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Help:Partner songs (aka:quodlibets, counterpoints)

Related thread:
Singing two songs at the same time. (42)


Genie 13 Apr 02 - 12:45 AM
Midchuck 13 Apr 02 - 03:41 PM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 13 Apr 02 - 05:57 PM
Genie 13 Apr 02 - 06:42 PM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 13 Apr 02 - 06:48 PM
greg stephens 13 Apr 02 - 06:54 PM
Genie 14 Apr 02 - 03:44 AM
Night Owl 14 Apr 02 - 04:15 AM
Menita 14 Apr 02 - 12:03 PM
Trevor 15 Apr 02 - 09:05 AM
greg stephens 15 Apr 02 - 09:09 AM
Genie 18 Apr 02 - 01:08 AM
Sooz 18 Apr 02 - 02:23 AM
Liz the Squeak 18 Apr 02 - 03:05 AM
Trevor 18 Apr 02 - 04:40 AM
Genie 28 Apr 02 - 06:30 PM
Bennet Zurofsky 29 Apr 02 - 06:47 PM
MAG 29 Apr 02 - 11:57 PM
ciarili 30 Apr 02 - 09:07 PM
GUEST,jonesey 01 May 02 - 08:52 AM
Genie 02 May 02 - 01:18 AM
The Fooles Troupe 27 Aug 03 - 08:24 PM
Margret RoadKnight 27 Aug 03 - 09:00 PM
MAG 09 Jan 07 - 12:39 PM
GUEST,Ken Brock 09 Jan 07 - 01:08 PM
GUEST,Penelope 11 Jun 09 - 11:37 AM
GUEST,leeneia 11 Jun 09 - 05:27 PM
GUEST,Gerry 11 Jun 09 - 08:18 PM
Joe_F 11 Jun 09 - 09:15 PM
clueless don 12 Jun 09 - 08:19 AM
Bobert 12 Jun 09 - 08:27 AM
Genie 06 Mar 12 - 07:56 PM
YorkshireYankee 06 Mar 12 - 10:42 PM
Genie 11 Mar 12 - 09:32 PM
GUEST,Lee 01 Jan 16 - 08:14 AM
GUEST,Lee 01 Jan 16 - 08:16 AM
FreddyHeadey 01 Jan 16 - 09:12 AM
clueless don 16 Aug 16 - 08:50 AM
Jack Campin 16 Aug 16 - 09:21 AM
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Subject: Partner songs
From: Genie
Date: 13 Apr 02 - 12:45 AM

"Partner songs" are songs that can be played and sung simultaneously, because they have the same chord pattern. Examples are:

"Bill Bailey" and "Just Because"

or Irving Berlin's:
"Play A Simple Melody" and "I Want to Listen To Rag"
and
"I Wonder Why" and "You're Not Sick, You're Just In Love"

I recently discovered, while listening to the radio in my car and vocally experimenting, that if you sing "Cottonfields" slowly, as Belafonte does, "Hard Times Come Again No More" can be sung with it as a partner song.

Then, of course, there is Simon & Garfunkel's "Scarborough Fair" and the "Canticle" they sing along with it. And at Christmas time we hear a neat reggae version of "Mary's Boy Child" with "Oh, My Lord" superimposed on it. And while the Kenny Rogers Christmas song "Pretty Little Baby Child" is playing, you can sing "Sukiyaki!"

Anyway, I'm interested in what sets of partner songs other folks know. They're a lot of fun to sing and can really sound great.

BTW, if there is another term for this phenomenon, please let me know. I tried to see if there were any previous threads on the subject, but doing a search under "partner" yielded nothing relevant.

Genie


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Subject: RE: Help: Partner songs
From: Midchuck
Date: 13 Apr 02 - 03:41 PM

"Humoresque" ("Passengers will please refrain...") and the first part of "Swanee River" work together. I first found this out many years ago in the old Club 47, listening to Keith and Rooney, when Bill Keith played both tunes on the 5-string banjo at the same time! I swear I am not making this up.

Peter.


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Subject: RE: Help: Partner songs
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 13 Apr 02 - 05:57 PM

What about Call Me Madam with Ethel Merman and Donald O'Connor.

I think she sang "You're Just in Love", and I can't remember his part.


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Subject: RE: Help: Partner songs
From: Genie
Date: 13 Apr 02 - 06:42 PM

George, That's the Irving Berlin song I referred to above. The Donald O'Conner part is:

I hear music and there's no one there
I smell blossoms and the trees are bare;
All day long I seem to walk on air.
I wonder why
I wondery why.
I keep walking in my sleep at night,
And, what's more, I've lost my appetitie.
Stars that used to twinkle in the skies
Are twinkling in my eyes.
I wonder why.

I guess the title of that part is "I Wonder Why." Not sure, though.

Genie


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Subject: RE: Help: Partner songs
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 13 Apr 02 - 06:48 PM

Looked up the sites on the musical, Call Me Madam, and they only list the one song, "You're Just In Love". Guess that is the title, and it is really one song.

However, I wonder what they call that type of song. It certainly is amazing.

Would your definition include the Annie Get Your Gun song - "I Can Do Anything"?

I'm sure there is more like that Irving Berlin song(s).


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Subject: RE: Help: Partner songs
From: greg stephens
Date: 13 Apr 02 - 06:54 PM

known to everyone in UK/Ireland and a guaranteed full blast number in any pub in the land"Its a long way to Tipperary" and "Pack up your troubles"


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Subject: RE: Help: Partner songs
From: Genie
Date: 14 Apr 02 - 03:44 AM

George Seto, You're right that "You're Just In Love" is really one "song"--i.e., one composition, which is a duet with two different melodies and two different sets of lyrics. They are first sung separately and then simultaneously.

This type of two-part counter-melody song is not unusual in Broadway musicals. E.g., in "The Music Man" the two songs "Lida Rose" and "Dream [something]" are juxtaposed this way. And don't they do something like this in West Side Story? I seem to recall the song "Tonight" being sung between Tony and Maria while Anita and the gang guys sing "Stick To Your Own Kind" or some other song.

"Anything You Can Do" is a duet but it does not have two melodies or two sets of lyrics that are sung simultaneously.

I'm particularly interested, though, in songs that were not written together--probably not even written by the same songwriter or maybe even in not in the same era --which can be sung as countermelodies [partner songs].

Genie


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Subject: RE: Help: Partner songs
From: Night Owl
Date: 14 Apr 02 - 04:15 AM

"Rock-a-My Soul" and "Good News, Chariots-a-Coming" works and are FUN to sing together.


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Subject: RE: Help: Partner songs
From: Menita
Date: 14 Apr 02 - 12:03 PM

'There was an old man called Michael Finnigan' and 'Lord of the dance'. Sang this once in the Barbican in London at a concert devised by Jonathan Cohen ('Playaway' fame with Brian Cant)

(Does anyone know where Jonathan Cohen is now?) Sorry I 'strayaway' a little!

LA


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Subject: RE: Help: Partner songs
From: Trevor
Date: 15 Apr 02 - 09:05 AM

'Oh dear what can the matter be', 'Polly put the kettle on' and 'Bobby Shaftoe'. Mind you, it sounds appalling, and it really confused the WI when I got them singing it one night!


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Subject: RE: Help: Partner songs
From: greg stephens
Date: 15 Apr 02 - 09:09 AM

The big Allsaints hit whose name i cant remember was built on top of a very slow moving Amazing Grace.


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Subject: RE: Help: Partner songs
From: Genie
Date: 18 Apr 02 - 01:08 AM

Trevor.

What does "WI" stand for?

Genie


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Subject: RE: Help: Partner songs
From: Sooz
Date: 18 Apr 02 - 02:23 AM

There are three Scottish songs which fit together very well, As I cam ower the bonnie brig o'Banff, Sandy he belongs to tae the mill, and a third one which I only know as nonsense syllables (Dee di ba do di dum) although I think it does have words.


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Subject: RE: Help: Partner songs
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 18 Apr 02 - 03:05 AM

Genie - Women's Institute - a fine upstanding body of women whose lives are dedicated to making jam, copious charity works and (much less these days) spreading the Gospel - hence the nickname 'jam and Jerusalem'. They were started years ago as a self help group for women to share information, companionship and support.

As for the music question - Pachabel's canon and 'Streets of London' - it's basically the same tune! But then, Pachabel's canon can go under so many other songs....

LTS


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Subject: RE: Help: Partner songs
From: Trevor
Date: 18 Apr 02 - 04:40 AM

I think the WI tends to be stronger in rural areas (like darkest Salop for instance). We were singing at their Xmas do and it was real good fun. I have an abiding memory of two elderly and frail-looking ladies standing up waving their headscarves, a la soccer crowd, during a spirited rendition of 'Goodnight Irene'. They had previously almost collapsed during the aforementioned Bobby Polly Matterbe song!


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Subject: RE: Help: Partner songs
From: Genie
Date: 28 Apr 02 - 06:30 PM

Some folks say that "Roll On, Columbia" was written to the tune of "Goodnight, Irene." Actually, the tunes seem slightly different to me, but the two songs could definitely be sung together.

"Do, Lord," has virtually the same tune as "This Little Light Of Mine." Even when "This Little Light" is sung to a slight tune variation, they can still be sung as partner songs.

Also, several rounds can be superimposed on each other--e.g., Three Blind Mice, Frere Jacques, and Row, Row, Row Your Boat.


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Subject: RE: Help: Partner songs
From: Bennet Zurofsky
Date: 29 Apr 02 - 06:47 PM

Try listening to Charlie Parker. Most of his "compositions" began as improvised solos to standard tunes. The best known example would be "How High the Moon" and "Ornithology."

Although the Yardbird did not generally commission lyrics for his compositions, words have been set to them by others, such as Jon Hendrix or Dave Lambert.

The fact is that the key to this is in the chords. Virtually any blues has hundreds of other songs that could be fit to the same accompaniment. The same can be said for most popular music. Try the "I've Got Rhythm" or the "Blue Moon" chord progressions and any number of songs should come to mind.

The trick is not to find songs that can be sung together, that is easy to do. The trick is to find songs that are worth singing together. Songs are only worth singing together if the melodies yield a pleasing counterpoint or if the combination of the lyrics produces a worthwhile insight of some sort. Its best when both things happen.


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Subject: RE: Help: Partner songs
From: MAG
Date: 29 Apr 02 - 11:57 PM

As kids my sisters and sang "horsey horsey don't you stop" and "My name is Solomon Levi" together as partner songs. As an adult I am uncomfortable with "Solomon Levi" as I do not know its origin and whether or not it passes pc muster -- something I very much believe in. Anyone know?


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Subject: RE: Help: Partner songs
From: ciarili
Date: 30 Apr 02 - 09:07 PM

There are a couple of German renaissance songs that were cleverly threaded together by several different composers of the time. I think they were Ach, Elslein, liebes Elslein mein, by Ludwig Senfl, and one that translates as "Katherine of or from the Forest" (can't recall the title).

Anyway, all the arrangements are just beautiful!

ciarili


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Subject: RE: Help: Partner songs
From: GUEST,jonesey
Date: 01 May 02 - 08:52 AM

A friend of mine and I used to sing 'Five Foot Two, Eyes of Blue' and 'Please, Don't Talk About Me When I'm Gone' with standard and baritone ukeleles. Same chord progression, different melodies.


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Subject: RE: Help: Partner songs
From: Genie
Date: 02 May 02 - 01:18 AM

Bennett, I agree that many popular, jazz, and blues tunes have similar chord progressions--at least as far as the main verses are concerned. What thrown the monkey wrench in, as far as superimposing one song on the other, often is the bridge and/or chorus. The chords to Blue Moon, e.g., fit a number of other songs if you leave out the bridge. Is there another song that fits both its verses and the bridge?

Genie


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Subject: RE: Help: Partner songs
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 27 Aug 03 - 08:24 PM

refresh


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Subject: RE: Help: Partner songs
From: Margret RoadKnight
Date: 27 Aug 03 - 09:00 PM

"official" name for partner songs - QUODLIBETS


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Subject: RE: Help: Solomon Levi song
From: MAG
Date: 09 Jan 07 - 12:39 PM

I am refreshing this thread as I never got any responses to my question.

Anyone know anything about *My name is Solomon Levi?*

(and my store's on Salem Street
That's where you get your coats and hats and everything else that's neat)


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Subject: RE: Help: Partner songs
From: GUEST,Ken Brock
Date: 09 Jan 07 - 01:08 PM

I've heard them called counterpoint songs.

Three where Irving Berlin wrote a counterpoint melody to an existing song:

"That Mesmerizing Mendelssohn Tune" (circa 1912) - counterpoint to Spring Song.
"When I Get Back to the USA" from Stop! Look! Listen! - counterpoint to My Country 'Tis of Thee/ God Bless the King
"Call of the South" - counterpoint to Swanee River

Those where Berlin wrote two original counterpoint melodies:

"Play a Simple Melody" (from Watch Your Step, 1914)
"Pack Up Your Sins and Go To The Devil" from Music Box Revue
"You're Not Sick (You're Just In Love) from Call Me Madam, circa 1952
"Empty Pockets Filled With Love" from Mr. President (1962)
"An Old Fashioned Wedding" from 1966 revival of Annie Get Your Gun
"Wait Till You're Married" from unproduced musical circa 1966, on the "Unsung Irving Berlin double CD" (Varese Sarabande)

with partial counterpoint melody:

"I'll See You In C.U.B.A."

