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Derivation of 'Kisses Sweeter than Wine'

DigiTrad:
KISSES SWEETER THAN WINE


Related threads:
Lyr Req: If it Wasn't for Dicky (Lead Belly) (11)
Lyr Req: Evening Shades & Northfield (Weavers) (2)


GUEST,murray@mpce.mq.edu.au 17 Aug 00 - 09:47 PM
bflat 17 Aug 00 - 10:09 PM
Bud Savoie 17 Aug 00 - 10:09 PM
GUEST,Bruce O. 17 Aug 00 - 11:02 PM
GUEST,murray@mpce.mq.edu.au 18 Aug 00 - 02:54 AM
Bud Savoie 18 Aug 00 - 07:34 AM
GUEST,Bruce O. 18 Aug 00 - 01:02 PM
GUEST,Les B 18 Aug 00 - 02:00 PM
Don Firth 18 Aug 00 - 04:18 PM
GUEST,murray@mpce.mq.edu.au 18 Aug 00 - 08:38 PM
Ferrara 18 Aug 00 - 08:52 PM
Stewie 18 Aug 00 - 11:50 PM
GUEST,Bruce O. 19 Aug 00 - 03:46 PM
raredance 20 Aug 00 - 12:45 AM
GUEST,Bruce O. 20 Aug 00 - 12:53 AM
GUEST,murray@mpce.mq.edu.au 20 Aug 00 - 12:22 PM
raredance 20 Aug 00 - 09:41 PM
Cobble 21 Aug 00 - 08:02 PM
Snuffy 21 Aug 00 - 08:19 PM
Ferrara 21 Aug 00 - 11:37 PM
LR Mole 22 Aug 00 - 11:27 AM
Rick Fielding 22 Aug 00 - 12:53 PM
raredance 23 Aug 00 - 12:00 AM
MiriamKilmer 26 Oct 00 - 04:48 PM
murray@mpce.mq.edu.au 27 Oct 00 - 05:49 AM
Frankham 27 Oct 00 - 01:48 PM
mousethief 27 Oct 00 - 02:12 PM
Rick Fielding 01 Jan 01 - 12:18 PM
GUEST,John Hill 02 Jan 01 - 05:18 AM
GUEST,Ewan McVicar 02 Jan 01 - 05:26 AM
GUEST,Leslie 02 Jan 01 - 01:30 PM
Blackcatter 02 Jan 01 - 02:10 PM
Peter T. 02 Jan 01 - 02:41 PM
Blackcatter 03 Jan 01 - 03:41 PM
old head 03 Jan 01 - 04:38 PM
Rick Fielding 03 Jan 01 - 05:21 PM
GUEST,--seed 03 Jan 01 - 05:41 PM
Peter T. 03 Jan 01 - 06:12 PM
Rick Fielding 03 Jan 01 - 06:33 PM
GUEST,sagecorp@lava.net 25 Aug 05 - 08:57 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 26 Aug 05 - 01:56 PM
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Lighter 04 Jan 07 - 03:39 PM
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GUEST 26 Mar 09 - 10:49 PM
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Subject: Derivation of 'Kisses Sweeter than Wine'
From: GUEST,murray@mpce.mq.edu.au
Date: 17 Aug 00 - 09:47 PM

I recently started a thread on a Leadbelly song that has the tune of "Kisses Sweeter than Wine"; but which is about a dead cow. (see If it weren't for Dickey). Bruce O. sent me to his web page, www.erols.com/olsonw where the words to the "original" Irish version, "Drumion Dubh" are given.

Now I am curious how this lament about a dead cow, which says nothing about kisses becomes the somewhat smooth 60s folk song "Kisses Sweeter Than Wine". The Leadbelly version uses the same tune as "Kisses" and he seems to sing "Oh, Oh, kisses sweeter than gum" as the chorus. He does mention a cow dying, so this is somewhere in-between.

Pete Seeger does say that Leadbelly was a participent of his hootnannys in Greenwich Village in the 40s. I suspect that is where he learned the very English ballad that he calls "Gallis Pole". I suspect he learned some intermediate version of "Drumion Dubh" from this context. So I don't think he is a step in the evolution but rather he heard a step in the evolution at Seegers place.

By the way, the thread on Leadbelly's song asks for lyrics. So lets keep this thread for discussing the song, history, etc.

Thanks

Murray


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Subject: RE: Derivation of 'Kisses Sweeter than Wine'
From: bflat
Date: 17 Aug 00 - 10:09 PM

Murray,

To further confuse this topic, I found Drumion Dubh to be linked to the great Scottish clan of Graham in the 15xx's. Apparently one Hughie Graham lost his wife to the Bishop of Carlisle and in an act of revenge stole the Bishop's horse. Hughie was apprehened and the obstacle to the Bishop's happiness was removed. Whatever that may be. Perhaps the wife of Hughie had sweet kisses. The lyrics of Child Ballad #191 do not as far as I can tell suggest that,and that ballad is related to the event.

bflat


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Subject: RE: Derivation of 'Kisses Sweeter than Wine'
From: Bud Savoie
Date: 17 Aug 00 - 10:09 PM

Lee Hays of the Weavers wrote "Kisses," stealing the tune.


