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Songs you thought were trad

GUEST,Vixen @ work 23 Nov 04 - 11:25 AM
Pete Jennings 23 Nov 04 - 11:32 AM
MMario 23 Nov 04 - 11:33 AM
GUEST,Vixen @ work 23 Nov 04 - 11:48 AM
MMario 23 Nov 04 - 11:55 AM
MMario 23 Nov 04 - 12:00 PM
GUEST,James 23 Nov 04 - 02:31 PM
PoppaGator 23 Nov 04 - 02:51 PM
Marion 23 Nov 04 - 02:57 PM
kytrad (Jean Ritchie) 23 Nov 04 - 03:01 PM
MMario 23 Nov 04 - 03:12 PM
artbrooks 23 Nov 04 - 03:13 PM
The Villan 23 Nov 04 - 03:23 PM
Dave the Gnome 23 Nov 04 - 03:27 PM
em gunyou halaas 23 Nov 04 - 03:33 PM
GUEST,Anne Croucher 23 Nov 04 - 03:42 PM
Crystal 23 Nov 04 - 04:01 PM
MMario 23 Nov 04 - 04:04 PM
Wesley S 23 Nov 04 - 04:13 PM
MMario 23 Nov 04 - 04:22 PM
GUEST,Chanteyranger 23 Nov 04 - 04:25 PM
Jim McLean 23 Nov 04 - 05:09 PM
Richard Bridge 23 Nov 04 - 06:12 PM
Deckman 23 Nov 04 - 06:17 PM
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GUEST,David Ingerson without his cookie 23 Nov 04 - 06:41 PM
GUEST,sandra in sydney @ work (cos my computer is 23 Nov 04 - 07:21 PM
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Lonesome EJ 24 Nov 04 - 01:06 AM
Little Robyn 24 Nov 04 - 01:18 AM
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Subject: Songs you thought were trad
From: GUEST,Vixen @ work
Date: 23 Nov 04 - 11:25 AM

This topic has come up before in a variety of threads. I thought it might be useful to see if we could compile a list in one place.

So, what songs did you think were oldies from the distant and/or undocumentable folk tradition that turned out to be recently composed?

Two that I know were mentioned in past threads:

Mairi's Wedding
Ook Pik

Red Clay Halo by Welch/Rawlings is the song that made me start the thread.
Roseville Fair and Ole Jack by Bill Staines are two more that come to mind.

V


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: Pete Jennings
Date: 23 Nov 04 - 11:32 AM

For years I thought Dancing at Whitsun was trad, till I read the credits on Individually and Collectively. Mind you, it does use the tune to The Week Before Easter !


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: MMario
Date: 23 Nov 04 - 11:33 AM

What do you consider "recent"? - after all, Mairi's wedding was composed in 1935.


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: GUEST,Vixen @ work
Date: 23 Nov 04 - 11:48 AM

Good Question MMario--

I may be showing my age/youth here, but I consider anything later than 1900 to be "recent"...

Hadn't even really considered where the boundaries were on that...

V


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: MMario
Date: 23 Nov 04 - 11:55 AM

having grown up in a tourist area where "anything over 50 years old is 'antique'" was the rule of thumb I just wondered.

1900 sound like a good cut off though - as that DOES allow a couple generations from inception.


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: MMario
Date: 23 Nov 04 - 12:00 PM

Nonesuch - not the tune, but the lyrics.


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: GUEST,James
Date: 23 Nov 04 - 02:31 PM

Barrett's Privateers , edward as recorded by Steeleye Span, Cagdwith anthem


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: PoppaGator
Date: 23 Nov 04 - 02:51 PM

"Long Black Veil"

"Patriot Game"


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: Marion
Date: 23 Nov 04 - 02:57 PM

This reminds me of a debate I once had with a friend over "Four Strong Winds". She thought it was "a traditional folk song",and I thought it was "recently composed".

The interesting thing was, turns out that we both knew that it was from the 1960's - we just had very different concepts of what traditional and recent meant. She thought the 60's were ancient history, and I thought the 60's were just yesterday morning.

Marion


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: kytrad (Jean Ritchie)
Date: 23 Nov 04 - 03:01 PM

MMario, what lyrics do you have for, "Nonesuch?" Are there others besides mine?   Jean


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: MMario
Date: 23 Nov 04 - 03:12 PM

Jean - PM sent.

I'm ashamed to admit I don't know what lyrics you sing for "Nonesuch"


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: artbrooks
Date: 23 Nov 04 - 03:13 PM

Ashokton Farewell, which a lot of people still think is a Civil War-vintage song.


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: The Villan
Date: 23 Nov 04 - 03:23 PM

The biggest one in my mind that most people think is traditional, but was written in the late 1960's by John Conolly is Fiddlers Green.


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 23 Nov 04 - 03:27 PM

Dark Isle Lament.

Heard Richard Grainger once tell the story about him going into a museum in the North East. They were playing his song 'The Whitby Whaler'. When he asked the curator what it was he was told it was a traditional song. He said he didn't know whether to be pleased or not!

Cheers

DtG


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: em gunyou halaas
Date: 23 Nov 04 - 03:33 PM

In This Heart Sinad O'Conner

Too bad. It's a beautiful song.


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: GUEST,Anne Croucher
Date: 23 Nov 04 - 03:42 PM

The ladies go dancing at Whitsun uses the same tune as Week before Easter?

I can see there are similarities but the tunes I use don't even swap over very easily.

I've never really been all that worried about 'traditional' or recent - it is all just a matter of time. I have started reserching and including the author of the song or poem and tune in my song book - but for decades I really didn't care, if it was a good song I pinched it to sing myself.

It is only that people have become more interested in sources and have been asking me where my songs came from, and I hate to say 'I don't know'.

Anne


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: Crystal
Date: 23 Nov 04 - 04:01 PM

Don't Cry In Your Sleep and Mairis Wedding, I'm not sure why I always thought the first one was traditional, but I learnt Mairis Wedding from my mother (dosn't that sort of make it traditional now?)


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: MMario
Date: 23 Nov 04 - 04:04 PM

That depends - I learned "gilligan's Island" at summer camp - does that make it traditional? or just popular?


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: Wesley S
Date: 23 Nov 04 - 04:13 PM

You are my sunshine


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: MMario
Date: 23 Nov 04 - 04:22 PM

yikes! 1940 for 'You are my sunshine"?!?!?! I would have said between 1890 and 1910!


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: GUEST,Chanteyranger
Date: 23 Nov 04 - 04:25 PM

Are tunes allowed? I thought the Shetland fiddle tune "Spootiskerry" was traditional until I learned it was composed in the 1950's by Ian Burns.

Chanteyranger


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: Jim McLean
Date: 23 Nov 04 - 05:09 PM

I wrote 'Don't Cry in your Sleep' in 1963.


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 23 Nov 04 - 06:12 PM

I'm told that some think D'Arcy Farrow is


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: Deckman
Date: 23 Nov 04 - 06:17 PM

Over here in the West coast of America, in the world of antique furniture, 100 years in the guide. In the world of "folk songs," and NO I don't want to get into THAT subject again, "anonymous" is my guiding line. CHEERS, Bob


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: Moonunit
Date: 23 Nov 04 - 06:22 PM

Um... I thought Crazy Man Michael was Trad until I re-read the sleeve notes on Liege & Lief and noticed it was written by Dave Swarbrick and Richard Thompson. Oops.


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: GUEST,David Ingerson without his cookie
Date: 23 Nov 04 - 06:41 PM

I got "The Bricklayer's Sad Lamentation" (as he called it) from Seamus MacMathuna in 1982 and always assumed it was an old music hall song that had worked its way into the tradition.

Another is the Mingalay Boat Song.

David


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: GUEST,sandra in sydney @ work (cos my computer is
Date: 23 Nov 04 - 07:21 PM

Sandra Kerr has a story on her latest(??) CD of being sent one of her songs when she was researching traditional songs! Of course, if I was at home I could go straight to the CD & give it's name & the name of the song.

sandra (whose bright, shiny new iMac is arriving Thurs - then I have to get back on line & learn how to use it)


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: Blowzabella
Date: 23 Nov 04 - 08:11 PM

Dave - I know the story about Richard and Whitby Whaler - the best bit came later - friends... he married that curator...


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: GUEST,Nancy King at work
Date: 23 Nov 04 - 08:17 PM

One that I would definitely have thought was traditional if I hadn't read the album notes is "Witch of the West-Mer-Lands," by Archie Fisher, done on his "Man With a Rhyme" album on Folk-Legacy (a SUPERB album, by the way). The song really has that old ballad feeling...

Nancy


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: andymac
Date: 23 Nov 04 - 09:00 PM

John Macreadie told me the story recently of his song, "Doomsday in the Afternoon" being used in a play in Edinburgh about Travelling People where it was credited as Trad. When it was pointed out to them he at least got some free tickets to the play...
And.. I always thought (inversely) that Michelle Shocked had written "The L&N don't stop here" till I came across a version of it that credited it to "Trad, arranged J. Ritchie" and later still to another that said she'd written it. Now I don't know what to believe...

Andy


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: Ebbie
Date: 23 Nov 04 - 09:42 PM

John O'Dreams


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: Margret RoadKnight
Date: 23 Nov 04 - 09:44 PM

"Johnny Be Fair" (by Buffy Sainte-Marie)


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: kytrad (Jean Ritchie)
Date: 23 Nov 04 - 11:48 PM

Andy, "The L&N Don't Stop Here Anymore is mine, words & music. It was published in my song collection, CELEBRATION OF LIFE, in 1963, with a later additional copyright date, 1971, when it was transferred to Geordie Music Pub. Co. from our original publishing co. When first written I used my pseudonym, 'Than Hall ('Than is the end syllable in my Grandpa's name, Johnathan). That's another story, probably already told in another old thread somewhere!   Jean


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: Deckman
Date: 24 Nov 04 - 12:14 AM

I know I've told this story before, but perhaps this thread requires that I repeat it:

It was about 1965, in Berkeley, California. We were in the audience enjoying a concert by the late and great David Spence. He was a wonderful folksinger and story teller, being quite true to his heritage of Belfast, Ireland.

