Re: [Harp-L] plagarism

Just my humble two-cents: Glenn has a point, but I reckon that when using a diatonic harp (sans overblows) and playing blues in cross position, there probably isn't a single lick that could be done that hasn't already been done by *somebody* before. <shrug>

What's more interesting to me is the varied history of musical "plagiarism" itself. I mean, "Love Me Tender" is the Civil War ballad "Aura Lee." The American patriotic song "My Country Tis Of Thee" is the same tune as "God Save Our Queen" --the British National Anthem. Country Joe's "Fixin' To Die Rag" ('One, two, three, what're we fighin' for?') is Kid Ory's "Muskrat Ramble." Tom Petty's "Breakdown" is the Animals' "Cheating," which might have been something else before that. The Beach Boys' "Surfin' USA" is Chuck Berry's "Sweet Little 16."

Alan Price's "Changes" (from the film O Lucky Man) is the old hymn "What a Friend We Have in Jesus." "My Sweet Lord" is the Chiffons' "He's So Fine" (sorry, George, it may have been inadvertent but it's nonetheless true.) Ry Cooder, for whom I have nothing but respect, acknowledges building his "Theme from Paris, Texas" around Blind Willie Johnson's "Dark Was the Night, Cold Was The Ground." The Tokens "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" is a rip-off of a 1940's hit record from Swaziland called "Mbube." Walter Horton's "Easy" is Ivory Joe Hunter's "I Almost Lost My Mind."

Elvis' hit "It's Now Or Never" is the 1901 Italian opera song "O Sole Mio." Procol Harum's "Whiter Shade of Pale" is at least partially based on a combination of two Bach compositions. Charlie Parker's breakthrough be-bop classic "Koko" is a reworking of the old Ray Noble hit "Cherokee." Even our own national anthem the "Star Spangled Banner" is actually "To Anacreon in Heaven," an 18th century English drinking song!

Like R. Crumb says, "Always steal from the best." :)

Tom Ball
Santa Barbarian

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