Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafemuddy

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


Let's give the composers some credit

PHJim 16 Apr 11 - 01:37 AM
PHJim 16 Apr 11 - 01:42 AM
GUEST,Guest from Sanity 16 Apr 11 - 02:44 AM
GUEST,Guest from Sanity 16 Apr 11 - 02:50 AM
GUEST,Guest from Sanity 16 Apr 11 - 03:04 AM
Genie 16 Apr 11 - 08:34 PM
Genie 16 Apr 11 - 08:44 PM
GUEST, Tom Bliss 17 Apr 11 - 07:02 AM
MGM·Lion 17 Apr 11 - 10:21 AM
Jim Dixon 17 Apr 11 - 11:58 AM
Leadfingers 17 Apr 11 - 12:13 PM
GUEST,Guest from Sanity 17 Apr 11 - 12:29 PM
GUEST,mg 17 Apr 11 - 04:15 PM
GUEST,Guest from Sanity 17 Apr 11 - 10:30 PM
GUEST,Alan Whittle 18 Apr 11 - 03:34 AM
GUEST, Tom Bliss 18 Apr 11 - 04:21 AM
Marje 18 Apr 11 - 06:00 AM
GUEST,Guest from Sanity 18 Apr 11 - 02:29 PM
GUEST,mg 18 Apr 11 - 03:16 PM
JHW 18 Apr 11 - 04:17 PM
Tootler 18 Apr 11 - 07:37 PM
GUEST,Guest from Sanity 18 Apr 11 - 07:41 PM
kendall 18 Apr 11 - 08:16 PM
Genie 18 Apr 11 - 11:52 PM
Genie 18 Apr 11 - 11:59 PM
Genie 19 Apr 11 - 12:13 AM
Genie 19 Apr 11 - 12:16 AM
MorwenEdhelwen1 19 Apr 11 - 12:24 AM
Genie 19 Apr 11 - 12:53 AM
GUEST, Tom Bliss 19 Apr 11 - 05:35 AM
GUEST,Guest from Sanity 19 Apr 11 - 12:17 PM
Genie 20 Apr 11 - 10:12 PM
GUEST,Guest from Sanity 21 Apr 11 - 12:15 AM
pavane 21 Apr 11 - 08:19 AM
Midchuck 21 Apr 11 - 09:10 AM
Tattie Bogle 21 Apr 11 - 10:24 AM
Tattie Bogle 21 Apr 11 - 10:35 AM
Leadfingers 21 Apr 11 - 11:02 AM
kendall 21 Apr 11 - 12:05 PM
Leadfingers 21 Apr 11 - 07:45 PM
Genie 22 Apr 11 - 05:22 AM
Genie 22 Apr 11 - 05:34 AM
Fkoll 22 Apr 11 - 06:56 AM
GUEST,Guest from Sanity 22 Apr 11 - 12:49 PM
Genie 22 Apr 11 - 04:16 PM
GUEST,Guest from Sanity 23 Apr 11 - 04:06 AM
PHJim 29 Apr 11 - 02:25 AM
Genie 29 Apr 11 - 09:33 AM
Jim Dixon 29 Apr 11 - 10:19 AM
Genie 29 Apr 11 - 06:30 PM
PHJim 22 May 11 - 11:56 PM
bubblyrat 23 May 11 - 10:17 AM
Stringsinger 23 May 11 - 02:26 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 06 Jul 11 - 11:51 PM
Tattie Bogle 07 Jul 11 - 09:11 AM
Dave Hanson 07 Jul 11 - 10:41 AM
GUEST,Don Wise 07 Jul 11 - 02:49 PM
Jack Campin 08 Jul 11 - 05:41 AM
reynard 08 Jul 11 - 09:27 AM
ripov 08 Jul 11 - 08:39 PM
Jim Dixon 09 Jul 11 - 12:24 AM
The Sandman 09 Jul 11 - 08:11 AM
PHJim 09 Jul 11 - 09:47 AM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:









Subject: BS: Let's give the composers some credit
From: PHJim
Date: 16 Apr 11 - 01:37 AM

I've noticed that when I google the words to a song, that the credit for the song is given to someone who may have performed the song rather than the composer. Some examples:
Mr. Bojangles by Sammy Davis Jr. - no mention of Jerry Jeff Walker
The Christmas Song by Nat King Cole - no mention of Mel Torme & Bob Wells
The Remember Song by Tom Rush - no mention of Steven Walters
First Time Ever I Saw Your Face by -no mention of Ewan McColl

Youtube is just as bad.
A cover of First Time Ever I Saw Your Face by Celine Dion - once again no mention of Ewan McColl

It wouldn't bother me quite as much if it said,"Mr. Bojangles as sung by Sammy Davis Jr." Even so, Jerry Jeff's name should be mentioned.

How about,"Here's my cover of Celine Dion's version of First Time Ever I Saw Your Face by Ewan McColl"?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Let's give the composers some credit
From: PHJim
Date: 16 Apr 11 - 01:42 AM

My fifth line should've read:
First Time Ever I Saw Your Face by Roberta Flack-no mention of Ewan McColl


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Let's give the composers some credit
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 16 Apr 11 - 02:44 AM

Theme from 'Pirates of the Caribbean' credits go to Hans Zimmer....BUT it was actually written by Klaus Badelt!..(he worked 'under' Zimmer, who had other film credits!!


