Bet You Didn’t Know Where It Came From: Love Songs We Always Thought Were Originals

1. “I Will Always Love You”

In 1994, Whitney Houston took home Grammys for Record of the Year, Best Female Vocal Pop Performance among many other awards for “I Will Always Love You”. The song saw incredible commercial success. Released on Arista, It was part of the original soundtrack for the staple 90s film, The Bodyguard, which Houston starred in. What many may have failed to realize, especially those born during that decade, is that the song is a rendition of a country song written in 1973. Yes, Houston’s cover, exhilarating with its powerful and pop-gospel prowess, has its roots in a tearfully melancholic, passionate country ballad. Dolly Parton is the songwriter and singer of “I Will Always Love You“. Both versions of the song are lovely and moving. We won’t play the “who did it better game”, neither did Whitney or even Parton.  In fact, when Houston passed away, Dolly Parton is quoted saying to Billboard:

“Mine is only one of the millions of hearts broken over the death of Whitney Houston. I will always be grateful and in awe of the wonderful performance she did on my song and I can truly say from the bottom of my heart, ‘Whitney, I will always love you. You will be missed.'”

2.  “Take Care”

Who doesn’t love a good Drake song? Some of us remember this song being the soundtrack to life events. Well this 2012 smash hit drew a little inspiration from a man who is credited being the ‘father of rap’. Drake and Rihanna’s “Take Care” uses lyrics from the late Gil Scott-Heron’s cover song titled, “I’ll Take Care Of You” and even features vocal samples of the song. The original lyrics were written by Brook Benton. Who knew that this Drake record had so much of its roots in the blues. (Jump to 0:30 seconds).

3. “Emotion”

Destiny’s Child released “Emotion” in 2001. Many of you reading this may remember being in grade school and hearing this gem played. Well, by now you guessed it, it was a cover! An awesome one at that. The song was written by 2 out of 3 of The Bee Gees. Barry and Robin Gibb of The Bee Gees wrote the song in 1977. That same year, Australian singer, Samantha Sang, did the first recorded version.

Well, there you have it. A lot of what we hear on the radio has been recycled through the years; not only lyrics but melodies. This is a pretty cool thing ( as long as ASCAP and BMI are involved of course). It has helped to keep ideas and art in the forefront of the culture and in the back of the minds of the people who enjoy the music. We hope you found this bit informative.

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