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Subject: RE: Derivation of 'Kisses Sweeter than Wine'
From: GUEST,Bruce O.
Date: 17 Aug 00 - 11:02 PM

bflat- There are two versions of Hughie Graham (Child #191) in DT. The one in file HUGRAME2 is from 'The Scots Musical Museum', #303. The story is that Robert Burns contributed this song without a tune to SMM. So far as is known (Bronson, 'The Traditional Tunes of the Child Ballads', #191) the coupling of it to the tune "Drimen Duff" (probably taken from Oswald's 'Caledonian Pocket Companion', book 8), was an arbitrary choice. As you will see from the notes with "Drumion Dubh" in the Scarce Songs 1 file on my website, this is the tune that Burke Thumoth published earlier as an Irish tune. This tune is not related to Leadbelly's.

There is also a different Scots tune called "Druimionn Dubh" in Corri's 'Scots Songs', 1783, and MacDonald's "Highland Airs', 1784. Burns wrote "Musing on the roaring ocean" to this latter tune (Scots Musical Museum, #179). [Corri's single verse is given on my website under "Drumion dubh".]


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Subject: RE: Derivation of 'Kisses Sweeter than Wine'
From: GUEST,murray@mpce.mq.edu.au
Date: 18 Aug 00 - 02:54 AM

Bud. That is a short and direct answer! If he just stole the tune, I wouldn't expect kisses to appear before that. Do you think Leadbelly's version is a parody on Hays'. He certainly would be familiar with the Hays song.

Murray


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Subject: RE: Derivation of 'Kisses Sweeter than Wine'
From: Bud Savoie
Date: 18 Aug 00 - 07:34 AM

I don't have my written references in front of me now, but I seem to recall that Leadbelly was singing the dead cow song before Kisses was written. Leadbelly and Hays were cronies, and I could see that Hays liked the melody and put some words to it when he was in a romantic mood. I believe that Pete Seeger said the dead cow version was the elder.


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Subject: RE: Derivation of 'Kisses Sweeter than Wine'
From: GUEST,Bruce O.
Date: 18 Aug 00 - 01:02 PM

We seems to have gone around in a circle.

Where does the tale of the derivation of the tune "Kisses Sweeter Than Wine" come from? Some stuff I've seen I've seen is just nonsense.

In 'Sing Out' V,1 9 is "Dhrinnin Dhu Dhrinninn", a version of the song with a tune that came from Gerry Armstrong of Chicago, who learned it from Katie Lee, who learned it from someone on the West Coast. [Since this was a real folk song it was excluded from the 'Reprints from Song Out' volume.]

Quoting Sing Out:
Some years ago, The Weavers introduced a fine love song, "Kisses Sweeter Than Wine". It acchieved Hit-Parade status, particularly in a Jimmie [F] Rodgers recording. [Wrong, it was the Weaver's version in 1951 which made it to 19th position on the Hit-Parade. Who is Jimmie [F] Rodgers? No one by that name ever had a song that made the Hit-Parade. Jimmie Rodgers had some, but he died in 1933]. Pete Seeger always told listeners that Leadbelly had adapted the tune and given it a beat. [It doesn't say it came from the tune of Leadbelly's song.]
..........................

I once saw another version of the story of the derivation of "Kisses Sweeter than Wine", but I'll show below that this is undoubtably incorrect. The story was that it was Ed McCurdy that sang "Drumion Dubh" in New York, and it was McCurdy's tune that Leadbelly altered to become "Kisses Sweeter Than Wine".

McCurdy recorded "Drumion Dubh", about 1956-60, but it was on a cheapie phonograph record called 'Favorite American Folk Songs', and neither jacket or record identified the singer!

It was years before I found out where McCurdy got the song. It was from a tape made by Helen Creighton in August of 1956 in Halifax, N.S. "Kisses Sweeter Than Wine" had already been around for at least 5 years. The song and tune "Drimindown" were later published in 1964, and 1979 in Creighton and MacLeod's 'Gaelic Songs in Nova Scotia'. The text only had been in Creighton's 'Maritime Folk Songs', 1961 (with two other texts, but only 1 with tune). The song had actually been sung by a visitor to Nova Scotia, the major of North Vancouver, British Columbia, Charles Cates (a former sea captain).

There have been earlier attempts to trace Leadbelly's tune, but I never seen any results of such attempts. I know that Joe Hickerson has been questioned about the "Kisses Sweeter Than Wine" tune (probably only a few hundred times), but not while I was there to hear his answer. If anyone runs into him they might ask him about it. Please don't tell him I suggested that. He's probably sick of answering that question, and I'd like to keep my friendly relationship with him.


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Subject: RE: Derivation of 'Kisses Sweeter than Wine'
From: GUEST,Les B
Date: 18 Aug 00 - 02:00 PM

BruceO - There WAS another Jimmie [F] Rodgers, a pop/folk singer, who was popular in the early 60's. His version of "Kisses Sweeter Than Wine" was a big hit on the airwaves then, although I don't know how high it went on the charts.

He had a couple of other hits then, too, but I can't think of them. I still hear him doing "Kisses..." on our local Nostalgia station.

I may be wrong but this Jimmie [F] Rodgers died some years ago of mysterious or criminal acts ?? CRS.


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Subject: RE: Derivation of 'Kisses Sweeter than Wine'
From: Don Firth
Date: 18 Aug 00 - 04:18 PM

Footnote: The aforementioned Jimmie [F] Rodgers is apparently still going. Biography here: http://www.tsimon.com/rodgers.htm (How come it didn't turn blue?)
here


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Subject: RE: Derivation of 'Kisses Sweeter than Wine'
From: GUEST,murray@mpce.mq.edu.au
Date: 18 Aug 00 - 08:38 PM

To the best of my memory. The singing brakeman spells his name Jimmie Rodgers. This other guy spells his name Jimmy Rogers. I think he was a sideman for Muddy Waters earlier in his career.


