The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #22462 Message #3281203
Posted By: Q (Frank Staplin)
28-Dec-11 - 04:41 PM
Thread Name: Origins: Spanish Is the Loving Tongue
Subject: RE: Origins: Spanish Is the Loving Tongue
I'll tell the tune's story, as excerpted from Katie Lee, "Ten Thousand Goddam Cattle."
Gail Gardner and Katie were visiting Billy and Betty Simon at their Horse Camp. They discuss Dolores, no trace of which seems to remain, which inSpanish Archives in Santa Fe is listed as both Real de Dolores (1827) and "Old Placers"
Billy Simon plays "A Border Affair" on his guitar. Asked about "the right version," Billy says, "Right? I dunno it's right, it's the way I sing it."
Katie Lee writes, "A simple three-chord melody, no fancy minors, no bridge after the first four lines (where all the others versions change melodic line), only the same melody repeated again, all through the song. Any cowboy could sing it, hum it, play it and pass it on in one night's hearing. It is Billy's tune all right- before the non-cowboys got wind of it."
She goes on to discuss it as an "art song" used by Jan Peerce, Grace Moore and Lawrence Tibbett, often labeled "folk song."
She continues, "... In all likelihood one of those "arranged by's" is where the complicated part sprouted, Richard Dyer-Bennett's version is like that. I wrote several times asking if he'd written it but never got an answer.
Simon was asked where he got the tune. He was working for the Hays cattle Company and found Badger Clark's Sun and Saddle Leather. "I fooled around until I got me one that suited me pretty good; the words seemed to git married with the music." (He never took out copyright).
Katie Lee says "Texas" Jim Robertson sang the song as Billy Simon sings it. Victor P. 84. Credited to "Miller and Suede." (Miller stole a number of songs and put his name to them).
Fife and Fife credit Simon with the music. "Border Affair," "sung by Billy Simon," pp. 146-147, Cowboy and Western Songs, Text 1 by Clark. Fife American Collection, Utah State Univ.