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Origin: Isle of France / Ile de France

PKD on Teesside 21 Jul 99 - 07:29 AM
Joe Offer 21 Jul 99 - 07:44 AM
SueH 21 Jul 99 - 05:10 PM
SueH 21 Jul 99 - 06:39 PM
alison 21 Jul 99 - 10:01 PM
PKD on Teesside 22 Jul 99 - 02:58 AM
Joe Offer 22 Jul 99 - 04:00 AM
SueH 22 Jul 99 - 05:18 AM
Desi.Wilkinson@Ul.ie 02 Dec 99 - 07:22 AM
Martin Ryan 02 Dec 99 - 08:49 AM
Wolfgang 02 Dec 99 - 09:17 AM
alison 02 Dec 99 - 09:44 AM
Martin Ryan 02 Dec 99 - 10:44 AM
Lady McMoo 02 Dec 99 - 11:09 AM
Martin _Ryan 03 Dec 99 - 03:39 PM
Martin _Ryan 03 Dec 99 - 05:11 PM
Wolfgang 10 Dec 99 - 09:15 AM
Martin _Ryan 11 Dec 99 - 05:46 PM
Liam's Brother 11 Dec 99 - 06:34 PM
GUEST,Oz Childs 25 Jun 01 - 02:54 AM
Wolfgang 25 Jun 01 - 04:03 AM
Jim Hancock 25 Jun 01 - 07:13 PM
pavane 02 Oct 08 - 10:25 AM
pavane 02 Oct 08 - 10:31 AM
pavane 02 Oct 08 - 11:12 AM
GUEST,schlimmerkerl 11 Jun 11 - 11:35 AM
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Subject: RE: The Mower/Ile (Isle) de France
From: PKD on Teesside
Date: 21 Jul 99 - 07:29 AM

Nick Jones sings The Isle of France on one of his early recordings. Early 1970s ??

Cheers


Thread #6967   Message #41290
Posted By: sue@questor-cp.demon.co.uk
12-Oct-98 - 03:45 AM
Thread Name: Origins: The Mower
Subject: The Mower/Ile (Isle) de France

Has anyone heard of either of these two tunes. Again, I have the lyrics. Both have been sung by Martyn Wyndham-Read, The Mower is supposed to be an old English folk song, the Ile de France is about a convict ship. I can't find either of them anywhere.

Many thanks

Sue


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Subject: ADD: Ile (Isle) de France^^
From: Joe Offer
Date: 21 Jul 99 - 07:44 AM

The Nic Jones lead was what I needed to find it.


ISLE OF FRANCE

Oh the sky was dark and the night advanced
When a convict came to the Isle of France
And around his leg was a ring and chain
And his country was of the shamrock green.

"Oh I'm from the Shamrock", this convict cried
"That has been tossed on the ocean wide.
For being unruly, I do declare
I was doomed to transport these seven long years.

"When six of them they were up and passed
I was coming home to make up the last
When the winds did blow and the seas did roar
They cast me here on this foreign shore".

So then the coastguard he played a part
And with brandy he cheered the convict's heart
Although the night it is far advanced
You shall find a friend on the Isle of France.

So he sent a letter all to the queen
Concerning the wreck of the Shamrock Green
And his freedom came by a speedy post
For the absent convict they thought was lost.

"God bless the coastguard", this convict cried
"For he saved my life from the ocean wide
And I'll drink his health in a flowing glass
And here's to success to the Isle of France".

----
Traditional
Sung by Nic Jones on "Noah's Ark Trap"

JRO

Is the "Isle of France" a ship or an island? If a ship, then I hope Sandy will forgive the lack of italics.
thanks for the info, sue - I added the italics before Sandy caught me naming a ship without italics. (grin)
Anybody know the story behind this song?
-Joe Offer-^^


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Subject: RE: The Mower/Ile (Isle) de France
From: SueH
Date: 21 Jul 99 - 05:10 PM

Oh sorry Joe, forgot to say - The Ile De France is a convict ship, I'm pretty sure (someone correct me if I'm wrong?)

SueH


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Subject: RE: The Mower/Ile (Isle) de France
From: SueH
Date: 21 Jul 99 - 06:39 PM

Just a bit more background information on these 2, Joe (& any other interested parties).

