Lady Greensleeves

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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

Corn Rigs are bonnie

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Corn Rigs  (Rigs o’Barley) was written entirely by Robert Burns in 1782 adapting it to an old Scottish dance air entitled “Corn Rigs are bonnie“. It seems to be particularly dear to the poet: it tells of the night of love with a beautiful girl among the sheaves of wheat, a magical full moon night…

The Annie of the song has been identified in Anne Rankie, the youngest daughter of a tenant farmer, John Rankine of Adamhill, of the farm that was a short distance from the Burns in Lochlea. In 1782, in September, the woman married a innkeeper, John Merry of Cumnock, so some doubt that in August she was among the sheaves of barley with the handsome Robert; others, however, point out that after 4 years (and once again in August) the poet, being in the neighborhood, was staying right at the inn of the two!
Burns gave Anne Rankie a lock of his hair and his portrait, which she kept together with the song.
Very bravely Burns, however, is silent on the identity of the beautiful Annie.

William Adolphe Bouguereau 1865
William Adolphe Bouguereau 1865

LAMMAS NIGHT

rigsThe analysis of the text unravels the dynamics of the relationship between the two lovers (according to my point of view): the night of Lammas, as usual in the Celtic tradition, is the night of August 1, a day of celebration for the farmers of the Scotland, day of rest and party before the beginning of the harvest.
Among the young it was customary to spend the night in the fields of wheat (or barley) but our Robert at first keeps away from such custom, the beautiful Annie is promised to another …
However, the youthful ardor finally wins and even the girl (without even being asked too much, reveals the bard) consents: the two meet in the fields of barley, at dusk, on a warm summer evening with the moon full to illuminate the night, and what a “happy night”!
The final verse takes up a concept dear to the poet: the best time is spent to love! And on that magical night it seems that the young Robert did it three times!

Ossian from Seal Song 1981 with the traditional Corn Rigs Are Bonnie melody, the video is very well done with the scrolling text, movies and vintage photos as well as “portraits” of the bard, all well structured in the evocation for images of the text

Paul Giovanni from The Wicker Man but with another melody

I
It was upon a Lammas(1) night,
When the corn rigs(2) were bonnie,
Beneath the moon’s unclouded light,
I held awa’ to Annie;
The time flew by wi’ tentless heed,
‘Til ‘tween the late and early,
Wi’ small persuasion she agreed
To see me thro’ the barley.
chorus
Corn Rigs and barley rigs,
Corn rigs are bonny:
I’ll ne’eer forget that happy night,
Amang the rigs wi’ Annie.
II
The sky was blue (3), the wind was still,
The moon was shining clearly;
I set her down wi’ right good will,
Amang the rigs o’ barley:
I ken’t(4) her heart, was a’ my ain(5);
I loved her most sincerely;
I kissed her o’er and o’er again,
Amang the rigs o’ barley.
III
I locked her in my fond embrace;
Her heart was beatin’ rarely:
My blessing on that happy place,
Amang the rigs o’ barley!
But by the moon and stars so bright,
That shone that hour so clearly!
She aye shall bless that happy night
Amang the rigs of barley.
IV
I hae been blythe(6) wi’ comrades dear;
I hae been merry drinking;
I hae been joyful gath’rin’ gear(7);
I hae been happy thinking:
But a’ the pleasures e’er I saw,
Tho’ three times doubled fairly,
That happy night was worth them a’,
Amang the rigs wi’ Annie.

NOTES
1) Lammas is the harvest festival that is celebrated on the first of August, whose origins date back to the Celtic festival of Lugnasad, a festival that marks the beginning of the first harvest (wheat and barley). In the Scottish country tradition it is like our day in San Martino, when the land is rented and the contracts are renewed.(see more)
2) The term Rigs describes an old cultivation technique that involves working the land in long and narrow strips of raised land (the traditional drainage system of the past): the fields were divided into earthen banks raised, so that the excess water drained further down the deep side furrows.
3) the indicated hour is that of twilight
4) knew
5) own
6) joyous
7) earning money

MELODY

Alasdair Fraser · Paul Machlis · Barry Phillips · Martin Hayes

SCOTTISH COUNTRY DANCE

This song is best known with the title of Corn Rigs or Corn Rigs Are Bonnie and it is also a scottish country dance (see more) taken from the old traditions. During the harvest it was customary to dance among the sheaves of wheat, as shown in this vintage movie by the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society.
VIDEO

LINK
http://ontanomagico.altervista.org/lugnasad.html
https://giulsass.wordpress.com/istruzione/esperienza-antica/gest_terra_p_s/

I’ll meet thee on the lea-rig by Robert Burns

ritratto di Robert Burns
Robert Burns – by Alexander Nasmyth 1787

Leggi in italiano

The lea-rig (The Meadow-ridge) is a traditional Scottish song rewritten by Robert Burns in 1792 under the title “I’ll Meet Thee On The Lea Rig“.
The term Rigs describes an old cultivation technique that involves working the land in long and narrow strips of raised land (the traditional drainage system of the past): the fields were divided into earthen banks raised, so that the excess water drained further down the deep side furrows. These bumps could reach up to the knee and hand sowing was greatly facilitated: the grass grew in the lea rigs.

THE TUNE

We find the beautiful melody in many eighteenth-century manuscripts, known by various names such as An Oidhche A Bha Bhainis Ann, The Caledonian Laddy, I’ll Meet Thee On The Lea-rig, The Lea Rigg, The Lea Rigges, My Ain Kind Dearie, My Ain Kind Deary O

Tony McManusAlasdair Fraser & Jody Stecher in Driven Bow 1988

John Carnie

Julian Lloyd Webber

THE LYRICS

rigsA “romantic” meeting in the summer camps declined in many text versions with a single melody (albeit with many different arrangements) that has known, like so many other Scottish eighteenth-century songs, a notable fame among the musicians of German romanticism and in good living rooms over England, France and Germany.

The oldest text can be found in the manuscript of Thomas D’Urfey, “Wit and Mirth, or Pills to Purge Melancholy” 1698, by anonymous author who starts like this:
I’ll lay(rowe) thee o’er the lea rig,
My ain kind dearie O.
Although the night were ne’er sae wat,
And I were ne’er sae weary, O,
I’ll rowe thee o’er the lea-rig,
My ain kind dearie, O;

With the title “My Ain Kind Dearie O” it is published later in the Scots Musical Museum vol I (1787) (see here) on Robert Burns’ dispatch to James Johnson with the note that it was the version originally written by the edinburgh poet Robert Fergusson ( 1750-74).
‘Will ye gang o’er the leerigg, my ain kind deary-o! And cuddle there sae kindly wi’ me, my kind deary-o!
220px-Alexander_Runciman_-_Robert_Fergusson,_1750_-_1774__Poet_-_Google_Art_ProjectRobert Fergusson died only 24 years old in the grip of madness while he was hospitalized in the Edinburgh Asylum because subject to a strong existential depression (and yet there are those who insinuate it was syphilis); he had just enough time to write about eighty poems (published between 1771 and 1773) and was the first poet to use the Scottish dialect as a poetic language; he lived for the most part a bohemian life, sharing the intellectual ferment of Edinburgh in the period known as the Scottish Enlightenment, always in contact with musicians, actors and editors; in 1772 it joined the “Edinburgh Cape Club”, not a Masonic lodge but a club for men only for convivial purposes (in which tables were laid out with tasty dishes and above all large drinks); for Robert Burns he was ‘my elder brother in Misfortune, By far my elder brother in the muse’.

Burn rewrote the poem in October 1792 for the publisher George Thomson, to be published in the “Selected Collection of Original Scottish Air” (in what will be the most commonly known version of The Lea Rig) published with the musical arrangement of Joseph Haydn (who also arranged the traditional My Ain Kind Deary version); and he also wrote a more bawdy version published in “The Merry Muses of Caledonia” (1799) under the title My Ain Kind Deary (page 98) (text here)
I’ll lay thee o’er the lea rig, Lovely Mary, deary O

Andy M. Stewart 1991, live

Roddy Woomble

Paul McKenna Band

and in the classic version on arrangement by Joseph Haydn
ASCOLTA Jamie MacDougall & Haydn Eisenstadt Trio JHW. XXXII/5 no. 372, Hob. XXXIa no. 31ter

Robert Burns
I
When o’er the hill the eastern star(1)
Tells bughtin time(2) is near, my jo,
And owsen frae the furrow’d field
Return sae dowf and weary, O,
Down by the burn, where scented birks(3)
Wi’ dew are hangin clear, my jo,
I’ll meet thee on the lea-rig,
My ain kind dearie, O.
II
At midnight hour in mirkest glen
I’d rove, and ne’er be eerie(4), O,
If thro’ that glen I gaed to thee,
My ain kind dearie, O!
Altho’ the night were ne’er sae wild(5),
And I were ne’er sae weary, O,
I’ll(6) meet thee on the lea-rig,
My ain kind dearie, O.
III
The hunter lo’es the morning sun
To rouse the mountain deer, my jo;
At noon the fisher takes the glen
Adown the burn to steer, my jo:
Gie me the hour o’ gloamin grey –
It maks my heart sae cheery, O,
To meet thee on the lea-rig,
My ain kind dearie, O.
english translation
I
When over the hill the eastern star
Tells the time of milking the ewes is near, my dear,
And oxes from the furrowed field
Return so lethargic and weary O:
Down by the burn where scented birch trees
With dew are hanging clear, my dear, I’ll meet thee on the grassy ridge, My own kind dear, O!
II
At midnight hour, in darkest glen,
I’d rove and never be frightened O, If thro’ that glen I go to thee,
My own kind dear, O:
Altho’ the night were  never so wild,
And I were never so weary O,
I’ll meet thee on the grassy ridge, My own kind dear, O!
III
The hunter loves the morning sun,
To rouse the mountain deer, my dear,
At noon the fisher takes the glen,
down the burn to steer, my dear;
Give me the hour o’ gloamin grey,
It maks my heart so cheary O
on the grassy ridge, My own kind dear, O!

