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Origins: The Snows They Melt the Soonest

Related threads:
(origins) Origin: The Snow It Melts the Soonest (41)
Lyr Req: The Snows They Melt the Soonest (20)
Benny Graham - The Snows They Melt.... (12)
(origins) Origins: Snows They Melt - maidmusic.com (5)


Ezio 12 Sep 98 - 03:03 AM
Ian HP 12 Jan 00 - 08:35 AM
Emmie 12 Jan 00 - 02:24 PM
Frankie 12 Jan 00 - 05:09 PM
Neil Comer 12 Jan 00 - 06:20 PM
Susan A-R 12 Jan 00 - 10:18 PM
Ian HP 13 Jan 00 - 06:40 AM
Alan of Australia 13 Jan 00 - 07:29 AM
John Moulden 13 Jan 00 - 07:34 AM
Willie-O 13 Jan 00 - 09:02 AM
GeorgeH 13 Jan 00 - 09:33 AM
John Moulden 13 Jan 00 - 03:48 PM
John Moulden 16 Jan 00 - 12:45 PM
Frank of Toledo 16 Jan 00 - 09:07 PM
John Moulden 17 Jan 00 - 05:25 AM
GeorgeH 17 Jan 00 - 05:38 AM
Ian HP 17 Jan 00 - 07:08 AM
GeorgeH 18 Jan 00 - 04:32 AM
John Moulden 18 Jan 00 - 05:13 AM
Susan A-R 18 Jan 00 - 09:37 PM
Ian HP 19 Jan 00 - 08:12 AM
GeorgeH 19 Jan 00 - 09:37 AM
Wolfgang 20 Jan 00 - 05:00 AM
GUEST,Malcolm.Smith@durham.ac.uk 20 Jan 00 - 05:38 AM
John Moulden 20 Jan 00 - 02:11 PM
Malcolm Douglas 21 Jan 00 - 01:26 PM
Peter T. 21 Jan 00 - 01:37 PM
GUEST,Ian HP 21 Jan 00 - 01:57 PM
John Moulden 21 Jan 00 - 01:59 PM
GUEST,Ian HP 21 Jan 00 - 01:59 PM
GUEST,Ian HP 21 Jan 00 - 01:59 PM
Malcolm Douglas 21 Jan 00 - 02:38 PM
Susan A-R 24 Jan 00 - 10:13 PM
John in Brisbane 20 Jun 00 - 08:40 AM
GUEST 20 Jun 00 - 04:27 PM
A Wandering Minstrel 21 Jun 00 - 09:59 AM
Malcolm Douglas 21 Jun 00 - 12:29 PM
A Wandering Minstrel 22 Jun 00 - 10:38 AM
Malcolm Douglas 22 Jun 00 - 11:39 AM
John in Brisbane 28 Jun 00 - 08:19 AM
GUEST,Tradmusic427@cs.com 22 Jan 01 - 10:14 PM
Stewie 23 Jan 01 - 12:38 AM
Stewie 23 Jan 01 - 01:17 AM
Jock Morris 23 Jan 01 - 07:36 AM
Joe Offer 23 Jan 01 - 06:45 PM
Jock Morris 24 Jan 01 - 07:21 AM
Malcolm Douglas 24 Jan 01 - 08:56 PM
Stewie 24 Jan 01 - 11:47 PM
Malcolm Douglas 25 Jan 01 - 01:28 PM
GUEST,RWMixter@aol.com 31 Jan 01 - 02:47 PM
Noreen 31 Jan 01 - 06:32 PM
wysiwyg 15 Jul 01 - 11:34 AM
GUEST,erica 15 Jul 01 - 12:10 PM
Noreen 15 Jul 01 - 03:22 PM
Erica Smith 16 Oct 01 - 03:19 PM
DancingMom 16 Oct 01 - 03:42 PM
GUEST,boatbutter@earthlink.net 07 Jun 02 - 06:39 PM
Bearheart 07 Jun 02 - 10:03 PM
GUEST,Wingfoot-the-Archer 16 Jun 03 - 02:12 PM
Access All Areas 17 Jun 03 - 07:26 AM
GUEST,Vince 17 Jun 03 - 04:45 PM
MMario 18 Mar 04 - 12:41 PM
Malcolm Douglas 18 Mar 04 - 03:02 PM
GUEST,MMario 18 Mar 04 - 03:13 PM
Spot 18 Mar 04 - 03:19 PM
Malcolm Douglas 18 Mar 04 - 03:25 PM
Spot 18 Mar 04 - 03:35 PM
GUEST,Tom Draughon 10 Mar 06 - 07:44 PM
GUEST,fynt 26 Oct 06 - 09:57 AM
Malcolm Douglas 26 Oct 06 - 08:32 PM
Steve Shaw 22 Sep 08 - 07:25 PM
GUEST,Volgadon 23 Sep 08 - 07:23 AM
My guru always said 23 Sep 08 - 12:34 PM
The Sandman 23 Sep 08 - 01:10 PM
Malcolm Douglas 23 Sep 08 - 08:00 PM
GUEST,GUESTAndrew 03 Dec 08 - 05:22 PM
Fergie 28 Apr 09 - 01:02 PM
BobKnight 26 Jul 09 - 08:25 PM
Effsee 26 Jul 09 - 11:13 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 27 Jul 09 - 12:07 PM
GUEST,meriel 02 Nov 09 - 10:14 AM
Maryrrf 02 Nov 09 - 02:13 PM
Mr Fox 02 Nov 09 - 02:16 PM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 02 Nov 09 - 02:38 PM
Reinhard 02 Nov 09 - 03:06 PM
Maryrrf 02 Nov 09 - 03:14 PM
Reinhard 02 Nov 09 - 06:18 PM
Maryrrf 02 Nov 09 - 07:39 PM
Maryrrf 05 Nov 09 - 05:01 PM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 17 Dec 09 - 08:11 AM
Jack Campin 17 Feb 10 - 08:02 AM
JHW 17 Feb 10 - 05:03 PM
GUEST,TJ in San Diego 18 Feb 10 - 12:05 PM
GUEST,PLEASE help 14 Jul 10 - 04:36 PM
Jack Campin 14 Jul 10 - 05:07 PM
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Subject: LYR ADD: The Snows They Melt... (w/ra)
From: Ezio
Date: 12 Sep 98 - 03:03 AM

