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Different lyrics - cover or adaption?

Bastien

Manager
Posts: 28714

Bastien @ 2020-09-15 06:57:06 UTC

I may have a language barrier problem here with the word adaptation itself (I understand it as a kind of re-work and transferring one thing into another)

Reminded me "adaptation" was missing from the glossary. Now added Smile

https://secondhandsongs.com/page/Glossary

PS: I didn't notice any language barrier with you Smile

Jeff Chamberlain

Certified Contributor II
Posts: 1428

Jeff Chamberlain @ 2020-09-15 15:08:48 UTC

Bastien

Except that neither Leiber nor Stoller wrote the cleaned-up and silly lyrics used by Presley and others.

______
JC

Jeff Chamberlain

Certified Contributor II
Posts: 1428

Jeff Chamberlain @ 2020-09-15 15:49:56 UTC

Bastien

Regarding "Hound Dog," you wrote "Feel free to create a error report on this entry."

And for all of those among the 290 or so versions that don't use the original lyrics, and to the many editors each of whom seems to have a different idea of what constitutes an "adaptation?"


Regarding a definition for "adaptation," you wrote "Feel free to make a proposal including use case." I don't know what "use case" means. And the problem (or at least my problem) with defining "adaptation" is that I don't understand the underlying concept (except for different language versions of songs, which are called adaptations by fiat, which is fine). Without more/better analysis of the concept I don't know how anyone could come up with a definition that has actual substance (or that's consistent with actual practice).

______
JC

Bastien

Manager
Posts: 28714

Bastien @ 2020-09-18 13:00:22 UTC

Except that neither Leiber nor Stoller wrote the cleaned-up and silly lyrics used by Presley and others.

I've no idea, feel free to share what you know.

Bastien

Manager
Posts: 28714

Bastien @ 2020-09-18 13:11:16 UTC

And the problem (or at least my problem) with defining "adaptation" is that I don't understand the underlying concept (except for different language versions of songs, which are called adaptations by fiat, which is fine). Without more/better analysis of the concept I don't know how anyone could come up with a definition that has actual substance (or that's consistent with actual practice).

An adaptation is a work based on another work. It means somebody wrote additional music and/or lyrics, on top of the existing ones.

But my impression is you know this already. The problem seems to be that you expect us to come up with a watertight mathematical-like formulation that is 100% consistent throughout the database. It's not going to happen. Reality is too complex and too subjective.

Obviously, this doesn't mean we need no guidelines at all. I'm just saying I don't think it's possible to meet the bar you're expecting.

VirileVagabond

Certified Contributor II
Posts: 4728

VirileVagabond @ 2020-09-18 13:24:20 UTC

JC's concern seems to be heavy rearrangements, which some may consider an adaption.


As B stated, judgment calls are unavoidable in this area and cases can be handled different ways to "account for" the matter including:

a) An "altered lyrics" comment;

b) Adaption with "unknown" additional credits; or

c) An "unrecognizable" tag.


Just because one person prefers one method over another doesn't make the one chosen as wrong. "Accounting for" is some way should suffice....

Jeff Chamberlain

Certified Contributor II
Posts: 1428

Jeff Chamberlain @ 2020-09-18 16:09:33 UTC

Bastien

Today at 09:00:22 EDT QUOTE

Quote from Jeff Chamberlain

Except that neither Leiber nor Stoller wrote the cleaned-up and silly lyrics used by Presley and others.

I've no idea, feel free to share what you know.


Didn't I do just that? If you're asking "how" I know this, it's not controversial as a matter of music history. Leiber and Stoller each have said as much. In fact, they were appalled when they first heard the Presley version, and (jokingly to some extent) said that they only came to like it when the royalty checks started rolling in. If you're asking who wrote the silly lyrics, I don't know. I could try to research that if it would make a difference. Would it?

______
JC

Jeff Chamberlain

Certified Contributor II
Posts: 1428

Jeff Chamberlain @ 2020-09-18 16:14:12 UTC

Bastien

Today at 09:11:16 EDT QUOTE

Quote from Jeff Chamberlain

And the problem (or at least my problem) with defining "adaptation" is that I don't understand the underlying concept (except for different language versions of songs, which are called adaptations by fiat, which is fine). Without more/better analysis of the concept I don't know how anyone could come up with a definition that has actual substance (or that's consistent with actual practice).

An adaptation is a work based on another work. It means somebody wrote additional music and/or lyrics, on top of the existing ones.


But my impression is you know this already. The problem seems to be that you expect us to come up with a watertight mathematical-like formulation that is 100% consistent throughout the database. It's not going to happen. Reality is too complex and too subjective.


Obviously, this doesn't mean we need no guidelines at all. I'm just saying I don't think it's possible to meet the bar you're expecting.


I really don't require a "watertight" definition, and as you know I'm the last person to object to making informed judgments. My problems with "adaptations" are that what pass for guidelines seem inadequate and contradictory to me, and also as applied the concept seems all over the lot. I'll provide examples and/or further commentary if either would make a difference. Would it? (This is a real question, btw. I don't want to waste my time, or yours.)

