Archivi tag: warning songs

(Mer)Maid on the Shore

Leggi in italiano

A fertile vein of the European balladry tradition that has its roots in the Middle Ages, is the so-called “girl on the beach”; Riccardo Venturi summarizes the commonplace “solitary girl who walks on the shores of the sea – coming ship – commander or sailor who calls her on board – girl who embarks on her own will – rethinking and remorse – thoughts at the maternal / conjugal house – drama that takes place (in various ways)
In the “warning ballads” the good girls are warned not to fantasise, to stay in their place (next to the fireplace to crank out delicious treats and children) and not to venture into “male roles”, otherwise they will end dishonored or raped or killed. Better then the more or less golden cage that is already known, rather than free flight.
Every now and then, however, the girl manages to triumph with cunning, over the male cravings, so in the “(Fair) Maid on the Shore” she turns herself into a predator!

Mermaid
Rebecca Guay: Mermaid

MAIDEN IN THE SHORE

It is a mermaid, which the captain sees on a moonlit night, who is walking along the beach (it is well known that selkies and sirens can walk with human feet on full moon nights). Immediately he falls in love and sends a boat to carry her on his ship (by hook or by crook), but as soon as she sings, she casts a spell on the whole crew.
And here the fantastic and magical theme ends: the girl takes all gold and silver and returns to her beach, far from being a fragile and helpless creature, so also her looting the treasures recalls the topos of the siren that collects the glistening things from ships (after having caused shipwreck and death) to “furnish” his cave!
(mer)maid on the shoreBertrand Bronson in his “Tunes of the Child Ballads” classifies “Fair Maid on the Shore” as a variant of Broomfield Hill (Child # 43), the ballad was found more rarely in Ireland (where it is assumed to be original) and more widely in America (and in particular in Canada). Thus reports Ewan MacCall (The Long Harvest, Volume 3) “More commonly found in the North-eastern United States, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland is a curious marine adaptation of the story in which the knight of the Broomfield Hill is transformed into an amorous sea-captain. The young woman on whom he has designs succeeds in preserving her chastity by singing her would-be lover to sleep.”

A.L. Lloyd sang The Maid on the Shore in his album The Foggy Dew and Other Traditional English Love Songs (1956) and commented in the notes “As the song comes to us, it is the bouncing ballad of a girl too smart for a lecherous sea captain. But a scrap of the ballad as sung in Ireland hints at something sinister behind the gay recital. For there, the girl is a mermaid or siren.

I
It’s of a sea captain that sailed the salt sea
the seas they were fine, calm and clear-o (1)
And a beautiful damsel he changed for to spy
walking alone on the shore, shore
walking alone on the shore
II
What I’ll give to you me sailors boys
and …  costly ware-o (2).
if you’ll fleach me that girl aboard of my ship
who walks all alone on the shore, shore
walks all alone on the shore
III
So the sailors they got them a very long boat
And off for the shore they did steer-o,
Saying, “Ma’am if you please will you enter on board
To view a fine cargo of ware (3), ware
To view a fine cargo of ware.”
IV
With much persuasion they got her on board
the seas they were fine, calm and clear-o,
she sat herself down in the stern of the boat
off for the ship they did steer, steer
off for the ship they did steer.
V
And when they’ve arrived alongside of the ship
the captain he order his chew-o,
Saying, “First you should lie in my arms all this night
and may be I’ll marry you dear, dear
may be I’ll marry you dear(4)
VI (5)
She sat herself down in the stern of the ship
the seas they were fine, calm and clear-o,
She sang so neat, so sweet and complete,
She sang sailors and captain to sleep, sleep
sang sailors and captain to sleep.
VII
She’s robbed them of silver, she’s robbed them of gold,
she’s robbed their costly ware-o.
And the captain’s bright sword she’s took for an oar
And she’s paddled away for the shore, shore/ paddled away for the shore.
VIII
And when he awaken he find she was gone
he would like a man in despair-o
… she deluded both captain and crew
“I’m a maid once more on the shore, shore
I’m a maid once more on the shore”

NOTES
having transcribed the text directly from listening, there are some words that escape me (and that for a mother-tongue are very clear!) Any additions are welcome !
1)  the verse is used as a refrain on the call and response scheme typical of the sea shanty
2) the captain promises a substantial reward to his sailors
3) in other more explicit versions the cabin boy is sent to show rings and other precious jewels, asking her to get on board to admiring ones more beautiful
4) in a more cruel version the captain threatens to give the girl to his crew, if she will not be nice to him
First you will lie in my arms all this night
And then I’ll give you to me jolly young crew,
5) It is missing
“Oh thank you, oh thank you,” this young girl she cried,
“It’s just what I’ve been waiting for-o:
For I’ve grown so weary of my maidenhead
As I walked all alone on the shore.”

In the Scandinavian versions of the story the girl is first enticed with flattery on board the ship and then kidnapped, in the French version L ‘Epee Liberatrice she is a princess who gets on the ship because she wants to learn the song sung by the young cabin boy: she falls asleep and when she wakes up she discovers to be on the high seas, she asks a sailor for a sword and kills herself, the Italian version (Il corsaro -Costantino Nigra) follows a similar story, but it is only the Irish version that dwells on the magic song of the siren.

The ballad has many interpreters mostly in the folk or folk-rock field.

Stan Rogers from Fogarty’s Cove (1976)
John Renbourn group from The Enchanted Garden, 1980 (strofe I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VIII)

Eliza Carthy from Rough Music, 2005

The Once from The Once 2009

I (1)
There is a young maiden,
she lives all a-lone
She lived all a-lone on the shore-o
There’s nothing she can find
to comfort her mind
But to roam all a-lone on the shore, shore, shore
But to roam all a-lone on the shore
II
‘Twas of the young (2) Captain
who sailed the salt sea
Let the wind blow high, blow low
I will die, I will die,
the young Captain did cry
If I don’t have that maid on the shore, shore, shore…
III (3)
I have lots of silver,
I have lots of gold
I have lots of costly ware-o
I’ll divide, I’ll divide,
with my jolly ship’s cres
If they row me that maid on the shore, shore, shore…
IV (4)
After much persuasion,
they got her aboard
Let the wind blow high, blow low
They replaced her away
in his cabin below
Here’s adieu (5) to all sorrow and care, care, care…
V  (6)
They replaced her away
in his cabin below
Let the wind blow high, blow low
She’s so pretty and neat,
she’s so sweet and complete
She’s sung Captain and sailors to sleep, sleep, sleep…
VI (7)
Then she robbed him of silver,
she robbed him of gold
She robbed him of costly ware-o
Then took his broadsword
instead of an oar
And paddled her way to the shore, shore, shore…
VII
Me men must be crazy,
me men must be mad
Me men must be deep in despair-o
For to let you away from my cabin so gay
And to paddle your way to the shore, shore, shore…
VIII (8)
Your men was not crazy,
your men was not mad
Your men was not deep in despair-o
I deluded your sailors as well as yourself
I’m a maiden again on the shore, shore, shore

