Archivi categoria: FOLK BALLAD/Ballate popolari

English and American Balladry

Dark-Eyed Sailor, a reily ballad

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The song also known as “Fair Phoebe and her Dark-Eyed Sailor” originally from England, and is dated to a good approximation at the end of the nineteenth century. It is classified as a reily ballad or broken token ballad (because of the love pledge exchanged between the two lovers) on the model of a “return song” that was already the most popular in Classical times: in most of these ballads the man returns home after many years of absence at sea (war), and, not recognized by the woman, he puts her loyalty to the test. The girl, as a serious girl, refuses his courting because she has already been promised. The man so reassured, reveals himself to the woman and the two crown their love with marriage.

sailor-returnThe ballad recalls the archetypal figures of Ulysses and Penelope, when Ulysses, returned twenty years after the war (and his vicissitudes in the seas) to his Ithaca in disguise, is not recognized by his wife.

Collected in England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland and North America according to A.L. Lloyd all versions have a common matrix in the ballad published on a broadside printed by James Catnach (London 1813-1838) Flanders in “The New Green Mountain Songster” observes”The air to which it is almost universally sung, both in the old-country and American tradition, belongs to another ballad, “The Female Smuggler“.

Steeleye Span from “Hark! The Village Wait” (1970)

Christy Moore from Prosperus 1972

Quilty ( I, II, IV, VI, VII)

Olivia Chaney live The Mark Radcliffe Folk Sessions

I
As I went a walking (roved out ) one evening fair,
it being the summer(time) to take the air/I spied a female (maiden) with a sailor boy/and I stood to listen, I stood to listen/to hear what they might say.
II
He said “Young maiden (fair lady)
now why do you roam
all along by yonder Lee?”
She heaved a sigh and the tears they did roll, / “For my dark eyed sailor,
he ploughs the stormy seas.”
III
“‘Tis seven long years(1) since he left this land,
A ring he took from off his lily-white hand.(2)
One half of the ring is still here with me,
But the other’s rollin’
at the bottom of the sea.”
IV
He said “You can drive him from your mind/for another young man you surely will find.
Love turns a sight and it soon grows cold/ Like a winter’s morning
the hills are white with snow.”
V
She said “I’ll never forsake my dear
Although we’re parted this many a year/ Genteel(3) he was and a rake(4) like you/ To induce a maiden
to slight the jacket blue(5).”
VI
One half of the ring did young William show
She ran distracted in grief and woe
Sayin’ “William, William, I have gold in store(6)/ For my dark-eyed sailor
has proved his honour long”
VII
There is a cottage by yonder Lee,
the couple live there and do agree.
So maids be true when your lover’s at sea,
For a stormy morning
brings on a sunny day.
NOTES
1) Seven is a recurring number in ballads to indicate the duration of a separation. The reference to the number seven is not accidental: it is a magic or symbolic number linked to death or change. If a husband left for the war and did not return within seven years, the wife could remarry.
2) in this kind of ballads often appears an object through which the two lovers are recognized, either a gift exchanged or a ring broken in half as in this case
3) for gentle
4) A “rake” was a charming young lover of women, of songs, dedicated to gambling and alcohol, but also a lifestyle of fashion among the English nobles during the 17th century. And yet it is also a term used in a positive sense
5) wearing the blue jacket of the British sailor’s uniform
6) in other versions”I’ve lands and gold For my dark-eyed sailor so manly, true and bold

LINK
https://terreceltiche.altervista.org/fair-young-maid-garden/
http://www.traditionalmusic.co.uk/maine-lumberjacks/songs-ballads%20-%200208.htm
http://history.wiltshire.gov.uk/community/getfolk.php?id=926 http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=80849 http://www.itma.ie/inishowen/song/dark_eyed_sailor_kate_doherty http://mainlynorfolk.info/peter.bellamy/songs/thedarkeyedsailor.html http://www.christymoore.com/lyrics/dark-eyed-sailor/
http://www.wtv-zone.com/phyrst/audio/nfld/13/sailor.htm http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=149660 https://www.fresnostate.edu/folklore/ballads/LN35.html

Caroline and Her Young Sailor Bold

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TITLES: Caroline and Her Young Sailor Bold, Groline and Her Young Sailor Bold, The Young Sailor Bold, The Nobleman ‘s Daughter, Caroline and Her Young Sailor Boy, A Rich Nobleman’s Daughter’, Young Caroline and The Sailor
sailor-pic
A love story between a young girl who denies her noble and wealthy family and her wealthy life for the love of a young and handsome sailor. For fear he forgets her, she embarks on the ship disguised as a sailor. When their ship returns to the port of London, the girl goes to her parents to request consent to their marriage.
The theme was very popular among the nineteenth-century broadside and the ballad was popularized by the popular tradition of England, Ireland, Scotland and North America. The melody combined with the text is not unique, here are reported only two: fromJoe Heaney (Rosin The Beau) and from Sara Makem (recorded by Bill Leader at the home of Sara, Keady, County of Armagh in 1967).

The cross-dressing ballads decline the theme of the disguise often combined with the sailor’s (sometimes soldier) farewell with the woman who begs him to take her with him, willing to dress up as a man to stand beside him; the image of a woman-warrior and strong, supported by the power of love and therefore willing to go against her family and social conventions is more a story from a novel than an actual chronicle, the women in those times were subdued to the father first and to the husband later, and very few could win the economic independence (there were then the poor ones who did not care about anyone and who ended up badly in the middle of a street, making all kind of work to barely manage to feed the children). These were the times of marriages combined by families and were based on appropriate alliances and young women were not allowed to fall in love with a handsome black-eyed sailor!

Sarah Makem from Sea Song and Shanties 1994

Andrea Corr from Rogue’s Gallery: Pirate Ballads, Sea Songs, and Chanteys, ANTI- 2006.

Joe Heaney 1964 (here)

I
There lived a rich Nobleman’s daughter/
Caroline is her name we are told/
One day from her drawing room window
She admired a young sailor bold
II
She cried – “I’m a Nobleman’s daughter
My income’s five thousand in gold
I forsake both my father and mother
And I’ll marry young sailor bold”
III
Says William- “Fair lady remember
Your parents you are bound to mind
In sailors there is no dependence
For they leave their true lovers behind”
IV
And she says – “There’s no one could prevent me/
One moment to alter my mind/
In the ships I’ll be off with my true love/
He never will leave me behind”
 
V
Three years and a half on the ocean
And she always proved loyal and true
Her duty she did like a sailor
Dressed up in her jacket of blue
VI
When at last they arrived back in England
Straightway to her father she went
“Oh father dear father forgive me
Deprive me forever of gold
Just grant me one favor I ask you
To marry a young sailor bold”
VII
Her father looked upon young William
And love and in sweet unity
“If I be spared till Tomorrow
It’s married this couple shall be”.

LINK
https://mainlynorfolk.info/folk/songs/carolineandheryoungsailorbold.html
http://www.thecopperfamily.com/songs/collected/caroline.html
http://www.joeheaney.org/default.asp?contentID=742
http://www.clarelibrary.ie/eolas/coclare/songs/cmc/caroline_young_sailor_bold_pegmcmahon.htm
http://www.wtv-zone.com/phyrst/audio/nfld/15/caroline.htm
https://www.fresnostate.edu/folklore/ballads/LN17.html
http://www.johnmorrish.com/folkhandbook/sailors.html

John Barleycorn must die!

