Song #23 on the Popdose Top 100 Covers list is “Me And Bobby McGee”, originally by Kris Kristofferson, and covered by Janis Joplin. Here’s Kristofferson’s original version:
I love Janis Joplin’s iconic version of this, but there’s something about Kristofferson’s voice that just gets to me. When he sings the line about how Bobby is “searching for that home, and I hope she finds it”, I believe him, and I can feel how much it hurts for him to say it. I doubt that one out of a hundred people who know this song have heard Kristofferson sing it – I have a version in my collection – and of all the unknown originals I’ve heard in this project, this one is by far the one that deserves greater visibility. Now here’s Janis:
I think the main difference to me, besides Janis’ unbeatable voice, is that I feel more of the joy of the relationship in her words, right up to the “I’d trade all my tomorrows for a single yesterday” line, where the loss really kicks in. I think I’ve decided that Kristofferson is singing from more years after losing Bobby than Janis is, and he’s looking back on it as someone who knows he’ll never match what he once had, whereas Janis is still young enough to hope for something like it to come along again. Just my opinion. What do you think?