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Origins: Last Night I Had the Strangest Dream

DigiTrad:
LAST NIGHT I HAD A HAPPY DREAM
LAST NIGHT I HAD THE STRANGEST DREAM


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Obit: Ed McCurdy has passed away (1919-2000) (30)
Ed McCurdy - Available Recordings (25)
Surprise record purchase - Ed McCurdy (6)
Ed McCurdy STORIES - any music? (9)
Ed McCurdy (16)
Chords Req: Last Night I Had the Strangest Dream (3) (closed)


Janie 08 Oct 03 - 09:45 AM
GUEST 08 Oct 03 - 09:54 AM
Janie 08 Oct 03 - 10:02 AM
GUEST 08 Oct 03 - 10:34 AM
Stilly River Sage 08 Oct 03 - 11:01 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 08 Oct 03 - 11:06 AM
Janie 08 Oct 03 - 11:56 AM
Hrothgar 09 Oct 03 - 04:57 AM
Amos 09 Oct 03 - 09:38 AM
EBarnacle1 09 Oct 03 - 09:41 AM
SINSULL 09 Oct 03 - 09:54 AM
dick greenhaus 09 Oct 03 - 10:25 AM
Steve Parkes 09 Oct 03 - 10:31 AM
Janie 09 Oct 03 - 12:12 PM
Stilly River Sage 09 Oct 03 - 02:22 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 09 Oct 03 - 02:48 PM
EBarnacle1 09 Oct 03 - 10:23 PM
Deckman 09 Oct 03 - 11:34 PM
Janie 10 Oct 03 - 07:59 AM
Deckman 11 Oct 03 - 12:07 AM
Mr Happy 28 Oct 07 - 11:46 AM
LeTenebreux 28 Oct 07 - 12:30 PM
EBarnacle 28 Oct 07 - 04:05 PM
Thomas Stern 02 Apr 10 - 04:24 PM
Bob the Postman 02 Apr 10 - 04:59 PM
Thomas Stern 02 Apr 10 - 05:24 PM
Bob the Postman 02 Apr 10 - 09:04 PM
open mike 02 Apr 10 - 09:17 PM
Stringsinger 03 Apr 10 - 07:09 PM
Stringsinger 03 Apr 10 - 07:14 PM
Fred McCormick 04 Apr 10 - 05:27 AM
Selchie - (RH) 04 Apr 10 - 07:52 AM
GUEST 29 Feb 12 - 01:11 PM
GUEST,UD 29 Feb 12 - 01:34 PM
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Subject: Lyr Add: Last Night I Had the Strangest Dream
From: Janie
Date: 08 Oct 03 - 09:45 AM

I was surprised to find nothing in the DT or on the Forum when I was looking for these lyrics a little earlier.

^^^
Last Night I Had The Strangest Dream
words and music by Ed McCurdy

Last night I had the strangest dream
I'd ever dreamed before
I dreamed the world had all agreed
To put an end to war

I dreamed I saw a mighty room
Filled with women and men
And the paper they were signing said
They'd never fight again

And when the paper was all signed
And a million copies made
They all joined hands and bowed their heads
And grateful pray'rs were prayed

And the people in the streets below
Were dancing 'round and 'round
While swords and guns and uniforms
Were scattered on the ground

Last night I had the strangest dream
I'd never dreamed before
I dreamed the world had all agreed
To put an end to war.

TRO-©1950,1951 & 1955 Almanac Music, Inc.
New York, N.Y. Copyrights renewed


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Last Night I Had the Strangest Dream
From: GUEST
Date: 08 Oct 03 - 09:54 AM

DT entry


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Last Night I Had the Strangest Dream
From: Janie
Date: 08 Oct 03 - 10:02 AM

Guest,

How did you find it? First I did an advanced search using the 1st two lines in both the DT and the Forum. Then I browsed the "L's" to be sure. What am I missing or doing wrong with my searches?

Thanks,

Janie


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Last Night I Had the Strangest Dream
From: GUEST
Date: 08 Oct 03 - 10:34 AM

Try using UNIQUE words combo in a song, such as [mighty room]


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Last Night I Had the Strangest Dream
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 08 Oct 03 - 11:01 AM

So is the Digitrad title "Last Night I had a Happy Dream" wrong? I've never heard it by that title. I grew up with and love that song.

SRS


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Last Night I Had the Strangest Dream
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 08 Oct 03 - 11:06 AM

Put in - last night - and it appears. Nice to have it in a thread with the proper title, though.
Comes up under the full title as well, which is unusual for Mudcat.

The music- I seem to remember it used with another song. Perhaps just my faulty memory, but can anyone say yea or nay?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Last Night I Had the Strangest Dream
From: Janie
Date: 08 Oct 03 - 11:56 AM

SRS & Q,

When I looked at the DT link provided by "Guest" (maybe I'm spelling challenged, or have a mote in my eye that blocks out the songs and threads I'm looking for-heh?)there were lyrics for both "Happy" and "Strangest" dream. One of threads that the link leads to says Ed McCurdy rewrote lyrics for "Happy" dream. I presume both songs have the same tune.