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John Barleycorn (in Italian Giovanni Chicco d’Orzo) is a traditional song spread in England and Scotland, focused on this popular character, embodiment of the spirit of beer and whiskey. (see)
There are several text versions collected at different times; the oldest known is from 1460.
As often happens with the most popular ballads we talk about family in reference to a set of texts and melodies connected to each other or related.

The plot traced by Pete Wood is well documented and we refer you to his John Barleycorn revisited for the deepening: the first ballad that identifies a man as the spirit of barley is Allan-a-Maut (Allan del Malto) and it comes from Scotland .
The first ballad that bears the name John Barleycorn is instead of 1624, printed in London “A Pleasant new Ballad.To be sung evening and morn, of the bloody murder of Sir John Barleycorn” shortened in The Pleasant Ballad: as Pete Wood points out, all the elements that characterize the current version of the ballad are already present, the oath of the knights to kill John, the rain that quenches him, and the sun that warms him to give him energy, the miller who grinds him between two stones.

Originale screenprint by Paul Bommer (da qui)

THE DEATH-REBIRTH OF KING BARLEY

spirito-granoIt is narrated the death of the King of Barley according to myths and beliefs that date back to the beginning of the peasant culture, customs that were followed in England in these forms until the early decades of the ‘900.
According to James George Frazier in “The Golden Bough“, anciently “John” was chosen among the youth of the tribe and treated like a king for a year; at the appointed time, however, he was killed, following a macabre ritual: his body was dragged across the fields so that the blood soaked the earth and fed the barley.

More recently in the Celtic peasant tradition the spirit of the wheat entered the reaper who cut the last sheaf (who symbolically killed the god) and he had to be sacrificed just as described in the song (or at least figuratively and symbolically). see more

However, the spirit of the Wheat-Barley never dies because it is reborn the following year with the new crop, its strength and its ardor are contained in the whiskey that is obtained from the distillation of barley malt!

JOHN BARLEYCORN

“The Pleasant ballad” was set to the tune “Shall I Lie Beyond Thee?” on the broadside.63  This tune is quoted by a number of sources by a variety of very similar titles, including “Lie Lulling Beyond Thee” .  It is this writer’s belief from a variety of considerations, including Simpson 64 that these are one and the same tune.  There has been some confusion regarding the use of the tune “Stingo” for various members of the family.  Several publications say that John Barleycorn should be sung to this tune, (including Dixon), and some people have assumed this was the tune for “The Pleasant Ballad.”  These impressions seem to have originated from Chappell 65, who meant that “Stingo” was the tune for another member of the family “The Little Barleycorne”, a view which accords with his own comments on the version in the Roxburghe Ballads 66, with Simpson, and Baring-Gould who says ‘[Stingo] is not the air used in the broadsides nor in the west of England’ 67.  Two further tunes, “The Friar & the Nun” and “Twas when the seas were roaring”, are mentioned by Simpson.  Mas Mault has been suggested to be set to the tune “Triumph and Joy”, the original title of “Greensleeves”. 68 (Pete Wood)

In fact, as many as 45 different melodies have been used for centuries for this ballad, and Pete Wood analyzes the four most common melodies.

 MELODY 1

The 1906 version of John Stafford published by Sharp in English Folk Songs is probably the melody that comes closest to the time of James I
The Young Tradition

MELODY DIVES AND LAZARUS

The Shepherd Haden version became “standard” for being included in The Penguin Book of English Folk Songs.T

Traffic (Learned by Mike Waterson)

Traffic lyrics
I
There was three men come out of the West
Their fortunes for to try
And these three men made a solemn vow
John Barleycorn(1) must die.
II
They ploughed, they sowed, they harrowed him in
Throwing clods all on his head
And these three men made a solemn vow
John barleycorn was Dead.
III
They’ve left him in the ground for a very long time
Till the rains from heaven did fall
Then little Sir John’s sprung up his head
And so amazed them all
IV
They’ve left him in the ground till the Midsummer
Till he’s grown both pale and wan
Then little Sir John’s grown a long, long beard
And so become a man.
V
They hire’d men with their scythes so sharp
To cut him off at the knee.
They’ve bound him and tied him around the waist
Serving him most barb’rously
VI
They hire’d men with their sharp pitch-forks
To prick him to the heart
But the drover he served him worse than that
For he’s bound him to the cart.
VII
They’ve rolled him around and around the field
Till they came unto a barn
And there they made a solemn mow
Of Little Sir John Barleycorn
VIII
They’ve hire’d men with their crab-tree sticks
To strip him skin from bone
But the miller, he served him worse than that,
For he’s ground him between two stones.
IX
Here’s Little sir John in the nut-brown bowl(2)
And brandy in the glass
But Little Sir John in the nut-brown bowl’s
Proved the stronger man at last
X
For the hunts man he can’t hunt the fox
Nor so loudly blow his horn
And the tinker, he can’t mend Kettles or pots
Without a little of Sir John Barleycorn.
NOTES
1)  the spirit of beer and whiskey
2) The cask of walnut or oak used today to age the whiskey

Jetro Tull live


Damh The Bard from The Hills They Are Hollow

JOHN BARLEYCORN, MELODY 3

The version of Robert Pope taken by Vaughan Williams in his Folk Song Suite
version for choir and orchestra

JOHN BARLEYCORN, MELODY 4

from Shropshire
Fred Jordan live

Jean-François Millet - Buckwheat Harvest Summer 1868
Jean-François Millet – Buckwheat Harvest Summer 1868

JOHN BARLEYCORN BY ROBERT BURNS

The version published by Robert Burns in 1782, reworks the ancient folk song and becomes the basis of subsequent versions

The first 3 stanzas are similar to the standard version, apart from the three kings coming from the east to make the solemn oath to kill John Barleycorn, in fact in the English version the three men arrive from the West: to me personally the hypothesis that Burnes he wanted to point out the 3 Magi Kings … it does not seem pertinent to the deep pagan substratum of history: Christianity (or the cult of the God of Light) doesnt want to kill the King of the Wheat, unless you identify the king of the Grain with the Christ (a “blasphemous” comparison that was immediately removed from subsequent versions).

History is the detailed transformation of the grain spirit, grown strong and healthy during the summer, reaped and threshed as soon as autumn arrives, and turned into alcohol; and the much more detailed description (always compared to the standard version) of the pleasures that it provides to men, so that they can draw from the drink, intoxication and inspiration. Burns was notoriously a great connoisseur of whiskey and the last verse is right in his style!

