Song Lyric Sunday – Same But Different

A different kind of prompt for this week’s Song Lyric Sunday, hosted by our friend, Jim Adams. He has asked us to compare two songs and discuss the comparison between them. I have chosen two songs, both with the same name, “Somebody to Love”, but with different lyrics and from different decades.

Queen’s version was written by Freddie Mercury and recorded in 1976. The other by Justin Bieber was written by Heather Bright and The Stereotypes, originally for Usher who recorded it as a demo. Usher was Bieber’s mentor and the song was eventually recorded by Bieber in 2010. Both songs are about needing someone to love but they are quite different in depth and lyrics. Queen’s song is deep and soul-searching and Bieber’s is a light-hearted song about young love you can dance to. Both are good, popular songs.

 

Somebody to Love by Queen 

This song is sung in a gospel style, with the voices of Freddie Mercury, Brian May and Roger Taylor multitracked to sound like a choir. According to Brian May, the gospel sound was inspired by the music of Aretha Franklin.

Freddie Mercury wrote this. The lyrics reflect a man calling out to God, asking why he works so hard, but can’t find love. At the end of the song, he finds hope and decides he will not accept defeat.

This is widely reputed to have been Freddie Mercury’s favorite song he ever wrote.

Queen performed this with Elton John on lead vocals in Paris in January 1997.

On the Greatest Hits III album, which is a tribute to Freddie Mercury, George Michael sings lead.

Anne Hathaway sang this during a musical number in the 2004 movie Ella Enchanted.

Peter Hince, the head of Queen’s road crew, recalled to Mojo magazine September 2009 that “among the road crew there were songs you liked and songs you didn’t like.” He added that this was, “always one of Queen’s best. The studio version was very polished, but on-stage there was so much more guts to it.”

Hince recalled to Mojo the video was “filmed at Wessex Studios while they were making the A Day at the Races album.” He added: “Aesthetically, you had to have all four around the microphone, but John (Deacon) didn’t sing on the records. By his own admission he didn’t have the voice. He did sing on-stage but the crew always knew to keep the fader very low.”

Several bootleg recordings and live videos exist where evidently John’s mic was not turned down, and it becomes painfully obvious that the above statement is true – one particular live performance of “In The Lap Of The Gods” is wince-inducing!

In October 2009 a remake by the cast of the Fox TV musical comedy Glee returned this song to #28 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #26 on the UK singles chart. Their version was featured in the episode “The Rhodes Not Taken.”

Frank Turner covered this for the B-side to his vinyl release of “I Still Believe” in 2011.

The Voice contestant Jordan Smith’s rendition took the song back into the upper reaches of the Hot 100. The week after his performance of the song on the December 7, 2015 episode of the singing competition, Smith’s version debuted at #21 on the chart.

This was used in a commercial for the Honda Ridgeline that debuted during the 2016 Super Bowl. In the spot, a flock of sheep sing this song, having heard it when they were transported in a Ridgeline with a truck-bed audio system, which we’re sure is quite handy for teaching songs to sheep.

Courtesy of Songfacts

Lyrics
 
Each morning I get up I die a little
Can barely stand on my feet (take a look at yourself)
Take a look in the mirror and cry
Lord, what you’re doing to me
I have spent all my years in believing you
But I just can’t get no relief, Lord
Somebody uh (somebody) somebody (somebody)
Can anybody find me somebody to love?

I work (he works hard) hard every day of my life
I work ’til I ache my bones
At the end (at the end of the day) I take home my hard earned pay all on my own
I go down on my knees
And I start to pray (praise the Lord)
‘Til the tears run down from my eyes
Lord, somebody uh (somebody) somebody (somebody)
Can anybody find me somebody to love?

(He works hard) everyday (everyday)
I try and I try and I try
But everybody wants to put me down
They say I’m goin’ crazy
They say I got a lot of water in my brain
I got no common sense
I got nobody left to believe
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah

Oh, Lord
Somebody uh (somebody) somebody (somebody)
Can anybody find me somebody to love?