THE SNOWS THEY MELT THE SOONEST

The snows they melt the soonest
When the winds begins to sing
And the corn it ripend fastest
When the frosts are settling in
And when a woman tells me
That my face she'll soon forget
Before we part I'll wage a crown
She's fain to follow yet

The snows they melt the soonest
When the winds begin to sing
And the swallow flies without a thought
As long as it is spring
But when spring goes and winter blows
My love then you'll be fain
For all your pride to follow me
Across the raging main

The snows they melt the soonest
When the winds begin to sing
And the bee that flew when summer shone
In winter cannot sting
And I've seen a woman's anger melt
Between the night and morn
So it's surely not a harder thing
To melt a woman's scorn

So don't you bid me farewell here
No farewell I'll receive
For you will lie with me, my lass
Then kiss and take your leave
And I'll wait here till the moorcrock calls
And the martin takes the wing
For the snow they melt the soonest
When the winds begin to sing


Sung by Dick Gaughan on «Handful of Earth» (1981)

BACKGROUND: learned by osmosis from Archie Fisher (then osmosis taught me it). I wasn't aware that I actually knew it until I found myself singing it one night. Dick.

(submitted by EB)


I've collected most of the lyrics I've posted here during the past months.
These lyrics, along with the .RA audioclips, are available at
http://geocities.com/Nashville/Opry/7424
Ezio


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Subject: snows they melt ... - author?
From: Ian HP
Date: 12 Jan 00 - 08:35 AM

I know that The Snows They Melt The Soonest is always attributed to 'trad.', but a while a go I remember reading that the Revd. someone or other is thought to have written the words in the 19th century. I can now neither remember or find where I read this. It's really getting to me now! Any clues?

Click for related thread


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Subject: RE: snows they melt ... - author?
From: Emmie
Date: 12 Jan 00 - 02:24 PM

I heard that Annie Briggs was supoosed to have written it. Do you love the version by Dick Gaughan as much as I do?


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Subject: RE: snows they melt ... - author?
From: Frankie
Date: 12 Jan 00 - 05:09 PM

No clues here. Gaughan lists it as a traditional tune on Handful of Earth and I probably love his version as much as Emmie does.

F


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Subject: RE: snows they melt ... - author?
From: Neil Comer
Date: 12 Jan 00 - 06:20 PM

Gaughan's version is excellent, I agree. Another good version can be heard on the Horslip's album, Drive the Cold Winter Away.


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Subject: RE: snows they melt ... - author?
From: Susan A-R
Date: 12 Jan 00 - 10:18 PM

Dick Gaughan does have a pretty teriffic web site. I'd be glad to post a query with him as to whether he has any further information on this one. It is a good song, not a very nice song, but a good one.

Susan


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Subject: RE: snows they melt ... - author?
From: Ian HP
Date: 13 Jan 00 - 06:40 AM

So ... lots of applause for the song, but no real help. Anne Briggs did write songs, but certainly not this one. Anyone out there know - not versions, but an attributed Revd. Someoneorother author?


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Subject: RE: snows they melt ... - author?
From: Alan of Australia
Date: 13 Jan 00 - 07:29 AM

G'day,
This is on Pentangle's "Solomom's Seal" album. While "Sally Free & Easy" is attributed to Cyril Tawney, all other songs are listed as (Jansch-Renbourn-Thompson-Cox-McShee). I think we are meant to infer that they are all either trad arr, or written by Pentangle.

While a couple of songs on this album sound fairly recent, I'm sure they didn't write "The Snows". Therefore it's trad????

Cheers,
Alan


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Subject: RE: snows they melt ... - author?
From: John Moulden
Date: 13 Jan 00 - 07:34 AM

According to John Stokoe in "Songs and Ballads of Northern England (Newcastle on Tyne and London, 1893) - "This melody was picked up from a street singer in Newcastle by Mr Thomas Doubleday, and inserted in a contribution to Blackwood's Magazine in 1821, He presumably was the author of the ballad."

Doubleday is mentioned by Stokoe, in the same volume, as having noted "Captain Bover"


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Subject: RE: snows they melt ... - author?
From: Willie-O
Date: 13 Jan 00 - 09:02 AM

Despite Gaughan's listing it as "trad" on Handful of Earth, the last time I saw him in concert he made quite a speech (as he is wont to do) about the contemporary songwriter who wrote it..."Anne Briggs" sounds right, but I didn't retain the name he mentioned with any certainty.

Willie-O


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Subject: RE: snows they melt ... - author?
From: GeorgeH
Date: 13 Jan 00 - 09:33 AM

Yes, I've certainly heard that Anne Briggs wrote it. As I recall the tale was that became widely attributed to "Trad" quite early in the revival, Anne never asserted her authorship, and many performers (including Gaughan) helped perpetuate the misinformation.

However John Moulden's source suggests otherwise - assuming that 1893 source includes the contemporary words as well as the tune; could you clarify, please, John.

G.


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Subject: RE: snows they melt ... - author?
From: John Moulden
Date: 13 Jan 00 - 03:48 PM

The words given in the 1893 volume are the same as those sung by Anne Briggs and by everyone else I have heard.


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Subject: RE: snows they melt ... - author?
From: John Moulden
Date: 16 Jan 00 - 12:45 PM

Two further matters - the tune used for "The Snows" is given in Bruce and Stokoe's Northumbrian Minstrelsy (1882) under the title "My love is newly listed" with a note outlining Thomas Doubleday's collection of it and its publication in 1821 with the text under discussion. (page 97)

A forum search for "Doubleday" produces some relevant threads, one of which (on Northumbrian Fishing songs) shows that Graham Pirt knows a bit more about Doubleday.


