The Outlandish Knight or Lady Isabel and the Elf Knight

The Ballad “Lady Isabel and the Elf Knight” defines a very specific theme of the popular ballads, the Bluebeard of fairy tales. Some versions lose the magical aura of the oldest tradition to become murder ballads, so the “False Sir John” is a sadistic murderer, but a murderous thief who takes advantage of the naivety of young marriageable girls to take their dowry.
Lady Isabel and the Elf Knight
 è diventato il titolo con cui per convenzione si definisce un tema ben preciso delle ballate popolari, il Barbablù delle fiabe. Alcune versioni perdono l’aura fiabesca-magica della tradizione più antica per diventare delle murder ballads, così il “False Sir John” (per niente cavaliere e nemmeno innamorato) non è tanto un omicida sadico, quanto un omicida ladro che si approfitta dell’ingenuità delle giovani ragazze da marito per prendersi la loro dote.

In this variant the false knight is a stranger who, with the promise of a marriage and a journey to some distant lands of the North, seduces his victim. Everything takes place as in the text already examined here, in front of the cliff and the prospect of being killed, the girl rebels and throws the man into the sea (in the lake or in the river).
In questa variante il cavaliere è uno straniero che con la promessa di un matrimonio e di un viaggio verso le lontane terre del Nord, seduce la sua vittima. Tutto si svolge come nel testo già esaminato qui, davanti alla scogliera e alla prospettiva di essere uccisa la fanciulla si ribella e getta l’uomo in mare (nel lago o nel fiume). 

Kate Rusby, live


I
An outlandish (1) knight came from the north (2) lands /He courted a lady fair
He said he would take her to those northern lands/ And there he would marry her
II
“Go fetch some of your fathers gold
And some of your mothers fee
And two of the horses from out of the stables Where there stands thirty and three”
III
She’s mounted on the lilly white steed
And he the dapple gray
They’ve rode til they come unto the sea side Three hours before it was day
IV
“Lights off Lights off, your lily white steed Deliver it unto me
Six pretty maidens have I drowned here
And the seventh will surely be thee
V
Take off take off
Your silken gowns
Deliver them unto me
For I do feel that they are too fine
To rot in the sun salt sea.”
VI
“If I take off my silken gowns
And turn your back on me
For it is not fitting that such a cruel world
A naked woman should see
VII
And cut away the brambles so sharp
The brambles from of the brim
For I do feel that they’ll tangle my hair
And scratch my tender skin”
VIII
So he’s turned his back all on the fair maid
And leant down over the brim
She’s taken him by his slander waist
And tumbled him into the stream
IX
“Lie there, lie there, you false-hearted man,
Lie there instead of me,
For six pretty maidens have you drowned here The seventh hath drown-ed thee”
traduzione italiano Cattia Salto 
I
Uno strano cavaliere venuto dal Nord
corteggiò una bella dama
Disse che l’avrebbe portata in quelle terre del Nord / E laggiù l’avrebbe sposata
II
“Vai a prendere un po’ d’oro di tuo padre
e una parte della dote di tua madre
e due cavalli della stalla
dove ce ne stanno 33″
III
Lei montò sul suo destriero bianco-giglio
e lui su un pezzato grigio
e cavalcarono fino a raggiungere la riva del mare/mancavano solo tre ore al farsi del giorno
IV
“Scendi, scendi dal tuo destriero bianco-giglio
consegnalo a me;
sei belle fanciulle ho affogato qui
e tu sarai sicuramente la settima.
V
Levati, levati
i tuoi vestiti di seta,
consegnali a me,
perchè credo che siano troppo preziosi
per marcire al sole nel mare salato”
VI
“Se mi leverò i vestiti d’argento
dammi le spalle
perchè non è lecito che in un mondo crudele
si debba vedere una donna nuda
VII 
E taglia i rovi appuntiti
i rovi lungo il bordo
perchè temo che si impiglieranno nei miei capelli e mi graffieranno la pelle delicata”
VIII
Così lui voltò le spalle alla fanciulla
e si sporse oltre il bordo
lei lo prese per la vita snella
e lo fece cadere nella corrente
IX
“Resta là, resta là giovanotto bugiardo
resta là al mio posto,
hai annegato qui sei belle fanciulle qui
e la settima ha annegato te”

NOTE
1) outlandish= foreign [ “un uomo di un paese straniero”] Knight= young man not a necessarily nobleman
2) in popular ballads the reference to the North more than a geographical reference indicates that something terrible / obscure is about to happen
nelle ballate popolari il riferimento al Nord più che un riferimento geografico indica che qualcosa di tremendo/oscuro sta per accadere

In this version we are again in a fairy-tale world with castles and realms, initially the knight is only a little “strange” and comes from the sea, only halfway to a ballad we discover that he is an elf knight who comes from the Other World (“From over the raging sea”)
In questa versione siamo di nuovo in un mondo fiabesco con castelli e reami, inizialmente il cavaliere è solo un po’ “strano” e viene dal mare, solo a metà ballata scopriamo che è un cavaliere elfo che preveniene da Altrove (“From over the raging sea“)

While the knight is drowning, he asks for help in exchange for marriage, but she is no longer deceived and refuses to give him her hand. As already stated for version B, it is very strange that a spirit of the water could drown!
Mentre affoga il cavaliere le chiede aiuto in cambio del matrimonio, ma lei non si lascia più ingannare e si rifiuta di dargli la mano. Come già espresso per la versione B è ben strano che uno spirito delle acque muoia annegato

