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Lyr Req: The Lake of Coolfin

DigiTrad:
THE LAKES OF COL FIN
THE LAKES OF COL FLYNN


Related threads:
(origins) History of Lake of Coolfin (Col Fin) (15)
(origins) Deep and false water... (22)
Lyr Req: The Lakes of Coolfin (5) (closed)


GUEST,Jim Lucey 29 Jan 04 - 05:49 PM
Barb'ry 29 Jan 04 - 06:26 PM
Snuffy 29 Jan 04 - 08:02 PM
Malcolm Douglas 29 Jan 04 - 08:06 PM
Malcolm Douglas 29 Jan 04 - 08:07 PM
Joe Offer 29 Jan 04 - 08:24 PM
pavane 30 Jan 04 - 10:21 AM
GUEST,jbc446@yahoo.com 31 Jul 05 - 09:24 PM
Peace 31 Jul 05 - 09:44 PM
Paul Burke 01 Aug 05 - 04:56 AM
GUEST,jim lucey 27 Nov 07 - 07:58 PM
Shaneo 28 Nov 07 - 08:16 AM
GUEST,John Kelly 28 Nov 07 - 06:02 PM
theleveller 29 Nov 07 - 03:19 AM
harpmolly 29 Nov 07 - 03:32 AM
treewind 29 Nov 07 - 05:24 PM
treewind 29 Nov 07 - 05:27 PM
Anne Lister 30 Nov 07 - 02:37 AM
Mikefule 30 Nov 07 - 04:46 PM
Declan 30 Nov 07 - 08:31 PM
Jim Dixon 02 Dec 07 - 01:47 AM
GUEST,unkown person 34 23 Oct 09 - 06:33 PM
Paul Burke 23 Oct 09 - 06:39 PM
Young Buchan 23 Oct 09 - 08:51 PM
Jim Dixon 25 Oct 09 - 11:53 PM
meself 26 Oct 09 - 01:52 AM
meself 26 Oct 09 - 11:50 AM
Tattie Bogle 04 Jan 11 - 03:32 PM
Jim Dixon 05 Jan 11 - 08:31 PM
Jim Carroll 06 Jan 11 - 04:55 AM
Dave Sutherland 23 Nov 18 - 04:26 AM
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Subject: Lyr Req: Tha lake of coolfinn
From: GUEST,Jim Lucey
Date: 29 Jan 04 - 05:49 PM

Does anyone have the lyrics for 'The Lake of Coolfinn'
Dodgy spelling I know, It begins as follows;

Twas early one morning young Willy arose
and up to his comrade's bedchamber he goes
saying arise now dear comrade and let no one know
'tis a fine and pleasant morning and a bathing we'll go.

Any help appreciated.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Tha lake of coolfinn
From: Barb'ry
Date: 29 Jan 04 - 06:26 PM

It is in threads - one by snuffy, called the lake of Cool Fin - can't do blue clicky things yet, sorry. I found it by looking up Willie Leonard on DT and going to the related threads below. Good song, isn't it.
B


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Tha lake of coolfinn
From: Snuffy
Date: 29 Jan 04 - 08:02 PM

If you look in this thread Lyr Add: Lake of Coolfin you will find lots of information, plus links to several other threads and two entries in the Digital Tradition.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Tha lake of coolfinn
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 29 Jan 04 - 08:06 PM

See in particular thread Lyr/Tune Add: THE LAKE OF COOLFIN, where there are lists of links to other examples.

When searching for a song by title, you will miss a lot unless you remember to try variant forms and spellings; particularly messy in the case of songs like this. Far better to search by a characteristic short phrase; willie leonard, as Barbry suggests, will do the job.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Tha lake of coolfinn
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 29 Jan 04 - 08:07 PM

Great minds think alike, eh.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Tha lake of coolfinn
From: Joe Offer
Date: 29 Jan 04 - 08:24 PM

I consolidated and crosslinked threads and thread titles, so the thread Malcolm and Snuffy refer to is called History of Lake of Coolfin (Col Fin). The one called Deep and False Water has some interesting information, too.

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The lake of coolfinn
From: pavane
Date: 30 Jan 04 - 10:21 AM

Also know as the Lakes of ?Shylin (Phonetic spelling as I haven't seen it written)

(Was sung on BBC radio by Nic Jones, but not sure if he ever recorded it.)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The lake of coolfinn
From: GUEST,jbc446@yahoo.com
Date: 31 Jul 05 - 09:24 PM

Where can I find the shet music to Lakes of coolfin


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The lake of coolfinn
From: Peace
Date: 31 Jul 05 - 09:44 PM

Google this.

