after you, ma’am

scanning between radio stations stuck on the expressway and a cover of big yellow taxi by joni mitchell comes on. i’ve heard it once or twice, it’s been on rotation since the summer, maybe longer. why make a cover of a masterpiece? its like madonna remaking swept away by lina wertmuller or a contemporary painter remaking guernica but softening the war idea. doesn’t the tradition of doing a cover have more power taking something sorta known then blowing it out of the water? aretha franklin doing respect by otis redding for instance. this big yellow taxi has all the tropes of dumbed down production but worse he changes the joni lyric

late last night, i heard the screen door slam, and a big yellow taxi, took away my old man.

instead he sings…late last night i heard the screen door slam, and a big yellow taxi took my girl away.

that was his solution for changing the gender? lose the rhyme?

  • late last night i heard the screen door slam, and a big yellow taxi took away my girl pam
  • late last night i heard the screen door slam, and a big yellow taxi snatched my wife by the hand
  • late last night i heard the screen door slam, and a big yellow taxi whisked away my love – shazam
  • late last night i heard the screen door slam, and a big yellow taxi said after you madam.

i am totally failing the counting crows if they register next year for my songwriting class at the university of western ontario (assuming they even want me back)

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