As a songwriter, I try to respect other songwriters - no matter how talented or famous they may be. So naturally, one thing that really bothers me is when a musician plays a song by someone else, and doesn't give that person any credit for the song! Lately I've been noticing more and more people performing covers at open mic nights and letting the crowd think that it is an original song, or even worse - leading them to believe that its their own original song - and never mentioning later that it was a cover! Why does this seem to be a growing trend? In fact, it has probably happened more times than I've realized since there are so many songs out there that I'm unfamiliar with. I'm not against people covering songs; in fact, I think it can be beneficial for musicians to learn covers.
It should be common sense to acknowledge the original artist and give them the credit they deserve. Its the least you can do if you are using their creation to benefit yourself, whether it be compensation, popularity, or the personal joy and sense of accomplishment you got from learning it. As a songwriter, I would hate for someone to use my song for their own gain and then not give me credit for creating it!
Its gotten to the point where I have come very close to exclaiming, "Nice COVER of that song! Gotta love *insert band name here*!" because leading people to believe that a cover song is your own is a very selfish thing to do. Lets all learn some manners and stop stealing, please.
...with that said, here is a cover song that I decided to record today!