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Help: Rip-off of Nic Jones song??

06 Sep 00 - 01:40 PM (#292201)
Subject: Rip-off of Nic Jones song??
From: Fossil

Scanning thru' a Bob Dylan discography, I came across the song "Canadee-i-o" - recorded by Dylan in 1992 on his CD "Good as I Been to You".

Lyrics and tune *exactly* the same - if not as well played - as Nic Jones's version on "Penguin Eggs" (LP released 1980, CD re-release 1991). And the "Words and Music" credit, on the website - and the tape - at least, were to Dylan, not Nic Jones. Just what is going on here? Did Jones receive any payment from Dylan for this? The timing of the Jones re-release seems suspicious. Anyone else noticed this?


06 Sep 00 - 01:42 PM (#292206)
Subject: RE: Help: Rip-off of Nic Jones song??
From: Liz the Squeak

This is a long running argument, that to my knowledge has never been settled. Suffice it to say Nic was (and still is, I hope) a big Dylan fan, hopefully they came to some amicable arrangement. Maybe even, Nic cadged it from Dylan, it is possible!

LTS


06 Sep 00 - 08:36 PM (#292501)
Subject: RE: Help: Rip-off of Nic Jones song??
From: Malcolm Douglas

It's been noticed.  Dylan has a long history of plagiarism, but has generally got away with it, since he only ever steals from people who have a lot less money than he does.


06 Sep 00 - 10:10 PM (#292547)
Subject: RE: Help: Rip-off of Nic Jones song??
From: Mike Regenstreif

Fossil,

"Canadee-i-o" is a traditional folk song. On his CD, Dylan does not claim "Words and Music." It says that the song is traditional with an arrangement by Bob Dylan.

I just looked on his website. It also claims an arrangement, not the writing of the song.

Copyrighting an arrangement of traditional material for recording purposes was standard procdedure long before either Dylan or Jones came along. Not doing so, just increases the profits of the record companies.

Mike Regenstreif


06 Sep 00 - 10:53 PM (#292561)
Subject: RE: Help: Rip-off of Nic Jones song??
From: Bugsy

If you read the liner notes on Penguin Eggs you will see that Nic says that all the songs were passed on to him by friends and aquaintances. He didn't write any of them.

Gee we're all very quick to judge old Bob ain't we.

I wonder who he pinched "Blowing in the Wind" and "Times are a changing" from?

CHeers

Bugsy.


07 Sep 00 - 03:53 AM (#292646)
Subject: RE: Help: Rip-off of Nic Jones song??
From: Fossil

Er, as a newbie on this board, sorry if I've committed the sin of raking up old debate. And I yield to no-one in my admiration for Dylan's work over many, many years.

OK, the words to "Canadee-i-o" may be traditional. But there are many aspects to the detail of this particular song which when analysed feel a lot more like Jones than Dylan. Also, Dylan's "arrangement" - to me, at least - sounds *very* much like Jones's. Just not as well played. I feel that, like many of us, Dylan may have been struggling to replicate Jones's unusual tunings and rhythmic structures, without a lot of success.

And if you check bobdylan.com, you get quite a lot of info on Dylan's "influences" on "Blowin' in the Wind" and many other tunes. Nothing in music is truly original, it's all recyled. The trick is to keep the recycling process out of sight as far as possible....


07 Sep 00 - 06:57 PM (#293144)
Subject: RE: Help: Rip-off of Nic Jones song??
From: Liz the Squeak

Don't feel worried about digging over old ground, if that didn't happen, people would still be writing history books that insist that Richard III killed his nephews in the tower.....

It's always fun to take an argument out, give it a shake and see what has happened in the intervening months.

LTS


08 Sep 00 - 05:16 PM (#293690)
Subject: RE: Help: Rip-off of Nic Jones song??
From: Manitas

These claims are often made by the record company without the artist whose behalf it is made on knowing. I presume it's done in the hope of avoiding payment and persuading people who don't bother to check to pay royalties to the wrong people.