Kadia – Lady Isabel and the Elf Knight in The Outlandish EP, 2017

Miranda Sykes & Rex Preston


I
There was a proper and tall young knight
And William was his name
He sailed across the raging sea
A’ courtingly he came
II
He took all of my father’s gold
And all my mother’s fee
He took two of my father’s horses
Best of thirty-three
[Chorus]
He promised we would ride the land
And he would marry me
Oh, you’re nothing but a false young knight
From over the raging sea
III
He rode on the milk-white steed
And she on the dappled grey
Together they made the North of Scotland
Hours before the day
IV
“Lie down, lie down -to her he said-
You never will be free
Six king’s daughters drowned here
The seventh one you shall be
V
She saw right through this tall young knight
He’d tricked her false love in
She saw the wrong intentions
That the bold knight had within
VI
He thought her just a fair young lass
With not the strength to win
Against this foolish Elfin knight
She hatched a plan for him
VII
So turn your back to the billowy waves
And your face to the old oak tree
You’re far too bad an outlandish knight
To view a stark lady”
VIII
So he turned his back to the billowy waves
And his face to the old oak tree
She threw her hands around his neck (2)
And tossed him into the sea
IX
Lie there, lie there, you false young man
Lie there in place of me
You’ve nothing fine nor costly
So you’ll rot far out to sea
X
And as he rose and as he sank,
And as he rose, said he,
“Oh, give me your hand (1), my pretty maid,
My bride forever you’ll be.
XI
“Lie there, lie there, you dirty dog
Lie there instead of me
You’re none too fine nor costly
So you’ll rot in the briney sea”
XII
She rode upon the milk white steed
And led the dappled grey
Returning to the castle
In the morning the next day
XIII
“Oh father, he had fase intentions
After courting me
Oh he’s nothing but a false young knight
From over the raging sea “
traduzione italiano Cattia Salto 
I
C’era un aitante cavaliere
di nome William
che attraversò il mare in tempesta
per venirmi a corteggiare
II
Prese tutto l’oro di mio padre
e la dote di mia madre
prese due dei cavalli di mio padre
i migliori dei 33″
Coro
Promise che avremmo galoppato per il paese
e che mi avrebbe sposato
ma non era altro che un falso giovane cavaliere
d’oltre mare
III
Lui cavalcava sul destriero bianco latte
e lei sul un pezzato grigio
insieme fecero il Nord della Scozia
mancavano quattro ore all’alba
IV
“Scendi, scendi -le disse-
non sarai mai libera
sei figlie di re ho affogato giù
e tu sarai la settima.
V
Lei si rese conto che quel giovane e alto cavaliere/ l’aveva ingannato con un falso amore
lei vide le brutte intenzioni
che il baldo cavaliere aveva dentro
VI
Lui credeva che lei fosse solo una ragazzina carina/ senza la forza per vincere
contro questo cavaliere elfo sciocco,
lei ordì un piano contro di lui
VII
“Gira le spalle ai marosi
e volgi il viso alla vecchia quercia
sei un cavaliere troppo cattivo e strano
per guardare una dama onesta”
VIII
Così lui girò le spalle ai marosi
e il viso rivolse alla vecchia quercia
e gli buttò le mani attorno al collo 
e lo gettò nel mare
IX
“Resta là, resta là giovanotto bugiardo
resta là al mio posto,
non hai niente di bello nè di prezioso
così marcirai in mare aperto”
X
E lui galleggiava e affondava
e quando fu in superficie disse
“Oh, dammi la tua mano, mia bella fanciulla
e diventerai per sempre la mia sposa”
XI
“Resta là, resta là, lurido cane
resta là al mio posto,
non hai niente di bello nè di prezioso
così marcirai in mare aperto”
XII
Lei cavalcò sul suo destriero bianco latte
e condusse il pezzato grigio
per ritornare al castello
al mattino del giorno dopo
XIII
“Oh padre aveva cattive intenzioni
dopo avermi corteggiata,
non era altro che un falso giovinastro
dall’oltre mare”

Note
1) the reference goes to the ballad Cruel Sister in which the drowning girl asks for help from her sister who had pushed her into the water out of jealousy
il riferimento corre alla ballata Cruel Sister in cui la fanciulla che sta annegando chiede aiuto alla sorella che l’aveva spinta in acqua per gelosia
2) there are some inconsistencies in the verses, one would expect that the girl pushes the knight into the water, rather than embrace him; in other versions it is the girl who is already in the water and still managing to touch the bottom that convinces the knight to kiss her and she pull him down from the horse (see version B) The line probably stands for a kiss.
ci sono delle incongruenze nei versi, ci si aspetterebbe che la fanciulla spinga il cavaliere in acqua, invece di abbracciarlo; in altre versioni invece è la fanciulla che già si trova in acqua riuscendo ancora a toccare il fondo che convince il cavaliere a darle un bacio e lo tira giù dal cavallo. (vedi versione B) Il verso sta per indicare un bacio

Pretty PollY

In some versions we also find the episode of the parrot, whose silence is bought with the promise of a golden cage
In alcune versioni ritroviamo anche l’episodio del pappagallo, il cui silenzio viene comprato con la promessa di una gabbietta d’oro

Danù in Think Before You Think 2005


I
He’s followed her up and he followed her down
And into the room where she lay
She hadn’t the strength for to flee from his arms/Nor the tongue for to answer him nay (1)
II
“Rise up, rise up, my pretty Polly
Rise up and go with me
And I will take you to North Scotland
And there you’ll married be
III
Go fetch you a bag of your father’s gold
And some of your mother’s fee
And two fine horses out of the stable
Where there stands thirty and three”
IV
So she’s lit upon her nimble-going brown
He’s mounted the dapple-gray
And when they came to North Scotland
‘Twas just three hours ‘til day
V
“Light you down, light you down,
my pretty Polly
Light you down, I say to thee
For six kings’ daughters have I drowned here
And the seventh will surely be thee
VI
And pull off, pull off your fine gay clothes
And hang them on yonder tree
For they are too fine and they cost too much
To rot in the salt lake sea”
VII
“Well, then you take a sickle
and you cut down the nettles
That grow so close to the brim
For I fear they’ll tangle my long yellow hair
And they’ll tear my lily-white skin”
VIII
So then he took a sickle
and he cut down the nettles
That grow so close to the brim
And she’s picked him up so skillfully
And she’s pushed the false knight in
IX
“Lie there, lie there, my false young man
Lie there in the room of me
For six kings’ daughters have you drowned here/And the seventh has drowned thee”
X
So she’s lit upon her nimble-going brown
And she’s lead the dapple-gray
And when she came to her father’s door
‘Twas just three hours ‘til day
XI
“Hush up, hush up, my pretty Polly bird (2)
And don’t you tell tales on me
Your cage will be made of the very beaten gold
And the door of the best ivory”
XII
But then up spoke a fine young man
In the chamber where he lay
“What’s the matter, what’s the matter
with my pretty Polly bird
You’re talking so long before day?”
XIII
“Oh There’s two black cats at my caging door
And my life they will betray
And I’m just calling for my pretty Polly
To drive those cats away”
traduzione italiano Cattia Salto 
I
Lui la inseguì in lungo e in largo
fino nella camera da letto dove stava
e lei non ebbe la forza di respingerlo con le braccia/ nè la lingua per risponderli di no
II
“Alzati, mia bella Polly
alzati e vieni con me
e ti porterò nel Nord della Scozia
e là ci sposeremo”
III
“Vai a prendere una borsa con l’oro di tuo padre
e una parte della dote di tua madre
e due bei cavalli della stalla
dove ce ne stanno 33″
IV
Lei montò sul suo agile destriero morello
e lui su un pezzato grigio
e quando arrivarono nel Nord della Scozia
mancavano solo tre ore al farsi del giorno
V
“Scendi, scendi
mia bella Polly,
ti dico di scendere
che sei figlie di re ho gettato giù
e tu sarai la settima.
VI
Levati i tuoi bei vestiti colorati
e appendili all’albero
perchè sono troppo preziosi
per marcire nel lago salato”
VII
“Allora prendi un falcetto
e taglia le ortiche/che crescono così vicino alla riva/perchè temo che  s’impiglieranno nei miei lunghi capelli biondi
e mi sciuperanno la pelle bianco-giglio”
VIII
Così lui prese un falcetto
e tagliò le ortiche
che crescevano così vicino alla riva
e lei lo prese con agilità
e spinse dentro il falso cavaliere
IX
“Resta là, resta là, giovanotto bugiardo
resta là al mio posto,
hai annegato qui sei donne
e la settima ha annegato te”
X
Così è salita sull’agile destriero morello
e ha guidato il pezzato grigio
e quando è arrivata alla casa paterna
mancavano solo tre ore al farsi del giorno
XI
“Zitto, zitto mio pappagallino
e non raccontare storie su di me
la tua gabbia sarà fatta d’oro zecchino
con la porta del migliore avorio”
XII
Allora parlò un bel giovanotto
nella camera dove stava
“Che succede, che succede
al pappagallino Polly
che chiacchiera così tanto prima del giorno?””
XIII
“Oh ci sono due gatti neri alla porta della mia gabbia/che attentano alla mia vita
e io sto chiamando la mia bella Polly
perchè mandi via quei gatti”

