The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #22462   Message #1065062
Posted By: Q (Frank Staplin)
03-Dec-03 - 05:45 PM
Thread Name: Origins: Spanish Is the Loving Tongue
Subject: RE: Spanish Is the Loving Tongue
Thanks, Joe, for all the variations on the tune. All are basically the same, with "personal" touches. The one already in the DT, Silber and Robinson, perhaps puts it the simplest but the one from Fife may be the most authentic, since the Fifes indicate that it is as "sung by Billy Simon," who set the Badger Clark poem to music in 1925 (White).

In a recent thread (64902), Cruiser pointed to a cd, Cowboy Ceilidh, by David Wilkie and Cowboy Celtic, which yoked titles for "A Border Affair" (Spanish is a Loving Tongue) and "Nil Sé Ina Lá," an Irish drinking song (Versions in threads 4295, 6728, 21169, 27678 and possibly others). Notes indicate that in an Irish session, Wilkie was told that "A Border Affair" had the same melody.

None of the versions that I can find of the Irish melody are similar to the slow, nostalgic tune set to Badger Clark's "A Border Affair," attributed to Bill Simon and set to sheet music by Dorothy Youmans. Philippa (4295, Dec. 3, 2003) says she knows of no version of the Irish song with a similar tune.

Unless someone can come up with a definite link to an Irish source tune, the melody should remain credited to Billy Simon.
The sheet music in Fife and Fife, 1969, "Cowboy and Western Songs," # 52, pp. 146-147, "Border Affair," is cited as "sung by Billy Simon."

The story of the song is given in White, John I., 1975, "Git Along, Little Dogies," pp. 130-132, and in Lee, Katie, 1976, "Ten Thousand Goddam Cattle," pp. 226-227.
Billy Simon did record the song on an LP in 1972 (in his 80s at the time). Cowboy Songs, 2 (AFF 33-2) Arizona Friends of Folklore at Northern Arizona University.

An early recording worth noting is a 78 single, Victor P-84, by "Texas" Jim Robertson. Katie Lee says he sang it the way Billy Simon sang it. Other pre-1975 recordings by Richard Dyer-Bennett, George Gillespie, Todd Dylan, Milt Okum, Dorothy Olsen, Bob Ross, Glen Yarborough, Herb Strauss, Ian and Sylvia, and Katie Lee.