Archivi categoria: Anti&war song/CANTI DI GUERRA

Celtic song about war

Concealed death: french, breton and occitan ballads

Leggi in Italiano

 Concealed death

LORD OLAF AND THE ELVES 
SCANDINAVIAN VARIANTS
BRITISH AND AMERICAN VERSIONS
FRENCH VERSIONS
ITALIAN VERSION

Professor Child collected the summary of a version from Brittany that is likely to be the link between the Scandinavian variants and the south of Europe ones.

BRETON TALE: The Count Nann

The count Nann and his wife were married at the respective ages of thirteen and twelve. The next year a son was born. The young husband asked the countess if she had a fancy for anything. She said that she should like a bit of game, and he took his lance and went to the wood. At the entrance of the wood he met a fairy (a dwarf in other versions). The fairy said that she had long been looking for him. “Now that I have met you, you must marry me.” “Marry you? Not I. I am married already.” “Choose either to die in three days or to lie sick in bed seven (three in other versions) years” and then die. He would rather die in three days, for his wife is very young, and would suffer greatly. On reaching home the young man called to his mother to make his bed; he should never get up again. He recounted his meeting with the fairy, and begged that his wife might not be informed of his death.
The countess asked: “What has happened to my husband that he doesn’t come home to see me?” She was told that he had gone to the wood to get her something. “Why were the men-servants weeping?” The best horse had been drowned in bathing him. She said they were not to weep; others should be brought. “Why were the maids weeping?” Linen had been lost in washing. They must not weep the loss would be supplied. “Why are the priests chanting (or the bells tolling)?” A poor person whom they had lodged had died in the night. “What dress should she wear for her churching – red or blue?” The custom had come in of wearing black.
On arriving at the church she saw that the earth had been disturbed; why was this? “I can no longer conceal it”, said her mother-in-law: “Your husband is dead.” “Take my keys, take care of my son; I will stay with his father.” (from here)

We find the same story in the French medieval ballad Le Roi Renaud which in the Occitan language becomes Comte Arnau (Arnau is Renaud). The rediscovery of the ballad of medieval origin takes place in full romantic fervor from the nationalisms and the antiquarian taste of traditional songs. I therefore refer to the excellent treatment of Christian Souchon for all the interweaving and in-depth analysis on the subject of Concealed Death  in  France (here).

Breton Ballad: An Aotrou Nann hag ar Gorrigan

In Brittany the ballad “Aotroù Nann” (Sir Nann and the Fairy) is circulated in dozens of versions but the pattern is always identical: the meeting with the fairy, the refusal of the knight, the choice to die slowly among the toments or by a fulminant death and the concealment of knight death to his young bride about to give birth. The rest are details varied according to singer taste. (see here and here).

Gwennyn from Avalon 2017  (track 8)
(under review)

FRENCH VERSION: LE ROI RENAUD

The French version sends king back home from war, wounded to death. (no enchanted forest and fairy here!) To his queen they concealed his death until his burial,probably because they do not want to create complications in the imminence of childbirth. However, after giving birth and finally getting out of bed to go to mass (and after a kilometer ballad full of concealment) The ballad ends tragically with queen who invokes death and immediately the earth opens up from under her feet swallowing her.

Even today the ballad is sung by folk singers  with medieval-inspired arrangements.
Pierre Bensusan
Le Poème Harmonique from Aux marches du palais


I
Le roi Renaud de guerre vint
tenant ses tripes dans ses mains.
Sa mère était sur le créneau
qui vit venir son fils Renaud.
II
– Renaud, Renaud, réjouis-toi!
Ta femme est accouché d’un roi!
– Ni de ma femme ni du fils
je ne saurais me réjouir.
III
Allez ma mère, allez devant,
faites-moi faire un beau lit blanc.
Guère de temps n’y resterai:
à la minuit trépasserai.
IV
Mais faites-le moi faire ici-bas
que l’accouchée n’l’entende pas.
Et quand ce vint sur la minuit,
le roi Renaud rendit l’esprit..
V
Il ne fut pas le matin jour
tous les valets pleuraient très tous.
Il ne fut temps de déjeuner
que les servantes ont pleuré.
VI
– Mais dites-moi, mère, m’amie,
que pleurent nos valets ici ?
– Ma fille, en lavant nos chevaux
ont laissé noyer le plus beau.
VII
– Oh pourquoi donc, mère m’amie,
pour un cheval pleurer ainsi ?
Quand Renaud reviendra,
plus beaux chevaux ramènera.
VIII
– Et dites-moi, mère m’amie,
que pleurent nos servantes ici ?
– Ma fille, en lavant nos linceuls
ont laissé aller le plus neuf.
XIX
– Oh pourquoi donc, mère m’amie,
pour un linceul pleurer ainsi ?
Quand Renaud reviendra,
plus beau linceul ramènera.
X
– Ah, dites-moi, mère m’amie,
Qu’est-ce que j’entends cogner ici ?
– Ma fille, ce sont les charpentiers
Qui raccommodent le plancher.
XI
– Ah ! Dites-moi, mère m’amie,
Pourquoi les cloches sonnent ici ?
– Ma fille, c’est la procession
Qui sort pour les rogations.  (1)
XII
– Mais, dites-moi, mère m’amie,
C’est que j’entends chanter ici ?
– Ma fille, c’est la procession
Qui fait le tour de la maison.
XIII
Or quand ce fut passé huit jours,
A voulut faire ses atours.
Or, quand ce fut pour relever,
à la messe  (2) elle voulut aller,
XIV
– Mais dites-moi, mère m’amie,
quel habit mettrai-je aujourd’hui ?
– Mettez le blanc, mettez le gris,
mettez le noir pour mieux choisir.
XV
– Mais dites-moi, mère m’amie,
qu’est-ce que ce noir-là signifie
– A femme relèvant d’enfant,
le noir lui est bien plus séant.
XVI
Mais quand elles fut parmi les champs,
Trois pastoureaux allaient disant :
– Voici la femme du seignour
Que l’on enterra l’autre jour !
XVII
– Ah ! Dites-moi, mère m’amie,
Que disent ces pastoureaux-ci ?
– Il disent de presser le pas,
Ou que la messe n’aura pas.
XVIII
Or quand elle fut dans l’église entrée,
un cierge on lui a présenté.
Aperçoit en s’agenouillant
la terre fraîche sous son banc.
XIX
– Ah ! Dites-moi, mère m’amie,
pourquoi la terre est rafraîchie?
– Ma fille, ne puis plus vous celer,
Renaud est mort et enterré.
XX
Puisque le roi Renaud est mort,
voici la clé (3) de mon trésor.
Voici mes bagues et mes joyaux,
prenez bien soin du fils Renaud.
XXI
Terre, ouvre-toi, terre fends-toi,
que j’aille avec Renaud, mon roi!
Terre s’ouvrit, et se fendit,
et ci fut la belle engloutie.
English translation*
I
King Renaud comes back from the war,
Holding his guts in his hands.
His mother who was on the battlement, Saw her son Renaud come.
II
– Renaud, Renaud, cheer you up!
Your wife has given birth to a king!
– Neither for my wife, nor for my son,
May I cheer up.
III
Go, my mother, hurry up.
Have a fine white bed set ready for me;
I have short time to remain here:
By midnight I shall pass away.
IV
But have it done it down here
So my wife in childbirth will not hear!
And when midnight came,
King Renaud gave back his soul.
V
Morning had not broken yet,
And soon the valets were all weeping.
And even before breakfast,
All the maidservants have wept.
VI
– Tell me my mother dear,
What are our valets weeping for?
– My daughter, while washing our horses,
They let the finest drown.
VII
– And why, mother dear,
Such a weeping for a horse?
When King Renaud comes back,
He will bring finer horses.
VIII
– Ah! Tell me, my mother dear,
why do our women servants weep?
– Dear, while washing our linen sheets
they have lost the newest.
XIX
-And why, mother dear,
should they weep so for a linen sheet?
When King Renaud returns,
he will buy finer linen sheets.
X
– Ah! Tell me, my mother dear,
What are those beatings I hear?
– My daughter, it’s the carpenters
Repairing the floor.
XI
– Ah! Tell me, mother dear
What do I hear ringing here?
– My daughter, it is the procession,
Going out for the rogations.(1).
XII
– Ah! Tell me, mother dear,
What are the priests singing here?
– My daughter, it is the procession,
Turning round the house.
XIII
And when eight days had passed,
She wanted to dress up to the nines.
And when she could get up
She wanted to go to the Mass.
XIV
-Ah! Tell me mother dear,
Which dress shall I wear today?
– Wear the white, wear the grey,
Wear the black to choose best
XV
– Ah! Tell me mother dear,
What does this black mean?
-To a woman who has given birth to a child,
Black is the most convenient.
XVI
But when they were amidst the fields
Three shepherds were saying:
-Look at the wife of that lord
Who was buried the other day!
XVII
-Ah! Tell me mother dear,
What are those shepherds saying?
_ They say to hurry up,
Otherwise we’ll miss the Mass.
XVIII
When she stepped inside the church
She was given a church candle.
he realized, while kneeling,
That the earth was fresh under her bench.
XIX
– Ah, Tell me, mother dear
Why is the earth fresh here?
– My daughter, I cannot hide it any longer:
Renaud is dead and buried.
XX
Since King Renaud is dead,
Here are the keys to my treasure.
Take my rings and my jewels,
Feed well Renaud’s son!
XXI
Earth, open up! Earth, burst open!
Let me join Renaud, my king!
Earth opened up, earth burst open,
And the beauty was swallowed.

