"Paths of Victory" - Bob Dylan or traditional?

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Folknik, Jun 2, 2018.

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  1. Folknik

    Folknik Forum Resident Thread Starter

    I have almost always seen the song "Paths of Victory" credited to Bob Dylan as writer, except in one instance. On Anne Murray's debut album What About Me (originally released only in Canada but later re-released in the US on Pickwick), the song is credited to Anne's producer Brian Ahern. It makes me wonder if the song is actually a traditional spiritual in the public domain. Dylan certainly used a lot of traditional material in his original songs in his early days, such as setting the lyrics of "Masters of War" to the tune of the traditional ballad "Nottamun Town." Was "Paths of Victory" already out there? Did Dylan change some of the words and claim authorship? (That was very common practice during the folk boom. The Kingston Trio were notorious for it.)? Did Brian Ahern credit himself for his arrangement of the song? Was it actually a Dylan original mistakenly credited to Ahern on the Anne Murray album? It does have the sound and form of a traditional spiritual. Does anybody know?
     
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  2. Dylancat

    Dylancat Forum Resident

    Location:
    Cincinnati, OH
    Traditional
    Palms of Victory
    Also done as Pans of Biscuits
     
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  3. Folknik

    Folknik Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Thanks! Somehow I had never heard either one. "Paths of Victory" is definitely a derivative of "Palms of Glory" (and I'm guessing that "Pans of Biscuits" is a parody). I'm also guessing that Brian Ahern knew that Dylan had adapted the song from a traditional source and felt free to sign his own name to that adaptation. The folk process is complicated.
     
  4. Dylancat

    Dylancat Forum Resident

    Location:
    Cincinnati, OH
    Pans of Biscuits is not a parody, but uses the melody.
    The song is a lament.
    Deprivations in life
    With the promise of plenty afterward.
     
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