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Songs that surprisingly _are_ trad

Linda Mattson 26 Mar 05 - 11:51 PM
Boab 27 Mar 05 - 12:02 AM
Linda Mattson 27 Mar 05 - 12:19 AM
Linda Mattson 27 Mar 05 - 12:36 AM
Nerd 27 Mar 05 - 01:22 AM
pavane 27 Mar 05 - 11:18 AM
JohnB 27 Mar 05 - 12:11 PM
Leadfingers 27 Mar 05 - 12:58 PM
Jim McLean 27 Mar 05 - 04:08 PM
Dave Hanson 28 Mar 05 - 03:45 AM
Jim McLean 28 Mar 05 - 06:18 AM
Jim McLean 28 Mar 05 - 07:05 AM
GUEST,Liz the Squeak 29 Mar 05 - 03:03 AM
GUEST,Dave'sWife at work 29 Mar 05 - 04:43 PM
Naemanson 29 Mar 05 - 08:28 PM
paddymac 29 Mar 05 - 10:23 PM
Liz the Squeak 30 Mar 05 - 02:04 AM
GUEST,Bill D 30 Mar 05 - 11:44 AM
GUEST,MMario 30 Mar 05 - 11:48 AM
GUEST,Don Firth (crawled in through the cat flap) 30 Mar 05 - 12:57 PM
GUEST,Fullerton 31 Mar 05 - 02:46 AM
mandoleer 31 Mar 05 - 05:41 AM
pavane 31 Mar 05 - 06:10 AM
Liz the Squeak 31 Mar 05 - 06:29 AM
English Jon 31 Mar 05 - 05:53 PM
mandoleer 31 Mar 05 - 07:38 PM
Susanne (skw) 01 Apr 05 - 04:13 PM
CapriUni 01 Apr 05 - 04:32 PM
Uncle_DaveO 01 Apr 05 - 06:04 PM
CapriUni 01 Apr 05 - 08:09 PM
Linda Mattson 07 Apr 05 - 02:43 AM
Severn 07 Apr 05 - 06:17 PM
NH Dave 07 Apr 05 - 10:46 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 07 Apr 05 - 11:42 PM
Splott Man 08 Apr 05 - 03:21 AM
Lanfranc 08 Apr 05 - 05:48 AM
Hrothgar 08 Apr 05 - 06:26 AM
Bat Goddess 08 Apr 05 - 07:57 AM
GUEST,Nerd 08 Apr 05 - 08:33 AM
Mrs.Duck 08 Apr 05 - 12:13 PM
M.Ted 08 Apr 05 - 12:51 PM
Severn 08 Apr 05 - 04:01 PM
Severn 08 Apr 05 - 04:01 PM
GUEST 08 Apr 05 - 05:14 PM
GUEST,Nerd 08 Apr 05 - 09:12 PM
GUEST,Nerd 09 Apr 05 - 01:18 PM
Blissfully Ignorant 09 Apr 05 - 01:25 PM
GUEST 09 Apr 05 - 03:17 PM
Linda Mattson 09 Apr 05 - 11:43 PM
GUEST,Nerd 13 Apr 05 - 09:52 AM
GUEST,HughM 15 Apr 05 - 08:29 AM
GUEST,Stephen R. 15 Apr 05 - 03:29 PM
GUEST,MMario 15 Apr 05 - 03:56 PM
Eric the Streetsinger 16 Apr 05 - 02:27 AM
8ch(pl) 16 Apr 05 - 07:07 PM
GUEST,Dale 16 Apr 05 - 09:12 PM
GUEST,nationalzjug 16 Apr 05 - 09:17 PM
Scoville 16 Apr 05 - 11:15 PM
GUEST,Phil d'Conch 19 Mar 16 - 08:31 PM
Mr Red 20 Mar 16 - 03:58 AM
The Sandman 20 Mar 16 - 04:32 AM
GUEST,Phil d'Conch 04 Apr 16 - 03:00 AM
Acorn4 04 Apr 16 - 04:15 AM
GUEST,Sol 04 Apr 16 - 06:46 AM
GUEST,leeneia 04 Apr 16 - 11:23 AM
Uncle_DaveO 04 Apr 16 - 12:54 PM
GUEST,Phil d'Conch 04 Apr 16 - 04:16 PM
Uncle_DaveO 04 Apr 16 - 07:01 PM
Richard Bridge 05 Apr 16 - 07:42 AM
GUEST 05 Apr 16 - 02:54 PM
Richard Bridge 06 Apr 16 - 07:05 AM
Kim C 06 Apr 16 - 01:34 PM
Thompson 06 Apr 16 - 01:56 PM
GUEST,leeneia 06 Apr 16 - 02:06 PM
MGM·Lion 06 Apr 16 - 02:12 PM
GUEST 07 Apr 16 - 08:54 AM
GUEST,leeneia 07 Apr 16 - 10:07 AM
Jack Campin 07 Apr 16 - 11:20 AM
GUEST,Phil d'Conch 07 Apr 16 - 02:13 PM
Steve Gardham 07 Apr 16 - 02:49 PM
Paul Burke 07 Apr 16 - 06:06 PM
Steve Gardham 07 Apr 16 - 06:30 PM
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Subject: Songs that surprisingly _are_ trad
From: Linda Mattson
Date: 26 Mar 05 - 11:51 PM

I was totally amazed to learn years ago that the Beach Boys' song "Sloop John B" was traditional.

