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J. Moulden or Philippa: Two sisters

DigiTrad:
BINNORIE
BINNORIE (TWO SISTERS)
CRUELISH SISTER
OH, THE WIND AND RAIN (The Two Sisters)
THE CRUEL SISTER
THE SWAN SWIMS BONNIE (Two Sisters)
THE SWAN SWIMS BONNIE (Two Sisters)
THE TWA SISTERS
THE TWO SISTERS (7)
THE TWO SISTERS (8)
THE TWO SISTERS (9)
THE WIND AND RAIN (Two Sisters)
TWO SISTERS (12)
TWO SISTERS (13)
TWO SISTERS (Bonnie Broom)


Related threads:
Shakespear song hi ho the wind and rain (20)
Lyr Req: Bow Down (from Dirk Powell) (21)
Lyr Req: Minorie (20)
Lyr Req: I'll be true unto my love (11)
Minourie (Binorie, Minorie, The Two Sisters) (18)
(origins) Origins: Two Sisters links at MBM (1)
Lyr Add: Sheila Kay Adams' 'Two Sisters' (1)
Two Sisters (Child #10) Variants (29)
Origins: background info for Two Sisters songs? (24)
Binnorie (18)
Lyr Req: Somebody's Waiting for Me (Sterling/Von T (8)
Binnorie - Icelandic version (19)
Lyr/Chords Req: Oh the Wind and Rain (30)
Two sisters, two songs? (15)
Lyr Add: The Two Sisters (of Sadie Damascus) (10)
Lyr Req: Two Sisters (Dylan) (8)
Lyr Req: Bows of London (from Waterson:Carthy) (4)
Lyr Req: Binnorie (from Elizabeth Stewart, #10) (17)
Lyr Req: charles ingenthron's twa sisters (4)
Lyr Req: Two little girls... (5)
the gay and the grinding (27)
Lyr Req: The Squire's Daughter (3)
Lyr Req: Loreena McKennitt's 'The Bonny Swans (13)
Stupid Question--'The Twa Sisters' (33)
Lyr Req: Twa Sisters / Lay Bent to the Bonny Broom (26)
Lyr Req: lee monroe presnell's two sisters (#10) (7)
(origins) Origins: Two Sisters (9)
Tune Req: 'Oh The Wind And Rain' (3)
'Juniper, Gentian, and Rosemary' (14)
Lyr Req: Two Sisters (Frankie Armstrong) (5)
Tune Req: Sven (SVEND I ROSENSGAARD) (23)
Cruel Sister (22)
Lyr Req: Stecher's 'Oh the Wind and Rain' (6)
(origins) Origins: The Bows of London (14)
(origins) Origins: The Cruel Sister - Old Blind Dogs (9)
Nothing to do this Friday? (Manchester, UK) (14)
Lyr Req: The Cruel Sister (esp. Old Blind Dogs) (8)
Lyr Req: american version of Two Sisters (12)
Lyr Req: Harp form a breastbone (10)
Yet another blurb about 'Cruel Sister' (3)
Lyr Req: Two Sisters (Niamh Parsons ver.) Tha (5)
Lyr Req: The Cruel Sister (from Pentangle) (12)
Percy's Song: History? (7)
Love and Death on the Shore (8)
Hilary Kelley (9)
Two Sisters, a' Bhean Eudach, Horpa (18)
Lyr/Chords Req: the two sisters (23)
Flanders ballad in Polish--fun project! (13)
I am humbled (124)
dulaman/two sisters (15)
Lyr Req: Dreadful Wind and Rain (13)
History of 'The Wind and Rain'? (11)
And A Two And A Three (5)
Lyr Add: Rollin' a-Rollin' (Child #10) (5)
? on a TWO SISTERS song (15)
Twa sisters (17)
Percy's Song (4)


