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Gulp. ABBA Songs on guitar?

Peter T. 03 Jan 01 - 12:29 PM
McGrath of Harlow 03 Jan 01 - 12:39 PM
Rick Fielding 03 Jan 01 - 12:52 PM
M.Ted 03 Jan 01 - 01:32 PM
McGrath of Harlow 03 Jan 01 - 02:06 PM
NightWing 03 Jan 01 - 07:40 PM
Sorcha 03 Jan 01 - 07:49 PM
GUEST,Joerg 03 Jan 01 - 09:21 PM
Matt_R 03 Jan 01 - 09:27 PM
pict 03 Jan 01 - 09:35 PM
Benjamin 03 Jan 01 - 11:02 PM
Benjamin 03 Jan 01 - 11:17 PM
Peter T. 04 Jan 01 - 11:09 AM
McGrath of Harlow 04 Jan 01 - 12:51 PM
Matt_R 04 Jan 01 - 12:52 PM
Peter T. 04 Jan 01 - 01:07 PM
Wolfgang 04 Jan 01 - 01:25 PM
lamarca 04 Jan 01 - 06:00 PM
GUEST,Joerg 04 Jan 01 - 10:31 PM
M.Ted 05 Jan 01 - 04:54 PM
mousethief 05 Jan 01 - 05:07 PM
Wesley S 05 Jan 01 - 05:28 PM
GUEST,Joerg 05 Jan 01 - 09:05 PM
GUEST,CraigS 05 Jan 01 - 10:58 PM
Peter T. 06 Jan 01 - 11:39 AM
McGrath of Harlow 06 Jan 01 - 02:54 PM
Peter T. 06 Jan 01 - 03:41 PM
McGrath of Harlow 06 Jan 01 - 04:11 PM
GUEST,Joerg 06 Jan 01 - 10:02 PM
McGrath of Harlow 07 Jan 01 - 08:30 AM
alison 07 Jan 01 - 08:35 AM
Peter T. 07 Jan 01 - 10:40 AM
GUEST,Joerg 07 Jan 01 - 08:30 PM
alison 08 Jan 01 - 01:45 AM
GUEST,Joerg 08 Jan 01 - 09:33 PM
M.Ted 09 Jan 01 - 10:52 AM
Peter T. 09 Jan 01 - 10:59 AM
lamarca 09 Jan 01 - 05:26 PM
Peter T. 09 Jan 01 - 05:40 PM
GUEST,Joerg 10 Jan 01 - 08:43 PM
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Subject: Gulp. ABBA Songs on guitar?
From: Peter T.
Date: 03 Jan 01 - 12:29 PM

Blowing my sophisticated cover, I was watching a programme on the story of ABBA last night, and was reminded of how irritatingly persistent some of their songs were, in spite of the space costumes, Benny and Bjorn (Swedish men are not exactly in the same league as Swedish women if that pair is anything to go by), and the completely Esperanto lyrics (actually, the ridiculousness of the lyrics are what make me fond of them -- it presents a sort of childlike innocence, like reading English tourist menus in Spain). Still. Does anyone know if anyone has tried to do versions of Abba songs on guitar (like Chet Atkins does the Beatles, etc.) or some other unenhanced format?
yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Gulp. ABBA Songs on guitar?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 03 Jan 01 - 12:39 PM

I thought this was going to be another thread about tunings.

I've always quite liked ABBA. Their English is a lot better than my Swedish anyway. The songs are more European cabaret than rock and roll really, if you strip away the glitter. I think a lot of them would work very well played and sung that way.

I gather that Bjorn is quite heavily into Swedish folk music these days. And that is a good musical tradition.


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Subject: RE: Gulp. ABBA Songs on guitar?
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 03 Jan 01 - 12:52 PM

Geez Peter! I had a gentleman from the Carribean bring his tenor banjo over once to learn some ABBA songs. I played the entire "Greatest Hits" album over a few times (as part of my job) and for WEEKS afterward I couldn't stop humming the suckers!!

...Fernandoooooo......

Rick


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Subject: RE: Gulp. ABBA Songs on guitar?
From: M.Ted
Date: 03 Jan 01 - 01:32 PM

Perhaps a good time to mention the musical, "Mama Mia" which is a farcical comedy that cleverly incorporates ABBA's greatest hits into it's story-- It has been playing in London for quite a while, and has companies in Toronto, San Francisco, and will soon open in New York.I have seen the London show twice, and loved it, as did the audience, who seemed to know every song--

The show demonstrates the amazing range of emotion that Benny and Bjorn managed to express within the confines of the top 40 hit format(actually, most of these songs were number 1 hits!), with subtle and memorable melodies thrown in. And of course, you can dance to it!

