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This song was given to me by (whoever)

GUEST,Santa 14 Jul 03 - 11:37 AM
katlaughing 14 Jul 03 - 11:57 AM
GUEST,Peter from Essex 14 Jul 03 - 12:20 PM
Leadfingers 14 Jul 03 - 01:00 PM
Nerd 14 Jul 03 - 01:08 PM
John Routledge 14 Jul 03 - 01:40 PM
Deckman 14 Jul 03 - 01:52 PM
Bert 14 Jul 03 - 02:57 PM
CraigS 14 Jul 03 - 03:27 PM
Bill D 14 Jul 03 - 03:29 PM
EBarnacle1 15 Jul 03 - 01:47 AM
Ritchie 15 Jul 03 - 07:40 AM
Liz the Squeak 15 Jul 03 - 12:03 PM
GUEST,Lidy 15 Jul 03 - 01:47 PM
Liz the Squeak 15 Jul 03 - 05:59 PM
Noreen 15 Jul 03 - 07:11 PM
Mark Cohen 15 Jul 03 - 11:37 PM
Mark Cohen 15 Jul 03 - 11:44 PM
LadyJean 16 Jul 03 - 12:09 AM
Jeremiah McCaw 16 Jul 03 - 12:18 AM
Liz the Squeak 16 Jul 03 - 02:39 AM
pattyClink 16 Jul 03 - 04:32 PM
McGrath of Harlow 16 Jul 03 - 05:49 PM
Bill D 16 Jul 03 - 05:54 PM
McGrath of Harlow 16 Jul 03 - 06:14 PM
Carly 16 Jul 03 - 11:32 PM
Jim McLean 17 Jul 03 - 05:37 PM
Penny S. 17 Jul 03 - 05:52 PM
Liz the Squeak 17 Jul 03 - 06:04 PM
Herga Kitty 17 Jul 03 - 06:22 PM
GUEST 18 Jul 03 - 07:21 AM
Jim McLean 18 Jul 03 - 07:23 AM
Pat Cooksey 18 Jul 03 - 06:07 PM
Pat Cooksey 19 Jul 03 - 12:12 AM
Sabine 14 Sep 03 - 11:21 AM
Alaska Mike 14 Sep 03 - 12:01 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 14 Sep 03 - 12:13 PM
Sabine 14 Sep 03 - 12:28 PM
Peg 14 Sep 03 - 05:04 PM
Jim McLean 14 Sep 03 - 05:22 PM
Steve Parkes 15 Sep 03 - 09:02 AM
Art Thieme 15 Sep 03 - 11:10 AM
Steve Parkes 15 Sep 03 - 11:30 AM
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Subject: This song was given to me by (whoever)
From: GUEST,Santa
Date: 14 Jul 03 - 11:37 AM

Does this have a precise meaning? I've wondered about it since I first heard the phrase used. It seems to be used to cover (maybe) all of the following:

I heard it on Whoever's CD and liked it, so I sing it
I saw Whoever sing this and liked it, so I sing it
Whoever said s/he didn't mind if I sang this
Whoever taught me how to sing this
Whoever said I don't need to pay Performing Rights on this piece

I can see that the phrase might arise from the days when singers sang from their own hoarded song lists, before the widespread use of recorded music, and maybe this does overlap a little into not singing other people's favourites at the club, but....

Does it have a specific, precise, meaning?

(And yes, I prefer the phrase "I got this from the singing of Whoever" for the first two options.)


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Subject: RE: This song was given to me by (whoever)
From: katlaughing
Date: 14 Jul 03 - 11:57 AM

"whomever" would be preferable:-)


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Subject: RE: This song was given to me by (whoever)
From: GUEST,Peter from Essex
Date: 14 Jul 03 - 12:20 PM

I would interpret it as being explicitly given the words/tune either in manuscript or verbally.

To use the phrase in connection with material taken from a published source is just rather pathetic name dropping.