The Ile de France was recorded on Martyn's 'Emu Plains' LP in 1981, & had Nic Jones playing fiddle on it. The notes on it say:

'One of the many songs of the transportation of convicts to the penal settlements of New South Wales or Tasmania in the earlier years of the 19th century. This one is different from most in that the convicted man has finished his sentence & is shipwrecked on his way home. The song has every appearance of being made in Ireland rather than Australia, & was known on this side of the world, appearing in W. Percy Merrick's 'Folk Songs From Sussex 1912'. Other versions have turned up in Somerset & Leeds. The tune & opening verse was collected by Ron Edwards in Cairns, Queensland. Martyn got it from Edwards' 'Big Book of Australian Folk Songs', published in 1976.

and about 'The Mower': (from Martyn's 'Andy's Gone' LP - which also features Nic Jones on fiddle!)

'The Reverend Sabine Baring-Gould (1834-1924), squire, linguist, parson & teacher, folk-lorist & writer, was a great eccentric & Non-Conformist. Despite a 'county' background, at 32 he insisted on marrying an illiterate Yorkshire mill girl. A further mark of his eccentricity was his sleeping bat that hung from his shoulder while he lectured his students at Hurstpierpoint. These are just two incidents taken from dozens of similarly outrageous ones that occurred in his very full life, and this makes his typical Victorian prudery over folk song texts all the more surprising. Even his unpublished manuscripts are littered with comments such as 'original words very gross & I did not note them', or, 'indecent!'. With regard to the Mower, he said 'This song exists in several versions; they vary very much but all are objectionable & I have therefore entirely rewritten it.' He changed the old sexual folk metaphor of the mower who cuts down young maids' meadows with his keen sharp ever ready scythe for an equally old but far more respectable symbol, that of Death. Baring-Gould published the song in 'A Garland of Country Song', published 1895. The tune, he assures us, is the original one collected.'


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Subject: RE: The Mower/Ile (Isle) de France
From: alison
Date: 21 Jul 99 - 10:01 PM

Hi sue,

I have done the tune for Cock of the North

I don't know the tunes you are looking for, but if someone sends me a real audio or GIF I'll be happy to do them for you.

slainte

alison


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Subject: RE: The Mower/Ile (Isle) de France
From: PKD on Teesside
Date: 22 Jul 99 - 02:58 AM

Hi,

I'm pretty sure the "The Isle of France" is an Island. This guy is shipwrecked from a ship called the Shamrock Green, and is washed up on The Isle of France, where he is met by a coastguard. That has got to be dry land ?

I've always had it in my mind that it was Madagasca, but a search of material at home last night has failed to confirm that, so God knows where I've got the idea!

Cheers

Paul


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Subject: ADD: Isle de France^^
From: Joe Offer
Date: 22 Jul 99 - 04:00 AM

I think I like this rendition a little better. In this version, it sounds like "Shamrock" refers to the convict's country, not to his ship.
-Joe Offer-

THE ISLE DE FRANCE
(traditional)

Oh, the sun went down, and the moon advanced
When the convict came to the Isle de France;
Upon his leg was the ring and chain,
And his country was of the Shamrock green.

Then the coastguard came to the island beach
Till the convict's boat was within his reach,
And he asked, while tears from his eyes did rain,
"Were you born, young man, of the Shamrock green?"

"Oh, I am a Shamrock," the convict cried,
"That has been tossed on the ocean wide!
For being unruly, I do declare,
I was doomed a transport for seven years.

"When six of these was past and gone,
We were coming home for to make up one,
When the stormy winds did so blow and roar
I was cast up here on this foreign shore."

Then a speedy letter went to the Queen
About the shipwreck of the Shamrock green,
Then his freedom came by a speedy post
To the absent convict they thought was lost.

"God bless the coastguard," the convict cried,
"Who saved my life from the ocean wide.
I will drink his health in a flowing glass,
So here's success to the Isle de France!"


