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Lyr Add: Hummingbird (Carters, Frankie Laine)

Genie 10 Aug 11 - 04:25 AM
GUEST,leeneia 10 Aug 11 - 10:58 AM
NOMADMan 10 Aug 11 - 11:07 AM
Genie 10 Aug 11 - 07:13 PM
NOMADMan 10 Aug 11 - 07:35 PM
Genie 11 Aug 11 - 02:04 AM
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Subject: Lyr Add: Hummingbird (Carters, Frankie Laine)
From: Genie
Date: 10 Aug 11 - 04:25 AM

I just discovered a video of The Carter Family women singing the 1955 song (written by Don Robertson).

I heard Frankie Laine's version back in the 1950s but didn't know anyone else recorded or performed it. The full lyrics are below.   Frankie Laine's version includes only the second chorus, sung after each set of two verses, and ends as in the lyrics below. The Carters (Helen, Anita, June and Maybelle) use only the first chorus and sing it just once, as kind of a bridge between the first two verses and the last two.

I think the Carter women's harmonies make the song more interesting than Laine's solo version (solo with backup singers, but no harmonies in the main lyrics).



HUMMINGBIRD
(words & Music by Don Robertson 1955)

Hummingbird, hummingbird should be your name,
(Hummingbird should be your name)
Too restless to settle, too wild to tame.
(Too restless, too wild to tame)
Too restless to settle, too wild to tame,
Hummingbird, hummingbird should be your name.

Hummingbird, hummingbird winging along,
(Hummingbird winging along)
No tender young blossom can hold you for long.
(No blossom can hold you for long.)
No tender young blossom can hold you for long,
Hummingbird, hummingbird winging along,

You'd hug me and kiss me like others I've known,
You'd promise to love me and call me your own,
And then all my dreams would be shattered apart
By the hum, hum of your hummingbird heart.

Hummingbird, hummingbird feathered so fine,
(Hummingbird feathered so fine)
If I clipped your wings it would not make you mine.
(Oh no, it would not make you mine.)
If I clipped your wings it would not make you mine,
Hummingbird, hummingbird feathered so fine,
Hummingbird, hummingbird, fly right on by
(Hummingbird, fly right on by)
Some folks like to gamble, but, darling, not I.
(Oh, darling, no, darling, not I).
Some folks like to gamble, but, darling, not I.
Hummingbird, hummingbird, fly right on by.

I'd rather be lonesome, I'd rather be blue,
Yes, I'd rather spend my whole life without you
Than feather a nest to be shattered apart
By the hum, hum of your hummingbird heart,
By the hum, hum of your hummingbird heart.

 

© 1955 Don Robertson Music Corporation 
Copyright Renewed 
International Copyright Secured 
All Rights Reserved Including Public Performance for Profit
Licensing: Harry Fox Agency


You can hear the song here:
The Carter Family women: "Hummingbird"


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Hummingbird (Carters, Frankie Laine)
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 10 Aug 11 - 10:58 AM

Thanks for posting, Genie. A scrap of this song has been following me around for many years. Now I know where it came from.

I liked the recording.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Hummingbird (Carters, Frankie Laine)
From: NOMADMan
Date: 10 Aug 11 - 11:07 AM

It was also recorded by Les Paul & Mary Ford, about the same time as Frankie Laine. I believe their version was equally popular.

John


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Hummingbird (Carters, Frankie Laine)
From: Genie
Date: 10 Aug 11 - 07:13 PM

That wouldn't surprise me, John. In that era it was very common for several different recordings of the same song to be released around the same time, sometimes even with 2 or more versions "charting" at the same time.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Hummingbird (Carters, Frankie Laine)
From: NOMADMan
Date: 10 Aug 11 - 07:35 PM

For the record, according to the ntl.matrix website, Frankie Laine's version reached #17 in 1955, Les & Mary's version reached #7. It was very common for 2 or more versions of the same song to chase each other up the charts.

About harmonies, note that by the time this song was recorded the use of multi-track recording had rather recently been perfected - by none other than Les Paul, who was something of a technical genius. So, Mary Ford was able to harmonize with herself, something that was not possible just a few years earlier.

John


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Hummingbird (Carters, Frankie Laine)
From: Genie
Date: 11 Aug 11 - 02:04 AM

On a related but tangential note, I heard Les Paul say that one low-tech way he and Mary got some of their neat effects when they were 'starving musicians' with little access to fancy gadgetry was to have Mary "sing into a metal wastebasket" or the like, to get "reverb." Pretty sure they also did the layering thing, recording the lead vocal and laying down a couple more tracks of exactly the same melody vocal on top of it.

And, now that you guys mention it, I do remember Les Paul and Mary Ford's recording of "Hummingbird" too.

Genie


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