Friday, 21 May 2021

Ripping yourself off

You know when an artist or band re-uses either their own lyrics in another song, or recycles a tune and sticks new lyrics on top? For example, when The Style Council took With Everything To Lose, from their excellent second album proper Our Favourite Shop, swapped out the lyrics and turned it into Have You Ever Had It Blue? for the Absolute Beginners soundtrack? Or when REM took 7 Chinese Bros from their excellent second album Reckoning and, in a moment of madness or inspiration, overlaid lyrics that were read by Stipe from a record sleeve, to produce Voice of Harold, for the B-side of So. Central Rain. You get the idea, right? So you also get the jolt that comes from recognising a track when it starts and suddenly realising it's not quite what you thought it was.

Well, I had another such jolt yesterday. I was doing the washing-up and, apropos of nothing, had asked a smart device to serve up songs by Simon & Garfunkel. After the random/not-random predictable first offering (Bridge Over Troubled Water), this was next up: Somewhere They Can't Find Me.

Which, if you'll pardon the modern vernacular, prompted an actual WTF moment for me. For these are the lyrics to one of my favourite S&G tracks, Wednesday Morning, 3AM. At least the verses are - see for yourself:

Not only that, the music bears more than a passing resemblance to another of their recordings, Anji, listen:

Am I the only one who didn't know about this?


  1. I'd forgotten that cover of "Anji" - remarkably close to the original by Davy Graham (I bought the EP 3/4 AD way back in the mists of time known today as the mid 1960's)

    1. Yes, really interesting, this. According to Wikipedia, '"Anji" was a cover of an instrumental piece by guitarist Davey Graham whom Simon had met in England.'

      And from the same source, 'The original LP label mistakenly spells "Anji" as "Angie" and credits it to Bert Jansch, who had recorded it for his 1965 debut album. The back cover of the original LP sleeve properly credits Davey Graham as composer but retains the "Angie" misspelling. Both errors were corrected for subsequent reissues.'


    2. I bought Bert Jansch's debut album around the same time as I bought the Davy Graham EP. I prefer Davy Graham's version of Anji but there are some great tracks on the Bert Jansch album - a great debut LP.

    3. I fully intend to repeatedly watch this YouTube clip of a very young Paul playing Anji on Granada TV in 1967, until I've worked out how to play a passable version.