The indicated melody is Lull [e] Me Beyond Thee; other melodies that fit the lyrics are “Stingo” (John Playford, 1650) and “Up in the Morning Early”
The version of the Tickawinda takes up part of the text by singing the stanzas I, II, III, V, VII, XV

Robert Burns
I
There was three kings into the east,
Three kings both great and high,
And they hae sworn a solemn oath
John Barleycorn should die.
II
They took a  plough and plough’d him down,
Put clods upon his head,
And they hae sworn a solemn oath
John Barleycorn was dead
III
But the cheerful Spring came kindly on,
And show’rs began to fall;
John Barleycorn got up again,
And sore surpris’d them all
IV
The sultry suns  of Summer came,
And he grew  thick and strong,
His head weel   arm’d wi’ pointed spears,
That no one  should him wrong.
V
The sober Autumn enter’d mild,
When he grew wan and pale;
His bending joints and drooping head
Show’d he began to fail.
VI
His coulour sicken’d more and more,
He faded into age;
And then his enemies began
To show their deadly rage.
VII
They’ve taen a weapon, long and sharp,
And cut him by the knee;
Then ty’d him fast upon a cart,
Like a rogue for forgerie(1).
VIII
They laid him down upon his back,
And cudgell’d him full sore;
They hung him up before the storm,
And turn’d him o’er and o’er.
IX
They filled up a darksome pit
With water to the brim,
They heaved in John Barleycorn,
There let him sink or swim
X
They laid him out upon the floor,
To work him farther woe,
And still, as signs of life appear’d,
They toss’d him to and fro.
XI
They wasted, o’er a scorching flame,
The marrow of his bones;
But a Miller us’d him worst of all,
For he crush’d him between two stones.
XII
And they hae taen his very heart’s blood,
And drank it round and round;
And still the more and more they drank,
Their joy did more abound.
XIII
John Barleycorn was a hero bold,
Of noble enterprise,
For if you do but taste his blood,
‘Twill make your courage rise.
XIV
‘Twill make a man forget his woe;
‘Twill heighten all his joy:
‘Twill make the widow’s heart to sing,
Tho’ the tear were in her eye.
XV
Then let us toast John Barleycorn,
Each man a glass in hand;
And may his great posterity
Ne’er fail in old Scotland!
NOTES
1) the condemned to death were transported to the place of the gallows on a cart for the public mockery

Steeleye Span from Below the Salt 1972


I (Spoken)
There were three men
Came from the west
Their fortunes for to tell,
And the life of John Barleycorn as well.
II
They laid him in three furrows deep,
Laid clods upon his head,
Then these three man made a solemn vow
John Barleycorn was dead.
III
The let him die for a very long time
Till the rain from heaven did fall,
Then little Sir John sprang up his head
And he did amaze them all.
IV
They let him stand till the midsummer day,
Till he looked both pale and wan.
The little Sir John he grew a long beard
And so became a man.
CHORUS:
Fa la la la, it’s a lovely day
Fa la la la lay o
Fa la la la, it’s a lovely day
Sing fa la la la lay
V
They have hired men with the scythes so sharp,
To cut him off at the knee,
The rolled him and they tied him around the waist,
They served him barbarously.
VI
They have hired men with the crab-tree sticks,
To cut him skin from bone,
And the miller has served him worse than that,
For he’s ground him between two stones.
VII
They’ve wheeled him here,
they’ve wheeled him there,
They’ve wheeled him to a barn,
And thy have served him worse than that,
They’ve bunged him in a vat.
VIII
They have worked their will on John Barleycorn
But he lived to tell the tale,
For they pour him out of an old brown jug
And they call him home brewed ale(1).
NOTES
1) The oldest drink in the world obtained from the fermentation of various cereals. The beer originally was classified out as “beer” (with hops) and “ale” (without hops) . Its processing processes start with a spontaneous fermentation of the starch (ie the sugar) that is the main component in cereals, when they come into contact with water, due to wild yeasts contained in the air. And just as in bread, female food, EARTH, WATER, AIR and FIRE combine magically to give life to a divine food that strengthens and inebriates.
The English term of homebrewing or the art of home-made beer translates into Italian with an abstruse word: domozimurgia and domozimurgo is the producer of homemade beer in which domo, is the Latin root for “home”; zimurgo is the one who practices “zimurgy”, or the science of fermentation processes. The domozimurgo is therefore the one who, within his own home, studies, applies and experiments the alchemy of fermentation. Making beer for your own consumption (including that of the inevitable friends and relatives) is absolutely legal as well as fun and relatively simple although you never stop learning through the exchange of experiences and experimentati
on
see more

And finally the COLLAGE of the versions of Tickawinda, Avalon Rising, John Renbourn, Lanterna Lucis Viriditatis, Xenis Emputae, Travelling Band, Louis Killen, Traffic

LINK
http://ontanomagico.altervista.org/barleycorn.htm
http://www.musicaememoria.com/JohnBarleycorn2.htm
http://www.mustrad.org.uk/articles/j_barley.htm
http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=14888
http://www.omniscrit.com/2013/01/who-was-john-barleycorn-folk-song-and.html

Hanging Johnny : hang, boys, hang

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“Hanging Johnny” is an halyard shanty in which we talk about the hangman who hangs all those who bother him! Immediately, the scholars wanted to find a historical figure who incarnated this executioner in Jack Ketch notorious executioner in the seventeenth century London.

But for the sailors the phrase “hanging Johnny” has a whole other meaning.

THE WORK OF THE HANGED SAILOR

In order to hoist the heavier sails, they followed a strange procedure : the younger and nimble sailors (and less paid as they were apprentices) climbed up on the masthead and, after grabbing a halyard, jumped in the air, hanging like so many hangers. As they descended, they were helped by the efforts of the remaining sailors to slowly reach the deck.
Joys explained that “hanging Johnny” did not refer to a sheriff’s hangman, but instead to nimble young sailors who, when a topsail was to be hoisted, would climb to the masthead and “swing out” on the proper halyard. They would then ride to the deck as the men at the foot of the mast brought them down by their successive pulls. Joys recalled one chanteyman who would always tell the boys when to swing out by shouting up to them, “Hang, you bastards, hang!” Then, while the boys were hanging on the halyard fifty feet or more above the deck, he’d start his song and the crew would make two pulls on each chorus. When the boys hit the deck, they would tail on behind the other men and pull with them until the work was finished.
Joys added that the word “hang” was “the best goddamn pullin’ word in the language, especially on a down haul.” Ashley said the tune was “a bit mournful, but a good one for hoisting light canvas,” noting that the words enabled the sailors to find fault, good-naturedly, with all their real and fancied enemies, “if the work lasted long enough.”
 (from “Windjammers: Songs of the Great Lakes Sailors” by Ivan H. Walton and Joe Grimm, 2002 here)

So on Mudcats a heated debate has opened up: “The words “Hang, boys, hang,” are used in a topsail-halliard hoist, when sweating up the yard “two blocks” where, in swaying off, the whole weight of the body is used. The sing-out, from some old shellback, usually being words such as “Hang, heavy! Hang, buttocks! Hang you sons of ——-, Hang.” After setting the topsails, we gave her the main-topgallant sail, which was all she could carry in a heavy head-sea. The decks were awash all day. “…. the chantey was sung with a jerk and a swing as only chanteys in 6/8 time can be sung. While the words were of Negro extraction, yet it was a great favorite with us and sung nearly every time the topsails were hoisted.” (from Frederick Pease Harlow, 1928, The Making of a Sailor, Dover reprint of Publication Number 17 of the Marine Research Society, Salem, MA here)

Definitely a perfect “pirate song”! I found this piece of film about the golden age of the great vessels in which the song is sung.

Oh they call me hanging Johnny.
Away, boys, away.
They says I hangs for money.
Oh hang, boys, hang.
And first I hanged my Sally
and then I hanged my granny.

JOHN SHORT VERSION

Sharp publishes a set of words in which the shantyman does not himself hang people and indeed sings, I never hung nobody. Hugill is adamant (as is Terry) that no shantyman ever claimed that anyone other than himself was the hangman, and that “Sentimental verses like some collectors give were never sung – Sailor John hanged any person or thing he would think about without a qualm.” Checking these ‘some collectors’, one finds several who elect only to hang the bad guys – liars, murderers, etc. – are these the verses Hugill means by ‘sentimental’ or is he having a go at Sharp for the shantyman not being the hangman himself? Sharp’s notebooks show that he recorded from Short the same as he published. It could be that Short is self-censoring but it seems unlikely given that Short seems happy, in various other shanties, to sing text that might not be regarded as genteel (e.g. Nancy, Lucy Long, Shanadore). Short was, however, a deeply religious man and, if this is not simply an early and less developed form of the shanty, then he may have deliberately avoided casting himself as hangman – we will never know! Notwithstanding, and contrary to Hugill’s assertion, there was at least one shantyman who actually sang I never hung nobody.

