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Origins: Help with 'Dirty Old Town,' please,...

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DIRTY OLD TOWN


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GUEST,Texas Guest 29 Apr 08 - 06:29 PM
McGrath of Harlow 29 Apr 08 - 06:38 PM
GUEST,effsee sns cookie 29 Apr 08 - 06:39 PM
GUEST,Texas Guest 29 Apr 08 - 07:18 PM
Leadfingers 29 Apr 08 - 07:28 PM
GUEST,Texas Guest 29 Apr 08 - 07:34 PM
GEST 29 Apr 08 - 08:11 PM
GUEST,Texas Guest 29 Apr 08 - 09:57 PM
skarpi 30 Apr 08 - 03:18 AM
GUEST,P.M.Adamson 21 Mar 19 - 02:16 PM
GUEST,Some bloke 21 Mar 19 - 03:48 PM
GUEST,henryp 22 Mar 19 - 04:00 AM
Jim Carroll 22 Mar 19 - 04:49 AM
GUEST,Some bloke 22 Mar 19 - 02:08 PM
Dave Hanson 22 Mar 19 - 02:41 PM
GUEST,Some bloke 22 Mar 19 - 02:55 PM
Dave Hanson 23 Mar 19 - 02:20 AM
Jack Campin 23 Mar 19 - 02:34 AM
Jim Carroll 23 Mar 19 - 03:03 AM
GUEST,Some bloke 23 Mar 19 - 01:53 PM
Howard Jones 25 Mar 19 - 06:14 AM
GUEST,Some bloke 25 Mar 19 - 06:19 PM
Jim Carroll 26 Mar 19 - 05:02 AM
Doug Chadwick 26 Mar 19 - 06:25 AM
Jim Carroll 26 Mar 19 - 06:50 AM
Dave Hanson 26 Mar 19 - 10:53 AM
Jim Carroll 26 Mar 19 - 10:58 AM
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Subject: Origins: Help with 'Dirty Old Town,' please,...
From: GUEST,Texas Guest
Date: 29 Apr 08 - 06:29 PM

I need some help again, folks. Please know at the outset that I am
familiar with recent, and distant threads on this subject and consulted the most recent thread last evening; however, I had a thought today (an unusual occurance, according to my wife). Here's
the situation:

A bandmate asked me to sing lead on the song, "Dirty Old Town" and
we had a disagreement on the "correct" words. Our discussion led
to my band-partner letting me know that Roger Whittaker wrote the
song and this is known because the previous edition of their band
recorded it and had to get copyright clearance through Roger Whittaker's people. So, I said that Ewan McColl wrote it and I
supplied the correct lyrics via email today, etc., blah, blah.

Now, it occured to me that maybe Ewan McColl sold the rights to DOT to Roger Whittaker, or maybe Roger owns the "Canadian" rights,
or the "American Rights," or whatever. Any ideas here? Is it possible that Roger copyrighted a specific arrangement or maybe
the previous band just got "taken." I am comfortable with the
information I've dug up here, but - I'm curiouser and curiouser. Thanks.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Help with 'Dirty Old Town,' please,..
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 29 Apr 08 - 06:38 PM

Well he's recorded it, but... You sure your mate wasn't getting mixed up with "Durham Town"?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Help with 'Dirty Old Town,' please,...
From: GUEST,effsee sns cookie
Date: 29 Apr 08 - 06:39 PM

Are you sure your friends aren't confusing "Durham Town" with the MacColl song?
There's no doubt about MacColl's authorship of "Dirty Old Town" and I'd be surprised if Whittaker would have the gall to Adapt and Copyright any changed version........but, ya just never know!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Help with 'Dirty Old Town,' please,...
From: GUEST,Texas Guest
Date: 29 Apr 08 - 07:18 PM

Thanks for the feedback, folks; but, yes, the song in question is
"Dirty Old Town." Cheers.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Help with 'Dirty Old Town,' please,...
From: Leadfingers
Date: 29 Apr 08 - 07:28 PM

I cant imagine Ewan letting the rights to any of his stuff go . And neither can I magine R W doing any thing to 'give' him the rights to any one else's song - I would go along with Some kind of a confusion beween 'Dirty Old' and 'Durham' !


