Airdí Cuan, a song of exile

A song in Irish Gaelic, a song of exile, is widespread with various titles: Airdí Cuan, Ard Ti Chuain, Aird (Ard) Ui Chuanin (Cuan), Aird to Chumhaing, Ardai Chuain, also translated into English with the title “Quiet Land of Erin”
The piece was composed by John McCambridge (aka Seán Mac Ambróis 1793-1873) from Mullarts (Co. Antrim, Northen Ireland) in the middle of the 19th century. The tradition of Glenariffe, however, attributes the authorship of the piece to Cormac Ó Néill, a native of Glendun but resident at Glenariffe.
[Un canto in gaelico sulla nostalgia per la terra natia abbandonata dall’emigrante è diffuso con vari titoli: Airdí Cuan, Ard Ti Chuain, Aird (Ard) Ui Chuanin ( Cuan),  Aird a Chumhaing, Ardai Chuain, versificato anche in inglese con il titolo “Quiet Land of Erin
Il brano è stato composto da John McCambridge (alias Seán Mac Ambróis 1793-1873) di Mullarts (  Co. Antrim,  Irlanda del Nord) a metà del XIX secolo. La tradizione di  Glenariffe tuttavia attribuisce la paternità del brano a Cormac Ó Néill, nativo di Glendun ma residente a Glenariffe.]

Firstly we listen to the melody played with the harp by Kim Robertson
[Prima di tutto ascoltiamo la melodia suonata con l’arpa da Kim Robertson]

and by Alan Stivell -Airde Cuan
[e dall’arpa di Alan Stivell]

IRIS GEALIC VERSION
LA VERSIONE IN GAELICO

The first transcription of the song comes from Robert McAdam who collected it in the 1830s by John McCambridge. Eoin Mac Néill published the text in 1895 and in 1912 Eleanor Hull wrote the translation in English. Dónal Kearney writes  in his Blog:”The story of Airdí Cuan is told from the perspective of a Glensman who has moved over the sea to Scotland. From Ayrshire, he can still see the hills of Antrim and he longs for his home in Glendun and the beautiful hillside at Airdí Cuan. One story goes that McCambridge left his native Glendun, perhaps to escape the potato famine, and settled in Ayrshire where he ultimately died pining for the hills of home, still visible on the western horizon. Airdí Cuan tells of his love for the ‘cuckoo glen’; (Glendun) and of playing hurling at Christmas on the ‘white strand’ (the beach at Cushendun).
Another school of thought believes that, while McCambridge was considering emigrating to the Mull of Kintyre, he stood atop Ardicoan and imagined himself over in Kintyre looking back on his native soil. However, the process of writing the song made him so homesick that he decided not to go in the end, and thus spent the rest of his days in Ireland!
[La prima trascrizione del brano ci viene da Robert McAdam che la raccolse negli anni del 1830 da  John McCambridge.  Eoin Mac Néill pubblicò il testo nel 1895 e nel 1912 Eleanor Hull scrisse la traduzione in inglese. Del brano Così scrive Dónal Kearney nel suo Blog: “La storia di Airdí Cuan è raccontata dal punto di vista di un Glensman che è emigrato oltre il mare in Scozia. Dall’Ayrshire, può ancora vedere le colline di Antrim e desidera ardentemente la sua casa a Glendun e la splendida collina di Airdí Cuan. Una storia racconta che McCambridge lasciò la natia Glendun, forse per sfuggire alla carestia delle patate, e si stabilì nell’Ayrshire dove alla fine morì struggendosi per le colline di casa, ancora visibili all’orizzonte verso occidente. Airdí Cuan racconta del suo amore per Glendun e del gioco dell’hurling a Natale sulla spiaggia di Cushendun. Altri credono che, mentre McCambridge stava pensando di emigrare al Mull di Kintyre, si trovava in cima ad Ardicoan e si immaginava a Kintyre mentre guardava verso la sua terra nativa. Orbene il processo di scrittura della canzone lo ha reso così nostalgico, che alla fine ha deciso di non andare, e così ha trascorso il resto dei suoi giorni in Irlanda!]

Eamonn ó Faogáin live

Celtic Tradition in “An Irish Christmas Album” recorded in 1987 when there was still the GDR
[Nel “An Irish Christmas Album” registrato nel 1987 quando c’era ancora la DDR]

Maighread Ni Dhomhnaill & Tríona Ní Dhomhnaill

Ciara McCrickard


Anúna in Omnis  1996 (III, I)

Maggie Boyle in Patriot Games 1992 in Reaching Out

I
Dá mbeinn féin in Airdí Cuan (1)
in aice an tsléibhe úd ‘tá i bhfad uaim
b’annamh liom gan dul ar cuairt
go Gleann na gCuach (2) Dé Domhnaigh.
Curfá:
agus och, och Éire ‘lig is ó
Éire lonndubh (3) agus ó
is é mo chroí ‘tá trom is é brónach.
II
Is iomaí Nollaig ‘bhí mé féin
i mbun abhann Doinne (4) is mé gan chéill
ag iomáin ar an trá bhán
is mo chamán bán i mo dhorn liom (5).
III
Nach tuirseach mise anseo liom féin
nach n-airím guth coiligh, londubh nó traon,
gealbhán, smaolach, naoscach féin,
is chan aithním féin an Domhnach.
IV
Dá mbeadh agam féin ach coit is rámh
nó go n-iomarfainn ar an tsnámh
ag dúil as Dia go sroichfinn slán
is go bhfaighinn bás in Éirinn.


I
If I were in Airdí Cuan (1)
beside that mountain far from me,
it would be seldom I would not go visiting
to Gleann na gCuach(2) on a Sunday
Chorus:
And oh, oh, Ireland, ‘lig is ó
Blackbird (3) Ireland and ó
and my heart it is heavy and sorrowful
II
It’s often in a Christmas Day I was
in Cushendun (4)
and me without sense
hurling on the white strand
and my hurling stick in my fist (5)
III
Aren’t I tired here alone
That I don’t hear the voice of a cockerel, blackbird, or corncrake
sparrow, thrush, snipe (6)
and I don’t even know when it’s Sunday (7)
IV
If only I had a boat and oar
so that I may row on the water
desiring of God that may I reach safety
and that I may die in Ireland
Traduzione italiano di Cattia Salto
I
Se fossi a  Articoan
accanto a quella montagna che (ora) è lontana
raramente non andrei a visitare
il Glendun di domenica
Coro
e oh, oh, Irlanda, ‘lig is ó
merlo d’Irlanda e ó
e il mio cuore è affranto
II
Spesso a Natale ero
a Cushendun,
spensierato,
a giocare a hurling sulla spiaggia
con la mia mazza in pugno
III
Non sono infelice, qui da solo
dove non riesco a sentire il canto della beccaccia, del merlo, del re di quaglie,
del passero, del tordo e del beccaccino
e nemmeno so quando è domenica?
IV
Se solo avessi una barca e remi
così da vogare sulle acque
e Dio volendo arrivare sano e salvo
e poter morire in Irlanda!


NOTE
* in the blog of Dónal Kearney there are two translations in English, one literal and the other more poetic. here is the most literal translation, while for my translation into Italian I made a summary of the two translations [nel blog di Dónal Kearney ci sono due traduzioni in inglese, una letterale e l’altra più poetica. qui si riporta la traduzione più letterale, mentre per la mia traduzione in italiano ho fatto un compendio delle due traduzioni]
1) Articoan is located above Knocknacry; between Cushendall and Cushendun at the northeast corner of County Antrim in Northern Ireland [Articoan si trova sopra Knocknacry; tra Cushendall e Cushendun all’angolo nord-est della contea di Antrim nell’Irlanda del Nord]
2) Glendun: Glen of the Dun river or Brown Glen is one of the famous Glens of Antrim [Glendun: Glen of the Dun river o Brown Glen  è uno dei famosi Glens di Antrim]
3)
Agus och, och Éire ‘lig is ó
Éire lionn dubh orm is ó
(And oh Ireland, all of Ireland
Ireland who I miss
4) Cushendun is a picturesque Cornish style village built specifically for his wife by Lord Cushendun [Cushendun un pittoresco villaggio in stile cornovaglia fatto costruire appositamente da Lord Cushendun per la moglie.]
5) the hurling game is an Irish national sport; the day mentioned in the song is the Boxing day or December 26, the day dedicated to outdoor activities in the British Isles
[il gioco dell’hurling è uno sport nazionale irlandese che si gioca con mazza e palla: il giorno citato nella canzone è il Boxing day ovvero il 26 dicembre, il giorno consacrato per le attività all’aperto che nelle Isole Britanniche è dedicato allo sport.]
6) as in ancient Gaelic chants the birds are part of the healing process of the soul [come negli antichi canti in gaelico gli uccelli sono parte del processo di guarigione dell’anima]
7) the question is a rhetorical figure: “Sunday has no meaning for me without these things” [la domanda è una figura retorica:  la domenica è per me priva di significato, valore senza queste cose]

 

The song was also recorded as “The Land of Erin” by Mairí Ní She & Katie McMahon and “River of Live” by Pól Brennan, Guo Yue & Joji Hirota and Tristan.
[Il brano è anche stato registrato con il titolo di The Land of Erin da Mairí Ní She & Katie McMahon e con il titolo di River of Live da Pól Brennan, Guo Yue & Joji Hirota e da Tristan.]

