Same Sex Singer of Opposite Sex Lovesong? - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 08-12-2005, 04:52 PM
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Ok, I'm so clueless I have no idea what this is called, or even where to begin to look for it. But if you can tell me what it's called, I'd appreciate it.



What is it called when you have a song that is written, say, to be sung by a man to a woman, but where a woman singer chooses to sing the song without altering the lyrics?



For example, I was looking through various vocal versions of the song "Peg Of My Heart." Almost all are sung by male singers, because that's the way the song was written. But I do have a version sung by female singer Joni James (probably from the 50s or 60s). And no, the lyrics are not changed, nor can they really be construed as being about "sisterly love," and I don't think it would be fair to say that there was anything lesbian about this particular version of the song. It was just generally accepted that a female singer could sing a love song like this to a woman. (Poetic license or something similar?)



Another example is "Tavern in the Town." This song is written to be sung by a woman, complaining to her male lover, who has left her for another woman, whom he meets regularly at this tavern. And almost all the versions of this song are sung by a woman to (in effect) a man. But there is one version from the 1950s sung by Wally Cox, again without changing the lyrics. This is just one of the most hilarious things I have ever heard, not only because of the way he sings it, but because now, in retrospect, we know that Cox was gay.

But at the time it was recorded it was not a "gay" song, but simply part of this "poetic license" for a male singer to take on a traditionally female singing role.



I know this is kind of a weird thing to be concerned about, but I am curious to know what this might be called.
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#2 Old 08-12-2005, 05:02 PM
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I'm not familiar with those songs but I've always found it kind of interesting. Melissa Etheridge does that. She'll sing a song like this...



http://www.thelyricarchive.com/lyric...hewayido.shtml



...and you could assume it's directed toward a man but it could just as easily be directed toward a woman (and probably is since she's gay).



Also, one of my favorite singers sings a song (she's a woman) where she says "I'm just an old man." It's her own song too, she wrote it.



These are both probably slightly different than what you're talking about.

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#3 Old 08-12-2005, 05:05 PM
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I think it is an interesting phenomenum. Not at all weird to be thinking about it.



I wish I could hear the Wally Cox version. He was a comic genius.



There is a brothel in the town, in the town,

where my true love lays her down, lays her down,

and effs all night, with everyone in sight

and never ever thinks of me; that ain't right



and effs all night, for a pittance of a fee,

and never ever thinks of me; thinks of me.
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#4 Old 08-12-2005, 07:40 PM
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Yeah, I'd be interested in knowing if there's a term for this. I like the song (i think) it's called "Jolene", originally by Dolly Parton, but Jack White sings it. It just soudns cool sometimes.
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#5 Old 08-12-2005, 07:45 PM
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Yeah, lots of us pegged Etheridge as gay because most straights can't play the pronoun game for three straight albums. Then of course, she came out and did "Maggie" on stage.



The White Stripes did a great version of "Jolene" on Conan.



And of course, there is Michelle Shocked's great "Yambouree Queen."
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#6 Old 08-12-2005, 07:46 PM
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I think I have to confess that Jack White's "Jolene" convinced me I should take a second look at country music.
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#7 Old 08-13-2005, 12:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skunkpumpkin View Post

Yeah, I'd be interested in knowing if there's a term for this. I like the song (i think) it's called "Jolene", originally by Dolly Parton, but Jack White sings it. It just soudns cool sometimes.



Interesting. I've heard Dolly Parton's "Jolene" (where a woman asks her competitor to leave her man alone) and it's a great tune, but I've never heard it sung by a man.
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#8 Old 08-13-2005, 12:54 AM
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When Jack White sings it, you really feel that it's a woman singing it. This is no insult to his voice, I love the white stripes, but he sings it so passionately that you forget it's a man. You just hear the sad story of a woman begging "Jolene" to not take her man.
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