Joan to the Maypole

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The song “John (Joan) to the Maypole” dates back at least to 1600, we know several text versions with the same title but also with different titles, (to “May-day Country Mirth”, “The Young Lads and Lasses”, ” Innocent Recreation “,” The Disappointment “) the first printed version dates back to 1630 when the melody is attributed to Felix White, and we find it in the collection” The Pills to Purge Melancholy “by Thomas D’Urfey c. 1720.

17th-century woodblock from the ballad sheet ‘The May Day Country Mirth’

The song describes a typical May Day on the lawn: couples dance around the May Pole to contend for the coveted award, the May garland. The winning couple will become King and Queen of May.
To organize May Day feast we need just a green, that is an open space outside the village, a well planted pole in the middle of the lawn, decorated with flower garlands, some “summer houses” where to sit in the shade and refresh with drinks.
In the painting by Charles Robert Leslie we see a scene celebrating the May with Queen Elizabeth depicted on the right in the foreground while being entertained by a jester. On the expanse of the second floor stands the May pole decorated with green garlands; around the pole the dances are taking place and the characters dressed by Robin Hood, Lady Marian, Fra Tack, but also a seahorse, a dragon and a buffoon (the classic characters of mummers and Morris) are well distinguishable.

MayDay_Leslie
Charles Robert Leslie – May Day in the reign of Queen Elizabeth

In the Victorian painting by William Powell Frith we find again the same situation described in the late medieval period: in the distance on the left stands out the profile of a church, not by chance: it was in fact the church that financed the May celebrations; with the beer sold, the parish church was maintained or the alms were distributed to the poor.

William Powell Frith (1819-1909) A May Day Celebration Oil on canvas 40 x 56 inches (101.6 x 142.3 cm) Private collection
William Powell Frith (1819-1909) A May Day Celebration

It is not even so strange that Beltane feast has merged under the control of the Catholic Church, but the Puritans were horrified by all May customs, thus May Pole and related celebrations see moments of obscurantism alternated with moments of tolerance (see more)

The tune is from “Margaret Board Lute Book” (here) the manuscript in the private collection of Robert Spencer, has been dated c1620 up to 1636 (it seems that lady Margaret took lessons from John Dowland).

Toronto Consort  from O Lusty May 1996 
in “The new standard song book”- (J.E.Carpenter) – 1866 with the title: “very popular at the time of Charles I”. A version of nine verses is featured in the broadside titled “The May-Day Country Mirth Or, The Young Lads and Lasses’ Innocent Recreation, Which is to be priz’d before Courtly Pomp and Pastime.” Bodleian collection, Douce Ballads 2 (152a ) and The Roxburghe Ballads: Illustrating the Last Years of the Stuarts Vol. 7, Part 1, edited by J. Woodfall Ebsworth (Hertford: Ballad Society, 1890) (see)

JOAN TO THE MAYPOLE
Chorus
Joan to the Maypole away, let us on,
The time is swift and will be gone;
There go the lasses away to the green,
Where their beauties may be seen
I
Bess, Moll, Kate, Doll,
All the gay lasses
have lads to attend them,
Hodge, Nick, Tom, Dick,
Jolly brave dancers,
and who can mend them?
[Chorus]
II
Did you not see the Lord of the May
Walk along in his rich array?
There goes the lass that is only his,
See how they meet and how they kiss.
Come Will, run Gill,
Or dost thou list to lose thy labour(1);
Kit Crowd scrape loud,
Tickle her, Tom, with a pipe and tabor!(2).
[Chorus]
III
There is not any that shall out-vie
My little pretty Joan and I,
For I’m sure I can dance as well
As Robin, Jenny, Tom, or Nell.
Last year, we were here,
When Ruff Ralph he played us a bourée,
And we, merrily
Thumped it about and gained the glory.
IV
Now, if we hold out
as we do begin,
Joan and I the prize shall win(3);
Nay, if we live till another day (4),
I’ll make thee lady of the May.
Dance round, skip, bound,
Turn and kiss, and then for a greeting.
Now, Joan, we’ve done,
Fare thee well
till the next merry meeting.
[Chorus]

NOTES
1) the exhortation refers to the musicians who are not yet ready with their instruments to kick off the dance.
2) Pipe and tabor or tabor-pipe is the three-hole flute associated with the tambourine, the flute is played with one hand and with the other one it is accompanied by a tambourine  (see more)
3) the May garland at stake
4) it is not clear whether the election dethroned the previous couple immediately or is the title valid for the following year.