The Quiet Land of Erin

The song was written into English for some recordings as “The Quiet Land of Erin” in the 1930s.
[Il brano è stato versificato in inglese con il titolo di The Quiet Land of Erin. per alcune registrazioni negli anni 1930]
The Corries

Sandy Denny 1968

and for lovers of bel canto
[e per gli amanti del bel canto]
The Celtic Tenors


Joan O’Hara version
I
By myself I’d be in Ard Ti Chuain
Where the mountains stand away
And ‘tis there I’d let the Sundays pass (go)
In a quiet (cuckoo’s) glen above the bay
(chorus)
agus och och Eire lig is o
Eire leanndubh agus o
The quiet land of Erin
II
But my heart is weary all alone
And it sends a lonely cry
To the land that sings above (beyond) my dreams
And the lonely Sundays pass me by.
III
I would travel back the twisted years
Through (in) the bitter wasted wind
If the Lord (God) above would let me lie
In a quiet place above the whins.


Seán Ó Gallochoir version
I
I wish I were in Ardti Cuan
Near yon mountain far away.
I would seldom let the Sunday go
From the Cuckoo’s glen across the bay.
Chorus:
And it’s oh dear Ireland, you’re my home!
Far from you I had to roam
And so my heart is sore and heavy.
II
It is many a Christmas Day I had
In Cushendun while still a lad;
Hurling on the White Shore Strand
With my good ash hurley in my hand.
III
But the grave is waiting for us all;
The whole wide world must heed its call.
It steals the mother from her brood
As it stole away my boyhood.
IV
If I only had a boat and oar,
I would row to Erin’s shore
Trusting God to see me o’er
In time to die in Ireland.
Traduzione in italiano Cattia Salto
versione di Joan O’Hara
I
Per me vorrei essere a Articoan
le cui montagne si stagliano in lontananza
è lì che passerei le domeniche
in una valle tranquilla sopra la baia
Coro
agus och och Eire lig is o
Eire leanndubh agus o
la bella terra di Erin
II
Ma il mio cuore è stanco del suo esilio
e grida solitario
alla terra che canta oltre i miei sogni
e le domeniche solitarie scivolano via.
III
Viaggerei indietro negli anni piegati
dal vento amaro della desolazione (1)
se il Signore in Cielo mi accoglierà
in un bel posto nella brughiera


versione di Seán Ó Gallochoir
I
Vorrei essere a Articoan
accanto a quella montagna in lontananza
raramente non andrei a visitare di domenica
la valle del Cuculo al di là della baia
Coro
E’ così cara Irlanda, tu sei la mia casa!
Lontano da te ho dovuto peregrinare
e così il mio cuore è afflitto
II
Sono molti i giorni di Natale che ho vissuto
a Cushendun quando ero ancora un ragazzo
a giocare ad hurling sulla Spiaggia Bianca
con la mia bella mazza in mano
III
Ma la tomba attende tutti
l’intero mondo deve ubbidire al suo richiamo.
Ruba la madre dalla sua nidiata
come ha rubato la mia giovinezza.
IV
Se avessi solo una barca a remi
vogherei alla riva d’Erin
confidando che Dio mi protegga
per morire infine in Irlanda

NOTE
1) ho tradotto un po’ liberamente il verso, credo si riferisca ai duri e amari anni della carestia quando molti Irlandesi hanno dovuto abbandonare la loro terra per non morire di fame

LINK
https://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=10469
https://mainlynorfolk.info/sandy.denny/songs/thequietlandoferin.html
https://songoftheisles.com/2013/05/31/aird-ui-chuain/
https://durrushistory.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/a-history-of-protestant-irish-speakers.pdf
https://songsinirish.com/aird-a-chuamhaing-anam-lyrics/
http://www.celticlyricscorner.net/anam/aird.htm
http://www.celticlyricscorner.net/mcmahon/land.htm
http://www.celticlyricscorner.net/trisan/river.htm
http://www.celticlyricscorner.net/domhnaill/aird.htm
http://www.celticlyricscorner.net/anuna/ardaigh.htm
http://www.irishbodhrans.com/news/read/7/very-old-poem-about-cushendun-by-john-mccambridge
https://www.donalkearney.com/blog/airdi-cuan

Lord of the Dance or Simple Gifts?

William Blake La danza di Albione, 1795

Simple gifts
Word & tune:  Joseph Brackett 1848
Lord of the Dance
Word: Sydney Carter 1963
Tune: Simple gifts

In the Christmas compilations we occasionally find a song not specifically on the Nativity, but which is linked to the salvific mission of Jesus: so here is “Lord of the Dance”.
The melody of Lord of the Dance comes from America, from a religious community called Shakers or Shaking Quakers (or United Society of Believers in Christ’s Second Appearing), the original sect came from England and was founded in Manchester in 1747 by a woman: Shakers still live in monastic communities where men and women gather together to work and pray and dance is considered a spiritual activity.
[Nelle compilation  natalizie ogni tanto troviamo un brano non propriamente sulla natività, ma che si ricollega alla missione salvifica di Gesù: così “Lord of the Dance”.
La melodia di Lord of the Dance arriva dall’America, da una comunità religiosa detta Shakers o Shaking Quakers (ossia United Society of Believers in Christ’s Second Appearing), la setta originaria proveniva dall’Inghilterra ed era stata fondata a Manchester nel 1747 da una donna: gli Shakers vivono ancora in comunità monastiche in cui uomini e donne si ritrovano insieme per lavorare e pregare e la danza è considerata un’attività spirituale.]

SIMPLE GIFTS

“Simple gifts” was written and composed in 1848 by Joseph Brackett the Elder for his community, unknown to most, until it was used by the American composer of contemporary music Aaron Copland for his “Appalachian Spring” a ballet with Martha Graham as before dancer (it was 1944). Many folk thought that the melody of “Simple Gifts” was a traditional Celtic origin (Brackett himself says he was inspired by popular music) and the song was popular with many American folk singers and groups.
[“Simple gifts” fu scritta e composta nel 1848 da Joseph Brackett il Vecchio per la sua comunità, sconosciuta ai più, finchè non fu utilizzata dal compositore statunitense di musica contemporanea Aaron Copland per l'”Appalachian Spring” un balletto con Martha Graham come prima ballerina (era il 1944). Molti pensarono che la melodia di “Simple Gifts” fosse un tradizionale di origine celtica (lo stesso Brackett dice di essersi ispirato alla musica popolare) e il brano fu diffuso da molti cantanti e gruppi folk americani.]

Aaron Copland in Appalachian Spring

Yo-Yo Ma & Alison Krauss

Judi Collins


I
‘Tis the gift to be simple,
‘tis the gift to be free
‘Tis the gift to come down
where we ought to be,
And when we find ourselves
in the place just right,
‘Twill be in the valley
of love and delight.
II
When true simplicity
is gain’d,
To bow and to bend
we shan’t be asham’d,
To turn, turn
will be our delight,
Till by turning, turning
we come ‘round right.
Traduzione in italiano Cattia Salto
I
Questo il dono della semplicità,
il dono della libertà;
questo il dono per arrivare
dove dovremmo stare,
e quando ci ritroveremo
nel posto giusto,
saremo nella valle
dell’amore e della delizia.
II
Quando la vera semplicità
si ottiene,
inchinandosi e piegandosi,
non dobbiamo vergognarci
girare, girare
sarà il nostro diletto
finchè girando, girando
troveremo il bene (1).

NOTE
1) letteralmente “gireremo a destra” ma in senso lato trovare la giustizia, il bene

LORD OF THE DANCE

The English singer-songwriter Sydney Carter in 1963 arranged the melody of “Simple gifts” on a new text inspired by the figure of Jesus as “Pied Piper” and on the suggestion of the god Shiva – called by the Hindus “Lord of Dance”.
[Il cantautore inglese Sydney Carter nel 1963 ha arrangiato la melodia di “Simple gifts” su un nuovo testo ispirandosi alla figura di Gesù come “pifferaio magico” e sulla suggestione del dio Shiva – chiamato dagli indù “Signore della Danza”.]

Strangely, he also obtained the copyright on the melody (the copyright holders are currently Stainer & Bell).
The song immediately became popular in the 60s between religious congregations and folk musicians. Ignoring the copyright the song was in turn arranged by Ronan Haridman for the musical “Lord of the Dance” – (first edition 1996), brought by Michael Flatley to an international success.
[Stranamente ha ottenuto il copyright anche sulla melodia (i detentori dei diritti d’autore sono attualmente Stainer&Bell).
Il brano è diventato subito popolare negli anni 60 tra le congregazioni religiose e i musicisti folk. Ignorando il copyright il brano fu a sua volta arrangiato da Ronan Haridman per il musical “Lord of the Dance” – (prima edizione 1996), portato da Michael Flatley ad un successo internazionale.]

The Dubliners


I
I danced in the morning
when the world was begun (was young)
I danced in the Moon & the Stars & the Sun
I came down from Heaven
& I danced on Earth
At Bethlehem I had my birth
chorus
Dance then, wherever you may be
I am the Lord of the Dance, said He!
And I’ll lead you all,
wherever you may be

And I’ll lead you all
in the Dance, said He!

