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.

 

Carrickfergus or Do Bhí Bean Uasal

Leggi in italiano

“Carrickfergus” comes from a Gaelic song titled Do Bhí Bean Uasal (see) or “There Was a Noblewoman” and is also known by the name of “The Sick Young Lover”, which appeared in a broadside distributed in Cork and dated 1840 and also in the collection of George Petrie “Ancient Music of Ireland” 1855 with the name of “The Young Lady”. Text and melody passed through the oral tradition have spread and changed, without leaving a consistent trace in the collections printed in the nineteenth century. This song has been attributed to the irish bard Cathal “Buí”

IRISH BREIFNE
cathal buiCathal “Buí” Mac Giolla Ghunna (c1680-c1756) a rake-poet from Co. Cavan.
Curious character nicknamed “Buil” the yellow, a bard vagabond storyteller and composer of poems, which have spread throughout Ireland and are still sung today.
The scholar Breandán Ó Buachalla has published his collection in the book “Cathal Bui: Amhráin” in 1975. In Blacklion County of Cavan there is also a small stele in his memory and it is celebrated the Cathal Bui Festival (month of June).
A incomplete priest able with words and with women, he also had a lot of “irish humor” and was obviously a heavy drinker, he went around Breifne, the Irish name of the area including Cavan, Leitrim, and south of Fermanagh ( one of the many traveler with his caravan or even less).

PETER O’TOOLE

But it is the version known by Peter O’Toole that was the origin of the version of Dominic Behan recorded in the mid-1960s under the title “The Kerry Boatman“, and also the version recorded by Sean o’Shea always in the same years with the title “Do Bhí Bean Uasal”. Also the Clancy Brothers with Tommy Makem made their own version with the title “Carrickfergus” in the 1964 “The First Hurray” LP.

Chieftains from “The Chieftains Live” 1977

DO BHÍ BEAN UASAL

This version has been attributed musically to Seán Ó Riada (John Reidy 1931-1971) it is not clear if it is only an arrangement or a real writing of the melody. Certainly the text is taken from the poetry of Cathal “Buí” Mac Giolla Ghunna.

Sean o’Shea in “Ò Riada Sa Gaiety” live in Dublino with the Ceoltóirí Chualann, 1969.

English translation
I
A lady was betrothed to me for a while
And she refused me, oh my hundred woes
I went to towns with her
And she made a cuckold (or a fool ) of  me before the world,
If I had got that head of hers into the church
And if I were again  n command of myself,
But now I’ weak and sore,  and there’s no getting of a  cure for me,
And my people will be weeping after me
II
I wish I had you in   Carrickfergus
not far from that place ‘Quiet Town”
Sailing over the deep blue waters
my bright love from a northern sky
For the seas are deep, love, and I can’t swim over
And neither have I wings to fly,
I wish I met with a handy boatman,
Who would ferry over my love and I
III
The cold and the heat are going together [in me]
and I can’t quench my thirst
And if I took my oath from November to February
I wouldn’t be ready until Michaelmas
I’m seldom drunk though I’m never sober!
A handsome rover from town to town.
But now I am dead and my days are over
Come Molly, my little darling, now   lay me down!

I

Do bhí bean uasal seal dá lua liom,
‘s do chuir sí suas díomsa faraoir géar;
Do ghabhas lastuas di sna bailte móra
Ach d’fhag sí ann é os comhair an tsaoil.
Dá bhfaighinnse a ceannsa faoi áirsí an teampaill,
Do bheinnse gan amhras im ‘ábhar féin;
Ach anois táim tinn lag is gan fáil ar leigheas agam.
Is beidh mo mhuintir ag gol im’ dhéidh.
II
I wish I had you in Carrickfergus
Ní fada ón áit sin go Baile Uí Chuain(1)/Sailing over the deep blue waters/ I ndiaidh mo ghrá geal is í ag ealó uaim./For the seas are deep, love, and I can’t swim over
And neither have I wings to fly,
I wish I met with a handy boatman,
Who would ferry over my love and I.
III
Tá an fuacht ag teacht is an teas ag tréigint
An tart ní féidir liom féin é do chlaoi,
Is go bhfuil an leabhar orm ó Shamhain go Fébur
Is ní bheidh sí reidh liom go Féil’ Mhichíl;/I’m seldom drunk though I’m never sober!
A handsome rover from town to town.
But now I am dead and my days are over
Come Molly, a stóirín, now lay me down!

NOTE
1) “baile cuain”= “quiet town” or Harbour Town

THE VERSION OF THE YEARS 60 AND MEANING

And we come to what remains of this song in our day, that is the version of Carrickfergus spread by the major interpreters of Celtic music.
The sweet melancholy of the melody and its uncertain textual interpretation have made the song very popular, some capture the romantic side and also play it at weddings, others at the funeral (for example that of John F. Kennedy Jr -1999).
Certainly it has something magical, sad and nostalgic, the man drowns in alcohol the pain of separation from his beloved (or more likely he drinks because he has a particular predilection for alcohol): a vast ocean divides them (or a stretch of sea) and he would like to be in Ireland, in Carrickfergus: he would like to have wings or to swim across the sea or more realistically find a boatman to take him to her, and finally he can die in her arms ( or at her tombstone) now that he is old and tired.

In my opinion, the general meaning of the text remains clear enough, but if you go into detail then many doubts arise, which I tried to summarize in the notes.

