The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #10236 Message #3865213
Posted By: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
09-Jul-17 - 05:16 AM
Thread Name: Lyr ADD: Choucoune
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Choucoune
Haitian nationals have had full access to the North American copyright/publishing process since its inception. Monton & Durand contemporary Haitian classical-folk composer Justin Elie (1883 – 1931) was with Carl Fischer Music based in New York's East Village. Same house as occupying U.S.M.C. favorite son John Philip Sousa. Business is business. It was the Haitian national government that was out of control.
The second North American copyright for Choucoune, the first for a French-Creole version, was issued to American Katherine Dunham in 1946. Haitians would be hard pressed to name a more qualified Yank advocate for Haitian arts & culture.
Haiti's Choucoune is neither the oldest example of the tune in the document record (that would be Martinique's Colby) nor the most popular (that would be the Yank's Yellow Bird ). Haiti's was the most popular variation on the melody for the decade leading up to Harry Belafonte's calypso craze in 1956-57.
The Euro-American lefty folkie party line hasn't changed much since the Sun's 1957 editorial but I cannot locate a documented, retrievable reference of Choucoune, the M. Monton song, dated earlier than 1946.