woensdag 16 april 2014

Rose of Alabama (1846) / Oh! Susanna (1848) / O! Susanna (1917) / Banjo Song (1963) / Venus (1969)

The Originals © by Arnold Rypens - OH! SUSANNA


In 1846, Stephen Foster moved to Cincinnati, Ohio, and became a bookkeeper with his brother's steamship company. While in Cincinnati, Foster wrote "Oh! Susanna", possibly for his men's social club. The song was first performed by a local quintet at a concert in Andrews' Eagle Ice Cream Saloon in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on September 11, 1847. It was first published by W. C. Peters & Co. in Cincinnati in 1848., who bought the song for $100, but before they could publish it, it was pirated by a New York publisher (C. Holt Jr.) who printed it with the name of Edwin P. Christy as author. Christy’s Minstrels were rapidly becoming the most popular group in the Bowery theater district of Manhattan, and were to be the chief performers of Foster’s minstrel songs in the 1850s.

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Sung by G.N. Christy of the Christy Minstrels in 1848:




Other minstrel troupes performed the work, and, as was common at the time, many registered the song for copyright under their own names. As a result, it was copyrighted and published at least 21 times from February 25, 1848, through February 14, 1851.

Sheetmusic 1848 registered by J Turner !!?


Sheetmusic 1848 registered by Wells !!?


Sheetmusic 1848 registered by Edward L. White !!?


Glenn Weiser suggests the song was influenced by an existing work, "Rose of Alabama" (1846), with which it shares some similarities in lyrical theme and musical structure.

SEE HERE: http://www.celticguitarmusic.com/Foster.htm


Listen here:

But back to Susanna: here's the first recording I could find:

(o) Harry C. Browne and Peerless Quartette (1917) (as "O! Susanna")
Recorded in New York on October 6, 1916
Released on Columbia A 2218

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(c) The Great White Way Orchestra (1923) under the direction of Hugo Frey
Billy Murray (tenor vocal)
Albert Campbell (tenor vocal)
John H. Meyer (bass vocal)
Recorded June 22, 1923
Released on Victor 19125



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(c) Criterion Quartet (1924)  (as "Oh! Susanna")
Baritone vocal George W. Reardon
Bass vocal Donald Chalmers
Tenor vocal John Young , Horatio Rench
Recorded October 10, 1923
Released on Edison 51295

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(c) Riley Puckett (1924) acc own banjo.
Recorded September 11, 1924
Released on Columbia 15014-D.
Also released on Harmony 5140-H
And (as Tom Watson) on Silvertone 3261.

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(c) Chubby Parker, vocal and whistling; acc. own tbj.
Recorded in Chicago, IL c. April 2, 1927
Released on Gennet 6097, Champion 15278, Silvertone 5013, 25013, Supertone 9191, Herwin 75548

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(c) Dalhart-Robison-Hood (1927) ("Oh Susanna")
Dalhart, Robison & Hood, vocal trio;
acc. Adelyne Hood, fiddle; Vernon Dalhart, harmonica and jew's harp; unknown, banjo; Carson Robison, guitar.
Recorded in New York, NY on October 27, 1927
Released on Banner 6137, Domino 4068, Jewel 5159, Oriole 1083, Regal 8450, Challenge 559, Conqueror 7063, Paramount 3075, Broadway 8066, Apex 8688, Lucky Strike 24152, Microphone 22230, Ruby 71034, Sterling 281034

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(c) Vernon Dalhart–Carson Robison–Adelyne Hood (1927)
Vernon Dalhart–Carson Robison–Adelyne Hood, vocal trio;
acc. Adelyne Hood, f; Vernon Dalhart, h/jh; William Carlino, bj; Carson Robison, g;
Recorded in New York, NY on November 15, 1927


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(c) Vernon Dalhart (1927)
Vernon Dalhart, v;
acc. Adelyne Hood, f; Vernon Dalhart, h/jh/ poss. William Carlino, bj; Carson Robison, guitar.
Recorded in New York, NY on December 20, 1927
Released on Cameo 8116, Lincoln 2770 and Romeo 539

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(c) Dalhart–Robison–Hood, v trio;
acc. Adelyne Hood, f; Vernon Dalhart, h; poss. William Carlino, bj; Carson Robison, g.
Recorded in New York, NY on December 20, 1927
Released on Pathe 32326 and on Perfect 12405
And in the UK on Pathe Perfect P 420

78 RPM - Dalhart, Robison And Hood - Oh Susanna / Shine On Harvest Moon - Pathé Perfect - UK - P420

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(c) Vaughn De Leath (1929)
Recorded September 6, 1928
Released on Edison 11037

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And on Edison 52651

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(c) Philadelphia Orchestra - Leopold Stokowsky (1929)
Recorded May 1, 1929


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(c) Don Charles presents The Singing Dogs directed by Carl Weisman. (1955)

Here are The Singing Dogs "barking" Oh! Susanna.
The "A" side of RCA-Victor record number 20-6344 from 1955.