II
I danced for the scribe & the pharisee
But they would not dance
& they wouldn’t follow me
I danced for fishermen,
for James & John
They came with me
& the Dance went on
III
I danced on the Sabbath
& I cured the lame
The holy people said it was a shame!
They whipped & they stripped
& they hung me high
And they left me there
on a cross to die!
IV
I danced on a Friday
when the sky turned black
It’s hard to dance
with the devil on your back
They buried my body
& they thought I’d gone
But I am the Dance
& I still go on!
V
They cut me down
and I leapt up high
I am the Life that’ll never, never die!
I’ll live in you if you’ll live in Me –
I am the Lord of the Dance, said He!
Traduzione in italiano Cattia Salto
I
Danzavo dall’alba,
all’inizio del mondo
Danzavo sulla luna, le stelle e il sole,
sono sceso dal cielo
per danzare sulla terra
e sono nato a Betlemme
Ritornello:
Danzate, quindi, dovunque voi siate
Io sono il Signore della Danza,- disse-
E vi condurrò,
dovunque voi siate

E vi condurrò
nella danza, – disse-.

II
Danzai per lo scriba ed il fariseo
ma loro non danzarono
e non mi vollero seguire
Così danzai per i pescatori,
per Giacomo e Giovanni
loro mi seguirono
e la danza continuò.
III
Danzai nel giorno di festa (1)
e curai lo storpio,
i fedeli dissero che era una vergogna,
mi frustarono, spogliarono
e mi appesero in alto
e mi lasciarono lì
sulla croce a morire.
IV
Danzai un Venerdì,
mentre il cielo si oscurava,
E’ difficile danzare
con il diavolo alle calcagna.
Seppellirono il mio corpo,
pensarono fossi morto,
ma Io sono la danza
e ancora danzo.
V
Mi hanno abbattuto,
ma sono salito al cielo,
sono la luce che non si spegnerà mai!
Vivrò in voi se voi vivrete in Me
Io sono il Signore della Danza, disse.

NOTE
1) Sabbath è il giorno di riposo ebraico che cade di sabato, l’equivalente della domenica per i cristiani

Blackmore’s Night in Winter Carols
Candice keeps the first verse and the refrain from Carter’s text and the other two strophes take them from the original text of “Simple Gifts”
[Candice mantiene la prima strofa e il ritornello dal testo di Carter e le altre due strofe le prende dal testo originario di “Simple Gifts”]


I
I danced in the morning
when the world had begun
And I danced in the moon
and the stars and the sun
I came down from heaven
and I danced on the Earth
At Bethlehem I had my birth
Chorus
Dance then where ever you may be
“I am the Lord of the Dance” said he
“And I’ll lead you all
whever you may be
And I’ll lead you all
in the dance said he
II
‘Tis the gift to be simple,
‘tis the gift to be free
‘Tis the gift to come down
where we ought to be,
And when we find ourselves
in the place just right,
‘Twill be in the valley
of love and delight.
III
When true simplicity
is gain’d,
To bow and to bend
we shan’t be asham’d,
To turn, turn
will be our delight,
Till by turning, turning
we come ‘round right.
Traduzione in italiano Cattia Salto
I
Danzavo dall’alba,
all’inizio del mondo
Danzavo sulla luna,
le stelle e il sole,
sono sceso dal cielo
per danzare sulla terra
e sono nato a Betlemme
Ritornello:
Danzate, quindi, dovunque voi siate
Io sono il Signore della Danza,- disse-
E vi condurrò,
dovunque voi siate

E vi condurrò
nella danza, – disse-.
II
Questo il dono della semplicità,
il dono della libertà;
questo il dono per arrivare
dove dovremmo stare,
e quando ci ritroveremo
nel posto giusto,
saremo nella valle
dell’amore e della delizia.
III
Quando la vera semplicità
si ottiene,
inchinandosi e piegandosi,
non dobbiamo vergognarci
girare, girare
sarà il nostro diletto
finchè girando, girando
troveremo il bene.

 

The Animal Carol (Carol delle Bestie)

“The Friendly Beasts”, “The Song of the Ass”, “The Donkey Carol”, “The Animal Carol” o “The Gift of the Animals”, “The Gifts They Gave” è la versione inglese di Orientis Partibus il canto dell’Asino salmodiato in Chiesa per la Festa dell’Asinello.
“The Friendly Beasts”, “The Song of the Ass”, “The Donkey Carol”, “The Animal Carol” or “The Gift of the Animals”, “The Gifts They Gave” is the English version of “Orientis Partibus” the Donkey carol chanted in the Church for the Feast of the Donkey.
La versione inglese fu scritta solo molto più recentemente da Robert Davis (1881-1950), ma è solo una canzoncina natalizia completamente scollegata dal suo contesto goliardico e carnascialesco. Burl Ives ha registrato la canzone nel suo album “Christmas Day in the Morning” (1952). Da allora, il brano è stato registrato da molti altri artisti, tra cui Harry Belafonte, Johnny Cash, Danny Taddei, Peter, Paul e Mary e Sufjan Stevens.
The English version was written only much more recently by Robert Davis (1881-1950), but it is only a Christmas song completely disconnected from its collegiate and carnival context.
Burl Ives included the song on his 1952 album Christmas Day in the Morning. Since then, it has been recorded by many other artists, including Harry Belafonte, Johnny Cash, Danny Taddei, Peter, Paul and Mary, and Sufjan Stevens.

Le iniziali sei strofe (asinello, mucca, pecora, colomba)  sono state poi integrate con ulteriori versi che comprendono i più svariati animali: cammello, gatto, cane, topo, ragno..
The initials six stanzas (donkey, cow, sheep, dove) were then integrated with further verses that include the most varied animals: camel, cat, dog, mouse, spider ..

Johnny Cash

Pete Seeger

The Lagos City Chorale An Igbo Christmas Carol (The Animal Carol)


I
Jesus, our Brother, strong and good,
Was humbly born in a stable rude,
And the friendly beasts around Him stood,
Jesus, our Brother, strong and good.
II
“I,” said the donkey, shaggy and brown,
“I carried your(1) mother uphill and down,
I carried your mother to Bethlehem town;
I,” said the donkey, shaggy and brown.
III
“I,” said the cow, all white and red,
“I gave you (2) my manger for your bed,
I gave you hay to pillow your head;
I,” said the cow, all white and red.
IV
“I,” said the sheep with curly horn,
“I gave you my wool for a blanket warm,
you wore my coat on Christmas morn;
I,” said the sheep with curly horn.
V
“I,” said the dove, from the rafters high,
“I cooed you to sleep that you should not cry,
we cooed you to sleep, my love and I;
I,” said the dove, from the rafters high.
VI
And “I” said the camel all yellow and black
“Over the desert upon my back
I brought him a gift in the wise men’s pack”
“I” said the camel all yellow and black
VII
“I” said the cat with velvet fur,
“Curled at his feet and for him did purr,
warming his toes so he nedd not stir”
“I” said the cat with velvet fur
VIII
Thus all the beasts, by some good spell (4),
in the stable dark were glad to tell
of the gifts they gave Emmanuel,
the gifts they gave Emmanuel.
Traduzione italiano di Cattia Salto
I
Gesù fratello buono e gentile
nacque in un umido e piccolo ovile
attorno a lui gli animali amici a stavano a gioire
Gesù fratello buono e gentile
II
Io -disse l’asino scuro e arruffato-
Io la madre per monti e per valli ho portato
Io la madre a Betlemme ho portato
Io -disse l’asino scuro e arruffato-
III
Io – disse la mucca pezzata (3) –
io ti ho dato la mangiatoia per il letto
io ti ho dato il fieno per la testata
Io – disse la mucca pezzata –
IV
Io – disse la pecora dalle  corna ricurve-
io ti ho dato la mia lana per una coperta calda
da indossare la mattina di Natale
Io – disse la pecora dalle  corna ricurve
V
Io – disse la colomba dalle travi lassù-
io ho tubato sul tuo sonno perchè non piangessi,
abbiamo tubato sul tuo sonno, il mio compagno ed io
Io – disse la colomba dalle travi lassù
VI
Io – disse il cammello giallo e nero-
attraverso il deserto sulla mia schiena
ho portato per lui un dono nel bagaglio dei re Magi
Io – disse il cammello giallo e nero
VII
Io -disse il gatto con la pelliccia di velluto
mi sono acciambellato ai suoi piedi e per lui ho fatto le fusa
scaldando le sue dita per non farlo tremare,
Io -disse il gatto con la pelliccia di velluto
VIII
E così tutti gli animali, grazie a un incantesimo,
nella buia stalla erano felici di raccontare
il dono che diedero a Gesù
il dono che diedero a Gesù

NOTE
1) or his
2) or him
3) letteralmente bianca e rossa
4) nella tradizione popolare la notte della nascita di Gesù è una notte magica e gli animali possono parlare, così pure all’Epifania.  Per l’uomo però è rischioso spiare gli animali per stare ad ascoltare, spesso infatti annunciano la morte del malcapitato. Era consuetudine nutrire bene i propri animali la notte della vigilia per evitare che parlassero male dei loro padroni.
In the popular tradition the night of the birth of Jesus is a magical night and the animals can speak, as well as at Epiphany. For the man, however, it is risky to spy on animals and listening, often in fact they announce the death of the victim. They feeded their animals well on the night before Christmas to prevent them from talking badly about their masters.

LINK
https://www.hymnsandcarolsofchristmas.com/Hymns_and_Carols/friendly_beasts.htm
http://www.ramshornstudio.com/carol_of_the_beasts.htm
http://www.sharefollowserve.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/The-Friendly-Beasts.pdf

“The two sisters” ballad: Binnorie

Leggi in italiano

The murder ballad “The two sisters” originates from Sweden or more generally from the Scandinavian countries (see “De två systrarna), but has spread widely also in some Eastern countries and in the British Isles

The variants in which it is present are many as well as the titles: The Twa Sisters, The Cruel Sister, The Bonnie Milldams of Binnorie, The Bonny Bows o’ London, Binnorie and Sister, Binnorie, Minnorie, Dear Sister, The Jealous Sister (Minorie), Bonnie Broom, Swan Swims Sae Bonny O, The Bonny Swans, Bow Your Bend to Me.