08 Sep 00 - 05:47 PM (#293701)
Subject: RE: Help: Rip-off of Nic Jones song??
From: Mike Regenstreif

Manitas,

The situation is actually the reverse. A record company does not have to pay a royalty on public domain material that is not copywritten.

Artists wised up to that many years ago and began copywriting their arrangements of traditional songs, if not the songs themselves.

Fifty years ago, the Weavers were doing songs like "Follow the Drinking Gourd" that were "written" by Paul Campbell.

Paul Campbell was just a copywriting pseudonym for Pete Seeger, Lee Hays, Ronnie Gilbert and Fred Hellerman's versions of traditional songs.

Mike Regenstreif


30 Dec 03 - 07:29 PM (#1082804)
Subject: RE: Help: Rip-off of Nic Jones song??
From: GUEST

Dylan & Paul Simon have ripped off many a good traditional song & arrangement collected on their early 60's visits of the London folk scene."Scarborough Fair" lock stock & barrle from Carthy, & the tunes to most of the Paul Simon songbook album.Dylan also took this tune plus Behans "Patriot Game",the trad."Lord Franklin"& numerous others.Some of their lyrics may be original but most of the tunes certainly are not.


30 Dec 03 - 08:02 PM (#1082824)
Subject: RE: Help: Rip-off of Nic Jones song??
From: GUEST, Ghost

Whoops. That should be copyright and copyrighted, not copywrite and copywritten. It refers to legal ownership of intellectual property, not the act of putting words on paper.

G.


30 Dec 03 - 11:57 PM (#1082952)
Subject: RE: Help: Rip-off of Nic Jones song??
From: freda underhill

not sure about this, but a freind told me recently that Nic Jones came to Australia some years ago and learnt the song from the Australian singer/author of the song, originally "Wee Pot Stove". Nic changed the words to "Little Pot Stove". shall investigate & see if I can find out again who the original songwriter was.

freda

(from sydney)


31 Dec 03 - 12:38 AM (#1082963)
Subject: RE: Help: Rip-off of Nic Jones song??
From: Malcolm Douglas

Harry Robertson: the subject has been gone over in detail in other discussions here.


31 Dec 03 - 04:53 AM (#1082999)
Subject: RE: Help: Rip-off of Nic Jones song??
From: Dave Hanson

I don;t think Bob Dylan is responsible for it himself. There is at least one unoffical website that claims Bob wrote ALL the songs and music, when I emailed them they just ignored it.
eric


31 Dec 03 - 06:51 AM (#1083029)
Subject: RE: Help: Rip-off of Nic Jones song??
From: GUEST,Chris B (Born Again Scouser)

This isn't the first time Nic Jones has had songs or arrangements ripped off by other artists with (as far as I am aware) no acknowledgement or reward. Mary Black blagged 'Annachie Gordon' and 'Rose of Allendale' off him, Christy Moore pinched his arrangement of 'Little Musgrave' and Andy Irvine's 'Patrick Street' is a pretty obvious adaptation of 'Barrack Street' from 'Penguin Eggs'.

Now, I probably should be careful here and say that there may have been some acknowledgement by at least some of the artists concerned and of course, we don't always know where Jonesy pinched them from himself. What I would say, though, is that a lot of people who lazily assume these are 'Irish' songs haven't taken the trouble to find out where they came from - certainly this would be true of many second-rate bands who have performed or recorded these songs subsequently.


31 Dec 03 - 07:03 AM (#1083034)
Subject: RE: Help: Rip-off of Nic Jones song??
From: GUEST,Tunesmith

Dylan ripped Nick off. No doubt about it! Folkroots mag made a vicious attack on Dylan for doing this.


31 Dec 03 - 07:13 AM (#1083040)
Subject: RE: Help: Rip-off of Nic Jones song??
From: The Borchester Echo

Nic Jones freely admits that he often has not sourced songs correctly, simply because he was unable to remember quite where he got them from. In his notes to Unearthed, he says that his tendency was to absorb songs over a period of time rather than consciously learning them by writing them down and working out an acompaniment.

