Bonnie Kellswater

“Bonnie Kellswater” è un brano tradizionale irlandese (Irlanda del Nord) reso popolare dai Planxty (già in repertorio degli Irish Rovers nel loro album The Unicorn del 1967) . Raccolto sul campo da Sam Henry dalla voce di Jim Carmichael di Ballymena (contea di Antrim)  che lo riporta nel suo monumentale “The Song of the People” (con note di John Moulden 1979 già pubblicate sul  “Northern Constitution” tra il 1923 e il 1939) al numero H695.

[“Bonnie Kellswater” is a traditional Irish song (Northern Ireland) popularized by Planxty (formerly in Irish Rovers’ repertoire in their 1967 album The Unicorn) dedicated to the Kells Water River that runs through Antrim County. Collected on the field by Sam Henry (from Jim Carmichael of Ballymena) in his monumental “The Song of the People” (with notes by John Moulden 1979 already published in the “Northern Constitution” between 1923 and 1939) to the number H695 .]

Del brano si conoscono vari testi sempre legati alla stessa melodia con versioni sia al maschile che al femminile, nelle versioni maschili si tratta di un sereno canto d’amore dedicato a Marta (Molly) con immagini dolci e bucoliche dell’amato Kellswater; in quelle al femminile invece l’amore è contrastato dal padre della ragazza che riesce a separare i due innamorati: il canto assume così l’andamento di un farewell, triste e malinconico (emigration song), è la donna ad attendere il caro Willy nella vecchia Irlanda con la certezza nel cuore che lui ritornerà a prenderla.

“We know several texts always related to the same melody with both male and female versions, in the male versions it is a serene love song dedicated to Martha (Molly), with sweet and bucolic images; in women version instead the love is contrasted by the girl’s father who manages to separate the two lovers: the song is like a Farewell, sad and melancholy (emigration song), it is the woman to wait for her dear Willy in old Ireland with the certainty in her heart that he will return and take her.”

LA MELODIA (TUNE)
Ascoltiamola in un arrangiamento per chitarre del gruppo Cord’Accord

Planxty in The Woman I Loved So Well 1980Loreena McKennitt in “Elemental” canta la versione dei Planxty (Planxty version)


I
Here’s a health to you, bonny Kellswater (1)
Where you’ll get all the pleasures of life,
Where you’ll get all the fishing and fowling,
And a bonny wee lass for your wife.
II
Oh, it’s down where yon waters run muddy,
I’m afraid they will never run clear.
And it’s when I dig in for to study,
My mind is on them that’s not here.
III
It’s this one and that one they court him,
but if anyone gets him but me,
It’s early and late I will curse them
That parted lovely Willie from me.
IV
Oh, a father he calls on his daughter,
“Two choices I’ll give unto thee.
Would you rather see Willie’s ship a-sailing,
Or see him hung like a dog from yon tree?”
V
“Oh, Father, dear Father, I love him.
I can no longer hide it from thee.
Through an acre of fire I would travel
Alone with lovely Willie to be.”
VI
Oh, hard was the heart that confined her,
She took from her her heart’s delight.
May the chains of old Ireland bind around them,
And soft be their pillows at night.
VII
“Oh, yonder’s a ship on the ocean
And she does not know which way to steer.
From the east to the west she’s a-going.
She reminds me of the charms of my dear.
VIII
Oh, it’s yonder my Willie will be coming,
He said he’d be here in the spring,
And it’s down by yon green shades I’ll meet him,
And among yon wild roses we’ll sing.
IX
For a gold ring he placed on my finger,
Saying “Love, bear this in your mind,
If ever I sail from Old Ireland,
You’ll mind I’ll not leave you behind.”
Traduzione italiana Cattia Salto
I
Salute a te,
bel Kellswater
dove si trovano tutti i piaceri
della vita
dove si trova da pescare e cacciare in abbondanza
e una bella ragazza per moglie.
II
Oh è laggiù dove corre quel fiume dalla acque fangose,
temo che non scorreranno mai limpide,
e quando mi metto sotto a studiare
la mia mente è con loro tranne che qui.
III
Questa e quella lo corteggiano
ma nessun’altra lo avrà tranne me,
presto o tardi  maledirò
coloro che hanno separato il bel Willy da me
IV
Un padre chiama la figlia
“Ti darò due scelte.
Preferiresti vedere salpare il tuo Willy su una nave
o vederlo impiccato ad un albero come un cane ?”
V
“Padre, caro padre io lo amo.
Non posso nascondertelo più a lungo.
In mezzo a un acro di fuoco andrei pur di stare da sola con il mio bel Willy”
VI
Oh duro era il cuore che la confinava in casa
che le toglieva la gioia del cuore.
Possano le catene della vecchia Irlanda legarsi attorno a loro
e i cuscini di notte essere soffici.
VII
“C’è una nave sull’oceano
e non sa che rotta prendere
da oriente a occidente è in partenza,
mi ricorda il fascino del mio amore.
VIII
Da laggiù il mio Willy ritornerà
diceva che sarebbe stato qui per la primavera
e tra quei verdi boschetti lo incontrerò
e tra quelle roselline selvatiche canteremo
IX
Perchè lui mi mise l’anello al dito
dicendo “Amore, tieni questo in mente
anche se parto dalla vecchia Irlanda
ricordati che non ti lascio indietro”

NOTE
1) nome di un fiume ma anche di un piccolo villaggio nella contea di Antrim vicino a Kells.John Moulden scrive “Il Kellswater, un affluente del fiume Main, diventa il fiume Glenwhinny sul versante ovest della collina di Agnews che domina Larne, e poi scorre verso ovest attraverso Kells, prendendo il suo nome mentre avanza, e si unisce al Main a circa cinque miglia a nord di Randalstown . ”
[a river and a hamlet nearby Kells in Co. Antrim. John Moulden writes “The Kellswater, a tributary of the River Main, rises as the Glenwhinny river on the west slope of Agnews hill which overlooks Larne, and then flows westward through Kells, collecting its name as it goes, and joins the Main about five miles north of Randalstown. ]

Irish Rovers in The Unicorn 1967


I
Here’s a health to you, bonnie Kellswater
For its there you’ll find the pleasures of life
And its there you’ll find a fishing and farming
And a bonnie wee girl for your wife
II (1)
On the hills and the glens and the valleys
Grows the softest of women so fine
And the flowers are all dripping with honey
There lives Martha, a true love of mine
III
Bonnie Martha, you’re the first girl I courted
You’re the one put my heart in a snare
And if ever I should lose you to another
I will leave my Kellswater so fair
IV
For this one and that one may court her
But no other can take her from me
For I love her as I love my Kellswater
Like the primrose is loved by the bee
Traduzione italiana Cattia Salto
I
Salute a te,
bel Kellswater
perchè è qui che i trovano tutti i piaceri della vita
dove si trova da pescare e
da coltivare
e una bella ragazza per moglie.
II
Sui colli, le forre e le valli
cresce la più dolce delle donne, così bella
e i fiori stillano miele
dove vive Marta,
il mio vero amore
III
Bella Marta sei la prima ragazza per cui spasimo
colei che mi ha preso al laccio,
e se mai dovessi perderti per un altro
lascerò il mio Kellswater così bello.
IV
Perchè questo e quello possono farle la corte
ma nessuno me la può togliere
perchè io l’amo come amo il mio Kellswater, come la primula è amata dall’ape

NOTE
1) verso alternativo [or]
The hills and the dales and low valleys,
are all covered with linen so fine,
and the trees are a drooping sweet honey,
and the rocks are all grown over with thyme.

