Today, on Houston’s KILT (I think), I heard a cover of “Walking in Memphis” apparently perpetrated by Lonestar, except what made it such a cacophony was not only the fact that the new part was redundant and bad, but that it was overlayed on top of parts of Marc Cohn’s original! It sounded absolutely awful. Is this the way the cover actually is or was the DJ having fun?
“Hideous” and “Walking in Memphis” is redundant.
You are so utterly wrong, Otto. Mark Cohn ain’t much, God knows, but he delivered one good song about being swept up in a city and culture not your own.
I’m sure I’ve heard the Lonestar version and Mark Cohn was not part of it. It was probalby a mix done by the radio station. I remember when they did that with the Trisha Yearwood and Leann Rimes versions of “How Do I Live?”.
Hear Hear! An amazingly well written and effective song. Sorry to hear it got the “Ugly Kid Joe” or “Limp Bizcut” (or however they spelled it) treatment. (UKG for their horrible “Cat’s in the Cradle” and Limp Bizcut for their equally terrible cover of “Faith”
God, I hate that song. I hate how it romanticizes and perpetuates every stupid, inaccurate cliche about this city*. I hate how you hear it at every single public event of any kind. I hate his nonthreatening, Soul-Lite voice and the pure musical Velveeta of the arrangement.
Hate hate hate it.
- Well, mostly inaccurate; it really does rain a lot here.
Try the Cher cover sometime. You don’t know hate until you hear the Cher version.
Cher covered it?
It appeared in one of the best episodes ever of The X-Files. I think, under those controlled conditions, one can hear the song and survive.
Really? I’m in Memphis and I like the song a lot. We make sure to play that and Graceland when driving home from a long trip. He talks about Beale, Union (and Elvis being at Sun Studios there), Graceland (and the Jungle Room), the Blues (W.C. Handy), catfish (ok I think Crawfish would have been more relavent, since we do have the festival every year), a Reverend, Gospel, some guy playing piano down in Tunica (which is in Mississippi, not sure why he made it into the “Memphis” song). Now granted he doesn’t mention the crime, the bad parts of town, being $6 in the nation for allergens, and the traffic, but what city doesn’t have those things?
To me the song really summarizes Memphis, and when I leave it will bring back many good memories of the city. And Memphis is sung about more than any other city I believe, so we’ve got to be doing something right
Well, if you don’t like the song, there’s nothing anyone can say to convince you it’s any good.
But bear in mind, it’s a song BY an outsider about a SPECIFIC aspect of the city of Memphis. It’s not supposed to be an intimate portrait of the real city as experienced by someone who’s lived there his whole life. It’s about what the city’s musical heritage meant to a tourist who’s never been there before.
A young man with a love of theater might come to New York and spend a lot of time around Broadway. A young woman with a love of American history might visit Boston and hit every site along the Freedom Trail. If either of them later wrot e a poem or song about their experiences, a working stiff from Brooklyn or South Boston might scoff, “Geez, they don’t miss a single cliche. They’re not talking about the REAL New York or the REAL Boston, just about the typical tourist traps.”
Well, so what? Elvis meant a lot to millions of people… so while Memphis natives may (understandably) laugh at out-of-towners who come to Graceland to gawk at Elvis memorabilia, Marc Cohn had a spiritual experience there, and I’m sure many other visitors do, too.
Cut them some slack! The song is about Cohn’s feelings about the Mythical Memphis, not about the real city.
I believe that the practice is called “mashing”: the practice of combining two sound tracks together. It’s almost as grievous abuse of music as sampling.
Perfectly true. And I would probably have less of a problem with the song if the city weren’t, in the public consciousness, so completely locked into the image of “a city where stuff used to happen.” Memphis markets itself on Elvis, blues, and riverboats, the most recent of which died almost 30 years ago. (Sure, people still play blues here, but it’s always got a historical-reenactment feel to it.)
You know the Springsteen song “Glory Days”? This is a city that resolutely sticks to its “glory days.” Which is fine; there’s nothing wrong with preserving your history, as long as you don’t let it put a chokehold on your present and future.
There’s so much going on here; it’s a wonderful, thriving, bustling, exciting city, but very little of what I love about Memphis has anything to do with that song. (Except Elvis. I confess I’m a little Elvis-crazy.)
Also, the song itself really is just god-awful. If you changed the lyrics to something sweet about lost love, I’d still hate it.
(Whew. OK, I’m done ranting.)
Is it as bad as Kenny Rogers’ cover of “I Will Remember You”?
I think the mix by the radio station made it sound bad. FWIW, I love Lonestar’s version of the song.