Song chains

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Song chains

Postby vijayjohn » 2019-05-10, 1:09

This is a thread for song chains, i.e. sequences of songs where one song is adapted from another, which in turn is adapted from another, etc. Here's one example:

"Surangani," a Sri Lankan baila song first sung by A. E. Manoharan in 1972 in a mixture of Sinhalese, Tamil, and English:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dByjCy3Gkxg
A purely Sinhalese version of the same song:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zcl_RQJIGhw
Translation (courtesy of http://humdrumhohum.blogspot.com/2010/02/surangani.html):
► Show Spoiler

An Indian Tamil movie version from Avar Enakke Sondham (1977), with completely different lyrics and faintly visible subtitles in Malay, by Malaysia Vasudevan and Poorani:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5lUFTMXNzPM
A Malaysian Tamil version sung by Fauziah Rahim, with yet another set of lyrics mostly unrelated to all of the previous versions:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wEdqej9ePhs
A version with the Tamil intro from the previous two versions but otherwise all in English sung by Joe Chelliah (who later changed his name to Johami Abdullah), an Indian Tamil singer who moved to Malaysia:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MxYQ-ZC-kgw
Baila songs and Goan Konkani songs are both so heavily influenced by Portuguese music that a lot of Konkanis who grew up with some version of "Surangani" think it's a Konkani song. This is apparently a Goan Konkani version (or a medley based on various songs including this one):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eRaTaprgScI
There's also a Bollywood (i.e. Hindi) version called "Suraangini Kamaal Karegi" from Parmatma (1978):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WvkE9Wqm4Gs
Finally, this is a song with the same tune (apparently based on the Tamil movie version) that's entirely in English except for the word "paaraTaa" (written in the subs as "paar da") meaning 'look!' in Tamil. It's a strong criticism of the War on Iraq and came out shortly after it began. This war was extremely unpopular in India and seems to have completely reversed popular perceptions of the US in India:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c-55wW2dkao

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Re: Song chains

Postby linguoboy » 2019-05-10, 16:46

I just recently learned that the song "This Wheel's On Fire" was originally written and recorded by Bob Dylan and Rick Danko of The Band. This version was eventually released in 1975:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I37Utt01j7U

In the meantime, however, The Band recorded and released their own version:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C9R0smJSMvc

The song became a hit in the UK in a substantially different version performed by Brian Auger and the Trinity with Julie Driscoll on vocals. It was the height of the psychedelic era in British music and this version reflects that:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BBKKiP5rOrk

Two decades later, the post-punk band Siouxsie and the Banshees recorded a version for their all-cover album Through the Looking Glass. Siouxsie reportedly had no idea who composed it and took their inspiration from the Driscoll/Auger version:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M5iMaQfmXVQ

Five years later, when Saunders and French launched the comedy series Absolutely Fabulous, they had Driscoll re-record her version with Saunders' husband Ade Edmondson and used this as the show's theme music:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ofRApquSbw

The show has also used a version performed by Marianne Faithfull and P. P. Arnold, a French version sung by 70s chanteuse Hermine Demoriane, and a Debbie Harry version. For the release of the full-length film, a dance version was recorded with Kylie Minogue:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8GEl78He2Kg
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Re: Song chains

Postby vijayjohn » 2019-05-13, 16:56

This song chain starts with the first known version of this tune, namely an American Christian folk song I literally just encountered (and had otherwise never heard about) called "Canaan's Happy Shore" (a.k.a. "Say, Brothers, Will You Meet Us"), apparently first written down in 1850:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8N8dBex8lY8
This is where the tune for the chorus of the American (Union) marching song "John Brown's Body" (first performed and then published, both in 1861, during the Civil War) comes from:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jso1YRQnpCI
As does the chorus of the far more famous American patriotic song "Battle Hymn of the Republic" written in the same year:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9MsPr5guMXk
Almost a century later, in 1951, a Bengali composer named Salil Chowdhury took this same tune, apparently from the chorus of "John Brown's Body," and made this Bengali patriotic song called "Jonmobhumi" (a.k.a. "Dhonno Ami Jonmechhi Ma Tomar Dhulite"). He made lots and lots of song chains in various Indian languages. This is a version of that song sung in 1998 (there are others on the Internet but none I can find that are as good as this one in terms of audio quality):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wNE-C7vsNy4
Later, in 1975, he (probably unwittingly) made this tune come around full circle by using it for the Christian religious song "Dukhithare" in the opening credits for the Malayalam movie Thomasleeha! The movie is about the legend of Apostle Thomas (depicted in the video) spreading Christianity to Kerala. The song is about the promise of heaven (to Christians). People in some parts of the world at least associated the movies with prostitution, and in India, going out in general was generally associated with ritual impurity. For this reason, the Malayalam movie industry used songs like this to attract Christian viewers and show them that movies could also spread messages they find appealing, not just romance stories or whatever:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vDQ1dtQgfaA
The two lines repeated at 0:51-0:59, 1:06-1:14, 2:06-2:13, and 2:21-2:28 are basically lifted straight out of the Lord's Prayer and mean 'Your name is being hallowed; Your Kingdom is coming'. This Malayalam movie song is pretty much just the Lord's Prayer (with slightly more fanciful lyrics) set to music (and is another example of the movie industry trying to appeal to Christian viewers).

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Re: Song chains

Postby vijayjohn » 2019-05-23, 17:25

"Dingiri Dingale Meenakshi" from Anbu Enge (1958) is a really famous Tamil song:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eG6f5dKzVxA
There's a Sinhalese version of this song called "Dingiri Dingale Vinase":
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JaBFUEovByM
And another version that's mostly in Sinhalese but with some lines in English called "Dingisi Dingale Vinase":
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zJvHKKoFirY
There's also an old Malay version (with the extra English line "I am very sorryyyy" lol) by M. Y. Shamsudin apparently called "Joget Ding Ding Gale":
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZrSTPG8tzD0


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