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Subject: RE: snows they melt ... - author?
From: Frank of Toledo
Date: 16 Jan 00 - 09:07 PM

Dick Gaughan was in concert here in Toledo Oregon last July, and he talked in length about the song, said he learned it from Archie Fisher, but also after a really long and interesting intro said it had been writted By Anne Biggs.


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Subject: RE: snows they melt ... - author?
From: John Moulden
Date: 17 Jan 00 - 05:25 AM

This forum now knows better.


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Subject: RE: snows they melt ... - author?
From: GeorgeH
Date: 17 Jan 00 - 05:38 AM

Indeed. Thanks, John. Has anyone emailed Dick with this info?

G.


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Subject: RE: snows they melt ... - author?
From: Ian HP
Date: 17 Jan 00 - 07:08 AM

This thing about Gaughan saying that Briggs wrote it is annoyingly tenacious. I would be prone to say that someone misheard, but I doubt it is possible for so many people to mishear so often in so many places! So why is he saying this? Please - that is a question I don't want answers to - it's taken up enough of this thread already! He's usually so precise about attributing sources. Oh well. Thanks for all your help, folks. No one has managed to answer my initial question. Now where DID I read that Revd. someoneorother possibly wrote these words in the 19th century?!


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Subject: RE: snows they melt ... - author?
From: GeorgeH
Date: 18 Jan 00 - 04:32 AM

Because he and many others believe it to be true, and feel they've slighted Ann in the past by claiming the song to be "Trad". I don't see why that should be annoying. And if you don't want the answer you shouldn't post the question. And unless your Revd. was also a street singer then John Mouden's posts suggest that dimly-remembered information is unlikely to be accurate.

Given John's information here I'd have thought you'd be well satisfied with this thread; you almost certainly have the best information available on this song, and certainly you know better than Dick Gaughan (on this point at least).


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Subject: RE: snows they melt ... - author?
From: John Moulden
Date: 18 Jan 00 - 05:13 AM

Not quite the best information - yet - I hope to get a look at that Blackwood's Magazine article sometime - or is there someone with access to one of the older librares who could act as Mudcat's agent? - this is a co-operative venture.


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Subject: RE: snows they melt ... - author?
From: Susan A-R
Date: 18 Jan 00 - 09:37 PM

I did email Dick to ask about authorship. He emailed back, and was NOT saying that Annie had written it. What he said in his email was that he had thought that she had, but had never been able to confirm it with her. I did email him John's information (hope that was ok) and haven't heard. I suspect I won't. He was a bit touchy in the original thread. I believe he has heard about this before, and I touched a nerve. The things you walk into when history is involved.

Susan A-R


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Subject: RE: snows they melt ... - author?
From: Ian HP
Date: 19 Jan 00 - 08:12 AM

Aw, c'mon GeorgeH! I just find it annoying when unsubstantiated rumours pass for truth. Is that so bad? There's no need for sarcasm: "And if you don't want the answer you shouldn't post the question." Just because a street singer sang it doesn't mean s/he was the only one to do so or is the only source, and it proves nothing about authorship. I just like to know what's what about a song - as far as any of us can ever know for sure - when I sing it. I hope that's OK with you.


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Subject: RE: snows they melt ... - author?
From: GeorgeH
Date: 19 Jan 00 - 09:37 AM

Ian . . no sarcasm intended; indeed I'm all in favour of getting it right. Sorry it seemed otherwise. But it was your seeming irritation with Gaughan that irritated me. As for the sources, perhaps I should have been a little less terse; I was really saying that John's evidence suggests it had been collected by 1821 from a source other than your Revd. So if the source was indeed the 19th century Revd. there was only 21 years for him to have disseminated the song AND "lost contact" with its ownership so far as collectors of that time were concerned. Still lots of uncertainties in there, granted, but it seemed unlikely to me . .

Susan A-R: seems very out of character for Dick to be touchy about this (from personal experience of the guy and his reputation for being ready to 'fess up when he gets it wrong). And whether he replies to email tends to depend on his "other committments" - sometimes he's out of contact with his messages for a long stretch. IME, YMMV.

G.


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Subject: RE: snows they melt ... - author?
From: Wolfgang
Date: 20 Jan 00 - 05:00 AM

Anne Briggs writes it's "trad." on her album.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: snows they melt ... - author?
From: GUEST,Malcolm.Smith@durham.ac.uk
Date: 20 Jan 00 - 05:38 AM

I'm afraid there's not much detail in this message, but it does at least confirm that someone else has provenanced the song with the same result.

Christine Kidd sings a lovely, unaccompanied, version on her CD "Heading Home" (Fellside FECD93). Her note to the song says "The album 'The Banks of the Tyne' by Carolyn Robson has long since disappeared from my record collection, but I know she reckons this beautiful song was written by a Newcastle street singer by the name of Doubleday".

Malcolm.


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Subject: RE: snows they melt ... - author?
From: John Moulden
Date: 20 Jan 00 - 02:11 PM

Interesting how confusion grows: Thomas Doubleday, almost certainly an antiquarian who definitely collected the tune from a street singer and who may have written the words, gets described as a street singer and his authorship of the words becomes a certainty. It almost justifies my obsession with saying no more than is justified by the facts!


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE SNOW IT MELTS THE SOONEST (1821) ^^
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 21 Jan 00 - 01:26 PM

I have now seen the Blackwoods Magazine piece.  It takes the form of a letter from one "Josiah Shufflebotham, of Gowk's-Hall", and appears in the November 1821 edition on page 443.  Josiah has stopped off at an ale house "at O---" with his nephew Roger.  They overhear somebody singing in the adjacent kitchen.  Several songs are given in whole or in part, The Snows being the second.  Here is the relevant passage.  The singer has just concluded his first song.