NOTE
1) the sentence could be a euphemism to indicate a consensual sexual relationship; It is significant that the girl is held responsible for her wrong choice, that of relying on a stranger instead of letting the family choose the appropriate husband. While in the older versions the knight seduces the girl with magic (the horn, the harp) here it is a very normal assiduous courtship that breaks the heart and desire of the girl
la frase potrebbe essere un eufemismo per indicare un rapporto sessuale consensuale; è significativo che la ragazza sia ritenuta responsabile della sua scelta sbagliata, quella di affidarsi a uno sconosciuto invece di lasciare scegliere il marito appropriato dalla famiglia. Mentre nelle versioni più antiche il cavaliere seduce la fanciulla con mezzi magici (il corno, l’arpa) qui è un normalissimo assiduo corteggiamento che fa breccia nel cuore e desiderio della fanciulla
2) the little bird is a parrot with the same name as the girl: the identity between the two creatures who prefer to live in a golden cage instead of savoring the dangers of freedom is thus further reiterated
l’uccellino è un pappagallo con lo stesso nome della fanciulla: viene così ulteriormente ribadita l’identità tra le due creature che preferiscono vivere prigioniere in una gabbia dorata invece di assaporare i pericoli della libertà

LINK
https://mainlynorfolk.info/lloyd/songs/theoutlandishknight.html
http://www.mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=22848

https://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=18292
http://www.joe-offer.com/folkinfo/songs/77.html
http://www.broadside.org/music/lyrics/false.html
http://mbmonday.blogspot.it/2013/02/a-cage-of-beaten-gold-false-sir-john.html

http://www.lizlyle.lofgrens.org/RmOlSngs/RTOS-LadyIsabel.html

Drowsy Sleeper

From the theme of the “night visiting song” this version is particularised by the impediment of the parents (of her) to the marriage with the corollary of the suicide of the lovers (variant diffused in America with the title “The Silver Dagger”) R. Matteson writes “The traditional ballad was developed from the early English “night-visit” songs; an estimated date would be in the mid-1600s. In 1725 Ramsay published a four stanza fragment, Song XCVII, in his Tea-table Miscellany: A Collection of Choice Songs, Scots & English; Volume 2. By the late 1700s stanzas where the lovers ask the girl’s parents permission  to be married were added. The full ballad was brought to North America by the end of the 1700s with a new twist– the father had a silver dagger to slay the one his daughter loved the best. The result of the parent’s refusal and the silver dagger was Type 1) the daughter’s lover leaves to live alone to eat nothing but sorrow and drink nothing but tears, or Type 2) the daughter’s lover kills himself with the silver dagger and then she kills herself” (from here)
Dal tema delle “night visiting song” si particolarizza questa versione per l’impedimento dei genitori (di lei) al matrimonio con corollario del suicidio degli amanti (variante diffusa in America con il titolo “The Silver Dagger” ).
Scrive R. Matteson “La ballata tradizionale è stata sviluppata dalle prime canzoni “notturne” in inglese; una data stimata è la metà del 1600. Nel 1725 Ramsay pubblicò un frammento di quattro stanze, Song XCVII, nel suo “Tea-table Miscellany: A Collection of Choice Songs, Scots & English; Volume 2.” Verso la fine del 1700 sono state aggiunte le strofe in cui gli amanti chiedono ai genitori della ragazza il permesso di sposarsi. La ballata fu portata in Nord America alla fine del 1700 con una nuova svolta: il padre aveva un pugnale d’argento per uccidere il pretendente della figlia (che lei amava tanto). Come risultato del rifiuto del genitore e del pugnale d’argento c’erano due esiti; nel primo l’amante della figlia si allontana per vivere da solo per mangiare nient’altro che dispiacere e bere solo lacrime, nel secondo l’amante della figlia si uccide con il pugnale d’argento e poi lei si uccide a sua volta ” (tradotto da qui)

Tim Eriksen


I
Awake, awake, you drowsy sleeper,
Awake, arise, it is almost day
How can you bear to ?? sleeping(1)
when your true love is going away?
II
Oh, who’s that knocking at my window?
Oh, who is it, pray tell to me?
It’s me, it’s me, your own true lover.
Awake, arise, come go with me.
III
Oh, go love, go, and ask your father
if this night you could be my bride.
If he says no, so return and tell me.
Be the last time I have bother thee.
IV
Oh, I can’t go and ask my father,
he is on his bed of rest,
and by his side there lies a weapon
for to kill the one that I love best.
V
So, go love, go, and ask your mother
tell her of my love so dear
If she says no, so return and tell me.
Be the last time that I bother thee.
VI
Oh, I can’t go and ask my mother,
tell her of your love so dear
if you make on and court some other
and ??
VII
O I will go to some wide river.
I’ll spend my days, my months and years,
eat any thing but the long green willow,
drink salt all from my flowing tears.
VIII
Come back, come back my own true lover
stay a little while with me
I will forsake my old dear parents
and I’ll go alone by the side of thee
Traduzione italiano Cattia Salto
I
Svegliati dormigliona
svegliati e alzati che è quasi giorno/ come puoi sopportare di restare a sonnecchiare, mentre il tuo amore sta andando via?
II
Chi è che bussa alla mia finestra?
Chi è per favore, dimmi?
Sono io, sono io il tuo vero amore
svegliati e alzati vieni via con me
III
O vai amore e chiedi a tuo padre
se questa notte potresti diventare mia moglie,
se risponde di no, ritorna a dirmelo
sarà l’ultima volta che ti disturbo
IV
O non posso andare a interrogare mio padre,
è nel letto a riposare
e al suo fianco c’è un’arma
per uccidere colui che amo di più
V
Quindi vai amore e chiedi a tua madre
dille del mio caro amore
se risponde di no, ritorna a dirmelo
sarà l’ultima volta che ti disturbo
VI
o non posso andare a interrogare mia madre
e dirle del tuo caro amore
vai per la tua strada a corteggiare un’altra
??
VII
Andrò verso un vasto fiume
trascorrerò i miei giorni, mesi ed anni
mangiando nient’altro che il verde salice
e bevendo il sale delle mie lacrime
VIII
Torna indietro, torna indietro, amore mio
resta un po’ con me
lascerò i miei vecchi cari genitori
e andrò sola al tuo fianco

NOTE
1) text that I took from listening, but I still have difficulty understanding some sentences,  I preferred to leave the question mark [ non ho trovato una trascrizione del testo che ho sbobinato dall’ascolto, ma ho ancora difficoltà a capire della frasi,  ho preferito lasciare il punto interrogativo]

Ian & Sylvia in Early Morning Rain 1965
Cantano anche una variante dal titolo Katy Dear