second part

LINK
http://ontanomagico.altervista.org/intorno-al-palo-del-maggio.html
http://www.maymorning.co.uk/426023492
http://tunearch.org/wiki/Annotation:Joan_to_the_Maypole
http://www.cs.dartmouth.edu/~wbc/julia/ap1/Board.htm

http://cbladey.com/mayjack/maysong.html#JOAN%20TO%20THE%20MAYPOLE

Rolling home across the sea

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A “rolling home” is a traveling home on wheels, but it is also the title of the best known among the homeward-bound shanty. In America home is California or Boston, while in Europe it is England, London or Hamburg, but also Scotland, Ireland or Dublin, the song is equally popular on German and Dutch ships.
Taken from a homonymous poem written by Charles Mackay in 1858 it is considered a forecastle song, but it has also been a capstan shanty. The question of origin is still controversial, about twenty versions are known and according to Stan Hugill it could have a Scandinavian origin.

STANDARD VERSION

It is the version penned in the poem by Charles Mackay who wrote it on May 26, 1858 while he was on board “The Europe” going home and in effect the verses are a little more elaborate than the phrases usually used by the shantyman
Dan Zanes from Sea Music
Carl Peterson

ROLLING HOME
I
Up aloft, amid the rigging
Swiftly blows the fav’ring gale,
Strong as springtime in its blossom,
Filling out each bending sail,
And the waves we leave behind us
Seem to murmur as they rise;
“We have tarried here to bear you
To the land you dearly prize”.
CHORUS
Rolling(1) home, rolling home,
Rolling home across the sea,
Rolling home to dear old Scotland (2)
Rolling home, dear land to thee (3).
II (4)
Full ten thousand miles behind us,
And a thousand miles before,
Ancient ocean waves to waft us
To the well remembered shore.
Newborn breezes swell to send us
To our childhood welcome skies,
To the glow of friendly faces
And the glance of loving eyes.
III (5)
I have watched the rolling hillside
Of the wondrous river Clyde (6)
As I sailed away from Greenock
My heart beat fast inside
But I knew as I was sailing
Far from that Scottish shore
I will miss her every minute
But I’ll return once more.

NOTES
1) rolling has many meanings: it is generally synonymous with “sailing” but it can also derive from “rollikins” an old English term for “drunk”; often as Italo Ottonello suggests, we mean in a literal sense that the typical gait of the sea wolves is “rocking”
2) or England
3) according to Hugill the song comes from a Scandinavian version and he notes that the verse is sometimes sung as “the land’s forbee” with “forbee” = “passing by” or “near.” Förbi is Swedish stands for “past, by.”
4) Carl Peterson skips the 2nd stanza of Charles Mackay’s poem
5) the stanza was added by Carl Peterson
6) it refers to the rolling hills near the Clyde estuary that flows near the port city of Greenock, located on the southern coast

SCOTTISH VERSION

Old Blind Dogs from The Gab O Mey 2003, in a version with a lot of Scotsness

ROLLING HOME
I (1)
Call all hands to man the capstan
See the cable running clear
Heave around and with the wheel, boys
For our homeland we must steer
Chorus
Rolling home, rolling home
Rolling home across the sea
Rolling home to Caledonia
Rolling home, dear land, to thee
II
From the pines of California
And by Chile’s endless strand
We have sailed the world twice over
Every port in every land
III
And to all ye blaggard pirates
Who would chase us from the waves
Heed ye well that those who’ve tried us
Soon have found their watery graves
IV
We were boarded in Jamaica
Where the Jolly Rodger flew
But our swords were hardly drawn, boys
‘Ere they took a rosy hue
V
We return with precious cargo
And with bounty coined in gold
And our sweethearts will rejoice, boys
For they lo’e their sailors bold

NOTES
1) it resumes the II stanza of the poem by Charles Mackay

IRISH VERSION: Rolling home to Ireland

Irish Rovers different text and melody

ROLLING HOME TO IRELAND
I
I come from Paddy’s land
I’m a rake and ramblin’ man
Since I was young, I’ve had the urge to roam
So don’t you weep for me
When I’m sailing on the sea
For you won’t see me till I come rolling home
Chorus
Rolling home to Ireland, rolling home across the sea
Back to me own con-ter-ree (country)
Two thousand miles behind us
and a thousand more to go

So fill the sails and blow winds blow!
II
We sailed away from Cork
We were headed for New York
I’d always dreamed the sailor’s life for me
But the days were hard and long
With no women, wine, or song
And it wasn’t quite the fun I’d thought ‘twould be
III
We weren’t too long a-sail
When the wind became a gale
Our boat was tossed and turned upon the foam
With waves like moutains high
Well I thought that I would die
I wished to God that I was rolling home
IV
And when I reach the shore
I will go to sea no more
There’s more to life than sailing ‘round the Horn
Good luck to sailor men
When they’re headed out again
I wish them all safe harbor from the storm