LINK
https://www.revolvy.com/page/Kells-Water
https://www.itma.ie/digital-library/sound/bonny_kells_waters_dan_mcgonigle

A blacksmith courted me

Leggi in italianoblacksmiths-forge-1859-grangerIn folk songs the blacksmith is always considered a synonym of virility, a very gifted lover with a portentose force.
“A blacksmith courted me” also simply titled “The Blacksmith”, comes from the English folk tradition and is reported in many collections of the early twentieth century; a piece that is not properly found in Irish tradition but has been interpreted by various Celtic artists. It was Ralph Vaughan Williams who picked it up in the field in 1909 from Mrs. Ellen Powell of Westhope near Weobley, Herefordshire.

The Anvil Priest is a figure particularly widespread in Scotland, he declare the couple husband and wife with a hammer blow on the anvil !
http://ontanomagico.altervista.org/matrimonio-celtico-storia.html

THE BLACKSMITH

The blacksmith leaves his love in the village (to seek his fortune abroad), writes a love letter (but false) and returns married to another.

Planxty live 1979:  version and arrangement become “standard”, the instrumental part written by Andy Irvine has then further evolved into a jig that has taken on life in dance sessions.

Eddi Reader  from”Mirmama” 1991 (world music)

Loreena McKennitt from Elemental 1985

Lisa Knapp from “Wild and Undaunted” 2007

David Gibb & Elly Lucas from “Old Chairs to Mend” 2012

Sheila Chandra ( I, III, IV, V, I)

FromThe Penguin Book Of English Folk Songs, “Sung by Mrs. Powell, nr. Weobley, Herefordshire. [Collected by] Ralph Vaughan Williams 1909.”

I
A blacksmith courted me,
nine months and better
he fairly won my heart,
wrote me a letter
with his hammer in his hand (1),
he looked quite clever
and if I was with my love,
I’d live forever
II
But where is my love gone
with his cheeks like roses?
and his good black billycock on
decked round with primroses?
I’m afraid the shining sun
will shine and burn his beauty
and if I was with my love,
I’d do my duty
III
Strange news is come to town,
strange news is carried
strange news flies up and down
that my love is married
I wish them both much joy
though they can’t hear me
and may God reward him well
for the slighting of me(2)
 
IV(3)
“Don’t you remember when
you lay beside me,
and you said you’d marry me
and not deny me”
“If I said I’d marry you,
it was only for to try you
so bring your witness love
and I’ll not deny you”
V
“No, witness have I none
save God almighty
and may he reward you well
for the slighting of me”
Her lips grew pale and wan,
it made her poor heart tremble
to think she loved a one
and he proved deceitful.

NOTES
1) in the letter was to be included a photograph of him at work
2) obviously these are curses
3) the blacksmith continues to deny the evidence!

INSTRUMENTAL VERSION

The song is also played in instrumental version as a jig probably developing the version of Planxty.
“Merry Blacksmith”  is instead  a reel

LINK
http://mainlynorfolk.info/shirley.collins/songs/theblacksmith.htm
l
http://www.joe-offer.com/folkinfo/songs/2.html
http://www.joe-offer.com/folkinfo/forum/39.html
http://www.8notes.com/scores/3547.asp
http://www.pteratunes.org.uk/Music/Music/Lyrics/Blacksmith.htm
l
http://www.pteratunes.org.uk/Music/Music/Lyrics/Blacksmith2.html http://thesession.org/tunes/1526
http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=10786 http://www.china2galway.com/song%20words%20Blacksmith.htm

Follow me up to Carlow

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The text of “Follow me up to Carlow” was written in the nineteenth century by the Irish poet Patrick Joseph McCall (1861 – 1919) and published in 1899 in the “Erinn Songs” with the title “Marching Song of Feagh MacHugh”.
Referring to the Fiach McHugh O’Byrne clan chief, the song is full of characters and events that span a period of 20 years from 1572 to 1592.

McCall’s intent is to light the minds of the nationalists of his time with even too detailed historical references on a distant epoch, full of fierce opposition to English domination. 16th century Ireland was only partly under English control (the Pale around Dublin) and the power of the clans was still very strong. They were however clans of local importance who changed their covenants according to convenience by fighting each other, against or together with the British. In the Tudor era Ireland was considered a frontier land, still inhabited by exotic barbarians.
front1

FIACH MCHUGH O’BYRNE

The land of the O’Byrne clan was in a strategic position in the county of Wicklow and in particular between the mountains barricaded in strongholds and control posts from which rapid and lethal raids started in the Pale. The clan managed to survive through raids of cattle, rivalries and alliances with the other clans and acts of submission to the British crown, until Fiach assumed the command and took a close opposition to the British government with the open rebellion of 1580 that broke out throughout the Leinster . In the same period the rebellion was reignited also in the South of Munster (known as the second rebellion of Desmond)

The new Lieutenant Arthur Gray baron of Wilton that was sent to quell the rebellion with a large contingent, certainly gave no proof of intelligence: totally unprepared to face the guerrilla tactics, he decided to draw out the O’Byrne clan, marching in the heart of the county of Wicklow, the mountains! Fiach had retired to Ballinacor, in the Glenmalure valley, (the land of the Ranelaghs), and managed to ambush Gray, forcing him to a disastrous retreat to the Pale.

glenmalure

Follow me up to Carlow

The melody was taken from McCall himself by “The Firebrand of the Mountains,” a march from the O’Byrne clan heard in 1887 during a musical evening in Wexford County. It is not clear, however, if this historical memory was a reconstruction in retrospect to give a touch of color! It is very similar to the jig “Sweets of May” (first two parts) and also it is a dance codified by the Gaelic League.

“Follow me up to Carlow” (also sung as “Follow me down to Carlow”) was taken over by Christy Moore in the 1960s and re-proposed and popularized with the Irish group Planxty; recently he is played by many celtic-rock bands or “barbarian” formations with bagpipes and drums.

Planxty

Fine Crowd

The High Kings live

FOLLOW ME UP TO CARLOW
I
Lift Mac Cahir Óg(1) your face,
broodin’ o’er the old disgrace
That Black Fitzwilliam(2) stormed your place,
and drove you to the Fern(3)
Gray(4) said victory was sure,
soon the firebrand(5) he’d secure
Until he met at Glenmalure(6)
with Fiach McHugh O’Byrne
CHORUS
Curse and swear, Lord Kildare(7),
Fiach(8) will do what Fiach will dare
Now Fitzwilliam have a care,
fallen is your star low(9)
Up with halberd, out with sword,
on we go for, by the Lord
Fiach McHugh has given the word
“Follow me up to Carlow!”(10)
II
See the swords at Glen Imaal (11),
flashin’ o’er the English Pale(12)
See all the children of the Gael,
beneath O’Byrne’s banner
Rooster of a fighting stock,
would you let a Saxon cock
Crow out upon an Irish Rock,
fly up and teach him manners.
III
From Tassagart (11) to Clonmore (11),
flows a stream of Saxon gore
How great is Rory Óg O’More(13)
at sending loons to Hades
White(14) is sick, Gray(15) is fled,
now for Black Fitzwilliam’s head
We’ll send it over, dripping red,
to Liza(16) and her ladies
II
See the swords at Glen Imaal (11),
flashin’ o’er the English Pale(12)
See all the children of the Gael,
beneath O’Byrne’s banner
Rooster of a fighting stock,
would you let a Saxon cock
Crow out upon an Irish Rock,
fly up and teach him manners.
III
From Tassagart (11) to Clonmore (11),
flows a stream of Saxon gore
How great is Rory Óg O’More(13)
at sending loons to Hades
White(14) is sick, Gray(15) is fled,
now for Black Fitzwilliam’s head
We’ll send it over, dripping red,
to Liza(16) and her ladies