I
Awake, awake, you drowsy sleeper,
How can you lay and slumber so,
When your true love is a going to leave you 
And never to return any more.
II
How can you slumber on your pillow?
When your true love must stand and wait
And must I go and wear the willow (1)
In sorrow mourning for your sake.
III
O Molly dear go ask your father (2)
If you my bride, my bride  can be 
And then return and quickly tell me 
And I no more shall trouble thee
IV
O no I cannot ask my father 
He’s lying on his bed of rest 
And in his hand is a silver dagger (3)
To pierce the one that I love best
V Omitted
I wish I was in a lonesome valley
Where not a one could ever hear;
My food would be the grief and sorrow,
My drink would be the briny tear.
VI
Down in yon valley there grows a green yarrow (4)
I wish that yarrow  was shot through my breast 
It would end my dream (grief), it would end my sorrow 
And set my troubled heart at rest
Traduzione italiano Cattia Salto
I
Sveglia, sveglia dormigliona
come puoi restare a sonnecchiare,
mentre il tuo amore sta per lasciarti
e non ritornae più?
II
Come puoi dormire sul cuscino
mentre il tuo amore è in piedi e aspetta
devo prendere il salice
con dolore e rimpianto, per il tuo bene
III
O Molly cara, vai a chiedere a tuo padre
se potrai diventare la mia sposa
e poi ritorna a dirmelo subito
e non ti disturberò più
IV
O non posso interrogare mio padre
è sdraiato sul letto a riposare
e nella mano ha un pugnale d’argento
per trafiggere colui che amo di più

Vorrei essere in una valle solitaria 
dove nessuono mi possa sentire
il  mio cibo sarà dolore e dispiacere
la mia bevanda sarà l’amara lacrima
VI
In quella valle lontana cresce la verde achillea
vorrei che quell’achillea mi perforasse il petto
per mettere fine al mio sogno,
per mettere fine al mio dolore
e dare pace al mio cuore tormentato

NOTE
1) Willow = fertility, but also sadness, pain and in this context it indicates an unhappy, abandoned love [Salice= fertilità, ma anche tristezza, dolore e in questo contesto sta proprio ad indicare un amore infelice, abbandonato]
2) they omit the stanzas in which the question is put to the mother [omettono le strofe in cui la domanda viene posta alla madre]
O Molly dear, go ask your mother
If you my bonny bride can be,
And then return and quickly tell me
And I no more shall trouble thee.
3) a series of american murder ballads develop from the variant entitled Silver dagger [una serie di murder ballad americane si sviluppano proprio dalla variante intitolata Silver dagger]
4) seems to be a floater from the ‘Little Sparrow’/Willow Tree versions of ‘Fair and Tender Ladies’ (see) ; the yarrow is a herb more than a shrub and its stem certainly cannot pierce a man’s chest [versi fluttuanti dalle versioni Little Sparrow’/Willow Tree di Fair and Tender Ladies; l’achillea è un erba più che un arbusto e il suo stelo non può certo perforar il petto di un uomo 

Mark Spoelstra 1963


I
Awake, awake, you drowsy sleeper,
Awake, awake, it is almost day
Why do you sleep and sleep and slumber
when your true love has bore away (1)?
II
Awake, awake, don’t wake my mother
Our love’s a thing she can’t endure
she is been the ruin of many a lover
She’ll be the ruin of many more
III
Awake, awake, you drowsy sleeper,
Awake, awake, cause it is almost day
I’ll come to win your dear mother
pray trust yourself in your darling arms
IV
Who’s that knocking, knocking at my window
knock so loud and won’t come in
It is your own true-hearted lover
Rise you up and let him in
V
Awake, awake, don’t wake my daddy
for he is on his bed of rest,
And on his breast he carries a weapon
just to kill the one that I love best.
VI
I wish I was some little sparrow
I have wings to fly so high
I’ll fly away in some  lonely valley
and settle down of the one I love
Traduzione italiano Cattia Salto
I
Svegliati dormigliona
svegliati che è quasi giorno
Perchè dormi, e indugi nel sonno
mentre il tuo amore è salpato?
II
Svegliati e non svegliare mia madre
il nostro amore è una cosa che non può tollerare, è stata la rovina di molti amanti
e sarà la rovina di molti altri
III
Svegliati dormigliona
svegliati che è quasi giorno/verrò a conquistare la tua cara mamma/ ti prego di confidare nelle braccia del tuo amore
IV
“Chi è che bussa alla mia finestra
bussa forte e non riesce a entrare?”
“E’ il tuo vero amore
alzati e fallo entrare”
V
Svegliati e non svegliare il mio papà
perchè e nel suo letto a riposare
e sul petto porta un’arma
proprio per uccidere colui che amo di più
VI
Vorrei essere un passerotto
e avere ali per volare in alto
volerei via in una valle solitaria
e sistemarmi con colei che amo

NOTE
The Carter Family’s also partially from here
the stanzas are a bit confusing [le strofe sono un po’ confuse]
1) credo che in questo contesto to bear away stia per sailing (to steer (= direct) a boat away from the wind)

Who’s that Knocking on My Window

Tom Paley & Peggy Seeger, 1964


I
Who’s that knocking, knocking at my window
knock so loud and won’t come in
It is your own true-hearted lover
Rise you up and let him in
II
Awake, awake, don’t wake my mother
Our love’s a thing she can’t endure
she is been the ruin of many a lover
She’ll be the ruin of many more
III
I’ve come to whisper in your ear, love,
do you think it any harm ?
I’ve come to wean you of your mother,
pray, thrust yourself in your darling’s arms.
IV
Awake, awake, don’t wake my daddy
for he is on his bed of rest,
And on his breast he carries a weapon
just to kill the one that I love best.
V
I wish I was some little sparrow
I have wings to fly so high
I’ll fly away in some  lonely valley
and settle down of the one I love
Traduzione italiano Cattia Salto
I
“Chi è che bussa alla mia finestra
bussa forte e non riesce a entrare?”
“E’ il tuo vero amore
alzati e fallo entrare”
II
“Svegliati e non svegliare mia madre
il nostro amore è una cosa che non può tollerare, è stata la rovina di molti amanti
e sarà la rovina di molti altri”
III
“Sono venuto a sussurrarti all’orecchio, amore, credi che faccio male?
Sono venuto a separarti da tua madre,
ti prego affidati alle braccia del tuo amore.”
IV
“Svegliati e non svegliare il mio papà
perchè e nel suo letto a riposare
e sul petto porta un’arma
proprio per uccidere colui che amo di più”
V
“Vorrei essere un passerotto
e avere ali per volare in alto
volerei via in una valle solitaria
e sistemarmi con colei che amo”

 

LINK
http://www.bluegrassmessengers.com/2-the-drowsy-sleeper-awake-awake.aspx
http://www.bluegrassmessengers.com/us–canada-versions-2-the-drowsy-sleeper.aspx

http://www.bluegrassmessengers.com/british–other-versions-2-the-drowsy-sleeper.aspx
http://www.bluegrassmessengers.com/recordings–info-2-drowsy-sleeper.aspx
https://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=160090
https://mainlynorfolk.info/eliza.carthy/songs/wakingdreams.html
https://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=17334

http://www.old97wrecords.com/elizabeth-laprelle/songs/awake-awake.htm
https://maxhunter.missouristate.edu/songinformation.aspx?ID=3
https://maxhunter.missouristate.edu/songinformation.aspx?ID=0003
https://maxhunter.missouristate.edu/songinformation.aspx?ID=528
http://mysongbook.de/mtb/r_clarke/songs/drowslep.htm
http://www.joe-offer.com/folkinfo/songs/28.html

The importance of being.. Reily

Leggi in italiano

TITLES: A Fair Young Maid all in her Garden, There Was A Maid In Her Father’s Garden, Pretty, Fair Maid in the Garden, John Riley, Johnny Riley, The Broken Token, The Young and Single Sailor

Joan Baez popularised this ballad with John Reily title in the 60s:  it is a classic love story of probable seventeenth-century origins, in which the woman remains faithful to her lover or promised spouse who has gone to war or embarked on a vessel. The song is classified as reily ballad because it is structured as a dialogue between the protagonist  (in disguise) usually called John or George, Willie or Thomas Riley (Rally, Reilly) and the woman, example of loyalty ( first part)

SECOND MELODY

The text of this version reminds me of the Oscar Wild comedy, “The Importance of Being Earnest” Wilde’s contradictory to Shakespeare in the famous Juliet declaration on the name of Romeo:
“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.”

