Galway Girl - you mean the Steve Earle song…no I mean the Ed Sheeran song…Pardon me?

Galway Girl - you mean the Steve Earle song…no I mean the Ed Sheeran song…Pardon me?

Is it good form to name a song with a title that is already a well-known song by someone else? I was surprised today to read that one of the top songs in the Irish charts (and many other charts as well) is "Galway Girl" by Ed Sheeran, an extremely successful pop singer. The song was released last week. I easily found it on youtube. I expected a new version of Steve Earle’s "Galway Girl", which I have always enjoyed immensely, and which has been performed many times at my local session over the past 10 years. Sheeran’s song is totally different. There’s no similarity whatsoever other than the title. I know US copyright allows this because I looked it up. Titles are not sacrosanct. I could write a song and name it Penny Lane or The Wild Rover if I wanted to. But should I do this? It seems sleazy to me. Maybe the new guy actually never knew about the Steve Earle song. That’s barely plausible, but someone along the way in the recording process, must have heard the Steve Earle song. It’s very famous, especially the Sharon Shannon version.
Well, this kind of annoys me. Hey fellow songwriters…does it annoy you? Or does it give you a new idea for promoting your songs? I’ve been thinking about ways to promote my own music more effectively. There’s no shortage of famous titles available. Any suggestions?

Re: Galway Girl - you mean the Steve Earle song…no I mean the Ed Sheeran song…Pardon me?

I just realized that this can also apply to tune names. Is there anyone going to stop me if I name one of my own tunes "The Kesh Jig"? I could do it, but I probably won’t.

Re: Galway Girl - you mean the Steve Earle song…no I mean the Ed Sheeran song…Pardon me?

Hmm pretty good song. Even it has the same name as a different song

Re: Galway Girl - you mean the Steve Earle song…no I mean the Ed Sheeran song…Pardon me?

I think it’s the worst possible combination of American Country mixed with wannabe hip-hop. Let’s just hope it’s a different girl than Steve Earle’s…

Re: Galway Girl - you mean the Steve Earle song…no I mean the Ed Sheeran song…Pardon me?

Sligo Girl was available. So was Kerry Girl. He could have used either of those titles.
Sheeran’s song would have gotten just as famous just as quick.

Re: Galway Girl - you mean the Steve Earle song…no I mean the Ed Sheeran song…Pardon me?

Where do you hear American country in the song? Also maybe he did actually meet a girl from Galway maybe the story the song is telling is true. You never know maybe that’s why he called it "Galway Girl"

Re: Galway Girl - you mean the Steve Earle song…no I mean the Ed Sheeran song…Pardon me?

Oh okay so maybe I was wrong

According to the BBC:

"Shape has now been number one for nine weeks, one spot below it is album track Galway Girl.
Sheeran says he was inspired by Irish folk bands that he "grew up listening to".
"I always wanted to make a whole record of it," he says. "I managed to get this brilliant folk band called Beoga over to my house to do a bunch of songs and it happened to be the best of the bunch."

http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/article/39231296/ed-sheeran-has-nine-of-top-10-but-thinks-its-weird

Also I thought the BBC was a world news network not the online equivalent to TMZ or some other stupid celebrity "news" crew or whatever.

Re: Galway Girl - you mean the Steve Earle song…no I mean the Ed Sheeran song…Pardon me?

I know BBC stands for British Broadcasting Corporation, but the point still stands.

Re: Galway Girl - you mean the Steve Earle song…no I mean the Ed Sheeran song…Pardon me?

The style of singing Kellie. Not the words and not the accent. Right up until the syllables start getting crammed in as eighth-notes. Hard to believe he got that song from Beoga. I think they’re way above that level.

Re: Galway Girl - you mean the Steve Earle song…no I mean the Ed Sheeran song…Pardon me?

No I get it. It’s garbage that panders to teenagers, but perhaps that’s why I sort of like the melody just a tiny bit. I absolutely despise pop music and I agree that with the fact that it would not be expected for Beoga to be that generic.

Re: Galway Girl - you mean the Steve Earle song…no I mean the Ed Sheeran song…Pardon me?

Thing is, you can’t accuse Sheeran of using a pre-existing song title to piggy-back his own song to success… for the simple reason that Sheeran is already the biggest pop star on the planet right now. If anything, it’s the other way round: I had never heard of Steve Earle’s song until Sheeran released his. So actually Steve Earle’s ‘Galway Girl’ is getting name checked, and receiving a lot more exposure, than it ever has in the past.

That’s not an endorsement of Ed Sheeran, who I can’t stand, by the way.

Re: Galway Girl - you mean the Steve Earle song…no I mean the Ed Sheeran song…Pardon me?

Years ago I recorded a cassette and sold it around the traps, it was my first attempt, the music was ok but the sound quality was pretty average. I’d been messing about for years with this project so I came up with a title that was a double entendre, referring to the delays in getting something down on tape but also a reference to the "steady" timing of my music and called it "All In Good Time". About a year later I saw the same title on a Patrick Street album and have no doubt it was pure co-incidence.

Re: Galway Girl - you mean the Steve Earle song…no I mean the Ed Sheeran song…Pardon me?

Well there are several different songs called "Rolling Home": I can think of at least 5!

But what annoys me more than the above, is songs being called Irish when they’re not: loads of examples on a thread in Mudcat, but just a few here now: Dirty Old Town (Ewan McColl, written about Salford, Manchester), From Clare to Here (written by Ralph McTell, from Croydon), Fiddler’s Green (John Connolly, from Yorkshire).

