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Talk:America (song)

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Is the legal copyrighted name of this song "America" or "America the Beautiful"? — Scott (talk) 18:50, 6 September 2006 (UTC)

Well, the source poem, whose lyrics are used in the song, was published as "America the Beautiful." ASCAP database isn't much help, listing dozens of "America the Beautiful" and "America" entries, all with different authors. While more research is probably needed, right now, there's a strong indication that America the Beautiful is the actual title. -- Andrew Leal (talk) 20:09, 6 September 2006 (UTC)
Well, the song is listed on The Muppet Movie soundtrack as "America". So the Muppet version sung by Fozzie is "America" (regardless of what the original copyrighted source is called, their cover version was called "America"). -- Brad D. (talk) 23:54, 6 September 2006 (UTC)
I wouldn't say that's true. The song is officially called one thing. If Henson listed it improperly, that can be mentioned in the article, but it shouldn't be the name of the article. Not that I know if it's right or wrong, but we should look into it. -- Peter (talk) 23:58, 6 September 2006 (UTC)
Agreed. Henson records have made several similar mistakes regarding song titles. I've left a message on Wendy's talk page, she's really good with song information. — Scott (talk) 00:45, 7 September 2006 (UTC)
I guess my point is that this page is not a general article about the patriotic song by Katharine Lee Bates and Samuel Ward. This page is about a specific track sung by Fozzie Bear. The track (correctly or incorrectly in origin) is named "America" so why wouldn't we name this page to reflect the song's name (we can mention in the article that the cover is of a song with a different name). If we were talking about several uses of, references to, and recordings of the tune in multiple Muppet/Henson productions then I would agree going with the official or more commonly credited name, but in this case (as of now at least) the page talks about one specific song, a song titled "America" sung by Fozzie. Whether or not the original source of the tune and lyrics that Fozzie sang has a different name I think is moot. If the record called it "Fozzie's Patriotic Song" I would say go with that name. This is a Muppet cover of a song, it may be true that the original song has a different name, but we're talking about the Muppet version here so we should go with the Muppet's name for their version on the ditty. -- Brad D. (talk) 01:14, 7 September 2006 (UTC)
I confess, that makes no sense to me. No lyrics were changed, the song is the same. It doesn't matter to me if the soundtrack (and for that matter, which soundtrack? the original or a later reissue) calls it "America." Which in fact still may be the correct name, but if it isn't, change it. If it were a spoof or even a variation of any kind apart from having Fozzie, I'd agree with you, but this seems silly. The song "Man's Best Friend" by Walt Kelly, and it is the same song, same copyright notices, etc., was identified on "Ol' Brown Ears is Back" as "Old Dog Trey," based on one lyric. Worth noting? Absolutely. Worth changing? I think not. And really, the song pages *are* about the original tunes, with publishing info and so forth, as much as they are about the Muppet covers. Like I said, this may in fact be the correct title. But to go by soundtrack printing is just as silly as, well, changing the names of performers because Sesame Street album liner notes misspelled their names. -- Andrew Leal (talk) 01:25, 7 September 2006 (UTC)
Apparently it isn't copyrighted, and in that sense as a song it isn't officially called any one thing. Aside from not existing on ASCAP/BMI, I just checked a hymnal to be sure about that -- no copyright, and they do put them in for other songs, even when only one part (lyrics/music) is copyrighted.
The music and poem were not written for each other at all. The tune is called "Materna", and is a song that happened to fit the meter and suit the whim of the public, but was written 11 years earlier. From all I've ever read, the poem was sung to any tune that would fit it for years (including Auld Lang Syne), and its author never expressed a preference in the matter. So I would argue that the poem title, "America the Beautiful", is the real title. Incidentally, "America" is actually the common title of "My Country 'Tis of Thee", another public domain song.
I have no idea why the soundtrack calls it "America", but possibly because it includes the bit of verbiage about "Shhh. Patriotic part." and "Patriotism swells in the heart of the American Bear", and thus means to refer to the entire part of the movie, rather than merely the song itself. Yeah, I'm reaching here.... But it's listed that way on my cassette from the early 80's.
I would argue that the soundtrack page should read "America" (as listed) and lead to this page which is "America the Beautiful", the true song title. That is what we have traditionally done with slight title variations (usually parodies); then we just note the title difference as used. That way it's clear that the publication info, etc. is about the real song. -- Wendy (talk) 01:31, 7 September 2006 (UTC)

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