We're appalled over Annie Lennox
's gender switching in her cover of the Temptations' "I Can't Get Next to You" (on her album Medusa
). The original lyric is, "'Cause girl you're the key to my happiness." Lennox changes the word girl
. Lennox was one of the seminal gender benders of the 1980's, so we're sincerely puzzled over her newfound need to assert stereotypical relationships.
As we explain in our PInKSLiP Campaign
, it would be unheard of for a person doing a spoken-word
reading of a literary classic to change the text's gender references
according to whim. It should be equally unheard of for a singer
to alter the lyrics of a song. This all-too-common practice
violates the integrity of the original song and, in fact, often
prevents fresh new subtexts from arising.
Counterpoint: Our poetic friend Chris Piuma stands up for singers' rights to have as much fun with lyrics as they want. Certainly, artists can and do have quite a bit of fun altering lyrics, and our PInKSLiP Campaign can and will continue to issue the pinkslips!