Now I gotta go print out the "Happy" lyrics iffen I can find them again!

Janie


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Last Night I Had the Strangest Dream
From: Hrothgar
Date: 09 Oct 03 - 04:57 AM

It has also been used for an Irish song called (let's not argue too much about Gaelic spelling - just accept that the spelling is as confusing as the pronunciation) "Gro ma chridhe."

If I remember correctly, it starts "Last night I had a happy dream."


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Last Night I Had the Strangest Dream
From: Amos
Date: 09 Oct 03 - 09:38 AM

PLease note that the original lyric refers to a room filled with men, and was modified in Janie's version to accomodate political correct notions at the expense of some scansion.

A


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Last Night I Had the Strangest Dream
From: EBarnacle1
Date: 09 Oct 03 - 09:41 AM

The first line, as quoted, is incorrect. One time I sang it as it is cited above and Ed corrected me, saying "I wrote it as 'Last night I had the strangest dream, I'd NEVER dreamed before.' Please sing it as I wrote it or don't sing it." It's an easy error to make and it's often cited incorrectly, but he wanted it sung the way he wrote it.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Last Night I Had the Strangest Dream
From: SINSULL
Date: 09 Oct 03 - 09:54 AM

I remember someone quoting him as saying "Screw the folk process. My song is perfect as written" or similar words. Seems someone tried to be helpful by adding a verse or two. It is perfect in its simplicity.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Last Night I Had the Strangest Dream
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 09 Oct 03 - 10:25 AM

Don't put too many words into the search--one spelling error will screw up the whole thing. "Strangest Dream" would work jes' fine.

And titles, as I mentioned before, are a snare and a delusion. Too many variants.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Last Night I Had the Strangest Dream
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 09 Oct 03 - 10:31 AM

I've always liked this song, even though I've always felt it to be hopelessly naive. Who said "if I can lead you into the promised land, somebody else can lead you out of it"?

Steve


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Last Night I Had the Strangest Dream
From: Janie
Date: 09 Oct 03 - 12:12 PM

I wondered about the "women and men." My memory had been that it was "and the room was full of men." I cut and pasted the lyrics from another website--that was 2 long days ago so the memory is dim--I think it was lyrics.net.

Janie


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Last Night I Had the Strangest Dream
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 09 Oct 03 - 02:22 PM

My father sang this song often when I was small, and sang the "never dreamed before" lyrics. There are songs that it is awfully tempting to add to. For example, I've heard verses added onto "Housewife's Lament," that while they work, it doesn't mean they belong there. They rather beleaguer the point, actually.

SRS


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Last Night I Had the Strangest Dream
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 09 Oct 03 - 02:48 PM

Interesting to look through the material in Google on this song.

The cover by Simon and Garfunkel really spread the line,
"I ever dreamed before," which is grammatically incorrect, changes the tense from the first line, and would never have been said by Ed McCurdy. EBarnacle is correct with "I'd never."

Some websites make no mention of Ed McCurdy and leave the impression that the song is by S & G. One even lists it among S & G's "Collected Songs."

Several sites, mostly European, have "I never," also grammatically incorrect since the first line is in the past tense. At least the transcriber heard "never."

The NIH website adds a four line repeat to the last verse, and adds a final verse which mentions "non=violence." It dilutes the message.

Several try to be politically correct (Janie version at top) and change the 1950 original. When this is done, the song should be cited Ed McCurdy, revised or arranged by ---.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Last Night I Had the Strangest Dream
From: EBarnacle1
Date: 09 Oct 03 - 10:23 PM

I believe the "women and men" was promulgated by Pete Seeger. He did this with a lot of songs that the Sloop Singers and others did.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Last Night I Had the Strangest Dream
From: Deckman
Date: 09 Oct 03 - 11:34 PM

I feel compelled to add a note to this thread. Last Memorial Day weekend, in the U.S.A., I was one of the participants in the "Coffee House Reunion Concert (I called it the Olde Farts Concerts) at the Pacific Northwest Folklife Festival. It was decided that I should open the concert, and I chose to sing "Strangest Dream" as my opener. I agree with Sinsull, it's a perfect song as written. As I introduced the song, I mentioned that I chose this song as representive of what we were singing in the Seattle coffee houses in the 1950's, and it even seems more fitting today.

It's not often that I get "goose bumps" as I'm singing on stage, but this song and the presentation, did that for me. What was it that someone said: "deja vu ... all over again?" CHEERS, Bob


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Last Night I Had the Strangest Dream
From: Janie
Date: 10 Oct 03 - 07:59 AM

Wish I could have been there to hear your rendition, Bob. The reason I was looking to refresh my memory of the lyrics is exactly because it is timely once again.