He is a past master at deliberately altering or rewriting the words and tunes of traditional songs while keeping, more or less, in sympathy with the orginal. In the case of broadsides, he had even greater freedom to compose around the text and thus arose one of his greatest achievments, The Warlike Lads of Russia.

In no way do I claim to speak for him, but I doubt very much whether Nic Jones would condemn those who take similar 'liberties', so long as, like him, they remain true to the music and to themselves.


31 Dec 03 - 12:56 PM (#1083279)
Subject: RE: Help: Rip-off of Nic Jones song??
From: GUEST,Tunesmith

The problem is that Dylan didn't alter or rewrite Nick's version but just copied the whole thing. At the very least, he should have acknowledged his source i.e. Nick! Dylan is clearly a cad and a bounder, and should be flogged in public.


31 Dec 03 - 01:25 PM (#1083305)
Subject: RE: Help: Rip-off of Nic Jones song??
From: The Borchester Echo

Blimey! Perhaps it's not the best of times to announce that I really liked Dylan's recording of Canadee-i-o. I'll just climb into a fireproof suit before saying that I found the whole album Good As I Been To You tremendously cheering after a few not so good ones in the late 1980s. I suppose somebody will start off on Arthur McBride again now....


31 Dec 03 - 02:46 PM (#1083343)
Subject: RE: Help: Rip-off of Nic Jones song??
From: GUEST,Ballyholme

If you look at the repertoires of Nic Jones and Andy Irvine you'll see quite a few songs that they had in common - Barrack/Patrick Street, Courtin' is a Pleasure/Farewell Ballymoney, The Green Mossy Banks of the Lee, etc.

However, I don't think that one stole from the other. Rather, they both have very similar tastes and probably arrived at those songs independently of each other. Both of them also have the habit of altering melodies and words to mould the songs to their needs.


01 Jan 04 - 02:06 AM (#1083723)
Subject: RE: Help: Rip-off of Nic Jones song??
From: Dave Hanson

Guest Chris B, you can't nick traditional songs. they belong to us all.
eric


01 Jan 04 - 11:45 AM (#1083895)
Subject: RE: Help: Rip-off of Nic Jones song??
From: Susanne (skw)

Admirable sentiment, Eric, and certainly true. The problem arises with those who copyright them with intent of making money - not for us all, but for themselves. But I must admit I haven't yet found a line on this prickly topic that would fit all cases ...


01 Jan 04 - 01:24 PM (#1083973)
Subject: RE: Help: Rip-off of Nic Jones song??
From: GUEST,Chris B (Born Again Scouser)

Eric,

You are (of course) perfectly correct about the songs themselves. My issue (if that's the right word) concerns those circumstances when someone duplicates the interpretation another artist has given to a paticular song and passes that interpretation off as their own.

Otherwise, I wholeheartedly agree with your sentiment.


03 Jan 04 - 01:36 PM (#1085293)
Subject: RE: Help: Rip-off of Nic Jones song??
From: GUEST,Gradgrind

Sorry Eric but you can nick traditional songs as we all know Paul Simon not only nicked Carthys arrangement but claimed he wrote Scarborough Fair.Dylan nicked loads of trad.tunes from his 60s visits.


03 Jan 04 - 02:55 PM (#1085352)
Subject: RE: Help: Rip-off of Nic Jones song??
From: GUEST,Tunesmith

But, of course, Paul Simon - eventually - was forced to pay Martin Carthy a lot of compensation for nicking his ( martin's ) arrangement of "Scarborough Fair".


07 Jan 04 - 07:39 AM (#1087822)
Subject: RE: Help: Rip-off of Nic Jones song??
From: Pete_Standing

Anyone should feel free to do traditional material but once recorded it should be attributed as trad. arranged x. The copying of someone's arrangement for gain is not nice, an artist may have put considerable effort into making that arrangement/interpretation their own, but can an arrangement be copyrighted?