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Subject: RE: Origins: Help with 'Dirty Old Town,' please,...
From: GUEST,Texas Guest
Date: 29 Apr 08 - 07:34 PM

You know folks - this is becoming very confusing. Taking a cue
from the question put forth by both, "McGrath" and "Guest," I went to
Whittaker's website and consulted his discography and didn't find the song listed anywhere. This is very strange as over the years
several folks have come up to me and asked for a Roger Whittaker song and when asked, "Which one?" they usually respond with, "The
Last Farewell," or "Dirty Old Town." Hmmm, curiouser and curiouser.
Cheers.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Help with 'Dirty Old Town,' please,...
From: GEST
Date: 29 Apr 08 - 08:11 PM

Hey, Tex ~ Ask your friends to come up with a list like this:

From the International Lyrics Page at: http://lyricsplayground.com/alpha/songs/d/dirtyoldtown.shtml:

DIRTY OLD TOWN (Ewan McColl)

Recorded by : Belfast Food; Blarney Lads; The Brogues; Ian Campbell Folk Group; Chad & Jeremy; Brian Clancy; Liam Clancy; Phil Coulter; Cruiskeen; Deal's Gone Bad; The Dubliners; The Easy Club; The Fenians; Five Alive 'O; Michael Fracasso; Ted Leo & The Pharmacists; Ewan MacColl; North Sea Gas; The Pogues; The Specials; Rod Stewart; Vagabond Opera; Waxies Dargle; Roger Whittaker; The Whole Shabang; Jason Wiber; The Wild Irish Rovers


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Subject: RE: Origins: Help with 'Dirty Old Town,' please,...
From: GUEST,Texas Guest
Date: 29 Apr 08 - 09:57 PM

Hey GEST - way to go. I think this thread is done, let's put er to rest. Thanks,...and - cheers.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Help with 'Dirty Old Town,' please,..
From: skarpi
Date: 30 Apr 08 - 03:18 AM

DIRTY OLD TOWN : EWAN MCCALL .


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Subject: RE: Origins: Help with 'Dirty Old Town,' please,...
From: GUEST,P.M.Adamson
Date: 21 Mar 19 - 02:16 PM

Roger Whittaker sang Dirty Old Town in his stage show at Talk of The North possibly because it was local to Salford but Ewan MacColl is the writer and copyright is most likely with his children and Peggy Seeger.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Help with 'Dirty Old Town,' please,...
From: GUEST,Some bloke
Date: 21 Mar 19 - 03:48 PM

Dirty Old Town was written by MacColl in 1949 as a song within a musical he wrote for his first wifeís company Theatre Workshop. Littlewood and MacColl ran a company to deal with royalties.

This song plus the two productions made into film (Oh what a lovely war! and Taste of Honey) still fill the estate coffers.

Interestingly, as songwriters, MacColl and Seeger together did get exceedingly rich from The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face but the many songs from radio ballads they are associated with, copyright is shared with The BBC.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Help with 'Dirty Old Town,' please,...
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 22 Mar 19 - 04:00 AM

Another MacColl drama was 'Landscape With Chimneys', which dealt with life back in Salford. On the opening night, Joan Littlewood found she had a problem. There was an awkward scene change, and MacColl was asked to produce an instant two-minute song to cover it. He sat down and wrote Dirty Old Town on the spot, and performed it (singing the words from a piece of paper) two hours later. (Denselow, Music 21)

Ewan MacColl, dramaturge - a thumbnail theatre chronology
Compiled by Peggy Seeger for The essential Ewan MacColl songbook

1949 Landscape With Chimneys is written.

1951 Landscape With Chimneys (a.k.a. Paradise Street) An episodic play written for Theatre Workshop and produced by Joan Littlewood.
Songs: Dirty Old Town, House-Hungry Blues


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Subject: RE: Origins: Help with 'Dirty Old Town,' please,...
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 22 Mar 19 - 04:49 AM

MacColl used his adaptation of Isla Cameron's air for several songs - most are difficult to spot

