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Lyr ADD Coplas (Kingston Trio & Cynthia Gooding)

DigiTrad:
COPLAS
SCOTCH AND SODA
THEY'RE RIOTING IN AFRICA (THE MERRY MINUET)


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Bret Maiers 11 Mar 99 - 06:35 PM
lesblank 11 Mar 99 - 09:34 PM
Craig 12 Mar 99 - 01:14 AM
Allan C. 12 Mar 99 - 09:28 AM
Jim Dixon 30 Mar 03 - 04:18 PM
Bev and Jerry 30 Mar 03 - 10:41 PM
belfast 31 Mar 03 - 07:28 AM
Giac 31 Mar 03 - 08:44 AM
belfast 31 Mar 03 - 09:06 AM
Midchuck 31 Mar 03 - 10:29 AM
JohnInKansas 31 Mar 03 - 11:57 PM
chico 10 Apr 05 - 10:28 PM
GUEST,D. Kingsley Hahn 21 Feb 23 - 07:14 PM
Joe Offer 22 Feb 23 - 12:21 AM
Joe Offer 22 Feb 23 - 01:49 AM
keberoxu 22 Feb 23 - 11:12 AM
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Subject: Kingston Trio song - need help!!
From: Bret Maiers
Date: 11 Mar 99 - 06:35 PM

My family and I have been trying to remember the name of a Kingston Trio song, but we didn't have any luck in the data base. Hopefully someone can help us out. The only lyrics that we can recall are: "Ah sooo....You seem suprised I speak your language. You see.....I was educated at UCLA."

I know the song had a very heavy Spanish sound to it. I have quite a bit of the Trio in my collection but this song does not appear in any of the Capitol releases I have. Thanks in advance for any help. - Bret


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Subject: RE: Kingston Trio song - need help!!
From: lesblank
Date: 11 Mar 99 - 09:34 PM

The song title is "Coplas", which, two lines of question followed by two lines of answer, hopefully funny. I believe the cut is included on "From the Hungry I" album, but I will not be held to it. As soon as I send this, I'll check.


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Subject: RE: Kingston Trio song - need help!!
From: Craig
Date: 12 Mar 99 - 01:14 AM

I vaguely remember that song. I thought the last line went "I was educated at UCRA.


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Subject: RE: Kingston Trio song - need help!!
From: Allan C.
Date: 12 Mar 99 - 09:28 AM

The song you seek (and many other KT songs) is available - complete with the script of the introductory banter in the website below.

Click Here

The song is a traditional Mexican song with more verses than the Ballad of Jesse James! The name, "Coplas" if my Spanish is remembered correctly, actually means "verses".


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Subject: Lyr Add: COPLAS (Kingston Trio)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 30 Mar 03 - 04:18 PM

Lyrics copied from http://home.att.net/~kingstontrioplace/lyricsaf.htm.

COPLAS
(Dave Guard/Traditional)

Cha! Cha!

Chile verde me pediste. Chile verde te dare.
Vama nos para la huer ta con al la te lo cortare.
(Tell them what it means then)
You want green peppers? (Si!)
I'll give you green peppers. Come out to the garden. (Coplas!)

CHORUS: Lai, lai, lai, lai, hum de lai, lai, lai, hum de lai, lai, lai, lai.
Lai, lai, lai, hum de lai, lai, lai, hum de lai, lai, lai.

Dice que los de fu casa. Ninguno me puede ver.
Diles que no basta el agua que al cabo lahan do beber.
Tell your parents not to muddy the water around us. (Porque?)
They may have to drink it soon! (Coplas!) CHORUS

La mula que yo mente la monto hoy mi compadre.
Eso a mi no me importa pues yo la mon te primero. (Oivey!)
Ah, so! You are surprised I speak your language.
You see, I was educated in your country, at U. C. R. A. (Coplas!) CHORUS

La noche que me case. No pudde dormirme un rato.
Por estar toda la noche corriendos detras de un gato. (Meow!)
Me dejiste que fue un gato. Que entro por tu balcon.
Yo no visto gato prieto con sombrero y pantalon!
On my wedding night, I did not sleep a wink. (Porque?)
I spent the whole night chasing a cat that had come in over the balcony (Meow!)
Wearing a sombrero and long pants! (Coplas!) CHORUS

[As sung by the Kingston Trio. I think the song they're parodying might be "Coplas de Amor," which is sung by Cynthia Gooding on a 3-CD compilation called "Washington Square Memoirs: The Great Urban Folk Boom, 1950-1970."

[You can hear a sound samples of both songs at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EiTGxXKabeI.]


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Coplas (Kingston Trio)
From: Bev and Jerry
Date: 30 Mar 03 - 10:41 PM

An actual translation of the third verse would be:

The mule that I used to ride is now ridden by my friend
But I do not care because I rode her first

Evidently, this could not be put on a record in the late fifties, at least not if you wanted it played on the radio.