He sang "The Little Land," introducing it as a traditional song from the auld country. At the conclusion of the song, Malvena Reynolds stood up in the audience and announced that "I WROTE THAT SONG!"

Poor Dave. He was embarresed almost beyond words. He listened to her very repsectfully, appologized to her, and simply said that he truly thought it was an "traditional song."

That was a night to remember! CHEERS, Bob


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: andymac
Date: 24 Nov 04 - 12:25 AM

Jean,
Thanks for setting me straight on that. It's a fantastic song- for me it was the standout song on that great album of hers. I'll away now and chase up the original.


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 24 Nov 04 - 01:06 AM

Merle Travis had a knack for writing songs that had that authentic older-than-dirt feel to them, like Dark as a Dungeon and I am a Pilgrim .There was a time I would have sworn both were traditional. Same with Jimmy Driftwood. Both Battle of New Orleans and Tennessee Stud have the feel of the 1800s to them.
And Robbie Robertson succeeded surprisingly well with The Night They Drove Ol' Dixie Down.


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: Little Robyn
Date: 24 Nov 04 - 01:18 AM

Songs written/adapted by Sir Hugh Roberton for the Glasgow Orpheus choir, and published in Songs of the Isles -
Mingulay Boat song,
Tyree Love song,(Horee, Horo),
Air fa la la lo horo,
Joy of my heart,
Lewis Bridal song (Mairi's wedding),
Westering Home,
Glenlyon's Lament.
I don't have the book so what else is in it?
Lot's of threads on Mudcat.
Robyn


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: Seamus Kennedy
Date: 24 Nov 04 - 04:30 AM

The Road To Dunmore, by Robbie O'Connell.
I have recorded songs that I've listed on my recordings as "Trad," (I'm going back 35 years here, folks, before the Internet and Harry Fox online) and then found that they weren't "Trad," but written by someone very much alive.
Then, I've tracked them down and paid royalties, as is only fair.
So if there's someone whose song I've recorded and missed, please let me know.

Seamus


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: Crystal
Date: 24 Nov 04 - 06:34 AM

>I wrote 'Don't Cry in your Sleep' in 1963.<

Well it is a fantastic song!!

I thought that the Mingulay boat song was traditional until I read this thread!


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 24 Nov 04 - 07:12 AM

"Bring us a Barrel" by Keith Marsden. In "Picking Sooty Blackberries" It's explained that when he first started singing it, Keith told people that he'd collected it from a traditional source. It was several years before he admitted that it was his own composition.

Many of the best songwriters produce songs which could easily be traditional. for example:

Dave Webber: "Bonnet & Shawl", "Watch & Chain" + many others
Bill Lowndes: "Old Fid", "The Sun and the Moon"
Stan Rogers: Barretts Privateers


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: Moses
Date: 24 Nov 04 - 07:31 AM

I understand that a friend of Dave Webber came across a recording of "My Lady of Autumn" in the States that was attributed to "Traditional"


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: GUEST,Mingulay
Date: 24 Nov 04 - 08:59 AM

As I understand it, Mingulay Boat Song has its origins way back and was recontructed from the Gaelic to give us waht we know now.

Many of Les Sullivan's songs have been referred to as trad by those who have only heard them second hand and not known the true source, and as above posts indicate this is not unusual.

All I can say is, if something you wrote confuses people in this way then good on you. It proves you are doing something right. It has only ever happened to me once, I sang a song I had written in the Middle Bar and someone came up to me afterwards saying that it was a piece of Burns he had never heard before. My reply was (when the astonishment subsided) that the Rabbi only wrote it in spirit and not in fact. Nice moment though.


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: Leadfingers
Date: 24 Nov 04 - 09:18 AM

To the best of my knowledge Poverty Knock was originally introduced to his local folk club by the writer as a 'fragment' he remembered , and then more and more was 'remembered' so the song was at first thought to be Traditional !
And of course there is the lovely story of Dave Webber being told of by a local at Padstow for singing 'Their' old songs when he had just sung one of his own !


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: Roger in Baltimore
Date: 24 Nov 04 - 09:28 AM

Many people have told me they thought John Prine's "Paradise" was a traditional song. To echo another poster, I long thought the "Long Black Veil" was traditional.

Roger in Baltimore


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: OldFolkie
Date: 24 Nov 04 - 09:35 AM

A friend of mine who originates from near Athenry in Ireland tells me that Fields of Athenry is fairly recent, not a trad as I thought it was over the many times that I have performed it in clubs...


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: Splott Man
Date: 24 Nov 04 - 10:40 AM

Wild Mountain Thyme fooled me at first (Rod Stewart made the same mistake when he recorded it) as did anything by Cyril Tawney.
Rolling Home by John Tams is another.
I understand that some groups of fisherman consider Three Score and Ten to be their own.


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: BB
Date: 24 Nov 04 - 02:29 PM

Hate to go there, but it depends what you mean by 'traditional'; i.e. can it just mean that traditionally a song is sung by a number of different people within certain communities? If so, then 'The Cadgwith Anthem', 'Three Score and Ten', 'Song of the Moor (Devon & Somerset Staghounds)', 'Cornish Lads' and a number of other songs are undoubtedly traditional, even if the original author is known, and such songs may well have been subject to the 'folk process' before they were totally accepted within those communities - see the 'Three Score and Ten' thread.

By the way, re Keith Marsden's 'Bring Us a Barrel', some years ago, the chorus of this appeared on an outside wall of a quite prominent pub in West London, with 'Old English Pub Song' as the accreditation! Sadly, it's no longer there.

Barbara


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: PoppaGator
Date: 24 Nov 04 - 02:39 PM

Rather than a cutoff date (1900 or 1960 or whatever), might we differentiate between "trad" and "composed" songs based upon whether they were written to be recorded and sold to a mass audience?

If not based simply on whether or not the writer is known at all, regarless of how ancient or noon-commercial...

By the way, "You Are My Sunshine" was written by Louisiana Governor Jimmie Davis, and was already quite popular before he sang it (incessantly) on the campaign trail; probably helped him a lot. Songwriting politicians are pretty rare, I would think.


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: Scoville
Date: 24 Nov 04 - 07:19 PM

Lots of gray area potential here. I wouldn't consider "Redwing", "Dixie", "Old Zip Coon", "Wildwood Flower/Twine Mid the Ringlets", etc. traditional because they have known authors and were written by professionals as commercial "pop" music. On the other hand, they have endless variants, are rarely--these days, at any rate--learned from the original printed sources, and may or may not resemble any more what the composer intended. Of course, lots of even older songs, whether or not the authors are known (I think "Golden Vanity" et al. fit into this category), were also intended to be marketed, either in printed or oral form, to a mass audience. However, there are lots of "traditional" songs with known authors--the fiddle tune "Elzic's Farewell" comes to mind--that were not necessarily written by professional songwriters or intended to be printed/recorded and sold on a widespread basis. After all, I've known lots of musicians (from professional to strictly hobby) who composed tunes simply because they liked them.

Along with "Ookpik", "Ashokan Farewell", and "Rolling Home", a lot of people I know were mistaken about "Midnight on the Water" and "Aragon Mill". Of course, there are probably lots that I currently think are traditional about which I am STILL mistaken.


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 24 Nov 04 - 07:31 PM

'Trad' songs are those songs which we sing as part of our Singing Tradition.

'Folk' songs are those songs which the folk sing as part of their Singing Tradition.

'Rock' songs are those songs which Rocks sing as part of their Singing Tradition.

Didn't know Rocks could sing, Did Ya?!!!


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: Bill Hahn//\\
Date: 24 Nov 04 - 07:51 PM

Tom Paxton tells a wonderful story about being in a Scottish pub once and hearing a patron say how he will now sing an old traditonal song of Scotland---turns out it was one of Paxton's.   He mentioned it and the man told him that--",....it comes from a long heritage of music here".   My memory is fogged on the song---it may have been Ramblin' Boy or Bottle of Wine.

Bill Hahn


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: darkriver
Date: 24 Nov 04 - 08:05 PM

Happy Birthday.


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 24 Nov 04 - 08:34 PM

"For He's A Jolly Good Fellow".


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: pdq
Date: 24 Nov 04 - 08:38 PM

Many people are surprised that "Hey Nelly Nelly" and "In The Hills of Shiloh" are both Shel Silverstein origionals.


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: frogprince
Date: 24 Nov 04 - 08:52 PM

The Strawberry Roan, written abt 1913 by Curley Fletcher
Wild Rose of the Mountain, Si Kahn.


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: Mr Happy
Date: 24 Nov 04 - 09:21 PM

All this doesn't reallyt matter- for me +fiends, 'Trad folksongs' are the ones EVERYBODY knows- NOT JUSTthe fokies!

Hey Jude, Rockin all over the world, Grandfather's Clock, Only U etc


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 24 Nov 04 - 09:56 PM

G'day Splott Man:

"Wild Mountain Thyme fooled me at first (Rod Stewart made the same mistake when he recorded it)"

This raises another aspect of the Trad - Composed ( - Arranged - 'Family Version') gradient. I know that the McPeake's have sensibly hung onto the copyright of their Belfast family version ... but the song is two centuries of folk transmission and editing-down from Robert Tannahill's song The Braes of Balquither.

Somewhere, way back in the Bush Music Club's Archives (circa 1974 ... ?), I published Tannahill's words against Wild Mountain Thyme and there is a lot of the original still there in the "modern" song. I would describe it as "Trad> - arranged Jimmy McPeake ... and family"!

Regards,

Bob


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 24 Nov 04 - 10:00 PM

G'day again,

On reflection, maybe that should be:


"Tannahill / trad. / McPeake family / Jimmy McPeake (arr.) / ? ..."