The ABBA repertoire translates very well to a voice and acoustic guitar format, and I only regret that it hadn't occurred to me to play a few of them back in the 70's when I was trying to be an entertainer on the sandwich, wine and soup with croutons circuit--


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Subject: RE: Gulp. ABBA Songs on guitar?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 03 Jan 01 - 02:06 PM

Here is a website with the lyrics anyway.


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Subject: RE: Gulp. ABBA Songs on guitar?
From: NightWing
Date: 03 Jan 01 - 07:40 PM

That's SOOOOO bizarre!

I'm very good with tunes. Sometimes have problems with lyrics, but I'm generally fantastic at remembering tunes.

And, except for Fernando, I couldn't come up with a tune of the songs on that page.

And, ($#*& only knows, I heard the things often enough when ABBA was big. *shrug*

Too much beer, probably ... or not enough *G*

BB,
NightWing


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Subject: RE: Gulp. ABBA Songs on guitar?
From: Sorcha
Date: 03 Jan 01 - 07:49 PM

No ASCII code for a backwards B? Shame, shame.


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Subject: RE: Gulp. ABBA Songs on guitar?
From: GUEST,Joerg
Date: 03 Jan 01 - 09:21 PM

That's interesting.

From my german point of view I never thought of something being wrong with ABBA's english. Should I have noticed that what was wrong was the fact that I could understand it? Should I have understood that one of the reasons for their success in Europe might have been that their lyrics (although in english, which is not the original language of most Europeans) could be understood by many people in Europe? (Of course english is also fashionable, please don't make me tell you details...)

I have always been enchanted by the possibility to communicate with scandinavian girls (yes! - why only girls?) in english. Not too long ago somebody told me an explanation for that: They watch all the movies with what is called "sub-titles" in german (is that the correct expression for those lines of text at the bottom of the screen?). In Germany all the movies are "synchronized" (i.e. a the sound is replaced completely by a german speaker - no english left, but the whole thing has developed to some kind of art...) So no wonder if the scandinavians are better in speaking english than the germans are: They just listen to it while being able to read what it means.

It is much more difficult to talk to somebody whose original language is english. Not only because of their special accents: Those people simply don't know what is taught to be english in foreign countries.

And now I read Peter's and McGrath's annotations...

Fnarr, fnarr...

I'm sure that english is going to be the future "lingua franca". That's good. Any other language I know would be much too hard to learn for a foreigner. (There's beauty in those special kinks of some languages, but in the end having to cope with them is only kinky and by no way beautiful.) But - my english speaking friends - this donation you give to the world might also suck some blood out of your gift. Maybe you can refer to the lyrics of ABBA to anticipate some impression of how english will be spoken in the future (ouch or not ouch that's the question).

BTW - I am also interested in a way to do some of ABBA's songs on the guitar. I'm still convinced that if I only tried I could work out some quite nice versions. I started to believe that about twenty years ago, but if you asked me for just one of those quite nice versions today... err...

:-)

Joerg


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Subject: RE: Gulp. ABBA Songs on guitar?
From: Matt_R
Date: 03 Jan 01 - 09:27 PM

Good Heavens, I know tons of ABBA songs. But tabs for them are so rare, that's why I never play them. I'm working on an arrangement, though, of "Fernando" and "Chiquitita".


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Subject: RE: Gulp. ABBA Songs on guitar?
From: pict
Date: 03 Jan 01 - 09:35 PM

English is a very versatile language and it accepts neologisms faster than any other language which I think goes a long way to establishing it as the dominant language but it's a jack of all trades these days and it would be a great shame if all the subtle nuances of minority languages became extinct because of its dominance.The main reason people choose English as a second language is financial,make it possible for someone to earn a good living and increase their possibilities from the adoption of a foreign language and they'd use Sanskrit if the pay was better than using English.


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Subject: RE: Gulp. ABBA Songs on guitar?
From: Benjamin
Date: 03 Jan 01 - 11:02 PM

Matt,

Do you know Dancing Queen?


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Subject: RE: Gulp. ABBA Songs on guitar?
From: Benjamin
Date: 03 Jan 01 - 11:17 PM

Matt,

Both those songs are on Harmony Central.