Loreena McKennitt & Cedric Smith  from Elemental, 1985


I
I wish I was
in Carrighfergus (1)
Only for nights
in Ballygrant (2)
I would swim over
the deepest ocean
Only for nights in Ballygrant.
But the sea is wide,
and I can’t swim over
Neither have I wings to fly
If I could find me a handsome boatman
To ferry me over
to my love and die(3)

II
Now in Kilkenny (4), it is reported
They’ve marble stones there as black as ink,
With gold and silver
I would  transport her (5)
But I’ll sing no more now,
till I get a drink
I’m drunk today,
but I’m seldom sober
A handsome rover
from town to town
Ah, but I am sick now,
my days are over
Come all you young lads
and lay me down.(6)

NOTES
1) Carrickfergus (from the Gaelic Carraig Fhearghais, ‘Rocca di Fergus’) is a coastal town in County Antrim, Northern Ireland, one of the oldest settlements in Northern Ireland. Here the protagonist says he wants to be at Carrickfergus (but evidently he is somewhere else) while in other versionssays “I wish I had you in Carrickfergus”: the meaning of the song changes completely.
Some want to set the story in the South of Ireland and they see the name of Fergus,as the river that runs through Ennis County of Clare.
2) Ballygran – Ballygrant – Ballygrand. There are three interpretations: the first that Ballygrant is in Scotland on the Hebrides (Islay island), the second that is the village of Ballygrot (from the Gaelic Baile gCrot means “settlement of hills”), near Helen’s Bay that it is practically in front of Carrickfergus over the stretch of sea that creeps over the north-east coast of Ireland (the Belfast Lough). It seems that the locals call it “Ballygrat” or Ballygrant “and that it is an ancient settlement and that at one time there were some races with the Carrickfergus boats at Ballygrat.The third is a corrupt translation from the Gaelic” baile cuain “of the eighteenth-century version and therefore both a generic quiet location, a small village.
But between the two sentences there is already an incongruity or better there is need of an interpretation, ascertained that Ballygrant is not a particular place of Carrickfergus for which the protagonist feels nostalgia for some specific connection with his love story passed in youth, then it is the place where it is at the moment. So the protagonist could be an Irishman who found himself in the Hebrides, but who would like to return to Carrickfergus from his old love or he is a Scot (who was a young soldier in Ireland) and remembers with regret the Irish woman loved in youth.
The protagonist could be in Helen’s Bay on the opposite side of the inlet that separates it from Carrickfergus: if he were healthy and young nothing would prevent him to go to Carrickfergus even on foot, but he is tired and he is dying and so in his fantasy or delirium he is looking at the sea in the direction of Carrickfergus deaming of flying towards his love of the past or he wants to be ferried by a boatman to be able to die next to her.
3) “and die” tells us that the protagonist who is in Ballygrant (wherever he is) would like to go to Carrickfergus to die in the arms of his love of youth.
In other versions the phrase is written as “To ferry me over my love and I” the protagonist would like to be transported by the boatman, together with his woman, to Carrickfergus. So nostalgia is about the place where the protagonist is supposed to have spent his youth and would like to see again before he died.
4) and 5)
Now on the Kilkenny stone it is written,
on black marble like ink,
with gold and silver I would like to comfort her
Replacing the verb “to transport” used by Loreena with “to support” more used in other versions. That is: on the black stone of Kilkenny (in the sense that it is usually a type of stone such as Carrara marble,  the black stone extracted from Kilkenny but also used in Ballygrant, wherever it is) that will be my tombstone where I have recorded my epitaph, I also wrote a sentence of comfort for my love
4) Kilkenny = Kilmeny some see a typo and note that Kilmeny is the parish church of Ballygrant (Islay Island) formerly a medieval church, also here there is a stone quarry, which was the main industry of Ballygrant in the eighteenth century and XIX. Now I ask myself: but with all these references to the Islay Island, (where at least there should be the tomb of the protagonist) how is it that the song is not known in the local tradition of the Hebrides and instead is it in Belfast?
6) the protagonist urges his friends to bury him

Nella versione live aggiunge anche la strofa intermedia che è stata scritta da Dominic Behan per la sua versione registrata a metà degli anni 1960 con il titolo di “The Kerry Boatman”.

Jim McCann in Dubliners Now 1975 (I and III)

Jim McCann live (with the second stanza written by Dominic Behan for his version recorded in the mid-1960s under the title “The Kerry Boatman”.

JIM MCCANN
I
I wish I was
in Carrickfergus (1)
Only for nights
in Ballygrand(2)
I would swim
over the deepest ocean
Only for nights in Ballygrand.
But the sea is wide
and I cannot swim over
And neither have I the wings to fly
I wish I had a handsome boatman
To ferry me over my love and I(3)
II
My childhood days
bring back sad reflections
Of happy time there spent so long ago
My boyhood friends
and my own relations
Have all passed on now
like the melting snow
And I’ll spend my days
in this endless roving
Soft is the grass and my bed is free
How to be back now
in Carrickfergus
On the long road down to the sea
 

III
And in Kilkenny
it is reported
On marble stone
there as black as ink
With gold and silver
I would support her (5)
But I’ll sing no more now
till I get a drink
‘cause I’m drunk today
and I’m seldom sober
A handsome rover
from town to town
Ah but I am sick now
my days are numbered
Come all me young men
and lay me down

LINK
http://www.eofeasa.ie/cathalbui/public_html/danta_CB/who_was_CB.html
http://lookingatdata.com/m/204-mac-giolla-ghunna-cathal-bui.html
http://www.munster-express.ie/opinion/views-from-the-brasscock/the-yellow-bitternan-bonnan-bui/

http://jungle-bar.blogspot.it/2009/03/carrickfergus-ballad-of-peter-otoole.html
http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=16707
http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=90070

Freedom Come All Ye & Battle of the Somme

Leggi in italiano

Freedom Come-All-Ye is a song written by Hamish Henderson (1919-2002) in 1960 for the Peace March in Holy Loch, near Glasgow, it is a song against the war, a cry for freedom against slavery and against the oppression of the working class and ethnic minorities, in the name of social justice. The song is in scots, while the melody is a retreat march for bagpipes from the First World War, arranged by John MacLellan (1875-1949) who titled it “The Bloody Fields of Flanders”; Henderson first heard played on the Anzio beachhead in 1944 (Second World War).The melody however is an old Perthshire aria already known with the title of “Busk Bush Bonnie Lassie

Dick Gaughan

Lorraine McIntosh live –
Luke Kelly

 