Re: Galway Girl - you mean the Steve Earle song…no I mean the Ed Sheeran song…Pardon me?

just listened to it on Youtube, I agree with callison, the hip hop delivery makes it almost unlistenable and the occasional riffs of trad instruments don’t help it - hard to believe Beoga didn’t mention to Ed Sheeran
‘did you realize these really famous musicians Steve Earle and Sharon Shannon already used this title’
anyway it’ll be massive - I guess it might arouse curiosity about real Irish music amongst a few of the uninitiated……………

Re: Galway Girl - you mean the Steve Earle song…no I mean the Ed Sheeran song…Pardon me?

Song names are recycled all the time, this is why you can’t copyright a song title. Ed Sheeran is a class act. Beoga are magic. Yum yum!

Re: Galway Girl - you mean the Steve Earle song…no I mean the Ed Sheeran song…Pardon me?

A group of us at a session were once asked to play "that Irish song." Yes, this was an Irish music session, in the middle of Cork City. Yes, she was pretty drunk. She was looking for the Steve Earle "Galway Girl." The American in me was glad when I later learned she was Canadian. We get enough flack already!

Re: Galway Girl - you mean the Steve Earle song…no I mean the Ed Sheeran song…Pardon me?

I love the idea that the Steve Earle version is now going to become even more popular due to the pop star celebrity phenomenon. The power of celebrity on the internet is amazing nowadays.

Re: Galway Girl - you mean the Steve Earle song…no I mean the Ed Sheeran song…Pardon me?

Well, it’s always been "two names for every tune, two tunes for every name" hasn’t it? Why not for songs too?

Re: Galway Girl - you mean the Steve Earle song…no I mean the Ed Sheeran song…Pardon me?

I’m very, very grateful that Justin Bieber didn’t record either version of the song.

Re: Galway Girl - you mean the Steve Earle song…no I mean the Ed Sheeran song…Pardon me?

check out Nancy Mulligan - its actually a half-decent song imho

Re: Galway Girl - you mean the Steve Earle song…no I mean the Ed Sheeran song…Pardon me?

No that’s one too many "HEY"s for me.

Re: Galway Girl - you mean the Steve Earle song…no I mean the Ed Sheeran song…Pardon me?

Am I mistaken, or is there some concern that the Steve Earle song is not popular enough … ?

Re: Galway Girl - you mean the Steve Earle song…no I mean the Ed Sheeran song…Pardon me?

I think Galway’s just one of those places people have heard of. We might have been listening to "Mullingar Girl" or something.

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Re: Galway Girl - you mean the Steve Earle song…no I mean the Ed Sheeran song…Pardon me?

Miles, I don’t have any concern for the popularity of Galway Girl by Steve Earle. I’m just wondering out loud about the ethics of the situation. Nothing can be done about it. We can all just observe this phenomenon.
It may make Earle’s song even more popular for all we know, and attract hordes of pop fans to Irish traditional music. This could be the greatest thing to happen to Irish Music since Riverdance!!

Re: Galway Girl - you mean the Steve Earle song…no I mean the Ed Sheeran song…Pardon me?

I have a feeling that, stripped down without the plastic pop elements, that jamming this song with Beoga may indeed have been a wonderful experience.

The subsequent tepid hip hop beats are whats called for in the mass market and he’d let down his fans if he didn’t.

I think to ‘Pay Back’ to the tradition, however, that a stripped down acoustic trad album would be agreat idea for him!

This coverage is great for the tradition - and will undoubtedly be a gateway for a tiny tiny number of pop fans. If he were indeed to do a session style album then we’d have tens of thousands of new youngsters getting into the tradition by next Christmas!

Re: Galway Girl - you mean the Steve Earle song…no I mean the Ed Sheeran song…Pardon me?

Just listened to the song. I quite like it actually.

As for Steve Earle’s song, it’s been done to death by singer strummers in pubs throughout the land for far too long. I cringe now every time I hear it.

Nancy Mulligan is a great song too, IMHO. For the time being, that is. :-P

Re: Galway Girl - you mean the Steve Earle song…no I mean the Ed Sheeran song…Pardon me?

Johnny, we will be strumming it [or doing it to death] yet another time this coming St Patricks
along with Fields of Athenry, Black Velvet Band, blah blah blah, unfortunately its called keeping the punters
happy and consequently the landlord who pays our fee!

Re: Galway Girl - you mean the Steve Earle song…no I mean the Ed Sheeran song…Pardon me?

Willie McBride too, no doubt? Another well known Irish tune which I’m sure Trish has heard.

:-P

Re: Galway Girl - you mean the Steve Earle song…no I mean the Ed Sheeran song…Pardon me?

Hi Kellie,
BBC Newsbeat pages are the pop music pages of the BBC website, so targeting an audience interested in pop music.

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Re: Galway Girl - you mean the Steve Earle song…no I mean the Ed Sheeran song…Pardon me?

I actually think it’s a great pop song, compared to most other pop songs these days, with a little Irish flavour in the tune. More of Irish flavoured pop songs may encourage interest in ITM as others have said.
Me myself never heard much Irish or general Celtic music growing up until Bob Geldof’s ‘Great song of indifference,’ and I fell in love with the whistle, slowly exploring more traditional Irish music from there.