NOTES
The textual version of the John Renbourn group differs slightly from Stan’s version
1) There was a young maiden, who lives by the shore
Let the wind blow high, blow low
no one could she find to comfort her mind
and she set all a-lone on the shore,
she set all a-lone on the shore
2) or Sea
3) The captain had silver, the captain had gold
And captain had costly ware-o
All these he’ll give to his jolly ship crew
to bring him that maid on the shore
4) And slowly slowly she came upon board
the captain gave her a chair-o
he sited her down in the cabin below
adieu to all sorrow and care
5) in the version of Renbourn the sentence is clearer, it is the pains of love that the captain tries to alleviate by rape the girl!
6) She sited herself in the bow of the ship
she sang so loud and sweet-o
She sang so sweet, gentle and complete
She sang all the seamen to sleep
7) She part took of his silver, part took of his gold
part took of his costly ware-o
she took his broadsword to make an oar
to paddle her back to the shore,
8) Your men must be crazy, your men must be mad
your men must be deep in despair-o
I deluded at them all as has yourself
again I’m a maiden on the shore,

 Solas from “Sunny Spells And Scattered Showers” (1997)

I
There was a fair maid
and she lived all alone
She lived all alone on the shore
No one could she find for to calm her sweet mind (1)
But to wander alone on the shore, shore, shore
To wander alond on the shore
II
There was a brave captain
who sailed a fine ship
And the weather being steady and fair (2)/”I shall die, I shall die,”
this dear captain did cry
“If I can’t have that maid on the shore, shore, shore
If I can’t have that maid on the shore”
III
After many persuasions
they brought her on board
He seated her down on his chair
He invited her down to his cabin below
Farewell to all sorrow and care
Farewell to all sorrow and care (3).
IV
“I’ll sing you a song,”
this fair maid did cry
This captain was weeping for joy
She sang it so sweetly, so soft and completely
She sang the captain and sailors to sleep
Captain and sailors to sleep
V
She robbed them of jewels,
she robbed them of wealth (4)
She robbed them of costly fine fare
The captain’s broadsword she used as an oar
She rowed her way back to the shore, shore, shore
She rowed her way back to the shore
VI
Oh the men, they were mad and the men, they were sad
They were deeply sunk down in despair
To see her go away with her booty so gay
The rings and her things and her fine fare
The rings and her things and her fine fare
VII
“Well, don’t be so sad and sunk down in despair
And you should have known me before
I sang you to sleep and I robbed you of wealth
Well, again I’m a maid on the shore, shore, shore
Again I’m a maid on the shore”

NOTES
1) the sentence would make more sense if it were instead “to calm his restless mind”
2) the reference to the good weather is not accidental, in fact the sighting of a siren was synonymous with the approach of a storm
3) that is having a good time with a presumably virgin
4) the woman is not just a thief but a fairy creature that steals the health of the sailors

LINK
Folk Songs of the Catskills (Norman Cazden, Herbert Haufrecht, Norman Studer)
http://home.olemiss.edu/~mudws/reviews/catskill.html
https://www.mustrad.org.uk/articles/dung24.htm

https://www.antiwarsongs.org/canzone.php?lang=it&id=50848
http://www.lyricsmode.com/lyrics/s/stan_rogers/the_maid_on_the_shore.html https://mainlynorfolk.info/lloyd/songs/themaidontheshore.html

https://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=35649
http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=51828 http://www.celticlyricscorner.net/solas/maid.htm http://www.8notes.com/scores/5463.asp

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

Hares on the Mountain with Sally the dear

Leggi in italiano

Cecil Sharp has collected nine different versions of the ballad “Hares on the Mountain”, a love hunt perhaps derived from “The Two Magicians
amorinoSome believe that the text was written by Samuel Lover (1797-1865) because he appears in his novel “Rory o ‘More”. But the theme of this love-hunting is antecedent and recalls an ancient initiation ritual if not a true enchantment of transformation (or concealment) fith fath.

Still popular in England, we find it more sporadically in Ireland, the United States and Canada, but in the 60s and 70s it was very popular in folk clubs, less widespread, however, the version from the male point of view.

Steeleye Span from Parcel of Rogues 1973: a sweet lullaby

HARES ON THE MOUNTAIN
I
Young women they’ll run
Like hares(1) on the mountains,
Young women they’ll run
Like hares on the mountains
If I were but a young man
I’d soon go a hunting,
To my right fol diddle de ro,
To my right fol diddle dee.
II
Young women they’ll sing
Like birds in the bushes,
If I were but a young man,
I’d go and bang those bushes.
III
Young women they’ll swim
Like ducks in the water,
If I were but a young man,
I’d go and swim after

NOTES
1) hare, birds and duck are animals associated with the three kingdoms, the middle world (Earth), above (Heaven) and below (Sea)

OH SALLY, MY DEAR

The same pattern is taken up in a ballad called with the same title or “Oh Sally my dear” of which we know mainly two melodies. Here the textual part is rendered as a blow and a response between the two lovers.

