Dream Angus the scottish Sandy (l’omino dei sogni scozzese)

“Dream Angus” is the Scottish version of Sandman (affectionately called Sandy) a mythical character of Northern Europe folklore, the sandy wizard, who brings happy dreams sprinkling magic sand into the eyes of sleeping children. In the animated movie by Dreamworks “Rise of the Guardians” he is a mute character who communicates through images formed with his magic golden dust; always cheerful, provides children with beautiful dreams and unleashes their imagination.
[“Dream Angus” è la versione scozzese dell’Omino dei Sogni (in inglese Sandman chiamato affettuosamente Sandy) un personaggio mitico del folklore del Nord Europa, il mago sabbiolino, che porta sogni felici cospargendo di sabbia magica gli occhi dei bambini addormentati. Nella versione animata della Dreamworks “Le 5 Leggende” (in inglese “Rise of the Guardians”) è un personaggio muto che comunica attraverso immagini formate con la sua dorata polvere magica; sempre allegro, fornisce ai bambini dei bei sogni e sbriglia la loro immaginazione.]

 OleLukoie By Fagilewhispers.jpg

In the fairy tale of Andersen, Ole Lukøje (in English Ole-Luk-Oie) tells the sleeping children fantastic stories opening up an umbrella full of drawings on their heads (but only good children can make happy dreams, the disobedient ones sleep without dreams and the little man opens an umbrella without drawings on their heads). The italian Gianni Rodari has undergone the charm of this character dedicating him a nursery rhyme in which he outlined a mischievous but good-natured spirit.
[Nella fiaba di Andersen Ole Chiudigliocchi (Ole Lukøje in inglese Ole-Luk-Oie) racconta ai bambini addormentati delle storie fantastiche aprendo sopra alla loro testa un ombrello pieno di disegni (ma solo i bambini buoni possono essere felici nel sogni, quelli disobbedenti dormono senza sogni e l’omino apre sulle loro teste un ombrello senza disegni). Il nostro Gianni Rodari ha subito il fascino del personaggio dedicandogli una filastrocca in cui l’onimo dispettoso ma bonario dorme sotto il nostro comò di giorno.]

And yet Hoffmann recounts about Der Sandmann who is a dark version of the boogeyman: he snatch the eyes of the children who does not want to sleep to feed his ravenous offspring.
E tuttavia Hoffmann racconta dell’uomo della sabbia (Der Sandmann) che è una cupa versione dell’uomo nero: ai bambini che non volevano dormire strappava gli occhi per darli in pasto alla sua è famelica prole dal becco ricurvo come i rapaci della notte.]

Angus

In the Celtic mythology Angus (Aengus) is the god of youth, of poetic inspiration and love, son of the Nymph Boann and of the Dagda of the Tuatha Dé Danann. In a scottish goodnight song he is called “Dream Angus“, the god of dreams and by night he carries a bag full of dreams. His wife is Caer Ibormeith and their love story is the meeting of the twin souls that can not be separated.
[Nella mitologia celtica Angus (Aengus) è il dio della giovinezza, dell’ispirazione poetica e dell’amore, figlio della Ninfa Boann e del Dagda dei Tuatha Dé Danann. In una canzone della buonanotte è chiamato “Dream Angus”, il dio dei sogni e la notte porta una sacca piena di sogni in vendita. Sua moglie è Caer Ibormeith (Bacca di Tasso) la loro storia  è l’incontro delle anime gemelle che non possono essere separate. ]

Twin souls

Illustration from The Dream of Aengus, by Ted Nasmith

 According to the myth, Angus fell in love with a maiden he saw in his dreams.
But she was under a spell and to be able to free her, Angus had to recognize her while she was living in the form of a swan. After much research he knew he would have to waited till Samain for going to Lake Dragon’s Mouth (Loch Bel Dracon), where he found 150 swans tied to couples with silver chains.

[Secondo il mito, Angus si innamorò della fanciulla che vedeva nei suoi sogni. Ma la fanciulla era sotto un sortilegio e per poterla liberare Angus doveva riconoscerla mentre viveva nella forma di cigno. Dopo molte ricerche seppe di doverla aspettare per la festa di Samain al lago di Dragon’s Mouth (Loch Bel Dracon in italiano Bocca del Drago) dove trovò 150 cigni legati a coppie con catene d’argento.]

Aengus sings in front of the lake during his transformation into a swan [Aengus canta davanti al lago nella sua trasformazione in cigno]- John Duncan 1908

Angus turned into a swan to call Caer, so they flew together over the lake three times singing a sweet melody that fell asleep all Ireland for three days and three nights; now they live in Brugh Na Boinne (Newgrange).
[Angus si trasformò in cigno per poter chiamare la sua Caer, così volarono insieme sorvolando il lago per tre volte cantavano una dolce melodia che addormentò l’Irlanda per tre giorni e tre notti; ora dimorano nel Brugh Na Boinne (Newgrange).]

Yeats dedicates a poem to him The song of wandering Aengus published in 1899, in the collection of poems “The Wind among the reeds”.
The first to put the poem into music was the same Yeats who composed or adapted a traditional Irish melody: in 1907 he published his essay ‘Speaking to the Psaltery’ in which the poem is recited bardically, sung with the accompaniment of the psaltery; but many other artists were inspired by the text and composed further melodies. (see more)

Yeats gli dedica una poesia The song of wandering Aengus (La canzone di Aengus l’errante) pubblicata nel 1899, nella raccolta di poesie “The Wind among the reeds” (Il vento fra le canne). Il primo a mettere in musica la poesia è stato lo stesso Yeats che la compose o che vi adattò una melodia tradizionale irlandese : nel 1907 diede alle stampe il suo saggio ‘Speaking to the Psaltery’ in cui la poesia viene recitata alla maniera bardica ovvero cantata con l’accompagnamento del salterio; ma molti altri artisti furono ispirati dal testo e composero ulteriori melodie. continua

Dream Angus

Dream Angus is a legendary character in Scottish folklore that brings beautiful dreams to sleeping children.
From the moment Angus is born it is obvious that he is a gentle spirit and will be universally loved. Songbirds circle his head to serenade him to sleep as he rocks in his cradle, and the wildest hunting dog calms when in his presence.” (from qui)

Angus dei Sogni è un personaggio leggendario nel folklore scozzese che porta bei sogni ai bambini addormentati “Subito dalla sua nascita Angus è uno spirito gentile e sarà universalmente amato: gli uccelli canterini gli girano intorno alla testa per farlo addormentare, mentre si dondola nella culla, e il cane da caccia più selvaggio si calma quando è in sua presenza“.

Jackie Oates

Jean-Luc Lenoir in Old Celtic & Nordic Lullabies” 2016

Lynn Morrison


I
Can ye no hush your weepin’?
All the wee lambs are sleepin’
Birdies are nestlin’ nestlin’ together
Dream Angus is hirplin’ oer the heather
Chorus
Dreams to sell, fine dreams to sell
Angus is here wi’ dreams to sell
Hush my wee bairnie and sleep without fear
Dream Angus has brought you a dream my dear.
II
List’ to the curlew cryin’
Faintly the echos dyin’
Even the birdies and the beasties are sleepin’
But my bonny bairn is weepin’ weepin’
III (1)
Soon the lavrock sings his song
Welcoming the coming dawn
Lambies coorie doon the gither
Wi’ the yowies in the heather
Traduzione italiano Cattia Salto
I
Perchè non smetti di piangere?
Tutti gli agnellini sono addormentati,
gli uccellini si stanno accoccolando insieme
Angus dei Sogni si aggira per la brughiera
Coro
Sogni da vendere, bei sogni da vendere
Angus è qui con i sogni da vendere
shhh mio piccolino, dormi senza paura
Angus dei Sogni ti ha portato un sogno mio caro
II
Ascolta il chiurlo che grida
piano si smorza l’eco
anche gli uccellini e le bestie dormono
ma il mio piccolino piange, piange
III
Presto l’allodola leverà il suo canto
per salutare l’arrivo dell’alba
gli agnelli si rannicchiano assieme
con le pecorelle nell’erica

NOTE
1) or
Sweet the lavrock sings at morn,
Heraldin’ in a bright new dawn.
Wee lambs, they coorie doon taegether
Alang with their ewies in the heather.

