Cover Song Of The Month: Midnight Train To Georgia

Midnight Train to Georgia

I can assure you that "Window Raisin' Granny" will not appear on cover song of the month (Image via Wikipedia)


The Blurt Cover Song Of The Month this month features the Gladys Knight and The Pips classic, Midnight Train To Georgia and a cover version of the song by the Indigo Girls. 

I am aware that everyone on the planet has heard Gladys and the Pips do the song, with the possible exception of some Somalian pirates. If those pirates had heard the song, they surely would have become involved in a more socially acceptable line of work. 

Given that everyone on the planet knows the song, it seems a little silly to bother providing a video of Gladys Knight and The Pips performing the song. I’m going to do it anyhow because, as we know, I am not above doing silly things. 

Gladys And The Pips Show How It Is Done

Before I show the video, I will advance  my opinion that performances such as this one prove that The Pips were equally important to this version of the song as Gladys. Would the lyric “I’ll be with him” have been as effective without The Pips response “I know you will”? Does the story come into sharper focus for you when Gladys sings that the man was dreaming that “someday he’d be a star”? Not as much as it does when The Pips chime in with “A superstar but he didn’t get far”. 

Now behold equally both Gladys Knight and The Pips: 

I Am Proven Wrong By Indigo Girls

I will freely admit that for a long time I believed that no one should ever dare cover this song. I was certain that no one would give it the treatment  we all know it deserved. I also thought that whoever did take the task on would not properly honor what The Pips did on that record. 

I’ll now admit that I was wrong. The version by Indigo Girls is soulful and true to the original, even The Pips vocal part. I’m just going to tell you I love this version of the song. I have no way of knowing if the backing vocalists on this version danced like The Pips. Let’s face it, sometimes the original ought not be touched, Pip dancing is one of those times. 

So there’s this months cover song. 

Before I send you on to the poll and comments, I want to address a very limited group of Blurt readers. These are the readers who have seen the video of me and a great friend skillfully performing The Pips part of this song. I know the images contained in that video were the first thing that popped into your minds when you saw the topic of this post. I am sorry to have gotten your hopes up, but that video is not in my hands. The person who does have it has agreed not to release it unless I run for the Senate. 

Now, the poll and your comments – 

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36 Comments on “Cover Song Of The Month: Midnight Train To Georgia”

  1. Betty says:

    Great version. Cannot, however, picture one of the Indigo Girls in a pimped-out leisure suit (unless, perhaps, it was denim.) Were you wearing a suit like that in your performance?

  2. Blond Stranger says:

    Damnit…get out of my head! You KNOW that that was the very first thing I thought of when I saw the title of the post! And it was a Japanese baseball jersey…….

    • omawarisan says:

      Ha ha! Yes, I absolutely knew that’s where you’d go and I’m proud of you for doing so. I still am not running for Senate.

      The Bear and I gave The Pips a run for their money, and we there were only two of us. And while I’m bragging, no Pip could wear that jersey like me.

      Is it November yet? No? How about now?

      • Hippie Cahier says:

        Well now we all have to see it. I’m thinking Blond Stranger can help us out. What’s your price?

        I can’t watch the videos at the moment, but I’m in the pro-Indigo camp because, as you know, my secret wish is to be the third, token straight Indigo Girl. I practice my egg shaker ALL the time.

        • omawarisan says:

          Egg shakers are not for amatures, I’m impressed that you’ve taken them on.

          Oh no, no, no. The Blond Stranger is the veteran of many Omawari-ventures and is far too wise and principled to be swayed. That video wont be seen until it is part of my campaign ads for Senate.

          My slogan is going to be “Isn’t it time to send someone to Washington who will do this…”

  3. I love the Indigo Girls! I like their version as much as the original of this song (oops – did I just say that out loud?).

    Thanks for sharing this with us…I might have missed this!


    • omawarisan says:

      I know, it doesn’t make any sense that it is that good. I saw it on the cd, bought it and thought I’d just delete that song from my iPod. But nooooooooo, they had to go and do a great job of it.

