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Thread: Altering lyrics? Do you do it?

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle Rod Higuchi View Post
    personally, I was a bit put off by "I shot a man in Reno just to watch him die" from
    Folsom Prison Blues, so we modified it to "I pinched a man in Reno just to watch him
    cry"

    of course, that begs the question, "Where did you pinch him?"






    in Reno, of course

    keep uke'in',
    Thing is, pinching probably wouldn't land anyone in Folsom Prison, so that they could be blue and sing the song. I don't know how many people have heard Jockey Full of Bourbon, but I changed the heck out of that one last night.
    I don't want to live in a world that is linear.

    https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_n...tective+Agency

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ukecaster View Post
    A small change to be sure, but I always disliked the cold & impersonal reference to a child as an IT, as did Tom apparently.
    I'm fine with someone changing lyrics, but a guy who is friendly with the Devil, has two wives, and a kid he disputes having in the first place would probably feel pretty cold and impersonal toward said kiddo. Maybe he didn't even care to look close enough to know the gender.

    Just sayin'.

    Robert Hunter was often against explaining "the meaning" of his songs as he thought the listener should form their own opinion about what's going on. I think using vague words (it vs she) helps keep the door open for that.

  3. #33
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    Johnny Cash did it with the song "Hurt" by Nine Inch Nails:

    Johnny Cash
    ============
    I wear this crown of thorns
    Upon my liars chair
    Full of broken thoughts
    I cannot repair

    Trent Reznor
    ============
    I wear this crown of shit
    Upon my liars chair
    Full of broken thoughts
    I cannot repair

    Petey

  4. #34
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    I have no qualms about changing the lyrics if I find them offensive to me, or if I feel that by me doing the song as written in front of other people is going to get a negative reaction.

    In the end, the potential for negativity towards me for performing the song is more important to me than if someone is upset because I changed a word or two.

    Most people around me when I play are not listening closely enough to the lyrics to actually care if a few words are changed.

    I pay more attention to the melody and interesting chord progressions of the music I am playing, and to me, the words are actually kind of a bother, and one reason why I've been on a study of learning to play more chord-melody style, and as a result vocals being redundant and unnecessary.

    I'm not a great singer, likely never will be, and I do not care to be, but I can become a much better ukulele player, and that is what makes me happy with the ukulele.
    -Joe......Have uke, will travel...

  5. #35
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    It interests me that once in a while someone will say so and so played that song wrong, and it is usually because they changed some words or play it at a different tempo, or anything that deviates from the rendition that it was done by someone else who recorded it that they emulate. I never hear that from an audience member. It always comes from some musician who is a purist and prides themselves in their skill at replicating said rendition of the song. But I don't care how good you play or sing, you cannot replicate the soul that Iz put into that song. It isn't The words that makes that song what it is, it is heart and soul. You have to find your own soul when you do a do a song.
    Last edited by Rllink; 01-15-2019 at 11:02 AM.
    I don't want to live in a world that is linear.

    https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_n...tective+Agency

  6. #36
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    I change lyrics sometimes. I might change the gender point of view. I might change a line if I think I have a better one. I like to do "Peaceful Easy Feeling." I changed "I found out a long time ago what a PERSON can do to your soul," (instead of "woman").

    I'm reworking Don't Fence Me In to be a song about outer space and gravity instead of the open range. It's such a fun song, but in a modern world where cowboys are few, space is just more fun. Hopefully Cole Porter isn't rolling in his grave.

    I'm more concerned about the songwriter than the audience. Not vis a vis legal issues but just out of respect for their work, their creation. Local audiences are pretty cool and if the occasional person is a purist, I just smile and change the subject.

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat M View Post

    I'm more concerned about the songwriter than the audience. Not vis a vis legal issues but just out of respect for their work, their creation. Local audiences are pretty cool and if the occasional person is a purist, I just smile and change the subject.
    I can't remember getting push back on anything particular that I've done, but I do get a lot of unsolicited advise on all sorts of things. Sometimes I ask for a demonstration, and that usually ends the conversation. A lot of people seem to be able to tell me what I should be doing, few can show me what they think I should be doing.
    I don't want to live in a world that is linear.

    https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_n...tective+Agency

  8. #38
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    Have I ever changed lyrics? Often but not on purpose.

  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Yates View Post

    I often wonder about the work of Homer & Jethro or Weird Al. Do they get permission from the composer?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hPKg4_uq2Eo
    From my understanding, Weird Al seeks out the original artist before doing a parody to get an OK. I think only a couple have said no. I remember when he did "Smells Like Nirvana," Kurt Cobain was thrilled. It was a sign the band had really made it!
    Martin C1K • Famous by Kiwaya FS-1 <yippee!!> • Ohana CK-50WG concert (solid cedar top) • Ohana SK-35G solid mahogany soprano <yay!!> • Firefly maple concert banjolele <yee-haw!> • Flea koa soprano • Lanikai LU22CFM laminate flame maple concert • Islander MAT-4 spalted maple tenor • Makala MK-CE concert • Woodrow "Steelers" soprano <eyeroll>

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