NOTES
1) the morning star
2) milking time is early in the morning
3) or “birken buds”
4) or irie
5) in the copy sent to Thomson Robert Burns wrote “wet” then corrected with wild: a summer night with severe air with lightning in the distance
6) or “I’d”

Compare with the version attributed to the poet Robert Fergusson

SMM 1787
I
‘Will ye gang o’er the leerigg(1),
my ain kind deary-o!
And cuddle there sae kindly
wi’ me, my kind deary-o!
At thornie dike(2), and birken tree,
we’ll daff(3), and ne’er be weary-o;
They’ll scug(4) ill een(5) frae you and me,
mine ain kind deary o!’
II
Nae herds, wi’ kent(6) or colly(7) there,
shall ever come to fear ye, O!
But lav’rocks(8), whistling in the air,
shall woo, like me, their deary, O!
While others herd their lambs and ewes,
and toil for warld’s gear(9), my jo(10),
Upon the lee my pleasure grows,
wi’ you, my kind deary, O!
english translation
I
Will you go the over the lea rigg,
My own kind dear, O
And cuddle there so kindly
with me, my kind deary-o!
At thorn dry-stone wall and birche tree,
we will make merry, and never be weary-o;
They’ll screen unfriendly eyes from you and me,
My own kind dear, O!
II
No herds, with sheep-dogs there,
shall ever come to fear ye, O!
But larks whistling in the air,
shall woo, like me, their deary, O!
While others herd their lambs and ewes,
and toil for world’s riches, my sweetheart,
Upon the lee my pleasure grows,
with you, my kind deary, O!

NOTES
1) lea rigg = grassy ridge
2) thornie-dike= a thorn-fenced dike along the stream below the ridge
3) Daff = Make merry
4) ‘Scug’ is to shelter or take refuge. It can also refer to crouching or stooping to avoid being seen.
5) Een = evil eyes
6) Kent = sheperd’s crook
7) Colly = Schottisch sheep-dog
8) Lav’rocks =larks
9) Gear = riches, goods of any kind
10) Jo = sweetheart, my dear

Scottish country dance: “My own kind deary”

The Scottish Country dance entitled “My own kind deary” with music and dance instructions appears in John Walsh’s Caledonian Country Dances (vol I 1735)


for dance explanation see

LINK
http://www.tunearch.org/wiki/Annotation:Lea_Rig_(The) http://www.tunearch.org/wiki/Lea_Rig_(The) http://www.cobbler.plus.com/wbc/poems/translations/497.htm http://www.burnsscotland.com/items/v/volume-i,-song-049,-page-50-my-ain-kind-deary-o.aspx http://www.electricscotland.com/burns/songs/14MyAinKindDearieO.jpg http://www.bbc.co.uk/arts/robertburns/works/my_ain_kind_dearie/ http://www.forgottenbooks.com/readbook_text/ The_Poetical_Works_of_Robert_Fergusson_With_Biographical_1000304352/187 https://thesession.org/tunes/13977 http://www.recmusic.org/lieder/get_text.html?TextId=3380 http://www.recmusic.org/lieder/get_text.html?TextId=90757
http://www.prestoclassical.co.uk/w/103940/Franz-Joseph-Haydn-The-lea-rig

Jack In The Green: Chimney Sweeps’ Day

Leggi in italiano
Green Jack ” (the Green Man) was a popular mask of the English May, from the Middle Ages and until the Victorian era, fallen into disuse at the end of the nineteenth century, it returned to show itself and spread to starting from the 1970s in May Day parades.

In the nineteenth century the first of May was the feast of the chimney sweeps and so the nursery rhyme “The first of May” says
Chimney Sweeps’ Day, Blackbird is gay,
Here he is singing, you see, in the “May”.
He has feathers as black as a chimney sweep’s coat.
So on Chimney Sweeps’ Day he must pipe a glad note.
Jack-in-the-Green from door to door
capers along with the followers four.
As May Day mummers are seldom seen,
let us all give a copper to Jack-in-the-Green.
(from here)

A chimney sweep maskered himself as “Jack in the Green”  slipping inside a pyramid-shaped wicker structure, covered with ivy and foliage, surmounted by a wreath of flowers. He went out into the streets with his other friends to dance and collect offers in money: they are a King and Queen (or a Lord and Lady), jesters, clowns, chimney sweeps and musicians.

G901506

First recorded in London in the 700, Jack-in-the-Greens were soon appearing across the country. The documentation collected by Keith Chandler is instead related to the publication in newspapers in the years 1820 and up to 1890 (see more)
A series of anecdotes on how the disguise was born (see more)

1835-may

THE GREEN MAN

Some scholars connect this disguise to the Green Man carved in the stones of medieval churches in Europe that is usually depicted only in the face, a human face metamorphosed in foliage.
“In the tenth century they begin to appear as illustrations on the manuscripts, especially in France, such as Bibles, books of Psalms and Ordals, books of hours, even works by famous theologians such as the” Moralia “of St. Gregory the Great, a exegesis of the book of Job, where they often merge with the intertwined motifs typical of Saxon and Celtic art: they are reminiscent of snakes that bite their tails, decorative motifs of evident stylistic practicality, and can be interpreted as pitfalls and obstacles of the earthly life.Afterwards they appear as architectural elements in the churches of Germanic style.They soon spread everywhere in churches, cathedrals and abbeys, but also in other buildings, ecclesiastical and not, both as architectural friezes, both in wooden furniture (like the benches), and also in the funeral art (on the tombs, in short) Their popularity grows between the eleventh and twelfth centuries.
In the simplest form, the faces are generally masculine, from whose orifices, eyes, nose, mouth and ears, foliage appears, often branches or leaves of vines, or which have leaves and bushes instead of beard and hair; these last ones seem almost versions of the Medusa to the masculine, which they resemble in a disturbing way. But there are also more abstract, where vegetation is predominant and the human features are only hinted at, barely distinguishable: heads made of leaves that would have pleased Arcimboldo. In spite of the name, it is not always human faces: often they are demons, masks (or stereotypes), even animals, in preference felines. Sometimes they are provided with teeth and seem to bite the branches. If in some cases their association with the evil one is evident, in others they seem decorative motives without particular meaning, more than anything else a demonstration of the taste for the absurd and the bizarre typical of the Middle Ages. “(translateb from here)

Dunblane Cathedral, Scotland XV secolo

The green men are not a product of Christianity (or they have been clothed with a new theological role) because we have a lot of sculptural decorations, and paintings dating back to the age of Imperial Rome ( Domus Aurea of Nero). Masquerones with plant decorations also recall sylvan gods like Pan, Bacchus, Dionysus, and so on, thus some scholars see in the symbol of the green man of early Christianity the intent to incorporate myths and practices of the most widespread mystery religions in the countryside. (see more)

Other characters connected to the Green Man are also the Wild Man, Puck and Robin Hood, the Green Knight opponent of Sir Galvano, but also the Christian Saint George. In psychology it is said to be an archetypal figure connected to the arboreal myths, or an example of the divinization of nature. (see first part)

Brian Froud: Green Man

JACK IN THE GREEN

Magpie Lane from “Jack in the Green”  1998: Jack in the green (composeb by Martin Graebe in 1972 ) and Jack’s Alive a traditional and popular dancing tune in England and Scotland.

Martin Graebe notes: “”This song was written when Cherri and I were living to the east of Exeter in the area that is marked on the Ordnance Survey map as “Jack in the Green.” We were also drinking fairly often in the pub of the same name and the connection led to the above bit of fantasy based on traditional themes. A number of people have told me at different times that they have heard “Jack in the Green” described as a traditional song. It was the first of my songs to turn up on the Internet, where it was described on the Digital Tradition database as a traditional song. Most recently, someone told me about an American CD of pagan music that includes Jack as an example of a traditional pagan song from the British Isles.”
in the video  “Hastings Jack in the Green Festival”

JACK IN THE GREEN
by Martin Graebe 1972
I
Now winter is over,
I’m happy to say,
And we’re all met again
in our ribbons so gay.
And we’re all met again
on the first day of Spring
To go about dancing
with Jack in the Green(1).
CHORUS
Jack in the Green, Jack in the Green
And we’ll all dance each springtime
with Jack in the Green

II
Now Jack in the Green
is a very strange man,
Tho’ he dies every Autumn,
he is born every Spring.
And each year on our birthday,
we will dance through the street,
And in return Jack
he will ripen our wheat.
 
III(2)
Now all you young maidens
I’d have you beware
Of touching young Jack,
for there’s strange powers there.
For if you but touch him,
there is many will tell
Like the wheat in our fields
so your belly will swell.
IV
With his mantle
he’ll cover the trees that are bare.
Our gardens he’ll trim
with his jacket so fair.
And our fields he will sow
with the hair of his head.
And our grain it will ripen
‘til Old Jack is dead(3)!
V
Now the sun is half up
and betokens the hour
That the children arrive
with their garlands of flowers.
So now let the music
and the dancing begin,
And touch the good heart
of young Jack in the Green!

NOTES
1) Jack is the diminutive of two different names James and John, but more than a name right here is to indicate the Green Man
2) Magpie Lane have skipped this stanza
3) it is the myth of the Spirit of the Wheat: the spirit of the Wheat-Barley never dies because it is reborn the following year with the new harvest, its strength and its ardor are contained in the whiskey that is obtained from the distillation of barley malt!

JACK’S ALIVE

Two dance tunes which I’d been playing for years, before I realised that they are in fact the same tune played in different time signatures. The first, in 6/8, is from Wilson’s Ballroom Companion, via one of Bert Simon’s Kentish Hops pamphlets. I first heard it played by the Oyster Ceilidh Band. Curiously their first LP was called Jack’s Alive, but this tune was not on it; they finally recorded it on their 20 Golden Tie-Slackeners album. I originally knew the 4/4 tune as an unnamed morris tune from Badby in Northamptonshire. Oyster Morris from Canterbury used it for a dance called ‘The Panic’ – originally ‘Pogle’s Panic’ – which had been written in the early 1980s by Pete Collinson. It was some years later that I found the tune in The Yetties’ The Musical Heritage of Thomas Hardy as ‘Jack’s Alive’.” (from here)

Aly Bain & Tom Anderson 
English country dance

Morris Dance

Bibliography
“The Green Man”  Richard Hayman
“Images of Lust: Sexual carvings on medieval churches”  Anthony Weir and James Jerman.