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Subject: RE: This song was given to me by (whoever)
From: Leadfingers
Date: 14 Jul 03 - 01:00 PM

As a Non Writer of songs I have no option but to use either the tradition or other peoples work.Hence my description of myself as a song thief.However,unlike some (no I wont name names)I always give credit to the writer,and sometimes also my source,if NOT the writer.
I do not consider songs collected direct or off albums to be any different,and am pleased when people take Harvey Andrews attitude that a song UNsung is a dead song.Keep an eye out-There are still a few cases (and Instruments)with little white stickers saying'Terry
Silver stole a song from me'.


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Subject: RE: This song was given to me by (whoever)
From: Nerd
Date: 14 Jul 03 - 01:08 PM

I would agree with P from E. If I learn a song from a person I know, I might say they "gave" me the song; even that seems a little like pretentious name-dropping, to be honest. I've never had the experience of anyone explicity giving me permission to sing their version of anything, but then I sing mostly traditional songs in amateur situations, and my friends who are professionals aren't pretentious enough to dispense permission. Usually, I just use a phrase like "I learned this from Pete Seeger's version" or "I learned this from a record/book of Pete Seeger's," or if I did learn it in person "I learned this from Tony Cuffe." But never "Tony gave me this song." That's implying he went out of his way to ensure I sang it.

The one instance in which I might say "so-and-so gave me this song" is if I had lessons or workshops with someone, which I occasionally have done. If they actually taught me a song, I'd consider using the phrase "gave me" or "given to me." And of course if someone did approach me and say "you have a great voice, you should really sing this!" Not so surprisingly, that's never happened!


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Subject: RE: This song was given to me by (whoever)
From: John Routledge
Date: 14 Jul 03 - 01:40 PM

I often give a little relevant background to a song but not usually the writer.

In future I will acknowledge the writer also.


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Subject: RE: This song was given to me by (whoever)
From: Deckman
Date: 14 Jul 03 - 01:52 PM

As a singer of songs, I have always felt a great obligation and debt to the composers when I do non-traditional material. I tried to write song once and it was awful! Everyone agreed with me. So in introducing my material I often will give extensive credit to the composer, if known. I well remember when Tom Paxton recorded "Sully's Pail," in the early 60's. On the record notes, he asked if anyone could tell him who the composer was so he could meet him and give him royalities. I had the pleasure of introducing Tom to Richard Gibbons, in Seattle, when Tom came to town for a concert. Tom introduced him from the stage and subsequently sent him royalty dollars. A real class act. CHEERS, Bob


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Subject: RE: This song was given to me by (whoever)
From: Bert
Date: 14 Jul 03 - 02:57 PM

I love stealing songs. I always give credit where it's due if I know who wrote it.

My favourite is "When you pickle Glows at Night" which is ALWAYS credited to the great Amos Jessup. I do name drop of course and say that he's a friend of mine.


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Subject: RE: This song was given to me by (whoever)
From: CraigS
Date: 14 Jul 03 - 03:27 PM

If i use the phrase "this song was given to me ..." it means the song was given in writing by the author or performer (ie. he gave me a lyric sheet, minimum). If I use the phrase "I got this song from Joe Bloggs", it means I've asked Joe Bloggs if he minds if I sing it, and he said that it's OK for me to sing it. If I say "I got this song from a record of Joe Bloggs" it means I haven't asked him. If I say "I've stolen this song from Joe Bloggs" it means I've asked him, and he's told me he doesn't want me to sing it. I usually respect that, so I only use the phrase if I'm doing a song by request, for someone I respect highly, and the songwriter has said "I would prefer it if you didn't sing it" rather than "NO!"


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Subject: RE: This song was given to me by (whoever)
From: Bill D
Date: 14 Jul 03 - 03:29 PM

The phrase 'given to me' can have shades of meaning, from "yeah..'X' kindly let me scribble down his words at a festival" to "this famous traditional singer took me aside and made a point of passing on a special song associated with his/her family" ....it can range from a minor favor to an 'honor', and thus is processed differently, depending on whether one feels honored...kind of a delicate matter sometimes.