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Subject: RE: Derivation of 'Kisses Sweeter than Wine'
From: Ferrara
Date: 18 Aug 00 - 08:52 PM

Jimmie [F] Rodgers' other big hit was "Honeycomb." I still have the album... I learned Scarlet Ribbons from that album.


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Subject: RE: Derivation of 'Kisses Sweeter than Wine'
From: Stewie
Date: 18 Aug 00 - 11:50 PM

There are 3 JRs being referred to: (1) Jimmie Rodgers the singing brakeman and blue yodeler; (2) Jimmie [F] Rodgers, a pop-style 'folksinger', who had hits in the late 50s - 'Honeycomb' and 'Kisses Sweeter Than Wine' among them - his name is spelt same as the singing brakeman's; and (3) Jimmy Rogers, a bluesman and excellent guitarist -as Murray mentioned, he was key member of Muddy Waters 1950s band, and in the 70s formed his own band.


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Subject: RE: Derivation of 'Kisses Sweeter than Wine'
From: GUEST,Bruce O.
Date: 19 Aug 00 - 03:46 PM

So Jimmie Rodgers' (II) name was spelled wrong too in 'Sing Out'. At any rate no XYZ Rodgers' "Kisses Sweeter Than Wine" is listed as making the Hit Parade in Joel Whitburn's 'Pop Memories, 1890-1954'. Are we done with Kisses Sweeter Than Wine"? I don't know anymore than when we started.


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Subject: RE: Derivation of 'Kisses Sweeter than Wine'
From: raredance
Date: 20 Aug 00 - 12:45 AM

The following is lifted from "Where have All The Flowers Gone" by Pete Seeger (1993, Pete Seeger and Sing Out!)

"A love song I've sung more often is "Kisses Sweeter than Wine." Interesting story behind it . Leadbelly (Huddie Ledbetter) was living in New York in the 1940's. Once singing at a Greenwich Village party he heard an Irish artist, Sam Kennedy, singing a lonesome old Irish song, "Drimmin Down."

A sorrowful ditty I'll tell ye right now,
Of an old man that had but one cow.
He took her to the field to be fed,
And all of a sudden poor Drimmer dropped dead,
Oh — mush-a sweeter than thou.

Leadbelly liked the tune, but he wanted to sing it his own way. Some time later, at another crowded Greenwich Village party, he took Sam Kennedy aside into the bathroom, the only quiet place they could find. He said, "Sam., I'd like to sing your song, but I'm changing it a little, and I wonder if it is O.K. with you." Sam was very polite. He said, "Leadbelly, it's an old, old song. Everybody's got a right to sing it the way they want to. You sing it your way; I'll sing it my way." Leadbelly changed the rhythm. Also garbled the words.

Once I was humming through the melody as Leadbelly sang it. I was intrigued by the unusual chords Leadbelly used to accompany it. He'd played A major 7th, but sang it in A minor. But I couldn't remember his words. I found myself singing, "Oh oh, kisses sweeter than wine."

I knew it was a good idea for a chorus, but I wasn't skilled enough to figure what the heck to do with the rest of the song. I jotted the idea on a scrap of paper and dropped it in a file labeled 'song ideas 1949.'

It's a year later. Us four Weavers found ourselves in a most unexpected situation. Thanks to the enthusiasm of bandleader Gordon Jenkins, we'd recorded one of the songs of Leadbelly, who'd died penniless the year before.

"Goodnight Irene" sold more records than any other pop song since WWII. In the summer of 1950 you couldn't escape it. A waltz yet! In a roadside diner we heard someone say, 'Turn that jukebox off! I've heard that song 50 times this week.'

And the Weavers found ourselves on tour going from one expensive nightspot to another — the Thunderbird Hotel in Las Vegas, Ciro's in Hollywood. In Houston's Shamrock Hotel we were sitting around a swimming pool contemplating a letter from our manager, 'Decca Records wants to record some new songs. Please start rehearsing them.'

Lee (Hays) says, 'Pete get out your folder of song ideas; let's go through them, see if there's something we can work on. I'm humming this idea and that as I leaf through scraps of paper. I come to this. Lee said, 'Hold on, let me try it.'

Next morning he came back with about six or seven verses. As I remember we pared them down to five. Sometimes I only sing four verses and get away with it. It was a mild seller back in 1950 — a much better seller a few years later when country singer Jimmie Rodgers did it. But what makes me really happy is that it has become a standard with many people. The songwriter as a matchmaker!

Now, who should one credit on this song? The Irish, certainly. Sam Kennedy, who taught it to us. Leadbelly, for adding rhythm and blues chords. Me, for two new words for the refrain. Lee, who wrote seven verses. Fred and Ronnie, for paring them down to five. I know the song publisher, The Richmond Organization, cares. I guess folks whom TRO allows to reprint the song, (like Sing Out!, the publisher of this book) care about this too."

rich r


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Subject: RE: Derivation of 'Kisses Sweeter than Wine'
From: GUEST,Bruce O.
Date: 20 Aug 00 - 12:53 AM

Thank you, rich r.


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Subject: RE: Derivation of 'Kisses Sweeter than Wine'
From: GUEST,murray@mpce.mq.edu.au
Date: 20 Aug 00 - 12:22 PM

That is a pretty complete answer rich r. It even accounts for where the words in the chorus come from. I wonder if Sam Kennedy ever made a recording of his version.

By the way is "Where Have All the Flowers Gone" a book by Seeger?