-Linda (waiting to see if someone contradicts that)


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Subject: RE: Songs that surprisingly _are_ trad
From: Boab
Date: 27 Mar 05 - 12:02 AM

Something 'way back in memory tells me that I was informed that "Love Me Tender" was a "trad" too. [???]


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Subject: RE: Songs that surprisingly _are_ trad
From: Linda Mattson
Date: 27 Mar 05 - 12:19 AM

Boab, I think the tune for Elvis' Love Me Tender is the same as the song and the southern fiddle tune known as Aura Lee. But I don't know if either song or tune is traditional. I'll do some research, since I know the tune.


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Subject: RE: Songs that surprisingly _are_ trad
From: Linda Mattson
Date: 27 Mar 05 - 12:36 AM

From Mudcat threads it looks like the song Aura Lea (popular in US Civil War times) was written in 1861, but there is also mention of a British song "Nora Lee" so I wonder.

Perhaps the song's old but not Traditional (using the definition that Traditional songs are songs with no known author.) However, I didn't find anything written about the tune.


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Subject: RE: Songs that surprisingly _are_ trad
From: Nerd
Date: 27 Mar 05 - 01:22 AM

Yes, Sloop John B is traditional, and has been collected from Bahamian fishermen and sailors.

My favorite song that surprisingly is trad is "Bo Diddley." He just took the common African-American children's song "Hambone" and replaced the name "Hambone" with "Bo Diddley."


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Subject: RE: Songs that surprisingly _are_ trad
From: pavane
Date: 27 Mar 05 - 11:18 AM

An English Country Garden is some modern (rather grim and inaccurate) words set to a traditional Morris tune.


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Subject: RE: Songs that surprisingly _are_ trad
From: JohnB
Date: 27 Mar 05 - 12:11 PM

Six up fer T'Rose Tree :)
JohnB


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Subject: RE: Songs that surprisingly _are_ trad
From: Leadfingers
Date: 27 Mar 05 - 12:58 PM

And dont forget that a lot of revival singers have deliberately written songs in the traditional idiom , some so well that a lot of people now sing these songs in the mistaken belief that they are Trad ! Dave Dodds is one such , as is Dave Webber and the late Keith Marsden .


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Subject: RE: Songs that surprisingly _are_ trad
From: Jim McLean
Date: 27 Mar 05 - 04:08 PM

I wrote The English Royal Family to the tune English Country garden, maybe grim words but accurate.


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Subject: RE: Songs that surprisingly _are_ trad
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 28 Mar 05 - 03:45 AM

Isn't that one of Dominic Behans songs Jim ? I remember him singing it at the Grass Roots Folk Club in Halifax in the late sixties or early seventies.

eric


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Subject: RE: Songs that surprisingly _are_ trad
From: Jim McLean
Date: 28 Mar 05 - 06:18 AM

I wrote it Eric, Dom was as old friend and sang it now and again. He had another song to this tune but not about the royal family. His song began 'How many of your best friends are Jews ..' 'If jackboots were marching which would you choose..'


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Subject: RE: Songs that surprisingly _are_ trad
From: Jim McLean
Date: 28 Mar 05 - 07:05 AM

PS Eric, The English Royal Family was recorded by Nigel Denver in 1966 on Major Minor 'Scottish Republican Songs'.


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Subject: RE: Songs that surprisingly _are_ trad
From: GUEST,Liz the Squeak
Date: 29 Mar 05 - 03:03 AM

Elvis did a couple that were traditional... 'Wooden heart' was a popular German tune/song before 'G.I. Blues', and one of the ones from 'Blue Hawaii' was a traditional tune, but I can't for the life of me remember which one!

I sometimes sing 'Linden Lea' by William Barnes, to the delight of ladies of a certain age, who inform me that they learnt to sing it at school, and are surprised to find out it was probably only 90 - 100 years old when they learned it. It was written in 1859 - does that make it old enough for trad?

LTS


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Subject: RE: Songs that surprisingly _are_ trad
From: GUEST,Dave'sWife at work
Date: 29 Mar 05 - 04:43 PM

I think a lot of folks assume that both the WORDS and tune to 'Love Me Tender'are trad becuase it was featured in a film Elvis starred in that was set during The Civil War. I could be wrong, but I believe the words are modern.


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Subject: RE: Songs that surprisingly _are_ trad
From: Naemanson
Date: 29 Mar 05 - 08:28 PM

I'm going to change my name to TRAD and reap millions in royalties!


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Subject: RE: Songs that surprisingly _are_ trad
From: paddymac
Date: 29 Mar 05 - 10:23 PM

"Aura Lee" is an old Irish tune that predates the US Civil War by a long time. Seems like we have had a number of conversations about it here. Must always be careful about accepting publication dates as some sort of "birth date."


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Subject: RE: Songs that surprisingly _are_ trad
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 30 Mar 05 - 02:04 AM

But a publication date is a good indicator to possible age.... if it was published in 1880, then it's a fair bet it's a pretty old tune!

LTS


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Subject: RE: Songs that surprisingly _are_ trad
From: GUEST,Bill D
Date: 30 Mar 05 - 11:44 AM

The song that I have had to PROVE was old to some people is "Scarbourough Fair". I know that most of YOU are not fooled, *grin*, but having been recorded so many times, and having been quite popular by a couple of famous groups, many believe it was composed by one of them.


