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Open Season on Song Titles

Jack Blandiver 11 Nov 09 - 09:41 AM
Mr Happy 11 Nov 09 - 09:49 AM
Young Buchan 11 Nov 09 - 10:59 AM
Steve Gardham 11 Nov 09 - 03:50 PM
Reinhard 11 Nov 09 - 05:08 PM
MGM·Lion 12 Nov 09 - 01:25 AM
Jack Blandiver 12 Nov 09 - 05:28 AM
Geoff the Duck 12 Nov 09 - 01:24 PM
GUEST 13 Nov 09 - 01:32 AM
GUEST,Anglo 13 Nov 09 - 01:34 AM
MGM·Lion 13 Nov 09 - 01:48 AM
Dave MacKenzie 13 Nov 09 - 12:05 PM
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Subject: Open Season on Song Titles
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 11 Nov 09 - 09:41 AM

For my sins, I am a member of Strawbsweb and regularly receive bulletins of Strawbs-related activities even though 99% of it is of no interest to me whatsoever - though I do like to keep up with Dave Cousins whom I regard as one of our national treasures. Anyhoo - latest bulletin tells of a CD by Brian Willoughby and Cathryn Craig entitled Calling All Angels. Hmmm, thinks I, following the links, most curious to hear the sort of MOR mess Willoughby & Craig have made at covering one of Jane Siberry's all-time classics - only to discover that they've written their own song called Calling All Angels. An odd and unsettling state of affairs to be sure, which made me ponder the general etiquette concerning the plundering of song titles.

Suitably inspired, last night I wrote a folk song called Wonder Wall - to be sung the tune of Mutton Pie.

On Saturday morning I stole some bricks,
from a fellow with a barrow who was straining for a shit
He was squatting in the ditch so I took them one and all
and with them I'm going to build a wonder wall

Chorus: With a fol-the-diddle-di-do fol the diddle-dee

My wonder wall it's six inches high
eighteen inches long and four & a half inches wide;
I made it dry in the dark so there was no one who could see
And the first thing in the morning I hid up in the tree.

First one to see it was a man called Jacky Dorry,
He hit it with his bike and went under a lorry;
Broke his bottle, smashed his eggs and badly cut his knee,
I was laughing so much that I fell out of the tree.

Though my wonder wall was down it still broke my arm,
The bone was sticking out and caused me much alarm;
Jacky Dorry pinched the lorry and it was off to casualty
Where they fixed my arm and put stitches in his knee.

When we got back to the lonnen my wonder wall was gone,
So we went down to the cafe where we wrote this little song.
Just so all of you could know, both great and small,
What could happen if you build yourself a wonder wall.


Next up, Yellow Submarine...


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Subject: RE: Open Season on Song Titles
From: Mr Happy
Date: 11 Nov 09 - 09:49 AM

Sweeney,

Thanks

Mutton Pie?

Can't find that tune, how does it go?


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Subject: RE: Open Season on Song Titles
From: Young Buchan
Date: 11 Nov 09 - 10:59 AM

I like the idea, Sean. It has tremendous scope for audience manipulation/annoyance. Let's say I write a song and call it Lord Bateman, and that it goes:
Oh, Lord Bateman, he was a green frog
He was a green frog of low degree.
A heron came and ate the bugger
So he never made it to proud Turkey.
Having sung it once you will be in a position such that when you next announce you are going to sing Lord Bateman all those spectators who run for the toilet whenever you announce a ballad won't know whether to go or not. If they stay, then you sing the Forty Verses and really piss them off.
I also see some mileage in going to your local Orange Lodge folk night and announcing you are going to sing The Foggy Dew. Then, if you find you are still alive, begin 'When I was a bachelor'. Or not.


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Subject: RE: Open Season on Song Titles
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 11 Nov 09 - 03:50 PM

YB,
Your ideas re Lord Bateman. Already tried. As an ardent young folk song field collector in the 60s I went to record an elderly lady in a remote coastal village with a large repertoire. Having just recorded a version of Lord Bateman from another elderly lady I asked Ethel if she knew the ballad. Not to be outdone she came up with the following to her own tune on the spot.

'Lord Bateman was, he was, he was,
He was, he was, a bloody fool!'

She had a wonderful sense of humour.
BTW her close neighbour sang a great version of 'Mutton Pie'!
There is a recording of a version of Mutton Pie titled 'The Yorkshire Farmer' on the Yorkshire Garland website. This version hasn't a chorus though.


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Subject: RE: Open Season on Song Titles
From: Reinhard
Date: 11 Nov 09 - 05:08 PM

Song name confusion can go in both directions. What the Watersons recorded as Joy, Health, Love and Peace was sung by Martin Carthy as The Wren and by Steeleye Span as The King. But then, the Strawbs together with Steeleye's Maddy Prior published a single The King in 1980, which is - Suibhne will appreciate this - an original song written by Dave Cousins.


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Subject: RE: Open Season on Song Titles
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 12 Nov 09 - 01:25 AM

Something of same applies to record titles, on which no copyright. I remember once, back in old vinyl days, two albums appeared same week both called Green Grow The Rushes - v confusing. That couldn't be helped, perhaps - but I remember denouncing in a review I wrote the idiocy of the Dubliners'[I think it was - long time ago!] label calling their new album A Parcel Of Rogues, when there was already a Steeleye disc of that name on the market.


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Subject: RE: Open Season on Song Titles
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 12 Nov 09 - 05:28 AM

If its not a mater of copyright, then surely it's one of etiquette and good sense?


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Subject: RE: Open Season on Song Titles
From: Geoff the Duck
Date: 12 Nov 09 - 01:24 PM

Let's face it. There aren't enough good song titles to go round. Trad folk collectors got around the problem by just quoting from the first line of the verse, which often didn't do the song justice as a title.
Even that didn't help where two songs start with essentially the same line.

Monty Python highlighted the problem in their court scene containing the song "Anything Goes".

On occasion there have been (pop) chart releases with the same title at the same time. Bob Dylan had "Sarah" out at the same time as Fleetwood Mac and Thin Lizzy charted with two different songs of the same title.
Huey Lewis released The Power of Love at the same time Jennifer Rush was singing a different song, same title,and neither that far from a third by Frankie Goes to Hollywood.

It is not a new phenomenon, and well respected folkies are not averse to re-using a good title - Bringing in the Sheaves

Quack!
GtD.


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Subject: RE: Open Season on Song Titles
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Nov 09 - 01:32 AM

Years ago, over here across the pond,, Ed Trickett and Guy Carawan each released LPs called "The Telling Takes Me Home," the Utah Phillips song each featured on the album. It happens.


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Subject: RE: Open Season on Song Titles
From: GUEST,Anglo
Date: 13 Nov 09 - 01:34 AM

Oops, sorry, that was me, cookieless on my downstairs laptop.


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Subject: RE: Open Season on Song Titles
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 13 Nov 09 - 01:48 AM

'cookieless on my downstairs laptop. '

Sorry, don't know that one, Anglo; but if you hum it I'll try to play it {on my Anglo!).


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Subject: RE: Open Season on Song Titles
From: Dave MacKenzie
Date: 13 Nov 09 - 12:05 PM

The first one I came across was "On the Road Again" by Mark Spoelstra, Bob Dylan, Canned Heat and Willie Nelson, at least that's the order I came across them.


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