The musical arrangements are however for everyone.
[Gli arrangiamenti sono però per tutti i gusti]
Debra Fotheringham

The Corries

Annie Lennox

Nam bu leam fhin thu thaladhainn thu

The melody of Dream Angus is very similar to a Gaelic lullaby “Nam bu leam fhin thu thaladhainn thu“, which is believed to have been sung by a fairy to an abandoned human child in the forest. On the Isle of Skye (Hebrides) it is associated with MacLeods clan of Dunvegan, who took enchanted creatures as nurses for their children.
Christina Stewart reports a couple of legends associated with this song:
In an alternative story, the wife of the chief of the MacLeods gives birth to a baby, much to the joy of the family.  However, the mother is a fairy woman and while the child is still a baby, she is forced to return to her own people.  One night, there is a great feast going on in Dunvegan Castle and the nursemaid who is supposed to be caring for the child is so attracted by the colour and festivity that she leaves the baby sleeping and goes to watch.  While she is away, the baby wakens and begins to cry.  When she hears it, she comes back and finds a woman cradling the baby, singing this song to him.  She has wrapped the child in an embroidered, yellow covering.  As the child calms, the woman hands the child back to the nursemaid and leaves.  The story goes that the woman was the baby’s mother, returned to see that her child was kept from harm and the yellow cover was the so-called Fairy Flag of Dunvegan, a banner which the clan should wave at times of dire need.  Legend has it that this otherworldly banner has miraculous powers and when unfurled in battle, the clan MacLeod would invariably defeat their enemies.  It can only be waved 3 times, though, after which it will fall into dust.  The flag has been waved twice so far – in 1480 at Blàr Bàgh na Fala and ten years later at the Battle of Glendale.  The flag itself certainly exists and is a popular attraction at Dunvegan Castle.  There are many stories associated with it and it’s origins and this is not the only lullaby said to have been sung by the baby’s mother. (from here)

La melodia di Dream Angus è molto simile a una ninna nanna gaelica “Nam bu leam fhin thu thaladhainn thu”, che si ritiene sia stata cantata da una fata a un bambino umano abbandonato nella foresta. Sull’isola di Skye (Isole Ebridi) è associata al clan MacLeods di Dunvegan che prendeva delle creature fatate come balia per i figli.
Christina Stewart riporta un paio di leggende associate a questo canto “In una storia alternativa, la moglie del capo dei MacLeod da alla luce un bambino, tutto per la gioia della famiglia. Tuttavia, la madre è una fata e quando il bambino è ancora piccolo, è costretta a tornare dalla sua stessa gente. Una notte, c’è una grande festa in corso nel Castello di Dunvegan e la bambinaia che doveva prendersi cura del bambino è così distratta dalla festa che lascia il bambino addormentato e va a vedere. Mentre lei è via, il bambino si sveglia e comincia a piangere. Quando lo sente, torna e trova una donna che culla il bambino, cantando questa canzone per lui. Aveva avvolto il bambino in una coperta gialla ricamata. Mentre il bambino si calma, la donna restituisce il bambino alla balia e se ne va. La storia racconta che la donna era la madre del bambino, tornata a vedere che il suo bambino fosse al sicuro e la copertina gialla era la cosiddetta “Fairy Flag of Dunvegan”, uno stendardo che il clan avrebbe dovuto agitare nei momenti di estremo bisogno. La leggenda narra che questo vessillo ultraterreno abbia poteri miracolosi e quando dispiegato in battaglia, il clan MacLeod avrebbe invariabilmente sconfitto i loro nemici. Può essere sventolato solo 3 volte, dopo di che cadrà nella polvere. La bandiera è stata sventolata due volte finora – nel 1480 a Blàr Bàgh na Fala e dieci anni dopo nella Battaglia di Glendale. La bandiera di per sé certamente esiste ed è un’attrazione popolare al Castello di Dunvegan. Ci sono molte storie associate ad esso e alle sue origini e questa non è l’unica ninnananna che si dice sia stata cantata dalla madre del bambino.”

Christina Stewart in Bairn’s Kist 2011

Scottish gaelic
Thàladhainn, thàladhainn, thàladhainn thu
Nam bu leam fhìn thu, leanabh mo chìche
Nam bu leam fhìn thu, thàladhainn thu
Thàladhainn, thàladhainn, thàladhainn thu
English translation:
If you were mine, I would lull you
Lull, lull, lull you
If you were mine, child of my breast
If you were mine, I would lull you
Lull, lull, lull you
traduzione italiano Cattia Salto
Se tu fossi mio, ti cullerei
cullerei, cullerei
se tu fossi mio, bimbo del mio seno
se tu fossi mio, ti cullerei
cullerei, cullerei

LINK
http://www.rampantscotland.com/songs/blsongs_dream.htm
http://bardmythologies.com/aengus-og/
http://www.kistodreams.org/dreamangus.asp
https://thesession.org/tunes/16464
http://www.ericdentinger.com/dream-angus_en.html
http://www.kistodreams.org/index.asp?pageid=652608

Brigg Fair to meet love

Leggi in italiano

The Lammas Fairs as they say in the British Isles or the Country fairs as they are more commonly called in America are the big fairs that take place after the wheat harvest: a livestock market (especially horses) where farmers gathered to sell and buy summer products, but also an important socialization event for isolated farms.
In the season of abundance, the earth was thanked for its fruits, and joy was shared with music, dance and games. In the Celtic tradition it was Lughnasad, a fair dedicated to courtship and combining marriages (under the good offices of the god Lugh).
So in the ballads when it’s time for the fair the lovers meet to exchange their marriage vows

Donnybrook Fair 1859 by Erskine Nicol 1825-1904

BRIGG FAIR

The song Brigg Fair belongs to the English folk tradition and was reported on wax cylinder in the early 1900s by Percy Grainger who picked it up from Joseph Taylor(first two verses here); Grainger himself made an arrangement for a chorus of 5 voices adding further verses. The song also boasts a classic arrangement having been inspired by the “English raphsody” always composed in those years by Frederick Delius (here)

First of all, the instrumental version of The Full English, supergroup that starts with the wax recording of the early 1900s

The Queen’s six (arrangement by Percy Grainger)

La versione di  Percy Grainger
I
It was on the fifth of August-
er’ the weather fine and fair,
Unto Brigg Fair(1) I did repair,
for love I was inclined.
II
I rose up with the lark in the morning,
with my heart so full of glee(2),
Of thinking there to meet my dear,
long time I’d wished to see.
III
I took hold of her lily-white hand, O
and merrily was her heart:
“And now we’re met together,
I hope we ne’er shall part”.
IV
For it’s meeting is a pleasure,
and parting is a grief,
But an unconstant lover is worse
than any thief.
V
The green leaves they shall wither
and the branches they shall die
If ever I prove false to her,
to the girl that loves me.
NOTES
1)  Glanford Brigg in Lincolnshire at the ford of the river Ancholme: already the name is symptomatic of a traditional place of gatherings where cattle fairs and sporting competitions are held
2)”mirth, joy, rejoicing; a lively feeling of delight caused by special circumstances and finding expression in appropriate gestures and looks”. In Old and Middle English it’s chiefly a poetic word, meaning primarily ‘entertainment, pleasure, sport’, and especially ‘musical entertainment, music, melody’ (this is how we get musical glees and glee clubs and a current popular television series). Anglo-Saxon poets sang ‘glees’ (gleow) with their harps, and a common Middle English word for ‘minstrel’ is gleeman.