Countess Richard makes the point of < deliberately altering or rewriting the words and tunes of traditional songs while keeping, more or less, in sympathy with the orginal. > This is perfectly acceptable and Martin Carthy has said as much himself. Singers have altered songs to suit their liking for centuries and is part of the evolving tradition, it is also one reason why there are so many variants of a song/tune.

The song in question - trad. arranged Jones.


12 Jan 04 - 12:44 PM (#1091221)
Subject: RE: Help: Rip-off of Nic Jones song??
From: The Borchester Echo

Came across this Dylan site which discusses the tab and tuning used for Canadee-i-o and concludes that Bob's arrangement differs sufficiently from Nic's for it to be considered a different version.

Me? I like 'em both...


14 Jan 04 - 05:59 PM (#1092843)
Subject: RE: Help: Rip-off of Nic Jones song??
From: GUEST,Gradgrind

The point I was making is that Paul Simon COPYRIGHTED Scarborough Fair and greatly financially benefitted from it.
Martin Carthy did eventually receive money from Simon and, (Tunesmith), it was not "a lot" nor legal compensation.


14 Jan 04 - 06:23 PM (#1092858)
Subject: RE: Help: Rip-off of Nic Jones song??
From: The Borchester Echo

I really don't thing it's a matter for a public forum to discuss a financial settlement between two musicians who are now on amicable terms and no longer talk about it themselves.

MC has let it be known that PS asked him the price of a house he needed to get and this turned out to be exactly the sum his lawyers had advised him to pay.

If they are happy to leave it at that, so should we be.


15 Jan 04 - 05:50 PM (#1093634)
Subject: RE: Help: Rip-off of Nic Jones song??
From: GUEST,Arkie

I remember a time when people sang songs because they took some pleasure in it and it was even a bit flattering when someone took a liking to a song and went to the effort of learning it. Songs were passed around for the enjoyment of sharing things one loved. Have we come to a place in world society where every song is a commodity that is "owned" by the bearer and carries a price tag?


15 Jan 04 - 06:44 PM (#1093671)
Subject: RE: Help: Rip-off of Nic Jones song??
From: greg stephens

Bob Dylan has been worse than most at this, ripping of people's very personal versions of songs without any particular acknowledement. But, at the risk of being elitist, he is Bob Dylan. Shakespeare "borrowed" a lot too. and he was Shakespeare. behaviour which would be considered a bit twattish by us lesser mortals is I think permissible in serious geniuses. Look at the famous version of the House of the Rising Sun. Dylan stole the arrangement, the Animals stole it again from him. Who remembers who started it? I've even forgotten myself: dave van Ronk I think(but it could have been rick von Schmidt).


15 Jan 04 - 07:15 PM (#1093694)
Subject: RE: Help: Rip-off of Nic Jones song??
From: Joybell

I think that we have a moral, even if not legal, responsibility to acknowledge the author of a song when we perform it in public. I can't believe that mars the enjoyment of singing. We might like to add the sources from which we learned or absorbed the arrangement. The fact that the author is dead doesn't change anything, and it doesn't mean the song is "traditional" even if it has slipped into the common stream of music. With this amazing resource at our disposal, Mudcat, we have no excuse for not knowing the origins of a song. It's up to us - the singers - to set the standard. The fact that some popular singers claim songs they haven't written or fail to acknowledge dead authors by calling a song "traditional" doesn't mean we have to do it. If a song is, as far as we can find out, traditional then we can say so. As for the standards of recording companies, well surely we don't want to stoop that low. Joy


16 Jan 04 - 07:47 AM (#1094030)
Subject: RE: Help: Rip-off of Nic Jones song??
From: GUEST,pavane

I think if we look at all the origins threads, then in many cases the authorship is very unclear! There are huge numbers of examples of unattributed borrowings, traditional songs being copyrighted, modern songs described as Trad. and so on.

