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Dear Someone. Who wrote it?

GUEST,John 05 Jan 10 - 07:10 PM
Stower 05 Jan 10 - 07:32 PM
GUEST,John 05 Jan 10 - 07:48 PM
GUEST,John 05 Jan 10 - 08:03 PM
Genie 05 Jan 10 - 09:45 PM
Genie 06 Jan 10 - 12:08 AM
GUEST,John 06 Jan 10 - 04:47 AM
Stower 06 Jan 10 - 11:49 AM
Genie 06 Jan 10 - 02:58 PM
Genie 06 Jan 10 - 03:09 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 06 Jan 10 - 03:54 PM
GUEST,John 06 Jan 10 - 04:21 PM
Genie 06 Jan 10 - 08:48 PM
GUEST,John 07 Jan 10 - 06:58 PM
GUEST,John 07 Jan 10 - 07:11 PM
Genie 08 Jan 10 - 01:41 AM
NormanD 08 Jan 10 - 04:34 PM
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Subject: Dear Someone. Who wrote it?
From: GUEST,John
Date: 05 Jan 10 - 07:10 PM

I always thought that "Dear Someone" was composed by Gillian Welch and David Rawlings, but I have now heard a nigh identical tune written by David lindley called, "I Always Knew That You Were The One". Whose is it?


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Subject: RE: Dear Someone. Who wrote it?
From: Stower
Date: 05 Jan 10 - 07:32 PM

The credit on the album, Time (The Revelator), has the song written by Gillan Welch & David Rawlings. That album came out in 2001, but I don't know how much time passed between them writing the song and releasing it. When was the David Lindley tune composed?


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Subject: RE: Dear Someone. Who wrote it?
From: GUEST,John
Date: 05 Jan 10 - 07:48 PM

Don't know Stower. The tune by David Lindley is jst a liner note credit on a CD I have. Same tune though, with a slight deviation on bar 17 where W&R play a IV minor instead of major.


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Subject: RE: Dear Someone. Who wrote it?
From: GUEST,John
Date: 05 Jan 10 - 08:03 PM

Further research has shown that the David Lindley tune appeared in a 1980 film, "The Long Riders" with music written or directed by Ry Cooder. It would seem that Miss Welch and her partner David have been less than honest in claiming to be the composers of this lovely waltz - though they did write their own lyrics.
However, their melody would not pass a plagarism test.


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Subject: RE: Dear Someone. Who wrote it?
From: Genie
Date: 05 Jan 10 - 09:45 PM

It's not always deliberate plagiarism when someone claims they wrote a tune they've heard before. Sometimes they honestly think they did, because they don't remember ever hearing it before.   And I think it's harder to do research on tunes (e.g., via the library or the internet) than on lyrics.   Especially when the composer and/or tune is not well known.

Welch and Rawlings may not consciously have borrowed a tune they remembered hearing somewhere else.

It's also possible for two or more people to come up with the same tune, especially when it's not terribly complex or unusual.   "Dear Someone" is a rather unusal tune for a folkie or county writer who's used to your basic 1-4-5 with maybe a 7th or minor or a #2 chord thrown in, but for musicians who play around with other kinds of music, I don't think this tune would be that unlikely to be "found" by more than one tunesmith.


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Subject: RE: Dear Someone. Who wrote it?
From: Genie
Date: 06 Jan 10 - 12:08 AM

I should add that even if the use of someone else's tune was inadvertent, royalties may be due to whoever first registered a copyright for that tune.

I believe this was the case with George Harrison's use of the tune to "He's So Fine" for his song "My Sweet Lord."   I didn't notice the similarity of the (pretty much identical) melodies until someone brought it to my attention when Harrison was sued for plagiarism, and I'm inclined to think he didn't either. But I think he had to pay some pretty big bucks in royalties, anyway.


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Subject: RE: Dear Someone. Who wrote it?
From: GUEST,John
Date: 06 Jan 10 - 04:47 AM

And not forgetting Lennon's intro to "War Is Over". It was "Stewball" which he would've remembered from his skiffle days. And how Mr Stoller from Lieber&Stoller could've claimed the melody for Elvis' "It's Now Or never" beats me.


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Subject: RE: Dear Someone. Who wrote it?
From: Stower
Date: 06 Jan 10 - 11:49 AM

GUEST,John, I have searched on the web for David Lindley's tune to listen for myself but can't find it. I've had the experience myself - once - of composing a tune and then later (it was within a few hours) realising, 'Hang on! That's just like ...' so I scrapped it. I suppose if a tune is lodged back in the recess of memory it's possible never to remember where the tune is from and to think it is of one's own making.


