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Several versions of the same song

Steve Latimer 18 Mar 99 - 04:25 PM
Bruce O. 18 Mar 99 - 04:48 PM
Bert 18 Mar 99 - 04:58 PM
Steve Latimer 18 Mar 99 - 05:03 PM
Bruce O. 18 Mar 99 - 05:05 PM
rich r 18 Mar 99 - 09:14 PM
Night Owl 19 Mar 99 - 12:14 AM
Roger in Baltimore 19 Mar 99 - 03:12 PM
Steve Latimer 19 Mar 99 - 03:27 PM
Philippa 19 Mar 99 - 05:31 PM
Don Meixner 19 Mar 99 - 05:45 PM
Sandy Paton 19 Mar 99 - 08:27 PM
19 Mar 99 - 09:47 PM
dick greenhaus 20 Mar 99 - 12:31 PM
Bruce O. 20 Mar 99 - 12:51 PM
catspaw49 20 Mar 99 - 12:54 PM
catspaw49 20 Mar 99 - 12:56 PM
Arkie 20 Mar 99 - 03:40 PM
Sandy Paton 20 Mar 99 - 05:10 PM
Sandy Paton 20 Mar 99 - 05:15 PM
20 Mar 99 - 10:33 PM
Sandy Paton 20 Mar 99 - 11:06 PM
Steve Latimer 22 Mar 99 - 12:27 PM
DonMeixner 22 Mar 99 - 01:03 PM
Steve Latimer 22 Mar 99 - 01:13 PM
AlistairUK 22 Mar 99 - 04:49 PM
Steve Latimer 22 Mar 99 - 04:59 PM
Bruce O. 22 Mar 99 - 06:44 PM
AlistairUK 23 Mar 99 - 06:09 AM
Roger in Baltimore 23 Mar 99 - 06:18 AM
Steve Latimer 23 Mar 99 - 09:48 AM
Don Meixner 23 Mar 99 - 12:50 PM
Night Owl 23 Mar 99 - 04:41 PM
Sandy Paton 23 Mar 99 - 07:31 PM
Art Thieme 23 Mar 99 - 08:59 PM
Bruce O. 23 Mar 99 - 09:23 PM
Bruce O. 23 Mar 99 - 09:31 PM
Arkie 23 Mar 99 - 09:39 PM
catspaw49 23 Mar 99 - 11:05 PM
Bruce O. 24 Mar 99 - 02:58 PM
Bruce O. 24 Mar 99 - 03:06 PM
Joe Offer 22 Oct 02 - 01:24 PM
EBarnacle1 22 Oct 02 - 02:35 PM
GUEST,Argenine 22 Oct 02 - 07:54 PM
ddw 22 Oct 02 - 11:57 PM
53 23 Oct 02 - 10:28 AM
GUEST 23 Oct 02 - 11:08 AM
Genie 23 Oct 02 - 05:45 PM
ddw 23 Oct 02 - 08:47 PM
reggie miles 23 Oct 02 - 10:13 PM
Art Thieme 24 Oct 02 - 12:41 AM
Amy 24 Oct 02 - 01:16 PM
quokka 30 Oct 08 - 09:26 PM
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Subject: Several versions of the same song
From: Steve Latimer
Date: 18 Mar 99 - 04:25 PM

In the Led Zepplin (sic) post of January, Roger mentioned that he he likes to collect as many versions of the same song as he can. He mentioned "Baby Please Don't Go" and a few others.

Roger, I would be interested in how many versions you have of some of your favourites. A list by artist and date would be of interest.

Does anyone else have the same interest? If so, perhaps you could post them.


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Subject: RE: Several versions of the same song
From: Bruce O.
Date: 18 Mar 99 - 04:48 PM

I't too easy to get carried away. Bronson's 'The Traditional Tunes of the Child Ballads' has 103 versions of "Barbara Allen", 58 more fragments with tunes, and 38 tunes for it with no verses at all.


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Subject: RE: Several versions of the same song
From: Bert
Date: 18 Mar 99 - 04:58 PM

Bruce O.

Well I only know one version of it, so I'm sticking to that. I am sure it is the only CORRECT version:-)

Bert.


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Subject: RE: Several versions of the same song
From: Steve Latimer
Date: 18 Mar 99 - 05:03 PM

I'm sorry, it was Ritchie, not Roger who collected several versions of the same song.


