Have you ever listened to "The one that got away" by noted pop-singer Katy Perry? So have I.
It's a rather good pop-song: both musically and lyrically it appeals to that part of my brain that appreciates wistfulness (which, let's be honest, is what most successful songs do).
But this post isn't really about the song. You see, whenever I listen to a song like that, I wonder whether there's any good cover-versions out there. Because sometimes these surpass the originals, and on some occasions a serendipitous find will stay with me far longer than the original.
One of those is this version of "Jealous Guy". While I do appreciate John Lennon for everything he's done for The Beatles, his rendition of the song is about as interesting as stale bread. Donny Hathaway, on the other hand, makes this song his own:
Anyway, the real reason I'm writing about "The one that got away" is something I've noted quite a bit when trying to find a good cover: the gender-swapping to fit whoever covers the song.
Might not sound like a big deal, but fuck me, it just bugs me.
There's this line in the song that goes like this: "In another life, I would be your girl", and whenever it's covered by a male singer, it's either changed to "In another life, you would be my girl" or, even more egregious an offence, "In another life, I would be your man".
I mean, yeah, I get it. You're not a girl (which, by the way, Katy Perry wasn't either when the song came out - she was 26 then, which, technically, makes her a woman), and you don't want anyone who listens to your version to be confused about that fact.
But still, you also never had that relationship, because it sprang from the minds of two highly-paid producers who made it all up (Katy Perry did Christian music until she realized it's not commercially viable - fat chance she stole liquor and got tattoos, as described in the song). Just sing the damn song and rest assured that nobody will confuse you with a girl. It's not that difficult.
Not exactly sure how to end this diatribe, so let me leave you with this: there's a music-video for the original Katy Perry song, where she plays herself in what I can only surmise is roughly sixty years. Married to an equally old man who seems to be fed up with her shit, she keeps remembering, wistfully, her time with the man she got matching tattoos with (and who, according to the song, removed his, while she's still looking at it decades later).
It's not a great video and I advise you to steer clear of it.
That is all.
PS: In case you're wondering: all cover-versions of the song are less than stellar. You're welcome.