This is the melody in the American tradition as collected in the field (Providence, Kentucky) in the 30s by Alan Lomax. Joe Hickerson penned “There are two ballads titled “John (George)  Riley” in G. Malcolm Laws’s American Balladry  from British Broadsides (1957). In number N36, the returned man claims that  Riley was killed so as to test his lover’s steadfastness. In number N37,  which is our ballad, there is no such claim. Rather, he suggests they sail  away to Pennsylvania; when she refuses, he reveals his identity. In the many  versions found, the man’s last name is spelled in various ways, and in some  cases he is “Young Riley.” Several scholars cite a possible origin  in “The Constant Damsel,” published in a 1791 Dublin songbook.
Peggy’s learned the song in childhood from a field  recording in the Library of Congress Folk Archive: AFS 1504B1 as sung by Mrs.  Lucy Garrison and recorded by Alan and Elizabeth Lomax in Providence,  Kentucky, in 1937. This was transcribed by Ruth Crawford Seeger and included  in John and Alan Lomax’s Our Singing Country (1941), p. 168. Previously, the  first verse and melody as collected from Mrs. Garrison at Little Goose Creek,  Manchester, Clay Co., Kentucky, in 1917 appeared in Cecil Sharp’s English  Folk Songs from the Southern Appalachians (1932), vol. 2, p. 22. Peggy’s  singing is listed as the source for the ballad on pp. 161-162 of Alan Lomax’s  The Folk Songs of North America in the English Language (1960), with  “melodies and guitar chords transcribed by Peggy Seeger.” In 1964  it appeared on p. 39 of Peggy’s Folk Songs of Peggy Seeger (Oak Publications.  edited by Ethel Raim). Peggy recorded it on  Folk-Lyric FL114, American Folk Songs for Banjo and her brother Pete included  this version on his first Folkways LP, FP 3 (FA 2003), Darling Corey (1950).” (from here)

The dialogue between them seems more like a skirmish between lovers in which she proves to be chilly and offended, while he, returned after leaving her alone for three years, jokingly pretends not to know her and asks her to marry him because he is fascinated by his graces! So in the end she yields and paraphrasing Shakespeare says “If you be he,  and your name is Riley..

Peggy  Seeger in “Heading for home”  2003


Pete Seeger in “Darling Corey/Goofing-Off Suite” 1993

Peggy  Seeger version
I
As I walked out  one morning early
To take the  sweet and pleasant air
Who should I  spy but a fair young lady
Her cheeks  being like a lily fair.
II
I stepped up to  her, right boldly asking
Would she be a  sailor’s wife?
O no, kind sir, I’d rather tarry
And remain single for all my life.
III
Tell me, kind  miss, and what makes you differ
From all the rest of womankind?
I see you’re  fair, you are young, you’re handsome
And for to  marry might be inclined.
IV
The truth, kind  sir, I will plainly tell you
I might have  married three years ago
To one John  Riley who left this country
He is the cause of all my woe.
V
Come along with  me, don’t you think on Riley,
Come along with  me to some distant shore;
We will set sail for Pennsylvanie
Adieu, sweet  England, forevermore.
VI
I’ll not go  with you to Pennsylvanie
I’ll not go  with you that distant shore;
My heart’s with  Riley, I will ne’er forget him
Although I may  never see him no more.
VII
And when he  seen she truly loved him
He give her  kisses, one two and three,
Says, I am  Riley, your own true lover
That’s been the  cause of your misery.
VIII
If you be he,  and your name is Riley,
I’ll go with  you to that distant shore.
We will set  sail to Pennsylvanie,
Adieu, kind friends, forevermore.

THIRD MELODY

In this version the identification is based on the ring that probably the two sweethearts had exchanged as a token of love before departure. A beautiful Celtic Bluegrass style version!

Tim  O’Brien in Fiddler’s Green 2005

I
Pretty fair  maid was in her garden
When a stranger came a-riding by
He came up to the gate and called her
Said pretty  fair maid would you be my bride
She said I’ve a true love who’s in the army
And he’s been gone for seven long years
And if he’s  gone for seven years longer
I’ll still be waiting for him here
II
Perhaps he’s on some watercourse drowning
Perhaps he’s on some battlefield slain
Perhaps he’s to a fair girl married
And you may never see him again
Well if he’s  drown, I hope he’s happy
Or if he’s on some battlefield slain
And if he’s to some fair girl married
I’ll love the girl that married him
III
He took his hand out of his pocket
And on his finger he wore a golden ring (1)
And when she saw that band a-shining
A brand new song her heart did sing
And then he  threw his arms all around her
Kisses gave her one, two, three
Said I’m your true and loving soldier
That’s come  back home to marry thee
NOTE
1)  the ring that they exchanged on the day of departure

SOURCES
http://ballads.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/search/title/The%20constant%20maids%20resolution:%20or%20The%20damsels%20loyal%20love%20to%20a%20seaman
http://die-augenweide.de/byrds/songjk/john_riley.htm
http://peggyseeger.bandcamp.com/track/john-riley
http://www.fresnostate.edu/folklore/ballads/LN37.html
http://www.folklorist.org/song/John_(George)_Riley_(I)
http://www.mustrad.org.uk/articles/bbals_38.htm

Fair Maid in the Garden: the ballad of John Riley

Leggi in italiano

TITLES: A Fair Young Maid all in her Garden, There Was A Maid In Her Father’s Garden, Pretty, Fair Maid in the Garden, John Riley, Johnny Riley, The Broken Token, The Young and Single Sailor

Joan Baez popularised this ballad with John Reily title in the 60s (a lot of groups proposed it in that decade including Simon & Garfunkel, Judi Collins): it is a classic love story of probable seventeenth-century origins, in which the woman remains faithful to her lover or promised spouse who has gone to war or embarked on a vessel. The song is classified as reily ballad because it is structured as a dialogue between the protagonist (in disguise) usually called John or George, Willie or Thomas Riley (Rally, Reilly) and the woman, example of loyalty, and often appears a sign of recognition, for example, a gift exchanged or an object broken in half (other examples: “Her mantle so green“, “The Banks of Claudy“).

In most of these stories the man returns after a long time and, not recognized by the woman, tests her loyalty. But the girl refuses, saying she can not give him her heart because she is waiting for the return of her true love. The man so reassured, reveals himself and the two crown their love with marriage.
The story recalls the archetypal figures of Ulysses and Penelope, when Ulysses, in disguise, returns twenty years after to his Ithaca , and he is not recognized by his wife. It is also a subject of fiction, on men returning from war changed in physique and psyche or who are clearly another person, accepted in spite of everything by his wife mostly for practical reasons; she ends up preferring this new or different person to the previous husband!

