When he delivers a song that later becomes popular, the singer-songwriter is just its creator and first performer. He has no control over how others will fix it and the song's later life is quite another story. The secondary fates experienced by the 10 songs below are instructive in this regard.
∙ 1960 ∙ Where have all the flowers gone (Pete Seeger) ∙ 1961 ∙ She moved through the fair (Irish trad.) ∙ The lion sleeps tonight (the Tokens) ∙ 1964 ∙ House of the rising sun (USA 1933) ∙ 1965 ∙ Subterranean homesick blues (Bob Dylan) ∙ 1966 ∙ Hey Joe (Bill Roberts1962) ∙ 1967 ∙ Without her (Harry Nilsson) ∙ SUZANNE (Leonard Cohen) ∙ 1968 ∙ Those were the days (USSR 1925) ∙ 1969 ∙ Streets of London (Ralph McTell) ∙
SUZANNE ..if pop music was a woman it could be Suzanne, because...
''.. you know that she's half-crazy but that's why you want to be there
And she feeds you tea and oranges that come all the way from China
And just when you mean to tell her that you have no love to give her
Then she gets you on her wavelength
And she lets the river answer that you've always been her lover [..]
And the sun pours down like honey on our lady of the harbor
And she shows you where to look among the garbage and the flowers
There are heroes in the seaweed, there are children in the morning
They are leaning out for love and they wil lean that way forever
While Suzanne holds her mirror
And you want to travel with her, and you want to travel blind
And you know that you can trust her
For she's touched your perfect body with her mind..''
In the video-clip below, Leonard Cohen tells how happy he feels having lost the rights related to this mind-boggling song, covers of which by world famous artists include: