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Unresolved Songs

Murray MacLeod 25 Dec 08 - 08:29 AM
Murray MacLeod 25 Dec 08 - 08:30 AM
Jack Campin 25 Dec 08 - 10:29 AM
Bill D 25 Dec 08 - 10:59 AM
The Sandman 25 Dec 08 - 02:06 PM
Leadfingers 25 Dec 08 - 04:47 PM
Stringsinger 25 Dec 08 - 05:28 PM
Murray MacLeod 25 Dec 08 - 06:38 PM
GUEST 25 Dec 08 - 08:53 PM
Uncle Phil 26 Dec 08 - 12:12 AM
Murray MacLeod 26 Dec 08 - 10:03 AM
Bob the Postman 26 Dec 08 - 10:14 AM
Arkie 26 Dec 08 - 10:36 AM
GUEST,Ken Brock 26 Dec 08 - 10:51 AM
Acorn4 26 Dec 08 - 11:00 AM
GUEST,Dave MacKenzie 26 Dec 08 - 11:40 AM
VirginiaTam 26 Dec 08 - 11:42 AM
GUEST,Bob Coltman 26 Dec 08 - 12:08 PM
Artful Codger 26 Dec 08 - 12:15 PM
Don Firth 26 Dec 08 - 01:04 PM
Jim McLean 26 Dec 08 - 05:30 PM
Artful Codger 26 Dec 08 - 06:52 PM
The Sandman 27 Dec 08 - 05:27 AM
Murray MacLeod 27 Dec 08 - 08:17 AM
Terry McDonald 27 Dec 08 - 08:47 AM
Bert 27 Dec 08 - 04:44 PM
The Sandman 27 Dec 08 - 04:47 PM
Terry McDonald 30 Dec 08 - 09:16 AM
Marje 30 Dec 08 - 10:19 AM
PoppaGator 30 Dec 08 - 11:53 AM
GUEST,Vicki Kelsey 30 Dec 08 - 12:13 PM
GUEST,Avatara 30 Dec 08 - 01:16 PM
dick greenhaus 30 Dec 08 - 02:32 PM
Terry McDonald 31 Dec 08 - 05:09 AM
Weasel 31 Dec 08 - 10:19 AM
GUEST,leeneia 31 Dec 08 - 12:07 PM
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Subject: Unresolved Songs
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 25 Dec 08 - 08:29 AM

By "unresolved" I mean those unusual songs which do not end neatly on the tonic note, but which "kind of hang in the air" as Don Firth so eloquently put it on the "F#" thread which prompted me to start this one.

These songs will normally end on the dominant.

Don put forward "I Know Where I'm Going" as an example and it is indeed a perfect example of what I mean.

Nick suggested "Both Sides the Tweed" but I am not so sure about that one ...

Another song of this type which occurred to me today is Ian Tyson's "Four Strong Winds"

There must me quite a few more.


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Subject: RE: Unresolved Songs
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 25 Dec 08 - 08:30 AM

must BE ...


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Subject: RE: Unresolved Songs
From: Jack Campin
Date: 25 Dec 08 - 10:29 AM

I have a few in the modes tutorial on my website.

"Souters of Selkirk" is probably the oddest.


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Subject: RE: Unresolved Songs
From: Bill D
Date: 25 Dec 08 - 10:59 AM

"Faraway Tom" comes to mind.


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Subject: RE: Unresolved Songs
From: The Sandman
Date: 25 Dec 08 - 02:06 PM

willie of the winesbury,this versionhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C0zAr1t6nTE&feature=channel_page


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Subject: RE: Unresolved Songs
From: Leadfingers
Date: 25 Dec 08 - 04:47 PM

Over The Hills and Far Away !


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Subject: RE: Unresolved Songs
From: Stringsinger
Date: 25 Dec 08 - 05:28 PM

"Come All Ye Fair and Tender Ladies"

"The Bonny Earl of Moray"


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Subject: RE: Unresolved Songs
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 25 Dec 08 - 06:38 PM

"Skye Boat Song" is somehat unresolved, it always makes me cringe when singers finish it off with a strident tonic.

"McPherson's Rant" is a classic of this type.


