Archivi categoria: FOLK BALLAD/Ballate popolari

English and American Balladry

Liffey Ferry

Leggi in italiano

The Dublin Penny Journal Vol 1 No 18 27 october 1832

Once the River Liffey was crossed by barges and boats that connected north and south banks and east and westwards up and down river ferrying passengers, animals and goods. As more bridges were built across the Liffey the ferries moved downstream s; in the past crossing the river from the bridge, it had a cost, like in the Middle Ages a toll was paid for people and goods transported up to the amortization of expenses incurred for the construction of the bridge, for example the Wellington Bridge then Liffey Bridge built in 1836 he kept the turnstiles until 1919 (the bridge is nicknamed Helfpenny bridge “half-penny bridge” because of the cost of the toll). The bridge was also built following protests over the bad state and overcrowding of ferries carrying goods and people across the river.

LIFFEY FERRY

The first ferry to Dublin was born in 1385 following the collapse of the bridge on the Liffey near the Customs House, in the cost of the ferry was paid also a fee to help finance the construction of a substitute bridge. But with the expansion of the city and the shortage of bridges, a ferry service assigned to the Dublin Corporation was established in the 1665: the service was active one hour before dawn and ended one hour after sunset and only at the beginning of the twentieth century rowing boats were converted into engines.

Liffey Ferry in the 60s

The last public ferry, from Sir John Rogerson’s Quay to the East Wall Road (Spencer dock), worked until 1984 when the East Link Bridge was opened on October 20th. On that occasion Pete St. John was also present and he listened to the ferryman complaining : “Here I am redundant and I’m only 42, after 20 years befriending the machine “, Pete is a modern Dublin folk singer of the past and could not miss the opportunity to write a song about The Ferryman: the form is that of the intimate conversation of the ferryman to his wife, an appeal to remain united and not be overwhelmed by changes in life. Like so many other songs written by Pete it immediately became a popular song in the Irish folk clubs.
Pete St. John live

Gaelic Storm

Patsy Watchorn

THE FERRYMAN
I
Little boats are gone
from the breast of Anna Liffy (1)
The ferryman is stranded on the quay
Sure the Dublin docks is dying
and a way of life is gone
And Molly it was part of you and me
[Chorus]
Where the Strawberry beds(2)
sweep down to the Liffy

You kissed away the worry from my brow
I love you well today
and I’ll love you more tomorrow

If you ever love me Molly love me now
II
T’was the only job I knew
it was hard but never lonely
The Liffy ferry made a man of me
And it’s gone without a whisper
and forgotted even now
And sure it’s over Molly over
can’t you see
III
Well now I’ll tent the yard
and I’ll spend me days in talking
And I’ll hear them whisper
“Charlie’s on the dole”
But Molly we’re still living
and darling we’re still young
And that river never owned
me heart and soul

NOTES
1) Anna Liffyis the personification of the River Liffey
2) gli Strawberry Beds are an area along the Liffey near Chapelizod which has remained relatively natural, Joyce’s favorite spot along the western edge of Phoenix Parks. The Dubliners used to go for their picnics and spend their honeymoon.

LINK
https://www.dublinscultureconnects.ie/docks-ill-seen/
https://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=4863
http://www.countysongs.ie/song/the-ferryman
http://www.dublincity.ie/image/libraries/dcr033-liffey-ferry
http://homepage.eircom.net/~browne/straw.html
https://afloat.ie/item/1895-afloatie-last-ferry-from-dublins-docklands

In traghetto sul Liffey

Read the post in English

The Dublin Penny Journal Vol 1 No 18 27 ottobre 1832

Un tempo il Liffey era solcato da chiatte e barchette che collegavano le sponde nord e sud del fiume o che ne risalivano o scendevano al mare per trasportare passeggeri, animali e merci. Mano a mano che venivano costruiti i ponti le attività dei traghettatori si spostavano o si convertivano in altri servizi; una volta attraversare il fiume dal ponte aveva comunque un costo, come già nel Medioevo si pagava un pedaggio per le persone e le merci trasportate fino all’ammortamento delle spese sostenute per la costruzione del ponte stesso, ad esempio  il  Wellington Bridge poi Liffey Bridge costruito nel 1836 mantenne i tornelli fino al 1919 (il ponte è soprannominato Helfpenny bridge  “ponte da mezzo penny” proprio per il costo del pedaggio). Il ponte venne costruito anche in seguito alle proteste  per il cattivo stato e il sovraffollamento dei traghetti che trasportavano merci e persone attraverso il fiume.

LIFFEY FERRY

Il primo traghetto a Dublino era nato nel 1385 in seguito al crollo del ponte sul Liffey in prossimità della Dogana (The Custom House), nel costo del traghetto si pagava oltre al servizio anche una quota per aiutare a finanziare la costruzione di un ponte sostitutivo. Ma con l’espandersi della città e la penuria di ponti venne istituito con patente regia (1665)  un servizio di traghetti assegnato alla Dublin Corporation: il servizio era attivo da un’ora prima dell’alba e terminava ad un’ora dopo il tramonto e solo agli inizi del Novecento le barche a remi vennero convertite a motore.

il Liffey Ferry negli anni ’60

L’ultimo traghetto pubblico, da Sir John Rogerson’s Quay all’East Wall Road (Spencer dock), ha funzionato fino al 1984 quando è stato aperto l’East Link Bridge il 20 ottobre. In quell’occasione era presente anche Pete St. John che ascoltò il traghettatore poco più che quarantenne lamentarsi per essere rimasto senza  lavoro dopo vent’anni dedicati al sevizio: “Here I am redundant and I’m only 42, after 20 years befriending the machine”, Pete è un cantore moderno della Dublino del passato e non poteva lasciarsi sfuggire l’occasione per scrivere una canzone The Ferryman: la forma è quella dell’intimo colloquio del traghettatore alla moglie, un appello a restare uniti e non farsi travolgere dai cambiamenti della vita. Come tante altre canzoni scritte da Pete è subito diventata una canzone popolare nei circuiti folk irlandesi.
Pete St. John live

Gaelic Storm

Patsy Watchorn


I
Little boats are gone
from the breast of Anna Liffy (1)
The ferryman is stranded on the quay
Sure the Dublin docks is dying
and a way of life is gone
And Molly it was part of you and me
[Chorus]
Where the Strawberry beds(2)
sweep down to the Liffy

You kissed away the worry from my brow
I love you well today
and I’ll love you more tomorrow

If you ever love me Molly love me now
II
T’was the only job I knew
it was hard but never lonely
The Liffy ferry made a man of me
And it’s gone without a whisper
and forgotted even now
And sure it’s over Molly over
can’t you see
III
Well now I’ll tent the yard
and I’ll spend me days in talking
And I’ll hear them whisper
“Charlie’s on the dole”
But Molly we’re still living
and darling we’re still young
And that river never owned
me heart and soul
Traduzione italiana Cattia Salto
I
Le barchette sono sparite
dal petto di Anna Liffy, il traghettatore è arenato sulla banchina
i moli di Dublino stanno morendo
ed è finita un’abitudine, che, Molly, faceva parte della nostra vita
Coro
Dove gli Strawberry beds
scendono verso il Liffy, 
mi baciavi via le preoccupazioni della fronte
ti amo tanto oggi
e ti amerò di più domani

se mi ami Molly amami ancora oggi
II
Era l’unico lavoro che conoscessi;
era dura ma non ero mai solo
il Liffy ferry ha fatto di me un uomo
ed è scomparso senza un sospiro
già adesso dimenticato,
è proprio finita Molly,
non vedi?
III
Bene ora tenterò la sorte
e passerò i giorni in colloqui
e li sentirò bisbigliare
“Charley vive col sussidio”
ma Molly siamo ancora vivi
e cara siamo ancora giovani
e quel fiume non si è mai preso
il mio cuore e la mia anima

NOTE
1) Anna Liffy è la personificazione del fiume Liffey
2) gli Strawberry Beds sono un’area lungo il Liffey vicino a Chapelizod rimasta relativamente naturale, il posto preferito di Joyce lungo il bordo occidentale del Phoenix Parks. Un tempo i Dublinesi si recavano per i loro pic-nic e per trascorrere la luna di miele.

FONTI
https://www.dublinscultureconnects.ie/docks-ill-seen/
https://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=4863
http://www.countysongs.ie/song/the-ferryman
http://www.dublincity.ie/image/libraries/dcr033-liffey-ferry
http://homepage.eircom.net/~browne/straw.html
https://afloat.ie/item/1895-afloatie-last-ferry-from-dublins-docklands

Lass of Glanshee

Leggi in italiano

“The Lass of Glanshee” or “The maid of Glashee” or “The Rose of Glanshee” is a Scottish ballad penned by Andrew Sharpe (according to G Malcolm Laws -in American Balladry From Bristish Broadsides, 1957) in the late 1700s ‘Nineteenth century, on the tune “The Road and the Miles to Dundee
Curious character, Andrew Sharpe, cobbler from Perth (Scotland), but also flute player, painter, composer and singer of love songs, yet this song is best known in its version from Celtic Canada, as it was collected by Helen Creighton during her excursions in New Brunswick from 1954 to 1960 and transcribed in “Folksongs from Southern New Brunswick” (1971). The witness Angelo Dornan, lived in Elgin, NB (Eastern Canada) at the time of registration. Most of his repertoire comes from Northern Ireland, the place of origin of his parents.

The ballad is a “pastoral” songs, a very popular song in England, Ireland and Scotland in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: this literary genre is characterized by the love contrast between a shepherdess and a suitor (a shepherd boy, or as in this case , a gentleman of passage) often with an erotic or spicy allusive background. The textual versions are quite similar and describe the same story: while a rustic but very pretty shepherdess is herding her flock, a young man spy and courting her; the song is then developed on the model of a pastoral contrast, with him who trying to seduce her and she escapes, knowing full well that she would never become his bride, because of their social difference. In reality the young maidens who wandered through the countryside and the woods were easy prey (more or less consensual) of the “hunters” men and often these ballads ended with the announcement of unfortunate pregnancies.(see more)

HAPPY END

“The Lass of Glanshee” has a happy ending as in beautiful fairy tales they get married and live happily for ever!

Altan from Horse With A Heart 1989: with their balanced repertoire based on the traditional music of Donegal and the Scottish influences the Altan spread throughout the world ballads, nursery rhymes and songs in Gaelic. Their version of The Lass of Glanshee, performed on a song originally from Scotland, has become a standard for Irish music groups.
Anuna (I, II,IV,V, VI)

Cara Dillon live

Greenoch interesting version of the Italian duo Cecilia Gonnelli and Roger Taradel

THE LASS OF GLENSHEE
I
One morning in springtime
as day was a-dawning
Bright Phoebus had risen
from over the lea
I spied a fair maiden
as homeward she wandered
From herding her flocks
on the hills of Glenshee
II
I stood in amazement,
says I, “Pretty fair maid
If you will come down
to St. John’s Town (1) with me
There’s ne’er been a lady
set foot in my castle (2)
There’s ne’er been a lady
dressed grander than thee
III
A coach and six horses
to go at your bidding
And all men that speak
shall say “ma’am unto thee
Fine servants to serve you
and go at your bidding”
I’ll make you my bride,
my sweet lass of Glenshee”
IV
“Oh what do I care for
your castles and coaches?
And what do I care
for your gay grandeury (3)?
I’d rather be home at my cot,
at my spinning
Or herding my flocks
on the hills of Glenshee”
V
“Away with such nonsense
and get up beside me
E’er summer comes on
my sweet bride you will be
And then in my arms
I will gently caress thee”
‘Twas then she consented,
I took her with me
VI
Seven years have rolled on
since we were united
There’s many’s a change,
but there’s no change on me
And my love, she’s as fair
as that morn on the mountain
When I plucked me a wild rose (4)
on the hills of Glenshee

NOTES
1) the city of Perth has an ancient church ((St John’s Kirk) and formerly took the name of Saint John’s Toun or St Johnstone.
2) Perthshire is dotted with castles scattered across the beautiful countryside but also close to Perth: Balhousie Castle, Huntingtower Castle, Scone Palace, Elcho Castle, Fingask Castle, Strathallan Castle, Blair Castle (more)
3) the verse follows the popular Raggle Taggle Gypsie
4) they are not limited to holding hands, and the rose is not just a flower

SCOTTISH/CANADIAN VERSION: THE HILLS OF GLENSHEE

The Glenshee Hills are located in the county of Pert, the ‘Fairy hill’ in the center of Scotland, a popular winter ski resort and summer hiking destination.

With the title “The Hills of Glenshee” is the variant spread to Newfoundland.
Harry Hibbs a more country version, from best-known icon for traditional Newfoundland music.

THE HILLS OF GLENSHEE
I
One fine summer’s mornin’
as I went out walkin’,
Just as the grey dawn
flew over the sea,
I happened to spy
a fair haired young damsel,
Attending her flock
by the hills of Glenshee.
II
I said,” pretty fair one,
will you be my dear one,
For I’ll take you over,
my bride for to be;
And this very night
in my arms  I will hold you,
While you tend your flock
on the hills of Glenshee.”
III
“Oh no, my dear sir,
you’ll not take me over,
None of your footmen
to wait upon me;
I would rather stay home
in my own homespun clothing,
And attend to my flock
on the hills of Glenshee.”
IV
For twenty long years
we’ve both been together,
Seasons may change
but there’s no change in me;
And if God lets me live
and I have my right senses,
I’ll never prove false
to the girl on Glenshee.
V
She’s Mary, my Mary,
my own lovin’ darlin’,
She’s as pure as the perfume
blows over the sea;
And her cheeks are as pale
as the white rose of summer,
That spreads out its leaves
on the hills of Glenshee.
VI
She’s Mary, my Mary,
my own lovin’ darlin’,
I do love her so
and I know she loves me;
And I’ll never prove false
to my girl where I met her,
No I’ll never prove false
to the girl on Glenshee.
No I’ll never prove false
to the girl on Glenshee.

LINK
https://www.mun.ca/folklore/leach/songs/NFLD1/2-10.htm
https://soundcloud.com/catherinecrowe/01-the-rose-of-glenshee?in=catherinecrowe/sets/field-recordings-of-angelo
http://digicoll.library.wisc.edu/WiscFolkSong/data/docs/WiscFolkSong/400/000333.pdf
https://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=50613
http://folksongsatlanticcanada.blogspot.it/2012/04/new-brunswick-folk-songs.html
https://journals.lib.unb.ca/index.php/JNBS/article/view/20084/23145
http://www.wtv-zone.com/phyrst/audio/nfld/26/hills.htm

La fanciulla della Valle delle Fate

Read the post in English

“The Lass of Glanshee” o “The maid of Glashee” o ancora “The Rose of Glanshee” è una ballata scozzese composta da Andrew Sharpe (secondo G Malcolm Laws -in American Balladry From Bristish Broadsides, 1957) sul finire del 1700 primi dell’Ottocento, sulla melodia The Road and the Miles to Dundee
Personaggio curioso, Andrew Sharpe, ciabattino di Perth (Scozia), ma anche suonatore di flauto, pittore, compositore e cantore di canti d’amore, eppure la canzone è meglio nota nella sua versione dal Celtic Canada, come è stata raccolta da Helen Creighton durante il suo lavoro di ricerca nel Nuovo Brunswick dal 1954 al 1960 e finita in “Folksongs from Southern New Brunswick” (1971)  . Il testimone Angelo Dornan, viveva a Elgin, NB (Canada orientale) al momento della registrazione. La maggior parte del suo repertorio proviene dall’Irlanda del Nord, il luogo d’origine dei suoi genitori.

La ballata si annovera tra i canti “pastorali” molto popolari in Inghilterra, Irlanda e Scozia nei secoli XVII e XVIII: questo genere letterario si caratterizza per il  contrasto amoroso tra una pastorella e un corteggiatore (anch’egli pastorello, oppure come in questo caso, un gentiluomo di passaggio) spesso a sfondo erotico o piccantemente allusivo. Le versioni testuali sono abbastanza simili e descrivono la stessa storia: mentre una rustica ma assai graziosa pastorella custodisce il gregge, un giovane la spia e la corteggia; la canzone si sviluppa quindi sul modello di contrasto amoroso con “botta e risposta” tra le parti, con lui che cerca di sedurla e lei che si sottrae, ben sapendo che non sarebbe mai diventata la sua sposa, a causa della loro differenza di rango. In realtà le giovani popolane che si aggiravano per le campagne e i boschi erano ben facili prede (più o meno consensuali) degli uomini “cacciatori” e spesso queste ballate si concludevano con l’annuncio di infauste gravidanze. (continua)

HAPPY END

“The Lass of Glanshee” ha un lieto fine come nelle belle favole i due si sposano e vivono per sempre felici e contenti!

Altan in Horse With A Heart 1989: con il loro equilibrato repertorio fondato sulla musica tradizionale del Donegal e gli influssi scozzesi  diffondono in tutto il mondo ballate, filastrocche e canzoncine in gaelico che finiscono immancabilmente nelle compilation di musica celtica. Così la loro versione di The Lass of Glanshee, pur eseguita su una canzone originaria della Scozia, è diventata uno standard per i gruppi di musica irlandese.
Anuna (I, II,IV,V, VI)

Cara Dillon live

Greenoch interessante la versione del duo italiano Cecilia Gonnelli e Roger Taradel


I
One morning in springtime
as day was a-dawning
Bright Phoebus had risen
from over the lea
I spied a fair maiden
as homeward she wandered
From herding her flocks
on the hills of Glenshee
II
I stood in amazement,
says I, “Pretty fair maid
If you will come down
to St. John’s Town (1) with me
There’s ne’er been a lady
set foot in my castle (2)
There’s ne’er been a lady
dressed grander than thee
III
A coach and six horses
to go at your bidding
And all men that speak
shall say “ma’am unto thee
Fine servants to serve you
and go at your bidding”
I’ll make you my bride,
my sweet lass of Glenshee”
IV
“Oh what do I care for
your castles and coaches?
And what do I care
for your gay grandeury (3)?
I’d rather be home at my cot,
at my spinning
Or herding my flocks
on the hills of Glenshee”
V
“Away with such nonsense
and get up beside me
E’er summer comes on
my sweet bride you will be
And then in my arms
I will gently caress thee”
‘Twas then she consented,
I took her with me
VI
Seven years have rolled on
since we were united
There’s many’s a change,
but there’s no change on me
And my love, she’s as fair
as that morn on the mountain
When I plucked me a wild rose (4)
on the hills of Glenshee
Traduzione italiana Cattia Salto
I
Una mattina di Primavera
allo spuntar del giorno,
Febo luminoso era sorto
e da oltre il prato
osservai una graziosa fanciulla
mentre vagabondava sulla via di casa
e badava al gregge
sulle colline di Glenshee.
II
Meravigliato le dissi:
“Dolce e bella fanciulla,
se tu verrai a valle
a Perth con me
nessuna altra donna
metterà piede nel mio castello
e nessuna altra donna sarà
vestita più sontuosamente di te
III
Una carrozza trainata da 6 cavalli
avrai al tuo servizio
e tutti gli uomini che interrogherete
vi diranno ‘Madama al vostro cospetto
eleganti servitori per servirvi
e andare al vostro comando’
ti farò mia sposa,
mia dolce ragazza di Glenshee”
IV
“Ma cosa volete che m’importi del vostro castello e della vostra carrozza?
Cosa volete che mi interessi della vostra ricchezza?
Preferisco stare a casa nel mio letto,
al mio filatoio
o pascolare il gregge
sulle colline di Glenshee”
V
“Basta con queste sciocchezze
e fermati accanto a me,
già l’estate arriverà
tu sarai la mia dolce sposa
e allora tra le braccia
ti stringerò piano”
Così lei acconsentì
e la presi con me.
VI
Sette anni sono passati
da quando ci siamo sposati
ci sono stati dei cambiamenti,
ma non per me
e il mio amore, lei è chiara
come quel mattino sulla montagna
quando mi colse una rosa selvaggia sulle Colline di Glenshee

NOTE
1) la città di Perth che conseva una antica chiesa (St John’s Kirk) e anticamente prendeva il nome di Saint John’s Toun o St Johnstone.
2) il Perthshire è disseminato di castelli sparsi per la bellissima campagna ma anche vicini alla città di Perth: Castello di Balhousie, Castello di Huntingtower, Scone Palace, Elcho Castle, Castello di Fingask, Castello di Strathallan, Blair Castle (continua)
3) la strofa ricalca la popolarissima Raggle Taggle Gypsie
4) i due non si sono limitati a tenersi per mano, e la rosa non è solo un fiore

LA VERSIONE SCOZZESE/CANADESE: THE HILLS OF GLENSHEE

Le colline di Glenshee si trovano nella contea di Pert,  la ‘Fairy Glen’ la collina delle Fate, quasi al centro della Scozia è una rinomata località sciistica invernale e meta di escursioni d’estate.

Con il titolo “The Hills of Glenshee” è la variante diffusa a Terranova.
Harry Hibbs una versione più country, dall’icona della musica tradizionale di Terranova


I
One fine summer’s mornin’
as I went out walkin’,
Just as the grey dawn
flew over the sea (1),
I happened to spy
a fair haired young damsel,
Attending her flock
by the hills of Glenshee.
II
I said,” pretty fair one,
will you be my dear one,
For I’ll take you over,
my bride for to be;
And this very night
in my arms  I will hold you,
While you tend your flock
on the hills of Glenshee.”
III
“Oh no, my dear sir,
you’ll not take me over,
None of your footmen
to wait upon me;
I would rather stay home
in my own homespun clothing,
And attend to my flock
on the hills of Glenshee.”
IV
For twenty long years
we’ve both been together,
Seasons may change
but there’s no change in me;
And if God lets me live
and I have my right senses,
I’ll never prove false (2)
to the girl on Glenshee.
V
She’s Mary, my Mary,
my own lovin’ darlin’,
She’s as pure as the perfume
blows over the sea;
And her cheeks are as pale
as the white rose of summer,
That spreads out its leaves
on the hills of Glenshee.
VI
She’s Mary, my Mary,
my own lovin’ darlin’,
I do love her so
and I know she loves me;
And I’ll never prove false
to my girl where I met her,
No I’ll never prove false
to the girl on Glenshee.
No I’ll never prove false
to the girl on Glenshee.
Traduzione italiana Cattia Salto
I
Una bella mattina d’estate
mentre ero a passeggio
proprio quando la pallida alba
sorgeva dal mare
mi capitò di osservare
una giovane fanciulla dai capelli biondi
che badava al gregge
sulle colline di Glenshee.
II
Dissi: “Bella damigella,
volete essere la mia favorita
perchè vi prenderò
per essere la mia sposa
e questa stessa notte
tra le mie braccia vi terrò,
mentre badate al gregge
sulle colline di Glenshee”
III
“Oh no caro Signore
non mi prenderete
e nessuono dei vostri servitori
mi renderà omaggio;
preferisco stare a casa,
nei miei vestiti fatti a mano
a pascolare il gregge
sulle colline di Glenshee”
IV
Per venti lunghi anni
siamo stati insieme,
le stagioni possono mutare
ma io non sono cambiato;
e se Dio mi farà vivere
nel pieno possesso delle mie facoltà
non tradirò mai
la ragazza di Glenshee
V
Lei è Maria, la mia Maria
il mio amato tesoro,
è pura come la brezza
che soffia dal mare
e le sue guance sono pallide
come la rosa bianca dell’estate
quando le foglie germogliano
sulle Colline di Glenshee
VI
Lei è Maria, la mia Maria
il mio amato tesoro,
l’amo così
e so che lei mi ama
non tradirò mai
la mia ragazza che ho incontrato,
non tradirò mai
la ragazza di Glenshee
non tradirò mai
la ragazza di Glenshee

NOTE
1) in senso lato non essendoci la vista mare dalle Glenshee
2) letteralmente “non sarò mai falso”

continua
FONTI
https://www.mun.ca/folklore/leach/songs/NFLD1/2-10.htm
https://soundcloud.com/catherinecrowe/01-the-rose-of-glenshee?in=catherinecrowe/sets/field-recordings-of-angelo
http://digicoll.library.wisc.edu/WiscFolkSong/data/docs/WiscFolkSong/400/000333.pdf
https://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=50613
http://folksongsatlanticcanada.blogspot.it/2012/04/new-brunswick-folk-songs.html
https://journals.lib.unb.ca/index.php/JNBS/article/view/20084/23145
http://www.wtv-zone.com/phyrst/audio/nfld/26/hills.htm

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

Leggi in italiano

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

Fare ye well, lovely Nancy

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000brgcfLover’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: some ballads dwell on the figure of Nancy in tears who die of heartbreak because she believes that the sailor has abandoned her.

THE SAILOR’S FAREWELL

A further version of the sailor’s farewell ballad comes from”Oxford Book of Sea Song” 1986 “that version was originally noted by Dr George Gardiner (text) and (probably) Charles Gamblin (tune) from George Lovett (born 1841) at Winchester, Hampshire. In January 1909, Ralph Vaughan Williams re-noted the melody because there was some doubt about the notation; it appears that he visited Mr Lovett and recorded his singing for later checking”.

A sailor bidding farewell from his weeping sweetheart 1790s

TEARS ON THE SHORE

Polly / Nancy is on the beach  to complain for having been abandoned by her sailor (who evidently left for the sea without marrying her).

There are many variations of the text, in this one we go back to the eighteenth century music
Baltimore Consort

FARE YE WELL, LOVELY NANCY
I
Fare ye well, lovely Nancy,
for now I must leave you.
I am bound for th’ East Indies
my course for to steer.
I know very well my long absence
will grieve you,
But, true love, I’ll be back
in the spring of the year(1).”
II
“Oh, ‘tis not talk of leaving me,
my dearest Johnny,
Oh, ‘tis not talk of leaving me
here all alone;
For it is your good company
that I do desire
I will sigh till l die
if l ne’er see you more.
III
In sailor’s apparel I’ll dress
and go with you,
ln the midst of all danger
your friend I will be;
And that is, my dear,
when the stormy wind’s blowing,
True love, I`ll be ready to reef your topsails.”
IV
“Your neat little fingers
strong cables can’t handle,
Your neat little feet
to the topmast can’t go;
Your delicate body
strong winds can’t endure.
Stay at home, lovely Nancy,
to the seas do not go.”
V
Now Johnny is sailing
and Nancy bewailing;
The tears down her eyes
like torrents do flow.
Her gay golden hair
she’s continually tearing,
Saying, “I’ll sigh till I die
if l ne’er see you more”.
VI
Now all you young maidens
by me take a warning,
Never trust a sailor
or believe what they say.
First they will court you,
and then they will slight you;
They will leave you behind,
love, in grief and in pain.

NOTES
1) as sea ballad  Lovely on the Water the sailor’s farewell is framed in an opening stanza that describes the coming of spring

SAILOR’S LETTER

Johnny is about to send a letter to his sweetheart to swear his true love and renew the promise of marriage (but everyone knows what happened to sailor vow)

Solas from Sunny Spells and Scattered Showers, 1997

ADIEU, LOVELY NANCY
I
“Adieu, lovely Nancy,
for now I must leave you
To the far-off West Indies
I’m bound for to steer
But let my long journey
be of no trouble to you
For my love, I’ll return
in the course of a year”
II
“Talk not of leaving me here,
lovely Jimmy
Talk not of leaving me
here on the shore
You know very well
your long absence will grieve me
As you sail the wild ocean
where the wild billows roar
III
I’ll cut off my ringlets
all curly and yellow
I’ll dress in the coats
of a young cabin boy
And when we are out
on that dark, rolling ocean
I will always be near you,
my pride and my joy”
IV
“Your lily-white hands,
they could not handle the cables
Your lily-white feet
to the top mast could not go
And the cold winter storms, well,
you could not endure them
Stay at home, lovely Nancy,
where the wild winds won’t blow”
V
As Jimmy set a-sailing,
lovely Nancy stood a-wailing
The tears from her eyes
in great torrents did a-flow
As she stood on the beach,
oh her hands she was wringing
Crying, “Oh and alas,
will I e’er see you more?”
VI
As Jimmy was a-walking
on the quays of Philadelphia
The thoughts of his true love,
they filled him with pride
He said, “Nancy, lovely Nancy,
if I had you here, love
How happy I’d be for
to make you my bride”
VII
So Jimmy wrote a letter
to his own lovely Nancy
Saying, “If you have proved constant, well, I will prove true”
Oh but Nancy was dying,
for her poor heart was broken
Oh the day that he left her,
forever he’d rue
VIII
Come all of you young maidens,
I pray, take a warning
And don’t trust a sailor boy
or any of his kind
For first they will court you
and then they’ll deceive you
For their love, it is tempestuous
as the wavering wind

HEART BREAKING

A melodramatic ending with sailor’s letter coming too late to the bedside of a dying Nancy.
Jarlath Henderson from Hearts Broken, Heads Turned, 2016  
Samplers, piano and an expressive voice for this young musician who won the BBC Young Folk Award in 2003.

FARE YE WELL, LOVELY NANCY
I
Fare thee well, lovely Nancy,
It’s now I must leave you,
To cross the main ocean
where the stormy winds blow,
let not my long journey
be of no trouble to you,
for you know I’ll be back
in the course of a year”
II
“Let’s talk not of leaving me here,
lovely Billy
Let’s talk not of leaving me
here all alone
for you know your long journey
at early will grieve me
stay at home lovely Billy
to the sea do not roar”
V-VI
As Billy went to sailing,
lovely Nancy stood a-wailing
The tears down her eyes
like fountains did flow
As Billy was a-walking
on the quays of Philadelphia
The thoughts of his true love,
still run throu his eyes
VII
So Billy wrote a letter
to his own true love Nancy
Saying, “If you prove constant,
then I will prove true”
Lovely Nancy on death bed
could not recover
when the news was brough to her
but his true love was death
VIII
So come on ye pretty fair maids,
and a warning take by me
care for a sailor or of his kind men
For first they will court you
and then they’ll deceive you
For their minds are imperfectual like the westerly wind

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://mainlynorfolk.info/lloyd/songs/farewellnancy.html http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=27483
http://www.8notes.com/scores/4582.asp?ftype=gif

Farewell Lovely Nancy by Cecil Sharp

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“Farewell Lovely Nancy” or “Lovely Nancy” is a traditional ballad collected in 1905 by Cecil Sharp from Mrs. Susan Williams, Somerset (England), where the handsome sailor leaving for the South Seas, dissuades his sweetheart who would like to follow him disguising herself as a cabin boy, telling her that working aboard ships is not for females!

AL Lloyd writes in the notes to the LP “A Sailor’s Garland”: To dress in sailor’s clothes and smuggle oneself aboard ship was a pretty notion that often occurred to young girls a century or two ago, if the folk songs are to be believed. This song has been widely found in the south of England, also in Ireland.”

CROSS-DRESSING BALLADS

In the sea songs we find sometimes the theme of the girl disguised as a sailor who faces the hard life of the sea for loving and adventure.
The cross-dressing ballads are in fact mostly inherent in women who go to play a male job, such as the sailor or the soldier.

Ed Harcourt in Rogue’s Gallery: Pirate Ballads, Sea Songs, and Chanteys ANTI 2006, a very romantic, almost crepuscular version

Ian Campbell & Dave Swarbrick 1964

 John Molineaux  (live)


I.
“Fare you well me lovely Nancy
for it’s now I must leave you,
All along the Southern(1) sea
I am bound for to go.
Don’t let my long absence be
no trouble to you,
For I shall return in the spring
as you know.”
II.
“Like some pretty little seaboy
I’ll dress and go with you,
In the deepest of dangers
I shall stand your friend.(2)
In the cold stormy weather
when the winds are a-blowing,
My dear I’ll be willing
to wait for you then”

III.
“Well, your pretty little hands
they can’t handle our tackle,
And dour dainty little feet
to our topmast can’t go.
And the cold stormy weather love
you can’t well endure,
I would have you ashore
when the (raging) winds they do blow.
IV.(3)
So fare you well me lovely Nancy
for it’s now I must leave you,
All along the Southern sea
I am bound for to go.
As you must be safe
I’ll be loyal and constant
For I shall return in the spring
as you know.”

NOTES
1) in Sharp is “salt seas” but becomes “western ocean” in the version of A. L. Lloyd
2) in A. L. Lloyd becomes “My love, I’ll be ready to reef your topsail”.
3) the closing stanza in an Irish version written in Ancient Irish Music (1873 and 1888) by Patrick Weston Joyce says:
So farewell, my dearest Nancy, since I must now leave you;
Unto the salt seas I am bound for to go,
Where the winds do blow high and the seas loud do roar;
So may yourself contented be kind and stay on shore.

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

FONTI
http://www.contemplator.com/england/fnancy.html
http://mainlynorfolk.info/lloyd/songs/farewellnancy.html http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=27483
http://www.goldenhindmusic.com/lyrics/FAREWELL.html

Banks of the Sweet Primroses

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It is the 50-60 years of folk revival when the first recordings of “The Banks of Sweet Primroses” begin to circulate; the Fairport Convention record the ballad on several occasions, as well as the folk revival of the years 70 re-proposes it with the names of great interpreters; the textual variations are minimal, the melody is substantially the same.

THE INCOSTANT LOVER

“The Banks of Sweet Primroses” is widespread in the English countryside of the South collected by the Copper family, printed in the nineteenth century as a broadside ballad.
Our beautiful gallant meets a maiden for the countryside and jumped on her; unfortunately he had not noticed that the girl was of his knowledge and that therefore she knowing already the boy: even on a desert island she would prefer the company of the birds rather than him.
The versions are sometimes only four stanzas but the last stanza handed down in the Copper family is comforting: the young man will surely find another girl who will be well disposed towards him!

June Tabor from At the Wood’s Heart 2005 (I, III, IV, V, VI)

Luke Kelly (I, III, IV, V)

Josienne Clarke & Ben Walker from digital download album “fRoots 53” 2015 (I, III, IV, V, VI)

I
As I roved out one midsummer (1)’s morning
To view the fields and to take the air
‘Twas down by the banks of the sweet primroses (2)
There I beheld a most lovely fair
II
Three long steps I stepped up to her,
Not knowing her as she passed me by,
I stepped up to her thinking for to view her,
She appeared to me like some virtuous bride.
III
Says I: “Fair maid, where can you be a going
And what’s the occasion of all your grief?
I will make you as happy as any lady
If you will grant me once more a leave. (3)”
IV
Stand up, stand up, you false deceiver
You are a false deceitful man, ‘tis plain
‘Tis you that is causing my poor heart to wander
And to give me comfort ‘tis all in vain
V
Now I’ll go down to some lonesome valley
Where no man on earth shall e’er me find
Where the pretty small birds do change their voices
And every moment blows blusterous winds (4)
VI
Come all young men (5) that go a-courting,
Pray pay attention to what I say.
There is many a dark and a cloudy morning
Turns out to be a sun-shiny day.

NOTES
1) Midsummer is the day of the summer solstice, equivalent to the day of St. John
2) the primrose which blooms in summer is a variety of primrose called common cowslip (scientific name primula veris), The common name cowslip may derive from the old English for cow dung, probably because the plant was often found growing amongst the manure in cow pastures.
3) Luke Kelly’s line” If you will grant me one small relief” , the sentences clearly allude to a second chance request to flirt
4) Luke Kelly ‘s line “And ev’ry moment blows blustrous wild”, it is probably a mistake in the oral transmission blustrous = blusterous windy stormy, wild=wind
5) in other versions a sentence for young girls: even if today they cry tomorrow they will find a man to marry!

LINK
https://mainlynorfolk.info/copperfamily/songs/banksofthesweetprimroses.html
http://www.mustrad.org.uk/songbook/s_prim.htm
https://afolksongaweek.wordpress.com/2012/08/26/week-53-banks-of-the-sweet-primroses/
http://www.joe-offer.com/folkinfo/songs/451.html

http://www.fairylandtrust.org/how-to-see-fairies-part-one/

 

I pendii delle belle primule odorose

Read the post in English  

Sono gli anni 50-60 del folk revival quando iniziano a circolare le prime registrazioni di “The Banks of Sweet Primroses“, Shirley Collins la intitola “The Sweet Primeroses” e i Fairport Convention la registrano in più occasioni, così anche il folk revival degli anni 70 la ripropone con i nomi di grandi interpreti, le varizioni testuali sono minime, la melodia è sostanzialmente la stessa.

L’AMANTE INCOSTANTE

E’ una ballad diffusa nella campagna inglese del Sud tra i canti della famiglia Copper circolata in stampa nell’Ottocento come broadside ballad.
Il nostro bel galante incontra una donzella tutta sola per la campagna e le zompa subito addosso; ahimè non si era accorto che la fanciulla era già stata una sua preda e che quindi conoscendo già il tipo anche su un isola deserta preferirebbe la compagnia degli uccelli piuttosto che la sua.
Le versioni sono talvolta di sole 4 strofe ma l’utlima strofa tramandata nella famiglia Copper è consolatoria: il giovanotto sicuramente troverà un’altra fanciulla che sarà ben disposta nei suoi confronti!

June Tabor in At the Wood’s Heart 2005 (strofe I, III, IV, V, VI)

Luke Kelly (strofe I, III, IV, V)

Josienne Clarke & Ben Walker in digital download album “fRoots 53” 2015 (strofe I, III, IV, V, VI)


I
As I roved out one midsummer (1)’s morning
To view the fields and to take the air
‘Twas down by the banks of the sweet primroses (2)
There I beheld a most lovely fair
II
Three long steps I stepped up to her,
Not knowing her as she passed me by,
I stepped up to her thinking for to view her,
She appeared to me like some virtuous bride.
III
Says I: “Fair maid, where can you be a going
And what’s the occasion of all your grief?
I will make you as happy as any lady
If you will grant me once more a leave. (3)”
IV
Stand up, stand up, you false deceiver
You are a false deceitful man, ‘tis plain
‘Tis you that is causing my poor heart to wander
And to give me comfort ‘tis all in vain
V
Now I’ll go down to some lonesome valley
Where no man on earth shall e’er me find
Where the pretty small birds do change their voices
And every moment blows blusterous winds (4)
VI
Come all young men (5) that go a-courting,
Pray pay attention to what I say.
There is many a dark and a cloudy morning
Turns out to be a sun-shiny day.
Traduzione italiana Cattia Salto
I
Mentre passeggiavo in una bella mattina di mezza estate per guardare i campi e prendere il fresco,
fu sui pendii (le rive) delle primule odorose
dove vidi la fanciulla  più bella.
II
Con tre balzi mi avvicinai a lei,
non avendola riconosciuta mentre mi passava accanto;
le andai vicino pensando di guardarla bene,
mi apparviva come una moglie ideale
III
Dico io “Bella donzella, dove state andando
e qual’è il motivo di tutto il vostro dolore?
Vi farò felice più di ogni altra madama
se mi darete soltanto un po’ di speranza”
IV
“State lontano voi falso imbroglione,
è chiaro che voi siete un traditore,
è per colpa vostra che mi si è spezzato il cuore
ed è inutile che mi confortiate ora!
V
Andrò in qualche valle
solitaria
dove nessun uomo sulla terra mi troverà
dove i piccoli uccellini si scambiano i richiami
e ogni momento soffiano venti impetuosi.”
VI
Venite voi giovanotti che andate ad amoreggiare
siete pregati di fare attenzione a quello che vi dico:
ci sono molte mattinate buie e nuvolose
che si trasformano in un giorno soleggaito

NOTE
1) Midsummer è il giorno del solstizio d’estate, equivalente al giorno di San Giovanni
2) la primula che fiorisce d’estate è una varietà di primula sempe spontanea detta primula odorosa (nome scientifico primula veris), rispetto alla primula comune che fiorisce da febbraio a marzo, la primula odorosa spunta nei boschi e nei prati da aprile a giugno, si differenzia per i fiori più piccoli e dal giallo brillante che crescono ad ombrella sorrette da un lungo stelo.
In Italia la primula viene anche detta Primavera, Primavera odorosa, Orecchio d’orso giallo, Fior d’cuch, Trombete, Filadora, ed anche Occhio di Civetta.
3) letteralemnte la frase dice “se mi concederete ancora una volta il permesso“, Luke Kelly dice” If you will grant me one small relief” (se mi concederete un po’ di sollievo) le frasi alludono chiaramente a una richiesta di seconda occasione per amoreggiare
4) Luke Kelly dice “And ev’ry moment blows blustrous wild” e si tratta probabilmente di un errore nella trasmissione orale blustrous =blusterous ventoso burrascoso, wild = vento
5) in altre versioni si cerca di confortare le giovani fanciulle: anche se oggi piangono domani troveranno un uomo che le sposi!

FONTI
https://mainlynorfolk.info/copperfamily/songs/banksofthesweetprimroses.html
http://www.mustrad.org.uk/songbook/s_prim.htm
https://afolksongaweek.wordpress.com/2012/08/26/week-53-banks-of-the-sweet-primroses/
http://www.joe-offer.com/folkinfo/songs/451.html

http://www.fairylandtrust.org/how-to-see-fairies-part-one/

 

The Cliff of Dooneen or Avalon?

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“The Cliff of Dooneen” (Doneen, Dooneen, Duneen) is an Irish ballad from the 1930s (or late 19th century), made famous by Planxty; it spread to Great Britain after the post-war migration, Christy Moore heard a version in 1965 by various singers (Andy Rynne, Ann Mulqueen and Mick McGuane) and made it popular in folk scene of the 70s.

Like Avalon, the Dooneen cliffs are not found in a specific place, but in the mists of myth and nostalgia. Two counties contend this location: Clare near the mouth of the Shannon and Kerry near Beal. However, it is suspected that the confusion between the counties is an attempt to advertise the cliffs of Moher, that is one of the most charming places in Ireland.
It’s an emigration song, those who leave for distant lands regret their home and want to be buried in the places loved in their youth.

(Photo: Philippe Gosseau)

BEAL VERSION (CO. KERRY)

According to Beal’s people (Kerry Co.) the poem was penned by Jack McAuliffe of Lixnaw who wrote the original version during a visit to his sister. Nichols Carolan from the ITMA in Dublin attests: “Dooneen Point is on the Kerry Coast, between Ballylongford and Ballybunnion at the Mouth of the River Shannon, giving excellent views of the South West of Clare, though it should be said that it is not possible to see Kilrush and Kilkee from this point as stated in verse two [Christy Moore lyrics]. This has been explained by suggesting that the song was originally located in Moveen, a few miles south west of Kilkee in Clare. The song was first recorded in Dublin in the 1960s sung by Siney Crotty who came from Kilbaha, which is on the Clare side of the Shannon. Since it’s first appearance it has gained enormous popularity. The Irish Traditional Music Archive has around one hundred and ninety commercial recordings of it.

Jack McAuliffe poem
I
I have traveled afar from my own native home.
Away o’er the billows, away o’er the foam I have seen many sights but no equal I’ve seen
To the old rocky slopes by the cliffs of Dooneen
II
I have seen many sights of Columbus fair land,
Africa and Asia so delightful and grand,
But dig me a grave were the grass it grows green
On the old rocky slopes by the cliffs of Dooneen.
III
How pleasant to walk on a fine summers day.
And to view the sweet cherries that will never decay,
Where the sea grass(1) and seaweed and the old carrageen(2)
All grow from the rocks by the cliffs of Dooneen.
IV
The Sand hills of Beal (3) are glorious and grand,
And the old castle ruins looking out on the strand,
Where the hares and the rabbits are there to be seen
Making holes for their homes by the cliffs of Dooneen.
V
I have tracked my love’s footsteps to the boathouse of old
And the dance  (4) on the hillside where love stories are told,
Its there you will see both the lad and the colleen
Moving round by the shore of the cliffs of Dooneen
VI
Take a view across the Shannon some sites you will see there
High rocky mountains on the south coast of Clare
The towns of Kilrush and Kilkee ever green
But theres none to compare with the cliffs of Dooneen
VII
Farewell Dooneen, Farewell for a while, And to those kind-Hearted neighbours that I left in the isle,
May my soul never rest till it’s laid on the green
Near the old rocky slopes by the Cliffs of Dooneen

NOTES
1) these sea floor plants often grow in large “meadows” that resemble grazing
2) There are various types of red algae found along the coasts of Ireland – Great Britain: the alga dulse (Palmaria palmata) and the irish moss (Chondrus crispus also called Carragheen) which, when spread out and dried in the sun, turns to white in a characteristic “blonde” color!
3) the Dingle Peninsula in the south-west of Ireland has a very indented coastline characterized by rock headlands and pristine green meadows
4) a Feile Lughnasa, a Celtic summer festival still celebrated in July

MOVEEN VERSION (CO. CLARE)

However the most accredited version of the song is the one that identifies the cliffs with the “Cliffs of Moveen” in County Clare.

contea-clare

Christy Moore tells in his web pageIt is a very simple piece of writing yet the combination of its lyric and music have people around the world. I have heard it sung in very different styles too. Margo recorded a “Country and Irish” version whilst Andy Rynne used to sing it in the Sean-Nós style

 Christy Moore

Quadriga Consort

Christy Moore lyrics
I
You may travel far from your own native  home
Far away o’er the mountains, far away o’er the foam
But of all the fine places that I’ve ever seen
there’s none to compare with the Cliffs of Dooneen
II
Take a view o’er the mountains, fine sights you’ll see there
You’ll see the high rocky mountains o’er the West coast of Clare
Oh the towns of Kilkee and Kilrush can be seen
From the high rocky slopes of the cliffs of Dooneen
III
It’s a nice place to be on a fine summer’s day
Watching all the wild flowers that ne’er do decay
Oh the hares and the loft pheasants are plain to be seen
Making homes for their young round the cliffs of Dooneen
IV
Fare thee well to Dooneen, fare thee well for awhile
And to all the kind people I’m leaving behind
To the streams and the meadows where late I have been
And the high rocky slopes of the cliffs of Dooneen

Who knows why on the Web many write that the text is by Jack McAuliffe but then they sing the Christy Moore version !!


http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=77631
http://thesession.org/tunes/7157