Regard(les)s,

Bob


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: Celtaddict
Date: 24 Nov 04 - 11:05 PM

I have been told that when Si Kahn's son was visiting in Northern Ireland, he and a companion passed a pub and heard Si's song "Aragon Mill" being sung, and when Kahn asked about it, he was told it was a traditional song of Northern Ireland called "Belfast Mill."
I have also heard Dick Holdstock and Alan MacLeod tell of singing "Molly, Come Fare Away" in a very nice country-inn type restaurant, somewhere in the southern mountains, and having a woman who had dined there come up to them and say, "I never heard that song sound like that." Alan says she mentioned the Scot accent and he said something to the effect that it is a Scottish song so of course it sounds Scottish, and the woman said something about it just sounded odd to her. He then realized he actually knew little about the song, so asked the woman what she knew about the song. She said, "I wrote it." It is a great story; Jean (kytrad), is it true?
Dougie MacLean's song "Caledonia" was taken for traditional by the big corporation that used it in their advertising, who then were required by law (and a suit?) to pay him handsomely for it.
For a writer of tradition-based songs, to have your own work be taken for traditional, as in old, must be the ultimate compliment/validation, though not particularly helpful economically.
There is substantial slippery-slope potential here, though. Might calling something "traditional" be a way to avoid giving credit or royalty? And the point is well taken about songs "becoming" traditional. We know the source of, for example, lines in Shakespeare's plays, but some of these have certainly become traditional English-language expressions. Many songs of the 20th century (many mentioned above) have writers still known but have clearly entered "The Tradition." I have heard it said (by Rick Fielding and others) that a song becomes traditional when we no longer remember who wrote it, which of course means some singers make songs traditional faster than others...


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: Celtaddict
Date: 24 Nov 04 - 11:07 PM

It is also possible that some songs we think of as being clearly commercial and "pop" are well on the way to traditional. "Mingulay Boat Song" and "Roseville Fair" were initially more tradition based. But will our grandchildren add to this list "Country Roads" or "The Boxer" or "Ripple" as ones they consider traditional?


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: Haruo
Date: 25 Nov 04 - 12:12 AM

The Spilman Flow Gently Sweet Afton, for a tune.

Silver threads and golden needles text.

And Bennington Rifles (text and tune, I wouldn't have thought they were necessarily anonymous, but I sure thought they were older than they turned out to be).

Haruo


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 25 Nov 04 - 12:12 AM

G'day aagin,

Just to expand on my pontifications on The Wild Mountan Thyme: I was chasing The Braes of Balquhidder (apprently the correct Scots spelling) and ended up on The Fiddler's Companion web site: The Fiddler's Companion: BRAB - BRAM and found this:

"The song "Wild Mountain Thyme" is derived from "Braes of Balquidder," as is "Will You Go, Lassie, Go" reworked by Frank McPeake of Belfast. When the melody was employed in an advertisement for Irish television the McPeakes threatened legal action for coypright infringement. After some public discussion in the press, followed by a bit of research, the conclusion was that the McPeakes did not compose either the words or the music. The threat of a suit never materialised and the matter was quickly forgotten, according to Harry O'Prey."

I guess that, sometimes, the distinctions come very close to being decided at law!

Regards,

Bob


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 25 Nov 04 - 07:08 AM

The previous posting highlights another problem in deciding if a song is traditional or not. Many traditional songs have been "arranged" by various artists, and then copyrighted under their own name. A good example of this is "Scarborough Fair" which Paul Simon claims, but which he originally got from Martin Carthy singing a traditional version.


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: Mark Ross
Date: 25 Nov 04 - 03:53 PM

Once at a conference on mining, an old man sang a song he said was traditional. It was THE GREEN ROLLING HILLS OF WEST VIRGINIA, written of course, by Utah Phillips. Utah was there sitting with Archie Green, the noted labor historian, folklorist, and ethnoproctologist. Archie said to Utah, after the song ended, "C'mon, let me introduce you as the author." Utah declined, feeling that this was the highest compliment he could paid as a songwriter.
Like I've said for years, The Folk, in the short run, have no taste; in the long run, their taste is impeccable!

Mark Ross


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: Deckman
Date: 25 Nov 04 - 09:23 PM

I've been following this thread closly. The ONLY thing I can add of merit is: "I've now got a headache!" CHEERS, Bob(deckmanNelson


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: Stewie
Date: 25 Nov 04 - 09:52 PM

Leadfingers, according to Roy Palmer in his book 'Poverty Knock' (Cambridge Uni Press 1974), 'Poverty Knock' is traditional. He says that the version he gives in the book was sung 'by an old Batley weaver, Tom Daniel, who first heard it in the early 1900s'. [Palmer p 15].

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: pavane
Date: 26 Nov 04 - 03:53 AM

A few more notes

Many of Ewan McColl's songs are often mistaken for traditional - just shows his mastery of the idiom.

Happy Birthday to You is NOT traditional, it is still in copyright

My Johnny was a Shoemaker - composed in America c1860, author known.

Wild Mountain Thyme/Braes o'Balquhither (I think that's the original spelling) by Robert Tannahill c1790's

Danny Boy - words written 1911 by an ENGLISH lyricist

In fact, versions of the majority of 'folk' songs can be found on printed broadsides from the 1800's or earlier (some as long ago as the 1600's). That doesn't mean that they are NOT traditional, but sometimes the author is given. For example, the author of the original of Wild Rover (in the 1670's, I think) is known.


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: Boab
Date: 26 Nov 04 - 03:58 AM

I was fooled fairly recently by "Deeper Well" It was written less than twen years back, I believe.


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: Boab
Date: 26 Nov 04 - 04:00 AM

---AND THAT "TWEN" IS MEANT TO BE "TEN" --NOT A SHORT "TWENTY"! Ooops---sorry about the shouting----


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 26 Nov 04 - 06:47 AM

"Women of Ireland", which I've even seen listed in publications as Trad. Irish but was in fact written by Sean O'Riada, who died in the late 60s.

"Shoals of Herring" and "I'm A Freeborn Man" by Ewan MacColl

"She Moved Through The Fair" (at least the words), though the author's name has drifted out of my mind unfortunately. Padraic Colum???

"Fields of Athenry" was written by a Dubliner known as Pete St. John though I understand that is not his real name.

"The Ladies Go Dancing At Whitsun" was written by Shirley Collins' first husband, John(?) Austin, to the tune of the Coppers' version of The Week Before Easter (or "A Week Before Easter" as they called it). They all lived not too far from each other in Sussex, which is probably where John first heard the air.

Non-British Catters may not realise that the dancing in question was not social dancing, and the ladies weren't simply doing it for amusement. They were preserving a spring tradition, customarily carried out by the men, which they didn't want to see die out. Unfortunately, the men were busy dying themselves, in the Great War. So none of them was left to dance. Instead it's their names which now stand beside the May pole in a fine roll of honour.


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: GUEST,Terry McDonald
Date: 26 Nov 04 - 11:08 AM

I'm glad someone's mentioned Shoals of Herring. There's a semi-academic book about sea songs and shanties by an American author and it includes Shoals of Herring. He proudly announces that he'd collected it somewhere in Ireland (Dingle, I think) and that it was a typical Irish song. I've also heard that some people in Ireland think it is Irish and that it's called 'Shores of Erin.'


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: Crystal
Date: 26 Nov 04 - 11:16 AM

I thought "Shores of Erin" was a totally different song with a similar tune!


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: Shimbo Darktree
Date: 26 Nov 04 - 12:12 PM

Perhaps you are thinking of "The Shaws of Erring", a song about a Kentucky family who made a lot of mistakes.

Or possibly "The Shored-up Hearing", about a deaf Tasmanian folk singer.

Or "The Sawn-off Earring" ... self-explanatory, I would think ...

By the way, I believe "Fields of Athenry" (Pete St John) was written in the 1970's (1977?).

Shimbo


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: kytrad (Jean Ritchie)
Date: 26 Nov 04 - 06:39 PM

I haven't checked this thread in awhile, so just saw Celtaddict's story about Holdstock & MacLeod. As I remember, they were singing, "Come Far Away," and I had to correct them,- "Come Fare Away," and tell them the girl's name was originally Marnie, not Mollie. Yes, I got around to publishing it (again in CELEBRATION OF LIFE)in 1971. It was inspired by many of our young friends becoming Canadians during the war in Viet Nam- the song harks back to all the tragic reasons, all down the years, causing young folks to leave their homes and seek new lands. The full title is, "Come Fare Away With Me."


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: GUEST,Songster Bob
Date: 27 Nov 04 - 12:30 AM

I understand that when Gordon Bok went to record "Harbors of Home" (Joan Sprung's song), he assumed it was trad, from a little fishing village somewhere Down East. I think that some songs that are not trad sound "trad enough" because they incorporate the sensibilities of the folk whom we assume are "the tradition bearers," and non-trad-sounding songs are that because they don't incorporate these sensibilities.

I try to write songs "in the tradition," in that I try to keep tune and words in line with what I know about traditional song (not always easy as it sounds, I can tell you). One of mine that a few people have suggested sounds traditional is "Sea Wing," about a fatal paddle-steamer outing on the Mississippi. I don't think it sounds at all traditional, because it starts in the first person and sounds like a Bill Staines song for one or two verses, then switches to ballad narrative style and ends up sounding more traditional. Now, I know there are traditional ballads in the first person (most of Prof. Child's choice notwithstanding), but these tend to be murderers' good-nights (Captain Kidd, for example) or western songs (Texas Rangers), and sentimental opening lines not like mine.

But you see how my analysis of my own lyric works. I assume it's NOT traditional because of the first-person opening stanza.

(Here's that stanza:
Come with me, love, and we will take
A pleasant summer day's trip on the lake.
The steamboat is ready, and there'll be a band
A July Sunday so warm and so grand.)

I use my knowledge of typical traditional song (ballads in this case) to decide whether this sounds traditional. "Darcy Farrow," for example, sounds much more traditional in form, because the writers used what they'd learned about the forms of folksong in America to write a new "old song."

So it's sometimes hard to tell a real trad song from a new one, if the form is right.

But the sensibility of the song, the lyric, must be right, too, or it goes down as a fake right away. I wrote a song about a local graffiti artist using "Wabash Cannonball" as the tune, and, despite a trad tune, it would never pass muster as a trad song -- the comments and viewpoint are too modern, too urban, for it to work.

So sensibility is the key.

