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July 1, 2014

The Copycat Songbook

Happy July, huh? Holy crap, here we are already, but there's nothing we can do about it, so three cheers for summer! Every time we complain about how cold and snowy it is, we wind up here in hot humid happiness, and I love it. :)

So I guess it's gonna be music week around here, after yesterday's post and now this. But if y'all are good with that, you know I sure am!

Okay, maybe it's just me, maybe I'm crazy, but over the years I keep noticing songs that sound like other songs. I know, there's nothing new under the sun, and some creations are simply gonna overlap others--it's inevitable. But when a song starts playing and really needs to go into a certain, totally different other song ... or when a chorus sounds like it really ought to lead into a completely different existing song by a completely different artist in a completely different genre ... or when a brand-new, what-do-you-think-you're-doing-here hit song sounds like a plagiarized fragment of a classic? I take note. And they are lucky enough to make it into The Copycat Songbook. Hang on tight, cause this might get a little crazy.

Copycat #1
"Let Her Go" by Passenger
"Should've Said No" by Taylor Swift

The offending part in these two is the intro. That's it. But it's distinct enough, to me at least, that when Pandora started playing "Should've Said No" the other day, I thought it was "Let Her Go." Listen for yourself:

Copycat #2
"The Man" by Aloe Blacc
"Your Song" by Elton John

I cannot possibly be the only one who reeled a little mentally when first hearing "The Man." You just can't sing "... and you can tell everybody..." and not be singing "Your Song." You just can't--that phrase is taken, and way too much part of the heart of that song to use it in anything else ... especially something as ... deep ... as "The Man." I guess there are plenty of other songs that use five exact same words in their choruses, but.... Is it just me?

Copycat #3
"Undeniably You" by Avalon
"That's the Way It Is" by Celine Dion

Okay, how many of you have actually heard of Avalon? We're headed way back to 2001 with this one. But when I heard that song on the radio years ago, and we got to the chorus, every time I wanted the last line to go straight into "...and that's the way it i-i-is..." The entirety of the songs have the same musical feel to them, and I think you could just about sing either of them to the other's accompaniment, but when the hook of the song wants to be the same too? We've definitely got us a copycat. And I think Celine was there first, by just a tad.

Copycat #4
"Me and My Broken Heart" by Rixton
"Lonely No More" by Rob Thomas

I don't even have any idea who either of these artists are. But I do know that "Me and My Broken Heart" is new to the radio, and every time the chorus gets going, I really want the next line to be "I don't wanna have to pay for this..." Is it just me? Rob beat you to it, buddy. By a few years. Good chance the writers of "Me and My Broken Heart" had "Lonely No More" flitting through their psyche when this song came into being.

Copycat #5
"Raise 'Em Up" by Keith Urban (with Eric Church)
"Somebody Like You" by ... Keith Urban
Okay, copying someone else happens a lot, and you can't really blame any of the above. But it's worse when you copycat yourself. Come on, Keith... You can't tell me he has no idea he just copied, if my music education memory serves me correctly, at least four measures of his own song from several years ago. Unless you write so many you lose track. But I'm not even some huge Keith Urban fan and noticed this--this definitely trumps all the others I've listed. Hold on tight for this one when you get to the end of the verses. Sound familiar? (See very beginning of "Somebody Like You," or basically every verse... It's like deja vu, huh?)

 So, am I crazy? A helpless over-analyzer? Or had you noticed any of these too? 
Do you have some copycats of your own that you've noticed? I'd love to hear them!


  1. There's only so many chord combinations and word combinations people can come up with. :p I have noticed this too
    Country Girl's Daybook

    1. Yep, nothing new under the sun. Glad it's not just me! ;)

  2. These always just blow my mind! Christian is so good at this kind of thing- a song will come on the radio and he'll say "They totally ripped this off of ___" and I can never really hear it unless I listen to the songs back to back. Pretty interesting! (But you can also kind of understand how it happens so easily!)


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