Shirley Collins & Davey Graham .  Fine arrangement of Davey on guitar

Jonny Kearney & Lucy Farrell slower melody, very magical

Alt-J in Bright: The Album 2017,  indie-rock version (I, III, IV, VI)

OH SALLY MY DEAR
I
“Oh Sally, my dear,
it’s you I’d be kissing,
Oh Sally, my dear,
it’s you I’d be kissing,”
She smiled and replied,
“you don’t know what you’re missing”.
II
“Oh Sally, my dear,
I wish I could wed you,
Oh Sally my dear,
I wish I could bed you”
She smiled and replied,
“then you’d say I’d misled you”.
III
“If all you young men
were hares on the mountain,
How many young girls
would take guns and go hunting?
IV
If the young men could sing like blackbirds and thrushes,
How many young girls
would go beating the bushes?
V
If all you young men
were fish in the water,
How many young girls
would undress and dive after?”
VI
“But the young men
are given to frisking and fooling (1),
Oh, the young men are given to frisking and fooling,
So I’ll leave them alone
and attend to my schooling”

NOTES
1) to take relationships with the girls lightly, without serious intentions. In this version the ballad has become a warning song on the old adage that man is a hunter

THE BLACKBIRDS AND THE THRUSHES

Same ballad handed down with another title
Niamh Parsons from “Blackbirds & Thrushes” 1999

Catherine Merrigan & Marion Camastral from “Wings O’er The Wind

Seamus Ennis

BLACKBIRDS AND THRUSHES
I
If all the young ladies
were blackbirds (1) & thrushes
If all the young ladies
were blackbirds & thrushes
Then all the young men
would go beating the bushes
Rye fol de dol diddle lol iddle lye ay
II
If all the young ladies
were ducks on the water..
Then all the young men
would go swimming in after
III
If all the young ladies
were rushes a-growing..
Then all the young men would get scythes and go mowing
IV
If the ladies were all
trout and salmon so lively
Then divil the men
would go fishing on Friday(2)
V
If all the young ladies
were hares on the mountain
Then men with their hounds
would be out without counting

NOTES
1) In the Celtic tradition: The blackbird (druid dhubh) is associated with the goddess Rhiannon. Legend has it that the birds of Rhiannon are three blackbirds, which are perched and sing on the tree of life on the edge of the otherworldly worlds. Their song, puts the listener in a state of trance, which allows him to go to the parallel worlds. (from here) see more
2) the expression perhaps refers to the fact that in the weekend you go fishing or that on Friday you eat fish

LINK
http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=58904
http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=73890 http://mainlynorfolk.info/shirley.collins/songs/haresonthemountain.html
http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=31052

Fare ye well, lovely Nancy

Leggi in italiano

000brgcfLover’s separation is a theme widespread in the english balladry and that of a sailor and a young maid it’s probably originated in the eighteenth century, as we find it in the illustrations of the time: some ballads dwell on the figure of Nancy in tears who die of heartbreak because she believes that the sailor has abandoned her.

THE SAILOR’S FAREWELL

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

A sailor bidding farewell from his weeping sweetheart 1790s

TEARS ON THE SHORE

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

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

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

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

SAILOR’S LETTER

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

Solas from Sunny Spells and Scattered Showers, 1997

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

HEART BREAKING

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

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

000brgcf

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

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

A WARNING OLD SONG: MAIDEN NEVER WEDD AN OLD MAN!

Leggi in italiano

A Scottish humorous song, “Maids When You’re Young Never Wed An Old Man” discourages young women in marrying men who are too old, and its song, between irony and bitterness, is a warning to all.
The great difference in age between the two spouses was still a custom until the mid-1900s: older men married to twenties girls, who played the role of ante litteram carers!

The humor of the song springs from the allusive but never explicit language and the most obscene words are beeped maidenas “faloorum” and “ding doorum”: at first the young woman is courted by the older man and agrees to marry him, but when it’s time for going to bed she discovers that unfortunately her old man is impotent. So as soon as the old man falls asleep the girl, she throws herself into the arms of a young and manly lover.

Nowaday this song makes us smile but in the nineteenth century it was considered rather spicy: the simple allusion to sex was vulgar but the reference to impotence and adultery had to be outrageous! Despite everything, it became a popular song in Scotland, England, Ireland and America. The first publication dates back to 1869 in “Ancient Scottish Songs, Heroic Ballads” by David Herd under the title “Scant of Love, Want of Love”.

The Dubliners (Verses 1-3-4-5-6-7) The song was seen to be offensive due to its sexualized themes and was banned by RTÉ and the BBC

Mairi  Morrison & Alasdair Roberts in Urstan, 2012 (verses 1-2-4-3) for a more sober version. The CD was commissioned by Scotland’s Center for Contemporary Arts as a tribute to Gaelic music and culture. An artistic collaboration increasing freshness and creativity.

Lucy Ward in “Adelphi Has to Fly” 2011, nominated Best Traditional Track BBC Folk Awards 2012.

CHORUS
For he’s got no faloorum,
fadidle eye-oorum

He’s got no faloorum,
fadidle  all day
He’s got no faloorum,
he’s lost his ding doorum
so maids when you’re young,
never wed an old man

I
An old man  came courting me,
hey ding dooram day (1)
An old man came courting me,
me being Young(2)
An old man came courting me,
all for to  marry me(3)
Maids, when you’re young never wed an old man
II
When we sat down to tea,
hey doo me darrity
When we sat down to tea, me being young
When we sat down to tea, he started teasing me
Maids when you’re young never wed an old man
III
When we went to church,
hey ding dooram day
When we went to church,
me being young
When we went to church,
he left me in the lurch (4)
Maids when you’re young, never wed an old man
IV
When we went to bed,
hey ding doorum day
When we went to bed, me being young
When we went to bed,
he lay like he was dead (5)
Maids when you’re young never wed an old man
V
So I threw me leg  over him ,
hey ding dorum da
I flung me leg over him, me being young
I flung me leg over him, damned nearly smothered him
Maids when you’re young never wed an old man.
VI
When he went to sleep,
hey ding doorum day
When he went to sleep, me being young
When he went to sleep, out of bed I did creep
Into the arms of a handsome young man
VII
And I found his faloorum,
fadidle eye-oorum
I found his faloorum,
fadidle all day
I found his faloorum, he got my ding doorum
So maids when you’re young never wed  an old man
VIII
I wish this old man would die,
hey-ding-a  doo-rum
I wish this old man would die, me being Young
I wish this old man would die, I’d make the  money fly
Girls, for your sake, never wed an old man
IX
A young man is my delight,
hey-ding-a  doo-rum
A young man is my delight, me being Young
A young man is my delight, he’ll kiss you day  and night
Maids, when you’re young, never wed an old  man

