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  • Writer's pictureTommy Sangchompuphen

Swift's Covers and Cover

Yesterday, I wrote about Taylor Swift and explained what some of her songs can teach us about the bar exam. Today, I want to write about … Taylor Swift.

Swift received the Songwriter-Artist of the Decade at the Nashville Songwriters Association International's Nashville Songwriter Awards just a few months ago. She is the first female musician to win that award.

It should be undisputed that she’s an incredible songwriter—never mind the fact that Swift and her legal team recently settled a five-year copyright infringement lawsuit against two songwriters in December 2022. Just “shake it off.”

Even though Swift is recognized as one of the best songwriters of her generation—if not of all time—she also produces a handful of cover versions of her favorite songs and has collaborated with some of the industry's greatest musicians.

I usually don’t like covered songs, especially by artists who do little to change the original version, like Weezer’s “Africa” or Guns N’ Rose’s “Live and Let Die.” Sure, those are great versions, but except for the different vocals, they do little to make the classics their own.

That’s what makes some of Swift’s covers so wonderful. She usually owns the lyrics and makes them her own.

So, let’s discuss “cover,” in the context of contracts, which was tested in on the Multistate Essay Examination in February 2022.

Cover refers to an act to mitigate damages by a buyer when there has been a breach of a contract by a seller. It usually refers to a situation where a seller has agreed to sell goods to a buyer and fails to perform.

In the case of cover, the buyer is entitled to the difference between the contract price and the cost of buying replacement goods, plus incidental and consequential damages, but less any expenses saved due to the breach by the seller.

Incidental damages typically include expenses reasonably incurred by a buyer in inspection, receipt, transportation, care, and custody of goods rightfully rejected and other expenses reasonably incident to the seller’s breach, and by the seller in storing, shipping, returning, and reselling the goods as a result of the buyer’s breach.

Consequential damages are special damages and reflect losses over and above standard expectation damages. They arise because of the nonbreaching party’s particular circumstances, and most often they consist of lost profits. These damages may be recovered only if, at the time the contract was made, a reasonable person would have foreseen the damages as a probable result of a breach.

If the buyer chooses the cover measure, the buyer must make a reasonable contract for substitute goods in good faith and without unreasonable delay.

Okay, enough with the law. Here some of my favorite covers where the artists reimagined the originals:

Miley Cyrus – “My Way” (original by Frank Sinatra)

Emily Brown – “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)” (original by the Eurythmics)

Kygo and Whitney Houston – “Higher Love” (original by Steve Winwood)

Tina Turner – “Help!” (original by The Beatles)

Paul Anka – “Eye of the Tiger” (original by Survivor)

What are some of your favorites?


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