Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Q is for "Quinn the Eskimo"

Bonjour from Campagne Maison



"Q" is for "Quinn the Eskimo"




......Come all without.....

....Come all within....

You'll not see nothing like the Mighty Quinn.....


"Quinn the Eskimo (Mighty Quinn)"
is a 1967 folk-rock song written by Bob Dylan during "The Basement Tapes" sessions. The song became a hit in 1968 for the British band Manfred Mann, who released it as a single using the title "Mighty Quinn".

The subject of the song is the arrival of the mighty Quinn (an Eskimo), who changes despair into joy and chaos into rest, and attracts attention from the animals. The metaphorical lyrics have prompted suggestions that Quinn is a village elder. Dylan himself has said that the title character refers to actor Anthony Quinn's role as an Eskimo in the 1959 movie "The Savage Innocents". Dylan has also been quoted as saying that the song was nothing more than a "simple nursery rhyme".


Anthony Quinn 1915-2001


"The Mighty Quinn" with Denzel Washington

More recently, Dylan in his autobiography Chronicles Volume One (published 2004), makes further reference to the song: "On the way back to the house I passed the local movie theater on Prytania Street, where The Mighty Quinn was showing. Years earlier I had written a song called "The Mighty Quinn" which was a hit in England, and I wondered what the movie was about. Eventually I'd sneak off and go there to see it. It was a mystery, suspense, Jamaican thriller with Denzel Washington as the "Mighty Xavier Quinn", a detective who solves crimes. Funny, that's just the way I imagined him when I wrote the song--- The Mighty Quinn, Denzel Washington".




Dylan originally recorded the song in 1967 during the Basement Tapes sessions, but did not release a version for another three years. Meanwhile, the song was picked up and recorded by the British band Manfred Mann, who released it under the title "Mighty Quinn." The Manfred Mann version reached #1 in the UK Singles Chart for the week of February 14, 1968, and remained there the following week. It also charted on the American Billboard chart, peaking at #10, and reached #4 in Cash Box.

A later incarnation of Manfred Mann, Manfred Mann's Earth Band, included a dramatically different live version of the song on their 1978 album Watch.

A demo of 14 of the Basement Tape recordings, including the first of two takes of "Quinn the Eskimo", was produced in 1968, but was not intended for release. Recordings taken from the demos began appearing on bootlegs, starting with Great White Wonder, a double-album bootleg that came out in July 1969. The first official release of the song was in 1970 on Dylan's Self Portrait album, a live recording from 1969's Isle of Wight Festival. The live version was also selected in 1971 for the second compilation of Dylan's career, Bob Dylan's Greatest Hits Vol. II.

When Columbia finally released The Basement Tapes in 1975, "Quinn the Eskimo" was not among the double-album's 24 songs (although an Eskimo was featured on the album cover, alongside Dylan, The Band, and several other people meant to represent certain characters from some of Dylan's songs). However, ten years later, in 1985, the second of the original takes appeared on the three-disc Biography set. This version from the Basement Tapes was used again on The Essential Bob Dylan, a compilation released in 2000.


...when Quinn the Eskimo gets here, everybody's gonna jump for joy...





I am linking up with Jenny's Alphabe-Thursday. Please grab her button on my sidebar and head on over to class to read about all the other "Q"s today!


Thanks for stopping by the farmhouse for a visit. We love having company.

Au revoir,

http://www.wikipedia.com/




28 comments:

JDaniel4's Mom said...

Wow! What a fun post! I haven't heard of the song before, but I had fun learning about it.

jeff campbell said...

Jacque, this is a super post...what a great "Q" choice. You are a rock star! Peace and blessings...

Viki said...

OMG, I forgot all about that song and Manfred Mann. Thanks for the memories LOL.

Amanda said...

Oh, I love that song! Thanks for the history-- I don't believe I knew it was written by Dylan.

Jo said...

I haven't heard that song for years .... and years .... I love that you wrote about the history of the song.

Natasha said...

My mum and dad used to play that song all the time! Great idea for your q post and quite educational too!

Best wishes,
Natasha.

Sarah said...

Jacque, what a great choice for Q. Love that song and all the memories it stirs within. You always find something interesting to share. Thank you! ~ Sarah

Tracy said...

Oh wow I love that story and now know more about thanks

Maggie B said...

Love the Mighty Quinn & the Manfreds!!
Paul Jones was the lead singer when they sang 5-4-3-2-1 the theme song to my absolute favourite British, Music TV show in the mid 60's: Ready Steady Go, with "Queen of the Mods" Cathy McGowan as host.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cathy_McGowan
Thanks Jacque for bringing back such wonderful memories. Fab!
~Maggie~

My name is PJ. said...

This was terrific! Quinn The Eskimo...hadn't thought of him in years!!!

Anna said...

Dear Jacque
Clever choice of Q-word, Quinn! Not what I expected. But fun. Popular music is also a part of our culture!
Thanks for sharing.
Best wishes,
Anna

http://annasadornments.blogspot.com/2010/05/q-as-in-quilts-quartz-abc-wednesday.html

Steph said...

I had forgotten this song. What a fun and informative post. You researched well and expressed your musical and movies facts in such and interesting way. A great surprise along the Alphabe-Thursday route.

Jenny said...

My husband thanks you profusely because now I will have to walk around the house all day singing this song at the top of my lungs...

Because that's the only way it sounds right!

I love this song and totally forgot about it.

And who knew the history of it would be so fascinating?

Obviously, you did, and you were clever enough to share it with all of us on our little journey through Alphabe-Thursday's Letter "Q"!

Bravo of you.

Bravo for us!

A+

Cheryl said...

What a great choice for Q. I love this song. Thanks for the history lesson too.

Sh@KiR@ CK said...

WOW.. a lot of very cool nice information...

Mine is here
Happy Sensational Thursday!
hugs
shakira

Anonymous said...

Well, just another quite excellent post by Jacque. You are so clever and informative too. I did not know Dylan wrote that song, and I thought I knew alot of trivia. I guess I should never go on Jeopardy after all. My reflexes are too slow anyway. TL

Keri "The Coupon Lady" said...

Great Q idea! Hubby randomly bursts out singing that song every now and then.

laterg8r said...

great q post :D

JcVeggie said...

Oh ok I know this song...LOL! When I saw this post I thought I would be seeing a picture of an eskimo ice fishing or something...Having lived in Alaska for many years, I now have hanging in my kitchen a black and white photo of "an eskimo" Alaskan Native man fully dressed in his furs and mukluks ice fishing on a very frozen lake. His faces tells a story of tradition,harsh conditions, and love. What a cool Q post and I love the back story on Dylan! I love to hear the psychology of how art is created...Great job!

GardenofDaisies said...

I bet my husband will know this song. I'll have to ask him tonight when he comes home from work.

H said...

I had no idea that this song was written by Dylan!!

Sea Witch said...

Love this post. But then any history of music is always so interesting. Had no idea that Dylan was the author. Sea Witch

Christy said...

Oh, now I will be singing that song for days. My kids thank you. LOL!

Christy said...

love that song..never thought or knew about its history. great post!

Terra said...

Very cool information! Thanks for sharing.

Brenda said...

I do remember that song. At first I did not think I knew it but as I read the tune started coming to me.

Pondside said...

As soon as I read the title of your post I had the song in my head. It was interesting to read the back story to the song - all new to me.

Melinda Cornish said...

I dont know the song, but I am going to find it and have a listen....I like the name Quinn for a girl.....Happy q day