NOTE
1) or “Hey do a dority”
2) or Hey-do-a-day
3) or Fain wad he mairry me
4) or ” I left him in the lurch”
5) or “he neither done nor said”, and” he lays like a lump of lead”

https://mainlynorfolk.info/eliza.carthy/songs/anoldmancamecourting.html
http://www.clarelibrary.ie/eolas/coclare/songs/cmc/
never_wed_an_old_man_pmcnamara.htm

http://sangstories.webs.com/anauldmancamcourtin.htm
http://mysongbook.de/msb/songs/m/maidswhe.html

Outlander chapter 24: Up Among the Heather

 Leggi in italiano

FROM OUTLANDER BOOK

Diana Gabaldon

A traditional Scottish song that Jamie sings as he leaves Claire one morning at Leoch to go off to work in the stables.
“.. singing rahter loudly the air from “Up Among the Heather”. The refrain floated back from the stairwell:
Sittin’ wi’ a wee girl holdin’ on my knee
When a bumblebee stung me, weel above the kneeee
Up among the heather, on the head o’ Bendikee

There are a lot of Scottish folk songs that tell of romantic encounters “amang the heather” this one is set over Bennachie Hills, the most famous and well-known of northeastern Scotland.
Located in the Garioch between the Don and the Gadie, Bennachie are a range of hills in Aberdeenshire. A destination for excursions, along many paths and running races like the Bennachie Hill Race. On the Mither Tap (the mother’s breast that takes its name from its shape) you can still visit the ruins of a Pitti fortress.

“Mither Tap” of Bennachie (Ian Johnston) -(see also here  and here)

UP AMONG THE HEATHER

“Up Amang The Heather” or “The Hill of Bennachie” shares its melody with another traditional scottish song “Come All Ye Fisher Lasses”.

The song is a classic bothy ballad with bawdy lyrics! The poet talks the talk, but doesn’t walk because first he tells of having had fun (all day long) with a fine girl, but then he advises ladies not to give more than a kiss to a soldier!

From the Highlands of Robert Burns  to the Moorlands of Emily Bronte, and up to the Baraggia of Vercellese (Northern Italy), heather and erica populate the moorlands. “Calluna is differentiated from erica by its corolla and calyx each being in four parts instead of five, Calluna is sometimes referred to as Summer (or Autumn) heather to distinguish it from winter or spring flowering species of Erica.” (from wiki)
A branch of wild white heather is a lucky charm in Scotland and is donated to wish a happy marriage. Once upon a time the Scottish girls who ventured alone on the moor always wore a sprig of heather to protect themselves from rape and robbery (or to make a lucky encounter).

The Irish Ramblers in The Patriot Game (1963) ( II and IV) -aka the Clancy Brothers

The Irish Rovers  the group has repeatedly recorded the song, this version is taken from “Still Rovin’” 1968

Up among the heather on the hill o’ Bennachie(1)
rolling with a wee lass (2) underneath a tree
A bum-bee stung me well above the knee
Up among the heather on the hill o’ Bennachie
I
As I went out a-roving on a summer’s day
I spied a bonnie lassie (3) strolling on the brae (4)
she was picking wild berries (5) and I offered her a hand
saying “Maybe I can help you fill your wee tin can(6)”
II (7)
Says “I me bonnie lass are you going to spend the day
up among the heather where the lads (8) and lassies play
they’re hugging and they’re kissing and they’re making fancy free
among the blooming heather on the hill o’ Bennachie”
III
We sat down together and I held her in me arms
I hugged her and I kissed her taken by her charms then
I took out me fiddle(9) and I fiddled merrily
among the blooming heather on the hill o’ Bennachie
IV (10)
Come all you bonnie lessies and take my advice
and never let a soldier laddie kiss you more than twice.
For all the time he’s kissing you he’s thinking out a plan
To get a wee bit rattle at your ould (11) tin can.

NOTE
1) (Irish Ramblers)
Up among the heather on the hellabenafee
It was there I had a bonny wee lass sitting on my knee
A bungbee stung me well above the knee
We rested down together on the hellabenafee
2) wee lass= tiny girl
3) bonnie lassie= fine girl
4) brae= hill
5)  a midsummer party called Bilberry Sunday (in Scotland “Blaeberry” in Ireland “Fraughan”). It was mostly celebrated in July, when the blueberry berries ripen or in August, often combined with the Lughnasa Celtic festival or on Sunday (or Monday) closest to the party. Once upon a time the youths and the young girls were up the hills on the moor from morning to evening gathering blueberries and making friends, it was therefore a party dedicated to courtship and to combine marriages (under the good offices of Lugh).
6) wee tin can =  female sexual organ
7) (Irish Ramblers)
Said I me bonny wee lassie are ya going to spend the day
Up amongst the heather on the hellabenafee
Where all the lads and lassies they’re having a sobree
Up among the heather on the hellabenafee
8) lads= boys
9) fiddle= male sexual organ
10)  (Irish Ramblers)
Said I me bonny wee lassie please take my advice
Don’t ever let a soldier laddie love you more than twice
For all the time you do, he’s a fixing how to plan
How to get a wee-be rattle at your old tin can
11) ould= old

Mary Mac
 Bennachie (“Gin I Were Where The Gadie Runs”)
O’er the moor amang the heather

SOURCES
http://ontanomagico.altervista.org/baraggia.htm#brugo
https://mainlynorfolk.info/folk/songs/upamongtheheather.html
https://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=156417 http://www.horntip.com/mp3/1960s/1962ca_lyrica_erotica_vol_2
_a_wee_thread_o_blue_(LP)/09_the_hill_of_bennachie.htm

Love is pleasing

“Love is pleasing” ma anche “Love is teasing” è una canzone tradizionale diffusa nelle isole britanniche e nel nord-america che era di moda nei folk club degli anni 60-70. Gli studiosi ritengono che i versi siano parte di una serie di “frasi fatte” provenienti dal grande calderone delle ballate tradizionali, così svincolati da una narrazione esprimono comunque un sentimento, quello dell’amore tradito (o dell’amore incostante).
The words of “Love is Teasing” resemble those found in three similar songs, “O Waly, Waly,” “The Water is Wide,” and “Down in the Meadows” and all of these can be traced back to the ballad “Jamie Douglas” (Child 204). In “Jamie Douglas,” a bride has been falsely accused of infidelity and is sent back to her father with an aching heart. All of the shorter songs have whittled away the narrative over time leaving nothing but an emotional core. Various versions journeyed back and forth between Ireland, Britain, and North America, and singers often augment whatever verses they have learned with others from a common stock of associated “floating” verses. (tratto da qui)

VERSIONE AMERICANA

ASCOLTA Jean Ritchie imparò la canzone nel 1946 da Peggy Staunton,  irlandese emigrata a New York

ASCOLTA Rhiannon Giddens in Tomorrow Is My Turn, 2015 che così scrive nelle note “I first heard Peggy Seeger sing this and immediately fell in love with it – as I found earlier recordings I got caught by Jean Ritchie’s version, with her idiosyncratic and hypnotic dulcimer playing. This is the ancient warning from woman to woman about the perfidies of man.


