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Folk borrowing from pop rather than vice-versa

MGM·Lion 08 Sep 09 - 05:00 AM
Leadfingers 08 Sep 09 - 05:29 AM
Leadfingers 08 Sep 09 - 05:30 AM
Bryn Pugh 08 Sep 09 - 07:20 AM
MGM·Lion 08 Sep 09 - 09:01 AM
Jack Campin 08 Sep 09 - 09:50 AM
M.Ted 08 Sep 09 - 10:09 AM
EBarnacle 08 Sep 09 - 10:21 AM
MGM·Lion 08 Sep 09 - 10:27 AM
Acorn4 08 Sep 09 - 10:42 AM
Jack Campin 08 Sep 09 - 11:02 AM
M.Ted 08 Sep 09 - 11:32 AM
MGM·Lion 08 Sep 09 - 12:21 PM
MGM·Lion 08 Sep 09 - 02:09 PM
pdq 08 Sep 09 - 02:10 PM
Bryn Pugh 09 Sep 09 - 07:08 AM
Mark Ross 09 Sep 09 - 10:42 AM
MGM·Lion 24 Mar 11 - 02:44 PM
GUEST,henryp 25 Mar 11 - 09:17 AM
GUEST,ripov 25 Mar 11 - 10:07 AM
melodeonboy 25 Mar 11 - 11:13 AM
MGM·Lion 25 Mar 11 - 11:15 AM
RoyH (Burl) 25 Mar 11 - 12:08 PM
GUEST,Alan Whittle 25 Mar 11 - 11:39 PM
GUEST,ripov 26 Mar 11 - 04:15 PM
GUEST,ripov 26 Mar 11 - 04:41 PM
MGM·Lion 26 Mar 11 - 04:47 PM
GUEST,glueman 26 Mar 11 - 07:30 PM
Reinhard 27 Mar 11 - 01:41 AM
MGM·Lion 27 Mar 11 - 02:35 AM
ripov 27 Mar 11 - 03:51 AM
GUEST,glueman 27 Mar 11 - 04:08 AM
Silas 27 Mar 11 - 06:17 AM
GUEST 16 Jun 11 - 02:41 AM
GUEST,Peter Laban 16 Jun 11 - 03:47 AM
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Subject: Folk borrowing from pop rather than v.v.
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 08 Sep 09 - 05:00 AM

Many examples of pop songs taking tunes from folk: eg 'The Old Homing Waltz' from 'Streets of Laredo'. Can only think offhand of one vice-versa example in contemp folk:-

Who else has noticed similarity of tune of Malvina Reynolds', taken up & much spread abroad by Pete Seeger, 'Little Boxes', to that pop hit Guy Mitchell sang in the early 50s, 'There's a Pawnshop On the Corner in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania'?

Any other examples spring to mind?


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Subject: RE: Folk borrowing from pop rather than v.v.
From: Leadfingers
Date: 08 Sep 09 - 05:29 AM

Quite a few Contemporary Comic songs have 'borrowed' tunes from the Hit Parade - I have 'Vindaloo' to the tune of


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Subject: RE: Folk borrowing from pop rather than v.v.
From: Leadfingers
Date: 08 Sep 09 - 05:30 AM

OOOPS !! Cant remeember the original ! amd hit submit in error


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Subject: RE: Folk borrowing from pop rather than v.v.
From: Bryn Pugh
Date: 08 Sep 09 - 07:20 AM

Yes, but 'Streets of Laredo' blagged the tune from 'Bold Phelim Brady, the Bard of Armagh', surely ?


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Subject: RE: Folk borrowing from pop rather than v.v.
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 08 Sep 09 - 09:01 AM

Indeed: I know Sts of Laredo an older tune than the cowboys' adopting it for one of their settings of The Unfortunate Rake/St James Hospital &c [there is also Lee Tharin's Barroom, e.g., to another tune]. But it is surely the cowboy version of that originally Irish tune, well-known in US & sung by Burl Ives, that the writer of Old Homing Waltz would have taken it directly from and reworked to his own lyrics?

Meanwhile, any more vice-versa examples, of a pop-2-folk process, which is what I am really seeking?


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Subject: RE: Folk borrowing from pop rather than v.v.
From: Jack Campin
Date: 08 Sep 09 - 09:50 AM

The earliest known version of the "Streets of Laredo" tune is Scottish Gaelic, noted by Burns near Inverness in the 1780s and made into a mega-hit by him as "The Banks of the Devon" (which got all over the English-speaking world and was used for innumerable other texts). Since the Gaelic words associated with it then were about the '45 rebellion and written near the time, it must have been around in Scotland before that.

