Songs I Didn’t Know Were Covers

Image by Geralt

Image by Geralt

Because you know I’m all about that bass, ’bout that bass, no treble.

Meghan Trainor’s popular summer song of 2014, All about That Bass, is an exquisitely written song about body pride. She compares her body to the big, booming sound of the bass as opposed to the lighter, thinner sound of the treble. This song is one of my guilty pleasures of Summer 2014. It’s such a fun pop song.

There is one thing I know for sure- This song is not a cover. Trainor, a singer-songwriter from Nantucket, Massachusetts, is the first person to record this song. Covering songs is a time honored tradition in music; so why am I still surprised to learn many of the songs I love were actually covers?


Mad World by Gary Jules

The first time I watched Donnie Dark, my first thought was, “Good grief this movie is weird!” My second thought was, “What is this Mad World song? I love it!”

Years later I learned the song was a cover from Tears for Fears.

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun by Cyndi Lauper

I have loved this song my entire life.  Two days before this blog post was published, I learned (courtesy of an article from the comedy website Cracked)  that Girls Just Wanna Have Fun was a first performed by Robert Hazard.

Don’t Turn Around by Ace of Base

I wasn’t around for Abba, but I did get to experience the excitement that was Ace of Base. Don’t Turn Around was a huge hit for the band in the mid 90’s.

I’m now confident enough to admit that I loved Ace of Base and this song. It wasn’t until recently that I learned Tina Turner recorded the song first in 1986 as a B-side to the single Typical Male.

Anyone Who Had a Heart by Luther Vandross and Shirley Bassey

I love this song. I thought that Luther Vandross’ version was a cover of Shirley Bassey.  Turns out both were covers. Dionne Warwick recorded the Burt Bacharach and Hal David classic first in 1963.

Blinded by the Light by Manfred Mann

Some friends and I were making fun of songs with incomprehensible lyrics. I brought up this song and was told that it was originally recorded by Bruce Springsteen. I asserted that it wasn’t. Bets were made. Google searches were conducted. Smack was talked. Learning took place.

Blinded by the light,
revved up like a deuce,
another runner in the night.

Now you know the lyrics. You’re welcome. 🙂 

The Greatest Love of All by Whitney Houston

This song was my theme song in elementary school. I remember sitting and listening to this song a million times as I wrote the lyrics down. This was preinternet so searching for lyrics online was not an option; life was hard back then.   Little did I know that George Benson recorded the song 10 years before Whitney.


What songs were you surprised to learn were covers? What are you favorite covers of all time? What songs do you think should NEVER be covered?

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