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Subject: RE: This song was given to me by (whoever)
From: EBarnacle1
Date: 15 Jul 03 - 01:47 AM

In addition to everything else, it makes the person who supplied the song feel good. If the hearer wants to look up the original, he knows where to look. Rick Nestler ran into Tom Chapin in an airport a few years ago. Tom suggested Rick learn "Billy the Squid" and add it to his repertoire. Rick did. It would be churlish not to mention the author, now wouldn't it.

The opposite situation occurs with the many people who treat "Fiddler's Green" as though it as been in the trad mainstream for decades instead of being about 35 years old. They don't cite it in performance or on their albums. Whether or not royalties are paid, the author is entitled to recognition.


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Subject: RE: This song was given to me by (whoever)
From: Ritchie
Date: 15 Jul 03 - 07:40 AM

I use usually say that the song was one of mine, I wrote it. the way I look at it is, possession is 9/10 ths of the law. In fact I've heard cases of people being done for possesion.

keeping it real Ritchie.


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Subject: RE: This song was given to me by (whoever)
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 15 Jul 03 - 12:03 PM

Oi, Lead - you got a song off me and I never got a sticker!!!

I have had one case where I sang a song with the author sitting next to me and she didn't realise it was her song until the very end....! Not because I sang it so terribly (well I hope not) but because she thought she'd lost it years before. Now I try and make sure that someone else gets given my songs, just in case the same happens to me, which as I can't even remember the songs I write, happens a lot.

LTS


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Subject: RE: This song was given to me by (whoever)
From: GUEST,Lidy
Date: 15 Jul 03 - 01:47 PM

I normally use "I heard this from...", and I wouldn't use "given" unless someone had said "here, this suits you more than me and henceforth I shall never sing it again and only you shall". So I wouldn't ever use "given"! If I'm singing something that someone else has written (as opposed to a trad song), then I ALWAYS try to emphasise the fact that they wrote it and will normally plug whatever source/recording I got it from. Because I can't write music and I am awestruck by anyone that can and also because I want to share the joy that I got from hearing that song and deciding I liked it enough to sing it!


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Subject: RE: This song was given to me by (whoever)
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 15 Jul 03 - 05:59 PM

Of course, I get pretty peeved if I know someone has sung one of my songs and not credited it to me.....

LTS


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Subject: RE: This song was given to me by (whoever)
From: Noreen
Date: 15 Jul 03 - 07:11 PM

Liz, what do you mean by ..because she thought she'd lost it years before?


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Subject: RE: This song was given to me by (whoever)
From: Mark Cohen
Date: 15 Jul 03 - 11:37 PM

You know, I was going along with people agreeing that "given to me" should only be used under specified circumstances. Then I thought about it a different way.

What if you consider that when you perform a song in public, you are offering it to the audience? In a sense, then, you're "giving" it to each person there. And if someone wants to acknowledge that by saying, "Bob gave this song to me"...well, why not? If it seems like it's just gratuitous name dropping, and an attempt to inflate the person's own self-worth...well, maybe you can just be thankful that you don't feel the need to use such devices, and allow him/her that bit of joy.

Just a thought.

Aloha,
Mark


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Subject: RE: This song was given to me by (whoever)
From: Mark Cohen
Date: 15 Jul 03 - 11:44 PM

PS Don't get me wrong: I still think songwriters should receive royalties when someone is making money from the use of their song. And I also appreciate John Routledge's decision to begin crediting the writer when he performs a song. That's not what I'm talking about.

Aloha,
Mark


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Subject: RE: This song was given to me by (whoever)
From: LadyJean
Date: 16 Jul 03 - 12:09 AM

When I posted the lyrics to "The Fairy's Love Song", I gave the name of the lady I learned it from, in that I think it was her own translation, and I think her effort deserves appreciation.
I write parodies. Someone takes credit for one of my best known. I've never made, and never expect to make a dime from that parody. But, dammit! I wrote it, I want the credit/blame for it. I think most writers feel the same way.