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Subject: RE: Several versions of the same song
From: Bruce O.
Date: 18 Mar 99 - 05:05 PM

OF COURSE IT IS; WE ALL KNOW OURS IS THE ONE AND ONLY CORRECT VERSION.


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Subject: RE: Several versions of the same song
From: rich r
Date: 18 Mar 99 - 09:14 PM

I wonder if anyone has a collection of the same version of several songs.

rich r


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Subject: RE: Several versions of the same song
From: Night Owl
Date: 19 Mar 99 - 12:14 AM

Very interested in this thread as I thoroughly enjoy learning how different songs and children's games develop regional character and adaptions. Also attended a Marie Rhines concert years ago in which she took "folk" songs and children's game songs from various geographical places and showed their development into, not only classical works, but a wide variey of different types of music. I have since been fascinated by the fact that, while individual notes can be exactly the same, with different rhythms and words they become completely "new" songs (as in the Woody Guthrie thread).


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Subject: RE: Several versions of the same song
From: Roger in Baltimore
Date: 19 Mar 99 - 03:12 PM

I did mention having three versions of "Baby, Please Don't Go." I didn't intentionally collect them, they just came along with other songs on other records. Personally, I like the "field holler" version just fine and I sing it to myself with some regularity. Don't think I ever performed it.

I once heard or read that Pete Seeger "collected" versions of the tune for "Twinkle, twinkle little star." It seemed that many tunes are simple variations of tempo for this song.

Roger in Baltimore


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Subject: RE: Several versions of the same song
From: Steve Latimer
Date: 19 Mar 99 - 03:27 PM

I've confessed on Mudcat that I discovered the blues through late sixties blues/rock bands. I was very familiar with Cream's cover of "Sittin' on Top Of the World" Years later, I was very surprised to hear my Uncle, a 5 string Banjo picker sing the Bluegrass version of the same song.

The plot thickens in that the Cream version credits Chester Burnett (Howlin' Wolf)in the fifties, but my bluegrass playing relatives swear that this is an old Bluegrass standard, pre-dating Burnett's version by decades.

Anyone know any more about it?

Steve


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Subject: RE: Several versions of the same song
From: Philippa
Date: 19 Mar 99 - 05:31 PM

re Rich R, 18 March: I suppose there's quite a few. Ewan MacColl and Peggy Seeger made a recording pairing British (& Irish?) and American versions of songs. There's a whole book consisting of versions of the Irish Gaelic song "Donal Og". But I think the compiler rather stretches the point when for instance he includes "Fear a' Bhata" on the strength of one shared ['floating'] verse!


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Subject: RE: Several versions of the same song
From: Don Meixner
Date: 19 Mar 99 - 05:45 PM

I once sat through an evening of Michael Cooney at his pompous and scholarly best when i was treated to nothing but variations of "Whose Gonna Shoe Yer Pretty Little Foot". I was bored to tears and asked for my money back. Folk clubs being what they are could barely afford to pay Cooney let alone deal with a refund. Having produced many shows of my own I withdrew my request. But I learned a valuable lesson about performing. There is a fine line between entertaining and showing off and that same line exists between what is interesting to you the performer and what might be interesting to the audience. Had this been a workshop in a festival I might have attended because of my own scholarly and pedantic bent. But it certainly wasn't what I hoped for in a concert setting.

If I were to do this in a concert I'd choose two but no more than three versions of a song and spread them out. Not one after another. "The Royal Albion", "A Sailor Cut Down In His Prime" and "Dyin' Crapshooter's Blues" perhaps.

Don


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Subject: RE: Several versions of the same song
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 19 Mar 99 - 08:27 PM

Caroline and I have never done an entire evening of multiple versions of a single song, but we have often shown three versions of a song in a set. We're careful, though, to make them three very different versions. For instance, we'll do a brief "I Know Where I'm Going," follow it with a quick three verses of the Scottish "Licht Bob's Lassie," then do Linscott's New England song "Katy Cruel." Sometimes we run a similar set of three Riddle Songs -- Appalachian, New England and English. We used to do it with three versions of "The Keys of Canterbury" ("Paper of Pins"), too. And these have not been done only in school programs where we are deliberately demonstrating the effect of oral transmission on traditional songs and ballads; we might well do one of these sets in a general program.