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Subject: RE: Unresolved Songs
From: GUEST
Date: 25 Dec 08 - 08:53 PM

The Beatles "Her Majesty" where for some reason they chopped off the last chord on Abbey Road.


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Subject: RE: Unresolved Songs
From: Uncle Phil
Date: 26 Dec 08 - 12:12 AM

Or Peter, Paul and Mary's version on "Leaving on a Jet Plane"
- Phil


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Subject: RE: Unresolved Songs
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 26 Dec 08 - 10:03 AM

Dick, I don't think your Willie o'Winsbury is an unresolved song.

It ends on the tonic note of the minor scale, like all songs in minor mode do .......


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Subject: RE: Unresolved Songs
From: Bob the Postman
Date: 26 Dec 08 - 10:14 AM

"Sonny's Dream" by Ron Hynes


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Subject: RE: Unresolved Songs
From: Arkie
Date: 26 Dec 08 - 10:36 AM

There are several versions of Willie Moore and the one I first heard and learned did not end on the usual stopping note.


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Subject: RE: Unresolved Songs
From: GUEST,Ken Brock
Date: 26 Dec 08 - 10:51 AM

Coventry Carol


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Subject: RE: Unresolved Songs
From: Acorn4
Date: 26 Dec 08 - 11:00 AM

"Braw Sailing on the Sea" as performed by Eileen McGann


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Subject: RE: Unresolved Songs
From: GUEST,Dave MacKenzie
Date: 26 Dec 08 - 11:40 AM

We have quite a few in Scotland, tunes and songs. Off the top of my head there's "the Jolly Beggar", "The Lewis Bridal Song (Mairi's Wedding)", "Mistress MacLeod of Raasay" and "The Black Bear".


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Subject: RE: Unresolved Songs
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 26 Dec 08 - 11:42 AM

Graham Pratt's "Merlin" - amazing.


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Subject: RE: Unresolved Songs
From: GUEST,Bob Coltman
Date: 26 Dec 08 - 12:08 PM

Surely one of the weirdest is John Jacob Niles' "Black is the Color." I well remember it put my mother's teeth on edge. Must have been a good few other people who couldn't stand how unresolved that one was.

Personally I always liked unresolved folksongs. We folkies don' need no steenkin' tonic note!

But I must say some of the popular orchestra song flourish endings that end up hanging like a corpse on a randomly selected note for a novelty effect give me the jimjams once in a while. Bob


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Subject: RE: Unresolved Songs
From: Artful Codger
Date: 26 Dec 08 - 12:15 PM

"Le long de la mer" (ends on the fourth)
"Texas Rangers" (fifth)

Many, many songs commonly sung in two parts (the "accompaniment" a third below most of the time) end on the the third. I've noticed this particularly in Slavic and Spanish songs of this type.


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Subject: RE: Unresolved Songs
From: Don Firth
Date: 26 Dec 08 - 01:04 PM

One needs to be a bit careful in this area, because sometimes a song that appears to end on a note other than the tonic might actually be modal.

One example is "The Great Silkie (Selchie) of Sule Skerry," the version sung by Joan Baez. It's in mixolydian mode. This mode is the same as a major scale, except that it has a flatted seventh. I think Joan does it in D – which is to say, like a D major scale with a C natural instead of a C#. The chords would be D (as the tonic chord), G (subdominant), and C (as the dominant rather than A), with Bm, Em, and Am also available whenever appropriate. So examining the chord structure, it seems to start and end on the dominant, but not so. I does end on the tonic—of the mixolydian mode.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Unresolved Songs
From: Jim McLean
Date: 26 Dec 08 - 05:30 PM

These are sometimes called 'circular' tunes in Scotland as for example the reel 'The Braes o' Balquhidder' because the dance could be continued without seeming to come to an obvious conclusion. 'Aye Waulkin' O' is another song example.


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Subject: RE: Unresolved Songs
From: Artful Codger
Date: 26 Dec 08 - 06:52 PM

You're right that "modes" can throw some people off. But this is far less likely when they hear tunes than when they read music from dots or tablature. Aurally, the true tonics are hard to mistake, whatever the mode--our making sense of music in customary ways depends on it. We even follow modal shifts, tonic shifts and combinations of the two without difficulty. A person may hear a Dorian tune and just assume it's minor (Aeolian)--albeit a little odd; nevertheless, he is unlikely to mistake where the tonic is. But with written music, we're guided by more abstract mental translations: key signature to major or minor (like there are no other choices.) That's where mistaking the actual tonic is more likely.

