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Stolen melodies/Bob Dylan

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Leadfingers 15 Jun 12 - 07:47 AM
dick greenhaus 15 Jun 12 - 09:35 PM
Stringsinger 16 Jun 12 - 10:09 AM
Barbara Shaw 16 Jun 12 - 03:36 PM
ollaimh 16 Jun 12 - 07:00 PM
McGrath of Harlow 16 Jun 12 - 07:09 PM
GUEST 20 Aug 13 - 09:37 PM
McGrath of Harlow 21 Aug 13 - 02:15 PM
pavane 21 Aug 13 - 05:13 PM
GUEST,Dylan. 22 Aug 13 - 09:40 AM
pavane 22 Aug 13 - 02:08 PM
dick greenhaus 23 Aug 13 - 10:57 AM
Stringsinger 23 Aug 13 - 03:33 PM
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Subject: RE: Stolen melodies/Bob Dylan
From: Leadfingers
Date: 15 Jun 12 - 07:47 AM

There ARE occasions when lyrics can be borrowed - Last weekend I heard a song protesting aout the UK Coal Industry from the point of view of an ex miner - One verse finished with the line "Hey Buddy , can you spare a mine" which is a superb use of someone else's lyric in a different context.


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Subject: RE: Stolen melodies/Bob Dylan
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 15 Jun 12 - 09:35 PM

If they'r copyrighted, the copyright holder can certainly try to prevent others from singing the other songs.


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Subject: RE: Stolen melodies/Bob Dylan
From: Stringsinger
Date: 16 Jun 12 - 10:09 AM

All folk tunes are nicked. Folklorists call them variants. Tunes are vehicles for lyric stories
and may be slightly modified but their function is not a melody per se as you would find in classical or Broadway show tunes, but as beds for story-telling.

Copyright laws are difficult to establish with folk melodies. The rule used to be eight
consecutive bars of music to establish composership but that's easy to change.


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Subject: RE: Stolen melodies/Bob Dylan
From: Barbara Shaw
Date: 16 Jun 12 - 03:36 PM

I have occasionally written a new song and wondered if someone had already written it. I'm sure that my musical "signature" is a product of everything I've heard throughout my life, and it would be no surprise to find fragments from older tunes, phrases from older lyrics and poems in my music, despite my convictions of creativity.

Not to compare myself with Dylan, but his lyrics, his message and his delivery make just about any melody he uses his own, whether he originated it (what does that even mean?) or not. Well said, Whistle Stop and others.


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Subject: RE: Stolen melodies/Bob Dylan
From: ollaimh
Date: 16 Jun 12 - 07:00 PM

dylan got sued by dimminic behan for stealing the tune of "the patriot game" for his "with god on our side"

within reason i think it's folk porocess but if you "borrow" another song writers originnal tune then you should acknowwledge it.

i just heard "the banks of newfoundland" to the tune of "the lakes of ponchartrain", a very nice version.

the nova scotia version of fennario has a totally different tune and it's called "bonnie barbry o" as does the nova scotia version of "barbra alan" totally different tune. you can find both either in helen creighton or the canadian government folk song collection from the sixties(i have a cd reissue but can't remember the title"

so sometimes old words have new tunes.

i suspect the tunes are scottish, however as helen creughton collected a lot of those from the guysborough and halifax county shores where there were a lot more scotts immigrants than english.


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Subject: RE: Stolen melodies/Bob Dylan
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 16 Jun 12 - 07:09 PM

No new thing under the sun - and that includes tunes.


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Subject: RE: Stolen melodies/Bob Dylan
From: GUEST
Date: 20 Aug 13 - 09:37 PM

The woist "songs" zimmy has done are the heroic cause songs, like emmet till, hurricane, death of hattie carroll, etc., etc..

One of His best is "Tangled Up In Blue" is that stolen/borrowed? "positively 4th Street" and "How does it feel?" also "Hey, Crawl out your window" are the ones that totally sold me on his creative ability. I heard him first in L.A. on the Les Claypool radio show. Les played his first album and asked everybody what did they think? I thought he was some older guy, as old as cisco, or elliot, and thought he couldn't sing very well, but some of his songs were really quite good, if you were into "civil rights" etc.. But by his 2nd album, I thought he was the sheet! Some time around then Les Claypool came on the air and ranted negative on Dylan and swore if people kept calling requests for him he was going to quit. Which he did.


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Subject: RE: Stolen melodies/Bob Dylan
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 21 Aug 13 - 02:15 PM

Not too much about civil right in his first album. Maybe ' Song to Woody?'


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Subject: RE: Stolen melodies/Bob Dylan
From: pavane
Date: 21 Aug 13 - 05:13 PM

Catspaw's posting above (2009) was far from being a complete list, of course.

Just for one example: Ballad in Plain D = I once loved a lass aka The week before Easter

But I do agree that Dylan added a great deal in most cases.


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Subject: RE: Stolen melodies/Bob Dylan
From: GUEST,Dylan.
Date: 22 Aug 13 - 09:40 AM

I am not a fan of Bob Dylan, but having met him many years ago I can honestly say he may not have ever written a single tune but he wrote some fantastic words.

So lets give credit where credits due.

I write, but like Dylan, I tend to add lines or verses to already existing songs. I like to think I am complimenting, not stealing.

A little charity please.

Evan Johnson


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Subject: RE: Stolen melodies/Bob Dylan
From: pavane
Date: 22 Aug 13 - 02:08 PM

In my biography of Samuel Chappuzeau (Who's he, you may say, but an ancestor of mine) you can read how Moliere 'borrowed' words from Samuel and also from Cyrano de Bergerac. Nothing new, this was known over 200 years ago.

Moliere is of course revered by the French, in the same way that we (Brits) revere Shakespeare.


http://mellenpress.com/mellenpress.cfm?bookid=8608&pc=9


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Subject: RE: Stolen melodies/Bob Dylan
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 23 Aug 13 - 10:57 AM

It's only stealing if you copyright it and attempt to stop others from using the tune.


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Subject: RE: Stolen melodies/Bob Dylan
From: Stringsinger
Date: 23 Aug 13 - 03:33 PM

The tune in folk music is always changing. Jazz players have done their versions
of popular tunes and renamed them. I don't see a problem here. I don't agree that
Dylan's versions are superior to the originals. I have no problem with someone taking an idea or story and changing it to suit a different time or his/her personality.

Art is thievery. If I put new lyrics to Nottamun Town or the Patriot Game and Dylan's lawyers attempted to sue me, then I would have a problem with that attempt.

The folk process runs counter to music copyright laws in this country controlled by the licensing agencies such as ASCAP, BMI and SESAC.

I think as Jean Ritchie says that it's good form to acknowledge the source for one's song if it is a tune. I also know that sometimes a song can be rewritten to improve it. Folk songs are rewritten (called variants) to reflect the time of the person doing the rewriting.

A.P. Carter rewrote songs to fit in with the Carter Family concerts.   Ie: "I Will Twine Midst The Ringlets of My Raven Black Hair" composed by English ladies, became "Wildwood Flower", a traditional staple.

Folk singers do this, and so what? "Solidarity Forever", an important contemporary statement about unionism based on the "Battle Hymn of the Republic" is being sung today in the halls of Wisconsin State House. Everything here is a matter of context.

Pete Seeger, Woody Guthrie, Dylan and others use trad tunes for new ideas.
I do it myself. The copyright laws are at fault here. They need to be revamped to include the folk process.


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