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Bali-Hi and Immigrant Song


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Has anyone else noticed that the opening banshee scream that Robert does in the Immigrant Song is the same melody for South Pacific's Bali-Hi? Each envokes a diffferent feeling as Bali-hi is an ethereal siren call and Immigrant Song announces the wandering conqueror but both are the same melody.

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Has anyone else noticed that the opening banshee scream that Robert does in the Immigrant Song is the same melody for South Pacific's Bali-Hi? Each envokes a diffferent feeling as Bali-hi is an ethereal siren call and Immigrant Song announces the wandering conqueror but both are the same melody.

I've seen South Pacific but I can't say it has the same melody to my ears :)

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Has anyone else noticed that the opening banshee scream that Robert does in the Immigrant Song is the same melody for South Pacific's Bali-Hi? Each envokes a diffferent feeling as Bali-hi is an ethereal siren call and Immigrant Song announces the wandering conqueror but both are the same melody.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=81NROmUb7o0http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=81NROmUb7o0

Immigrant Song by Led Zeppelin

They seem to have the same melody, but there are slight variations. It appears that only the C is the same, and the others vary somewhat.

Bali Hai chords consist of F diminished, F, D flat, C, B flat, G minor, B flat minor, E diminished, D minor, G diminished, G flat, A flat

songtrellis.com.bali hai chords

Immigrant Song is in what looks like F sharp minor, E, A, B, C

scribd.com/doc/11194374/Led-Zeppelin-Immigrant-Song

roadrunnerrecords.com/blabbermouth.net/news.aspx?mode=Article&newsitemID=15697

Kevin O'Keefe of Tennis.com reports that on stage and in recordings, the voice of Robert Plant2.gif, lead singer of legendary British hard rock band LED ZEPPELIN, has rocked generations of adolescents. On the tennis court (photo), though, his singing can strike the wrong note. "One time I found myself uncontrollably encouraging my doubles partner to move her feet," says Plant, 55, an advanced intermediate. "I started singing this song to the melody of http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cMORAZCog5A], except I made up words about happy feet. I was going, 'Pick your feet up!' After that I found out that a couple people [at my club] didn't want to play with me anymore."
Edited by eternal light
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Wait Nine! :lol: There is a real similarity there, although you and Aqua are right to point out that it's not the exact same melody, because the relevant melody from Bali-Hai is longer, and the part of it that resembles the opening wail in Immigrant Song is done slightly differently. The songs are in different keys, too.

But the real similarity is on the level of harmonic parallels. For the sake of simple exposition let's eliminate the different keys, and just transpose the harmonic idea. Now instead of the dominant A note on the strings in Bali-Hai, or the F# octave riff that Jimmy plays in IS, let us just imagine a basic C octave. Now, take the fifth note, i.e. G, and form another octave on top of the C octave. That's OK, but still sounds a bit dull, doesn't it? But if you let the higher G note sort of waver down half a step (to F#) before going back up to form the full octave, then there it is. In Bali-Hai the F# would be repeated, and sung as three distinct notes, whereas Robert sings it only once, as a longer note. In terms of basic harmony that of course makes no difference, while in terms of melody it's much more important.

I had never heard of this before now. But I must say the similarity, while certainly interesting as such, seems entirely coincidental.

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Wait Nine! :lol: There is a real similarity there, although you and Aqua are right to point out that it's not the exact same melody, because the relevant melody from Bali-Hai is longer, and the part of it that resembles the opening wail in Immigrant Song is done slightly differently. The songs are in different keys, too.

But the real similarity is on the level of harmonic parallels. For the sake of simple exposition let's eliminate the different keys, and just transpose the harmonic idea. Now instead of the dominant A note on the strings in Bali-Hai, or the F# octave riff that Jimmy plays in IS, let us just imagine a basic C octave. Now, take the fifth note, i.e. G, and form another octave on top of the C octave. That's OK, but still sounds a bit dull, doesn't it? But if you let the higher G note sort of waver down half a step (to F#) before going back up to form the full octave, then there it is. In Bali-Hai the F# would be repeated, and sung as three distinct notes, whereas Robert sings it only once, as a longer note. In terms of basic harmony that of course makes no difference, while in terms of melody it's much more important.