I
Roch the wind in the clear day’s dawin
Blaws the cloods heilster-gowdie owre the bay
But there’s mair nor a roch wind blawin (1)
Thro the Great Glen o the warld the day
It’s a thocht that wad gar oor rottans
Aa thae rogues that gang gallus fresh an gay
Tak the road an seek ither loanins
Wi thair ill-ploys tae sport an play
II
Nae mair will our bonnie callants
Merch tae war when oor braggarts crousely craw (2)
Nor wee weans frae pitheid an clachan
Mourn the ships sailin doun the Broomielaw (3)
Broken faimlies in lands we’ve hairriet
Will curse ‘Scotlan the Brave’ nae mair, nae mair
Black an white ane-til-ither mairriet
Mak the vile barracks o thair maisters (4) bare
III
Sae come aa ye at hame wi freedom
Never heed whit the houdies croak for Doom (5)
In yer hoos aa the bairns o Adam
Will find breid, barley-bree an paintit rooms
When Maclean (6) meets wi’s friens in Springburn (7)
Aa thae roses an geans will turn tae blume (8)
An the black lad frae yont Nyanga (9)
Dings the fell gallows o the burghers doun.
English translation*
I
It’s a rough wind in the clear day’s dawning
Blows the clouds head-over-heels across the bay
But there’s more than a rough wind blowing
Through the Great Glen of the world today
It’s a thought that would make our rodents,
All those rogues who strut and swagger,
Take the road and seek other pastures
To carry out their wicked schemes
II
No more will our fine young men
March to war at the behest of jingoists and imperialists
Nor will young children from mining communities and rural hamlets
Mourn the ships sailing off down the River Clyde
Broken families in lands we’ve helped to oppress
Will never again have reason to curse the sound of advancing Scots
Black and white, united in friendship and marriage,
Will make the slums of the employers bare
III
So come all ye who love freedom
Pay no attention to the prophets of doom
In your house all the children of Adam
Will be welcomed with food, drink and clean bright accommodation
When MacLean returns to his people
All the roses and cherry trees will blossom
And the black guy from Nyanga
Will break the capitalist stranglehold on everyone’s life

NOTES
* from here
1) a wind of change is a metaphor dear to the political world, it is the wind of people protest, who claim their right to live a full and dignified life
2) are those who rant and foment the war to push the sons of the people forward
3) Glasgow’s main thoroughfare adjacent to the river Clyde: it is the pier from which many ships loaded with emigrants have left
4) the reference is to apartheid in South Africa when the blacks were deported to the “homeland of the south” and deprived of all political and civil rights.
5) In those years peace meant to protest against the atomic arms race and the fear of a nuclear conflict: the sign of peace that today belongs to the symbols shared on a global level was created in 1958 by the Englishman Gerald Holtom for the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, CND: as he himself declared, the three lines are the superposition of the letters N and D – which stand for Nuclear Disarmament – taken from the semaphore alphabet. The circle, on the other hand, symbolizes the Earth.

6) John Maclean (1879 -1923), Scottish socialist, known for his fierce opposition to the First World War. For this reason, in 1918 he was tried for sedition and imprisoned. There was a popular mobilization in his favor and a few months later he was released. In 1918 he ended up again in prison for obstruction to recruitment and sedition and he was released after 7 months; the months in jail have harmed the health of Maclean who will die at age 45; his communism evolved against the Scottish Labor parties to advocate Scotland’s independence and the return to the old social clan structure but on a communist basis
7) district of the working class of Glasgow. The south of Scotland heavily idustrialized from the second half of the 1800 transform Glasgow and the Clyde into a bulwark of radical socialists and communists so much to get the nickname “Red Clyde”
8) spring is the season of rebirth
-) Nyanga is a city in Cape Town, South Africa. The residents of Nyanga have been very active in protesting the laws of apartheid

The Battle of the Somme

Another bagpipe melody from World War I was composed by piper William Laurie (1881-1916) to commemorate one of the deadliest battles, the Battle of the Somme which began July 1916 with heavy losses from day one; in the end it will result 620.000 losses among the Allies and about 450.000 among the German rows: the melody is in 9/8 and it is considered a retreat march, not necessarily as a specific military maneuver. Laurie (or Lawrie) participated in the battle with the 8th Battalion Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders (Lawrie and John MacLellan served in the same band during the war), but severely tried by the wounds and life in the trench fell seriously ill and he was repatriated England where he died in November of the same year.

The Dubliners often with “Freedom Come-All-Ye”

The Malinky with Jimmy Waddel (at 3:39)

It was Dave Swarbrick who brought the piece to the Fireport Convention group after learning it from his friend and teacher Beryl Marriott

Albion Country Band

THE DANCE

A Scottish dance entitled The Scottish Lilt was composed shortly after 1746 to be practiced by ladies of good family who wished to court or entertain the gentlemen seducing them with their grace. It’s a Scottish National Dances traditionally matched with the melody The Battle of the Somme: the dance moves are inspired by the classical ballet


the steps in detail

LINK
http://unionsong.com/u597.html
https://www.antiwarsongs.org/canzone.php?lang=it&id=13463
http://www.andreagaddini.it/FreedomCamAllYe.html
http://mysongbook.de/msb/songs/f/freedomc.html
https://www.scotslanguage.com/articles/view/id/4996
https://www.wired.it/play/cultura/2014/02/21/nascita-simbolo-pace/
http://thebattleofthefield.tripod.com/id11.html
https://thesession.org/tunes/2923

Freedom Come All Ye

Read the post in English

Scritta nel 1960 da Hamish Henderson (1919-2002) per la Marcia della Pace a Holy Loch, presso Glasgow, “Freedom Come-All-Ye”  è una canzone contro la guerra, un grido di libertà contro la schiavitù e contro l’oppressione della classe lavoratrice e delle minoranze etniche, in nome della giustizia sociale. La canzone è in scots, mentre la melodia è una marcia da ritirata per cornamusa della prima guerra mondiale, arrangiata da John MacLellan (1875-1949) che la intitolò “The Bloody Fields of Flanders”;  Henderson ebbe modo di ascoltarla nel 1944 durante la seconda guerra mondiale mentre combatteva ad Anzio. La melodia tuttavia è una vecchia aria del Perthshire già nota con il titolo di “Busk Bush Bonnie Lassie