FOLK VERSION

Martin Carthy  writes” When Percy Grainger first went up to Lincolnshire in the early days of field recording (he was one of the first in England to use recording techniques in the collection of folksong) one of the men he recorded was a beautiful singer by the name of Joseph Taylor. Among the many songs taken down on the wax cylinders was Brigg Fair, slightly pensive but very happy. Mr Taylor subsequently became one of the first of the traditional (or “field”) singers to have recordings issued by a commercial recording company; he has great subtlety, beautiful timing, and, despite of his old age, a fine clear voice. (from here)

Martin Carthy from Byker Hill; 1967

Jackie Oates 2011

Shirley Collins 1964

June Tabor “Quercus” (2013)  Spotify 

I
It was on the fifth of August
The weather fair(hot) and mild
Unto Brigg Fair I did repair
For love I was inclined
II
I got(rose) up with the lark in the morning/with my heart full of glee(1)
Expecting there to meet(see) my dear(love)/Long time I’d wished to see
III
I looked over my left shoulder
To see what I might see
And there I spied(saw) my own true love/ Come a-tripping down to me
IV
I took hold of his(her) lily-white hand
And I merrily sang my heart
For now we are together
We never more shall part
V
For the green leaves, they will wither
And the roots, they’ll all decay
Before that I prove false to him(her)
The man(lass) that loves me well(true)

LINK
http://ontanomagico.altervista.org/lugnasad.html
https://mainlynorfolk.info/joseph.taylor/
http://mainlynorfolk.info/joseph.taylor/songs/briggfair.html
http://aclerkofoxford.blogspot.it/2012/05/brigg-fair-and-history-of-glee.html
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VpM_JQNBVYs
https://thesession.org/tunes/6799

“Fire Down Below” the last shanty

Leggi in italiano

“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/

Boney was a warrior

Leggi in italiano

A sea shanty  originally born as a street ballad on the Napoleonic wars: Napoleon embodied the hopes for independence and the revolutionary demands of the European populations and the American colonies (Ireland in the lead); loved by the poorer layers as well as by intellectuals, it is the romantic hero par excellence, in its greatness and its fall. Nowadays, no one siding with Napoleon, but two centuries before, the spirits flared up for him!

Napoleone Bonaparte

SEA SHANTY VERSION

AL Lloyd wrote “A short drag shanty. These simple shanties were uses when only a few strong pulls were needed, as in boarding tacks and sheets and bunting up a sail in furling, etc. Boney was popular both in British and American vessels and in one American version Bonaparte is made to cross the Rocky Mountains.”: there are many text versions that all portray the victories and defeats of Napoleon in a few lines. The melody recalls the Breton maritime song “Jean François de Nantes” (with text in French)
C’est Jean François de Nantes OUE, OUE, OUE
Gabier sur la fringante Oh mes bouées Jean François
(here)
The adventure “Asterix in Corsica” pays homage to the shanty giving the name Boneywasawarriorwayayix to the chief of the resistance in Corsica

Paul Clayton


Boney(1) was a warrior,
Wey, hay, yah
A warrior, a tarrier(2),
John François (3)
Boney fought the Prussians,
Boney fought the Russians.
Boney went to Moscow,
across the ocean across the storm
Moscow was a-blazing
And Boney was a-raging.
Boney went to Elba
Boney he came back again.
Boney went to Waterloo
There he got his overthrow.
Boney he was sent away
Away in Saint Helena
Boney broke his heart and died
Away in Saint Helena

NOTES
1) Boney diminutive for Napoleon. The origin of the name is uncertain may mean “the Lion of Naples”, the first illustrious name was that of Cardinal Napoleone Orsini (at the time of Pope Boniface VIII)
2) terrier = mastiff
3) or Jonny Franswor! quote from the Breton maritime song Jean-François de Nantes

.. the punk-rock version with irony
Jack Shit in Rogue’s Gallery: Pirate Ballads, Sea Songs, and Chanteys, ANTI 2006

I
Boney(1) was a warrior
A warrior a terrier(2)
Boney beat the Prussians
The Austrians, the Russians
Boney went to school in France
He learned to make the Russians dance
Boney marched to Moscow
Across the Alps through ice and snow.
II
Boney was a Frenchy man
But Boney had to turn again
So he retreated back again
Moscow was in ruins then
He beat the Prussians squarely
He whacked the English nearly
He licked them in Trafalgar’s Bay(1)
Carried his main topm’st away
III
Boney went a cruising
Aboard the Billy Ruffian(2)
Boney went to Saint Helen’s
He never came back again
They sent him into exile
He died on Saint Helena’s Isle
Boney broke his heart and died
In Corsica he wished he stayed

NOTES
1) The battle of Trafalgar saw the British outnumbered but Nelson’s unconventional maneuver (a position called in military jargon to T) displaced the enemy line up arranged in a long line (the excellent study in see), the only blow inflicted by the French was the death of Nelson. England was an unequaled naval power for the French and the Spanish, so Napoleon renounced the invasion of Great Britain who became the mistress of the seas until the First World War
2) the ship that brought Napoleon into exile on Saint Helena was Bellerephon but the name was crippled in Billy Ruffian or Billy Ruff’n by his sailors not sufficiently well-known to appreciate the references to Greek mythology.

JOHN SHORT VERSION


The authors write in the short Sharp Shanties project notes “Short’s words were few—a mere two and a half verses—but sufficient to indicate that his, like every other version of the shanty, essentially followed Napoleon Bonaparte’s life story to a greater or lesser extent depending on the length of the job in hand (although, as Colcord points out, some versions introduced inventive variations on his life). We have simply borrowed some (of the true) verses from other versions—but by no means all that were available!.. Perhaps, we are again dealing with a shanty that changed its purpose—Jackie has chosen a slower rendition which may be more appropriate to the time. Sharp noted: “Mr. Short sang ‘Bonny’ not ’Boney’, which is the more usual pronunciation; while his rendering of ’John’ was something between the French ’Jean’ and the English ’John’.” (tratto da qui)

Jackie Oates from Short Sharp Shanties : Sea songs of a Watchet sailor vol 2

Boney was a warrior,
Wey, hay, yah
A bulling fighting tarrier,
John François
First he fought the Russians
then he fought the Prussians.
Boney went to Moscow,
Moscow was on fire oh.
We licked him in Trafalgar’s
Billy ??
Boney went to Elba
he came back to make another show
Boney went to Waterloo
and than he maked his overthrow.
Boney went to a-cruising
Aboard the Billy Ruffian.
Boney went to Saint Helena
Boney he didn’t get back
Boney broke his heart and died
in Corsica he should stay
Boney was a general
A ruddy, snotty general.