Bob Clayton


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: Pat Cooksey
Date: 27 Nov 04 - 06:16 AM

In the early seventies I wrote a song in the traditional style
called The Bold Knight and gave it to Sean Cannon, who began to
sing it at folk clubs, at one gig in London, might have been the
singers club, I can't remember, both Ewan McColl and Bert Lloyd
were in attendance and both agreed this was an old border ballad,
the song was about eight weeks old at this time, which proves
even the greats can be wrong.


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: Tradsinger
Date: 27 Nov 04 - 04:20 PM

This is a very interesting thread and could easily have degenerated into the "what is folksong?" argument. Thankfully it didn't!

I'm going to throw in a couple of contributions.

Firstly I remember reading about a folk singing competition for young people many years ago: the winner of the tradition section won with a rendering of "Blowing in the Wind" and the winner of the modern section with a rendering of "Scarborough Fair". True apparently.

Now I'm going to toss a googly into the argument (For American readers a googly is a delivery in cricket that looks like it's going to spin one way but then spins the other - hence a trick, a trap, etc). I'm going for the purpose of the argument use "of known authorship" and of "of unknown authorship" as my definition of untraditional/traditional, (at least for this posting). The bombshell is that HOUSE CARPENTER is NOT traditional. According to the English folk music scholar David Atkinson, in the Journal of the English Folk Dance and Song Society 1989, the song that we know as the House Carpenter was published in 1656 as a broadside entitled "A Warning to Married Women" and allegedly written by one Laurence Price. Known authorship, hence not traditional! Now it's quite possible that Mr Price wrote it from a tradition story, but it just goes to show how grey the area is between traditional and non-traditional.

Songs often taken here (UK) as traditional include Grandfather's Clock, The Scarlet and the Blue, Mistletoe Bough, Drink up thee zider, Danny Boy (words that is, as the tune is trad) and probably many more that I could think of, all of which have known authors.

Gwilym


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: emjay
Date: 28 Nov 04 - 01:20 AM

Splottman, in an earlier post, wrote that John Tams wrote Rolling Home. How old is John Tams? I have that song on a Burl Ives Lp that belonged to my mother who died in 1960. Or is there a different Rolling Home? And John Tams might be that old. (That would be almost as old as I am.)
MJ


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 28 Nov 04 - 04:49 AM

I was wondering if there were two "Rolling Home"s too. Splott Man and Scoville, what is the first line of yours (if they're the same)? Are you referring the one which starts "Round goes the wheel of fortune"? And if not, does anyone know who wrote that?


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: breezy
Date: 28 Nov 04 - 11:33 AM

'English Ale' by Harvey Andrews


It goes to prove that the 'tradition' is alive.


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 28 Nov 04 - 11:47 AM

Celtaddict, what evidence do you have that Tennants Breweries used "Caledonia " in their ad campaign without Dougie MacLean's prior permission ?

I have never heard the faintest whisper that there was any dispute whatsoever.


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: Little Robyn
Date: 28 Nov 04 - 01:35 PM

Round goes the wheel of fortune, is by John Tams.
The other one is a sea shanty with several versions -
Rolling home, rolling home, rolling home across the sea,
Rolling home to dear old England (Caledonia, Dear old Ireland, etc.)
Rolling home dear land to thee.
From the pictures of John, I'd guess he was late 50s, early 60s.
Robyn


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 28 Nov 04 - 01:52 PM

Thereabouts, I think. He wrote Rolling Home in the mid 1980s so far as I know. The other one was written by Charles MacKay in 1858; quickly taken up by sailors, it has been found localised to any number of places. Tommy Makem seems to have written a song with the same title, and there are others too. The possibilities for confusion are endless (see various past discussions here).


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: Deckman
Date: 28 Nov 04 - 07:31 PM

Tradsinger ... I thank you for your thoughtful post. You have brought me up by the short hairs, as they say, with your comments. The point you raise, if I am correct, is that the song ONLY becomes "traditional" when the song writer is unkown. Here we go again with Mr. and Mrs. Anonymous.

I'm quite unhappy, in that you have probably forced me to re-think my assumptions!

I HATE that. GEEZE, I'm getting old enough that I've got all my delemma's understood: what time is it; did I take my pill? Now you're suggesting that just because we DO know the composer of the "House Carpenter," written all those years ago, I can NO LONGER call it a traditional ballad.

I hope you realize that I speak in half jest ... but only HALF JEST! CHEERS, Bob(deckman)Nelson


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 28 Nov 04 - 08:03 PM

I think Gwilym's point was that anonymity is no longer a relevant criterion in deciding whether or not a song can reasonably be considered "traditional". What matters is what has happened to it since it was made, regardless of whether or not we know who first made it or first put it into a form of which we have a record (and we are learning, or rather re-discovering, information of that sort all the time).

That doesn't happen in ten minutes, of course, and recently-composed songs that have circulated widely occupy a grey area: how far do they circulate entirely independently of "fixed" references such as sound recordings or printed music, for example? A subject for a separate discussion, perhaps; as is the clear influence of printed sources on a great many songs "found in tradition". The sacred cow of the "folk process", invoked by so many to justify all manner of things, is a lot more complex than many appreciate.


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: Deckman
Date: 28 Nov 04 - 08:24 PM

GEEZE!!! I've got a headache! Won't one of you puleeeze just tell me what to think so that I don't have too! (BG). Actually, I'm enjoying having my internal brain marbles tossed around a bit. Thanks everyone, Bob(deckman)Nelson


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: Melani
Date: 28 Nov 04 - 09:19 PM

I guess I would consider a song traditional if the author is unknown, or maybe if it's old enough for the "copyright" to have expired a couple of hndred years ago, like "The House Carpenter" mentioned above.

It's often true for me that a song like "Barrett's Privateers" has something about it that doesn't sound quite right for a truly traditional song, though I can't exactly put my finger on it. Too smooth, or something. On the other hand, Archie Fisher's "Witch of the Westmorland" is about as perfect a fake as ever I heard--no niggling "what's wrong with this picture" feeling about that one.

John Connolly's "Fiddler's Green" is a fine example of another perfect "traditional" style song, as was mentioned above. Chanteyranger, Bill R and I were vastly amused to hear it played on a squeezebox in a pub scene in a movie set during the American Civil War. The same movie used Gordon Bok's "Clear Away in the Morning" as a major and meaningful theme in the story, with an Irish character claiming his mother had sung it to him when he was a child. The fact that the producers apparently thought "Fiddler's Green" was traditional was highlighted by the fact that Gordon Bok was listed in the movie credits, but John Connolly was not.


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: Stephen R.
Date: 29 Nov 04 - 02:18 AM

Bonnie is right, of course, that the words of 'She Moved through the Fair' are by Padraic Colum, but it is also worth mentioning that they are based in part on a traditional song, 'Out the Window'. I think the same is true of 'Down in the Sally Gardens'--a poem by Yeats, to be sure, but based on an old broadside song, 'You Rambling Boys of Pleasure', and sung to a traditional tune, 'An Traigh Mughdhorna'--'The Maids of Mourne'. I believe that Herbert Hughes is responsible for wedding both the Colum and the Yeats word sets to traditional tunes.

I think Gordon Lightfoot's 'Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald' is often taken for a trad. song. Then, let's see, there's 'The Rose of Tralee'; there are a number of Russian songs often wrongly called traditional (Stenka Razin--you know, 'Volga, Volga, mati Volga, Volga, Russkaia reka'), Kudiyar (about the bandit who becomes a monk), even 'Odnozvuchno gremit kolokolchik'--what's it called in English?--record jackets have been a big source of misinformation of this sort. CD inserts are too, but they are less guilty because there is usually less information, hence less opportunity to get it wrong.

Stephen


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: Stephen R.
Date: 29 Nov 04 - 02:27 AM

PS--playing leapfrog with this thread in one entitled LYR/TUNE ADD: Dark Eyes. There you will find a typical cafe song described as 'Gypsy/Klezmer' but also as a folk song. If that's a traditional Russian song, I'll eat my kalpak.

Stephen


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: celticblues5
Date: 29 Nov 04 - 12:24 PM

What a great thread! I've learned a lot - thanks! In addition to several mentioned above, I'd have to add

Massacre of Glencoe
Worker's Song
Love & Freedom

There are likely many more.
What a great tribute to the skills of the authors that the songs have such a comfortable feel to them.


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: celticblues5
Date: 29 Nov 04 - 12:25 PM

Oops! Knew I'd think of more - and Bonnie's "Billy Riley," of course!


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Nov 04 - 12:52 PM

What Caledonia are we talking about...the one that Norma Waterson sings is tradition from Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. Is there another song called Caledonia ?


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 29 Nov 04 - 06:22 PM

'Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald' uses just half of an old tune anyway...


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: Joe_F
Date: 29 Nov 04 - 10:37 PM

Annals of cluelessness: I was shocked, at the age of 20, to discover that "Old Man River" was a show tune.

I was not shocked, at twice that age or so, to discover that "Rozhenkes mit Mandlen" was a show tune.


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: GUEST,Dr Price
Date: 30 Nov 04 - 12:12 AM

Is that the same Pete Jennings? If so, hello from Olly and me...


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: GUEST
Date: 30 Nov 04 - 12:29 AM

The Dark Island was written by Alan Bell.

Fiddlers' Green, by John Connolly, was massacred by this American shanty singer under the impression that it was traditional (sorry, can't remember his name - he did a hilariously bad album called Songs In The Key Of Sea).


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: GUEST,Dr Price
Date: 30 Nov 04 - 07:06 AM

How about dance tunes? I'm a musician with the Welsh Folk Dance Society; We usually play "Lord Of Caernarvon's Jig" (which is not a jig at all but a good, solid, major-key tune in four/four time) and segue into this stonking, marvellous, minor-key tune which I (and a good many other musos) thought was traditional. It's not - I can reveal that Olly Price the fiddler (no relation) wrote it. She named it "Lady Caernarvon's Pig". So now you know...


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: Tradsinger
Date: 30 Nov 04 - 02:03 PM

Dear Deckman,

Sorry to have caused you so much internal turmoil. Just for the record, I do regard House Carpenter as traditional, but I just wanted to make the point that the distinction between 'traditional' and 'composed' can be very blurred, and to get people thinking a little beyond the obvious. I'll give you another example - those of my era will remember the song 'Portland Town', undoubtedly composed by Derrol Adams and yet within a short time various versions of it were circulating amongst the folk community (in the 60s - showing my age). So the song passed from being a composition to one undergoing the folk process and in a way common property. Does that mean it's now a traditional song? I've been singing folksongs for 40 years and I'm buggered if I know the answer. Just enjoy the singing and the songs.

