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Man/Woman songs

Tony Burns 29 Dec 99 - 08:20 PM
emily rain 29 Dec 99 - 08:28 PM
kendall 29 Dec 99 - 08:58 PM
JenEllen 29 Dec 99 - 09:08 PM
Mbo 29 Dec 99 - 10:05 PM
MMario 29 Dec 99 - 10:17 PM
_gargoyle 29 Dec 99 - 10:33 PM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 29 Dec 99 - 10:44 PM
Gary T 29 Dec 99 - 11:18 PM
Mary G 29 Dec 99 - 11:50 PM
Gary T 30 Dec 99 - 02:14 AM
JenEllen 30 Dec 99 - 03:32 AM
Llanfair 30 Dec 99 - 05:05 AM
Owlkat 30 Dec 99 - 06:33 AM
kendall 30 Dec 99 - 06:43 AM
WyoWoman 30 Dec 99 - 09:09 AM
T in Oklahoma (Okiemockbird) 30 Dec 99 - 09:22 AM
Bert 30 Dec 99 - 11:13 AM
Bert 30 Dec 99 - 11:18 AM
GUEST,Don Elliott 07 Apr 10 - 06:44 PM
GUEST,Allan Connochie 07 Apr 10 - 07:15 PM
beeliner 07 Apr 10 - 07:31 PM
MGM·Lion 07 Apr 10 - 11:59 PM
MGM·Lion 09 Apr 10 - 06:06 AM
Cuilionn 09 Apr 10 - 11:28 AM
GUEST,TJ in San Diego 09 Apr 10 - 04:36 PM
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Subject: Man/Woman songs
From: Tony Burns
Date: 29 Dec 99 - 08:20 PM

In the thread I started on songs of limited range Mudder emily rain commented on women songs that men might sing. This made me think about songs that are sung in the first person. I know many women that have no trouble singing songs sung from the first person masculine point of view but I cannot think of one song from a woman's point of view that a men commonly sing.

For discussion:

Is this true and why?

Is this false and what examples can you give to support your position?


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Subject: RE: Man/Woman songs
From: emily rain
Date: 29 Dec 99 - 08:28 PM

actually, there are hundreds. they just all have the same first verse:

as i walked out over __________ [insert place name]
one misty morning early
i overheard a fair pretty maid
was lamenting __________________ [insert foreshadowing]


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Subject: RE: Man/Woman songs
From: kendall
Date: 29 Dec 99 - 08:58 PM

My most recent recording has one titled PALACE GRAND. it is done from a womans point of view. I have no trouble singing a womans song. Thats what happens when a man matures and is able to integrate his female side. I'm warning you 'spaw..I'm still male enough!!


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Subject: RE: Man/Woman songs
From: JenEllen
Date: 29 Dec 99 - 09:08 PM

I've heard "The Gallant Forty-Twa" sung either way, and done equally well. Elle


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Subject: RE: Man/Woman songs
From: Mbo
Date: 29 Dec 99 - 10:05 PM

Yeah, I always thought that "The Gallant Forty-Twa" was about a father and son, but it really could go both ways. "Summer Of My Dreams" was written by a man, but is always sung by women. That one could be a gender crosser too.

--Mbo


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Subject: RE: Man/Woman songs
From: MMario
Date: 29 Dec 99 - 10:17 PM

I know there are some songs in the female point of view I have sung in the past, but mostly, if I can't change them around to the male pov I don't sing them. However, there is gonna be one major exception soon....Barry Taylor's the Emmigrant's Daughter - even if I have to bill it as the worlds hardest audience participation number....(picturing me as a sweet young Irish colleen is gonna be pretty damn difficult....)


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Subject: RE: Man/Woman songs
From: _gargoyle
Date: 29 Dec 99 - 10:33 PM

NOT!!!!!....a traditional folk song....

However, today....I heard on the radio....the USA "Carpenter's" (brother and sister) sing "Why do Birds Suddenly"

Only, the sickest of minds would see this as "incestuous".....

Each had "their" part and each sang their refrain...

A glorious bounty of songs share the same "formulie."


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Subject: RE: Man/Woman songs
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 29 Dec 99 - 10:44 PM

What about the song "Old Maid In the Garrett"?


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Subject: RE: Man/Woman songs
From: Gary T
Date: 29 Dec 99 - 11:18 PM

I'm male. I sing "St. Louis Blues" and "Someday Soon", and I'll bet I'm not the only one. Lots of males sing "Danny Boy". When a song can be fairly easily converted, such as "Until It's Time For You to Go", I'll change the pronouns etc. and make it a "man's" song. I imagine most people feel a little more natural singing a song from the point of view of their own sex, but I'm sure there are many of us who will sing a song we really like regardless.


