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"Similau"
Tiki Chris
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Joined: Mar 24, 2002
Posts: 1543
From: London
Posted: 2003-04-04 03:02 am   Permalink

One of my favorite exotica tracks is "Similau" by Martin Denny. However, I have no idea what the word "similau" means. I did a search on both google & Yahoo but only got a list of sites that sell CDs or have reviews of songs, etc.

Can anybody help?

Tiki Chris


 
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Tikitronic
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Joined: Jan 06, 2003
Posts: 78
From: mora tora mora
Posted: 2003-04-04 09:38 am   Permalink

On the I Love Lucy show, I remember that Ricky Ricardo performed Similau at his nightclub. It was a moodier darker version.
I can't remember the details, but he prefaced the song with a story about what it meant. I loved that song when I was a kid.

Which doesn't answer your question, obviously, but could be a lead...
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tikigreg
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Joined: Mar 24, 2002
Posts: 1171
From: ClubTiki
Posted: 2003-04-04 1:30 pm   Permalink

Well, I don't know how helpful this is, but I asked my mother-in-law, who is Chilean, if she knew what the word meant. She said it sounded Portugeuse/Brazilian. In Spanish, "si me lo" loosely translates to "if you do for me", so it could very well me a slang Brazilian phrase.

 
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Frenchy Polynesia
Deleted

Joined: Apr 05, 2002
Posts: 0
Posted: 2003-04-04 2:58 pm   Permalink

Can't help you with the nomenclature - but if you're really into the song, my favorite version (up there with Denny's) is Esquivel's version on the 'See It In Sound' disc. Complete with 'authentic' native chanting!

    
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Rain
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Joined: May 27, 2002
Posts: 431
From: Providence, RI
Posted: 2003-04-04 5:04 pm   Permalink

i thought this was going to be a post about a party SIMilar to the hukILAU. seriously.

 
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Trader Tiki
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Joined: Mar 06, 2003
Posts: 385
From: Portland, OR
Posted: 2003-04-04 5:15 pm   Permalink

Well, dang. Too late to post a snip about this being similau to a post I remember from earlier.

har


 
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lemonsqueezer
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Jan 03, 2005
Posts: 91
Posted: 2006-06-05 9:16 pm   Permalink

It's also one of my favourite exotica tunes and I am happy about every version that crosses my way. I still don't know who did first record it and who made it first popular. A short web search tells that it was composed by Arden Clar & Harry Coleman in 1948- that's all. Anyone?
And does anyone knows what the lyrics are about?

martin


[ This Message was edited by: lemonsqueezer 2006-06-05 21:43 ]


 
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ikitnrev
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Joined: Jul 27, 2002
Posts: 1313
From: D.C. / Virginia
Posted: 2006-06-06 10:29 am   Permalink

A very similar word is 'Similac' the brand name for the infant milk formula which is often used instead of breast milk. The word 'Similac' is a shortened version of 'Similar to Lactation.'

With that thought in mind, Similau is perhaps meant to mean 'shortened for a luau.'

Here is my theory, totally speculative, and other than the dates, not based on fact. In 1948, Jack Owens writes the Hukilau song, which becomes a big hit. Composer Arden Clar and his wife hear the song, and become enraptured by the romantic visions of the luau and the South Seas Islands.

9 months later (it is now 1949), there is a new child in their household. Late one night, while half asleep while feeding his newborn infant, Arden Clar imagines the sweet sounds and visions of that romantic evening from the previous year, and how it has resulted in the beautiful child in his arms. Still drowsy, he composes and writes down the melody of a song to capture the memory - both of the romantic night, but also his hopes and dreams for his new child.

The next morning, he sees his notes, remembers the melody, and looking for a title of the song, his eyes fall upon the empty, nearby can of Similac. He combines the words 'Hukilau' and 'Similac', and thus Similau is born.

Actually, the subtitle to Similau is 'See-me-lo', so Tikigap is probably closer to the truth with his theory.

Vern








 
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Swanky
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Joined: Apr 03, 2002
Posts: 5065
From: Hapa Haole Hideaway, TN
Posted: 2006-06-06 11:54 am   Permalink

Back to "reality."

"Similau" is a Chinese name.

In the 1824 book by Robert Kerr, page 233 a Chinese man is spoken of with this name.

Here is Similau the pirate spoken of.

Otherwise, I think Vern is as close as anybody...
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bigtikidude
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Joined: Aug 10, 2004
Posts: 8965
From: Anaheim,Ca.
Posted: 2006-06-06 5:46 pm   Permalink

Ok this is all hear say, but I take it on pretty reliable sorces.
The Surfaris( surf band that did wipe out and surfer joe) also did a cover of Similau.