LINK
https://terreceltiche.altervista.org/jack-in-the-green/
http://www.mustrad.org.uk/articles/jack_gre.htm
https://georgianera.wordpress.com/2017/04/27/may-day-the-tradition-of-the-jack-in-the-green-and-chimney-sweeps/
http://www.greenmanenigma.com/history.html http://www.egreenway.com/meditation/greenman.htm http://www.mariateresalupo.it/simbolimitialchimiafiabe/maggio.html http://freespace.virgin.net/polter.geist/greenman_page0019.htm https://www.adf.org/articles/gods-and-spirits/general/jackingr.html http://www.acam.it/la-tradizione-del-maggio-e-il-culto-arboreo/ http://martingraebe.me.uk/onewebmedia/Jack_in_the_green.htm http://www.magpielane.co.uk/sleevenotes/jack_in_the_green/jack_in_the_green.htm http://www.magpielane.co.uk/sleevenotes/jack_in_the_green/jacks_alive.htm http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=3730 http://tunearch.org/wiki/Annotation:Jack’s_Alive_(3) https://thesession.org/tunes/3299

Outlander: Baroque Boogie Woogie

Read the post in English

DAL LIBRO LA STRANIERA

Diana Gabaldon

Nel primo libro della saga Outlander scritto da Diana Gabaldon il capitolo 34 è dedicato alla ricerca dello scomparso Jamie e Claire si accompagna al  fedele e inossidabile Roger Murtaugh. Improvvisandosi imbonitori (nel tentativo di attrarre l’attenzione di Jamie affinchè si metta in contatto con loro) i due si esibiscono nelle taverne e nelle fiere con Murtaugh come principale intrattenitore e Claire che lo accompagna nel canto, arrangiandosi anche come chiromante. La canzone che è menzionata nel libro è la ballata del Border “The Dowie Dens of Yarrow“.

OUTLANDER TV: “The Search”

Claire Fraser (Caitriona Balfe) in “The Search.”, travestita da uomo

Nell’episodio 14 “The Search” della serie televisiva Outlander (prima stagione) Murtaugh ( interpretato dall’attore Danny Glover) è invece un ballerino un po’ maldestro e Claire non proprio versata per il canto, ma neanche stonata, spera di vivacizzare l’esibizione di un danzatore appena passabile, canticchiando un boogie woogie molto popolare ai suoi tempi, il 1945; il motivetto piace subito a Murtaugh  (nonostante il divario culturale tra la musica popolare d’epoca barocca e la musica popolare del XX secolo) ma le consiglia di abbinarlo ad un testo più da bawdy song che il pubblico del 1743 saprà meglio apprezzare: “The Reels o’ Bogie”


I
Here’s to all you lads and lasses
That go out this way.
Be sure to tip your coggie
When you take her out to play
Lads and lasses toy a kiss,
The lads never think
What they do is amiss
Chorus
Because there’s Kent and keen
And there’s Aberdeen
And there’s naan as muckle
as the Strath of boogie-woogie
II
For every lad’ll wander
Just to have his lass
An’ when they see her pintle rise,
They’ll raise a glass
And rowe about their wanton een
They dance a reel as the troopers
Go over the lea
Chorus
A-root, a-toot
A rooty-a-doot
A-root, a-toot
A rooty-a-doot
III
He giggled, goggled me
He was a banger
He sought the prize between my thighs
Became a hanger
Chorus
And no there’s naan as muckle
As the wanton tune
Of strath of boogie
Traduzione italiana Cattia Salto
I
Per tutti voi dame e messeri
che andate per questa via
Ricordatevi di bere un sorso (1)
quando state in compagnia (2)
uomini e donne si scambiano un bacio, ma gli uomini non pensano mai
che quello che fanno è scorretto
Coro
Perché dal Kent al Border(3)
e fino all’Aberdeen
non c’è una valle ampia (4)
come 
la valle del boogie (5) woogie
II
Perché ogni uomo andrà in giro
solo per trovare una donna
e quando lei si concederà (6)
alzeranno il calice
e gettando occhiate (7) lascive
danzeranno un reel (8) mentre  le truppe ricontrollano i pascoli (9)
Chorus
A-root, a-toot
A rooty-a-doot
A-root, a-toot
A rooty-a-doot
III
Ridacchiava, mi faceva gli occhi dolci
era il membro di una banda (10).
e cercando il premio tra le mie cosce
si trasformava in uno spadino (11)
Coro
Non c’è una valle ampia
come la melodia spericolata
della valle del boogie

NOTE
1) doppio senso: coggie (vezzeggiativo) o cog è la scodella, ciotola di legno per bere. Una tipica tazza scozzese cerimoniale con due manici detta quaich (quaigh o quoich), tradizionalmente realizzate in legno, con fasce come quelle di una botte tenute insieme da un cerchio di salice o d’argento; oggi sono in gran parte d’argento. Uno vero scozzese, per salutarvi, vi offrirà l’ultimo sorso di whisky in un quaich, per
simboleggiare la vostra amicizia.
2) il play è chiaramente un “gioco” erotico
3) “Kent and keen” Kent è una contea nella parte sud-est dell’Inghilterra, dove si trovano le bianche scogliere di Dover quindi il punto (per i viaggiatori dal continente) più a sud: in senso lato vuol dire “Dal Sud al Nord” keen non è una contea e nemmeno un  villaggio, forse un vecchio termine per il Border, potrebbere essere usato come assonanza e stare per “dal  Kent dal forte vento” o qualcosa del genere
4) strath è una  valle fluviale che è ampia e poco profonda (al contrario del glen una vallata tipicamente più stretta e profonda).
5) il “Bogie” è un torrente nell’Aberdeenshire, che attraversa la bella valle o strath del Bogie.  Strathbogie però è anche il nome di una cittadina nella contea dell’Aberdeenshire detta Milton of Strathbogie
6) ancora un doppio senso pintle è il piolo di un cardine, o un bullone
7) een  sta per “even”= Evening letteralmente “rotolandosi senza inibizioni nella notte; oppure een è il prurale di “eye” “to roll one’s eyes” roteare gli occhi , la frase diventa “roteando gli occhi maliziosi, lascivi”
8) to dance a reel è ancora un doppio senso il reel è una tipica melodia da danza in cui i ballerini eseguono giravolte e descrivono intrecci.
9) le giubbe rosse vanno a pattugliare le highlands in cerca di ribelli o facinorosi. Il riferimento è calzante con la situazione della narrazione
10) nello slang americano sta per  gangbanger =  membro di una banda di tipacci
ma nel 1700 è uno che canta a voce alta (banda musicale)
11) doppio senso

Murtaugh  con movenze un po’ orsine balla sulle spade incrociate a tempo di Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy Of Company B

LA REALTA’ STORICA

“The Reels o’ Bogie” è una canzoncina ricca di doppi sensi del 1700 dalle molte versioni (se ne contano 5) tra le quali una attribuita al Duca Alexander Gordon su musica arrangiata da J. Haydn ancora cantata nei salotti lirici.

Hob. XXXIa no. 55, JHW. XXXII/1 no. 55 in “Haydn: Scottish and Welsh Songs”, Vol. 1, 2009 (ascolta su Spotify).


I
There’s cauld kail in Aberdeen,
And castocks in Stra’bogie,
Gin I hae but a bonny lass,
Ye’re welcome to your cogie.
And ye may sit up a’ the night,
And drink till it be braid daylight;
Gie me a lass baith clean and tight,
To dance the Reel of Bogie.
II
In cotillons the French excel,
John Bull in countra dances;
The Spaniards dance fandangos well,
Mynheer an all’mand prances;
In foursome reels the Scots delight,
The threesome maist dance wound’rous light;
But twasome ding a’ out o’ sight,
Danc’d to the Reel of Bogie.
III
Now a’ the lads ha’e done their best,
Like true men of Stra’bogie;
We’ll stop a while and tak a rest,
And tipple out a cogie;
Come now, my lads, and tak your glass,
And try ilk other to surpass,
In wishing health to every lass
To dance the Reel of Bogie.
Traduzione italiana Cattia Salto
I
Abbiamo zuppa fredda ad Aberdeen
e gambi di cavolo a Strathbogie,
e se c’è una bella ragazza
che sia la benvenuta al brindisi!
Ti puoi sedere per tutta la notte
e bere finchè spunterà la luce del giorno: datemi un ragazza fresca e soda, per ballare il Reel del Bogie.
II
Nel Cotillon i Francesi eccellono,
gli Inglesi nella Contraddanza;
gli Spagnoli danzano bene il Fandango, i Tedeschi il ballo alemanno,
gli Scozzesi si dilettano nel reel a quattro (quadriglia), il trio
ballerà in modo mirabile
ma la coppia andrà a nascondersi
per ballare il Reel del Bogie.
III
Ora che tutti i signori hanno fatto del loro meglio, come veri uomini di Strathbogie, ci fermeremo un po’ per riposarci, e bere un sorso.
Venite signori, e prendete il bicchiere e cercate di superare tutti gli altri nel bere alla salute di ogni ragazza che danza il Reel del Bogie

Lo stesso Robert Burns ne riarrangia una con il titolo “There’s cauld kail in Aberdeen” allungando con versi di suo pugno (i primo tre) la versione tradizionale riportata  da David Herd nel suo “Scots Songs” (1776, vol II).

ASCOLTA Jean Redpath in Songs of Robert Burns Vol 1 & 2, 1996 su Spotify. La versione di Ewan McColl ricalca sostanzialmente quella di Jean.