"When he ended, some observations seemed to be making, probably of the sentimental sort, in their homely fashion; but you would have been pleasantly surprised with the bold way in which the singer, who had really a fine manageable voice, broke in with an air that had been familiar to me ever since I was "penny-can-high", as the saying is, but of which I never was aware of the merit till now.  I have forgot what we used to call it, but it goes now by the title of "My Love is newly listed".  It is just one of those ditties which Gay would have put into the Beggar's Opera, -monotonous, yet original,- full of mannerism, yet with a vein of unexpected feeling.  It embodies, in a faint degree, that mixture of passions, which is the top of what you call musical expression,and which is so wonderful in your Scottish air of "Dinna think", where bitterness and love, grief and contempt, mix and get the better of one another, as the colours do on a bit of shot-silk.  The lad gave the emphatic places a touch of sarcasm half plaintive, half playful, particularly at the conclusion, and seemed to feel the intention of the tune in a way that pleased me mightily.

O, the snow it melts the soonest when the winds begin to sing;
And the corn it ripens fastest when the frosts are setting in;
And when a woman tells me that my face she'll soon forget,
Before we part, I wad a crown, she's fain to follow't yet.

The snow it melts the soonest when the wind begins to sing;
And the swallow skims without a thought as long as it is spring;
But when spring goes, and winter blows, my lass, an ye'll be fain,
For all your pride, to follow me, were't cross the stormy main.

O, the snow it melts the soonest when the wind begins to sing;
The bee that flew when summer shined, in winter cannot sting;-
I've seen a woman's anger melt between the night and morn,
And it's surely not a harder thing to tame a woman's scorn.

O, never say me farewell here -no farewell I'll receive,
For you shall set me to the stile, and kiss and take your leave;
But I'll stay here till the woodcock comes, and the martlet takes his wing,
Since the snow aye melts the soonest, lass, when the wind begins to sing.

Josiah Shufflebotham
Gowk's-Hall, Oct. 27th, 1821"

The melody was appended.  Photocopying is strictly forbidden in the Rare Books section at Sheffield University, so I have only pencil notes at present: I will prepare a .gif of the staff notation over the weekend.  Anybody who would like a copy should send me an e-mail address and I'll send the file when it's done.

Malcolm ^^

Text not available
Blackwood's Edinburgh magazine


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Subject: RE: snows they melt ... - author?
From: Peter T.
Date: 21 Jan 00 - 01:37 PM

People, you are the best. What a pleasure to read.
yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: snows they melt ... - author?
From: GUEST,Ian HP
Date: 21 Jan 00 - 01:57 PM

Ditto for what Peter T. says: thanks a million, Malcolm, that is wonderful to read. Excuse my ignorance, but what kind of magazine was Blackwoods - music, arts, general? It sounds like an interesting mag to seek out and read myself. Thanks so much for your trouble.


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Subject: RE: snows they melt ... - author?
From: John Moulden
Date: 21 Jan 00 - 01:59 PM

Malcolm, thank you for your effort - especially since searching very nearly a year of Blackwood's must have been a chore.

Some of the text you quote is given in Bruce and Stokoe, Northumbrian Minstrelsy but there is nothing in the passage you quote which justifies Stokoe, in Songs and Ballads of Northern England, attributing the words of the song to Doubleday.

I wonder how it was known that Doubleday was the writer with the rustic pseudonym.

What other songs are given? (Note the wish to get as much from you as possible - virtue is its own punishment.)

I would much appreciate a copy of the tune but if it is the same as is in Bruce and Stokoe or Stokoe, it would be enough tosay so.

jmoul81075@aol.com

Thanks again

John


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Subject: RE: snows they melt ... - author?
From: GUEST,Ian HP
Date: 21 Jan 00 - 01:59 PM

Ditto for what Peter T. says: thanks a million, Malcolm, that is wonderful to read. Excuse my ignorance, but what kind of magazine was Blackwoods - music, arts, general? It sounds like an interesting mag to seek out and read myself. Thanks so much for your trouble.


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Subject: RE: snows they melt ... - author?
From: GUEST,Ian HP
Date: 21 Jan 00 - 01:59 PM

Ditto for what Peter T. says: thanks a million, Malcolm, that is wonderful to read. Excuse my ignorance, but what kind of magazine was Blackwoods - music, arts, general? It sounds like an interesting mag to seek out and read myself. Thanks so much for your trouble.


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Subject: RE: snows they melt ... - author?
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 21 Jan 00 - 02:38 PM

Ian: Blackwood's was one of those "gentleman's magazines" of the period; some literary discussion, lots of rather turgid poetry, reminiscences and the like. Lists of bankruptcies! (Published in Edinburgh).

John: I haven't seen Stokoe, but presumably it's the same melody. Quite close to the one sung today, but a deal sprightlier: described as "Andantino Spiritoso"; in A -more or less- and common time. I'll send you a copy in case there are any differences. I fear that I did not transcribe the whole letter (I had to borrow a pencil -they don't let you make notes in ink!- and it went went blunt), but there was certainly a verse of "The Weary Cutters" given; the others (two whole songs, I think, and some fragments) I didn't recognise.

Malcolm


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Subject: RE: snows they melt ... - author?
From: Susan A-R
Date: 24 Jan 00 - 10:13 PM

Got a thank you from Dick G and sent him the address for this thread so he can check it out should he choose to. There's too much from too many other folks who have done good research for me to keep funneling it along if he wants more info. This is interesting stuff.


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Subject: RE: snows they melt ... - author?
From: John in Brisbane
Date: 20 Jun 00 - 08:40 AM

A question for Ian HP. Is it possible that the Reverend was Rev. John Skinner, Episcopalian minister of Longside near Peterhead, Aberdeenshire, born 1721 died 1807, author of Tullochgorm, The Ewie wi The Crookit Horn and The Old Man's Song?

Or Rev. James Nicol, 1769 - 1819, author of Where Quair Runs Sweet?

