Boys in the girls room. (Cover versions: Gender swap 1/2)


17. Jan. 2006, 12:56

Gender swap (Part 1 of 2)

When you say nothing at all
the touch of your hand says you'll never leave me.
I admit it, when the Ronan Keating version came out way back when in ’99 I loved it. It’s such sweet, twinkly, inoffensive pop. I prefer Allison’s version to Ronan’s, but really they sound very similar. Also, I can’t believe it’s six years since this song came out – I’m only eighteen, but that makes me feel really fucking old.
(Original by Keith Whitley)
// When You Say Nothing at All, allison krauss.

Pieces of Me
i can hardly catch my breath, i hope it lasts.
I can’t help it, but in the original and cover I’m quite fond of the harmonising bit that goes on in the chorus. Now that confessions over, I think this is probably from one of those punk-goes-pop albums (but really I have no idea). It’s acoustic though which instantly makes it better than the original. Lyrics ar still crap though.
(Original by Ashlee Simpson)
// Pieces of Me, Almost Better.

Confide in Me*
we all get hurt by love, we all got our cross to bear.
Oh yeah. So in the verses Ben’s voice gets a bit wobbly on the high notes, but when the oh-so-creepy guitar kicks in for the bridge/chorus ad his voice get that low, sexy tone. Gah. Sure, ‘m equally fond of Kylie’s original, but I swear , there is nothing better than boys with acoustic guitars.
(Original by Kylie Minogue)
// Confide in Me, Ben Lee.

Bang A Gong (Get It On) (Live)
you’re dirty sweet and you’re my girl.
Debbie Harry sounds like she’s had a few too many before singing this. It’s fun from a rocky, live performance viewpoint (especially the music), but the vocals really annoy me. But then again, perhaps I’m too big a fan of the loved-by-the-radio original.
(Original by T Rex)
// Bang a Gong (Get It on), Blondie.

Don’t Think Twice*
but goodbye's too good a word, gal, so I'll just say fare thee well.
A lot of people don’t like Dylan or find him difficult to listen to because of his voice (or the harmonica), but I find Sharp’s slightly off-key vocals to be harsher on the ears, but that’s probably only because of the higher pitch of her voice. Slower than Dylan, with a softer, subtle guitar accompaniment, it’s one of those quiet summer evening songs.
(Original by Bob Dylan)
// Don’t Think Twice It’s Alright, Bree Sharp.

Boys of Summer
i can see you, your brown skin shinin’ in the sun.
Eh. It’s a decent enough cover, but it lacks the utter fun and power and driving fast through country roads feeling of the original. Nothing stands out here, the vocals, the guitar, the drums, they all blend together.
(Original by Don Henly)
// Boys of Summer, Bree Sharp.

Where Is The Love?
where’s the love y’all?
Okay, not a complete gender swap, but BEP have one more female member than Busted, so it’s valid. I think this was a B-side extra, and it’s kind of embarrassing to listen to because it’s so… crap (and even though they’re kind of taking the piss, they sound like utter twats instead of actually being funny). Fun and rocky, though.
(Original by Black Eyed Peas)
// Where Is the Love?, Busted.

Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds
cellophane flowers of yellow and green towering over your head.
Some days I dislike this song, some days I love it. On the bad days Mann’s vocals feel lacklustre and bored-to-be-here, but on the good days I can hear the upbeat undertone and it’s a damn good cover.
(Original by The Beatles)
// Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds, Aimee Mann.

The Scientist (Live)*
come back and haunt me, tell me you love me.
So good. God, I fucking love this song (in general, when it’s sung by Coldplay, when it’s sung by Aimee Mann, whenever). Very similar, musically (the buildup from piano to drums/guitar) and in tone to the original, but it’s still very, very good. However, Chris Martin definitely wins on the howling oo’s at the end every time.
(Original by Coldplay)
// The Scientist, Aimee Mann.

They Don’t Know (Acoustic)*
they’ve never heard of love.
Ben Gibbard is my ultimate boys-playing-live-with-acoustic-guitars bloke. And he does some great covers. I’ve never heard the original (apart from a three second snippet on an advert for her ‘Best Of’ collection, so I can’t really compare. I do like it though/
(Original by Kirsty Mccoll)
// They Don’t Know, Ben Gibbard.

you're making me laugh out, when you strike your pose.
FUCKING AWESOME. I love the acousticness, the audience reaction and participation, the ‘seriousness’, the mockery and the bit of chatter at the ends. And I still hold a strange fondness for Avril Lavigne (at least the ‘Let Go’ albu. anyway).
(Original by Avril Lavigne)
// Complicated, Ben Gibbard.

