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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
GUEST,Dita (at work) Rewriting someone else's song (85* d) RE: Rewriting someone else's song 27 May 02


As a writer I would be sad if anyone tried to copy my version exactly. When I send songs out into the world, I want them to change and grow, and come back to me with new angle that perhaps I'd never thought of.
Example - I have heard my "Where are you now , my son", a song about a mother who gave up a child for adoption, sung as if by a father who had lost touch with his children.

As a performer I find, when I go back to my original source of a song that I have learned, and been performing for some time, that I have made changes and that is how the song now is for me.

When I sing I think I recreate the song each time, be it mine or someone else's, and that is why it is different. It is not forgetfullness, or lazyness, but I believe part of the folk process.

By the same token I am happy to put a new, or differnt tune to an old song or ballad, or rewrite another song to make it more relevent and performable. I know that some will not agree with this, but I think that this is what traditional singers have always done.
Example I wrote additional verses to Ian Campbell's "Old Man's Song", to include the Thatcher era.

Once the song is out there it is up to everyone to make of it what they will. The improvements will get incorparated by good singers of the future, and those changes which are detrimental will quickly be lost.

love, John (McCreadie)


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