Dick Gaughan

Lorraine McIntosh live –
Luke Kelly

 


I
Roch the wind in the clear day’s dawin
Blaws the cloods heilster-gowdie owre the bay
But there’s mair nor a roch wind blawin (1)
Thro the Great Glen o the warld the day
It’s a thocht that wad gar oor rottans
Aa thae rogues that gang gallus fresh an gay
Tak the road an seek ither loanins
Wi thair ill-ploys tae sport an play
II
Nae mair will our bonnie callants
Merch tae war when oor braggarts crousely craw (2)
Nor wee weans frae pitheid an clachan
Mourn the ships sailin doun the Broomielaw (3)
Broken faimlies in lands we’ve hairriet
Will curse ‘Scotlan the Brave’ nae mair, nae mair
Black an white ane-til-ither mairriet
Mak the vile barracks o thair maisters (4) bare
III
Sae come aa ye at hame wi freedom
Never heed whit the houdies croak for Doom (5)
In yer hoos aa the bairns o Adam
Will find breid, barley-bree an paintit rooms
When Maclean (6) meets wi’s friens in Springburn (7)
Aa thae roses an geans will turn tae blume (8)
An the black lad frae yont Nyanga (9)
Dings the fell gallows o the burghers doun.
Traduzione italiana di Carla Sassi*
I
Forte il vento nell’alba del giorno chiaro/Sovverte le nuvole via per la baia,
Ma non v’è più il vento forte che soffiava
Attraverso la grande valle del mondo.
E’ un pensiero che invoglia i nostri ratti,/I briganti che infieriscono felici e intatti,
A prendere il cammino, in cerca di luoghi nuovi/Dove godere e giocare malvagi inganni.
II
Mai più la dolce gioventù dovrà
Marciare in guerra mentre i pavidi si vantano rauchi
Né i piccoli figli della miniera e del villaggio
Piangeranno le navi che salpano via dal Broomielaw.
Famiglie divise in terre da noi razziate
Non malediranno la Scozia guerriera, mai più;
Il nero e il bianco, l’uno all’altro uniti nell’amore,
Lasceranno deserte le vili caserme dei padroni.
III
Qui venite tutti, alla casa della libertà,
Non ascoltate i corvi che invocano rauchi la fine
Nella tua casa ogni figlio di Adamo
Troverà pane e birra e mura imbiancate.
E quando John MacLean si unirà ai compagni di Springburn
Tutte le rose ed i ciliegi fioriranno,
E un fanciullo nero dal lontano Nyanga
Frantumerà le forche feroci della città.

NOTE
* (dal libro “Poeti della Scozia contemporanea” a cura di Carla Sassi e Marco Fazzini, Supernova Editore, Venezia 1992)
1) il vento del cambiamente una metafora cara al mondo politico, è il vento di protesta del popolo che rivendita il suo diritto a vivere una vita piena e dignitosa
2) sono quelli che sbraitano e fomentano la guerra a mandare avanti in prima linea i figli del popolo
3) principale arteria di Glasgow adiacente al fiume Clyde: è il molo da cui sono partite tante navi carichi di emigranti
4) il riferimento è all’apartheid in Sud Africa quando i neri vennero deportati nelle “homeland del sud” e privati di ogni diritto politico e civile.
5) Non dimentichiamo che in quegli anni la pace voleva dire protestare contro la corsa all’armamento atomico e la paura di un conflitto nucleare: il segno di pace che oggi appartiene ai simboli condivisi a livello globale fu creato nel 1958 dall’inglese Gerald Holtom per La Campagna per il disarmo nucleare (Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, CND) : come dichiarò lui stesso, le tre linee sono la sovrapposizione delle lettere N e D – che stanno per Nuclear Disarmament – prese dall’ alfabeto semaforico. Il cerchio, invece, simboleggia la Terra.

6) John Maclean (1879 –1923), socialista scozzese, noto per la sua fiera opposizione alla prima guerra mondiale. Per questo nel 1918 fu processato per sedizione e imprigionato. Ci fu una mobilitazione popolare in suo favore e qualche mese dopo venne scarcerato. Ancora nel 1918 finì di nuovo in prigione per ostruzione al reclutamento e sedizione e di nuovo scarcerato dopo 7 mesi; i mesi in carcere hanno nuociuto alla salute di Maclean che morirà a 45 anni; il suo comunismo finì per discostarsi dai partiti laburisti scozzesi per propugnare l’indipendenza della Scozia e il ritorno all’antica struttura sociale dei clan ma su base comunista
6) quartiere della classe lavoratrice di Glasgow. Il sud della Scozia pesantemente idustrializzato a partire dalla seconda metà del 1800 trasformano Glasgow e il Clyde in un baluardo di socialisti radicali e comunisti tanto da ottenere il soprannome di “Clyde Rosso”
7) è la primavera la stagione della rinascita
8) Nyanga è una città a Città del Capo , in Sud Africa . I residenti di Nyanga sono stati molto attivi nella protesta contro le leggi dell’apartheid

The Battle of the Somme

Un’altra melodia per cornamusa sempre riconducibile alla I Guerra Mondiale, fu composta dal piper William Laurie (1881-1916) per commemorare una delle battaglie più letali, la battaglia della Somme (The Battle of the Somme) che iniziò il1 luglio 1916 con pesanti perdite fin dal primo giorno; alla fine risulteranno 620.000 perdite tra gli Alleati e circa 450.000 tra le file tedesche: la melodia è in 9/8 ed è considerata una marcia da ritirata, non necessariamente come specifica manovra militare. Laurie (o Lawrie) partecipò alla battaglia con l’8° Battaglione Argyll e Sutherland Highlanders (Lawrie e John MacLellan prestarono servizio nella stessa banda durante la guerra), ma duramente provato dalle ferite e dalla vita in trincea si ammalò gravemente e venne rimpatriato in Inghilterra dove morì nel novembre dello stesso anno.