NOTES
* from here and here
1) the rogations were processional chants mixed with prayers with which they went to bless the fields in the three days before Ascension (continued)
2) at one time woman was considered impure after childbirth and she could return to the community only after 40 days. The ballad reflects an archaic conception of woman in marriage: her only role is to generate descent and her destiny is to follow her husband in death. In reality, in the Middle Ages, high-ranking widows were conveniently remarried or sended in a convent.
3) the married woman was entrusted with house keys, pantry and wardrobe and they hanged them on the belt as a hallmark of their rank
4) holy ground for church

OCCITAN VERSION: LO COMTE ARNAUD

We realize immediately that death does not occur because of an evil mermaid or fairy. The war is responsible for the tragedy. The tale becomes more realistic and universal and stresses on the dramatisation by focusing more on the concealed death.
Arnau joins in a war, he is wounded and comes back at the beginning of summer (on Saint John’s day). He asks to have his bed made and after his last conversation with his mother he announces his death. Once the magical elements have been disregarded and substituted by a more realistic view of life, the second part can continue by adapting the version from Brittany to the story. The most important difference is that the hero’s wife has just given birth to a child. That makes the story more dramatic and the concealed death creates a sympathetic suspense in the audience until it is revealed. This is a common trait in most European variants. Another curiosity found in most versions concerns the dress she will have to wear while going to church: it must be black! It is basically a theatrical device. The listeners of ballads used to visualize the story with their third eye and could “see” the mother in law who actually spoke to them. It was as if she said: “You and I know why I have answered so.” The story is then similar to a Greek tragedy, like Oedipus King. We know the truth, but the characters do not; the truth will be revealed only in the topic and dramatic moment of the tragedy. In both cases the concealed truth gives vent to pietas as sympathetic attention toward the fragile and mortal. It is in this way that the tragedy of Arnau’s wife, amplified by the birth of a child, becomes a projection of something already lived, or hypothetically lived, in which we all recognize ourselves. With all the other listeners we become a sort of silent Greek chorus expressing a feeling of pietas. (from here)
Rosina de Pèira & Martina from Cançons de femnas 1980


I
Lo comte Arnau, lo chivalièr,
dins lo Piemont va batalhier.
Comte Arnau, ara tu ten vas;
digas-nos quora tornaras.
II
Enta Sant Joan ieu tornarai
e mort o viu  aici serai.
Ma femna deu, enta Sant Joan
me rendre lo pair d’un bel enfant.
III
Mas la Sant Joan ven d’arribar,
lo Comte Amau ven a mancar.
Sa mair, del pus naut de l’ostal,
lo vei venir sus son caval.
IV
“Mair, fasetz far prompte lo leit
que longtemps non i dormirai.
Fasetz-lo naut, fasetz-lo bas,
Que ma miga n’entenda pas.”
V
Comte Arnau, a que vos pensatz
qu’un bel enfant vos quitariatz?
Ni per un enfant ni per dus,
mair, ne ressuscitarai plus.
VI
“Mair, que es aquel bruch dins l’ostal?
Sembla las orasons d’Arnau.
La femna que ven d’enfantar
orasons non deu escotar.”
VII
“Mair, per la festa de deman
quina rauba me botaran?
La femna que ven d’enfantar
la rauba negra deu portar!”
VIII
“Mair, porque tant de pregadors?
Que dison dins las orasons?”
Dison: la que ven d’enfantar
a la misseta deu anar.
IX
A la misseta ela se’n va,
vei lo Comt’ Arnau enterar.
“V’aqui las claus de mon cinton,
mair, torni plus a la maison.”
X
“Terra santa, tel cal obrir,
Voli parlar a mon marit;
Terra santa, te cal barrar,
amb Arnau voli demorar.
English translation*
I
Earl Arnau, the knight
Joins in a war in Piedmont.
“Earl Arnau, now you are going;
Tell us when you come back.”
II
“I’ll come back before Saint John’s day.
Either dead or alive I will be here.
My wife, just before Saint John’s day,
Will make me father of a beautiful son.”
III
But Saint John’s day comes,
Earl Arnau is missing.
His mother sees him coming on horseback
From the top of the house.
IV
“Mother have my bed made,
I won’t sleep long.
Make it high or make it low,
Provided that my wife doesn’t hear.”
V
“Earl Arnau, what are you thinking of,
That you will leave your beautiful son?”
Neither for one son, nor for two,
Mother, I won’t raise from the dead.”
VI
“Mother what’s that noise in the house?
It sounds as if they were Arnau’s prayers.”
“Woman who has just given birth to a child
Must not listen to prayers.”
VII
“Mother, for tomorrow’s feast,
What will they wear me with?”
Woman who has just given birth to a child,
Must wear a black dress!”
VIII
“Mother, why so many people praying?
What do they say in the prayers?”
“They say: who has given birth to a child/Must go to the Mass.”.
IX
She goes to the Mass
Sees Earl Arnau buried:
“Here is the key of my belt,
I won’t come back home anymore.”
X
“Holy land, you must open up,
I want to talk to my husband.
Holy land, you must close,
With Arnau I want to remain.”

NOTE
* (from here)

Version from Piedmont (Italy)

FONTI
http://chrsouchon.free.fr/nann.htm
http://chrsouchon.free.fr/nannf.htm
http://chrsouchon.free.fr/chants/trador.htm
http://chrsouchon.free.fr/chants/roirenau.htm
http://chrsouchon.free.fr/chants/arnaud.htm

https://www.antiwarsongs.org/canzone.php?lang=it&id=2499
https://www.antiwarsongs.org/canzone.php?id=1049&lang=it
http://www.coroasiago.it/rinaldo.htm
http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=8862

The Concealed Death: Re Giraldin

Leggi in Italiano

 Concealed death

LORD OLAF AND THE ELVES 
SCANDINAVIAN VARIANTS
BRITISH AND AMERICAN VERSIONS
FRENCH VERSIONS
ITALIAN VERSION

Just as professor Child also Costantino Nigra brings back the theme of concealed death by a story of the old farmers of Castelnuovo.

The fairy’s present

rackham_fairy There was a hunter who often hunted on the mountainside. Once he saw a very beautiful and richly dressed woman under a rock bottom. The woman, who was a fairy, nodded to the hunter to approach and asked him to take her as his wife. The hunter told her he was just married and did not want to leave his young bride. The fairy gives him a casket containing a gift for the young wife, and advises him to hand it out only to her and by no means to open it. Of course, on his way home he cannot refrain from opening it and finds a splendid belt interwoven with gold and silver threads. Just to know what it will look like when worn by his wife, he ties it round the trunk of a tree. Suddenly the belt catches fire when the tree is hit by a flash of lightning. The hunter is hit, too and he hardly manages to drag himself home. He crumbles on his bed and dies.