I
Cauld kail (1)  in Aberdeen
And castocks (2)  in Strabogie
But yet I fear they’ll cook o’er soon,
And never warm the coggie (3).
II
My coggie, Sirs, my coggie, Sirs,
I cannot want my coggie;
I wadna gie my three-gir’d cap (4)
For e’er a quine (5) on Bogie.
III
There’s Johnie Smith has got a wife
That scrimps him o’ his coggie,
If she were mine, upon my life
I wad douk her in a Bogie.
IV
My coggie, Sirs, my coggie, Sirs,
I cannot want my coggie;
I wadna gie my three-girr’d cap
For e’er a quine on Bogie
V
There’s cauld kail in Aberdeen,
And castocks in Strabogie;
When ilka lad maun hae his lass,
Then fye, gie me my coggie.
VI
The lasses about Bogie gicht (6)
Their limbs, they are sae clean and tight (7),
That if they were but girded right,
They’ll dance the reel of Bogie (8).
VII
Wow, Aberdeen, what did you mean,
Sae young a maid to woo, Sir (9)?
I’m sure it was nae joke to her,
Whate’er it was to you, Sir.
VIII
For lasses  (10) now are nae sae blate
But they ken auld folk’s out o’ date,
And better playfare can they get
Than castocks in Strabogie.
Traduzione italiana Cattia Salto
I
Zuppa fredda ad Aberdeen
e gambi di cavolo a Strathbogie,
temo che cucineranno velocemente senza riscaldare la scodella.
II
La mia scodella, signori, la mia scodella
non voglio altro che la mia scodella: darei la mia scodella con tre manici, di continuo, a una servetta sul Bogie
III
Johnie Smith ha una moglie
che lesina sulla sua razione (di zuppa),
se fosse la mia, giuro
che la getterei nel Bogie
IV
La mia scodella, signori, la mia scodella
non voglio altro che la mia scodella: darei la mia scodella con tre manici, di continuo, a una servetta sul Bogie
V
Zuppa fredda ad Aberdeen
e gambi di cavolo a Strathbogie,
ogni uomo deve avere la sua amica,
allora sbrigati, dammi la mia scodella.
VI
Le ragazze di Bogingicht
braccia e gambe, sono così fresche e sode (strette)
che non appena le stringi per bene
ballano il reel del Bogie.
VII
Signore di  Aberdeen, cosa vi era preso ad amoreggiare con una così giovane servetta? Di certo non era una facezia per lei, qualunque cosa fosse per voi.
VIII
Perchè le ragazze oggi non sono così timide e sanno come ottenere giocattoli migliori che i vecchi superati  gambi di cavolo nella valle del Bogie (a Strathbogie).

NOTE
1) Kail o kale è una varietà di cavolo cucinato in Inghilterra nella zuppa, forse un tempo aveva il significato di pietanza appetitosa,  ‘castocks’ sono i gambi del cavolo. Ma i doppi sensi si sprecano. La pietanza riscaldata non è poi così gustosa come sembra!
2) Strathbogie potrebbe essere  sia la valle del Bogie ma anche la cittadina Milton of Strathbogie (oggi Huntly) dimora storica del reggimento di Gordon Highlanders, tradizionalmente reclutato in tutto il nord-est della Scozia.
3) coggie è la tazza o scodella, per  sorbire la zuppa o mangiare il porridge. Il senso è “finiranno presto e riscalderanno appena la zuppa” e chi ha orecchie per intendere, intenda
4) Cap (cup) ha lo stesso significato di cog e infatti in alcune versioni è scritto three-girr’d cog (coggie);  three-girred = surrounded with three hoops, three-ringed cup
5) quine è un termine arcaico per donna, ma ha diversi significati può voler dire moglie oppure figlia,  indicare una servetta o ancora essere usato in termini dispregiativi
6) se considerata una parola divisa gicht=saucy; ma scritto anche come Bogingicht; Bog of Gight o Bogengight era l’antica designazione della sede della damiglia ducale di Seton-Gordon, oggi Gordon Castle
7) letteralmente pulite e strette
8) doppio senso
9) si mette in ridicolo un vecchio (forse il Lord di quelle terre) che si ostina a corteggiare le giovani ragazze!
10) sottointeso le ragazze di Bogingicht

E ovviamente c’è anche una scottish country dance con il titolo Cauld Kail in Aberdeen!!

E un reel irlandese dallo stesso titolo!

FONTI
https://carrielt21.wordpress.com/2015/05/14/scotlands-burns-and-outlander-rival-shakespeares-bawdy/
https://carrielt21.wordpress.com/2015/05/16/adapted-bawdy-lyrics-outlander-tv-series-episode-114-the-search/
http://www.outlandercast.com/2016/01/top-ten-musical-moments-of-season-1.html

https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_Book_of_Scottish_Song/Cauld_Kail_in_Aberdeen_1
http://www.burnsscotland.com/items/v/volume-ii,-song-162,-page-170-cauld-kail-in-aberdeen.aspx
http://www.bartleby.com/333/222.html
http://www.lieder.net/lieder/get_text.html?TextId=92760

http://www.rscds-swws.org/news/200707/vol24-1.htm

https://www.scottish-country-dancing-dictionary.com/dance-crib/cauld-kail.html
https://eatthetable.com/2014/04/30/147/
https://biblio.wiki/wiki/Songs_of_Robert_Burns/There%27s_cauld_kail_in_Aberdeen

https://thesession.org/tunes/3307
http://www.musicanet.org/robokopp/scottish/cauldkai.htm
http://tunearch.org/wiki/Annotation:Reel_of_Bogie_(1)_(The)
http://www.tunearch.org/wiki/Annotation:Reel_of_Bogie_(2)

Outlander: Baroque Boogie Woogie

Leggi in italiano

FROM OUTLANDER BOOK

Diana Gabaldon

In the first book of the Outlander saga written by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 34 is dedicated to the search for her missing Jamie and Claire is going along with the faithful and stainless Roger Murtaugh. Acting as barkers (hoping Jamie to get in touch with them) they perform in taverns and fairs with Murtaugh as the main entertainer and Claire as choir, and if necessary, fortune teller. The song that is mentioned in the book is the Border ballad “The Dowie Dens of Yarrow“.

OUTLANDER TV: “The Search”

Murtaugh (Danny Glover) is on the contrary, a rather clumsy dancer and Claire is not really versed for singing, but nor out of tune, so she hopes to liven up the performance of a barely passable dancer, humming a very popular boogie woogie in her day, 1945; Murtagh immediately likes the silly tune (despite the cultural divide between popular baroque music and 20th century folk music) but he suggests to fit a more bawdy song text that the 1743 audience will know better: “The Reels o’ Bogie”

Caitriona Balfe as Claire Fraser in “The Search.” Image credit Sony Pictures Television

Claire: May I make a suggestion? Perhaps you could sing a song to jazz up the dance a bit.
Murtaugh: Jazz?
C: To spice up, enliven.
M: A song?
C: Yes, something toe-tapping like…
♪ He was a famous trumpet man from out Chicago way ♪
♪ He had a boogie style that no one else could play ♪
♪ He was a top man at his craft ♪
♪ But then his number came up and he was gone with the draft ♪
♪ He’s in the army now a-blowin’ reveille ♪
♪ He’s the boogie-woogie bugle boy of company b ♪
M:  It’s a Bonnie tune, but you need a Scottish song. And a new look. That’s jazzed you up a bit, eh?
(http://transcripts.foreverdreaming.org/viewtopic.php?f=198&t=18201)

Claire performance of a traditional bawdy Scots song “The Reels o’ Bogie” to the tune of “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy.”


I
Here’s to all you lads and lasses
That go out this way.
Be sure to tip your coggie (1)
When you take her out to play (2)
Lads and lasses toy a kiss,
The lads never think
What they do is amiss
Chorus:
Because there’s Kent and keen (3)
And there’s Aberdeen
And there’s naan as muckle
as the Strath of boogie (4)-woogie
II
For every lad’ll wander
Just to have his lass
An’ when they see her pintle (5) rise,
They’ll raise a glass
And rowe about their wanton een (6)
They dance a reel (7) as the troopers
Go over the lea

[Chorus]
A-root, a-toot
A rooty-a-doot
A-root, a-toot
A rooty-a-doot
III
He giggled, goggled me
He was a banger (8)
He sought the prize
between my thighs
Became a hanger (9)
[Chorus]
And no there’s naan as muckle
As the wanton tune
Of strath of boogie

NOTES
1) a sexual metaphor: coggie – n., diminutive of “cog,” meaning cup, or wooden bowl to drink. 
 A typical ceremonial Scottish cup with two handles called quaich (quaigh or quoich), traditionally made of wood, with bands like those of a barrel held together by a circle of willow or silver; today they are largely silver.
2) erotic play
3) “Kent and keen” Kent is a county in the southeastern part of England, where the white cliffs of Dover are located so the point (for travelers from the mainland) further south; “keen” is not a county and not even a village, maybe an old term for the Border
4) Strathbogie: or Milton of Strathbogie the old name of Huntly, Scotland. A strath is a large valley, typically a river valley that is wide and shallow (as opposed to a glen which is typically narrower and deep. So it’s a sexual metaphor: its wideness and openness, is lasciviousness or moral looseness. The “Bogie,” also known as the Water of Bogie is a stream in Aberdeenshire, which runs through the beautiful strath or valley called Strathbogie
5) pintle – n., “a pin or bolt, especially one on whichsomething turns, as the gudgeon of a hinge.” – Dictionary.com. Metaphor for penis.
6) een= eyes, “to roll one’s eyes” 
7) to dance a reel: dance the miller’s reel / dance the reels of Stumpie , obsolete phrase referring to sexual intercourse; reel: a type of dance, associated with weaving and spinning, emphasizing this kind of pattern and movement
8) american slang = gangbanger , but in 700’s one’s sing very loudly  (musical group)
9) hanger=a man with a long penis 

The swords dance of Murtaugh and Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy Of Company B’s tune

THE HISTORICAL REALITY

We know five different versions dating to the 18th century of “The Reels o ‘Bogie” (aka “Cauld Kale in Aberdeen”) among which one attributed to Duke Alexander Gordon with music arranged by J. Haydn is still sung in the lyrical world
Hob. XXXIa no. 55, JHW. XXXII/1 no. 55 in “Haydn: Scottish and Welsh Songs”, Vol. 1, 2009 (su Spotify)