I Dubliners spesso abbinata a “Freedom Come-All-Ye”

I Malinky la abbinano a Jimmy Waddel (inizia a 3:39)

Fu Dave Swarbrick a portare il pezzo nel gruppo Fireport Convention dopo averlo imparato dal suo amico e insegnante Beryl Marriott

Albion Country Band

LA DANZA

Una danza scozzese dal titolo The Scottish Lilt fu composta poco dopo il 1746 per essere praticata dalle madamigelle di buona famiglia che desideravano corteggiare o intrattenere i membri della nobiltà seducendoli con la loro grazia. E’ una Scottish  National Dances abbinata tradizionalmente  alla melodia The Battle of the Somme: i passi di danza sono ispirati al balletto classico

anche con due uomini

i passi nel dettaglio

FONTI
http://unionsong.com/u597.html
https://www.antiwarsongs.org/canzone.php?lang=it&id=13463
http://www.andreagaddini.it/FreedomCamAllYe.html
http://mysongbook.de/msb/songs/f/freedomc.html
https://www.scotslanguage.com/articles/view/id/4996
https://www.wired.it/play/cultura/2014/02/21/nascita-simbolo-pace/
http://thebattleofthefield.tripod.com/id11.html
https://thesession.org/tunes/2923

To Hear the Nightingale Sing One Morning in May

Leggi in Italiano

”The Bold Grenader”, “A bold brave bonair” or “The Soldier and the Lady” but also “To Hear the Nightingale Sing”, “The Nightingale Sings” and “One Morning in May” are different titles of a same traditional song collected in England, Ireland, America and Canada.

THE PLOT

The story belongs to some stereotypical love adventures in which a soldier (or a nobleman, sometimes a sailor) for his attractiveness and gallantry, manages to obtain the virtue of a young girl. The girls are always naive peasant women or shepherdesses who believe in the sweet words of love sighed by man, and they expect to marry him after sex, but they are inevitably abandoned.

NURSERY RHYME: WHERE ARE YOU GOING MY PRETTY MAID

soldierIn the nursery rhyme above “Where are you going my pretty maid” this seductive situation is sweetly reproduced and the illustrator portrays the man in the role of the soldier. Walter Craine (in “A Baby’s Opera”, 1877) represents him as a dapper gentleman, but in reality he is the archetype of the predator , the wolf with the fur inside and the woman of the nursery rhyme with his blow-answer seems to be a good girl who has treasured the maternal teachings

In other versions is the girl (bad girl !!) to take the initiative and to bring the young soldier in her house (see more), only the season is always the same because it is in the spring that blood boils in the veins; as early as 1600 there was a ballad called “The Nightingale’s Song: The Soldier’s Rare Musick, and Maid’s Recreation”, so for a song that has been around for so long, we can expect a great deal of textual versions and different melodies. An accurate overview of texts and melodic variations starting from 1689 here

FOLK REVIVAL: “They kissed so sweet & comforting”

This is the version almost at the same time diffused by the Dubliners and the Clancy Brothers, the most popular version in the 60’s Folk clubs.

The Dubliners

Clancy Brothers & Tommy Maker, from Live in Ireland, 1965
The Nightingale


I
As I went a walking one morning in May
I met a young couple so far did we stray
And one was a young maid so sweet and so fair
And the other was a soldier and a brave Grenadier(1)
CHORUS
And they kissed so sweet and comforting
As they clung to each other
They went arm in arm along the road
Like sister and brother
They went arm in arm along the road
Til they came to a stream
And they both sat down together, love
To hear the nightingale sing(2)
II
Out of his knapsack he took a fine fiddle(3)
He played her such merry tunes that you ever did hear
He played her such merry tunes that the valley did ring
And softly cried the fair maid as the nightingale sings
III
Oh, I’m off to India for seven long years
Drinking wines and strong whiskies instead of strong beer
And if ever I return again ‘twill be in the spring
And we’ll both sit down together love to hear the nightingale sing
IV
“Well then”, says the fair maid, “will you marry me?”
“Oh no”, says the soldier, “however can that be?”
For I’ve my own wife at home in my own country
And she is the finest little maid that you ever did see

NOTES
1) soldier becomes sometimes a volunteer, but the grenadier is a soldier particularly gifted for his prestige and courage, the strongest and tallest man of the average, distinguished by a showy uniform, with the characteristic miter headgear, which in America was replaced by a bear fur hat.
2) it is the code phrase that distinguishes this style of courting songs. The nightingale is the bird that sings only at night and in the popular tradition it is the symbol of lovers and their love conventions (vedi)
3) perhaps the instrument was initially a flute but more often it was a small violin or portable violin called the kit violiner (pocket fiddle): it was the popular instrument par excellence in the Renaissance. It is curious to note how in this type of gallant encounters the soldier has been replaced by the itinerant violinist, mostly a dance teacher, so it is explained how any reference to the violin, to its bow or strings could have some sexual connotations in the folk tradition

SECOND MELODY: APPALCHIAN TUNE

John Jacob Niles – One Morning In May

Jo Stafford The Nightingale

THIRD MELODY: THE MOST ANCIENT VERSION, THE GRENADIER AND THE LADY

The melody spread in Dorsetshire, so vibrant and passionate but with a hint of melancholy, a version more suited to the Romeo and Juliet’s love night and to the nightingale chant in its version of medieval aubade, also closer to the nursery rhyme “Where are you going my pretty maid” of which takes up the call and response structure.