(Can anybody find me somebody to love?)
Got no feel, I got no rhythm
I just keep losing my beat
I’m alright, I’m alright (he’s alright)
I ain’t gonna face no defeat
I just gotta get out of this prison cell
Someday I’m gonna be free, Lord

Find me somebody to love
Find me somebody to love
Find me somebody to love
Find me somebody to love
Find me somebody to love
Find me somebody to love
Find me somebody to love
Find me somebody to love
Find me somebody to love
Somebody (somebody) somebody (somebody)
Somebody find me, somebody find me somebody to love
Can anybody find me
Somebody to come on, love, yeah

Find me somebody to love
Find me somebody to love
Find me somebody, somebody, somebody to love (find me somebody to love)
Find me, find me, find me, find me uh somebody to love
Find me somebody to love
Find me somebody to love (anybody, anywhere)
Somebody, somebody to love yeah yeah oh (find me somebody to love)Writer/s: Freddie Mercury

 
Publisher: Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC
Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind

Somebody to Love by Justin Bieber

Blogger-turned-music mogul Perez Hilton played a role in the making of this song, as it was he who hooked up Los Angeles-based production team, Stereotypes, with Justin’s people. “I’m so involved in music now, and I’m working with a lot of artists, I’ve been meeting with a lot of producers,” Hilton explained to MTV News. “I met with this camp in the Valley, they’re called Stereotypes. They’re these up-and-coming producers, and they played me a lot of their music, and one of their songs, the first time I heard it, I was like, ‘This is a smash. This is a huge hit.’ And then I started thinking, ‘This might be a great song for Justin Bieber.’ So I sent it over to JB’s camp. Justin loved it. They recorded the song, it’s going to be on his new album, and it’s going to be a huge hit for him.”

In this dance track Justin professes his love for a girl and tells her he’d do anything for her. “It’s basically about somebody to love,” he told MTV News. “It’s cool. It’s young. It’s nice. I think it’s like a universal record.”

The song should not be confused with those of the same title by Jefferson Airplane, Queen or Leighton Meester.

The music video for the official remix version featuring Usher was directed by Dave Meyers. The clip features Justin dancing along with several dance crews along a black backdrop, plus a scene with ninjas and a flame outline. The featured dance crews include, Randy Jackson Presents America’s Best Dance Crew season 5 winners Poreotics, and season 3’s runner up Beat Freaks. Singer/actress and model Katerina Graham makes a cameo in a scene with Poreotics and Justin’s best friend Ryan Butler, who previously appeared in the “One Time” promo, also appears alongside Bieber, wearing a T-shirt advertising his Twitter account.

Myers said that he wanted this video to be more playful, stating, “[We’re] bringing Justin into the world of dance on this one, giving Justin the chance to integrate to different styles of dance. So we kind of kept it simple with the art direction, just real graphic and really highlighting the dance. No big story lines, no crowds of people, just real clean.”

The song was originally written by Heather Bright for Usher. Bright’s other credits include Britney Spears’ Femme Fatale track, “Trouble For Me.” As well as Heather Bright, the other accredited writers are Justin and The Stereotypes, though according to her, the Canadian singer contributed little to the penning of the track. In an interview with Free Wired, Bright criticized artists who fail to pay full publishing fees on songs they didn’t write. “Rihanna takes publishing. Justin Bieber takes publishing. Kanye West takes publishing,” she said “On all the stuff that they don’t write, they take publishing.” Bright added that after “Somebody To Love” was released, she was surprised to see that Justin had received songwriting credit for her work. “How did he get a writing credit? That’s an interesting question,” she said. “I don’t know…”

Bright’s controversial comments were intended to defend Britney Spears, who has been criticized for not writing her songs. In a blog Bright gave props to Britney saying she doesn’t take publishing royalties that don’t belong to her and called her team a “bonafide class act.”

Virginia R&B singer Devin Copeland and songwriter Mareio Overton sued Justin Bieber and Usher, claiming ownership of this cut. The duo claimed the tune contains numerous lyrical and stylistic similarities to a copyrighted song they wrote in 2008 by the same name, which was presented by music scouts to Usher, with a view for him recording it for his own album Raymond v. Raymond.

A federal judge in Virginia dismissed the copyright infringement suit on January 5, 2017. The suit was dismissed “with prejudice” meaning that it can’t be re-filed.

