One of the little projects I have in the works currently is to write about songs that no-one should ever even try to cover, because the original artiste has just done the job definitively.
There is, of course, a flip side to that, and it happens to be this week’s theme for Song Lyric Sunday: a cover version that actually works and improves on the original.
I cannot think of a better example than Jimi Hendrix making Bob Dylan’s mysterious, dystopic vision ‘All Along The Watchtower’ entirely his own.
“There must be some way out of here,” said the joker to the thief
“There’s too much confusion, I can’t get no relief
Businessmen, they drink my wine, plowmen dig my earth
None of them along the line know what any of it is worth”
“No reason to get excited,” the thief, he kindly spoke
“There are many here among us who feel that life is but a joke
But you and I, we’ve been through that, and this is not our fate
So let us not talk falsely now, the hour is getting late”
All along the watchtower, princes kept the view
While all the women came and went, barefoot servants, too
Outside in the distance a wildcat did growl
Two riders were approaching, the wind began to howl
© 1968 by Dwarf Music; renewed 1996 by Dwarf Music
Song Lyric Sunday