IL TRIANGOLO AMOROSO

It tells the story of a love triangle with two sisters who contend for the attentions of a handsome young man, once his choice falls on the blonde one, the other (by chance with black hair) to have him all for herself, she kills her sister, pushing her down a cliff (or from the bank of a river).

20121002205259a31
John Faed: Cruel Sister

A dear theme to many pre-Raphaelite painters and more generally a recurring theme in 19th century painters (thanks to Sir Walter Scott’s good offices); in the painting of the Scot John Faed (1851) entitled “Cruel Sister” it is summarized the whole drama of jealousy at the center of history (read motive); a prince with an exotic charm (what a feathered hat!) holds a blond girl dressed in white satin by the hand, not only does the prince look at her and tenderly shakes her hand, but also points to a little dog in the foreground, to say, “here I am faithful”. What a grace and sweetness is suffused in the girl who, with modesty, turns her gaze to the ground, but her cheeks are colorated, a sign of a profound emotion that disturbs her. The other girl is slightly backward compared to the two lovers and , afflicted by dark thoughts, she looks at the prince; even if she grasps to his arm she is clearly the third wheel. (note that while the two lovers move with the same step the black lady moves in forward the left foot).

To understand the whole story, here is a Scottish fairy tale called “The Singing Breastbone” (from Fair is Fair: World Folktales of Justice of Sharon Creeden see) that already in the title announces a “gothic” story.

 

 The Singing Breastbone (Binnorie)

ONCE upon a time there were two king’s daughters who lived in a bower near the bonny mill-dams of Binnorie. And Sir William came wooing the elder and won her love, and plighted troth with glove and with ring. But after a time he looked upon the younger sister, with her cherry cheeks and golden hair, and his love went out to her till he cared no longer for the elder one. So she hated her sister for taking away Sir William’s love, and day by day her hate grew and grew and she plotted add she planned how to get rid of her.

Katharine Cameron (scot, 1874–1965): She has taken her by the lily white hand binnorie o binnorie

So one fine morning, fair and clear, she said to her sister, ‘Let us go and see our father’s boats come in at the bonny mill-stream of Binnorie.’ So they went there hand in hand. And when they came to the river’s bank, the younger one got upon a stone to watch for the beaching of the boats. And her sister, coming behind her, caught her round the waist and dashed her into the rushing mill-stream of Binnorie.
‘O sister, sister, reach me your hand !’ she cried, as she floated away, ‘and you shall have half of all I’ve got or shall get.’
‘No, sister, I’ll reach you no hand of mine, for I am the heir to all your land. Shame on me if I touch her hand that has come ‘twixt me and my own heart’s love.’
‘O sister, O sister, then reach me your glove !’ she cried, as she floated further away, ‘and you shall have your William again.’
Sink on,’ cried the cruel princess, ‘no hand or glove of mine you’ll touch. Sweet William will be all mine when you are sunk beneath the bonny mill-stream of Binnorie.’ And she turned and went home to the king’s castle.
And the princess floated down the mill-stream, sometimes swimming and sometimes sinking, till she came near the mill. Now, the miller’s daughter was cooking that day, and needed water for her cooking. And as she went to draw it from the stream, she saw something floating towards the mill-dam, and she called out, ‘Father ! father ! draw your dam. There’s something white–a merrymaid or a milk-white swan–coming down the stream.’ So the miller hastened to the dam and stopped the heavy, cruel mill-wheels. And then they took out the princess and laid her on the bank.
Fair and beautiful she looked as she lay there. In her golden hair were pearls and precious stones; you could not see her waist for her golden girdle, and the golden fringe of her white dress came down over her lily feet. But she was drowned, drowned !

And as she lay there in her beauty a famous harper passed by the mill-dam of Binnorie, and saw her sweet pale face. And though he travelled on far away, he never forgot that face, and after many days he came back to the bonny mill-stream of Binnorie. But then all he could find of her where they had put her to rest were her bones and her golden hair. So he made a harp out of her breast-bone and her hair, and travelled on up the hill from the mill-dam of Binnorie till he came to the castle of the king her father.
binnorie_2_by_tanmorna-d5fxw2h

That night they were all gathered in the castle hall to hear the great harper–king and queen, their daughter and son, Sir William, and all their Court. And first the harper sang to his old harp, making them joy and be glad, or sorrow and weep, just as he liked. But while he sang, he put the harp he had made that day on a stone in the hall. And presently it began to sing by itself, low and clear, and the harper stopped and all were hushed.
And this is what the harp sung:
‘O yonder sits my father, the king,
Binnorie, O Binnorie;
And yonder sits my mother, the queen;
By the bonny mill-dams o’ Binnorie.

‘And yonder stands my brother Hugh,
Binnorie, O Binnone;
And by him my William, false and true;
By the bonny mill-dams o’ Binnorie.’

Then they all wondered, and the harper told them how he had seen the princess lying drowned on the bank near the bonny mill-dams o’ Binnorie, and how he had afterwards made his harp out of her hair and breast-bone. Just then the harp began singing again, and this is what it sang out loud and clear:
‘And there sits my sister who drowned me
By the bonny mill-dams o’ Binnorie.’

And the harp snapped and broke, and never sang more.

Giordano Dall’Armellina writes in his essay: “Summing up the English and the Scandinavian versions a hundred texts have been calculated: it is as if every singer had fun inventing something different to distinguish himself from the others. In some Norwegian variants the harp crash into many pieces and the blond princess returns to life while her black-haired sister is either burned alive or buried alive as a punishment for the crime committed.
In another, always Norwegian, the bones of the girl are used to make a flute that is brought to her family to make it play by everyone. When the cruel sister plays it, the blood gushes from it, thus denouncing her guilt. It follows a punishment: the sister is condemned to be tied to four horses that leave in four distinct directions and that will cut her to pieces. In a Swedish version the miller saves the girl and brings her back to her family. In the end the blond princess will forgive her sister for the attempted murder” (translated from Giordano  Dell’Armellina: “Ballate Europee da Boccaccio a Bob Dylan”.)

As usual, the fairy tale lends itself to multiple readings outside the text, symbolism focuses on the meaning of the bones, the swan and the water element (see) and yet in the American version the ballad becomes a more typical murder ballad

FIRST VERSION: BINNORIE

In Scotland the ballad was printed in 1656 under the title “The Miller and the King’s Daughter” (see) and then ended in the Child Ballads, (# 10), in his “The English and Scottish Popular Ballads”: the versions in Child are about twenty to underline the wide popularity and diffusion of the story (and also for the melodies there are many versions).

The version analyzed, however is that of Sir Walter Scott (in “Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border” 1802 see ) who with his books helped to reawaken the interest of contemporaries towards Medievalism.
The text is rich in Scottish terms, the plot is very similar to the fairy tale “The Singing Breastbone” of which the ballad seems to be the sung version, the tragic epilogue is tinged with magic with the bones of the girl become musical instrument to unmask the killer.

Custer LaRue&Baltimore Consort in The Daemon Lover, 1993 a medieval version


There were twa sisters sat in a bow’r(1)
Binnorie, O Binnorie (2)
There cam a knight to be their wooer.

By the bonnie mill-dams of Binnorie .
He courted the eldest wi’ glove and ring (3)/But he lo’ed the youngest aboon a’thing.
The eldest she was vexed sair
And sore envied her sister fair.
The eldest said to the youngest ane:
“Will you go and see our father’s ships come in”
She’s ta’en her by the lily hand
And led her down to the river strand.
The youngest stude upon a stane
The eldest cam’ and pushed her in.
“Oh sister, sister reach your hand
And ye shall be heir of half my land”
“Oh sister, I’ll not reach my hand
And I’ll be heir of all your land.”
“Oh sister, reach me but your glove
And sweet William shall be your love.”
“Sink on, nor hope for hand or glove
And sweet William shall better be my love.”
Sometimes she sunk, sometimes she swam
Until she cam to the miller’s dam.
The miller’s daughter was baking bread
And gaed for water as she had need.
“O father, father, draw your dam!
There’s either a mermaid or a milk-white swan (4).”
The miller hasted and drew his dam
And there he found a drown’d woman.
Ye couldna see her yellow hair
For gowd and pearls that were sae rare.
Ye coldna see her middle sma’
Her gowden girdle was sae braw.
Ye couldna see her lily feet
Her gowden fringes were sae deep.
A famous harper passing by
The sweet pale face he chanced to spy.
And when he looked that lady on
He sighed, and made a heavy moan.
He made a harp (5) o’ her breast bone
Whose sounds would melt a heart of stone.
The strings he framed of her yellow hair,/Their notes made sad the listening ear.
He brought it to her father’s ha’
There was the court assembled there.
He layed the harp upon a stane (6)
And straight it began to play alane.
“O yonder sits my father the King
And yonder sits my mother, the queen.”
“And yonder stands my brother Hugh
And by him, my William, sweet and true.”
But the last tune that the harp played then
Was: “Woe to my sister, false Helen”
NOTE
1) in the Middle Ages, bower indicated the private room of the lady of the castle, not exactly the bedroom when the room in which she stayed with her maidservants.
2) Scott replaces the refrain “Edinburgh, Edinburgh” inspired by the battle of Binnorie (to commemorate the Scottish wars of independence)
3) Giving the ring and the glove in medieval times was a promise of marriage. To be courted was the older sister, it was a matter of a arranged marriage. in which however the young falls in love with the younger sister
4)  The comparison emphasizes the purity and innocence of the girl who is presumed not to have encouraged the advances of the suitor.
5)  a magical harp, in fact, as soon as it is placed on a stone, it begins to sing alone. Here we refer to the Viking belief that the soul resides in the bones (the bones of the dead accuse their murderers). The killer sister who was about to marry, is unmasked by her sister’s ghost and will surely be punished as she deserves.
It is reasonable to assume that in the Scandinavian versions the instrument was in reality an arched crwth or lyra: also called “Germanic crwth” – to underline its northern origin – the instrument can also be equipped with a central keyboard and you play with the bow being probably the ancestor of the violin. In Wales it is called crwth (while in Ireland it is called cruith) and the central keyboard bears six strings, two of which the drone strings (“loafer string”). This instrument, which scholars are uncertain if they consider it to be completely indigenous and attributed to the Scandinavian area, (see)
6) referring to the ability of the harp to soften a heart of stone (black heart) so its magic song begins only when they placed it on a stone