Regards, John


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Subject: RE: snows they melt ... - author?
From: GUEST
Date: 20 Jun 00 - 04:27 PM

thread creep... liza carthy does a gorgeous version on red rice....
jayohjo XX


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Subject: RE: snows they melt ... - author?
From: A Wandering Minstrel
Date: 21 Jun 00 - 09:59 AM

I also have this song listed in "Songs of Northumberland" dated in the early 1800's and collected from a street singer. The source is possibly the same as that for the Auld Fishermans farewell to Coquet which I have previously posted


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Subject: RE: snows they melt ... - author?
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 21 Jun 00 - 12:29 PM

Perhaps you could give us some more details about "Songs of Northumberland"?   We'd be interested in what is has to say, particularly if it was published before 1821 (see posts earlier in this thread).   Otherwise it may just repeat information already given here.  On the subject of authorship, Margaret Dean-Smith ( A Guide to English Folk Song Collections 1822-1952, 1954) seems to be suggesting, in her entry under The White Cockade ( My Love's Newly 'Listed ), that Doubleday wrote the text of The Snows himself:

...tune only, communicated by Thomas Doubleday from a street singer, and so printed in Blackwood's 1821 with words of his own "Oh the snow it melts the soonest"...

Whether she had evidence to support this assertion, I do not know.

Malcolm


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Subject: RE: snows they melt ... - author?
From: A Wandering Minstrel
Date: 22 Jun 00 - 10:38 AM

"Songs of Northumberland" was published in about 1928 by BlackGate Press in Newcastle. According to the flyleaf it was printed for the "Dunelm Singers" and gives the lyrics of about 50 Tyneside and Northumbrian popular songs with annotations as to where and when they came from. "Snows.." is printed in full with the ascription "Collected by Doubleday from an unnamed street singer and first published in 1821" This is probably just recapitulating above posts but I posted it as a possible piece of corroboration for your own thread above..


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Subject: RE: snows they melt ... - author?
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 22 Jun 00 - 11:39 AM

Thanks for the info!

Malcolm


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Subject: RE: snows they melt ... - author?
From: John in Brisbane
Date: 28 Jun 00 - 08:19 AM

I note that 'Weary Cutters' is missing its tune in the DT. I'll post it to Joe to include in Mudcat MIDIs. Regards, John


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Subject: RE: snows they melt ... - author?
From: GUEST,Tradmusic427@cs.com
Date: 22 Jan 01 - 10:14 PM

On a recent Susan McKeown (sp?) album, it's said to have been copied down from a street singer and published in a London magazine in 1821...not attributed to any author. Interesting melody, with that minor/major twist.

Fun to sing and to play on guitar.

doug


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Subject: RE: snows they melt ... - author?
From: Stewie
Date: 23 Jan 01 - 12:38 AM

The notes to the Topic CD collection of Anne Briggs recordings (by Colin Harper) concur with the information given above by John Moulden and others: collected by Thomas Doubleday and contributed by him to Blackwood's Magazine in 1921, with melody obtained from a Newcastle street singer - given in 'Northumbrian Minstrelsy' (1882 repr 1965) as 'My Love Is Newly Listed'. Anne Briggs 'A Collection' Topic TSCD504 (1999). Thus, Topic was on the right track - at least in its latest issue of Briggs material.

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: snows they melt ... - author?
From: Stewie
Date: 23 Jan 01 - 01:17 AM

My apologies. Reading the booklet to the CD more carefully, the main essay on Briggs was written by Colin Harper but the notes to the songs are those that appeared on the original Topic releases of Briggs and written by the late A.L. Lloyd. I was misled because the cover of the CD states 'Notes by Colin Harper' with no mention of Lloyd. However, it seems the correct attributions for the song were given by Lloyd in the 1971 Topic release and Gaughan et alia have little excuse!

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: snows they melt ... - author?
From: Jock Morris
Date: 23 Jan 01 - 07:36 AM

The Old Blind Dogs recorded a version of this song; I'll try and remember to check the sleeve notes tonight.

Scott


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Subject: RE: snows they melt ... - author?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 23 Jan 01 - 06:45 PM

One thing I'm not following here, Malcolm - where does Doubleday fit into the story of the collection of this song, or doesn't he? Thanks. -Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: snows they melt ... - author?
From: Jock Morris
Date: 24 Jan 01 - 07:21 AM

Old Blind Dogs attribute it to Trad.

Scott


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Subject: RE: snows they melt ... - author?
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 24 Jan 01 - 08:56 PM

It was Doubleday who first published the text of the song, in Blackwoods Magazine (November 1821, page 443).  He was one of the editors of that publication, if I remember correctly, but wrote articles in it under a number of pseudonyms, including, in this case, that of an imaginary local squire, Josiah Shufflebotham, of Gowk's-Hall.  {See various posts above].  This was common practice at the time, for some reason.  Since nobody else has ever found a version in tradition, it was assumed subsequently that he had probably written it himself, to an existing, traditional melody (My Love Is Newly Listed; clearly a variant of the White Cockade tune).  That may indeed be the case, but I still like to think that he really did hear someone sing it, even if he did tart it up a bit for publication.  I'd be absolutely gobsmacked if "The Old Blind Dogs", or almost any other Revival performer were able to add any useful information to what we already have on this thread!  Mind you, I'd be interested in knowing how come Anne Briggs came up with it; so far as I know, she was the first person to sing it in the folk clubs.  All subsequent recordings of the song seem to be based on hers, though some people do seem to have taken the trouble to look out the text as Doubleday gave it.

Malcolm


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Subject: RE: snows they melt ... - author?
From: Stewie
Date: 24 Jan 01 - 11:47 PM

Malcolm, I'd put my money on her having obtained it from A.L. Lloyd. In his essay on Briggs, Harper quotes Carthy as saying that Lloyd gave him the odd song, but that he'd would send 'a load' to Briggs and to the Watersons. Briggs refuted the idea of Lloyd as her 'mentor', but is quoted by Harper as saying: 'But having said that he was tremendously generous in sharing work and his knowledge of songs with me. All he would say is "I've found this song, have a look, see what you think". That was all'.