I had never heard of this before now. But I must say the similarity, while certainly interesting as such, seems entirely coincidental.

I don't see the F sharp in Bali Hai.

I see an F diminished and an F.

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Wait Nine! :lol: There is a real similarity there, although you and Aqua are right to point out that it's not the exact same melody, because the relevant melody from Bali-Hai is longer, and the part of it that resembles the opening wail in Immigrant Song is done slightly differently. The songs are in different keys, too.

But the real similarity is on the level of harmonic parallels. For the sake of simple exposition let's eliminate the different keys, and just transpose the harmonic idea. Now instead of the dominant A note on the strings in Bali-Hai, or the F# octave riff that Jimmy plays in IS, let us just imagine a basic C octave. Now, take the fifth note, i.e. G, and form another octave on top of the C octave. That's OK, but still sounds a bit dull, doesn't it? But if you let the higher G note sort of waver down half a step (to F#) before going back up to form the full octave, then there it is. In Bali-Hai the F# would be repeated, and sung as three distinct notes, whereas Robert sings it only once, as a longer note. In terms of basic harmony that of course makes no difference, while in terms of melody it's much more important.

I had never heard of this before now. But I must say the similarity, while certainly interesting as such, seems entirely coincidental.

Hmmm -well now you've got me thinking. I'll have to spend some time listening more carefully and try to follow along with what you've said regarding the notes and see if my ears hear anything different. Certainly is an interesting comparison! But I do agree that any similarities are most likely coincidental unless the boys had a secret passion for musicals we don't know about :o<_<

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I don't see the F sharp in Bali Hai.

I see an F diminished and an F.

Honey, admittedly I'm not good at describing these things. But I transposed the whole thing to C. The melodic basic octave thus becomes G to G, and when you hit the higher G note, you just sort of waver down half a step from there, before you then go back up. See what I mean?

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Hmmm -well now you've got me thinking. I'll have to spend some time listening more carefully and try to follow along with what you've said regarding the notes and see if my ears hear anything different. Certainly is an interesting comparison! But I do agree that any similarities are most likely coincidental unless the boys had a secret passion for musicals we don't know about :o<_<

Robert Plant sings Happy Talk when he is playing tennis, but changes the lyrics to Happy Feet.

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Hmmm -well now you've got me thinking. I'll have to spend some time listening more carefully and try to follow along with what you've said regarding the notes and see if my ears hear anything different. Certainly is an interesting comparison! But I do agree that any similarities are most likely coincidental unless the boys had a secret passion for musicals we don't know about :o<_<

:lol:

I found a version of Bali Hai by Charlotte Church, and if you listen to the opening notes of the song there, not Charlotte's singing, but before she starts singing. I am talking about how the flute harmonizes with the strings. You can hear it pretty well there. It's

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:lol:

I found a version of Bali Hai by Charlotte Church, and if you listen to the opening notes of the song there, not Charlotte's singing, but before she starts singing. I am talking about how the flute harmonizes with the strings. You can hear it pretty well there. It's

Okay I hear a wee bit of similarity now. Nothing I would have ever picked up on without someone commenting on it though!

Thanks for the link :beer:

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Forgive my musical illiteracy, but it sounds to me like one major difference is that the wail at the beginning of Immigrant Song ends with a note (in whatever key, here's where the illiteracy comes in :slapface:) an octave higher than the previous one, unlike in Bali Hai. (I'm hearing two half-notes at the beginning of IS, unlike BH, too.)

That probably makes no sense to anyone who reads music, sorry.

