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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
GUEST,Bullfrog Jones (on the road) Rewriting someone else's song (85* d) Rewriting someone else's song 26 May 02


The idea for this thread came to me me whilst reading through the 'Swimming To The Other Side' thread, in which various contributors casually discussed ways in which they might 'improve' the composer's lyric to an already published and recorded song. I've always taken the stance adopted (allegedly) by Cole Porter when Frank Sinatra bowdlerized the 'cocaine' references out of 'I Get A Kick Out Of You' -- 'If you don't like my lyrics, don't sing my song'. If I want to cover someone else's work I wouldn't dream of messing with it. Interpretation is one thing, but rewriting a lyric just isn't on. Equally, if someone likes one of my songs enough to want to sing it, I'll happily provide them with the lyrics -- but I'd expect them to stick to the lyrics I provide. When I eventually release a song upon the world, it's only after much honing and crafting. I would like to think that there isn't a single word in a song that I didn't intend to use. That's not to say that I don't occasionally come up with something better after I've been singing the song for a while, but -- hey, it's my song! So am I just being precious or do other songwriters feel the same way. Or is rewriting someone else's song just part of the 'folk tradition'? And do you put yourself down as co-composer when you righteously fill in those PRS forms?!?!


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