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Lyr Req: Jolly Old Hawk (Original Lyrics)

Mysha 25 Dec 09 - 08:24 AM
Susan of DT 25 Dec 09 - 10:53 AM
Mysha 25 Dec 09 - 04:09 PM
Jim Dixon 30 Dec 09 - 11:40 PM
Mysha 24 Mar 11 - 09:19 AM
JeffB 24 Mar 11 - 09:46 AM
Steve Gardham 24 Mar 11 - 12:28 PM
JeffB 24 Mar 11 - 02:36 PM
Steve Gardham 24 Mar 11 - 06:20 PM
Mysha 29 Sep 12 - 05:28 PM
Reinhard 29 Sep 12 - 05:54 PM
Steve Gardham 30 Sep 12 - 10:39 AM
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Subject: Lyr Req: Jolly Old Hawk (Original Lyrics)
From: Mysha
Date: 25 Dec 09 - 08:24 AM

Hi,

Merry Christmas to all, and to all you hold dear.

As I was listening to Frost and Fire by The Watersons, this Christmas morning, I wondered about Jolly Old Hawk again. Even if they don't sing it that way, this would appear to be an a cumulative song, much like The Twelve Days of Christmas. But if so, how would it be sung? Are The Watersons following the only version found, or is there somewhere a version that does write / sing this cumulative?

Bye
                                                                   Mysha


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Jolly Old Hawk (Original Lyrics)
From: Susan of DT
Date: 25 Dec 09 - 10:53 AM

Here it is in the DT:
Jolly Old Hawk


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Jolly Old Hawk (Original Lyrics)
From: Mysha
Date: 25 Dec 09 - 04:09 PM

Hi,

Susan: Thanks for putting the link it.

Ok, I hope I can safely assume that in a cumulative version, we'd go from the first-most day to the twelve-most. Does that make sense in English?

But as can be seen from the link in the message above: Every four days, a chorus comes along of:
Jolly old hawk and his wings were grey
Sent to my love on the twelfth most day

If this was a cumulative song, I see three options:
* Every time a fourth day is reached a chorus is added, which means it'll always have the same place in the sequence, but the number of lines before the first chorus varies with the day.
* The choruses always stay the same distance from the day being sung. This means the number of lines before the chorus remains the same, but the place of the chrus in the sequence changes with the day.
* The Watersons inserted the extra choruses as, singing it non-cumulative, they'd have only one repetition of the the title line otherwise.

Additionally, the first days have half lines. How would this have been handled when an odd days was sung for the first time?

Would there be sources saying more on this, or maybe closely related song that do? And as always, are there sources that give a specific tune for this?

Bye,
                                                                Mysha


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE JOLLY GOSS-HAWK (from S.Baring-Gould)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 30 Dec 09 - 11:40 PM

From Songs of the West by S. Baring-Gould et al. (London: Methuen and Co., 1905?), page 146:

No. 71
THE JOLLY GOSS-HAWK

1. I sat on a bank in trifle and play
With my jolly goss-hawk, and her wings were grey.
She flew to my breast and she there built her nest.
I am sure, pretty bird, you with me will stay.

2. She builded within and she builded without,
My jolly goss-hawk, and her wings were grey.
She fluttered her wings and she jingled her rings,
So merry was she and so fond of play.

3. I got me a bell to tie to her foot,
My jolly goss-hawk, and her wings were grey.
She mounted in flight and she flew out of sight.
My bell and my rings she carried away.

4. I ran up the street with nimblest feet,
My jolly goss-hawk, and her wings were grey.
I whooped and halloed, but never she shewed,
And I lost my pretty goss-hawk that day.

5. In a meadow so green, the hedges between,
My jolly goss-hawk, and her wings were grey,
Upon a man's hand she perch'd did stand,
In sport, and trifle, and full array.

6. Who's got her may keep her as best he can,
My jolly goss-hawk, and her wings were grey.
To every man she is frolic and free.
I'll cast her off if she come my way.

[Endnote:]

71. THE JOLLY GOSS-HAWK. Melody taken down from H. Westaway to "The Nawden Song," which begins—

I went to my lady the first of may,
A jolly Goss-hawk and his wings were grey,
Come let us see who'll win my fair ladye—you or me.

To the 2nd of May is "a two twitty bird," then "a dushy cock," a "four-legged pig," "five steers," "six boars," "seven cows calving," "eight bulls roaring," "nine cocks crowing," "ten carpenters yawing," "eleven shepherds sawing," "twelve old women scolding." Mr C. Sharp has taken it down in Somersetshire. A Scottish version in Chambers' "Popular Rhymes of Scotland," 1842; as "The Yule Days," a Northumbrian version; "The XII. days of Christmas," with air not like ours, in "Northumbrian Minstrelsy," Newcastle, 1882, p. 129.

A Breton version, "Gousper ou ar Ranad" in "Chansons Populaires de la Basse Bretagne," by Luzel, 1890, p. 94. The West of England song has got mixed up with the "Goss Hawk," another song. See "The Fond Mother's Garland," B. M. (11,621, c 5). A companion song to this is "The Bonny Bird," given further on in this collection, No. 106. The song, in Devonshire, goes by the name of "The Nawden Song."


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Jolly Old Hawk (Original Lyrics)
From: Mysha
Date: 24 Mar 11 - 09:19 AM

Hi,

Chansons Populaires de la Basse Bretagne:

Gwerziou

Soniou

- Page 94.

(Even pages Breton, odd pages French translation: annotations and variations at the end.)

Quite a complex song, where not just single lines are added, but for some days complete verses.

Bye,
                                                                Mysha


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Jolly Old Hawk (Original Lyrics)
From: JeffB
Date: 24 Mar 11 - 09:46 AM

As Mysha said a couple of years ago, we don't know if JOH was a cumulative song. Although in their sleeve notes the Watersons mention it with 12 Days of Xmas they call it a forfeit song, i.e., I suppose, involving a game of some sort. I always thought a game had to be part of it from the last line - "Who's going to win the girl but me?" Blind Man's Buff perhaps?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Jolly Old Hawk (Original Lyrics)
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 24 Mar 11 - 12:28 PM

The Waterson version appears to derive from the Sharp Mss collected from William Chorley at Bridgwater, Somerset, in 1907. It is indeed accumulative.

The copy given in Reeves, Idiom of the People states

'In this cumulative song, singers started either at the 'first day' and added one line at each repetition, or at the 'twelfth day' and omitted a line at each repetition and then built up again from two to twelve.'

Reeves gives another version from a music book which had been taken down from an old man aged 85 in 1923.

Have you considered it might have been a parody on 'The Twelve days of Christmas'?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Jolly Old Hawk (Original Lyrics)
From: JeffB
Date: 24 Mar 11 - 02:36 PM

So,indeed cumulative song. Must have taken some stamina (or scrumpy) to have sung from 12 down to 2 and then back up again. Didn't occur to me it could be a parody on 12 Days of Xmas though I would be inclined to think not. I must say I much prefer JOH's words to 12 Days, especially the four-footed pig and three-thistle cock, whatever that was. Any ideas? Five for a fifth and a fairy is quite nice too, if rather gnomic.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Jolly Old Hawk (Original Lyrics)
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 24 Mar 11 - 06:20 PM

Three thrustlecocks?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Jolly Old Hawk (Original Lyrics)
From: Mysha
Date: 29 Sep 12 - 05:28 PM

Wow, some interesting stuff was added to this thread while I wasn't looking.

Hi,

Yes, I agree that the fifth verse - the one first long verse BTW - seems to send people astray in both songs. I don't hear "Five gold-rings" all that often and, though obvious, "fifth and a-faring" is probably a lost cause as well. In that version of JOH, it would appear a stray anyway, as it's in numbers format, while the others verses are in counting format.

Which one would be the older song? Interesting question, especially since My True Love Gave to Me so clearly derives from a song counting seven days, while on the other hand Jolly Goshawk in versions where it speaks of the days of May would seem second half 18th century at the earliest, as before that there would not have been a meaningful period of twelve days of May: From New Mayday to Old Mayday. (The latter being the day for Weddings, it would be the proper day to decide the announced competition: "Now let us see - who'll win this fair lady, you or me.") Do we have a date for My True Love etc.?

And back to the topic:
Regarding the versions talking about "twelfthmost day" etc.: Is such a day before or after the firstmost day?


When I was at Cecil Sharp House I didn't know I had something to research there, unfortunately. But Reeves being interested in the language, does Idiom of the People include the melodies as well?


Well, that sort of caught up with things, I guess.
Bye,
                                                                Mysha


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Jolly Old Hawk (Original Lyrics)
From: Reinhard
Date: 29 Sep 12 - 05:54 PM

Which one would be the older song?

The Traditional Ballad Index gives 1889 (Reeves-Circle) as the earliest known voersion of Jolly Old Hawk and c. 1780 (Mirth without Mischief) as the earliest known version of The Twelve Days of Christmas.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Jolly Old Hawk (Original Lyrics)
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 30 Sep 12 - 10:39 AM

Reeves's Idiom doesn't contain tunes, but the Wm Chorley version is given with tune in Sharp Karpeles Vol2 p411. However Reeves does give another version from Sharp's manuscripts which I don't think is published elsewhere. This is from Music Book 4934, contributed by Miss Priscilla Wyatt Edgell who had it from an old man of 85 in 1923.

I would guess the Watersons got the Chorley version from my set of EFDSS Journals which at that time were held by their Hull folk club.

It is very difficult to date ceremonial songs of this sort and I wouldn't like to hazard a guess as to which of the two songs was the earliest. It is very likely that they both derive from an earlier song, possibly the French versions mentioned earlier.

I'm not a sight reader but the tune given in Sharp/Karpeles appears to be the one used by the Watersons.


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