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Subject: RE: Man/Woman songs
From: Mary G
Date: 29 Dec 99 - 11:50 PM

I don't understand why anyone wouldn't sing any song they like...and I can't understand why anyone would change any words unless they were racist or something...but that is just my preference...but once you mess with words, people hearing the song for the first song aren't going to know what the "real" words are...and yes, I do believe there are "real" words for each song and they are exactly the ones that I first learned...

p.s. can anyone who wants to feed the hungry in a totally simple way (one click of the mouse) just click here http://www.thehungersite.com/index.html. and pass the word on...my goal is to get 200 new people fed each day...sorry for the soap box..


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Subject: RE: Man/Woman songs
From: Gary T
Date: 30 Dec 99 - 02:14 AM

Well, Mary, I too wish there were less word-changing sometimes. Examples: In "Someday Soon", Ian and Sylvia sing "If he asks, I'll follow him down the toughest row to hoe", but Judy Collins changed it to "I would follow him right down the toughest road I know". Did she think that better expressed the meaning she was conveying, or just mis-hear what was sung on the original? And in "Yesterday When I Was Young", Charles Aznavour (sp?) sings about the house he "built, alas, on weak and shifting sand", but Roy Clark (who must be above buying sheet music) made it "built to last on weak and shifting sand"--nonsensical and contradictory. HOWEVER--

In many songs, changing the narrator from male to female or vice versa doesn't affect the meaning and makes it seem less silly than "impersonating" the opposite sex. In "Until It's Time For You to Go", I don't see where it matters which member of the couple is speaking. I can't see any point in my singing "You're a man" and "I'm a woman", when I can sing "I'm a man" and "You're a woman" without altering the sentiment or message of the song. I think most people are quite accustomed to certain songs having "he" changed to "she", etc., depending upon whether a male or female is singing it, and just take it in stride.


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Subject: RE: Man/Woman songs
From: JenEllen
Date: 30 Dec 99 - 03:32 AM

Have to agree with Gary, take it in stride. This is supposed to be fun. I think it all depends on the WHO more than the WHAT. Trying too hard to be gender perfect can kill a song worse than just making a joyful noise. Elle


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Subject: RE: Man/Woman songs
From: Llanfair
Date: 30 Dec 99 - 05:05 AM

I know that it isn't a folksong, but Noel Coward wrote "Mad about the boy" from the heart, and it is viewed as purely a women's song. Bron.


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Subject: RE: Man/Woman songs
From: Owlkat
Date: 30 Dec 99 - 06:33 AM

Hi hi,
I recently had the new experience of putting together a band for New Years, and I wanted everyone to have as much opportunity to sing as possible. The theme is East Coast Canadian stuff, and it was not at all hard to assign songs to the women singing in the group. I found that a number of songs could be "re-gendered" without any pronoun changes and it was neat to hear them sung in a high timbre for a change.
I did do a re-write on "The Leaving Of Liverpool" from the viewpoint of the wives left behind, which I was looking forward to hearing sung, but then, two of the vocalists bailed out, so it'll have to wait. Sheesh. Singers. Anyway.
I've found songs I like, written for and sung by women, and I do them anyway. I don't worry about how they'll sound. I like 'em and that's what counts. I love to belt out "I Know A Heartache When I See One", at bar-gigs. I also do some Indigo Girls stuff. It's great stuff. Why not?
I write songs, and one of them is called,"A Diet Pepsi And A One Way Ticket To Edmonton". Strange title, but true story. I got it from a woman standing in front of me at the Whitehorse Greyhound station. She said those words, and then I went home and wrote it from what I imagined was her perspective.
It's been sung by women friends of mine at festivals and people have expressed surprise to find that it was written by a man.
In the end, I think it's the empathy for the teller of the song's story that matters. Putting yourself in somebody else's shoes for a change. The world gets to be just a little better everytime that happens.
Cheers, Owl.


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Subject: RE: Man/Woman songs
From: kendall
Date: 30 Dec 99 - 06:43 AM

I once heard a guy, a Morris dancer, state."I hate to see women Morris dancers..especially "titty" ones. God, save me from the purists. If you like it..do it. If the song is any good, your gender will hardly be noticed.


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Subject: RE: Man/Woman songs
From: WyoWoman
Date: 30 Dec 99 - 09:09 AM

On his "New Wood" CD, Si Kahn sang two of his songs, "Backroom Lady" and "Better Half of You," that are written from a woman's p.o.v. Good thing, because if he hadn't, I wouldn't have them in my life now, and I like them very much.

I often will rejigger the lyrics a little to make them gender appropriate so I can sing them more naturally. But if it's a great song and I want to sing it, I figure storytellers often tell their tales from a p.o.v. not their own, so why not? (Although, this strains credulity sometimes. I'm thinking of "Lady Mary" and trying to imagine Mmario singing "I knew I would be his bride, with a kiss for a lifetime fee..." and, well, it's probably as goofy as me trying to sing some burly railroader's song...)

WW


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Subject: RE: Man/Woman songs
From: T in Oklahoma (Okiemockbird)
Date: 30 Dec 99 - 09:22 AM

I think male singers sing "I'll tell my ma" fairly often.