Dorothy Carter with hammer dulcimer

LINK
Giordano  Dell’Armellina in “Racconti comuni in ballate italiane, svedesi e  britanniche: un confronto” see
Giordano  Dell’Armellina: “Ballate Europee da Boccaccio a Bob Dylan”.
http://members.chello.nl/r.vandijk2/ChildBallads010-019.html
http://www.antiwarsongs.org/canzone.php?id=49269&lang=it
http://walterscott.eu/education/ballads/supernatural-ballads/the-cruel-sister/

Loreena McKennitt: Fear no more the heat o’ th’ sun

La canzone “Fear no more the heat o’ th’ sun” scritta da William Shakespeare per il Cimbellino viene musicata da Loreena McKennitt come brano di chiusura del suo album “The Visit” (1991) con il titolo di Cymbeline. E’ il lament inserito nell’atto IV scena II in forma di canto funebre cantata da due personaggi della commedia Guiderio e Arvirago a Imogene (l’eroina della storia) creduta morta – Imogene in realtà non è morta, ma più tardi si risveglia dalla catalessi dovuta all’ingestione di un medicamento.
The song “Fear no more the heat or ‘th’ sun” written by William Shakespeare for the Cymbeline is composed by Loreena McKennitt as a closing track of her album “The Visit” titled “Cymbeline”. It is the dirge included in Act IV scene II (lines 258-281) sung by two characters of the comedy, Guiderius and Arviragus, to Imogene (the heroine of the story) believed dead.
Quale sia l’intricata storia della commedia non è rilevante alla comprensione del testo essendo il canto semplicemente un memento mori: alle passioni e all’infuriare della vita segue la serenità della morte, da cui l’ammonimento a condurre la vita secondo valori spirituali che permettano di conseguire la pace eterna.
Whatever Shakespeare’s comedy, it is not relevant to the understanding of the text, being the song simply a memento mori: to the passions and to enrage of life follows the serenity of death, from which the admonition to lead our life according to spiritual values for achieving the eternal peace.

Così scrive Loreena nelle note: Ecco i pensieri di William Shakespeare su questa visita terrena. Questa canzone si svolge verso la fine della sua commedia Cimbellino, scritta verso la fine della vita dell’autore. E’ ambientato nell’antica Britannia quando i Romani stavano invadendo l’ultimo avamposto rimasto del vecchio ordine celtico.
” Here are William Shakespeare’s thoughts on this earthly visit. This song occurs toward the end of his romance Cymbeline, which was written near the end of the author’s life. The play is set in ancient Britain when the Romans were invading the last remaining outpost of the old Celtic order” (LMK).

Loreena McKennitt in The Visit 1991
Live In Paris And Toronto


I
Fear no more the heat o’ th’ sun
Nor the furious winters’ rages;
Thou thy worldly task hast done,
Home art gone, and ta’en thy wages (1).
Golden lads and girls all must,
As chimney-sweepers, come to dust(2).
riff
The sceptre, learning, physic, must
All follow this and come to dust.
II
Fear no more the frown o’ th’ great;
Thou art past the tyrant’s stroke (3).
Care no more to clothe and eat;
To thee the reed is as the oak.
The sceptre, learning, physic, must
All follow this and come to dust.
riff
All lovers young, all lovers must
Consign to thee and come to dust.
Traduzione italiano*
I (Guiderio)
Più non temere del sol la calura,
non la tempesta dell’inverno furiosa.
Hai assolto nel mondo ogni tua cura,
a casa sei andato, paga hai generosa.
Ragazzi e fanciulle che paiono d’oro,
come chi spazza i camini per loro,
in polvere deve ciascuno tornare.
inciso
Re, medico, dotto ti devon seguire;
in polvere deve ciascuno tornare.
II (Arvirago)
L’ira dei grandi più non temere,
non può dei tiranni toccarti condanna.
Più non curar di vestire e mangiare,
come una quercia è per te ogni canna.
Re, medico, dotto ti devon seguire;
in polvere deve ciascuno tornare.
inciso
Gli amanti giovani, gli amanti tutti,
in polvere deve ciascuno tornare.

NOTE
tratta da qui
le frasi dell’inciso sono state estrapolate da Loreena dalla canzone “Fear no more the heat o’ the sun”  scritta da William Shakespeare per il Cimbellino
the sentences of the riff were extrapolated from Loreena by the song “Fear no more the heat or ‘the sun” written by William Shakespeare for the Cymbeline
1) sei ritornato a casa e sei stato ricompensato
you returned home and you have been rewarded
2) polvere-morte sono il binomio dei vari riti funebri
dust-death are the binomial of the various funeral rites
3) richiamo alla persecuzione attuata da Cimbellino, re dei Britanni  nei confronti della figlia Imogene
reference to the persecution carried out by Cymbeline, king of the Britons against his daughter Imogene

Loreena McKennitt- Full Circle

Che cosa spinge un uomo a donarsi completamente a Dio per diventare suo strumento? Può la musica toccare la nostra memoria ancestrale?
What drives a man to give himself completely to God to become his instrument? Can music touch our ancestral memory?

E la voce di Loreena s’innalza come una nenia araba con una purezza cristallina quanto ineffabile nel brano “Full circle” (in italiano Punto di partenza) nell’album The Mask and Mirror, un brano  onnipresente nei suoi successivi live probabilmente la cifra più perfetta delle sue atmosfere rarefatte, impalpabili e fantasy.
And the voice of Loreena rises like an Arab lullaby with a crystalline purity like ineffable in the song “Full circle” in the album The Mask and Mirror, an omnipresent piece in her following lives probably the most perfect of its rarefied, impalpable and fantasy atmospheres.

Il viaggio verso la spiritualità è un percorso circolare e inevitabilmente si finisce per ritornare al punto di partenza. Più del testo parla però la musica.
The journey to spirituality is a circular path and inevitably ends up returning to the starting point. More than the text, however, speaks her music.

Loreena McKennitt in The Mask and Mirror, 1994


I
Stars were falling deep in the darkness
As prayers rose softly, petals at dawn (1)
And as I listened, your voice seemed so clear
So calmly you were calling your god
II
Somewhere the sun rose o’er dunes in the desert
Such was the stillness (2) I ne’er felt before
Was this the question pulling, pulling, pulling you?
In your heart, in your soul, did you find peace there?
III
Elsewhere a snowfall, the first in the winter (3)
Covered the ground as the bells filled the air
You in your robes sang, calling, calling, calling him
In your heart, in your soul, did you find peace there?
In your heart, in your soul, did you find peace there?
Traduzione in italiano Cattia Salto
I
Le stelle precipitavano al fondo dell’oscurità, mentre le preghiere s’innalzavano, lievi petali nell’aurora, e mentre ascoltavo, le vostre voci sembrava cosi chiare, invocavate il vostro Dio così serenamente.
II
Da qualche parte il sole sorgeva sulle dune del deserto
un tale silenzio non l’avevo mai sentito prima.
Era questo il dubbio che vi chiamava?
Nel vostro cuore, nella vostra anima,
avete trovato la pace lì?
III
Altrove una nevicata, la prima dell’inverno
copriva la terra mentre le campane riempivano il cielo
voi nelle vostre tonache (4) cantavate invocando, invocando, invocandolo.
Nel vostro cuore, nella vostra anima, avete trovato la pace lì?
Nel vostro cuore, nella vostra anima, avete trovato la pace lì?

