Friday, January 21, 2005

Another Lyric Change - Kate Wolf

Since people seemed to enjoy my post about Hilary Duff's lyrical corruption of "My Generation" (I wonder if she performed that one at the "America's Future Rocks Today" concert), here is another lyric change that bothers me. I listened to Kate Wolf's An Evening In Austin from 1985 for the first time tonight. She does a version of the Youngbloods' "Let's Get Together" ("C'mon people now, smile on your brother/Everybody get together try to love one another right now"). Except she changes "smile on your brother" to "smile on each other." In fact, she makes a point of announcing the "updated" lyric change when she introduces the song.

Why??? This is a textbook example of rewriting a past work to suit a fashionable political agenda, and it is the worst aspect of politically correct feminism--rendering everything gender-neutral. Does anyone really listen to the original version and think that the singer was addressing only the men of the world? "Your brother" also infers a closer relationship than "each other," which makes it more appropriate for the song's theme (and yes, I see the irony of making potentially divisive comments about a song encouraging unity). It is a needless revision that merely grates upon the listener's ear.

Aside from that ill-advised change, I guess it's a decent album. Female folksingers don't usually interest me much, but I decided to check out Wolf because she wrote a great song that Nanci Griffith recorded called "Across The Great Divide." Unfortunately, that song isn't on this album.

P.S. For a great comparison of the political leanings of Washington's newspapers, look at their coverage of "America's Future Rocks Today:"
Washington Post: "Strike Up The Bland"
Washington Times: "Jenna, Barbara rock with the future"
You can guess which one I prefer (hint: it's the one that isn't backed by a fanatical Korean religous figure).

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