The Acoustic Guitar Forum

Go Back   The Acoustic Guitar Forum > General Acoustic Guitar and Amplification Discussion > PLAY and Write

Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 08-09-2018, 02:22 PM
Mr. Jelly Mr. Jelly is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Sioux City, Iowa
Posts: 3,846
Default Do You Change Lyrics?

Strolling on the boulevards in Paris
Naked as the day I will die
The sailors, they're so charming in Paris
But I just don't seem to sail you off my mind


Do you change lyrics of songs? There are allot of good sounding songs that I just can not put across because of some of the lyrics. The above line I won't do standing in front of an audience on stage. It's not me and it would suck the life out of the presentation. Even if I were playing this song in a honky tonk in Memphis it would cause me problems.
__________________
Life blooms when existence is its own reward
Santa Cruz 1929 00
Waterloo WL-S Deluxe with K & K mini
Waterloo WL-12 with K & K mini

Last edited by Mr. Jelly; 08-09-2018 at 02:59 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 08-09-2018, 02:48 PM
Judson Judson is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Apex, NC (outside of Raleigh)
Posts: 4,967
Default

No ...

I'd like to do "Elephant" by Jason Isbell, it's a wonderful song that I listen to all the time, but I won't perform it because I'm not comfortable singing some of the more personal lyrics.

I will not consciously change another artist's lyrics to suit myself.

And especially, I will not change gender specific lyrics like "Angel from Montgomery" by John Prine ... I sing it just like it's written.
__________________
"Alas for those that never sing, But die with all their music in them!" --- Oliver Wendell Holmes

Hear my original music at: https://www.reverbnation.com/judsonhair
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 08-09-2018, 02:51 PM
posternutbag's Avatar
posternutbag posternutbag is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 2,007
Default

Sure. All the time. I often have songs where I want to change one or two lines. If I perform them, I go out of my way to attribute the song to the original recording or song writer, but I call it "an interpretation."
__________________
Bourgeois Aged Tone Vintage D
Dudenbostel 1A #74, AKA "Buffy"
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 08-09-2018, 03:15 PM
dieselman96 dieselman96 is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Posts: 10
Default

I change them. One specifically is "Tennessee Flat-Top Box". My son plays the lead break but he is a tow-head, can't sing "little dark-haired boy". . .
__________________
2008 Martin D-35
Morgan Monroe M-30V

Enough other stringed instruments for the family to all play something.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 08-09-2018, 03:19 PM
jdambrosemusic jdambrosemusic is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: Northeast, Pennsylvania
Posts: 26
Default

I change lyrics all the time when its not written for my perspective or it would disconnect the message from the experience someone is getting looking at me performing it.

He to She perspective stuff is pretty normal to change depending on who you are.

Sing your truth man.
__________________
Singer-Songwriter and Guitarist from Northeast Pennsylvania.
Youtube
Facebook
Twitter
Instagram
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 08-09-2018, 03:35 PM
semolinapilcher semolinapilcher is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 2,016
Default

Sure! Usually in the moment and for comedic effect.

My favorite ever was many years ago when my lead guitar buddy was totally owning Stray Cat Strut in a pretty raucous bar gig:

... and I got cat class and I got cat style...

became

... and I got cat class, and style, as well...

Unbelievably funny, although I guess you had to be there.
__________________
Respectfully, Mike
Taylor 415 --- Epiphone Texan --- Collings D1A --- Martin 5-15 --- etc
Take a sad song and make it better.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 08-09-2018, 03:47 PM
Dog Shape Cloud Dog Shape Cloud is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Posts: 107
Default

Not all the time, but often enough. Sometimes changing a word or line can make something truer to my experience, or I'll prefer it aesthetically.

I don't understand why modifying someone else's song for your own performance would be problematic, unless you're actually stealing it and calling it your own. I think I'd lose a lot of respect for any artist I heard was offended by something like that (i.e., aside from being offended by someone covering their work without permission to begin with--a different question, though also kind of a dumb thing to get mad about, as long as they're credited--and likewise aside from monetizing and distributing a recording of one of their songs, lyrics changed or unchanged, which I'd see as a much more valid concern).

On the other hand, I usually won't make any changes if it's just a matter of gender-specific stuff, especially when it breaks up the flow of the line, which it often does.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 08-09-2018, 03:51 PM
brad2001 brad2001 is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: midddle earth, Kansas
Posts: 331
Default

A short lived bar band I joined to do rhythm guitar and vocals covered Eddie Moneys' "Two Tickets to Paradise" and having heard the misinterpreted "I've got two chickens to paralyze, won't you pack a bag of leaves tonight" somewhere, I sang it as such and am pretty sure no one noticed. Always liked that song.