Gawd! I don't know if anyone has ever asked to have their ticket price returned. I sure hope not! The comments we've heard from people after the programs indicated that they found the demonstration interesting, and enjoyed it. Maybe we've been too naive all these years?

Sandy


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Subject: RE: Several versions of the same song
From:
Date: 19 Mar 99 - 09:47 PM

I love to find different versions of songs. I have as many as nine one some more traditional stuff. Some are quite different as to content or tune, some are almost complete knock-offs of someone elses rendition. I have made a couple of tapes which have two versions in succession of several songs for entertainment whilst driving. Two come to mind right off are SHAME & SCANDAL (Odetta)/JOHNNY BE FAIR (Buffy Ste. Marie); BIRMINGHAM SUNDAY (Joan Baez)/KING HENRY (Pete Seeger). As Jimmy Durante used to say "I got a million of them". Weeell, maybenot a million. It makes listening to folk music so much more interesting to find these comparisons. -- John (not Jon)


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Subject: RE: Several versions of the same song
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 20 Mar 99 - 12:31 PM

RichR For the same version of many songs, try listening to a record of Leonard Cohen.


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Subject: RE: Several versions of the same song
From: Bruce O.
Date: 20 Mar 99 - 12:51 PM

Sandy, for about a half dozen more songs of the "Licht Bob's Lassie", "I know where I'm going" and "Katy Cruel" family see the general title "Ay Waukin O" in Scarce Songs 1 on my website.


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Subject: RE: Several versions of the same song
From: catspaw49
Date: 20 Mar 99 - 12:54 PM

HHMMM...I've mentioned it before, but,uh...for many versions of the same song, try singing "Fire and Rain" to ANY other James Taylor song...`


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Subject: RE: Several versions of the same song
From: catspaw49
Date: 20 Mar 99 - 12:56 PM

HHMMM...I've mentioned it before, but,uh...for many versions of the same song, try singing "Fire and Rain" to ANY other James Taylor song...`

Sorry...hey, I like him!!!! (but it works more often than not)

catspaw


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Subject: RE: Several versions of the same song
From: Arkie
Date: 20 Mar 99 - 03:40 PM

Don mentioned Michael Cooney. He has done some odd things. I heard him at the Florida Folk Festival some years ago. His set consisted of all the verses of Tam Lane. Talk about more than one version of a song in the same set. His set consisted of 30 minutes of the same song. It made my day. Actually is was the second best thing that happened to me that day. The first was having my set sandwiched between the Beers Family and Michael Cooney.


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Subject: RE: Several versions of the same song
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 20 Mar 99 - 05:10 PM

Bruce: I simply forgot to mention that Caroline often adds "Ay Waukin' O" to the set. We learned a slightly abbreviated version from Jeannie Robertson, to which Caroline has since added verses from other sources.. Smashing song! Also, I occasionally will compare "The Old Man Rockin' the Cradle" with "Git Along Little Dogies," but not the "Old Man" version in the DT (which I just noticed the other day). Kinda fun.

Sandy


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Subject: RE: Several versions of the same song
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 20 Mar 99 - 05:15 PM

P.S.: Caroline's version of "Tam Lin" has only forty-seven verses, not the fifty-five that Michael Cooney sings. One might call hers the Reader's Digest version! We'd have to add at least one more song to the set.

Sandy


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Subject: RE: Several versions of the same song
From:
Date: 20 Mar 99 - 10:33 PM

Sandy-If the Old Man Rocking the Cradle is the one I have Buffy Ste. Marie singing, I never thought of the similarity to Dogies, but I can see it. I'm going to pull out the record and test it myself. Guess that makes a million and one comparisons.---John (not jon)


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Subject: RE: Several versions of the same song
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 20 Mar 99 - 11:06 PM

I typed this once before, and managed to lose it, so if it crops up somewhere else, forgive me.

John (not Jon): I'm afraid I've never heard Buffy Ste. Marie's version. I learned the song originally from Robin Roberts, a very beautiful actress/singer who collected in Ireland with Alan Lomax. Then, at an after-concert gathering in a home in eastern Massachusetts, an elderly gentleman asked me if I'd ever heard the song and proceeded to sing me a fine version of it. I, the fool, had no tape recorder with me, and I've since lost the man's name and address. (Dumb and always disorganized!)

