Rejected Rock Lyrics

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When musicians release promotional demo tracks, they often contain first draft lyrics that are later finessed into the final versions released to the public. For example, Eddy Cochran’s “C’mon Everybody” was originally recorded with “Let’s get together” as the repeated chorus. Compare the final and original original drafts of the following staples of the American popular music cannon:

Sometimes the differences are subtle, as in the Supremes 1966 classic hit “You can’t hurry love.”

Final lyrics:

My mama said, “you can’t hurry love
No, you’ll just have to wait”
She said, “love don’t come easy
But it’s a game of give and take”

Original Lyrics:

My mama said, “you can’t hurry love
No, you’ll just have to wait”
She said, “love don’t come easy
You’ll just have to masturbate”

Compare Carole King’s final version of “I feel the Earth move” with the original lyrics proposed by her songwriting partner, James Taylor, who suffred feom IBS:

Final lyrics:

I feel the earth move under my feet
I feel the sky tumbling down, a-tumbling down
I feel my heart start to trembling
Whenever you’re around

Original Lyrics:

I feel my bowels move under my seat
I feel the shit tumbling down, a-tumbling down
I feel my butt start to trembling
And the world turns brown

The King-Taylor songwriting duo also recorded “Where you lead, I will follow,” a pre-feminist tribute to women’s subordination, or a love song, depending on your level of woke. But the original lyrics were more about Taylor’s famous eating disorder:

Final Lyrics:

Where you lead, I will follow
Anywhere that you tell me to
If you need, you need me to be with you
I will follow where you lead

Original Lyrics:

Where you feed, I will swallow
Any food that you feed to me
If you feed, you feed me to eat with you
I will swallow what you feed me

The same pattern exists across all genres of popular music. Take the seminal punk rock band, the Ramones. Their upbeat love song, “Oh oh I love her so” was originally not about human love at all:

Final Lyrics:

I met her at the Burger King we fell in love by the soda machine….
Oh oh I love her so
Oh oh I love her so
Oh oh I love her so oh oh

Original Lyrics:

I met her at the Burger King I fell in love with a soda machine….
Oh oh I love a soda
Oh oh I love a soda
Oh oh I love a soda machine

Even the notoriously rebellious Sex Pistols changed their lyrics with changing market forces. Here are their final and original takes of “Pretty vacant,” a song originally designed as a sponsorship pitch to the makers of Tylenol™.

Final Lyrics:

There’s no point in asking you’ll get no reply
Oh just remember I don’t decide

Original Lyrics:

There’s no point in aspirin you’ll get no relief
Tylenol’s the one that you’ve got to belief

And finally, Maroon 5’s current hit, Girls like you, was originally about a medical procedure faced by aging frontman Adam Levine.

Final Lyrics:

Spent 24 hours
I need more hours with you
You spent the weekend
Getting even, ooh ooh
We spent the late nights
Making things right, between us
But now it’s all good baby
Roll that Backwood baby
And play me close….
‘Til sundown, when I come through
I need a girl like you, yeah yeah

Original Lyrics:

Spent 24 hours
I need more hours to poo
Colonoscopy this weekend
Gotta drink my poo goo
I spent all last night
Sitting on the toilet
Don’t know what a Backwood is baby
But please roll it.
Tomorrow they put a tube up my ass
I need to empty my bowels, yeah yeah yass.

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This daisy will take you to a post completely lacking in scatological humor:
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