Arthur_Rackham_1909_Undine_(7_of_15)In the Breton and Piedmontese version, the accent is placed more precisely on the second part of the story, that of the Concealed Death, a tipicall feature in all Romance languages of the ballad: Comte Arnau (in the Occitan version), Le Roi Renaud (the French one) and Re Gilardin (the Piedmontese one). The relationship between the knight-king and the fairy-mermaid is more nuanced than the Nordic versions, it seems to prevail a more “catholic” and intransigent view on sexual relations … in fact in the ballad greenwood and fairy disappear while the knight returns from the war wounded to death.

RE GILARDIN

La Ciapa Rusa (founders Maurizio Martinotti and Beppe Greppi) made many ethnographic researches with the elderly singers and the players of the musical tradition of the Four provinces -to be precise in Alta Val Borbera – a mountain area straddling four different provinces Al, Ge, Pv and Pc.
The ballad of medieval high origin, had already been collected and published in different versions by Costantino Nigra in his “Popular Songs of Piedmont”

The Ciapa Rusa in 1982 makes an initial arrangement of Re Gilardin
In this first version there is a sort of dramatic representation with the narrating voice (Alberto Cesa) the king (Maurizio Martinotti), the mother, the widow, the altar boy. We can imagine all the most tragic and comical scenes – turned into horror with the dead man who snatches a last kiss from his widow!

La Ciapa Rusa from  “Ten da chent l’archet che la sunada l’è longa – Canti e danze tradizionali dell’ alessandrino” 1982: compared to the translation, it seems more like a “literary” language than a dialect.

Gordon Bok and hig group, 1988 ♪ 
they follow with a good skill the Piedmontese version and in the notes Gordon says he has received the Ciapa Rusa version through the Italian music journalist Mauro Quai

The group refounded with the name of Tendachent (remain Maurizio Martinotti – ghironda and voice, Bruno Raiteri -violin and viola- and Devis Longo – voice, keyboards and flutes) again proposes the ballad in theri first album “Ori pari”, 2000 , with a more progressive sound (now the group is called Nord-Italian progressive folk-rock)

Donata Pinti from “Io t’invoco, libertà!: La canzone piemontese dalla tradizione alla protesta” 2010 ♪ featuring Silvano Biolatti on the guitar

RE GILARDIN*
I
Re Gilardin, lü ‘l va a la guera
Lü el va a la guera a tirar di spada
(Lü el va a la guera a tirar di spada)
O quand ‘l’è stai mità la strada(1)
Re Gilardin ‘l’è restai ferito.
Re Gilardin ritorna indietro
Dalla sua mamma vò ‘ndà a morire.
II
O tun tun tun, pica a la porta
“O mamma mia che mi son morto”.
“O pica pian caro ‘l mio figlio
Che la to dona ‘l g’à ‘n picul fante(2)”
“O madona la mia madona(3)
Cosa vol dire ch’i  sonan tanto?”
“O nuretta, la mia nuretta
I g’fan ‘legria al tuo fante”
III
“O madona la mia madona
Cosa vol dire ch’i cantan tanto?”
“O nuretta, la mia nuretta
I g’fan ‘legria ai soldati
“O madona , la mia madona
Disem che moda ho da vestirmi”
“Vestati di rosso, vestati di nero
Che le brunette stanno più bene”
IV
O quand l’è stai ‘nt l üs de la chiesa
D’un cirighello si l’à incontrato
“Bundì bongiur an vui vedovella”
“O no no no che non son vedovella
g’l fante in cüna e ‘l marito in guera”
“O si si si che voi sei vedovella
Vostro marì l’è tri dì che ‘l fa terra”
V
“O tera o tera apriti ‘n quatro
Volio vedere il mio cuor reale”
“La tua boca la sa di rose(4)
‘nvece la mia la sa di terra”
English translation**
I
King Gilardin was in the war,
Was in the war wielding his word.
(Was in the war wielding his word.)
When he was Midway, upon the journey, King Gilardin was wounded.
King Gilardin goes back home,/At his mother’s house he whished to die.
II
Bang, bang! He thumped at the door.
“O Mother, I am near to die.”
“Don’t thump so hard, my son,
Your wife has just given birth to a boy.”
“My Lady my mother-in-law
What does all their chanting mean?”
“O my daughter-in-law,
They want to feast your baby.”
III
“My Lady my mother-in-law
What does all their singing mean?”
“O my daughter-in-law,
They want to entertain the soldiers.”
“My Lady my mother-in-law
Tell me, how shall I dress?”
“Dress in red or dress in black,
It fits brunettes perfectly .”
IV
When she came to the church gate,
She encountered an altar boy:
“A wish you a good day, new widow.”
“By no means am I a new widow,
I’ve a child in its cradle and a husband at war.”
“O yes, you are a new widow,
Your husband was buried three days ago.”
V
“O earth, open up in four corners!
I want to see the king of my heart.”
“Your mouth has a taste of rose,
Whereas mine has a taste of earth.”

NOTES
* (From an original recording by Maurizio Martinotti in the upper Val Borbera)
** (revised by here)
1) it’s inevitable remembering Dante “Midway, upon the journey of our life” (with forest corollary), in this context it’s a point that changes forever the life of the king, or the hero.
2) probably he knew about his fatherhood at the time of his death
3) in the answers the real reason for the preparations is hidden: the king’s funeral is being set up
4) it is the dead king who speaks to his wife, but also the popular wisdom, the tearful burial times are still to come .. In the French (and Occitan) version of Re Renaud the earth opens up to swallow up the lady

RE ARDUIN

Cantovivo recorded the same ballad with the title “King Arduin” already collected from the oral tradition by Franco Lucà, in 1984 to Alpette Canavese, performer Battista Goglio “Barba Teck” (1898-1985)

RE ARDUIN
I
Re Arduin (1) a ven da Turin
Re Arduin a ven da Turin
Ven da la guera l’è stai ferì
Ven da la guera l’è stai ferì
II
“O mamma mia preparmi ‘l let
La cuerta noira e i linsöi di lin
III
O mamma mia cosa diran
Le fije bele ca na stan lì”
IV
“O no no no parla en tan
La nostra nora l’à avù n’infan”
V
“O mamma mia (2) disimi ‘n po’
Che i panatè a na piuren tan”
VI
“A l‘àn brüsà tüti i biciulan (3)
L‘è par sulì c’a na piuren tan”
VII
“O mamma mia cosa diran
Perché da morto na sunen tan”
VIII
“Sarà mort prinsi o quai signor
Tüte le cioche a i fan unur”
IX
“Re Arduin a ven da Turin
L‘è ndà a la guera l’è stai ferì”
X
“O tera freida apriti qui
Ch io vada col mio marì”
English Translation Cattia Salto
I
King Arduin comes from Turin
King Arduin comes from Turin
comes from the war and he was wounded, comes from the war and he was wounded
II
O mother dear, prepare me my bed
the black blanket and linen sheets
III
O mother dear what will they say
the fine ladies who stay there?
IV
Do not talk a lot / our daughter in law has had a baby
V
O  mother dear tell me why the bakers so cry?
VI
They burned all their breads
for they cry so much
VII
O mother dear what’s the news
for stroking the funeral bells?
VIII
The prince or some Lord will be dead/ all the bells do him honor
IX
King Arduin comes from Turin
comes from the war and he was wounded,
X
O  earth, open up now
that I’ll go with my husband

NOTES
* from here
1) King Arduin (Marquis of Ivrea and first king of Italy) is still extremely popular in the Canavese, tributing him in many historical re-enactments
2) in reality it is the daughter-in-law who asks for information on the laments and the dead bells (theme of hidden death) while in the first part (verses II and III) it is Arduino who speaks. Only in the 9th stanza is the death of Arduino announced
3) the “bicciolani” are biscuits typical of Vercellese, but in Turin the biciulan are long and thin breads (a bit pot-bellied in the middle and thin at the tips) the Piedmontese version of the baguette!