"The Bard of Armagh" was written by Thomas Campbell in Germany in 1801. Since he'd been brought up in Glasgow and Edinburgh and had never been to Ireland, he surely must have pastiched Burns, just like everybody else who used the same tune at the same time. There's no evidence for any earlier existence of the tune in Ireland, and even if it did come from there originally, it's irrelevant. Anybody who sings that melody now is part of a chain of transmission that goes through Burns and the Highlands.

"Pawnshop on the Corner"/"Little Boxes" sounds to me like a Continental European dance tune. Pittsburgh would be a likely place for such a tune to acquire an American text. I'd bet it's much older than the 1950s.

Phil Cunningham's instrumental tune "Sarah" (featured prominently in his TV series on Scottish music) is based on the music-hall number "She was poor but she was honest" - pop to folk but after a hundred year interval.


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Subject: RE: Folk borrowing from pop rather than v.v.
From: M.Ted
Date: 08 Sep 09 - 10:09 AM

Sorry I missed this thread when I posted the Guy Mitchell YouTube video on the other thread.
Listen to It's Almost Tomorrow and think about "Puff the Magic Dragon", in waltz tempo.


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Subject: RE: Folk borrowing from pop rather than v.v.
From: EBarnacle
Date: 08 Sep 09 - 10:21 AM

There has been a lot of discussion of this issue. Melodies go back and forth depending on what the writer is exposed to. Consider the discussions about Music Hall/Vaudeville being used as a source for chanteys. Pete Seeger and Lennie Bernstein both wrote similar melodies to songs about the same time. When I asked Pete about it, he commented that both were probably based upon "Fair Harvard."


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Subject: RE: Folk borrowing from pop rather than v.v.
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 08 Sep 09 - 10:27 AM

I hear the resemblance, M.Ted; but can you confirm the comparative dates of Puff & Almost Tomorrow? Which actually came first? Pawnshop On Corner [1952] certainly considerably predated Little Boxes [1961]; but was yet recent enough still to be in Malvina R's mind. As to whether I consider it a deliberate or subliminal borrowing: I have no idea.


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Subject: RE: Folk borrowing from pop rather than v.v.
From: Acorn4
Date: 08 Sep 09 - 10:42 AM

If you listen to "My Oh My" by Slade, and a tune called Peg an'All (a version of which is featured on a Tom Kitching/Gren Bartley CD) the tune is exactly the same. Tom and Gren's tune has probably borrowed from something else - all part of my campaign to get Messrs Lea and Holder accepted as contributors to the Folk tradition.


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Subject: RE: Folk borrowing from pop rather than v.v.
From: Jack Campin
Date: 08 Sep 09 - 11:02 AM

"My Oh My" is a relative of "She'll be coming round the mountain when she comes" (the start, anyway) - but I've heard something much closer to it before, and I've never knowingly heard Kitching and Bartley.


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Subject: RE: Folk borrowing from pop rather than v.v.
From: M.Ted
Date: 08 Sep 09 - 11:32 AM

"Almost Tomorrow" was a big hit in late 1955 and 1956 when The Dreamweavers, Snooky Lanson and Jo Stafford all had hit recordings. It was written in 1953 with music by Gene Adkinson (who, incidentally, played the ukulele) and lyrics by Wade Buff. "Puff" was based on a poem written by Lenny Lipton in 1959, which was then set to music by Peter Yarrow. It was recorded and released by PP&M in 1963.

I mentioned that Gene Adkinson played the uke for two reasons, 1) Because I am obsessed with the uke 2)Because both "Almost Tomorrow" and "Puff" use the same chord sequence as "My Mammy", and Al Jolson was experiencing a sort of revival in the early fifties, particularly among the ukulele playing crowd. (His music was revived, he died in 1948 and stayed that way).

If you have a mind to, you can alternate verses of the three songs while you pound out the chords, and it tends to shake people up considerably if you do it (it sounds better if you change to 3/4 for AT, but if you really cared about what sounds better, you probably wouldn't be mixing them together anyway)--


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Subject: RE: Folk borrowing from pop rather than v.v.
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 08 Sep 09 - 12:21 PM

Another example which comes to me - slightly different becoz it seems to be an old music-hall song borrowed from rather than pop & the resemblance perhaps not quite so close - was the song about the midsummer dancers turned into Standing Stones folkly-popular c 70s? - can't find it on DT or by Search, & forget the singer-songwriters [I have a feeling it was a couple - can anyone help with the details?] - whose tune always seemed to me to bear strong resemblance to Marie Lloyd's early almost signature tune "The Boy I Love Is Up In The gallery'.