All the best

Gwilym


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: Dani
Date: 30 Nov 04 - 03:31 PM

Raise your hand if you thought "Edelweiss" was a traditional tune/song. You don't have to admit WHEN you discovered it wasn't.

Dani


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: kytrad (Jean Ritchie)
Date: 30 Nov 04 - 07:03 PM

Not everyone realizes this, but sometimes a singer in the tradition believes that he/she has written a song- for various reasons I would guess- problems of memory, with aging; having added verses and filled in gaps on his/her own over the years; never having heard another variant of the song, so thinking that it exists only in his/her family and was composed by the family ancestors- whatever. There is a highly respected and beloved trad singer who lived near our part of Kentucky who honestly believed that he wrote the ballad, "Jack Went Sailing," or, "Jackaro." In families around his, the song was sung long before he was born, so it isn't really true, but no one ever fought with him about it- didn't want to hurt his feelings.


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: GEST
Date: 30 Nov 04 - 07:19 PM

Beating a dead horse here, but Wild Mountain Thyme always comes up in discussions of this nature. Ironically, even though Tannehill/arr. McPeake seems to be the consensus, this article from MTV Europe News, dated June 21, 1995, demonstrates how song ownership can easily get confused:

"A record company is capitalising on a blunder by Rod Stewart's label by releasing a version of the 1940's Irish folk song the British Star mistakenly claimed he had written. Stewart's version of the song Purple Heather was incorrectly credited to him on his latest WEA album Spanner In The Works. And now a version from 1985 by the real writer's son, Jimmy McPeake, 59, and his group Barnbrack is being released by Ireland's Outlet Records. McPeake's father Frankie wrote the song in 1947 calling it Will Ye Go Lassie Go."

http://www.things.org/music/van_morrison/digest_archives/v01.n184


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: tarheel
Date: 30 Nov 04 - 07:41 PM

MMARIO..."you are my sunshine,"was written by the late Jimmy Davis,also was several times elected as governor of Louisianna!


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: tarheel
Date: 30 Nov 04 - 07:48 PM

LONESOME EJ...don't forget merle travis,' biggest hit...SIXTEEN TONS!!!


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: tarheel
Date: 30 Nov 04 - 07:52 PM

i once heard a musician friend,back in the 60's(referring to the onslaught of new folk songs being written at that time)say,writing new folk songs was like inventing antiques!!!


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: kytrad (Jean Ritchie)
Date: 01 Dec 04 - 03:30 PM

One of my songs, Now is the Cool of the Day, was recently appropriated by a college choral-music teacher who made and was marketing his own arrangement of it at Conferences, etc. His excuse was that a friend of his had passed it along to him as "an old southern spiritual," and this friend is still searching for his source! I assured him that I had composed both words & music, but don't know as yet if he's convinced.


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 01 Dec 04 - 04:06 PM

John O' Dreams comes from Tchaikovsky's Pathetique Symphony (No 6),
Groovy kind of Love comes from a Clementi sonata - no such thing as a new tune?
Tom Paxton song was "Last thing on my Mind": it was his DAUGHTER who heard someone in a pub in St Andrews (Scotland) announce it as traditional Irish. "My Dad wrote that" she said to a disbelieving audience.
One of the best stories is Eric Bogle's re "No Man's Land" (aka as Green fields of France): in a report in one of our better newspapers, Tony Blair had allegedly said it was one of his favourite songs, and the journalist had added that it was written by a soldier who died in the first World War!
Incidentally, does anyone know how old "the Irish Rover " is? I recently found a version in my granfather's hand where he had obviously changed the names in one of the verses to fit with his fellow-soldiers in WW1, so must be older than 1917 I guess.
TB


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: Dita
Date: 01 Dec 04 - 04:51 PM

Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Nov 04 - 12:52 PM

"What Caledonia are we talking about...the one that Norma Waterson sings is tradition from Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. Is there another song called Caledonia ? "

The song you are talking about is called "When first I went to Caledonia" recorded by Tony Cuffe and later by Norma.

The song the earlier post is about is by Dougie MacLean and was sung by Frankie Miller in a UK TV beer ad.

There is of course a Louis Jordan song with the same title.

Cheers, John


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: GUEST,Jim
Date: 01 Dec 04 - 07:15 PM

Melani:

"Witch of the Westmeerlands" does trip the "something's wrong" button for me. (Wrong in that I never thought it was Trad -- I love the song.) It just seems too much like a modern fantasy story - I guess its the general anti-war stance of the song. Most "real trad" stuff I've heard or read (in Child, 'fer instance) seems more generally gung ho about honor, chivalry and bashing heads.

I'm willing to be educated, however. Anyone want to point me to "real trad" pacifist songs? (sp?)


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: GUEST,celtaddict at work
Date: 01 Dec 04 - 09:03 PM

Kytrad, thanks for the filling out of the story of "Come Fare Away with Me," which I love and which not only sounds traditional but is on its way to being so. I agree absolutely about people thinking they, or their families, wrote songs that have long been sung elsewhere. I suspect this happens even more readily with tunes; certainly I seem to hear the same Irish tunes often with different names and attributions. (Though Cindy Mangelson says there are only eleven Irish tunes, one for each key/mode.)
Tattie Bogle: When last heard Eric was still telling that tale, with quotes from Auntie; love it!
BonnieShaljean: Pete St. John used to be Peter Mooney. (And in case you did not know, or care, Ewan MacColl used to be Jimmy Miller.)
Dougie MacLean's "Caledonia" is the one with the refrain, "Let me tell you that I love you, that I think about you all the time; Caledonia, you've been everything I've ever had."
Murray Macleod: No evidence whatsoever. The story about it being used without his permission was told me by a Scot musician who knows and has worked with Dougie, and who was conducting a tour at the time, including going to Dougie's pub. He is generally scholarly in his work, but may not be above telling a good tale....


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: GUEST,looking for a whaling song
Date: 03 Dec 04 - 09:42 PM

i am looking for a whaling song that sounds traditional but probably isn´t.

the chorus goes like this:

"so fill your glasses high boys,
drink up all your pay,
tomorrow night, the harbor lights may be a hundred miles away"

the song is a long story about a boy who is about to ship out and is listening to the tales of old whalers outside of a pub. the old whaler "bought me my first ale."
"And since that night, twas many a time, that i have heard his tale"

anyway know that song?
andrew
althoms@wisc.edu


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: BK Lick
Date: 04 Dec 04 - 09:39 PM

So how come JJ Niles's compositions haven't been mentioned here -- do they not signify because the composer falsely claimed to have collected them?
-- BK, wondering and wandering


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: Celtaddict
Date: 05 Dec 04 - 02:54 AM

Guest looking for a whaling song: if you have not done so, it would be smart to try two things. First, try typing any or all phrases you remember precisely into the "Lyrics and Knowledge Search" at top right; try slight differences too, as someone else may have entered something very close but not identical. If you have no luck there, try "Start a New Thread" with LyricRequest with something like "whaling song, "the harbor lights may be 100 miles away." It does not sound familiar to me but there are a number of other sea song buffs in the Forum.


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: GUEST,Don (Wysiwyg) T
Date: 05 Dec 04 - 06:38 PM

With reference to Fiddlers Green, John Conolly told me some years ago that the trad tag arose from the fact that the recording company grabbed the copyright when he first recorded it, and that, while he has been fighting to recover his rights to his intellectual property, they have allowed it to be added to several compilations with thr proviso that it be credited as trad, because they could not admit it was his without prejudicing their case.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: GUEST,Daemon Lover
Date: 21 Mar 05 - 01:32 PM

Tradsinger,
have you actualy read the Price composition? It's practically nothing like the versions we sing today. In fact, it is probably a derivative hack job.


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 25 Mar 05 - 07:34 PM

Don't many think of Tolpuddle Man as trad?


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: GUEST,Obie
Date: 25 Mar 05 - 08:39 PM

How many times have you seen "Maggie" listed as traditional? How often have you heard it referred to as an Irish or Scottish song?
("Nora" notwithstanding)


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: Jim McLean
Date: 26 Mar 05 - 09:10 AM

In talking about the Braes o' Balquither, one should remember that it was a poem by Tannahill, set to music by Barr.


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 26 Mar 05 - 02:55 PM

Celtaddict's comment about trad being used to deprive authors of credit and royalties certainly applies in the case of "Fiddlers Green".

Some time back John Conolly, while performing at Hazlittfolk in Maidstone told me how it became "trad" on compilation recordings.

He was apparently one of those who recorded in the 60s, who had to sign over rights to the record company, and they insisted, when giving permissions for cover recordings, on the use of trad as a description.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 26 Mar 05 - 03:04 PM

Sorry folks, just realised I had already made this comment some time ago.........oops!, deja vu.

DT


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: Linda Mattson
Date: 26 Mar 05 - 11:48 PM

A traditional song is one whose author is not known.   Isn't that the accepted meaning? Of course, there are lots of complexities.

I'm afraid there will be no new traditional songs, with the power of the internet, so perhaps the meaning of the term will change over time.

I'm starting a thread "Songs you were surprised to learn _are_ traditional."

-Linda


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: EagleWing
Date: 27 Mar 05 - 05:44 AM

According to http://www.chivalry.com/cantaria/lyrics/fields-athenry.html

Pete St. John is known as the author of this song, at least in its popular form, but the words go back to a broadsheet ballad that was published in the 1880's

The words of Pete's version are compared with those of the 1880 broadside.

Frank L.


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: The Villan
Date: 27 Mar 05 - 07:24 AM

Don T
Have you got John's latest version of Fiddlers Green with 3 new verses?


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 27 Mar 05 - 11:40 AM

Note that that whole Fields of Athenrye business has been dealt with in past discussions here. To summarise: it isn't based on a "true story", there is no evidence that the alleged broadside or even the alleged printer ("Devlin of Dublin") of the alleged broadside ever existed, and the person who started the rumour by claiming to have seen it "in an old book" was unwilling or unable to provide details. It must be considered a hoax; though whether malicious or not I wouldn't know.

