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Lyr Req:The Sound of Protest (Hellerman, Carter)

17 Jan 05 - 07:44 AM (#1380459)
Subject: Lee Hellerman's 'The Sound Of Protest'
From: DaveA

It seems coincidental that recently there has been discussion about John Denver & The Chad Mitchell Trio. After a long delivery time, I received today the double LP (compressed to one cd) of the definitive works of the Mitchell Trio - That's The Way It's Gonna Be & Violets Of Dawn

I have several favourite tracks from this compilation, but what sent me back on my heels was "The Sound of Protest" from the Violets of Dawn contribution. OK, it's almost 40 years since it was released & an ex wife has the vinyl so it has taken me a while to wake up to this gem.

But, hearingat it now, how the hell did the Byrds look themselves in the mirror after hearing it??

If all else fails, I'll key in the words (once I memorise them again) but it i a song that deserves to live on.

Did anyone else other than the Mitchell Trio record it???

Dave


18 Jan 05 - 12:25 AM (#1381172)
Subject: RE: Lee Hellerman's 'The Sound Of Protest'
From: GUEST,Gerry

The lyrics, from memory (and therefore likely quite wrong in places):

The bird of freedom has a golden wing
And brotherhood is a commercial thing
All you really need is a guitar
That's all you really need to be a star
The wind of change is on the way
The sound of protest has begun to pay

Tell them about the dream you had last night
How every politician saw the light
But keep those dollar bills way out of sight
Because a well-dressed rebel don't look right

Some rebels are commercial, some are not
Some rebels make a million, some get shot
If a halo isn't worth the risk
Why not settle for a golden disk?
The wind of change is on the way
The sound of protest has begun to pay

Great stuff. And they did a passable impression of the Byrds, didn't they? but I don't recall the Byrds doing a whole lot of protest songs (unless you count Chimes of Freedom) so I don't really see where the song would have caused them much distress. Trivia buffs will know the other Trio-Byrds connection; Roger McGuinn, when he was Jim, before the Byrds, played on some of the early Trio albums.

I think the Trio did a lot more protest material than the Byrds ever did, and I don't know whether any of them ever put himself in a position to be shot - then again, I don't know that they ever made a million, either - I think I had a point to make when I started this, but the two remaining neurons are still trying to recover from the effort of dredging those lyrics up out of the murk. Great stuff, and much better on vinyl than on your monitor.


18 Jan 05 - 01:05 AM (#1381184)
Subject: RE: Lee Hellerman's 'The Sound Of Protest'
From: Peace

I was friends with Joe from the trio and he and I sang together for a bit after he left the group. The guys were serious about what they were doing. That's a fer sure. Joe was far left in his views and his politics. Helluva guy and a good person. He also taught me a great deal about doing harmony and also doing the song mostly the same if yer gonna do duets.


18 Jan 05 - 02:32 AM (#1381218)
Subject: RE: Lee Hellerman's 'The Sound Of Protest'
From: Joe Offer

Hi, Dave - I can't find any other recording of the song - just this Violets of Dawn recording by the John Denver iteration of the
Mitchell Trio. I can't read the fine print, but I gather they recorded it in 1966 or early 1967. The song is a great spoof of the Byrds' harmony (and lack of diction, which is why this song will be a bear to transcribe. Thank heaven Gerry did the hard part).

I think the songwriter was Fred Hellerman, a member of the Weavers. And Lee Hays was also one of the Weavers, which may be the source of your confusion. I don't know which "Carter" was the co-writer.

-Joe Offer-


08 Feb 07 - 02:53 AM (#1960786)
Subject: ADD: The Sound Of Protest (Has Begun to Pay)
From: Joe Offer

Seems to me that Gerry did a great job of remembering this song. The only place I disagree is that I hear "well-bred rebel," and I'm not sure I'm hearing it right.
-Joe-

The Sound of Protest (Has Begun to Pay)
(Hellerman/Carter)

The bird of freedom has a golden wing
And brotherhood is a commercial thing
All you really need is a guitar
That's all you really need to be a star
The wind of change is on the way
The sound of protest has begun to pay

Tell them about the dream you had last night
How every politician saw the light
Just keep those dollar bills way out of sight
Because a well-bred (?) rebel don't look right

Some rebels are commercial, some are not
Some rebels make a million, some get shot
If a halo isn't worth the risk
Why not settle for a golden disk?
The wind of change is on the way
The sound of protest has begun to pay


Transcribed by ear from the Mitchell Trio album, Violets of Dawn


08 Feb 07 - 06:46 AM (#1960942)
Subject: RE: Fred Hellerman's 'The Sound Of Protest'
From: DaveA

Hi Joe,

You are following up on old threads! I'm glad you have acccess to Violets of Dawn, I just hope it is the CD version that has "That's The Way It's Goin To Be" as well. That way you get to hear John Denver - young and singing & playing superbly - belting out Mr Tambourine Man & Bells of Rhymney.

And, for what it's worth, I think the lyric is "well fed rebel". It seems to fit the context better.

It still beats me that no-one else has recorded it.

Cheers

Dave


08 Feb 07 - 01:50 PM (#1961387)
Subject: RE: Fred Hellerman's 'The Sound Of Protest'
From: Joe Offer

Yessir, Dave, I have the double CD you mention and two others of the two-fer's, so that's 6 Mitchell Trio albums - they're available at Collectors' Choice Music, http://www.ccmusic.com/. Those three CD's are wonderful, but the rest of the available recordings are a hodgepodge of live and "greatest hits" CD's. I have 10 CD's from the group - but among those 10, there's a lot of duplication and a number of cuts I don't have.
I think I could buy "well-fed rebel," but it could be a number of words in that line. Fred Hellerman and Lee Hays wrote a number of really great songs that didn't get recorded by the Weavers, and some aren't available on recordings by anybody. They remain alive only in the memories of a rapidly-decreasing number of people. I'm not quite old enough to have those memories. It took this thread to introduce me to "Sound of Protest."
-Joe-


08 Feb 07 - 05:58 PM (#1961703)
Subject: RE: Fred Hellerman's 'The Sound Of Protest'
From: Phil Cooper

I agree that the line is probably "well-fed rebel."


08 Feb 07 - 06:03 PM (#1961708)
Subject: RE: Fred Hellerman's 'The Sound Of Protest'
From: GUEST,Gerry

I never was sure what that line was. I'm happy to retract "well-dressed" in favor of "well-fed."


09 Feb 07 - 08:40 AM (#1962195)
Subject: RE: Fred Hellerman's 'The Sound Of Protest'
From: JJ

I always thought the song AS WRITTEN was directed at Paul Simon -- "sound of protest" v. "sounds of silence."

But there is no doubt that the song AS ARRANGED by Milt Okun takes an additional swipe at Jim (Roger) McGuinn, the Trio's former guitarist.

The back of the VIOLETS OF DAWN LP tells me that the initial of the first name of Carter (who wrote the song with Fred Hellerman) was "S," if that helps identify said person.

I have all the Chad Mitchell Trio/Mitchell Trio vinyl I know of, including their appearances on Belafonte and Makeba albums. Good to know that at least some of it has finally made it to CD.


29 Sep 08 - 06:04 PM (#2453259)
Subject: RE: Fred Hellerman's 'The Sound Of Protest'
From: GUEST,vicar

Yes - it was "well fed rebel" and the song was inspired by the success of "Sound of Destruction" by Barry Maguire. When we did the arrangement, the Byrds were the musical inspiration - primarily because their sound was so fantastic. Take it as an homage to Jim McGuinn from a friend. The phenomenal thing about this recording was the fact that I was singing that incredibly high harmony instead of the melody (above JD!) Don't know what in the world I was on, but I know I could never do it again! Thanks for all the compliments - I've alsways felt this was never "gotten" by anyone.
                                     Joe Frazier
                                     Chad Mitchell Trio


29 Sep 08 - 06:50 PM (#2453283)
Subject: RE: Fred Hellerman's 'The Sound Of Protest'
From: John on the Sunset Coast

GUEST,vicar--Thank you for participating on this thread. It is always nice to hear from, or about, folks one admired way back when (or 'in the day' as is now said.) From time to time other performers have dropped a line here.

Thank you, Joe, for all the enjoyment you and the group provided. I have a fairly complete set of vinyl from years with CM (maybe it is complete) which, like aging persons with all their earned wrinkles, have a goodly share of ticky pops and scratches...and I wouldn't trade them for CD of the same for the world.

JotSC


29 Sep 08 - 08:54 PM (#2453367)
Subject: RE: Fred Hellerman's 'The Sound Of Protest'
From: Charley Noble

Sigh!

I guess I should have bought one more Chad Mitchell Trio recording.

Maybe it's not too late.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


29 Sep 08 - 09:56 PM (#2453400)
Subject: RE: Fred Hellerman's 'The Sound Of Protest'
From: Effsee

"Eve of destruction" by Barry Maguire as I recall.


30 Sep 08 - 09:06 AM (#2453712)
Subject: RE: Fred Hellerman's 'The Sound Of Protest'
From: JJ

Uh-oh -- because the song was directed at old folkie Barry McGuire singing a song by P. F. Sloan, I unfairly beat up on Paul Simon 19 months ago.

Sorry, Paul!


20 Apr 09 - 05:56 PM (#2615161)
Subject: RE: Fred Hellerman's 'The Sound Of Protest'
From: Vicar

I just came upon your thread about our recording of "Sound of Protest". You're probably the only person I've heard from who got the Byrds reference - I'll have to ask McGuinn about it someday. I really enjoyed recording it and (believe it or not!) I"m the really high, almost falsetto top voice. I also did the tenor on Violets of Dawn. Could never do that again. Thanks for your appreciative thread - write back.
                                                                                                             Joe Frazier
                                                                                                             Chad Mitchell Trio


20 Apr 09 - 06:16 PM (#2615179)
Subject: RE: Fred Hellerman's 'The Sound Of Protest'
From: Vicar

OOOPS! - I JUST FOUND MY EARLIER RESPONSE. THOSE SYNAPSES MUST BE WEARING DOWN.
                                                                  JOE


29 Aug 16 - 05:14 AM (#3807332)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req:The Sound of Protest (Hellerman, Carter)
From: GUEST

Anybody have idea about the first name of the Carter?


29 Aug 16 - 01:01 PM (#3807405)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req:The Sound of Protest (Hellerman, Carter)
From: GUEST,Padre sans cookies

Possibly Sydney Carter? The author of "Crow on the Cradle" and "Lord of the Dance"

Padre


06 Sep 16 - 12:03 AM (#3808554)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req:The Sound of Protest (Hellerman, Carter)
From: GUEST,Boot Leg

Yeah that's Sydney Carter.

The Sound of Protest (Has Begun to Pay)

Written by: Fred Hellerman; Sydney Bertram Carter