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Subject: RE: Songs that surprisingly _are_ trad
From: GUEST,MMario
Date: 30 Mar 05 - 11:48 AM

Heard a group last summer do 'the ship that never returned' - and the guy next to me growsed "What a rip-off of 'Charlie on the MTA'!"


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Subject: RE: Songs that surprisingly _are_ trad
From: GUEST,Don Firth (crawled in through the cat flap)
Date: 30 Mar 05 - 12:57 PM

Yeah, Bill, I had the same go-round about Scarborough Fair (The Elfin Knight, Child #2) shortly after Simon and Garfunkle recorded it. I'd been singing a slightly different version for about five years, and a guy told me I wasn't singing it right. I even showed it to him in a book of ballads, and because the words were slightly different, he insisted that it wasn't the same song. Dope slap!!

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Songs that surprisingly _are_ trad
From: GUEST,Fullerton
Date: 31 Mar 05 - 02:46 AM

One guitar tutor book (Progressive guitar book 1) claims that Aura Lee is Swiss!


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Subject: RE: Songs that surprisingly _are_ trad
From: mandoleer
Date: 31 Mar 05 - 05:41 AM

When I was part of a wandering duo, we always used the Whittingham Fair version, just to be awkward. Is that a different Linden Lea to the one with Vaughan Williams's music? 'Cos RVW wasn't composing in 1859...


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Subject: RE: Songs that surprisingly _are_ trad
From: pavane
Date: 31 Mar 05 - 06:10 AM

If I remember right, Kidson presented 4 different tunes for Scarborough Fair, none of them the one that S&G or Carthy used. The Dransfields also used a different one.


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Subject: RE: Songs that surprisingly _are_ trad
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 31 Mar 05 - 06:29 AM

RVW composted the tune that is now associated with Linden Lea. The poem was around for a long time before him, so it may well have picked up another tune. I'd be interested in the dots to it as I'm crap at working out tunes from names!

LTS


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Subject: RE: Songs that surprisingly _are_ trad
From: English Jon
Date: 31 Mar 05 - 05:53 PM

The English haven't had a royal family since 1066.

J


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Subject: RE: Songs that surprisingly _are_ trad
From: mandoleer
Date: 31 Mar 05 - 07:38 PM

When you look at the marriages to foreign princesses that took place, no European country has had a native royal family for a hell of a long time. So what? When you look at what gets elected in most places, accident of birth looks more appealing than political desire (and in some cases, a full wallet).


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Subject: RE: Songs that surprisingly _are_ trad
From: Susanne (skw)
Date: 01 Apr 05 - 04:13 PM

Being a music (and gardening) illiterate I'd like to know: How do you compost a tune? :-)


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Subject: RE: Songs that surprisingly _are_ trad
From: CapriUni
Date: 01 Apr 05 - 04:32 PM

Being a music (and gardening) illiterate I'd like to know: How do you compost a tune? :-)

Step one: Learn a tune by heart.

Step two: Bury it deep in the back of your mind.

Step three: Let your conscious mind forget it, while your subconscious breaks it down into simpler componants, and mixes it with bits of all the other tunes you have learned by heart and buried.

When you need a new tune, get into a slightly meditative state, reach down int the back of your mind, and see what you pull up. I assure you, you'll find a rich organic, mix of all the tunes you've composted!


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Subject: RE: Songs that surprisingly _are_ trad
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 01 Apr 05 - 06:04 PM

CapriUni:

That's a wonderful answer! Both as humor and as fact.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Songs that surprisingly _are_ trad
From: CapriUni
Date: 01 Apr 05 - 08:09 PM

Thanks, DaveO!

This works for other forms of expression, too, from painting, to dance, to literature... you name it.

Wasn't it Pete Seeger (or his father?) that said "Plagiarism is the root of all culture."?


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Subject: RE: Songs that surprisingly _are_ trad
From: Linda Mattson
Date: 07 Apr 05 - 02:43 AM

A while back paddymac said: "Aura Lee is an old Irish tune that predates the US Civil War by a long time. "

I'd love to find that on a recording or sheet music. Found nothing on google older than US civil war.

Do you know of a source?
-Linda


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Subject: RE: Songs that surprisingly _are_ trad
From: Severn
Date: 07 Apr 05 - 06:17 PM

Elvis was great for a while at recycling traditional tunes. Besides the Aura-Lee transmitted song previously mentioned, "Plaisir d'Amour" was morphed into I Can't Help Falling In Love With You" and "O Sole Mio" into "It's Now Or Never", and there were probably more. Of course He hired some Hollywood hacks to do this for him, so we still can't venerate Him for His "stealing" the way we do with, say, Woody, A.P. Carter and W.C. Handy. But then they're FATHERS and Elvis was a KING, and Kings can afford that kind of thing, and we Americans haven't had a royal family since.....But I digress.

Anyway, research shows that Aura and her sister Voca harmonized very well, but sister Ana was the wild one of the Lee family. Quite a colorful family tree.