Collectors’/publishers’ reactions to the shanty are curiously mixed: Bullen merely notes that “shanties whose choruses were adapted for taking two pulls in them… were exceedingly useful”, Fox-Smith that it had an “almost macabre irony which is not found in any other shanty”, and Maitland that “This is about as doleful a song as I ever heard” but, in an almost poetic description points out that “there’s a time when it comes in. For instance after a heavy blow, getting more sail on the ship. The decks are full of water and the men cannot keep their feet. The wind has gone down, but the seas are running heavy. A big comber comes over the rail; the men are washed away from the rope. If it wasn’t for the man at the end of the rope gathering in the slack as the men pull, all the work would have to be done over again.” – Horses for courses! (from here)

Tom Brown from Short Sharp Shanties : Sea songs of a Watchet sailor vol 1


They called me hanging Johnny,
urrhay-i-, urrhay-i-,
They called me hanging Johnny
so hang, boys, hang
They hanged me poor old father
They hanged me poor old mother
Yes they hanged me mother
Me sister and me brother
They hanged me sister Sally
They strung her up so canny
They said I handeg for money
But I never hanged nobody
Oh boys we’ll haul and hang the ship
oh haul her ropes so neat
We’ll hang him forever,
We’ll hang for better weather,
A rope, a beam, a ladder,
I’ll hang ye all together

ADDITIONAL VERSIONS

Stan Ridgway from  Rogue’s Gallery: Pirate Ballads, Sea Songs, and Chanteys, ANTI 2006. Masterful interpretation that transforms the shanty into a melancholy folk song

The Salts live in a jaunty version

 Stan Ridgway lyrics
I
They call me hanging Johnny,
yay (away )-hay-i-o
I never hanged nobody
hang, boys, hang
Well first I hanged your mother
Me sister and me brother
I’d hang to make things jolly
I’d hang all wrong and folly
A rope, a beam, a ladder,
I’ll hang ye all together
Well next I hanged me granny
I’d hang the wholly family
They call me hanging Johnny,
I never hanged nobody
II
Come hang, come haul together,
Come hang for finer weather,
Hang on from the yardarm
Hang the sea and buy a big farm
They call me hanging Johnny,
I never hanged nobody
I’d hang the mates and skippers,
I’d hang ‘em by their flippers
I’d hang the highway robber,
I’d hang the burglar jobber;
I’d hang a noted liar,
I’d hang a bloated friar;
They say I hung a copper,
I gave him the long dropper

LINK
http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=72779
http://mainlynorfolk.info/peter.bellamy/songs/hangingjohnny.html
http://www.gutenberg.org/files/20774/20774-h/20774-h.htm#Hanging_Johnny
http://www.contemplator.com/sea/hanging.html
http://www.musicanet.org/robokopp/shanty/thycalme.htm

Ould Lammas Fair

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La più lunga (come estensione) fiera dell’Irlanda del Nord che si snoda lungo la via centrale della cittadina di Ballycastle, Co. Antrim si tiene l’ultimo lunedì e martedì di agosto: è la Lammas Fair le cui origini risalgono al XVII secolo.

Le Lammas Fairs come si dice nelle isole britanniche o le Country fairs come sono più comunemente chiamate in America sono le grandi fiere che si svolgono dopo il raccolto del grano: Già Fiere Medievali  collegate al Santo protettore che attiravano folle di visitatori e i venditori ambulanti.
Man mano che le fiere si ingrandivano si aggiunsero divertimenti di ogni tipo: giochi campestri e tornei, ma anche spettacoli.
Un tempo principalmente mercato del bestiame (in particolare cavalli) dove gli agricoltori si ritrovavano per vendere e comprare i prodotti dell’estate, ma anche un importante evento di socializzazione per le fattorie isolate.

Nella stagione dell’abbondanza si ringraziava la terra per i suoi frutti, e si condivideva la gioia con musica, danze, giochi. Nella tradizione celtica era Lughnasad, il momento delle assemblee plenarie, di grandi mercati e fiere, delle corse di cavalli unitamente ad altri giochi nei quali si cimentavano i guerrieri, ma anche di certami poetici e musicali in omaggio alla pace.

Ould Lammas Fair

Un discreto numero di ballate celtiche hanno come sfondo un giorno di mercato o più in particolare un giorno di fiera, Ould Lammas Fair
è stata scritta da John Henry MacAuley di  Ballycastle, proprietario negli anni 20-30 del Bog Oak Shop di Ann Street: era un violinista e un abile intagliatore di legno rinomato sia per la sua musica che per le sue sculture. Il Bog oak ( o più in generale bog wood) è un legno che è rimasto imprigionato nel fango paludoso e che è stato “mummificato” (essiccato) dai processi naturali di acidità in modo tale da presentarsi compatto e privo di fessurazioni, particolarmente adatto a lavorazioni di pregio. In inglese si dice morta. Più conosciuto da noi è il legno portato dal mare (in inglese definito con una parola sola driftwood).
Ottilie Patterson 1966 (che omette i versi scritti tra parentesi)

Ruby Murray in ‘Irish and Proud of it’ 1962


I
At the Ould Lammas Fair
in Ballycastle long ago
I met a pretty colleen
who set me heart a-glow
She was smiling at her daddy
buying lambs from Paddy Roe
At the Ould Lammas Fair
in Ballycastle-O
(Sure I seen her home that night
When the moon was shining bright
From the ould Lammas Fair in Ballycastle-O )
CHORUS
At the ould Lammas Fair boys
were you ever there
Were you ever
at the Fair In Ballycastle-O?
Did you treat your Mary Ann
to some Dulse and Yellow Man(1)
At the ould Lammas Fair in Ballycastle-O

II
In Flander’s fields afar
while resting from the War(2)
We drank Bon Sante (3)
to the Flemish lassies O
But the scene that haunts my memory is kissing Mary Ann
Her pouting lips all sticky
from eating Yellow Man
(As we passed the silver Margy (4)
and we strolled along the strand
From the ould Lammas Fair in Ballycastle-O)
III
There’s a neat little cabin on the slopes of fair Knocklayde (5)
It’s lit by love and sunshine
where the heather honey’s made
With the bees ever humming (6)
and the children’s joyous call
Resounds across the valley
as the shadows fall
(Sure I take my fiddle down
and my Mary smiling there
Brings back a happy mem’ry
of the Lammas Fair )
Traduzione italiana Cattia Salto
I
Alla vecchia fiera di Lammas
a Ballycastle una volta,
incontrai una graziosa ragazza
che mi ha attizzato il cuore.
Sorrideva al suo papà
che comprava agnelli da Paddy Roe
Alla vecchia fiera di Lammas
a Ballycastle
(ovvio che  andai a trovarla a casa
quella sera con la luna che  speldeva luminosa, alla vecchia fiera di Lammas a Ballycastle
Coro
Siete mai stati alla vecchia fiera di Lammas ragazzi,
siete mai stati alla vecchia fiera di Lammas a Ballycastle?
Avete regalato alla vostra Mary Ann
Dulse e Yellowman
alla vecchia fiera di Lammas a Ballycastle