Be careful of information found at Cantaria. There is a good deal of rubbish mixed in with (sometimes) reasonably accurate stuff.


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: Arkie
Date: 27 Mar 05 - 07:08 PM

I think I may have posted this somewhere on Mudcat before, but it is also appropriate here. Jim Connor once told me that on a visit to Ireland he was introduced as the writer of "Grandma's Featherbed". One patron of the bar took exception and was greatly offended that someone as young as Jim would lay claim to an old Irish folk song. Jim also mentioned that there was a radio station in Ireland that ran a contest on things that could be done in a featherbed. Was he pulling my leg or is this true.

"Fairfax County" by David Massengail has been suspected of being traditional as has Damon Black's song "Jake Satterfield". The latter was sung here in Mountain View, Arkansas for several years as a traditional song before I finally did a search for authorship. Fellow mudcatter, Dale, is the one who actually exposed Mr. Black as writer.

One further bit about Damon Black. He has written some pretty nice songs over the years but never was able to make a career of songwriting. Until he sold his farm to Wal-Mart.


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: GUEST
Date: 28 Mar 05 - 12:55 PM

Did Jim Connor write the lyrics of Grandma's Featherbed? Google says that John Denver is the 'artist', Connor the 'composer'.


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: GUEST,Liz the Squeak
Date: 29 Mar 05 - 09:58 AM

I'm not sure, with the better recording facilities available now, that we can specify 'anonymous' or forgotten who wrote it as criteria for the sobriquet 'traditional'.

I know a song, the words of which were written in 1859. That would make it a strong contender for trad, but I know who wrote it. I also know who wrote the tune for it less than 100 years later.... so how is it classified? If you ask the library it's in their Traditional Folk song AND Modern composer sections....

I'm REALLY confused!!!

LTS


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: BB
Date: 29 Mar 05 - 01:57 PM

Liz, I refer back to my query back on November 24th - traditional = traditionally sung?

Barbara


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Mar 05 - 03:31 PM

Graham Moore wrote 'Tolpuddle Man' a few years ago. He visited Tolpuddle a while later and heard a busker singing it. The busker told Graham that it is a traditional song.


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: mandoleer
Date: 29 Mar 05 - 04:10 PM

When you come down to it, every song or tune was made up / composed by someone somewhere somewhen. In the case of Linden Lea, often taken to be trad, the composer was Ralph Vaughan Williams. In the case of the equally beautiful The Water is Wide, we just don't know. Hughie Jones was rather tickled to find Ellan Vannin recorded and listed as trad on more than one Irish LP - and that the trad versions had a slightly different tune to the chorus to the original one he wrote! Another Liverpool one is, of course, In My Liverpool Home - by Pete McGovern who is still around to collect royalties on what most people regard as a totally trad part of the Liverpool heritage. Of course, we must remember how 'trad' works. Many years ago, my duo partner and I went to Leyland and heard a group from Blackpool sing a song they'd pinched from another group. The words were a Victorian poem. We liked it, noted down the words - and forgot the tune. So I wrote another one for it, and we performed it all around. And someone pinched it off us.... So if you hear anyone singing the song Pendle, the words ain't trad no way, and whichever tune you hear, that ain't anon neither. You just don't know which one of us wrote that particular version....


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: Arkie
Date: 29 Mar 05 - 06:36 PM

Jim Connor wrote the lyrics and tune for Grandma's Featherbed. John Denver's recording was the one most people heard.

My two cents regarding the terms "folk" and "tradional" as they relate to music: it is the realm of academics to devise useful categories which help in the historic and technical placement of songs or tunes. Music of unknown origins that has passed through several generations is placed in one category. Music of known origins that has passed through several generations and possibly even gone through some changes is placed in another category. New music, though it has appearances of older music, is in yet another category. In some contexts music from each category may be placed together in even another grouping. Categories are academic devices to describe something about the characteristics of a particular song or body of music. It seems to be the nature of the human race to continuously challenge those decisions and debate the nature of the criteria.


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: pastorpest
Date: 29 Mar 05 - 08:16 PM

Sometime in the early eighties I heard Jean Redpath sing "Sonny's Dream" on the Prairie Home Companion. I searched for a long time in books of traditional Irish and Scottish song books before I learned that Ron Hynes wrote the song. And I'm Canadian!


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: Guy Wolff
Date: 29 Mar 05 - 08:36 PM

Very interesting thread.

Dark as a Dungeon and I am a Pilgrim
Crazy Man Michael
"Long Black Veil"
D'Arcy Farrow
Grandfather's Clock

               It took me years to figure out these songs were not old . The great thing about just playing with people and learning songs is that they come to you as gifts out of the air . Merle Travers must have lived the real thing to give it back the way he did. Crazy MAn Michiel is querky enough I should have guesed but the toon ,... !! The story telling in Long Black Veil is just classic as is Darcy Farrow and being a Conneticut Yannkee Grandfathers Clock has always been used at local Sqare Dances and Kitchen Parties .


             Well as my father once wrote " tradition is not a form to be imitated but the disapline that gives integrity to the new. "   All of these songs are worthy of admeration as work ... " Inspired by the tradition ".

All the best , Guy


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: goodbar
Date: 29 Mar 05 - 11:56 PM

i always thought flower of scotland was traditional


never quite figured out young ned of the hill. is it or is it not?


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 30 Mar 05 - 01:48 AM

traditional = traditionally sung? But what is 'traditionally sung?'

'Flower of Scotland' is traditionally sung at rugby matches, but it's not a traditional song as we've just been told above.

'Linden Lea' is older by about 100 years but isn't sung as part of any tradition. There are very few recordings of it, and I've not found any by any artist considered 'trad folk'.....

We used to have a saying about a particular event that happened annually. Various things occurred at this event and we paraphrased something Ian Fleming wrote (having nicked it from someone else, I just can't remember from whom), to cover it.

"Once is happenstance, twice is coincidence, three times, it's (sung in a Topol voice) TRADITION!"

I suspect that trying to pin down the meaning of 'traditional' is like knitting fog, herding cats, or putting an octopus in a string bag.

LTS


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: Jim McLean
Date: 30 Mar 05 - 04:34 AM

If the author/composed has been dead for over 70 years then royalties (PRS and MCPS) can be claimed by publishing the song as Trad. arranged yourself as the work is now in the public domain (PD). This is also true if the work is by 'anon'.


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: Highlandman
Date: 22 Jun 05 - 03:42 PM

>>royalties (PRS and MCPS) can be claimed by publishing the song
>>as Trad. arranged yourself as the work is now in the public domain

Yes, but in that case why not at least acknowledge the known author (say, Tannahill or Burns) just so as to not further muck up the attribution process? Furthermore, in the US at least (I think) one would not gain ownership of other versions separately derived, although there have been attempts to do so.

BTW what is the current thinking on Wild Mountain Thyme? I've read so many conflicting things that my head is all a-spin.

-HM


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: Bill D
Date: 22 Jun 05 - 06:24 PM

Wild Mountain Thyme is a re-configuration of "Braes of Balquidder" polished by the McPeake family....it IS a more singable version than the original, but not necessarily 'better'.

and it's a good idea not to require that 'traditional' must mean 'anonymous', as scholarship will now & then find evidence of the author in some old broadside.


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: mandoleer
Date: 22 Jun 05 - 06:37 PM

On the subject of copyright, The Skye Boat Song comes out this year so far as I am aware. Mind you, I don't think most people knew it was IN anyway so it won't make much difference...


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: Highlandman
Date: 22 Jun 05 - 10:55 PM

>"Braes of Balquidder" polished by the McPeake family...
So I'm on morally defensible ground if I stick to the Tannahill words, or "polish" 'em meself, but what about the air? Do the McPeakes claim ownership of that, or does it have an older provenance?
BTW I agree that it's not necessarily better, but it is better known -- no one ever requests "Braes" to sing along with :-)
-HM


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: Dave'sWife
Date: 22 Jan 06 - 01:40 AM

>>
Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: Celtaddict - PM
Date: 24 Nov 04 - 11:07 PM

It is also possible that some songs we think of as being clearly commercial and "pop" are well on the way to traditional. "Mingulay Boat Song" and "Roseville Fair" were initially more tradition based. But will our grandchildren add to this list "Country Roads" or "The Boxer" or "Ripple" as ones they consider tradition<<<

It's aready happening. I am from a large family that has three sets of cousins - those born bewteen 1957 and 1967, those born 1968 to 1977 and those born after that. My youngest cousins truly do believe the Boxer is a hundred years old and that Ripple is an Trad hymn. I'm in the first group by the way.


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 22 Jan 06 - 04:32 AM

personally I would think the Al Jolson songbook is far more deeply embedded in people's consciousness than most of this stuff.

You are my sunshine
music hall stuff - I'm forever blowing bubbles
The wild colonial boy

Suddenly I feel like Sid James at Hancock's poetry society! Perhaps I'm the wrong shaped 'folk'.

hic haec hoc!


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 22 Jan 06 - 06:13 PM

G'day weelittledrummer,

If you are including The Wild Colonial Boy in "Songs you thought were trad" ... I would have to ask how much more "trad" you ask of a song descended from a verse surreptitiously written on a stolen piece of paper by an Irish convict ... himself noting down the convict stories, of escapee/bushranger Jack Donahoe, that were already old when he was transported to Australia, in the 1830s.

A lot of things that were blatantly commercial may have happened to the song, starting a century or so, later ... but its pedigree seems rock-solid trad.

Regards,

Bob


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: GUEST,Jack Campin
Date: 22 Jan 06 - 06:51 PM

"Braes of Balquhidder" predates Tannahill by decades.

http://www.mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=10357#156655


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: Allan S
Date: 22 Jan 06 - 07:26 PM

Some time after 1965 I bought the Dover volumes of the Child Ballads Took the tune from one version and mixed the verses from 2 others of Geordie. I would sing it at the Yale Hoots. one night Logan English asked if I would mind if he could steal my Geordie. Why not. Years later I noticed that the liner notes of a Joan Baez had Geordie with the statement " I learned this one from Logan English" Oh well so much for my 5 minutes of fame


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: Stephen L. Rich
Date: 22 Jan 06 - 08:19 PM

Sandy Andina and I recorded a parody of "My Grandfather's Clock". We were AMAZED to find that the original had an active copyright on it!!!