Severn


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Subject: RE: Songs that surprisingly _are_ trad
From: NH Dave
Date: 07 Apr 05 - 10:46 PM

"Wooden Heart" was set to the German tune "Mus I Den", so like countless others, he used an older tune, modified it a bit, even to using parts of the lyrics in Wooden Heart, and copyrighted it as his own work . . . or that of one of his tune smiths. Actually, as I have mentioned in other threads, this is desirable because it allows you to copyright and record a song and its arrangement, while keeping others from singing it for money, without paying you royalties on the package.

Dave


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Subject: RE: Songs that surprisingly _are_ trad
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 07 Apr 05 - 11:42 PM

Linda this is YOUR John B THREAD -

Your have posed the theory/queary and the introduction-links contain the answer your question

Give a "stab" at becoming a "scholar." It is not difficult.

Post three references - on MC - or off MC........supporting your original S/JB claim.

Sincerely,
Gargaryoly

Come on you can do it....just try....you know more than others who might say "no".....READ....THINK.....POST!!!!


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Subject: RE: Songs that surprisingly _are_ trad
From: Splott Man
Date: 08 Apr 05 - 03:21 AM

Elvis a composer and arranger?
I think you're crediting (blaming?) him with more input than he had. I thought the Colonel had control over the repertoire.


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Subject: RE: Songs that surprisingly _are_ trad
From: Lanfranc
Date: 08 Apr 05 - 05:48 AM

"Aura Lee" is probably as Irish as "Green Fields of France"!

I wouldn't be at all surprised if I came across the claim that Adam and Eve were Irish, even though it would be easy to refute - there are no snakes in Ireland!

I also suspect that "English Country Garden" as a song predates its use as a Morris tune. There are several sets of words to it, including the version which was written, if I recall correctly, by Miles Wootton, which emphasises the downside of gardens and recommends "take a load of redimix, half a ton of broken bricks, spread it and let it harden".

Seriously, though, all songs were composed by someone, sometime. When does a song become "Traditional"? Are Stephen Foster songs traditional? Will Tom Paxton's "Last Thing on my Mind" be traditional 100 years hence?

Alan


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Subject: RE: Songs that surprisingly _are_ trad
From: Hrothgar
Date: 08 Apr 05 - 06:26 AM

In "Singing Soldiers" (Paul Glass and Louis C Singer, da Capo Publications, New York 1975; previously published as "Songs of the Sixties" in 1964) "Aura Lea" is attributed as words by W W Fosdick Esq, music by G R Poulton.


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Subject: RE: Songs that surprisingly _are_ trad
From: Bat Goddess
Date: 08 Apr 05 - 07:57 AM

And, of course, "Sloop John B" as recorded by the Beach Boys was really only the chorus of the original song. Tom Lewis has recorded the whole song.

Linn


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Subject: RE: Songs that surprisingly _are_ trad
From: GUEST,Nerd
Date: 08 Apr 05 - 08:33 AM

No, the Beach boys recorded the whole song as it was being passed around in the folk revival since the 1940s, and had actually been published in the US by Carl Sandburg in 1927: three verses and a chorus. The two field-recorded versions I have heard from the Bahamas were actually LESS complete than the Beach Boys' version: one in the RW Gordon collection, another collected by Lomax in 1935.

I have the Tom Lewis recording, too; can someone post the lyrics?


Approximate Beach Boys Lyrics:

We come on the sloop John B
My grandfather and me
Around Nassau town we did roam
Drinking all night
Got into a fight
Well I feel so break up
I want to go home

So hoist up the John B's sail
See how the mainsail sets
Call for the Captain ashore
Let me go home, let me go home
I wanna go home, yeah yeah
Well I feel so break up
I wanna go home

The first mate he got drunk
And broke in the Cap'n's trunk
The constable had to come and take him away
Sheriff John Stone
Why don't you leave me alone, yeah yeah
Well I feel so break up I wanna go home

So hoist up the John B's sail
See how the mainsail sets
Call for the Captain ashore
Let me go home, let me go home
I wanna go home, let me go home
Why don't you let me go home
(Hoist up the John B's sail)
Hoist up the John B
I feel so break up I wanna go home
Let me go home

The poor cook he caught the fits
And threw away all my grits
And then he took and he ate up all of my corn
Let me go home
Why don't they let me go home
This is the worst trip I've ever been on

So hoist up the John B's sail
See how the mainsail sets
Call for the Captain ashore
Let me go home, let me go home
I wanna go home, let me go home
Why don't you let me go home


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Subject: RE: Songs that surprisingly _are_ trad
From: Mrs.Duck
Date: 08 Apr 05 - 12:13 PM

Lanfranc I think maybe Adam and Eve were Irish and as you must know there used to be snakes there before St Pat! >:0)


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Subject: RE: Songs that surprisingly _are_ trad
From: M.Ted
Date: 08 Apr 05 - 12:51 PM

Not that it much matters, but "Wooden Heart/Muss I Den" was a popular recording made by Joe Dowell, not by Elvis--all this complaining about Hollywood Hacks stealing folksongs, coming, as it does from the folks around here, is a bit of the pot calling the kettle black.


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Subject: RE: Songs that surprisingly _are_ trad
From: Severn
Date: 08 Apr 05 - 04:01 PM

"...And I'll say it, not in a calm way
When all was said and done
He did it Colonel Tooooooooooooooooooom's Waaaaaaaaay!!!!!!!"