'He's a Pirate'.....KLAUS BADELT!!!!

Incredible!

GfS


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Let's give the composers some credit
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 16 Apr 11 - 02:50 AM

The larger musical score, 'Pirates of the Caribbean' by Klaus Badelt

Just so SOMEONE KNOWS!!!

(a concern deep in me heart!)

GfS


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Let's give the composers some credit
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 16 Apr 11 - 03:04 AM

..and check out this guy!!!!...Great playing, even if you don't like this style

GfS

P.S. I've written a film musical score, (among others) myself...so the Zimmer/Badelt thing pisses me off!!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Let's give the composers some credit
From: Genie
Date: 16 Apr 11 - 08:34 PM

Jim, it's not just that people often post lyrics or videos online & credit the particular performer instead of the songwriter, but recently when I & a couple of others politely informed a YouTube poster of the identity of the songwriter (Bob Blue) when he had credited a performer of "The Ballad Of Erica Levine") as though the songs was original to her, he refused to change the attribution in the video description or title on the page. He argued with us, saying that it was customary and proper to credit the performer (recording artist, etc.)!

His argument was that when a song is principally associated with someone (e.g., Elvis Presley and "Blue Suede Shoes" or Frank Sinatra and "My Way") it's SOP to give the performer credit.   Of course, in many cases more than one artist has a hit with it (especially in different decades), and I don't think "The Ballad Of Erica Levine" was ever such a commercial hit for anyone that it's become indelibly linked with a performer's name.   But even in cases such as "My Way," which was a signature song for Sinatra but penned by the then 25-year-old Paul Anka, it's only fair and proper to give accurate authorship information.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: Let's give the composers & lyricists some credit
From: Genie
Date: 16 Apr 11 - 08:44 PM

An even more outrageous instance I discovered recently was a contemporary Christian CD that was older songs, pretty much all from 20th C. hymnals, done "in comtemporary style."
So far, so good.   But the liner notes and CD label had every last one of these songs listed as "traditional!"
The names of the composers and lyricists for all of those songs are not only known, but all you have to do to find the proper credits is open a standard hymnal, for crying out loud!   Or you can go to cyberhymnal.org or (in many cases) check Wikipedia.   It's not like any of these songs (e.g., How Great Thou Art;* In The Garden; Nearer, My God, To Thee, ) are associated in the public's mind so strongly with any recording artist that the performer name replaces the composers'.   And it's not like calling them "trad" prevents having to pay royalties, either; they were pretty much all in the Public Domain by now. But PD doesn't mean "of anonymous authorship."

*Yes, in some cases the melodies actually are "traditional." But even then, it's better to say "Swedish folk melody," for example, than just "trad" -- which may be taken to mean no one has a clue as to where it came from.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Let's give the composers some credit
From: GUEST, Tom Bliss
Date: 17 Apr 11 - 07:02 AM

Don't get me started on this!

It's not just that I'm a composer myself, but I think the music scene is all the poorer for our collective failure to see writers as artists. In the classical world it was always the composer who got the credit, and I think this attitude started once performers - (in the music hall days?) started paying writers to produce material. Gradually this became industrialised till we arrived at the Brill Building et al, and songs became product more than art (with occasional revolts, of course).

I think it may be significant that this state of play already existed when the collectors started in ernest. In the absence of known composers - and with a mass of anon material in public ownership, no-one gave any thought to the writer-artist. And of course there was no 'star' either, so attribution (and even lionisation) was affixed to the song-carrier and/or source singer, while the crucial fact that there have always been great craft writers and re-writer/arrangers from all walks of life was largely forgotten.

So the problem of writers not getting legally-due royalties is only the tip of the (cultural) iceberg.

That said, the PRS and other collecting agencies are quite good, if slow, at working out what is in copyright and eventually getting the money to the right person - whatever the performers, promoters, consumers and generally ill-informed or downright ignorant (like those hymn-fakers) might say.

When MySpace started, I had a serious go at persuading the PRS to insist that there should always be a field in the upload system for 'composer' - and you couldn't complete the process without filling it in. Ok, people would have put the singers name in there too, but at least they'd have had to pause for thought, and it would have prevented the problem Genie mentions above - because both the 'best-known' performer and the perhaps guessed writer would be right there on the screen.

Sadly, PRS had bigger fish to fry with MySpace, and I got nowhere.

Now, of course, up and downloading is a massive phenomenon, and the writer's rights have been swept away entirely.

If, like me, you also write papers and books and scripts etc, then songwriting is no different - I'm a writer, who happens to include music in my oeuvre. I fail to see why my compositions should be treated with any less respect than, say, my academic work - but sadly not everyone agrees - specially a sector of the folk world who have grown up believing that all songs belong to everyone and always have.

I'm for ever banging on about the need for accurate attribution, even for works in the public domain - because it's the best (only) way to keep composing up there with sculpture, playwriting, painting etc.