I
Love is teasing, love is pleasing
And love’s a pleasure when first it is new
But as love grows older it still grows colder
And fades away like the morning dew
II
Come all you fair maids, now take a warning
Don’t ever heed what a young man say
He’s like a star on some foggy morning When you think he’s near he is far away
III
I left my father, I left my mother
I left my brothers and sisters too
I left my home and kind relations
I left them all just to follow you.
Traduzione italiano di Cattia Salto
I
L’amore è un tormento, l’amore è un piacere e l’amore è piacevole quando è appena nuovo,
ma man mano che cresce l’amore si raffredda
e svanisce come rugiada all’alba
II
Venite tutte qui ragazze, e prendete il mio avvertimento: non date mai retta a quello che un giovanotto dice,  lui è come la stella in un mattino nebbioso, quando lo credete vicino, si è allontanato
III
Lasciai mio padre, lasciai mia madre
lasciai le mie sorelle e anche i miei fratelli
lasciai tutti gli amici e la mia fede
li lasciai tutti per seguirti

VERSIONE EMIGRATION SONG

Pur nella standardizzazione del genere il canto si suddivide in due filoni, nel primo una donna (ma anche un uomo) con il cuore a pezzi, rimasta senza punto di riferimento, sceglie di emigrare per l’America.
ASCOLTA The Dubliners

ASCOLTA Marianne Faithfull & Chieftains live


I
I wish, I wish, I wish in vain
I wish I was a youth again
But a youth again I can never be
Till apples grow
on an ivy tree
II
I left me father, I left me mother
I left all my sisters
and brothers too
I left all my friends and me own religion
I left them all for to follow you
III
But the sweetest apple is the soonest rotten
And the hottest love is the soonest cold
And what can’t be cured love
has to be endured love (1)
And now I am bound for America
IV
Oh love is pleasin’ and love is teasin’
And love is a pleasure when first it’s new
But as it grows older sure the love grows colder
And it fades away like the morning dew
V
And love and porter makes a young man older
And love and whiskey makes him old and grey
And what can’t be cured love has to be endured love
And now I am bound for America
Traduzione italiano di Cattia Salto
I
Vorrei, vorrei, vorrei ma non posso
vorrei essere di nuovo giovane
ma non potrò mai essere di nuovo giovane finchè le mele cresceranno sull’edera
II
Lasciai mio padre, lasciai mia madre
lasciai le mie sorelle e anche i miei fratelli
lasciai tutti gli amici e la mia fede
li lasciai tutti per seguirti
III
Ma la mela più dolce è quella che per prima marcisce e l’amore più appassionato è il primo che si raffredda, e quello ciò che non può guarire dall’amore, deve essere rafforzato dall’amore e ora sono in partenza per l’America
IV
L’amore è un piacere e l’amore è un tormento e l’amore è piacevole quando è appena nuovo
ma man mano che cresce l’amore si raffredda
e svanisce come rugiada all’alba
V
Amore e birra fanno di un giovane un uomo
e amore e whiskey lo fanno invecchiare e incanutire
e quello ciò che non può guarire dall’amore, deve essere rafforzato dall’amore e ora sono in partena per l’America

NOTA
1) letteralmente: e quello che non può essere amore curato deve essere amore sopportato
VERSIONE DRINKING SONG
La seconda verisone è un lamento più tipicamente femminile.
ASCOLTA Karan Casey live


I
I never thought my love would leave me
Until that morning when he stepped in
Well, he sat down and I sat beside him
And then our troubles, they did begin
II
Oh love is teasing and love is pleasing
And love is a pleasure when first it’s new
But love grows older and love grows colder
And it fades away like the morning dew
III
There is an alehous in yon town
And it’s there my love goes and he sits down
He takes a strange girl (1) upon his knee
And he tells to her what he once told to me
IV
I wish my father had never whistled(2)
And I wish my mother had never sung
I wish the cradle had never rocked me
And I wish my life, it had not begun
Traduzione italiano di Cattia Salto
I
Non avrei mai creduto che il mio amore mi avrebbe lasciata
fino a quel mattino quando entrò
beh si sedette e io mi misi accanto a lui
e allora i nostri guai iniziarono.
II
L’amore è un piacere e l’amore è un tormento e l’amore è piacevole quando è appena nuovo,
ma man mano che cresce l’amore si raffredda
e svanisce come rugiada all’alba
III
C’è una birreria in quella città
ed è dove il mio amore va a sedersi,
si prende una puttana sulle ginocchia
e le dice ciò che un tempo diceva a me
IV
Vorrei che mio padre non avesse mai suonato il flauto
e che mia mamma non avesse mai cantato
vorrei che la culla non mi avesse mai cullato
e che la mia vita non fosse mai cominciata

NOTE
1) stange girl non è solo una ragazza strana ma un eufemismo per prostituta
2) i genitori hanno fatto sesso

FONTI
https://peggyseeger.bandcamp.com/track/love-is-teasing
https://mudcat.org//thread.cfm?threadid=9734
http://mysongbook.de/msb/songs/l/loveteas.html
https://mainlynorfolk.info/shirley.collins/songs/loveisteasing.html
http://www.celticlyricscorner.net/casey/love.htm