Severn
(on his way out of the building)


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Subject: RE: Songs that surprisingly _are_ trad
From: Severn
Date: 08 Apr 05 - 04:01 PM

"...And I'll say it, not in a calm way
When all was said and done
He did it Colonel Tooooooooooooooooooom's Waaaaaaaaay!!!!!!!"


Severn
(on his way out of the building)


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Subject: RE: Songs that surprisingly _are_ trad
From: GUEST
Date: 08 Apr 05 - 05:14 PM

Actually, the "Chorus" to the beach Boys Sloop John B is the 2nd verse of the Bahamian folksong. Between verses there is a ifferent tune as a chorus, but with different words.

I have seen it in the small Folk book by Hal Leonard, in the same series as Beatles, country and others. I also saw it in the Allan Lomax folk book at our local library.

Nassau Boat song.

We sailed on the Sloop John B,
My grandfather and me.
All around Nassau Town we did roam.
Drinking all night, got into a fight.
I feel so broke up, I want to go home.

There's no other place like the sailing ship,      Chorus
To get an education.
You learn to tar the ratlines down,
While drink up your rum ration.


So hoist up the John B sail.
See how the main sail set.
Send for the Captain ashore, let we go home!
Let we go home. I feel so broke up.
Let we go home.

We carried the ladies to Nassau, Like other sailing boats. Chorus
There were twenty trunk down in the hold,
All filled with petticoats.

The First Mate he got drunk,                  
Broke up the ladies' trunks.
The Constable came on board to take him away.
Sherrif John Stone, Leave me alone.
I feel so breakup, I want to go home.

We eat aboard the Sloop John B,                Chorus
Just like the very best.
But Cookie never calls it food,
He only calls it a mess.

And Cookie he take fits,
and eat up all of my grits.
Then he take and throw away all me corn.
Sherrif John Stone, let me alone.
I feel so break up,
I want to go home.

The words are colloquial Bahamian. I am doing them from memory, so I am close, so no expert, I live in Nova Scotia.

It is a worthy song.


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Subject: RE: Songs that surprisingly _are_ trad
From: GUEST,Nerd
Date: 08 Apr 05 - 09:12 PM

I'm going to disagree with GUEST. I have not seen a field-recorded version with that chorus. I would take the field recordings as authoritative guides as to what is "The Bahamian folk song" over Hal Leonard's book.

The version Lomax collected in 1935 goes approximately like this:

Histe Up the John B. Sails, Cleveland Simmons group, Bahamas 1935 – Deep River of Song (Coll. Alan Lomax), Rounder 11661 – 1822-2

Histe up the John B. sails
(See how) the mainsail set
Then send for the captain 'shore
Let me go home (Let me go home)
O let me go home (Let me go home)
O let me go home (Let me go back home)
I feel so break up
I want to go home

Now the captain and the mate get drunk
Then they broke up the people trunk
I goin' to send for the captain 'shore
Let me go home (Let me go home)
O let me go home
O let me go home
I feel so break up
I want to go home

Grandpa, Ma and me
Was standin'on the railroad block
Go send for the captain 'shore
Let me go home
O let me go home
O let me go home, let me go home
I feel so break up
I want to go home

As for the one Lomax published in is 1960 book, that one went like this:

THE JOHN B.'S SAILS

So h'ist up the John B. 's sail,
See how the mains'l's set,
Send for the captain ashore,
Le' we go home


      CHORUS:
      Le' we go home,
      Le' we go home,
      I feel so break up,
Le' we go home.


The cap'n an' the mate got drunk,
They broke up the people's trunk,
Send for the captain ashore,
Le' we go home . . . (CHO.)

The cook took runnin' fits
An' broke up all my grips,
Send for the captain ashore
Le' we go home . . . (CHO.)

So does anyone know where the chorus GUEST mentions comes from? Sounds to me like someone made it up, and definitely not a Bahamian ("Tar the Ratlines down" is very 19th century British). Is it from Tom Lewis's recording? If so, I'd guess Tom wrote it!


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Subject: RE: Songs that surprisingly _are_ trad
From: GUEST,Nerd
Date: 09 Apr 05 - 01:18 PM

I dug out Tom's CD and it turns out he got it from the Hal Leonard book, so we're no further along there!


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Subject: RE: Songs that surprisingly _are_ trad
From: Blissfully Ignorant
Date: 09 Apr 05 - 01:25 PM

Whiskey in the Jar discombobulated me slightly...


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Subject: RE: Songs that surprisingly _are_ trad
From: GUEST
Date: 09 Apr 05 - 03:17 PM

I was sure that I'd seen it in the 1960 Lomax book, but may be I'm wrong there. I will have to hiyt the library and look again. I think the book is reference, doesn't circulate. If so it should be there.


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Subject: RE: Songs that surprisingly _are_ trad
From: Linda Mattson
Date: 09 Apr 05 - 11:43 PM

I loved Sloop John B as a teenager, but always thought the lyrics were "Poor boy, the captain is "shore" to let me go home" instead of "Call for the captain ashore, Let me go home."

I'd love to hear Tom Lewis' version of Sloop John B. Bat Goddess, do you know which CD this is on?

And then there is Les Barker's "Sloop John C" ... but that's another thread.

Gargoyle said "this is your John B thread, give a stab at becoming a scholar, Post three references ..."