I'm just now finishing a commissioned musical made entirely out of traditional/PD songs and tunes. I've written new words to most of them, and adapted the rest. So as well as the script and song book there is a third book - which outlines where I found the tunes, what the original words were (at least of the version I mainly had in mind when I started bodging), what we know about the songs (other titles / tunes etc) and websites etc for further info.

Tom

PS Of course: Paul Anka only wrote new lyrics for My Way. As Wki nearly says: It was based on the French song "Comme d'Habitude" composed in 1967 by Claude François and Jacques Revaux, with lyrics by Claude François and Gilles Thibault. Anka's English lyrics are unrelated to the original French song so he's credited and has copyright (with permission of the composers) as the author.

(In law it's composer for tunes, author for lyrics).


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Let's give the composers some credit
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 17 Apr 11 - 10:21 AM

The following appeared on a thread I OP'd 18 months ago on "Forgotten writers of well--remembered songs", which, as you will see, covered some of the same ground as this one, tho my main point was that, while some names like berlin, Kern, Gershwin, are known to all, others like Warren & Dubin, who wrote just as well-known songs {We're in the Money, Lullaby of Broadway"} aren't.


"Subject: RE: forgottens
From: Azizi - PM
Date: 07 Sep 09 - 09:18 AM

While I can't think of the names of any specific composers for this thread (which is kinda the point), one of my pet peeves is that on the Internet, the name of a recording artist is often given with the lyrics of a song instead of the song composer's name. That leads some people to believe that the vocalist named is the actual composer of that song."


~Michael~


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Let's give the composers some credit
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 17 Apr 11 - 11:58 AM

Here's another point to clarify: the composer is the person who wrote the music. The person who wrote the words is called the lyricist. Of course, they might be the same person, but maybe not. If you call someone a songwriter or writer (in the context of discussing a song), that implies he wrote the words and the music.

The simplest way to make it clear is to say "Words by X, music by Y, recorded by Z" or "Words and music by X...." if that's appropriate.

I agree that we should give credit to lyricists and composers. I try to do that whenever I post lyrics at Mudcat, and when I see somebody else post lyrics without the proper credit, I often add a message with the relevant information.

But a lot of people don't seem to care, and can even take offense at being "corrected" in this way. So be it.

I once saw where somebody mentioned "'City of New Orleans,' by Arlo Guthrie" (or something like that).

I added a message: "Arlo Guthrie recorded 'City of New Orleans' but he didn't write it. Steve Goodman wrote it."

The original poster got defensive, and shot back: "I never said he wrote it!"


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Let's give the composers some credit
From: Leadfingers
Date: 17 Apr 11 - 12:13 PM

A few of us are actively promoting ythis round the Clubs in S E England - I am a Registered Song Thief , but I AM an honest thief and always try to credit my sources .
   "Sung By" or "Performed By" I will accept , but in MY book "By" is an abbreviation for "Composed/Written By"
    'Black is the Colour' is a case in point - Trad , arranged by J J Niles , collected by Christie Moore from Hamish Imlach , but ALWAYS introdeced as " A Christie Moore Song " !!!!!!!!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Let's give the composers some credit
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 17 Apr 11 - 12:29 PM

Tom Bliss: ".....Now, of course, up and downloading is a massive phenomenon, and the writer's rights have been swept away entirely."

..and that's why, as Tom noted, why I haven't uploaded my stuff, as of yet(which actually I'd love to share with you), and all the legal paperwork, being as two major film studios have expressed interest!

Regards!

GfS


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Let's give the composers some credit
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 17 Apr 11 - 04:15 PM

My personal dislike is when people intentionally write songs to well-known tunes..if they are so obscure that new words are a way to save them then I don't generally mind...

New words deserve a new tune, and there are plenty of people who could make one for you if only the words come to you. I just always hear the original words, which often are better, to the tune, regardless of what someone else has done.

There are cases where songs have just jumped onto tunes,and that is a different kettle of fish.

I think and hope there would be some legal issues if the new song became famous. And I think quite often it would irritate the original composter of the tune. mg


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Let's give the composers some credit
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 17 Apr 11 - 10:30 PM

Genie: "...It's not like any of these songs (e.g., How Great Thou Art;..."

Genie,...Check this out!!! This is sure different..and SMOKES!!

Regards,

GfS


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Let's give the composers some credit
From: GUEST,Alan Whittle
Date: 18 Apr 11 - 03:34 AM

Well I disagree. It is a well guarded secret(but one well known to those in high places) that all contemporary music is actually manufactured on an industrial estate just outside of Basingstoke.

Sometimes the marketting label is changed and the music goes under the name Paul MacCartney or Andrew Lloyd Webber and George Gershwin, but essentially it is the same stuff. The people in the factory are sworn to secrecy - one of them did try to tell, but his body was discovered in mysterious circumstances.

Those who would hide the facts about 9/11 and the Kennedy assasination are at the root of this. the oft remarked subdued nature of people living in Basingstoke is further evidence (were it needed!) of a people hiding a dreadful secret and living in a state of fear.

No more credit for these fraudulent so called composers!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Let's give the composers some credit
From: GUEST, Tom Bliss
Date: 18 Apr 11 - 04:21 AM

mg: "My personal dislike is when people intentionally write songs to well-known tunes"

Well, I think you'll find that this has been going on since the dawn of time. There are more people in the world who like writing lyrics than tunes, plus in the days before recording more people who could read words than scores. Hence why so many songs (and hymns) were circulated in broadside and other printed form with just a suggestion for a well-knonw tune.