An interesting version in the folk environment comes from Maddy Prior who sings it like a nursery rhyme with the cannon shots and the drum roll in the background
Maddy Prior from Ravenchild 1999


Boney was a warrior
Wey, hey, ah
A warrior, a terrier
John François
He planned a distant enterprise
A great and distant enterprise.
He is off to fight the Russian bear
He plans to drive him from his lair.
They left with banners all ablaze
The heads of Europe stood amazed.
He thinks he’ll beat the Russkies
And the bonny bunch of roses. (1)

NOTES
1) english soldiers

FRENCH SHANTY: Jean-François de Nantes

Les Naufragés live

C’est Jean-François de Nantes
Oué, oué, oué,
Gabier de la Fringante
Oh ! mes bouées, Jean-François
Débarque de la campagne
Fier comme un roi d’Espagne
En vrac dedans sa bourse
Il a vingt mois de course
Une montre, une chaîne
Qui vaut une baleine
Branl’bas chez son hôtesse
Carambole et largesses
La plus belle servante
L’emmène dans la soupente
En vida la bouteille
Tout son or appareille
Montre et chaîne s’envolent
Attrape la vérole
A l’hôpital de Nantes
Jean-François se lamente
Et les draps de sa couche
Déchire avec sa bouche
Il ferait de la peine
Même à son capitaine
Pauvr’ Jean-François de Nantes
Gabier de la Fringante.

LINK
https://anglofolksongs.wordpress.com/2015/08/17/boney-was-a-warrior/
http://www.shanty.org.uk/archive_songs/boney.html http://mainlynorfolk.info/lloyd/songs/boney.html http://www.musicanet.org/robokopp/shanty/boneywas.htm http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=84540 https://mudcat.org/detail_pf.cfm?messages__Message_ID=1560890
http://www.mustrad.org.uk/articles/french.htm

Sweet Nightingale from Cornwall

Leggi in italiano

In Italy, the nightingale returns in mid-March and leaves in September. His song, melodious and powerful, presents a remarkable variety of modulations and phrasings, by able songwriter, so that one can speak of a personal repertoire different from bird to bird.
In the folk tradition the nightingale is the symbol of lovers and their love meeting, immortalized by Shakespeare in “Romeo and Juliet” he sings at the pomegranate and the only choice is between life and death: to stay in the nuptial thalamus and die or to leave for exile (and perhaps salvation)?

Romeo and Juliet, Heather Craft

JULIET
Wilt thou be gone?
It is not yet near day.

It was the nightingale,
and not the lark,

That pierced the fearful hollow of thine ear.
Nightly she sings on yon pomegranate tree.
Believe me, love,
it was the nightingale.

ROMEO
It was the lark,
the herald of the morn,

No nightingale. Look, love, what envious streaks
Do lace the severing clouds in yonder east.
Night’s candles are burnt out, and jocund day
Stands tiptoe on the misty mountain tops.
I must be gone and live, or stay and die.

Thus the song of the nightingale has assumed a negative characteristic, he is not the singer of joy as the lark but of melancholy and death.

CORNISH NIGHTINGALE

usignolo-pompei
Fresco detail Casa del bracciale d’oro, Pompeii

The fresco in the House of the Golden Bracelet, in Pompeii, dated between 30 and 35 AD. depicting scenes taken from a wooded garden, portrays a lonely nightingale among the rose branches.
And it is precisely for his nocturnal hiding in the thick of the wood that in the traditional songs he has approached to trivial kind with double meanings alluding to the erotic sphere and his sweet song is an invitation to abandon oneself to the pleasures of sex.
The folk song was probably born in Cornwall with the titles of”Sweet Nightingale”, “My sweetheart, come along” or “Down in those valleys below”.

“The words of Sweet Nightingale were first published in Robert Bell’s Ancient Poems of the Peasantry of England, 1857, with the note:“This curious ditty—said to be a translation from the ancient Cornish tongue… we first heard in Germany… The singers were four Cornish miners, who were at that time, 1854, employed at some lead mines near the town of Zell. The leader, or captain, John Stocker, said that the song was an established favourite with the lead miners of Cornwall and Devonshire, and was always sung on the pay-days and at the wakes; and that his grandfather, who died 30 years before at the age of a hundred years, used to sing the song, and say that it was very old.” Unfortunately Bell failed to get a copy either of words or music from these miners, and relied in the end on a gentleman of Plymouth who “was obliged to supply a little here or there, but only when a bad rhyme, or rather none at all, made it evident what the real rhyme was. I have read it over to a mining gentleman at Truro, and he says it is pretty near the way we sing it.”The tune most people sing was collected by Rev. Sabine Baring-Gould from E.G. Stevens of St. Ives, Cornwall.” (from here)

The song also includes a version in cornish gaelic titled “An Eos Hweg“, but it is a more recent translation from the folk revival of the Celtic traditions.  It is a popular song often sung in pubs today in repertoire of the choral groups.

Sam Lee & Jackie Oates from Short Sharp Shanties : Sea songs of a Watchet sailor vol 2 
Jackie Oates – The Sweet Nightingale (Live)

Alex Campbell – ‘Live’ 1968

THE NIGHTINGALE
I
“My sweetheart, come along!
Don’t you hear the fond song,
The sweet notes of the nightingale flow?/Don’t you hear the fond tale
Of the sweet nightingale,
As she sings in the valleys below?
II
My sweetheart(1), don’t fail,
For I’ll carry your pail(2),
Safe home to your cot as we go;
You shall hear the fond tale
Of the sweet nightingale,
As she sings in the valleys below.”
III
“Pray let me alone,
I have hands of my own;
Along with you I will not go,
To hear the fond tale
Of the sweet nightingale,
As she sings in the valleys below”
IV
“Pray sit yourself down
With me on the ground,
On this bank where sweet primroses grow;
You shall hear the fond tale
Of the sweet nightingale,
As she sings in the valleys below”
V
This couple agreed;
They were married with speed(3),
And soon to the church they did go.
She was no more afraid
For to walk in the shade,
Nor yet in the valleys below.

NOTES
1) Pretty Bets or Betty or Sweet maiden
2) the girl was a milkmaid and the young man offers to take home the bucket with fresh milk
3) certainly the girl had become pregnant

third part

LINK
http://www.an-daras.com/cornish-songs/Kanow_Tavern-Sweet_Nightingale.pdf
http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=120955
http://www.efdss.org/component/content/article/45-efdss-site/learning-resources/1541-efdss-resource-bank-chorus-sweet-nightingale
http://www.musicanet.org/robokopp/english/mysweeth.htm

The Pleasant Month of May

Leggi in italiano

“The haymaker’s song” aka “The Pleasany Month of May”, ‘”Twas in the Pleasant Month of May” or ” The Merry Haymakers” is in the Family Copper’s collection of traditional songs from Sussex (see): in the season of haymaking, starting in May, the farmers went to make hay, cutting 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.

George Stubbs - Haymakers 1785 (Wikimedia)
George Stubbs – Haymakers 1785 (Wikimedia)

Mr A. L. Lloyd (“Folk Song in England”, p 234/5) traces a possible source to a broadside of 1695; collected versions seem more in the style of the 18th century and presumably stem from the late broadsides, of which there were one or two. Found in tradition mainly in the South and South East of England, the exception being Huntington, Sam Henry’s Songs of the People(1990) which has an unprovenanced set, Tumbling Through the Hay, presumably noted in Ulster.” (from here)

After the hard work, however, it’s time to have fun and so all the workers are dancing in the middle of the haystacks on the melodies of a piper !!


