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Versioni inglesi di The Two Sisters

Alcune versioni della Ballata “Cruel Sister” diffuse in Inghilterra che non si discostano sostanzialmente dalla versione esaminata in Binnorie (la ballata scozzese e la fiaba)

Bows of London

Martin Carthy & Eliza Carthy, molto simile a Child #10H
Bows = the bend in a river

Martin Carthy con Dave Swarbrick registrò la ballata nel 1990 per l’album Life and Limb e scrive nelle note “Ever since I head Jody Stecher sing a luminous song called The Wind and the Rain—a version of The Two Sisters— I have wanted to sing it. Its overwhelming feature is its concentration on that aspect of the story dealing with the building from the murder victim’s remains of a fiddle which then takes on a life of its own and ultimately unmasks the murderer. Having found my own efforts at singing this to be as unconvincing as my efforts at American songs usually are, I cast around for a tune from this side of the water, came upon The Bows of London and then tried to stay close to Jody’s words.”
[Da quando ho sentito Jody Stecher cantare una canzone luminosa dal titolo The Wind and the Rain — una versione di The Two Sisters— ho desiderato cantarla. La sua caratteristica straordinaria è la sua concentrazione su quell’aspetto della storia che tratta della costruzione dai resti della vittima di un violino, che poi assume vita propria e alla fine smaschera l’assassino. Avendo trovato i miei sforzi per cantarla poco convincenti -come lo sono di solito nelle canzoni americane, ho cercato una melodia da questo lato dell’oceano, mi sono imbattuto in The Bows of London e poi ho cercato di restare vicino alle parole di Jody.”]

There were two little sisters a-walking alone
Hey the gay and the grinding (1)
Two little sisters a-walking alone
By the bonny bonny bows of London
And the eldest pushed her sister in
Pushed her sister into the stream
Oh she pushed her in and she watched her drown
Watched her body floating down
Oh she floated up and she floated down
Floats till she come to the miller’s dam
And out and come the miller’s son
“Father dear, here swims a swan.”
Oh they laid her out on the bank to die
Fool with a fiddle come a-riding by
And he took some strands of her long yellow hair
Took some strands of her long yellow hair
And he made some strings from this yellow hair
Made some strings from this yellow hair
And he made fiddle pegs from her long fingerbone
Made fiddle pegs from her long fingerbone
And he made a fiddle out of her breastbone
Sound would pierce the heart of a stone
But the only tune that the fiddle would play
Was, “Oh, the bows of London.”
The only tune the fiddle would play
Was, “The bonny bonny bows of London.”
So the fool’s gone away to the king’s high hall
There was music dancing and all
And he laid this fiddle all down on a stone
Played so loud it played all alone It sang,
“Yonder sits my father the king,
Yonder sits my father the king.
“And yonder sits my mother the queen
How she’ll grieve at my burying.
“And yonder she sits my sister Anne
She who drownded me in the stream.”
NOTA
1) i due versi del coro provengono da Child #10F

The Bonny Bows of London Town

The Askew Sisters in Through Lonesome Woods 2010
Come riferimento base è la Child #10F, ma richiama anche le versioni EB, C, F, e negli ultimi versi la versione A.

“The words to this song are an amalgamation of various versions from the Child Ballad collection (no. 10, The Two Sisters) and the last couplet was written by Pete Coe. The tune is based on one collected from “an old woman in Banffshire” which can be found in Christie’s Traditional Ballads and Airs. The refrains we use are from Motherwell’s 1825 manuscript as we like the way it is set in London.”

There were two sisters lived in a bower
Hey with the gay and the grandeur o,
And the youngest was the fairest flower
At the bonny bonny bows of London town.
There came a squire from the west,
And he courted them both and the youngest the best.
Then it fell out upon a day,
That the eldest to the youngest did say,
“Oh sister let’s go to yon sea strand
For to see our father’s ships come to land.”
And when they reached the river’s brim,
The eldest pushed the youngest in.
“Oh sister oh sister will you take my hand,
And I’ll make you lady of all my land.”
“Oh sister did you think I’d push you in,
Oh, just for to pull you out again?
“Your cherry cheeks and yellow hair,
They’d have kept me a maiden forevermore.”
Sometimes she sank, sometimes she swam,
Until she came to the miller’s dam.
And the miller’s daughter was out that eve,
And she seen this lady floating in the stream.
“Oh father, father, in our mill-dam,
There’s either a lady or a milk-white swan.”
So the miller he hastened and he drew his dam,
And there he found this drowned woman.
They laid her on the ground to dry,
And an old blind fiddler came riding by.
He’s made a fiddle from her breastbone
Whose sound would melt a heart of stone.
He’s taken three strands of her yellow hair
And he’s made them into strings for his fiddle fair.
He’s taken her fingers both long and small,
And he’s made them into pins for his fiddle oh.
He’s taken the fiddle to her father’s hall,
And there were the court assembled all.
And then up spoke the treble string,
“O yonder sits my father the king.”
And then up spoke the second string,
“O yonder sits my mother the queen.”
And then up spoke the strings all three,
“O yonder is my sister who drowned me.”

The Berkshire Tragedy

 Child #10R
La versione priva di elementi magici diventa un doppio crimine, quello della sorella gelosa e del mugnaio avido.
In questa versione la sorella è ancora viva quando viene portata a riva dal mugnaio, il quale dopo averle preso i soldi la rigetta in acqua.

Ange Hardy & Lukas Drinkwater in Findings 2016

I
A farmer lived in the west country
With a hey down bow down
A farmer lived in the west country,
And he had daughters one, two, three.
II
As they walked the river’s brim,
As they walked the river’s brim,
The eldest pushed the youngest in.
Chorus
I’ll be true to my love,
I’ll be true to … me,
I’ll be true to my love if my love be true to me.
III
“Sister, sister give me your hand,”
With a hey down bow down,
“Sister, sister, give me your hand,
I’ll give you both house and land.”
IV
“Well I’ll neither give you hand nor glove,”
With a hey down bow down,
“I’ll neither give you hand nor glove,
Unless you give me your true love.”
Chorus
V
So down she sank and away she swam,
With a hey down bow down,
Oh, down she sank and away she swam,
Until she came to the miller’s dam.
VI
Well, the miller he fetched his pole and hook,
With a hey down bow down,
Oh, the miller he fetched his pole and hook,
And fished the fair maid from the brook.
Chorus
VII
“Miller, I’ll give thee guineas ten,”
With a hey down bow down,
“Oh, miller, I’ll give thee guineas ten,
If you’ll fetch me back to my father again.”
VIII
Well the miller he took her guineas ten,
With a hey down bow down,
Well the miller he took her guineas ten,
And pushed the fair maid in again.
Chorus

LINK
https://mainlynorfolk.info/frankie.armstrong/songs/thetwosisters.html

continua terza parte: Cruel Sister (Pentangle)

Pubblicato da Cattia Salto

Amministratore e folklorista di Terre Celtiche Blog

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