Recordings quite often give wrong information (e.g. I don't quite believe that Alison Moyet write Ole Devil Called Love, as claimed on a CD I have)


16 Jan 04 - 02:00 PM (#1094314)
Subject: RE: Help: Rip-off of Nic Jones song??
From: Nerd

Chris B, though you posted long ago, I am going to defend Christy Moore. On the Planxty album where his Musgrave first appeared, he wrote in the notes that he had always loved Musgrave but could not sing it until he found a Nic Jones album in Liam O'Flynn's flat with a goos tune! So he does credit that he took the tune from Jones. However, the planxty arrangement was quite different, with riffs and instrumental breaks and chord patterns nowhere to be found on Nic's version, so the arrangement could rightly be ascribed to Planxty (who at that time included not only Moore/Irvine/O'Flynn and Lunny, but also Bill Whelan of "Riverdance" fame, Matt Molloy of "Chieftains" fame, and a couple of others).

Whether Nic ever got any money from it, I don't know, but unlike Dylan's version of Canadee-i-o, it would have been a negligible royalty in any case! (I wonder if Christy ever made money on it!)The credit was the important thing, and it was publicly acknowledged by the band.


16 Jan 04 - 02:20 PM (#1094337)
Subject: RE: Help: Rip-off of Nic Jones song??
From: Nerd

Of course, that should be a "good tune," not a "goos tune."


16 Jan 04 - 06:23 PM (#1094501)
Subject: RE: Help: Rip-off of Nic Jones song??
From: Joybell

Even though there are songs where the authorship is unclear there are many sung today under the heading "traditional" that are the compositions of 19th Century song writers. "Rose of Allendale","Wildwood Flower", "Hard Times", "Little Rosewood Casket", "Darlin' Nellie Gray", "Gentle Annie", "Dream of the Miner's Child", "The Water Lily" and "Three Score and Ten" to name just a few. The sheet music for these songs and hundreds of others are dated and can be found in collections quite easily. As far as I've heard they are the same songs. No question. They were written for all of us to sing, certainly, but if I didn't write it - it's not MY song.


16 Jan 04 - 08:36 PM (#1094583)
Subject: RE: Help: Rip-off of Nic Jones song??
From: Malcolm Douglas

True; though in some cases there is more to it than that. Every recording of The Rose of Allendale that I've ever heard, for example, is clearly derived from the Copper Family's rendering of it, not from the original song written by Jefferys and Nelson, which is significantly different musically. The Coppers credited the composers on their recording, but the majority of those who have since recorded arrangements of the Copper interpretation of it have lazily passed it off as "traditional", which is simply not true.

Three Score and Ten, though the writer is known, is also a bit more complicated, and in the form in which it was taken up -from oral sources- by the Revival probably should be considered traditional, though that is no excuse nowadays for failing to name the original writer, of course.


16 Jan 04 - 09:39 PM (#1094605)
Subject: RE: Help: Rip-off of Nic Jones song??
From: Joybell

I find that the stories behind the writing of many of these songs is of great interest, a good example being "Three Score and Ten".   My listeners agree and I get many favourable comments about my introductions and my liner notes. Saying a song is "traditional" tells you very little if anything about it. Incidently I found "Rose of Allendale" in an old book and was quite surprised to hear it on the folk scene.
Back to the source! - Back to the source! Before you move ahead. I say! And credit where credit's due! Joy


16 Jan 04 - 09:55 PM (#1094609)
Subject: RE: Help: Rip-off of Nic Jones song??
From: GUEST,Rick Johnson.

Yes joybel; whoeveryou may be, these songs were made for all to sing,
it matters not who wrote these songs, and the inoverisehed nature of the lives the authors, the great publishing houses reap the financall
rewards, you may credit where it's due all you like, but the money
goes to the publishers every time.


17 Jan 04 - 09:06 AM (#1094806)
Subject: RE: Help: Rip-off of Nic Jones song??
From: GUEST,Chris B (Born Again Scouser)

Nerd,

Fair point about Christy. He's actually got a fairly good record as far as crediting his sources goes and you're right to say that the credit is the most important thing. Nic Jones was never going to retire on his royalties, even before his accident and all the other nonsense he's been through with CM (let's not even go there for now...).