I agree it can be disconcerting when you hear a song with what seems _to you_ to be the 'wrong' tune, but it's probably the _right_ tune to someone else. In fact the tradition is so full of instances of shared melody that it's often impossible to marry lyric and tune with any authority.

Is this what you mean by "There are cases where songs have just jumped onto tunes"? If so then that sounds close to the idea that songs write themselves, or appear by come sort of community osmosis.

Songs don't just jump onto tunes. People choose to sing the words to a new melody on purpose, either because they only have the words and don't know the prior tune, or because they think the words and tune don't fit the old tune very well (perhaps because someone else did a poor job of 'jumping'), or they only have fragments of one or the other, or they want to tell a new story and decide for whatever reason (including ease of learning by others) to borrow an existing melody.

Just for the record I have no difficulty making new tunes myself (I suffer from a kind of compositional Tourettes, in fact), and have just as often written new tunes to old words as vice versa. My reasons for using only trad tunes in Jersey Jacques were threefold. I) The brief includes a secondary use in schools - and I wanted to help show the rich legacy of material out there . 2) The show is historically accurate, so using contemporaneous tunes helps to provide authenticity. 3) Not all the players will be music readers and I won't be there to teach them, so starting with at least some well-known tunes will make it more likely that people will sign up and have fun.

I suspect people who have 'jumped' songs in the past probably had similar motives.

Tom


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Let's give the composers some credit
From: Marje
Date: 18 Apr 11 - 06:00 AM

I think writing new words to well known tunes is a perfectly sensible thing to do. A good tune is always a good tune, but lyrics often have a narrower appeal: they may come to seem old-fashioned, cliched or simply inappropriate for the times or for the occasion. When new words are written, it's (hopefully) because the writer has something new to say, but I see no reason why the new thing can't be said to an old tune, thus keeping a good tune alive.

There's a long history of this happening in Britain - many of the old ballads were not attached to a particular tune, but written in familiar metres that could fit with many tunes. The singer simply chose a tune that seemed appropriate and which fitted the words. Hymns, too, often did a mix-and-match with words and tunes.

And listeneners to BBC Radio 4's "I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue" will attest that performing "One Song to the Tune of Another" is still hugely popular.

Marje


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Let's give the composers some credit
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 18 Apr 11 - 02:29 PM

You know, as I was thinking, and said to other musicians I have worked with in the past, I try to go over my 'new' stuff, to MAKE SURE, that it does not 'mimic' other tunes in ANY way!...and if it is brought to my attention that, 'Gee, it sounds a little like_______(?),'....I immediately go to work on it, to make sure it is ORIGINAL!...as said in my 'Ten Commandments for Musicians'....#8, "Thou shall not steal licks, and then announce A 'NEW ORIGINAL SONG' you just wrote. If stealing is in your heart, please don't play, or sing!…Matter of fact, SHUT UP!"..(maybe I should post it again)!..We'll see.

GfS


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Let's give the composers some credit
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 18 Apr 11 - 03:16 PM

I have personally had songs jump onto tunes, and I am sure (as BB sometimes points out) that I have had songs that were quite similar to others, and even when it is pointed out I can not hear the similarity.

I had a song about cows jump onto Richard Baker and several jumped onto Livet in Fineskogin, which probably is my default tune, and Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner (oops can't say I wrote that one) jump onto Star of the COunty Down, which I never ever would intentionally use because it has its own words. One jumped onto Dainty Davy. So they do jump, although perhaps I am the only person in the entire world this happens to. And one by Kipling jumped onto Auld Lang Syne. Another by Kipling jumped onto one of the Twa Sisters tunes. mg


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Let's give the composers some credit
From: JHW
Date: 18 Apr 11 - 04:17 PM

Happens live too. Not uncommon for a club singer to announce they are about to sing a soandso's song yet name who they've heard sing it, not who wrote it.
Always worth quoting the name of a known songwriter after the song.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Let's give the composers some credit
From: Tootler
Date: 18 Apr 11 - 07:37 PM

"...jump onto Star of the COunty Down, which I never ever would intentionally use because it has its own words"

The tune to which "The Star of County Down" was set was not an original tune. The song made use of an existing traditional tune.

In the classical world it was always the composer who got the credit

Yes and the classical world is as bad in a way as the lyricist often gets ignored. A good example is "Fairest Isle" which usually just gets credited to Purcell when the proper attribution should be "Words, John Dryden; Music, Henry Purcell". Especially as Dryden was a significant poet in his own right. In fact the whole of King Arthur from which Fairest Isle comes should have that attribution but usually only Purcell gets the credit.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Let's give the composers some credit
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 18 Apr 11 - 07:41 PM

Guest,mg: "I have personally had songs jump onto tunes, and I am sure (as BB sometimes points out) that I have had songs that were quite similar to others,......"

Ever crossed a song onstage, that was sorta familiar with another one??
Forunately, I don't sing anymore...just mostly the other end.