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Subject: RE: Derivation of 'Kisses Sweeter than Wine'
From: raredance
Date: 20 Aug 00 - 09:41 PM

Yes, I listed the year and publisher (Sing Out!) above. The ISBN # is 1-881322-01-7. It is a fascinating book.

rich r


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Subject: RE: Derivation of 'Kisses Sweeter than Wine'
From: Cobble
Date: 21 Aug 00 - 08:02 PM

I know of this song sung by Michael Holliday late 50s / early 60s, it was a very bouncy tune, very popular in the UK at that time.


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Subject: RE: Derivation of 'Kisses Sweeter than Wine'
From: Snuffy
Date: 21 Aug 00 - 08:19 PM

'Kisses Sweeter than Wine' is one of the 3,000+ songs in the DT database with no tune. Anyone like to post it?

Wassail! V


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Subject: RE: Derivation of 'Kisses Sweeter than Wine'
From: Ferrara
Date: 21 Aug 00 - 11:37 PM

Snuffy, how about I sing it into your telephone answering machine's tape; (or play the Jimmie Rodgers platter if I can find it); or send you a tape; and you post it? Max has made the posting of text so easy even I can do it, but tunes --- I know, I know, I should be ashamed. Actually I am ashamed. But can't post tunes. I've tried.


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Subject: RE: Derivation of 'Kisses Sweeter than Wine'
From: LR Mole
Date: 22 Aug 00 - 11:27 AM

Yeah, I remember Jimmie [F] Rodgers (middle one) from that odd pop/folk nexus of the early sixties.Played gutstring guitar, sang in a sweet tenor. "Bim-bom-bay" (sp?) was a hit for him, too. His song and his vocal style were used in the jingle for the cereal "Honeycomb" at one time. A probably unreliable memory : I think during the highway assault that broke his head, his clothes were stolen from the back seat of his car.


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Subject: RE: Derivation of 'Kisses Sweeter than Wine'
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 22 Aug 00 - 12:53 PM

Just a little footnote on the Jimmie [F] Rodgers who had several monster hits in the late 50s, early 60s (remember "Ten More Miles to Tukumcari"?!)

One of the very few guitarists (Ritchie Havens and one of the BeeGees were two others) to play exclusively in open tuning (D or E, if I remember correctly) and do ALL his fretting with his thumb. One of his "tricks" was constantly modulating up the scale for each new verse. I believe the composer credit on his version was "Paul Cambell" (no mention of Leadbelly) so when it came down to nuts, bolts, and dollars, the song had NO previous history. 'Dat's de folk biz.

Rick


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Subject: RE: Derivation of 'Kisses Sweeter than Wine'
From: raredance
Date: 23 Aug 00 - 12:00 AM

But "Paul Campbell" was the name used for Weavers' collaborative efforts so that is not necessarily a dishonest credit. In Pete's book the copyright below the song is :

"Words by Ronnie Gilbert, Lee Hays, Fred Hellerman & Pete Seeger (1950) Music by Huddie Ledbetter. TRO: copyright 1951 (renewed) & 1958 (renewed) Folkways Music Publishers."

The members of the Weavers are listed alphabetically

rich r


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Subject: RE: Derivation of 'Kisses Sweeter than Wine'
From: MiriamKilmer
Date: 26 Oct 00 - 04:48 PM

Snuffy said the database doesn't have the tune.

Tune - or part of it, anyway - Real Audio format, in case anyone can do something with that.


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Subject: RE: Derivation of 'Kisses Sweeter than Wine'
From: murray@mpce.mq.edu.au
Date: 27 Oct 00 - 05:49 AM

Rick, the title I choose was perhaps misleading. What I was really curious about was how it went from an Irish song to a Leadbelly song to a "popular folk" song.

Thanks to all who answered, and especially Bruce O. I got lots of good ideas from the answers.

Murray


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Subject: RE: Derivation of 'Kisses Sweeter than Wine'
From: Frankham
Date: 27 Oct 00 - 01:48 PM

The unique part of this song is how it glides from minor to major at the end. In classical music, this ending would be called "tierce de picardie" or a picardy third meaning you make the last chord in the minor key song a major. This is probably because Leadbelly never played minor chords. Pete recognized this and incorporated it beautifully with a major sixth chord at the end of the chorus phrase.

Stravinsky was quoted as saying something to the effect that great composers don't plagarize anything, they out-and-out steal.

Sounds like the folk process to me.

Frank


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Subject: RE: Derivation of 'Kisses Sweeter than Wine'
From: mousethief
Date: 27 Oct 00 - 02:12 PM

I'm very skeptical that Leadbelly learned Gallis Pole from Hays/Guthrie et al. There are a gazillion old English songs floating around the American South. He could easily have picked up a version in Texas or Louisiana or such parts long before the Lomaxes brought him to New York. He seems to have been a veritable song magnet. Damn' good one, too.

Alex
O..O
=o=


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Subject: RE: Derivation of 'Kisses Sweeter than Wine'
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 01 Jan 01 - 12:18 PM

Have to agree with you there "Mouse".

On re-reading this great thread, a couple of things come to mind. First, The high-voiced "folkie-pop" singer Jimmie [F] Rodgers had a longer stay at the top of the hit parade than a great many of his contemporaries, but his efforts seem to not have had "staying power". So few remember him.

Second, hearing Leadbelly sing "Dickie" on the "live from Minneapolis" album, reminds me just how much he DID have to do with the "hit song". Screw the new words...that bass-chord arrangement is GREAT!