Whether Mary Black, on the other hand, has been so scrupulous I'm not sure. Anyone have any information on that?


17 Jan 04 - 12:44 PM (#1094909)
Subject: RE: Help: Rip-off of Nic Jones song??
From: Jim McLean

What about Maddy Prior claiming, on the CD notes, to have written my song Hush, Hush although it was printed in a song book with correct credits in 1968 ... I don't know what age she was then!


17 Jan 04 - 12:54 PM (#1094913)
Subject: RE: Help: Rip-off of Nic Jones song??
From: GUEST,Chris B (Born again scouser)

Thirty or so.


19 Jan 04 - 09:01 AM (#1096184)
Subject: RE: Help: Rip-off of Nic Jones song??
From: GUEST,James

Malcolm; I think it is a bit harsh to refer to Dylan as a plagarist who steals from those poorer than he. I know he has borrowed liberally from th folk tradition re tunes(folk process ?) But who has he stolen songs from. I am very curious about this.


19 Jan 04 - 09:38 AM (#1096214)
Subject: RE: Help: Rip-off of Nic Jones song??
From: Malcolm Douglas

Never try to pick up on a remark somebody made in a casual conversation three years ago (look at the dates): it is likely that the person who made it will not remember what they had in mind. The rest of the thread explains, I think, the difference between adapting traditional material (even when the traditional source of that material is unacknowledged) and copying an arrangement or interpretation created by another.


19 Jan 04 - 09:55 AM (#1096231)
Subject: Lyr Add: THE RED AND DUSTY ROAD
From: freda underhill

Tonight I spent some time with Lynne and Evan Mathieson, folkies from Queensland who are collecting and conserving all the songs written by Harry Robertson, the Australian who wrote Wee Pot Stove. His song Wee Pot Stove is the one that Nick Jones sang as Little Pot Stove on penguin eggs. It is one of several songs Harry Robertson wrote about the sea, including a couple of whaling songs. Evan was a friend of harry's and learnt most of his songs directly from him.

Here is a song I wrote to the same tune called the Red and Dusty Road.

In the blinding summer sun
On the red and dusty road
Where the heat burns through the summer sky
And great rocky gorges rise

Where the brolgas dance at sunset
And the parrots swoop so free
And that old Brahmin bull
Is a lookin' now at me

On the red and dusty road
As we roam along the way
Sweeping skies reach out their endless blue
To that orange sunset haze

Purple clouds and blushing sky
And a sudden flash of rain
Wind is rushing through my hair
And the lightning bolts again

And we wander down Windjana
Cliffs of red and marble pink
All the trees so white and slender
Dripping leaves of vivid green

On the red and dusty road
As we roam along the way
Sweeping skies reach out their endless blue
To that orange sunset haze

Giant cliffs of ochre rock
Round the winding waterways
And that flat horizon stretching
Through the shimmering orange blaze

And that silver river shining
Through the sands of lightest white
And beneath those massive boulders
Lie the Johnson's crocodiles..

On the red and dusty road
As we roam along the way
Sweeping skies reach out their endless blue
To that orange sunset haze

And the gang gangs black and soaring
Cross the grey green grassy plain
And those ancient hearty boabs
Reach their fingers to the sun

And it's homeward bound and it's over
And we'll leave that water hole
And I always will remember
Those Johnson's crocodiles..

On the red and dusty road
As we roam along the way
Sweeping skies reach out their endless blue
To that orange sunset haze

On the red and dusty road
As we roam along the way
Sweeping skies reach out their endless blue
To that orange sunset haze..

Words Jan 2001 Amalina Wallace
Sung to the tune of the Little Pot Stove by Harry Robertson
Sung by Nick Jones on Penguin Eggs.


19 Jan 04 - 10:10 AM (#1096238)
Subject: RE: Help: Rip-off of Nic Jones song??
From: GUEST,James

Malcolm; I am not sure I understand the answer> I am sure that I were to accuse someone of plagarism I would recall the details that led me to that opinion. I am just curious to know what it is you feel he took.