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Subject: RE: This song was given to me by (whoever)
From: Jeremiah McCaw
Date: 16 Jul 03 - 12:18 AM

Can't resist quoting from "The Folksinger's Lament" by Dave Diamond:

I go round pretending I gathered this lay
From an ancient agrarian covered with hay
On the floor of the pub where the old fellow lay
'Cause it's not what I'd sing when I'm sober.

and:

I scribbled it down on the back of this sheet
Which I tore from the roll as I sat on the seat
At the back of the pub where the folk-singers meet,
But it's not what I'd sing when I'm sober.


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Subject: RE: This song was given to me by (whoever)
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 16 Jul 03 - 02:39 AM

Noreen - easy enough - the author wrote it, I cribbed it, she lost the original. I found my cribbed copy, sang it and gave it back to her... You were actually there at the time, maybe you were too busy chatting at the bar.

"cribbed" - the action of taking a song from another by stealth/illegal methods or without the others knowledge.

LTS


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Subject: RE: This song was given to me by (whoever)
From: pattyClink
Date: 16 Jul 03 - 04:32 PM

Jeremiah, I'm with you. I never hear the phrase except from precious singers who travelled to the Oul Country and got to tape some Famous Folkie in person, and they want to make d**n sure you know it, so they can establish themselves as superior to the poor wage slaves who learn songs in other ways not as chic.


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Subject: RE: This song was given to me by (whoever)
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 16 Jul 03 - 05:49 PM

I'd be dead chuffed if I heard someone singing a song I'd written, and assuming that it was part of the traditional repertoire.

"the days when singers sang from their own hoarded song lists" - it seesm to me thta we're still living in those days much of the time, and long may it continue. There are a hell of a lot of good songs you hear that don't seem to have been recorded, or if they have, that's not where people learn them.


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Subject: RE: This song was given to me by (whoever)
From: Bill D
Date: 16 Jul 03 - 05:54 PM

when a well-known local singer left our area, I'll swear the taillights were not out of sight on the highway when someone locally started singing a certain 'special' song..*grin*...and not nearly as well. People sure am funny.


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Subject: RE: This song was given to me by (whoever)
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 16 Jul 03 - 06:14 PM

Nothing funny aboutvthta, Bill D. Surely that's how it's supposed to work.


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Subject: RE: This song was given to me by (whoever)
From: Carly
Date: 16 Jul 03 - 11:32 PM

I only use the phrase "given to me" to refer to the times a singer has taken me aside and said "I want to teach you this song; I think you should be singing it," or words to that effect.It has happened to me and, no, I will not name-drop. To me, these are special gifts. If I learn a song from a performance or a recording I consider my rendering to be "from the singing of" or "collected by so-and-so from such-and-such." I have also shamelessly asked many times for specific songs or versions of songs from people, and when they are kind enough to oblige, I feel that they are "sharing" or that I "learned it from so-and-so." However it is expressed, I agree that it is important to credit sources whenever possible.


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Subject: RE: This song was given to me by (whoever)
From: Jim McLean
Date: 17 Jul 03 - 05:37 PM

Should one feel 'chuffed' when someone like Maddy Prior records your song and claims she wrote it? I refer to her recent recording of my song 'Hush, Hush'!
Jim McLean


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Subject: RE: This song was given to me by (whoever)
From: Penny S.
Date: 17 Jul 03 - 05:52 PM

Should I feel guilty about all the jokes I've made over the years on the lines of (a filk version) a couple from the Moon colony turning up on Earth with a song they were taught in the cargo bay of a freighter in the asteroid belt by a couple of Venusians, but which was actually available in the reference library just down the road? Because something like that was the only thing (other than some songs) which stuck from the first folk club I went to.

Penny


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Subject: RE: This song was given to me by (whoever)
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 17 Jul 03 - 06:04 PM

Jim - you could follow in Rod Shearman's footsteps and try sueing her.... Rod sued Enya for 'Sail away', which is surprisingly similar to a song he wrote and sang publicly in places she frequented and so could have heard it.