Stephen Lee


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: Bill D
Date: 22 Jan 06 - 10:59 PM

(about the months old question on the usual air for "Braes"...it is quite similar, but not identical, to what the McPeake family sang for "Thyme". It seems likely that they just tweaked the tune as well as the words. Their version is different enough to be able to claim 'ownership' of that version, though I have no idea what the state of copyright is on the matter.


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: cptsnapper
Date: 22 Jan 06 - 11:49 PM

I seem to remember having a conversation with Bonnie Shaljean about her hearing someone sing " Billy Reilly " & who said that it was traditional.


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 23 Jan 06 - 03:21 AM

Allan S must have his dates mixed up. Joan Baez recorded "Geordie" in 1962.


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: breezy
Date: 23 Jan 06 - 06:16 AM

all songs were written by someone surely, its just that as even today some 'performers' fail to acknowledge the writers by failing to research the song properly.

Isnt that just plain rude? or ignorance?

The style of writing which has been going on for a time maybe classed as 'traditional' in style.

Tradition is only repeating something continually for a however length of time and it becoming estabbalished. - I like that , byawn again

Therefore I dont believe a 'song' can be called 'traditional', you just dont know who wrote it , but the singing of it is another matter.

We sing songs written in a traditional way in an ethnic style, i.e down our noses, nyaa !

have fun

I'm at the Anchor Byfleet on Thursday for a Burn's neet

btw, When is Shakespeare's Day ?


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: John Hernandez
Date: 23 Jan 06 - 07:46 AM

All traditional songs started out with an author, even if that person's name is unknown today. My kids learned "We All Live in a Yellow Submarine" in day camp, along with "Polly Wolly Do All Day" and "Bingo Was His Name-O," and I think that's how most kids learn it today, not from a Beatles record and certainly not from the sheet music. Does that make "We All Live in a Yellow Submarine" a traditional song? Maybe not yet, but it's more than halfway there.


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: Bill D
Date: 23 Jan 06 - 11:45 AM

we are now approaching the point I have been making for 10 years here....we need to save SOME word for a certain kind of 'trad'...."Yellow Submarine" may be, indeed, learned in oral tradition by kids who were not born when everyone knew who The Beatles were, but the records and copyrights and information is stored and available. It is unlikely that the origins of Beatles songs will be lost. In this century, the mechanisms for keeping track of such things has been developed to a very high degree.

    OLD trad, however, was not like that...we know of early references to "Barbry Allen", but no absolute record of an author....and we are unlikely to even find out who 'composed' "False Knight on the Road"....Those early songs, and some other songs that came out of 'front porch singing', and not from commercial sources, often were not 'written' as much as they were shared, compared, developed, improved, lost, found, carried away in memories and reborn in new disguises. They were never copyrighted, never printed by the 'author', and there is no definitive record of the 'original' version. Beatles songs may BE learned orally and changed a bit by various singers, but it will ALWAYS be possible to look up how they were first done.

Some of us...(like me)...have a special interest in those older songs, done before sound recording was available and before anyone made official records of aothorship....so what do we CALL that genré? "Folk" music was used briefly, but the word was too useful, and was co-opted to refer to anything acoustic and vaguely not 'pop'...and now even those labels are fuzzy. If 'folk' can mean almost anything, it means nothing...and if 'trad' is to ALSO mean "anything not directly learned from the source", what must I do to refer to the body of stuff that will forever remain 'anon' (or maybe connected to a name in a footnote in some scholarly text with no other information?).

"Songs you thought were TRAD" is a useful topic, as it refers to the fact that there IS a TRAD that we can mistakenly assign songs with known authors to....we ought to preserve that distinction.


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: GUEST,J.C.
Date: 23 Jan 06 - 03:17 PM

(And in case you did not know, or care, Ewan MacColl used to be Jimmy Miller.)

And Judy Garland used to be Ethel Gumm - but as you say, who cares, he was still one of the greatest singers and songwriters ever.
JC


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: quantock
Date: 23 Jan 06 - 03:54 PM

Tavistock Goosey Fair is one that I thought was trad for a long time. I eventually found out that it was written for a Pantomime in Plymouth in the 1920's. Does anyone know who wrote it?


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: Fidjit
Date: 23 Jan 06 - 04:27 PM

Joseph Baker, by Pete Coe. An idea from a 1890's broaside.


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: kytrad (Jean Ritchie)
Date: 23 Jan 06 - 05:53 PM

MMario- I just reread this interesting thread, and realize that I never answered your question about my lyrics for, "None But One," which I set to the melody of, "Nonesuch," for the two stanzas and added four melody lines of my own for the refrain. The song is probably in digitrad by now, but here's my original poem. For an explanation of the turn-of-the-year "Sway," please read the liner notes on the back of the album about the time we spent at the Haxey Hood games in Lincolnshire in 1952.My poem comes from that experience:

Across the plain there moves a sway
It moves with human sound,
And some do walk and some do run-
Some crawl upon the ground;
And some do stop to help the weak,
Some trample on the others;
And some do laugh and some do weep
And all of them are brothers.

Refrain: And sounding all around the sound,
          Around and everywhere-
          And none but one can understand,
          And none but one can hear:

          I mine and I thine-
          Father, mother, son.
          I me and I thee
          And all of us are one.

I saw four travelers in a dream
All in the wind and weather;
The chain they carried in their hand
It bound them all together.
And one was yellow, one was red
And older than the others;
And one was black and one was white
And all of them were brothers.    (Repeat refrain)
© 1977 Jean Ritchie Geordie Music Publishing Co.
(lyrics by Jean Ritchie, melody trad. English, arr., wih additional
   music, by Jean Ritchie)


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: kytrad (Jean Ritchie)
Date: 23 Jan 06 - 06:00 PM

Joe or whoever: I meant to indent the second four lines of the second verse. If you use these lyrics anywhere, would you please do this for me?   Thanks,   Jean


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: IanC
Date: 24 Jan 06 - 09:31 AM

Breezy

Shakespeare Day is April 23rd.

;-)


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: Nick
Date: 24 Jan 06 - 10:51 AM

Many people appear to think Dick Gaughan's Both Sides The Tweed is partially or wholly trad to judge from the comments on his website about the song.

He mentions a few others there.


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: GUEST,Gary Satterfield, Lubbock, Texas
Date: 10 Mar 06 - 12:19 AM

I would like to find out if Arkie knows Damon Black. Some of my Satterfield's are in the Mountain View, Arkansas area. We named my grandson Jacob "Jake" Satterfield. Does anyone have the lyrics to "Jake Satterfied?" I just today received a copy of Bill & James Monroe's "Together Again" LP with the song "Jake Satterfield" on it. I was surprised to find that it's a very good song with a good beat and great lyrics.

Gary Satterfield - gsatterfie@aol.com


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: Barry Finn
Date: 10 Mar 06 - 01:43 AM

Years ago I used to sing "Jack in the Green" thinking it was traditional. When I started singing I did some looking into & found it had written by Martin Graeme (words & tune) but what I had known was a slightly different version than his original. A song hat's probaly on it's way into the tradition, already with different versions, way to go Martin. Graet song.
Barry


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: BB
Date: 10 Mar 06 - 10:50 AM

Barry, the name is Martin Graebe - strange, but true! I agree, as are many other of his songs.


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: Barry Finn
Date: 10 Mar 06 - 02:03 PM

Thanks BB
Barry


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: Windsinger
Date: 10 Mar 06 - 02:11 PM

People, some of them working musicians even, routinely seem to think that "Queen of Argyll" and "Ramblin' Rover" are both traditional songs.

However, Andy M. Stewart from Silly Wizard wrote both of them.

(But then, I guess it must be easier to plead ignorance than arrange to pay royalties, eh?)

Slán,

~Fionn

www.geocities.com/children_of_lir


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: Purple Foxx
Date: 10 Mar 06 - 02:20 PM

I recently put a lyric request on this site for "Ovingham Goose Fair"
A song which was almost certainly not written any earlier than the 70's.
In response to a point raised by BillD in an earlier post would a distinction between "Traditional" and "Long- Term popular" be helpful?
Or divisive?


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: Windsinger
Date: 10 Mar 06 - 02:25 PM

Hmmm...

It certainly begs the question of how LONG something must be in circulation (and unassociated with a known author) to be considered "traditional".

Slán,

~Fionn

www.geocities.com/children_of_lir


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: Purple Foxx
Date: 10 Mar 06 - 03:37 PM

Further muddying the waters ( & therefore, theoretically making them more attractive to Mudcats.)
Some of the best loved "Traditional" songs of my own region were the work of one named author.His name was Joe Wilson .
We still associate his songs with his name though he has been dead for over 130 years.
Contrariwise a football chant is usually the work of an unknown author(s) & in effect is passed on via the oral traditionbut may have only been written last weekend.
When does "Habit" beome "Tradition"? who decides?


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: Purple Foxx
Date: 16 Mar 06 - 03:12 AM

The Easter Tree


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: Haruo
Date: 16 Mar 06 - 04:50 AM

What's with the weird dating in some of these threads? In this one Jean Ritchie posts about the melody "Nonesuch" on 23 Jan 06 but MMario replies on 23 Nov 04 (apparently to Jean's 2006 posting) "I'm ashamed to admit I don't know what lyrics you sing for 'Nonesuch'". Makes it very hard to follow the thread.

Haruo


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 16 Mar 06 - 10:56 AM

A result of last year's server crash. Presumably you've been away for a while. If you select the "printer friendly" view option, the posts will show in the right order; though you'll lose the internal links.


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: EBarnacle
Date: 16 Mar 06 - 12:00 PM

When Schooner Fare brought out an album including Fiddler's Green, I brought it to their attention that the author was known and still alive. I do not know whether they sent him royalty money.