THE REELS O ‘BOGIE
I
There’s cauld kail in Aberdeen,
And castocks in Stra’bogie,
Gin I hae but a bonny lass,
Ye’re welcome to your cogie.
And ye may sit up a’ the night,
And drink till it be braid daylight;
Gie me a lass baith clean and tight,
To dance the Reel of Bogie.
II
In cotillons the French excel,
John Bull in countra dances;
The Spaniards dance fandangos well,
Mynheer an all’mand prances;
In foursome reels the Scots delight,
The threesome maist dance wound’rous light;
But twasome ding a’ out o’ sight,
Danc’d to the Reel of Bogie.
III
Now a’ the lads ha’e done their best,
Like true men of Stra’bogie;
We’ll stop a while and tak a rest,
And tipple out a cogie;
Come now, my lads, and tak your glass,
And try ilk other to surpass,
In wishing health to every lass
To dance the Reel of Bogie.
English translation Cattia Salto
I
There is cold soup in Aberdeen,
And cabbage stalks in Strathbogie,

if I have but a fair lady
you are welcome to your cup.
And you may sit up all the night,
and drink till it be broad daylight;
Give me a lass both clean and tight,
To dance the Reel of Bogie.
II
In cotillons the French excel,
the English in countrydances;
The Spaniards dance fandangos well,
Dutch an allemand prances;
In foursome reels the Scots delight,
The threesome may dance wounderous light;
But twasome ding all out of sight,
Danced to the Reel of Bogie.
III
Now all the lads have done their best,
Like true men of Strathbogie,
We’ll stop a while and take a rest,
And tipple out a cup;
Come now, my lads, and take your glass,/And try every other to surpass,
In wishing health to every lass
To dance the Reel of Bogie.

One version dates from David Herd’s Scots Songs, 1769 and Robert Burns re-worked his version several times for George Thomson’s Select Collection of Scottish Airs, 1793. He liberally combined Herd’s version with his own.
Jean Redpath in “Songs of Robert Burns” Vol 1 & 2, 1996 (Spotify)


I
Cauld kail (1)  in Aberdeen
And castocks  in Strabogie
But yet I fear they’ll cook o’er soon,
And never warm the coggie.
II
My coggie, Sirs, my coggie, Sirs,
I cannot want my coggie;
I wadna gie my three-gir’d cap (2)
For e’er a quine (3) on Bogie.
III
There’s Johnie Smith has got a wife
That scrimps him o’ his coggie,
If she were mine, upon my life
I wad douk her in a Bogie.
IV
My coggie, Sirs, my coggie, Sirs,
I cannot want my coggie;
I wadna gie my three-girr’d cap
For e’er a quine on Bogie
V
There’s cauld kail in Aberdeen,
And castocks in Strabogie;
When ilka lad maun hae his lass,
Then fye, gie me my coggie.
VI
The lasses about Bogie gicht (4)
Their limbs, they are sae clean and tight,
That if they were but girded right,
They’ll dance the reel of Bogie.
VII
Wow, Aberdeen, what did you mean,
Sae young a maid to woo, Sir (5)?
I’m sure it was nae joke to her,
Whate’er it was to you, Sir.
VIII
For lasses  now are nae sae blate
But they ken auld folk’s out o’ date,
And better playfare can they get
Than castocks in Strabogie.
English translation Cattia Salto
I
There is cold soup in Aberdeen,
And cabbage stalks in Strathbogie,
But yet I fear they’ll cook over soon
And never warm my wooden cup.
II
My cup, Sirs, my cup, Sirs,
I cannot want my cup:
I would not give my three-ringed cup,
For ever a maid on Bogie.
III
There is Johnie Smith has got a wife
That scrimps him of his cup,
If she were mine, upon my life
I would duck her in a bog.
IV
My cup, Sirs, my cup, Sirs,
I cannot want my cup:
I would not give my three-ringed cup,
For ever a young girl on Bogie
V
There is cold soup in Aberdeen,
And cabbage stalks in Strathbogie,
When every lad must have his girl-friend,
Then fye, give me my cup.
VI
The lasses about Bogingicht
Their limbs, they are so clean and tight,
That if they were but girded right,
They’ll dance the reel of Bogie.
VII
Wow, Aberdeen, what did you mean,
So young a maid to woo, Sir?
I’m sure it was no joke to her,
Whatever it was to you, Sir.
VIII
For lasses now are no so timid
But they know old folk’s out of date,
And playthings can they get
Than castocks in Strabogie.

NOTES
1) ‘Kail’ or ‘kale’ is a type of cabbage. It grows on a stalk, has large crinkly leaves and is of the cabbage family. Kail is usually used in broth, and often a vegetable soup containing kail was called kail-broth, or simply ‘kail’. Cold kail would be such a broth that had cooled and lost its savour. Hence the familiar Scottish saying with reference to the restoration of old ideas or practices that had seen their day — ‘cauld kail het again’ (cold kail reheated!).”
2) Cap (cup)= cog also “three-girr’d cog (coggie);  three-girred = surrounded with three hoops, three-ringed cup
3) quine
4)  gicht=saucy; or Bogingicht; Bog of Gight, or Bogengight, was the ancient designation of the seat of the ducal family of Seton-Gordon. It is now termed Gordon Castle
5) he ridicules an old man (perhaps the Lord of those lands) who persists in wooing a young lass!
“From the language, the authorship may be safely assigned to an Aberdonian, we suspect the song refers to the first Earl of Aberdeen, who died 20th April 1720, in the eighty third year of his age.  As the name is specially given, there cannot be much difficulty in identifying the hero with the Sir George Gordon of Haddo, born 3rd October 1637, who was Lord Chancellor of Scotland from 1682 to 1684, and who was created Earl of Aberdeen … 1682, to him and the heirs-male of his body..
Lord Lewis Gordon … in the ’45 … declared for Prince Charles…. When all the Pretender’s hopes were blasted at Culloden … [he] fled to France, where he died in 1754. One of his sisters, a young lady of great beauty, became the third wife of William Earl of Aberdeen, which gave rise to the following lines in the well-known song of ‘Cauld Kail in Aberdeen, and Custocks in Strathbogie [VII an VIII verses]” (source: Fraser’s Magazine (London, 18668 (“Digitized by Google”)), Vol. LXXIII, p. 575).

And here is the scottish country dance “Cauld Kail in Aberdeen”!!

“The Reel of Bogie” is also claimed and played as an Irish folk song.

LINK
https://carrielt21.wordpress.com/2015/05/14/scotlands-burns-and-outlander-rival-shakespeares-bawdy/
https://carrielt21.wordpress.com/2015/05/16/adapted-bawdy-lyrics-outlander-tv-series-episode-114-the-search/
http://www.outlandercast.com/2016/01/top-ten-musical-moments-of-season-1.html

https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_Book_of_Scottish_Song/Cauld_Kail_in_Aberdeen_1
http://www.burnsscotland.com/items/v/volume-ii,-song-162,-page-170-cauld-kail-in-aberdeen.aspx
http://www.bartleby.com/333/222.html
http://www.lieder.net/lieder/get_text.html?TextId=92760

http://www.rscds-swws.org/news/200707/vol24-1.htm

https://www.scottish-country-dancing-dictionary.com/dance-crib/cauld-kail.html
https://eatthetable.com/2014/04/30/147/
https://biblio.wiki/wiki/Songs_of_Robert_Burns/There%27s_cauld_kail_in_Aberdeen

https://thesession.org/tunes/3307
http://www.musicanet.org/robokopp/scottish/cauldkai.htm
http://tunearch.org/wiki/Annotation:Reel_of_Bogie_(1)_(The)
http://www.tunearch.org/wiki/Annotation:Reel_of_Bogie_(2)

Dusty miller

Canzoncina passata per la penna di Robert Burns e rielaborata da un frammento di Herd (Ancient and Modern Scottish Songs 1776) “Dusty miller” è andata in stampa nello Scots Musical Museum nel 1788.
Il lavoro del mugnaio era importante nelle comunità di un tempo e anche nei piccoli centri era sempre presente un mulino. Carlo Ginzburg scrive  «La secolare ostilità tra contadini e mugnai aveva consolidato un’immagine del molinaro furbo, ladro, imbroglione, destinato alle pene infernali» (vedi)
Sebbene nelle canzoni popolari i mugnai siano per lo più personaggi avidi e disonesti, avari e donnaioli, su questa canzoncina non ci sono racconti anedottici; possiamo solo dire che è stata scritta dal punto di vista femminile, una donna chiaramente soddisfatta dalle prestazioni del mugnaio!
La melodia è riportata in numerose raccolte per violino del 1700, ma già aria popolare nel 1600  (vedi)

ASCOLTA Ewan MacColl

ASCOLTA Rod Paterson


I
Hey, the dusty Miller,
And his dusty coat,
He will spend (1) a shilling,
Or he win a groat(2):
Dusty was the coat,
Dusty was the colour,
Dusty was the kiss
That I gat frae the Miller.
II
Hey, the dusty Miller,
And his dusty sack;
Leeze me on the calling
Fills the dusty peck(3):
Fills the dusty peck,
Brings the dusty siller;
I wad gie my coatie
For the dusty Miller.
Traduzione italiano di Cattia Salto
I
Viva il mugnaio infarinato
e la sua giubba infarinata
spenderà uno schellino
o guadagnerà  un grosso d’argento:
polverosa era la giubba
polveroso era il colore
polveroso era il bacio
che ho preso dal muganio
II
Viva il mugnaio infarinato
e il suo sacco infarinato,
caro è per me il suo richiamo,
riempie il  peck infarinato:
riempie il  peck infarinato,
porta l’argento infarinato;
darei la mia giubba
per il mugnaio infarinato

NOTE
1) nel SMM è scritto all’inverso: He will win a shilling, or he spend a groat
2) Antica moneta inglese d’argento, corrispondente al grosso, coniata dal 1351 al 1662; ebbe all’inizio un valore di poco superiore a quello del penny, […] ma in seguito fu ragguagliata a 4 pence. Il groat fu emesso anche in Scozia dal 1358 e in Irlanda dal 1460.
3) vecchia unità di misura equivalente a 1/4 di staio. In Scozia, il peck era usato come misura fino all’entrata in vigore della Legge sui Pesi e Misure del 1824 che uniformò i valori al sistema imperiale britannico Il peck in Scozia equivaleva a 9 litri (nel caso di certe colture, come frumento, piselli, fagioli e miglio) e a 13 litri (nel caso di orzo, avene e malto)

Il sito “The Fiddler’s Companion” elenca 8 brani diversi chiamati “The Dusty Miller”: si tratta di hornpipe, jig, slip jig, reel, strathspey
ASCOLTA Tony Rice

ASCOLTA The Chieftains

ENGLISH COUNTRY DANCE: in versione lenta

FONTI
http://www.studicassinati.it/db1/jupgrade/index.php/archivio/100-anno-xv-n-1-gennaio-marzo-2015/1052-m-ottaviani-storie-di-mole-mugnai-e-mugnaie
http://www.burnsscotland.com/items/v/volume-ii,-song-144,-page-151-dusty-miller.aspx
http://tunearch.org/wiki/Annotation:Dusty_Miller_(6)
http://www.cobbler.plus.com/wbc/poems/translations/476.htm
https://thesession.org/tunes/4323
https://www.scottish-country-dancing-dictionary.com/dance-crib/dusty-miller.html

Hey for Christmas

Tra i resoconti e le cronache di come in Inghilterra si festeggiassero i dodici giorni del Natale spicca questa canzoncina dal titolo “Hay for Christmas” in cui, anche se non espressamente citata, è chiaramente richiamata la festa dell’Epifania.

