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Who wrote 'Spanish is Loving Tongue'?

DigiTrad:
SPANISH IS THE LOVING TONGUE


Related threads:
(origins) Origins: Spanish Is the Loving Tongue (95)
(origins) Origins: Níl Sé Ina Lá/ Border Affair/Spanish ... (20)
Lyr req Yiddish Is a Loving Tongue (3)


GUEST,Mrbisok@aol 18 Nov 00 - 10:34 PM
GUEST 18 Nov 00 - 10:43 PM
catspaw49 18 Nov 00 - 10:48 PM
mkebenn 18 Nov 00 - 10:56 PM
tradman 18 Nov 00 - 10:59 PM
Susan of DT 18 Nov 00 - 11:01 PM
rangeroger 19 Nov 00 - 12:14 AM
Mike Regenstreif 19 Nov 00 - 10:55 AM
Mike Regenstreif 19 Nov 00 - 11:04 AM
Abby Sale 19 Nov 00 - 03:10 PM
Amos 19 Nov 00 - 03:26 PM
catspaw49 19 Nov 00 - 03:30 PM
Stewie 19 Nov 00 - 05:01 PM
Willie-O 19 Nov 00 - 07:58 PM
Jim Dixon 20 Nov 00 - 01:51 PM
Bartholomew 20 Nov 00 - 02:08 PM
GUEST,Barbara Dane 14 May 10 - 05:52 AM
GUEST,TJ in San Diego 14 May 10 - 11:57 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 14 May 10 - 03:12 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 14 May 10 - 03:16 PM
Mark Ross 14 May 10 - 04:58 PM
dick greenhaus 14 May 10 - 06:39 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 14 May 10 - 10:54 PM
mrmoe 14 May 10 - 11:14 PM
meself 15 May 10 - 01:42 PM
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Subject: Who wrote 'Spanish is Loving Tongue'?
From: GUEST,Mrbisok@aol
Date: 18 Nov 00 - 10:34 PM

Emmy Lou Harris's new CD has a powerful version of "Spanish is a Loving Tongue." What's an approximate date for the composition, who wrote the words and music? Much obliged.


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Subject: RE: Who wrote 'Spanish is Loving Tongue'?
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Nov 00 - 10:43 PM

It's in the Mudcat Forum. Search for 'loving tongue'


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Subject: RE: Who wrote 'Spanish is Loving Tongue'?
From: catspaw49
Date: 18 Nov 00 - 10:48 PM

Maybe a Greek?

Actually, the song is in the DT under the title as listed and you can get a lot of info from THIS PREVIOUS THREAD....CLICK HERE.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Who wrote 'Spanish is Loving Tongue'?
From: mkebenn
Date: 18 Nov 00 - 10:56 PM

Ian Tyson? MB.


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Subject: RE: Who wrote 'Spanish is Loving Tongue'?
From: tradman
Date: 18 Nov 00 - 10:59 PM

Charles Badger Clark (from Boston) wrote it in 1915. He named the song "A Border Affair" and it quickly went into oral tradition. There are many text variations. In the original the reason for his leaving was "she was Mex and I was white". This was changed at some point to the non-politically charged "wanted for a gambling fight".


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Subject: RE: Who wrote 'Spanish is Loving Tongue'?
From: Susan of DT
Date: 18 Nov 00 - 11:01 PM

The original poem, "A Border Affair",was written by Charles Badger, at about the turn of the last century (no, the last last century). It had some politically incorrect content: "..She wes Mex and I was white, Like as not it's better so..), and was cleaned up in the 1940's for refined political sensibilities. Richard Dyer-Bennett, I believe, was responsible for both the song's resurgence and som of the modifications. I have no idea where the tune came from.


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Subject: RE: Who wrote 'Spanish is Loving Tongue'?
From: rangeroger
Date: 19 Nov 00 - 12:14 AM

GuestMrbisok,

Which CD is that? I've got "Red Dirt Girl" which I thought was her latest.She wrote all the songs on it, which is a first for Emmylou.No "Spanish...", however.

rr


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Subject: RE: Who wrote 'Spanish is Loving Tongue'?
From: Mike Regenstreif
Date: 19 Nov 00 - 10:55 AM

Emmylou Harris' version of "Spanish is a Loving Tongue" is on "Cimarron," an album from 1981 that was reissued on CD in April 2000.

"Red Dirt Girl" is her new album, released in September 2000.