LINK
https://minimazione.wordpress.com/2007/08/22/re-gilardin-alla-guerra/
http://www.antiwarsongs.org/canzone.php?lang=it&id=1048
http://chrsouchon.free.fr/chants/italren.htm
http://www.nspeak.com/allende/comenius/bamepec/multimedia/saggio1.htm
http://www.traditionalmusic.co.uk/child-ballads-v2/child8-v2%20-%200371.htm
http://amischanteurs.org/wp-content/uploads/Canti-di-Donata-Pinti.pdf

Freedom Come All Ye & Battle of the Somme

Leggi in italiano

Freedom Come-All-Ye is a song written by Hamish Henderson (1919-2002) in 1960 for the Peace March in Holy Loch, near Glasgow, it is a song against the war, a cry for freedom against slavery and against the oppression of the working class and ethnic minorities, in the name of social justice. The song is in scots, while the melody is a retreat march for bagpipes from the First World War, arranged by John MacLellan (1875-1949) who titled it “The Bloody Fields of Flanders”; Henderson first heard played on the Anzio beachhead in 1944 (Second World War).The melody however is an old Perthshire aria already known with the title of “Busk Bush Bonnie Lassie

Dick Gaughan

Lorraine McIntosh live –
Luke Kelly

 


I
Roch the wind in the clear day’s dawin
Blaws the cloods heilster-gowdie owre the bay
But there’s mair nor a roch wind blawin (1)
Thro the Great Glen o the warld the day
It’s a thocht that wad gar oor rottans
Aa thae rogues that gang gallus fresh an gay
Tak the road an seek ither loanins
Wi thair ill-ploys tae sport an play
II
Nae mair will our bonnie callants
Merch tae war when oor braggarts crousely craw (2)
Nor wee weans frae pitheid an clachan
Mourn the ships sailin doun the Broomielaw (3)
Broken faimlies in lands we’ve hairriet
Will curse ‘Scotlan the Brave’ nae mair, nae mair
Black an white ane-til-ither mairriet
Mak the vile barracks o thair maisters (4) bare
III
Sae come aa ye at hame wi freedom
Never heed whit the houdies croak for Doom (5)
In yer hoos aa the bairns o Adam
Will find breid, barley-bree an paintit rooms
When Maclean (6) meets wi’s friens in Springburn (7)
Aa thae roses an geans will turn tae blume (8)
An the black lad frae yont Nyanga (9)
Dings the fell gallows o the burghers doun.
English translation*
I
It’s a rough wind in the clear day’s dawning
Blows the clouds head-over-heels across the bay
But there’s more than a rough wind blowing
Through the Great Glen of the world today
It’s a thought that would make our rodents,
All those rogues who strut and swagger,
Take the road and seek other pastures
To carry out their wicked schemes
II
No more will our fine young men
March to war at the behest of jingoists and imperialists
Nor will young children from mining communities and rural hamlets
Mourn the ships sailing off down the River Clyde
Broken families in lands we’ve helped to oppress
Will never again have reason to curse the sound of advancing Scots
Black and white, united in friendship and marriage,
Will make the slums of the employers bare
III
So come all ye who love freedom
Pay no attention to the prophets of doom
In your house all the children of Adam
Will be welcomed with food, drink and clean bright accommodation
When MacLean returns to his people
All the roses and cherry trees will blossom
And the black guy from Nyanga
Will break the capitalist stranglehold on everyone’s life

NOTES
* from here
1) a wind of change is a metaphor dear to the political world, it is the wind of people protest, who claim their right to live a full and dignified life
2) are those who rant and foment the war to push the sons of the people forward
3) Glasgow’s main thoroughfare adjacent to the river Clyde: it is the pier from which many ships loaded with emigrants have left
4) the reference is to apartheid in South Africa when the blacks were deported to the “homeland of the south” and deprived of all political and civil rights.
5) In those years peace meant to protest against the atomic arms race and the fear of a nuclear conflict: the sign of peace that today belongs to the symbols shared on a global level was created in 1958 by the Englishman Gerald Holtom for the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, CND: as he himself declared, the three lines are the superposition of the letters N and D – which stand for Nuclear Disarmament – taken from the semaphore alphabet. The circle, on the other hand, symbolizes the Earth.

6) John Maclean (1879 -1923), Scottish socialist, known for his fierce opposition to the First World War. For this reason, in 1918 he was tried for sedition and imprisoned. There was a popular mobilization in his favor and a few months later he was released. In 1918 he ended up again in prison for obstruction to recruitment and sedition and he was released after 7 months; the months in jail have harmed the health of Maclean who will die at age 45; his communism evolved against the Scottish Labor parties to advocate Scotland’s independence and the return to the old social clan structure but on a communist basis
7) district of the working class of Glasgow. The south of Scotland heavily idustrialized from the second half of the 1800 transform Glasgow and the Clyde into a bulwark of radical socialists and communists so much to get the nickname “Red Clyde”
8) spring is the season of rebirth
-) Nyanga is a city in Cape Town, South Africa. The residents of Nyanga have been very active in protesting the laws of apartheid

The Battle of the Somme

Another bagpipe melody from World War I was composed by piper William Laurie (1881-1916) to commemorate one of the deadliest battles, the Battle of the Somme which began July 1916 with heavy losses from day one; in the end it will result 620.000 losses among the Allies and about 450.000 among the German rows: the melody is in 9/8 and it is considered a retreat march, not necessarily as a specific military maneuver. Laurie (or Lawrie) participated in the battle with the 8th Battalion Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders (Lawrie and John MacLellan served in the same band during the war), but severely tried by the wounds and life in the trench fell seriously ill and he was repatriated England where he died in November of the same year.

The Dubliners often with “Freedom Come-All-Ye”

The Malinky with Jimmy Waddel (at 3:39)

It was Dave Swarbrick who brought the piece to the Fireport Convention group after learning it from his friend and teacher Beryl Marriott

Albion Country Band

THE DANCE

A Scottish dance entitled The Scottish Lilt was composed shortly after 1746 to be practiced by ladies of good family who wished to court or entertain the gentlemen seducing them with their grace. It’s a Scottish National Dances traditionally matched with the melody The Battle of the Somme: the dance moves are inspired by the classical ballet


the steps in detail

LINK
http://unionsong.com/u597.html
https://www.antiwarsongs.org/canzone.php?lang=it&id=13463
http://www.andreagaddini.it/FreedomCamAllYe.html
http://mysongbook.de/msb/songs/f/freedomc.html
https://www.scotslanguage.com/articles/view/id/4996
https://www.wired.it/play/cultura/2014/02/21/nascita-simbolo-pace/
http://thebattleofthefield.tripod.com/id11.html
https://thesession.org/tunes/2923

Freedom Come All Ye

Read the post in English

Scritta nel 1960 da Hamish Henderson (1919-2002) per la Marcia della Pace a Holy Loch, presso Glasgow, “Freedom Come-All-Ye”  è una canzone contro la guerra, un grido di libertà contro la schiavitù e contro l’oppressione della classe lavoratrice e delle minoranze etniche, in nome della giustizia sociale. La canzone è in scots, mentre la melodia è una marcia da ritirata per cornamusa della prima guerra mondiale, arrangiata da John MacLellan (1875-1949) che la intitolò “The Bloody Fields of Flanders”;  Henderson ebbe modo di ascoltarla nel 1944 durante la seconda guerra mondiale mentre combatteva ad Anzio. La melodia tuttavia è una vecchia aria del Perthshire già nota con il titolo di “Busk Bush Bonnie Lassie

Dick Gaughan

Lorraine McIntosh live –
Luke Kelly

 


