Archivi tag: Redwood Falls

To Hear the Nightingale Sing One Morning in May

Leggi in Italiano

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

THE PLOT

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

NURSERY RHYME: WHERE ARE YOU GOING MY PRETTY MAID

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

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

FOLK REVIVAL: “They kissed so sweet & comforting”

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

The Dubliners

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


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

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

SECOND MELODY: APPALCHIAN TUNE

John Jacob Niles – One Morning In May

Jo Stafford The Nightingale

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

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

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

Harp

Guitar

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

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


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

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

Il canto dell’Usignolo: attente al Lupo!

Read the post in English

”The Bold Grenader”, “A bold brave bonair” o “The Soldier and the Lady” ma anche “To Hear the Nightingale Sing”, “The Nightingale Sings” e “One Morning in May” sono i vari titoli di una stessa canzone tradizionale diffusa in Inghilterra, Irlanda, America e Canada.

LA TRAMA

La storia appartiene al filone delle avventure amorose abbastanza stereotipate in cui un soldato (o un nobiluomo, talvolta un marinaio) per la sua avvenenza e galanteria, riesce a ottenere la virtù di una giovane ragazza. Le ragazze sono sempre delle ingenue contadinotte o pastorelle che credono alle dolci parole d’amore sospirate dall’uomo, e si aspettano che lui le sposi dopo aver consumato, ma sono immancabilmente abbandonate.

LA NURSERY RHYME: WHERE ARE YOU GOING MY PRETTY MAID

soldierNella nursery rhyme “Where are you going my pretty maid” si riproduce in modo edulcorato proprio questa situazione seduttiva e l’illustratore ritrae l’uomo nei panni del soldato, Walter Craine (in “A Baby’s Opera”, 1877) lo rappresenta come un azzimato gentiluomo, ma in realtà è l’archetipo del predatore, il lupo con il pelo all’interno e la donna della filastrocca con il suo botta-risposta sembra essere una brava ragazza che ha fatto tesoro degli insegnamenti materni..

In altre versioni è la ragazza (bad girl!!) a prendere l’iniziativa e a portare nottetempo il giovane soldato nientedimeno che in casa propria (vedi), solo la stagione è sempre la stessa perchè è in primavera che il sangue ribolle nelle vene; già nel 1600 circolava una ballata dal titolo  “The nightingale’s song: or The soldier’s rare musick, and maid’s recreation“, così per una canzone in giro da così tanto tempo non possiamo aspettarci che una grande quantità di versioni testuali, nonchè l’abbinamento con diverse melodie. Un’accurata panoramica di testi e varianti melodiche a partire dal 1689 qui

LA MELODIA DEL FOLK REVIVAL: “They kissed so sweet & comforting”

E’ la versione diffusa quasi in contemporanea dai  Dubliners e dai Clancy Brothers ed è quella più popolare che andava per la maggiore nei Folk club degli anni 60

The Dubliners

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


I
As I went a walking one morning in May
I met a young couple so far did we stray
And one was a young maid so sweet and so fair
And the other was a soldier and a brave Grenadier(1)
CHORUS
And they kissed so sweet and comforting
As they clung to each other
They went arm in arm along the road
Like sister and brother
They went arm in arm along the road
Til they came to a stream
And they both sat down together, love
To hear the nightingale sing(2)
II
Out of his knapsack he took a fine fiddle(3)
He played her such merry tunes that you ever did hear
He played her such merry tunes that the valley did ring
And softly cried the fair maid as the nightingale sings
III
Oh, I’m off to India for seven long years
Drinking wines and strong whiskies instead of strong beer
And if ever I return again ‘twill be in the spring
And we’ll both sit down together love to hear the nightingale sing
IV
“Well then”, says the fair maid, “will you marry me?”
“Oh no”, says the soldier, “however can that be?”
For I’ve my own wife at home in my own country
And she is the finest little maid that you ever did see
Traduzione italiano di Cattia Salto
I
Mentre ero a passeggio in un mattino di Maggio
incontrai una giovane coppia, così tanto ci allontanammo,
una era una giovane fanciulla tanto amabile e bella
e l’altro era un soldato e un prode granatiere(1)
RITORNELLO
E si baciavano con amorevole trasporto
attaccati uno all’altra
andavano a braccetto per la strada
come sorella e fratello
andavano a braccetto per la strada
finchè arrivarono ad un ruscello
ed entrambi si sedettero insieme, amore
ad ascoltare l’usignolo cantare (2)
II
Fuori dalla sua sacca egli prese un bel violino(3)
le suonò delle melodie allegre che non se se sono mai sentite
le suonò delle melodie allegre che per la vallata risuonavano
e piano gridò la bella fanciulla mentre l’usignolo cantava
III
“Starò fuori in India per sette lunghi anni, a bere vino e forte whisky invece che birra scura
e se mai ritornerò di nuovo sarà in primavera
ed entrambi ci siederemo insieme, amore, ad ascoltare l’usignolo cantare.”
IV
“Bene allora – dice la bella fanciulla – mi vuoi sposare?”
“Oh no – dice il soldato –
come potrei?
Perchè tengo moglie a casa nel mio paese
e lei è la più bella fanciulla che si sia mai vista”

