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Origins: Irish songs in Public Domain

triskelion 26 Aug 11 - 01:17 PM
GUEST,Folkman 26 Aug 11 - 01:40 PM
GUEST,Winger 26 Aug 11 - 01:58 PM
GUEST,henryp 26 Aug 11 - 02:09 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 26 Aug 11 - 02:11 PM
McGrath of Harlow 26 Aug 11 - 02:45 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 26 Aug 11 - 03:01 PM
Phil Cooper 26 Aug 11 - 03:24 PM
Artful Codger 26 Aug 11 - 03:34 PM
Richard Bridge 26 Aug 11 - 03:41 PM
triskelion 26 Aug 11 - 04:00 PM
zozimus 26 Aug 11 - 04:45 PM
Dave Hanson 27 Aug 11 - 03:13 AM
zozimus 27 Aug 11 - 11:34 AM
T in Oklahoma (Okiemockbird) 27 Aug 11 - 12:30 PM
T in Oklahoma (Okiemockbird) 27 Aug 11 - 12:39 PM
triskelion 29 Aug 11 - 12:53 PM
Marje 29 Aug 11 - 02:01 PM
Richard Bridge 29 Aug 11 - 03:26 PM
GUEST,leeneia 29 Aug 11 - 05:47 PM
Jim Dixon 30 Aug 11 - 05:25 PM
John P 30 Aug 11 - 05:44 PM
McGrath of Harlow 30 Aug 11 - 05:47 PM
John P 30 Aug 11 - 06:08 PM
GUEST 30 Aug 11 - 06:52 PM
McGrath of Harlow 31 Aug 11 - 07:27 AM
triskelion 31 Aug 11 - 12:52 PM
McGrath of Harlow 31 Aug 11 - 01:01 PM
zozimus 31 Aug 11 - 04:20 PM
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Subject: Origins: Irish songs in Public Domain
From: triskelion
Date: 26 Aug 11 - 01:17 PM

There's an Irish pub I want to gig at but its policy is to only allow music in the public domain. I know that can be complicated in the U.S. because arrangements of traditional pieces can be copyrighted, I believe. I'd love to get some suggestions for public domain Irish songs and/or some decent resources to explore - many of the PD websites are general and unwieldy. Thanks.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Irish songs in Public Domain
From: GUEST,Folkman
Date: 26 Aug 11 - 01:40 PM

Dirty Old Town, Wild Rover, Whiskey In The jar & Bunch Of Thyme come to mind all old traditional Irish stuff passed down by the oral tradition. Although many people have claimed them as their own.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Irish songs in Public Domain
From: GUEST,Winger
Date: 26 Aug 11 - 01:58 PM

Dirty Old Town? Traditional? Didn't a certain Englishman have a hand in writing that?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Irish songs in Public Domain
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 26 Aug 11 - 02:09 PM

Ewan MacColl wouldn't be pleased to read that. He claimed he came from Auchterarder.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Irish songs in Public Domain
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 26 Aug 11 - 02:11 PM

"Dirty old Town," first performed in 1946, Theatre Workshop, written by Ewan MacColl.
Copyright. See ASCAP Work ID: 340096337. Glenwood Music Corp. care of EMI Music Publishing.

For general discussion, see thread 30172, "Who wrote D. O. T.?"

Don't remember writer of "Bunch of Thyme," but, as performed, I believe it is in a copyright form.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Irish songs in Public Domain
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 26 Aug 11 - 02:45 PM

I doubt if the pub would be that worried about ethnographical details. I'd think that if you had a songbook which said they were traditional that should cover you.

Of course if you put a list of the songs you fancy singing in a thread here you'll get the true facts about them. Probably in numerous contradictory versions, with a fine old battle...


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Subject: RE: Origins: Irish songs in Public Domain
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 26 Aug 11 - 03:01 PM

Thanks for linking the thread.
Dunno about copyright checking in Ireland, but can descend on performers in the U.S. at unexpected times.
"True facts" on Mudcat? Hmmmmmmmmmm- Unless copyright data are given, take with 2+ pounds of salt (kilogram).