Rick


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Subject: RE: Derivation of 'Kisses Sweeter than Wine'
From: GUEST,John Hill
Date: 02 Jan 01 - 05:18 AM

I thought Jimmie Roger's bigest hit was "An English Country Garden" ..it was over here anyway.


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Subject: RE: Derivation of 'Kisses Sweeter than Wine'
From: GUEST,Ewan McVicar
Date: 02 Jan 01 - 05:26 AM

I have greatly enjoyed reading the unfolding saga of this thread. The timing of the denouement was perfection.


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Subject: RE: Derivation of 'Kisses Sweeter than Wine'
From: GUEST,Leslie
Date: 02 Jan 01 - 01:30 PM

Denouement? What denouement? Do you know something we don't Ewan?

Les


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Subject: RE: Derivation of 'Kisses Sweeter than Wine'
From: Blackcatter
Date: 02 Jan 01 - 02:10 PM

Greetings!

Pete Seeger in his 1996 album "Pete" says this about "Kisses":

"Huddie Ledbetter was at a party in Greenwich Village when he heard an Irish artist Sam Kennedy, singing an Irish song, "Drimmin Down." Leadbelly liked the tune, but he wanted to sing it his own way. Some time later, at another crowded Greenwich Village party, he took Sam Kennedy aside into the bathroom, the only quite place they could find. He said, "Sam, I'd like to sing your song, bt I'm changing it a little, and I wonder if it is OK with you." Sam was very polite. He said, "Leadbelly, it's an old, old song. Everybody's got a right to sing it the way they want to. You sing it your way; I'll sing it my way." Leadbelly changed the rhythm. Also garbled the words.

Once, I was humming through the melody as Leadbelly played it. I was intrigued by the unusual chords Leadbelly used to accopmany it. He'd played A major 7th chors, but sang it in A minor. But I couldn't remember his words. I found myself singing, "Oh-oh, kisses sweeter than wine." I knew is was a good idea for a chorus, but I wasn't skilled enough to figure what the heck to do with the rest of the song. I jotted the idea on a scrap of paper and dropped it in a file labled "song ideas 1949."

A year later, us four Weavers (Lee, Ronnie, Fred & me) found ourselves in a most unexpected situation. Thanks to the ebnthusiasm of band leader Gordon Jenkins, we'd recorded one of the songs of Leadbelly, who'd died penniless the year befor. "Goodnight Irene" sold more records than had any other pop song since WWII. Decca then wanted us to record some new songs. Lee says, "Pete, get our your folder of song ideas; let's go through them, see if there's something we can work on." I'm humming this idea and that as I leaf through scraps of paper. I come to this. Lee said, "Hold on, let me try it." Next morning he came back with about six or seven verses. As I remember we pared them down to five."

It is credited thusly: Words by Lee Hays with Ronnie Gilbert, Fred Hellerman and Pete Seeger, 1950. Music by Huddie Ledbetter.

BTW: Jimmie [F] Rodgers took the song to #3 in late 1957. His other hits were: Honeycomb #1 for 4 weeks in '57 Oh-Oh, I'm falling In Love Again - to #7 in '58 Secretly - to #3 in '58 Make Me A Miracle - to #16 in '58 Are You Really Mine - to #10 in '58 & 8 others in the top 40 from '59 - '67

This from "The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits" by Joel Whitburn.

I don't know if the Weavers' version charted, because the book doesn't track that far back.

pax yall


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Subject: RE: Derivation of 'Kisses Sweeter than Wine'
From: Peter T.
Date: 02 Jan 01 - 02:41 PM

Is it true that Leadbelly never played minor chords?
yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Derivation of 'Kisses Sweeter than Wine'
From: Blackcatter
Date: 03 Jan 01 - 03:41 PM

refresh


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Subject: RE: Derivation of 'Kisses Sweeter than Wine'
From: old head
Date: 03 Jan 01 - 04:38 PM

it's an old tune,carried to the new world by the people. another tune springs to mind. THE STREETS OF LAREDO. i've heard may varients of this,including BARD OF ARMAGH but seems earliest lyrics were about a soldier who died of syphilis,in dublin,called THE UNFORTUNATE RAKE. when u hear streets of laredo,only the hangman,only the heartaches,etc.,in 3/4 time and then hear st. james infirmary blues in 4/4,all derived from same song you see thats what it,s all about.good tunes/stories r always remembered. don't forget jimmie rodgers[2]also had a hit with WOMAN FROM LIBERIA.and to further confuse matters,the famous HANK SNOW named his son after J.R.1 happy new year.


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Subject: RE: Derivation of 'Kisses Sweeter than Wine'
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 03 Jan 01 - 05:21 PM

Yup Peter. he never played a minor. He also never played an "A" major chord...always A7. And never ever played "B7". Sang many minor scale melodies but always accompanied them with seventh chords.

Rick


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Subject: RE: Derivation of 'Kisses Sweeter than Wine'
From: GUEST,--seed
Date: 03 Jan 01 - 05:41 PM

Hey, you guys give good thread...

--seed


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Subject: RE: Derivation of 'Kisses Sweeter than Wine'
From: Peter T.
Date: 03 Jan 01 - 06:12 PM

Why? (Sorry to ask dumb questions)

yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Derivation of 'Kisses Sweeter than Wine'
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 03 Jan 01 - 06:33 PM

On the other hand "They" could be wrong. For years I read that Woodie never played a minor chord either....and then last year I heard some songs on one of the Asch re-issues where he is definitely playing Dm, Em, and Am.

I should say I've never heard a RECORDING where Huddie played minor.