NOTE
1) sono i canti nelle Moschee, così scrive Loreena: (23 marzo 1993, Marocco: Ramadan) Mi sveglio presto per prendere il volo di ritorno a casa e alle 5:30 sento degli uomini che cantano nella moschea, uno dei suoni più commoventi e primitivi che abbia mai sentito. Stanno chiamando il loro Dio.
March 23, 1993, Morocco: Ramadan; I wake up early to catch my flight home, and at 5:30 a.m. hear men chanting in the mosque, one of the most moving and primitive sounds I have ever heard. They are calling their God.
2) E’ il deserto come la distesa del mare, il luogo del grande vuoto e dell’eterno movimento che sembra risuonare nella memoria ancestrale, uno scampolo di divinità dentro di noi?
Is it the desert like the expanse of the sea, the place of the great emptiness and of the eternal movement that seems to resound in the ancestral memory, a remnant of divinity within us?
(19 marzo 1993, Marocco) mi facevo strada verso le dune di sabbia a un migliaio di metri oltre Erfoud, vicino al deserto algerino, e mi alzai all’alba per prendere il sole. Non penso di aver mai sentito qualcosa di così semplice eppure così potente. Mi chiedevo se la prima alba fosse proprio così.
March 19, 1993, Morocco: made my way to the thousand-foot sand dune past Erfoud, near the Algerian desert, and rose at dawn to catch the sun rise. I don’t think I have ever felt something so simple and yet so powerful. I wondered if the first sunrise was just like this.
3) (21 novembre 1988, St-Benoit-du-Lac, Québec:) sono appena arrivata in questo monastero benedettino nel Cantone orientale del Québec. Oggi era il primo giorno di neve, e i frati erano usciti a camminare per il lungo viale mentre mi avvicinavo … figure incappucciate che lentamente si dirigevano verso la Messa mentre la neve cadeva come benedizioni. Ho seguito il suono delle campane ai vespri.
November 21, 1988, St-Benoit-du-Lac, Québec: have just arrived at this Benedictine monastery in the Eastern Townships of Québec. It was the first snowfall today, and the brothers were out walking along the long lane as I approached…hooded figures slowly making their way to Mass as the snow fell like blessings. I followed the sound of the bells to vespers.
4) robe è un termine generico che si usa anche nell’espressione italiana prendere l’abito per intendere  i voti, ho tradotto più esplicitamente con tonaca, oppure anche saio

Lady Greensleeves

Leggi in italiano

Greensleeves is a song coming from the English Renaissance (with undeniable Italian musical influences) that tells us about the courtship of a very rich gentleman and a Lady who rejects him, despite the generous gifts.

It was the year 1580 when Richard Jones and Edward White competed for prints of a fashion song, Jones with “A new Northern Dittye of the Lady Greene Sleeves” and White with “A ballad, being the Ladie Greene Sleeves Answere to Donkyn his frende “, then after a few days, White again with another version:” Greene Sleeves and Countenance, in Countenance is Greene Sleeves “and a few months later Jones with the publication of” A merry newe “Northern Songe of Greene Sleeves” ; this time the reply came from William Elderton, who wrote the “Reprehension against Greene Sleeves” in February 1581.
Finally, the revised and expanded version by Richard Jones with the title “A New Courtly Sonnet of the Lady Green Sleeves” included in the collection ‘A Handeful of Pleasant Delites‘ of 1584, was the one that became the final version, still performed today (at least as regards the melody and for most of the text with 17 stanzas).

The Melody

The melody is born for lute, the instrument par excellence of Renaissance (and baroque) music that has seen in England a fine flowering with the likes of John Jonson and John Dowland. As evidenced in the in-depth study of Ian Pittaway the ancestor of Greensleeves is the old Passamezzo.
By the late 15th century, plucked instruments such as the lute were just beginning to develop a new technique to add to their repertoire of playing styles, chordal playing, leading the way for grounds to be chordal rather than the single notes of the mediaeval period. One of the chordal grounds that developed was the passamezzo antico, meaning old passamezzo (there was also the passamezzo moderno), which began in Italy in the early 16th century before it spread through Europe. It’s a little like the blues today in that you have a basic, unchanging chord sequence and, on top of that, a melody is added. (from here)
The chorus of Greensleeves however follows the melodic trend of a  Romanesca which in turn is a variant of the passamezzo.

lute melody in “Het Luitboek van Thysius” written by Adriaen Smout for the Netherlands in 1595

Baltimore Consort  instrumental version in Renaissance style for dancing

We find a choreography of the dance  only in later times, in the “English Dancing Master” by John Playford (both in the edition of 1686 and then published several times in the eighteenth century) as an English country dance

The Legend

anne-boleyn-roseIn 1526 Henry VIII wrote “Greensleeves” for Anna Bolena, right at the beginning of their relationship.
A suggestive hypothesis because both the melody that the text well suited to the character, that of his own he wrote several piece still today in the repertoire of many artists of ancient music; however the poem was not transcribed in any manuscript of the time and therefore we can not be certain of this attribution.
The misunderstanding was generated by William Chappell who in his “Popular Music of the Olden Time” (London: Chappell & Co, 1859) attributes the melody to the king, misinterpreting a quote by Edward Guilpin. “Yet like th ‘Olde ballad of the Lord of Lorne, Whose last line in King Harries dayes was borne.” (In Skialethia, or Shadow of Truth, 1598: the ballad “The Lord of Lorne and the False Steward” dates back to time of Henry VIII (King Harries) and, according to Chappell has always been sung on the melody Greensleeves.

The Tudor serie + The Broadside Band & Jeremy Barlow

Gregorian“,  ( I, III, VIII, IX)

Irish origins!?

William Henry Grattan Flood in A History of Irish Music (Dublin: Browne and Nolan, 1905) was the first to assume (without giving evidence) the irish origins. “In a manuscript in Trinity College, Dublin … Under date of 1566, there is a manuscript Love Song (without music), written by Donal, first Earl of Clancarty. A few years previously, an Anglo-Irish Song was written to the tune of Greensleeves.
Since then the idea of Irish paternity has become more and more vigorous so much so that this song is present in the compilations of Celtic music labeled as irish traditional.

lady-greensleeves

A courting song or a dirty trick?

Walter+Crane-My+Lady+Greensleeves+-+(1)-S
Roberto Venturi observes in his essay
Already at the time of Geoffrey Chaucer and the Tales of Canterbury (remember that Chaucer lived from 1343 to 1400) the green dress was considered typical of a “light woman”, that is a prostitute. She would therefore be a young woman of promiscuous customs; Nevill Coghill, the famous and heroic modern English translator of the Canterbury Tales, explains – referring to an interpretation of a Chaucerian step – that, at the time, the green color had precise sexual connotations, particularly in the phrase A green gown. It was the dress of a woman with some grass spots, who practiced (or suffered) a sexual intercourse in a meadow. If a woman was said to have “the green skirt”, in practice it was a whore.
The song would then be the lamentation of a betrayed and abandoned lover, or of a rejected customer; in short, you know, something far from regal (although in every age the kings were generally the first whoremongers of the Kingdom). Another possible interpretation is that the lover betrayed, or rejected, has wanted to revenge on the poor woman by devoting to her a delicious little song in which he calls her a whore through the metaphor of the “green sleeves” (translated from here)

Many interpreters, with versions both in ancient than modern style (also Yngwie Malmsteen plays it with his guitar and Leonard Cohen proposes a rewrite in 1974)
Today the text is rarely performed and only for two or four stanzas, but it is a song loved by choral groups that sing it more extensively.

In ‘A Handful of Pleasant Delites’, 1584, from the collection of Israel G. Young (about twenty strophe see) all the gifts that the nobleman makes to his Lady to court her:  “kerchers to thy head”, “board and bed”, “petticoats of the best”, “jewels to thy chest”, “smock of silk”, “girdle of gold”, “pearls”, “purse”, “guilt knives”, “pin case”, “crimson stockings all of silk”, “pumps as white as was the milk”, “gown of the grassy green” with “sleeves of satin”, but also “men clothed all in green” and “dainties”!

So many versions (see) and a difficult choice, but here is:

Alice Castle live 2005

 Loreena  McKennitt in The Visit 1991 (I, III) interpreted “as if she were singing Tom Waits

Jethro Tull  in Christmas Album 2003 (instrumental version)

David Nevue amazing piano version!


chorus (1)
Greensleeves(2) was all my joy
Greensleeves was my delight,
Greensleeves my heart of gold
And who but my lady Greensleeves.
I
Alas, my love, you do me wrong,
To cast me off discourteously(3).
For I have loved you well and long,
Delighting in your company.
II
Your vows you’ve  broken, like my heart,
Oh, why did you so enrapture me?
Now I remain in a world apart
But my heart remains in captivity.
III
I have been ready at  your hand,
To grant whatever you would crave,
I have both wagered life and land,
Your love and good-will for to have.
IV
Thy petticoat of sendle(4) white
With gold embroidered gorgeously;
Thy petticoat of silk and white
And these I bought gladly.
V
If you intend thus to  disdain,
It does the more enrapture me,
And even so, I still remain
A lover in captivity.
VI
My men were clothed all in green,
And they did ever wait on thee;
All this was gallant to be seen,
And yet thou wouldst not love me.
VII
Thou couldst desire no earthly thing,
but still thou hadst it readily.
Thy music still to play and sing;
And yet thou wouldst not love me.
VIII
Well, I will pray to God on high,
that thou my constancy mayst see,
And that yet once before I die,
Thou wilt vouchsafe to love me.
IX
Ah, Greensleeves, now farewell, adieu,
To God I pray to prosper thee,
For I am still thy lover true,
Come once again and love me
NOTE
1) the first two sentences are sometimes reversed and start in the opposite direction
2) In the Middle Ages the green color was the symbol of regeneration and therefore of youth and physical vigor, meant “fertility” but also “hope” and with gold indicating pleasure. It was the color of medicine for its revitalizing powers. Color of love in the nascent stage, in the Renaissance it was the color used by the young especially in May; in women it was also the color of chastity.
But the other more promiscuous meaning is of “light woman always ready to roll in the grass”. And the charm of the ballad lies in its ambiguity!
Green is also the color that in fairy tales / ballads connotes a fairy creature.
The Gaelic words “Grian Sliabh” (literally translated as “sun mountain” or a “mountain exposed to the south, sunny”) are pronounced Green Sleeve (the song is also very popular in Ireland especially as slow air). Grian is also the name of a river that flows from Sliabh Aughty (County Clare and Galway)
3) the expressions are proper to the courtly lyric
4) sendal= light silk material

in the extended version the gifts of the suitor are many and expensive and it is all a complaint about “oh how much you costs me my dear!”

