Social Question

_zen_'s avatar

Do you experience a song's lyric differently when it's sung by it's writer?

Asked by _zen_ (7854points) August 4th, 2011

Say, a song by Lennon/Simon/Dylan versus one by Elton John (he “only” composed Bernie Taupin’s songs).

Does it matter to you?

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10 Answers

tom_g's avatar

For some reason I have no problem with the White Stripes’ version of Dolly Parton’s “Jolene”.

Other than that, I do prefer the artists to be singing their own words.

tranquilsea's avatar

It depends on what I’m used to. If I’m used to one artist’s version (that I like) then hearing the songwriter sing it may take an adjustment period and vise versa.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

Yes.There is a big difference.
1. YSM
2. YSM
I’ll take Willie Dixon’s version anyday…it’s sexy,unlike RP’s whining

Scooby's avatar


I love both those tracks too…... :-)

Scooby's avatar

I prefer Meat loaf singing Jim Steinman songs as opposed to Jim Steinman singing his own songs! :-/

rOs's avatar

Imagine by John Lennon is beautiful and hopeful.

Imagine by Perfect Circle is darker, but I believe much more evocative.

tom_g's avatar

Oh, I forgot – I like Johnny Cash’s cover of NIN’s “Hurt”. Reznor’s words coming out of Cash’s mouth doesn’t sound strange to me.

Hibernate's avatar

Yes. But sometimes a remixed song sounds better. The same goes for someone else singing it.

But most times the original version is the best one.

aprilsimnel's avatar

A long time ago, I went to see a show and the opening act was a songwriter named Jules Shear. Many of you know songs he’s written, and they were sung/made hits by women: All Through the Night by Cyndi Lauper in 1984, If She Knew What She Wants The Bangles in 1986 in the US, and Whispering Your Name by Alison Moyet in 1994 in the UK.

I didn’t like him singing his own songs, and at this show, it was just him on his acoustic guitar. They didn’t sound right for a man to sing, even “If She Knew What She Wants”. I don’t know if it’s because I’m used to how I originally heard them, or if they’re “women’s” songs.

Bellatrix's avatar

I don’t think so? I may have a preference for one version or another but if the version I am familiar with is a cover and I don’t know that, I might like the cover better.

This guy’s version Dear Prudence better than the Beatles IMO Link

And I should say, I LOVE the Beatles.

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