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun*
my mother says, “when you gonna live your life right?”.
My second favourite of Gobbard’s pop covers (first being the Backstreet Boys’ ‘I Want It That Way’, which friggin’ funny). Love the audience clapping along.
(Original by Cyndi Lauper)
// Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, Ben Gibbard.

I Will Survive*
i should have changed my stupid lock, i should have made you leave your key.
Rocky backing music with lounge music vocals. The guitar and trumpet parts are particularly funky. At times the jerky singing style can be a slightly irritating, but I like this version better than the original.
(Original by Gloria Gaynor)
// I Will Survive, Cake.

Lost Without You*
i know i can be a little stubborn sometimes, a little righteous and too proud.
So, I have a weakness for Darren Hayes, in all his falsetto glory. I love Savage Garden, I quite like Delta Goodremm, and I don’t think you can deny that both Darren and Delta have great voices. Now if they did this as a duet together, pianos and voices in unison, I’d be truly happy. Excellent.
(Original by Delta Goodrem)
// Lost Without You, Darren Hayes.

I Wanna Dance With Somebody
when the night falls my lonely heart calls.
I love David Bryne, but this is really, really weird. But the again, David Byrne’s a odd guy. It’s more low-key than Whitney’s with a string arrangement and drums backing him up rather than electronic snare drums and pops and pings, but it’s equally as pop-tastic. It’s odd… but I like it.
(Original by Whitney Houston)
// I Wanna Dance with Somebody, David Byrne.

Such Great Heights*
corresponding shapes like puzzle pieces from the clay.
Order of preference; The Postal Service --> Rilo Kiley / The Dresden Dolls --> Iron & Wine. This version’s very pretty and slow, much like the Iron & Wine cover, only it doesn’t bore me half as much as Iron & Wine do. It’s very… deep – with the low vocals, the low notes of the piano, it’s satisfyingly moody, and the musical break/ending for the piano is gorgeous.
(Original by The Postal Service)
// Such Great Heights, The Dresden Dolls.

Shining Light
an epiphany, you burn so pretty.
Very different from the rocky, attitude-laden original, this is sweeter and a simple piano and voice combo. Personally, I prefer the original, but this is very pretty.
(Original by Ash)
// Shining Light, Emm Gryner.

Comfortably Numb
my hands swelled up like two balloons.
Two of my favourite female singer-songwriters performing a song together pretty much guarantees I will like whatever song they choose to do. For some reason I don’t have the original at hand to compare, but I think it’s a decent enough cover (simple, piano, guitar, backing percussion, vocals). But I love these ladies, and that’s what counts.
(Original by Pink Floyd)
// Comfortably Numb, Dar Williams, Ani DiFranco.

Wilder Than Her*
but she's a summer storm and i'm a hurricane, one just blows through town - one blows the town away.
The ‘lesbian version’ of the original (which I’ve never heard). But I’ve heard this song so many times the gender is irrelevant to me, it’s a wonderfully catchy, acoustic folky-pop song with lovely harmonies. There’s a gorgeous clarity and strength to Dar’s voice here that really wakes you up and makes you listen to the song.
(Original by Fred Eaglesmith)
// Wilder Than Her, Dar Williams.

Across the Universe
limitless undying love which shines around me like a million suns.
This is a bit too sleepily sung and heavily toned for me to listen to frequently, or at all. It’s just too slow, which although it feels more suited to the song and it’s lyrics in a way, it just doesn’t do it for me. I much prefer the original (preferably the acoustic version, and sometimes even Rufus Wainwright’s cover version over than).
(Original by The Beatles)
// Across the Universe, Fiona Apple.

Baby One More Time
oh baby, baby, i shouldn’t have let you go.
A decent, low-key cover version to listen to. Nothing utterly brilliant, and everything feels a bit subdued and bass-y– vocals, beat, guitar – but it’s good.
(Original by Britney Spears)
// Baby One More Time, Fountains of Wayne.

Baby One More Time
if I’m not with you i lose my mind.
It’s strangely soulful, how Fran starts singing this (plus the hint of Scottish accent is killer), but soon descends into mockery with the high pitched still believes. Lovely bit of acoustic guitar though.
(Original by Britney Spears)
// Baby One More Time, Travis.