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Subject: RE: Dear Someone. Who wrote it?
From: Genie
Date: 06 Jan 10 - 02:58 PM

John, I see that sort of thing all the time in sheet music for songs borrowed from trad music or from the work of classical composers, etc.
E.g., some sheet music for the song "Stranger In Paradise" (from "Kismet") attributes the music to Robert Wright and George Forrest, without acknowledging that the tune is an adaptation of a theme from Borodin's "Polovetsian Dance No. 17."   

I don't know, when that sort of thing happens, whether the composer who borrowed the older tune did not acknowledge that or whether it was the music publisher (or maybe even some fakebooks) who omitted reference to the borrowed work.   (E.g., when Cole Porter bought Bob Fletcher's poem "Don't Fence Me In" and adapted it for a song for a Hollywood studio movie, Porter wanted to give Fletcher credit as co-lyricist but the music publisher would not allow that.) DK if Mike Stoller deliberately avoided acknowledging the obvious usage of the tune to O Sole Mio, Also DK if Bob Dylan really tried to claim original credit for songs that were adaptations of older folk songs like "Girl From The North Country," "Corinna," and "Leaving Of Liverpool," but if you look at sheet music book compilations you'll see him credited as "words and music by Bob Dylan" without such acknowledgment.


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Subject: RE: Dear Someone. Who wrote it?
From: Genie
Date: 06 Jan 10 - 03:09 PM

Let's also not forget Stower's point that we don't know when Welch and Rawlings wrote "Dear Someone" just because it was released as an album cut in 2001.

Sometimes people write a song years or decades before they record it commercially.   Sometimes a song is also a "work in progress" for many years before it's "finished."

What if a singer-songwriter shared a work-in-progress song informally in a jam session or song circle and parts, or all, of the tune (or lyrics) stuck in someone else's head?   He/she might have even been whistling or humming the tune while walking along a public street. The musical or lyric phrases then sort of "have legs" (or wings) and who knows who else's heads they may migrate to?   

Perhaps this is a bit tangential, but when I first heard "Dear Someone," the whole song - tune, chords, vocals - reminded me a lot of some Les Paul and Mary Ford song I heard back in the '50s.   DK if it's a specific song of theirs it sounds like or just the general sound, but I kind of had the "deja entendu" feeling.


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Subject: RE: Dear Someone. Who wrote it?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 06 Jan 10 - 03:54 PM

There are six different songs with the title "Dear Someone" listed by BMI, and credited to different composers. The title was a popular one.
One is by David Rawlings and Gillian Welch, BMI Work # 5200774.

"I Always Knew that You Were the One," David Lindley composer, was used in the flick, "Long Riders," also is listed by BMI, as Work # 602375. Lindley is now affiliated with ASCAP.

Are you sure that the tunes are the same?


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Subject: RE: Dear Someone. Who wrote it?
From: GUEST,John
Date: 06 Jan 10 - 04:21 PM

Apart from bar 17, yes.


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Subject: RE: Dear Someone. Who wrote it?
From: Genie
Date: 06 Jan 10 - 08:48 PM

Here's Dear Someone - Gillian Welch . The chords/harmony give the melody a very distinctive sound.

Does the David Lindley song use the same chords/harmony?


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Subject: RE: Dear Someone. Who wrote it?
From: GUEST,John
Date: 07 Jan 10 - 06:58 PM


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Subject: RE: Dear Someone. Who wrote it?
From: GUEST,John
Date: 07 Jan 10 - 07:11 PM

Another tune that was "appropriated" with no recognition is Paul McCartney's "Lady Madonna" which is a rip of Humphrey Lyttleton's 1956 "Bad Penny Blues" with the famous piano riff played by the great Johnny Parker. And the last 8 bars of Lennon's "I'll Cry Instead" is the same as the last 8 of "Thirteen Women" by Dickie Thompson.... and on it goes....


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Subject: RE: Dear Someone. Who wrote it?
From: Genie
Date: 08 Jan 10 - 01:41 AM

BTW, sometimes melodies have the same chord progression and/or are very similar but not identical. E.g., This Land Is Your Land and You Are My Sunshine or Goodnight, Irene and Roll On Columbia.   This is the case with Lennon's "So This Is Christmas" and "Stewball."   Aside from the chorus/bridge of STIC, even the verses are not identical in melody.    Transcribe the "dots" and you'll see that pretty easily.


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Subject: RE: Dear Someone. Who wrote it?
From: NormanD
Date: 08 Jan 10 - 04:34 PM

Just been listening to the David Lindley tune on Spotify. His is a fiddle-led instrumental, with no lyrics. A lovely tune! I asked MOH, "What does this sound like?" (knowing that she's very familiar with "Dear Someone"). Her immediate response was, "Are You Lonesome Tonight". That's another good point to consider.

"Dear Someone" may well have been based on "I Always Knew....", but it's been turned into a truly beautiful song. Gillian Welch has borrowed and adapted many other old tunes and lyrics and has created a lovely library in the process. She is part of the tradition, still within it, and developing it.


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