Gibson Dove
67 Fender Coronado mod
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 08-09-2018, 03:55 PM
Moocheng Moocheng is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 543
Default





someone found this in another forum,

" I laid an egggggg down in Arrrr -Africa "
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 08-09-2018, 03:58 PM
3notes 3notes is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Posts: 663
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Judson View Post
No ...

I'd like to do "Elephant" by Jason Isbell, it's a wonderful song that I listen to all the time, but I won't perform it because I'm not comfortable singing some of the more personal lyrics.

I will not consciously change another artist's lyrics to suit myself.

And especially, I will not change gender specific lyrics like "Angel from Montgomery" by John Prine ... I sing it just like it's written.
This^^^^^^^^

Um, no, don't change the lyrics to suit yourself. To me, that's a big no no. And I don't play out at all. If I did, same would hold true.

I see here some do. Shame on you. And what about the audience as they sing along. They could have a "light goes on moment" and think you got it right and they had it wrong.

Ya, no. Never change the lyrics.
__________________
---------------------------
Larrivee OM-40 mahogany
Yamaha FG730S

I love Rosewood but I love guitars more.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 08-09-2018, 04:07 PM
Denny B Denny B is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Ohio
Posts: 2,453
Default

If I were a songwriter, I'd write and sing lyrics to please myself...

But since I'm not blessed with that talent, and I don't bother to learn songs that don't speak to me personally in some manner, I'll just continue to sing 'em the way the gifted songwriters wrote 'emů
__________________
"Just because you've held forth till the other person is silent doesn't mean you've changed anyone's mind. Sometimes they've just gotten bored listening to you."
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 08-09-2018, 04:08 PM
jfitz81 jfitz81 is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Posts: 195
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by 3notes View Post
This^^^^^^^^

Um, no, don't change the lyrics to suit yourself. To me, that's a big no no. And I don't play out at all. If I did, same would hold true.

I see here some do. Shame on you. And what about the audience as they sing along. They could have a "light goes on moment" and think you got it right and they had it wrong.

Ya, no. Never change the lyrics.
I've heard enough artists over the years change the lyrics to their own songs to know that almost nobody would think this is a big deal, or even a "no no" at all. That kind of attitude kinda makes me wanna go change some lyrics just for the sake of ROCK'N'ROLL.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 08-09-2018, 04:13 PM
Scootch Scootch is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Columbus, Oh!
Posts: 2,435
Default

I do folk songs and a lot of them have lots of lyrics depending on the player. So I might reorder the lyrics to make better order. I just did that to WHITEHOUSE BLUES by Charlie Poole to make the more linear and more a story.

Or take some lyrics from doc Watson and add a few lyrics from Howling Wolf from Sitting On Top Of The World. Just to make it a little longer. I use Docs chords.
__________________

~Dave
~Music self-played is happiness self-made
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 08-09-2018, 04:37 PM
posternutbag's Avatar
posternutbag posternutbag is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 2,007
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by 3notes View Post
This^^^^^^^^

Um, no, don't change the lyrics to suit yourself. To me, that's a big no no. And I don't play out at all. If I did, same would hold true.

I see here some do. Shame on you. And what about the audience as they sing along. They could have a "light goes on moment" and think you got it right and they had it wrong.

Ya, no. Never change the lyrics.
What about changing the key of a song to better fit your voice? Is that "a big no no"?

What about changing a melody note that is either too high or too low for your voice to a harmonized note? Is that verboten?

Will you allow me to rephrase a melody?

What if I don't play the solo or break just like it sounds on the record? That must be a terrible offense, no?

The idea that lyrics are somehow sacrosanct is absurd.

People change songs to fit their own ideas about what a song should sound like. Did Hendrix offend your sensibilities when he almost completely re-wrote All Along The Watchtower, or is that OK because the lyrics were more or less the same?

If you cover a song, play it the way you want to, but give credit to the original artist.
__________________
Bourgeois Aged Tone Vintage D
Dudenbostel 1A #74, AKA "Buffy"
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 08-09-2018, 04:39 PM
Nymuso Nymuso is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Posts: 902
Default

Of course.

I do not identify any changes, explain or make any apologies for them. I just do it and move on.

Last edited by Nymuso; 08-10-2018 at 10:14 AM.
Reply With Quote
Reply

  The Acoustic Guitar Forum > General Acoustic Guitar and Amplification Discussion > PLAY and Write

Thread Tools



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:59 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, The Acoustic Guitar Forum
vB Ad Management by =RedTyger=