Shropshire Wakes

Il testo è contenuto in un foglio volante stampato a Londra alla fine del 1600. La melodia abbinata è la popolarissima Dargason

ASCOLTA Passamezzo
ASCOLTA The Baltimore Consort


I
Come Robin Ralph, and little Harry,
and merry Thomas at our Green,
Where we shall meet with Briget and Sary,
and the finest young wenches that ere were seen:
Then high for Christmas once a year
And where we have Cakes, both ale and beer (1)
And to our christmas feast there comes,/ Young men and Maid to shake their bums (2).
II
For Gammer Nichols has gotten a Custard
My Neighbour Wood a roasted Pig,
And Widdow Franklin hath beer & mustard,
& at the Thatcht house there is good swig.
III
There’s a fidler for to play e’ry Dance
when the young Lads and Lasses meet:
With which the Men & Maids will prance,
with the fidler before them down the street:
IV
The Morice dancers (3) will be ready
Meat and Drink enough to lade ye (4):
And in a Fools dress will be little Neddy,
to entertain our Christmas Lady (5)
V
And when that they shall all appear,
that are to be at our brave Wakes,
To eat iup the Meat(6), and drink up the Beer,/ And to play at cards for Ale and Cakes (7)
VI
Then Grace and sweetest Winnifret,
and all the Lasses on the place,
When that the young men they have met/ see how the Devils-dream (8) they’l trace:
VII
They side and then tun round about
and briskly trip it to each other:
And when they have danct it out,
they presently call for another
VIII
Ralph leading up with Sue in ‘s hand,
And Briget being by Robins side,
You’d laugh to see how they do stand:
with their heads together and feet so wide
IX
The dance being done the fidler plays Kissum (9)
which Dick and Harry soon did so,
And Randal the Taylor could not missum (10),
but he must kiss his Partner too.
X
Then they sat down to their good cheer,
and pleasant were both Maids and Men, /And having din d and drank their bear (11),
they rose and went to dance again,
XI
Thus they did daunce from noon till night,
and wer as merry as Cup and Can (12),
Till they had tyrd the Fidler quite (13),
and the sweat down their buttocks ran.
XII
Then they went to the little thatcht house,
and plaid at Cards a game or two,
And with the good Liquor did so carouse,/that they made drunk both Tom and Hugh.
XIII
The rest unto Hot-cockles (14) went,
but Neddy gave Nelly a blow too hard,
That all together by the ears they went,
and all their sporting soon was mar’d.
XIV
The Pots flew about the glasses were broke
Doll was taring Mol by th Quife (15),
Richard was pulling John by the throat,
at which the Hostess drew her knife.
XV
They took the Fidler and broke his pate (16)
and threw his fiddle into the fire:
And drunkenly went home so late,
that most of them fell in the mire.
XVI
The men went away and paid ne’r a groat,
but left the Maids to pay (17) for their chear,
Betty was forst to pawn her laste coat,
and ??? to leave her Garget (18) there :
XVII
And so my merry ballad is Ended,
when the Maids come agoin to these wakes
they’l first see the young lads manners mended
and make them pay for ale and Cakes.
Traduzione italiano di Cattia Salto*
I
Venite Robin, Ralph, e il piccolo Harry
e l’allegro Thomas al nostro Ballo
dove ci incontreremo con Briget
e Sary,
e le più belle giovani ragazze che mai si siano viste:
Allora evviva il Natale una volta all’anno
dove abbiamo dolci e anche birra normale e birra luppolata,
e alla nostra festa di Natale là vanno
giovanotti e fanciulle a muovere
il culo
II
Gammer Nichols ha preso una  crema pasticcera
il mio vicino Wood un maiale arrosto
e  Widdow Franklin ha preso birra e mostarda
perchè in Casa Thatcht c’è  un bel divertimento
III
Ci sarà un violinista per suonare ogni danza quando i giovani ragazzi e le ragazze s’incontreranno: gli uomini e le donne  zompetteranno
con il violinista davanti a loro in cima alla fila
IV
I Morris terranno pronti cibo e bevande in abbondanza per rinfrescarsi e nell’abito del Matto ci sarà il piccolo Neddy a intrattenere la nostra Regina del Natale
V
Per ciò tutti si presenteranno
per essere alla nostra brava Veglia;
a mangiare carne e a bere birra
e a giocare alle carte, per le belle cose della vita
VI
Allora Grace e la graziosa Winnifret,
e tutte le ragazze al posto
non appena con i giovanotti si saranno accoppiate,  vedrai come danzeranno “The Devils-dream”
VII
Si metteranno in fila e poi gireranno in cerchio e allegramente si pesteranno i piedi l’un l’altro, e quando l’avranno danzata, ne richiederanno un’altra
VII
Ralph comanda con Sue per mano
e Briget sta al fianco di Robi
n,
rideresti nel vedere come sono messi:
con le teste vicine e i piedi così
distanti
IX
A danza terminata il violinista suona “Kissum”
che Dick e Harry subito fecero
e Randal il sarto non voleva sbagliare
e ugualmente doveva baciare la sua compagna
X
Poi si riposarono e per il loro buon umore  fu piacevole sia per le fanciulle che per i giovanotti
prendere delle  bevande e bere le loro birre, poi si alzarono e andarono a danzare nuovamente
XI
Così ballarono da mattino a sera e furono felici come “piselli nel baccello”
fino a quando finirono per stancare il violinista e il sudore scorreva giù per le  natiche
XII
Poi andarono al piccolo cottage con il tetto di paglia
e giocarono una partita o due a carte
e con il buon liquore fecero così baldoria
che si ubriacarono anche Tom e Hugh.
XIII
Il resto giocò a “mano calda”, ma Neddy diede a Nelly un colpo troppo forte che tutti quanti si presero per le orecchie e tutti i giochi subito naufragarono
XIV
Volarono  caraffe e i bicchieri furono infranti, Doll stava tirando Mol per la Cuffietta, Richard stava prendendo John per la gola a cui la padrona mostrava il coltello
XV
Presero il violinista e gli ruppero la testa e gettarono il violino nel fuoco: così ubriachi andarono a casa così tardi che la maggior parte di loro cadde nel fango
XVI
Gli uomini se se andarono e non pagarono un soldo,  ma lasciarono che le fanciulle pagassero per il divertimento, Betty fu la prima a dare il pegno la sua ultima giacchina  e ??? a lasciarci anche il collarino
XVII
E così la mia divertente ballata è finita
quando le ragazze ritorneranno di nuovo a queste veglie
per prima cosa si metteranno al riparo dalle abitudini dei giovanotti
e li faranno pagare per il divertimento.

NOTE
* questa è solo la prima stesura che ha bisogno di essere revisionata e meglio scritta
1) Nelle Isole Britanniche  si producevanoall’epoca prevalentemente birre non luppolate dette ALE; erano infatti le birre provenienti dal “continente” a contenere luppolo e quindi distinte con una parola diversa BEER!
2) l’espressione significa “dimenarsi”, ballare in modo sfrenato”
3) I Morris dancers sono danzatori in costume che si esibiscono in balli popolari risalenti al medioevo eseguiti con passo saltellato e l’uso di bastoni, fazzoletti ma anche spade e assordanti campanelle
4) to lade= prelevare (acqua o liquidi) con un mestolo sta per to  ladle, servire con un mestolo quindi “Drink enough to lade ye” con una traduzione letterale diventa: “bevanda bastante da mescersi”
5) è la Regina del Pisello, per motivi di rima menzionata come Regina del Disordine, ovviamente in coppia con Re Fagiolo (vedi Torta del fagiolo)
6) Meat in questo contesto sta più genericamente per cibo, l’ho tradotto con pasticci in riferimento alle preparazioni in crosta ripiene di carne
7) Cakes and Ale è un modo di dire per “the good things of life” 
8) “The Devils-dream
(il sogno del diavolo): la melodia è un reel e anche una popolare country dance, istruzioni e video qui; la melodia è conosciuta soprattutto in Scozia  con il titolo di “The Devil Amang the Taylors”  abbinata a una scottish country dance istruzioni e video qui
9) “The Cushion Dance” è descritta come la “danza dei baci” da qui il soprannome kissum” (istruzioni qui)
10 )trovato anche trascritto  ” And Randall the tailor he would not miss”
11) la trascrizione del testo dirattamente dai broadsides diventa a volte problematica sia per le condizioni d’usura dei fogli che per i carattere di stampa utilizzati: così ho interpretato il verso nel contesto
12) termine colloquiale per indicare una coppia ben assortita come ad esempio “pane e burro”, “culo e camicia”
13) “Till they had tired the fiddler quite”

A Game of Hot Cockles, attribuito a D Van Der Plaes fine 1600:  uno dei tipici giochi natalizi con cui si divertivano i giovani

14) Hot-cockles letteralmente “vongole calde” era un popolare gioco fin dal Medioevo, praticato un tempo dagli adulti e oggi forse solo dai bambini (diciamo che gli ultimi a giocarlo sono stati i ragazzi pre-telefonino), detto il gioco del soldato perchè tipico gioco da caserma, oppure gioco della “mano calda”.