Mike Regenstreif


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Subject: RE: Who wrote 'Spanish is Loving Tongue'?
From: Mike Regenstreif
Date: 19 Nov 00 - 11:04 AM

Rangeroger,

Emmylou actually wrote all but one of the songs on "Red Dirt Girl." Her album, "The Ballad of Sally Rose," from 1985, is also almost all-original material.

Mike Regenstreif


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Subject: RE: Who wrote 'Spanish is Loving Tongue'?
From: Abby Sale
Date: 19 Nov 00 - 03:10 PM

The 100% always reliable notes on the Folk-Legacy album (Bill Staines) is that Charles Badger Clark was a cowboy at the time - this would make good sense (nothing even vaguely unusual about a cowboy being from Boston - it was a young man's job, often summer break) given the context and era.


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Subject: RE: Who wrote 'Spanish is Loving Tongue'?
From: Amos
Date: 19 Nov 00 - 03:26 PM

The version bobjr finally came up with, with some editing for form, goes like this:

Spanish is the loving tongue
Soft as music light as spray
Knew a boy who once taught me some
Came from down sonara way

He didnt look much like a lover
Still he'd say these love words over:
Tu eres mi luna, te eres mi sol
Mi amor, mi corozon

His eyes where shy his smile was bold
My young vaquero, 20  years old
But every day the stories were told
Towns of silver paved with gold.
I dreamed dreams of far-off places,
Dresses made of silk and laces.

I heard him  say as the stage started on
Adios mi amor, mi corazon

I've dealt cards in so many places
So many voices, such sweet phrases
Most nights, it seems I hear only  one
Mi amor, mi corazon


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Subject: RE: Who wrote 'Spanish is Loving Tongue'?
From: catspaw49
Date: 19 Nov 00 - 03:30 PM

Thanks Amos........I now know that at least someone read the other thread! Do you ever do that and get frustrated? Folks ignore it and repeat the same things that were said...........This thread has at least picked a few new tidbits along with the old so I'm encouraged!!!

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Who wrote 'Spanish is Loving Tongue'?
From: Stewie
Date: 19 Nov 00 - 05:01 PM

The tune was composed by Bill Simon who was responsible also for setting a tune to Gail Gardner's 'Tyin' a Knot in the Devil's Tail'. John I. White noted that any credit at all in print for Simon's contribution to the music of the West was a long time coming. He quoted Simon:

I can neither read nor write music. I just somehow worked out 'Spanish Is the Lovin' Tongue' as I rode the range, trying to fit the words in a melody I was striving for. After I got it to the point where it suited me, I started singing it around the campfires and it seemed to catch on. One night Dorothy Youmans (sister of composer Vincent Youmans) heard me sing it and was taken with it. Later she wrote out the music for me and played it on the piano down at Castle Hot Springs while I sang. Well, it sure sounded good. [Quoted in John I. White 'Git Along Little Dogies' University of Illinois Press 1989, p 131]

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Who wrote 'Spanish is Loving Tongue'?
From: Willie-O
Date: 19 Nov 00 - 07:58 PM

James Keelaghan has also recorded this song fairly recently, lovely job as you might imagine. I think he was gutsy enough to stick with the original lyrics too.

W-O


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Subject: RE: Who wrote 'Spanish is Loving Tongue'?
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 20 Nov 00 - 01:51 PM

Charles Badger Clark (1883-1957) -- who went by the name Badger Clark -- was an interesting character. He was poet laureate of the state of South Dakota. The cabin he lived in, called The Badger Hole is now part of Custer State Park, in the Black Hills, South Dakota. You can tour it, and pick up a leaflet that guides you on a nature trail around the vicinity, and matches excerpts from his poetry to various vistas. I took this tour once several years ago, and found it deeply moving. More than anything else, this experience made me understand why the Indians considered the mountains holy.

I wasn't aware that he wrote, "Spanish is the Loving Tongue" until I read this thread. I don't think they mentioned it when I took the tour. I'm sure I would have recognized it if they had.

Take a look at his poem, A Cowboy's Prayer. Anyone who likes to recite would do well to add it to his repertoire.


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Subject: RE: Who wrote 'Spanish is Loving Tongue'?
From: Bartholomew
Date: 20 Nov 00 - 02:08 PM

Nice thread(s) about a truly beautiful song. I had always thought Ian Tyson wrote it, which just shows you what I know.