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Subject: RE: Gulp. ABBA Songs on guitar?
From: Peter T.
Date: 04 Jan 01 - 11:09 AM

Joerg, the great thing about Abba's lyrics is that they are just slightly wrong (it is one of the reasons they stick in the head, like a broken slide in a slide projector). They also tend to use the most banal cliches, the sort of thing you find in "English for Travellers" books. Not exactly at the level of "Please fondle my buttocks" but pretty close. They have a kind of eerie fascination.

yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Gulp. ABBA Songs on guitar?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 04 Jan 01 - 12:51 PM

Spanish would probably be a much better lingua franca. More regular, in spelling and pronounciation. Sounds good too.

But it seems pretty likely we're stuck with English for the forseeable future - which is convenient for those of us who speak it. Maybe if the USA gets most of its people speaking Spanish as a first language, things will change.

The thing about ABBA's lyrics is that they are written in a second-language idiom. And after all, for most of the world's English speakers, English is a second-language.

But that can be exaggerated. Here is one I picked at random, one I don't actually think I've ever heard:"If it wasn't for the nights". Nothing phrase-bookish about this one.


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Subject: RE: Gulp. ABBA Songs on guitar?
From: Matt_R
Date: 04 Jan 01 - 12:52 PM

Yep, I know Dancing Queen, S.O.S, Waterloo, Ring Ring, etc.


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Subject: RE: Gulp. ABBA Songs on guitar?
From: Peter T.
Date: 04 Jan 01 - 01:07 PM

Can't help it, totally hilarious:

Fernando -
"And I'm not ashamed to say
The roar of guns and cannons almost made me cry"

Winner Takes It All --
The gods may throw a dice
Their minds as cold as ice
And someone way down here
Loses someone dear
The winner takes it all
The loser has to fall
It's simple and it's plain
Why should I complain?

And my favourite, showing at the outset of their careers that inimitable style:

Waterloo --
My, my, at Waterloo Napoleon did surrender
Oh yeah, and I have met my destiny in quite a similar way (love the way that is articulated in the original)
The history book on the shelf
Is always repeating itself!!

yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Gulp. ABBA Songs on guitar?
From: Wolfgang
Date: 04 Jan 01 - 01:25 PM

And let's not forget their impact as a raw material for parodies. Peter has reminded me of one:

Les Barker's 'Watersons' to the tune (and structure) of 'Waterloo'.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Gulp. ABBA Songs on guitar?
From: lamarca
Date: 04 Jan 01 - 06:00 PM

I had forgotten most of ABBA's music until I rented "The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert", in which a trio of Australian transvestites take their act on the road -their act consisting of dressing fabulously and lip-synching ABBA songs.

It was perhaps one of the funniest movies I've seen in a long time (especially the ping-pong ball scene), and I found out that Terence Stamp is just as good looking in drag as straight...


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Subject: RE: Gulp. ABBA Songs on guitar?
From: GUEST,Joerg
Date: 04 Jan 01 - 10:31 PM

McGrath - I think you picked up my thoughts very well and you found some words I didn't even think of yet: "Second-language idiom" - that's it, very good, and there also is a "second-language pronunciation". I just wanted to point out that there really is something like that, a fact that native english speakers might not be aware of. I even think that there is some complete "second-language english" just becoming very common: kind of a "ghost english" somehow growing 'behind' the real language.

So, you native english speakers: are you sure that you will be able to teach us foreigners better english in the future - rather than being taught by us what we think to be "convenient" english? Believe me: There already is some language like that, and more and more people are learning and using it (in your absence and never worrying if this is real english). Are you sure that YOU know this language? (You know, knowing the enemy...)

;-) but not meant to be a joke

Joerg


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Subject: RE: Gulp. ABBA Songs on guitar?
From: M.Ted
Date: 05 Jan 01 - 04:54 PM

Joerg,

We "native" speakers of English are aware of the second language pronounciation--many of us, in America at least, are second and third generation, and we have relatives who are not or were not native speakers--and don't forget that there have always been areas of the US where other languages dominated--my grandmother's father, a rural Minnesota shopkeeper, spoke to his customers in five different languages, German,Swedish, Norwegian, French, and English, not counting the odd phrases that he picked up from the Native Americans--


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Subject: RE: Gulp. ABBA Songs on guitar?
From: mousethief
Date: 05 Jan 01 - 05:07 PM

All this about their lyrics misses the essential point. They had some damn catchy TUNES. They could be singing in Esperanto, or Old High Martian, for all anybody would care. It would still be a hit because the melodies were so infective.