______
JC

Bastien

Manager
Posts: 28714

Bastien @ 2020-09-22 07:05:18 UTC

Leiber and Stoller each have said as much. In fact, they were appalled when they first heard the Presley version, and (jokingly to some extent) said that they only came to like it when the royalty checks started rolling in. If you're asking who wrote the silly lyrics, I don't know. I could try to research that if it would make a difference. Would it?

Sounds like an interesting and relevant story. I don't know in advance under which form we will integrate this information, but it belongs on our website.

Looking forward to you sharing your sources on this.

Jeff Chamberlain

Certified Contributor II
Posts: 1428

Jeff Chamberlain @ 2020-09-22 12:47:05 UTC

No "source" is needed to tell that the original lyrics are different from the later lyrics (beyond listening and comparing).


Sources for the fact that L&S did not write the silly lyrics include Hound Dog: The Leiber & Stoller Autobiography, by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller (Simon and Schuster, 2009), and, by necessary implication, the various sources that credit Freddie Bell with writing the later lyrics. See, e.g.,

Before Elvis, The Prehistory of Rock 'N' Roll, by Larry Birnbaum (Scarecrow Press, 2013, p. 235).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hound_Dog_(song)#Freddie_Bell_and_the_Bellboys'_versions_(1955–1956)

https://www.shmoop.com/study-guides/music/elvis-hound-dog/meaning


I look forward to learning if any of this makes a difference and if so, what.

______
JC

Jeff Chamberlain

Certified Contributor II
Posts: 1428

Jeff Chamberlain @ 2020-09-22 12:56:11 UTC

Bastien

Your definition of adaptation was “An adaptation is a work based on another work. It means somebody wrote additional music and/or lyrics, on top of the existing ones.” But on the site we say “An adaptation is a musical work which uses most of the music or lyrics of another musical work.” And in the Guidelines themselves, an adaptation requires “substantial changes” from an original. https://secondhandsongs.com/page/Guidelines/Entities/Works/WorksCreationc Whatever these might mean, they sure don’t look like the same thing. And frankly none of them is very helpful. (“Based on another work” implies history. “[U]ses … music or lyrics of” does not. Using “most of the music or lyrics” from an original while also having “substantial changes” from an original is perhaps metaphysically possible, but surely not obviously consistent.) And it takes very little reviewing to see that irrespective of any "definition" the adaptation concept has been applied very inconsistently.

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JC

Jeff Chamberlain

Certified Contributor II
Posts: 1428

Jeff Chamberlain @ 2020-09-22 21:04:59 UTC

I thought I was clear that until I understand what the point of "adaptation" is I can't help define it. That said, perhaps abandoning the concept except for different language performances, or perhaps, consistent with practice, how about "an adaptation is a version of a song that an editor has decided to call an adaptation?"

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JC

sebcat

Managing Editor
Posts: 5341

sebcat @ 2020-09-22 22:10:15 UTC

I thought I was clear that until I understand what the point of "adaptation" is I can't help define it. That said, perhaps abandoning the concept except for different language performances, or perhaps, consistent with practice, how about "an adaptation is a version of a song that an editor has decided to call an adaptation?"

For full adaptations - new lyrics added to the same melody or new melody added to the same lyrics.

For partial adaptations - a portion of the melody or lyrics used in a new work, or a portion of a song sampled or interpolated.

The “point” is that most people would not consider these cases to be straight covers.

Jeff Chamberlain

Certified Contributor II
Posts: 1428

Jeff Chamberlain @ 2020-09-23 03:05:37 UTC

How many inconsistent entries in the database would it take to persuade you that these definitions are not very helpful?

______
JC

VirileVagabond

Certified Contributor II
Posts: 4728

VirileVagabond @ 2020-09-23 09:34:46 UTC

How many inconsistent entries in the database would it take to persuade you that these definitions are not very helpful?


How many times does one need to explain that sometimes precision is impossible for a specific task? I understand we can't design a perfect net that only catches fish, so we end up catching fish and dolphins, releasing that latter back into the sea.


It's perfectly reasonable for someone to say their car isn't working right but expect to rely on a professional mechanic to fix the problem. On the other hand, it isn't that reasonable to claim something is wrong with the SHS definition of "adaption" yet refuse to at least take a stab at drafting a new one that satisfies your concerns.


As a comparison, some months ago I raised the question of when a remix is really a "remix" or a "cover", "sample", etc.. I was asked to draft some definitions at least as a start and for discussion. I did so, but of course the matter died off as usually happens here....

sebcat

Managing Editor
Posts: 5341

sebcat @ 2020-09-23 18:38:00 UTC

How many inconsistent entries in the database would it take to persuade you that these definitions are not very helpful?

So help us improve the definitions. This is a community of practice after all.

Limbabwe

Editor
Posts: 15617

Limbabwe @ 2020-09-25 17:49:15 UTC

This being said, Limbabwe , it could use a short comment stating something to the extent of "Minor adaptation to the lyrics" and in the editor notes "No lyricist known for the adapted lyrics".

Done