Baby one more time*
but i must confess my loneliness is killing me now.
OH MY FUCKING GOD. I have no words for how much I fucking lovelovelove this track. True, it’s partly because of the hold over from my Lord Of The Rings obsessed, hobbit-loving days, but mostly because Billy Boyd is such a fucking good singer. It’s from an appearance on the (shudder) Sharon Osbourne Show, where he performed a live acoustic of ‘Baby One More Time’ while sat on the sofa. It’s brilliant – perfectly on key, hitting all the high notes (which astounds me), the audience clapping along and completely loving it, and if you ever get a chance to see the clip – Billy rocking the fuck out. I just wish I didn’t have the Sharon Osbourne chatty parts on my copy of the file.
(Original by Britney Spears)
// Baby One More Time, Billy Boyd.

Since U been Gone
but love is not a victory march.
Ooh. A slower, acoustic-y version - twangy with nice boy-harmonies. It’s all very woeful and strangely sincere.
(Original by Kelly Clarkson)
// Since U Been Gone, h's between vowels.

Romeo & Juliet
hey-la, my boyfriend’s back.
Again, I confess that I really do love the original (Top 5 Ultimate Rawk Love Songs; ‘(Everything I Do) I Do It For You’, ‘Don’t Wanna Miss A Thing’, ‘Romeo & Juliet’, ‘Always’ and… shit, Ican’t remember the other one). In this version I especially like how the female vocals (I forget which one sings it) are stronger and rougher than Knopfler’s. Very similar overall.
(Original by Dire Straits)
// Romeo & Juliet, Indigo Girls.

now this song’s my sorry.
This really is Better Than The Real Thing [Vol. 2] (though really, is it that hard to improve upon a Britney record?). It’s absolutely stunning. Two of the guys from The Frames, singer, fiddle(?) player (violin?), acoustic guitar + Britney song = a gorgeous, emotional, soaring piece of music. The strings soar, while the guitar and vocals keep it grounded and it’s so quiet and utterly emotional that I’m not ashamed that I’ve had tears in my eyes after listening to it. So, so, good.
(Original by Britney Spears)
// Everytime, Glen Hansard & Colm Mac Con Iomaire.

Like A Prayer
in the midnight hour I can feel your power.
Another punk/rock-does-pop thing. Meh. This is a perfectly fine, fun cover, but ‘Like A Prayer’ is one of my favourite songs and I do so love the gospel chorus-y part in the original.
(Original by Madonna)
// Like a Prayer, Glitterbug.

i'm not gon’ blast you on the radio (i'm better than that).
Punk Goes Pop, again. It’s… fun, it’s listenable. Just like the original.
(Original by Destiny’S Child)
// Survivor, Knockout.

Feeling Good
but love is not a victory march.
I can’t quite work this version out – is it sincere or is it sarcastic? Is it celebratory or just downright sinister? Awesome cover though, equally as good as the original in my eyes (or ears)- amazing howit rocks u and out before bringing you right back down again. (And way better than Michael Buble’s version which is amazingly lounge-y).
(Original by Nina Simone)
// Feeling Good, Muse.

Phew. Well that’s killed a good three hours of revision time off.

* = my favourites! :)


  • jeffersoninnit

    I'd like to hear that Dresden Dolls cover. Emm Gryner did a funky (not literally) cover of Def Leppard's Pour Some Sugar On Me.

    17. Jan. 2006, 13:19
  • Thanatos13

    Also Tori Amos' Version of Smeels Like Teen Spirit

    17. Jan. 2006, 13:23
  • huddyhippo

    If you'd like I could yousendit to you in the messages - it'll takeme a while to upload though as I'm struggling on dial-up!

    17. Jan. 2006, 13:24
  • huddyhippo

    Yeah, Tori covers are coming in part two - I've got a fair few of those.

    17. Jan. 2006, 13:26
  • jjbuchan

    Dresdeb Dolls covers can be downloaded here:

    17. Jan. 2006, 13:34
  • paperbagwriter

    Wow, a journal entry that isn't an A-Z list, and was definately worth reading. Oh, and you totally have to make me a mixtape... :)

    17. Jan. 2006, 13:38
  • huddyhippo

    Oh excellent! Dial-up is such a pain in the arse.

    17. Jan. 2006, 13:40
  • jjbuchan

    No problem. It was on another journal entry I read a week or two ago.

    17. Jan. 2006, 13:42
  • ikamymlan

    Very Interesting journal entry. I have to give you some tips on other songs that suit the same theme - José Gonzalez - Hand on Your Heart (I swear I did not recognize the song until the words started to sound very familiar after a while) and Anna Ternheim - China Girl, Shoreline and Little Lies.

    17. Jan. 2006, 14:07
  • pretence

    God, I love this whole post and want to hear them all! I think I like them better when males don't change he to she. ;) I feel your dialup pain. [chugs along slowly]

    17. Jan. 2006, 14:15
  • jjbuchan

    Oh, I just remembered a great cover version. Stereophonics doing Nothing Compares To You. Another Baby One More Time cover is by Bowling For Soup. Seems like everyone's done this song at some time.