Courtesy of Songfacts

LYRICS

{Drumma Boy)

Said you’ll never give away your heart again  
I’ll be knockin’ til you let me in  
I know you told me, you’d rather be lonely  
You don’t even know me  
That’s why I no longer wanna be a stranger  

Sorry you put your trust in others and they let you down  
(let you down)
And all the secrets an unknown evidence now in the open that you found, oh
(that you found, oh)
Cried yourself to sleep so many nights said you’d never again  
I’m not the one you hold it against  
Baby its not my blame

Yeah you independent as hell  
And doin’ it by yourself  
But what you gon’ do when the night time get cold  
I know you told me, you’d rather be lonely (lonely)
You don’t even know me  
I ain’t moving out the way for nothing, I’m stubborn  

Cause you said you’d never, give away your heart again  
I’ll be knockin’ til you let me in  
I know you told me, you’d rather be lonely  
(I want the title of your closest friend)  
You don’t even know me  
That’s why I no longer wanna be a stranger  

Tell me  
What I gotta do
What I gotta do
What I gotta do, do
What I gotta do
What I gotta do
What I gotta do
Yeah  

Your stuck inside no matter how hard you try to forget  
(to forget)
Don’t you wish there was a button we could reset  
And make it easy  
But you can’t take back the decision that you made to love  
No, oh no  
I know its the one that you regretting, not too proud of, no
Because you keep tellin’ me  

Yeah you independent as hell  
And doin’ it by yourself  
But what you gone do when the night time get cold  
I know you told me, you’d rather be lonely  
You don’t even know me  
I ain’t moving out the way for nothing, I’m stubborn  

Cause you said you’d never give away your heart again  
I’ll be knockin til you let me in  
I know you told me, you’d rather be lonely  
(I wan the title of your closest friend, baby)  
You don’t even know me  
That’s why I no longer wanna be a stranger  

Baby tell me  
What I gotta do
What I gotta do
What I gotta do

Baby tell me
What I gotta do
What I gotta do
What I gotta do

I remember the break up  
And the condition that my heart was in  
But I would never surrender  
No no  
I gotta be stronger, there’s nothing time can’t heal  
Girl, I know your scarred  
All I ask is a chance to come in and do my part  
It’s nothing but fear and you’ve been holding on since  
Too under pressure and I see us sinking in  

Said you’ll never give away your heart again  
I’ll be knockin’ til you let me in  
I know you told me, you’d rather be lonely  
You don’t even know me  
That’s why I no longer wanna be a stranger  

What I gotta do
What I gotta do
What I gotta do

What I gotta do
What I gotta do
What I gotta do

  11 comments for “Song Lyric Sunday – Same But Different

  1. May 22, 2021 at 10:34 pm

    I really like the Queen song. This was a great interpretation of the prompt Christine using two different songs with the same name.

    • Christine Bolton
      May 22, 2021 at 10:42 pm

      Thanks Jim. They really were opposite ends of the spectrum, but they were both great to listen to/watch ☺️

  2. May 23, 2021 at 11:46 am

    It is hard to beat anything by Freddie Mercury and Queen. I was never a Bieber fan, but I enjoyed your contrast of the songs.

    • Christine Bolton
      May 23, 2021 at 12:45 pm

      I have to agree with you there Maggie. Usher saved it for me! ☺️👍

  3. May 23, 2021 at 12:55 pm

    Justin always surprises me. I’d never heard this one before. Of course Freddy is always the king!

    • Christine Bolton
      May 23, 2021 at 4:41 pm

      Yes he certainly is/was 🥲

  4. May 23, 2021 at 2:25 pm

    I’m in agreement with the others, Freddie & Queen will always reign supreme, but the other song wasn’t horrible😉😆and the video was fun.🎶💃🏼

    • Christine Bolton
      May 23, 2021 at 4:40 pm

      My thoughts exactly! Usher saved Bieber 🤣

  5. May 27, 2021 at 4:52 pm

    Of course Queen songs are great! I’ve not really heard much of Bieber, but this is a fun song and video. Good way to do the prompt by having the songs with the same name. 🙂

  6. aisasami
    May 30, 2021 at 11:40 am

    Justin Bieber was someone who my sister idolozied when she was little. I couldn’t care less. But, I do like the Queen song!

    • Christine Bolton
      May 30, 2021 at 12:17 pm

      Thanks Amy. Yes Queen was much better ☺️

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