They say when they play it in concert that they remember hearing this song as kids and wanted to play it.
Supposedly it is a Cuban word, and it's about a ghost that lives in a sugar cane field.

don't know if that's true, but I like it.

Jeff(bigtikidude)


 
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lemonsqueezer
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Jan 03, 2005
Posts: 91
Posted: 2006-06-20 10:56 am   Permalink

Thanks for the info! The Surfaris still play the tune live. I had the pleasure to see this group
http://www.surfariswipeout.com/
(And not that one: http://thesurfaris.com/)
live two month ago and can easily say it was the best Surf Concert I ever saw. (Better than Dick Dale as his heavy metal drummer didn't fit in) They did play with THREE guitarists, bass & drums. Extremely great and powerful with a clever & good tracklist incl. some vocals for the perfect alternation. Highly recommended!

A short look at allmusic.com does answer my question about early similau versions (before Denny 1956)

Edmundo Ros 1948 or 1949
Peggy Lee - 1949
Desi Arnez - 1951
Gene Krupa & His Orchestra 1949


& this lyrics are from the www:

SIMILAU (Arden Clar / Harry Coleman) in 1948

(I Similau, I Similau, I Similau, I Similau)

Spirit in the wood beat the hollow cane
Spirit in the wood take away the pain
Make the body ripe and alive again
I Similau (I Similau, I Similau)

Spirit in the heart make the blood flow fast
Spirit in the heart make the beauty last
Keep the hope alive when the youth go past
I Similau (I Similau, I Similau)

When my lover comes upon the scene
Drop a petal from the tree
Fling the mountain up into the sky
Fill the river with the sea

Spirit in the wood let the hollow cane
Echo in the afterglow
Waiting for the flame to burn again
I Similau (I Similau I Similau)

(Transcribed by Mel Priddle - September 2003)
(Additions by Nigel Hunter - February 2004)


[ This Message was edited by: lemonsqueezer 2006-06-20 10:57 ]


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bigtikidude
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Joined: Aug 10, 2004
Posts: 8965
From: Anaheim,Ca.
Posted: 2006-06-20 7:11 pm   Permalink

Cool thanks for the lyrics, that basically confirms the Surfaris story.

Jeff(bigtikidude)



 
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Unga Bunga
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 06, 2003
Posts: 5824
From: CaliTikifornia
Posted: 2006-06-21 11:54 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2006-06-20 10:56, lemonsqueezer wrote:
Thanks for the info! The Surfaris still play the tune live. I had the pleasure to see this group
http://www.surfariswipeout.com/
(And not that one: http://thesurfaris.com/)


LS,
The websites both say that they are the "original" Surfaris. Which guitar player is the one who wrote the original riffs for Surfer Joe and Wipeout?


 
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lemonsqueezer
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Jan 03, 2005
Posts: 91
Posted: 2006-06-21 6:13 pm   Permalink

I don't know. My 45 credits wipe out to the surfaris and surfer joe to ron wilson. On the thesurfaris.com side under history you find:
Most Popular Question: Who wrote Wipe Out?
Answer: Bob Berryhill, Pat Connolly, Jim Fuller, Ron Wilson. ALL other claims are bogus, including those that say they helped write the song before the Wipe Out/Surfer Joe recording session in Dec.'62.
on Wikipedia it says that lead guitar on "Wipe Out", "Surfer Joe" is played by Jim Fuller. If you want to know if he wrote the riff on wipe out I think the best thing to find out is to ask him (or Bob Berryhill). but as surfer joe was written by the drummer, also he could be the one


[ This Message was edited by: lemonsqueezer 2006-06-21 18:20 ]


 
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bigtikidude
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 10, 2004
Posts: 8965
From: Anaheim,Ca.
Posted: 2006-06-21 10:39 pm   Permalink

Bob BerryHill used tobe in the Surfaris back in the day, it seems he had a falling out with the band and left, and started his version of the band with his sons and wife. I hear of them playing church festivals every onece in awhile. But never any surf band typicla bars or beach events. I've yet to see them.
The Surfaris with Jim Fuller is/was the original band, but he is the last remaing original member left in the band.
Jim Pash past away recently, and the drummer a decade or 2 back.
But... Paul Johnson of the Belairs-Mr. Moto fame) plays guitar in the band. And Ron Eglit who played with Dick Dale for 25 + years just joined to fill the vacancy of Jim Pash.

Good band, worth seeing at least once. Not as energetic or authentic sounding as some of the newer/youneger surf bands. But not bad at all.

Jeff(bigtikidude)


 
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