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: sharyn
Date: 16 Mar 06 - 12:37 PM

Someone above mentioned "Ned of the Hill." When I was studying Irish with a native speaker in 1976 she gave me the words to this song in Irish to learn, starting with "Ce he sin amuigh." She never gave an author. so I have always assumed that this was a traditional Irish song and "Ned of the Hill" a translation. The tune is the same. Does anyone know any differently.

The one that caught me was "Watercress O." I was disappointed that it wasn't trad.


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: Anne Lister
Date: 16 Mar 06 - 05:13 PM

I've been told that one of my songs (ie one of the songs that I've written) has been "collected" .... quite like that idea. I think I'll go and "collect" some of Paul McCartney's songs myself.
And I'm always fascinated to trace versions of my song "Icarus", because there are always little clues as to which performer has provided the source version.   So tradition can still work, despite all our modern technology.

Anne (Lister)


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: GUEST,thurg
Date: 16 Mar 06 - 05:35 PM

Anne - You're in good company - Brahms is reported to have been thoroughly tickled to hear a busker playing one of his pieces -


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: Dave'sWife
Date: 17 Mar 06 - 12:19 AM

KTRAd = Jean Ritchie? OMIGOD.

Picture me bowing down and doing the Wayn'es World "I'm Not Worthy" Routine. I worshipped Jean Ritchie as a teen in the 1980s. I pestered all my older relatives follwing them around with tape recorders and notepads making them recite lyrics.

Man oh Man - the people you see on Mudcat.


Someday I might even find that guy that used to date my older sister who wrote a song I pinched from him before his memory even faded. He played it for me in Newton Falls in 1974 or 75 and I'll be darned if I can remember his first or last name. My sister denies all memory of that summer. I recorded that song twice. I have faith I'll come across him someday because he was a solid muscian and songwriter even at the age of 17. It was a nice sad little melody with a lilt and muadlin teenage lyrics but everyone loves it when I sing it.


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: T in Oklahoma (Okiemockbird)
Date: 08 Jun 08 - 04:45 PM

I have a CD of mostly medieval and renaissance music, titled Music to make Merrie, (English Heritage EHCD29, 2004), that includes one track called The Bear Dance. This is the air in question. The CD styles this dance "traditional", but I think it dates from the 1970s.

On the other hand, I have The Most Dulcimer, (Greehays CR70714) a CD of Jean Ritchie's (a.k.a. kytrad) which has a song called Mourning Tears. The melody is William Billings's (1746-1800) When Jesus wept, first published in The New England Psalm Singer (Boston, 1770) page 56 (in the lower right hand corner--a convenient space filler!) Yet the name of Billings nowhere appears in the sleeve notes or the disk. Possibly the reason was space. The label wanted to get everything on a single sleeve sheet, folded once, so there may have been insufficient room for detail about the origins of all the songs. But it is easy to see how someone would be misled by the scanty sleeve-notes into thinking that the air was a southern folk-air (rather than of New English origin), or was original to Jean, rather than to Billings.


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: topical tom
Date: 09 Jun 08 - 01:56 PM

For some time I thought that "Darcy Farrow" was a traditional song.I subsequently heard Steve Gillette perform it live and learned that he had written it.


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: GUEST,Yeah
Date: 09 Jun 08 - 02:02 PM

"Subject: Origins: Bear Dance
From: Crowdercref
Date: 01 Apr 08 - 05:03 AM"

Ya might wanna check that thread.


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: Tootler
Date: 09 Jun 08 - 06:15 PM

Blue clicky for thread referred to above.

Origins Bear Dance


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: GUEST,Dave MacKenzie
Date: 09 Jun 08 - 08:26 PM

I'm glad I usually sing Jeannie's version of Braes of Balquidder ("The Fair of Balnafannon")

One story I like is of Christie Moore adding the Irish chorus to "Curragh of Kildare" in the early 60s, believing it was Burns song, then some time later finding out it maybe wasn't - I think it's one of the ones in Johnson's Musical Museum that crops up in Burns antholgies, so was probably one of the ones that Burns collected, and may have edited for publication. (and yes, I did think Curragh was traditional in my youth).

I never thought that "Fiddler's Green" was a traditional song, but I always saw it as sitting squarely in the "Unfortunate Rake" tradition, via "The Dying Stockman".

And I don't think I've ever heard Mr Happy sing a tradtional song.


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: T in Oklahoma (Okiemockbird)
Date: 09 Jun 08 - 08:47 PM

It looks as though the thread about the origins of the Bear Dance reached the same conclusion I did: There is no evidence that the tune existed before the 1970s.


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: trevek
Date: 10 Jun 08 - 07:59 AM

Spancill Hill, although I forget who wrote it.

I think the whole bsuiness of "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" should be mentioned. Not trad at all, not about dead cheiftains and not "wimoweh".


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: GUEST,Trev
Date: 10 Jun 08 - 09:14 AM

ooops, I stand corrected on Spancill Hill (and a nice view it is too).

Perhaps I should start a thread on songs you didn't think were trad but are...


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: GUEST,Volgadon
Date: 11 Jun 08 - 04:27 AM

This is more like one of those songs you didn't think were trad, but wished that were. "Im Pokrig Navag", by Rouben Hakhvredyan, an Armenian troubador.


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: GUEST,Timo_Tuokkola
Date: 11 Jun 08 - 12:43 PM

March of Cambreadth
Kilkelly, although I believe this one is based on a stack of letters dating back to the 1800's.


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: GUEST,Hellene
Date: 28 Sep 08 - 08:07 PM

Someone in this thread (Jim) said that they couldn't recall an "anti-war" trad song.

How about "Johnny I hardly knew you"

"You haven't an arm and you haven't a leg
You're an eyeless, limbless, chickenless egg
You'll have to be put in a bowl to beg
Johnny I hardly knew you"

Or does that have an author?


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 28 Sep 08 - 11:11 PM

So far as we can tell, it was written by Joseph B Geoghegan, a Lancashire music hall performer, in c.1866; though not, apparently, to the tune used nowadays. Immediately pirated by the broadside press, it achieved some currency in Ireland; where, within a few short years, it was confidently being claimed that it was an old song written there long ago. See thread  Johnny I hardly knew ya [sic].

The fact that we know (with reasonable, though not absolute, certainty) who wrote it doesn't mean that it oughtn't to be described as traditional now; but the original author ought to be credited at the same time. Geoghegan died in 1889.


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: Bert
Date: 29 Sep 08 - 01:34 AM

Years ago Windsinger said

...It certainly begs the question of how LONG something must be in circulation (and unassociated with a known author) to be considered "traditional"...

Actually probably the opposite is closer to the truth. How SOON can a song be so assimilated by the population that it is considered traditional?


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: GUEST,Hellene
Date: 29 Sep 08 - 08:44 PM

At least it didn't turn out to have been written by Brendan Behan! Caught me out a few times, he has.

Interesting thought Bert. I'd have said a 'traditional' song is one that is now or has been propagated by 'folk methods' - learned in the pub, or from yer mam, or featured in a collection of popular ballads, etc - *and* which isn't also propagated by the "official" music industry process (copyright sheet music in the past, these days, recorded by the author).

This would mean that songs like Fiddlers Green, which have detatched themselves from their author, still aren't trad, because they are also propagated by the author's recordings and performances. John Dowland's Madrigals aren't trad, even though they were sung for amusement in private houses for a hundred years, and were probably often propagated by one person teaching another, because he published them in books complete with the tablature for lute accompaniment - the 'official' process of the day.

It would also mean that Brendan Behan's contributions to Irish folk music (did he write the third verse of *everything*?) ARE trad, because he never published them in anthologies like he did his poetry, he just 'let it be known' that he had - or might have - added a bit to Carrickfergus, or The Eniskillin Fusiliers, or whatever.


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: Mr Red
Date: 30 Sep 08 - 03:55 AM

When I went to a Canadian Folklore evening and the songsheets came out - I was amazed at the lack of credit for living authors - let alone dead ones. In the oral (aural?) tradition that situation would be de facto. But there are one or two Folk nights (on my lists) that have communal songsheets printed by themselves and nere a credit to Paxton, Hardin, Lightfoot, Donovan or even Ray Davies (yup). Dylan? Who he?

Plus ca change.

Mind you there are those that happily sing songs wot they wrote, and don't let on - hoping to score a point. Some of us come clean pretty quick though.
Now how much of the Rochester Recruiting Sargeant is conflated/composed/researched. Should we ask Pete Coe?


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: Sailor Ron
Date: 30 Sep 08 - 06:17 AM

Alan Bell was once in a folk club in West Yorkshire when a floorsinger announced that he got his next song from his grandfather whose own father had known the women, and then sang 'Alice White'. When it was pointed out that the author was in the audience,the singer accused Alan of being a plagurist! Also of course 'Bread and fishes' has joined Dirty old Town & Fiddlers Green in being well known Irish Traditional!


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: Mr Red
Date: 30 Sep 08 - 07:49 AM

Soodlum actually claim there books contain songs sung in Ireland a minor distinction that is assumed Trad because of the lack of creditation. And then they wait for the likes of John Connolly to claim back royalties on unspecified print runs.

Still one can understand (not forgive) the assumption that Great Gran's song call Alice mumble mumble ( try Blue Gown) has at last been found (now bleached White) in a folk club, the great granchild is happy and ingorant. That doesn't stop a lot of people.

Hands up those who haven't made such a mistake, however humble when they realise?


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: GUEST
Date: 14 Dec 09 - 10:35 AM

Hi there,

I have an instrumental version based on the song, 'Women of Ireland' which I recorded myself as a guitar piece. I know this is not traditional but would I be allowed to post this on a guitar player's forum without being illegal?

Thanks, Gordon.


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: GUEST,Gordon Schofield.
Date: 14 Dec 09 - 10:47 AM

Hi there,

I have always loved the melody from 'Women of Ireland' and recently recorded my own version as a guitar instrumental. Would I be breaking the law if I now posted this recording onto a guitar player's forum or would I need permission off someone first? If so, who?

Thanks, Gordon.


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 14 Dec 09 - 10:48 AM

I haven't read all here and it may have been said, but someone who wrote very well in the trad style was Cyril Tawney.


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