Thank you 'seed'. Now will you get us jobs as interns?..........SORRY!

Rick


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Subject: RE: Derivation of 'Kisses Sweeter than Wine'
From: GUEST,sagecorp@lava.net
Date: 25 Aug 05 - 08:57 PM

I'm trying to find infor on a classmate of mine from Lewis & Clark College-- He married Susan Scott. who was close friends with a lady named Trudy Buck, and in the mid sixties, Trudy married Jimmie F. Rodgers, the singer in this thread who made "Sweeter than Wine" a hit.
So, by bass ackwards sleuthing, I'm trying to locate Jimmie so I can locate Trudy so I can locate Susan because Susan married that friend of mine that I can't locate through the Lewis & Clark alumni office named Denny Goss. How's that for a search?

Aloha,

Bill Sage

Honolulu (808) 226-1444


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Subject: RE: Derivation of 'Kisses Sweeter than Wine'
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 26 Aug 05 - 01:56 PM

Guest Sage- I have posted as a new thread where it might be noticed by someone who knew Jimmie F. Rodgers


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Subject: RE: Derivation of 'Kisses Sweeter than Wine'
From: GUEST,Laurel Lee
Date: 04 Jan 07 - 01:29 PM

A great introduction to the legal arguments that defeat copyright law on the products of the entertainment industry. The power of Congress to enact copyright law exists only because of a provision in the Constitution that limits the protection to (authors & inventors)of (useful)products for a very (limited time). They had visual arts, music, theater, poetry, and novels back in 1787. If the founders thought their authors merited copyright they wouldn't have added the modifier "useful" to the Constitutional provision.

Maybe somebody wants to write a useful song on the subject?


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Subject: RE: Derivation of 'Kisses Sweeter than Wine'
From: Lighter
Date: 04 Jan 07 - 03:39 PM

FWIW, I clearly remember Oscar Brand endorsing the "Drimmin Down" origin on his radio show about 1966. I can't say for certain that he did or didn't mention Lead Belly's involvement, but he attributed the melodic source exactly as Blackcatter said.


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Subject: RE: Derivation of 'Kisses Sweeter than Wine'
From: GUEST,Frank Hamilton
Date: 04 Jan 07 - 07:01 PM

Lee Hays collaborated on this tune with Pete Seeger and others in the Weavers. He may have written many of the words but many Weavers' songs were pieced together by the various members.

Frank


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Subject: RE: Derivation of 'Kisses Sweeter than Wine'
From: GUEST
Date: 26 Mar 09 - 10:49 PM

Can anyone help me find the lyrics???


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Subject: Lyr Add: KISSES SWEETER THAN WINE
From: Don Firth
Date: 26 Mar 09 - 11:13 PM

It's in the Digital Tradition database.

DT Lyrics:

KISSES SWEETER THAN WINE

Oh, kisses sweeter than wine,
Oh, kisses sweeter than wine,

When I was a young man and never been kissed
I got to thinking it over what I had missed.
I got me a girl, I kissed her and then
Oh Lord, I kissed her again.

CHORUS

I asked her to marry and be my sweet wife,
And we would be so happy all of our life.
I begged and I pleaded like a natural man, and then
Oh Lord, she gave me her hand.

CHORUS

I worked mighty hard and so did my wife,
Workin' hand in hand to make a good life.
Corn in the field and wheat in the bins, I was
Oh Lord, the father of twins.

CHORUS

Our children numbered just about four,
And they all had sweethearts knockin' at the door.
The all got married and didn't hesitate; I was
Oh Lord, the grandfather of eight.

CHORUS

Now we are old, and ready to go,
We get to thinkin' what happened a long time ago.
Had a lot of kids, trouble and pain, but,
Oh Lord, we'd do it again.

CHORUS
-----------------------------------------------------------------

Words by Paul Campbell, music by Joel Newman.
Copyright TRO, renewed Folkways Music Publishers, Inc.
The tune came from an Irish lament for a dead cow (via Leadbelly).
@love @marriage @aging
filename[ KISSWEET
DC


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Subject: RE: Derivation of 'Kisses Sweeter than Wine'
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 27 Mar 09 - 11:53 AM

I remember the pop song 'Kisses Sweeter than Wine,' (KSTW) and I thought it would be interesting to hear the old air on which it is based. Lotsa luck!

According to the quotation from Pete Seeger upthread, "...Huddie Ledbetter was living in New York in the 1940's. Once singing at a Greenwich Village party he heard an Irish artist, Sam Kennedy, singing a lonesome old Irish song, "Drimmin Down."

People equate that song, Drimmin Down, with a slow air about a cow. That song is in O'Neill's Music of Ireland, (The Dear Black Cow,#130) and there are many versions of it on the Net. All that I've listened to are about the same, and they are nothing like 'Kisses Sweeter than Wine.' There is no way that KSTW derives from it.

(By the way, the title of it is 'Druim-fionn dub dileas.' Apparently people have muddled Sam Kennedy's song 'Drimmin Down'with it simply because the first words (Drimmin and Druim) are similar. This is very sloppy.

The Irish dictionary I found online says:

Druim - no such word
Druim-fionn - no such word
fionn - blonde
dub - black
dileas - dear)


To get back to Pete Seeger, the original is a song called Drimmin Down. Drimmin is a place name. There's a place in Scotland called Drimmin, and there's a place in Ireland that starts with Drimmin. There's also a Drimmin Cottage. (Found these by Googling.)