Since that night, I realize that I've incorporated elements of his version into the one I already knew. Hell, it turns out that I can inadvertently corrupt the tradition as much as any other collector. I think it's a Heisenbergian thing: The instrument used to measure the event, by its very presence, alters the event. Stick a microphone in front of an old traditional singer and his or her performance immediately becomes more self-conscious. Thus, every field recording is a bit different from the way the song might have been sung while walking behind a plow or washing dishes at the kitchen sink. It may be unavoidable, but we've always attempted to minimize it as much as possible.

Sandy


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Subject: RE: Several versions of the same song
From: Steve Latimer
Date: 22 Mar 99 - 12:27 PM

I've watched this thread since I started it and have found it to be interesting, however I don't think I explained myself properly in my original posting. Therefore, I've copied Ritchie's posting that inspired this thread.

Don, I've never heard "Dyin' Crapshooters Blues" and admit that the title intrigues me. I couldn't find it in the database, who did it originally? Would you mind posting the lyrics? ------------------------------------------------------- Subject: RE: led zepplin From: Ritchie Date: 26-Jan-99 - 07:50 AM

Just reading Steve saying that he liked 'about every version of " Baby Please Don't Go" ' got me thinking of a particular quirk I've got..There are a couple of songs of which I am fond of, namely.." Bring It On Home To Me ,It's All Over Now and Baby Please Don't Go " so much so that I try to collect as many versions of them that I can. It's interesting to see how the same song is interpretated and more often than not the nearer to the original the better it is. It could be smuggness or music snobbery but it's nice when you can say to someone " yes ,but have you heard it by..." Although I do get upset at times when people introduce songs that they are about to perform and instead of giving the credit to the original artist/writer accredit to the most current performer.

There I feel better now.

Ritchie


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Subject: RE: Several versions of the same song
From: DonMeixner
Date: 22 Mar 99 - 01:03 PM

Hi Steve,

The Dyin' Crapshooters Blues is a variation of St. James Infirmary which is a variation of Bang The Drum Slowly which is a variation of...... Maybe all songs are a variation of one original song. I first heard it by Dave Von Ronk and then by Dave Bromberg. I prefered the Von Ronk version. Hmm. Maybe only Dave's are allowed to sing the song. Dave Bromberg's description of the funeral train was abolutely histerical but you know, Dave Von Ronk has that amazing voice.

Don


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Subject: RE: Several versions of the same song
From: Steve Latimer
Date: 22 Mar 99 - 01:13 PM

Don,

I will look for the Von Ronk version. As evidenced by my defending Led Zeppelin in the original thread, I discovered blues through rock. I am feverishly trying to find the true roots of blues. I've heard and love all of Robert Johnson's stuff, have been trying to get as much of the Chess stuff as I can, I'm awaiting arrival of a Son House CD. I will admit that I have to give Leadbelly another listen as I've tried a few times but still don't get him.

St. Jame's Infirmary is a favourite of mine, so I'm sure I'd like Dyin' Crapshooters Blues.

Thanks for the help.

Steve


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Subject: RE: Several versions of the same song
From: AlistairUK
Date: 22 Mar 99 - 04:49 PM

woo the true roots of blues...try west africa where there's a strumming style that is directly plugged into blues...listen to any Alio Farkah Touri album and then put it back to back with a real delta country bluesman. though many say that Ali ha sbeen influenced by modern blues, he has just reclaimed a form of music that comes from his part of the world anyway.


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Subject: RE: Several versions of the same song
From: Steve Latimer
Date: 22 Mar 99 - 04:59 PM

AlistairUK,

Thank you, will look for some of his material.

Steve


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Subject: RE: Several versions of the same song
From: Bruce O.
Date: 22 Mar 99 - 06:44 PM

[Subject: St. James' Infirmary, etc]

A. L. Lloyd said (Folk Song in England) that "The Unfortunate Rake" was sung in Dublin in 1790. Does anyone know where he got that info? The earliest extant broadside version appears to the 'The Buck's Elegy' with "The Unfortunate Lad" a later English version. The Irish tune "The Unfortunate Rake", printec c 1805, c 1807, and 1808, isn't anything like any American tune I've heard for "Tom Sherman's Barroom", "St. James' Infirmary", "Streets of Laredo", "Bad Girl's Lament" that I ever heard. Stephen Wade left here about 15 minutes ago with a copy of "The Buck's Elegy" and the Irish tune. We would be appreciative to anyone who could tell us where we could find any copy full copy of "The Unfortunate Rake".


