Donnerstag, 17. März 2011

Bob Dylan and The Clancy Brothers & Tommy Makem - HAPPY SAINT PADRAIG'S DAY!

PAT CLANCY:
You want to know where Dylan got his stuff? There was a little folk club here in London, down in the basement; we sang in it one night... Anyway, Al Grossman paid somebody and gave them a tape-recorder, and every folk-singer that went up there was taped, and Bob Dylan got all those tapes...
LIAM CLANCY:
Yes, and the tune of "Farewell"... because whoever was singing harmony was closer to the mike than the guy singing melody, and when [Dylan] wrote his version, he wrote it to the harmony not the melody line...

Patrick Humphries Interview,
reprinted in John Bauldie, Wanted Man: In Search of Bob Dylan, London, 1992, pp. 50-51; originally published in The Telegraph 18 (Winter 1984).


Clinton Heylin disagrees:

The Clancys claim that Dylan lifted the song directly from their arrangement of the tune, but this appears to be incorrect. All evidence indicates that Dylan learned the song from Scottish folksinger Nigel Denver, another important influence on Dylan at this time. Indeed he would often ask Denver to play the song.
MARTIN CARTHY:
He would always ask me to sing "Scarborough Fair" or "Lord Franklin." If Nigel was on, he would ask him for "Kieshmul's Galley" or "The Leaving of Liverpool."

Clinton Heylin, Dylan: Behind the Shades, London, 1991, p. 62 (Penguin paperback edition).

DEREK BAILEY:
Do you think they [The Clancy Brothers] were influential on your own career? 

BOB DYLAN:
Oh yeah, enormously so, because I was around them all the time and they just sang so many songs...
Derek Bailey Interview, Slane Castle, Ireland, July 8,  1984. 

DYLAN SONGS INFLUENCED BY SONGS OF THE CLANCY BROTHERS & TOMMY MAKEM ("originals" in parentheses):




LIAM CLANCY:
I remember meeting him [BOB DYLAN] one morning on the street -- he lived on Sullivan Street, in Greenwich Village. And I was rushing off to rehearsal, I was getting the subway, we were meeting uptown, and he stopped me in the street and he said, "Hey, man, hey, Liam, wrote a song to 'Brennan On The Moor' last night." He had it... he said, "I wanna sing it for you." Right there in the street, he starts singing this song which went on for about nine or ten verses. I remember saying to him, "You got a fantastic talent, a fantastic imagery, if you could squeeze it all in together and make the songs a bit shorter." And I said, "For God's sake, what is a seventeen-year-old [sic] Jewish kid from the Mid-West trying to sound like a seventy-year-old black man from the South?"

Liam Clancy Interview, October 16, 1992, "Highway 61 Interactive" CD ROM, transcribed by Manfred Helfert.






Dylan's most famous borrowing from the Clancys was the melody from an Irish song "The Patriot Game" written by the Irish songwriter Dominic Behan, brother of Brendan Behan the writer. The melody is originally American. It appears in an Appalachian song "The Nightingale."

Nuala O'Connor, Bringing It All Back Home: The Influence of Irish Music,
BBC Books, 1991, p. 115.


TO BE EXPANDED....

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