"Summertime" is just "Wayfaring Stranger", basically, right?

Discussion in 'Music to Your Ears' started by blowtorch, Jun 18, 2019.

  1. blowtorch

    blowtorch Telefied Ad Free Member

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    So I was barefoot on the porch enjoying a leinies this fine summer evening, and I started humming "Summertime", and it occurred to me (not for the first time), that there are inescapable similarities between these two songs




    Wiki sez
    "Summertime" is an aria composed in 1934 by George Gershwin"
    and
    "The Wayfaring Stranger" (also known as "Poor Wayfaring Stranger" or "I Am a Poor Wayfaring Stranger"), Roud 3339, is a well-known American folk and gospel song likely originating in the early 19th century[1]"

    Shame on George?
     
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  2. Deeve

    Deeve Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Lots of minor blues could be mashed undetectably.
    I hold George/Ira in very high regard.
    Let's see where this thread goes.

    Peace - Deeve
     
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  3. suthol

    suthol Friend of Leo's

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    I be asking questions of whoever did JC's backing arrangements, today he or she would get their arse sued off for that fiddle part.

    It also wanders into St James Infirmary territory to my ears
     
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  4. kplamann

    kplamann Tele-Holic

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    It might be that Wayfaring Stranger sort of converged with minor blues habits. Old versions in ancient hymn books are in 3/4 and thus quite different.

    Here's the Sacred Harp shape note arrangement.


    Another beautiful old version.
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2019
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  5. hemingway

    hemingway Poster Extraordinaire

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    A while back I realised that Hey Joe has the same chords to the chorus of The Time Warp from Rocky Horror.

    I'm not the same man now.
     
  6. Joerg

    Joerg TDPRI Member

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    I always thought "Summertime" was a clone of "Sometimes i feel like a motherless child"...
     
  7. 1300 E Valencia

    1300 E Valencia Friend of Leo's

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    Superficially, maybe. "Wayfaring..." has three chords, I, IV, and V. "Summertime" quite a few more. I mean, it's jazz.
    The beginnings of the melodies are close, but how many melodies, especially blues, start on the same note, or are in a minor key? Millions??
    Even here, "Wayfaring..." starts on the tonic, "Summertime" on the fifth. In any case, if there were enforceable copyrights in 1934, I'd bet "Wayfaring..." was public domain.
    While on the subject of jazz, look up "rhythm changes". There are hundreds of jazz tunes built on the chord changes to "I Got Rhythm". Sue 'em all?"
    Sorry, just feel like arguing. More coffee! :)
     
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  8. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Poster Extraordinaire

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    When you said "Shame on George?" were you subconsciously referring to George Harrison?
     
  9. suave eddie

    suave eddie Tele-Afflicted

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    In answer to the thread title........no.
     
  10. jimash

    jimash Friend of Leo's

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    That's pitiful. Just pitiful.
     
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  11. greenhornet

    greenhornet TDPRI Member

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    Good to see Ella here, an incredible singer. Her rendition of "Blue Skies" is killer.
     
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  12. warrent

    warrent Friend of Leo's

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    But the lyrics and story of Porgy and Bess pre-date Gershwin. The story and play were by DuBose Heyward who with his wife worked with Gershwin to create the musical. So what exactly would Gershwin have stolen from Wayfaring Stranger a song that didn't really become popular until 10 years after Porgy and Bess when it was covered by Burl Ives?
     
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  13. Beachbum

    Beachbum Friend of Leo's

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    Perhaps but even more so "Tennessee Whiskey" seems to be dangerously close to "I'd Rather Go Blind".



     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2019
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  14. ravindave_3600

    ravindave_3600 Friend of Leo's

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    Wayfaring Stranger....Help the Poor... love them both...or it both...
     
  15. Paul in Colorado

    Paul in Colorado Telefied Ad Free Member

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  16. ndcaster

    ndcaster Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    That Ella singing the Gershwin songbook, man ... that's just perfection.
     
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  17. Harry Styron

    Harry Styron Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    M
    You’re correct. The idea was to write an opera rooted in African-American folk music, which included spirituals and laments. Gershwin was saluting and bringing attention to this music that he and other composers of popular music drew inspiration from. Porgy and Bess also provided better opportunities for black actors who were usually relegated to minor and demeaning roles, if any, on Broadway.
     
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