A down is part of the landscape. It can be a dune or it can be an upland where animals graze. So the name Drimmin Down makes sense - it's the pasture or the dune near Drimmin.

If anybody finds a song called Drimmin Down that sounds anything like KSTW, I would be interested in hearing how it goes.


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Subject: RE: Derivation of 'Kisses Sweeter than Wine'
From: meself
Date: 27 Mar 09 - 01:49 PM

Well, unless you know the actual air to which Sam Kennedy sang his song, I don't think you can say with certainty that Leadbelly did NOT get his air from SK.

I am familiar with the song mentioned above from the Helen Creighton collection, which is titled "Drimmin Down", or "Drimmindown", and which is clearly related lyrically to the Sam Kennedy song. And in the Creighton song, it is apparent that "Drimmin Down", however nonsensically, is the name of the cow.

It is a long stretch from the Creighton melody to KSTW - however, I do find it conceivable that that melody could be related, either through an intermediary, such as the Leadbelly song (which I have not heard), or through a variant, such as, perhaps, the Sam Kennedy melody.

I don't quite follow you on the connection, or lack thereof, between Drimmin Down and the slow air in O'Neill's - could you elaborate?. The song Sam Kennedy sang is clearly about a dead cow; see the post above with the introductory verse quoted.


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Subject: RE: Derivation of 'Kisses Sweeter than Wine'
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 28 Mar 09 - 11:07 AM

Meself, I agree. Leadbelly got a tune from Sam Kennedy. I'd enjoy hearing that tune, especially if it bears any relationship to KSTW.

Other people say that tune was 'Druim-fionn dub dileas.' It was not.


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Subject: RE: Derivation of 'Kisses Sweeter than Wine'
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 30 Oct 10 - 05:30 PM

>>>It's in the Digital Tradition database.<<< ~ Don Firth 26 Mar 09

~~ where it is given the credits "Words by Paul Campbell, music Joel Newman"

Now,we know that "Paul Campbell", as remarked above, was a composite name sometimes used by the Weavers for the supposed author of one of their collaborative efforts. But, in light of all the info on this ancient thread, who is "Joel Newman"? I don't recall that name having occurred anywhere above. As far as I can make out, the tune came from an early Celtic song about a dead cow, adapted by Leadbelly for other purposes ~~ I have got that right, haven't I?

So, in the light of that, I repeat, who this "Joel Newman", named as composer in DT?

~Michael~


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Subject: RE: Derivation of 'Kisses Sweeter than Wine'
From: maple_leaf_boy
Date: 30 Oct 10 - 05:59 PM

I have sheet music for this song. I'm not good at using the ABC
converter, but I can give you the chords that are in the book.

(Bb)When I was a (F)young man and (Gm)never been kissed(Dm)
I got to (F)thinking (Dm)over (G)what I had missed.
I (Bb)got me a (F)girl, I (Bb)kissed her and then
(F)Oh (Dm)Lord, I (G)kissed her again

(Bb)Oh, (Dm) (Gm7)kisses sweeter (D7)than (G)wine,
(Bb)Oh, (Dm) (Gm7)kisses sweeter (D7)than (G)wine,


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Subject: RE: Derivation of 'Kisses Sweeter than Wine'
From: Stringsinger
Date: 31 Oct 10 - 05:58 PM

Regarding Sam Kennedy, I think he was the gentleman I knew in Los Angeles who was a friend of Pete Seeger's. He sang a song that I have never heard since and wonder if there's any Irish people out there who know of it.

It's in myxolydian mode ala an Irish "keening" tune. The lyrics are :

"Open the door quietly, there's something to tell you dear.
Open the door no wider than the crack upon the floor,
Open the door quietly, there's something to tell you dear."


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Subject: RE: Derivation of 'Kisses Sweeter than Wine'
From: GUEST,Alan Whittle
Date: 01 Nov 10 - 12:13 PM

I remember Pete coming over to England in the 1960's and he did this song on his banjo on a tv programme.

previous to that, the only thing I knew about was Pete had had a hit with Little Boxes and he came over and did a three song spot on the Palladium tv show. It was the first time I'd heard a 12 string guitar - I thought it was glorious. he played Freight Train, What did you learn in school today and his hit.

Like I say the next time we saw he came over. he did the whole show with that long neck banjo. It was very plaintive sounding and very much in a minor key. I can't say how much I hated this song;

'had lots of kids, trouble and pain.....'

That wasn't quite what I had in mind for my future life! Its funny how as we get older, we accept with equanimity all the 'trouble and pain' of life, as nothing less than our due.


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Subject: RE: Derivation of 'Kisses Sweeter than Wine'
From: GUEST,knaiad
Date: 21 Jan 11 - 10:57 AM

MtheGm:

From Wikipedia entry on "Kisses Sweeter Than Wine":

The music was credited to "Joel Newman", the lyrics to "Paul Campbell". Paul Campbell was a pseudonym for Howard Richmond, publisher of The Weavers, who were originally Seeger, Hays, Fred Hellerman and Ronnie Gilbert. "Joel Newman" is likewise a pseudonym for Howard Richmond. The Weavers' music publisher was Folkways Publishing, one of the many subsidiaries (aliases) of TRO/The Richmond Organisation, founded by Howard Richmond. Others are Ludlow Music, Folkways Music, Essex, Hollis, Hampstead House, Worldwide Music, Melody Trails, and Cromwell.