II
Nei campi delle Fiandre, mentre riposavamo lontano dalla Guerra
bevevamo alla salute
delle ragazze fiamminghe;
ma la scena che ossessiona i miei ricordi è baciare Mary Ann, le sue labbra imbronciate tutte appiccicose per aver mangiato Yellowman
mentre superavamo l’argeneo Margy
e passeggiavamo per il corso
alla vecchia fiera di Lammas a Ballycastle
III
C’è una bella casupola sui pendii del bel Knocklayde
riscaldata dall’amore e dal sole
dove si produce il miele d’erica
con le api sempre ronzanti
e le grida allegre dei bambini
risuonano per la valle
mentre scende la sera;
prendo il mio violino
e la mia Mary che sorride,
richiama un felice ricordo
della Fiera di Lammas

NOTE
1) dulse e yellowman (alga rossa e caramelle mou) è un’accoppiata tipica della fiera, uno street food con un abbinamento di gusto dolce e salato che viene addentando una gommosa alga rossa essiccata insieme a un appiccicoso toffee giallo-
Yellowman (in italiano l’uomo giallo) è una specialità da fiera nella contea di Antrim: è un toffee dallo spiccato colore giallo: la preparazione è a base di zucchero, burro, sciroppo di mais (corn syrup), acqua con l’aggiunta di bicarbonato e aceto per ottenere l’effetto honeycomb (areato) e il colore giallo. La preparazione è semplice ma occorre stare attenti alla temperatura perché lo zucchero caramelli senza bruciare (o si cristallizzi perché troppo mescolato); il caramello deve raggiungere la temperatura di 150° C per essere allo stadio definito “hard crack”, (quando dopo essere stato raffreddato si romperà in pezzi relativamente duri)
Approfondimento sull’alga dulse 
2) la prima guerra mondiale a cui peraltro MacAuley non partecipò essendo disabile a seguito di un incidente nella fattoria paterna quando era ragazzo
3) francese per toasting
4) il fiume Margy
5) Knocklayde è una montagnola che sovrasta Ballycastle ottimo punto panoramico per ammirare il mare e la campagna circostante
6) l’immagine richiama Yeats e la sua Isola di Innisfree

La fiera in un filmato d’epoca anni 1950

FONTI
http://ontanomagico.altervista.org/shemoved.htm
https://www.ballycastlehistory.com/ould-lammas-fair-by-margaret-bell.html
http://www.irishcultureandcustoms.com/ACalend/LammasFair.html
http://www.countysongs.ie/song/ould-lammas-fair
https://www.atlasobscura.com/foods/dulse-and-yellowman-northern-ireland
http://oakden.co.uk/yellowman/

Ould Lammas Fair ( Ballycastle)

Leggi in italiano

The longest (as an extension) fair in Northern Ireland that runs along the central street of the town of Ballycastle, Co. Antrim is held on the last Monday and Tuesday in August: it is the Lammas Fair whose origins date back to the seventeenth century .

The Lammas Fairs as they say in the British Isles or the Country fairs as they are more commonly called in America are the big fairs that take place after the wheat harvest: already Medieval Fairs connected to the patron saint who attracted crowds of visitors and street vendors.
As the fairs grew, all kinds of entertainment were added: country games and tournaments, but also shows.
At one time it was mainly a livestock market (especially horses) where farmers gathered to sell and buy summer products, but also an important socialization event for isolated farms.
In the season of abundance, the earth was thanked for its fruits, and joy was shared with music, dance and games. In the Celtic tradition it was Lughnasad, the time of the plenary assemblies, of great markets and fairs, of horse races together with other games for the warriors, but also of poetic and musical certams in homage to peace.

Ould Lammas Fair

A fair number of Celtic ballads are about a market day, particularly a fair day, “Ould Lammas Fair” was written by John Henry MacAuley of Ballycastle, owner in the 20-30 years of the Bog Oak Shop on Ann Street: he was a violinist and a skilled wood carver, renowned for his music and his sculptures. Bog oak (or more generally bog wood) is a wood that has been imprisoned in the marshy mud and has been “mummified” (dried) by the natural acidic processes in such a way as to present itself compact and without cracks, particularly suitable for fine workmanship. In English it is said “morta”.
Ottilie Patterson 1966 (which omits the verses written in brackets)

Ruby Murray from ‘Irish and Proud of it’ 1962

I
At the Ould Lammas Fair
in Ballycastle long ago
I met a pretty colleen
who set me heart a-glow
She was smiling at her daddy
buying lambs from Paddy Roe
At the Ould Lammas Fair
in Ballycastle-O
(Sure I seen her home that night
When the moon was shining bright
From the ould Lammas Fair in Ballycastle-O )
CHORUS
At the ould Lammas Fair boys
were you ever there
Were you ever
at the Fair In Ballycastle-O?
Did you treat your Mary Ann
to some Dulse and Yellow Man(1)
At the ould Lammas Fair in Ballycastle-O

II
In Flander’s fields afar
while resting from the War(2)
We drank Bon Sante (3)
to the Flemish lassies O
But the scene that haunts my memory is kissing Mary Ann
Her pouting lips all sticky
from eating Yellow Man
(As we passed the silver Margy (4)
and we strolled along the strand
From the ould Lammas Fair in Ballycastle-O)
III
There’s a neat little cabin on the slopes of fair Knocklayde (5)
It’s lit by love and sunshine
where the heather honey’s made
With the bees ever humming (6)
and the children’s joyous call
Resounds across the valley
as the shadows fall
(Sure I take my fiddle down
and my Mary smiling there
Brings back a happy mem’ry
of the Lammas Fair )

NOTE
1) dulse and yellowman (red alga and toffee) is a typical combination of the fair, a street food with sweet and savory taste by biting a gummy red seaweed dried with a sticky yellow toffee.
Yellowman is a specialty of the fair in the county of Antrim: it is a toffee with a strong yellow color: the preparation is based on sugar, butter, corn syrup, water with the addition of bicarbonate and vinegar to obtain the honeycomb effect (aerated) and the yellow color. The preparation is simple but you need to be careful about the temperature because the caramel sugar does not burn (or crystallize because it is too mixed); the caramel must reach a temperature of 150 ° C to be at the “hard crack” stage (when it has cooled it will break into relatively hard pieces)
Pulling the sea-dulse
2) the first world war which MacAuley did not participate in because he was disabled following an accident on his father’s farm when he was a boy
3) French for toasting
4)  Margy river
5) Knocklayde is a hilltop overlooking Ballycastle excellent vantage point to admire the sea and the surrounding countryside
6) the image recalls Yeats and his Innisfree isle

The fair in a vintage movie of the 1950s

LINK
http://ontanomagico.altervista.org/shemoved.htm
https://www.ballycastlehistory.com/ould-lammas-fair-by-margaret-bell.html
http://www.irishcultureandcustoms.com/ACalend/LammasFair.html
http://www.countysongs.ie/song/ould-lammas-fair
https://www.atlasobscura.com/foods/dulse-and-yellowman-northern-ireland
http://oakden.co.uk/yellowman/

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/

Yonder comes a courteous knight (The Baffled knight ballad)

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John Byam Liston Shaw: “The Baffled Knight”

A young knight strolls through the countryside meets a girl (sometimes he surprises her while she is intent on bathing in a river) and asks her to have sex. In truth, the approaches in secluded places between noblemen and curvy country girls even if paludated with bucolic verses, they ended much more prosaically with rape (if the gentleman “stung vagueness”)

But in this ballad the girl is a lady, and the dialogue between the two protagonists becomes rather a gallant skirmish of love, a game of love to make it more appetizing; the knight, however, does not yet know the rules because of his young age and is therefore mocked by the lady, courtesan much more experienced and cynical, skilled maneuverer of her lovers!