MARION S’Y PROMÈNE

Un filone fecondo della tradizione ballatistica europea che affonda le sue radici nel medioevo è quello cosiddetto della “fanciulla sulla spiaggia”;  Riccardo Venturi riassume il commonplace in modo puntuale  “fanciulla solitaria che passeggia sulle rive del mare – nave che arriva – comandante o marinaio che la richiama a bordo – fanciulla che s’imbarca di spontanea volontà – ripensamento e rimorso – pensieri alla casa materna / coniugale – dramma che si compie (in vari modi)
Nelle “warning ballads” si ammoniscono le brave fanciulle di non mettersi grilli per il capo,  di stare al loro posto (accanto al focolare a sfornare manicaretti e bambini) e di non avventurarsi in “ruoli maschili”, altrimenti finiranno disonorate o stuprate o uccise. Meglio quindi la gabbia più o meno dorata che già si conosce che il volo libero.
Così questa ballata francese (area occidentale) viene dai complainte medievali filtrati dalla tradizione popolare con il titolo  La fille aux chansons (= la fanciulla nelle canzoni) e con chanson si intende ovviamente la produzione medievale di trovieri e trovatori.

Il seduttore di turno (nel mazzo con elfi cavalieri e principi ranocchi) è un più normale “pirata” ma non meno esotico e eccitante, siamo alle solite la fanciulla “inquieta” si aggira sola soletta per la spiaggia (nelle versioni terricole invece predilige boschi rigogliosi pieni di felci o brughiere con l’erica e la ginestra in fiore), sente il canto del bel marinaio e imprudentemente sale sulla nave governata da una trentina di marinai.
Appena salita a bordo la musica cambia e la ragazza finalmente capisce che la sua fine sarà di essere l’oggetto sessuale di 30 arrapati pirati e in un gesto disperato si trafigge il cuore con la spada .

ASCOLTA Malicorne in Malicorne II (“Le mariage anglais”), 1975


I
Marion s’y promène
Le long de son jardin,
Le long de son jardin
Sur les bords de la France
Le long de son jardin
Sur les bords de l’eau.
II
Aperçoit une barque
De trente matelots,
De trente matelots
Sur les bords de l’eau
Le plus jeune des trente
Chantait une chanson.
III
Chantait une chanson
Sur les bords de la France,
Chantait une chanson
Sur les bords de l’eau
La chanson que tu chantes
Je voudrais la savoir.
IV
Je voudrais la savoir
Sur les bords de la France,
Je voudrais la savoir
Sur les bords de l’eau
Montez dedans ma barque,
Je vous l’apprend(e)rai.
V
Je vous l’apprend(e)rai
Sur les bords de la France,
Je vous l’apprend(e)rai
Sur les bords de l’eau.
VI
On fait cent lieues de barque
Sans rire et sans parler
On fait cent lieues de barque
Sans rire et sans parler
Sans rire et sans parler
Sur les bords de la France,
Sans rire et sans parler
Sur les bords de l’eau.
VII
Après cent lieues de course,
La belle s’ mit à pleurer
Après cent lieues de course,
La belle s’ mit à pleurer
La belle s’ mit à pleurer
Sur les bords de la France,
La belle s’ mit à pleurer
Sur les bords de l’eau.
VIII
Qu’avez vous donc la belle
Qu’a vous à tant pleurer?
Qu’a vous à tant pleurer
Sur les bords de la France?
Qu’a vous à tant pleurer
Sur les bords de l’eau?
IX
J’entends, j’entends ma mère
M’appeler pour coucher,
M’appeler pour coucher
Sur les bords de la France,
M’appeler pour coucher
Sur les bords de l’eau.
X
Ne pleurez pas la belle,
Chez nous vous coucherez!
Chez nous vous coucherez
Sur les bords de la France,
Chez nous vous coucherez
Sur les bords de l’eau.
XI
Quand(e) fut dans la chambre
Son lacet a noué
Son lacet a noué
Sur les bords de la France,
Son lacet a noué
Sur les bords de l’eau.
XII
Mon épée sur la table,
Belle, pourra le couper
Belle, pourra le couper
Sur les bords de la France,
Belle, pourra le couper
Sur les bords de l’eau.
XIII
La belle a pris l’épée,
Au cœur se l’est plongée
La belle a pris l’épée,
Au cœur se l’est plongée
Au cœur se l’est plongée
Sur les bords de la France,
Au cœur se l’est plongée
Sur les bords de l’eau.
XIV
La prend par sa main blanche,
Dans la mer l’a jetée
La prend par sa main blanche,
Dans la mer l’a jetée
Dans la mer l’a jetée
Sur les bords de la France,
Dans la mer l’a jetée
Sur les bords de l’eau.
Traduzione di Riccardo Venturi
I
Marion sta passeggiando
su e giù nel suo giardino,
su e giù nel suo giardino
sulle rive di Francia
su e giù nel suo giardino
sulla riva del mare.
II
S’accorge d’una barca
con trenta marinai,
con trenta marinai
sulla riva del mare,
dei trenta il più giovane
cantava una canzone.
III
Cantava una canzone
sulle rive di Francia,
cantava una canzone
sulla riva del mare,
la canzone che canti
la vorrei imparare.
IV
La vorrei imparare
sulle rive di Francia,
la vorrei imparare
sulla riva del mare.
Sali sulla mia barca,
e te la vo a insegnare.
V
Te la vo a insegnare
sulle rive di Francia,
te la vo a insegnare
sulla riva del mare.
VI
Cento leghe navigate
senza ridere né parlare,
cento leghe navigate
senza ridere né parlare
senza ridere né parlare
sulle rive di Francia,
senza ridere né parlare
sulla riva del mare.
VII
Cento leghe di rotta
e la bella si mise a singhiozzare,
cento leghe di rotta,
si mise a singhiozzare,
si mise a singhiozzare
sulle rive di Francia,
si mise a singhiozzare
sulla riva del mare.
VIII
Ma che avete, bella,
da tanto singhiozzare?
Da tanto singhiozzare
sulle rive di Francia?
Da tanto singhiozzare
sulla riva del mare?
IX
Sento, sento mia madre
che mi chiama a dormire,
che mi chiama a dormire
sulle rive di Francia,
che mi chiama a dormire
sulla riva del mare.
X
Non piangere, mia bella,
con noi tu giacerai!
Con noi tu giacerai
sulle rive di Francia,
con noi tu giacerai
sulla riva del mare.
XI
Quando fu dentro in camera
i legacci lei annodò
i legacci lei annodò
sulle rive di Francia,
i legacci lei annodò
sulla riva del mare.
XII
La spada che ho sul tavolo,
bella, li può tagliare
bella, li può tagliare
sulle rive di Francia,
bella, li può tagliare
sulla riva del mare.
XIII
La bella ha preso la spada
nel cuore se l’è conficcata
la bella ha preso la spada
nel cuore se l’è conficcata,
nel cuore se l’è conficcata
sulle rive di Francia,
nel cuore se l’è conficcata
sulla riva del mare.
XIV
La prende per la mano bianca,
nel mare l’ha gettata
la prende per la mano bianca
nel mare l’ha gettata,
nel mare l’ha gettata
sulle rive di Francia,
nel mare l’ha gettata
sulla riva del mare.