NOTES
1) Brian MacCahir Cavanagh married Elinor sister of Feagh MacHugh. In 1572 Fiach and Brian were implicated in the murder of a landowner related to Sir Nicholas White Seneschal (military governor) of the Queen at Wexford.
2) William Fitzwilliam “Lord Deputy” of Ireland, the representative of the English Crown who left office in 1575
3) In 1572 Brian MacCahir and his family were deprived of their properties donated to supporters of the British crown
4) Arthur Gray de Wilton became in 1580 new Lieutenant of Ireland
5) appellation with which he was called Feach MacHugh O’Byrne
6) Glenmalure Valley: valley in the Wicklow mountains about twenty kilometers east of the town of Wicklow, where the battle of 1580 occurred that saw the defeat of the English: the Irish clans ambushed the English army commanded by Arthur Wilton Gray made up of 3000 men
7) In 1594 the sons of Feach attacked and burned the house of Pierce Fitzgerald sheriff of Kildare, as a result Feach was proclaimed a traitor and he become a wanted crimunal
8) Feach in Irish means Raven
9) William Fitzwilliam returned to Ireland in 1588 once again with the title of Lieutenant, but in 1592 he was accused of corruption
10) Carlow is both a city and a county: the town was chosen more to rhyme than to recall a battle that actually took place: it is more generally an exhortation to take up arms against the British. Undoubtedly, the song made her famous.
11) Glen Imael, Tassagart and Clonmore are strongholds in Wicklow County
12) English Pale are the counties around Dublin controlled by the British. The phrase “Beyond the Pale” meant a dangerous place
13) Rory the young son of Rory O’More, brother of Feagh MacHugh, killed in 1578
14) Sir Nicholas White Seneschal of Wexford fell seriously ill in the early 1590s, shortly thereafter fell into disgrace with the Queen and was executed.
15) in the original version the character referred to is Sir Ralph Lane but is more commonly replaced by Arthur Gray who had left the country in 1582
16) Elizabeth I. Actually it was Feach’s head to be sent to the queen!
The new viceroy Sir William Russell managed to capture Fiach McHugh O’Byrne in May 1597, Feach’s head remained impaled on the gates of Dublin Castle.

LINKS
http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=52454&page=2
http://thesession.org/tunes/1583
http://thesession.org/tunes/10645
http://www.irishmusicdaily.com/follow-me-up-to-carlow
http://www.clannobyrne.com/glenmalure.html
http://neverfeltbetter.wordpress.com/2012/09/25/irelands-wars-the-battle-of-glenmalure/
http://www.blogofmanly.com/2012/09/17/heroes-feach-mchugh-obyrne/
http://www.doyle.com.au/chiefs.html

Sally Brown I rolled all night, capstan shanty

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In the sea shanties Sally Brown is the stereotype of the cheerful woman of the Caribbean seas, mulatta or creole, with which our sailor  tries to have a good time. Probably of Jamaican origin according to Stan Hugill, it was a popular song in the ports of the West Indies in the 1830s.
The textual and melodic variations are many.

ARCHIVE

WAY, HEY, ROLL AND GO (halyard shanty)
I ROLLED ALL NIGHT(capstan shanty)
ROLL BOYS ROLL
ROLL AND GO (John Short)

SECOND VERSION: I ROLLED ALL NIGHT

In this version the chorus is developed on several lines and the song is classified, also with the title of “Roll and Go”, in the capstan shanty that is the songs performed during the lifting of the anchor.

Planxty live (which not surprisingly chuckle, given the name of the song)

Irish Descendants from Encore: Best of the Irish Descendants


Shipped on board a Liverpool liner,
CHORUS
Way hey roll(1) on board;
Well, I rolled all night
and I rolled all day,
I’m gonna spend my money with (on)
Sally Brown.

Miss Sally Brown is a fine young lady,
She’s tall and she’s dark(2) and she’s not too shady
Her mother doesn’t like the tarry(3) sailor,
She wants her to marry the one-legged captain
Sally wouldn’t marry me so I shipped across the water
And now I am courting Sally’s daughter
I shipped off board a Liverpool liner

NOTE
1) the term is generically used by sailors to say many things, in this context for example could mean “sail”.
2) it could refer to the color of the hair rather than the skin, even if in other versions Sally is identified as creole or mulatto. The term “Creole” can be understood in two exceptions: from the Spanish “crillo”, which originally referred to the first generation born in the “New World”, sons of settlers from Europe (Spain or France) and black slaves. The most common meaning is that which refers to all the black half-bloods of Jamaica from the color of the skin that goes from cream to brown and up to black-blue. In the nineteenth century with this term was also indicated a small elite urban society of light skin in Louisiana (resident mostly in New Orleans) result of crossings between some beautiful black slaves and white landowners who took them as lovers.
3) tarry is a derogatory term to distinguish the typical sailor. More generally Jack Tar is the term commonly used to refer to a sailor of merchant ships or the Royal Navy. Probably the term was coined in 1600, alluding to the tar with which the sailors waterproofed their work clothes.

Teddy Thompson from Rogue’s Gallery: Pirate   Ballads, Sea Songs, and Chanteys,  ANTI 2006 in a more meditative and melancholic version

Sally Brown she’s a nice young lady,
CHORUS
Way, hay, we roll an’ go.
We roll all night
And we roll all day
Spend my money on Sally Brown.

Shipped on board off a Liverpool liner
Mother doesn’t like a tarry sailor
She wants her to marry a one legged captain
Sally Brown she’s a bright lady
She drinks stock rum
And she chews tobacco

LINK
http://www.jsward.com/shanty/sally_brown/
http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=148935
http://pancocojams.blogspot.it/2012/04/sally-brown-sally-sue-brown-sea-shanty.html
http://www.contemplator.com/sea/sallyb.html
http://www.brethrencoast.com/shanty/Roll_Boys.html

The Good Ship Kangaroo

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A sea shanty from the music hall composed by Harry Clifton (1824-1872) and published in 1856 as On Board Of The Kangaroo; Stan Hugill in his “Shanties of the Seven Seas” gives two versions and ranks as capstan shanty, one from Stanley Slade of Bristol, and one from Elizabeth Cronin of Macroom, County Cork.