  4. Brooke says:

    Love that song. And I have to say I had doubt in the Indigo Girls but I listened – and I liked. Nice find, O!

  5. Wendi says:

    Midnight Train is a fav and I have to say that Indigo Girls did it justice. Totally got the feel of the original. Must now go see if this is on iTunes because iNeeds.

    • omawarisan says:

      Welcome! There’s always room for more Marylanders here – I miss home!

      I don’t know if the song is on a studio album, this version is from the live album 1200 Curfews.

      • Wendi says:

        1200 Curfews, good to know. Nothing much really changes up here in the Free State. Don’t know if that is a good thing or a bad thing.

        PS. J’adore your Jolie Pez project. Can’t wait to see more of her adventures.

  6. I voted for the original but I have to admit that you’ve given me a new respect both for the original song and the Indigo Girls artistry.

    I usually go for the original because of memories such as Jose Feliciano’s rendering of Light My Fire, (but there are exceptions such as Weird Al Yankovic’s Another One Rides the Bus).

  7. spencercourt says:

    My “issue” with the Indigo Girls’ version is that the lead singer’s voice is too “silky” and smooth compared to the “husky” voice of Gladys. So you can guess how i voted…

    Looks like I’m in the minority. Which is where I often am…lol!

    • HippieCahier says:

      Hi Spencer….I’m not sure which voice you’re considering the lead, because there’s a lot of Amy (whose voice is probably not considered by many to be silky, but there’s someone else, neither Amy nor Emily singing. I had to check it out. Turns out there are a lot of guest musicians on it. I couldn’t find anything “authoritative,” but someone posted on YouTube that her name is Gail Ann Dorsey.

    • omawarisan says:

      No, well, wait, yes you are- but the minority is closing the gap after an initial pro-indigo surge.

  8. HippieCahier says:

    And now for my very own box!

    First, wouldn’t it be great to see Somali Pirate Pips?

    Second, now that I’ve heard it, I stand by my blind vote earlier. I just knew it would be great. I don’t know why I don’t have this album, except that it came out while I was pressed for cash.

    Third, I knew they’d done other covers, (All Along the Watchtower comes to mind), but I didn’t know they’d done Romeo & Juliet or Wisteria and Dancing Shoes. The lyrics to the latter have been in my head for the past several weeks. So now I’m off to see if I can find a bootleg of a tape from 1980. Thanks for the new project.

    Fourth, someone called me a superstar today and I did a silly fake Molly Shannon. I wish I’d thought to do the Pips, “Superstar but (she) didn’t get far.” I want a do-over. 🙂

  9. pattypunker says:

    pip dancing dominates!

  10. linlah says:

    Just seeing the album cover made my head hurt in a swaying back and forth to the rythum kind of way.

  11. jammer5 says:

    One of the most iconic songs ever done. It still chokes me up sometimes hearing it. And it’s an excellent tribute. Gracias for both. Nice way to wake up.

  12. Pie says:

    I’d never heard of Indigo Girls before today, but thanks for putting this up. It’s a very good version indeed and true to the original.

    Although I did vote for Indigo Girls because they made a decent cover version, I have to agree with Jammer5. No one can sing like Gladys knight. She did a great Bond theme, though why she sings “got a licence to kilt” in the chorus is anyone’s guess.

    Watching her video made me smile. There was something about those all male groups or backing singers with their Galleon sail trousers and purple velvet that looked so cool. How did these guys manage to make what would look like very silly dances flawless and hip? How did they do that? eh? eh?…

    • omawarisan says:

      I can help you on the kilt question, well, sort of.

      Kilt is the slang mispronunciation of the past tense of the verb to kill. For example:

      Do you know who kilt Bob?

      I hear it a lot in my profession in the south east US.

      Why she’d sing it is a mystery to me. If you come over while the Olympics are in London, Gladys has a restaurant in Atlanta that is fairly well rated.

  13. Kate says:

    I’ve been a fan of the Indigo Girls for half my life at this point — there’s not much they do that I don’t love. Good choice this month, Oma!

  14. Thomas says:

    I like to listen & feel at the same time…this one goes right through me.

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