MacColl and Seeger became well-off, not "exceedingly rich", which has the ring of sour grapes
They rented a second home in the Borders for a time which thay gave free use of to friends - Pat and I were there several times
They also travelled a little, but apart from that, they continued to live in their somewhat cramped three bedroom maisonette South of London
They set up Blackthorn Records which gave them the freedom to produce some fine albums of traditional and self-written songs
Ewan continued to cherish an promote the traditional songs le loved and respected to the end of his life yet he is still dug up regularly, three decades after his death to be administered a ritual kicking
I sincerely hope that honour will be extended to me after I've popped my clogs - it will be proof positive that I have left something behind, worth leaving
Jim


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Subject: RE: Origins: Help with 'Dirty Old Town,' please,...
From: GUEST,Some bloke
Date: 22 Mar 19 - 02:08 PM

Back when Billboard (USA) and BRMB (UK) did their charts, Roberta Flack rode high in the charts both sides of the pond as well as Canada, Australia etc in 1972.

The writers cut on platinum sales back then allowed you to drive your Rolls Royce into a swimming pool.

Dunno where the sour grapes come into it though. I said exceedingly rich. I didn't waffle on about his hypocrisy as a self styled communist or any other nonsense. He was a performer in character. Nothing wrong with that.

We all know he was your mate and I seem to have inadvertently given you yet another opportunity to remind us zzzzzzz


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Subject: RE: Origins: Help with 'Dirty Old Town,' please,...
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 22 Mar 19 - 02:41 PM

some bloke ? some Ewan MacColl knocker more like.

Dave H


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Subject: RE: Origins: Help with 'Dirty Old Town,' please,...
From: GUEST,Some bloke
Date: 22 Mar 19 - 02:55 PM

I always knock my heroes...

zzzzzz

Mind you, when I interviewed him back in January 1985 I did leave reminding myself you should never meet your heroes.

He was a performer in character. His words.

Dirty Old Town is up there, one of the first songs I liked when as a ten year old I played my big brothers records he brought back from folk clubs.

Your ignorance of my appreciation of his art is understandable. You and I have never discussed it. Your cheap throwaway ignorance above though does you no favours.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Help with 'Dirty Old Town,' please,...
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 23 Mar 19 - 02:20 AM

Why did you feel it necessary to have a pop at Jim Carroll, hypocrite.

Dave H


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Subject: RE: Origins: Help with 'Dirty Old Town,' please,...
From: Jack Campin
Date: 23 Mar 19 - 02:34 AM

Nobody had attacked MacColl in the posts in this thread before Jim's. His comment was uncalled for.

Still no answer to one of the original questions posed - WHY did anyone think Roger Whittaker wrote it? Where did that misattribution come from?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Help with 'Dirty Old Town,' please,...
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 23 Mar 19 - 03:03 AM

"some bloke ? some Ewan MacColl knocker more like."
You want to hear him on "tit-trousers" old people
I wanted to put the record straight on Ewan's and Peg's windfall
I wonder whether the vast amount that Robert Zimmerman made out of the folk scene before he shuffled off to greener pastures have ever elicited the same comments ?
I very much doubt it
Can we leave it there please
Jim


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Subject: RE: Origins: Help with 'Dirty Old Town,' please,...
From: GUEST,Some bloke
Date: 23 Mar 19 - 01:53 PM

Someone mentioned copyright on Dirty Old Town. I mentioned in passing that Theatre Workshop originally owned it. I also mentioned that many of the songs he wrote or co wrote are not owned fully by his estate, but shared with The BBC.

I then in the interest of balance pointed out his good fortune to have a song top the charts internationally at the time such things meant serious money. It was in balance to my relevant comment regarding ownership of Dirty Old Town.

As ever, Jim canít resist any opportunity to wade in to discredit anything I say about his mate and twist what I put. He also canít resist the chance to remind us that he knew him better than most of us.