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: snows they melt ... - author?
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 25 Jan 01 - 01:28 PM

That sounds very likely, and I should have thought of it myself.  Thankyou!

Malcolm


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Subject: RE: snows they melt ... - author?
From: GUEST,RWMixter@aol.com
Date: 31 Jan 01 - 02:47 PM

Blessings on you all! I happened to find this thread in a previously frustrating search for the lyrics to The Snows. Now I have 1821 lyrics and a lot of the kind of information that I enjoy. THank you all. --RWM


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Subject: RE: snows they melt ... - author?
From: Noreen
Date: 31 Jan 01 - 06:32 PM

Great thread indeed, RWM, exactly what the Mudcat is about.

Noreen


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Subject: RE: snows they melt ... - author?
From: wysiwyg
Date: 15 Jul 01 - 11:34 AM

refresh


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Subject: RE: snows they melt ... - author?
From: GUEST,erica
Date: 15 Jul 01 - 12:10 PM

goodness, i'm in the middle of recording this song and was about to start gathering info on it, knowing there was still some controversy. thanks for clearing up the mystery! erica


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Subject: RE: snows they melt ... - author?
From: Noreen
Date: 15 Jul 01 - 03:22 PM

Susan, thanks for refreshing this. It's one of my favourite threads of all.

Noreen


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Subject: RE: snows they melt ... - author?
From: Erica Smith
Date: 16 Oct 01 - 03:19 PM

I'm refreshing this thread because, as my CD project is wrapping up, i'm writing some liner notes (will be posted on my website -- not enough in the budget to print a big CD booklet, alas!). I will be quoting extensively from this thread, especially Malcom's commentary, giving credit to him and the Mudcat. If anyone would like to screen it beforehand, PM me and let me know, I'll send it along. Thanks!!! Erica


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Subject: RE: snows they melt ... - author?
From: DancingMom
Date: 16 Oct 01 - 03:42 PM

This is so interesting, especially for someone like me who is fairly new to searching out the old music. I heard this for the first time on Eliza Carthy's Red Rice. GOOD stuff. Sharon


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Subject: Music for The Snows
From: GUEST,boatbutter@earthlink.net
Date: 07 Jun 02 - 06:39 PM

I would love to play this on guitar. Does anyone know the tuning and the chords? I'd sure appreciate it. Thanks in advance.


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Subject: RE: snows they melt ... - author?
From: Bearheart
Date: 07 Jun 02 - 10:03 PM

Glad this thread came up,as I have been curious about the song for some time. Had learned Dick Gaughan's version some time ago, then Annie Briggs' more recently from the CD discussed earlier-- guys, on the recording I have she does sing the original words-- the query I had been thinking of posting was--whose words were the original ones-- since Gaughan's on Handful of Earth vary on the verse about the stile. But that's the verse she sings, from the original as it reads earlier in this thread. Lots of my questions answered, including the source-- as always I'm grateful to you folks for tracking such things down.

Bekki


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Subject: Okay, This is off the subject...
From: GUEST,Wingfoot-the-Archer
Date: 16 Jun 03 - 02:12 PM

Okay, this is off the subject of Snows They Melt, but, there's just a little thing I found out today: The lyrics to 'Ein Feste Burg' (A Mighty Fortress) have a little mistake. On the fifth line, it says: der alt b Feind.
It's supposed to be: der alt böse Feind.
I just wanted to let everybody know. Because I know the German lyrics by heart, I just had to point that out. ;)

Thanks,
Wingfoot


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Subject: RE: snows they melt ... - author?
From: Access All Areas
Date: 17 Jun 03 - 07:26 AM

Sorry. Can't help. The only thing i know about this song is that Judy Dinning sings it with the band 'Real Time', & also lists it as trad.I can't say it's the best song i've ever heard.
Luv AAA x


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Subject: RE: snows they melt ... - author?
From: GUEST,Vince
Date: 17 Jun 03 - 04:45 PM

Best not trace the author, he/she may have descendants who may want to claim copyrite or royalties - arrrrggghh! Seriously tho folks, tis a grand song and i still have the original vinyl record on topic of Anne Briggs (first solo album she did i think) who does a great version of this 'traditional' song. The sleeve notes stat, 'We owe this to a good pioneer collector of North-eastern song, the radical agitator Thomas Doubleday, who contributed it to Blackwoods magazine as long ago as 1821. He got the melody from a Newcastle street singer'. See also Malcolm Douglas's contribution further up the thread 21/01/01........my this is an old thread......but then so am i.....there's many a tune played on an old thread!

See y'at Saddleworth!!


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Subject: RE: snows they melt ... - author?
From: MMario
Date: 18 Mar 04 - 12:41 PM

Malcolm? You wouldn't happen to have the midi handy, now would you? (It goes to a couple other sets of lyrics I beleive you mentioned?)


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Subject: RE: snows they melt ... - author?
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 18 Mar 04 - 03:02 PM

The Snows they Melt the Soonest - midi from Doubleday's notation (details above). As stated earlier, it's a White Cockade variant, known to Doubleday as My Love is Newly Listed and under that name used by him for his song The Auld Fisher's Last Wish.

I think we might usefully consider the thread closed now.


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Subject: RE: snows they melt ... - author?
From: GUEST,MMario
Date: 18 Mar 04 - 03:13 PM

Thank you Malcolm.


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Subject: RE: snows they melt ... - author?
From: Spot
Date: 18 Mar 04 - 03:19 PM

Hallo everybody..
                  I suggested Bob Fox's version earlier on today but where that message has gone I dont know...I read it 10mins ago and now cant get back to that particular thread!!! Bloody computers!! Anyway its on The Hush CD Dark to the Sky...excellent version...

    regards to all....Spot


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Subject: RE: snows they melt ... - author?
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 18 Mar 04 - 03:25 PM

That was in the other thread, which is a little further down the page just at present. Your computer is not at fault, but you may need new glasses.