And 'spaw - I am always glad for the clickies to old threads; I think I speak for a lot of us new guys when I say "thanks" for the links to the past.
'Preciate it.

Bart


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Subject: RE: Who wrote 'Spanish is Loving Tongue'?
From: GUEST,Barbara Dane
Date: 14 May 10 - 05:52 AM

This song would be heard at most any of the little back-room picking sessions among the handful of folk devotees in the late 40s and early 50s. My first husband Rolf Cahn recorded it in 1958 on the World Pacific label album called "An Evening of Coffeehouse Music" I believe. He loved to sing it. Don't remember any attributions. BD


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Subject: RE: Who wrote 'Spanish is Loving Tongue'?
From: GUEST,TJ in San Diego
Date: 14 May 10 - 11:57 AM

Ian Tyson sang it, and with great feeling. I think I recall hearing it first on one of the early Ian and Sylvia albums, circa 1961. Except that he's in northern border country instead of nearer Mexico, he certainly could have written such a song. It fits him.


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Subject: RE: Who wrote 'Spanish is Loving Tongue'?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 14 May 10 - 03:12 PM

As noted above, it is by Charles Badger Clark, titled A Border Affair. The first verse-

Spanish is the lovin' tongue,
Soft as music, light as spray.
'Twas a girl I learnt it from,
Livin' down Sonora way.
I don't look much like a lover,
Yet I say her love words over,
Often when I'm all alone-
"Mi amor, mi corazon."

Various covers, with variations, by several singers.

All this has been covered in another thread.


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Subject: RE: Who wrote 'Spanish is Loving Tongue'?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 14 May 10 - 03:16 PM

For anyone interested in Badger Clark, the book, Cowboy Poetry, "Classic Poems and Prose by Badger Clark," edited by Greg Scott and published by Cowboy Miner, contains all his poems and most of his short stories.


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Subject: RE: Who wrote 'Spanish is Loving Tongue'?
From: Mark Ross
Date: 14 May 10 - 04:58 PM

Actually, Badger Clark was known as the POET LARIAT of the Black Hills.

Mark Ross


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Subject: RE: Who wrote 'Spanish is Loving Tongue'?
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 14 May 10 - 06:39 PM

Simon set the verse to the first part of the tune that's generally sung; he repeated it for the next section ("I don't look much like a lover...) Dyer-Bennet wrote the tune for the second part.


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Subject: RE: Who wrote 'Spanish is Loving Tongue'?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 14 May 10 - 10:54 PM

Most western singers use only the Simon tune.

Katie Lee wrote, "The melody I've always heard and sung is far too sophisticated to be the work of someone like Billy Simon. I'm even more convinced of this now that I've seen and talked with him, but am prepared to keep my mouth shut about it unless he offers some explanation of where he got the tune.
"From somewhere his guitar appears.
""Lord, I can't play that thing no more. I got arthritis in m' hands so bad my fingers won't stick on the strings."
"Try, I say. "Otherwise how am I going to hear the right version."
[Simon-] "Right? I dunno it's right. It's the way I sing it."
[Simon sings....]
Katie Lee continues, "A simple, three-chord melody, no fancy minors, no bridge after the first four lines (where all the other versions change melodic line), only the same melody repeated again, all through the song. Any cowboy could sing it, hum it, play it and pass it on in one night's learning. It is Billy's tune all right- before the non-cowboys got wind of it."

And a damn sight better than with that addition by Niles.

Katie Lee, 1976, Ten Thousand Goddam Cattle, Northland Press, Flagstaff.


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Subject: RE: Who wrote 'Spanish is Loving Tongue'?
From: mrmoe
Date: 14 May 10 - 11:14 PM

An interesting thing about this song is that not only did Ian Tyson "clean it up" by removing the reference to the inter-racial relationship, but he reversed a statement in the last verse. He sang "left my heart and lost her own", which makes no sense at all. The line should be "left her heart and lost my own". Since Ian did the song in the early sixty's, just about everyone else who's done it has repeated his mistake.


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Subject: RE: Who wrote 'Spanish is Loving Tongue'?
From: meself
Date: 15 May 10 - 01:42 PM

I learned it from the Dylan rendition on Self-Portrait. I sing, "Won her heart, and lost my own" - which, I see on another thread, is what James Keelaghan sings. I don't if it's what Dylan sings or if I re-jigged what I heard on the LP.

Btw, note that the winning and losing conceit is consistent with the gambling motif.


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