At Tuesday's Fleet Foxes show, Robin Pecknold covered the folk ballad "Silver Dagger," popularized in the 1960s by Joan Baez. As I listened to him>"/>
At Tuesday's Fleet Foxes show, Robin Pecknold covered the folk ballad "Silver Dagger," popularized in the 1960s by Joan Baez. As I listened to him sing from the perspective of a young maiden turning away a suitor, I got to thinking about other artists who have covered songs without changing the gender of the narrator. For your consideration, here's ten of the best.
10. Cyndi Lauper: "When You Were Mine" (Prince)
Peep the video for some tragic '80s fashions and spastic dancing--if you watch to the end, there's a paint-related surprise.
9. Travis: "Hit Me Baby One More Time" (Britney Spears)
I used to really like that song "Why Does It Always Rain on Me?" Pretty sure I used to know all the band members' names, too. Apparently they also cover "I Kissed a Girl."
8. Jesse Lacey: "Fuck and Run" (Liz Phair)
To me, this song has always been crying out for a dude to cover it. Fortunately, someone stepped up to the plate. Unfortunately, it's Jesse Lacey of Brand New. And he changes some of the words. But kudos for trying! Gentlemen, I'm looking at you.
7. Bjork and PJ Harvey: "Satisfaction" (The Rolling Stones)
These formidable performers achieve "Lola"-esque levels of greatness in this live version of the Stones classic.
6. Jonathan Coulton: "You Oughta Know" (Alanis Morissette)
Nothing like hearing Joco croon "Would she go down on you in a theater?" (To make it even more gender-bendy, the video is Alanis singing with Coulton's voice! Crazy.)
5. The Flying Burrito Brothers: "Do Right Woman, Do Right Man" (Aretha Franklin)
Gram and co. take on an Aretha classic.
4. The Slits: "I Heard It Through the Grapevine" (Marvin Gaye)
"I know a man ain't supposed to cry." In this live version they change the lyric to "I heard it through the bassline"--pretty cool!
3. The White Stripes: "Jolene" (Dolly Parton)
I like to imagine Jack singing to Dolly and begging her not to take his man.
2. (tie) Grizzly Bear: "He Hit Me (It Felt Like a Kiss)," (The Crystals)
The original song is pretty effed up, so props to Grizzly Bear for picking up on that and deciding to cover it.
2. (tie) Robin Pecknold: "Silver Dagger" (Joan Baez)
I love hearing R. Peck sing about being a fair young maiden.
1. The Raincoats: "Lola" (The Kinks)
An even more confusing version of an already gender-bending song. The gold standard of reversed-gender covers, and pretty much of covers in general.
Got any suggestions for songs crying out for opposite-gender cover versions? Or favorite versions I missed?