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Subject: RE: snows they melt ... - author?
From: Spot
Date: 18 Mar 04 - 03:35 PM

MalcolmD...you never said a truer word re glasses!!! That made me laugh!!! I'm crap at PC's and everything keeps getting lost in blasted pop-up ads... Grrrr!!!Will try and find other one...

    Regards to all....Spot


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Snows They Melt the Soonest
From: GUEST,Tom Draughon
Date: 10 Mar 06 - 07:44 PM

Hey, Just googled "The Snows" and got this thread. I recorded this with my band, "Way Up North" in the mid-90's. I had heard Dick Gaughan's superb rendition and was inspired to give it a try myself. We did it in c minor with a soaring whistle solo part way on. Just resurrecting the song to play with a young woman who has studied Scottish fiddle with Alasdair Fraser and was looking for more background. Found it here! Thanks, Tom Draughon, Heartistry Music, http://www.heartistrymusic.com 720 4th Avenue West, Ashland, WI, 54806 USA 715-682-9362


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Snows They Melt the Soonest
From: GUEST,fynt
Date: 26 Oct 06 - 09:57 AM

That midi is off - well off - bleurgh


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Snows They Melt the Soonest
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 26 Oct 06 - 08:32 PM

The midi is an exact transcription of the notation printed in 1821. If you don't like it, that may be because you have only heard modern arrangements, in which the tune has been slowed down a lot and altered in various other ways. The modern form is well known and did not require transcription; though I suppose it might be a useful exercise at some point, as an illustration of the way in which Revival performers have frequently re-invented (and sometimes mis-represented) their sources.

Once you learn a bit more about the subject, you'll understand that point.


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Snows They Melt the Soonest
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 22 Sep 08 - 07:25 PM

A snatch of the song with the tune we all know appeared in Episode 2 of "Tess Of The D'Urbervilles" last night, sung by the farmer and his milkmaids.


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Snows They Melt the Soonest
From: GUEST,Volgadon
Date: 23 Sep 08 - 07:23 AM

Interesting MIDI, I think we can credit Briggs with reinventing the mood.


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Snows They Melt the Soonest
From: My guru always said
Date: 23 Sep 08 - 12:34 PM

I was gobsmacked when I heard them singing this to the cows on Tess! I've only just learnt it & started singing it out, it's a beautiful song!


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Snows They Melt the Soonest
From: The Sandman
Date: 23 Sep 08 - 01:10 PM

Subject: RE: Origins: The Snows They Melt the Soonest
From: Malcolm Douglas - PM
Date: 26 Oct 06 - 08:32 PM

The midi is an exact transcription of the notation printed in 1821. If you don't like it, that may be because you have only heard modern arrangements, in which the tune has been slowed down a lot and altered in various other ways. The modern form is well known and did not require transcription; though I suppose it might be a useful exercise at some point, as an illustration of the way in which Revival performers have frequently re-invented (and sometimes mis-represented) their sources.

Once you learn a bit more about the subject, you'll understand that point.
Malcolm ,and on occasions improved upon the source singers versions,of course, a subjective opinion.
there is no reason why anyone should sing the 1821 version.old is not necessarily the best.


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Snows They Melt the Soonest
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 23 Sep 08 - 08:00 PM

I didn't suggest that it was. I merely pointed out that it wasn't 'well off', as the blow-in poster thought (having evidently not read much of the discussion before adding to it), but was an accurate transcription from the original source. You seem to have misunderstood what I wrote, despite quoting it in full (though without a line break to separate your own comment). I have, and expressed, no opinion (subjective or otherwise) as to whether or not the modern adaptation is 'better' -that is the sort of thing you go in for. It does involve, as 'Volgadon' noted, a significant change of mood; so it is useful to note that.

I wonder why the producers of the Hardy adaptation shoe-horned it in, though. There are any number of fine songs that we know were sung in Wessex at the period in which 'Tess' was set, and many of these Hardy himself refers to in his books. Not only is there no evidence that 'The Snows' was ever known there, there's no particular reason to think that it was sung anywhere at all until it began to be reprinted in collections of Northeastern music; all after 'Tess' was written, incidentally.

It's another example, I fear, of the shoddy research that is so often evident when folk song is included in television drama. A great deal of effort and expense is put into ensuring that costume and other detail is accurate, and in this production reasonable care seems to have gone into seeing that the dance music was appropriate. A pity, then, that they have lapsed into crass anachronism in this case. The tune (Briggs' 1960s form of it) made a nice effect at the closing credits, but with a little effort something that Tess (or Hardy) might actually have known could have been used with equal effect.

Further comment on that side of things might usefully be made in the discussion Tess of the D'Urbervilles.


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Snows They Melt the Soonest
From: GUEST,GUESTAndrew
Date: 03 Dec 08 - 05:22 PM

Great thread. The reason I checked this thread was because of a comment that kept popping up when I searched for the words on Google, which didn't seem probable. The source of the comment seems to be from Daniel Renbourn's YouTube video of the song:

"DanielRenbourn
July 30, 2007
According to John Stokoe in Songs and Ballads of Northern England, This melody was picked up from a street singer in Scotland in 1821."

The video is at:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eUygekEd3DI
It's interesting, because the singer tells a little story before the song starts about the song being sung in a Scottish kitchen before finding its way to England.

Any ideas?

Cheers,
Andrew


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Snows They Melt the Soonest
From: Fergie
Date: 28 Apr 09 - 01:02 PM

Hi

In earlier posts to this thread our good friend and deeply missed Mudcatter, the late Malcolm Douglas made reference to an article in Blackwood's Magazine. This article is now available online and I am taking the liberty of inserting a link to it here

The Snows They Melt the Soonest


Fergus


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Snows They Melt the Soonest
From: BobKnight
Date: 26 Jul 09 - 08:25 PM

"Gowk's-Hall?" In Scots, a "gowk" is a stupid person. :)


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Snows They Melt the Soonest
From: Effsee
Date: 26 Jul 09 - 11:13 PM

Bob ,another Scots definition of a "gowk" is a cuckoo.


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Snows They Melt the Soonest
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 27 Jul 09 - 12:07 PM

It also is typical of humour in Blackwood's.


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Snows They Melt the Soonest
From: GUEST,meriel
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 10:14 AM

God help us, Sting's recorded The Snows... now. Aaarrrghh!


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Snows They Melt the Soonest
From: Maryrrf
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 02:13 PM

So has anybody heard Sting's version yet?


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Snows They Melt the Soonest
From: Mr Fox
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 02:16 PM

So has anybody heard Sting's version yet?

Yep. It is projectile vomit-inducingly awful. He understands the tradition about as much as a stunned woodlouse.

Horslip's version is my favourite.


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Snows They Melt the Soonest
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 02:38 PM

googled, downloaded and listened..

voice aint too bad, at least Sting sings with a 'genuine'regional accent...

the guitar gets trite and irritating, I started getting bored before half way,
then the bollox 'sophisticated jazz' part totally shafts the 2nd half.

well.. I'd wanted to give it the benefit of the doubt.


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Snows They Melt the Soonest
From: Reinhard
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 03:06 PM

Last Friday and Saturday I heard two wonderful unaccompanied renditions of The Snows They Melt the Soonest by Dutch singer Linde Nijland. She said in her introduction that she learned it from Dick Gaughan's singing.


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Snows They Melt the Soonest
From: Maryrrf
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 03:14 PM

I listened to a snippet on Amazon.com - not impressed.


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Snows They Melt the Soonest
From: Reinhard
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 06:18 PM

Maryrrf: Your comment might be ambiguous. I'm sure you are referring to Sting not Linde as her version isn't on Amazon.


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Snows They Melt the Soonest
From: Maryrrf
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 07:39 PM

Sorry about the confusion. Yes I was talking about the Sting version. I had not heard of Linde but pulled up some clips of her singing and she has a lovely voice - I'm sure she would do a wonderful version of "The Snows They Melt The Soonest"


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Snows They Melt the Soonest
From: Maryrrf
Date: 05 Nov 09 - 05:01 PM

My version of "The Snows" is now on my MySpace page: http://www.myspace.com/maryfsmith

Oh and if any 'catters would like to by my friend on Myspace please 'friend me!


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Snows They Melt the Soonest
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 17 Dec 09 - 08:11 AM

"Subject: RE: snows they melt ... - author?
From: Malcolm Douglas - PM
Date: 18 Mar 04 - 03:02 PM

The Snows they Melt the Soonest - midi from Doubleday's notation (details above). As stated earlier, it's a White Cockade variant, known to Doubleday as My Love is Newly Listed and under that name used by him for his song The Auld Fisher's Last Wish."

***

I can't read music yet.. But I'd love to hear the original tune for this song! The midi linked to however, is now dead.


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Snows They Melt the Soonest
From: Jack Campin
Date: 17 Feb 10 - 08:02 AM

The tune for "My Love Is Newly Listed" is in the Northumbrian Minstrelsy, and I have ABCs for the whole book on my website:

http://www.campin.me.uk/Music/BruceStokoe.abc

You know what to do with ABCs, I guess?


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Snows They Melt the Soonest
From: JHW
Date: 17 Feb 10 - 05:03 PM

Maryrrf   Thanks for your gentle version on myspace. You've done the same as myself in transposing the two middle verses. I'd always had difficulty remembering which verse came next but after the swap it flows easily. John


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Snows They Melt the Soonest
From: GUEST,TJ in San Diego
Date: 18 Feb 10 - 12:05 PM

If ever you've visited German or Alsatian wine country in winter, you quickly learn that the snows they melt the soonest over the best vineyards. I'd drink to that.


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Snows They Melt the Soonest
From: GUEST,PLEASE help
Date: 14 Jul 10 - 04:36 PM

Hello --

I've read all the comments on this page, very interesting!

I fell in love with this song when I heard it on a haunting remake of Thomas Hardy's "Tess of the D'Urbevilles" and can't get it out of my mind since.

I'm a young female musician and have worked on a beautiful version that I would love to share but does anyone know if this song is considered Public Domain? I'm just a young starving artist :) trying to make my way and I fear that if I put my version on the internet or sample it in a song I could be sued. I assume it is P.D. but my lack of expertise in this area leaves me stumped.

Thank you SOO much for reading this -- please, if you do know send me an email at indivualiste@comcast.net -- once again, THANK YOU!

PEACE
LOVE
&
LIGHT


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Snows They Melt the Soonest
From: Jack Campin
Date: 14 Jul 10 - 05:07 PM

Words and music both published in the early 19th century. It's as public domain as a song can get.

On the other hand, your arrangement is yours alone. Your worry is not that you might be sued but that you might need to sue somebody, if a Paul Simon gets hold of it.


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Snows They Melt the Soonest
From: GUEST,julius cäsar
Date: 14 Oct 10 - 04:15 AM

there is another version from a nordfrisian band, dragseth duo, see this page:http://www.atelier-knortz.de/folkmusik.html
they have also added their version as mp3 download. I like their version better than stings, seems more original to me, but I managed only to hear those and one of a woman, she bit changed the lines. she has a beautiful voice, cara dillon her name


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Snows They Melt the Soonest
From: GUEST,Mel Pitts
Date: 21 Mar 15 - 11:52 AM

Does anyone know the tuning that Dick Gaughan used on his recording of The Snows They Melt The Soonest?


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Snows They Melt the Soonest
From: GUEST,Dave
Date: 21 Mar 15 - 02:51 PM

Really excellent thread, and the fact that it has recently been bumped up has alerted me to the superb Linde Nijland. Never heard of her before, but she is really, really good.


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