VERSION A: YONDER COMES A COURTEOUS KNIGHT

Child ballad #112
The gallant knight is called “Baffled knight” as usual term in the Scottish dialect of 1540-1550: “bauchle”, here in the meaning of “bewildered”, “perplexed” but also “juggled”. Originally the ballad is transcribed in Deuteromelia (1609) by Thomas Ravenscroft with a melody that he attributes to the reign of Henry VIII.

CARPE DIEM

The song is an exhortation to draw pleasure when the opportunity arises: the lady (as an expert courtesan) puts the young knight to the test by presenting the comforts of a bed that awaits them in the paternal home; so she enters first at home and closes off the naive (and inexperienced) knight. The lady does not hide her disdain for the knight who did not dare to get some among the branches!

Custer LaRue & Baltimore Consort from “Ladyes Delight: Entertainment Music of Elizabethan England”, 1998 ♪.
The Baltimore Consort give us a little musical jewel: the melody is performed in a cadenced manner and vaguely refers to the Dargason jig, as also reported in the first edition of “The Dancing Master” by John Playford (1651).

Lucie Skeaping & City Waits from” Lusty Broadside Ballads & Palyford Dances” 2011.
Sparkling and playful interpretation that I imagine salaciously mimed in the most fashionable living rooms of the time. A couple of verses are omitted from the original version. (they skip II, IV and VII )

Joel Frederiksen & Ensemble Phoenix Munich from “The Elfin Knight: Balads and Dances”

I
Yonder comes a courteous knight,
Lustely raking ouer the lay(1);
He was well ware of a bonny lasse,
As she came wandring ouer the way.
CHORUS
Then she sang downe a downe,
hey downe derry (bis)(2)
II
‘Ioue(3) you speed, fayre lady,’ he said,
‘Among the leaues that be so greene;
If I were a king, and wore a crowne,
Full soone, fair lady,
shouldst thou be a queen.
III
‘Also Ioue saue you, faire lady(4),
Among the roses that be so red;
If I haue not my will of you,
Full soone, faire lady,
shall I be dead.’
IV
Then he lookt east,
then hee lookt west,
Hee lookt north, so did he south;
He could not finde a priuy place,
For all lay in the diuel’s mouth.
V
‘If you will carry me, gentle sir,
A mayde(5) vnto my father’s hall,
Then you shall haue your will of me,
Vnder purple and vnder paule(6).’
VI
He set her vp vpon a steed,
And him selfe vpon another,
And all the day he rode her by,
As though they had been sister and brother.
VII
When she came to her father’s hall,
It was well walled round about;
She yode(7) in at the wicket-gate,
And shut the foure-eard(8) foole without.
VIII
‘You had me,’ quoth she, ‘abroad in the field,
Among the corne, amidst the hay,
Where you might had your will of mee,
For, in good faith, sir, I neuer said nay.
IX
‘Ye had me also amid the field(9)
Among the rushes that were so browne,
Where you might had your will of me,
But you had not the face to lay me downe.'(10)
X
He pulled out
his nut-browne(11) sword,
And wipt the rust off with his sleeue,
And said, “Ioue’s curse
come to his heart
That any woman would beleeue(12)!
XI
When you haue you owne true-loue
A mile or twaine out of the towne,
Spare not for her gay clothing,
But lay her body flat on the ground.

NOTE
1) ‘lay’ = lea, meadow-land
2)interlayer onomatopoeic and apparently non-sense of some ballads; also in the ballad The Three Ravens always reported by Ravenscoft this time in his Melismata. Vernon Chatman proposes as a translation for a sentence in the finished sense: We find in the Oxford Universal Dictionary (1955) that ‘down’ can be used as an adverb either attributively or by ellipsis of some participial word in the sense of “dejected.”” Also, we find that ‘a’ can be used as a preposition as in ‘a live’ or as an adjective in the sense of “all.” Further, we find that ‘hay’ can be used as an interjection in the sense of “thou hast (it)” and that it occurs in the phrase ‘to make hay’ this phrase meaning “to make confusion.” Thus, the sense of line two is something like the following: 1) Dejected all dejected, thou hast dejection [thou art dejected?], thou hast dejection; or 2) Dejected all dejected, confused and dejected, confused and dejected. Relative to line four we find in the Oxford Universal Dictionary that ‘with’ can be used to form adverb phrases denoting “to the fullest extent.” Thus, the sense of the fourth line is something like the following: Utterly (completely) dejected. Line seven presents the gravest difficulty; however, it can be surmounted. The problem here centers upon ‘derrie.’ Checking this time with Encyclopaedia Britannica (1956) we find that Londonderry was once named ‘Derry.’ Derry is an appropriate locale for the scene depicted in “The Three Ravens:” the Scandinavians plundered the city, and it is said to have been burned down at least seven times before 1200; it thus is a site of many battles. Line seven now “means” something like the following: Utterly dejected in Derry, in Derry, dejected, dejected.
3) Ioue = Jove; Jove you speed it is a kind of invocation of the type “Jupiter you assist”, but also a way of greeting. Jupiter is also the god famous for his love adventures and lust: in short, he did not miss one.
4) Lucie Skeaping sing ‘Ioue you speed, fayre lady,’ he said,
5) maid
6) purple and paule =  pomp and circumstance
7) ‘yode’ = went.
8) ‘foure-ear’d’ = ‘as denoting a double ass?’ (Child)
9) Lucie Skeaping sings’You had me, abroad in the field,
10) once safe, the lady mocks the inexperienced knight!
11)  the image is burlesque: the young man with a rusty sword because he never got to use it (swordsman inexperienced or clumsy as in the love duels) raises it to the sky pointing to Jupiter to attract lightning!
12) believe

ARCHIVE
TITLES: The Baffled Lover (knight),  Yonder comes a courteous knight, The Lady’s Policy, The Disappointed Lover, The (Bonny) Shepherd Lad (laddie), Blow away the morning dew, 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)

FONTI
http://71.174.62.16/Demo/LongerHarvest?Text=Child_d11201

L’empoisonneuse ancient murder ballad from France

Leggi in italiano

“Donna Lombarda” (“Dame Lombarde” means “Lady from Lombardy,”) or “Dona Bianca”  (Dame White) is perhaps the most famous of the Italian ballads, also widespread in France and French Canada (Quebec). The ballad handed down to the present day through an infinity of regional variations, tells the story of a young wife instigated by her lover to poison her husband and of a newborn baby who miraculously begins to speak to reveal the intrigue. A typical murder ballad of Celtic area with a supernatural event!(first part)

FRENCH VERSIONS

Born in the Piedmont area, soon with the title of “L’empoisonneuse “(The poisoner) or Dame Lombarde the ballad “Dona Bianca” crosses the Alps and arrives in French soil, the versions shown have the same melody (although the arrangements they can not be more different) and similar texts.

