Entertainment Music

Famous sound-alike songs

Sean Fitzgerald, QMI Agency
Lady Gaga, Madonna, Billy Joe Armstrong, Nic Cester and Iggy Pop. (Reuters/WENN.com)

Lady Gaga, Madonna, Billy Joe Armstrong, Nic Cester and Iggy Pop. (Reuters/WENN.com)

The first time you heard Fun's catchy new tune Some Nights on the radio, it probably stayed in your head the entire day.

Or was it a different song?

The distinct hook and chord progression in the second single from the New York City three-piece sounds eerily like the one in Simon and Garfunkel's 1970 hit, Cecilia. Searching for "Some Nights Cecilia" on YouTube generates clever mash-ups of the two songs, including live blends by duets and entire choruses of performers.



Now, we're not hating on Fun here - obviously, there are only twelve notes in a scale, and only a select number of chords to choose from. Frontman Nate Reuss even told Billboard.com that he was channelling Paul Simon's Graceland album while writing the song. But should Simon receive songwriting credit?

Reuss isn't the first person to look to the past for inspiration. Here's a look at four other sound-a-likes.

Madonna - Express Yourself/Lady Gaga - Born This Way


Within hours of the release of Lady Gaga's Born This Way in February 2011, Twitter users and radio DJs all began asking the same question - doesn't this sound like Madonna's Express Yourself? Madge addressed the situation by commenting that Born This Way was a "wonderful way to redo" her 1989 hit, and she poked fun at the resemblance by sprinkling lines from Born This Way into her performance of Express Yourself on her MDNA tour. "The only similarities are the chord progression," Gaga told NME in April 2011. "It's the same one that's been in disco music for the last 50 years."

Chicago - 25 or 6 to 4/Green Day - Brain Stew



Green Day's ode to insomnia arrived in 1996 with five descending guitar chords that you could recognize instantly - probably because you heard the same progression 26 years earlier, in Chicago's 25 or 6 to 4. After the parallel introductions, both songs eventually set off in different directions, but you can't deny the similarities between the two tunes - especially since both songs feature lyrics about staying up late.

The Beatles - Lady Madonna/Sublime - What I Got



Everything in pop music comes back to The Beatles, right? Sublime's 1996 hit, about staying positive in difficult circumstances, can still be heard on modern rock radio playlists today. But the melody in the first verse mirrors the vocal line of the 1968 Beatles song Lady Madonna, almost note-for-note.

Iggy Pop - Lust For Life/Jet - Are You Gonna Be My Girl



Australian rock band Jet found fame in 2003 with the vigorous single Are You Gonna Be My Girl, but the song's driving drums and bouncy guitars sounded curiously like that song from the Trainspotting soundtrack - Iggy Pop's Lust For Life. In an interview with Uptown magazine, Jet drummer Chris Cester said he eventually discussed the issue with Iggy himself - and after Iggy shrugged the comparison off, both musicians realized that they were actually looking for inspiration from the same place, The Supremes' You Can't Hurry Love.