Alex


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Subject: RE: Gulp. ABBA Songs on guitar?
From: Wesley S
Date: 05 Jan 01 - 05:28 PM

I saw Livingston Taylor do "Fernando" on the 5 string banjo as part of a medly entitled "Songs that should never be played on the banjo".


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Subject: RE: Gulp. ABBA Songs on guitar?
From: GUEST,Joerg
Date: 05 Jan 01 - 09:05 PM

Mhm - thanks for your comment, M.Ted. Still - most of this happened inside of an english-speaking community, so I suppose that everything wrong was corrected after some relatively short time, so people didn't get used to it.

Most of this - certainly not everything. So I also suppose that there should be some experience with things that I... err... sense happening to english from outside an english-speaking community.

You know I'm sometimes correcting misunderstandings between people talking english to each other. But english isn't my original language either. The question I ask myself is: Do I correct those misunderstandings correctly? and also: What misunderstandings happen, that I don't even notice? And there is no native english-speaking person there to tell us what we are telling to each other...

Maybe this is something seriuos enough to start a new thread...

Joerg


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Subject: RE: Gulp. ABBA Songs on guitar?
From: GUEST,CraigS
Date: 05 Jan 01 - 10:58 PM

Once my wife and I were in a McDonalds. opposite the front door of Koln cathedral, and there were five young (16-18) people sitting next to us. They spoke in French for the 20 min they were there. As they left, I looked at my wife and said "I'll bet you think they were French" - "Yes", she said. "No", I said, "you missed the first sentence - where the girl nearest us said "Speak Only French" in German." It is a fact that Scandinavians speak such good English that it is possible to present plays in Stockholm in English; Shakespeare and "the Mousetrap" by Agatha Christie being cases in point. There are a lot of uncivil comments levelled at Scandinavian and German songsmiths who choose to work in English. When New York gives a paying run to a Goethe play in German on Broadway, I'll listen to them.


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Subject: RE: Gulp. ABBA Songs on guitar?
From: Peter T.
Date: 06 Jan 01 - 11:39 AM

I wonder who they were. I was at an German environmental conference in Bonn some years ago, and I was interviewed by French radio because they could find no one at the conference who could speak French well enough to be on the radio. They all knew English. And my French was nothing to go on the radio about. yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Gulp. ABBA Songs on guitar?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 06 Jan 01 - 02:54 PM

Well, we're drifting from ABBA, but it's an interesting drift.

A parallel which might be worth looking at if anyone is into it is the lanuage Swahili - the point is that, up until recently anyway, this has been no one's first language. A bit like Esperanto, except that it happened organically, and is used by many million of people as their way of communicating.

As you say Joerg, maybe there could be a thread about this kind of thing. (And why are you still a GUEST instead of signing on as member?)


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Subject: RE: Gulp. ABBA Songs on guitar?
From: Peter T.
Date: 06 Jan 01 - 03:41 PM

Is that true, McGrath, about Swahili? I never knew that. (I speak about 10 words of Swahili). Where did it come from? Did someone invent it, or was it a pidgin market language or what?

yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Gulp. ABBA Songs on guitar?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 06 Jan 01 - 04:11 PM

I'm not an expert on this, but my understanding is was a trading pidgin language, made up between speakers of Arabic and various African languages and so forth. And then it got more systematised, and used for official purposes, and taught in schools, and now it's a first language for many of those who speak it. here is a site about swahili which looks quite interesting.

I suspect that for most European languages, it's more accurate to think of them as descended from pidgin latin rather than from Latin as spoken by people whose first language it was.


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Subject: RE: Gulp. ABBA Songs on guitar?
From: GUEST,Joerg
Date: 06 Jan 01 - 10:02 PM

That's again looking like becoming pure sugar - thanks for your comments - I'd kike to read many more of this kind.

As for thread creeps: Any great invention was first one. The most stupid answer I ever got in my life was "We never did it this way." And I'm also convinced that many many years ago somebody near Cro Magnon said something like: "We are not talking of MAKING fire now..." - So let it creep if it wants to.

McGrath - First of all thanks for that great link on swahili. (There are some reasons for me to not sign up I personally take for serious. They are not a secret, but I don't think that they are important or interesting enough to be published. Some of them may be interesting to certain people, yes, so if you really want to know them just tell me and I'll send you an email.)