NOTE
1) il più generico soldier diventa un volunteer, ma il granatiere è un soldato particolarmente dotato per la sua prestanza e il coraggio, l’uomo più forte e più alto della media, contraddistinto da una vistosa uniforme, con il caratteristico copricapo a mitria, che in America venne sostituito da un colbacco in pelo di orso.
2) è la frase in codice che contraddistingue questo filone di courting songs. L’usignolo è l’uccello che canta solo di notte e nella tradizione popolare è il simbolo degli amanti e dei loro convegni amorosi, (vedi)
3) forse lo strumento inizialmente era un flauto ma più spesso si trattava di un piccolo violino o violino portatile detto il kit violiner (pocket fiddle):  era lo strumento popolare per eccellenza nel Rinascimento. E’ curioso notare come in questa tipologia degli incontri galanti il soldato sia stato sostituito dal violinista itinerante, per lo più un maestro di danza, perciò si spiega come ogni riferimento al violino, al suo archetto o all’impeciamento delle corde abbia assunto nelle ballate popolari delle sottointese connotazioni sessuali

SECONDA MELODIA: APPALCHIAN TUNE

John Jacob Niles – One Morning In May

Jo Stafford The Nightingale

TERZA MELODIA: LA VERSIONE PIU’ ANTICA, THE GRENADIER AND THE LADY

E’ la melodia diffusa nel Dorsetshire, così vibrante e appassionata ma con una punta di malinconia, una versione più adatta alla notte d’amore di Romeo e Giulietta e al canto dell’usignolo nella sua versione di aubade medievale, e che più si avvicina alla struttura della nursery rhyme “Where are you going my pretty maid” di cui riprende la struttura a botta e risposta.

Per assaporarne il fascino antico ecco una serie di arrangiamenti strumentali
PER ARPA

PER CHITARRA
Le Trésor d’Orphée

Tra gli interpreti più recenti
Redwood Falls (Madeleine Cooke, Phil Jones & Edd Mann)
recensione qui

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


I
As I was a walking one morning in May
I spied a young couple a makin’ of hay.
O one was a fair maid and her beauty showed clear
and the other was a soldier, a bold grenadier.
II
Good morning, good morning, good morning said he
O where are you going my pretty lady?
I’m a going a walking by the clear crystal stream
to see cool water glide and hear nightingales sing.
III
O soldier, o soldier, will you marry me?
O no, my sweet lady that never can be.
For I’ve got a wife at home in my own country,
Two wives and the army’s too many for me.
Traduzione italiano di Cattia Salto
I
Mentre ero a passeggio in un mattino di Maggio, vidi una giovane coppia che faceva il fieno: l’una era una giovane fanciulla e la sua bellezza si mostrava con evidenza e l’altro era un soldato, un prode granatiere
II
“Buon giorno Buon giorno Buon giorno -disse lui- dove state andando mia bella signorina?”
“Sto andando a passeggiare accanto al ruscello di puro cristallo
per vedere scorrere l’acqua fresca
ad ascoltare l’usignolo cantare.”
III
“O soldato, mi vuoi sposare?”
“O no mia bella signorina come potrei?
Perchè tengo moglie a casa nel mio paese
due mogli e l’esercito sarebbero troppo per me”

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