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Subject: RE: Origins: Irish songs in Public Domain
From: Phil Cooper
Date: 26 Aug 11 - 03:24 PM

If you change the chords, you've in effect arranged the song yourself, so you don't need to worry about a copyright arrangement. But, as stated above, a lot of songs we think of as traditional were written more recently.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Irish songs in Public Domain
From: Artful Codger
Date: 26 Aug 11 - 03:34 PM

Yes and no--simply tweaking someone else's arrangement (one which is still identifiably theirs) is still infringement of an arrangement copyright--at least in the U.S. And with most songs, you don't want to change the chords much or you change their intrinsic nature--the performance becomes more of a modern conceit. Copyright laws are now designed to generate undeserved profit for large corporations, so any rationality in their application is not to be expected, particularly in regard to traditional materials.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Irish songs in Public Domain
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 26 Aug 11 - 03:41 PM

You should be OK with the version of Bunch of Thyme collected in 1906 and in the Marrobones collection. But it's not Irish.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Irish songs in Public Domain
From: triskelion
Date: 26 Aug 11 - 04:00 PM

I wonder how knowledgeable the ASCAP/BMI secret agents are about this genre; seems to me they would be looking among clubs that don't pay fees for the Katy Perry and Pink Floyd songs. Guess I'll have to feel the club out as to what other acts are playing there for songs.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Irish songs in Public Domain
From: zozimus
Date: 26 Aug 11 - 04:45 PM

Ahh go on! Give me a clue as to where this pub is. Your best bet is to get one of the many compilation songbooks "Best of Irish Ballads". They will list songs considered to be Trad or Public Domain, which includes compositions by Ewan MacColl, Ralph McTell and many others. Don't forget "Fiddler's Green", John Conolly has long ago given up the battle, or Belfast Mill ( Si Kahn was almost physically attacked for suggesting it was based on his song Aragon Mill).These are now trad. in some good songbooks. I think the spies and informers are only concerned with pop music. As regards copywrite on arrangements, learn the song from the original source singer, which is often much better than fancy arranagements anyway. If you play guitar, leave it slightly out of tune, that way they have no comeback on you.
Meanwhile, enjoy the Guinness. If you can't beat them, join them!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Irish songs in Public Domain
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 27 Aug 11 - 03:13 AM

What is this pub going to do ? scrutinize your set list ? check all the songs/tunes out ? then tell you what you may or may not sing or play ?

I've never heard owt so daft.

Dave H


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Subject: RE: Origins: Irish songs in Public Domain
From: zozimus
Date: 27 Aug 11 - 11:34 AM

If you look up the website www.imro.ie you will find out what this is all about. Irish Music Rights Organisation (imro) charges a blanket licence fee for the performances of copyrighted music used in live performances in Hotels or Pubs, and also on radio and TV stations. The monies go back into the music business and musicians/composers join up and get a few bob back. While it is impossible to track which songs are sung most and who deserves the biggest cut, they argue at least they are doing something to help the artists.
I don't know how much this licence is but this pub is obviously not willing to pay. Songs enter the Public Domain 70 years after their birth.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Irish songs in Public Domain
From: T in Oklahoma (Okiemockbird)
Date: 27 Aug 11 - 12:30 PM

triskelion, are you in U.S.? Or Ireland?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Irish songs in Public Domain
From: T in Oklahoma (Okiemockbird)
Date: 27 Aug 11 - 12:39 PM

Anyhow, this book's U.S. copyright has long expired, so if I were planning a performance, I would consider the book's contents prima facie safe for public performance in the U.S.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Irish songs in Public Domain
From: triskelion
Date: 29 Aug 11 - 12:53 PM

Thanks T. et. al.; I'm in the U.S. I did some more research and found this site that lists a number of songs already in my repetoire as PD or considered traditional.
http://chivalry.com/cantaria/lists/traditional.html


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Subject: RE: Origins: Irish songs in Public Domain
From: Marje
Date: 29 Aug 11 - 02:01 PM

There are loads of Irish songs in the public domain. Just check each one out if you're not sure, as the Irish are quick to claim songs from all over the place and say they're Irish and traditional, when in fact they're neither. Dirty Old Town is a good example, being a song about a town in Lancashire composed by a Scottish/English singer. Another one that isn't Irish or trad is "Green Fields of France", which isn't even its real title but you know the one I mean.