William Pint & Felicia Dale
from Hartwell Horn 1999 
Jackie Oates from Hyperboreans 2009 
Lisa Knapp from Till April Is Dead ≈ A Garland of May 2017

PLEASANT MONTH OF MAY *
I
‘Twas in the pleasant month of May,
In the springtime of the year,
And down in yonder meadow
There runs a river clear.
See how the little fishes,
How they do sport and play;
Causes many a lad and many a lass
To go there a-making hay.
II
Then in comes the scythesman,
That meadow to mow down,
With his old leathered bottle
And the ale that runs so brown.
There’s many a stout and a laboring man
Goes there his skill to try;
He works, he mows, he sweats, he blows,
And the grass cuts very dry.
III
Then in comes both Tom and Dick
With their pitchforks and their rakes,
And likewise black-eyed Susan
The hay all for to make.
There’s a sweet, sweet, sweet and a jug, jug, jug(1)
How the harmless birds do sing
From the morning to the evening
As we were a-haymaking.
IV
It was just at one evening
As the sun was a-going down,
We saw the jolly piper
Come a-strolling through the town.
There he pulled out his tabor and pipes(2)
And he made the valleys ring;
So we all put down our rakes and forks
And we left off haymaking.
V
We called for a dance
And we tripped it along;
We danced all round the haycocks
Till the rising of the sun.
When the sun did shine such a glorious light,
How the harmless birds did sing;
Each lad he took his lass in hand
And went back to his haymaking.

NOTES
1) sounds that recall the trill of birds: they are the verses that imitate birds singing
2) pipe and drum, in a combination called tabor-pipe: the three-hole flute allows the musician to play the instrument with one hand, while with the other he strikes the tambourine with a shoulder strap. If the combination was very versatile and well suited to street performances of the jester, it was also perfect for the performance of the dances and then in the ancient iconography convivial images are often frequent in the presence of dancers. ((see more)

L’allodola e il cavallante nel mese di Maggio

LINK
http://www.hayinart.com/001405.html
https://mainlynorfolk.info/folk/songs/thepleasantmonthofmay.html
http://www.joe-offer.com/folkinfo/songs/213.html
http://www.musicanet.org/robokopp/english/haymaker.htm
http://konkykru.com/e.caldecott.our.haymaking.html

Tommy’s Gone

Sea shanty variante della famiglia “To Hilo” nel progetto Short Sharp Shanties : Sea songs of a Watchet sailor sono riportate ben due versioni.
Il marinaio di queste sea shanty è Tom e al suo nome si abbinano un buon numero di porti, la lunghezza della canzone dipendeva dalla durata del lavoro (‘Stringing out’) e quindi la lista dei porti visitati dal nostro Tom è molto vasta.

Tommy’s Gone (Tommy’s Gone Away)

ASCOLTA Jackie Oates in Short Sharp Shanties : Sea songs of a Watchet sailor vol 1 (su spotify)


Tommy’s gone, what will I do?
Tommy’s gone away.
Tommy’s gone, what will I do?
Tommy’s gone away.
Tommy’s gone to Liverpool,
To Liverpool that noted school.
Tommy’s gone to Baltimore
To dance upon that sandy floor
Tommy’s gone to Mobile Bay,
To screw the cotton all the day..
Tommy’s gone to Singapore,
Tommy’s gone forevermore,
Tommy’s gone to Buenos Aires,
Where the girls have long black hair,
Tommy’s gone forevermore,
Tommy’s gone forevermore,
Traduzione italiano di Cattia Salto
Tommy se n’è andato, cosa farò?
Tommy è partito
Tommy se n’è andato, cosa farò?
Tommy è partito
Tommy è andato a Liverpool
a Liverpool quella scuola rinomata
Tommy è andato a Baltimora
a ballare sulla sabbia gialla
Tommy è andato a Mobile Bay
a raccogliere il cotone tutto il giorno
Tommy è andato a Singapore
Tommy se n’è andato per sempre
Tommy è andato a Buenos Aires
dove le ragazze portano i capelli neri e lunghi
Tommy se n’è andato per sempre

Tommy’s Gone to Ilo

La variante diffusa nel Canada.
ASCOLTA Sam Lee in Short Sharp Shanties : Sea songs of a Watchet sailor vol 2 (su spotify)


My Tom’s gone, what shall I do?
Away you Ilo (1).
My Tom’s gone, what shall I do?
My Tom’s gone to Ilo.
Tom’s gone to Liverpool
To Liverpool that packet school
Tom’s gone to Merasheen (2)
where they tied up
to tree (3)
Tom’s gone to Vallipo (4)
When he’ll come back I do not know
Tom’s gone to Rio
Where the girls put on show
Hilo town is in Peru
It’s just the place for me an’ you.
I wish I was in London town
then to see no more Ilo
A bully ship and a bully crew
Tom’s gone and I’ll gone too
Traduzione italiano di Cattia Salto
Tom se n’è andato, cosa farò?
via a Hilo
Tom se n’è andato, cosa farò?
Tommy è partito per Hilo
Tom è andato a Liverpool
a Liverpool a quella scuola navale
Tom è andato a Merasheen
dove bisognava agguantarsi alla crocetta
Tom è andato a Vallipo
quando ritornerà non lo so
Tom è andato a Rio
dove le ragazze si mettono in mostra
Hilo è una città del Perù
ed è il posto perfetto per me e te
Vorrei essere a Londra
e non andare più a Hilo
Una nave tosta e una ciurma di bulli
Tom è partito e partirò anch’io

NOTE
1) Hilo è il nome di un porto che si trova sia in Perù che  nelle Hawai (vedi)
2) anche scritto come Merrimashee c’è un isola di Merasheen a Terranova (Canada), ma più probabilmente è Miramichi, una cittadina del Canada, situata nella provincia del Nuovo Brunswick, ma anche un grande fiume che da il nome alla baia in cui sfocia, nel Golfo di San Lorenzo. Spesso i marinai ripetevano le canzoni ad orecchio ed era più probabile che venissero storpiati i nomi delle località che non si conoscevano.
3) vedi commento in Bonny Laddie, Heiland Laddie (My Bonnie Highland Lassie) 
4) Valparaiso in Cile

FONTI
https://terreceltiche.altervista.org/hilo-in-the-sea-shanties/
http://www.joe-offer.com/folkinfo/songs/514.html
https://mainlynorfolk.info/lloyd/songs/tomsgonetohilo.html
https://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=147564

Doodle Let Me Go (Yaller Girls)

Originally a capstan chantey became more commonly a forebitter song entitled “Yellow (Yaller) Girl”.
Diffused by folksingers during the 1970s, it contains a series of mondegreen (the meaning of the term doodle is still open to multiple explanations) and various textual adjustments.
It must also be said that the same Shantymen were the first to come up with imaginative explanations for the “strange” terms, as many words had been parroted or crippled during the transmission process.
Originariamente una capstan chantey è diventata più comunemente una forebitter song dal titolo “Yellow (Yaller) Girl”.
Diffusa dai folksingers durante gli anni 1970  contiene una serie di mondegreen (è ancora aperto a molteplici spiegazioni il significato del termine doodle) e vari aggiustamenti testuali.
C’è da dire inoltre che gli stessi shantymen erano i primi a ideare fantasiose spiegazioni per i termini “strani”, poichè molte parole erano state ripetute a pappagallo o storpiate durante il processo di trasmissione.

Stan Hugill writes: “A capstan shanty which may be related to the foregoing [Do Let Me Lone Susan] is Do Let me Go, given also by Terry & Sharp. Gives version from Harding the Barbadian.
Scrive Stan Hugill: “Una capstan shanty che si può collegare alla precedente [Do Let Me Lone Susan] è Do Let me Go, data anche da Terry & Sharp. E’ data la versione di Harding the Barbadian.”

