Last year, when One Direction released “One Way or Another (Teenage Kicks),” a combination Blondie/Undertones cover they recorded for charity, the Guardian’s Adam Boult was prompted to start a list of songs that “must never be covered.” Never mind that 1D’s medley got a seal of approval from Blondie’s Debbie Harry herself; Mr. Boult said it was an “abomination” that somehow “tarnished” the original versions. So it’s not about the gender of the artist doing the cover—it’s about the gender (and age) of their fans. Think about it: Young, poppy acts, have largely young, female fan bases. I believe the reason rockist dudes feel so dang uncomfortable watching these artists cover songs by bands they love is that it points out that they might have something in common with fans of Miley, Lorde, 1D, etc. They might actually have something in common with teenage girls. And what could be worse than that?
Here’s what I want to tell these people: You could do a lot worse than sharing a teenage girl’s taste in music. The pantheon of acts who couldn’t have gotten famous without the support of teenage girls includes a lot of people and bands you probably respect a lot: Michael Jackson. Elvis Presley. The fricking BEATLES. When Nirvana were around, most of their fans weren’t 50-year-old rock critics; they were kids.
i carry your heart with me (i carry it in
my heart) i am never without it (anywhere
i go you go, my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing, my darling)
i fear no fate (for you are my fate, my sweet) i want
no world (for beautiful you are my world, my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you
here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart
i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)