15) Quife= coif
16) patehead, skull
17) la consuetudine di un tempo era che il violinista  venisse ingaggiato dai danzatori i quali lo pagavano a fine serata facendo una colletta
18) Garget = gorget

DARGASON

Anche intitolata Sedanny è una danza pubblicata nel “The English Dancing Master” di John Playford (1651)

ASCOLTA la versione di Gustav Holst St. Paul’s Suite 

Affresco Villa Caldogno: Invito alla danza, Giovanni Antonio Fasolo: è chiaramente illustrata una Dargason

FONTI
https://mainlynorfolk.info/john.kirkpatrick/songs/heyforchristmas.html
https://www.hymnsandcarolsofchristmas.com/Hymns_and_Carols/shropshire_wakes.htm

https://thesession.org/tunes/9468
http://www.pbm.com/~lindahl/lod/vol2/dargason.html
http://www.englishcountrydancing.org/cowpercoles6.html

Masters In This Hall

Nel 1860 William Morris  scrisse il testo dell’inno natalizio “Masters in This Hall“. Artista e scrittore, fondatore del movimento artistico “Arts and Crafts”, nonchè membro della “Confraternita dei Raffaelliti”  Morris era fautore di un ritorno alla qualità artistica delle botteghe medievali, per un artigianato d’arte contrapposto al degrado di qualità e di gusto causato dall’industrialesimo.
L’ideologia preraffaelita, per così dire, nella sua semplice sintesi, era geniale. L’idea del sublime, del lusso, delle cose belle, preziose, e poi dei modi gentili, dello stile raffinato, della situazione sospesa come in incantamento, colta nella magia di ambienti simbolici. Accanto a questa, l’idea speculare del popolo nobilitato da un lavoro a dimensione umana, un popolo non solo artigiano, quindi arricchito dalla bellezza del proprio mestiere d’arte, ma anche artefice. Nati nel pieno degli eccessi del capitalismo, che proprio nell’Inghilterra dell’Ottocento stava costruendo il suo potere sulla miseria e lo sfruttamento di masse di diseredati, schiavizzati dal lavoro di fabbrica, i preraffaeliti svilupparono una loro sensibilità sociale, ma estranea al freddo economicismo marxista. Il loro era un socialismo neanche umanitario, ma populista, anzi patriottico, romantico, quasi mitico. (tratto da qui)

Tra le sue massime spicca “Non avere nella tua casa nulla che tu non sappia utile, o che non creda bello“, al di là degli slogan nella sua azienda la Morris, Marshall & Co – in cui si dedicò principalmente al disegno di decorazioni floreali per tessuti, pannelli per pareti, arazzi e finestre (pittura su vetro e su carta da parati)- saranno usate comunque le macchine “industriali”, ma con una logica contraria al processo di industrializzazione in atto: è la macchina a dover essere al servizio dell’uomo, e non viceversa.

Morris scrisse “Masters in This Hall” (anche intitolato “Nowell, Sing We Clear”) all’età di 26 anni quando era tirocinante presso lo studio dell’architetto Edmund Street, forse suggestionato dalla melodia che vi suonò l’architetto e musicista Edmund Sedding, il quale incluse il testo scritto dall’amico nella sua raccolta “Nine Antient and Goodly Carols for the Merry Tide of Christmas” (1860); la versione originale consta di 12 strofe, ma in genere oggi ne vengono cantate solo 4 o 5, ed è eseguito spesso dalle corali essendo stato arrangiato da Gustav Holst nel suo “Three Carols” per coro e orchestra (o per organo).

ASCOLTA Barry Beth Hall in “A Feast of Songs” 2002

ASCOLTA l’arrangiamento di John Riggio


I
Masters in this Hall,
Hear ye news to-day
Brought from over sea,
And ever I you pray:
Chorus
Nowell! Nowell! Nowell!
Nowell, sing we clearl
Holpen are all folk on earth,
Born is God’s son so dear:
Nowell! Nowell! Nowell!
Nowell, sing we loudl
God to-day hath poor folk raised
And cast a-down the proud.
II
Going o’er the hills,
Through the milk-white snow,
Heard I ewes bleat
While the wind did blow
III
Then to Bethlem town
We went two and two,
And in a sorry place
Heard the oxen low
IV
Therein did we see
A sweet and goodly may
And a fair old man,
Upon the straw she lay
V
And a little child
On her arm had she,
“Wot ye who this is?”
Said the hinds to me
VI
This is Christ the Lord,
Masters be ye glad!
Christmas is come in,
And no folk should be sad
Traduzione italiano di Cattia Salto
I
Mastri (1) di questa sala
ascoltate la novella di oggi
portata da oltremare
e sempre vi prego:
Coro
E’ Nato, è nato è nato
è nato, cantiamo serenamente
soccorso è il popolo in terra
è nato il figlio di Dio così amato.
E’ Nato, è nato è nato
è nato cantiamo forte

Dio ha oggi innalzato la povera gente
e abbattuto i superbi (2)

II
Andando per le colline
sulla neve bianco latte
udii belare le pecorelle
mentre il vento soffiava:
III
Allora alla città di Betlemme
andammo due a due
e in un luogo desolato
udimmo il bue muggire:
IV
Là vedemmo
una dolce e bella Maria (3)
e un vecchio fiero,
sulla paglia lei giaceva
V
E un piccolino
aveva tra le braccia
“Non sapete chi è costui?”
mi dissero i servi
VI
“Questo è Cristo il Signore
mastri siate contenti!
Natale è arrivato
e il popolo non deve essere triste”

NOTE
1) il termine master ha un preciso significato medievale quello di magister colui che eccelle in un’arte così da poter essere considerato un caposcuola, in questo contesto si riferisce in generale alla gentry ma in particolare ai mastri artigiani di una corporazione
2) nel passato Morris vedeva una società più coesa, più genuina e apparentemente serena, un popolo nobile con un innato senso dell’armonia e del bello. Nei suoi scritti egli coniuga populismo romantico con il socialismo utopistico: Il “socialismo” di Morris consisteva nel generico rifiuto della società capitalistica e nella volontà – altrettanto generica – di promuovere quella che veniva chiamata “arte integrata”, cioè a dimensione dell’uomo e del suo ambiente, nel rispetto della storia, della tradizione, degli stili e della natura. C’era inoltre in Morris il convincimento che il lavoro comunitario, anche in ambito artistico, fosse la condizione migliore per favorire l’affermazione della creatività individuale. (tratto da qui)
3) ovviamente May sta per Mary

LA MELODIA FRANCESE

Nel 1706 il violinista e compositore francese Marin Marais scrisse “Alcyone”  tragedia in musica con la “Marche pour les Matelots” (Marcia per i Marinai) inserita nel Terzo Atto.
Il maestro di danza Raoul-Auger Feuillet vi coreografò la danza ‘La Matelotte’, di sua invenzione (probabilmente ispirandosi alle danze ricreative dei marinai), utilizzando e perfezionando il metodo di  notazione della danza teatrale sviluppato da Pierre Beauchamp. L’opera conobbe una vasta eco in Parigi e province e fu rappresentata fino al 1771 contribuendo alla popolarità della danza stessa nel Sud e Sud-Ovest della Francia (in particolare in Provenza, Guascogna) e nei Paesi Bassi.

ASCOLTA Jordi Savall

LA DANZA

La coreografia di  Raoul-Auger Feuillet (in Recueil de contredanse, 1706) è una contraddanza che in Inghilterra prende il nome di “The Female Saylor” (traddotta da John Essex  nel 1710). La danza è stata ulteriormente schematizzata e riportata in auge nel 1965 da Pat Shaw nel suo Six Simple Country Dances. 

Danza Antica: bellissima la versione barocca con strumenti d’epoca e i danzatori in costume

ecco l’intermezzo del solo eseguito dal cavaliere (per visualizzare meglio i passi) questa parte solista si è perduta nella versione della english country dance

FONTI
http://www.centrostudilaruna.it/socialismopreraffaeliti.html
https://www.liberliber.it/online/autori/autori-m/william-morris/
http://www.chiarapecorelli.com/it/william-morris-e-il-movimento-arts-and-crafts/
http://www.hymnsandcarolsofchristmas.com/Hymns_and_Carols/masters_in_this_hall-2.htm
http://www.hymnsandcarolsofchristmas.com/Hymns_and_Carols/masters_in_this_hall-1.htm

MAIRI BHAN VERSUS MHAIRI BHAN OG

Canto nunziale dedicato a Mary McNiven scritto in gaelico scozzese nel 1934 da John Bannerman e successivamente riscritto in inglese da Sir Hugh Roberton (prima parte qui)

La versione in gaelico di John Bannerman non è riferita al matrimonio dal punto di vista degli invitati come nella variante in Inglese, bensì al colpo di fulmine che è piombato sul bel Johnny alla vista della bella Mary, vincitrice della gara canora più ambita del tempo il MOD nazionale: così egli ne ammira la bellezza e la soavità del canto e la vuole sposare.

ASCOLTA The Lochies

ORIGINALE IN GAELICO
I
Gaol mo chrìdh-sa Màiri   Bhàn,
Màiri bhòidheach, sgeul mo dhàin;
‘S i mo ghaol-sa Màiri Bhàn,
‘S tha mi ‘dol ga pòsadh.
II
Thuit mi ann an gaol a-raoir,
Tha mo chrìdh-sa shuas air beinn,
Màiri Bhàn rim’ thaobh a’seinn,
‘S tha mi ‘dol ga pòsadh.
III
Cuailean òir is suilean tlàth,
Mala chaol is gruaidh an àigh,
Beul as binne sheinneas dàn,
‘S tha mi ‘dol ga pòsadh.
IV
‘S ann aig ceilidh aig a’ Mhòd
Fhuair mi eòlas air an òigh —
‘S ise choisinn am bonn òir,
‘S tha mi ‘dol ga pòsadh.
V
Bidh mo ghaol do Màiri Bhàn
Dìleas, dùrachdach gu bràth;
Seinnidh sinn da chèil’ ar gràdh,
‘S tha mi ‘dol ga pòsadh.