And by the way, this is a traditional song from (we think) Mexico and there are other verses.

Bev and Jerry


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Coplas (Kingston Trio)
From: belfast
Date: 31 Mar 03 - 07:28 AM

I had this record as a child and I knew that the lines "you are surprised I speak etc." were funny but I couldn't see the joke. I still don't get it. Anyone care to explain? I know there is nothing more tedious than a joke explained...


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Coplas (Kingston Trio)
From: Giac
Date: 31 Mar 03 - 08:44 AM

belfast --

The accent they used for that line was Asian.

The university referred to was UCLA (University of California at Los Angeles), but L is a difficult consonant for that culture, so in this song they spoofed the common oral substitution of R for L.

(Hope I didn't only further muddy the water -- we may have to speak it soon.)

Mary


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Coplas (Kingston Trio)
From: belfast
Date: 31 Mar 03 - 09:06 AM

Thank you, Giac. That's another one off life's little mysteries solved.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Coplas (Kingston Trio)
From: Midchuck
Date: 31 Mar 03 - 10:29 AM

I have an old vinyl from the late '50s of Theo Bikel and Cynthia Gooding, called "A Young Man and a Maid," IIRC, which has the same song, with the same Spanish lyrics, but no spoken English translations or comments. I very strongly suspect the Trio lifted their version from this album.

Peter.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Coplas (Kingston Trio)
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 31 Mar 03 - 11:57 PM

A fairly recent CD that includes this is The Kingston Trio Special Double Play Kingston Trio, Capitol Records, CDP7967482. I'm pretty sure we picked it up at Barnes or Borders within the last couple of years, at least.

A short version, with literal English translation is in The Collected Reprints from SingOut!, Volumes 1-6, 1959-1964 (Vol I of the II published so far?)

For music and chords, Folk Song Encyclopedia, Volume I, Jerry Silverman, Chappel/Intersong, ISBN 0-88188-193-7 should be fairly easy to find (to borrow, if not to buy of course).

No guarantee that the Silverman version matches the KT, but their style should be pretty easy to adapt to.

John


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Subject: Lyr Add: Coplas Orig & Rev with Chords
From: chico
Date: 10 Apr 05 - 10:28 PM

INTRO: Am Dm F E (Cha! Cha!)

Am                E    Am             E
Chile verde me pediste. Chile verde te dare.
C                G          Am          (F) E (Use F to E as accent thoughout)
Vama nos para la huer ta con al la te lo cortare.

(You want green peppers (Si!) I'll give you green peppers. Come out to the garden. (Coplas!)

   Am         C    G                     Am         Dm         E
|: Lai, lai, lai, hum de lai, lai, lai, hum de lai, lai, lai, lai :|

Dice que los de fu casa. Ninguno me puede ver.
Diles que no basta el agua que al cabo lahan do beber.

(Tell your parents not to muddy the water around us. . . porque? They may have to drink it soon COPLAS!)

La mula que yo mente la monto hoy mi compadre.
Eso a mi no me importa pues yo la mon te primero.

(The mule that I used to ride is now ridden by my friend, but I do not care because I rode her first. . . COPLAS!)

La noche que me case. No pudde dormirme un rato.
Por estar toda la noche corriendos detras de un gato.
Me dejiste que fue un gato. Que entro por tu balcon.
Yo no visto gato prieto con sombrero y pantalon!

(On my wedding night, I did not sleep a wink. (Porque)I spent the whole night chasing a cat that had come in over the balcony…. wearing a sombrero and long pants! (Coplas!)

* * *

COPLAS REVISITED

(Guitar intro.) Cha! Cha!

Chile verde me pediste. Chile verde te dare. Vama nos para la huer ta con al la te lo cortare.(Tell them what it means then)
"The National Safety Council wishes me to inform you, 'Do not drink while driving!" ("Porque?") You're liable to hit a bump and spill the whole thing!" ("Coplas!")

Chorus:
Lai, lai, lai, lai, hum de lai, lai, lai, hum de lai, lai, lai, lai. Lai, lai, lai, hum de lai, lai, lai, hum de lai, lai, lai

Dice que los de fu casa. Ninguno me puede ver. Diles que no basta el agua que al cabo lahan do beber. ("Parlez vous Italiano?) "Tell your parents not to muddy the water around us." ("Porque?") "Our group had 25% fewer cavities with clean water!" ("Coplas!")

(Chorus)

La mula que yo mente la monto hoy mi compadre. Eso a mi no me importa pues yo la mon te primero. ("Oivey!")
"Show me a cowboy who rides side saddle and I will show you a gay ranchero!" ("Coplas!")

(Chorus) "Now the naughty verses!