Actually, my idea for this thread was "songs that surprisingly _are_ trad" after reading the thread about songs that are thought to be trad but aren't. I didn't know much about Sloop John B other than it was from the Bahamas. Thanks to everyone who wrote, now I do know something.

Isn't Mudcat great!


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Subject: RE: Songs that surprisingly _are_ trad
From: GUEST,Nerd
Date: 13 Apr 05 - 09:52 AM

Just checked the 1960 Lomax book here on the shelf. It's as I gave it above.

It's good to actually check the book, though, as GUEST suggests; I had found the version online with a citation to the book, and who knows how accurate that is?

But the question remains: where did Hal Leonard get the "Tar the Ratlines Down" line?


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Subject: RE: Songs that surprisingly _are_ trad
From: GUEST,HughM
Date: 15 Apr 05 - 08:29 AM

What are those German words in the middle of Elvis's Wooden Heart?


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Subject: RE: Songs that surprisingly _are_ trad
From: GUEST,Stephen R.
Date: 15 Apr 05 - 03:29 PM

Holzherz?


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Subject: RE: Songs that surprisingly _are_ trad
From: GUEST,MMario
Date: 15 Apr 05 - 03:56 PM

I was very surprised to find out how old the basic "A guy is a guy" song is- which most people know from the Doris Day version


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Subject: RE: Songs that surprisingly _are_ trad
From: Eric the Streetsinger
Date: 16 Apr 05 - 02:27 AM

I loved the song "El Condor Pasa" when I first heard it on
a Simon and Garfunkel record many years ago (it was, in fact,
one of the first L.P.'s I bought, having outgrown 45's)
I didn't know that he'd borrowed the song from Urubamba,
a Peruvian street band that had been playing traditional Andean
music in New York in those days until many years later.   (are they still around?
there are lots of other Andean groups out there, Inca Son who play around Boston
spring to mind - but is there still an Urubamba?)


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Subject: RE: Songs that surprisingly _are_ trad
From: 8ch(pl)
Date: 16 Apr 05 - 07:07 PM

El Condor Pasa is likely at least 100 years old. It was a Puruvean folk song in Quechua and Spanish which was collected by Daniel Alomias Robles early in the 20th century and put to music.


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Subject: RE: Songs that surprisingly _are_ trad
From: GUEST,Dale
Date: 16 Apr 05 - 09:12 PM

As I heard the story, Simon and Garfunkle first heard Marie Laforet's version of Sur Le Chemin Des Andes, and got it from that. Not necessarily true, just the way I heard it.

I just did some checking. Paul Simon sez "I was in Paris in 1965, right before Simon and Garfunkel broke. I was roaming around Europe by myself, doing folk stuff. It was there I met Los Incas at a concert. I was booked, and they were booked, and that was the first time I had ever heard South American music. They gave me an album of their stuff, and "El Condor Pasa" was on the album. The Simon and Garfunkel record of "El Condor Pasa" was recorded over that preexisting track. So that's where it all comes from, and the notion was, if I liked the music, if it sounded good to me, it was popular. For me there was really no distinction between one culture and another.
from http://www.superseventies.com/sspaulsimon.html

But back to Marie Laforet's song: At the very least, it has been documented that her version predates theirs by about four years.


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Subject: RE: Songs that surprisingly _are_ trad
From: GUEST,nationalzjug
Date: 16 Apr 05 - 09:17 PM

Miserlou, (Dicky Dale) is traditional klezmer too?


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Subject: RE: Songs that surprisingly _are_ trad
From: Scoville
Date: 16 Apr 05 - 11:15 PM

I believe I saw the Everly Brothers' "Hey, Doll Baby" listed as trad. but I don't know if it actually is.

I've always had suspicions about "Rivers of Texas". I know that it was COLLECTED in the early 1920's and I've never seen an attributed composer, but I can't convince myself that it isn't a "wrote" song.

I was in the grocery store a few months ago and heard, on their piped-in music, a 1950's-style pop song that included in its chorus the old lines about "I'll pawn you my gold watch and chain/I'll pawn you my gold wedding ring" but the tune was NOT that of the usual "Gold Watch & Chain". I had never heard it before and have not been able to find it so I don't know how close it was to the old song.


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Subject: RE: Songs that surprisingly _are_ trad
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 19 Mar 16 - 08:31 PM

Re: "Sloop John B" and three references (more like 7-8 but anyways…)

Lyrics by romantic novelist-travel writer Richard Le Gallienne (on paid assignment to the Bahamian government) in one of a series of articles for Harper's Magazine. Song title is given as: "The John B. Sails" (Coral Islands and Mangrove Trees, Harper's Dec. 1916)

Le Gallienne recycled and expanded the lyrical meme in his adventure novel "Pieces of Eight: Being the Authentic Narrative of a Treasure Discovered in the Bahama Islands, In the Year 1903 – Now First Given to the Public" (Garden City, NY: Doubleday, Page & Co., 1918)

The "original" lyrics (credited to F.W. Clark?) were set to music and published by Chicago theater organist-composer A. Leopold Richard. (The John B. Sails, Chicago: Legters Music Co, 1921)