The origin of the theme in English and American balladry has been identified in the seventeenth-century ballad entitled “The constant maids resolution: or The damsels loyal love to a seaman” found under the title “The Constant Damsel” in “The Vocal Enchantress” ( Dublin 1791) and in various nineteenth-century American publications under various titles. There are many text versions with small variations combined with different melodies

JOHN RILEY

Although a traditional song, it has been credited to Rick Neff and Bob Gibson (of the Byrds, the American version of the Beatles), in the album “Fifth Dimension” of 1966 (see): actually the song had already been recorded by the american folk singer Joan Baez in her second album released in 1960 with the title of “John Riley”; in the notes she writes traditional song, arrangement by Joan Baez; it is her version to become a standard!

Broceliande

Iernis


I
Fair young maid all in her garden,
strange young man passer-by, he said:
«Fair maid, will you marry me?».
This answer then was her reply:
II
‒ Οh, no, kind   sir, I cannot marry thee,
for I’ve a love and he sails the sea.
Though he’s been gone for seven years,
still no man shall marry me.
III
‒ What if he’s in some battle slain
or if he’s drowned in the deep salt sea?
What if he’s found another love
and he and his love both married be?
IV
‒ Well, if he’s in some battle slain
I will die when the moon doth wane.
And if he’s drowned in the deep salt sea,
then I’ll be true to his memory.
V
And if he’s found another love
and he and his love both married be,
I wish them health and happiness,
where they dwell across the sea.
VI
He pickes her up in his arms so strong
and kisses gave her: One, two, three.
‒ Say weep no more, my own true love,
for I’m your long-lost John Riley!
NOTE
1) seven is a recurring number in ballads to indicate the duration of a separation. The reference to the number seven is not accidental: it is a magic or symbolic number linked to death or change. If a husband left for the war and did not return within seven years, the wife could remarry.

second part

SOURCES
http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=15555
http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=67277

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 Coasts of High Barbary

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The George Aloe and the Sweepstake o (The Coasts of) High Barbary is considered both a sea shanty and a ballad (Child ballad # 285) and certainly its original version is very old and probably from the 16th century. So ‘in the seventeenth-century comedy “The Two Noble Kinsmen” we read: “The George Alow came from the south, From the coast of Barbary-a; And there he met with brave gallants of war, By one, by two, by three-a. Well hail’d, well hail’d, you jolly gallants! And whither now are you bound-a? O let me have your company”

French_ship_under_atack_by_barbary_pirates

BARBARY PIRATES

The Muslim pirates of the African coasts came from what the Europeans called Barbary or Algeria Tunisia, Libya, Morocco (and more precisely the city-states of Algiers, Tunis and Tripoli, but also the ports of Salé and Tetuan).
The most correct definition is barbarian pirates because they attacked only the ships of Christian Europe (also doing raids in the Christian countries of the Atlantic coast and the Mediterranean to get slaves or to get the best redemptions). The term included Arabs, Berbers, Turks as well as European renegades.
In the affair there were also for good measure the Christian corsairs, which carried out the same raids along the coasts of Barbary (mainly the orders of chivalry of the Knights of Malta and the Knights of St. Stephen, but obviously in these cases it was a matter of “crusade” and not piracy !!

Although pirate activities were endemic in the Mediterranean Sea, the period of maximum activity of the barbarian pirates was the first half of the 1600s.

FIRST VERSION: a forebitter

Stan Hugill in his bible “Shanties From The Seven Seas” shows two melodies: one more ancient when the song was a forebitter and a faster one as a capstan chantey.
The oldest version of the ballad tells of two merchant ships The George Aloe, and The Sweepstake with George Aloe who avenges the sinking of the second ship using the same “courtesy” to the crew of the French pirate ship who had thrown into the sea the Sweepstake crew.
Pete Seeger

Joseph Arthur from  Rogue’s Gallery: Pirate Ballads, Sea Songs, and Chanteys, ANTI- 2006 (biography and records here) rock version

There were two lofty ships
From old England came
Blow high, blow low
And so sail we
One was the Prince of Luther
The other Prince of Wales
All a-cruisin’ down the coast
Of High Barbary
“Aloft there, aloft there”
Our jolly bosun cried
“Look ahead, look astern,
Look to weather an’ a-lee”
“There’s naught upon the stern, sir
There’s naught upon our lee
But there’s a lofty ship to wind’ard
An’ she’s sailin’ fast and free”
“Oh hail her, oh hail her”
Our gallant captain cried
“Are you a man-o-war
Or a privateer?” cried he
“Oh, I’m not a man-o-war
Nor privateer,” said he
“But I am salt sea pirate
All a-looking for me fee”
For Broadside, for broadside
A long time we lay
‘Til at last the Prince of Luther
Shot the pirate’s mast away
“Oh quarter, oh quarter”
Those pirates they did cry
But the quarter that we gave them
Was we sank ‘em in the sea

SECOND VERSION: a sea shanty

The ballad resumed popularity in the years between 1795 and 1815 in conjunction with the attacks of Barbary pirates to American ships.

Tom Kines from “Songs from Shakespeare´s Plays and Songs of His Time”,1960
a version of how it was sung in the Elizabethan era

Quadriga Consort from Ships Ahoy 2013

Assassin’s Creed Black Flag  sea shanty version

The Shanty Crew

“Look ahead, look-astern
Look the weather in the lee!”
Blow high! Blow low!
And so sailed we.

“I see a wreck to windward,
And a lofty ship to lee!
A-sailing down along
The coast of High Barbary”
“O, are you a pirate
Or a man o’ war?” cried we.
“O no! I’m not a pirate
But a man-o-war,” cried he.
“We’ll back up our topsails
And heave vessel to.
For we have got some letters
To be carried home by you”.
For broadside, for broadside
They fought all on the main;
Until at last the frigate
Shot the pirate’s mast away.
“For quarter, for quarter”,
the saucy pirates cried
But the quarter that we showed them
was to sink them in the tide
With cutlass and gun,
O we fought for hours three;
The ship it was their coffin
And their grave it was the sea
But O! ‘Twas a cruel sight,
and grieved us, full sore,
To see them all a drownin’
as they tried to swim to shore

LINK
http://www.contemplator.com/england/barbary.html
http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=137331 https://mainlynorfolk.info/peter.bellamy/songs/barbaree.html http://www.ilportaledelsud.org/barbareschi.htm http://www.ilportaledelsud.org/pirati.htm
http://71.174.62.16/Demo/LongerHarvest?Text=ChildRef_285

South Australia sea shanty

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Under the heading Codefish shanty we have two versions, one of Cape Cod and the other of South Australia: the titles are “Cape Cod girls” and “Rolling King” or “Bound for South Australia” (or simply “South Australia”).
Which of the two versions was born before is not certain, we can only detect a great variety of texts and also the combination with different melodies. At the beginning probably a “going-away song”, one of those songs that the sailors sang only for special occasions ie when they were on the route of the return journey.