In Mudcat MIDIs:
Two Sisters (Source: Cecil Sharp and Maud Karpeles)


lamarca 01 Dec 99 - 03:30 PM
Barry Finn 01 Dec 99 - 06:13 PM
GeorgeH 02 Dec 99 - 09:53 AM
Bruce O. 02 Dec 99 - 06:40 PM
GeorgeH 03 Dec 99 - 09:14 AM
Philippa 03 Dec 99 - 01:38 PM
J Moulden Philippa 09 Dec 99 - 11:02 AM
lamarca 09 Dec 99 - 01:57 PM
Desert Dancer 13 Feb 03 - 12:51 PM
Malcolm Douglas 13 Feb 03 - 09:31 PM
Desert Dancer 14 Feb 03 - 11:42 AM
Malcolm Douglas 14 Feb 03 - 12:46 PM
GUEST,Chris Bayer 02 Mar 03 - 05:13 PM
lamarca 31 Mar 03 - 05:27 PM
Desert Dancer 31 Mar 03 - 06:02 PM
lamarca 31 Mar 03 - 06:10 PM
Desert Dancer 31 Mar 03 - 07:56 PM
lamarca 01 Apr 03 - 12:19 PM
MMario 01 Apr 03 - 12:21 PM
Malcolm Douglas 01 Apr 03 - 12:27 PM
Desert Dancer 01 Apr 03 - 01:32 PM
GUEST,Matthew Olwell 16 Nov 15 - 01:12 PM
John Minear 16 Nov 15 - 02:03 PM
John Minear 16 Nov 15 - 02:04 PM
Steve Gardham 16 Nov 15 - 02:27 PM
Steve Gardham 16 Nov 15 - 03:44 PM
Ross Campbell 16 Nov 15 - 07:59 PM
GUEST,Matthew Olwell 17 Nov 15 - 10:59 AM
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Subject: J. Moulden or Philippa: Two sisters
From: lamarca
Date: 01 Dec 99 - 03:30 PM

John or Philippa, I've been scanning back through the older threads on "The Two Sisters", (older thread on "Two Sisters") trying to find info on the version I learned from Triona ni Dhomnaill and Claudine Languille of Touchstone. It's evidently the same as the version recorded by Clannad.

Philippa, you said John told you it was an American version they got from Brian Mullen of Derry. John, do you know where he might have found it? I am especially interested where the tune might have come from - as you mentioned, Philippa, the lyrics are similar to Horton Barker's, but the tune is very different.

Did Clannad make up the tune themselves? Did they get it from Brian Mullen? Do either of you know where he got the song?

Thanks, Mary


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Subject: RE: J. Moulden or Philippa: Two sisters
From: Barry Finn
Date: 01 Dec 99 - 06:13 PM

Hi Mary, I asked my wife & she remembers Claudine singing that back when she was in high school (she used to crash with her sisters). She doesn't remember any more about them singing this song but said that Triona sang mostly her own stuff or Irish & that Claudine did bring a lot of southern mountain music into their circle.
Hi Philippa, I did get your message, it was an extreme pleasure for me having you around to sing. Barry


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Subject: RE: J. Moulden or Philippa: Two sisters
From: GeorgeH
Date: 02 Dec 99 - 09:53 AM

Has John Moulden been posting here, then?? Oops, missed that. If not and you want his email address I have it somewhere - either email me (george[dot]hawes[at]san[dot]com) or via Mudcat personal thingies and I'll look it out for me.

As far as I recall, Clannad weren't into making up their own tunes in those far-off and lamented glorious early days.

G.


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Subject: RE: J. Moulden or Philippa: Two sisters
From: Bruce O.
Date: 02 Dec 99 - 06:40 PM

John sometimes posts here. His e-mail and postal addresses are on his website. See Ulstersongs in Mudcat's links, or at the bottom of the hompage on my website.


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Subject: RE: J. Moulden or Philippa: Two sisters
From: GeorgeH
Date: 03 Dec 99 - 09:14 AM

Thanks, Bruce. I'll have to look out for him here (I've missed his presence elsewhere). I knew his email address had been easily available in the past but wasn't sure whether that remained the case.

G.


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Subject: RE: J. Moulden or Philippa: Two sisters
From: Philippa
Date: 03 Dec 99 - 01:38 PM

I e-mailed this page to John a couple of days ago


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Subject: RE: J. Moulden or Philippa: Two sisters
From: J Moulden Philippa
Date: 09 Dec 99 - 11:02 AM

and he replied thus:

"I was asked where Brian Mullen, who was Clannad's source for "The two Sisters" and whether there was any possibility that the tune had been Clannad's own.

