#1
I was wondering, if you really like a song, and want to cover it in it's entirety but do minor alterations of something to fit something you're trying to convey, is that ok?

I was wondering if it's disrespectful to do, and wanted to get people's opinion on this.
The fact that it's a cover would be obvious, but just taking a few liberties with it.

What do you guys think?
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#2
Quote by Clay-man
I was wondering, if you really like a song, and want to cover it in it's entirety but do minor alterations of something to fit something you're trying to convey, is that ok?

I was wondering if it's disrespectful to do, and wanted to get people's opinion on this.
The fact that it's a cover would be obvious, but just taking a few liberties with it.

What do you guys think?



loads of people doing it, so I don't see why not. usually it's common courtasy to ask an artist for permission, but I don't think it's always needed.
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#3
There are two ways to look at this:

1 - You're a covers band. Do covers, be as accurate as possible, no changes to lyrics (barring maybe changing the name of a town referred to in the lyrics to the town you're playing in).

2 - You're an originals band/artist. When doing a cover, it should be your own interpretation of the song. Changes are almost mandatory, whether they be in the lyrics, the solo, changes to the structure of the song, whatever else. The original song is merely an influence for your version. It's still a cover, but it's all your own work.
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#4
Quote by GaryBillington
There are two ways to look at this:

1 - You're a covers band. Do covers, be as accurate as possible, no changes to lyrics (barring maybe changing the name of a town referred to in the lyrics to the town you're playing in).

2 - You're an originals band/artist. When doing a cover, it should be your own interpretation of the song. Changes are almost mandatory, whether they be in the lyrics, the solo, changes to the structure of the song, whatever else. The original song is merely an influence for your version. It's still a cover, but it's all your own work.


I'm trying to do 2, but I love to play songs from bands as well, but mostly trying to be 2.

The reason why I want to alter is for personal reasons to convey a thought or view, but the song is perfect except for maybe a few things that'll lead in a different direction of what I want to convey.

This is mostly 1 or a few lines in these songs.
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#5
Then go for it - so long as you don't change them completely, I say it's all up for grabs. Change the odd line here or there, maybe even add an extra verse to complete your version of the story, so long as the song itself is still recognisable otherwise you might as well write your own song on the same subject.
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Last edited by GaryBillington at Aug 1, 2014,
#6
Quote by GaryBillington
Then go for it - so long as you don't change them completely, I say it's all up for grabs. Change the odd line here or there, maybe even add an extra verse to complete your version of the story, so long as the song itself is still recognisable otherwise you might as well write your own song on the same subject.


Thanks! I agree, if it's that different, then I should just write my own thing, but I think it fits a lot besides maybe a few things that would throw it off. You know what I mean?
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#7
In fact, there are many traditional songs where it is customary to change words depending on the singer (dates, names of people and places, gendered words like "man" vs "woman", and many others).

For example, Dolly Parton sings:

"Once I had a boy on Rocky Top"

or you could sing (in Love Potion No 9):

"I told her that I was a flop with with chicks,
I've been this way since 1996."

or

"I told her that I was a flop with men,
I've been this way since summer 2-0-10."

When singing One Tin Soldier, I often change words as well, such as changing "hate" and "cheat" in the chorus to other words like "hurt" or "dupe" or "deceive" or whatever else could fit in rhythmically.

Of course, there are many songs where there aren't really any distinct set of verses, such as House of the Rising Sun or Wayfaring stranger or Whiskey in the Jar, each of which have many different verses with countless variations that are often put in in whatever order the singer feels like (though usually the first verse is a specific one).

Also, I often add my own lyrics to Hallelujah. My favorite verse to sing:

"You heard that there was a secret phrase,
that made your girlfriend moist for days,
but you don't know much about it, do ya?

So you looked up some stuff on the internet,
And you thought 'how on earth does this make her wet?'
What even is this shit, coprophilia?"


I have more lines, but after that point you're kind of just beating a dead horse since you have already made that initial bit of humor and it becomes old very quickly.
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#8
^ Another example is in Big Yellow Taxi - the line that goes "They took all the trees and put them in a tree museum, then charged the people a dollar and a half to see them". Someone did a version of it saying it cost 25 bucks.

Don't think that level of change really counts for what Clay-man is talking about though - in my two examples from my earlier post, this sort of thing probably counts as something a covers band could get away with.
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#9
^ Another example is in Big Yellow Taxi - the line that goes "They took all the trees and put them in a tree museum, then charged the people a dollar and a half to see them". Someone did a version of it saying it cost 25 bucks.

Don't think that level of change really counts for what Clay-man is talking about though - in my two examples from my earlier post, this sort of thing probably counts as something a covers band could get away with.
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#10
As the others have said, it's totally OK. The way I see it, making thoughtful changes to lyrics is in no way disrespectful. As long as a cover doesn't pretend to be new original song, everything is fair game.
Out of curiosity: whats the song and what are the changes?
#11
Quote by ggrechen
As the others have said, it's totally OK. The way I see it, making thoughtful changes to lyrics is in no way disrespectful. As long as a cover doesn't pretend to be new original song, everything is fair game.
Out of curiosity: whats the song and what are the changes?


Specifically 2:
Smashing Pumpkins - Tear
Hot Water Music - She Takes It So Well

To refer to different people.
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