GfS


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Let's give the composers some credit
From: kendall
Date: 18 Apr 11 - 08:16 PM

mg there is an old saying, If you throw a rock into a pack of dogs, only the one it hits will yelp.
YELP! :-)

I wrote a song titled The Last Whale Hunt and the best tune I could think of was written by my good friend, Gordon Bok. It is perfect, and he doesn't mind, so I use it.If he did mind I wouldn't use it.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Let's give the composers some credit
From: Genie
Date: 18 Apr 11 - 11:52 PM

Tom, thanks for setting the record straight (for me) about the full credits for "My Way."   I think when songs are given new lyrics (especially in a new language) or, sometimes, when lyrics are set to new tunes, the proper credits often become even more blurred or mangled. (E.g., the English-language lyricist is often credited but not the guy who wrote the French lyrics to "Cantique De Noël," for which the English lyrics are for the most part a translation or facsimile thereof.)

I agree that making a point of properly crediting composers and lyricists is important to maintaining our cultural heritage and to giving songwriting itself the status it deserves among other arts.

A related issue/phenomenon I've noticed is the general tendency to credit songs to the music composers with no mention of the lyricists.   Sometimes, when the lyricist is someone highly celebrated, a song becomes known by the lyricist's name (e.g., "a Johnny Mercer song"). Or a team that's well-known AS a team gets credit (e.g., Rodgers & Hammerstein).
But it seems far more often that it's only the composer who gets credit (Andrew Lloyd-Webber, Carole King, Burt Bacharach, Elton John, Harold Arlen, etc.) and not the lyricist (Tim Rice, Gerry Goffin, Hal David, Bernie Taupin, Ted Kohler, Yip Harburg, etc.)    The lyricists all too often are forgotten.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Let's give the composers some credit
From: Genie
Date: 18 Apr 11 - 11:59 PM

And, Terry, I couldn't agree more: to say "'The First Time' by Roberta Flack" does convey the idea that Roberta Flack wrote the song, not just that she had the biggest hit record with it.   
In that connection, let me also point out that I've heard some "covers" singers criticized roundly for "not writing their own songs" -- with those criticisms coming from people who seem to believe that "singer/songwriters" such as Sheryl Crow or Garth Brooks or Ian Tyson are the composers/lyricists for all or most of their "greatest hits." That's often not the case.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Let's give the songwriters some credit
From: Genie
Date: 19 Apr 11 - 12:13 AM

mg, I agree with you about writing new words to other well-known songs, when one set of lyrics is so strongly associated with the tune that most of your audience can't help making the connection. An example is a contemporary Christian hymn set to the tune of "Edelweiss." When I hear that, I can't help thinking of the lyrics to Edelweiss.
But in folk music, there are many tunes that have numerous sets of lyrics sung to them (e.g., the tune of "Tramps and Hawkers," to which I know at least 3 different songs, or the tune of "The Wreck Of Old 97" to which I also know several -- and don't get me started on "Great Speckled Bird" / "I Am Thinking Tonight Of My Blue Eyes" / "The Wild Side Of Life / It Wasn't God Who Made Honky-Tonk Angels").   And it's sometimes unclear which lyrics were the "original" ones.   I can readily accept new lyrics to such tunes -- especially when all the parodies are included.

But I do find it a bit disingenuous when someone says "Here's a song I wrote" and then proceeds to sing new lyrics to the tune of "Wild Mountain Thyme."


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Let's give the composers some credit
From: Genie
Date: 19 Apr 11 - 12:16 AM

And, oh, by the way, Tom, I also like mixing up tunes and lyrics.

Did you ever notice that the lyrics & tunes to "Puff, The Magic Dragon" and "Onward, Christian Soldiers" can be perfectly juxtaposed?   Try it! : )


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Let's give the composers some credit
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 19 Apr 11 - 12:24 AM

I think part of the reason for rare mentions of the true composer is that a lot of covers of songs are done by popular artists and perhaps the motivation is to boost up sales for the artist by acting as if the song is original even when if was written by someone else. CD producers or whoever is in charge of writing attributions in liner notes or the people who run lyric sites may also believe that most people wouldn't want to know that information.

Just a thought
Morwen.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Let's give the composers some credit
From: Genie
Date: 19 Apr 11 - 12:53 AM

Of course, Morwen.   "'Hobo's Lullabye ' - by Arlo Guthrie" will get lots more media attention today than "'Hobo's Lullabye' - tune: "Just Before The Battle, Mother" by George F. Roots/ lyrics: Goebel Reeves."


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Let's give the composers some credit
From: GUEST, Tom Bliss
Date: 19 Apr 11 - 05:35 AM

mg: Ah - I see what you mean now. That's not something that happens to me, but I know what you're talking about.

Re 'Star of the County Down' - this is from the Jersey Jaques 'sleeve notes':

"For The Trial song I've made a new tune that runs over a version of the melody Kingsfold, which was collected by Ralph Vaughn Williams in Dorset, though the earliest written reference is the Scottish Gilderoy c1726. It crops up under many lyrics (including hymns), the best known being the Irish Star of The County Down (words by Cathal McGarvey 1866-1927). The Star's happy, 'boy-meets-girl' lyrics and arrangement would not have suggested themselves for the trial scene, but the 'transportation' variant Van Diemens Land - which uses the melody in a darker mood - was ideal. Van Diemens Land comes in many forms (often with other melodies), but most are related to Henry The Poacher, The Lincolnshire Poacher and other songs about transportation. (U2 recorded a completely different song of the same name)."

