© Sing Better English, 2016
When you read or imagine a word, you create a physical shape and a ‘feeling’ inside your mind. The form adapts and flows. Heart holds one shape in the mind of a surgeon when she’s at work in the operating theatre and quite another when she’s at home, reading a precious love letter.
A great cover version lives its own life. As a child of the original, it carries DNA forwards, but shines on its own terms. You recognise the mother’s eyes or the father’s nose, but the face itself is new.
All singing is choice. Choice carves sound. Watch Birdy singing Bon Iver’s Skinny Love and you’ll see her curving her lips inwards and letting them rest together on the m as she sings my, my, my, my, my. Her pause on the round body of the m weighs down the flyaway y. It adds a layer of resigned melancholy to the word.
It’s a choice. Birdy doesn’t round her lips in the same way when she sings the other words that begin with m in Skinny Love: moment and morning. Why pause on the m of my but not the m of morning?
They want you to dance: