Monday, June 25, 2007

"One of Us" by....Alanis Morissette?!

Most everyone knows that the song "One of Us" (you know the song, the one with the lyric "What if God was one of us?") was performed by Joan Osborne. Well, it turns out, not quite most everyone. In director and screen writer Kevin Smith's MySpace blog, he talks about finding an error in a brief article on God (the Judaeo-Christian one) in the movies, including Evan Almighty by Anita Modak-Truran, for the Clarion Ledger (in Jackson, Mississippi). The article begins with the words, "'What if God was one of us?' whines Alanis Morissette in a nasal lament. 'Just a slob like one of us.'"

Here I should point out that "One of Us" was first recorded by Joan Osborne on her 1995 debut album Relish. It was written by Eric Bazilian of The Hooters (who would perform it live in concert). The song ultimately hit #4 on the Billboard charts. What is more, looking over Alanis Morisette's discography reveals that no point has she ever recorded the song. One has to wonder how someone could make such a huge mistake. That having been said, it seems to be a common error. There are apparently a number of lyrics sites which mistakenly attributes "One of Us" to Alanis Morissette. As to how this could happen, I can only figure that there are a huge number of people who apparently think that Joan Osborne sounds like Alanis Morissette.

Naturally, Smith emailed Modak-Truran and pointed out her error. Surprisingly she still persisted in believing it that Morissette had performed the song, even after Smith had presented a plethora of evidence that Osborne had and Morissette had not. I have to say that I am still a bit puzzled how a writer for a newspaper could make such a glaring error. As I said above, perhaps some people think Osborne sounds like Morissette and there are certainly a number of lyrics sites that attribute "One of Us" to Morissette, but a quick check of Morissette's discography (and on multiple sites, at that) should convince anyone that Alanis Morissette never performed the song. I do suppose that all of us make errors in writing (heaven knows, I have), and mistaking Osborne for Morissette may be natural for some. At the same time, however, I can't help but think that going to the trouble of double and triple checking one's information is a good idea. At any rate, I do find it odd that attributing "One of Us" to Alanis Morissette is a common mistake...

1 comment:

d. chedwick bryant said...

Bob dylan and Joan Osborne were always pranking each other when they preformed together. She was done performing and headed to the bar at this club. after she settled in with a drink, Bob came onstage and praised her performance, then he said "joan and i is gonna sing a song together"
very flustered, joan jumped up and headed for the stage... then Bob said.."but not now."