I
Roch the wind in the clear day’s dawin
Blaws the cloods heilster-gowdie owre the bay
But there’s mair nor a roch wind blawin (1)
Thro the Great Glen o the warld the day
It’s a thocht that wad gar oor rottans
Aa thae rogues that gang gallus fresh an gay
Tak the road an seek ither loanins
Wi thair ill-ploys tae sport an play
II
Nae mair will our bonnie callants
Merch tae war when oor braggarts crousely craw (2)
Nor wee weans frae pitheid an clachan
Mourn the ships sailin doun the Broomielaw (3)
Broken faimlies in lands we’ve hairriet
Will curse ‘Scotlan the Brave’ nae mair, nae mair
Black an white ane-til-ither mairriet
Mak the vile barracks o thair maisters (4) bare
III
Sae come aa ye at hame wi freedom
Never heed whit the houdies croak for Doom (5)
In yer hoos aa the bairns o Adam
Will find breid, barley-bree an paintit rooms
When Maclean (6) meets wi’s friens in Springburn (7)
Aa thae roses an geans will turn tae blume (8)
An the black lad frae yont Nyanga (9)
Dings the fell gallows o the burghers doun.
Traduzione italiana di Carla Sassi*
I
Forte il vento nell’alba del giorno chiaro/Sovverte le nuvole via per la baia,
Ma non v’è più il vento forte che soffiava
Attraverso la grande valle del mondo.
E’ un pensiero che invoglia i nostri ratti,/I briganti che infieriscono felici e intatti,
A prendere il cammino, in cerca di luoghi nuovi/Dove godere e giocare malvagi inganni.
II
Mai più la dolce gioventù dovrà
Marciare in guerra mentre i pavidi si vantano rauchi
Né i piccoli figli della miniera e del villaggio
Piangeranno le navi che salpano via dal Broomielaw.
Famiglie divise in terre da noi razziate
Non malediranno la Scozia guerriera, mai più;
Il nero e il bianco, l’uno all’altro uniti nell’amore,
Lasceranno deserte le vili caserme dei padroni.
III
Qui venite tutti, alla casa della libertà,
Non ascoltate i corvi che invocano rauchi la fine
Nella tua casa ogni figlio di Adamo
Troverà pane e birra e mura imbiancate.
E quando John MacLean si unirà ai compagni di Springburn
Tutte le rose ed i ciliegi fioriranno,
E un fanciullo nero dal lontano Nyanga
Frantumerà le forche feroci della città.

NOTE
* (dal libro “Poeti della Scozia contemporanea” a cura di Carla Sassi e Marco Fazzini, Supernova Editore, Venezia 1992)
1) il vento del cambiamente una metafora cara al mondo politico, è il vento di protesta del popolo che rivendita il suo diritto a vivere una vita piena e dignitosa
2) sono quelli che sbraitano e fomentano la guerra a mandare avanti in prima linea i figli del popolo
3) principale arteria di Glasgow adiacente al fiume Clyde: è il molo da cui sono partite tante navi carichi di emigranti
4) il riferimento è all’apartheid in Sud Africa quando i neri vennero deportati nelle “homeland del sud” e privati di ogni diritto politico e civile.
5) Non dimentichiamo che in quegli anni la pace voleva dire protestare contro la corsa all’armamento atomico e la paura di un conflitto nucleare: il segno di pace che oggi appartiene ai simboli condivisi a livello globale fu creato nel 1958 dall’inglese Gerald Holtom per La Campagna per il disarmo nucleare (Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, CND) : come dichiarò lui stesso, le tre linee sono la sovrapposizione delle lettere N e D – che stanno per Nuclear Disarmament – prese dall’ alfabeto semaforico. Il cerchio, invece, simboleggia la Terra.

6) John Maclean (1879 –1923), socialista scozzese, noto per la sua fiera opposizione alla prima guerra mondiale. Per questo nel 1918 fu processato per sedizione e imprigionato. Ci fu una mobilitazione popolare in suo favore e qualche mese dopo venne scarcerato. Ancora nel 1918 finì di nuovo in prigione per ostruzione al reclutamento e sedizione e di nuovo scarcerato dopo 7 mesi; i mesi in carcere hanno nuociuto alla salute di Maclean che morirà a 45 anni; il suo comunismo finì per discostarsi dai partiti laburisti scozzesi per propugnare l’indipendenza della Scozia e il ritorno all’antica struttura sociale dei clan ma su base comunista
6) quartiere della classe lavoratrice di Glasgow. Il sud della Scozia pesantemente idustrializzato a partire dalla seconda metà del 1800 trasformano Glasgow e il Clyde in un baluardo di socialisti radicali e comunisti tanto da ottenere il soprannome di “Clyde Rosso”
7) è la primavera la stagione della rinascita
8) Nyanga è una città a Città del Capo , in Sud Africa . I residenti di Nyanga sono stati molto attivi nella protesta contro le leggi dell’apartheid

The Battle of the Somme

Un’altra melodia per cornamusa sempre riconducibile alla I Guerra Mondiale, fu composta dal piper William Laurie (1881-1916) per commemorare una delle battaglie più letali, la battaglia della Somme (The Battle of the Somme) che iniziò il1 luglio 1916 con pesanti perdite fin dal primo giorno; alla fine risulteranno 620.000 perdite tra gli Alleati e circa 450.000 tra le file tedesche: la melodia è in 9/8 ed è considerata una marcia da ritirata, non necessariamente come specifica manovra militare. Laurie (o Lawrie) partecipò alla battaglia con l’8° Battaglione Argyll e Sutherland Highlanders (Lawrie e John MacLellan prestarono servizio nella stessa banda durante la guerra), ma duramente provato dalle ferite e dalla vita in trincea si ammalò gravemente e venne rimpatriato in Inghilterra dove morì nel novembre dello stesso anno.

I Dubliners spesso abbinata a “Freedom Come-All-Ye”

I Malinky la abbinano a Jimmy Waddel (inizia a 3:39)

Fu Dave Swarbrick a portare il pezzo nel gruppo Fireport Convention dopo averlo imparato dal suo amico e insegnante Beryl Marriott

Albion Country Band

LA DANZA

Una danza scozzese dal titolo The Scottish Lilt fu composta poco dopo il 1746 per essere praticata dalle madamigelle di buona famiglia che desideravano corteggiare o intrattenere i membri della nobiltà seducendoli con la loro grazia. E’ una Scottish  National Dances abbinata tradizionalmente  alla melodia The Battle of the Somme: i passi di danza sono ispirati al balletto classico

anche con due uomini

i passi nel dettaglio

FONTI
http://unionsong.com/u597.html
https://www.antiwarsongs.org/canzone.php?lang=it&id=13463
http://www.andreagaddini.it/FreedomCamAllYe.html
http://mysongbook.de/msb/songs/f/freedomc.html
https://www.scotslanguage.com/articles/view/id/4996
https://www.wired.it/play/cultura/2014/02/21/nascita-simbolo-pace/
http://thebattleofthefield.tripod.com/id11.html
https://thesession.org/tunes/2923

To Hear the Nightingale Sing One Morning in May

Leggi in Italiano

”The Bold Grenader”, “A bold brave bonair” or “The Soldier and the Lady” but also “To Hear the Nightingale Sing”, “The Nightingale Sings” and “One Morning in May” are different titles of a same traditional song collected in England, Ireland, America and Canada.

THE PLOT

The story belongs to some stereotypical love adventures in which a soldier (or a nobleman, sometimes a sailor) for his attractiveness and gallantry, manages to obtain the virtue of a young girl. The girls are always naive peasant women or shepherdesses who believe in the sweet words of love sighed by man, and they expect to marry him after sex, but they are inevitably abandoned.

NURSERY RHYME: WHERE ARE YOU GOING MY PRETTY MAID

soldierIn the nursery rhyme above “Where are you going my pretty maid” this seductive situation is sweetly reproduced and the illustrator portrays the man in the role of the soldier. Walter Craine (in “A Baby’s Opera”, 1877) represents him as a dapper gentleman, but in reality he is the archetype of the predator , the wolf with the fur inside and the woman of the nursery rhyme with his blow-answer seems to be a good girl who has treasured the maternal teachings

In other versions is the girl (bad girl !!) to take the initiative and to bring the young soldier in her house (see more), only the season is always the same because it is in the spring that blood boils in the veins; as early as 1600 there was a ballad called “The Nightingale’s Song: The Soldier’s Rare Musick, and Maid’s Recreation”, so for a song that has been around for so long, we can expect a great deal of textual versions and different melodies. An accurate overview of texts and melodic variations starting from 1689 here

FOLK REVIVAL: “They kissed so sweet & comforting”

This is the version almost at the same time diffused by the Dubliners and the Clancy Brothers, the most popular version in the 60’s Folk clubs.

The Dubliners

Clancy Brothers & Tommy Maker, from Live in Ireland, 1965
The Nightingale


I
As I went a walking one morning in May
I met a young couple so far did we stray
And one was a young maid so sweet and so fair
And the other was a soldier and a brave Grenadier(1)
CHORUS
And they kissed so sweet and comforting
As they clung to each other
They went arm in arm along the road
Like sister and brother
They went arm in arm along the road
Til they came to a stream
And they both sat down together, love
To hear the nightingale sing(2)
II
Out of his knapsack he took a fine fiddle(3)
He played her such merry tunes that you ever did hear
He played her such merry tunes that the valley did ring
And softly cried the fair maid as the nightingale sings
III
Oh, I’m off to India for seven long years
Drinking wines and strong whiskies instead of strong beer
And if ever I return again ‘twill be in the spring
And we’ll both sit down together love to hear the nightingale sing
IV
“Well then”, says the fair maid, “will you marry me?”
“Oh no”, says the soldier, “however can that be?”
For I’ve my own wife at home in my own country
And she is the finest little maid that you ever did see

NOTES
1) soldier becomes sometimes a volunteer, but the grenadier is a soldier particularly gifted for his prestige and courage, the strongest and tallest man of the average, distinguished by a showy uniform, with the characteristic miter headgear, which in America was replaced by a bear fur hat.
2) it is the code phrase that distinguishes this style of courting songs. The nightingale is the bird that sings only at night and in the popular tradition it is the symbol of lovers and their love conventions (vedi)
3) perhaps the instrument was initially a flute but more often it was a small violin or portable violin called the kit violiner (pocket fiddle): it was the popular instrument par excellence in the Renaissance. It is curious to note how in this type of gallant encounters the soldier has been replaced by the itinerant violinist, mostly a dance teacher, so it is explained how any reference to the violin, to its bow or strings could have some sexual connotations in the folk tradition

SECOND MELODY: APPALCHIAN TUNE

John Jacob Niles – One Morning In May

Jo Stafford The Nightingale

THIRD MELODY: THE MOST ANCIENT VERSION, THE GRENADIER AND THE LADY

The melody spread in Dorsetshire, so vibrant and passionate but with a hint of melancholy, a version more suited to the Romeo and Juliet’s love night and to the nightingale chant in its version of medieval aubade, also closer to the nursery rhyme “Where are you going my pretty maid” of which takes up the call and response structure.

To savor its ancient charm, here is a series of instrumental arrangements

Harp

Guitar

Le Trésor d’Orphée
Redwood Falls (Madeleine Cooke, Phil Jones & Edd Mann)

Isla Cameron The Bold Grenadier from “Far from The Madding Crowd”


I
As I was a walking one morning in May
I spied a young couple a makin’ of hay.
O one was a fair maid and her beauty showed clear
and the other was a soldier, a bold grenadier.
II
Good morning, good morning, good morning said he
O where are you going my pretty lady?
I’m a going a walking by the clear crystal stream
to see cool water glide and hear nightingales sing.
III
O soldier, o soldier, will you marry me?
O no, my sweet lady that never can be.
For I’ve got a wife at home in my own country,
Two wives and the army’s too many for me.

LINK
http://jopiepopie.blogspot.it/2018/02/nightingales-song-1690s-bold-grenadier.html
http://www.traditionalmusic.co.uk/folksongs-appalachian-2/folk-songs-appalacian-2%20-%200138.htm
http://folktunefinder.com/tunes/105092
https://www.fresnostate.edu/folklore/ballads/LP14.html
https://mainlynorfolk.info/folk/songs/onemorninginmay.html
http://www.mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=3646
http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=29541
http://www.military-history.org/soldier-profiles/british-grenadiers-soldier-profile.htm
http://www.wtv-zone.com/phyrst/audio/nfld/25/sing.htm
http://www.contemplator.com/america/nighting.html
http://www.mamalisa.com/?t=hes&p=1506

The Pressers by Mary Brooksbank

  Leggi in italiano

“The Pressers” is an anti-war song of the Scottish tradition reworked by Mary Brooksbank of Dundee on a text dating back to the Napoleonic wars. From the memory of a part of the song that she had learned as a child, Mary Brooksbank (1897-1978) expresses the anti-militarist sentiment of certain socio-cultural circles that have gathered around the folk revival of the 1960s.
A young peasant girl is in sore because her love has disappeared, ended up in a raid of the press gang and enlisted to fight and die in who knows what battlefield under the cannons of Napoleon Bonaparte.

THE WHITE SLAVES

It was the abolitionists who underlined the analogy between the slaves in the cotton plantations and the soldier (or the soldier-sailor), a prisoner in a military uniform: in the army the power relations are those of the master-servant, servants are the poor indigent and masters are the officers who often do not even try to disguise their contempt for the troops on which they exercise undisputed power of life and death.
Ray Fisher from “Willie’s Lady”, 1982


I
There is nocht in this wide world
but sorrow and care,
I weary (1) on Johnnie,
but Johnnie’s no there.
Sae waesome and dowie,
I feel like tae dee
Since the pressers (2) 
hae stolen my laddie fae me.
II
I look aroond the steading,
but Johnnie’s nae there,
At toil in the hairst field (3),
my hert it feels sair.
When I look tae yon high hills,
a tear blinds my e’e
Since the pressers
hae stolen my laddie fae me.
III
For he’s far ower yon high hills
and syne ower the sea
I ken nowhere my ain dear
laddie micht be.
In some foreign battlefield
maybe he’ll dee
Oh, curse on ye, Boney (4),
took my laddie fae me.
IV
Now the bonnie larks
singing mocks me in my care
But I’ll go on still hoping
till grey grows my hair.
Oh, ye wild winds a blowing
far ower the sea
Will ye blow back my bonnie
lad Johnnie tae me.

English translation Cattia Salto
I
There is nothing in this wide world
but sorrow and care,
I weary on Johnnie,
but Johnnie’s no there.
So woeful and mournful,
I feel like to die
Since the pressers
have stolen my boy from me.
II
I look around the steading,
but Johnnie’s no there,
At toil in the harvest field,
my heart it feels sore.
When I look to yon high hills,
a tear blinds my eye
Since the pressers
have stolen my boy from me.
III
For he’s far over yon high hills
and then over the sea
I know nowhere my own dear
boy might be.
In some foreign battlefield
maybe he’ll die
Oh, curse on you, Boney,
took my boyfrom me.
IV
Now the pretty larks
singing mocks me in my care
But I’ll go on still hoping
till grey grows my hair.
Oh, you wild winds a blowing
far over the sea
Will you blow back my bonny
lad Johnnie to me.

NOTES
1)referring to sadness and dispiritedness rather than exhaustion as in Eng.
2) Impressment, colloquially, “the press” or the “press gang“, refers to the act of taking men into a military or naval force by compulsion
3) the harvest was carried out by traveling teams of seasonal laborers who moved to the large Scottish Lowland farms.
4) Boney is for Napoleon. The origin of the name is perhaps “the Lion of Naples”

LINK
http://ontanomagico.altervista.org/arthur-mcbride.htm
http://mainlynorfolk.info/folk/songs/thepressers.html
https://www.folk-legacy.com/store/Scripts/prodView.asp?idproduct=129

The Pressers

Read the post in English  

“The Pressers” è una anti-war song della tradizione scozzese rielaborata da Mary Brooksbank di Dundee su di un testo risalente quanto meno all’epoca delle guerre napoleoniche. Dal ricordo di una parte della canzone che aveva imparato da bambina Mary Brooksbank (1897- 1978) esprime il sentimento anti-militarista di certi ambienti socio-culturali aggregatisi intorno al folk revival degli anni 60.
Una giovane contadinella si dispera perchè il suo ragazzo è scomparso, è finito in una retata delle press gang ed arruolato forzosamente per combattere e morire in chissà quale campo di battaglia sotto i cannoni di Napoleone Bonaparte.

GLI SCHIAVI BIANCHI

Furono gli abolizionisti a sottolineare l’analogia tra gli schiavi nelle piantagoni del cotone e il soldato (o il marinaio-soldato), un detenuto in uniforme militare: nell’esercito i rapporti di potere sono quelli del padrone-servo, servi sono i poveracci indigenti e padroni sono gli ufficiali che spesso non cercano nemmeno di dissimulare il loro disprezzo verso la truppa su cui esercitano un potere indiscusso di vita e di morte.
Ray Fisher in “Willie’s Lady”, 1982


I
There is nocht in this wide world
but sorrow and care,
I weary on Johnnie,
but Johnnie’s no there.
Sae waesome and dowie,
I feel like tae dee
Since the pressers (1) 
hae stolen my laddie fae me.
II
I look aroond the steading,
but Johnnie’s nae there,
At toil in the hairst field (2),
my hert it feels sair.
When I look tae yon high hills,
a tear blinds my e’e
Since the pressers
hae stolen my laddie fae me.
III
For he’s far ower yon high hills
and syne ower the sea
I ken nowhere my ain dear
laddie micht be.
In some foreign battlefield
maybe he’ll dee
Oh, curse on ye, Boney (3),
took my laddie fae me.
IV
Now the bonnie larks
singing mocks me in my care
But I’ll go on still hoping
till grey grows my hair.
Oh, ye wild winds a blowing
far ower the sea
Will ye blow back my bonnie
lad Johnnie tae me.

Traduzione italiana Cattia Salto
I
Non c’è altro in questo pazzo mondo che dolore e preoccupazioni
Sono triste per Johnny
ma Johnny non è qui
così nel dolore e nel pianto,
mi sento morire
da quando gli arruolatori hanno trafugato il mio ragazzo
II
Guardo nei caseggiati della fattoria
ma Johnny non c’è,
al lavoro nel campo da mietere,
il mio cuore si sente angosciato
quando guardo alle alte colline lontane, una lacrima mi acceca
da quando gli arruolatori hanno trafugato il mio ragazzo
III
Perchè è lontano oltre
le alte colline e il mare
non so dove il mio caro ragazzo potrebbe essere,
forse in qualche campo di battaglia straniero morirà.
Oh che tu sia maledetto Napo,
che mi hai preso il mio ragazzo
IV
Ora le belle allodole che cantano mi prendono in giro per i miei affanni
ma continuerò a sperare
finchè i capelli mi diventeranno grigi
oh voi raffiche di vento soffiate
lontano oltre il mare
e portate indietro il mio
bel ragazzo Johnny.

NOTE
1) Il sistema detto “impressment” si avvaleva di gruppi militari (press-gang) che con il pretesto dell’arresto per reati minori rastellavano vagabondi e ubriachi e li imbarcavano sulle navi-caserme: i villaggi lungo la costa delle isole britanniche erano visitati frequentemente da queste squadre perchè abitati da pescatori o uomini già esperti nella navigazione, ma anche nelle città dell’interno nessuno era al sicuro.
2) il lavoro della mietitura era svolto da squadre itineranti di braccianti stagionali che si spostavano nelle grandi fattorie delle Lowland scozzesi.
3) Boney equivalente al nostro diminutivo Napo per Napoleone. L’origine del nome è incerta potrebbe voler dire “il Leone di Napoli”, il primo nome illustre fu quello del Cardinale Napoleone Orsini (ai tempi di papa Bonifacio VIII)

FONTI
http://ontanomagico.altervista.org/arthur-mcbride.htm
http://mainlynorfolk.info/folk/songs/thepressers.html
https://www.folk-legacy.com/store/Scripts/prodView.asp?idproduct=129

Shamrock shore

Leggi in italiano

Two texts in search of an author, with the same title “Shamrock shore” we distinguish two different songs, both as text and as melody, the first reported by PW Joyce at the end of the nineteenth century is an irish emigration song, the second ever traditional is also an emigration song, but above all a protest song, the social and political denunciation of the Irish question.

EMIGRATION SONG: To London fair

Already at the end of the 1800s P. W. Joyce reported it in his  “Ancient Irish Music” to then republish it in 1909, so he writes “This air, and one verse of the song, was published for the first time by me in my Ancient Irish Music, from which it is reprinted here. It was a favourite in my young days, and I have several copies of the words printed on ballad-sheets“. Again P. W. Joyce in Old Irish Folk Music (1909) reports further text
“Ye muses mine, with me combine and grant me your relief,
While here alone I sigh and moan, I’m overwhelmed with grief:
While here alone I sigh and moan far from my friends and home;
My troubled mind no rest can find since I left the Shamrock shore.”

The Irish emigrant arrives in London, the tune is that generally known with the title of”Erin Shore” (see)

Horslips from Happy to meet, sorry to part, 1972

PW Joyce, 1890
I
In early spring when small birds sing and lambkins sport and play,
My way I took, my friends forsook, and came to Dublin quay;
I enter’d as a passenger, and to England I sailed o’er;
I bade farewell to all my friends,
and I left the shamrock shore.
II
To London fair, I did repair some pleasure there to find
I found it was a lovely place,
and pleasant to mine eye
The ladies to where fair to view,
and rich the furs they wore
But none I saw, that could compare to the maids of the shamrock shore

PARTY SONG: You brave young sons of Erin’s Isle

More than a song, a political rant about the need for the independence of Ireland and the evils of landlordism.
Matt Molloy, Tommy Peoples, Paul Brady (1978)


I
You brave young sons of Erin’s Isle
I hope you will attend awhile
‘Tis the wrongs of dear old Ireland I am going to relate
‘Twas black and cursed was the day
When our parliament was taken away
And all of our griefs and sufferings commences from that day (1)
For our hardy sons and daughters fair
To other countries must repair
And leave their native land behind in sorrow to deplore
For seek employment they must roam
Far, far away from the native home
From that sore, oppressed island that they call the shamrock shore
II
Now Ireland is with plenty blessed
But the people, we are sore oppressed
All by those cursed tyrants we are forced for to obey
Some haughty landlords for to please
Our houses and our lands they’ll seize
To put fifty farms into one (2) and take us all away
Regardless of the widow’s sighs
The mother’s tears and orphan’s cries
In thousands we were driven from home which grieves my heart full sore
We were forced by famine and disease (3) To emigrate across the seas
From that sore, opressed island that they called the shamrock shore
III
Our sustenance all taken away
The tithes and taxes for to pay
To support that law-protected church to which they do adhere (4)
And our Irish gentry, well you know
To other countries they do go
And the money from old Ireland they squandered here and there
For if our squires  would stay at home
And not to other countries roam
But to build mills and factories (5) here to employ the laboring poor
For if we had trade and commerce here
To me no nation could compare
To that sore, oppressed island that they call the shamrock shore
IV
John Bull (6), he boasts, he laughs with scorn
And he says that Irishman is born
To be always discontented for at home we cannot agree
But we’ll banish the tyrants from our land
And in harmony like sisters stand
To demand the rights of Ireland,
let us all united be
And our parliament in College Green
For to assemble, it will be seen
And happy days in Erin’s Isle we soon will have once more
And dear old Ireland soon will be
A great and glorious country
And peace and blessings soon will smile all around the shamrock shore

NOTES
1) The song is obviously post-Union (1800), because it refers to the dissolved Irish Parliament
2) the plague of landlordism
3)  in 1846 the entire crop of potatoes (basic diet of the Irish) was all destroyed due to a fungus, the peronospera; the “great famine” occurred (1845-1849 which some historians prolonged until 1852) which lasted for several years and almost halved the population; those who did not die of hunger were lucky if the
y could leave for England or Scotland, but more massive was the migration to America
4) ‘tithes and taxes’ paid in support of the Irish Church, so the song pre-dates the Act of Disestablishment in 1869
5) the years of large-scale industrial expansion (with relative upgrading of infrastructure) began in Britain starting from 1840-50
6) John Bull is the national personification of the Kingdom of Great Britain

Paddy’s Green Shamrock Shore

FONTI
http://ingeb.org/songs/yebravey.html
http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=62929 http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=130087

https://thesession.org/discussions/13438
http://www.celticlyricscorner.net/casey/shamrock.htm

Sailor’s farewell: on the sailor’s side!

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A further variant of “Sailor’s Farewell” is titled “Adieu, My Lovely Nancy” (aka “Swansea Town,” and “The Holy Ground”) found in England, Ireland, Australia, Canada, and the United States. It’s developed on twice directions, on the one hand it’s the typical and cheerful sea shanty, sometimes rough and with a lot of drink, and on the other it becomes a more intimate and fragile vein, which reflects on the solitude and danger of the sea. In these versions the sailor is enlisted in the Royal Navy.

Copper Family: Adieu Sweet Lovely Nancy

Adieu Sweet Lovely Nancy is one of the best-known songs from the repertoire of the Copper Family. It was published in the first issue of the Journal of the Folk Song Society, Vol. 1, No. 1, in 1899, a version also released in Australia and entitled “Lovely Nancy”, in which it is only the handsome sailor who speaks during the separation on the shore.

Maddy Prior & Tim Hart 1968 from Folk Songs of Old England Vol. 1

The Ballina Whalers

Ed, Will & Ginger from a free session in front of the pub for “Ed and Will in A walk around Britain”

ADIEU SWEET LOVELY NANCY
I
Adieu sweet lovely Nancy,
ten thousand times adieu
I’m going around the ocean love
to seek for something new
Come change your ring(1)
with me dear girl
come change your ring with me
for it might be a token of true love while I am on the sea.
II
And when I’m far upon the sea
you’ll know not where I am
Kind letters I will write to you
from every foreign land
the secrets of your heart dear girl
are the best of my good will
So let your body(2) be where, it might my heart will be with you still.
III
There’s a heavy storm arising
see how it gathers round
While we poor souls on the ocean wide are fighting for the crown (3)
There’s nothing to protect us love
or keep us from the cold
On the ocean wide where
we must bide like jolly seamen bold.
IV
There’s tinkers tailors shoemakers
lie snoring fast asleep
While we poor souls
on the ocean wide are ploughing through the deep
Our officers commanded us
and then we must obey
Expecting every moment
for to get cast away.
V
But when the wars are over
there’ll be peace on every shore
We’ll return to our wives and our families and the girls that we adore
We’ll call for liquor merrily
and spend our money free
And when our money is all gone
we’ll boldly go to sea.

NOTES
1) Ring is a proof of identity of the soldier that will sometimes remain absent for long years
2) In the part of dialogue ometted Nancy wants to dress up as a sailor to go with him.
3) the reference is always to broadside ballad version in which our johnny (slang term for sailor) has enlisted in the Royal Navy and wants Nancy to stay home waiting for him.

AMERICAN/ IRISH VERSION: ADIEU MY LOVELY NANCY

Julie Henigan from American Stranger 1997 “I learned this version from the Max Hunter Collection. Hunter was a traveling salesman and amateur folksong collector from Springfield, Missouri, who amassed an impressive number of field recordings from the Missouri and Arkansas Ozarks. When I was a teenager I learned many songs from the cassette tapes of his collection that were housed in the Springfield Public Library.
Hunter recorded this song in 1959 from Bertha Lauderdale, of Fayetteville, Arkansas. She had learned the song from her grandfather, who, in turn, had learned it from his grandmother, when “he was a young child in Ireland.” Since I recorded the song on American Stranger (Waterbug 038), Altan, Jeff Davis, Nancy Conescu, Gerald Trimble, and Pete Coe have all added it to their repertoires.”

Altan from Local Ground, 2005

ADIEU MY LOVELY NANCY
I
Adieu, my lovely Nancy,
Ten thousand times adieu,
I’ll be thinking of my own true love,
I’ll be thinking, dear, of you.
II
Will you change a ring(1)
with me, my love,
Will you change a ring with me?
It will be a token of our love,
When I am far at sea.
III
When I am far away from home
And you know not where I am,
Love letters I will write to you
From every foreign strand.
IV
When the farmer boys
come home at night,
They will tell their girls fine tales
Of all that they’ve been doing
All day out in the fields;
V
Of the wheat and hay
that they’ve cut down,
Sure, it’s all that they can do,
While we poor jolly,
jolly hearts of oak(2)
Must plough the seas all through.
VI
And when we return again, my love,
To our own dear native shore,
Fine stories we will tell to you,
How we ploughed the oceans o’er.
VII
And we’ll make the alehouses to ring,
And the taverns they will roar,
And when our money it is all gone,
Sure, we’ll go to sea for more.

NOTES
1) Ring is a proof of identity of the soldier that will sometimes remain absent for long years
2) hearts of oak rerefers to the wood from which British warships were generally made during the age of sail. The “Heart of oak” is the strongest central wood of the tree.

000brgcf
Sailor’s farewell

Ralph Vaughan Williams: LOVELY ON THE WATER
Cecil Sharp: LOVELY NANCY
versione inglese: FARE YE WELL/ADIEU, LOVELY NANCY
versione inglese: ADIEU SWEET LOVELY NANCY
versione americana/irlandese: ADIEU MY LOVELY NANCY
Sea shanty: HOLY GROUND

FONTI
http://mainlynorfolk.info/steeleye.span/songs/adieusweetlovelynancy.html
https://www.acousticmusicarchive.com/adieu-sweet-lovely-nancy-chords-lyrics

Lovely On The Water

Leggi in italiano  

Lover’s separation is a theme widespread in the english balladry and that of a sailor and a young maid it’s probably originated in the eighteenth century, as we find it in the illustrations of the time.

LOVELY ON THE WATER

The ballad “Lovely on the water”, collected by Ralph Vaughan Williams in the early 1900s, come from a broadside titled “Henry and Nancy, or the Lover’s Separation“. The story begins in the idyll of spring with two lovers walking, but that’s their farewell, the sailor has enlisted in the Royal Navy and wants her to stay home waiting for him. Although he professed to face the war for his country, the need for a wage is certainly the primary cause of his patriotism.

The Sailor’s Farewell, Charles Mosley (mid-eighteenth century) in National Maritime Museum .

Steeleye Span recorded Lovely on the Water in 1971 for their second album, “Please to See the King” and the sleeve notes commented”Certain folk songs had great popularity, and have been reported over and again, from end to end of the country. Others—including some masterpieces—seem to have had but tiny circulation. So Lovely on the Water, with a gorgeous melody and significant words, has been found only once, by Vaughan Williams at South Walsham, a few miles from Norwich. The song starts idyllically and ends ominously, like a sunny day that clouds over. The singer, a Mr Hilton, had fourteen verses, but Vaughan Williams, often a bit careless about texts, mislaid some. Missing verses probably concerned the familiar situation in which the girl volunteers to disguise herself as a seaman, in order to sail with her lover, but is hurriedly dissuaded.” (from here)
We find those missing verses in the text of the broadside “Henry and Nancy” (here)
Steeleye Span in “Please to See the King” 1971

Ken Wilson in “Not Before Time

Dhalia`s Lane in Hollymount 2005

Martha Tilston & Maggie Boyle in The Sea 2014 in  

LOVELY ON THE WATER *
I
As I walked out one morning
in the springtime of the year
I overheard a sailor boy
likewise a lady fair
They sang a song together
made the valleys for to ring
While the birds on the spray in the meadows gay
Proclaimed the lovely spring
II
Said Willy unto Nancy
“Oh we soon must sail away
For its lovely on the water
to hear the music play.
For our Queen she do want seamen
so I will not stay on shore
I will brave the wars for my country
Where the blund’ring cannons roar
III
Poor Nancy fell and fainted,
but soon he brought her to,
For it’s there they kissed and they embraced
and took a fond adieu.
“Come change your ring (1) with me my love
For we may meet once more;
but there’s One above that will guard you, love,
Where the blund’ring cannons roar
IV
Four pounds it is our bounty
and that must do for thee
For to help the aged parents
while I am on the sea
For Tower Hill[2] is crowded
with mothers weeping sore (3)
For their sons are gone to face the foe
Where the blundering cannons roar” 

Notes
1) the ring will be the proof of identity of the lovers who will sometimes remain separated for long years
2) Tower Hill in in London,London Borough of Tower Hamlets
3) while the men go to fight the enemy, the women greet them weeping because they know that many of them will never return home

000brgcf
Ralph Vaughan Williams: LOVELY ON THE WATER
Cecil Sharp: LOVELY NANCY
english version: FARE YE WELL/ADIEU, LOVELY NANCY
english version: ADIEU SWEET LOVELY NANCY
american/irish version: ADIEU MY LOVELY NANCY
sea shanty: HOLY GROUND

LINK
http://ontanomagico.altervista.org/lovely-water.htm
http://mainlynorfolk.info/steeleye.span/songs/lovelyonthewater.html
http://www.joe-offer.com/folkinfo/songs/187.html
http://digital.nls.uk/broadsides/broadside.cfm/id/16873

http://www.britishtars.com/2014/03/the-sailors-farewell-date-unknown.html