(c) Pete Seeger (1958) (as "Oh Susanna")

On the album "American Favorite Ballads Vol. 2"


(c) Big Three (1963)  (as "The Banjo Song")
Tim Rose wrote a new arrangement for "Oh Susanna".

This same arrangement was cleverly used in 1969 by Robbie van Leeuwen to "write" his blockbuster "Venus".

(c) Byrds (1965)  (as "Oh! Susanna")

A humorous recording of "Oh! Susanna" was the last track on the second album by The Byrds, Turn! Turn! Turn!, in 1965

(c) James Taylor (1970)

James Taylor also included a version of the song on his second album, Sweet Baby James, in 1970.

(c) Taj Mahal (1971)

On the album "Happy Just to Be Like I Am"


Listen here:

(c) Michelle Shocked & Pete Anderson (2004)

On the album "The Songs Of Stephen Foster"


Listen here:  Oh Susannah from Beautiful Dreamer,

(c) Carly Simon (2007)

On the album "Into White".

Into White (album) - Wikipedia

Listen here:

(c) Neil Young and Crazy Horse (2012)

Neil Young and Crazy Horse used Tim Rose's arrangement of "Oh Susanna" (see here above "Banjo Song" by the Big Three 1963)

zondag 13 april 2014

Wir Sind Die Moorsoldaten (1933) / Lied der Moorsoldaten (1936) / Peat Bog Soldiers (1942)

"Lied der Moorsoldaten" or "Peat Bog Soldiers" was created by 3 prisoners in 1933 in Börgermoor, one of the first concentration camps established in Nazi-Germany.



Contrary to popular belief, the song’s creation was neither spontaneous nor collective. Rather, as Rudi Goguel says, it was a ‘conscious protest song of the resistance against their oppressors.’ The lyrics were written by the proletarian poet Johannes Esser, a miner from the Ruhr. The actor and director Wolfgang Langhoff then rewrote some of the passages and added to the refrain. Finally, the sales clerk Rudi Goguel composed the melody.


Songs of the ghettos, concentration camps, and World War II partisan outposts — United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

About two weeks after the composition was finished, the song was premiered on 27 August 1933 as part of the  "Zirkus Konzentrazani"

Below a copy of "Wir Sind Die Moorsoldaten" made by Hanns Kralik in the KZ Börgermoor 1933.
After his release Günter Daus brought this copy outside the camp (archive of Documentation and Information Center Emslandlager in Papenburg, Germany, estate Günter Daus)

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The composer Hanns Eisler was introduced to the "Lied der Moorsoldaten" during a stay in London. He was making records in a studio with Ernst Busch, a fellow exile and singer of proletarian songs. ‘In January 1935,’ writes Busch,
a man brought us this song to London. This man said that he had somehow managed to get out of Börgermoor. He gave us the lyrics and tried to sing the melody for us as it had been sung by the concentration camp prisoners.
However, as it later turned out, the man in question was not a former ‘moor soldier’, but a German police informant. He had to sing the song over and over again, but it was never quite right, so Eisler picked out a melody himself on the piano.

Hanns Eisler's new arrangement of the song was clearly adapted from "Horch, Kind, horch, wie der Sturmwind weht" (a lullaby of the  Thirty Years' War ) (although this song is about a 17th century war the lyrics were written in 1917 by Ricarda Huch and melody added during the Jugendbewegung (Youth Movement) in Germany.

Listen here to a version by Wofgang Roth from 1960

Early German Ballads, Vol. 1: 1280-1619 | Smithsonian Folkways Recordings

Of course "Lied der Moorsoldaten" became world famous in the version by Hanns Eisler. His arrangement became so popular that it was even able to overtake Rudi Goguel’s original in many of the Nazi camps. For Goguel the song developed outside of Germany into a ‘fight and protest song of a public character.’ Eisler’s version made its official debut at the first International Worker’s Music Olympics in 1935 in Strasburg, where it was sung by Ernst Busch. Eisler himself brought his arrangement of this song to America, where he gave a benefit concert for the victims of Nazi crimes in the same year. Busch bears much of the credit for the international popularity of Eisler’s version. He traveled in 1935 from the Netherlands to the Soviet Union, where he made the first recordings of this song.

