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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
GUEST,Phil Folk Songs That Hit the Charts as Pop Songs (148* d) RE: Folk Songs That Hit the Charts as Pop Songs 03 Jun 15


From: John on the Sunset Coast
Date: 23 Dec 06 - 06:54 PM
"Yellow Bird," the Mills Brothers and "Don't Ever Love Me," Harry Belafonte to a French Haitian melody, "Couchoune". I know that is not the spelling of the French title, but it is something like that."

Looks like I've got the zombie reply prize by one day over Manitas (for now) but:

1.
"Colby" (1889) or "Kolbi" in patois, is from Martinique.
The lyric is about American circus aeronaut-vaudevillian Prof. C.E. Colby (1868-1913) believe it or don't. The story has nothing to do with "Choucoune." But it is the same melody/arraignment Luboff and the Bergmans used for "Yellow Bird" (1957) and charted by the Mills Brothers (1958.) Five instrumentals charted on LPs in 1961-62.


2.
"Choucoune" (c.1893) is from Haïti.
It's one 'n' in the kreyòl ayisyen. Girl doesn't love boy anymore "based on actual events" as they say, but a political allegory at it's core. There are a bunch of oral tradition recordings but no sheet music, no physical record of the original. Jamaican ex-pat Sam Patterson published it in 1957 as "Choucounne" in french créole. The English covers (not translations) were "Don't Ever Love Me" (1957) by Attaway-Belafonte-Burgie and "She Never Loved Me" (1959) by Bud & Travis. No charts.

Two songs. You can't sing one whole to the music of the other. Joe, sooner or later I'll have a go at the "Yellow Bird" thread I guess.


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