A debate on the alteration of lyrics

A debate on the alteration of lyrics
A debate on the alteration of lyrics

Apparently, it is not the first time that a performer changes the lyrics of a song in a live performance, depending on the mores of the time.

Nor is it the first time Alcestis Protopsaltis has done it with “Adonis”.

Several felt uncomfortable that he replaced the word “fat” in Lina Nikolakopoulou’s piece – St. Kraunakis participating in the impressions about the need for political correctness to “protect” social groups from insult

Stamatis Kraunakis himself in 2013 changed many verses of the piece transforming it into a “complaint” against Adonis Georgiadis and his wife in the middle of the forecourt of ERT, at the then concerts for the famous “black”.

Stelios Kazantzidis in the live performance of “I’m a body” sings “I’m going down into the mud/ every day deeper” instead of “I’m falling down the cliff/ every day deeper” (which he says in the original lyrics of Kostas Virvos).

Tania Tsanaklidou in several recent appearances closes “Mom, I’m getting old” with the lyrics “beautiful, new and happy” (instead of “unfortunate”).

Indicative of international production, Scorpions just last year modified their anthem ‘The Wind of Change’ following the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

“Singing ‘Wind of Change’ the way we’ve always sung it is no longer something I can imagine,” the band’s singer Klaus Meine told German newspaper Die Zeit. “It’s not right to romanticize Russia with lyrics like: ‘I’m heading to Moscow/ Crossing Gorky Park… Let the balalaika ring.’

The band changed the lyrics to: “Now listen to my heart/ Says Ukraine/ Waiting for the wind to change direction.”

Alcestis Protopsalti opened – unwittingly, in the first reading – one of the well-known cultural wars that are fought mainly on social media.

Several felt uncomfortable that he replaced the word “fat” in Lina Nikolakopoulou’s piece – St. Kraunakis participating in the impressions about the need for political correctness to “protect” social groups from insult.

Others defended precisely the right of the performers to change the songs as products that follow their times.

Two balancing views of artists, Martha Frindzilas and Stathis Drogosis, host “TA NEA” in the relevant folder.

“Judge it case by case”

By Stathis Drogosi

“It is a phenomenon that we are monitoring. I have removed words from a song that I used to sing on my program. “Surely we’ll go together and get there / you in the dirt and me in jail”, I did “you in the party and me in jail”.

Of course, we must not forget that the songs, at the moment they are created, reflect their era. I would never remove from Prometheus the phrase “I sit and weep like a woman”.

The reality of that time was and I have to transfer it to the present. It does not mean that this is my faith, my belief. It belongs to the author, to each author, to each creator of the specific era.

It would be hard for me to get something out if the song wasn’t complete, that is, removing what can be annoying. That is, if I deprived the song of something essential, I would not replace words. I think we have to deal with it on a case-by-case basis.

The reason we abolish entire eras and beliefs must be strong. It is a phenomenon in any case that I am also watching and I want to see how it will develop.

It has happened in the past, it is nothing new.

The word “negro” for example has not been used for four decades.

We should consider the issue today in primary production.

He who now writes a song, for example, should take into account certain things.

On the other hand, the moment we are discussing whether a word should be said, we see on TV “Rapid heartbeat on the table” where the cuff was a means of education.

I think we are out of touch with reality.”

“Discrimination is not fixed with a word”

By Martha Fryndzila

“The decision to remove and replace words from a piece can be made by the modern singer in consultation with the composer – of course with the performer who made the song famous. It is at his discretion.

But if we want to approach things on a more realistic basis, we should say that people can most of the time distinguish when speech is abusive and when it simply reflects the mores and customs of the time.

It is up to the listener to discern what a word, a phrase or an image in art can mean. That is, he understands the artist’s intention. Greek song has fanatical listeners and people who know history.

For example, in Lina Nikolakopoulou’s song “Let’s go to Adonis for coffee” they are sure to understand that Lina Nikolakopoulou had no intention of offending this particular group of our fellow human beings when she wrote it.

As a society we clearly do well and want to protect and wish not to injure each other.

On the other hand, however, we must place things, in this case creation and art, in the context they were given.

It would be unreasonable to demand that we remove entire pieces or literary texts just to express our opposition to past behavior which may have been offensive.

In order for us all to live together in a society that respects each other, we must learn respect for the different from the school years. But that is another process.

The social discriminations that exist now are not corrected by changing the language with which we address ourselves.

He wants social inclusion policies, not just removing a word.”

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The article is in Greek

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