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Subject: RE: Several versions of the same song
From: AlistairUK
Date: 23 Mar 99 - 06:09 AM

the tune for the streets of Laredo can also be used for the Irish ballad 'The Bard of Armagh'.


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Subject: RE: Several versions of the same song
From: Roger in Baltimore
Date: 23 Mar 99 - 06:18 AM

Steve Latimer,

As you trace the roots of blues, don't forget to wander through the "field hollers" and "work songs" of the South.

Roger in Baltimore


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Subject: RE: Several versions of the same song
From: Steve Latimer
Date: 23 Mar 99 - 09:48 AM

Roger,

Yesterday, I received the Son House CD that I was waiting for, Delta Blues and Spirituals. I've only had time to listen to it twice through, but I really enjoy it so far and have a feeling that I will only grow to like it more. This quest becomes quite a puzzle, as now I need to hear more of House's contemporaries, Willie Brown, Charlie Patton etc. I would also like to get some of House's early recordings.

I will look for field hollers and work songs. Any suggestions? Also, where would I look for these?

Steve


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Subject: RE: Several versions of the same song
From: Don Meixner
Date: 23 Mar 99 - 12:50 PM

Bruce,

You are quire correct.There is no readily identifiable comparison, tune wise, between The Unfortunate Rake and The Dyin' Crapshooters Blues. As with many people I know who can't read a note of music and has no formal education in music theory I tend to use "tune" and "song" interchangibly. I know I shouldn't. The comparision I draw between the two songs is lyric. In one version of The Troopper, Soldier, Sailor, Unfortunate Rake, Cut Down in His Prime the dying man asks for Six flash girls to pull my coffin. The Dyin' Crapshooter in one version I've heard he wants wants Faro Dealers for pall bearers and hookers to sing one last song. The Unfortunate Rake is dying from what is definately Vernereal Disease, " .. I might have bought salts and pills of white mercury.." The Dying Crapshooter tells his friends he lived a squallid life and evil ways have killed him. I believe this refers to more than drink. Both songs refere to the smell of roses as preferential to the smell of death. With so many versions to reference the lyrics from we can make alot of perhaps unscholarly, but certainly legitimate comparisons for the song if not the melody.

This discussion may be proof that the variation in song dispersal on two continents is at best only beginning to be studied and much more work in the area of folkmusicology is needed. Sounds like a fun project for when I retire:-).

Warmest regards

Don Meixner


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Subject: RE: Several versions of the same song
From: Night Owl
Date: 23 Mar 99 - 04:41 PM

Don , can you retire tomorrow??


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Subject: RE: Several versions of the same song
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 23 Mar 99 - 07:31 PM

I must say that I think the Greenhaus suggestion above is brilliant. Well done, Dick!

Sandy (resident folk fogey)


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Subject: RE: Several versions of the same song
From: Art Thieme
Date: 23 Mar 99 - 08:59 PM

"Dying Crapshooter" was originally from Blind Willie McTell, was it not? I can hear it in my head---the good pickin' on his 12-string...

Art


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Subject: RE: Several versions of the same song
From: Bruce O.
Date: 23 Mar 99 - 09:23 PM

First off, Phillips Barry in BFSSNE #7, 1934, says the second part of the Irish tune "The Unfortunate Rake" is the basis for the tune of some American songs "St. James Hospital" (see below), and "Cowboys Lament (Streets of Laredo, Laws B1)". He also noted that no copy of the 'Rake' ballad earlier than Such's is known, but now we have an earlier copy in "The Buck's Elegy" (Madden coll'n) reprinted in Holloway and Black's 'Later English Broadside Ballads', I, #17. But the 1790 date appears to come from Phillips Barry's identification of a fragment "My Jewel, My Joy" in Joyce's OIFMS, #442, as being from "The Unfortunate Rake". Joyce noted that it was remembered as having been sung at Cork about 1790. But this doesn't seem to me to be the correct identification. The fact that the condemned man has a girl friend implies that this is not "The Unfortunate Rake/ Buck's Elegy", but a different song with a very similar conclusion. A song that concludes very much like "The [missing] Unfortunate Rake" is a song that goes by several titles, Laws L12 = "Rambling Boy" (Wild and Wicked Youth, The Highwayman, The Robber, Newlyn Town, Charlie Reilly. Broadsides = "The Irish Robber", "The Jolly Blade", and "The Flash Lad".) [Rake and Rambling Boy in DT.] [One American broadside version I've seen places the action in Dublin- Stephen's Green]

The two songs here are obviously related, but just how I don't know, nor do I know which of the two songs is the earlier. At any rate there are several more tunes to throw onto the pile for a musicologist to investigate.