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Subject: RE: Folk borrowing from pop rather than v.v.
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 08 Sep 09 - 02:09 PM

The song I'm thinking of above, it comes back to me, began "Midsummer day it fell on a Saturday, Someone & Someone went to be wed. {3rd line forgotten}. 'Let's go dancing,' Someone [female - might have been Susan] said." Chorus: "They danced danced danced around, Danced danced to the fiddler's sound." They go on dancing too late, so that it is Sunday before they realise, and the Devil comes & turns them to Standing Stones for the sin of dancing on the Sabbath - apparently, or allegedly, based on a folktale explaining the origin of some Standing Stones somewhere. Tune, as I say, highly reminiscent of Boy I Love Up In Gallery... Can anyone help me identify it further?


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Subject: RE: Folk borrowing from pop rather than v.v.
From: pdq
Date: 08 Sep 09 - 02:10 PM

Woodie Guthrie's "Do Re Mi" sounds like the turn-of-the-century Tin Pan Ally tune "Because" aka "Just Because".


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Subject: RE: Folk borrowing from pop rather than v.v.
From: Bryn Pugh
Date: 09 Sep 09 - 07:08 AM

Someone had to make the nexus so it might as well be me :

"Cornish Floral Dance" and the Winster Processional ?


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Subject: RE: Folk borrowing from pop rather than v.v.
From: Mark Ross
Date: 09 Sep 09 - 10:42 AM

DO RE MI is Woody's reworking of a country song HANG OUT THE FRONT DOOR KEY.


Mark Ross


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Subject: RE: Folk borrowing from pop rather than v.v.
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 24 Mar 11 - 02:44 PM

The song I refd 4-5 posts back, in Sep 09, it has come back to me was called The Dancers at Stanton Drew, words by Muriel Holland, music by Jim Parker; published in English Dance and Song, vol.33 number 3, 1971.

There was a thread on it, Feb 99 - Mar 06, 9038#139057.

I know you have all been waiting agog and unsleeping for this info. So now you can go back to bed if you like.

~Michael~


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Subject: RE: Folk borrowing from pop rather than v.v.
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 25 Mar 11 - 09:17 AM

Sharon Shannon added Never Going Back Again from Fleetwood Mac
to Fead an Iolair (Eagle's Whistle) on her album 'Each Little Thing'.


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Subject: RE: Folk borrowing from pop rather than v.v.
From: GUEST,ripov
Date: 25 Mar 11 - 10:07 AM

Surely nearly all folk music was pop music once, even if it was a few centuries ago?


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Subject: RE: Folk borrowing from pop rather than v.v.
From: melodeonboy
Date: 25 Mar 11 - 11:13 AM

Hmmm... The cynicism which is an essential element of the modern pop industry was probably absent then. Wouldn't that make it a different animal?


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Subject: RE: Folk borrowing from pop rather than v.v.
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 25 Mar 11 - 11:15 AM

"Pop", as the specific name for a certain musical genre, is not used in the same sense as the word 'pop' simply used as an aphetic form of 'popular'. It is more confusing than enlightening to confuse the two.

~M~


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Subject: RE: Folk borrowing from pop rather than v.v.
From: RoyH (Burl)
Date: 25 Mar 11 - 12:08 PM

Nat King Cole sang 'Mother Nature & Father Time', which used the tune of 'Go 'Way From My Window' (John Jacob Niles)


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Subject: RE: Folk borrowing from pop rather than vice-versa
From: GUEST,Alan Whittle
Date: 25 Mar 11 - 11:39 PM

well steeleye nicked that all around my hat riff and hard times of old england arrangement from Status Quo.

Didn't margaret Barry take She Moves Through the Fair from a commercial recording?

Merle Travis's dark as a Dungeon was regarded as a folksong by many mining families in Nottinghamshire.

I suppose You'll never Walk Alone is along way from that drippy scene in Carousel, where the Dad comes back from the dead when its sung by the Kop crowd.

Depends what you mean by folk, I suppose - but Ithink lots of singers just like to sing any old stuff - don't they?


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Subject: RE: Folk borrowing from pop rather than vice-versa
From: GUEST,ripov
Date: 26 Mar 11 - 04:15 PM

Melodeonboy, That cynical industry seems to be getting very interested in folk music, lets hope it doesn't affect it the same way. That said, there's no reason why folkies shouldn't make a living from the craft they've worked so hard to learn.