Joerg


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Subject: RE: Gulp. ABBA Songs on guitar?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 07 Jan 01 - 08:30 AM

Fair enough joerg - I know there are various sensible reasons why people don't register.

I'm not that curious - but if you send me an email anyway, then I'd have your address so I could send a PM equivalent, if there was ever a reason to. (My email address is in the Mudcat Resources page under quick links - I think youi can get to that even withouit ebving a member.)

Thread drift I enjoy - the only trouble is it can make it harder later to find where it was you came across some interesting snippet you forgot to follow up. For example if someone wanted to find that swahili link in a years time, who'd think of looking in a thread about ABBA?


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Subject: RE: Gulp. ABBA Songs on guitar?
From: alison
Date: 07 Jan 01 - 08:35 AM

don't know about guitars... but S.O.S. sounds great on the harp...... *grin*

slainte

alison


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Subject: RE: Gulp. ABBA Songs on guitar?
From: Peter T.
Date: 07 Jan 01 - 10:40 AM

The link doesn't really illuminate the origins of Swahili question. I wonder if Benny or Bjorn know? yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Gulp. ABBA Songs on guitar?
From: GUEST,Joerg
Date: 07 Jan 01 - 08:30 PM

Alison - would it be too difficult for you to post some sound sample?

McGrath - *grin* - that's the way it goes: So many good thoughts we would like to remember are hidden somewhere... I don't bother - I survived without a full text search in my brains until now. Just give Max some years and there will be one for the Mudcat. (And I remember you.)

Slainte (I know how to pronounce it! ;-)

Joerg


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Subject: RE: Gulp. ABBA Songs on guitar?
From: alison
Date: 08 Jan 01 - 01:45 AM

it would at the minute Joerg... but if you're ever in Paltalk I'll play it for you.....

slainte

alison


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Subject: RE: Gulp. ABBA Songs on guitar?
From: GUEST,Joerg
Date: 08 Jan 01 - 09:33 PM

Alison - again I feel obliged to thank you.

You know I just had Altavista tell me that Paltalk is not the place where you are living. Never heard that word before. Am I getting THAT old? The years should tell me so, but I refuse to believe them. And on the other hand I am right now completely fascinated by the youth of some people who don't even know what the Internet is. - Uh?!?

*BG* - When I first heard ABBA I didn't think that their ghost would once lead me to thoughts like these.

But I am really interested in how S.O.S. can be made sound great on the harp. Just wait until I get the bandwidth for using Paltalk.

*smile*

Joerg


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Subject: RE: Gulp. ABBA Songs on guitar?
From: M.Ted
Date: 09 Jan 01 - 10:52 AM

Drifting randomly, it occurs to me that it is somewhat interesting that, though the Scandinvians seem to have embraced English now, the immigrants in Minnesota, the Dakotas, and Wisconsin, carried on in their native languages in schools, newspapers, and in a rather extensive publishing industry. Ole Rolvaag's "Giants in the Earth" which is a classic novel about American pioneer life, was written and published in this country, in Norwegian.

And as to your tourists, CraigS, had you considered that they might have been Swiss?


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Subject: RE: Gulp. ABBA Songs on guitar?
From: Peter T.
Date: 09 Jan 01 - 10:59 AM

I loved Willa Cather's "O Pioneers" about a similar bunch. Is Rolvaag's novel translated?

yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Gulp. ABBA Songs on guitar?
From: lamarca
Date: 09 Jan 01 - 05:26 PM

Yes, Peter, and was required reading in 8th grade in Wisconsin public schools. To this day I remember my 8th grade social studies teacher docking points from my exam on the novel because I answered the question about what a friendly Native American gave to the settlers "a horse and gun" and left out mentioning the saddle blanket.

I remember little else about the novel except that it was very grim - a settler couple blamed their extremely hard lives on their committing the sin of having conceived their first child out of wedlock, even though they married afterwards. Here's an excerpt...


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Subject: RE: Gulp. ABBA Songs on guitar?
From: Peter T.
Date: 09 Jan 01 - 05:40 PM

Brrrrrrrrrr. yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Gulp. ABBA Songs on guitar?
From: GUEST,Joerg
Date: 10 Jan 01 - 08:43 PM

Should I say sorry for warming up an old thread?

I once was told that there is no foreign translation for the german word "Gemuetlichkeit" and that foreigners also have trouble when trying to understand the whole concept this word describes.

Well, look at this thread. It is - or was if I shut it down now (anyway, why not?) - "gemuetlich".

* another smile *

Joerg


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