But anyway, I agree with all, the similarities are coincidental, Happy Talk/Feet or not. :D

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Wow, thanks for the link Eternal to check the similarties. While I have no ear for music I cannot comment on exactly what key they are sung in as some of you have discussed in quite good detail it would seem to me that the individual singer would change the key of the melody to suit their style. And the delivery envokes different feelings. I have found a few links on the internet commenting on the similarities but most notably was the reference I found in Keith Shadwick's book 'Led Zeppelin The Story of a Band and Their Music' page 132 (sorry, I haven't figured out how to post links yet.)

"The galloping horses going to war riff and drum pattern hark back to elements of the guitar-drums riff of Hendirx's "Little Miss Lover", but Plant launches into a banshee howl that has repeatedly been compared to an invading horde of Goths straight from Valhalla. In fact it hails from an altogether more cheerful clime. These are the opening measures of the melody of "Bali Hi' from Rodgers & Hammerstein's musical South Pacific. Plant's subsequent lyrics transfer the action from an idyllic Pacific island to a land of ice and snow, but this does not deflect the jubilation at the core of the song."

I never really thought of it before I downloaded the ringtone on my phone so Robert is wailing at me to answer the calls when they come in.

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Wow, thanks for the link Eternal to check the similarties. While I have no ear for music I cannot comment on exactly what key they are sung in as some of you have discussed in quite good detail it would seem to me that the individual singer would change the key of the melody to suit their style. And the delivery envokes different feelings. I have found a few links on the internet commenting on the similarities but most notably was the reference I found in Keith Shadwick's book 'Led Zeppelin The Story of a Band and Their Music' page 132 (sorry, I haven't figured out how to post links yet.)

"The galloping horses going to war riff and drum pattern hark back to elements of the guitar-drums riff of Hendirx's "Little Miss Lover", but Plant launches into a banshee howl that has repeatedly been compared to an invading horde of Goths straight from Valhalla. In fact it hails from an altogether more cheerful clime. These are the opening measures of the melody of "Bali Hi' from Rodgers & Hammerstein's musical South Pacific. Plant's subsequent lyrics transfer the action from an idyllic Pacific island to a land of ice and snow, but this does not deflect the jubilation at the core of the song."

I never really thought of it before I downloaded the ringtone on my phone so Robert is wailing at me to answer the calls when they come in.

Yeah, people do seem to change the key to fit their particular range.

So I should have known - Shadwick mentions it! :slapface: Well, if one doesn't look up such things upon reading about them, and really pursue them, one is likely to forget all about it.

Aqua, if Robert's wail goes like this:

Ah-ah aaaaaaah-ah

You can try mumbling it to yourself like this:

Ba-li haaaaaaa-i

That is actually quite close to Bali Hai, except that really goes:

Ba-li haaaa ha ha-i

Note the short repeats of the slightly lower note - the lyrics necessitate that (I just put them as short "ha"'s, because I can't make out what they are singing there, but it's the same note).

The two short notes in the beginning is an octave jump, the long note is down half a step. the short note is back up. Quite similar.

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Danny Kaye and Vera Ellen sung Bali Boogie in the Wonderman. Found a clip of it. The song is about Bali but they never sing the melody of the discussion here. What a great entertainer he was. Saw lots of his movies but I don't recall seeing this one. I'll have to get my daughter to bring it home one of these times, she works at Hollywood Video.

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Yeah, I know. :wacko: But it's actually a great book, and a somewhat unusual one, too, in the Zep literature.

Shadwick's? Yes, it is a great book, but it's obviously a long time since I read it--I'm still working on the Goths/Valhalla part! (Then there's Michener's--South Pacific--that was a fun book too, though with zero Zeppelin content until now. :D )

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Shadwick's? Yes, it is a great book, but it's obviously a long time since I read it--I'm still working on the Goths/Valhalla part! (Then there's Michener's--South Pacific--that was a fun book too, though with zero Zeppelin content until now. :D )

So you have it, I should have guessed. :lol:

I am amazed I didn't remember this from the book, seeing as it's about Immigrant Song. :slapface: Robert wrote the lyrics in this country, and they even seem to have performed it here.

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