Privately released in songbook form (sans attributions) by Chicago Tribune political cartoonist-author John T. McCutcheon and poet-author Evelyn Shaw McCutcheon. The notes differ from Sandburg's only in the last half of the last sentence "...designed by Mr. Howard Shaw..." &c. This is the first appearance of the "Wreck" meme though the song title remains simply "The John B. Sails" (The Island Song Book, Privately Printed at The Chicago Tribune Tower, Jan. 15, 1927)

Released in songbook form by Sandburg later the same year, with the same song title. Arranged by A.G. Wathall, master-arranger and composer for the Chicago Tribune's WGN radio station. (American Songbag, Orlando, Florida: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1927)

First audio recording "Histe Up the John B. Sail" was the Cleveland Simmons Group by Alan Lomax in Old Bight, Cat Island, Bahamas in 1935. No mention of Le Gallienne, Richard, or the McCutcheons when finally released over a half-century later. (Rounder CD 11661-1822-2, 1999)

First commercial release by The Weavers as "(The Wreck of the) John B". Credited to Carl Sandburg – Lee Hayes. (b/w: The Roving Kind, Decca 27332, 1950)

Conclusions: The original title was "The John B. Sails" but it is rarely released as such. The songs origins are most likely in American popular literature and vaudeville.

See also the Origin: Sloop John B thread here.


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Subject: RE: Songs that surprisingly _are_ trad
From: Mr Red
Date: 20 Mar 16 - 03:58 AM

Bound for Glory/ This Train - people often think of it as a Woody Guthrie song, because of the title of his book. He is on record as trying to correct the notion, and the song is recorded in Alan & John Lomax's book published about the time Woody was embarking on his wanderings.


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Subject: RE: Songs that surprisingly _are_ trad
From: The Sandman
Date: 20 Mar 16 - 04:32 AM

Les Barker is a pleasant man.


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Subject: RE: Songs that surprisingly _are_ trad
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 04 Apr 16 - 03:00 AM

So much for conclusions. See "origins" thread for update on... "Hoist the John B. Sail" Bahamas Development Board adverts and 1903 song by American bandleader-violinist Ed. W. Prouty. Shades of "Demolition Man."


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Subject: RE: Songs that surprisingly _are_ trad
From: Acorn4
Date: 04 Apr 16 - 04:15 AM

The contribution of Messrs Lea and Holder to the tradition - this is, I believe, an American trad tune sometimes known as "Peg 'n Awl":-


Slade:"My oh My"


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Subject: RE: Songs that surprisingly _are_ trad
From: GUEST,Sol
Date: 04 Apr 16 - 06:46 AM

To the best of my knowledge, Elvis (like many others) had a habit of singing songs provided the composer gave him half the song-writing credit. (His name is included in the brackets on the "Love Me Tender" single). John Philips apparently said that The Beach Boys made the same arrangement with him when they recorded 'Kokomo'.

As we all know, greed is much more lucrative than integrity.


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Subject: RE: Songs that surprisingly _are_ trad
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 04 Apr 16 - 11:23 AM

Well, ya know, a lot of times an old folk song needs to be added to in order to become a pop hit. Somebody may need to add a bridge, an intro, parts for backup singers, or an orchestra part.

(Come to think of it, when I am forced to listen to pop tunes in the supermarket, the 'orchestra part', which has been reduced to a ditty played on a synthesizer, is often the only part worth hearing.)

Anyhow, if somebody adds that stuff, s/he deserves credit for writing it.


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Subject: RE: Songs that surprisingly _are_ trad
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 04 Apr 16 - 12:54 PM

I think it is appropriate and useful to distinguish
between two words that have been thrown around
up-thread, and in Mudcat generally, namely folk
song
and traditional (or trad).

If you are talking about "folk" song, at least
to my understanding it is bound by certain
characteristics:
1. Passed down through some indefinite but long
time by serial oral presentations and memories.
2. No original composer is known to the populace
passing it down, (nor even to scholarly investigation.)
3. And because of the many rememberers and performers
during that long, indefinite time, there are likely
multiple versions of the song, some of which may have
become wildly different. On the negative side, an
absence of significant variants strongly suggests a
non-folk status.
4. A folk song, by this definition, is a special sub-set
of traditional song.

But the unadorned adjective "traditional" merely
means that the song is fairly widely known, and the
singing and remembering population often doesn't know
and probably doesn't care who (if anyone) originally
wrote it. An additional characteristic:
    Lack or paucity of variants probably implies that
much of the spread and (possible) longevity of the song
was because of its preservation through printed versions
and/or recordings.
    Or the song may be much more recent than what is
typically thought of as "folk" song, and thus it hasn't
accumulated many or significant variants during its
relatively short lifespan.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Songs that surprisingly _are_ trad
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 04 Apr 16 - 04:16 PM

Well, the only reason I posted to this thread is because I've never considered "John B." as "Trad" but I've had the same dossiers in front of me recently for the Weavers' cover of Linda's "Wimoweh." Not much different really.

In discography (in which I include sheet music, piano rolls, etc.) the "folk" genre/style is a consumer-producer tag. Without a specifc artist-listener-song it has little or no practical usage. eg: Based on a single discography Harry Belafonte is/was either America's greatest folk artist and/or a calypsonian imposter depending entirely on when, where and who is doing the talking.

"Traditional" is the credit for an unknown composer. The song need not be popular nor even familiar but often is. The set/setting for singing "Happy Birthday" is traditional but the song's authorship is not.