LINK
https://www.poetrynook.com/poem/rolling-home
http://www.nathanville.org.uk/web-albums/burgess/scrapbook/victorian-culture/pages/The-collected-songs-of-Charles-Mackay.htm
http://www.darachweb.net/SongLyrics/RollingHome.html
http://www.contemplator.com/sea/rolling.html
https://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=67591

https://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=17029
http://www.celticlyricscorner.net/oldblinddogs/rolling.htm
http://www.educationscotland.gov.uk/scotlandssongs/secondary/genericcontent_tcm4555620.asp

Rolling home

Read the post in English

Con “Rolling home” s’intende una casa viaggiante su ruote, ma è anche il titolo della più conosciuta tra le  homeward-bound shanty. In America casa è la California o Boston, mentre in Europa è l’Inghilterra, Londra o Amburgo, ma anche  la Scozia, l’Irlanda o Dublino, la canzone è altrettanto popolare sulle navi tedesche e olandesi.
Tratta da una poesia omonima scritta da Charles Mackay nel 1858 è considerata una forecastle song, ma è stata anche  una capstan shanty. La questione dell’origine è ancora controversa, si conoscono una ventina di versioni e secondo Stan Hugill potrebbe avere un’origine  scandinava.

LA VERSIONE STANDARD

E’ la versione riportata nella poesia di Charles Mackay che la scrisse il 26 maggio 1858 mentre era a bordo dell’Europa diretto verso casa  e in effetti i versi sono un po’ più elaborati rispetto alle frasi utilizzate di solito dallo shantyman
Dan Zanes in Sea Music
Carl Peterson


I
Up aloft, amid the rigging
Swiftly blows the fav’ring gale,
Strong as springtime in its blossom,
Filling out each bending sail,
And the waves we leave behind us
Seem to murmur as they rise;
“We have tarried here to bear you
To the land you dearly prize”.
CHORUS
Rolling(1) home, rolling home,
Rolling home across the sea,
Rolling home to dear old Scotland (2)
Rolling home, dear land to thee (3).
II (4)
Full ten thousand miles behind us,
And a thousand miles before,
Ancient ocean waves to waft us
To the well remembered shore.
Newborn breezes swell to send us
To our childhood welcome skies,
To the glow of friendly faces
And the glance of loving eyes.
III (5)
I have watched the rolling hillside
Of the wondrous river Clyde (6)
As I sailed away from Greenock
My heart beat fast inside
But I knew as I was sailing
Far from that Scottish shore
I will miss her every minute
But I’ll return once more.
Traduzione italiana Cattia Salto
I
Sul pennone, in mezzo al sartiame
soffia spedito un vento favorevole,
vigoroso come la primavera in fiore
riempie ogni vela e la flette,
e le onde che ci lasciamo dietro
sembrano mormorare con il movimento” Ci siamo attardate qui per sostenerti fino alla terra che hai cara”
Coro
Naviga a casa, naviga a casa

naviga a casa sul mare,
naviga a casa alla cara vecchia Scozia,
naviga a casa,  cara terra, a te

II
Dieci mila miglia buone dietro di noi
e un un migliaio davanti, le onde dell’antico oceano per trasportarci verso la terra che ricordiamo bene.
Le nuove brezzesi soffiano per guidarci verso i benvenuti cieli della nostra infanzia, al sorriso di volti amici e allo sguardo di occhi amorevoli.
III
Ho visto il profilo ondulato
del meraviglioso fiume Clyde
mente salpavo da Greenock
il mio cuore batteva forte
ma sapevo che stavo navigando
lontano dalla costa scozzese,
mi mancherà ogni minuto
ma ritornerò ancora una volta

NOTE
1)  rolling ha molti significati: in genere è sinonimo di“sailing” ma può anche derivare da “rollikins” un vecchio temine inglese per “ubriaco”; spesso come suggerisce Italo Ottonello si intende in senso letterale come “dondolante” la tipica andatura dei lupi di mare
2) oppure England
3) secondo Hugill la canzone deriva da una versione scandinava e rileva che il verso è a volte cantato come “the land’s forbee” con “forbee”= “passing by” o “near.” Förbi is svedese sta per “past, by.”
4) Carl Peterson salta la II strofa della poesia di Charles Mackay
5) la strofa è stata aggiunta da Carl Peterson
6) si riferisce alle colline ondulate nei pressi all’estuario del Clyde che sfocia in prossimità della città portuale di Greenock,  
situata sulla costa meridionale   stupende immagini del fiume 

