Of all Elton John’s back-catalog, the black-eyed bruiser Saturday Night’s Alright For Fighting, the fist-pumping Crocodile Rock, or even B-B-B Bennie And The Jets, Your Song has always been the doddery old lady of the Watford legend’s canon.
It’s one of those songs couples that ’don’t much care for music’ have played at their wedding. A song I’d rather die then have played at my funeral, or something. Its endless cover versions don’t help its case either. John ’challenge-you-to-explain-why-I’m-famous’ Barrowman has done it, as has Ewan McGregor and the world’s premier Frank Sinatra tribute act Harry Connick Jr.
In 2010, the urine-scented blue-rinse bore-fest reared its wrinkley face once again on the John Lewis Christmas advert sung by beiger than beige dullness peddler Ellie Goulding with typically affected tweeness. So when Watford artist Mama Chill sent us her take on the tune I was anything but excited.
Press play and yes, those same old piano strains: ‘it’s a little bit funny...’ that people keep covering this awful song. I’d made it through 20 seconds of this unremarkable, tad club-singer version, pencil sharpened ready to jab myself to distraction, when with a shout of ‘so here I am’ everything changed.
Without warning the song lurches into a full on rap song, with a township-house back beat and big fat wobbly bass line. Well readers, I nearly choked on my Coco-Pops!
Okay so the rapping is a bit obvious, and there’s an ‘80s guitar widdling over the top of things but, dare I say it, it is pretty catchy. Every so often it flips back to the original before it’s smashed apart again – ‘So go and tell everybody I stole your song’, she blurts.
For novelty factor alone this is worth a listen, it’s genuinally not like any version you’ve heard before. If goody-goody Goulding’s cover was the weasly milk-monitor who helped the original cross the road, Mama Chill’s take is the spotty skater kid that whizzes past and knocks it over.
Listen to (I Stole) Your Song at soundcloud.com/mamachill, www.reverbnation.com/mamachill, www.myspace.com/mamachill