Hulton Clint


Once I met
a do-do girl
belonged to Mobile Bay (1)
Hoorah my yaller (2) gals,
doodle (3) let me go

Doodle let me go me gals,
doodle let me go,
Hoorah my yaller gals,
doodle let me go

She swung her hips,
she tripped her feet, 
she winked her sassy eye.
I took her in
and gave her gin,
and danced round the floor.
The crew is drunk,
the mate is drunk,
the old man’s got a load.
Traduzione italiano di  Cattia Salto
Una volta incontrai
uno zuccherino di ragazza
di Mobile Bay
Urrà mie ragazze mulatte ,
datevi da fare 

datevi da fare, ragazze,
datevi da fare

Urrà mie ragazze mulatte
datevi da fare

Lei ancheggiava
e caracollava
e mi faceva l’occhiolino.
La presi
e le diedi del gin
e ballammo sul pavimento.
La ciurma è ubriaca
il primo ufficiale è ubriaco,
e il capitano ha preso un carico.

In this version the sailor declares himself more satisfied with the “performance” of the girls of Madame Gashee, renowned Callao brothel.
In questa versione il marinaio si dichiara più che soddisfatto delle “prestazioni” delle ragazze di Madam Gashee rinomato bordello di Callao.

Mor Ladron y Borth

Brise-Glace live, starting with “I wish I was in Madame Gashay’s, down in Callayo..” [saltano il primo verso]


Once I had a yellow girl
belonged to Mobile Bay (1)
Hoorah my yellow (2) girls,
doodle (3) let me go

Doodle let me go me girls, doodle let me go, Hoorah my yellow girls,
doodle let me go

I wish I was in Madam Gashee (4)’s
down in Callao (5)
(She tripped her feet, she swung her hip,
she gave a sassy smile
She took me in, she gave me gin,
she took me to her room) (6)
She grabbed me by the bobstay (7) boys
and danced me round the room
The mate is drunk,
the crew are drunk,
the old man’s got a load
We’ll tie a rope round Madam Gashee’s
and take the place in tow
Traduzione italiano di  Cattia Salto
Una volta avevo una ragazza creola
di Mobile Bay
Urrà mie ragazze mulatte ,
datevi da fare 

datevi da fare, datevi da fare
Urrà mie ragazze mulatte
datevi da fare

Vorrei essere da Madam Gashee
a Callao
(lei caracollava e ancheggiava
e lanciava sorrisi lascivi;
mi fece entrare, mi diede del gin
e mi portò nella sua stanza)
mi afferrò il “bompresso”, ragazzi
e mi fece ballare per tutta la stanza.
Il primo ufficiale è ubriaco,
la ciurma è ubriaca
e il capitano ha preso un carico.
Legheremo una cima intorno alla casa di Madam Gashe e la rimorchieremo con noi.

NOTE
1) Mobile is the county seat of Mobile County, Alabama, United States.
[Mobile, città portuale dell’Alabama nel Golfo del Messico, già capitale della Louisiana francese. Mobile passò sotto il controllo britannico (Florida) e finì sotto il dominio spagnolo (dal 1780 al 1812) per poi diventare territorio degli Stati Uniti. “Tra il 1819 ed il 1822, con la creazione delle piantagioni, la popolazione aumentò a dismisura, inoltre, a favorire lo sviluppo cittadino vi era la sua posizione geografica, al centro delle tratte commerciali tra l’Alabama ed il Mississippi. Si sviluppò particolarmente il settore legato alla vendita ed al commercio del cotone, tanto che nel 1840, Mobile era seconda solo a New Orleans per esportazione del prezioso materiale.” (Wikipedia).]
2) yella, yallow was used by British-American sailors to indicate the color of the skin of a mulatta (Creole). More rarely to refer to a girl of Asian race.
[yella, yallow era usato dai marinai britannici-americani per indicare il colore della pelle di una mulatta (creola). Più raramente per indicare una ragazza di razza asiatica.]
3) doodle o do you let? Doodle may mean girl (from the French dou-dou or a word widespread in the Caribbean as “in love”) as a pet name or to go for Do-a-let me go, or Do n ‘let me go or Do let my go. As noted the sailors had the custom of adding a d before a l so the word “do let” becomes phonetically “do –d-let” and then doodle. Or again it could be a nonsense word (see discussion here).
[Doodle potrebbe voler dire ragazza (dal francese dou-dou ovvero una parola diffusa nei Caraibi come “innamorata”) come un vezzeggiativo oppure stare per Do-a let me go, ovvero Do n’ let me go oppure Do let my go in italiano: (non) lasciarmi andare.. Come osservato i marinai avevano l’usanza di aggiungere una d prima di una l così la parola “do let” diventa foneticamente “do –d- let” e quindi doodle. O ancora potrebbe essere una parola nonsense (vedere discussione qui) Io a naso propendo per la versione “datti da fare” il cui significato è ovvio essendo riferito alle signorine di Madam Gashee]
4) renowned home of Callao’s pleasure [rinomata casa del piacere di Callao]
5) Callao is a port of Peru near Lima [porto del Perù vicino a Lima]
6) the Brise-Glace sing:
She guv me gin, she guv me food, she took me to a room.
She swung her hips, she tripped her feet, she winked her sassy eye.
7) if we want to call it that [ma che fantasiosi questi marinai!]

JOHN SHORT VERSION

In the Short Sharp Shanties project the text takes up the folk song “Blow the Candles Out
Nel progetto Short Sharp Shanties il testo riprende la folk song “
Blow the Candles Out

Considering how widespread this shanty is in the revival, it is interesting to note that only Sharp and Terry give it, apart from Hugill – and his version comes (surprise, surprise) from Harding the Barbadian. ‘Doodle’, of course, is simply ‘Do’ with interpolated extra consonant(s) again!  Short gave Terry only the first verse (“Mr. Short had one verse of words; I have perpetrated the remaining two”), but he gave Sharp more, which are duly recorded in mss, although he only published the first verse. Although Short starts with the more or less standard ‘merchant’s daughter’ verse, his text rapidly becomes the folk song Blow the Candle Out.  Here, the Sharp fragments are expanded to coherent narrative from standard versions of Blow the Candle Out. The broadside text is however edited – the full text would over-fill even the longest of capstan tasks!   (from here)
“Considerando quanto questa shanty sia diffusa nel revival, è interessante notare che solo Sharp e Terry la riportano, a parte Hugill – e la sua versione arriva (sorpresa, sorpresa) da Harding the Barbadian. ‘Doodle’, ovviamente, è semplicemente ‘Fai’ di nuovo con le consonanti raddoppiate! Short ha dato a Terry solo il primo verso (“Mr. Short mi diede la prima strofa, io ho eseguito le rimanti due”), ma a Sharp ne ha date di più, puntualmente trascritte nel manoscritto, sebbene abbia pubblicato solo il primo versetto. Anche se Short inizia con il versetto più o meno standard della “figlia del mercante”, il suo testo diventa rapidamente la canzone folk “Blow the Candle Out”. Qui, i frammenti di Sharp vengono espansi in una narrativa coerente dalle versioni standard di Blow the Candle Out. Il testo del foglio volante è comunque modificato: il testo completo deborderebbe anche dalle più lunghe operazioni all’argano per il sollevamento dell’ancora!”

