Adam submitted this gem.
Amanda Palmer (The Dresden Dolls) answers some fan mail in her blog and talks a bit about songwriting. Amanda admits to using the melody from Sebadoh‘s 1994 “Skull”. She has a a great attitude about it. (Speaking of Amanda Palmer, check out her Kickstarter project that has raised over a MILLION DOLLARS for her tour!)
A Marieclaires asked: I would also like to know how right or wrong it is to subconsciously pick up melodies from other song writers, even if it’s from the classical era or maybe something you heard on tv that day. As an artist this has always been something that bothers me.
HA. the truth remains: “talent borrows, genius steals”. honestly, everything IS stolen and appropriated. EVERYTHING. from back to mozart to gaga to madonna, it’s all a continuum. theft is WAY better when you don’t know you’re doing it, though.
it was a year after i wrote “the jeep song” (on the dresden dolls’ first record) that i realized i stole (not borrowed, not slightly cribbed: STOLE) the opening melody straight out of a sebadoh song. i’d had no idea. i was REALLY EMBARRASSED. go listen: http://youtu.be/TRnmcqQgMWQ you’ll hear the rip-off in about 6 seconds.
but you know who cared? nobody.
not even lou barlow [of Sebadoh], when i told him. he thought it was nice.
so, yeah, no worries.everything is stolen….ish.if you can make a good song with frankensteined pieces from 6 other songs, go for it. i don’t care. as long as your song is its own new entity, with something new to reflect out of the mashed-up ashes.
So after listening to “The Jeep Song” I heard another distinct melody that reminded me of “I Have the Moon” by The Magnetic Fields. Note: All three bands here are from Massachusetts. And just for you Amy I put together my own “frankensteined” clip.
UPDATE: Thanks for the tweet Amanda!
try these comparisons.
verses of these 2
now we got these 2(forward to the choruses of these)
What!? That Shania Twain song sounds just like “Dancing Queen”! Also that ABBA track reminds me of Madonna “Into the Groove” (1985)
Travis, Just posted Abba vs. Shania Twain here:
The thing is, if you “frankenstein a song out of 6 different songs” yet the song is it’s own entity, you are essentially “borrowing” not “stealing”. To me, “stealing” is copying something exactly the way it is and straight off the tape, “borrowing” takes it’s influence (sometimes obvious, sometimes not) and makes something of it’s own with it.
But it’s all semantics anyways.