Song of the Day #694: ‘Every Little Thing (He) Does is Magic’ – Shawn Colvin

[Over the next five days, I’m handing the reins over to a guest blogger… frequent commenter Amy. Treat her kindly.]

This week I’ll be sharing some of the covers that have most intrigued me over the years. I’m starting with the one that has probably delighted me more than any other.

Found on the album Cover Girl, Shawn Colvin’s ‘Every Little Thing [He] Does is Magic’ is a perfect example of what a good cover should be. It captures all the things that work best about the original, then it offers surprises and twists that make it the cover artist’s own.

The first time I heard today’s SOTD, I couldn’t stop grinning. Literally. And I have the same reaction every single time I hear it. Something in the way she plucks the guitar to create a sort of staccato rhythm to accompany her lilting voice makes me feel as though I’m eavesdropping on this woman as she recognizes just how much in love she is. And the feeling is outrageously contagious. This is one of those songs I can play over and over and over again.

As much as I love the original song by The Police, I love Shawn Colvin’s take on it even more.

Though I’ve tried before to tell (him)
Of the feelings I have for (him) in my heart
Every time that I come near (him)
I just lose my nerve
As I’ve done from the start

Chorus :
Every little thing (he) does is magic
Everything he do just turns me on
Even though my life before was tragic
Now I know my love for (him) goes on

Do I have to tell the story
Of a thousand rainy days
Since we first met
It’s a big enough umbrella
But it’s always me that ends up getting wet


I resolve to call (him) up a thousand times a day
And ask (him) if (he’ll) marry me in some old fashioned way
But my silent fears have gripped me
Long before I reach the phone
Long before my tongue has tripped me
Must I always be alone?

7 thoughts on “Song of the Day #694: ‘Every Little Thing (He) Does is Magic’ – Shawn Colvin

  1. Dana says:

    How cute and wonderful is this guest blogger?:)

    I agree that this is a great cover. It seems to me few people can or should attempt to cover Sting’s songs. This song in another artist’s hands could have gone terribly wrong, but Colvin makes it fresh and new while, as you said, preserving all that was great in the original version.

    Good song to start the week and I look forward to the next 4 entries by this new, exciting and beautiful guest blogger.

  2. Alex says:

    I too, welcome the new, wonderful guest blogger. I first heard this song while shopping and stopped in my tracks. I thought it was so great. I agree she gives this classic it’s own sound while preserving the feel of the original. I would disagree with Dana’s assessment that Sting songs shouldn’t be covered. Some, no, most of his songs go on and on, giving the distinct impression that he just loves the sound of his own voice.

  3. Maddie says:

    I love this song, and I agree that it is one i could listen to many times in a row 🙂 She sings the song with alot of emotion and really seems to connect with it…(as an american idol judge would say :P) I usually don’t like covers more than the original, but when the cover mixes up the song or really makes it their own, then the song can be as good or better than the original. I’m looking forward to more posts on this awesome blog by my mom! ^_~

  4. Kerrie says:

    I feel like I have heard a portion of this cover in a commercial somewhere. I can’t remember the context, but I know I have heard it. It has a nice arrangement and I love the quirky sound that runs throughout.

    I don’t think there’s any harm in covering classics like this. Some will succeed and some will fail but I think this one does a good job. I can’t say I like it better than the original. I think there is something about the music (not necessarily the singing – not to disparage Sting….) in the original that I prefer.

    Great start to the week as you “cover” the blog. 🙂 Can’t wait to see what else is in store.

  5. Amy says:

    Kerrie, it’s funny you say that. I hadn’t intended to do this theme week as a metaphor for a person “covering” the blog, but it did occur to me this morning that it does come across that way.

    As for what commercial the song might have been in…. I had no luck finding the connection. Apparently, it did appear on the soundtrack to Simply Irresistible. Any chance that’s what you’re thinking of?

  6. pegclifton says:

    I agree with Dana, it’s lovely to have such an exciting, beautiful and may I add thoughtful guest blogger this week. I don’t know this song, but it’s very sweet, and she has a pretty voice. I’m looking forward to the rest of the week!

  7. Clay says:

    What a treasure trove of good will for the guest blogger! I hope the honeymoon ends quickly and you all soon subject her to the same harsh scrutiny you’re used to dishing out on the blog!

    I’d never heard this version until Amy played it for me several years ago. I like it a lot.

    While I generally prefer original versions of songs, I do love to see the work of great songwriters covered. Often another artist can bring some new facet of the song to life or at least freshen it up with a new perspective.

    I’m looking forward to the rest of this week’s selections (and to the break from posting)!

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