you know what on Earth it's talking about, please rewrite it!
  • 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, "Me and Mrs. Jones".
01:02:02 PM Jul 19th 2013
Moved here in the hopes of finding either support or debunking of it; from the entry for "Angel Of The Morning" (Incidentally, Juice Newton's version was not the original by a long shot.):

"Juice Newton's "Angel Of the Morning" is about a girl trying to seduce a guy even though he thinks she's too young and innocent for him."

I can't find anything to support this idea in the performances or even in the imagery of the music video.
06:40:07 PM May 23rd 2012
"The two versions of Nine Inch Nails' "Hurt" showcase similar but very different messages."


Not sure how to put it better though.
01:46:21 AM Apr 3rd 2011
Not certain if this is an example: Neil Young covered John Lennon's "Imagine" for America: A Tribute To Heroes (a telethon 10 days after the September 11th attacks). He changed one word ("Imagine no possessions / I wonder if [you -> I] can"), but it completely changes the tone of the song (Preachy to a mixture of Hypocrisy Nod and wistfulness).

Is that an example of this?
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