Old folk songs are the absolute best in my assessment. There are so many variations of presentation. I listen to them and then I sing them in my own way. I hear something else. Often, fellow musicians hear me and I notice a quick odd look, as though that's not quite right. And then, they settle into hearing me belt it out my way. I sing it the way I hear it in my mind.
While I am aware that others interpreted differently - even the songwriter wrote it differently - I can't help but sing it the way I hear it in my mind. I'm aware of the "that's not right" looks but it is right for me. It works for me. It is my heart and spirit. It's just how I hear it and need to express it.
There is nothing more symbolic of my life than that. I hear it and see it a different way. I sing it a different way. It's just inside of me and needs to come out that way. Long ago I stopped minding that others think it's not quite "right". It's me. It's not meant to be unkind or uncaring in any form. I mean no disrespect to anyone who came before me - the songwriter or the performer. It's just how I hear it and am not afraid to share it.
Over the course of time I've come to enjoy that I hear things differently. It has made me a more introspective person. It has meant that the sharing is not more important than my own joy. I just own it for myself. If others connect with it, then it's a bonus.
The moral of the story for me is that creation is not accomplished by copy. Creation is something altogether different. And different is me.