He lost of course, she said it was a complete accident that the words and the tune were almost identical. But then, she was an attractive, international recording artist with pots of money and he was an old sailor with nothing but talent and the truth to sustain him.

LTS


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Subject: RE: This song was given to me by (whoever)
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 17 Jul 03 - 06:22 PM

Yes, and Jim Mageean was giving evidence for Rod Shearman, and the barrister implied that Jim wasn't a full time folk singer because he wouldn't have been good enough to make a living from it....

If people have cribbed songs off recordings which attribute them to particular writers I think it's really lame to attribute them to the performers without mentioning the writers.

I've been "given" a song from an apparently trad source, but which turned out to have been written by Gregg Butler....

Kitty


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Subject: RE: This song was given to me by (whoever)
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Jul 03 - 07:21 AM

I contacted Maddy Prior's record company and they said they had made a mistake... they meant to print 'Trad'!!
Jim


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Subject: RE: This song was given to me by (whoever)
From: Jim McLean
Date: 18 Jul 03 - 07:23 AM

Sorry I forgot to set my cookie for the above message.
Jim Mclean


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Subject: RE: This song was given to me by (whoever)
From: Pat Cooksey
Date: 18 Jul 03 - 06:07 PM

Refresh, A lot more to say on this subject, tomorrow, best wishes
Jim.

Pat.


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Subject: RE: This song was given to me by (whoever)
From: Pat Cooksey
Date: 19 Jul 03 - 12:12 AM

Jim McLean, Barney Rush, who is a friend of mine, and myself, are
classic examples of writers who have written songs which people
assume to be traditional as they seem to be have been around forever.
I personally am not CHUFFED to see my songs recorded by other when
others claim authorship.
I personally gave my song THE SICK NOTE to both the CLANCY BROTHERS
and NOEL MURPHY, to name but two, in gratitude they both changed
the title and claimed a part in the writing of same, only two of many
examples, MIKE CROSS in the US is another.
Another of my songs THE REASON I LEFT MULLINGAR, is regularly described as traditional on C.d.'s.
Thanfully I now earn a good living from performing, and I have a good
lawyer who is slowly putting these matters to rights.


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Subject: RE: This song was given to me by (whoever)
From: Sabine
Date: 14 Sep 03 - 11:21 AM

oh my oh my.....
I really didn't know that it would be so difficult to trust source which tell me "this song is traditional".
Thanks to Jim that he drew my attention on "Hush, Hush" :o))

I also didn't know about the songs Pat mentioned.

*phew*
have to work on my website again.

to the thread itself:
If I use a song and I know who wrote it, it will be more than normal for me to give credits. If I wouldn't do so it would be a case of abuse of other people's creativity. Don't like that!
Here in Germany we would say "mit fremden Federn schmücken". Sorry, I'm unable to translate it in a way you would understand what I mean and I don't know a synonym for it, sorry.

Kind regards

Sabine

CantaLibre - more than just folk


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Subject: RE: This song was given to me by (whoever)
From: Alaska Mike
Date: 14 Sep 03 - 12:01 PM

I listened to a Folk DJ introduce one of my songs once as, "a whaling ballad written in the latter part of the 19th century". I called him up right away and informed him that it was in fact written by me in 1993. He refused to believe me and said that he had found some documentation on the song, then he hung up. I then mailed him a Xerox copy of the copyright, but never heard back from him. At first I was pissed, then I got to thinking that the song must have been well written or it never would have been classified as Traditional. If I ever start making a good living at my music, Pat, I will get some lawyers and claim my just rewards. BTW, whenever I sing "The Sick Note", I always give you proper acclaim. It is a wonderful, funny song.

Mike


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Subject: RE: This song was given to me by (whoever)
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 14 Sep 03 - 12:13 PM

mit fremden Federn schmücken

= to claim all the glory for oneself.

literal translation = to preen/spruce/trim someone else's feather.

