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  #31  
Old 09-05-2017, 05:42 AM
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Play it as written? Not hardly. I change lyrics, key, tempo, chords and melody line as the mood strikes me. Oh, the identity of the song is there, but . . . . you often hear people advise, "Make it yours!" So I do. Without reservation. Consequently when people ask if I do covers or originals, my initial answer is - neither. Some ask if this is being unfair to the writer. I dunno. When he shows up at my gig I'll ask him.
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  #32  
Old 09-05-2017, 11:50 AM
Denny B Denny B is offline
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Originally Posted by JonPR View Post
Sure, but there was an undoubted frisson when he sang it in San Quentin and you heard prisoners cheering...

I'm not saying he shouldn't have done it - I think it's a great moment in the history of popular music - but I can understand an objection that he was making any murderers present in the audience feel better about their crime, less guilty.
Agree. But it can depend on what you mean by "as written". Lyrics and melody, sure. Chords, yes (usually).
Tempo, feel, key? Maybe not. There's a point where you end up just mimicking the original performance as close as you can get, like a tribute act. I wouldn't say that's necessarily a mark of respect. It's more respectful to show that the song is strong enough that you can deliver it in your own voice and it's still that song by that composer - it can be adapted in various ways and still be a great song.


The topic is changing lyrics for personal or PC reasons...arrangement is a whole separate topic...

Johnny Cash performed this particular song in all venues, not just Folsom Prison, and I don't recall anyone getting offended when he performed it...as I said, Johnny never murdered anyone, and I don't believe anyone ever thought he was promoting the idea that anyone else should, either...it's a song...

Each to his own, but I'd rather a singer not perform a well known song at all than water down the lyrics which IMO is the heart of a song...
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  #33  
Old 09-06-2017, 06:01 AM
Davis Webb Davis Webb is offline
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Default Petty's "Rebels" offensive?

A song is like a play or film, it tells a story from a point of view. Sometimes that helps us see a bigger picture.



I play a few songs that have nothing to do with my philosophy or political correctness and audiences get it. Think of "Don't Take Me Alive" by Steely Dan. Surely they did not endorse getting on a clock tower with a sniper rifle!



I play "Country Boy Song", comic farce about shooting bucks from the top of a windmill. I also play some songs about fighting and I wrote one about rednecks using long guns to protect their mountain home from the police. The audience enjoys them. They get it. Its a song from point of view.



I also do Blake Sheldon's "Boys Round' Here" which opens with a rapper singing "red red red redneck..." and repeats it. None of my black, Asian or otherwise visible minority listeners gets upset or shows it. They get it, its a song about rednecks from their point of view. In the video it looks like a fight is going to start between Blake and some black rappers, they embrace and sing it together as the video advances.



In other words, as long as you aren't in real life a racist, the audience will not be offended by specific points of view. A confederate hat, however, in Harlem, will make them wonder what kind of drug you are on!
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Last edited by amyFB; 09-06-2017 at 06:54 AM.
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  #34  
Old 09-06-2017, 06:04 AM
Davis Webb Davis Webb is offline
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The civil war ended in 1865. Its 2017.
Yeh, but....
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  #35  
Old 09-06-2017, 06:34 AM
brancher brancher is offline
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Originally Posted by Pitar View Post
... Apply that to hero-worship songs or patriotic songs as well. Lee Greenwood's God Bless The USA drips with it to the extent that when I first heard it I knew he was most likely taking advantage of the wallet. ...dismiss him and all the for-profit loyalists as something less than artists and more like usurpers. No one I knew while I was in uniform even remotely bore such a countenance as to represent an audience for the goo Greenwood marketed. Trace Adkins, who sang Bury Me At Arlington, is another one. AFAIK neither served a day in uniform. They're carpet baggers selling loyalty elixirs and they're selling quite well.....

You forgot about all the fake religious artists.... I love the old Southpark episode where Cartman starts his own 'Christian Rock' band.... He tells Stan - "No, All you gotta do is find a pop song and substitute 'Jesus' wherever you see the word 'baby' and it's an instant Christian hit". S-o-o-o funny!
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  #36  
Old 09-06-2017, 09:54 AM
beninma beninma is offline
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I think that verse describing a sexual act in Cohen's Hallelujah is completely unnecessary, certainly classless and can't be excused under creative license. Otherwise, if being politically correct makes/breaks a song for you, consider that all love-lost songs are one-sided. Apply that to hero-worship songs or patriotic songs as well. Lee Greenwood's God Bless The USA drips with it to the extent that when I first heard it I knew he was most likely taking advantage of the wallet. Turns out I was right and he banked on the song big time. I dismiss him and all the for-profit loyalists as something less than artists and more like usurpers. No one I knew while I was in uniform even remotely bore such a countenance as to represent an audience for the goo Greenwood marketed. Trace Adkins, who sang Bury Me At Arlington, is another one. AFAIK neither served a day in uniform. They're carpet baggers selling loyalty elixirs and they're selling quite well.

Sorry for the rant. Music tends to get misappropriated by those who've lost their light and it gets to me at times.
The second verse of Hallelujah with the reference to a sex act and hair is often interpreted to be a reference to the book of Judges. Hard to say how it's inappropriate or unnecessary.

That's a song IMO that references the bible and/or religion in a brilliant and subtle way as opposed to all the songs that start as a meaningless pop song and then substitute Jesus/Lord in for "Baby" and stuff like that. I've spent plenty of time in Church and a lot of that contemporary Christian music is pretty terrible and sound too much like people trying too hard to make the service "cool" and failing. 2000 years of great music leaves way too much good stuff to draw on to need to rewrite it all.
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