Songs with more than one version of the lyrics

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by bob_32_116, Jan 12, 2019.

  1. bob_32_116

    bob_32_116 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Perth Australia
    There are a few songs whose lyrics were changed by the composer after the initial version was released, resulting in the existence of two (or more) versions of the lyrics. Sometimes it's possible to guess the reason for this, other times one is just left to wonder why.

    In the SMiLE thread I pondered the fact that Good Vibrations comes in two versions.

    First verse, single version:
    "Brian Wilson Presents SMiLE" album version:
    What was going on there? Nothing wrong with the modified version, but why change the original?

    Any other examples we can identify?
    Tuco likes this.
  2. AugustWest22

    AugustWest22 Active Member

    Guns N Roses - Dont Cry
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  3. lobo

    lobo Music has always been a matter of Energy to me...



    In - out
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  4. bob_32_116

    bob_32_116 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Perth Australia
    This one always puzzled me:

    The original recording of Paul Kelly's "How to Make Gravy" contains the verse
    However, every time I have seen a clip of a later performance, he has changed this to
    I don't know, maybe Kelly thought the line about cologne was disparaging to certain people who like to wear it?
  5. mrjinks

    mrjinks Optimistically Challenged

    Boise, ID.
    How about the never-ending variations of Tangled Up In Blue? Or various other Dylan works.

    Paul Simon's latest albums has numerous minor lyric revisions on most of the tracks, as well.
  6. bob_32_116

    bob_32_116 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Perth Australia
    That's a fair example, but what I really had in mind was songs that originally existed in one version and were then modified, for reasons best known to the writer, to create a new version that seems to have become the writer's preferred version.
  7. Dillydipper

    Dillydipper Sultan Of Snark

    Central PA
    Cohen wrote dozens of verses to "Hallelujah". :sigh: Now thanks to Open Mic Night, we only hear the Tim Buckley version.
    mrjinks likes this.
  8. bvb1123

    bvb1123 Rock and Roll Martian

    Cincinnati Ohio
    The Kinks - Lola

    The Coca-Cola version and the cherry cola version.
  9. bob_32_116

    bob_32_116 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Perth Australia
    Harry Chapin - I Wanna Learn a Love Song
    Album version:
    However, I have heard a live concert recording where he sang
    and of course on the word "horny" there is a round of applause.

    The second version actually seems more natural to me. I mean, he says he is fast on his feet, so that does not fit with calling himself lazy. Also, not having much meat on his bones is consistent with being "scrawny". I can only conclude that he thought the word "horny" was too risque for an album release.
  10. bob_32_116

    bob_32_116 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Perth Australia
    Good example. They changed it because they were ordered to, is that right?
    bvb1123 likes this.
  11. Tuco

    Tuco Forum Resident

    Pacific NW, USA
    Well, I was going to mention Creep by Radiohead, but that doesn't exactly fit your narrative. After the song gained significant airplay in England and Israel, a single was released in the U.S. which changed "f***ing" to "very". However, that was never the preferred version for the band.
  12. bob_32_116

    bob_32_116 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Perth Australia
    On Joni Mitchell's 2007 version of "Big Yellow Taxi" from the Shine album, the entry price to the tree museum, which used to be a dollar and a half, has been increased and now costs "an arm and a leg". That's inflation for you. ;)
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  13. bobdylansbarber

    bobdylansbarber Forum Resident

    Salisbury, UK
    There are two versions of Costello's Less than zero of course - the regular version and the 'Dallas' version.
  14. bvb1123

    bvb1123 Rock and Roll Martian

    Cincinnati Ohio
    Yes, the BBC wouldn't allow advertising in songs so he was forced to re-record Cherry cola because saying Coca-Cola violated that rule.
    Jarleboy likes this.
  15. Etienne Hanratty

    Etienne Hanratty Forum Resident

    Dexys Midnight Runners: Keep It (Part 2) was Keep It with rewritten lyrics.
  16. Station17

    Station17 Forum Resident

    Squeeze “Goodbye Girl” has 2 versions that frankly confuse me. 2 words changed in the 2 versions:
    My wife has moved to Jersey/Ghana,so muck/monkey is not the word...

    My US version off the Singles comp has the Jersey and muck combo...always thought they were referencing New Jersey sanitation.

    Anyone know more?
  17. puddleduck

    puddleduck Well-Known Member

    Lake District
    The Cure have an early version of 'A Forest' with completely different lyrics

    Sorry, the first 1:17 of this video is really annoying - skip to 1:18...

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  18. NumberEight

    NumberEight Came too late and stayed too long

    Er, Let’s Spend Some Time Together...

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  19. Kevin j

    Kevin j The 5th 99

    Seattle Area
    Neil Young: western hero and train of love
    Mark Snowden likes this.
  20. kevinsponge

    kevinsponge Forum Resident

    Portland, OR USA
    Aerosmith’s Sweet Emotion
    The ‘Live Bootleg’ version has:
    Standin in the corner just a shakin your tail/ Expecting your daddy to pay my bail
  21. Jazzmonkie

    Jazzmonkie Can't stop buying music.

    Tempe, AZ
    Honky Tonk Women
    Joe Cocker's sings lyrics different than the Stones' version. Anyone know where they came from or what the actually are? Joe was a little hard to understand.
  22. Jimmy B.

    Jimmy B. Forum Resident

    Simple Twist of Fate, the album version and the live version from 1975
  23. Hooperfan

    Hooperfan Your friendly neighborhood candy store owner

    New York
    Alternate lyrics in second verse

  24. c-eling

    c-eling Forum Resident

    The Dream Academy-In The Heart--->Lowlands
    Eels-It's A Monstertrucker
  25. egebamyasi

    egebamyasi Forum Resident

    Worcester, MA
    Not to mention Midnight Rider...
    Jazzmonkie likes this.

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