Sincerely,
Gargoyle


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Subject: RE: This song was given to me by (whoever)
From: Sabine
Date: 14 Sep 03 - 12:28 PM

Thx, Gargoyle :o)))


Sabine


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Subject: RE: This song was given to me by (whoever)
From: Peg
Date: 14 Sep 03 - 05:04 PM

What if you admire someone's singing of a song they did not write; and they teach it to you, or give you a recording of   it?

When I say I got a song from someone, I mean they taught it to me, or helped me learn it from some other source. Otherwise, if it is a traditional song I have learned from a recording I might say I gotit from the singing of so and so...

if the author is known, I say who wrote it, and    sometimes will   admit I also got   it   from so-and-so's inging of   that s ong...but sometimes I don't say anything   unless   someone has   asked, or of course, if a recording   is beng   made.


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Subject: RE: This song was given to me by (whoever)
From: Jim McLean
Date: 14 Sep 03 - 05:22 PM

Pat, I knew your song from the singing of Noel Murphy ( in the sixties) and it was always assumed in folk circles that he wrote it, at least he never denied it. Good luck to you and your lawyers.
Jim


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Subject: RE: This song was given to me by (whoever)
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 15 Sep 03 - 09:02 AM

The only song I ever introduce as "I had this song from ..." is Sean Cannon's version of The crabfish. I think it's a Trad version; I certainly know of one other version that was sung around my way, and another version or two is given by Stan Hugill in his Songs of the sea. I say "had from" because Sean (in his pre-Dubliner days) had been guesting at the Songsmiths FC in Walsall, and several of us spent a couple of hours together afterwards; one of us (might have been me!) asked him to sing it again, and this time the words sank in. I always give him credit as the source, and it's the one opportunity I have for honest name-dropping.

If I know the author of a song, I nornally give his/her name, unless it's so well-known as not to need it.

There was one time I asked soemone to write down the words to a song he'd sung the night before (and he asked for one of "mine"), and I've no idea what his name was; but it certainly wasn't his own
song!

Some can get away with name-dropping without one-upmanship, if they're of sufficient celebrity themselves; others are being polite; and still others are showing off. Then there's me -- thanks, Sean!

Steve


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Subject: RE: This song was given to me by (whoever)
From: Art Thieme
Date: 15 Sep 03 - 11:10 AM

People,
Learn 'em and sing 'em. Record 'em if it's been recorded before. ALWAYS give credit --- where you found it, how you found it and the ambiance and history around the finding of the song. The trip and the adventure of the quest -- the roads taken to uncover the song---that is the GRAIL. I strongly believe Woody and Alex Campbell and Leadbelly shared this road ethic. It was there even though it was unstated. For me and my friends, it has always been a treasure hunt with very few dollars involved. We looked for loosely guarded, more or less traditional, material. There was no need to be more specific. ALWAYS give credit to the author of a song if you know it---but don't let not knowing that keep you from singing it. As I've said before, dub anything of mine that is out there if you can't afford it. Buy it if you can. It is the putting forth of the songs I have found that has always been the important mission for me. I found the song and now you have found it. The song is the song is the song.

Folks, this is how it was last century. I have nothing to apologise for, so I won't. The new-think stuff of this modern century makes me glad that, if it had to happen, this is the time my MS got bad and was diagnosed. I do prefer the romance of the older times and ethic. If my point of view is seen as a travesty in these times, please notice that it is now no threat to you out there on our mod roads less travelled.

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: This song was given to me by (whoever)
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 15 Sep 03 - 11:30 AM

Art, you've reminded me of a tale about Alex, which is on the theme of this thread. Ian Cambell (of the IC Folk Group; no relation to Alex) used to run a club in Birningham, England,and his Mom and Dad often used to sing there. A wonderful couple, and I'm privileged to have known them. Dave used to sing a humorous romantic song called "The Dark". Many years ago, Alex asked him for the words, and recorded it soon after. The song is credited to "D. Campbell" on the record, and every year - Dave said -- a cheque for the royalties would find its way into Dave's letterbox. But Dave had himself learned the song from someone else -- it was traditional! "Every year I kept meaning to tell Alex," he used to say, "but, being a Scotsman, I always forgot get around to it!"


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