To savor its ancient charm, here is a series of instrumental arrangements

Harp

Guitar

Le Trésor d’Orphée
Redwood Falls (Madeleine Cooke, Phil Jones & Edd Mann)

Isla Cameron The Bold Grenadier from “Far from The Madding Crowd”


I
As I was a walking one morning in May
I spied a young couple a makin’ of hay.
O one was a fair maid and her beauty showed clear
and the other was a soldier, a bold grenadier.
II
Good morning, good morning, good morning said he
O where are you going my pretty lady?
I’m a going a walking by the clear crystal stream
to see cool water glide and hear nightingales sing.
III
O soldier, o soldier, will you marry me?
O no, my sweet lady that never can be.
For I’ve got a wife at home in my own country,
Two wives and the army’s too many for me.

LINK
http://jopiepopie.blogspot.it/2018/02/nightingales-song-1690s-bold-grenadier.html
http://www.traditionalmusic.co.uk/folksongs-appalachian-2/folk-songs-appalacian-2%20-%200138.htm
http://folktunefinder.com/tunes/105092
https://www.fresnostate.edu/folklore/ballads/LP14.html
https://mainlynorfolk.info/folk/songs/onemorninginmay.html
http://www.mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=3646
http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=29541
http://www.military-history.org/soldier-profiles/british-grenadiers-soldier-profile.htm
http://www.wtv-zone.com/phyrst/audio/nfld/25/sing.htm
http://www.contemplator.com/america/nighting.html
http://www.mamalisa.com/?t=hes&p=1506

Lark in the Morning

Leggi in italiano

The irish song “The Lark in the Morning” is mainly found in the county of Fermanagh (Northern Ireland): the image is rural, portrayed by an idyllic vision of healthy and simple country life; a young farmer who plows the fields to prepare them for spring sowing, is the paradigm of youthful exaltation, its exuberance and joie de vivre, is compared to the lark as it sails flying high in the sky in the morning. Like many songs from Northern Ireland it is equally popular also in Scotland.
The point of view is masculine, with a final toast to the health of all the “plowmen” (or of the horsebacks, a task that in a large farm more generally indicated those who took care of the horses) that they have fun rolling around in the hay with some beautiful girls, and so they demonstrate their virility with the ability to reproduce.

Ploughman_Wheelwright
The Plougman – Rowland Wheelwright (1870-1955)

The Dubliners

Alex Beaton with a lovely Scottish accent

The Quilty (Swedes with an Irish heart)

CHORUS
The lark in the morning, she rises off her nest(1)
She goes home in the evening, with the dew all on her breast
And like the jolly ploughboy, she whistles and she sings
She goes home in the evening, with the dew all on her wings
I
Oh, Roger the ploughboy, he is a dashing blade (2)
He goes whistling and singing, over yonder leafy shade
He met with pretty Susan,, she’s handsome I declare
She is far more enticing, then the birds all in the air
II
One evening coming home, from the rakes of the town
The meadows been all green, and the grass had been cut down
As I should chance to tumble, all in the new-mown hay (3)
“Oh, it’s kiss me now or never love”,  this bonnie lass did say
III
When twenty long weeks, they were over and were past
Her mommy chanced to notice, how she thickened round the waist
“It was the handsome ploughboy,-the maiden she did say-
For he caused for to tumble, all in the new-mown hay”
IV
Here’s a health to y’all ploughboys wherever you may be
That likes to have a bonnie lass a sitting on his knee
With a jug of good strong porter you’ll whistle and you’ll sing
For a ploughboy is as happy as a prince or a king
NOTES
1) The lark is a melodious sparrow that sings from the first days of spring and already at the first light of dawn; it is a terrestrial bird which, however, once safely in flight, rises almost vertically into the sky, launching a cascade of sounds similar to a musical crescendo.
Then, closed the wings, he lets himself fall like a dead body until he touches the ground and immediately rises again, starting to sing again . see more
2) blade= boy, term used in ancient ballads to indicate a skilled swordsman
3) The story’s backgroung is that of the season of haymaking, starting in May, when farmers went to make hay, that is to cut the tall grass, with the scythe, putting it aside as fodder for livestock and courtyard’s animals . While hay cutting was a mostly masculine task, women and children used the rake to collect grass in large piles, which were then loaded onto the cart through the use of pitchforks.. see more

George Stubbs – Haymakers 1785 (Wikimedia)

Lisa Knapp from Till April Is Dead ≈ A Garland of May 2017, from Paddy Tunney (only I, II) (Paddy Tunney The Lark in the Morning 1995  ♪), the most extensive version comes from the Sussex Copper family, but Lisa further changes some verses.

I
The lark in the morning she rises off her nest
And goes whistling and singing, with the dew all on her breast
Like a jolly ploughboy she whistles and she sings
she comes home in the evening with the dew all on her wings
II
Roger the ploughboy he is a bonny blade.
He goes whistling and singing down by yon green glade.
He met with dark-eyed Susan, she’s handsome I declare,
she’s far more enticing than the birds on the air.
III
This eve he was coming home, from the rakes in town
with meadows been all green and the grass just cut down
she is chanced to tumble all in the new-mown hay
“It’s loving me now or never”, this bonnie lass did say
IV
So good luck to the ploughboys wherever they may be,
They will take a sweet maiden to sit along their knee,
Of all the gay callings
There’s no life like the ploughboy in the merry month of may

 

THE ENGLISH VERSION

This version was collected by Ralph Vaughan Williams in 1904 as heard by Ms. Harriet Verrall of Monk’s Gate, Horsham in Sussex, but already circulated in the nineteenth-century broadsides and then reported in Roy Palmer’s book “Folk Songs collected by Ralph Vaughan Williams”. Became into the English folk music circuit in the 60s the song was recorded in 1971 by the English folk rock group Steeleye Span with the voice of Maddy Prior.

The refrain is similar to that of the previous irish version, but here the situation is even more pastoral and almost Shakespearean with the shepherdess and the plowman who are surprised by the morning song of the lark, but with the reversed parts: he who tells her to stay in his arms, because there is still the evening dew, but she who replies that the sun is now shining and even the lark has risen in flight. The name of the peasant is Floro and derives from the Latin Fiore.