The list you've found has lots of good stuff in it from Britain and Ireland. Whether a song is actually Irish or not matters less, as there are no legal complications. I'm sure you can find plenty there without infringing copyright.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Irish songs in Public Domain
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 29 Aug 11 - 03:26 PM

Lilliburlero is safe - and most of its sets of words!

And Turlough [O'] Carolan too.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Irish songs in Public Domain
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 29 Aug 11 - 05:47 PM

1. Go to your public library and get old songs from its books.

2. Buy books from Dover Publications, such as '60 Irish Songs for Low Voice.' (or High Voice.) Dover specializes in uncopyrighed stuff.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Irish songs in Public Domain
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 30 Aug 11 - 05:25 PM

Any song you find in one of these books will be in the public domain.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Irish songs in Public Domain
From: John P
Date: 30 Aug 11 - 05:44 PM

I used to play every Friday evening in a restaurant/pub in Seattle that wanted only PD material. The owner was confronted on a semi-regular basis about licensing fees, hence the rule. He had live music almost every evening, so he was visible. He left it up to the musicians to do it right. As for how knowledgeable the inspectors are, there was a fella that came around sometimes, didn't act anything like a folk music fan, didn't seem interested in most of our music, and consistently requested Steeleye Span songs that were their originals -- never any of their traditional material. Somewhat slim evidence, but we believed he was trying to get us to play copyrighted material so he could bust the venue. ASCAP and BMI seemed rather disturbed by the existence of a music venue that wasn't paying the fees.

Mudcat is a very good place to find out about specific titles. As someone who has seen a tune I wrote listed as traditional on an album, I advise against believing liner notes or books (or persons) where the citations aren't listed.

On another note, can a set of chords, if they are the obvious ones for a melody, really be considered an arrangement? I do highly arranged music, and I would be kind of pissed if someone lifted my riffs, rhythms, or unusual harmonic content without attribution, but I would never claim ownership of the basic chords themselves.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Irish songs in Public Domain
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 30 Aug 11 - 05:47 PM

a tune I wrote listed as traditional on an album

A tube or a song? (I've written loads of songs with tunes I didn't write.)


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Subject: RE: Origins: Irish songs in Public Domain
From: John P
Date: 30 Aug 11 - 06:08 PM

It was a dance tune. Most of the songs I've written use words I didn't write, being traditional material where I couldn't find a tune I really liked.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Irish songs in Public Domain
From: GUEST
Date: 30 Aug 11 - 06:52 PM

Why not give us a list of songs you intend doing and we can tell you whats PD or not.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Irish songs in Public Domain
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 31 Aug 11 - 07:27 AM

I'd doubt if the pub would be too interested in what was said on a Mudcat thread.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Irish songs in Public Domain
From: triskelion
Date: 31 Aug 11 - 12:52 PM

Here is a list of the songs in my repertoire I am not sure of being in PD. Of course, I would have to add songs as well.

The Creel
Mantle of Green
Wild Rover
Homes of Donegal
Carmin Fair
Rose of Tralee
The Ferryman
I'll Tell Me Ma
Lakes of the Ponchartrain
The Hills of Sweet Mayo
Let Mr. McGuire Sit Down
Maids When You're Young
Whiskey in the Jar
Home Boys, Home
Will You Go, Lassie
Parting Glass
Eileen O'Grady


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Subject: RE: Origins: Irish songs in Public Domain
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 31 Aug 11 - 01:01 PM

Here's Paul Brady singing Homes of Donegal, with some stuff about its origins.

Most of the others are long since in Public Domain.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Irish songs in Public Domain
From: zozimus
Date: 31 Aug 11 - 04:20 PM

The Ferryman may be a Pete St. John composition but the rest are all PD


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