Stephen Wade yesterday gave me a CD he had edited from Library of Congress field recordings, Rounder CD 1500. On this #17, is "One Morning in May", sung by Texas Gladden. It's a good version of "The Bad Girl's Lament" (St. James Hospital/ The Young Girl Cut Down in Her Prime), Laws Q26. [Unfortunate Lass in DT]


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Subject: RE: Several versions of the same song
From: Bruce O.
Date: 23 Mar 99 - 09:31 PM

I forgot to mention that there's an ABC of the Irish tune "The Unfortunate Rake" as T061 in file T1.HTM on my website. This is from 'Crosby's Irish Musical Repository', 1808, and is also given by Phillips Barry in the reference cited above. Copies given by S. Holden, c 1805, and c 1807, are very slightly different.


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Subject: RE: Several versions of the same song
From: Arkie
Date: 23 Mar 99 - 09:39 PM

Sandy, Thanks for sending me back to dick greenhaus comment. The first time I read what I thought it said. dick, you made my day.


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Subject: RE: Several versions of the same song
From: catspaw49
Date: 23 Mar 99 - 11:05 PM

dick is right of course which is why I felt no fear in posting my James Taylor comment. I say "fear" because one night I stepped over the line at a party and was asked to cease and desist or beat it. I stood by the stereo and sang "Fire and Rain" to whatever JT was singing and,uh......a few people found it unamusing. I had no idea these people were so fervent!!! I made a few nice comments about his acting in "Two Lane Blacktop" and slipped away as they began a line by line review of the movie......had to move fast as he had damn near no lines and the movie had no plot. Of course they hadn't noticed that and were bemoaning his lack of recognition.

catspaw


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Subject: RE: Several versions of the same song
From: Bruce O.
Date: 24 Mar 99 - 02:58 PM

{Subject: Unfortunate Rake]

Even with Phillips Barry pointing to the tunes he said were based on the 2nd part of the Irish "The Unfortunate Rake" tune, I find that I can't see the resemblance. I guess that proves I'm no musicologist, but I already knew that.


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Subject: RE: Several versions of the same song
From: Bruce O.
Date: 24 Mar 99 - 03:06 PM

n case someone else want to compare the tunes, Barry pointed out the two, "St. James Hospital, or The Young Sailor Cut Down in His Prime", in Sharp & Karpeles 'English Folk Songs of the Southern Appalachians', II, pp. 164-5, and 'Streets of Laredo', Sandburg, 'The American Songbag', p. 263.


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Subject: RE: Several versions of the same song
From: Joe Offer
Date: 22 Oct 02 - 01:24 PM

I came across this thread when I was doing crosslinks. It didn't fit with the other threads I was linking, but it's too good a thread to be forgotten.
Re-Fresh!
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Several versions of the same song
From: EBarnacle1
Date: 22 Oct 02 - 02:35 PM

One time, I asked Pete Seeger whether he was aware that "Officer Crumpke," from West Side Story is essentially the same melody as his song that I call the "Geezer's Song"--

"How do I know my youth is all spent?
My get up and go has got up and went.
In spite of it all, I'm able to grin
When I think of the places my get up has been."

His response was to the effect that both songs were probably descended from "Fair Harvard," as both he and Lennie were in attendance at about the same time.


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Subject: RE: Several versions of the same song
From: GUEST,Argenine
Date: 22 Oct 02 - 07:54 PM

One song that must have at least umpteen different versions -- some quite different from others -- is "Stagolee"/"Stack-o Lee"/ "Stagger Lee" / etc.


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Subject: RE: Several versions of the same song
From: ddw
Date: 22 Oct 02 - 11:57 PM

And two that would rival Stagolee are Casey Jones and John Henry. I think Titanic would run in the same category and I know of about seven other songs that use the same tune as Sittin' On Top of the World -- the best-known of which is Robert Johnson's (et al) Come On In My Kitchen.

cheers,

david


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Subject: RE: Several versions of the same song
From: 53
Date: 23 Oct 02 - 10:28 AM

Catfish John has several different versions.