So perhaps you see what I mean, too.

Tom


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Let's give the composers some credit
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 19 Apr 11 - 12:17 PM

Whats just as bad, and it happened to me years ago, in Austin, I started a song, got to the third verse, and my mind went blank..THREE times!..but finally remembered it..and what's even worse..I wrote it!!!

GfS


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Let's give the composers some credit
From: Genie
Date: 20 Apr 11 - 10:12 PM

LOL, GfS
But what would REALLY be worse would be if you remembered those lyrics but forgot who wrote that song!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Let's give the composers some credit
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 21 Apr 11 - 12:15 AM

Genie: "LOL, GfS But what would REALLY be worse would be if you remembered those lyrics but forgot who wrote that song!"

What song?

Wink!

GfS


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Let's give the composers some credit
From: pavane
Date: 21 Apr 11 - 08:19 AM

Asking who wrote a song can always open a huge can of worms.

Here is an example - everyone knows "Daisy, Daisy" about the bicycle built for two, don't they? You can find many references giving the composer's name.

But if you search diligently, you will find a song from 20 years or more earlier, even before bicycles were common, called "Sarah, Sarah" with the same theme, referring to a "donkey cart made for two".

This was, of course, before copyright laws were introduced.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Let's give the composers some credit
From: Midchuck
Date: 21 Apr 11 - 09:10 AM

"'The First Time' by Roberta Flack" does convey the idea that Roberta Flack wrote the song, not just that she had the biggest hit record with it.

Yeah, it's annoying. I think, though, if I were Mr. McColl or Ms. Seeger, I'd put up with the annoyance, assuming that the publisher of Ms. Flack's recording got the copyright clearance and paid the appropriate royalties.

I'm reminded of a line attributed to Bill Monroe, after Elvis recorded "Blue Moon of Kentucky." Mr. Monroe had written it as a swingy waltz, but Elvis put it in straight time and sang it as a rocker. Someone interviewing Mr. Monroe asked him what he thought of Elvis's version, knowing that Mr. Monroe was a proud man and protective of his music, and expecting some outrage.

Mr. Monroe was supposed to have answered only: "Those were powerful royalties...POWERFUL royalties."

Peter.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Let's give the composers some credit
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 21 Apr 11 - 10:24 AM

I got some very funny looks at a recent Scottish festival session when I sang "The Female Drummer" - which in one version has the same tune as "Yellow on the Broom" - which I so much better known and well-loved.
Adam MacNaughtan wrote the lyrics to "Yellow on the Broom" and freely admits using the tune, but to some of assembled company it seemed they thought I was doing something heretical by daring to sing a different song to that tune. I did explain it to them afterwards, as it was a "not a lot of people know that" situation.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Let's give the composers some credit
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 21 Apr 11 - 10:35 AM

Oh, and another Christy Moore song? "Jphn O'Dreams"?
Tchaikovsky's 6th Symphony (The Pathetique) first movement - with a slight change of timing only, the tune is the same!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Let's give the composers some credit
From: Leadfingers
Date: 21 Apr 11 - 11:02 AM

And John O' Dreams is another Bill Caddick song !!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Let's give the composers some credit
From: kendall
Date: 21 Apr 11 - 12:05 PM

Why waste a good tune on one song?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Let's give the composers some credit
From: Leadfingers
Date: 21 Apr 11 - 07:45 PM

Good Point cap'n , but I dont do words , so I steal words and cobble my own tune to fit


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Let's give the composers some credit
From: Genie
Date: 22 Apr 11 - 05:22 AM

Well, every word in every lyric and every note in every tune I've ever written were stolen from other songs. It's just the order that's different.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Let's give the lyricists some credit
From: Genie
Date: 22 Apr 11 - 05:34 AM

Midchuck , yes, songwriters are often delighted to have well-known performers 'steal' their songs (e.g., be thought to have written them) when that brings the song to national or world-wide attention and brings in the royalties.   Sometimes, as in the case of "Blue Moon Of Kentucky" or Carl Perkins's "Blue Suede Shoes," the original songwriter & performer even adopt the new arrangement & styling brought to the song by the new recording artist.   (Kris Kristofferson probably feels just fine about what Janis Joplin did with his "Me And Bobby McGee.")   
Nevertheless, I still think it's important, when possible, to remind people who it was who actually wrote the song.    It's one thing for the general public to sort of assume that the recording artist wrote the song, but when you're posting song lyrics online or in a song sheet, if you don't really know who wrote it, I think it's better to leave that line blank than to just put in the performer's name as composer/lyricist.
I think it's very helpful for people to be able to find the accurate songwriter credits when they want them. But sometimes that's very hard when the internet, for example, is so full of wrongly attributed song lyrics.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Let's give the composers some credit
From: Fkoll
Date: 22 Apr 11 - 06:56 AM

As the writer ofGoin Gone, Let's Talk Dirty in Hawaiian, and other songs I am
always pleased to be credited for my work. Even the record labels are notoriously lazy.
Angel Eyes which I co wrote with John Hiatt often lacks my name in the credits. My old friend Shel Silverstein misspelled my name but thanked me for Yes Mr Rogers but I
was left off as a writer on cd re releases of his catalog.
You Tube is worse . If you see a video without credits please ask the performer
to search for the correct info thru BMI, ASCAP......and post it with that info.