SOUTH AUSTRALIA VERSION

“As an original worksong it was sung in a variety of trades, including being used by the wool and later the wheat traders who worked the clipper ships between Australian ports and London. In adapted form, it is now a very popular song among folk music performers that is recorded by many artists and is present in many of today’s song books.In the days of sail, South Australia was a familiar going-away song, sung as the men trudged round the capstan to heave up the heavy anchor. Some say the song originated on wool-clippers, others say it was first heard on the emigrant ships. There is no special evidence to support either belief; it was sung just as readily aboard Western Ocean ships as in those of the Australian run. Laura Smith, a remarkable Victorian Lady, obtained a 14-stanza version of South Australia from a coloured seaman in the Sailors’ Home at Newcastle-on-Tyne, in the early 1880’s. The song’s first appearance in print was in Miss Smith’s Music of the Waters. Later, it was often used as a forebitter, sung off-watch, merely for fun, with any instrumentalist joining in. It is recorded in this latter-day form. The present version was learnt from an old sailing-ship sailor, Ted Howard of Barry, in South Wales. Ted told how he and a number of shellbacks were gathered round the bed of a former shipmate. The dying man remarked: “Blimey, I think I’m slipping my cable. Strike up South Australia, lads, and let me go happy.” (A.L. Lloyd in Across the Western Plains from here)

This kind of songs were a mixture of improvised verses and a series of typical verses, but generally the refrain of the chorus was standardized and univocal (even for the obvious reason that it had to be sung by sailors coming from all the countries).
The length of the song depended on the type of work to be done and could reach several strophes. The song then took on its own life as a popular song in the folk repertoire.
The first appearance in collections on sea shanties dates back to 1881.
hulllogo

The Clancy Brothers & Tommy Makem 1962 the version that has been the model in the folk environment

Let’s see them in a pirate version in the TV adaptation of the “Treasure Island”

Johnny Collins, from “Shanties & Songs of the Sea” 1996

The Pogues

Gaelic Storm from Herding Cats (1999) they recall the version of the Pogues. It is interesting to compare the same group that has also tried with the arrangement of  Cape Code Girls.

In South Australia(1) I was born!
Heave away! Haul away!
South Australia round Cape Horn(2)!
We’re bound for South Australia!
Heave away, you rolling king(3),
Heave away! Haul away!
All the way you’ll hear me sing
We’re bound for South Australia!

As I walked out one morning fair,
It’s there I met Miss Nancy Blair.
I shook her up, I shook her down,
I shook her round and round the town.
There ain’t but one thing grieves my mind,
It’s to leave Miss Nancy Blair behind.
And as you wallop round Cape Horn,
You’ll wish to God you’d never been born!
I wish I was on Australia’s strand
With a bottle of whiskey in my hand

NOTES
1) Land of gentlemen and not deportees, the state is considered a “province” of Great Britain
2) the ships at the time of sailing followed the oceanic routes, that is those of winds and currents: so to go to Australia starting from America it was necessary to dub Africa, but what a trip!!

3) Another reasonable explanation  fromMudcat “The chanteyman seems to be calling the sailors rolling kings rather that refering to any piece of equipment. And given that “rolling” seems to be a common metaphor for “sailing” (cf. Rolling down to old Maui, Roll the woodpile down, Roll the old chariot along, etc.) I would guess that he is calling them “sailing kings” i.e. great sailors. There are a number of chanteys which have lines expressing the idea of “What a great crew we are.” and I think this falls into that category.” (here)
Moreover every sailor fantasized about the meaning of the word, for example Russel Slye writes ” When I was in Perth (about 1970) I met an old sailor in a bar. I found he had sailed on the Moshulu (4 masted barque moored in Philly now) during the grain trade. I asked him about Rolling Kings. His reply (abridged): “We went ashore in India and other places, and heard about a wheel-rolling-king who was a big boss of everything. Well, when the crew was working hauling, those who wasn’t pulling too hard were called rolling kings because they was acting high and mighty.” So, it is a derogatory term for slackers. (from here).
And yet without going to bother ghostly Kings (in the wake of the medieval myth of King John and the fountain of eternal youth) the word could very well be a corruption of “rollikins” an old English term for “drunk”.
Among the many hilarious hypotheses this (for mockery) of Charley Noble: it could be a reference to Elvis Prisley!

There is also a MORRIS DANCE version confirming the popularity of the song

Codefish Cape Cod Girls

LINK
http://www.historicalfolktoys.com/catcont/95301.html
http://www.shanty.org.uk/archive_songs/cape-cod-girls.html
http://www.folkways.si.edu/paul-clayton/cape-cod-girls/american-folk/music/track/smithsonian
http://www.capecod.com/about-cape-cod/cape-cod-history/
http://www.cavolettodibruxelles.it/2014/11/cape-cod
https://mainlynorfolk.info/lloyd/songs/southaustralia.html
http://www.jsward.com/shanty/codfish/index.html
http://shanty.rendance.org/lyrics/showlyric.php/australia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Australia_(song)
http://www.mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=48959
http://www.abc.net.au/arts/blog/barnaby-smith/morris-dancing-broken-knuckles-bells-folk-festivals-150327/default.htm

Cape Cod Girls

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Under the heading Codefish shanty we have two versions, one of Cape Cod and the other of South Australia: the titles are “Cape Cod girls” and “Rolling King” or “Bound for South Australia” (or simply “South Australia”).
Which of the two versions was born before is not certain, we can only detect a great variety of texts and also the combination with different melodies.

At the beginning probably a “going-away song”, one of those songs that the sailors sang only for special occasions ie when they were on the route of the return journey.

CAPE COD GIRLS

cape-cod-girlThe most demented version and therefore by “pirate song” that goes for the most in the Renaissance Fairs is that which comes from the peninsula of Cape Cod (State of Massachusetts).
Cape Cod was the first landing of the Mayflower – the first ship that carried the English “pilgrims” on the land overseas, the “New England”.
The activity was based on fishing for fish (especially cod) and whaling.

The climate is mild thanks to the Atlantic currents: there it is summer (warm-cool) or winter (cold-mild) and summer lasts until early December, it is the so-called Indian Summer, always due in the presence of the Atlantic Ocean, which slowly spreads the heat forfeited during the summer.

Yarmouth Shantymen

The Crew of the Mimi 1984

Baby Gramps in “Rogue’s Gallery: Pirate Ballads, Sea Songs, and Chanteys“, ANTI- 2006. The particular voice as Popeye is  a vocal style: “The style is called “vocal fry”.  It has been variously employed for effect by heavy metal artists among others.  The techniques used to achieve it are akin to those used by Central Asian throat-singers and Tibetan monks, though of a lesser order.  Its appropriateness for the singing of pirate songs will be a subject for lively debate” (Tipi Dan)

Gaelic Storm from The Boathouse, 2013


Cape Cod(1) girls
ain’t got no combs,
Heave away, haul away!
They comb their hair
with a codfish bone(2),
And we’re bound away for Australia(3)!
So heave her up, me bully bully boys,
Heave away, haul away!
Heave her up,
why don’t you make some noise?

And we’re bound away for Australia!

Cape Cod boys
ain’t got no sleds,
They ride down hills
on a codfish head.
Cape Cod mothers
don’t bake no pies,
They feed their children
codfish eyes.
Cape Cod cats
ain’t got no tails,
They got blown off
in northeast gales.

Other lines variously combined in which the cod are mentioned in all the sauces !!

Cape Cod girls
don’t wear no frills
They’re plain and skinny
like a codfish gills.
Cape Cod doctors
ain’t got no pills,
They give their patients
codfish gills.
Cape Cod folks
don’t have no ills
Them Cape Cod doctors
feed them codfish pills
Cape Cod dogs
ain’t got no bite,
They lost it barking
at the Cape Cod light.
Yankee girls
don’t sleep on beds,
They go to sleep on codfish heads.
Cape Cod girls
have got big feet,
Codfish roes is nice an’ sweet.
Cape Cod girls
they are so fine,
They know how to bait a codfish line.