THE GOOD SHIP KANGAROO

Apparently the song was not so popular in the sea shanty and its diffusion in the folk circuit is part of the revival of the 70s.
Planxty from After the Break 1979 (Elizabeth Cronin version)

THE GOOD SHIP KANGAROO
I
Once I was a waitin’ man that lived at home at ease
Now I am a mariner that ploughs the angry seas
I always loved sea-faring life I bid my love adieu
I shipped as steward and cook, my boys, on board the ‘Kangaroo’ (1)
Chorus
I never thought she would prove false or either prove untrue
As we sailed away through the Milford bay on board the kangaroo

II
“Think of me oh think of me”,
she mournfully did say
“When you are in a foreign land
and I am far away
And take this lucky threepenny bit
it’ll make you bear in mind
That lovin’ trustin’ faithful heart you left in tears behind”
“Cheer up cheer up my own true love don’t weep so bitterly”
She sobbed she sighed she choked
she cried and could not say goodbye
“I won’t be gone for very long ‘tis
but a month or two.
When I will return again
of course I’ll visit you”
III
Our ship was homeward bound
from many’s the foreign shore
And many’s the foreign presents
unto my love I bore
I brought tortoises from Tenerife
and toys from Timbuktoo
A china rat and a Bengal cat and a Bombay cockatoo
Paid off I sought her dwelling on a street above the town
Where an ancient dame upon the line was hanging out her gown
“Where is my love? “”She’s vanished sir about six months ago
With a smart young man that drives the van for Chaplin Son & Co (2)”
IV
Here’s a health to dreams of married life to soap suds and blue (3)
Heart’s true love and patent starch (4) and washing soda too,
I’ll go unto some foreign shore
no longer can I stay
On some China Hottentot(5) I’ll throw myself away
My love she is no foolish girl
her age it is two score
My love she is no spinster
she’s been married twice before
I cannot say it was her wealth that stole my heart away
She’s a washer in a laundry for one and nine a day

NOTES
1) t
here have been several ships to take the name of Kangaroo, probably it is from the SS Kangaroo a British passenger and merchant transport ship, whose navigation period coincides with the era of the song
2) Chaplin, Horne and Co was the largest transport company in the United Kingdom
3) Reckitt’s Blue:  before the modern optical brighteners, there was a mysterious blue sachet that was dissolved in the last rinse water and raised the yellowish color from the cotton
4)  Harry Clifton writes: Farewell to dreams of married life! to soap, to suds, and blue, To “Glenfield starch” and “Harper Twelvetrees’ washing powder” too.
A claim to two products for the laundry of the perfect housewife! The music hall writers received financial compensation from producers for advertising their goods; Glenfield starch was so popular that another company put a production in Glenfield to give the same name to their starch, but lost the legal battle.
5) ‘hottentot’ is the derogatory term with which a tribe of the southern African Khoikhoi was called, in the nineteenth century Africans were taken as exotic curiosities and the missing link of Darwinian eviction, the koi were the most popular because of their short stature, women had the peculiarity of accumulating large amounts of fat in the thighs and buttocks: it’s going to fat-ass

Stanley Slade: Where we sail away from Bristol Quay

Among the last shantyman to sail on sailing vessels, with a powerful voice, the sailor Stanley Slade was hired on the first steam ships as a singer to entertain passengers with the most obscene versions of his repertoire.

ABOARD THE KANGAROO
Chorus

I never thought she would prove false or either prove untrue
As we sailed away from Bristol quay
on board the Kangaroo

I
I thought I’d like seafarin’ life, so I bid my love adieu,
And shipped aboard as bosun’s mate, aboard the Kangaroo…
II
My love, she was no foolish girl,
her age is was two score;
My love she was no spinister,
she’d been married twice before…
III
You would not think it was her wealth that stole me heart away;
She was starcher at a launderer’s for eighteen pence a day…
IV
Paid off, I sought her dwelling place, ‘twas high on Munjoy Hill;
Where an ancient dame upon the stoop was tossing out the swill…
V
“Where is my love?” “She’s married, sir, about six months ago,
To a smart young man who’s skipper of a bark that trades the coast in coal…”
VI
Farewell to dreams of married bliss, of soapsuds and the blue;
Farewell to all you Bristol gals, you’re fickled minded too…
VII
I’ll seek some distant foreign shore,
no longer will I stay;
An’ on some Chinese Hottentot I’ll waste my life away…

LINK
http://folktrax-archive.org/menus/cassprogs/207slade.htm
http://www.contemplator.com/sea/kangaroo.html
https://www.christymoore.com/lyrics/good-ship-kangaroo/
https://mainlynorfolk.info/nic.jones/songs/onboardthekangaroo.html
https://mudcat.org//thread.cfm?threadid=8460
http://www.shanty.org.uk/archive_songs/aboard-the-kangaroo-.html
http://www.shanty.org.uk/archive_songs/on-board-of-the-kangaroo-.html

A bordo del Kangaroo

Read the post in English
Una sea shanty nata  per il music hall composta da Harry Clifton (1824-1872) e pubblicata nel 1856 con il titolo “On board of the Kangaroo”; Stan Hugill nella sua raccolta , “Shanties of the Seven Seas” ne riporta due versioni e le classifica come capstan shanty,  una da Stanley Slade di Bristol, e l’altra da Elizabeth Cronin di Macroom, Contea di Cork.

LA VERSIONE IRLANDESE

A quanto pare il brano non era poi così popolare nelle canzoni marinaresche e la sua diffusione nel circuito folk si colloca nel revival degli anni 70.
Planxty in After the Break 1979 dalla testimonianza di Elizabeth Cronin


I
Once I was a waitin’ man that lived at home at ease
Now I am a mariner that ploughs the angry seas
I always loved sea-faring life I bid my love adieu
I shipped as steward and cook, my boys, on board the ‘Kangaroo’ (1)
Chorus
I never thought she would prove false or either prove untrue
As we sailed away through the Milford bay on board the kangaroo

II
“Think of me oh think of me”,
she mournfully did say
“When you are in a foreign land
and I am far away
And take this lucky threepenny bit
it’ll make you bear in mind
That lovin’ trustin’ faithful heart you left in tears behind”
“Cheer up cheer up my own true love don’t weep so bitterly”
She sobbed she sighed she choked
she cried and could not say goodbye
“I won’t be gone for very long ‘tis
but a month or two.
When I will return again
of course I’ll visit you”
III
Our ship was homeward bound
from many’s the foreign shore
And many’s the foreign presents
unto my love I bore
I brought tortoises from Tenerife
and toys from Timbuktoo
A china rat and a Bengal cat and a Bombay cockatoo
Paid off I sought her dwelling on a street above the town
Where an ancient dame upon the line was hanging out her gown
“Where is my love? “”She’s vanished sir about six months ago
With a smart young man that drives the van for Chaplin Son & Co (2)”
IV
Here’s a health to dreams of married life to soap suds and blue (3)
Heart’s true love and patent starch (4) and washing soda too,
I’ll go unto some foreign shore
no longer can I stay
On some China Hottentot(5) I’ll throw myself away
My love she is no foolish girl
her age it is two score
My love she is no spinster
she’s been married twice before
I cannot say it was her wealth that stole my heart away
She’s a washer in a laundry for one and nine a day
Traduzione italiana Cattia Salto
I
Un tempo ero un uomo che viveva comodo a casa,
oggi sono un marinaio che solca i mari furiosi
ho sempre amato la vita del mare e ho detto addio al mio amore
per imbarcarmi come maggiordomo e cuoco, ragazzi, a bordo del Kangaroo
Coro
Non avrei mai immaginato che lei si rivelasse traditrice e bugiarda,
mentre si salpava da Milford bay
a bordo del Kangaroo

II
“Pensami, o pensami”
mi diceva lamentandosi
“quando sei in una terra straniera
e io sono lontana
e prendi questi tre penny portafortuna perchè ti faranno ricordare
che un cuore fedele e d’amore sincero hai lasciato in lacrime dietro di te”
“Rallegrati, rallegrati, mio vero amore non piangere così amaramente”
Singhiozzava e sospirava , soffocava e piangeva e non poteva dire addio!
“Non starò via per molto,
solo un mese o due.
Quanndo ritornerò di sicuro verrò a trovarti”
III
La nostra nave era in partenza
per più di una terra straniera
e molti regali  esotici
al mio amore ho preso
ho comprato tartarughe da Tenerife
e giocattoli da Timbuktoo
un topo dalla Cina e un gatto del Bengala e un pappagallo di Bombay
Appena pagato ho cercato la sua abitazione  in una strada  sopra la città
dove una vecchia dama stava appendendo al filo il suo vestito
“Dov’è il mio amore?”
“E’ scomparsa signore, circa sei mesi fa
con un simpatico giovanotto che guida il camioncino della Chaplin Son & Co”
IV
Addio sogni di una vita matrimoniale all’acqua saponata e sbiancante e al vero amore del cuore e anche  all’amido e alla soda da bucato,
andrò in qualche terra straniera
non posso più restare,
a qualche culona cinese
mi offrirò!
Il mio amore non è una stupida
ha una quarantina d’anni,
il mio amore non è una zitella,
è stata sposata due volte prima,
non posso dire che sia stata la sua ricchezza ad avermi rubato il cuore
è una apprettatrice in una lavanderia per uno e nove al giorno

NOTE
1) ci sono state varie navi a prendere il nome di Kangaroo, probabilmente si tratta dalla SS Kangaroo una nave di trasporto passeggeri e mercantile britannica, il cui periodo di navigazione coincide con l’epoca della canzone
2) Chaplin, Horne and Co fu descritta all’epoca come la più grande impresa di trasporti in Gran Bretagna
3) Reckitt’s Blue: la polvere blu è stata utilizzata negli ultimi trecento anni per rendere i bianchi più bianchi; prima dei moderni sbiancanti ottici, c’era una misteriosa bustina blu che veniva sciolta nell’ultima acqua di risciacquo e levava il colore giallastro dal cotone
4) nella varsione di Harry Clifton dice:
Farewell to dreams of married life! to soap, to suds, and blue, To “Glenfield starch” and “Harper Twelvetrees’ washing powder” too.
una reclame a due prodotti per il bucato della perfetta massaia, gli scrittori del music hall ricevevano un compenso economico da parte di produttori per la pubblicità alla loro merce; l’amido Glenfield starch era talmente popolare da avere imitatori “furbetti”, un’altra azienda mise una produzione a Glenfield per poter dare lo stesso nome al loro amido, ma perse la battaglia legale.
5) ‘hottentot’ è il termine dispregiativo con cui era chiamata una tribù dell’africa meridionale i Khoikhoi, nell’Ottocento gli africani erano presi come curiosità esotiche e l’anello mancante dell’evuluzione darwinaiana, i koi erano quelli più popolari a causa della loro bassa statura, le donne avevano la particolarità di accumulare grosse quantità di grasso nelle cosce e nei glutei, più di una donna è stata esibita come fenomeno da baraccone in Europa. Letteralmente “ottentotta cinese”

La versione di Stanley Slade: Where we sail away from Bristol Quay

Tra gli ultimi shantyman ad aver navigato su vascelli a vela, dalla voce potente, il marinaio Stanley Slade fu ingaggiato sulle prima navi a vapore come cantante  per intrattenere i passeggeri  con le versioni più oscene del suo repertorio.

ABOARD THE KANGAROO
Chorus

I never thought she would prove false or either prove untrue
As we sailed away from Bristol quay
on board the Kangaroo

I
I thought I’d like seafarin’ life, so I bid my love adieu,
And shipped aboard as bosun’s mate, aboard the Kangaroo…
II
My love, she was no foolish girl,
her age is was two score;
My love she was no spinister,
she’d been married twice before…
III
You would not think it was her wealth that stole me heart away;
She was starcher at a launderer’s for eighteen pence a day…
IV
Paid off, I sought her dwelling place, ‘twas high on Munjoy Hill;
Where an ancient dame upon the stoop was tossing out the swill…
V
“Where is my love?” “She’s married, sir, about six months ago,
To a smart young man who’s skipper of a bark that trades the coast in coal…”
VI
Farewell to dreams of married bliss, of soapsuds and the blue;
Farewell to all you Bristol gals, you’re fickled minded too…
VII
I’ll seek some distant foreign shore,
no longer will I stay;
An’ on some Chinese Hottentot I’ll waste my life away…
Traduzione italiana Cattia Salto
Coro
Non avrei mai immaginato che lei si rivelasse traditrice e bugiarda
mentre si salpava 
dal molo di Bristol
a bordo del Kangaroo

I
Credevo mi sarebbe piaciuta la vita del mare così ho detto addio al mio amore
per imbarcarmi come nostromo a bordo del Kangaroo
II
Il mio amore non era una stupida
aveva una quarantina d’anni,
il mio amore non era una zitella,
è stata sposata due volte prima
III
Non si potrebbe dire che sia stata la sua ricchezza ad avermi rubato il cuore
era una apprettatrice in una lavanderia per 18 penny al giorno
IV
Appena pagato ho cercato la sua abitazione, era in cima a Munjoy Hill
dove una vecchia dama sulla veranda stava gettando la spazzatura
V
“Dov’è il mio amore?” “Si è sposata signore, circa sei mesi fa, con un simpatico giovanotto , capitano di una chiatta nel commercio del carbone”
VI
Addio ai sogni di felicità coniugale all’acqua saponata e sbiancante;
addio a tutte le ragazze di Bristol e anche addio ai dispiaceri
VII
Cercherò qualche terra straniera
non posso più restare,
a qualche culona cinese
mi offrirò!

FONTI
http://folktrax-archive.org/menus/cassprogs/207slade.htm
http://www.contemplator.com/sea/kangaroo.html
https://www.christymoore.com/lyrics/good-ship-kangaroo/
https://mainlynorfolk.info/nic.jones/songs/onboardthekangaroo.html
https://mudcat.org//thread.cfm?threadid=8460
http://www.shanty.org.uk/archive_songs/aboard-the-kangaroo-.html
http://www.shanty.org.uk/archive_songs/on-board-of-the-kangaroo-.html

THREE DRUNKEN MAIDENS

Un classico delle rievocazioni storiche in tema Bucanieri questa allegra drinking song, risalente alla metà del 1700: il titolo è anche semplicemente “Drunken Maidens” e le fanciulle sono talvolta “Three drunken maidens” ma anche “Four drunken maidens”.
A.L. Lloyd associò una melodia di sua composizione al testo che aveva trovato in “A Pedlar Pack of Ballads and Songs” di W H. Logan’s  (1869) e registrò la canzone, accompagnato da Al Jeffery al banjo,  nel suo album “English Drinking Songs” (1956) , che ebbe un discreto seguito nei circuiti dei folk clubs.
In seguito Lloyd trovò nel “Tune Book” (1770) di John Vickers la melodia originaria che accompagnava la canzone,  ma orami la versione standard era diventata la sua.
La canzone viene associata a Christy Moore e considerata una irish driinking song, ma è stata eseguita anche dai Fairport Convention e gli Steeleye Span.

ASCOLTA A.L. Lloyd in All For Me Grog, 1961

ASCOLTA The Planxty live

ASCOLTA Denis Murray & Napper Tandy live 1997


I
There were three drunken maidens
Come from the Isle of Wight (1)
They drunk from Monday morning
Nor stopped till Saturday night
When Saturday night would come, me boys
They wouldn’t then go out
Not them three drunken maidens,
they pushed the jug about (2).
II
Then in comes bouncing Sally
Her cheeks as red as blooms
“Move up me jolly sisters
And give young Sally some room
Then I will be your equal
Before the night is out”
And these four drunken maidens
They pushed the jug about
III
There’s woodcock and pheasant
There’s partridge and hare
There’s all sorts of dainties
No scarcity was there
There’s forty quarts of beer, me boys
They fairly drunk them out
And these four drunken maidens
They pushed the jug about
IV
And up comes the landlord
He’s asking for his pay
“It is a forty pound bill, me boys
These gobs have got to pay
That’s ten pounds apiece, me boys”
But still they wouldn’t go out
These four drunken maidens
They pushed the jug about
V
Oh where are your feather hats
Your mantles rich and fine?
They all got swallowed up, me lads
In tankards of good wine
And where are your maidenheads
You maidens frisk and gay?
We left them in the alehouse
We drank them clean away(3)
Traduzione italiano di Cattia Salto
I
C’erano tre signorine ubriache
che veniva dall’Isola di Wright
bevevano dal lunedì mattino
e non smettevano fino alla notte del sabato.
Quando arrivava sabato notte, ragazzi,
non avrebbero poi voluto uscire
non queste tre fanciulle ubriache
che facevano girare la bottiglia!
II
Allora entrò la rotondetta Sally
dalle guance come rose fiorite
“Spostatevi, mie allegre sorelle
e fate un po’ di posto alla piccola Sally
allora sarò vostra pari
prima che la notte sia finita”
Così queste quattro fanciulle ubriache
facevano girare la bottiglia
III
C’erano la beccaccia e il fagiano
c’erano la pernice e la lepre
e di tutte le prelibatezze
non c’era penuria.
C’erano quaranta litri di birra, ragazzi
e li bevvero tutti equamente
e queste quattro fanciulle ubriache
facevano girare la bottiglia
IV
Ed ecco che arriva l’oste
e chiede di essere pagato
“E’ un conto di 40 sterline, ragazzi
dovete pagare questo gruzzolo,
sono dieci sterline a testa, ragazzi”
Eppure non volevano andarsene
queste quattro fanciulle ubriache
facevano girare la bottiglia
V
Dove sono i vostri cappelli piumati
i mantelli preziosi e belli?
“Sono stati tutti inghiottiti, ragazzi
in boccali di buon vino.”
E dove sono le vostre verginità
voi fanciulle sveglie e allegre?
“Le lasciammo in birreria,
ce le siamo bevute”

NOTE
1) l’isola di Wight era un deposito per i contrabbandieri di liquori provenienti dalla Francia
2) Non è automatico tradurre in italiano il temine jug: in fiorentino si direbbe boccia, che richiama l’immagine delle bottiglie di vino da 5 litri (una bottiglia piuttosto grande con il collo stretto). Ma può essere anche una caraffa con tanto di manico e collo più svasato che assomiglia a una brocca. Potrebbe anche essere un vaso di vetro per conservare marmellate o ortaggi o il barattolo del miele. Un termine quanto mai generico che a me richiama l’orcio toscano, il recipiente di terracotta, panciuto e di forma allungata con il collo ristretto, spesso a due manici in cui si conservavano o trasportavano i liquidi. In antico era una unità di misura equivalente a circa 38 litri, ma rimpicciolito ecco che l’orcio era usato come una brocca.
jug= boccia, brocca, caraffa, bottiglia.
3) non avendo soldi per pagare l’oste, hanno pagato in natura

FONTI
http://mainlynorfolk.info/lloyd/songs/thedrunkenmaidens.html
https://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=274

LITTLE DRUMMER BY FRANK HARTE

Ho sentito questa ballata nella versione dei Planxty che la registrarono nel loro album “Cold Blow and the Rainy Night” (1974) Nelle note di copertina leggiamo “Frank Harte of Dublin taught us The Little Drummer, it tells of a novel style of courtship where the scorned lover threatens to shoot himself on finding that his chosen bride is reluctant to have him.”
“Little Drummer” (da non confondersi con la christmas carol The Little Drummer Boy ) è una courting song un po’ melodrammatica tipica del sentimentalismo irlandese: un giovane tamburino resta colpito da una bellezza a passeggio per il porto e detto fatto il giorno dopo si mette tutto in tiro per conquistarla; lei fa la preziosa e si atteggia a gran dama, lui minaccia di spararsi un colpo in testa, lei casca ai suoi piedi e i due corrono a sposarsi.
Non è una ballata tra le più note ma è finita nella soundtrack della sea shanty edition di Assassin’s Creed Rogue, il video gioco ambientato al tempo della guerra dei sette anni tra Francia e Inghilterra, in particolare sul fronte nord americano, per il controllo del Nuovo Mondo (1752-1761).

ASCOLTA Planxty 1974

La ballata deve essere stata portata in America dagli emigranti irlandesi e la ritroviamo tra i boscaioli  della Pennsylvania settentrionale e del sud di New York; Ellen Stekert la registrò nel suo album “Song of a New York Lumberjack” (1958) avendola ascoltata da Ezra “Fuzzy” Barhight un boscaiolo in pensione che viveva a  Cohocton, New York che così inizia
“Early one morning, one bright summers’ day
Twenty-four ladies were making their way
A regiment of soldiers were marching nearby
The drummer on one of them cast a rude eye
And it’s so hard fortune.” continua
ma la versione della ballata in Assassin’s Creed Rogue non è quella americana bensì quella dublinese di Frank Harte


I
One fine summer’s morning both gallant and gay
Twenty-four ladies (1) went out on the quay
A regiment of soldiers it did pass them by
A drummer and one of them soon caught his eye
II
He went to his comrade and to him did say
“Twenty-four ladies I saw yesterday
And one of those ladies she has me heart won,
And if she denies me then surely I’m done”

III
“Go to this lady and tell her your mind
Tell her she has wounded your poor heart inside
Go and tell her she’s wounded your poor heart, full sore,
And if she denies you what can she do more?”
IV  (2)
So early next morning the young man arose,
Dressed himself up in a fine suit of clothes,
A watch in his pocket and a cane in his hand
Saluting the ladies he walked down the strand
V
He went up to her and he said “Pardon me,
Pardon me lady for making so free,
Oh me fine honored lady, you have me heart won,
And if you deny me then surely I’m done.”

VI
“Be off little drummer, now what do you mean (3)?
For I’m the lord’s daughter of Ballycasteen.
Oh, I’m the lord’s daughter that’s honored, you see,
Be off little drummer, you’re making too free.”
VII
He put on his hat and he bade her farewell
Saying “I’ll send my soul down to heaven or hell
For with this long pistol that hangs by my side,
Oh, I’ll put an end to my own dreary life.”
VIII
“Come back little drummer, and don’t take it ill,
For I do not want to be guilty of sin,
To be guilty of innocent blood for to spill.
Come back little drummer, I’m here at your will.
IX
We’ll hire a car and to Bansheer we’ll go (4).
There we’ll be married in spite of our foes.
Oh, but what can they say when it’s over and done,
But I fell in love with the roll of your drum?”
Tradotto da Cattia Salto
I
In un bel mattino d’estate tutte intrepide e allegre
24 dame passeggiavano per la banchina del porto
un reggimento di soldati tosto passò loro accanto
e una di loro catturò lo sguardo del tamburino
II
Andò dal suo commilitone
e gli disse
Ho visto 24 dame ieri
e una di loro mi ha conquistato
il cuore
e se lei mi respinge sarò di certo finito!

III
Va da questa dama e dille i tuoi propositi, dille che ti ha ferito nel profondo del cuore
va e dille che ha lacerato il tuo povero cuore dolente
e se lei ti respinge che cosa altro potrà fare?”
IV
Così  il mattino seguente il tamburino si alzò,
si vestì con un bel
completo
l’orologio nel taschino e un bastone in mano,
salutando le dame
passeggiava per la via maestra
V
Andò da lei e disse
Chiedo scusa,
perdonatemi per la mia franchezza
Oh mia bella dama degna di rispetto,
voi avete conquistato il mio cuore
e se mi respingerete sarò di certo finito”

VI
“Smamma piccolo tamburino, adesso che mi significa?
Sono figlia di un Signore
di Ballycasteen.
sono una rispettabile figlia di Lord
come vedi

smamma piccolo tamburino e non prenderti tante libertà”
VII
Lui si mise il cappello e la salutò dicendo
“Spedirò la mia anima in cielo
o all’inferno

con questa pistola appesa al mio fianco
metterò fine alla mia desolata, giovane vita”
VIII
“Torna indietro giovane tamburino non prenderla così male,
non voglio essere responsabile del peccato, 
essere responsabile per il sangue innocente versato, torna indietro giovane tamburino, sono alla tua mercè.
XI
Noleggeremo un calesse e andremo a Bansheer
là ci sposeremo in barba ai nostri nemici
perchè che cosa avranno da dire quando sarà tutto finito se non che mi sono innamorata del rullare del tuo tamburo?”

NOTE
1) nelle ballate le brigate sono sempre 24 di numero per lo più giovanette o giovanetti intenti nel gioco della palla (vedi)
2) strofa saltata in Assassin’s Creed
3) nonostante le sue pretese di nobiltà a me questa “dama” mi sembra più una popolana!
4) oggi viene da tradurre car come automobile, ma siccome la ballata risale quantomeno all’Ottocento è più probabile che si tratti di un calesse;  nella versione di Ellen Stekert dice
‘Oh, we’ll go to the stable and saddle a horse
To London we’ll ride, and married we’ll be!
And what will we say when the deed it is done?
I’ll tell them that you won me with a roll of your drum .’

FONTI
http://www.folkways.si.edu/ellen-stekert/songs-of-a-new-york-lumberjack/american-folk/music/album/smithsonian
http://mudcat.org/@displaysong.cfm?SongID=6190
https://www.christymoore.com/lyrics/little-drummer/
https://www.itma.ie/goilin/singer/harte_frank

P STANDS FOR PADDY

P stands for Paddy” (come pure “The verdant braes of Screen“) affronta il tema dell’amore falsamente corrisposto.
Però la melodia è più gioiosa di quanto ci si aspetterebbe da questo genere di warning songs e il dialogo tra i due sembra più un bisticcio tra innamorati che una separazione.
Così il commento di A.L. Lloyd alla versione dei Waterson “T stands for Thomas” “These B for Barney, P for Paddy, J for Jack songs are usually Irish in origin though common enough in the English countryside. Often the verses are just a string of floaters drifting in from other lyrical songs. So it is with this piece, which derives partly from a version collected by Cecil Sharp from a Gloucestershire gipsy, Kathleen Williams. Some of the verses are familiar from an As I walked out song sung to Vaughan Williams by an Essex woodcutter, Mr Broomfield (Folk Song Journal No. 8). The verses about robbing the bird’s nest recall The Verdant Braes of Skreen.”

ASCOLTA Planxty in Cold Blow and the Rainy Night , 1974, i quali hanno divulgato la canzone al grande pubblico (per il testo vedi)

Old Blind Dogs in Tall Tails 1994 ovvero la formazione degli esordi con Ian F. Benzie (voce e chitarra) Jonny Hardie (violino), Buzzby McMillian (cittern) Davy Cattanach (percussioni)

ASCOLTA Cara Dillon per la serie live Transatlantic Sessions, un godibile live con artisti di tutto rispetto


I
As I went out one May morning to take a pleasant walk
Well, I sat m’self down by an old faill wall just to hear two lovers talk
To hear two lovers talk, my dear,
to hear what they might say
That I might know a little more about love before I went away
Chorus 
P stands for Paddy, I suppose,
J for my love, John
W stands for false Willie(1),
oh but Johnny is the fairest man
Johnny is the fairest man, my dear, aye, Johnny’s the fairest man
I don’t care what anybody says,
Johnny is the fairest man

II
Won’t you come and sit beside me, beside me on the green
It’s a long three quarters of a year or more since together we have been Together we have been, my dear, together we have been
It’s a long three quarters of a year or more since together we have been
III
No, I’ll not sit beside you, not now nor at any other time
For I hear you have another little girl, and your heart’s no longer mine
Your heart’s no longer mine, my dear, your heart’s no longer mine
For I hear you have another little girl, and your heart’s no longer mine
IV
So I’ll go climb the tall, tall tree,
I’ll rob the wild bird’s nest
When I come down, I’ll go straight home to the girl that I love best
To the girl that I love best, my dear, the girl that I love best
When I come down, I’ll go straight home to the girl that I love best
TRADUZIONE  DI CATTIA  SALTO
I
Mentre andavo un mattin di maggio
a fare una bella passeggiata
beh, sostai presso un vecchio muro diroccato solo per ascoltare la conversazione di due innamorati,
per ascoltare quello che si dicevano
e per poter conoscere un po’ di più sull’amore prima di andare via.
CORO
P sta per Paddy, credo,
J per il mio amore John
W sta per il bugiardo Willie,
ma Johnny è l’uomo più bello
Johnny è l’uomo più bello, si, il mio amore,
Johnny è l’uomo più bello,
non mi interessa quello che gli altri dicono, Johnny è l’uomo più bello

II
“Non vorresti venire a sederti accanto a me sull’erba?
Sono nove mesi fa o più,
da quando siamo stati insieme
insieme siamo stati, mia cara
insieme siamo stati,
sono nove mesi fa o più
da quando siamo stati insieme”
III
“No non mi stenderò sull’erba accanto a te, nè adesso nè mai
perchè ho saputo che tu hai un’altra ragazza e il tuo cuore non appartiene più al mio, e il tuo cuore non appartiene più al mio, mio caro, perchè ho saputo che tu hai un’altra ragazza e
il tuo cuore non appartiene più al mio.”
IV
“Mi arrampicherò su di un albero alto alto e ruberò il nido di un uccello selvatico e quando ritornerò giù, andrò dritto alla casa della ragazza che amo di più tra le braccia della ragazza che amo di più, mia cara,
quando ritornerò giù, andrò dritto alla casa della ragazza che amo di più”

NOTE
1) Willie è il tipico nome del falso innamorato vedi in Willy Taylor
2) In questa canzone  è l’uomo  ad arrampicarsi sull’albero più alto per prendere il nido e portarlo alla donna che ama dandole così prova d’amore. In genere è lei a donare il suo “nido” ad un altro uomo, più degno di essere amato. Il finale è aperto: a chi Johnny porterà il nido?

FONTI
http://www.mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=5037 http://www.wtv-zone.com/phyrst/audio/nfld/05/paddy.htm http://thesession.org/tunes/10172

COLD BLOW ON A RAINY NIGHT

Nella tradizione popolare sono assai numerose le ballate dette “night-visiting song” in cui l’amante (un vagabondo, un soldato o un marinaio, ma anche un bracciante agricolo o un giovane apprendista) bussa di notte alla finestra (porta) della fidanzata e viene fatto entrare nella camera da letto. Una versione popolare della visita notturna di Romeo al balcone di Giulietta. (vedi prima parte)
Le variante testuali sono molte anche con titoli diversi ma tutte riconducibili alla stessa matrice e diffuse in Scozia, Irlanda e Inghilterra.

VERSIONE IRLANDESE: Cold Blow And The Rainy Night

Nella versione irlandese l’uomo è identificato come un soldato che cerca d’intenerire il cuore della fanciulla, supplicandola alla finestra perchè lo faccia entrare nel suo letto, che la notte è fredda, piove e tira vento. Lei all’inizio resiste, ma poi lo accoglie a braccia aperte e con teneri baci, e prontamente lui le toglie la verginità. Ovviamente il soldato promette il matrimonio, salvo poi dimenticarsene e lei si pente di essersi concessa! (vedi anche As I roved)

La ballata è diffusa anche in Inghilterra e compare in diversi broadsides del 1800: vedi una ballata del 1819 e l’altra del 1844.

ASCOLTA Cream of Barley in un ruspante live da folk club anni 60 e tutt’ora vispi e arzilli (qui)


I
Me hat is frozen to me head,
Me body is like a lump o’lead,
Me shoes have frozen to me feet
From standing at your window.
CHORUS
Let me come in the soldier cried,
Cold blow and the rainy night,
Let me come in the soldier cried,
I’ll never come back again – oh.
II
Me father’s working down the street,
Me mother the chamber keys does keep,
Me doors and windows all do creek,
I cannot let you in – oh.
III
Then she got up and let him in
And kissed his ruby lips and chin,
They went back to bed again
And the soldier, he won her favour.
CHORUS 
Then she blessed the rainy night,
Cold blow and the rainy night ,
Then she blessed the rainy night,
That ever she let him in – oh.
IV
Now you’ve had your way with me,
Oh soldier will you marry me,
No me love, this never can be,
So fare thee well forever.
CHORUS 
Then she cursed the rainy night,
Cold blow and the rainy night ,
Then she cursed the rainy night,
That ever she let him in – oh.
V
Then he got up out of the bed
And put his hat upon his head,
She had lost her maidenhead
And her mammy had heard the jingle.
Traduzione italiano di Cattia Salto
I
C’ho il cappello ghiacciato sulla testa,  il corpo è un pezzo di piombo e i piedi congelati nelle scarpe per stare alla tua finestra
RITORNELLO
“Fammi entrare-gridò il soldato-
è una notte di vento, tempesta e pioggia
fammi entrare -gridò il soldato-

perchè non ritornerò di nuovo!”
II
“Mio padre lavora lungo la
strada
e mia madre ha la chiave della stanza
porte e finestre sono
sorvegliate
temo di non poter farti entrare, oh”
III
Poi lei si alzò e lo fece entrare (1)
baciò le sue labbra rosse e il mento
ritornarono a letto di nuovo e il soldato conquistò la sua preda (2)
VARIAZIONE RITORNELLO
Allora lei benedì la notte di pioggia
notte di vento, tempesta e pioggia
Allora lei benedì la notte di pioggia
in cui lo fece entrare – oh
IV
“Ora che hai fatto il tuo comodo con me oh soldato vuoi
sposarmi?” “No, mia cara non lo farò mai, così addio per sempre”
VARIAZIONE RITORNELLO
Allora lei maledì la notte di pioggia
notte di vento, tempesta e pioggia
Allora lei maledì la notte di pioggia
in cui lo fece entrare – oh
V
E lui balzò fuori dal letto
e si mise il cappello in testa
lei aveva perso la sua verginità
e sua madre aveva sentito il baccano.(3)

NOTE
1) mancano le strofe in cui il soldato continua ad insistere
2) si allude al sesso
3) altre canzoni umoristiche sviluppano proprio la storia dal punto di vista degli anziani genitori o dei padroni di casa che soprendono il giovanotto con i pantaloni calati.. (vedi)

ASCOLTA Steeleye Span in Please To See The   King, 1971

ASCOLTA Imagined Village in “The Imagined Village“, 2012 una versione world music della poliedrica Eliza Carthy


I
Oh, my hat, it is frozen to my head
Feet, they are like a lump of lead
Oh, my shoes, they are frozen to my feet
With standing at your window
CHORUS
“Let me in”, the soldier cried
“Cold, haily, windy night, oh”
“Let me in”, the soldier cried
“For I’ll not go back again, no”
II
My father watches down on the street
Mother, the chamber keys do keep
Oh the doors and windows, they do creek
I dare not let you in, no
III
Oh, and she’s rose up and she’s let him in
She’s kissed her true love cheek and chin
And she’s drawn him between the sheets again
She’s opened and she’s let him in
CHORUS VARIATION
Then she has blessed the rainy night
Cold, haily, windy night, oh
Oh, then she has blessed the rainy night
That she’s opened and she let him in, oh
IV
“Soldier, soldier, stay with me
Soldier, soldier, won’t you marry me oh?”
“No, no, no it never can be
So fare thee well forever”
CHORUS VARIATION
Then she has wept for the rainy night
Cold, haily, windy night, oh
Then she has wept for the rainy night
That she’s opened and she let him in, oh
V
Oh he’s jumped up all out of the bed
He’s put his hat all on his head
Oh but she had lost her maiden head
Her mother, she heard the din, oh
CHORUS VARIATION
And then she has cursed the rainy night
Cold haily, windy night, oh
Then she has cursed the rainy night
That she opened and she let him in, oh
Traduzione italiano di Cattia Salto
I
Ho il cappello ghiacciato in testa
i piedi, sono come un pezzo di piombo, le scarpe sono ghiacciate dalla punta dei piedi [congelati nelle scarpe]
per stare alla tua finestra
RITORNELLO
“Fammi entrare-gridò il soldato-
è una notte di vento, tempesta e pioggia
fammi entrare

perchè non ritornerò di nuovo!”
II
“Mio padre controlla la strada
e mia madre ha la chiave della stanza,
porte e finestre sono
sorvegliate,
temo di non poter farti entrare, no”
III
E lei si alzò e lo fece
entrare dentro (1)
baciò del suo vero amore guancia e mento
e lo fece stendere tra le lenzuola di nuovo
aprì e lo lasciò entrare (2)
VARIAZIONE RITORNELLO
Allora lei benedì la notte di pioggia
notte di vento, tempesta e pioggia
Allora lei benedì la notte di pioggia
in cui aprì e lo lasciò entrare
IV
“Soldato, soldato resta con me
soldato, soldato  vuoi
sposarmi?”
“No, non sarà mai
così addio per sempre”
VARIAZIONE RITORNELLO
Allora lei pianse la notte di pioggia
notte di vento, tempesta e pioggia
Allora lei pianse la notte di pioggia
in cui aprì e lo lasciò entrare – oh
V
E lui balzò fuori dal
letto
e si mise il cappello in testa
ma lei aveva perso la sua
verginità
e sua madre sentì il frastuono (3)
VARIAZIONE RITORNELLO
Allora lei maledì la notte di pioggia
notte di vento, tempesta e pioggia
Allora lei maledì la notte di pioggia
che aprì e lo fece entrare

Una bella versione strumentale
ASCOLTA Charlotte Balzereit in Celtic Impression 1997

continua

FONTI
http://mainlynorfolk.info/martin.carthy/songs/coldhailywindynight.html
http://www.joe-offer.com/folkinfo/songs/3.html
http://www.mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=66793
http://www.traditionalmusic.co.uk/folk-song-lyrics/I_Maun_Hae_My_Goon_Made.htm
http://thesession.org/tunes/12139
http://thesession.org/tunes/11262