#SLS ~ 5/23/21

What a cool prompt today. Jim gives us … Comparisons where you take two songs and discuss an association between them. You may want to discuss their context and highlight the similarities and differences between both chosen songs. Are they the same music genre, or from the same era, or played at the same speed?

I’m trying to conform to the general theme of comparing two songs but actually I’m using two different versions of the same song. Known as covers. An homage of sorts. Sometimes the cover is better than the original. Other times maybe not.

My song choice today is Killing me Softly With His Song. The two versions I chose are actually both covers. Lori Lieberman, the original singer of this song, didn’t chart. Then a year later, 1973ish Roberta Flack knocked it outta the park, taking the song to #1. That is the version I first heard and remember.

My sister in law taught herself to play guitar and one fall evening sitting around a campfire at the lake she took out her guitar to play for us and sang this song. I was about 9 or 10, simply enamored. “Hey my sister in law is an artist!” A pretty good one to be able to sound just like Roberta. At least to me. There were other songs she sang that night but Killing Me Softly With His Song is the only one I recall. Even 45 years later, if I close my eyes, I can see the family, all of us together. Heaven on earth.

Dang! Someone must be cutting onions in here. Yep I’m a sentimental sap. Can’t help it and maybe I don’t want to help it. I’ve finally learned, it is ok to feel the feels.

My comparison notes: different genre, Roberta’s is more folksy/pop and the Fugees’ is more hip hop, though the beginning of the Fugees’ starts out almost the same, one clear crisp voice. Then comes the harmony of the Fugees. Two different eras, the 70s and the 90s. Ultimately the lyrics are different. The Fugees really changed it up in a few places. Both secured number 1 spots which is kinda cool. I can’t pick a favorite, so I won’t. Without further ado, here they are! Hope you enjoy!!

Strumming my pain with his fingers
Singing my life with his words
Killing me softly with his song
Killing me softly with his song
Telling my whole life with his words
Killing me softly with his song

I heard he sang a good song
I heard he had a style
And so I came to see him
To listen for a while
And there he was this young boy
A stranger to my eyes

Strumming my pain with his fingers
Singing my life with his words
Killing me softly with his song
Killing me softly with his song
Telling my whole life with his words
Killing me softly with his song

I felt all flushed with fever
Embarrassed by the crowd
I felt he found my letters
And read each one out loud
I prayed that he would finish
But he just kept right on

Strumming my pain with his fingers
Singing my life with his words
Killing me softly with his song
Killing me softly with his song
Telling my whole life with his words
Killing me softly with his song

He sang as if he knew me
In all my dark despair
And then he looked right through me
As if I wasn’t there
And he just kept on singing
Singing clear and strong

Strumming my pain with his fingers
Singing my life with his words
Killing me softly with his song
Killing me softly with his song
Telling my whole life with his words
Killing me softly with his song

Strumming my pain with his fingers
Singing my life with his words
Killing me softly with his song
Killing me softly with his song
Telling my whole life with his words
Killing me (softly)

He was strumming my pain
Yeah, he was singing my life
Killing me softly with his song
Killing me softly with his song
Telling my whole life with his words
Killing me softly
With his song

[Lauryn:]
Strumming my pain with his fingers,
Singing my life with his words,
Killing me softly with his song,
Killing me softly with his song,
Telling my whole life with his words,
Killing me softly with his song.

[Fugees:]
Hi, yo yea yea.
This is Wyclef, Refugee Camp
L-Boogie up in here…
Prazrel (Prazrel up in here! Ha! Ha!)
Lil’ Base sits up there on the base (Refugees up in here)
While I’m on this I got my girl L one time, one time!
Hey yo L you know you got the lyrics!

I heard he sang a good song, I heard he had a style,
And so I came to see him and listened for a while.
And there he was this young boy, a stranger to my eyes,

Strumming my pain with his fingers (one time),
Singing my life with his words (two times),
Killing me softly with this song,
Killing me softly with this song,
Telling my whole life with his words,
Killing me softly with his song.

I felt all flushed with fever, embarrassed by the crowd,
I felt he found my letters and read each one out loud.
I prayed that he would finish, but he just kept right on…

Strumming my pain with his fingers (one time),
Singing my life with his words (two times),
Killing me softly with his song,
Killing me softly with his song,
Telling my whole life with his words,
Killing me softly with his song

[Clef:]
Yo L-Boy, take it to the bridge

Come on

[Lauryn:]
Strumming my pain with his fingers (yes, he was singing),
Singing my life with his words,
Killing me softly with his song,
Killing me softly with his song,
Telling my whole life with his words,
Killing me softly with his song.

[Fading:]
Strumming my pain
Put your hands. Put your hands for L-Boogie from the Refugee Camp
Refugees up in here
Singing my life with his words,
You know how we’re doing
L-Boogie up in here…
Wyclef
Prazrel
Said, L-Boogie up in here…
Wyclef up in here
My man Lil’ Base
Prazrel up in here
Jerry one time
We got Warren up in here
Killing me softly with his song,
Outside is up in here
Killing me softly with his song,
Refugee Camp
Refugee Camp
Refugee Camp
My ladies, my ladies up in here
We got … up in here

Everybody got a breaking point, kid. And they read on you. The family niggas have read on you. That’s why we gotta be prepared. It took way out … need.

All the details are here at the wiki

As always, more to come.

22 thoughts on “#SLS ~ 5/23/21

  1. I love both versions, but I am going to say I love The Fugees version more because I grew up with that version. Also music by Wyclef Jean and Lauryn Hill were staples in my music library when I was growing up.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Roberta Flack’s song is a long time favorite of mine. I’d recently heard the Fugee’s version, and thought I’d not like it … but I really do! Different but still emotional. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Jilly, what a cool choice for today. I loved Roberta Flack’s version and was sure I would hate any other cover, but I have to tell you when the Fugees version came out I found myself loving it for it’s throwback to the Flack’s version and the added twist of their unique originality. I, too, love them both, but Roberta Flack holds a special place in my musical heart.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I wasn’t too sure about the Fugees version myself with all my emotional connections to the Roberta Flack version. I think you’re right in that the Fugees kept enough like her version to pay homage.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Killing Me Softly was written by Charles Fox and Norman Gimbel, and it was inspired by a girl attending a Don McLean concert. This girl hears of this young performer and his talents, so she goes to see him perform to see if he is as talented as she has heard that he was. When she gets there, his songs are describing all of her emotions and feelings, almost as if he had somehow read a journal or diary of hers she felt like he had found her personal letters and was reading each one of them out loud. The singer related her feelings so well to the song that was being sung that she became emotional, it really hit home. She felt like the singer sang as if he knew her, in all of her dark despair, and that he looked right through her. This is such a lovely song Jill, thanks for featuring it today.

    Liked by 1 person

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