From Penguin Australian Songbook
The Isle de France was ceded to Britain in 1814 and was later named Mauritius. The ballad appears to date from before the change of name, yet the "letter to the Queen" hints at after 1837.
JRO

MIDI file: ISLEDE~1.MID

Timebase: 192

Name: Isle de France
Text: By (traditional)
Copyright: From "Penguin Australian Songbook"
Key: D
TimeSig: 3/4 24 8
Start
0384 1 62 110 0142 0 62 000 0002 1 64 110 0046 0 64 000 0002 1 66 110 0094 0 66 000 0002 1 66 110 0094 0 66 000 0002 1 66 110 0160 0 66 000 0032 1 59 110 0142 0 59 000 0002 1 61 110 0046 0 61 000 0002 1 62 110 0094 0 62 000 0002 1 62 110 0094 0 62 000 0002 1 62 110 0160 0 62 000 0032 1 69 110 0142 0 69 000 0002 1 69 110 0046 0 69 000 0002 1 71 110 0094 0 71 000 0002 1 73 110 0094 0 73 000 0002 1 74 110 0160 0 74 000 0032 1 73 110 0094 0 73 000 0002 1 69 110 0094 0 69 000 0002 1 71 110 0094 0 71 000 0002 1 71 110 0094 0 71 000 0002 1 71 110 0160 0 71 000 0128 1 69 110 0094 0 69 000 0002 1 71 110 0094 0 71 000 0002 1 73 110 0094 0 73 000 0002 1 74 110 0160 0 74 000 0032 1 73 110 0094 0 73 000 0002 1 69 110 0094 0 69 000 0002 1 71 110 0094 0 71 000 0002 1 73 110 0094 0 73 000 0002 1 71 110 0160 0 71 000 0032 1 62 110 0142 0 62 000 0002 1 64 110 0046 0 64 000 0002 1 66 110 0094 0 66 000 0002 1 67 110 0094 0 67 000 0002 1 66 110 0160 0 66 000 0032 1 59 110 0142 0 59 000 0002 1 61 110 0046 0 61 000 0002 1 62 110 0094 0 62 000 0002 1 62 110 0094 0 62 000 0002 1 62 110 0160 0 62 000
End

This program is worth the effort of learning it.

To download the March 10 MIDItext 98 software and get instructions on how to use it click here

ABC format:

X:1
T:Isle de France
M:3/4
Q:1/4=120
K:D
D11/2E/2|FFF2B,3/2C/2|DDD2A3/2A/2|Bcd2cA|
BBB3A|Bcd2cA|BcB2D3/2E/2|FGF2B,3/2C/2|DDD7/4||

^^


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Subject: RE: The Mower/Ile (Isle) de France
From: SueH
Date: 22 Jul 99 - 05:18 AM

Hi Joe

This is getting really interesting! I also think the 'shamrock' refers to his being from Ireland. I've had a look on a number of sites relating to convict transportation & there are comprehensive shipping lists; I can't find a record of a ship named the Shamrock. Equally, there was a ship named the Ile de France, but it wasn't built until 1926!

The only other possibility, as far as I can see, is that the region of France from Paris to the coast (Le Havre, etc) is named Ile-de-France, so I suppose he could have been shipwrecked when almost back (presumably being taken back to England, rather than Ireland), if the ship was blown off course. It might explain the 'speedy reply'! Mind you, you could hardly call what is now the English Channel 'the ocean wide'.....

As I can't let go of anything once I've started, I shall keep searching around to see if I can find out anything else.

I had a look around for sites on Baring-Gould as well but there don't appear to be any with song collections.

Sue


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Subject: The Shamrock Green
From: Desi.Wilkinson@Ul.ie
Date: 02 Dec 99 - 07:22 AM

This song was recorded by the great English Folksinger Nick Jones in the early 1970s . I have the lyrics and his tune for it. I would like some more information about the song. Its source - alternative versions etc.

All the best

DESI


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Subject: RE: Help: Shamrock Green
From: Martin Ryan
Date: 02 Dec 99 - 08:49 AM

Is this the "Ile de France" one?

