Bob Dylan, Kesha, and more artists are revamping some classic first-dance tunes with same-sex pronouns on a new EP titled Universal Love: Wedding Songs Reimagined.
Dylan recorded the 1929 standard “She’s Funny That Way” with male pronouns. The EP’s executive producer, Rob Kaplan, said Dylan was quick to agree to the project. “[It] wasn’t just ‘yes, I’ll do this,’ It was ‘hey, I have an idea for a song,'” he told The New York Times.
Universal Love features six songs from both LGBTQ and straight artists: Kesha reimagined a Janis Joplin hit as “I Need a Woman to Love”; St. Vincent created an electro-rock cover of “And Then He Kissed Me” as “And Then She Kissed Me.” Ben Gibbard, frontman of Death Cab for Cutie, chose one of the Beatles’ love songs, “And I Love Her,” changed to “And I Love Him.” The EP also features a version of “My Girl” as “My Guy,” covered by Kele Okereke, and a big-band version of “Mad About the Boy” changed to “Girl” by Valerie June.
“If you look at the history of pop music, love songs have predominantly come from one heterosexual perspective,” Tom Murphy, a co-producer of Universal Love, told the Times. “If we view music as something that brings people together, shouldn’t these popular songs be open to everyone?”
The album was funded by MGM International Resorts, intended to give wedding song options to same-sex couples (The Times reports that gay weddings account for between 20 percent and 30 percent of the ceremonies performed at the company’s 15 hotels in Las Vegas).
Universal Love EP will be released April 6. You can listen to the songs now on Spotify.