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Subject: RE: Several versions of the same song
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Oct 02 - 11:08 AM

Joe...Nice work bringing this one back!

My 11 year old came home the other day and heard the Rolling Stones live version of Satisfaction blaring from the stereo. She informed me that it was a ...oh shit, now I forget...song by a current pop artist. A history lesson ensued. Imagine the Stones as a history lesson! Anyway, we digressed to the point of Star of the County Down and Kingsfold and their variant time signatures.

One of my favourite live folk groups is Cooper Nelson and Early (Phil Cooper is of Mudcatland), because they will often give a historical perspective including commentary about lyrics, adaptations and so on. (And they usually do it with some humour.)

Once upon a time they used to say House Of The Rising Sun was the most recorded song. Though it's not likely still the case, I wonder if any of those versions offered much new to the historical record.

Peace, Mooh.


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Subject: RE: Several versions of the same song
From: Genie
Date: 23 Oct 02 - 05:45 PM

I heard an intriguing new version of a 1950s pop/jazz/R&B song on NPR the other day. The song was "Learnin' The Blues," which was a hit for Frank Sinatra on the pop charts in the 50s, and he had some sort of orchestra behind him, as I recall. The version I heard last week was pure bluegrass -- and the song worked great in that style. No lyric or melody changes, just an entirely new characterization (up-tempo, with a different kind of beat, and, of course very different vocal style and different background instruments).
I'm always intrigued to hear bluegrass versions of songs 'borrowed' from other traditions.

Genie


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Subject: RE: Several versions of the same song
From: ddw
Date: 23 Oct 02 - 08:47 PM

Genie -- you would be intrigued by an album I found in a bargain bin quite a few years ago. I'm not home and don't remember details — it was something like Beatles Country and the band was unknown to me — but it is all Beatles tunes in bluegrass style. Only time I ever heard Beatles tunes and liked them.

cheers,

david


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Subject: RE: Several versions of the same song
From: reggie miles
Date: 23 Oct 02 - 10:13 PM

I know what you're talkin' about, songs with the same basic melodic form and subject but with different verses or style of presentation. I found in my collecting an interesting example of this. I would, and still do more often than not, having no other more educated basis to guide me, select songs on 78s by their titles. This led to my acquiring some songs that had different titles and verses but the same subject and basic melodic form. One of the combos I played with for a time sang a version of a song that I had collected three distinct different versions of. Each had a different title, different style treatment and different verses which made the discovery a unique treasure given that they were all basically the same song and subject. They were all recorded at about the same time frame, 20s-30s, here was an excellent example of the folk process at work. Each time we performed this song I began by introducing it like this.

"Prepare yourselves. We're going to sing a song about the DEVIL! I have three different versions of this song at home. The first is called, The Evil DEVIL Woman Blues! The second one's called, The DEVIL'S GOT My Woman!! The third is called, I'd Rather BE, THE DEVIL!!!"

Then my partner would quip.

"But if you play this one backwards it's, What A Friend We Have In Jesus."


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Subject: RE: Several versions of the same song
From: Art Thieme
Date: 24 Oct 02 - 12:41 AM

Put TWINKLE TWINKLE LITTLE STAR into a minor key, and you have what I believe is the Israeli National Anthem----"Ha Tikvah". (sorry if that's wrong spelling.) I used to do a whole medley of songs wth TWINKLE as the root song. Always ended with a fine sing-along of "When I First Came To This Land (I was not a wealthy man)"

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: Several versions of the same song
From: Amy
Date: 24 Oct 02 - 01:16 PM

Wow! What a thread. To the original topic - researching song variants is my weakness! I actually was able to do a master's thesis on 'textual variation' in folksongs...looking at reasons and types of textual variation. I used the (bawdy) folksong "the crabfish" as the basis for my research. Since "The crabfish" has one of the longest lineages of any folksong and because it remained mostly in oral tradition due to it's lyrics, it was perfect for demonstrating textual variation. I still love to collect different versions of folksongs - for some reason I love to read the different manifestions of the "gyspy laddie/rover'.

amy


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Subject: RE: Several versions of the same song
From: quokka
Date: 30 Oct 08 - 09:26 PM

The tune of Dylan's 'Lay Down Your Weary Tune' and McColl's 'Dirty Old Town' are vey similar.

Plus I read the thread and thought it could do with a refresh.

Cheers,

Quokka


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