Questions about my songs"
Go to fredkoller.com

Best to all,
Fred


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Let's give the composers some credit
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 22 Apr 11 - 12:49 PM

Genie: "Well, every word in every lyric and every note in every tune I've ever written were stolen from other songs. It's just the order that's different."

Well, try to pull up something well within your heart, that you'd never wanted to admit before. You might think its dumb, but others may even marvel at it. It works for me!

GfS


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Let's give the composers some credit
From: Genie
Date: 22 Apr 11 - 04:16 PM

GfS, I'm not sure how your suggestion connects with that little tongue-in-cheek comment I made about my "words" and "notes" all having been used in other songs & poems before. ; )


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Let's give the composers some credit
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 23 Apr 11 - 04:06 AM

Genie: "GfS, I'm not sure how your suggestion connects with that little tongue-in-cheek comment I made about my "words" and "notes" all having been used in other songs & poems before. ; )"

Then with some tasty 'twist of a phase' lyrical images, about juicy emotions rarely admitted...I bet you could compose some REAL tongue dancing music,....couldn't you???....aw, come on, now!!

Works for me!

GfS


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Let's give the composers some credit
From: PHJim
Date: 29 Apr 11 - 02:25 AM

Genie: "Well, every word in every lyric and every note in every tune I've ever written were stolen from other songs. It's just the order that's different."

I'm afraid I'm guilty of using between song patter...without recalling/crediting where I heard it. "No, we don't do dueling banjos, but here's one with a lot of the same notes that we hope you'll like."


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Let's give the composers some credit
From: Genie
Date: 29 Apr 11 - 09:33 AM

Good one, Jim.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Let's give the composers some credit
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 29 Apr 11 - 10:19 AM

Well, I suppose it's better than inventing some new notes.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Let's give the composers some credit
From: Genie
Date: 29 Apr 11 - 06:30 PM

'Fraid I've done that a couple times too in live performance, Jim.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Let's give the composers some credit
From: PHJim
Date: 22 May 11 - 11:56 PM

In 1949, K.C. Douglas recorded Mercury Boogie. The Steve Miller Band changed the title to Mercury Blues when they recorded it in 1976. David Lindley had a hit with it in 1981 on his El Rayo Ex album, the first version I ever heard. Slide guitarist Roy Rogers and country singer Alan Jackson also made great versions of this song. Meat Loaf and Dwight Yoakam also recorded it, though I`ve never heard their versions. Despite this, no one seems to have heard of K.C. Douglas.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Let's give the composers some credit
From: bubblyrat
Date: 23 May 11 - 10:17 AM

A recent programme on British TV , ostensibly about "folk" music , featured an attractive Scottish lady singing "Shoals Of Herring" ,which was described merely as a "Scottish Song " , with no mention of Jimmy Miller , aka Ewen McColl from Manchester. Similarly neglected is Roy Williamson , late of The Corries ,whose name is often conspicuous by its absence where renditions of "Flower Of Scotland" are concerned .


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Let's give the composers some credit
From: Stringsinger
Date: 23 May 11 - 02:26 PM

Genie, try "Sailing, Sailing Over the Bounding Main" to "Puff" also.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Let's give the composers some credit
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 06 Jul 11 - 11:51 PM

About writing new lyrics to another tune- "Rum and Coca-Cola" uses the tune of "L'Annee Passee". The only thing is that if someone wanted to write new lyrics to the "Rum and Coca-Cola" melody, they would probably be sued because it was copyrighted (by someone who didn't even write the song, just rewrote the verses!) so if you want to use another tune, use a traditional one.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Let's give the composers some credit
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 07 Jul 11 - 09:11 AM

Re Ewan McColl songs: I think it was the presenter, not the performer who said or implied that "Shoals of Herring" was a Scottish song, but it would have been good to attribute it more correctly, and certainly Scotland is not the only place where herring was fished: most of the locations mentioned in the song are well south of the Border!.

I didn't know until very recently, that the tune for his "Song of the Fishgutters" was borrowed from an older song in the Stewart family tradition (Elizabeth Stewart sang a snatch of it at Girvan Festival - a song about Bennachie).

And I was just looking up "The Manchester Rambler": on Wikipedia and other sites it says the tune is borrowed from Haydn's 94th symphony!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Let's give the composers some credit
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 07 Jul 11 - 10:41 AM

If anything ' Shoals of Herring ' would be a Norfolk song, it was based on the speach patterns of Sam Larner, using Labans Theory of Efforts, when Ewan MacColl first sang it to Sam Larner he said he'd known it all his life.