 NOTES
1) the port par excellence of Cape Cod and of the fishermen of Massachusetts is the port of Provincetown
2) think about the sirens who are notoriously on the beach or a rock to comb their long hair while singing
3) the ships at the time of sailing followed the oceanic routes, that is those of winds and currents: so to go to Australia starting from America it was necessary to dub Africa, but what a trip!!

 

“South Australia” version

LINK
http://www.historicalfolktoys.com/catcont/95301.html
http://www.shanty.org.uk/archive_songs/cape-cod-girls.html
http://www.folkways.si.edu/paul-clayton/cape-cod-girls/american-folk/music/track/smithsonian
http://www.capecod.com/about-cape-cod/cape-cod-history/
http://www.cavolettodibruxelles.it/2014/11/cape-cod
https://mainlynorfolk.info/lloyd/songs/southaustralia.html
http://www.jsward.com/shanty/codfish/index.html
http://shanty.rendance.org/lyrics/showlyric.php/australia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Australia_(song)
http://www.mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=48959
http://www.abc.net.au/arts/blog/barnaby-smith/morris-dancing-broken-knuckles-bells-folk-festivals-150327/default.htm

“Fire Down Below” the last shanty

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“Fire Down Below” in addition to being the title of a film and a rock song is above all a sea shanty) according to Stan Hugill “the laswt shanty”. Given the theme it was often used as pump chanty but also as capstan chanty.

JOHN SHORT VERSION

The authors of the project “Short Sharps Shanties” write: There was a broadside called Fire! Fire! Fire! – printed by the Glasgow Poet’s Box on the 23rd Nov. 1867.  Versions were also printed by Fortey of London and Sanderson of Edinburgh at about the same time. The chorus is obviously related to, if not the origin of, the shanty:Fire! fire! fire!, Now I’s bound to go;
Can’t you give us a bucket of water,
Dere’s a fire down below.
The text is in a faux-Negro patois and describes Aunt Sally nearly dying in a house-fire.  There was also a parody, printed by Such of London at about the same time, where the text is concerned with a country boy’s encounter with a city girl and the more familiar ‘fire down below’ caused by venereal disease.
Fire! fire! fire!, Fire down below;
Let us hope that we shall never see,
A fire down below.
Perhaps surprisingly, neither theme seems to recur in any of the collected versions of the shanty although plenty of contemporary shanty-singers adopt a nudge-nudge-wink-wink view of the chorus. Tozer and Sharp give it as a pumping shanty, Hugill cites it as a favourite for the purpose, and Colcord says that “Almost any of the capstan shanties could be used on the pump-brakes, but a few were kept [as this one is], by the force of convention, for no other use.”
Hugill comments that, of his five versions, Short’s version has “a not so musical pattern. This form has become popular with radio shanty-singers.”  All verses except the last come from Short although, inexplicably, he only gave Sharp the ‘fire in the galley’ verse on the day and subsequently sent him, by post, the other four verses. (tratto da qui)

Jackie Oates from Short Sharp Shanties : Sea songs of a Watchet sailor Vol 1 (su Spotify)

Chorus
Fire, fire, fire down below,
It’s Fetch a bucket of water girls
There’s fire down below.
I
Fire in the galley, fire down below.
It’s fetch a bucket of water girls,
There’s fire down below.
fire, fire..
II
Fire in the bottom fire in the main
It’s fetch a bucket of water girls,
And put it out again.
fire, fire..
III
As I walked out one morning
all in the month of June
I overheard an irish girl
sing this old song
fire, fire..
IV
Fire in the lifeboat,
fire in the gig(6),
Fire in the pig-stye roasting of the pig.
fire, fire..
V
Fire up aloft boy  and fire down below,
It’s fetch a bucket of water girls,
There’s fire down below.


Shanty Gruppe Breitling
from Haul the Bowline 2013 


Fire in the galley, fire in the house,
Fire in the beef kid(1), scorching the scouse(2).
Fire, fire, fire down below,
Fetch a bucket of water boys
Fire down below.
Fire in the forepeak(3) fire in the main(4)
fire in the windlass(5) fire in the chain.
Fire in the lifeboat, fire in the gig(6),
Fire in the pig-stye roasting the pig.
Fire on the orlop(7) (cabine) fire in the hold.
Fire in the strong room melting the gold.
Fire round the capstan(5), fire on the mast,
Fire on the main deck, burning it fast.
Fire on .. 

NOTES
1) Beefkid = small wooden tub in which beef salt is served.
2) It is a traditional dish of Liverpool, that is a meat stew with potatoes, onions, carrots. It is a popular dish of poor cooking. Scouse is also the typical accent of Liverpool (of the popular classes) with clear Celtic influences, the origin of the accent is derived most likely from the English pronunciation by Irish immigrants arrived in Liverpool to look for work. In the 1841 census a quarter of the inhabitants of Liverpool were born in Ireland and again from the census at the beginning of the twenty-first century it was found that 60% of Liverpudlians originated in Ireland.
3) forepeak= the interior part of a vessel that is furthest forward; the part of a ship’s interior in the angle of the bow
4) main= ocean
5) windlass and capstan they are two different “machines” which, however, perform the same function, that of lifting weights by the use of a rope or chain.
6) gig= A light rowboat, powerboat or sailboat, often used as a fast launch for the captain or for a lighthouse keeper. The gig was always designed for speed, and was not used as a working boat.
7) orlop = the name of a lower deck.

CARIBBEAN VERSION

This version comes from the Caribbean fishermen from the Isle of Nevis (reported by Roger Abrahams in “Deep the Water, Shallow the Shore”)
Hulton Clint

FOLK VERSION

A decadent version that with the “fire in the lower parts” alludes to the disruptive sexuality of a young girl!

Nick Cave from Rogue’s Gallery: Pirate Ballads, Sea Songs and Chanteys  ANTI 2006.

She was the parson’s daughter
With her red and rosy cheeks
(Way, hey, hee, hi, ho!)
She went to church on Sunday
And sang the anthem sweet
(‘Cause there’s fire down below)
The parson was a misery
So scraggy and so thin
“Look here, you motherfuckers
If you lead a life of sin.
He took his text from Malachi(1)
And pulled a weary face
Well, I fucked off for Africa
And there, I feel(2) from grace.
The parson’s little daughter
Was as sweet as sugar-candy
I said to her, “us sailors
Would make lovers neat and handy”.
She says to me, “you sailors
Are a bunch of fucking liars
And all of you are bound to hell
To feed the fucking fires”.
Well, there’s fire down below, my lad
So we must do what we oughta
‘Cause the fire is not half as hot
As the parson’s little daughter.
Yes, there’s fire (fire)
Down (down)
Below (below)

NOTES
1) Malachi was an Old Testament Prophet who lived in the fifth century a. C.
2) found written both as a feel and as a fell

LINK
http://www.bethsnotesplus.com/2015/01/fire-down-below.html
http://www.joe-offer.com/folkinfo/songs/783.html
http://www.wtv-zone.com/phyrst/audio/nfld/19/fire.htm
http://mudcat.org/@displaysong.cfm?SongID=2020
http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=35083
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Or32B_IZWKs
https://ismaels.wordpress.com/2008/11/01/rogue%E2%80%99s-gallery-the-art-of-the-siren-4/