“Extended version
IV
I bought three kerchers to thy head,
That were wrought fine and gallantly;
I kept them both at board and bed,
Which cost my purse well-favour’dly.
V
I bought thee petticoats of the best,
The cloth so fine as fine might be:
I gave thee jewels for thy chest;
And all this cost I spent on thee.
VI
Thy smock of silk both fair and white,
With gold embroidered gorgeously;
Thy petticoat of sendall right;
And this I bought thee gladly.
VII
Thy girdle of gold so red,
With pearls bedecked sumptously,
The like no other lasses had;
And yet you do not love me!
VIII
Thy purse, and eke thy gay gilt knives,
Thy pin-case, gallant to the eye;
No better wore the burgess’ wives;
And yet thou wouldst not love me!
IX
Thy gown was of the grassy green,
The sleeves of satin hanging by;
Which made thee be our harvest queen;
And yet thou wouldst not love me!
X
Thy garters fringed with the gold,
And silver aglets hanging by;
Which made thee blithe for to behold;
And yet thou wouldst not love me!
XI
My gayest gelding thee I gave,
To ride wherever liked thee;
No lady ever was so brave;
And yet thou wouldst not love me!
XII
My men were clothed all in green,
And they did ever wait on thee;
All this was gallant to be seen;
And yet thou wouldst not love me!
XIII
They set thee up, they took thee down,
They served thee with humility;
Thy foot might not once touch the ground;
And yet thou wouldst not love me!
XIV
For every morning, when thou rose,
I sent thee dainties, orderly,
To cheer thy stomach from all woes;
And yet thou wouldst not love me!

SOURCE
https://www.antiwarsongs.org/canzone.php?id=53904&lang=it
http://greensleeves-hubs.hubpages.com/hub/FolkSongGreensleeves-Greensleeves   http://thesession.org/tunes/1598
http://ingeb.org/songs/alasmylo.html
http://tudorhistory.org/topics/music/greensleeves.html
http://earlymusicmuse.com/greensleeves1of3mythology/
http://earlymusicmuse.com/greensleeves2of3history/
http://earlymusicmuse.com/greensleeves3of3music/
http://ontanomagico.altervista.org/alas-madame.htm

Bonny Portmore: the ornament tree

Leggi in italiano

When the great oak of Portmore was break down in 1760, someone wrote a song known as “The Highlander’s Farewell to Bonny Portmore“; in 1796 Edward Bunting picked it up from Daniel Black, an old harpist from Glenoak (Antrim, Northern Ireland), and published it in “Ancient Music of Ireland” – 1840.
The age-old oak was located on the estate of Portmore’s Castle on the banks of Lugh Bege and it was knocked down by a great wind; the tree was already famous for its posture and was nicknamed “the ornament tree“. The oak was cut and the wood sold, from the measurements made we know that the trunk was 13 meters wide.

LOUGH PORTMORE

1032910_tcm9-205039Loch un Phoirt Mhóir (lake with a large landing place) is an almost circular lake in the South-West of Antrim County, Northern Ireland, today a nature reserve for bird protection.
The property formerly belonged to the O’Neill clan of Ballinderry, while the castle was built in 1661 or 1664 by Lord Conway (on the foundations of an ancient fortress) between Lough Beg and Lough Neagh; the estate was rich in centenarian trees and beautiful woods; however, the count fell into ruin and lost the property when he decided to drain Lake Ber to cultivate the land (the drainage system called “Tunny cut” is still existing); the ambitious project failed and the land passed into the hands of English nobles.
In other versions more simply the Count’s dynasty became extinct and the new owners left the estate in a state of neglect, since they did not intend to reside in Ireland. Almost all the trees were cut down and sold as timber for shipbuilding and the castle fell into disrepair.

Bonny Portmore could be understood symbolically as the decline of the Irish Gaelic lords: pain and nostalgia mixed in a lament of a twilight beauty; the dutiful tribute goes to Loreena McKennitt who brought this traditional iris  song to the international attention.
Loreena McKennitt in The Visit 1991
Nights from the Alhambra: live

CHORUS
O bonny Portmore,
you shine where you stand
And the more I think on you the more I think long
If I had you now as I had once before
All the lords in Old England would not purchase Portmore.
I
O bonny Portmore, I am sorry to see
Such a woeful destruction of your ornament tree
For it stood on your shore for many’s the long day
Till the long boats from Antrim came to float it away.
II
All the birds in the forest they bitterly weep
Saying, “Where will we shelter or where will we sleep?”
For the Oak and the Ash (1), they are all cutten down
And the walls of bonny Portmore are all down to the ground.
NOTE
1) coded phrase to indicate the decline of the Gaelic lineage clans

Laura Marling live
Laura Creamer

Lucinda Williams in Rogue’s Gallery: Pirate Ballads, Sea Songs and Chanteys ANTI 2006


Dan Gibson & Michael Maxwell in Emerald Forest instrumental version
And here I open a small parenthesis recalling a personal episode of a long time ago in which I met an ancient tree: at the time I lived in Florence and I had the opportunity to turn a bit for Tuscany, now I can not remember the location, but I know that I was in the Colli Senesi and it was summer; someone advised us to go and see an old holm oak, explaining roughly to the road; in the distance it seemed we were approaching a grove, in reality it was a single tree whose foliage was so leafy and vast, the old branches so bent, that to get closer to the trunk we had to bow. I still remember after many years the feeling of a presence, a deep and vital breath, and the discomfort that I tried to disturb the place. I do not exaggerate speaking of fear at all, and I think that feeling was the same feeling experienced by the ancient man, who felt in the centenarian trees the presence of a spirit.
SOURCE
http://www.angelfire.com/ca/immie/bonny.html
http://www.sentryjournal.com/2010/10/11/the-fate-of-bonny-portmore/
http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=15567
http://www.rspb.org.uk/reserves/guide/p/portmorelough/about.aspx

Loreena McKennitt – Dickens’ Dublin (The palace)

Uno scorcio della Dublino dickensiana inizia con la voce di una giovane mendicante (un povero monello di strada) che racconta la storia della Natività di Gesù e si alterna al cantato di Loreena, così questa “Dickens’ Dublin” nell’album Parallel Dreams è il sogno di una famiglia.
A glimpse of Dickensian Dublin begins with the voice of a young beggar (a poor starving street urchin) narrating the story of the Nativity of Jesus and alternating with the cantata of Loreena, so this “Dickens’ Dublin” in the Parallel Dreams album is a family’s dream.

La recitazione è stata presa da una serie di registrazioni trasmesse su Radio Eireann (la stazione radio nazionale irlandese) negli anni ’60. I bambini di Dublino della città della cerchia interna hanno avuto l’opportunità di raccontare la loro versione di certe storie, e la versione della piccola ragazza della storia natalizia che Loreena usa su Dicken’s Dublin è stata una di quelle (tradotto da qui)
The recitation was taken from a series of recordings broadcast on Radio Eireann (the Irish national radio station) in the 1960’s. Inner city Dublin children were given the opportunity to tell their version of certain stories, and the little girl’s version of the Christmas story that Loreena uses on Dicken’s Dublin was one of them.
(from here)

Una melodia orecchiabile e popolare e un tema sociale che sarà sempre presente nei suoi album: la voce degli oppressi.
A catchy and popular melody and a social theme that will always be present in her albums: the voice of the oppressed.

Loreena McKennitt in Parallel Drems 1989


I
I walk the streets of Dublin town
It’s 1842
It’s snowing on this Christmas Eve
Think I’ll beg another bob or two
I’ll huddle in this doorway here
Till someone comes along
If the lamp lighter(1) comes real soon
Maybe I’ll go home with him
Chorus
Maybe I can find a place I can call my home
Maybe I can find a home I can call my own (2)
II
The horses on the cobbled stones pass by
Think I’ll get one one fine day
And ride into the country side
And very far away
But now as the daylight disappears
I best find a place to sleep
Think I’ll slip into the bell tower
In the church just down the street
Chorus
III
Maybe on the way I’ll find the dog(3)
I saw the other night
And tuck him underneath my jacket
So we’ll stay warm through the night
As we lie in the bell tower high
And dream of days to come
The bells o’er head will call the hour
The day we will find a home
Traduzione in italiano Cattia Salto
I
Percorro le strade di Dublino/
è il 1842,/ nevica la vigilia di Natale/
credo che elemosinerò un altro scellino o due,/ mi rannicchierò in questo androne,/ finchè qualcuno passerà,/ se il lampionario arriverà presto,
forse andò a casa con lui
Coro
Forse troverò un posto che potrò dire casa mia
Forse troverò una casa che potrò dire proprio mia
II
I cavalli sull’acciottolato mi passano accanto
credo che ne prenderò uno, un bel giorno, e farò una corsa per la campagna e andrò molto lontano,
ma ora mentre la luce del giorno scompare è meglio trovare un posto per dormire, credo che dormirò nel campanile della chiesa proprio in fondo alla strada
III
Forse lungo il cammino troverò il cane che ho visto l’altra notte e lo infilerò sotto la giacchetta,
così staremo al caldo per la notte
proprio nel campanile in alto
e sogneremo i giorni a venire (quando)
le campane sulla cima festeggeranno (4) il giorno che troveremo una casa

