10 Cover Songs That Will Inspire You To Be Creative

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Let’s start with a fact. Whitney Houston’s rendition of Dolly Parton’s “I Will Always Love You” is a far better, and more popular, song than the original.

There I said it.

It’s not the first cover song to surpass the source material and it won’t be the last. Which is why I think it is important to talk about the most prolific example of artists copying one another.

Cover songs.

If you’ve read my previous post, you know how I feel about fetishizing “originality” and the harmful impact of the “starving artist” and “creative misanthrope” stereotype. 

So as a source of inspiration and a point of reflection I am putting together a list of cover songs that in my opinion are either as good or surpass the original.

Something to worth considering as you go through this list is to consider that, each of these cover songs were re-imagined using the individual artist’s ability, vision, and creative choices.

Or as filmmaker, writer, and speaker Kirby Ferguson puts it:

I think this is mostly what we do. Our creativity comes from without, not from within. We are not self-made. We are dependent on one another, and admitting this to ourselves isn’t an embrace of mediocrity and derivativeness. It’s a liberation from our misconceptions, and it’s an incentive to not expect so much from ourselves and to simply begin.

-Kirby Ferguson

*If you want to see his TED talk, you can find it at the end of this article.

One final thing to consider is that cover songs are usually created (in my opinion) for one of the following reasons

  • To boost the popularity of a fading song. (“Thou” covering “Nirvana”)
  • To pay tribute. (“Ariana Grande” covering “Aretha Franklin”)
  • To surprise an existing audience. (“Disturbed” covering “Simon and Garfunkel”)
  • For an artist to prove their mettle by covering a master. (Every Open Mic ever)

There are other reasons too, and I highly recommend trying to figure out what they could be as you read through this list.

Continue reading “10 Cover Songs That Will Inspire You To Be Creative”

Day 18 [Novel Progress]: Reflecting on The Second Chapter

Reading Time: 3 minutes This is the second week I’ve successfully finished writing a chapter. It’s not my best writing but it is functional. I’ve noticed that when I write with plot in mind I tend to write quickly, but with characters I am slow. Instead of fighting it I have decided to embrace it. Right now it’s about getting it done. The second draft will be more focused on the story of the characters. Still, there are always occasions where a plot point is unequivocally tied to a character. This is where I find myself with my main characters and siblings Jonah and … Continue reading Day 18 [Novel Progress]: Reflecting on The Second Chapter

firework photography

[Day 12][Photography | Story]: Sweat, Wristbands, and Breakfast with A Girl

Reading Time: 4 minutes I stood in the parking lot of the Chicken Pot Pie shop dressed in day old sweat, and a tank top drenched in Febreeze and cigarette smoke. My hair was styled by my friend’s couch and his cat’s late night … Continue reading [Day 12][Photography | Story]: Sweat, Wristbands, and Breakfast with A Girl