Véronique Chalot from J’ai Vu Le Loup, 1978. Medieval, dreamlike and hypnotic atmospheres and the enchanting fairy voice of Veronique
Malicorne from Colin 1975

Audrey Le Jossec-Nicolas Quemener Quartet live


Allons au bois, charmante dame
allons au bois;
Nous trouverons le serpent verde,
nous le tuerons.
Dans une pinte de vin rouge
nous le mettrons;
Quand ton mari viendra de chasse,
grand soif aura.
Tirez du vin, charmante dame,
tirez du vin!
– Oh, par ma foi, mon amant Pierre(1),
n’y a de tiré.
L’enfant du brés jamais ne parle,
a bien parlé:
– Ne buvez pas de ça, mon père,
vous en mourrez!
– Buvez ça vous, charmante dame,
buvez ça vous.
– Ah, par ma foi, mon amant Pierre,
n’a point de soif
Elle n’a pas bu demi-verre,
s’est renversée
Elle n’en a pas bu le plein verre,
a trépassé
English translation*
“Let us go to the woods, Dame Lombarde, let us go to the woods;
We will find the green serpent, and we shall slay it.
In a pint of red wine we shall place it;
When your husband returns from hunting, such thirst he will have.
Pour some wine, Dame Lombarde, pour some wine!”
“Oh, by my faith, my friend Pierre took none.”
The cradle baby never speaks, but he spoke well:
“Do not drink of it, my father—you’ll die of it.”
“You all shall drink, Dame Lombarde, drink of it.
By my faith, my friend Pierre is not thirsty.”
She drank less than half a glass, and fell over.
She did not finish a full glass, and crossed over.

NOTE
* from here
1) in the French version we see a real triangle with lover and husband who are friends and go hunting together. The woman betrays herself because she refuses to serve the poisoned wine to her lover

Different text different melody but same subject, the ballad (Haute Savoie) is sometimes entitled “The Rossignolet” (not to be confused with the title “Rossignolet du bois”)

Mireille Ben ♪


I
Rossignolet du bois joli (1)
Mais enseignez-moi donc
Mais enseignez-moi donc
Enseignez-moi de la poison
C’est pour empoisonner
C’est pour empoisonner
II
Pour empoisonner mon mari
Qui est jaloux de moi (bis)
Allez là-haut sur ces coteaux
Là vous en trouverez (bis)
III
La tête d’un serpent maudit
Là vous le couperez
Entre deux plats d’or et d’argent
Là vous la pilerez
IV
Dans une chopine de vin blanc
Là vous la verserez
Quand votre mari r’viendra des champs
Grande soif il aura
V
Il vous dira : Belle Isabeau
Apporte-moi de l’eau
Vous lui direz : c’est pas de l’eau
C’est du vin qu’il vous faut
VI
A mesure que la belle versait
Le vin il noircissait
L’enfant qui était dans son berceau
Son père avertissait
VII
Papa, papa n’en buvez pas
Ca vous ferait mourir
Il lui a dit : Belle Isabeau
T’en boiras devant moi
VIII
Oh ! non, oh ! non mon cher mari !
Oh ! non, je n’ai point soif
La mort devrait-elle y passer
La belle vous en boirez !(2)
IX
Pour la couronne du roi de France,
Oui moi je le boira et je le finirai
Ah ! que maudite soit ma voisine
De m’avoir enseigné
English translation Cattia Salto
I
Pretty nightingale of the woods
show me then
show me then
show me about the poison
It is to poison
It is to poison
II
To poison my husband
Who is jealous of me ”
“Go up there on yon hills
And there you will find it
III
The head of a cursed snake
There, you will cut it,
And between two plates of gold and silver
There, you will crush it
IV
In a pint of white wine
There, you will pour it
When your husband returns from the fields
He will have a great thirst
V
He will tell you: Bella Isabella
Bring me some water
You will tell him: it is not water
It’s some wine you need ”
VI
As the beautiful woman poured
The wine became cloudy,
The child who was in the cradle
He warned his father
VII
“Daddy, Dad, do not drink it
This will make you die! ”
He told her: “Bella Isabella
You will drink in front of me ”
VIII
“Oh! No, oh! No my dear husband!
Oh! No, I’m not really thirsty ”
“Death must pass here
Nice to drink from you! ”
IX
“”For the crown of the king of France
Yes, I will drink it and finish it.
Ah! Cursed be my neighbor
For having instructed me”

NOTES
version reported by Flavio Poltronieri
1) the revised version thus begins
Rossignolet du bois,
rossignolet sauvage,
apprends-moi ton langage,
apprends-moi-z à parler,
apprends-moi la manière
comment il faut aimer.
2) in the Piedmontese version, the husband forces his wife to show her his sword

Here is still a version that mixes the two texts but with a different ending: it is only the husband who dies from the poison
La Part du Feu from Le Vent du Nord, 2009 


I
Rossignolet du bois joli
enseigne-moi je t’en prie
Enseigne-moi de la poison
c’est pour empoisonner
II
Pour empoisonner mon mari
qui est jaloux de moi
Allez là-bas sur ces cours d’eau
là vous en trouverez
III
La tête d’un serpent méchant
là vous la couperez
Dans un grand plat d’or et d’argent là vous la pillerez
IV
Quand votre mari arrivera du champ un grand soif il aura
Il vous dira ma bonne dame
donnez-moi donc de l’eau
V
Vous lui direz mon cher mari ce n’est pas de l’eau qu’il faut
C’est bien du vin mais pas de l’eau que vous boirerez
VI
Tout pendant qu’il en buvait le vin qui noircissait
L’enfant qui était dans le berceau
son père avertissait
VII
N’en buvez pas de ce vin-là
car ça vous ferait mourir
Pour moi la mort vraie y passait la grand soif que j’avais (1)
English translation Cattia Salto
I
“Pretty nightingale of the woods
show me then
show me about the poison
It is to poison
II
To poison my husband
Who is jealous of me ”
“Go down that stream
and there you will find
III
the head of a cursed snake
you will cut it
and in a tray of gold and silver
you will crush it
IV
When your husband comes back from the fields / he will have a lot of thirst,
he will tell you – my beautiful lady,
bring me water
V
And you will tell him – my dear husband/ you do not need water
but of wine, it is not water
what you will drink- ”
VI
While he was drinking
the wine became cloudy
and the infant who was in the cradle
he warned his father
VII
“Do not drink that wine
that will make you die! ”
But the thirst I had
he killed me

NOTES
1) it is the poisoned husband who bears the testimony of his death

LINK
http://faculty.complit.illinois.edu//rrushing/Kithara/Notes/Entries/2011/10/23_Dame_Lombarde.html
https://www.antiwarsongs.org/canzone.php?lang=it&id=42932

Dame Lombarde

Read the post in English

Donna Lombarda (Dona Bianca) è forse la più famosa delle ballate italiane, diffusa anche in Francia e Canada francese (Quebec). La ballata tramandata fino ai giorni nostri attraverso un’infinità di varianti regionali, narra la storia di una giovane moglie istigata dall’amante ad avvelenare il marito e di un neonato che miracolosamente comincia a parlare per rivelare l’intrigo. Una tipica murder ballad di area celtica con tanto di evento soprannaturale! (prima parte)

LE VERSIONI FRANCESI

Nata in area piemontese, ben presto con il titolo di L’empoisonneuse (in italiano L’avvelenatrice) o Dame Lombarde la ballata “Dona Bianca”  attraversa le Alpi e arriva in terra francese, le  versioni riportate hanno stessa melodia (anche se gli arrangiamenti non possono essere più diversi) e testi simili.