Non sempre però il racconto è così funesto continua

FONTI
https://www.antiwarsongs.org/canzone.php?lang=it&id=50848

P STANDS FOR PADDY

P stands for Paddy” (come pure “The verdant braes of Screen“) affronta il tema dell’amore falsamente corrisposto.
Però la melodia è più gioiosa di quanto ci si aspetterebbe da questo genere di warning songs e il dialogo tra i due sembra più un bisticcio tra innamorati che una separazione.
Così il commento di A.L. Lloyd alla versione dei Waterson “T stands for Thomas” “These B for Barney, P for Paddy, J for Jack songs are usually Irish in origin though common enough in the English countryside. Often the verses are just a string of floaters drifting in from other lyrical songs. So it is with this piece, which derives partly from a version collected by Cecil Sharp from a Gloucestershire gipsy, Kathleen Williams. Some of the verses are familiar from an As I walked out song sung to Vaughan Williams by an Essex woodcutter, Mr Broomfield (Folk Song Journal No. 8). The verses about robbing the bird’s nest recall The Verdant Braes of Skreen.”

ASCOLTA Planxty in Cold Blow and the Rainy Night , 1974, i quali hanno divulgato la canzone al grande pubblico (per il testo vedi)

Old Blind Dogs in Tall Tails 1994 ovvero la formazione degli esordi con Ian F. Benzie (voce e chitarra) Jonny Hardie (violino), Buzzby McMillian (cittern) Davy Cattanach (percussioni)

ASCOLTA Cara Dillon per la serie live Transatlantic Sessions, un godibile live con artisti di tutto rispetto


I
As I went out one May morning to take a pleasant walk
Well, I sat m’self down by an old faill wall just to hear two lovers talk
To hear two lovers talk, my dear,
to hear what they might say
That I might know a little more about love before I went away
Chorus 
P stands for Paddy, I suppose,
J for my love, John
W stands for false Willie(1),
oh but Johnny is the fairest man
Johnny is the fairest man, my dear, aye, Johnny’s the fairest man
I don’t care what anybody says,
Johnny is the fairest man

II
Won’t you come and sit beside me, beside me on the green
It’s a long three quarters of a year or more since together we have been Together we have been, my dear, together we have been
It’s a long three quarters of a year or more since together we have been
III
No, I’ll not sit beside you, not now nor at any other time
For I hear you have another little girl, and your heart’s no longer mine
Your heart’s no longer mine, my dear, your heart’s no longer mine
For I hear you have another little girl, and your heart’s no longer mine
IV
So I’ll go climb the tall, tall tree,
I’ll rob the wild bird’s nest
When I come down, I’ll go straight home to the girl that I love best
To the girl that I love best, my dear, the girl that I love best
When I come down, I’ll go straight home to the girl that I love best
TRADUZIONE  DI CATTIA  SALTO
I
Mentre andavo un mattin di maggio
a fare una bella passeggiata
beh, sostai presso un vecchio muro diroccato solo per ascoltare la conversazione di due innamorati,
per ascoltare quello che si dicevano
e per poter conoscere un po’ di più sull’amore prima di andare via.
CORO
P sta per Paddy, credo,
J per il mio amore John
W sta per il bugiardo Willie,
ma Johnny è l’uomo più bello
Johnny è l’uomo più bello, si, il mio amore,
Johnny è l’uomo più bello,
non mi interessa quello che gli altri dicono, Johnny è l’uomo più bello

II
“Non vorresti venire a sederti accanto a me sull’erba?
Sono nove mesi fa o più,
da quando siamo stati insieme
insieme siamo stati, mia cara
insieme siamo stati,
sono nove mesi fa o più
da quando siamo stati insieme”
III
“No non mi stenderò sull’erba accanto a te, nè adesso nè mai
perchè ho saputo che tu hai un’altra ragazza e il tuo cuore non appartiene più al mio, e il tuo cuore non appartiene più al mio, mio caro, perchè ho saputo che tu hai un’altra ragazza e
il tuo cuore non appartiene più al mio.”
IV
“Mi arrampicherò su di un albero alto alto e ruberò il nido di un uccello selvatico e quando ritornerò giù, andrò dritto alla casa della ragazza che amo di più tra le braccia della ragazza che amo di più, mia cara,
quando ritornerò giù, andrò dritto alla casa della ragazza che amo di più”

NOTE
1) Willie è il tipico nome del falso innamorato vedi in Willy Taylor
2) In questa canzone  è l’uomo  ad arrampicarsi sull’albero più alto per prendere il nido e portarlo alla donna che ama dandole così prova d’amore. In genere è lei a donare il suo “nido” ad un altro uomo, più degno di essere amato. Il finale è aperto: a chi Johnny porterà il nido?

FONTI
http://www.mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=5037 http://www.wtv-zone.com/phyrst/audio/nfld/05/paddy.htm http://thesession.org/tunes/10172

WHEN I WAS NOO BUT SWEET SIXTEEN / THE BOTHY LADS

donna-culla-WILLIAM-ADOLPHE-BOUGUEREAUAncora una canzone sui cavallanti (vedi bothy ballads), proveniente dal Nord-Est della Scozia, ma questa storia finisce con una gravidanza e senza matrimonio riparatore. L’altro titolo con cui è conosciuta è “Hishie Ba” una variante in versione ninna –nanna che ci viene dal canto di Jean Redpath. La stessa storia è narrata con una melodia simile anche nella ballata “Peggy on the Banks of Spey” (che Hamish Henderson raccolse nel 1956 dalla signora Elsie Morrison di Spey Bay) Nella tradizione scozzese non sono insolite le ninne-nanne dai contenuti amari e dolorosi (vedi).

