My wife and daughter think I'm making something out of nothing, but it really really bothers me that Chris Sligh changed the lyrics to "She's Not There" on American Idol tonight. It's one of my favorite songs. Whether it's The Zombies version or the Santana version doesn't matter. They're both classics. And I know the lyrics, but for the record, I checked. In fact, I checked all of the top 10 Google hits for "She's Not There" lyrics. Not one of the transcriptions substitutes "Why should I worry, why should I care?" for any one of the occurances of "How would I know, why should I care". Not one.
I might have written it off as a bit of personal styling if he had just done it once, in the last verse. That would have worked for me, but in every verse? No, no, no! That's just putting yourself above the song. Putting yourself above a classic song. And I was surprised that none of the judges, who criticized Chris for his arrangment last week, lit into him for it. Maybe they just don't know the lyrics themselves.
I like Chris. Of the guys, he's my favorite. It's not just a matter of rooting for the goofy looking guy. No guy will win this year, because there are three women who are clearly and consistently better than any of the guys, but that's beside the point. I like Chris' singing. He sang well tonight, even. But he ruined it with the lyric change.
Still, he wasn't the worst, by far. Phil should be the next one voted off, after the way he butchered Tobacco Road tonight.
1. Jerry Glover03/21/2007 10:00:49 AM
This is the first season I've ever watched Idol and I have to say I've been pleasantly surprised by some of the talent on the show. In particular, Melinda is simply amazing, not to mention Kakisha and Jordan. Melinda's "My Funny Valentine" was incredible; I would buy a CD for a recording of that alone.
But some of my concerns that were part of my dismissal of the show in the past have been justified with a couple of the contestants, eg. it's a travesty that Phil and Sanjaya are still in and, for instance, Sundance is not.
Btw, I don't know the song that well, so what was the lyric change?
2. Chris Linfoot03/21/2007 03:45:44 PM
Seems to be a common Idol / X Factor problem - people changing the words to classic songs for no good reason. One that irritated me last X Factor season was someone doing the same thing to a classic Stevie Wonder, though I forget which now.
3. Richard Schwartz03/21/2007 05:03:34 PM
Well no one told me about her... the way she lied,
Well no one told me about her... how many people cried,
But it's too late to say you're sorry,
How would I know, why should I care,
Please don't bother tryin' to find her,
She's not there
And similar for all the other verses.
Chris substituted "Why should I worry", for "How would I know", in all verses.
By the way: all the transcriptions I've found have this for the chorus:
Well let me tell you 'bout the way she looked,
The way she'd act and the colour of her hair,
Her voice was soft and cool,
Her eyes were clear and bright,
But she's not there.
My ears have always told me that it's this:
Well let me tell you 'bout the way she looked,
The way she acted, the colour of her hair,
I've probably always been hearing it wrong, but frankly, the two are indistinguishable in meaning and nearly indistinguishable in sound. That's not the case with the Chris Sligh's change from "How would I know" to "Why should I worry".
4. Kudla03/24/2007 04:43:28 PM
Absolutely a classic. Frankly, I've always thought Santana's cover is virtually indistinguishable from the Zombies original. One might ask, then why cover it at all?, but that's a different topic.
I always thought that whole verse was song in the present tense,
"Well let me tell you 'bout the way she looks, the way she acts and the colour of her hair...."
Personally, I have no problem with a little artistic license with the lyrics as long as you stay true to the meaning and melody of the original. I think the kid's interpretation did that.
Just my .02...
5. Chris Whisonant03/26/2007 12:09:36 PM
Chris attended my Alma Mater - North Greenville College (University):
I graduated the year before he got there, I believe.
6. Richard Schwartz03/26/2007 12:48:30 PM
@5 Chris: Cool!
@4 Mike: Virtually indistinguishable?? Wow. I think it's one of the best covers ever, almost as stylistically different from the original as the Bonnie Raitt cover of Runaway.
7. lexi03/27/2007 05:51:06 PM
I'm so glad it wasn't just me that was bothered by this. I love the lyrics to this song--what was the point in changing them? They're so much better the right way!
8. Charlie Roller03/28/2007 10:19:59 AM
Ok... American Idol is not a competition to see who can memorize a song the best. This is a song to test who can SING and DANCE the best. It is a competiton to see who is the best IDOL not the person with the best photographic memory. So please, the judges know what they are talking about, and stop trying to prove that they dont.
If you are going to complain about someone, complain about Sanjaya staying on the show. Chris can sing. EVERYONE ELSE ON THAT SHOW CAN SING. So you pick out someone who can sing but doesnt like how it sounded, changing the lyrics, rather than complain about somebody who cant sing still being on the show.
9. Sylvia06/13/2007 10:50:55 AM
I really don't like it that Chris changed the words either. It was bad enough that he did it the first time, but I saw him on Ellen Degeneris the night before last and he did it again. He did a great job with his singing, but spoiled it by changing the words.
Maybe he was trying to "make the song his own" like the judges tell them to do, but in my opinion, that wasn't the way to do it.
10. nicole10/26/2007 05:17:40 PM
i don't get it
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