Sod off Jim. Thereís a good chap. Your nonsense isnít relevant to this thread. Itís about a song written in 1949. Back then most people wore their trousers up to their tits, not just them in folk fancy dress.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Help with 'Dirty Old Town,' please,...
From: Howard Jones
Date: 25 Mar 19 - 06:14 AM

You said McColl became "exceedingly rich" from "First Time.." Jim merely pointed out that he did alright out of it, and was "well-off" he was not what most people would consider "exceedingly rich". Jim thought your claim, which seems to have been based on supposition rather than personal knowledge, smacked of sour grapes, and I rather agree. McColl gets a lot of posthumous flak, and Jim understandably feels the need to protect his friend's legacy and to correct what he perceives to be inaccuracies.

McColl was fortunate to write one song which did particularly well commercially, and quite rightly benefited from it. He wrote a great many more which have endured but which I suspect brought in rather less financial reward. I'm not sure why either points are relevant to this thread.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Help with 'Dirty Old Town,' please,...
From: GUEST,Some bloke
Date: 25 Mar 19 - 06:19 PM

Yes, he does get some flack. Interesting that most of it comes from those of us who had dealings with him one way or another. I based my comment on knowledge by the way. If I were using it to knock him, I would refer to Jeanís long legal battle to get what was hers and how the aforementioned royalties were used in court.

Whatís more interesting is the Jesus cult surrounding him cannot stand the slightest criticism. He was human. He had all the traits of the polymath he was, and didnít suffer fools gladly.

None of which is relevant to this thread. Jimís diatribe however is predictable. It was in response to my pointing out where copyright of this song was originally held and, ironically (given Jimís waffle) my pointing out MacColl didnít enjoy full royalties on most of his most famous songs.

You see, even if you say nice things about MacColl, Jim will judge your comment by who comments rather than bothering to read the whole post. He has form.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Help with 'Dirty Old Town,' please,...
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 26 Mar 19 - 05:02 AM

"Whatís more interesting is the Jesus cult surrounding him cannot stand the slightest criticism."
No - what is more intereting is that on a forum such as this it is totally impossible to discuss his work and his ideas without having to discuss garbage like name-change and War Record
A Jesus most folkies want to pretend disd nothing worth talking about apparently
Never have that problem with Robert Zimmerman who had to be forced to join the Civil Rights protests he was making his name and money singing about
I liked MacColl as an individual and he introduced me to the importance of folk song, particularly the ballads, but that's my business, nobody else's
I accumulated masses of recorded information on his other work, his and teh Critics Group's development of a technique to help improve and maintain singing techniques, researches into the songs and ballads all carried out freely in the MacColl home while other 'superstars' were getting on with their careers and telling the world what a shit MacColl was
The shit about Jean seems to be yet aonther tale in the anti-MacColl saga - I met her as well
For Christ's sake - he's dead - hasn't someby tokld you
Perhaps you should restrict yourself to old people - they tend to be safer targets
The only diatribe here is yours abd it's aimed at someone who has been dead for thirty years and, as Peggy Put it in a 'Living Tradition Article, "Is no longer around to defend himself"
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Origins: Help with 'Dirty Old Town,' please,...
From: Doug Chadwick
Date: 26 Mar 19 - 06:25 AM

No - what is more intereting is that on a forum such as this it is totally impossible to discuss his work and his ideas without having to discuss garbage like name-change and War Record

Nobody mentioned it on this thread until you did. You shouldn't cry before you're hurt.

DC


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Subject: RE: Origins: Help with 'Dirty Old Town,' please,...
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 26 Mar 19 - 06:50 AM

Not crying - just setting the record straight Doug
I think it was - whatever he calls himself now since he was ejected from Mudcat, who raised the question of MacColl's and Seeger's massive horde
Jim


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Subject: RE: Origins: Help with 'Dirty Old Town,' please,...
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 26 Mar 19 - 10:53 AM

Oi, some bloke, why don't you tell us your real name like most of us do instead of hiding your identity, are you ashamed of it ?

Dave H [ real name as above ]


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Subject: RE: Origins: Help with 'Dirty Old Town,' please,...
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 26 Mar 19 - 10:58 AM

He was thrown off the site for posting under numerous names Dave
I once knew his real one but have forgotten it
Jim


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