Regards


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE ISLE OF FRANCE
From: Wolfgang
Date: 02 Dec 99 - 09:17 AM

If Martin is right and I guess he is, you'll find the song below. Yes I know, Desi, it's no respnse to your question. But I like the lyrics a lotr and have them copied from another site to here:

Wolfgang

The Isle Of France



Oh the sky was dark and the night advanced
When a convict came to the Isle of France
And round his leg was a ringing chain
And his country was of the Shamrock Green

I'm from the Shamrock this convict cried
That has been tossed on the ocean wide
For being unruly I do declare
I was doomed to transport these seven long years

When six of them they were up and past
I was coming home to make up the last
When the winds did blow and the seas did roar
They cast me here on this foreign shore

So then the coastguard he played a part
And with some brandy, he cheered the convict's heart
Although the night is far advanced
You shall find a friend on the Isle of France


So he sent a letter all to the queen
Concerning the wreck of the Shamrock Green
And his freedom came by a speedy post
For the absent convict they thought was lost

God bless the coastguard this convict cried
For he's saved my life from the ocean wide
And I'll drink his health in a flowing glass
And here's success to the Isle Of France

I have no idea where this song is from and my inquiries have drawn a blank


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Subject: RE: Help: Shamrock Green
From: alison
Date: 02 Dec 99 - 09:44 AM

Has it got a well known tune Wolfgang?

slainte

alison


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Subject: RE: Help: Shamrock Green
From: Martin Ryan
Date: 02 Dec 99 - 10:44 AM

I have the tape somwhere - but what I hear in my head is a variation on "The Newry Highwayman"....

Regards


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Subject: RE: Help: Shamrock Green
From: Lady McMoo
Date: 02 Dec 99 - 11:09 AM

I agree with Martin, I believe the tune is close to that of the Newry Highwayman. I will take a look when I get home to see whether I have any more information on the song.

Regards,

mcmoo


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Subject: RE: Help: Shamrock Green
From: Martin _Ryan
Date: 03 Dec 99 - 03:39 PM

The "Isle of France" was the French name for Mauritius. The British conquered it in 1810 and it was ceded to them in 1814, after the defeat of Napoleon. Whether it was in fact used as a penal conoly or not - or as a staging post to the East, I don't know. Wolfgang's set look much as I recall it. I vaguely remember seeing it in print once - but can't find it among my own stuff.

Regards

p.s. I presume that's Desi-the-flute? I'm in Athlone IT - give me a shout if I can be of any help.


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Subject: RE: Help: Shamrock Green
From: Martin _Ryan
Date: 03 Dec 99 - 05:11 PM

I suspect the third line of Verse 1 should read "round his leg was a ring and chain".
What's driving me mad is that I KNOW I read an explanation of the the third verse - I think prisoners transported for a fixed term were brought back early for waht passed for rehabilitation - but I'm damned if I can remember where.
I think Nic's was the only version I've ever heard. My guess is that he found in a book and fitted a tune to it.

Regards


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Subject: RE: Help: Shamrock Green
From: Wolfgang
Date: 10 Dec 99 - 09:15 AM

This song still puzzles me, so here's a bit more, though not much:

I've listened yesterday night to Nic Jones singing Isle of France, to the Johnstons singing Newry highwayman and to Martin Carthy singing Newlyn town. Jones' tune is much slower so it's hard for me to compare, but I do not hear more than a superficial similarity. What Nic Jones sings, however, has not too much in common with the two tunes given for the Isle of France in Karpeles (ed.), Cecil Sharp's collection Vol 2. (But I'm not particularly good in reading the tune from print, so it still might be a variant).
In the longest version I have read, the coastguard actually saves the convict from the sea and the convict did come from, not to the Isle of France after having served there 6 of his 7 years. His ship, the 'Shamrock Green' had been shipwrecked.

Martin, "a ring and chain" it is in the three printed versions I have, as you have presumed. The second line of verse 3 I have as "we were coming home for to make up one(?)" which doesn't make it clearer, at least for me.