La noche que me case. No pudde dormirme un rato. Por estar toda la noche corriendos detras de un gato.
Me dejiste que fue un gato. Que entro por tu balcon. Yo no visto gato prieto con sombrero y pantalon! (Pantalones Caliente) No more drinks for the dwarf!---On my wedding night, I did not sleep a wink. ("Porque?") So, I changed to Sanka!" ("Coplas!")

(Chorus)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Coplas (Kingston Trio)
From: GUEST,D. Kingsley Hahn
Date: 21 Feb 23 - 07:14 PM

The Cynthia Gooding/Theodore Bikel album "A Young Man And A Maid" was released by Elektra in 1958 (EKL-109), and Malvina Reynolds had transcribed a translation in SING OUT (Volume 7, Number 3), also in 1958. Dave Guard no doubt had both listened and read both versions, and added the song to the KT's repertoire as a result.


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Subject: RE: Lyr ADD Coplas (Kingston Trio)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 22 Feb 23 - 12:21 AM

Wikipedia has two articles on Coplas a poetic form found in many Spanish popular songs and in Spanish-language literature. The form consists of four verses of four 8-syllable lines.
Here are the two articles:
Here's a whole collection of Coplas: https://www.scribd.com/document/457840859/cancionero-folklorico-de-mexico-tomo-2-coplas-del-amor-desdichado-y-otras-coplas-de-amor-924689


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Subject: ADD Version: Coplas (from Cynthia Gooding)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 22 Feb 23 - 01:49 AM

The Cynthia Gooding lyrics are quite different from those of the Kingston Trio.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-lQ9L3eMdrw

Bikel Album (Gooding singing): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pe1KpkH4UgA

Here is a transcription of the Cynthia Gooding / Theodore Bikel concert performance. It's more-or-less the same as the Kingston Trio song, but this version sounds a hell of a lot more credible.

COPLAS
Chile verde me perdiste
Chile verde te dare.
Vamanos pa la la huerta
Que alia te lo cortare.

Dicen que los de tu casa
Ninguno me puede ver,
Diles que no batan l'agua,
Que al cabo lo han de beber.

La mujer que quiere a dos
Los quiere como hermanitos.
Al uno le pone cuernos
Y al otro lo pitoncitos.

La mula que yo monte
La monta hoy mi compadre,
Eso a mi no me importa
Pues yo la monte primero

La noche que me casa,
No pude dormirme un rato.
Por estrar toda la noche
Corriendo detra de un gato.

Me dijiste que fue un gato
El que entro por tu balcon,
Yo no he visto gato prieto
Con sombrero y pantalon.
You asked for green pepper,
I'll give you green pepper.
Let's go to the garden
And I'll pick it for you.

They say your family
Can't stand to see me.
Tell them not to muddy the water;
In the end they'll have to drink it.

The woman who loves two men
Loves them like brothers.
She puts big horns on one
And budding horns on the other.

The mule I used to ride
Is now ridden by my friend;
I don’t care
Because I broke her in.

The night I got married
I couldn’t sleep all night.
I spent the whole night
Chasing a black cat.

You said it was a black cat
That came in through your balcony.
I've never seen a black cat before
Wearing a hat and trousers.


From Collected Reprints from Sing Out, Vol 1-6 (1959-1964), page 232

Monique will not like the lack of diacritical marks in this transcription, but it's in the book. I hope she will be able to post corrected lyrics in a new message. ;-)


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Subject: RE: Lyr ADD Coplas (Kingston Trio & Cynthia Gooding)
From: keberoxu
Date: 22 Feb 23 - 11:12 AM

The Cynthia Gooding/Theodore Bikel performance/recording
was part of my childhood, I know it practically from memory.

No one has noted that Gooding and Bikel also improvise and interpolate comments, always en español, during the song,
which perhaps prompted the Kingston Trio to do the same themselves.

For example: "La mula que you monté . . ."
Theodore Bikel has this verse to himself.
He gets to the line:
"Eso a mí no me importa..."
Cynthia Gooding: Por qué?
Theodore Bikel: "Pues yo la monté primero."
Cynthia Gooding: Sinvergüenza!!


The one that fascinated me as a very young child was the comic business
that Bikel and Gooding attached to the verse about chasing a cat
(Note: the Spanish doesn't say what color the cat was!)

By the way, that verse OUGHT to start with:
"La noche que me casé", not "que me casa".

Bikel, in mid-verse, does some sort of Mexican machismo show-off thing
by hitting a falsetto high note on the vowel oo!
and holding it and holding it and HOLDING it,
while strumming the guitar underneath...

Cynthia Gooding, after several bars of this, breaks in with
a snide Spanish remark which I have never been able to translate.
Then Bikel runs out of air and stops,
while Gooding resumes the verse alone:

". . . noche /Corriendo detras de un gato!" in an aggrieved tone.

So the two of them had a bit of fun with the song,
and maybe that gave the Kingston Trio the impetus
to make fun of what they were singing.


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