Also, Meredith Willson, (already mentioned re "Lida Rose" in The Music Man), also wrote "My White Knight" and "The Sadder But Wiser Girl" to work as counterpoint, though this was not done in the show.
On one of Barbara Cook's concert albums, however, she does a version
of "My White Knight" with an unused interlude in the style of "Sadder But Wiser Girl". Also, "Goodnight, My Someone" Is "76 Trombones" slowed down with a few notes dropped.

Circa 1963, Willson took his 1950's Christmas song "It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas", and added a counterpoint part called "Pinecones and Holly Berries" for the musical, Here's Love (based on Miracle on 34th Street).

Back to folk related - a favorite of mine is "Across the Hills", an ecology duet recorded by The Ian Campbell Folk Group circa 1964 where one of the parts is optimistic and the other is pessimistic.


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Subject: RE: Help: Partner songs
From: GUEST,Penelope
Date: 11 Jun 09 - 11:37 AM

"Solomon Levi" and "The Spanish Cavalier" can be partnered; see Virginia Lee Seale, My School Daze at http://www.marcseale.com/gg4.htm. For the full text of "Solomon Levi" Google {"Solomon Levi" "Salem Street"} and see the entry in Nicholas Tawa's book A Sound of Strangers and that of the Harvard Club of San Francisco for the most words and a second verse of which I was unaware.


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Subject: RE: Help: Partner songs
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 11 Jun 09 - 05:27 PM

Moonglow and Picnic, or so i've heard.

The words above for 'You're just in love' have a mistake. It's not 'walking in my sleep,' it's the much safer 'tossing in my sleep.'


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Subject: RE: Help: Partner songs
From: GUEST,Gerry
Date: 11 Jun 09 - 08:18 PM

For a gig at the (Australian) National Folk Festival, I though it would be neat if I sang Shirele Perele while my daughter sang Eliahu Hanavi, as both songs are about the coming of the Messiah, one song in Yiddish, the other in Hebrew. My daughter, who actually knows something about music, pointed out that one song was in 4/4, the other in 3/4, so it wouldn't work. I wasn't going to let a little thing like that stop me, so we just sang both songs in 4/4, and she fiddled a few of the notes in Eliahu to avoid the more egregious dissonances ("we had to destroy that song in order to sing it").


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Subject: RE: Help: Partner songs
From: Joe_F
Date: 11 Jun 09 - 09:15 PM

"Home, Sweet Home" & "My Silver Bell".

Also, as I think I have mentioned elsewhere in this company, "Old Black Joe" & "I've Been Working on the Railroad" sort of go together, tho one must put up with the odd discord before arriving at the climax where "I'm coming" is superposed on "Dinah, won't you blow".


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Subject: RE: Help: Partner songs
From: clueless don
Date: 12 Jun 09 - 08:19 AM

I was just thinking about this thread this morning, and now here it is, recently refreshed!

I thought I would note that Doris Day recorded one of these songs, like "You're Just in Love", where two parts are sung separately, then together (I assume it was done with the magic of multi-tracking.) I believe it was called "Everybody Loves a Lover". The verse that goes "Everybody ... loves a lover ... I'm a lover ... [etc.]" harmonizes with the verse that goes "Who's the most popular person ... ality? ... I can't help thinking it's no one ... else but me [etc.]", possibly with the pauses in different places for the two verses.

Don


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Subject: RE: Help: Partner songs
From: Bobert
Date: 12 Jun 09 - 08:27 AM

"Little Red Rooster" Willie Dixon
"Death Letter" Son House
"Walkin' Blues" Robert Johnson

Virtually the same song... Just different lyrics...

B~


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Subject: RE: Help: Partner songs/ quodlibets, canticles
From: Genie
Date: 06 Mar 12 - 07:56 PM

True, Bobert.

What I'm really looking for are songs where both the lyrics and the melodies are different but where the same chord pattern fits both.   

I agree with Bennett: The trick is to find songs that are worth singing together. Songs are only worth singing together if the melodies yield a pleasing counterpoint or if the combination of the lyrics produces a worthwhile insight of some sort. Its best when both things happen."


Margaret, yes, I understand that the technical term for what I'm describing is "quodlibets." (I was just reminded of that today.

But I am planning to a workshop on this type of song -- quodlibets, canticles, counter melodies, and counterpoints -- at Oregon's upcoming Singtime Frolics music camp, but I need a very brief title and subtitle for the Camp Schedule, and I don't think the term "partner songs," much less the term "quodlibets," would mean anything to most of the people coming for the weekend.