Here's part of the notes to this song from Ewan MacColl's 'Traveller's songs from England and Scotland':
MacColl first retells the whole story (for the version he prints is too short to understand the story), wrongly places the Isle of France as one of the Channel Islands and then goes on: "The song has been collected chiefly in England and the references all give a melody similar to ours. Kidson has a 'strong suspicion that the balld was founded on a real escape from a convict transport ship'.
Bibliography:
British: JFSS, Vol 1., p.123; Vol 2, pp. 258-9; Sharp (1), pp. 232-3; Sharp and Karpeles (2); vol II, pp. 143-5....[several broadsides; I could type them if it helps for the questions]...
Australian: Edwards, pp. 5-6.
Alternative title: The Shamrock Green, The Convict Song"

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Help: Shamrock Green
From: Martin _Ryan
Date: 11 Dec 99 - 05:46 PM

Good man, Wolfgang! Mention of Edwards sent me to his "The Overlander Songbook", (1971) which I had missed on a first search about the song. He gives a version, with the following notes:

"I collected this from Mrs. M. Webb of Cairns who was born in 1893 and learnt it as a young girl in the Tilba Tilba area of southern New South Wales. While on a visit to Brisbane she also sang it to John Manifold, and it will be found in his Penguin songbook.

She had learned it from her father and recalls that in his version the song concluded with the convict finally arriving on the Victorian goldfields and being killed in a miners uprising which she thinks may have been the Eureka stockade. Indeed a unique item if anyone ever manages to collect it!

Unfortunately, Mrs. Webb remembers only the tune and the first verse of this song in their entirety and so for the remaining verses I have drawn on a version collected by the late W. Percy Merrick sometime before 1912. His version also uses the same tune as that given here. This ws published in his 'Folksongs from Sussex", 1912, and titeld The Isle of France

It will be noted that there is some confusion about the term "Shamrock Green" which referes to the convict's country of origin in the first verse., but becomes the name of the wrecked boat later in the song. Perhaps the fourth line was originally "And his vessel was the SHamrock Green". This would be more logical. "

I reckon he's right about the name.

Regards p.s. The page reference matches - so this is surely the Edwards book McColl refers to (or was that you?)


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Subject: RE: Help: Shamrock Green
From: Liam's Brother
Date: 11 Dec 99 - 06:34 PM

The Isle of France was a fairly popular broadside song; I have a few copies of it. There being no way to say for sure, I would think that (the broadside press) was probably its origin.

All the best,
Dan


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Subject: RE: The Mower/Ile (Isle) de France
From: GUEST,Oz Childs
Date: 25 Jun 01 - 02:54 AM

A little late to join the thread, but readers of the Patrick O'Brian stories will know that the Isle of France is the old name for Mauritius, in the Indian Ocean. A ship bound from Sydney to the Cape of Good Hope and England could plausibly be blown ashore there, especially if it stopped at Colombo (in Sri Lanka) first.


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Subject: RE: The Mower/Ile (Isle) de France
From: Wolfgang
Date: 25 Jun 01 - 04:03 AM

I think there should be a link here to a similar thread which answers some of the questions here: Shamrock Green.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: The Mower/Ile (Isle) de France
From: Jim Hancock
Date: 25 Jun 01 - 07:13 PM

Hi In the version I have the ship is the Shamrock Green and I am similarly of the opinion that the Isl;e Of France is madagascar but can't offer any authoritive support for that statement other than it being one of those things I seem to have always believed.

All the best Jim


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: The Mower/Ile (Isle) de France^^
From: pavane
Date: 02 Oct 08 - 10:25 AM

Back to The Ile of France for a moment.

I have a recording of Nic Jones singing it live, and he states in the introduction that his version, as collected, was an incomplete song, which was filled out by Cecil Sharp. I will see if I can transcribe exactly what he says (Or maybe even post the clip of him saying it). I think Nic did a lot of research on his songs, so I believe what he says.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: The Mower/Ile (Isle) de France^^
From: pavane
Date: 02 Oct 08 - 10:31 AM

Do we know where the Australian book of Folk songs got it?
(The Ise of France). I wouldn't be surprised if all recent versions lead back to Nic Jones.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: The Mower/Ile (Isle) de France^^
From: pavane
Date: 02 Oct 08 - 11:12 AM

I have now uploaded Nic's spoken introduction to the song onto my web site.

To listen, go to the site
Click on Private Area link
Enter the password which is nicjonesclips
(Exactly as shown, must be lower case)

You will then see the link to the clip.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Isle of France (The Shamrock Green)
From: GUEST,schlimmerkerl
Date: 11 Jun 11 - 11:35 AM

Susan McKeown has a very nice version.


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