La melodia è intitolata “Jockey’s gray Breeches” già in “Caledonian Pocket Companion” di James Oswald (1745) (vedi)

WHEN I WAS NOO BUT SWEET SIXTEEN/

ASCOLTA June Tabor & Oysterband (testo qui)

ASCOLTA Colcannon con il titolo The Ploughboy lads
ASCOLTA Claire Hastings in ‘Between River and Railway‘ 2016 con il titolo The Bothy Lads che unisce il coro della versione di Hishie ba


I
Ah well I was no’ but sweet sixteen
With beauty charme a-blooming oh
It’s little little did I think
At nineteen I’d be grieving oh
Well the ploughboy lads they’re all braw  lads /But they’re false and they’re deceiving oh/They’ll take your all and 
they’ll gang away
And leave the lassies grievin’ oh
II
Ah well I was fond of company
And I gave the ploughboys freedom oh
To kiss and clap me in the dark
When all me friends were sleeping oh
III
Well if I did know what I know now
And I took me mothers biddin’ oh
I wouldn’t be sittin’ by our fireside
Crying “hush a ba my baby oh”
IV
Well it’s hush a ba  for I’m your ma/But the Lord knows who’s your daddy oh
And I’ll take care and I’ll beware
Of the ploughboys in the gloaming oh
Traduzione italiano di Cattia Salto
I
Non avevo che 16 anni
con le grazie della giovinezza in fiore
e mai avrei pensato
che a 19 sarei stata inguaiata (1)
Beh i Cavallanti sono tutti bei (2) ragazzi
ma sono insinceri e sono traditori
ti prendono tutto
e poi vanno via

e lasciano le ragazze nei guai
II
Beh, amavo la compagnia
e ho dato ai cavallanti la libertà
di baciarmi e afferrarmi (3) nel buio
mentre tutti  i miei amici dormivano
III
Se avessi saputo quello che so ora,
e avessi dato retta a mia madre,
non starei seduta accanto al focolare
a piangere “Dormi bambino (4) mio”
IV
Fai la ninna (5) per la tua mamma,
solo il Signore sa chi è tuo padre (6)
farò attenzione e starò alla larga (7)
dai cavallanti nel crepuscolo (8).”

NOTE
1) oppure Greetin: weeping
2) gey braw: very fine, handsome
3) clap: touch
4) bairnie
5) Hishie ba: soothing sound to a baby, lullaby
6) la donna ha concesso i suoi favori a diversi giovanotti (all’epoca non c’era ancora il test del dna)
7) June Tabor dice “so it’s girls beware and you take care ”  “le ragazze stanno alla larga e tu fai attenzione ” è l’avvertimento della madre alla neonata di guardarsi dai cavallanti! Spesso le ninnananne erano delle warning songs.
8) Gloamin: twilight, dusk

HISHIE BA

ASCOLTA Lucy Stewart
ASCOLTA Jean Redpath (strofe I e III)

ASCOLTA Arthur Argo (strofe I, II, III)


I
When I was noo but sweet sixteen
and beauty aye an bloomin’ o
it’s little, little did I think
that at seventeen I’d be greetin’ o
Hishie ba, noo I’m yer ma
Oh, hishie ba, ma bairnie o
Hishie ba, noo I’m yer ma
but the guid kens fa’s yer faither o
II
If I had been a guilte lass
An taen ma mither’s biddin o
I widna be sittin at your fireside
singing hush a ba my baby oh
III
It’s keep it me frae lowpin’ dykes
Frae balls and frae waddin’s o
It’s gi’en me balance tae my stays
and that’s in the latest fashion o
Traduzione italiano di Cattia Salto
I
Non avevo che 16 anni (1)
con la mia bellezza in fiore
e mai avrei pensato
che a 17 sarei stata inguaiata
Fai la ninna per la tua mamma
dormi bambino mio
Fai la ninna per la tua mamma,
solo il Signore sa chi è tuo padre
II
Se fossi stata una ragazza saggia
e dato retta agli avvertimenti di mia madre, non starei seduta accanto al focolare a cantare “dormi bambino mio”
III
Mi tengo lontana dai saltafossi (2),
dai balli e dai matrimoni(3)
e mi strizzo nel corsetto (4)
che è all’ultima moda

NOTE
1) Argo dice When I was a maid but sweet sixteen
2) leaping, jumping over stone walls. Ma louppar (lowpar), looper  (louper) nel Dizionario Scozzese è sinonimo di vagabondo. dyke-louper, -leaper, (a) an animal that leaps the dyke surrounding its pasture (b)fig.: a person of immoral habits, also in n.Eng. dial.; hence dyke-loupin’, ppl.adj. and vbl.n., used lit. and fig. (qui)
3) weddings
4) Stays: (a pair of) C17th and c18th term for the boned underbodice previously known as a “pair of bodies.” The term persisted into the c19th but was more usually replaced by its French equivalent, the “corset.” The term was also applied to the stiff inserts of whalebone or steel which shaped this garment. A corset made of two pieces laced together and stiffened by strips of whalebone. Il verso è da intendersi come “darsi una regolata” ovvero comportarsi da ragazza perbene oppure vuole nascondere il suo stato di partoriente ?

FONTI
http://www.tunearch.org/wiki/Jocky%27s_Gray_Breeches
http://www.tobarandualchais.co.uk/en/fullrecord/85072/6
http://www.tobarandualchais.co.uk/fullrecord/98115/1
http://www.black-brothers.com/songs/8.htm
https://mainlynorfolk.info/june.tabor/songs/wheniwasnoobutsweetsixteen.html
http://www.oysterband.co.uk/lyrics/songs/(When_I_was_no_but)_sweet_sixteen.html
http://mysongbook.de/mtb/r_clarke/songs/nobut16.htm
http://sangstories.webs.com/hishieba.htm
http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=88570
http://sangstories.webs.com/hishieba.htm
http://tobarandualchais.co.uk/en/fullrecord/16915/2
http://www.springthyme.co.uk/ah03/ah03_02.htm