    17. Jan. 2006, 14:20
  • salvadorbarry

    I'm thinking you should seek out The Lemonheads version of Whitney Houstons How Will I Know, I think it might be your cup of tea, i'm happy to send it your way if you so desire.

    17. Jan. 2006, 14:21
  • Ryenke

    I'm gonna have to check them out. A few of my favourite male/female covers you might want to check out if you don't know them: Sheryl Crowe covers Guns N Roses' Sweet Child of Mine Annie Lennox covers Procul Harum's A Whiter Shade of Pale The Bangles cover Simon and Garfunkel's A Hazy shade of Winter Ash covers Abba's Does Your Mother Know The Corr's cover REM's Everybody Hurts I love collecting good cover versions and slipping them in at parties. So thanks for your list!

    17. Jan. 2006, 15:09
  • smog|curling

    I'm mostly just making this comment so I can mark your journal and later get some of these songs. But I do have one suggestion to add, which I think fits in part one (if it's alphabetical-ish): Flunk's cover of New Order's True Faith

    17. Jan. 2006, 15:21
  • robotactionboy

    have you heard the nouvelle vague album? it'd fit right in with the cross gender covers.

    17. Jan. 2006, 16:28
  • Passioneer

    Love the Dresden Dolls' Such Great Heights and Fiona's Across the Universe. They're both extremely well-suited for depressing moments. The video for Fiona's cover is great as well. You mentioned a few Dar Williams songs - she also did a cover of Starman by David Bowie which I like quite a bit. I haven't heard the original song though.

    17. Jan. 2006, 17:08
  • huddyhippo

    Heh - the Dar song's in part 2, I realised I missed a few the first time I went through my files :) And not heard the original! I'm shocked! Nah, the original's good, and a bit funkier and not as smooth as Dar's version.

    17. Jan. 2006, 17:12
  • Arty88

    wow... how do you find out about these?

    17. Jan. 2006, 17:19
  • huddyhippo

    With a little help from a wonderful Livejournal community called teh_music. Awesome for finding and sharing music on!

    17. Jan. 2006, 17:32
  • huddyhippo

    [b]paperbagwriter[/b] - Thanks (but I'm guilty of that a couple of posts back!) Re: I could, if you wanted (or really, a mix CD). You're in the UK right? So postage shouldn't be too bad. I could do a selection of the covers above - the ones you fancy or my favourites. Merely a suggestion though as I've got a week to kill next week between exams! [b]ikamymlan[/b] - Cheers, and for the recs too. Looks I'll be making a bigger list soon. [b]pretence[/b] - if you'd give the names of the ones you're most keen on I could message you them with a download link sometime (maybe this weekend, when I pop back home for sweet, sweet, boradband access!). You'd think that universities would provide students with better internet access, but it's not the case here! [b]jjbuchan[/b] - Ta for the recs, the Stereophonics cover's definitely got my interest :) [b]salvadorbarry[/b] - I secretly love that Whitney Houston song, I love it if you could send me the cover, but only if it's not too much trouble. [b]Ryenke[/b] - Those all sound excellent, particularly the Simon & Garfunkel and Procul Harum covers. And I've just discovered that I don't have the R.E.M cover, which is strange :/ [b]smog|curling[/b] - I'm glad the entry's of use to you, and thank you for the rec. [b]robotactionboy[/b] - I had'nt heard of them, but I've Googled and they certainly look interesting, ta.

    17. Jan. 2006, 17:50
  • deslo15

    I want a CD too! But I live in Canada...

    17. Jan. 2006, 19:06
  • huddyhippo

    I'd love to send you (and [b]pretence[/b]) one, but I don't think my student-ly finances would stretch that far. :/ But like I said to [b]pretence[/b] if you message/reply with the ones that catch your eye I could send you a download link sometime at the weekend when I pop back home :)

    17. Jan. 2006, 19:18
  • sodastreamer

    Sally Timms record In the world of him might be interesting, too. It's all covers of male singers (Ryan Adams...)

    17. Jan. 2006, 19:53
  • huddyhippo

    Ryan Adams you say... well, then it's definitely on my radar. Thank you!

    17. Jan. 2006, 19:59
  • deslo15

    Alrigth the ones I would like if possible: Bylly Boyd- Baby One More Time H's between vowels- Since U been gone Almost Better- Pieces of me Knockout- Survivor Ben Gibbard- Complicated CAKE- I will survive The Dresen Dolls- Such Great Heights Travis- Baby One more time Thanks!

    17. Jan. 2006, 20:21
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