Then there's the biblical Song of Songs which is partly from the woman's point of view. Generations of male and female worshippers have sung metrical paraphrases of these passages, such as the following:

Meter:C.M.D.
To the tune Old Hundred Nineteenth (or any other tune in that meter, such as The Yellow Rose of Texas)

Let him with kisses of his mouth be pleased me to kiss
Because much better than the wine thy loving kindness is.
Thy name as poured forth ointment is; because of the sweet smell
of thy good ointments, therefore do the maidens love thee well.

T.


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Subject: Lyr Add: Still I Love Him 2^^
From: Bert
Date: 30 Dec 99 - 11:13 AM

I often sing "Still I love Him". A different version to the one in DT, but still from the woman's point of view.

When I was single I had a black shawl
now I am married I've nothing at all
still I love him I'll forgive him

I'll go with him wherever he goes.
He came up the row and he whispered me out
then he went off with young Kitty McCloud
still I.....

He gave me a handkerchief red white and blue
then to clean windows he tore it in two
still I.....

Me back is a breaking me fingers is sore
gutting the herring he brings to the shore
still I.....

The storm is a raging his boat isn't in
dursn't one tell me what's happened to him
still I.....

If he's gone to heaven he'll come to no harm
if he's gone to hell then he'll keep himself warm
still I.....


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Subject: RE: Man/Woman songs
From: Bert
Date: 30 Dec 99 - 11:18 AM

Dammit I got the line breaks in the wrong place - must be getting old.

When I was single I had a black shawl
now I am married I've nothing at all
still I love him I'll forgive him
I'll go with him wherever he goes.

He came up the row and .....

and so on.


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Subject: RE: Man/Woman songs
From: GUEST,Don Elliott
Date: 07 Apr 10 - 06:44 PM

In the 50s a male singer took great courage and recorded an LP of female songs. beautifully orchestrated and great sound quality. I bought this and through the years have miss placed it.. I think it was on Capitol but could be wrong. Never the less, I wish I still had it or could buy it on CD
Truly a great recording.
mrdwe@spamcop.net


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Subject: RE: Man/Woman songs
From: GUEST,Allan Connochie
Date: 07 Apr 10 - 07:15 PM

There's quite a few songs from the female perspective in the Scots reptoire which are often sung by men. To name just three.........The Highland Widow's Lament, The Lowlands Of Holland, John Anderson My Jo


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Subject: RE: Man/Woman songs
From: beeliner
Date: 07 Apr 10 - 07:31 PM

"Me and Bobby McGee"

Man/woman, man/man, possibly even woman/woman(?).


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Subject: RE: Man/Woman songs
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 07 Apr 10 - 11:59 PM

I often find the way round this difficulty is to change, e.g.,

"I am a young girl and my fortune is bad,
I've always been courted by the wagoner's lad"

to

"It's of a young girl and her fortune is bad,
Says 'I've always been courted by the wagoner's lad'" ...


Not always, mind: wouldn't dream of messing with The Besom Maker, which I learned from male singers as well as from Purslow & Palmer books, & always sing straight 1st-person ~~ such a great song! Frank Purslow wrote in his note, "essentially a girl's song, although nearly always traditionally sung by men" [The Foggy Dew EFDSS 1974].


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Subject: RE: Man/Woman songs
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 09 Apr 10 - 06:06 AM

rfrsh


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Subject: RE: Man/Woman songs
From: Cuilionn
Date: 09 Apr 10 - 11:28 AM

In my experience, singers of Scottish Gaelic songs seem to be less bothered by "engendered" lyrics. Men sing songs from a woman's perspective and women sing songs from a man's perspective without hesitation, and everyone--singer and hearers alike--focus their attention primarily on the beauty of the song itself, and how well it may be conveyed by any singer.

It may be a little different with traditional work songs. While Hebridean women have taken all manner of men's (mostly seafaring) work songs into the waulking song repertoire (for the purpose of singing while doing the nasty, arduous work of fulling wool cloth), I can't recall having ever heard a man sing a milking croon, and it's rare to hear men singing lullabyes, which are certainly a variety of work song as well!


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Subject: RE: Man/Woman songs
From: GUEST,TJ in San Diego
Date: 09 Apr 10 - 04:36 PM

Not to offend anyone in the audience, but Noel Coward and Cole Porter, among a number of fine songwriters, wrote songs from the heart aimed at gentlemen,for very personal reasons. Yet, when you hear the words, it really works either way. One very famous African American singer from the fifties, who is still around, sang a number of hugely popular songs which most listeners likely assumed were love songs for women. I can't say what the singer pictured as he sang the words, but having known people in his backup band years ago, I can't think it was a female he was so rapturous about. It doesn't matter. We all hear the lyrics through the filter of our personal expectations and experiences.

I used to feel a little awkward doing songs that were told from the female point of view, but there are some that are just too lovely to leave alone. I feel no need to reach for a wig when singing them either.


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