NOTE
1) uno dei mestieri perduti, quello di andare ad accendere e spegnere i lampioni delle illuminazioni cittadine, un tempo lampade ad olio poi lampioni a gas; alcune città europee e degli States hanno tuttavia conservato (o ripristinato) l’illuminazione a gas in alcuni quartieri di rilevanza storica o a vocazione turistica.
one of the lost trades, that of going to turn on and off the street lamps of the city lights, once oil lamps and then gas lamps; some cities in Europe and the United States, however, have retained (or restored) gas lighting in some areas of historical importance or tourism.
2) la ragazza è un orfanella, ma spera (vanamente) di potersi  fare una famiglia sua, sposarsi e avere dei figli per sentirsi a casa: un desiderio irrealizzabile espresso a Gesù per Natale
the girl is a orphan, but hopes (in vain) to be able to make a family of her own, get married and have children to feel at home: an unrealizable desire expressed to Jesus for Christmas
3) il suo disperato bisogno d’affetto sarà riversato su un cane randagio con cui rannicchiarsi per dormire e condividere i sogni
her desperate need of affection will be poured on a stray dog with which to curl up to sleep and share dreams
4) letteralmente chiameranno l’ora

LINK
https://josvg.home.xs4all.nl/cits/lm/lorecd36.html

Beneath A Phrygian Sky

“Beneath A Phrygian Sky” (Sotto a un cielo frigio) è dove Loreena McKennitt ha composto questa canzone per l’album “An Ancient Muse”, ci spiega l’artista in un’intervista, che si trovava nel sito archeologico di Gordio, l’antica capitale della Frigia, la città di re Mida (Ankara, Turchia) dove si sono stratificati gli insediamenti degli antichi popoli che, uno dopo l’altro, devastavano il territorio a spese del popolo precedente. Così dopo i Frigi si sono abbattuti sulla fiorente città  i Cimmeri, i Persiani, poi l’esercito di Alessandro Magno (proprio qui si è svolto l’episodio del famigerato “nodo gordiano”); nel III secolo a.C. ci abitarono pure i Celti finchè la città venne abbandonata dopo il passaggio dei Romani. Oggi è il villaggio di Yassihöyük tutto ciò che resta dell’antica gloria.
“Beneath A Phrygian Sky” is where Loreena McKennitt composed this song for her album “An Ancient Muse”, the artist explains in an interview, which she was in the archaeological site of Gordion, the ancient capital of Phrygia, the city of King Midas (Ankara, Turkey) where the settlements of the ancient peoples were stratified, which, one after another, devastated the territory at the expense of the previous people. So after the Phrygiangs, the Cimmerians, the Persians, then the army of Alexander the Great (here the episode of the infamous “Gordian knot” took place); in the III century BC the Celts also lived there until the city was abandoned after the passage of the Romans. Today is the village of Yassihöyük all that remains of the ancient glory.
C’è un pezzo intitolato “Beneath A Phrygian Sky” che è stato ispirato dalla mia visita a un sito archeologico a Gordio, appena fuori Ankara, in Turchia, in Anatolia. E come per i vari siti archeologici che ho visitato, starei lì a guardare le pietre – da una parte sono solo pietre ma non si può fare a meno di sentire che queste pietre sono state testimoni di periodi straordinari della storia. E in questo sito archeologico vicino a Gordion sono state scoperte alcune rovine celtiche anche se l’attribuzione è incerta, potrebbe trattarsi di un insediamento celtico permanente oppure di eventuali mercenari. Perchè i Celti erano ben noti per essere guerrieri assai formidabili e che spesso combattevano le guerre degli altri. E così questo tema delle pietre, questo tema delle guerre, perché la gente va in guerra, ma anche la riflessione che sicuramente c’è tanta storia dietro di noi, e incorporato in quella storia abbastanza lezioni, che dovremmo essere in grado di imparare per migliorare e non ripetere gli stessi errori ancora e ancora. Quindi questa canzone è più una riflessione su questi temi, che un assunto definitivo. Ma si protende verso – se c’è una cosa che può e deve sostenerci- il concetto di amore.
Loreena McKennitt’s commentary on the song, taken from the transcript of an audio interview: There’s a piece called “Beneath A Phrygian Sky” that was inspired by my visit to an archaeological site near Gordion just outside of Ankara in Turkey, in Anatolia. And as with various archaeological sites that I visited, I’d be standing there looking at stones — and on one level they’re just stones but you can’t help but feel that these stones have been witness to extraordinary periods of history. And in this archaeological site near Gordion they had uncovered some Celtic ruins but it appears that they weren’t quite sure whether, in fact, this was a permanent Celtic settlement or if indeed that this was a contingency of mercenaries. For the Celts were well known to be very, very fearsome warriors and that often were off battling other people’s wars. And so this theme of stones, this theme of wars, why people go to war, but also the reflection that surely there’s enough history behind us, and embodied in that history enough lessons in it, that we should be able to be learning and improving and not making the same mistakes over and over again. So this song is as much a rumination of these threads as it is any definitive statement. But it reaches towards — if there is one thing that can and should carry us forward, it is a concept of love.

Il testo della canzone è una preghiera alla Terra e insieme una riflessione sulla pace dei popoli, il trionfo della libertà e della verità sociale (vedasi anche “Breaking the Silence“).
Il motivo musicale riprende il tema di “The Bonny Swans” del precedente album ” The Mask and Mirror”, ma non è semplicemente una “versione rallentata” di quello.
The song is a prayer to the Earth and together a reflection on the peace of peoples, the triumph of freedom and social truth (see also “Breaking the Silence“).
The musical motif takes up the theme of “The Bonny Swans” from the previous album “The Mask and Mirror”, but it is not simply a “slowed-down version” of that.

Loreena McKennitt in An Ancient Muse (The journey so far – The Best of Loreena McKennitt, 2014 )


I
The moonlight it was dancing
On the waves, out on the sea
The stars of heaven hovered
In a shimmering galaxy
II
A voice from down the ages
So in haunting in its song
These ancient stones will tell us
Our love must make us strong
III
The breeze it wrapped around me
As I stood there on the shore
And listened to this voice
Like I never heard before
IV
Our battles they may find us
No choice may ours to be
But hold the banner(1) proudly
The truth will set us free
V
My mind was called across the years
Of rages and of strife
Of all the human misery
And all the waste of life
VI
We wondered where our God was
In the face of so much pain
I looked up to the stars above
To find you once again
VII
We travelled the wide oceans
Heard many call your name
With sword and gun and hatred
It all seemed much the same
VIII
Some used your name for glory
Some used it for their gain
Yet when liberty lay wanting
No lives were lost in vain
IX
Is it not our place  to wonder
As the sky does weep with tears
And all the living creatures
Look on with mortal fear
X
It is ours to hold the banner
Is ours to hold it long
It is ours to carry forward
Our love must make us strong
XI
And as the warm wind carried
Its song into the night
I closed my eyes and tarried
Until the morning light
XII
As the last star it shimmered
And the new sun’s day gave birth
It was in this magic moment
Came this prayer for mother earth

Traduzione in italiano Cattia Salto
I
Il chiaro di luna danzava
sulle onde in mare aperto,
le stelle del cielo erano sospese
in una galassia scintillante
II
Una voce nel corso dei secoli
così ossessionante nel suo canto
le antiche pietre ci diranno, che il nostro amore deve renderci più forti
III
La brezza mi avvolgeva
mentre stavo sulla riva
e ascoltavo questa voce
che non avevo mai sentito prima
IV
Le nostre battaglie ci troveranno
e non abbiamo scelta
ma terremo il vessillo (1) con orgoglio,
la verità ci renderà liberi
V
La mente andava gli anni
di violenze e lotte,
di tutta la miseria umana,
e di tutto il marcio della vita.
VI
Ci siamo chiesti dove fosse il nostro Dio davanti a tanto dolore,
alzavo lo sguardo alle stelle in cielo
per trovarti ancora una volta.
VII
Abbiamo attraversato gli oceani,
sentito molti invocare il tuo nome
con la spada e il fucile e l’odio,
sembrava sempre la stessa storia.
VIII
Chi usava il tuo nome per la gloria
chi lo usava per interesse, tuttavia quando la libertà stava volendo nessuna vittima era persa invano.
IX
Non spetta a noi chiedere (2)
mentre il cielo piange lacrime
e tutte le creature viventi stanno a guardare con grande timore (3)?
X
E’ nostro compito tenere il vessillo
nostro compito tenerlo ancora a lungo
nostro compito portarlo avanti,
il nostro amore deve renderci più forti
XI
E mentre il vento caldo portava
la sua canzone alla notte
chiudevo gli occhi e indugiavo
fino alla luce del mattino
XII
Mentre l’ultima stella brillava
e il sole del nuovo giorno nasceva
fu in quel momento magico
che venne questa preghiera per la Madre Terra

NOTE
1) non propriamente una bandiera in senso nazionale, il vessillo della verità, della libertà o dell’amore? La libertà di pensiero, la verità della giustizia,  l’amore della fratellanza sono gli ideali della Rivoluzione Francese
Not really a flag in the national sense, so is it the banner of truth, freedom or love? The freedom of thought, the truth of justice, the love of brotherhood are the ideals of the French Revolution
2) it’s not my place= non spetta a me, non è compito mio ma anche non ho il diritto di.. usato in senso retorico, nella VI strofa dice: Ci siamo chiesti dove fosse il nostro Dio davanti a tanto dolore, e qui ribadisce: e continuiamo a chiedercelo mentre il cielo piange
3) mortal  letteralmente si traduce come mortale, soggetto a morire, ma in senso colloquiale sta per terribile, enorme, rispetto a paura mortale preferisco tradurre con enorme paura, grande timore