MtheGM, if 'pop' has two meanings (and folk has at least two), that makes at least four different scenarios under discussion!


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Subject: RE: Folk borrowing from pop rather than vice-versa
From: GUEST,ripov
Date: 26 Mar 11 - 04:41 PM

sorry sent too soon
But if you want to be pedantic, 'pop' covers only a VERY small part of the modern musical spectrum (a person younger than myself will be better able to enlighten you on this), and I think most 'pop' tunes mentioned above were/are popular, rather than 'pop' in that sense, and I suspect that this was the intended meaning in the thread.
Of course it's quite possible that young people emulate their elders and betters, and have mutually abusive discussions over exactly what pop music is, on the lines of mudcat and folk music.


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Subject: RE: Folk borrowing from pop rather than vice-versa
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 26 Mar 11 - 04:47 PM

suspect that this was the intended meaning in the thread"........

My thread, ripov ~~ so I know the intended meaning, thank you.

Al, re M Barry & Moved Thru Fair: yes, from a commercial record, but not a pop one, but one by operatic tenor Count John MacCormack (a papal Count}, who would also record Irish songs like Star of Cty Down & Moved Thru Fair.

~M~


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Subject: RE: Folk borrowing from pop rather than vice-versa
From: GUEST,glueman
Date: 26 Mar 11 - 07:30 PM

I'm not sure the inspiration or creative impulse behind pop is cynical, a lot of it still someone in a bedroom trying to make a timeless statement about life and love. The exploitation and categorisation of that impulse is another matter entirely. Even when it is commercial to its core with pay-roll song smiths and session musicians slumming it as with Motown, it can still turn into something special.

I mentioned Cindy Wilson yesterday, who has done folk treatments of defiantly un-folk B-52s songs like 'Roam'.


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Subject: RE: Folk borrowing from pop rather than vice-versa
From: Reinhard
Date: 27 Mar 11 - 01:41 AM

@Alan Whittle: Isn't All Around My Hat a Status Quo song? They recorded it in 1996 with a girl singer called Maddy Prior.


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Subject: RE: Folk borrowing from pop rather than vice-versa
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 27 Mar 11 - 02:35 AM

Reinhard ~ Steeleye Span, not Status Quo. But for some reason what they did was to use the tune & chorus of the traditional All Around My Hat, a poignant song of a lost true love transported to Oz for stealing, with the words of another song, Farewell He aka Let Him Go Let Him Tarry; for no reason I could ever fathom.

But the folk-rock phenomenonon, of which Steeleye were a leading part, is not quite germane, tho related, to theme of this thread: more a matter of adapting pop/rock techniques to traditional song than of 'borrowing'.

~Michael~


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Subject: RE: Folk borrowing from pop rather than vice-versa
From: ripov
Date: 27 Mar 11 - 03:51 AM

thats better. I couldn't mention the Red Queen while I was a polite guest.
So how do you define pop music?
Is it music published by the aforementioned industry (which certainly goes back as far as Playford)?
Is it music played by that thing in the corner that you put money into, that in my day was called a Wurlitzer, but I believe it used to be called a minstrel, or bard, or Joe the pianist, or sometimes 'the geezer with a squeezer'?
Or is it music enjoyed by uneducated people, like that collected by Mr Sharp?


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Subject: RE: Folk borrowing from pop rather than vice-versa
From: GUEST,glueman
Date: 27 Mar 11 - 04:08 AM

A fascinating question ripov. Pop that survives on the hums and whistles of the population is perhaps the last true unbroken, un-revived strand of common people's music left.


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Subject: RE: Folk borrowing from pop rather than vice-versa
From: Silas
Date: 27 Mar 11 - 06:17 AM

And 'My old mans a dustman' has nicked the tune from Mike Hardings 'Uncle Joes Mint Balls' ;-)


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Subject: RE: Folk borrowing from pop rather than vice-versa
From: GUEST
Date: 16 Jun 11 - 02:41 AM

Dervish offering up a more compelling interpretation (IMO) of Cher's hit 'Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves' (written by songwriter Bob Stone):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YB2VP9x4wGU


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Subject: RE: Folk borrowing from pop rather than vice-versa
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 16 Jun 11 - 03:47 AM

Does this one fall into the right category?


It would seem obvious traditional musicans have always adapted popular tunes of their time.

Vincie Boyle singing Ritchie Kavanagh's 'Little bit of 'lastic' in the traditional style woudld fit in nicely too. But maybe you need to have been there when he sang in.


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