TRADUZIONE INGLESE
I
The love of my heart, fair-haired Mairi,
Beautiful Mairi, the story of my song;
She is my true love, fair-haired Mairi,
And I am going to marry her.
II
I fell in love last night,
My very heart is up on a mountain,
Fair-haired Mairi beside me, singing,
And I am going to marry her.
III
Golden locks and gentle eyes,
Narrow eyebrow and merry cheek,
Sweetest mouth to sing a song,
And I am going to marry her.
IV
It was at a ceilidh at the Mod
I became aware of the young woman
It was she that won the gold medal
And I am going to marry her.
V
My love for fair-haired Mairi will be
Faithful, sincere for ever;
Together we will sing our love,
And I am going to marry her.
tradotto da Cattia Salto
I
L’amore del mio cuore, Mary dai bei capelli
bella Mary, l’ispirazione della mia canzone, lei è il mio amore, Mary dai bei capelli e io la sposerò.
II
Mi sono innamorato la notte scorsa
e ora il mio cuore è in cima alla montagna, Mary dai bei capelli  che mi canta accanto e io la sposerò.
III
Riccioli d’oro e begli occhi sopracciglio fine e guancia sorridente,  la più dolce bocca per cantare e io la sposerò.
IV
Fu alla festa del Mod
che mi accorsi di una giovane donna
è stata lei a vincere la medaglia d’oro e io la sposerò.
V
Il mio amore per Mary dai bei capelli sarà fedele, sincero per sempre(1); insieme canteremo il nostro amore
e io la sposerò

NOTE
1) in realtà la storia non ebbe seguito e Mary convolò a nozze solo sei anni più tardi con il capitano di marina John Campbell di Glendale.

SCOTTISH COUNTRY DANCE

Nel 1959  James B. Cosh di Glasgow ideò una danza sulla melodia di Mairi’s wedding. Benchè composta da poche figure risulta un po’ più complicata per i principianti e non è una danza che s’impara in due minuti.

(per lo schema vedi)

MHAIRI BHAN OG

macintyreNon so perché in alcuni siti Mhairi Bhan Og (Mary Young And Fair) viene considerato come il vecchio brano scozzese riarrangiato da John Bannerman per la versione di Mairi’s Wedding; tale riferimento può essere azzardato forse per la parte testuale, non certo per quella melodica, benchè il testo di Bannerman sia molto più essenziale e contingente al momento dell’incontro.

Si tratta invece di una slow air composta da Duncan Ban MacIntyre (1724-1812) come regalo di nozze per la moglie.

Soprannominato il Bello (Bàn – bhàn) per la sua particolare avvenenza anche in tarda età, fu considerato l’ultimo dei bardi gaelici del 1700. Donnchadh Mac an t-Saoir era la sua denominazione in gaelico scozzese ossia Duncan figlio del Carpentiere, ovvero il clan MacIntyre stanziatosi in Scozia nel XIV secolo.
Duncan era un illetterato e non sapeva scrivere, ma conosceva bene le opere di Alexander MacDonald il grande poeta della generazione precedente. Riuscì a pubblicare (ricorrendo alla dettatura) un libro dal titolo “The Gaelic songs of Duncan MacIntyre” in una prima edizione stampata ad Edimburgo nel 1790

Soprannominato anche “il bardo cacciatore di Glen Orchy” (ovvero la località in cui nacque nell’Argyllshire) ebbe una vita avventurosa e finì in prigione per aver scritto la canzone contro i pantaloni (che gli scozzesi dovevano indossare al posto del gonnellino dopo la sconfitta di Culloden)

La versione modale si trova nella collezione di Patrick MacDonald “A collection of Highland Vocal Airs” pubblicata nel 1783, spartito e testo anche in “The Elizabeth Ross Manuscript” (Original Highland Airs Collected at Raasay in 1812 di Elizabeth Jane Ross) vedi pdf

Il brano ha un andamento sognante e dolce, ed è eseguito ai nostri tempi per lo più in versione strumentale, sia per arpa (o chitarra) che per violino, ma anche cornamusa o flauto. Spesso per formazioni in duo o in terzetto.

ASCOLTA James Graham, l’arrangiamento strumentale è essenziale in una venatura più malinconica o nostalgica: Mhairi Bhan Og ovvero Òran d’a Chèile Nuadh-Poste‘ (Song To His Newly Wedded Wife) tratta da “The Gaelic songs of Duncan MacIntyre” di George Calder 1921. La versione integrale è di 136 versi ma ridotta in poche strofe

ASCOLTA  Alyth McCormack (strofe I, II, I)


ORIGINALE IN GAELICO SCOZZESE*  ( vedi testo)
I
A Mhàiri bhàn òg ‘s tu ‘n òigh th’air m’aire,
Ri m’bheò bhith far am bithinn fhéin,
On fhuair mi ort còir cho mór ‘s bu mhath leam
Le pòsadh ceangailt’ o’n chléir,
Le cùmhnanta teann ‘s le banntaibh daingean,
‘S le snaidhm a dh’fhanas, nach tréig:
S e t’fhaotainn air làimh le gràdh gach caraid
Rinn slàinte mhaireann am’ chré.
II
Chaidh mi do’n choill an robh croinn is gallain,
bu bhoisgeil sealladh mu’n cuairt,
‘s bha miann mo shùl do dh’fhiùran barraicht’
an dlùthas nam meanganan suas;
gueg fo bhlàth o barr gu talamh,
a lùb mi farasda nuas;
bu duilich do chàch gu bràth a gearradh
‘s e ‘n dàn domh ‘m faillean a bhuain
III
Dheanaiun duit ceann, is crann, is t-earrach,
an am chur ghearran an éill;
is dheanainn mar chàch air tràigh na mara
chur àird air mealladh an éisg:
mharbhainn duit geòidh is ròin, is eala,
‘s na h-eòin air bharra nan geug;
‘s cha bhi thu ri d’ bheò gun seòl air aran,
‘s mi chòmhnuidh far am bi féidh
IV
Na’m faighinn an dràsd’ do chàradh daingean
an àite falaicht’ o’n eug;
ged thigeadh e ‘d dhàil, is m’ fhàgail falamh
cha b’ àill leam bean eil’ ad dhéidh;
cha toir mi gu bràth dhuit dranndan teallaich,
mu’n àrdaich aileag do chléibh,
ach rogha gach mànrain, gràdh, is furan,
cho blàth ‘s a b’urrainn mo bheul.

TRADUZIONE INGLESE
I
O fair young Mary, you’re the maid that I mean to have in my life wherever I am
since I obtained my right to you, strong and sure, with marriage ties from the clergy,
with firm concracts and secure bonds, and with a knot that will remain and not be forsaken:
obtaining your hand, with your family’s blessing, give me health for life until the grave
II
I went to the wood where trees and saplings
were a radiant sigh all around.
and my eye desired an excellent sapling
enclosed in the branches above:
a bough in blossom from its tip to the ground,
which I bent gently down towards me
It would be hard for another ever to cut it,
when it was destined for me this sapling to pluck
III
Your goodman I’d be, I’d plow, sow for you, sure,
at time to put colts into leash;
and I’d more do for you, like all else on the sea-shore,
set means for deceiving the fish:
I’d kill geese for you, the swan and the seal,
and the birds on the tops of the boughs; while you lives you’ll never be without means for a meal, and me living where red-deer will browes.
IV
If I could now place you a safely in a place hidden from death
if it came near you, leaving me forsaken
I would want to other woman after you:
I will never offer you fireside bickering or heaving and sobbing in your breast,
but the finest of wooing, love and caressing,
as warm as my lips can manage
tradotto da Cattia Salto
I
O bella e giovane Mary, tu sei la fanciulla che voglio avere nella mia vita ovunque sia,
perchè ho ottenuto il mio diritto su di te, forte e certo, con il matrimonio consacrato dal prete
con solenni giuramenti e stretti legami, con un nodo che durerà e non sarà sciolto:
ottenere la tua mano, con il consenso dei tuoi genitori
mi darà forza fino alla tomba.
II
Al bosco andai dove gli alberi e arbusti
facevano un bello sfondo
e guardai con brama al germoglio più bello
che cresceva sugli alti rami.
un ramo fiorito da cima
a fondo,
che gentilmente curvai verso di me,
sarebbe stato arduo per un altro tagliarlo
quando era destinato a me  il cogliere tale fuscello.
III
Per il tuo bene arerei, seminerei per te certamente
al momento di mettere i puledri nel recinto, e farei di tutto per te, come chiunque altro sulla spiaggia preparerei gli attrezzi per ingannare i pesci; ucciderei le anatre per te, il cigno e la foca,
e gli uccelli sulla cima dei rami; finchè vivrai
non ti mancheranno mai mezzi di sostentamento
vivendo dove il cervo s’inerpica.
IV
Se potessi metterti al sicuro in un posto protetto dalla morte,
e se si avvicinasse a te, lasciandomi abbandonato,
nessuna altra moglie dopo di te abbraccerò;
non ti offrirò mai gli alterchi del focolare
o ansimi e singhiozzi in petto
ma l’amore romantico e le carezze tanto calde come i baci della mia bocca.

NOTE
* si riportano solo i versi cantati

 

ASCOLTA  versione integrale (tratto da http://www.tobarandualchais.co.uk un archivio poderoso raccolto in tutta la Scozia a partire dal 1930)

Ascoltiamo la melodia con l’arpa bardica nell’arrangiamento di Vicente La Camera

FONTI
http://www.scottishpoetrylibrary.org.uk/poetry/poets/alasdair-mac-mhaighstir-alasdair
http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=6412
https://thesession.org/tunes/3878