Brian tells me he got the song from Clive Collins, English Fiddler, whose source he believes was Andy Irvine who learned it in America..

(Conjecture) - Andy changes tunes.).

Oddly, I'll be seeing Clive on Monday and will ask - I can then go to Andy and see what's what..

Keep me at it..

John"


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Subject: RE: J. Moulden or Philippa: Two sisters
From: lamarca
Date: 09 Dec 99 - 01:57 PM

Thanks, John (and Philippa) - I've always thought this was an American version that snuck back across the ocean. There's no harps or fiddles made out of body parts. The supernatural elements were always the first things to get jettisoned when Anglo-Irish ballads came to the USA; although not in all cases, such as "Wind and Rain". If you could back-track it on your end, I'll keep checking my North American collections and see if I can find any similar printed versions here.

Since I've already stolen collected numerous songs from Andy Irvine's recordings (he's one of my favorite singers), it would be funny if this song, one of the few I've ever had given to me by another musician (Claudine from Touchstone), turns out to be one of his repertoire, too...


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Subject: Lyr Add: TWO SISTERS (from Sharp/Karpeles)
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 13 Feb 03 - 12:51 PM

Linking some bits together:

I think it's funny that UK writers think it sounds American, when I think of it as Irish-sounding because I first heard it from them. (Though certainly the text is more American in its sparseness.)

This thread has the text of the Clannad version.

Their text seems to be collated from more than one version, but in all the discussions I don't think this detail has been posted: the melody and gist of the words is from Two Sisters version E in Cecil Sharp and Maud Karpeles, English Folk Songs from the Southern Appalachians. It was collected from Mrs. Clercy Deeton at Mine Fork, Burnsville, North Carolina, September 19, 1918. It's one of fourteen versions published there. Here's the text:

Two little sisters side and side
Sing I dum, sing I day.
Tow little sisters side and side,
The boys ar bound for me.
Two little sisters side and side,
The oldest one for Johnny cried.
I'll be kind to my true love
If he'll be kind to me.

2. Johnny bought the old one a beaver hat,
The youngest one thought hard of that.

3. Johnny bought the young one a gay gold ring,
He never bought the old one a single thing.

4. Two little sisters a-going down stream;
The oldest one put the young one in.

5. She floated on down to the miller's dam;
The miller brought her safe to land.

6. The miller has hung on the gallows so high;
The oldest one was hung close by.

~ Becky in Tucson

Click to play


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Subject: Tune Add: TWO SISTERS (from Sharp/Karpeles)
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 13 Feb 03 - 09:31 PM

People have asked for the "Clannad version" here quite a lot over the years, presumably because it's the only one they've heard; and have usually just assumed that it must be Irish. As we know (see the many other discussions on the subject), Clannad picked up an American version; although forms have occasionally been found in Ireland, it's far more common in Scotland and England, and the numerous examples found in tradition in the USA are mainly descended from English forms. Although it's impossible to be certain, the song seems to have found its way to Britain from Scandinavia, where it's widespread, with often almost identical narrative content.

Here is the tune for the set Becky has posted:

X:1
T:Two Sisters
S:Mrs Clercy Deeton, Mine Fork, Burnsville, N.C. Sept 1918
B:Sharp & Karpeles, English Folk-Songs from the Southern Appalachians, vol.I p.30 (5E)
N:Child 10, Roud 8
L:1/8
Q:1/4=120
M:2/2
K:F
F2 F G A2 G2|A2 c2 c4|c2 d2 F4|G2 F2 D4|
w:Two lit-tle sis-ters side and side, Sing I dum, sing I day.
C2 F G A2 G2|A2 c2 d3 c|f2 f2 (dc) A2|d6 z2|d2ddf2dc|
w:Two lit-tle sis-ters side and side, The boys are bound_ for me. Two lit-tle sis-ters
M:3/2
c2 d2 F6 G2|
w:side and side, The
M:2/2
A2 G2 F2 C2|F2 G2 D4|C2 D2 F2 F2|
w:old-set one for John-ny cried. I'll be kind to
M:3/3
F2 f2 d6 d2|
w:my true love If
M:2/2
c3 F A2 G2|F6 z2|]
w:he'll be kind to me.

Click to play


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Subject: RE: J. Moulden or Philippa: Two sisters
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 14 Feb 03 - 11:42 AM

Thanks for taking the time to transcribe the tune, Malcolm.