Janie


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Last Night I Had the Strangest Dream
From: Deckman
Date: 11 Oct 03 - 12:07 AM

Hi Janie, I thought I'd add another thought. As a song singer, I well know the skills to present a song, or how to embellish a song, or how to twist a song to fit the audience. This song, "Strangest Dream", and at this time, was an EVENT for me. It's happened a few times before in my life ... where the song and moment connect. But this day, I simply stood there, presented the song as cleanly as I could, meaning that I got out of the way of the song, and let the song happen. It was quite wonderful.

I hope I do NOT NEED to sing it again! CHEERS, Bob


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Last Night I Had the Strangest Dream
From: Mr Happy
Date: 28 Oct 07 - 11:46 AM

Nice version from the Corries here:http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=h5KwL2KaLyA


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Last Night I Had the Strangest Dream
From: LeTenebreux
Date: 28 Oct 07 - 12:30 PM

I remember listening to the Weavers doing this.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Last Night I Had the Strangest Dream
From: EBarnacle
Date: 28 Oct 07 - 04:05 PM

Q, analytically the word "never" agrees with what it modifies--that he had never dreamed that specific dream previously.


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Subject: Last Night I Had the Strangest Dream
From: Thomas Stern
Date: 02 Apr 10 - 04:24 PM

I recently listened to the CD "Gay Life in Dikanka - R.Crumb's Old-Time Favorites". Track 15, recorded in France 1n 1930, Les Jours Gais Ont Passe by A.Scriabine & Ses Cosaques sounds to me to have
the same tune as the well known Ed McCurdy anti-war song.

Anyone agree, and if so, know any possibility that McCurdy had
heard that song? Is the tune associated with any other
songs?

Thanks, Thomas.


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Subject: RE: Last Night I Had the Strangest Dream
From: Bob the Postman
Date: 02 Apr 10 - 04:59 PM

It's my understanding that McCurdy derived his song from the gospel song "The Third Man", which may be heard here, performed by The Little Country Trio--scroll down, it's near the bottom of the list. This is timely--today is Good Friday and the song describes the scene on Golgotha.


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Subject: RE: Last Night I Had the Strangest Dream
From: Thomas Stern
Date: 02 Apr 10 - 05:24 PM

Bob,
thanks for this reference - do you have any information
about the composer/date of the sacred song "The Third Man"?
The Little Country Trio seems to have been active in the
mid-1960's-70's.
Thanks, Thomas.


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Subject: RE: Last Night I Had the Strangest Dream
From: Bob the Postman
Date: 02 Apr 10 - 09:04 PM

I have no more info, but I think all the downloads at the Juneberry Listening Room site are digitised 78s so the recording of "Third Man" probably pre-dates the 1960s.

Meanwhile, a hint from the main Mudcat "Strangest Dream" thread leads to this Irish song about a Happy Dream, which seems to bring us closer to 1930s France than the Little Country Trio connection.


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Subject: RE: Last Night I Had the Strangest Dream
From: open mike
Date: 02 Apr 10 - 09:17 PM

many peace, union and other activist songs use a familiar tune
the term for this is a "zipper" song where new lyrics are inserted,
"zipped" in to change the meaning of a song.

the first time i clicked on that MP3 link, my computer crashed,
hope others are more successful.


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Subject: RE: Last Night I Had the Strangest Dream
From: Stringsinger
Date: 03 Apr 10 - 07:09 PM

Ed wrote this song in a satirical vein. He never considered it much more than a dream.
Pete Seeger popularized it and turned it into a legit anti-war song.


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Subject: RE: Last Night I Had the Strangest Dream
From: Stringsinger
Date: 03 Apr 10 - 07:14 PM

I listened to "the Third Man" and except for the opening line, I don't see the similarity.
"Strangest Dream" could be any number of old hymns. The harmonies in this song are
more sophisticated than the old country harmonies. I doubt that McCurdy picked it up
from "The Third Man".


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Subject: RE: Last Night I Had the Strangest Dream
From: Fred McCormick
Date: 04 Apr 10 - 05:27 AM

Curiously enough I went to see a production of Oh What A Lovely War yesterday. They played a record of that at the opening and closing of the show.

It's still around. Sadly, so is war.


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Subject: RE: Last Night I Had the Strangest Dream
From: Selchie - (RH)
Date: 04 Apr 10 - 07:52 AM

But still we fight, and still we bomb
And still the children scream
How many more must die before
It isn't just a dream


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Subject: RE: Origin: Last Night I Had the Strangest Dream
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Feb 12 - 01:11 PM

The Little Country Trio was active from the 1960s until the mid 1980s. They recorded several albums.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Last Night I Had the Strangest Dream
From: GUEST,UD
Date: 29 Feb 12 - 01:34 PM

Juneberry has The Little Country Trio`s recording of The Third listed as being recorded anywhere from the 1920s-1950s. This is incorrect. The webmaster has been notified but has failed to make any corrections. It`s from their first album which was recorded in the 1960s.


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