Dave H


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Let's give the composers some credit
From: GUEST,Don Wise
Date: 07 Jul 11 - 02:49 PM

As someone who has, over the years, cobbled together a song or two and made tunes for texts exhumed from dusty local history archives, here's my two penn'orth. I may stray off-topic a little!
When I sing a song someone else has written I always try to give credit where credit is due, something which on the folk/acoustic music 'scene' is fairly easy, although I have one song where I can only attribute the text to 'anon'. When it comes to the 'standards/pop'n'rock' world things get difficult-even with google. Even presenters of radio shows can shine through sloppy research e.g. they've never heard of Ewen McColl.
When I started song-writing, I was producing 'Mock-Traditional' style songs, along with many other better known writers. Hearing one of your own songs introduced by a singer as 'traditional' was a sort of accolade! A seal of acceptance and, perhaps, quality(?).On the other hand, it's nice to hear yourself being given the credit for a good song- unless of course, the other singer mangles it up completely!
As far as borrowing tunes is concerned, surely one of the reasons that the denizens of Seven Dials wrote to existing tunes was that it simplified spreading their songs among the populace. Coming home from market with a new broadside, it was a reasonable bet that somebody in the pub would know the tune specified for the song. And of course, an existing tune makes a useful framework when you're writing- the only problem is, some tunes, e.g.'Van Diemans Land', are so insiduous that it's well nigh impossible to find your own tune once the song is complete!
On stage, I rarely plug my songs as my own work unless they are tied to specific events or personal experiences. Ditto with tunes for songs exhumed from the archives.(I can think of one group in the UK who might be surprised to know where one of their songs actually comes from!) The town of Bakewell never knew there was a song about their witches until 2009, 35 years after I wrote it. Songs can catch up with their writer!

Don W.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Let's give the composers some credit
From: Jack Campin
Date: 08 Jul 11 - 05:41 AM

One I only just realized: Adam Macnaughtan's "Jeely Piece Song" uses the tune of "Does Your Chewing Gum Lose Its Flavour On the Bedpost Overnight?" which I used to attribute to Lonnie Donegan.

Google finds it credited like this:

Based on the 1924 original by Ernest Hare & Billy Jones
"Does The Spearmint Lose Its Flavor On The Bedpost Overnight?
(Marty Bloom / Ernest Breuer / Billy Rose)"


Are Ernest Hare and Ernest Breuer the same person?
Was Billy Jones a pseudonym for Billy Rose?
Where did Marty Bloom fit in?
And where did Donegan find it?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Let's give the composers some credit
From: reynard
Date: 08 Jul 11 - 09:27 AM

"Hearing one of your own songs introduced by a singer as 'traditional' was a sort of accolade!"

Copyright and royalty issues aside, it's good for new songs to be absorbed into the tradition as "anon". What upsets me is when traditional songs are claimed or attributed to famous singers/writers/collectors. I recently ploughed through dozens of Youtube versions of "Jock of Hazeldean" with a view to singing it myself and was surprised to see it repeatedly attributed to Walter Scott. He famously "improved" songs that he collected and may have written or changed verses but he did not, as far as I know, make any claim to have written it himself. I think a similar situation pertains to some of Burns' songs, but I haven't done the research (I tried searching on Burns but my computer froze)- perhaps someone can enlighten me further?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Let's give the composers some credit
From: ripov
Date: 08 Jul 11 - 08:39 PM

Regarding new words for old tunes, maybe some tunes are popular because they are easy to write new words to.
See the "i-pad song" thread. No-one has supplied a new tune. But it's pretty obvious which tunes the word-writers were thinking of!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Let's give the composers some credit
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 09 Jul 11 - 12:24 AM

Jack Campin: Billy Jones and Ernest Hare were 2 of my favorite singers of comical songs. (They also did some sentimental ones.) They did not use pseudonyms (that I know of) and they mostly did not write their own songs. They often performed as a duo called The Happiness Boys.

Several songs that they performed have been posted at Mudcat:

IN THE LITTLE RED SCHOOL HOUSE
DOES THE SPEARMINT LOSE ITS FLAVOR ON THE BEDPOST OVERNIGHT
IF YOU KNEW SUSIE (LIKE I KNOW SUSIE)
SINCE HENRY FORD APOLOGIZED TO ME
THE FARMER TOOK ANOTHER LOAD AWAY
BRIDGET O'FLYNN (WHERE'VE YA BEEN?)
I WISH I WAS IN PEORIA
ALL BY YOURSELF IN THE MOONLIGHT

The Internet Archive has a big collection of their recordings, here.

I imagine Lonnie Donegan discovered them the same way a lot of musicians of his era did: by sorting through bins of old 78-rpm records at jumble sales.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Let's give the composers some credit
From: The Sandman
Date: 09 Jul 11 - 08:11 AM

fisher lads of donegal
http://www.youtube.com/user/dickmilesmusic#p/u/27/F7OZUce-E-U


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Let's give the composers some credit
From: PHJim
Date: 09 Jul 11 - 09:47 AM

Here's a little bit of John Hartford's Tryin' To Do Something To Get Your Attention:

I tried real hard to make this song not sound like some other song I've written before.
If I did it's because my style and style is based on limitations.
I tried real hard not to make this song sound like some other song some other singer-songwriter might have written before.
And if I did, that's 'cause it's music, and music is based on repetition.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 24 September 8:16 AM EDT

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.