~ Becky


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Subject: RE: J. Moulden or Philippa: Two sisters
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 14 Feb 03 - 12:46 PM

And thanks to you for providing the incentive. It's a rather nice variant.


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Subject: RE: J. Moulden or Philippa: Two sisters
From: GUEST,Chris Bayer
Date: 02 Mar 03 - 05:13 PM

I have been looking through the Two Sisters threads and thought I'd add my two cents on the subject as a whole--with some mention of my book, The Celtic Harp At Stonehenge. (See www.nevadamusic.com)

There will likely never be found an original version of this song. The oldest versions extent of the Two Sisters are perhaps medieval but the story's origin is far older. The story of the harp's creation from a body is a survival of ancient ideas stretching at least from the Middle East through Scandanavia. These describe the creation of the lyre or harp from a water creature--a swan, turtle, salmon, whale. It was from the waters that poetry was held to come. The waters were understood metaphysically and divided into both a duality and a triad. The murder in the Two Sisters echoes much imagery describing the duality of the waters--raven/swan, the dragons, the two trees, the building of the net. The structure of ancient thought beyond the Hellenic sphere is documented--but one has to leave behind the "folk" or "medieval" context. That imagery is less romantic and more concerned with ritual transition. Chris Bayer


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Subject: RE: J. Moulden or Philippa: Two sisters
From: lamarca
Date: 31 Mar 03 - 05:27 PM

It's neat to see one of my ancient questions revived and answered! I wasn't looking for the origins of the "Two Sisters" as a ballad - Child covers its history in great detail in his collection; I was looking for the source of this particular variant.

Becky from Tuscon, I'm the person who posted the Touchstone/Clannad lyrics in the other thread - I don't know if they're the same ones Clannad sings, because I've actually never heard their version. I'm American, and even though I learned this "Two Sisters" version from Irish singers, it has always sounded American to me. Thank you for posting the version from C. Sharp's Appalachian collection and confirming my suspicions.

A few years ago, Nancy-Jean Seigel, who I think visits Mudcat occasionally, was going on a trip to Poland. She was collecting recordings of "Two Sisters" variants to give to a Polish singer who had her own version of the story. I sang this version for Nancy-Jean, prefacing it with a stumbling attempt in Polish to say hello to the recipient (I wrote out what I wanted to say, and a Polish co-worker translated it for me and coached me in how to pronounce it...) So now this American version has travelled to Ireland and back, and from here to Poland!

Now if I could just find where the tune came from...


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Subject: RE: J. Moulden or Philippa: Two sisters
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 31 Mar 03 - 06:02 PM

Lamarca, is the tune that Malcolm posted above (and in the linked Midi) the one you know? It's the tune that Clannad used and the one that goes with the lyrics.

~ Becky


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Subject: RE: J. Moulden or Philippa: Two sisters
From: lamarca
Date: 31 Mar 03 - 06:10 PM

I can't open the file, Becky - I'm on an old Mac running system 9.02, and don't know how to play MIDI files...


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Subject: RE: J. Moulden or Philippa: Two sisters
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 31 Mar 03 - 07:56 PM

Well, assuming we are all talking about the same version: Touchstone - Clannad - Brian Mullens - Clive Collins - Andy Irvine - Cecil Sharp - Mrs. Deeton, the tune is all the same one, so if you already sing it, that's what's in the midi and the abc above. Now where Mrs. Deeton got it.... I don't know. :-)

~ Becky


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Subject: RE: J. Moulden or Philippa: Two sisters
From: lamarca
Date: 01 Apr 03 - 12:19 PM

Thanks, Becky - I'll dig out my Sharp when I get home and try to plunk it out on the piano! I didn't see the actual page reference in Malcolm's post (I usually ignore the abc bits because I don't know how to use it; a bit of ignorance I should try to correct!)


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Subject: RE: J. Moulden or Philippa: Two sisters
From: MMario
Date: 01 Apr 03 - 12:21 PM

don't the midi's play for you?


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Subject: RE: J. Moulden or Philippa: Two sisters
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 01 Apr 03 - 12:27 PM

The midis don't play any more for a lot of people, including me; it appears that the MIME type needs to be re-set on the server. ABCs, incidentally, can be converted to midi or staff notation at Concertina.net's ABC Convert-A-Matic.