LA VERSIONE SCOZZESE

Old Blind Dogs in The Gab O Mey 2003, in una versione con molta Scotsness


I (1)
Call all hands to man the capstan
See the cable running clear
Heave around and with the wheel, boys
For our homeland we must steer
Chorus
Rolling home, rolling home
Rolling home across the sea
Rolling home to Caledonia
Rolling home, dear land, to thee
II
From the pines of California
And by Chile’s endless strand
We have sailed the world twice over
Every port in every land
III
And to all ye blaggard pirates
Who would chase us from the waves
Heed ye well that those who’ve tried us
Soon have found their watery graves
IV
We were boarded in Jamaica
Where the Jolly Rodger flew
But our swords were hardly drawn, boys
‘Ere they took a rosy hue
V
We return with precious cargo
And with bounty coined in gold
And our sweethearts will rejoice, boys
For they lo’e their sailors bold
Traduzione italiana Cattia Salto
I
Chiama tutti gli uomini per maneggiare l’argano, vedete come la catena scorre bene, avvolgetela ragazzi, perchè verso casa dobbiamo fare rotta
Coro
Navigo a casa, navigo a casa
navigo a casa sul mare,
navigo a casa a Caledonia,
navigo a casa, la cara terra, a te

II
Dai pini della California
e dalla spiaggia infinita del Cile
abbiamo navigato per il mondo due volte, in ogni porto e in ogni terra
III
A tutti voi furfanti di pirati
che vorreste inseguirci tra le onde
ascoltate bene che quelli che ci hanno provato hanno presto trovato la loro tomba nel mare
IV
Ci siamo imbarcati in Giamaica
dove veleggia il Jolly Roger
ma le nostre spade erano ben affilate, ragazzi
e hanno preso una tonalità rossa
V
Ritorniamo con il nostro prezioso carico e con abbondanza di  monete d’oro e le nostre innamorate si rallegreranno, ragazzi
perchè amano il loro marinai coraggiosi

NOTE
1) riprende la II strofa della poesia di Charles Mackay

LA VERSIONE IRLANDESE

Melodia diversa come pure il testo la Rolling home to Ireland degli Irish Rovers


I
I come from Paddy’s land
I’m a rake and ramblin’ man
Since I was young, I’ve had the urge to roam
So don’t you weep for me
When I’m sailing on the sea
For you won’t see me till I come rolling home
Chorus
Rolling home to Ireland, rolling home across the sea
Back to me own con-ter-ree (country)
Two thousand miles behind us
and a thousand more to go

So fill the sails and blow winds blow!
II
We sailed away from Cork
We were headed for New York
I’d always dreamed the sailor’s life for me
But the days were hard and long
With no women, wine, or song
And it wasn’t quite the fun I’d thought ‘twould be
III
We weren’t too long a-sail
When the wind became a gale
Our boat was tossed and turned upon the foam
With waves like moutains high
Well I thought that I would die
I wished to God that I was rolling home
IV
And when I reach the shore
I will go to sea no more
There’s more to life than sailing ‘round the Horn
Good luck to sailor men
When they’re headed out again
I wish them all safe harbor from the storm
Traduzione italiana Cattia Salto
I
Vengo dalla terra di Paddy
sono un giramondo gaudentete
da quando ero ragazzo ho avuto la necessità di girovagare,
così non piangere per me
mentre navigo per mare
perchè non mi vedrai finchè non tornerò a casa
Coro
Navigando verso l’Irlanda, navigando verso casa per il mare
di ritorno nel mio paese

due mila miglia dietro alle spalle
e altri mille da fare, così gonfiate le vele e soffiate, venti, soffiate!

II
Abbiamo navigato lontano da Cork
eravamo diretti a New York
ho sempre sognato la vita del marinaio per me
ma i giorni erano duri e lunghi
senza donne, vino o canzoni
e non era proprio il divertimento che credevo
III
Eravamo da poco in alto mare, quando il vento è diventato una tempesta
la nostra barca fu sbattuta dai marosi
con onde alte come montagne.
Beh, pensavo che sarei morto
e sperai che Dio mi facesse ritornare a casa
IV
E quando raggiungerò la riva
non andrò più per mare
c’è di più nella vita che navigare intorno all’Horn.
Buona fortuna ai marinai
quando vanno di nuovo fuori
vorrei che fossero tutti al sicuro dalla tempesta

FONTI
https://www.poetrynook.com/poem/rolling-home
http://www.nathanville.org.uk/web-albums/burgess/scrapbook/victorian-culture/pages/The-collected-songs-of-Charles-Mackay.htm
http://www.darachweb.net/SongLyrics/RollingHome.html
http://www.contemplator.com/sea/rolling.html
https://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=67591

https://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=17029
http://www.celticlyricscorner.net/oldblinddogs/rolling.htm
http://www.educationscotland.gov.uk/scotlandssongs/secondary/genericcontent_tcm4555620.asp