Hey everyone. I don't know if this is the appropriate forum to ask about this. But I've always been curious about such an issue. And I don't know whether or not it's been discussed here before.

Can an artist change the lyrics and/or title of a particular song long after that song has been published and recorded?

Let's say that a popular recording artist writes and records a song for a debut album, and that song becomes a moderate hit single.

Fast forward ten years into the future-

Now let's say that this artist is dissatisfied with the original recording of the same song, and wants to re-record a new version of the song for a 'greatest hits' compilation album. Moreover, let's say that the artist wants to alter the lyrics of the song, and to give the song a completely different title.

Would it be possible to pull that off? If so- How could one go about changing the lyrics/title of an already-published and already-recorded song? Have there been any instances in popular music where this happened?

Are there any music experts here that would know for sure?
You could put something like "Title (Re-recorded)" to change the lyrics. I dunno about the title, though...
They'd just be thought of as 2 seperate songs.
That makes this whole kerfuffle a lot easier to understand.
There's a good chance that what I've written above is useless and if you take any of the advice it's your own fault.
Its probably happened before, but I can't think of any examples. Yeah, if its your song, you can do whatever you want. Though fans wouldn't necessarily respond well.
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Many Of Horror - Biffy Clyro
When We Collide - Matt Cardle

Apart from the fact that the latter is an embarrassing cover, it proves the same song can have two titles if desired. As for lyrics, I doubt anyone would be bothered to rerecord the different lyrics but no one will try and sue you for singing it differently live or changing a verse in a later version...
the live version of what are you looking for by sick puppies is different to studio version both lyrically and instromentally
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Though fans wouldn't necessarily respond well.

Why would fans object to changing something as simple as a song title?

Like someone said, it's essentially the same song.
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Its probably happened before, but I can't think of any examples.

The Police - Don't Stand So Close To Me (originally recorded in 1980)

The Police - Don't Stand So Close To Me '86 (new version recorded right before the band's breakup)

Would that be a good example?
as long as the band owns the rights to the song they can do whatever they feel like with it.

that being said they may not want to neccessarily change the name for a greatest hits since you really don't know how many people might be looking for that song, then when they look t the track listing for the album may put it back....

I honestly cant think of a reason why someone would want to re-name a song, but I can definately think of several examples of ''Song X(Rerecorded/Remix/Remastered/Revisited)'' and ''Song X '(year)'' if you could consider those renaming.

but I guess in short as long as the band/artist retains ownership of the song they can choose to rename it.....
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The only thing I MIGHT be able to help you with is Let it be by the beatles and Paul re-doing Let it be naked. (I hope I have these facts correct.)