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Subject: RE: Derivation of 'Kisses Sweeter than Wine'
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 21 Jan 11 - 12:05 PM

Many thanks knaiad. Words & music by same man, but under two different pseudonyms. Obviously, with all that other info too, a man of parts. But wonder why he should have gone to all that trouble. Split personality or what? See other ongoing thread "On what the meaning of 'by' is. I shall cross-ref this to that thread, where it seems to be relevant, also.

~Michael~


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Subject: RE: Derivation of 'Kisses Sweeter than Wine'
From: mayomick
Date: 21 Jan 11 - 03:03 PM

I posted this to the wrong thread a couple of minutes ago.

The dhrimin dhu gets a mention in The Cow That Ate The Piper.


Tim gave a bolt like a half-broken colt.
At the piper he stared like a gommach.
Says he, "Be the powers, sure I thought these eight hours
You were playing in old dhrimindhu's stomach."


thread.cfm?threadid=978&messages=22


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Subject: RE: Derivation of 'Kisses Sweeter than Wine'
From: Stringsinger
Date: 21 Jan 11 - 03:14 PM

I would attribute the rewriting of "Poor Dhrinnan" to "Paul Campbell" the pseudonym
used by the Weavers. Pete Seeger and crew had something to do with the song's reinterpretation and rewriting from Leadbelly's version.

The Weaver's album with the song on it probably charted but was more recognized from the concerts they did at Carnegie Hall.

It has been my experience that true attribution to many songs is not accurately given.
Also, arrangements of the song in question can alter the song itself and make it more acceptable commercially even when the arranger is unknown.

There are more "folk songs" (written communally) then we know.


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Subject: ADD: Ses baisers me crissaient
From: Joe Offer
Date: 29 Jul 17 - 11:02 PM

Ses baisers me crissaient
(Küsse süßer als Wein)        


C'était un jeune homme ignorant des baisers
On lui a dit: "Mon fils, il est temps de changer"
A trouvé une blonde et il l'a embrassée
Et juste après a recommencé

Parce que "Seigneur, ses baisers le grisaient
Mon Dieu! Hmmhmm ses baisers le grisaient"

Il dit: "Voulez-vous m'écouter ma chérie?
Voici ma main, je serai le meilleur des maris"
A plaidé sa cause avec son âme et sa vie
Alors, elle a fini par lui dire Oui

Parce que "Seigneur, ses baisers le grisaient
Mon Dieu! Hmmhmm ses baisers le grisaient"

Il voulait se marier et avoir douze enfants
Mais, le lendemain matin en revenant des champs
Une brune aux yeux verts est venue à passer
Alors, il dit: "Voulez-vous m'épouser"

Parce que "Seigneur, ses baisers le grisaient
Mon Dieu! Hmmhmm ses baisers le grisaient"

En partant pour la noce avec son cheval brun
Il a croisé une rousse au détour du chemin
Elle avait la peau fraîche et le nez retroussé
Alors, il l'a suivi sans même se retourner

Parce que "Seigneur, ses baisers le grisaient
Mon Dieu! Hmmhmm ses baisers le grisaient"

Et le temps a roulé et il est devenu vieux
Et maintenant, le pauvre, il n'a plus de cheveux
Mais je connais une dame qui persiste à l'aimer
Alors, un jour, il reviendra au foyer

Parce que "Seigneur, ses baisers le grisaient
Mon Dieu! Hmmhmm ses baisers le grisaient"
(J. Newman / P. Campbell / B. Vian)


Νάνα Μούσχουρη - Ses baisers me grisaient: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uVmgOdWnVSc


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: If it Wasn't for Dicky (Lead Belly)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 29 Jul 17 - 11:04 PM

Küsse süßer als Wein
(Ses baisers me crissaient)        


Ich träumte so gerne von den Freuden der Welt
Ich hatte manches Schöne mir vorgestellt
Und dann kam ein Tag und den vergesse ich nie
Viel schöner als meine Phantasie
So sind Küsse mmh süßer als Wein
So sind ooh Küsse süßer als Wein

Die Zeit flog dahin der Herbst kam ins Land
Als meine erste Liebe ein Ende fand
Ich weiß nicht warum doch unser Glück brach entzwei
Still ging das Leben für uns vorbei
Ohne Küsse mmh süßer als Wein
Ohne deine Küsse süßer als Wein


Der Winter war einsam der Schnee fiel so weiß
Mein ganzes Dasein schien mir wie das Eis
Nur manchmal bei Nacht da träumte ich wunderbar
Von allem was einst gewesen war
Von den Küssen mmh süßer als Wein
Unsere Küsse mmh süßer als Wein


Und dann kam der Frühling so stürmisch daher
An unsere schönen Zeiten dacht' ich nicht mehr
Da kamst du zu mir sehr einsam zurück
Nun blüht uns beiden ein neues Glück
Wieder Küsse mmh süßer als Wein
Wieder tausend Küsse süßer als Wein

Nun lass ich dich nie mehr weit fort von mir gehen
Nur wenn du nah bei mir bist dann ist es schön
An's Ende der Welt ging ich mit dir wenn du willst
Weil du mein Leben so ganz erfüllst
Mit den Küssen mmh süßer als Wein
Nur mit deinen Küssen süßer als Wein

(J. Newman / T. Hansen)

Source: http://www.nanamouskouri.de/kuessesu.htm

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lp2vC8U4xm4

Is Nana really fluent in all these languages?



And as a bonus, here is the great Marlene: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rk22k0gXIEg


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Subject: RE: Derivation of 'Kisses Sweeter than Wine'
From: Mrrzy
Date: 30 Jul 17 - 11:24 AM

Love this place - the French one is NOT about a long marriage, and I don't think the German one is either.


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