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PostPosted: Wed April 27th, 2005, 11:20 GMT 

Joined: Thu April 7th, 2005, 05:25 GMT
Posts: 50
i love the dylan cash version of this song (the original... eh?). but isn't it really similar to Scarborough Fair?

i mean come on.

i'm a huge dylan fan, and clasiffy him as the greatest songwriter of all time (singer to, even thought his tune holding ability is sought of, hoarse [and before i'm berrated, yes i value his inflexion and emphasis most of all]).

and i know he often lifts tunes, but to lift an entire verse (pretty much). can anyone explain this.

did dylan write this first, cause i always thought Scarborough Fair was written first. like a very long time before.

Are you going to Scarborough Fair?
Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme
Remember me to one who lives there
For once she was a true love of mine

if you don remember?

i want to strees i aint baggin dylan, but really interested where this is at?

haha. i always wanted to say that...


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PostPosted: Wed April 27th, 2005, 11:32 GMT 

Joined: Sat January 22nd, 2005, 10:39 GMT
Posts: 179
Location: belgium
In the winter of 1962-1963 Dylan visited London, to perform as an actor in a BBC play. While there he made the round of all the clubs. He learned as many songs as he could. From Martin Carthy he learned his arrangement of the traditional 'Scarborough Fair'. When the filming was completed (only two days work), he traveled further to Italy to try to see if he could visit his girlfriend Suze Rotolo. Unbeknownst to him she had just left the country.

While in Rome he wrote not one, but two songs around the melody of 'Scarborough Fair': 'Girl Of the North Country' and 'Boots Of Spanish Leather'.

'Girl Of the North Country' was first released on The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan.


While we're on the subject: Paul Simon equally learned the song from Martin Carthy and had a huge hit with it, without sharing the credits with the original arranger.
It was only a year or two ago that the two came back on speaking terms.


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PostPosted: Wed April 27th, 2005, 11:41 GMT 

Joined: Mon April 25th, 2005, 13:20 GMT
Posts: 30
The song itself is a trad song dating back to medieval times. Dylan, with his encyclopaedic knowledge of folk music knew the song very well when he wrote gftnc. I think Howard Sounes in 'Down the Highway' talks about Dylan exclaiming to one of the Clancy Bros that he had written a song to the tune of Scarborough Fair.

Dylan regularly put his own words to traditional tunes (eg Blowing in the wind / No more auction block or Masters of War/ The Patriot Game) He also uses lines from other songs often with incredible results eg This train dont pull no gamblers, midnight rambers taken from Woody Guthrie's This Train is Bound for Glory and used by Dylan in Tryin' to get to Heaven

i dont think its a big deal that dylan took words from other songs especially trad songs. The commercialisation/ownership of music is one of the biggest barriers to popular music's development. Music has always developed by borrowing from other people's songs and developing them. In fact it should be an honour for any writer to see their music developed by others. Music is not supposed to have a limited life. It is supposed to be reusable and recyclable. It about Love and Theft really


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PostPosted: Wed April 27th, 2005, 11:58 GMT 
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Joined: Mon March 14th, 2005, 16:23 GMT
Posts: 1130
Location: London
dylan takes inspiration from EVERYWHERE, thats why he's a genius. shakespeare did the same.

in fact, its only the very greatest geniuses who take something really well known and rework it so that it sounds totally new and original. shakespeare took nearly all his plots form other people -and tom stoppard in turn took hamlet and wrote the wonderful rosencrantz and guildentsern are dead.


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PostPosted: Mon May 2nd, 2005, 22:30 GMT 
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Joined: Thu November 4th, 2004, 18:54 GMT
Posts: 8621
Location: NYC
With God on Our Side is to the tune of Patriot Game, not Masters of War.

Masters of War is to the tune of Nottamun Town.

Don't Think Twice uses Who's Gonna Hatch My Chickens When I'm Gone or some such old folk tune Bob heard in the Village from Paul Clayton.

Love Minus Zero uses the structure of Banks of the Royal Canal.

Wicked Messenger is a lot like East Virginia, except in a different rhythm.

Hollis Brown is Pretty Polly.

Blind Willie McTell is St. James Infirmary.

Bob Dylan's Dream is Lord Franklin.

Subterranean Homesick Blues is Too Much Monkey Business.

Tombstone Blues is really Rolling Stone (Robert Wilken's version) with an extra chord on the chorus.

Like a Rolling Stone is La Bamba.

There's gotta be more.


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 Post subject: So many more
PostPosted: Tue May 3rd, 2005, 00:50 GMT 
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Joined: Sat February 5th, 2005, 21:31 GMT
Posts: 9385
Location: Washington DC
There are so many more; but one of the strangest is "License To Kill," which comes from a 90-year-old song by James P. Johnson called "Old Fashioned Love."

Some are very easy, because Bob even keeps many of the old words, like these two:

"Restless Farewell" is "The Parting Glass" (Bob learned alot from Liam Clancy);

"Hard Times In New York Town" is "Penny's Farm"

Others have mostly new words like these:

"Pledging My Time" is from "Come Home in My Kitchen" by Robert Johnson (it takes a few of Johnson's words)

"Buckets of Rain" takes it's first musical phrase from "Bottle of Wine"

One that's not so easy to spot is "Desolation Row." If you take the chord structure of "Jim Jones" (aka "Botany Bay") and remove bars 21 through 28 (assuming you count it as 32 bars) the 24 bars that are left provide the structure for "Desolation Row."


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