Note: The Selchie variants I recall fluctuate between Ionian and Mixolydian, and they begin and end on the fifth, relative to the tonal root. Apparently Baez's is rather different. A more standard example might be less confusing.


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Subject: RE: Unresolved Songs
From: The Sandman
Date: 27 Dec 08 - 05:27 AM

MURRAY,with the greatest respect, my version of Willie of the winesbury[as far asIam concerned]finishes on the subdominant chord,and has an unfinished sound,I believe I am also starting it on a g major arpeggio,there are parts of the tune wher an e minor chord is appropriate.,but it starts major tonic chord and finishes on the subdominant c major.here it is againhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C0zAr1t6nTE&feature=channel_page


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Subject: RE: Unresolved Songs
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 27 Dec 08 - 08:17 AM

Yes Dick, you are quite right, I should have listened closer, it is indeed a good example of a trad song ending on the subdominant. Can't be too many of those around ?


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Subject: RE: Unresolved Songs
From: Terry McDonald
Date: 27 Dec 08 - 08:47 AM

Bogie's Bonny Belle


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Subject: RE: Unresolved Songs
From: Bert
Date: 27 Dec 08 - 04:44 PM

Here's one of mine"


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Subject: RE: Unresolved Songs
From: The Sandman
Date: 27 Dec 08 - 04:47 PM

bogies bonny belle,correct,ends on dominant chord.


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Subject: RE: Unresolved Songs
From: Terry McDonald
Date: 30 Dec 08 - 09:16 AM

Just been playing and singing it, so.....Fair Annie


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Subject: RE: Unresolved Songs
From: Marje
Date: 30 Dec 08 - 10:19 AM

"Loving Hannah" in the version by Mary Black. Hear it here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qU9f-ZK5CHg

Lovely singing, worth a listen anyway.

Marje


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Subject: RE: Unresolved Songs
From: PoppaGator
Date: 30 Dec 08 - 11:53 AM

"Down to the River to Pray," currently under discussion in an old-but-recently-refreshed thread, is another example.

Makes you wanna just sing another verse, and then another, and another...


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Subject: RE: Unresolved Songs
From: GUEST,Vicki Kelsey
Date: 30 Dec 08 - 12:13 PM

How about Jerry Rasmussen's "Living on the River", and another of his with the end line in the chorus "the tracks have all gone rusty"


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Subject: RE: Unresolved Songs
From: GUEST,Avatara
Date: 30 Dec 08 - 01:16 PM

How about "Johnny is a Shoemaker"? If you sing this type of song unaccompanied,it usually tends to get higher and higher as the verses progress, (or lower and lower.) A good many Hymns are like this too, and you'll find that the organ player has to work the melody back to the starting note somehow.
               Another song which does this when sung without music is an Irish ballad called "As I roved out on a bright May morning, To view the meadows and blossoms gay....." That was on a record I had by Planxty.

                                                 AVATARA


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Subject: RE: Unresolved Songs
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 30 Dec 08 - 02:32 PM

Prolly the first one I evernoyiced was "Rakes of Mallow"


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Subject: RE: Unresolved Songs
From: Terry McDonald
Date: 31 Dec 08 - 05:09 AM

And another one, from Newfoundland this time - Let me Fish off Cape St Mary's.


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Subject: RE: Unresolved Songs
From: Weasel
Date: 31 Dec 08 - 10:19 AM

This version of Auld Lang Syne (on Youtube)fits the bill I think

Auld Lng Syne


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Subject: RE: Unresolved Songs
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 31 Dec 08 - 12:07 PM

You're right, Weasel. Thanks for the link.

I'm glad to see another person who plays guitar as I do - lots of flickering and a pick on the the thumb.

I learned a song off an LP by Winifred Smith which remains unresolved. I don't know the title, but the first verse is

Come all you pretty maidens,
whoever you be.
Don't place your affections
on a green willow tree.
The leaves they will wither,
the roots will decay.
My true love has left me
and wandered away.

The song shares elements with 'The Unconstant Lover' and 'The Dove She is a Pretty Bird.'


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