Colbie Caillat's Cover of Magic!'s "Rude" Is Great, But For a Different Reason Than You Think — LISTEN
Colbie Caillat has been on a roll lately. First, she released the Ryan Tedder-produced pop power ballad, "Hold On," at the end of last year, and though it failed to make an impact on the charts, no one can deny that it's a freakin' awesome song (seriously, you need to listen to it if you haven't already). Then, this summer, she returned with the powerful "Try," which was accompanied by an equally powerful music video. Finally, she just co-wrote Hilary Duff's big comeback single, "Chasing the Sun" (a song that I'm actually kind of iffy about, but it's still a big deal)! What could Caillat possibly do to make herself even more awesome, you ask? What about recording a cover version of Magic!'s current No.1-single "Rude" without changing the song's gender-specific pronouns because she's comfortable with her sexuality like that and doesn't care if some people think that she's gay?
Oh, she already did that? She really is on a roll!
Caillat performed her "Rude" cover for SiriusXM satellite radio station, The Pulse, on Wednesday, and it's just wonderful. In addition to the fact that she has a beautiful, soothing voice, at no point did Caillat feel the need to change "Rude's" lyrics so that she could sing about a man instead of a woman. Honestly, that's just so refreshing.
It's a fairly common practice for artists to change pronouns when covering songs. In fact, Katy Perry did it earlier this year at the Grammy Awards while performing The Beatles' "Yesterday" (much to the dismay of many fans). At the time, I doubt Perry understood the significance of her actions. Essentially, she was needlessly reinforcing her heterosexuality while simultaneously asserting that it would've been somehow "wrong" or "inappropriate" for her to sing the song as written. A woman singing a sad love song about another woman? Somebody call the police!
Granted, if Caillat had changed "Rude's" lyrics to, "Can I have your son for the rest of my life?" for example, it would have altered the song's meaning in more ways than one — the archaic tradition is for a man to ask a woman's father for her hand in marriage, not the other way around. Still, Caillat clearly has no problem singing lines like, "You know she's in love with me," and "I'm gonna marry her anyway." And why should she? Worst case scenario, someone out there in the great big world thinks that Caillat's gay. It would be a foolish assumption to make, but let's just go with it for a second: So the fuck what? Who cares?? Evidently, not Caillat!
Changing gender-specific pronouns in covers has long been one of those tiny little things that never fails to get my goat in a major way. Kudos to Caillat for being comfortable enough to not need to alter "Rude's" lyrics. Caillat's new EP, Gypsy Heart (Side A), is out now.
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