Hearing the Familiar Differently

I heard a song completely out of context this morning. It was a country song played by a jazz artist. Merle Haggard covered by John Scofield. I have to tell you, I liked it.

Here’s the power of the message. I have heard the original, “Mama Tried,” either actively listening or as background music, for years. It’s a regretful song set to a catchy tune. Haggard released it in 1968, so its been around nearly fifty years. The story is imprinted from so much listening.

When I heard Scofield’s version, I was still in the story, but hearing it from a different place.

They’re both songs, but they’re very different. Haggard said what he wanted in 2:16. There was a three-minute limit on song length to get airplay at that time. (There’s more on the story behind the song here)

Scofield and his bandmates on the Country For Old Men album stretch it out another three minutes, coming in at 5:18.

The original is simply about the story. The cover is like a baker working a roll of dough. “What if we stretch it here and punch it there? Let’s knead it a bit. In fact, why don’t each of you work it your own way. We’ll all meet up in time to put it in the oven.”

Does your story have that power? Is it imprinting with your customers the way you want to be thought of? Maybe you can share it from a different perspective and delight an entirely new audience.