Jackie Oates in Short Sharp Shanties : Sea songs of a Watchet sailor vol 3 ♪ 

*
It’s of a merchant’s daughter
belonged to Callio;
Hurrah, me yaller girls,
doodle let me go

Chorus
Doodle let me go, me girls,
doodle let me go,

Hurrah, me yaller girls,
doodle let me go

I
He was to the saturday evening
he went to see his dear
Hurrah, me yaller girls,
doodle let me go

The candles they were burning
and the moon shone bright and clear.
Hurrah, me yaller girls,
doodle let me go

He went in her window
To ease of her pain
Hurrah, me yaller girls,
doodle let me go

She quickly rose to let him in
and went to bed again.
Hurrah, me yaller girls,
doodle let me go

Chorus
II
The streets are too lonely for you to walk about
Hurrah, me
and take me in your arms, love
And blow the candles out.”
Hurrah, me
III
(.. toast and tumble ..the day) (???)
Hurrah..
the sailor moon is very close 
and farewell my dear
Hurrah..
And if we prove successful, love
Please name it after me.
Hurrah, …
(And if it is a boy we’ll ..
.. of the sea) (???)
Hurrah, 
Chorus
IV
It was six months after this young girl she
.. (???)
blow the candles out
Traduzione italiano Cattia Salto
Si tratta della figlia di un mercante 
di Callao
Urrà, mie ragazze mulatte
datevi da fare
Coro
Urrà mie ragazze mulatte,
datevi da fare
Urrà mie ragazze mulatte
datevi da fare
I
Era sabato sera che
andò a trovare la sua bella
Urrà mie ragazze mulatte,
datevi da fare

le candele erano accese
e la luna brillava chiara
Urrà mie ragazze mulatte,
datevi da fare

andò alla sua finestra
per alleviarle il dispiacere
Urrà mie ragazze mulatte,
datevi da fare

lei si alzò lesta e lo fece entrare
e poi andò a letto
Urrà mie ragazze mulatte,
datevi da fare

Coro
II
Le strade sono troppo solitarie per camminarci
Urrà mie ragazze
e prendimi tra le tue braccia, amore
e spegni la candela
Urrà mie ragazze 
III
.. brindiamo..
Urrà 
la luna del marinaio è molto vicina
e addio mia bella
Urrà …
E se la prova avrà successo, amore
ti prego di dargli il mio nome.
Urrà 
e se sarà un bambino,
lo manderemo per mare
Urrà
Coro
IV
Erano passati sei mesi, questa ragazza

spegnere la candela

*trascrizione parziale da completare

LINK
https://mainlynorfolk.info/lloyd/songs/doodleletmego.html
http://www.mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=49421
http://thejovialcrew.com/?page_id=380
https://www.exmouthshantymen.com/songbook.php?id=96
https://www.8notes.com/scores/4255.asp

http://www.worldnavalships.com/forums/archive/index.php/t-3848-p-3.html
http://www.umbermusic.co.uk/SSSnotes.htm

continua la versione irlandese: Yellow Gals

Brigg Fair per incontrare l’innamorato

Read the post in English

Le Lammas Fairs (come si dice nelle isole britanniche o le country  fairs come sono più comunemente chiamate in America) si svolgono dopo il raccolto del grano: sono un mercato del bestiame (in particolare cavalli) dove gli agricoltori si ritrovano per vendere e comprare i prodotti dell’estate, ma anche un importante evento di socializzazione per le fattorie isolate.
Nella stagione dell’abbondanza si ringrazia la terra per i suoi frutti, e si condivide la gioia con musica, danze, giochi. Nella tradizione celtica era Lughnasad, una festa dedicata al corteggiamento e a combinare i matrimoni (sotto i buoni uffici del dio Lugh).
Così nelle ballate quando è tempo di fiera gli innamorati si incontrano per scambiarsi le promesse matrimoniali

Donnybrook Fair 1859 by Erskine Nicol 1825-1904

BRIGG FAIR

Questa canzone appartiene alla tradizione folk inglese ed è stata riportata su cilindro di cera agli inizi del 900 da Percy Grainger che la raccolse da Joseph Taylor (primi due versi ascolta); lo stesso Grainger ne fece un arrangiamento per coro a 5 voci aggiungendo ulteriori versi. Il brano vanta anche un arrangiamento classico essendo stato d’ispirazione alla “English raphsody” composta sempre in quegli anni da Frederick Delius (ASCOLTA)

Prima di tutto la versione strumentale del supergruppo The Full English che prendono le mosse proprio dalla registrazione su cera degli inizi 900

The Queen’s six l’arrangiamento per corale di Percy Grainger

La versione di  Percy Grainger
I
It was on the fifth of August-
er’ the weather fine and fair,
Unto Brigg Fair(1) I did repair,
for love I was inclined.
II
I rose up with the lark in the morning,
with my heart so full of glee(2),
Of thinking there to meet my dear,
long time I’d wished to see.
III
I took hold of her lily-white hand, O
and merrily was her heart:
“And now we’re met together,
I hope we ne’er shall part”.
IV
For it’s meeting is a pleasure,
and parting is a grief,
But an unconstant lover is worse
than any thief.
V
The green leaves they shall wither
and the branches they shall die
If ever I prove false to her,
to the girl that loves me.
traduzione italiano di Cattia Salto
I
Era il 5 di agosto
il tempo bello e mite
alla fiera di Brigg mi recavo
perchè dall’amore ero attratto
II
Mi alzai con l’allodola al mattino
e il mio cuore era pieno di allegria
al pensiero di incontrare là il mio amore
che da tanto tempo desideravo vedere
III
Le presi in mano la sua mano bianco giglio e allegro era il suo cuore
“Adesso che ci siamo incontrati
spero che non ci separeremo più”
IV
Perchè incontrarsi è un piacere
e separarsi è un dolore
ma un amore insincero è peggiore
di un ladro
V
Le foglie verdi appassiranno
e le radici marciranno
se mai io mi dimostrassi falso con lei
la ragazza che mi ama.

NOTE
1)  Glanford Brigg nel Lincolnshire al guado del fiume Ancholme : già il nome è sintomatico di un posto per tradizione luogo di raduni dove si tengono fiere di bestiame e competizioni sportive
2)”mirth, joy, rejoicing; una vivace sensazione di gioia causata da circostanze particolari e che trova espressioni con gesti e sguardi appropriati. “Nel vecchio e medio inglese è principalmente una parola poetica, che significa ” intrattenimento, piacere, sport “e in particolare” intrattenimento musicale, musica, melodia ” . I poeti anglosassoni hanno cantato “glees” (gleow) con le loro arpe, e una parola comune in lingua inglese per il menestrello è “gleeman”

LA VERSIONE FOLK

Martin Carthy  definisce la melodia “un po’ meditabonda ma molto allegra“: ” Quando Percy Grainger andò per la prima volta nel Lincolnshire nei primi giorni della registrazione sul campo (fu uno dei primi in Inghilterra a utilizzare le tecniche di registrazione nella raccolta di canzoni popolari) uno degli uomini che registrò fu un bellissimo cantante dal nome di Joseph Taylor . Tra le tante canzoni prese sui cilindri di cera c’era Brigg Fair, un po’ meditabonda ma molto allegra. Successivamente Taylor divenne uno dei primi cantanti tradizionali (o “sul campo”) ad avere incisioni discografiche da una società di registrazione commerciale; ha una grande delicaterzza, un tempismo bellissimo e, nonostante la sua vecchiaia, una bella voce chiara. (tradotto da qui)

Martin Carthy in Byker Hill; 1967

Jackie Oates 2011

Shirley Collins 1964

June Tabor “Quercus” (2013) anche su Spotify 


I
It was on the fifth of August
The weather fair(hot) and mild
Unto Brigg Fair I did repair
For love I was inclined
II
I got(rose) up with the lark in the morning/with my heart full of glee(1)
Expecting there to meet(see) my dear(love)/Long time I’d wished to see
III
I looked over my left shoulder
To see what I might see
And there I spied(saw) my own true love/ Come a-tripping down to me
IV
I took hold of his(her) lily-white hand
And I merrily sang my heart
For now we are together
We never more shall part
V
For the green leaves, they will wither
And the roots, they’ll all decay
Before that I prove false to him(her)
The man(lass) that loves me well(true)
traduzione italiano di Cattia Salto
I
Era il 5 di agosto
il tempo bello e mite
alla fiera di Brigg mi recavo
perchè dall’amore ero attratta
II
Mi alzai con l’allodola al mattino
con il cuore pieno di allegrezza
nell’attesa di incontrare il mio amore
che da tanto tempo desideravo vedere
III
Guardai oltre la mia spalla sinistra
per vedere colui che avrei rivisto
e là vidi il mio vero amore
che veniva verso di me
IV
Gli presi la mano bianco giglio
e allegramente cantava il mio cure, perchè adesso eravamo insieme
e non ci saremmo più separati
V
Perchè le foglie verdi appassiranno
e le radici marciranno
prima che io mi mostri falsa con lui
l’uomo che mi ama veramente (sinceramente)

FONTI
http://ontanomagico.altervista.org/shemoved.htm
http://ontanomagico.altervista.org/lugnasad.html
https://mainlynorfolk.info/joseph.taylor/
http://mainlynorfolk.info/joseph.taylor/songs/briggfair.html
http://aclerkofoxford.blogspot.it/2012/05/brigg-fair-and-history-of-glee.html
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VpM_JQNBVYs
https://thesession.org/tunes/6799

Andare a fare il fieno nel mese di maggio!

Read the post in English

“The haymaker’s song” anche “The Pleasany Month of May”, ‘”Twas in the Pleasant Month of May” oppure ” The Merry Haymakers” è riportata nella raccolta di canti tradizionali della famiglia Copper del Sussex (vedi): nella canzone, che plaude all’onesto lavoro nei campi, ci si riferisce a un attività particolare della stagione agricola, quella in cui si andava a fare il fieno, cioè a tagliare l’erba alta con la falce, per metterla da parte come foraggio per il bestiame e gli animali da cortile. Mentre il taglio del fieno era un compito per lo più maschile, le donne e i fanciulli utilizzavano il rastrello per raccogliere l’erba in grossi mucchi, che venivano poi caricati sul carro mediante l’uso dei forconi.
Per tutto l’Ottocento non mancarono poesie e canzoni sul tema “Making of the Hay” vedi

George Stubbs - Haymakers 1785 (Wikimedia)
George Stubbs – Haymakers 1785 (Wikimedia)

Al Lloyd (“Folk Song in England”, p 234/5) traccia una possibile fonte in un foglio volante del 1695; le versioni raccolte richiamano però lo stile del 1700 e presumibilmente derivano da un paio di broadsides più recenti. Trovata principalmente nella tradizione  nel sud e sud-est dell’Inghilterra, ad eccezione di Huntington; in “Songs of the People” di Sam Henry (1990), “Tumbling Through the Hay”, presumibilmente trascritto in Ulster.” (tratto da qui)

Dopo il duro lavoro arriva però il momento di divertirsi e così tutti i lavoranti si trovano a danzare in mezzo ai covoni di fieno sulle melodie di un piper di passaggio!!

William Pint & Felicia Dale in Hartwell Horn 1999 
Jackie Oates in Hyperboreans 2009 
Lisa Knapp in Till April Is Dead ≈ A Garland of May 2017

PLEASANT MONTH OF MAY *
I
‘Twas in the pleasant month of May,
In the springtime of the year,
And down in yonder meadow
There runs a river clear.
See how the little fishes,
How they do sport and play;
Causes many a lad and many a lass
To go there a-making hay.
II
Then in comes the scythesman,
That meadow to mow down,
With his old leathered bottle
And the ale that runs so brown.
There’s many a stout and a laboring man
Goes there his skill to try;
He works, he mows, he sweats, he blows,
And the grass cuts very dry.
III
Then in comes both Tom and Dick
With their pitchforks and their rakes,
And likewise black-eyed Susan
The hay all for to make.
There’s a sweet, sweet, sweet and a jug, jug, jug(1)
How the harmless birds do sing
From the morning to the evening
As we were a-haymaking.
IV
It was just at one evening
As the sun was a-going down,
We saw the jolly piper
Come a-strolling through the town.
There he pulled out his tabor and pipes(2)
And he made the valleys ring;
So we all put down our rakes and forks
And we left off haymaking.
V
We called for a dance
And we tripped it along;
We danced all round the haycocks
Till the rising of the sun.
When the sun did shine such a glorious light,
How the harmless birds did sing;
Each lad he took his lass in hand
And went back to his haymaking.
Traduzione italiana Cattia Salto
I
Si era nel felice mese di Maggio
nella Primavera dell’Anno
e giù per quel prato
scorreva un ruscello limpido.
Guarda come i pesciolini
giocano e nuotano
perchè più di un ragazzo e una ragazza
vanno là a fare il fieno.
II
Allora arriva l’uomo con la falce
a falciare quel prato
con la sua vecchia fiaschetta
e la birra che scorre così scura
c’è più  di un robusto e alacre bracciante che
va dove c’è da mostrare la sua bravura
lavora, falcia, suda,
ansima
e l’erba molto secca taglia.
III
Poi entrano sia Tom e Dick
con i loro forconi e rastrelli
e anche Susan dagli occhi scuri
per fare tutti il fieno.
c’era una melodia, cip, cip
ciop, ciop
come cantavano gli uccellini
da mattina a sera
mentre eravamo a fare il fieno!
IV
E non appena arrivava la sera
quando il sole tramontava
si vedeva l’allegro piper
che girovaga per i paesi.
Allora tirava fuori il tamburo
e il flauto
e faceva risuonare la vallata
così si posavamo rastrelli e forconi
e si smetteva di fare fieno.
V
Si invitava per un ballo
e si girava in tondo
danzavamo intorno al covoni di fieno
fino al sorgere del sole.
Quando il sole risplendeva nella sua luce gloriosa,
mentre gli uccellini cantavano;
ogni ragazzo prendeva la sua ragazza per mano e ritornava a fare il fieno

NOTE
1) suoni che richiamano il trillo degli uccelli: sono dei versi che imitano il canto degli uccelli
2) piffero e tamburo, in una combinazione detta tabor-pipe:  il flauto a tre buchi  permette al musicista di suonare lo strumento con una sola mano, mentre con l’altra percuote il tamburino a tracolla. Se la combinazione era molto versatile e ben si prestava alle esecuzioni di strada del giullare, era anche perfetta per l’esecuzione delle danze e quindi nell’antica iconografia sono frequenti le immagini conviviali spesso in presenza di danzatori. (continua)

L’allodola e il cavallante nel mese di Maggio

FONTI
http://www.hayinart.com/001405.html
https://mainlynorfolk.info/folk/songs/thepleasantmonthofmay.html
http://www.joe-offer.com/folkinfo/songs/213.html
http://www.musicanet.org/robokopp/english/haymaker.htm
http://konkykru.com/e.caldecott.our.haymaking.html