Steeleye Span from Please to See the King – 1971

Maddy Prior  from Arthur The King – 2001

I
“Lay still my fond shepherd and don’t you rise yet
It’s a fine dewy morning and besides, my love, it is wet.”
“Oh let it be wet my love and ever so cold
I will rise my fond Floro and away to my fold.
Oh no, my bright Floro, it is no such thing
It’s a bright sun a-shining and the lark is on the wing.”
II
Oh the lark in the morning she rises from her nest
And she mounts in the air with the dew on her breast
And like the pretty ploughboy she’ll whistle and sing
And at night she will return to her own nest again
When the ploughboy has done all he’s got for to do
He trips down to the meadows where the grass is all cut down.

NOTES
1)plow the field but also plow a complacent girl

LARK IN THE MORNING JIG

“Lark in the morning” is a jig mostly performed with banjo or bouzouki or mandolin or guitar, but also with pipes, whistles or flutes, fiddles ..
An anecdote reported by Peter Cooper says that two violinists had challenged one evening to see who was the best, only at dawn when they heard the song of the lark, they agreed that the sweetest music was that of the morning lark. Same story told by the piper Seamus Ennis but with the The Lark’s March tune

Moving Hearts The Lark in the Morning (Trad. Arr. Spillane, Lunny, O’Neill)

Cillian Vallely uilleann pipes with Alan Murray guitar

Peter Browne uilleann pipes in Lark’s march

LINK
https://www.mustrad.org.uk/songbook/larkmorn.htm
http://mainlynorfolk.info/steeleye.span/songs/thelarkinthemorning.html
http://thesession.org/tunes/62

Down by the Liffeyside

Leggi in italiano

Peadar Kearney (1883-1942), a famous Irish nationalist who wrote many popular songs, penned the lyrics of this irish street song “Down by the Liffeyside”, on the traditional tune “Down by the Tanyard Side”: he describes two sweethearts of the working class in the Dubin of 1920s, that are spending their Sunday to walk along the banks of the Liffey, the river that crosses the city of Dublin from West to East. The belle of the song is a street musician who entertains passers-by with patriotic songs with her melodeon.

Old Dublin: George street

Precisely for this reason, the reference to the struggle for united Ireland was a popular song in the folk circuit of the 60s and 70s.

Dominic Behan – from Down By The Liffeyside 1959
Dominic is the nephew of Peader Kearney and he learned the song directly from his uncle in the 40s.


Dubliners

Wolfe tones

Pecker Dunne

DOWN BY THE LIFFEYSIDE
I
‘Twas down by Anna Liffey (1), my love and I did stray
Where in the good old slushy mud the sea gulls sport and play
We got the whiff of ray(2) and chips and Mary softly sighed,
“Oh John, come on for a wan and wan (3)
Down by the Liffeyside.”
II
Then down along by George’s street the loving pairs to view
While Mary swanked it like a queen in a skirt of royal blue (4);
Her hat was lately turned and her blouse was newly dyed,
Oh you could not match her round the block,
Down by the Liffeyside
III
And on her old melodeon how sweetly could she play.;
“Good-by-ee” and “Don’t sigh-ee” and “Rule Brittanni-ay”
But when she turned Sinn Feiner(5) me heart near burst with pride,
To hear her sing the “Soldier’s Song(6)”,
Down by the Liffeyside
IV
On Sunday morning to Meath street (7) together we will go,
And it’s up to Father Murphy we both will make our vow
We’ll join our hands in wedlock bands (8) and we’ll be soon outside
For a whole afternoon, for our honeymoon (9),
Down by the Liffeyside

NOTE
1)  The Liffey is also known as the Anna Liffey, possibly because of the Irish for “River Liffey” – Abhainn na Life which sounds like “Anna Liffey” in English, Anna Livia statue  (Floozie in the Jacuzzi)-the river  represented as a young woman sitting on a slope with water flowing past her- is  in the Croppies Memorial Park next to the Liffey, near Heuston station

2) today the fishis are cod, haddock (an Atlantic fish similar to cod) and plaice. Already known in the days of Dickens, who included it in his most famous work, “Oliver Twist” (1838), some argue that it was some Italian immigrants who introduced this fryed food into the eating habits of the British and Irish, according to others instead it was the Spaniards.
3) wan and wan= one and one, this phrase (meaning “one of this, one of the other”) entered the vernacular in Dublin as “one and one”, which is still a common way of referring to fish and chips in the city
4) Royal blue is both a bright shade and a dark shade of azure blue. Traditionally, dictionaries define royal blue as a deep to dark blue, often with a purple or faint reddish tinge
5)  Sinn Féin is a left-wing Irish republican political party active in both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.
6) Soldier’s Song  (Amhrán na bhFiann)  is the Irish national anthem
7) The Liberties is an area in central Dublin,  located in the southwest of the inner city, between the St. Patrick’s Cathedral and the Guinnes Storehouse where the church of St. Catherine is located
8)The two promised exchanged vows to take as husband and wife, sealing them with a ring or a token of love. Handfasting was practiced in Ireland and Scotland in the past: the wrists of the couple were tied together with a long ribbon (wedlock’s band) see
9)  Phoenix Park , to consume their marriage between some bushes

EASY AND SLOW

LINK
https://theballadeers.com/ire/db_d1959_t35_liffey.htm
http://www.celtic-lyrics.com/lyrics/171.html
https://www.expedia.it/vc/magazine/cultura-e-lifestyle/enogastronomia/fish-and-chips-ricetta-e-segreti-del-piu-famoso-piatto-britannico
https://www.irishtimes.com/life-and-style/people/meath-street-outpost-of-a-disappearing-dublin-1.1967467

Lungo gli argini del Liffey.

Read the post in English  

Peadar Kearney (1883-1942) famoso esponente nazionalista irlandese e autore di molti canti popolari ha scritto il testo della irish street song “Down by the Liffeyside” abbinandolo alla melodia tradizionale “Down by the Tanyard Side”: si descrivono due fidanzatini della classe lavoratrice di Dubino negli anni del 1920 che trascorrono la domenica passeggiando lungo gli argini del Liffey, il fiume che attraversa la città di Dublino da Ovest a Est. La bella della canzone è una musicista di strada che con il suo organetto intrattiene i passanti con canti patriottici.

la vecchia Dublino, George street

Proprio per questo richiamo alla lotta per l’Irlanda unita era un brano diffuso nel circuito folk degli anni 60-70.