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Subject: RE: Songs that surprisingly _are_ trad
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 04 Apr 16 - 07:01 PM

But the copyright for "Happy Birthday to You" has
timed out, (Within the last six months to a year),
so everyone is safe using that borrrring little thing,
which will continue to be obligatory on its appropriate
occasions.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Songs that surprisingly _are_ trad
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 05 Apr 16 - 07:42 AM

How nice, Dave O, to see somebody talk sense about "folk", with no mention of fucking horses!


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Subject: RE: Songs that surprisingly _are_ trad
From: GUEST
Date: 05 Apr 16 - 02:54 PM

Dave: "...that borrrring little thing,..."

Richard: "...somebody talk sense about "folk".."

Me: "...depending entirely on when, where and who is doing the talking."

Pete Seeger sings Happy Birthday to Ramblin' Jack Elliott @ the Newport Folk Festival Backstage BBQ

And, back on topic, here's Seeger et al (perhaps) unknowingly enjoying a little turn-of-the-century ballroom music by Boston's E.W. Prouty:

The Weavers - The Wreck Of The John B.

... that became "folk" until it wasn't but was never "trad" and still ain't... for the time being. Tomorrow may be different. Make sense?


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Subject: RE: Songs that surprisingly _are_ trad
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 06 Apr 16 - 07:05 AM

Oh dear.


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Subject: RE: Songs that surprisingly _are_ trad
From: Kim C
Date: 06 Apr 16 - 01:34 PM

"Miserlou, (Dicky Dale) is traditional klezmer too?"

Greek.

http://www.songfacts.com/detail.php?id=23058


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Subject: RE: Songs that surprisingly _are_ trad
From: Thompson
Date: 06 Apr 16 - 01:56 PM

Adam and Eve were, of course, Irish - and French, and African, and Chinese, and…

The serpent, though; not sure where he was from ;)


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Subject: RE: Songs that surprisingly _are_ trad
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 06 Apr 16 - 02:06 PM

It surprised me to learn that the song 'Colorado Trail,' which I heard on a Kingston Trio album, was traditional. It can be found in a collection of American songs which Carl Sandburg made (I forget the title of the collection.)

I was a teenager when I first heard it, and I thought it didn't fit with the album, being too modern. But it wasn't.


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Subject: RE: Songs that surprisingly _are_ trad
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 06 Apr 16 - 02:12 PM

Wasn't Sandburg's book called American Songbag, or some such?

≈M≈


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Subject: RE: Songs that surprisingly _are_ trad
From: GUEST
Date: 07 Apr 16 - 08:54 AM

Adam and Eve were indeed Irish. They had no clothes, nothing to read, hardly anything to do, and only a few things to eat, but insisted they were living in "God's Own Country!"

(I realise you can replace "Irish" with "Russian" here, or indeed probably a lot of countries).


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Subject: RE: Songs that surprisingly _are_ trad
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 07 Apr 16 - 10:07 AM

Yes, MGM, that's it. American Songbag.

Are you familiar with 'Colorado Trail'? It's a lovely song, good to sing when you're weary or sad and want a little comfort. Here's a link to a nice version with Western scenery.


western lament


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Subject: RE: Songs that surprisingly _are_ trad
From: Jack Campin
Date: 07 Apr 16 - 11:20 AM

The "songfacts" piece about Misirlou is not very accurate. It is undoubtedly Greek, but the title means "Egyptian girl", not "Arab land" (and the text is explicitly about her) - it's a Greek form of a Turkish word. The song was copyrighted by N. Roubanis in 1934, but had been recorded by someone else a few years earlier, so he was doing a McPeake.

The tune is so simple (up and down the hijazkar scale) that it's hard to say if it's traditional or not; but there doesn't seem to be a much earlier version of the text, so that probably isn't really trad, we just don't know who really wrote it.


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Subject: RE: Songs that surprisingly _are_ trad
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 07 Apr 16 - 02:13 PM

RE: Misirlou

Dick Dale is of Middle-Eastern descent (Lebanese on the father's side) and his family married into Armenian. Supposedly where/how he picked up the melody.

American exotica aficiandos are quick to point out the early rebetiko covers were mostly recorded in the States. They claim Egyptian سيد درويش (Sayed Darwish, 1892-1923) and "Bint Misr (Egyptian Girl)" (c.1919, Fabrik Setrak Mechian.)

Ancient melody, lyrics not so much (maybe.)

"Traditional" rebetiko by way of Suffolk/North Essex courtesy of Bijoux Toots.


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Subject: RE: Songs that surprisingly _are_ trad
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 07 Apr 16 - 02:49 PM

Dave O, way behind the times, approx. 1954, to be more accurate. Known authorship is quite rightly totally irrelevant to any meaning of folk song except perhaps your own. It was originally in the IFMC 'definition' but immediately dropped on the grounds that it's silly and indefensible.

For instance a folk ballad like 'The Demon Lover' is folk but ceases to be folk because we now know who wrote it. Daft I calls it! There are numerous other examples.


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Subject: RE: Songs that surprisingly _are_ trad
From: Paul Burke
Date: 07 Apr 16 - 06:06 PM

"we now know who wrote it"

Honest?


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Subject: RE: Songs that surprisingly _are_ trad
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 07 Apr 16 - 06:30 PM

Martin Parker who wrote several other ballads in the 17thc that we now call folk.


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