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Origins: Buddy Can you Spare a Dime - who was Al?

DigiTrad:
BROTHER, CAN YOU SPARE A DIME?


Related threads:
Chords Req: Brother Can You Spare a Dime? (41)
Chord Req: Brother Can You Spare a Dime (28)
Tune Req: Brother can you spare a dime (6) (closed)
Chords Req: Buddy Can You Spare a Dime? (4) (closed)


MGM·Lion 09 Jul 13 - 02:41 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 09 Jul 13 - 02:45 PM
Will Fly 09 Jul 13 - 04:45 PM
Big Al Whittle 09 Jul 13 - 07:29 PM
Will Fly 10 Jul 13 - 08:36 AM
GUEST,mayomick 02 Sep 13 - 05:47 AM
Phil Edwards 02 Sep 13 - 10:21 AM
Phil Edwards 02 Sep 13 - 10:23 AM
Stringsinger 02 Sep 13 - 11:03 AM
GUEST 12 Jul 14 - 01:04 PM
Big Al Whittle 12 Jul 14 - 06:15 PM
GUEST 12 Jul 14 - 06:54 PM
GUEST,Anne Neilson 12 Jul 14 - 07:33 PM
GUEST,Gerry 12 Jul 14 - 08:52 PM
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Subject: RE: Origins: Who was Al in Buddy Can you Spare a Dime
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 09 Jul 13 - 02:41 PM

Oh, don't be such a party pooper, Will.

The story of Origins: Who was Al in Buddy Can you Spare a Dime will NEVER end

And a baby when it's sleeping has no cryen


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Subject: RE: Origins: Who was Al in Buddy Can you Spare a Dime
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 09 Jul 13 - 02:45 PM

No one seems to take the composer's word. See previous posts. Al rhymes with pal.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Who was Al in Buddy Can you Spare a Dime
From: Will Fly
Date: 09 Jul 13 - 04:45 PM

Party pooping is my métier, Michael...

Actually, I've been listening to - and performing - this song for over 45 years, and its meaning is crystal clear - to me at least..


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Subject: RE: Origins: Who was Al in Buddy Can you Spare a Dime
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 09 Jul 13 - 07:29 PM

really - he could have called him anything like Desmond for instance

Say don't you remember when they called me Desmond
It was Desmond all the time
They called me Desmond
An I used to live in Jesmond
Not far from Newcastle on Tyne


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Subject: RE: Origins: Who was Al in Buddy Can you Spare a Dime
From: Will Fly
Date: 10 Jul 13 - 08:36 AM

And, if Desmond had been abbreviated to Dez, it could have been:

Say don't you remember - they called me Dez
It was Dez all the time
Say don't you remember - I wore a fez,
Effendi can you spare a dime?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Who was Al in Buddy Can you Spare a Dime
From: GUEST,mayomick
Date: 02 Sep 13 - 05:47 AM

Ring Lardner's You Know Me Al was written in 1916 .Harburg would have certainly been aware of the novel ; the title would have resonated with listeners of the depression era song. A cartoon based on the novel scripted by Lardner was syndicated in over 700 newspapers and magazines throughout the twenties .
Lardner's baseball novel is written in the form of letters from professional baseball player, Jack Keefe, to his friend Al Blanchard. It can be read here:


http://www.eldritchpress.org/rl/unomeal.htm


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Subject: RE: Origins: Who was Al in Buddy Can you Spare a Dime
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 02 Sep 13 - 10:21 AM

The story about Paul Simon's song, on the other hand, is that the composer Pierre Boulez (or possibly Hector Berlioz) came to dinner with Paul Simon and his wife Karen (or possibly Carol). They hit it off and had a very nice evening, and as he left Boulez (or Berlioz) said "Thanks for inviting me, Al - and tell Betty it was a lovely meal." Hence "I can call you Betty, and Betty, when you call me you can call me Al".


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Subject: RE: Origins: Who was Al in Buddy Can you Spare a Dime
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 02 Sep 13 - 10:23 AM

That was from memory. Googling clarifies: it was Boulez, Paul Simon's wife is called Peggy, and apparently it was a genuine mishearing on Pierre B.'s part.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Who was Al in Buddy Can you Spare a Dime
From: Stringsinger
Date: 02 Sep 13 - 11:03 AM

Obviously Al was Everyman in the bread line.

So in reference to the upcoming depression and more bread lines:

Al be seeing you (in all the old familiar places)


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Subject: RE: Origins: Who was Al in Buddy Can you Spare a Dime
From: GUEST
Date: 12 Jul 14 - 01:04 PM

Al as in Allied forces, i.e. britan france canada america. the refrence to the bread line is about the forgotten veterans who returning home are left to scratch like every one else who broke there backs making the nation. i think the message is for all the grate we've done were still poor and unknown; and in times of poverty friend is a hard word.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Who was Al in Buddy Can you Spare a Dime
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 12 Jul 14 - 06:15 PM

say don't you remember when called me Ant
it was Ant all the time
Now flippin' heck!
They've started calling me Dec
Ain't it all a blooming shime!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Who was Al in Buddy Can you Spare a Dime
From: GUEST
Date: 12 Jul 14 - 06:54 PM

Al - glad not to live in such harsh times. wrote Al Whittle (I don't think he was big then) in 2007. Don't tempt fate again.

Buddy was obviously Mr Holly. He suffered in the crash, though much later.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Who was Al in Buddy Can you Spare a Dime
From: GUEST,Anne Neilson
Date: 12 Jul 14 - 07:33 PM

My favourite version of the song is from Fred Hellerman (of the Weavers) accompanied only by his own guitar. It was all of the following by turns -- emotional, intense, powerful and desperate -- and I always took it that Al was a synonym for The Common Man.

(Wish I could do a clicky link -- maybe a kind friend could oblige?)


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Subject: RE: Origins: Who was Al in Buddy Can you Spare a Dime
From: GUEST,Gerry
Date: 12 Jul 14 - 08:52 PM

OK, so it was Al because of the rhyme with pal --- but how could Harburg have passed up the chance to rhyme "spare a dime" with "paradigm"?


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