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Subject: RE: J. Moulden or Philippa: Two sisters
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 01 Apr 03 - 01:32 PM

Lamarca, it's version "E," page 30.

The midi works for me, but the notes of the first measure are rushed, for some reason. (Malcolm's abc above is correct.)

That Convert-A-Matic looks like a handy thing! Quicker even than opening whatever program you use, importing the file, etc., etc.

~ Becky


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Subject: RE: J. Moulden or Philippa: Two sisters
From: GUEST,Matthew Olwell
Date: 16 Nov 15 - 01:12 PM

Hi folks,

New here and so don't know what will happen if I post in an old thread, but I am curious about this song, and have spent several days ready various threads here and elsewhere attempting to find out a source for the Clannad version of the song. So far the consensus seems to be that this setting of the song comes from Mrs. Clercy Deeton of NC, and was collected by Cecil Sharp and Maud Karpeles, but I have yet to find a source for that assertion, in spite of spending a fair bit of time searching. (I am interested in both the melody and lyrics of the Clannad version.) Can anyone confirm a source? I can't seem to find the Sharp book...)

Thanks,
Matthew


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Subject: RE: J. Moulden or Philippa: Two sisters
From: John Minear
Date: 16 Nov 15 - 02:03 PM

Hi Matthew, Greetings from Nelson County and welcome to Muscat. Here is link to the song you mention from Mrs. Deeton from B. Bronson's book.

The Traditional Tunes of the Child Ballads By Bertrand Harris Bronson

Good luck with your research.


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Subject: RE: J. Moulden or Philippa: Two sisters
From: John Minear
Date: 16 Nov 15 - 02:04 PM

Or MUDCAT, maybe!


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Subject: RE: J. Moulden or Philippa: Two sisters
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 16 Nov 15 - 02:27 PM

I'm pretty certain the Deeton version will be on Richie's website which attempts to include all Child Ballads collected in America. If you joined here you could easily PM Richie and he would put you right.


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Subject: RE: J. Moulden or Philippa: Two sisters
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 16 Nov 15 - 03:44 PM

Ah! Didn't realise Bronson is now online. Matthew, I'd be interested to know if that's the version you are after.


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Subject: RE: J. Moulden or Philippa: Two sisters
From: Ross Campbell
Date: 16 Nov 15 - 07:59 PM

I used to sing "The Two Sisters", mainly from Clannad's version, with a verse or two from Sharp's Appalachian text which seemed to fill out the story. I sang it once when Andy Irvine was the guest at the Lane Ends Folk Club, Wesham, near Blackpool. He came over afterwards to say that he had set the tune to those words, but that Clannad and others who recorded the song had either not known or had somehow failed to mention that. He had always felt slightly miffed about the missing attribution, but somehow never got round to recording the song in that version.

He seems to have continued his fascination with the tune, using it for "They'll Never Believe It's True" on his "Way Out Yonder" album. Explanation from the Andy Irvine Lyrics fan website -

https://andyirvinelyrics.wordpress.com/2014/02/13/theyll-never-believe-its-true/

"THEY'LL NEVER BELIEVE IT'S TRUE
(Andy Irvine, Steve Cooney) (Andy Irvine)

This was meant to be a song called "The Two Sisters" that I found in a Cecil Sharpe collection many years ago. I'd always been a bit irked that some people, who recorded it subsequently, had seemingly not known that the tune–and some of the words–were mine. The bit about ''Boiled in Lead'' for instance. However when we put the backing track down, Steve was entranced by it and decided it was "Faerie Music". We banded around ideas for a week or two and one morning, when I woke up, this song greeted me ! Needless to say not ALL of it is true…"

They'll Never Believe It's True/froggy's Jig
(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0LnDjNcP7pw )

Ross


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Subject: RE: J. Moulden or Philippa: Two sisters
From: GUEST,Matthew Olwell
Date: 17 Nov 15 - 10:59 AM

... aaand the plot thickens. According to Andy Irvine's website, the Clannad version is set to a melody he composed and includes additional lyrics that he wrote: http://www.andyirvine.com/lyrics/they_wont_believe.html


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