Don, "Everybody Loves a Lover". The verse that goes "Everybody Loves A Lover" is, I believe, one of those 'duet' songs, like Berlin's "Play A Simple Melody," that was written with two countermelodies & separate lyrics that are superimposed after each is sung once. I'd forgotten about that one.

Examples of canticles or counter melodies include:
The David Bowie/Bing Crosby duet of "Little Drummer Boy" and "Peace On Earth"
"Silent Night" and another "Peace On Earth" canticle
Simon & Garfunkel's "Scarborough Fair and Canticle"
and
CSNY's "Teach Your Children" - which also has a canticle



I've also discovered (via Carl Zebooker) that "It's A Sin To Tell A Lie" works perfectly with "I'm Gonna Sit Right Down And Write Myself A Letter" as a 'quodlibet'.


But if anyone has more suggestions of songs that "go together" like this, please share them.

Genie


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Subject: RE: Help: Partner songs
From: YorkshireYankee
Date: 06 Mar 12 - 10:42 PM

At a singing "jam" session during an Augusta Heritage Vocal Week (in West Virginia) many years ago now, I remember a group of us standing around one evening just singing, vocally riffing & improvising harmonies, for 15-20 minutes straight... (it was sublime!)

IF I remember rightly, we discovered that evening that "Mama's Little Babies (Love Shortnin' Bread)" went together very well with "The Atchison, Topeka & the Santa Fe" (or at least the chorus -- don't know about the verses).

Then there are rounds... "Ah Poor Bird" and "Rose" go together beautifully, and "Zum Gali", "Hey Ho, Nobody Home" and (the chorus of) "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" also go together very nicely. If you have a copy of "Rounds Galore I" (or can get hold of one from a friend/library/online bookstore), it lists "Come With Me" and "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" as quodlibets, "Four-Way Gospel" as a "Trad" Quodlibet, and also "Windmills" and "Jubilate Deo" as partner rounds.

Hope this helps...

BTW (tho I know It's not what you're looking for, Genie), another Music Man song with two parts that get sung together: "Good Night Ladies", and "Pick a Little Talk a Little"...

And of course, almost all of Lou & Peter Berryman's songs consist of two distinct melodies -- first sung separately, then simultaneously.


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Subject: RE: Help: Partner songs
From: Genie
Date: 11 Mar 12 - 09:32 PM

Thanks for the suggestions, Yank.
I'll check out some of the Berrymans' songs. (They're doing a concerts in Seattle and in Portland in April.)
The Berrymans songs that come to my mind offhand -- A Chat With Your Mother, Pair of Geese, Your State's Name Here, The Dupsha Dove, etc. -- aren't partner songs, but they do have a wonderful duet song called "The Double Yodel."

I'm postponing my Partner Songs workshop till next year because we already have a "Just Du-et" workshop and a "Rounds" workshop," and mine would overlap too much with those. But all these suggestions are very helpful.

Genie


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Subject: RE: Help: Partner songs
From: GUEST,Lee
Date: 01 Jan 16 - 08:14 AM

My father and I do Around the World and Bill Bailey.


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Subject: RE: Help: Partner songs
From: GUEST,Lee
Date: 01 Jan 16 - 08:16 AM

Around the World and Bill Bailey


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Subject: RE: Help: Partner songs
From: FreddyHeadey
Date: 01 Jan 16 - 09:12 AM

Scarborough Fair v Four Loom Weaver mentioned on
Brian Peters on the Scarborough Fair thread


also.... Cod Liver Oil v Scarborough Fair v Four Loom Weaver.
ok, all three at once is a bit of a stretch but here are the dots and mp3s
SF FLW / SF CLO / FLW CLO / SF + FLW + CLO

Scarborough Fair v Four Loom Weaver v Cod Liver Oil


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Subject: RE: Help:Partner songs (aka:quodlibets, counterpoints)
From: clueless don
Date: 16 Aug 16 - 08:50 AM

I was listening to a soundtrack recording of Bells are Ringing, and I realized that one of the songs - Better Than a Dream - fits this category.

Don


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Subject: RE: Help:Partner songs (aka:quodlibets, counterpoints)
From: Jack Campin
Date: 16 Aug 16 - 09:21 AM

As an adult I am uncomfortable with "Solomon Levi" as I do not know its origin

It's a Jewish folksong from the East End of London. Solomon Levi was a real person (notorious womanizer).

Vivi Lachs (who you can contact through the Jewish Music Institute in London) knows everything there is to know about it.


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