(o) Ernst Busch (1936)
Recorded in Moscow in 1936.
Released on the Gramplasttrest label

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text on the label:
Песня болотных солдат
Эрнст Буш
джаз оркестр и хор

Translates as:
Song bog soldiers (=Lied der Moorsoldaten)
obr.G.Eyslera (=arr. H. Eisler)
Ernst Busch
Jazz Orchestra and Chorus

Listen here:

The same master was also released on the SovSong label

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Ernst Busch also took it to Spain, where it became part in the song repertory of the International Brigades during the Civil War (1936–1939). In 1938 Busch published the songbook and album “Canciones de las Brigadas Internacionales”, which was recorded in 1937, at the front line of the Spanish Civil War, in the Odeon Studio in Barcelona, among them "Das Lied der Moorsoldaten" in a shortened version – presented by Ernst Busch and the choir of the XI. brigade (this was a brigade of German volunteers)

Here's the songbook:

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Here's the original album with six songs on three 78's:

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The same recordings were released by the Keynote label (album # K 101) in the USA in 1940 as "6 Songs For Democracy". (Discos de las Brigadas Internacionales Espana; reissued Music Room International Series/Keynote Records, New York, 1940.)

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One of the records bore a sticker reading "The defective impression of this record is due to interruptions of electric energy during an air-raid."

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Liner notes for this album by Erich Weinert:
Whenever, in the history of the world, freedom has arisen against unfreedom, justice against injustice, the spirit of the people’s uprising has been most clearly and splendidly reflected in its songs, which grew upon the soil of righteous indignation. They were written by the poets who sided with the people; and where there were no such poets the people wrote them themselves.
Innumerable songs arose during the war of the Spanish people against its enemies. And Spanish was not their only language; for the soldiers of the International Brigades contributed songs, in their own languages, which lived and became popular songs with the Spaniards.
In this album Ernst Busch has recorded some of the best and most popular songs of the 11th International Brigade, making the recordings under the most difficult circumstances. These records could not be made during times of peace. How often did the recording or manufacture have to be interrupted because Franco’s bombs were crashing down on Barcelona or the supply of electricity cut off!
But that lends these songs a peculiar charm. For they were created in the midst of the battle, on the firing line, as it were. We trust that they will again awaken, in the outside world, some of the fighting spirit, this fire, out of which they were born.

Paul Robeson also wrote an introduction for this album:
Here are the songs recorded during heavy bombardment, by men who were themselves fighting for the “Rights of Man”.
Valiant and heroic was the part played by the International Brigade in the glorious struggle of the Spanish Republic. I was there in the course of that struggle and my faith in man—in the eventual attaining of his freedom—was strengthened a thousand fold. This album helps sustain that faith. It’s a necessity.
July 4, 1940                                                   Paul Robeson

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It was only during the Spanish Civil War that this song became internationally known. From that point on, it could be heard in even more languages. According to Goguel, the song quickly grew ‘into a symbol of the international solidarity against fascism.’ As ‘Le Chant des Marais’ it was popular in France, not only in the résistance. The African American singer Paul Robeson, who likewise sang for the international brigades, made the song popular in the US as the ‘Song of the Peat Bog Soldiers.’

(c) Paul Robeson 1942
Lawrence Brown: piano.
Recorded on January 30, 1942
Released on the album "Songs of Free Men" (Columbia Masterworks M-534)
Wrongly spelled as "Peet-Bog Soldiers'
("Moorsoldaten" song from a German Concentration Camp)
Sung in English and German  -Arr. Eisler-

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Paul Robeson - Songs Of Free Men (Shellac, 10", 78 RPM, Album) | Discogs

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The French Foreign Legion use the French version of the song, "Le Chant Des Marais", as one of its marching songs, the sombre tone and timing matching the 88 paces per minute distinctive of the Legion.

(c) Mouloudji  (as "Le Chant des Marais")


(c) Pete Seeger (1961)  (as "Peat Bog Soldiers")

On the album "Gazette Vol. 2"


Listen here:

(c) Ian Campbell Folk Group (1962)  (as "Peat Bog Soldiers")

On the album "Songs of Protest"



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(c) Mitchell Trio (1965)  (as "Peat Bog Soldiers")

On the album "Violets of Dawn"



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(c) Dubliners (1970)  (as "Peat Bog Soldiers")

On the album "Revolution"


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(c) RUM (1975)  (as "De Moorsoldaten")

On the album "RUM 3"


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(c) Liederjan 1976 (as "Die Moorsoldaten")

On the album "Live aus der Fabrik".


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(c) Hannes Wader (1977)  (as "Die Moorsoldaten")

On the album "Hannes Wader singt Arbeiterlieder"



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(c) Sjeu (2007)  (as "De Veensoldaten")

On the album "Straat-Zang-Theater"


Listen here:


More versions here: