A convoluted trail to the pain in my heart
I always love a juicy story of a misappropriated song. It's terrible when someone else co-opts your writing and makes it their own, and it seems like back in the day there used to be more of it with less complainin'.
So I listened with great interest over on the excellent Grace Potter blog This Is Somewhere when they unearthed a forgotten tune by one Irma Thomas, a soul singer from New Orleans:
Ruler of My Heart - Irma Thomas
If you have an ounce of love in your soul for Mr. Otis Redding (as I do) then you might hear more than an echo of this:
Pain In My Heart - Otis Redding
He called it a "re-interpretation," and to be sure, his undeniable soul-drenched stamp is all over that. But sounds to me like Irma laid down those original foundations (along with songwriter Allen Toussaint) and may be due a little more credit than just a footnote.
The reason I got started down this whole rabbit trail was because Grace Potter does a pretty smashing cover of it herself, and introduces it as being "actually written by a woman, but performed most famously by a man."
Represent, fair Grace!
Pain In My Heart (live) - Grace Potter & The Nocturnals
And you must watch this live performance, she is ferociously rad: