Archivi tag: Lisa Knapp

Blow away the morning dew

Leggi in italiano

In the older version of the ballad known as The Baffled Knight, a young and inexperienced knight meets a girl in the fields and asks her to have sex, but the lady makes fun of her love inexperience and tricks him into a ploy.

BLOW AWAY THE MORNING DEW (Blow the winds)

Child ballad #112 D

This ballad is reported in many text versions both in the eighteenth-century collections and in the Broadsides, as well as transmitted orally in Great Britain and America with the titles of “Blow (Clear) (Stroll) Away The Morning Dew”; the male protagonist from time to time is a gentleman, or a shepherd boy / peasant. The novelty compared to the versions A and B already seen (here and here) is the refrain that, declined in a couple of variations, recalls an allusive morning breeze that sweeps away the night’s dew.
The Renaissance courtly ballad of the “Baffled Knight” is now transposed into a popular setting, linking it to an ancient Celtic auspicious and healthy ritual, still practiced by the peasants, that of the Bath in the dew of Beltane.(see more).

CECIL SHARP VERSION

Geoff Woolfewrites “Cecil Sharp noted several versions of this song in his travels around Somerset in the early 1900s, and in 1916 published what became the ‘standard’ version later sung by many schoolchildren and choirs. Vaughan Williams used the tune for his folk song suite for military band in the 1920s. The text in Mrs Nation [Elisabeth Nation of Bathpool, Somerset]’s version is similar to most others; its meaning may have been lost on collectors and schoolchildren in more innocent times” (from here)

Oscar Brand & Joni Mitchell 1965: a still unknown Joni Anderson, but already refulgent. This video is part of the television series “Let’s Sing Out” conducted by Oscar Brand, which was recorded on various Canadian university campuses and aired on Canadian television from 1963 to 1966. The textual version of the ballad has been slightly retouched and reduced in the form of humorous song.

I
There was a young farmer(1)
Kept sheep all on the hill;
And he walk’d out one May morning(2)
To see what he could kill.(3)
Chorus
And sing blow away the morning dew
The dew, and the dew.
Blow away the morning dew,
How sweet the birds they sing(4)
II
He looked high, he looked low,
He cast an under look;
And there he saw a pretty maid
that swimming in a brook.
III
“If you take to my father’s castle(6)
Which is walled all around,
And, you may have a kiss from me
And twenty thousand pound”(7).
IV
When they got to her father’s gate,
quicly she ride in:
There is a fool without
And here’s a maid within.
V
There is a flower in the garden,
they call it Marigold(8):
And if you do not
when you’re young(9),
then you may not when you’re olde.

NOTE
1) or “shepherd boy” in  Phyllis Marshall (which collected 26 popular songs between 1916 and 1917 from Bathpool and West Monkton, Somerset). In the Somerset Scrapbook, Bob and Jackie Patten write: “in 1916 and 1917 Miss Phyllis Marshall was collecting songs around West Monkton. Although only a small collection, her note books contain some choice material. This collection only came to light in the 1970s when it was found in a second-hand book shop and bought for a few pence“. Both the Oscar Brand and Phyllis Marshall versions are attributable to the “standard” one published by Cecil Sharp in 1916.
2) the verse is significant and clarifies the refrain: it is the May Day, when the sun of Beltane gives more power to the dew (vedi).
3) here the young man goes hunting for necessity, but initially he was a gentleman hunting for pleasure: it is evident the allusion to the woman as prey
4)the verse has been changed to make it more “winking”, The refrain reported by Cecil Sharp says:
And sing blow away the morning dew,
The dew, and the dew.
Blow away the morning dew,
How sweet the winds do blow.
5)in this version are missing a couple of verses as reported by Phyllis Marshall
“The dew’s all on the grass, it’ll spoil my wedding gown
Which cost my father out of his purse as many pounds as crowns”
“I’ll take off my riding coat and wrap it round and round
There is a wind come from the west which soon will blow it down”
The woman tries to dissuade the man with a pretext (and who sings does not seem to have doubts about the incongruity of the two just out of the stream where they were supposedly naked swimming), that of the dress that is rubbing (it is here is even a wedding dress , a Bride of May?) is a staple of the story that already in its seventeenth-century versions warned the inexperienced (in love) young men  “Spare not for her gay clothing, But lay her body flat on the ground”
6) normally it is a gate, I assume that Oscar Brand used the word “castle” to confirm the “ancient” origin of the ballad, (making a little effort to make it stand in the metric)
7) the girl boasts a rich dowry that could tempt the man not to go immediately to rape, but to aim at obtaining the consent of the parents (he can have money only in exchange for the marriage of course) the stanza collected by Phyllis Marshall, that it could be misunderstood if not included in the context, it says “And you shall see what I can do for fifty thousand pounds”
8) flower that already in the second half of 1600 was brought to America by the first settlers. The flower takes up the solar symbolism and was considered a protective plant. In this context it symbolizes the virtue of the girl
9) the maximum is softened

Eliza Carthy – Blow the winds from Red Rice 1998 (following The Game of Draughts)

I
There was a shepherd’s son,
He kept sheep on the hill.
He laid his pipe and his crook aside
And there he slept his fill.
Chorus
And blow the winds high-o, high-o
Sing blow the winds high-o
II
Well he looked east and he looked west,
He took another look
And there he saw a lady gay
Was dipping in a brook.
III
She said: “Sir, don’t touch my mantle,
Come let my clothes alone.
I will give you as much bright money
As you can carry home.”
IV
“I will not touch your mantle,
I’ll let your clothes alone,
But I’ll take you out of the water clear
My dear to be my own.”
V
He mounted her on a milk white steed,
Himself upon another,
And there they rode along the road
Like sister and like brother.
VI
And as they rode along the road
He spied some cocks of hay,
“Oh look!” he says, “there’s a lovely place
For men and maids to play (1).”
VII
And when they came to her father’s house
They rang long at the ring,
And who is there but her brother
To let the young girl in.
VIII
When the gates were opened
This young girl she jumped in,
“Oh, look!” she says, “you’re a fool without
And I’m a maid within!
IX (2)
“There is a horse in my father’s stable,
He stands behind the thorn,
He shakes himself above the trough
But dares not pry the corn.
X
“There is cock in my father’s yard,
A double comb (3) he wears,
He shakes his wings and he crows full loud
But a capon’s crest he bears.
XI
“And there is a flower in my father’s garden,
It’s called the marigold,
The fool that will not when he can,
He shall not when he would.”
XII
Says the shepherd’s son as he doffed his shoes,
“My feet they shall run bare
And if I ever meet another girl
I’ll have that girl, beware.”

NOTE
1) curious inversion of roles now it is the girl to tease the boy that does not react
2) the two strophes are “veiled” insults, the girl insinuates that the boy is a powerless
3) review of cock’s crests (see more)

Clear Away the Morning Dew

Ian Robb from “Ian Robb and hang the Piper” 1979
In the notes Ian writes ” the bulk of the text and the tune coming from ‘This Singing Island’, MacColl and Seeger


I
As I walked out one morning fair,
To see what I could shoot,
I there espied a pretty fair maid
Come a-tripping by the road.
CHORUS
And sing, Hail the dewy morning’
Blow all the winds high-O.
Clear away the morning dew,
How sweet the winds do blow.
II
We both jogged on together
‘Till we came to some pooks of hay.
She said’ “Young man, there is a place,
Where you and I can lay”.
III
I put me arms around her waist
And I tried to throw her down.
She said “Young man, the dewy grass
Will rumple my silk gown. (1) “
IV
“But if you come to me father ‘s house
There you can lay me down.
You can take away me maidenhead,
Likewise a thousand pounds.”
V
So I took her to her father’s house,
But there she locked me out.
She said’ “Young man, I’m a maid within,
And you’re a fool without! ”
VI
So it’s if you come to a pretty maid,
A mile outside of town,
Don’t you take no heed
of the dewy grass
Or the rumpling of her gown.

NOTE
1) very curious the attitude of the girl who first teases him by proposing to lie down between the hay (with an obvious double meaning) and then complains when he hugs her

Dew Is on the Grass

From the field recording of Ralph Vaughan Williams in 1907 from the testimony of Jake Willisof Hadleigh, Suffolk, in Folk Songs Collected by Ralph Vaughan Williams (Roy Palmer 1983 )
Lisa Knapp from Wild & Undaunted 2007


I
As I walked out one midsummer’s morn
All in in the month of May, sir,
O there I beheld a fair pretty maid
Making of the hay, sir.
Chorus
Fol de lie de lay
II
I boldly stepped up to her
Asked her to lay down, sir.
The answer that she gave to me
Was, “The dew is on the ground, sir.”
III
“O but if you come to my father’s house
You may lay in my bed, sir;
You can have my maidenhead
All on a bed of down, sir.”
IV
But when we got to her father’s house,
It was walled in all around, sir.
And she ran in and shut the gate,
Shut the young man out, sir.

V
“O when you met with me at first
You did not meet a fool, sir;
Take your Bible under your arm,
Go a little more to school, sir.
VI
“And if you meet a pretty girl
A little below the town, sir;
You must not mind her squalling
Or the rumpling of your gown, sir.
VII
“There is a cock in my father’s garden
Will not tread the hen (1), sir;
And I do think in my very heart
That you are one of them, sir.
VIII
“There is a flower in my father’s garden
Called a marigold, sir,
And if you will not when you may
You shall not when you would, sir.”
NOTE
1) now the insult is explicit: the boy is an impotent, in the Irish versions the most recurring phrase is:” when they got to bed upstairs, sure the bay he wasn’t able
ARCHIVE
TITLES: The Baffled Lover (knight),  Yonder comes a courteous knight, The Lady’s Policy, The Dew is on the grass, The Disappointed Lover, The (Bonny) Shepherd Lad (laddie), Blow away the morning dew, Blow Ye Winds in the Morning, Blow Ye Winds High-O, Clear Away the Morning Dew
Child #112 A (Tudor Ballad): yonder comes a courteous knight
Child #112 B
Child #112 D ( Cecil Sharp)
Child #112 D (Sheperd Lad)
Blow Away The Morning Dew (sea shanty)

LINK
http://www.joe-offer.com/folkinfo/songs/163.html
http://www.contemplator.com/child/morndew.html
https://mainlynorfolk.info/eliza.carthy/songs/thebaffledknight.html
http://71.174.62.16/Demo/LongerHarvest?Text=Child_d11204
http://www.mustrad.org.uk/articles/phyllism.htm
http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=64609

https://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=23532
https://mudcat.org//thread.cfm?threadid=149112
https://afolksongaweek.wordpress.com/2012/05/20/week-39-stroll-away-the-morning-dew/ http://mudcat.org/@displaysong.cfm?SongID=717 http://mudcat.org/@displaysong.cfm?SongID=1207 http://mudcat.org/@displaysong.cfm?SongID=5962 http://www.rosaleengregory.ca/the-baffled-knight.html http://www.readbookonline.net/readOnLine/43791/

Don’t You Go A Rushing

Leggi in italiano

The “enigmas” or “riddles” are part of some popular songs in dealing with the supernatural, be it a magical or diabolical creature, and more generally they represent a weapon of defense to avert a danger or obtain a benefit, so in the fairy tales, young people of humble origins obtain advantageous marriages or kingdoms for having been able to solve the enigmas or to have accomplished impossible tasks. However, the risk was very high, even if sometimes they were helped by creatures or magical beings, because the counterpart in case of failure was death (often by beheading). In the ancient courtship ballads the riddles become the surrogate of impossible enterprises, or they are obstacles to overcome to get the bride’s hand, but in the Celtic world there are also many examples of the opposite, it is the girl who has to prove to be a good wife, above all in terms of unquestioned loyalty.

The echo of these ancient forms of courtship, turn into a romantic words to make a declaration of love.

I HAVE A YONG SUSTER

The first text dates back to around 1430 (British Museum – Sloane MS 2593, “I have a yong suster”) and is antecedent or at least contemporary to “The Devil’s Nine Questions” found always transcribed in a manuscript of about 1450.

The ballad is also found in many nineteenth-century Nursery Songs with the titles: “Perrie, Merrie, Dixie, Dominie”, “I have four sisters beyond the sea”, “I had Four Brothers Over the Sea”, “My true love lives far from me “, where the overseas sweetheart who sends” enigmatic” gifts is trasformed into the four sisters, the four brothers or the four cousins. In fact, the song lends itself to being a children song, both as a lullaby and as a game – riddle in which the children sing the answers together with their mother.

John Fleagle from Worlds Bliss – Medieval Songs of Love and Death, 2004 

I
I have a yong suster
Fer biyonde the see;
Peri meri dictum domine
Manye be the druries (1)
That she sente me.
Partum quartum pare dicentem,
Peri meri dictum domine (2)

II
She sente me the cherye
Withouten any stoon,
And so she dide the dove
Withouten any boon.
III
She sente me the brere
Withouten any rinde;
She bad me love my lemman (3)
Withoute longinge.
IV
How sholde any cherye
Ben withoute stoon?
And how sholde any dove
Ben withoute boon?
V
How sholde any brere
Ben withoute rinde?
How sholde I love my lemman
Withoute longinge?
VI
Whan the cherye was a flowr,
Thanne hadde it non stoon;
Whan the dove was an ey,
Thanne hadde it non boon.
VII
Whan the brere was unbred,(4)
Thanne hadde it non rinde;
Whan the maiden has that she loveth,
She’s withoute longinge.

NOTES
1) Druries: love-gifts
2) latin words non-sense like perry merry dixie or Pitrum, partrum, paradisi tempore or Piri-miri-dictum Domini
3) Leman: sweetheart
4) Unbred: unborn. in the nursery rhyme “I had four brothers over the sea” they carry: a goose without a bone, a cherry without a stone, a blanket without a thread, a book that no man could read, that is an egg, a cherry tree, a sheep to shear and a typographic matrix to be printed.

I GAVE MY LOVE A CHERRY -Riddle song

The most widespread version in the United States and Canada is a “modernization” of the medieval ballad “I have a yong suster” a romantic turn of words to make a declaration of love!

as a sweet lullady

Doc Watson 1966 (magical voice and amazing guitar)

I
I gave my love a cherry
that had no stone;
I gave my love a chicken
that had no bone;
I gave my love a baby
with no crying,
And told my love a story
that had no end.
II
How can there be a cherry
that has no stone?
How can there be a chicken
that has no bone?
How can there be a baby
with no crying?
How can you tell a story
that has no end?
III
A cherry when it’s blooming,
it has no stone(1);
A chicken when it’s pipping,
there is no bone(2);
A baby when it’s sleeping,
there’s no crying(3),
And when I say I love you,
it has no end(4).
NOTES
1) the cherry blossom is not yet a fruit
2) a freshly fertilized hen’s egg is a hen’s embryo
3) a child who is not yet born is sleeping and therefore can not cry
4) the most beautiful declaration of love ..

GO NO MORE A RUSHING

This song is contained in the Fitzwilliam Virginal Book (called Queen Elizabeth’s Virginal Book, although in reality Queen Elizabeth never owned the manuscript) a collection of dance music dating back to the early 1600s. It is also found in the Brimington Mummers’ Play script. [Derbyshire, 1862] that the Mummers represented during the Christmas celebrations (see).
With the title “Go no More a-Rushing” the melody was probably already popular at the time of Queen Elizabeth I (composed or arranged by William Byrd) and it is found in various versions in some manuscripts of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.
The “Riddle song” is superimposed with a prelude (as a warning song) in which young girls are discouraged to go alone in the woods to collect rushes / ferns because they could lose their virginity.
Once ago the rushes were spread on the floors of the houses, they made roofs, beds, chairs, pots and fishing nets, cheese-sieves and much more, even today with the rushes they intertwine baskets, hats are made and Bride’s cross for Imbolc.

Reg Hall Archives Jim Wilson of Sussex 

I
Go no more a-rushing,
maids, in May
Go no more a-rushing,
maids, I pray
Go no more a-rushing,
or you’ll fall a-blushing(1)
Bundle up your rushes
and haste away.
II
You promised me a cherry
without any stone,
You promised me a chicken
without any bone,
You promised me ring
that has no rim at all,
And you promised me a bird
without a gall.
III
How can there be a cherry
without a stone?
How can there be a chicken
without a bone?
How can there be a ring
without a rim at all?
How can there be a bird
that hasn’t got a gall?
IV
When the cherry’s in the flower
it has no stone;
When the chicken’s in the egg
it hasn’t any bone;
When the ring it is a making
it has no rim at all;
And the dove it is a bird
without a gall(2)
NOTES
1) or “to get a brushing” going on the moor or in the woods to collect stalks and grasses could be very dangerous for the girls because they risked encounters with little recommendable elves see more
2) the dove symbol of peace and love was considered a very pure animal. When we speak of a good person we say that it is “without gall as the dove” because this animal is without a gall bladder.

Lisa Knapp from Till April Is Dead ≈ A Garland of May 2017
Conserved through the oral transmission up to the version collected by Cecil Sharp by Mrs. Eliza Ware in Over Stowey, Somerset on January 23, 1907

Don’t You Go A Rushing Maids In May
I
Don’t you go a-rushing, maids in May
Don’t you go a-rushing, maids I say
For if you go a-rushing
They’re sure to get you blushing
They’ll steal your rushes away
II
I went a-rushing it was in May
I went a-rushing maids I say
I went a-rushing
They caught me a-blushing
They stole my rushes away
III
He promised me a chicken without any bone
Promised me a cherry without any stone
He promised me a ring without any rim
He promised me a babe with no squalling
IV
How can there be a chicken without any bone?
How can there be a cherry without any stone?
How can there be a ring without any rim?
How can there be a babe with no squalling?
V
When the chicken’s in the egg it has no bone
When the cherry’s blooming it has no stone
When the ring is melting
It has no rim
When the babe is in the making
There’s no squalling

LINK
http://ontanomagico.altervista.org/captain-wedderburn.html
http://www.presscom.co.uk/talesparts/tales5.html
http://www.joe-offer.com/folkinfo/songs/597.html
http://www.8notes.com/scores/6048.asp?ftype=gif
http://www.mamalisa.com/?t=hes&p=1545
http://mudcat.org/@displaysong.cfm?SongID=6899
http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=9589
http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=99125
http://mainlynorfolk.info/cyril.tawney/songs/iwillgivemyloveanapple.html

http://www.1st-stop-county-kerry.com/rushes-in-folklore.html
https://www.irishtimes.com/culture/books/straw-hay-and-rushes-in-irish-folk-tradition-by-anne-o-dowd-art-and-craft-1.2489692
http://www.fondazioneterradotranto.it/2012/10/19/larte-di-intrecciare-il-giunco-ad-acquarica-del-capo-ii-parte/
https://www.cdsconlus.it/index.php/2016/09/29/cultura-e-tradizioni-in-valle-di-comino-larte-del-costruir-fuscelle/
http://www.contemplator.com/england/rushing.html
http://www.folkplay.info/Texts/86sk47rs.htm
http://www.folktunefinder.com/tune/161727/
https://mainlynorfolk.info/folk/songs/dontyougoarushing.html

The Pleasant Month of May

Leggi in italiano

“The haymaker’s song” aka “The Pleasany Month of May”, ‘”Twas in the Pleasant Month of May” or ” The Merry Haymakers” is in the Family Copper’s collection of traditional songs from Sussex (see): in the season of haymaking, starting in May, the farmers went to make hay, cutting the tall grass, with the scythe, putting it aside as fodder for livestock and courtyard’s animals . While hay cutting was a mostly masculine task, women and children used the rake to collect grass in large piles, which were then loaded onto the cart through the use of pitchforks.

George Stubbs - Haymakers 1785 (Wikimedia)
George Stubbs – Haymakers 1785 (Wikimedia)

Mr A. L. Lloyd (“Folk Song in England”, p 234/5) traces a possible source to a broadside of 1695; collected versions seem more in the style of the 18th century and presumably stem from the late broadsides, of which there were one or two. Found in tradition mainly in the South and South East of England, the exception being Huntington, Sam Henry’s Songs of the People(1990) which has an unprovenanced set, Tumbling Through the Hay, presumably noted in Ulster.” (from here)

After the hard work, however, it’s time to have fun and so all the workers are dancing in the middle of the haystacks on the melodies of a piper !!


William Pint & Felicia Dale
from Hartwell Horn 1999 
Jackie Oates from Hyperboreans 2009 
Lisa Knapp from Till April Is Dead ≈ A Garland of May 2017

PLEASANT MONTH OF MAY *
I
‘Twas in the pleasant month of May,
In the springtime of the year,
And down in yonder meadow
There runs a river clear.
See how the little fishes,
How they do sport and play;
Causes many a lad and many a lass
To go there a-making hay.
II
Then in comes the scythesman,
That meadow to mow down,
With his old leathered bottle
And the ale that runs so brown.
There’s many a stout and a laboring man
Goes there his skill to try;
He works, he mows, he sweats, he blows,
And the grass cuts very dry.
III
Then in comes both Tom and Dick
With their pitchforks and their rakes,
And likewise black-eyed Susan
The hay all for to make.
There’s a sweet, sweet, sweet and a jug, jug, jug(1)
How the harmless birds do sing
From the morning to the evening
As we were a-haymaking.
IV
It was just at one evening
As the sun was a-going down,
We saw the jolly piper
Come a-strolling through the town.
There he pulled out his tabor and pipes(2)
And he made the valleys ring;
So we all put down our rakes and forks
And we left off haymaking.
V
We called for a dance
And we tripped it along;
We danced all round the haycocks
Till the rising of the sun.
When the sun did shine such a glorious light,
How the harmless birds did sing;
Each lad he took his lass in hand
And went back to his haymaking.

NOTES
1) sounds that recall the trill of birds: they are the verses that imitate birds singing
2) pipe and drum, in a combination called tabor-pipe: the three-hole flute allows the musician to play the instrument with one hand, while with the other he strikes the tambourine with a shoulder strap. If the combination was very versatile and well suited to street performances of the jester, it was also perfect for the performance of the dances and then in the ancient iconography convivial images are often frequent in the presence of dancers. ((see more)

L’allodola e il cavallante nel mese di Maggio

LINK
http://www.hayinart.com/001405.html
https://mainlynorfolk.info/folk/songs/thepleasantmonthofmay.html
http://www.joe-offer.com/folkinfo/songs/213.html
http://www.musicanet.org/robokopp/english/haymaker.htm
http://konkykru.com/e.caldecott.our.haymaking.html

Lark in the Morning

Leggi in italiano

The irish song “The Lark in the Morning” is mainly found in the county of Fermanagh (Northern Ireland): the image is rural, portrayed by an idyllic vision of healthy and simple country life; a young farmer who plows the fields to prepare them for spring sowing, is the paradigm of youthful exaltation, its exuberance and joie de vivre, is compared to the lark as it sails flying high in the sky in the morning. Like many songs from Northern Ireland it is equally popular also in Scotland.
The point of view is masculine, with a final toast to the health of all the “plowmen” (or of the horsebacks, a task that in a large farm more generally indicated those who took care of the horses) that they have fun rolling around in the hay with some beautiful girls, and so they demonstrate their virility with the ability to reproduce.

Ploughman_Wheelwright
The Plougman – Rowland Wheelwright (1870-1955)

The Dubliners

Alex Beaton with a lovely Scottish accent

The Quilty (Swedes with an Irish heart)

CHORUS
The lark in the morning, she rises off her nest(1)
She goes home in the evening, with the dew all on her breast
And like the jolly ploughboy, she whistles and she sings
She goes home in the evening, with the dew all on her wings
I
Oh, Roger the ploughboy, he is a dashing blade (2)
He goes whistling and singing, over yonder leafy shade
He met with pretty Susan,, she’s handsome I declare
She is far more enticing, then the birds all in the air
II
One evening coming home, from the rakes of the town
The meadows been all green, and the grass had been cut down
As I should chance to tumble, all in the new-mown hay (3)
“Oh, it’s kiss me now or never love”,  this bonnie lass did say
III
When twenty long weeks, they were over and were past
Her mommy chanced to notice, how she thickened round the waist
“It was the handsome ploughboy,-the maiden she did say-
For he caused for to tumble, all in the new-mown hay”
IV
Here’s a health to y’all ploughboys wherever you may be
That likes to have a bonnie lass a sitting on his knee
With a jug of good strong porter you’ll whistle and you’ll sing
For a ploughboy is as happy as a prince or a king
NOTES
1) The lark is a melodious sparrow that sings from the first days of spring and already at the first light of dawn; it is a terrestrial bird which, however, once safely in flight, rises almost vertically into the sky, launching a cascade of sounds similar to a musical crescendo.
Then, closed the wings, he lets himself fall like a dead body until he touches the ground and immediately rises again, starting to sing again . see more
2) blade= boy, term used in ancient ballads to indicate a skilled swordsman
3) The story’s backgroung is that of the season of haymaking, starting in May, when farmers went to make hay, that is to cut the tall grass, with the scythe, putting it aside as fodder for livestock and courtyard’s animals . While hay cutting was a mostly masculine task, women and children used the rake to collect grass in large piles, which were then loaded onto the cart through the use of pitchforks.. see more

George Stubbs – Haymakers 1785 (Wikimedia)

Lisa Knapp from Till April Is Dead ≈ A Garland of May 2017, from Paddy Tunney (only I, II) (Paddy Tunney The Lark in the Morning 1995  ♪), the most extensive version comes from the Sussex Copper family, but Lisa further changes some verses.

I
The lark in the morning she rises off her nest
And goes whistling and singing, with the dew all on her breast
Like a jolly ploughboy she whistles and she sings
she comes home in the evening with the dew all on her wings
II
Roger the ploughboy he is a bonny blade.
He goes whistling and singing down by yon green glade.
He met with dark-eyed Susan, she’s handsome I declare,
she’s far more enticing than the birds on the air.
III
This eve he was coming home, from the rakes in town
with meadows been all green and the grass just cut down
she is chanced to tumble all in the new-mown hay
“It’s loving me now or never”, this bonnie lass did say
IV
So good luck to the ploughboys wherever they may be,
They will take a sweet maiden to sit along their knee,
Of all the gay callings
There’s no life like the ploughboy in the merry month of may

 

THE ENGLISH VERSION

This version was collected by Ralph Vaughan Williams in 1904 as heard by Ms. Harriet Verrall of Monk’s Gate, Horsham in Sussex, but already circulated in the nineteenth-century broadsides and then reported in Roy Palmer’s book “Folk Songs collected by Ralph Vaughan Williams”. Became into the English folk music circuit in the 60s the song was recorded in 1971 by the English folk rock group Steeleye Span with the voice of Maddy Prior.

The refrain is similar to that of the previous irish version, but here the situation is even more pastoral and almost Shakespearean with the shepherdess and the plowman who are surprised by the morning song of the lark, but with the reversed parts: he who tells her to stay in his arms, because there is still the evening dew, but she who replies that the sun is now shining and even the lark has risen in flight. The name of the peasant is Floro and derives from the Latin Fiore.

Steeleye Span from Please to See the King – 1971

Maddy Prior  from Arthur The King – 2001

I
“Lay still my fond shepherd and don’t you rise yet
It’s a fine dewy morning and besides, my love, it is wet.”
“Oh let it be wet my love and ever so cold
I will rise my fond Floro and away to my fold.
Oh no, my bright Floro, it is no such thing
It’s a bright sun a-shining and the lark is on the wing.”
II
Oh the lark in the morning she rises from her nest
And she mounts in the air with the dew on her breast
And like the pretty ploughboy she’ll whistle and sing
And at night she will return to her own nest again
When the ploughboy has done all he’s got for to do
He trips down to the meadows where the grass is all cut down.

NOTES
1)plow the field but also plow a complacent girl

LARK IN THE MORNING JIG

“Lark in the morning” is a jig mostly performed with banjo or bouzouki or mandolin or guitar, but also with pipes, whistles or flutes, fiddles ..
An anecdote reported by Peter Cooper says that two violinists had challenged one evening to see who was the best, only at dawn when they heard the song of the lark, they agreed that the sweetest music was that of the morning lark. Same story told by the piper Seamus Ennis but with the The Lark’s March tune

Moving Hearts The Lark in the Morning (Trad. Arr. Spillane, Lunny, O’Neill)

Cillian Vallely uilleann pipes with Alan Murray guitar

Peter Browne uilleann pipes in Lark’s march

LINK
https://www.mustrad.org.uk/songbook/larkmorn.htm
http://mainlynorfolk.info/steeleye.span/songs/thelarkinthemorning.html
http://thesession.org/tunes/62

Helston Flora Day (Cornwall)

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In Helston, Cornwall it takes place every year on 8 May the Furry Dance (Flora or Floral dance) in the Feast of St. Michael. The meaning of Furry is found in the root of the gaelic  fer = fair. Inside the program of the tipical dance there is a sacred representation with historical and mythical theme, which unfolds in a procession that starts from the church: the characters are Robin Hood and his brigade, Saint George and Saint Michael, which announce the arrival of Spring.
1834733

SEE MORE 

THE FURRY DANCE

The dance is a very long promenade of young couples (and not really young) parading behind the band: they are for the most part walking (or hopping step) alternating a couple of turns with their partner. There are two shows, one in the morning and the second in the midday with more formal dresses (long dress and elaborate hat for ladies, tight and top hat for gentlemen: of British origin, the tight or taitè also called morning dress because worn during the day, it is the male dress in public ceremonies and for all occasions concerning the English royal family.)


THE GAMES OF ROBIN HOOD

In the late Middle Ages the “Robin Hood Games” were practiced during the May Day. It began with a parade of the various characters of the legendary Robin Hood, the masks of the horse and the dragon and the May pole brought by the oxen. The May pole was then raised and a dance took place around it. After the buffoon performances of the horse and dragon masks the competition began: the challenge of archery.
At the end people dancing around the May pole until late. Tradition has lasted until the end of the nineteenth century

img013

LINK
http://www.thebookofdays.com/months/may/1.htm
http://hesternic.tripod.com/robinhood.htm http://www.boldoutlaw.com/robages/robages3.html http://www.roccadellecaminate.it/archi/encicopedia.html

THE HELSTONE FURRY-DAY SONG

More commonly known under the title “Hal an tow” is the main song in the representation of mummers at Flora Day in Helston.
The Watersons live (I, II, VII)

Shirley Collins & The Albion Country Band from ‘No Roses’ 1971( (III, IV IV, V)
Oysterband from Trawler 1994 (II, III, IV, VII) arranged in rock version has become very popular among the groups of the genre celtic-rock


CHORUS

Hal-an-Tow(1), jolly rumble-O
We were up long before the day-o
To welcome in the summertime
To welcome in the May-o
For summer is coming in
And winter’s gone away
I
Since man was first created
His works have been debated
We have celebrated
The coming of the Spring
II
Take the scorn and wear the horns(2)
It was the crest when you were born
Your father’s father wore it
And your father wore it too
III
Robin Hood and Little John
Have both gone to the fair-o
We shall to the merry green wood
To hunt the buck and hare-o (3)
IV
What happened to the Spaniards(4)
That made so great a boast-o?
They shall eat the feathered goose
And we shall eat the roast-o (5)V
As for Saint George(6), O!
Saint George he was a knight, O!
Of all the knights in Christendom,
Saint George is the right, O!
In every land, O!
The land where’er we go.
VI
But for a greater than St. George
Our Helston has the right-O
St. Michael with his wings outspread
The archangel so bright-O
Who fought the fiend-O
Of all mankind the foe
VII
God bless Aunt Mary Moses(7)
With all her power and might-o
Send us peace in England
Send us peace by day and night-o

NOTES
1)  The translation of Hal an tow could be “May day garland” (halan = calende) and the same name was attributed to the groups of youths who, early in the morning, went into the woods to cut the branches of the May and brought them to the village dancing and singing for the arrival of Spring.
But many scholars tend to refer to the meaning of “heel and toe,” referring to the dance step of the Morris dancing.
Another interpretation translates it as “pulling the rope” (from the Dutch “Haal aan het Touw” derived from the Saxon) referred to the work of the sailors on the ships but also to the game of tug of war, one of the few survivors from the May Games by Robin Hood. Some interpret all the stanzas in a seafaring key, as if the song were a sea-shanty and explain the term “rumbelow” as the rum in the vessel at the time of the pirates!
What shall he have that kill’d the deer? His leather skin and horns to wear. Then sing him home; Take thou no scorn to wear the  horn; It was a crest ere thou wast  born: Thy father’s father wore it, And thy father bore it: The horn, the horn, the lusty horn Is not a thing to laugh to scorn.How do you deny the reference to the deer god and, more generally, to the symbolism of the deer as a sacred animal, the bearer of fertility? see more
3) Shirley Collins:
To see what they do there-O
And for to chase-O
To chase the buck and doe
4) What happened to the Spaniards: the image is ironic about the Spaniards who eat goose feathers by english arrows to whom the roast goose is mockingly due as the winners
5)  Shirley Collins:
And we shall eat the roast-O
In every land-O
The land where’er we go
6) St George day in many populations of the Mediterranean rural world, represents the rebirth of nature and the arrival of Spring, the Saint has inherited the functions of a more ancient pagan deity associated with solar cults: St. George defeating the Dragon became the solar god who defeats the darkness. see more
7) Aunt Mary Moses: Our Lady  Originally, therefore, the invocation was a prayer referring to the goddess of spring. In other versions the sentence becomes”The Lord and Lady bless you” 

Lisa Knapp from Till April Is Dead ≈ A Garland of May 2017

LINK
http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=40451
http://www.mudcat.org/Detail.CFM?messages__Message_ID=160194
http://mainlynorfolk.info/watersons/songs/halantow.html

Obby Oss Festival

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On May 1, in Padstow, a characteristic event called “Obby Oss Festival” is celebrated, centered on the Hobby Horse dance; Padstow is a small fishing port of North Cornwall on the mouth of the river Camel, now a tourist destination.

padstow oss
Oss and his teazer

The Oss are two, one of the Red group(the old horse) and the other of the Blue group (a more recent addition of the Victorian era): the masks are identical, looking fierce and black dressed , which emerge from a characteristic round shape (a circle of 2 meters) edged to the ground by the black fabric: the horses are led by their “teazers” a jugglers with a characteristic stick followed by a cortege of dancers and musicians (mostly drums and accordions): the dominant color in the parade is the white with red or blue depending on the group.

The Oss during his dance – revolving on himself and kicking – seems to war with the teazer or he is courting the young women, who if dragged under the mantle of the oss will become pregnant within the year (or they will get married by the year if they are still young maids)!

Alan Lomax and Peter Kennedy and filmmaker George Pickow collected footage at Padstow in 1951

AT THE BEGINNIG

It is not easy to find the origins of the ritual that is celebrated in Padstow, some indications come from the history of the village: the first settlement was the monastery built by St. Petroc in his mission of evangelization (VI century), but it was destroyed by a Viking raid in 981. Thus the monks moved further inside to Bodmin. Some hypothesize that the ceremony took place on that occasion as an extreme attempt at defense.
obby_oss_sHistorical references of the Oss date back to the late Middle Ages (early 1500) with traces still in the Victorian era: in 1803 is documented the presence of a horse made with the skin of a stallion with a man inside who sprinkled water on the crowd.

Some scholars trace the ritual to pre-Christian celebrations, connected with the Celtic festival of Beltane. Donald R. Rawe compare the oss to thehobby  horses of the Morris dances that are associated with the May fertility rites. (see also the Robin Hood games for the May day). The branches of the May brought into the village, the symbolic coupling with the young women kidnapped under the skirts by the oss, the death and rebirth of the same oss are clear references to fertility that are part of the May Celtic celebrations. However little else can be affirmed with certainty and the verses of the “daytime” singing are rather obscure.
Equally numerous are the references to the winter rituals of Samain that began at the end of October and ended after about twelve days. During the Christmas period the disturbing mask of a horse (hodden or hooden horse), is led through the streets of the village by a “tamer” who held it by the bridle: the children tried to mount the horse and people throw sweets or coins into the mouth of the animal as propitiatory offers. see more

SPRING RITE OF DEATH-REBIRTH

In the singing the Padstow May Song (mostly they repeats the first verse) at some point the music stops the Oss collapses to the ground, the teaser caresses him with his characteristic bat and they sing a kind of dirge funeral
Oh where is Saint George? Oh where is he-O?
He’s out in his longboat, all on the salt sea-O.
Up flies the kite, down falls the lark-O.
Aunt Ursula Birdhood, she had an old ewe,
And she died in her own park-O.
The oss dies then the “teaser” screams “Oss Oss” and the crowd answers “We Oss” thus the Oss comes back to life and gets up again to resume the dances..

Death-Resurrection of the Oss

Once between the two Oss was engaged a dance-fight, now the two parades march through the streets without ever meeting until late in the evening around the May Pole, before returning to their respective stables.

VIDEO
1930: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aFW3xlSn3Ow
1932: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JdDvOfUCfXk
1953: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GA_e3LV6z0E
2012: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-17911942

THE FAREWELL

The parade lasts all day from the morning around 11 am until evening and obviously several men alternate to play the Oss. At the end of the festival the Farewell to the Oss is sung with the phrase:
Farewell farewell my own true love
Farewell farewell my own true love

FAREWELL
I
How can I bear to leave you
One parting kiss I’ll give you
I’ll go what ‘ere befalls me
I’ll go where duty calls me
II
No more will I behold thee
Nor in my arms enfold thee
With spear and pennant glancing
I see the foe advancing
III
I think of thee with longing
Think though while tears are thronging
That with my last faint sighing
I whispered soft whilst dying

NIGHT SONG : Drink To The Old ‘Oss

The ritual of the oss begins, however, the night of May 1, at the stroke of midnight and until about two o’clock, with the Night Song, a clear song of begging, in which the youngsters are alerted to go into the woods to cut the branches of May: whoever sings asks in exchange for good phrases (prosperity, health, happiness) a little beer!

NIGHT SONG
I
Unite and unite and let us all unite,
For summer is a-come unto day,
And whither we are going we will all unite,
In the merry morning of May.
II
I warn you young men everyone
For summer is a-come unto day,
To go to the green-wood and fetch your May home
In the merry morning of May.
III
Arise up Mr. —- and joy you betide
For summer is a-come unto day,
And bright is your bride that lies by your side,
In the merry morning of May.
IV
Arise up Mrs. —- and gold be your ring,
For summer is a-come unto day,
And give to us a cup of ale the merrier we shall sing,
In the merry morning of May.
V
Arise up Miss —- all in your gown of green
For summer is a-come unto day,
You are as fine a lady as wait upon the Queen,
In the merry morning of May.
VI
Now fare you well, and we bid you all good cheer,
For summer is a-come unto day,
We call once more unto your house before another year,
In the merry morning of May


Steeleye Span live (they have recorded the song several times)

DAY SONG
I
Unite and unite, and let us all unite
For summer is a-comin’ today.
And whither we are going we all will unite,
In the merry morning of May.
II
The young men of Padstow, they might if they would,
For summer is a-comin’ today.
They might have built a ship and gilded it with gold
In the merry morning of May.
III
The young women of Padstow, they might if they would,
For summer is a-comin’ today.
They might have built a garland with the white rose and the red
In the merry morning of May.
IV
Oh where are the young men that now do advance
For summer is a-comin’ today.
Some they are in England and some they are in France
In the merry morning of May.
V
Oh where is King George? Oh where is he-O?
He’s out in his longboat, all on the salt sea-O.
Up flies the kite, down falls the lark-O.
Aunt Ursula Birdhood, she had an old ewe,
And she died in her own park-O.
VI
With the merry ring and with the joyful spring,
For summer is a-comin’ today.
How happy are the little birds and the merrier we shall sing
In the merry morning of May.

Lisa Knapp from Till April Is Dead ≈ A Garland of May 2017

PADSTOW MAY SONG
I
Unite and unite
For summer is a-come unto day,
Unite and unite,
In the merry morning of May.
II
With the marry ring
For summer is a-come unto day
Adieu the marry spring
In the merry morning of May
III
Arise up Mr. …
In the merry morning of May.
IV
Unite and unite and let us all unite,
For summer is a-come unto day,
And whither we are going we will all unite,
In the merry morning of May.
V
Oh where is King George?
Oh where is he-O?
He’s out in his longboat,
all on the salt sea-O.
Up flies the kite,
down falls the lark-O.
Aunt Ursula Birdhood,
she had an old ewe,
And she died in her own park-O.

TEXT MEANINGS

The May branches brought into the village, the symbolic coupling with the young women kidnapped under the skirts from the oss, the death and rebirth of the same oss are clear references to fertility that are part of the May Celtic celebrations. However little else can be affirmed with certainty and the verses of the “daytime” singing are rather obscure.
The young people who build a ship and cover it with gold, could symbolize the solar ship, and the theme of rebirth in a new afterlife it is the journey of purification of the soul of the deceased to the Hereafter.
The garland of red and white roses of young women (the colors of Beltane) symbolizes the union of the masculine principle with the feminine one and takes up again the theme of fertility propitiation. Even the last stanza is a clear reference to the lark, a messenger between the human and the divine, representation of youthful exaltation, a sacred and solar bird, symbol of good luck.
The interpretation of the verse already mentioned on the occasion of the funeral dirge in which the apparent death of the Oss is represented is very problematic!
Oh where is King George? Oh where is he-O?

oldossWHICH KING GEORGE?
The reference to the Hanover dynasty would start any historical dating to 1700, but on closer inspection the king is actually Saint George: it is precisely at this point when the Oss is about to die killed by the jester, that is Saint George who defeats the dragon, he is the solar god, who defeats the darkness, the Spring that defeats Winter.
But the most enigmatic of all is Aunt Ursula Birdhood with her old sheep! And here is the fantasy gallops and a local legend recalls an old woman who brought together the women of Padstow to drive away the Viking raiders (in another version become French) while the men were all out to sea to fish: disguised with the Obby Oss and guiding the women in a dancing procession to the beach Orsola has managed to get rid of the marauders convinced to see a monster!!
Some scholars see Birdwood as a mispronunciation of Birdwood and then link it to the figure of Robin Hood extensively connected to the celebration of May since the Middle Ages. Others recall the pagan myth concerning the goddess Freyja (or Sant’Orsola) who, with the name of Horsel or Ursel, welcomed the dead girls into the aftermath.

 second part

LINK
http://mainlynorfolk.info/steeleye.span/songs/padstow.html
http://celtic.org/hobby.pdf
http://www.padstowlive.com/events/padstow-may-day http://grapewrath.wordpress.com/2010/05/01/chris-wood-andy-cutting-following-the-old-oss/

Staines Morris to the Maypole haste away

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In the TV series “The Tudors” an outdoor May Day has been set up, with the picturesque dancers of the Morris Dance, their rattles and handkerchiefs, the archery, the fight of the roosters, the dances with the ribbons around the May pole, performed by graceful maidens with flower crowns in their hair. The background music is titled “Stanes Morris”, in the video follow two reproductions, the first of  Les Witches group, the second a little slower of The Broadside Band.

The May poles in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries were very tall and decorated with green garlands, ribbons or two-color striped paintings: the tradition is rooted in England, Italy, Germany and France, a real focal point of the rousing activities at his feet , symbolic fulcrum of the group of dancers.

john-cousen-dancing-round-the-maypole-on-the-village-green-in-elizabethan-times
John Cousen: Ballando intorno al palo del Maggio in epoca elisabettiana

TO THE MAYPOLE HASTE AWAY (Staine Morris )

The melody is a dance reported in “The English Dancing Master” by John Playford, first edition of 1651, but already danced at the court of Henry VIII or in the Elizabethan era. In the video it is a Morris Dance while Playford describes it as a country dance (for instructions see)
Morris Dance version
It was William Chappell in his “Popular Music of the Old Time” of (1855-56) to combine the Tudor melody with the text “Maypole song” written in 1655 by Robert Cox for the comedy “Actaeon and Diana” . So Chappell writes “This tune is taken from the first edition of The Dancing Master. It is also in William Ballet’s Lute Book (time of Elizabeth); and was printed as late as about 1760, in a Collection of Country Dances, by Wright.
The Maypole Song, in Actæon and Diana, seems so exactly fitted to the air, that, having no guide as to the one intended, I have, on conjecture, printed it with this tune.

The text invites young people in following Love to dance and sing around the May Pole.
Martin Carthy & Dave Swarbrick from ‘Prince Heathen.’ 1969 (simply perfect!)

Shirley Collins from Morris On, 1972, the folk rock experiment of a group of excellent trad musicians John Kirkpatrick, Richard Thompson, Barry Dransfield, Ashley Hutchings  and Dave Mattacks.

Lisa Knapp & David Tibet from Till April Is Dead ≈ A Garland of May 2017  (amazing version with a further step ahead of the 70s rock rework)

MAYPOLE SONG
I
Come, ye young men, come along
with your music, dance and song;
bring your lasses in your hands,
for ‘tis that which love commands.
Refrein:
Then to the Maypole haste away
for ‘tis now a holiday,
Then to the Maypole haste away
for ‘tis now a holiday
II
‘Tis the choice time of the year,
For the violets now appear:
Now the rose receives its birth,
And pretty primrose decks the earth.
III
Here each bachelor may choose
One that will not faith abuse
Nor repay, with coy disdain
Love that should be loved again
IV
And when you are reckoned now
For kisses you your sweetheart gave
Take them all again and more
It will never make them poor
V
When you thus have spent your time,
Till the day be past its prime,
To your beds repair at night,
And dream there of your day’s delight.

second part: JOAN TO THE MAYPOLE

LINK
http://ontanomagico.altervista.org/intorno-al-palo-del-maggio.html 
Traditional Music (con spartito)
https://mainlynorfolk.info/martin.carthy/songs/stainesmorris.html
https://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=60673

Bedfordshire May Day carols

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BEDFORSHIDE

Moggers-Moggies[Z49-685]
The Lord and the Lady and the Moggers
On 1st May several customs were observed. Children would go garlanding, a garland being, typically, a wooden hoop over which a white cloth was stretched. A looser piece of cloth was fastened at the top which was used to cover the finished garland. Two dolls were fastened in the middle, one large and one small. Ribbons were sewn around the front edge and the rest of the space was filled with flowers. The dolls were supposed to represent the Virgin Mary and the Christ child. The children would stop at each house and ask for money to view the garland.

Another custom, prevalent throughout the county if not the country, was maying. It was done regularly until the outbreak of the First World War and, sporadically, afterwards. Young men would go around at night with may bushes singing May carols. In the morning a may bush was attached to the school flag pole, another would decorate the inn sign at the Crown and others rested against doors, designed to fall in when they were opened. Those maying included a Lord and a Lady, the latter the smallest of the young men with a veil and bonnet. The party also included Moggers or Moggies, a man and a woman with black faces, ragged clothes and carrying besom brushes. (from here)

VIDEO Here is a very significant testimony of Margery “Mum” Johnstone from  Bedforshide collected by Pete Caslte, with two May songs

Maypole dancers dance during May Day celebrations in the village of Elstow, Bedfordshire, in 1952 (Edward Malindine/Getty)

From the testimony of Mrs Margery Johnstone this May Garland or “This Morning Is The 1st of May” was transcribed by Fred Hamer in his “Gay Garners”

Lisa Knapp in Till April Is Dead ≈ A Garland of May 2017


MAY GARLAND*
I
This morning is the first of May,
The prime time of the year:
and If I live and tarry here
I’ll call another year
II
The fields and meadows
are so green
so green as any leek
Our Heavenly Father waters them
With His Heavenly dew so sweet
III
A man a man his life’s a span
he flourishes like a flower,
he’s here today and gone tomorrow
he’s gone all in an hour
IV
The clock strikes one, I must be gone,
I can no longer stay;
to come and — my pretty May doll
and look at my brunch of May
V
I have a purse in my pocket
That’s stroll with a silken string;
And all that it lacks
is a little of your money
To line it well within.

NOTE
* una trascrizione ancora parziale per l’incomprensione della pronuncia di alcune parole

BEDFORDSHIRE MAY DAY CAROL

The carol is known as “The May Day Carol” or “Bedford May Carol” but also “The Kentucky May Carol” (as preserved in the May tradition in the Appalachian Mountains) and was collected in Bedfordshire.
A first version comes from  Hinwick as collected by Lucy Broadwood  (1858 – 1929) and transcribed into “English Traditional Songs and Carols” (London: Boosey & Co., 1908).

Lisa Knapp & Mary Hampton from “Till April Is Dead – A Garland of May”, 2017

BEDFORDSHIRE MAY DAY CAROL
I
I’ve been rambling all the night,
And the best part of the day;
And now I am returning back again,
I have brought you a branch of May.
II
A branch of May, my dear, I say,
Before your door I stand,
It’s nothing but a sprout, but it’s well budded out,
By the work of our Lord’s hand (1).
III
Go down in your dairy and fetch me a cup, A cup of your sweet cream, (2)
And, if I should live to tarry in the town,/I will call on you next year.
IV
The hedges and the fields they are so green,/As green as any leaf,
Our Heavenly Father waters them
With His Heavenly dew so sweet (3).
V
When I am dead and in my grave,
And covered with cold clay,
The nightingale will sit and sing,
And pass the time away.
VI
Take a Bible in your hand,
And read a chapter through,
And, when the day of Judgment comes,
The Lord will think on you.
VII
I have a bag on my right arm,
Draws up with a silken string,
Nothing does it want but a little silver
To line it well within.
VIII
And now my song is almost done,
I can no longer stay,
God bless you all both great and small,
I wish you a joyful May.

NOTES
1) the hands become those of God and no more than Our Lady, as in Cambridgshire, the contaminations with the creed of the dominant religion are inevitable
2) this sweet and fresh cream in a glass is a typically Elizabethan vintage-style drink-dessert still popular in the Victorian era, the Syllabub. The Mayers once offered “a syllabub of hot milk directly from the cow, sweet cakes and wine” (The James Frazer Gold Branch). And so I went to browse to find the historical recipe: it is a milk shake, wine (or cider or beer) sweetened and perfumed with lemon juice. The lemon juice served to curdle the milk so that it would form a cream on the surface, over time the recipe has become more solid, ie a cream with the whipped cream flavored with liqueur or sweet wine (see recipes) 

Philip Mercier (1680-1760) – The Sense of Taste: in the background a tray full of syllabus glasses

3) the reference to the dew is not accidental, the tradition of May provides a bath in the dew and in the wild waters full of rain. The night is the magic of April 30 and the dew was collected by the girls and kept as a panacea able to awaken the beauty of women!! (see Beltane)

Shirley Collins  live 2002, same tune of Cambridgeshire May Carol (not completely transcribed)

BEDFORDSHIRE MAY CAROL
I
A branch of may, so fine and gay
And before your door it stands.
It’s but a sprout, it’s well-budded out, for the work of our Lord’s hand(1).
II
Arise, arise, you pretty fair maid
And take the May Bush in,
For if it is gone before morning come
You’ll say we have never been.
III
I have a little bird(?)
?…
IV
If not a cup of your cold cream (2)
A jug of your stout ale
And if we live to tarry in the town
We’ll call on you another year.
V(3)
For the life of a man it is but a span
he’s cut down like the flower
We’re here today, tomorrow we’re gone,
We’re dead all in one hour.
VI
The moon shine bright,
the stars give a light
A little before this day
so please to remember ….
And send you a joyful May.

NOTES
1) the hands become those of God and no more than Our Lady..
2) Syllabub (see above)
3) the stanza derives from “The Moon Shine Bright” version published by William Sandys in Christmas Carols Ancient and Modern (1833) see

NORTHILL MAY SONG

Magpie Lane from “Jack-in-the-Green” 1998 ( I, II, III e IX) with The Cuckoo’s Nest hornpipe (vedi)  
The song is reproposed in the Blog “A Folk song a Week”   edited by Andy Turner himself in which Andy tells us he had learned the song from the collection of Fred Hamer “Garners Gay”
Fred collected it from “Chris Marsom and others” – Mr Marsom had by that time emigrated to Canada, but Fred met him on a visit to his native Northill, Bedfordshire. Fred’s notes say “The Day Song is much too long for inclusion here and the Night Song has the same tune. It was used by Vaughan Williams as the tune for No. 638 of the English Hymnal, but he gave it the name of “Southill” because it was sent to him by a Southill man. Chris Marsom who sang this to me had many tales to tell of the reception the Mayers had from some of the ladies who were strangers to the village and became apprehensive at the approach of a body of men to their cottage after midnight on May Eve.”

Martin Carthy & Dave Swarbrick from “Because It’s There” 1995, ♪ (track 2 May Song)
Martin Carthy writes in the sleeve notes “May Song came from a Cynthia Gooding record which I lost 16 years ago, words stuck in my head.” (from II to VIII)

MAY SONG
I
Arise, arise, my pretty fair maids,
And take our May bush in,
For if it is gone by tomorrow morrow morn,
You’ll say we have brought you none.
II
We have been rambling all of the night,
The best(and most) part of this day;
And we are returning here back again
And we’ve brought you a garland gay (brunch of May).
III
A brunch of May we bear about(it does looked gay)
Before the (your) door it stands;
It is but a sprout and it’s all budded out
And it’s the work of God’s own hand.
IV
Oh wake up you, wake up pretty maid,
To take the May bush in.
For it will be gone and tomorrow morn
And you will have none within.
V
The heavenly gates are open wide
To let escape the dew(1).
It makes no delay it is here today
And it falls on me and you.
VI
For the life of a man is but a span,
He’s cut down like the flower;
He makes no delay he is here today
And he’s vanished all in an hour.
VII
And when you are dead and you’re in your grave
You’re covered in the cold cold clay.
The worms they will eat your flesh good man
And your bones they will waste away.
VIII
My song is done and I must be gone,
I can no longer stay.
God bless us all both great and small
And wish us a gladsome May.
IX
The clock strikes one, it’s time to be gone,
We can no longer stay.
God bless you all both great and small
And send you a joyful May.

NOTES
1) according to the previous religion, water received more power from the Beltane sun. Celts made pilgrimages to the sacred springs and with the spring water they sprinkled the fields to favor the rain.

Kerfuffle from “To the Ground”, 2008

ARISE, ARISE (Northill May Song)
I
Arise, arise, you pretty fair maid
And bring your May Bush in,
For if it is gone by tomorrow, morrow morn,
You’ll say we have brought you none.
II
We have been wandering all this night
And almost all of the day
And now we’re returning back again;
We’ve brought you a branch of May.
III
A branch of May we have brought you,
And at your door it stands;
It’s nothing but a sprout but it’s well budded out
By the work of our Lord’s hand.
IV
The clock strikes one, it’s time to be gone,
We can no longer stay.
God bless you all both great and small
And send you a joyful May.

victorian-art-artist-painting-print-by-myles-birket-foster-first-of-may-garland-day

LINK
https://mainlynorfolk.info/martin.carthy/songs/maysong.html
https://mainlynorfolk.info/shirley.collins/songs/themoonshinesbright.html
https://mainlynorfolk.info/shirley.collins/songs/cambridgeshiremaycarol.html
https://www.hymnsandcarolsofchristmas.com/Hymns_and_Carols/NonChristmas/bedfordshire_may_day_carol.htm
http://www.hymnsandcarolsofchristmas.com/Hymns_and_Carols/moon_shines_bright.htm
http://ingeb.org/songs/themoons.html
https://afolksongaweek.wordpress.com/2012/04/30/week-36-northill-may-song/

Andare a fare il fieno nel mese di maggio!

Read the post in English

“The haymaker’s song” anche “The Pleasany Month of May”, ‘”Twas in the Pleasant Month of May” oppure ” The Merry Haymakers” è riportata nella raccolta di canti tradizionali della famiglia Copper del Sussex (vedi): nella canzone, che plaude all’onesto lavoro nei campi, ci si riferisce a un attività particolare della stagione agricola, quella in cui si andava a fare il fieno, cioè a tagliare l’erba alta con la falce, per metterla da parte come foraggio per il bestiame e gli animali da cortile. Mentre il taglio del fieno era un compito per lo più maschile, le donne e i fanciulli utilizzavano il rastrello per raccogliere l’erba in grossi mucchi, che venivano poi caricati sul carro mediante l’uso dei forconi.
Per tutto l’Ottocento non mancarono poesie e canzoni sul tema “Making of the Hay” vedi

George Stubbs - Haymakers 1785 (Wikimedia)
George Stubbs – Haymakers 1785 (Wikimedia)

Al Lloyd (“Folk Song in England”, p 234/5) traccia una possibile fonte in un foglio volante del 1695; le versioni raccolte richiamano però lo stile del 1700 e presumibilmente derivano da un paio di broadsides più recenti. Trovata principalmente nella tradizione  nel sud e sud-est dell’Inghilterra, ad eccezione di Huntington; in “Songs of the People” di Sam Henry (1990), “Tumbling Through the Hay”, presumibilmente trascritto in Ulster.” (tratto da qui)

Dopo il duro lavoro arriva però il momento di divertirsi e così tutti i lavoranti si trovano a danzare in mezzo ai covoni di fieno sulle melodie di un piper di passaggio!!

William Pint & Felicia Dale in Hartwell Horn 1999 
Jackie Oates in Hyperboreans 2009 
Lisa Knapp in Till April Is Dead ≈ A Garland of May 2017

PLEASANT MONTH OF MAY *
I
‘Twas in the pleasant month of May,
In the springtime of the year,
And down in yonder meadow
There runs a river clear.
See how the little fishes,
How they do sport and play;
Causes many a lad and many a lass
To go there a-making hay.
II
Then in comes the scythesman,
That meadow to mow down,
With his old leathered bottle
And the ale that runs so brown.
There’s many a stout and a laboring man
Goes there his skill to try;
He works, he mows, he sweats, he blows,
And the grass cuts very dry.
III
Then in comes both Tom and Dick
With their pitchforks and their rakes,
And likewise black-eyed Susan
The hay all for to make.
There’s a sweet, sweet, sweet and a jug, jug, jug(1)
How the harmless birds do sing
From the morning to the evening
As we were a-haymaking.
IV
It was just at one evening
As the sun was a-going down,
We saw the jolly piper
Come a-strolling through the town.
There he pulled out his tabor and pipes(2)
And he made the valleys ring;
So we all put down our rakes and forks
And we left off haymaking.
V
We called for a dance
And we tripped it along;
We danced all round the haycocks
Till the rising of the sun.
When the sun did shine such a glorious light,
How the harmless birds did sing;
Each lad he took his lass in hand
And went back to his haymaking.
Traduzione italiana Cattia Salto
I
Si era nel felice mese di Maggio
nella Primavera dell’Anno
e giù per quel prato
scorreva un ruscello limpido.
Guarda come i pesciolini
giocano e nuotano
perchè più di un ragazzo e una ragazza
vanno là a fare il fieno.
II
Allora arriva l’uomo con la falce
a falciare quel prato
con la sua vecchia fiaschetta
e la birra che scorre così scura
c’è più  di un robusto e alacre bracciante che
va dove c’è da mostrare la sua bravura
lavora, falcia, suda,
ansima
e l’erba molto secca taglia.
III
Poi entrano sia Tom e Dick
con i loro forconi e rastrelli
e anche Susan dagli occhi scuri
per fare tutti il fieno.
c’era una melodia, cip, cip
ciop, ciop
come cantavano gli uccellini
da mattina a sera
mentre eravamo a fare il fieno!
IV
E non appena arrivava la sera
quando il sole tramontava
si vedeva l’allegro piper
che girovaga per i paesi.
Allora tirava fuori il tamburo
e il flauto
e faceva risuonare la vallata
così si posavamo rastrelli e forconi
e si smetteva di fare fieno.
V
Si invitava per un ballo
e si girava in tondo
danzavamo intorno al covoni di fieno
fino al sorgere del sole.
Quando il sole risplendeva nella sua luce gloriosa,
mentre gli uccellini cantavano;
ogni ragazzo prendeva la sua ragazza per mano e ritornava a fare il fieno

NOTE
1) suoni che richiamano il trillo degli uccelli: sono dei versi che imitano il canto degli uccelli
2) piffero e tamburo, in una combinazione detta tabor-pipe:  il flauto a tre buchi  permette al musicista di suonare lo strumento con una sola mano, mentre con l’altra percuote il tamburino a tracolla. Se la combinazione era molto versatile e ben si prestava alle esecuzioni di strada del giullare, era anche perfetta per l’esecuzione delle danze e quindi nell’antica iconografia sono frequenti le immagini conviviali spesso in presenza di danzatori. (continua)

L’allodola e il cavallante nel mese di Maggio

FONTI
http://www.hayinart.com/001405.html
https://mainlynorfolk.info/folk/songs/thepleasantmonthofmay.html
http://www.joe-offer.com/folkinfo/songs/213.html
http://www.musicanet.org/robokopp/english/haymaker.htm
http://konkykru.com/e.caldecott.our.haymaking.html

Blow away the morning dew

Read the post in English

Nella versione più antica della ballata nota come The Baffled Knight, un giovane e inesperto cavaliere incontra una fanciulla per i campi e le chiede di fare sesso, ma la fanciulla si prende gioco della sua inesperienza amorosa e lo raggira con uno stratagemma.

BLOW AWAY THE MORNING DEW (Blow the winds)

Child ballad #112 D

La ballata è riportata in moltissime versioni testuali sia nelle raccolte settecentesche che nei Broadsides, oltrechè trasmessa oralmente in Gran Bretagna e America con i titoli di ” Blow (Clear)(Stroll) Away The Morning Dew”; il protagonista maschile di volta in volta è un gentleman, o un pastorello / contadinello. La novità rispetto alle versioni A e B già viste (qui e qui) è il ritornello che, declinato in un paio di varianti, richiama un allusivo venticello mattutino che spazza via la rugiada della notte.
La ballata cortese d’epoca rinascimentale del “Cavaliere Beffato” viene ora trasposta in un ambito popolare, allacciandolo ad un antico rituale celtico benaugurale e salutistico, ancora praticato dai contadini, quello del bagno nella rugiada di Beltane. (vedi).

LA VERSIONE RACCOLTA DA CECIL SHARP

Così scrive Geoff Woolfe “Cecil Sharp ha collezionato diverse versioni di questa canzone nel suo viaggio per il Somerset nei primi anni del 1900, e nel 1916 ha pubblicato quella che divenne la versione “standard” in seguito cantata da molti scolari e corali. Vaughan Williams ha usato la melodia per la sua suite di canzoni popolari per bande negli anni ’20. Il testo nella versione di Mrs Nation [Elisabeth Nation di Bathpool, Somerset] è simile alla maggior parte degli altri; il suo significato originario probabilmente è andato perduto dai collezionisti e scolari in tempi più innocenti” (tratto da qui)

Oscar Brand & Joni Mitchell 1965: una ancora sconosciuta Joni Anderson, ma già rifulgente. Il video fa parte della serie televisiva “Let’s Sing Out” condotta da Oscar Brand  che fu registrata in vari campus universitari del Canada e mandata in onda dalla televisione canadese dal 1963 al 1966. La versione testuale della ballata è stata un po’ ritoccata e ridotta nella forma di canzoncina umoristica.


I
There was a young farmer(1)
Kept sheep all on the hill;
And he walk’d out one May morning(2)
To see what he could kill.(3)
Chorus
And sing blow away the morning dew
The dew, and the dew.
Blow away the morning dew,
How sweet the birds they sing(4)
II
He looked high, he looked low,
He cast an under look;
And there he saw a pretty maid
that swimming in a brook.
III
“If you take to my father’s castle(6)
Which is walled all around,
And, you may have a kiss from me
And twenty thousand pound”(7).
IV
When they got to her father’s gate,
quicly she ride in:
There is a fool without
And here’s a maid within.
V
There is a flower in the garden,
they call it Marigold(8):
And if you do not
when you’re young(9),
then you may not when you’re olde.
traduzione italiano di Cattia Salto
I
C’era un contadinello
che governava le pecore sulla collina
e uscì un mattin di maggio
per vedere di cacciare qualcosa.
RITORNELLO
Spazza via la rugiada del mattino
la rugiada, la rugiada
Spazza via la rugiada del mattino,
e che soavi uccelli canterini!
II
Guardò in su e guardò in giù
e gettò uno sguardo di lato;
e vide una graziosa fanciulla
che nuotava nel torrente.
III
“Se mi porterai al castello avito
tutto cinto dalle mura
potrai avere un mio bacio
e 20.000 sterline”
IV
Quando arrivarono al portone
svelta lei corse dentro
“C’è uno stupido all’esterno
e una vergine all’interno”.
V
C’è un fiore nel giardino
che chiamano calendula,
se non la cogli
quando sei giovane,
poi non potrai quando sarai vecchio!

NOTE
1) oppure “shepherd boy” in  Phyllis Marshall (che raccolse 26 canzoni popolari tra il 1916 e il 1917 da Bathpool e West Monkton, Somerset). Nel Somerset Scrapbook, Bob e Jackie Patten scrivono: “nel 1916 e 1917 Miss Phyllis Marshall stava collezionando canzoni nel West Monkton. Sebbene sia solo una piccola raccolta, i suoi quaderni contengono materiale scelto. Questa collezione è venuta alla luce solo negli anni ’70 quando è stata trovata in una libreria di libri usati e acquistata per pochi soldi“. Sia la versione di Oscar Brand che di Phyllis Marshall sono riconducibili a quella”standard” pubblicata da Cecil Sharp nel 1916.
2) il verso è significativo e chiarisce il ritornello: non si tratta di un una mattina qualunque di maggio, ma di calendimaggio nella notte  propizia per il bagno nella rugiada: è il sole di Beltane a dare maggiore potere all’acqua (vedi).
3) qui il giovanotto va a caccia per necessità, ma inizialmente era un gentiluomo a caccia per diletto: è evidente l’allusione alla donna come preda
4) la strofa è stata variata per renderla più “ammiccante”, Il ritornello riportato da Cecil Sharp dice:
And sing blow away the morning dew,
The dew, and the dew.
Blow away the morning dew,
How sweet the winds do blow.
5) in questa versione mancano un paio di strofe così riportate da Phyllis Marshall
“The dew’s all on the grass, it’ll spoil my wedding gown
Which cost my father out of his purse as many pounds as crowns”
“I’ll take off my riding coat and wrap it round and round
There is a wind come from the west which soon will blow it down”
La donna cerca di dissuadere l’uomo con un pretesto (e chi canta non sembra avere perplessità sull’incongruenza dei due appena usciti da torrente in cui nuotavano presumibilmente nudi), quello del vestito che si stropiccia (è qui è addirittura un abito da sposa, una Sposa di Maggio?) è un punto fermo della storia che già nelle sue versioni seicentesche ammoniva i giovanotti inesperti (in amore) “Spare not for her gay clothing, But lay her body flat on the ground”
6) più comunemente è un gate, presumo che Oscar Brand abbia utilizzato la parola “castello” per avvalorare l’origine “antica” della ballata, (facendo un po’ fatica a farla stare nella metrica)
7) La fanciulla millanta una ricca dote che potrebbe allettare l’uomo a non passare subito allo stupro, ma a puntare ad ottenere il consenso dei genitori (è sotto inteso che potrà avere i soldi solo in cambio del matrimonio) la strofa raccolta da Phyllis Marshall, che si potrebbe equivocare se non inserita nel contesto, dice “And you shall see what I can do for fifty thousand pounds”
8) marigold=  calendula un fiore che già nella seconda metà del 1600 è stato portato in America dai primi coloni. Il fiore riprende il simbolismo solare ed era considerata una pianta protettiva. In questo contesto simboleggia la virtù della fanciulla
9) anche l’aver trasformato la massima “se non la cogli quando puoi, non la coglierai quando vorrai” in “se non lo fai quando sei giovane, allora non potrai farlo quando
sarai vecchio” indica la volontà di rendere meno brutale la storia.

Eliza Carthy – Blow the winds in Red Rice 1998 (segue The Game of Draughts)


I
There was a shepherd’s son,
He kept sheep on the hill.
He laid his pipe and his crook aside
And there he slept his fill.
Chorus
And blow the winds high-o, high-o
Sing blow the winds high-o
II
Well he looked east and he looked west,
He took another look
And there he saw a lady gay
Was dipping in a brook.
III
She said: “Sir, don’t touch my mantle,
Come let my clothes alone.
I will give you as much bright money
As you can carry home.”
IV
“I will not touch your mantle,
I’ll let your clothes alone,
But I’ll take you out of the water clear
My dear to be my own.”
V
He mounted her on a milk white steed,
Himself upon another,
And there they rode along the road
Like sister and like brother.
VI
And as they rode along the road
He spied some cocks of hay,
“Oh look!” he says, “there’s a lovely place
For men and maids to play (1).”
VII
And when they came to her father’s house
They rang long at the ring,
And who is there but her brother
To let the young girl in.
VIII
When the gates were opened
This young girl she jumped in,
“Oh, look!” she says, “you’re a fool without
And I’m a maid within!
IX (2)
“There is a horse in my father’s stable,
He stands behind the thorn,
He shakes himself above the trough
But dares not pry the corn.
X
“There is cock in my father’s yard,
A double comb (3) he wears,
He shakes his wings and he crows full loud
But a capon’s crest he bears.
XI
“And there is a flower in my father’s garden,
It’s called the marigold,
The fool that will not when he can,
He shall not when he would.”
XII
Says the shepherd’s son as he doffed his shoes,
“My feet they shall run bare
And if I ever meet another girl
I’ll have that girl, beware.”
traduzione italiano di Cattia Salto
I
c’era il figlio di un pastore
che governava le pecore sulla collina
mise da parte il suo piffero e il bastone
e là dormì quanto voleva
Coro
Soffiano i venti con forza
canta soffiano i venti con forza
II
Beh guardò a est e guardò ad ovest
e poi diede una sguardo tutt’intorno
e là vide una damigella gaia
che s’immergeva nel ruscello
III
Disse lei “Signore, non toccate il mio mantello, lasciate stare i miei vestiti.
Vi darò un mucchio di monete luccicanti, se mi accompagnerete a casa”
IV
“Non toccherò il vostro mantello
e lascerò stare i vostri vestiti,
ma vi porterò fuori dall’acqua
mia cara, per farvi mia”
V
La mise in groppa a un destriero bianco latte e un altro montò per sè
e cavalcarono per la strada
come fratello e sorella
VI
Mentre cavalcavano lungo la via
lei osservò dei covoni di fieno
“Oh guarda-dice lei- che posticino grazioso per far divertire un uomo e una fanciulla”
VII
E quando arrivarono alla casa paterna
suonarono a lungo il campanello
e proprio il fratello di lei
fece entrare la giovanetta
VIII
Quando i cancelli si aprirono
questa fanciulla fece un balzo dentro
“Oh guarda- dice lei-
sei uno sciocco all’esterno
e io sono una fanciulla all’interno”
IX
C’è un cavallo nella stalla di mio padre,
sta sulle spine
e si agita sulla mangiatoia,
ma non osa ficcare il naso nel grano
X
C’è un gallo nel cortile di mio padre, che indossa una cresta con le punte doppie
agita le ali e strilla forte
ma porta la cresta di un cappone
XI
C’è un fiore nel giardino di mio padre
detto calendula,
lo sciocco che non vuole quando può non potrà quando vorrà”
XII
Dice il figlio del pastore  mentre si sfilava le scarpe
“I miei piedi correranno nudi
e se mai incontrerò un’altra ragazza
badate che la prenderò”

NOTE
1) curiosa inversione dei ruoli adesso è la fanciulla a stuzzicare il ragazzo,  che però non reagisce
2) le due strofe sono dei “velati” insulti, la fanciulla insinua che il ragazzo sia un impotente
3) rassegna delle creste di gallo (qui)

Clear Away the Morning Dew

Ian Robb in “Ian Robb and hang the Piper” 1979
Nelle note Ian scrive ” la maggior parte del testo e la melodia  viene da ‘This Singing Island’, MacColl e Seeger


I
As I walked out one morning fair,
To see what I could shoot,
I there espied a pretty fair maid
Come a-tripping by the road.
CHORUS
And sing, Hail the dewy morning’
Blow all the winds high-O.
Clear away the morning dew,
How sweet the winds do blow.
II
We both jogged on together
‘Till we came to some pooks of hay.
She said’ “Young man, there is a place,
Where you and I can lay”.
III
I put me arms around her waist
And I tried to throw her down.
She said “Young man, the dewy grass
Will rumple my silk gown. (1) ”
IV
“But if you come to me father ‘s house
There you can lay me down.
You can take away me maidenhead,
Likewise a thousand pounds.”
V
So I took her to her father’s house,
But there she locked me out.
She said’ “Young man, I’m a maid within,
And you’re a fool without! ”
VI
So it’s if you come to a pretty maid,
A mile outside of town,
Don’t you take no heed
of the dewy grass
Or the rumpling of her gown.
traduzione italiano di Cattia Salto
I
Mentre andavo in un bel mattino
a cercare di impallinare qualcosa ,
scorsi una giovane e bella fanciulla
che andava a passeggio per la strada.
RITORNELLO
Evviva la rugiada del mattino,
che tutti i venti portano via,
scompare la rugiada mattutina
non appena i venti dolcemente soffiano.
II
Camminammo affiancati
finchè arrivammo a dei covoni di fieno
e lei disse “Giovanotto questo è il posto dove ci possiamo riposare”
III
La strinsi tra le braccia
e cercai di metterla distesa
“Giovanotto, l’erba umida
mi stropiccerà l’abito di seta.
IV
Ma se verrete fino alla mia dimora
allora vi coricherete con me
e prenderete la mia verginità,
insieme a un migliaio di sterline”
V
Così l’accompagnai a casa,
ma lei mi chiuse fuori
dicendo “Giovanotto io sono una vergine all’interno
e voi uno sciocco all’esterno”
VI
Perciò se incontrate una bella fanciulla
ad un miglio dalla città,
non abbiate riguardo
a che l’erba umida
le stropicci il vestito!

NOTE
1) ben curioso l’atteggiamento della ragazza che prima lo stuzzica proponendogli di sdraiarsi tra il fieno (con un evidente doppio senso) e poi si lamenta quando lui l’abbraccia

Dew Is on the Grass

Dalla registrazione sul campo di Ralph Vaughan Williams nel 1907 dalla testimonianza di Jake Willisof Hadleigh, Suffolk, in Folk Songs Collected by Ralph Vaughan Williams (Roy Palmer 1983 )
Lisa Knapp in Wild & Undaunted 2007


I
As I walked out one midsummer’s morn
All in in the month of May, sir,
O there I beheld a fair pretty maid
Making of the hay, sir.
Chorus
Fol de lie de lay
II
I boldly stepped up to her
Asked her to lay down, sir.
The answer that she gave to me
Was, “The dew is on the ground, sir.”
III
“O but if you come to my father’s house
You may lay in my bed, sir;
You can have my maidenhead
All on a bed of down, sir.”
IV
But when we got to her father’s house,
It was walled in all around, sir.
And she ran in and shut the gate,
Shut the young man out, sir.
V
“O when you met with me at first
You did not meet a fool, sir;
Take your Bible under your arm,
Go a little more to school, sir.
VI
“And if you meet a pretty girl
A little below the town, sir;
You must not mind her squalling
Or the rumpling of your gown, sir.
VII
“There is a cock in my father’s garden
Will not tread the hen (1), sir;
And I do think in my very heart
That you are one of them, sir.
VIII
“There is a flower in my father’s garden
Called a marigold, sir,
And if you will not when you may
You shall not when you would, sir.”
traduzione italiano di Cattia Salto
I
Mentre passeggiavo in un mattino di mezza estate
nel mese di maggio, signore,
ho visto una bella graziosa fanciulla
che faceva il fieno, signore.
Coro
Fol de lie de lay
II
L’ho arditamente avvicinata
Le ho chiesto di sdraiarsi, signore.
La risposta che mi ha dato
fu “La rugiada è per terra, signore.”
III
“Oh, ma se vieni a casa di mio padre
Puoi giacere nel mio letto, signore;
puoi avere la mia verginità
su un letto, signore. ”
IV
Ma quando siamo arrivati ​​a casa di suo padre,
Era circondata da mura, signore.
E lei corse dentro e chiuse il cancello,
Chiudendo fuori il giovanotto, signore.
V
“O quando mi hai incontrato la prima volta
Non hai incontrato una sciocca, signore;
Prendi la tua Bibbia sotto il braccio,
Vai un po ‘di più a scuola, signore.
VI
“E se incontri una ragazza carina
appena fuori città, signore;
Non devi preoccuparti dei suoi strilli
o di stropicciarti il vestito, signore.
VII
” C’è un gallo nel giardino di mio padre, che non si accoppia con la gallina, signore; e credo proprio
che tu sia uno di loro, signore.
VIII
“C’è un fiore nel giardino di mio padre
detto calendula, signore,
E se non lo farai quando puoi
Non lo farai quando lo vorrai, signore. ”
NOTE
1) adesso l’insulto è esplicito: il ragazzo è un impotente, nelle versioni irlandesi la frase più ricorrente è:” when they got to bed upstairs, sure the bay he wasn’t able
ARCHIVIO
TITOLI: The Baffled Lover (knight),  Yonder comes a courteous knight, The Lady’s Policy, The Dew is on the grass, The Disappointed Lover, The (Bonny) Shepherd Lad (laddie), Blow away the morning dew, Blow Ye Winds in the Morning, Blow Ye Winds High-O, Clear Away the Morning Dew

FONTI
http://www.joe-offer.com/folkinfo/songs/163.html
http://www.contemplator.com/child/morndew.html
https://mainlynorfolk.info/eliza.carthy/songs/thebaffledknight.html
http://71.174.62.16/Demo/LongerHarvest?Text=Child_d11204
http://www.mustrad.org.uk/articles/phyllism.htm
http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=64609

https://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=23532
https://mudcat.org//thread.cfm?threadid=149112
https://afolksongaweek.wordpress.com/2012/05/20/week-39-stroll-away-the-morning-dew/ http://mudcat.org/@displaysong.cfm?SongID=717 http://mudcat.org/@displaysong.cfm?SongID=1207 http://mudcat.org/@displaysong.cfm?SongID=5962 http://www.rosaleengregory.ca/the-baffled-knight.html http://www.readbookonline.net/readOnLine/43791/