5 Covers That Improved the Lyrics of Famous Songs

#2. Dolly Parton Rights a Terrible Wrong Reclaiming "House of the Rising Sun"

Hey, remember when you all read my article about the worst changed song lyrics? You didn't? What??? OK, go ahead. I'll wait. Done? Good. Oh, and you've all pre-ordered my book, too, right? NO??? OK, go ahead.

Anyway, in that column, I explained that while I love the Animals' version of "House of the Rising Sun," it's kind of flawed because it unforgivably changed the lyric from the female to the male perspective, and in doing so, Eric Burdon was suddenly singing about the horrors of gambling all the time instead of being sold into sexual slavery.

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Well, on the 9 to 5 soundtrack, Dolly reclaimed the song for the sisters! In fact, she not only returned it to the female perspective, but added some new lyrics that made the song's subject matter completely clear.

So kudos to Dolly, even if, musically, the song is nothing short of a travesty. Oh, hey, as long as we're talking about Dolly Parton and musical travesties, can I just point out this thing that happened last month on The Queen Latifah Show? It has nothing to do with this entry or this column, but I can't stop looking at it, and I also can't make it to the end. Why am I doing this to you? It's simple. I hate you. I hate you so much.

#1. Joe Cocker Replaces a Sentence With an Orgasm for the Win in His Beatles Cover

In the worst lyric change column, we all shared a laugh about how much Bon Jovi and U2 sucked for messing up the lyrics to the Beatles classic "Helter Skelter."

Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images
You laugh weird.

But number one on the list is a man who dared to change Beatles lyrics and succeeded. And that's why English bluesman Joe Cocker has claimed the number one spot. Faced with the daunting challenge of recreating "With a Little Help from My Friends," a song that was already a classic when he covered it only a couple of years later, Cocker reached deep down inside himself and came up with a sensational alternative lyric ...


I don't know why that's great. It's either great or it's awful. There's no in between. And isn't there enough negativity in the world? Why do you have to be critical all the time? It's wonderful!


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