Véronique Chalot in J’ai Vu Le Loup, 1978. Atmosfere medievali, oniriche e ipnotiche e la voce da fata incantatrice
Malicorne in Colin 1975

Audrey Le Jossec-Nicolas Quemener Quartet live


Allons au bois, charmante dame
allons au bois;
Nous trouverons le serpent verde,
nous le tuerons.
Dans une pinte de vin rouge
nous le mettrons;
Quand ton mari viendra de chasse,
grand soif aura.
Tirez du vin, charmante dame,
tirez du vin!
– Oh, par ma foi, mon amant Pierre(1),
n’y a de tiré.
L’enfant du brés jamais ne parle,
a bien parlé:
– Ne buvez pas de ça, mon père,
vous en mourrez!
– Buvez ça vous, charmante dame,
buvez ça vous.
– Ah, par ma foi, mon amant Pierre,
n’a point de soif
Elle n’a pas bu demi-verre,
s’est renversée
Elle n’en a pas bu le plein verre,
a trépassé
Traduzione italiana Cattia Salto
“Andiamo nel bosco, bella dama
andiamo nel bosco
e troveremo un serpente verde
e lo uccideremo.
Dentro a un litro di vino rosso
lo metteremo;
quando tuo marito tornerà dalla caccia
avrà tanta sete.”
“Mescete il vino, bella dama,
mescete il vino”
“In fede mia, al mio amato Pierre
non lo mescerò.”
Il bambino in fasce che non parla
si mette a parlare
“Non bere, padre mio
voi morrete!”
“Bevete voi, bella dama
bevete voi”
“In fede mia, amato Pierre mio
non ho sete.”
Bevve nemmeno mezzo bicchiere
che stramazzò
bevve nemmeno un bicchiere pieno
che morì

NOTE
1) nella versione francese vediamo un vero e proprio triangolo con amante e marito che sono amici e vanno a caccia insieme. La donna si tradisce perchè rifiuta di servire il vino avvelenato all’amante

Diverso testo  diversa melodia  ma stesso soggetto, la ballata (Alta Savoia) è talvolta intitolata “The Rossignolet” (da non confondersi con il titolo “Rossignolet du bois”)

Mireille Ben ♪


I
Rossignolet du bois joli (1)
Mais enseignez-moi donc
Mais enseignez-moi donc
Enseignez-moi de la poison
C’est pour empoisonner
C’est pour empoisonner
II
Pour empoisonner mon mari
Qui est jaloux de moi (bis)
Allez là-haut sur ces coteaux
Là vous en trouverez (bis)
III
La tête d’un serpent maudit
Là vous le couperez
Entre deux plats d’or et d’argent
Là vous la pilerez
IV
Dans une chopine de vin blanc
Là vous la verserez
Quand votre mari r’viendra des champs
Grande soif il aura
V
Il vous dira : Belle Isabeau
Apporte-moi de l’eau
Vous lui direz : c’est pas de l’eau
C’est du vin qu’il vous faut
VI
A mesure que la belle versait
Le vin il noircissait
L’enfant qui était dans son berceau
Son père avertissait
VII
Papa, papa n’en buvez pas
Ca vous ferait mourir
Il lui a dit : Belle Isabeau
T’en boiras devant moi
VIII
Oh ! non, oh ! non mon cher mari !
Oh ! non, je n’ai point soif
La mort devrait-elle y passer
La belle vous en boirez !(2)
IX
Pour la couronne du roi de France,
Oui moi je le boira et je le finirai
Ah ! que maudite soit ma voisine
De m’avoir enseigné
Traduzione italiana Flavio Poltronieri
I
“Usignolo del bosco grazioso
Istruitemi dunque
Istruitemi dunque
Istruitemi sul veleno
E’ per avvelenare
E’ per avvelenare
II
Per avvelenare mio marito
Che è geloso di me”
“Andate lassù su queste colline
E là ne troverete
III
La testa di un serpente maledetto
Là, la taglierete,
E tra due piatti d’oro e d’argento
Là, la pesterete
IV
In una pinta di vino bianco
Là, lo verserete
Quando vostro marito tornerà dai campi
Avrà una gran sete
V
Vi dirà: Bella Isabella
Portatemi dell’acqua
Voi gli direte: non è dell’acqua
E’ del vino che avete bisogno”
VI
Man mano che la bella versava
Il vino s’intorbidiva,
Il bambino che era nella culla
Avvertì suo padre
VII
“Papà, papà non bevetene
Questo vi farà morire!”
Lui le ha detto: “Bella Isabella
Tu ne berrai davanti di me”
VIII
“Oh! No, oh! No mio caro marito!
Oh! No, io non ho proprio sete”
“La morte dovrà passare di quà
Bella bevetene voi!”
IX
“Per la corona del re di Francia
Si, lo berrò e lo finirò.
Ah! Maledetta sia la mia vicina
Per avermi istruito “

NOTE
versione segnalata da Flavio Poltronieri
1) la versione rivisitata così inizia
Rossignolet du bois,
rossignolet sauvage,
apprends-moi ton langage,
apprends-moi-z à parler,
apprends-moi la manière
comment il faut aimer.
2) nella versione piemontese il marito costringe la moglie mostrandole la spada

Ecco ancora  una versione che mescola i due testi ma con finale diverso: è solo il marito a morire per il veleno
La Part du Feu in Le Vent du Nord, 2009 


I
Rossignolet du bois joli
enseigne-moi je t’en prie
Enseigne-moi de la poison
c’est pour empoisonner
II
Pour empoisonner mon mari
qui est jaloux de moi
Allez là-bas sur ces cours d’eau
là vous en trouverez
III
La tête d’un serpent méchant
là vous la couperez
Dans un grand plat d’or et d’argent là vous la pillerez
IV
Quand votre mari arrivera du champ un grand soif il aura
Il vous dira ma bonne dame
donnez-moi donc de l’eau
V
Vous lui direz mon cher mari ce n’est pas de l’eau qu’il faut
C’est bien du vin mais pas de l’eau que vous boirerez
VI
Tout pendant qu’il en buvait le vin qui noircissait
L’enfant qui était dans le berceau
son père avertissait
VII
N’en buvez pas de ce vin-là
car ça vous ferait mourir
Pour moi la mort vraie y passait la grand soif que j’avais (1)
Traduzione italiana Cattia Salto
I
“Usignolo del bosco gaio
mostratemi vi prego
mostratemi il veleno
per avvelenare
II
per avvelenare mio marito
che è geloso di me!”
“Scendete per quel corso d’acqua
e là troverete
III
la testa di un serpente maledetto
la teglierete
e dentro a un vassoio d’oro e d’argento la pesterete
IV
Quando vostro marito tornerà dai campi avrà tanta sete,
vi dirà – mia bella dama,
portami dell’acqua-
V
E voi gli direte – mio caro marito
non di acqua hai bisogno
ma di l vino, non è l’acqua
che berrete-”
VI
Mentre beveva
il vino diventava torbido
e l’infante che stava nella culla
avvertì suo padre
VII
“Non bere quel vino
che vi farà morire!”
Ma la tanta  sete che avevo
mi uccise

NOTE
1) è il marito avvelenato a recare la testimonianza della sua morte

FONTI
http://faculty.complit.illinois.edu//rrushing/Kithara/Notes/Entries/2011/10/23_Dame_Lombarde.html
https://www.antiwarsongs.org/canzone.php?lang=it&id=42932