Dominic Behan – in Down By The Liffeyside 1959
Dominic è il nipote di Peader Kearney e imparò la canzone direttamente dallo zio negli anni 40.

Dubliners

Wolfe tones

Pecker Dunne


I
‘Twas down by Anna Liffey (1), my love and I did stray
Where in the good old slushy mud the sea gulls sport and play
We got the whiff of ray(2) and chips and Mary softly sighed,
“Oh John, come on for a wan and wan (3)
Down by the Liffeyside.”
II
Then down along by George’s street the loving pairs to view
While Mary swanked it like a queen in a skirt of royal blue (4);
Her hat was lately turned and her blouse was newly dyed,
Oh you could not match her round the block,
Down by the Liffeyside
III
And on her old melodeon how sweetly could she play.;
“Good-by-ee” and “Don’t sigh-ee” and “Rule Brittanni-ay”
But when she turned Sinn Feiner(5) me heart near burst with pride,
To hear her sing the “Soldier’s Song(6)”,
Down by the Liffeyside
IV
On Sunday morning to Meath street (7) together we will go,
And it’s up to Father Murphy we both will make our vow
We’ll join our hands in wedlock bands (8) and we’ll be soon outside
For a whole afternoon, for our honeymoon (9),
Down by the Liffeyside
Traduzione italiana Cattia Salto
I
Era accanto al Liffey, che il mio amore e io passeggiavamo
Dove nel buon vecchio viscido fango i gabbiani si muovono liberi
sentivamo l’odore del pesce e delle patatine e Mary sospirava dolcemente,
“Oh John, andiamo per un fish&chips
giù lungo gli argini del Liffey. ”
II
Poi giù lungo George’s street a vedere gli innamoratini
mentre Mary si pavoneggiava come una regina in gonna blu scuro;
il cappello appena rimodellato e la camicetta tinta di fresco,
Oh, non la potevi eguagliare in tutto l’isolato
giù lungo gli argini del Liffey.
III
E sul suo vecchio organetto, come dolcemente sapeva suonare
“Good-by-ee” e “Do not sigh-ee” e “Rule Brittanni-ay”
ma quando passò allo Sinn Féin il mio cuore quasi esplodeva per l’orgoglio
di sentirla cantare la “Soldier’s Song”,
giù lungo gli argini del Liffey.
IV
La domenica mattina andremo insieme a Meath Street,
e davanti a Don Murphy entrambi ci scambieremo le promesse
uniremo le nostre mani con l’handasting e staremo subito fuori
per un intero pomeriggio, per la nostra luna di miele,
giù lungo gli argini del Liffey.

NOTE
1) Anna Liffey, è il personaggio allegorico di Anna Livia Plurabelle di James Joyce: la personificazione del fiume Liffey, la statua in bronzo dello scultore  Éamonn O’Doherty soprannominata dai dublinesi Floozie in the Jacuzzi è la rappresentazione del fiume nella forma di una donna dai capelli fluenti semisdraiata e si trova al centro di una vasca  nel Croppies Memorial Park

2) ray= è il pesce razza; oggi il pesce in pastella e poi fritto si prepara con cod (merluzzo), haddock (eglefino, un pesce atlantico simile al merluzzo) e plaice (platessa). Si sa che il prodotto era già conosciuto ai tempi di Dickens, che lo annoverò nella sua opera più celebre, “Oliver Twist” (1838), alcuni sostengono che furono gli immigrati italiani a introdurlo nelle abitudini alimentari dei britannici e degli irlandesi, secondo altri invece furono gli spagnoli.
3) wan and wan= one and one, dalla frase “one of this, one of the other”, un po’ di questo e un po’ di quello il modo di dire dublinese per il tipico piatto da passeggio delle Isole Britanniche il fish&chips servito nel cartoccio.
4) Il blu reale o blu reale inglese è una sorta di azzurro abbastanza carico e vivace. È abbastanza simile come colore al blu elettrico.
5)  Sinn Féin, letteralmente “noi stessi” (nel senso di noi soli) in gaelico irlandese, ma spesso reso in inglese come ourselves alone, è il movimento indipendentista irlandese fondato nel 1905 da Arthur Griffith; è un partito repubblicano di sinistra
6) Soldier’s Song  (Amhrán na bhFiann) fu scritto nel 1907. Il ritornello da solo fu formalmente adottato come inno nazionale nel 1926, al posto del precedente inno God Save Ireland, usato ufficiosamente.
7) è la zona delle Libertà di Dublino quartier ubicato tra la Cattedrale di San Patrizio e la Guinnes Storehouse dove si trova la chiesa di Santa Caterina
8) I due promessi si scambiavano i voti di prendersi come marito e moglie, suggellandoli con un anello o un pegno d’amore. In Irlanda e Scozia si praticava l’handfasting: i polsi degli sposi erano legati insieme con un lungo nastro (wedlock’s band). continua
9) sicuramente infrattandosi tra qualche cespuglio del Phoenix Park

EASY AND SLOW

FONTI
https://theballadeers.com/ire/db_d1959_t35_liffey.htm
http://www.celtic-lyrics.com/lyrics/171.html
https://www.expedia.it/vc/magazine/cultura-e-lifestyle/enogastronomia/fish-and-chips-ricetta-e-segreti-del-piu-famoso-piatto-britannico
https://www.irishtimes.com/life-and-style/people/meath-street-outpost-of-a-disappearing-dublin-1.1967467

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

Leggi in italiano

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Love is pleasing

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

VERSIONE AMERICANA

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

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


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

VERSIONE EMIGRATION SONG

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

ASCOLTA Marianne Faithfull & Chieftains live


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

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


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

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

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