Folk Songs from Digital Tradition - free sheet music on 8notes.com

Look for The Lakes of Col Flynn.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The lake of coolfinn
From: Paul Burke
Date: 01 Aug 05 - 04:56 AM

If you want an alternative tune for 'Lake of Coolfin', especially if you are doing a guitar accompaniment with it, try 'The Poacher's fate' (aka 'Young Johnson'), as sung by Dave Burland.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The lake of coolfinn
From: GUEST,jim lucey
Date: 27 Nov 07 - 07:58 PM

seems there's more than one of us


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The lake of coolfinn
From: Shaneo
Date: 28 Nov 07 - 08:16 AM

I recently added The Lakes Of Coolfin to my site which has the guitar chords here

I also uploaded a version by Charlie And The Bhoys singing it to youtube, [not the best version I ever heard]


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE LAKE OF COOLFIN
From: GUEST,John Kelly
Date: 28 Nov 07 - 06:02 PM

For what it's worth, here'as the version I sing, which is largely similar to the version contributed by Snuffy, except for the last verse. I got it in about 1972 from my partner in The Wakes, Tom Brown (who is lurking around the Cafe somewhere under an alias). He got the song from the late Paddy Doody, but I don't know where Paddy got it.

It was early one morning young Willy arose
And straightway to his comrade's bedchamber he goes,
Saying "arise me bold comrade, and let no-one know -
'Tis a fine summer's morning, and a-bathing we'll go".

To the Lake of Coolfin the companions soon came,
And the first that they met was the keeper of game;
"Oh,go back Willy Leonard, do not venture in
For there's deep and false water in the Lake of Coolfin!".

Young Willy plunged in and he swam the lake round,
Till he came to an island, 'twas soft marshy ground;
"Oh, go back me bold comrade, do not venture in,
For there's deep and false water in the Lake a of Coolfin!".

It was early next morning his sister arose
And straightway to her mother's bedchamber she goes;
"Oh, I dreamed a sad dream about Willy last night;
He was dressed in a shroud - in a shroud of snow white".

And late in the morning, his mother came there;
She was ringing her hands, she was tearing her hair;
"Oh, woeful the hour young Willy plunged in
For there's deep and false water in the Lake of Coolfin!".

And I spied a fair maid standing fast by the shore;
Her face it was pale - she was weeping full sore;
In dewep anguish she gazed at where Will plunged in -
"Ah, there's deep and false water in the Lake of Coolfin!".

I think I've got one or two other versions in books, but the books aren't in the same house as the computer. If I find anything worth adding, I'll get back to you. J.K.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The lake of coolfinn
From: theleveller
Date: 29 Nov 07 - 03:19 AM

Martin Simpson does an excellent version called The Lakes of Champlain on his Pordigal Son CD.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The lake of coolfinn
From: harpmolly
Date: 29 Nov 07 - 03:32 AM

Niamh Parsons does a particularly lovely version on "In My Prime", too. Very sad. *sniffle*


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The lake of coolfinn
From: treewind
Date: 29 Nov 07 - 05:24 PM

When Mary was going through stuff from the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library she found a song collected by Ralph Vaughan Williams in Cambridge, with the title shown clearly enough, despite his bad handwriting as "Lakes of Old Fen". There weren't any other words (typical of RVW) words but the tune fits perfectly with the words from other versions of lakes of Cool Fin, and of course we've changed it to "Old Fen" throughout.

Chris Coe has recorded a nice version of the song on her solo album "A Wiser Fool".

Anahata


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The lake of coolfinn
From: treewind
Date: 29 Nov 07 - 05:27 PM

...sorry, just to clarify: Chris Coe's version is NOT the Cambridge "Old Fen" song I mentioned in the rest of that post.

We'll be recording the Cambridge version some time next year.

A.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The lake of coolfinn
From: Anne Lister
Date: 30 Nov 07 - 02:37 AM

The Oyster Band did a very good version, too ....some years back, though.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The lake of coolfinn
From: Mikefule
Date: 30 Nov 07 - 04:46 PM

Well blow me! Never heard the song until two nights ago, and then I find this thread.

Tony Rose did a Lakes of Shilin which is pretty much the same story and clearly a variation on the same theme. If that's any good, I can track down more details.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The lake of coolfinn
From: Declan
Date: 30 Nov 07 - 08:31 PM

Lots of variants on the title Lakes of Coolfin, Inchiquin, of Shoolin. Suggesstions to search on Willie Leonard ane ok but in some versions its Willie Lennox or just young Willie. A phrase like "Let no one know" might be a better thing to search on. I haven't tried this yet, so I'm just guessing.


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE LAKE OF COOLFIN
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 02 Dec 07 - 01:47 AM

From Popular British Ballads, Ancient and Modern by Reginald Brimley Johnson, 1894:

THE LAKE OF COOLFIN

To the Lake of Coolfin the companions soon came,
And the first man they met was the keeper of game:—
"Turn back, Willy Leonard, return back again;
There is deep and false water in the Lake of Coolfin!"

Young Willy plunged in, and he swam the lake round;
He swam to an island—-'twas soft marshy ground:
"O, comrade, dear comrade, do not venture in;
There is deep and false water in the Lake of Coolfin!"

'Twas early that morning his sister arose;
And up to her mother's bed-chamber she goes:—
"O, I dreamed a sad dream about Willy last night;
He was dressed in a shroud—in a shroud of snow-white!"

'Twas early that morning his mother came there;
She was wringing her hands—she was tearing her hair.
O, woful the hour your dear Willy plunged in:—
There is deep and false water in the Lake of Coolfin!

And I saw a fair maid, standing fast by the shore;
Her face it was pale—she was weeping full sore;
In deep anguish she gazed where young Willy plunged in:—
Ah! there's deep and false water in the Lake of Coolfin!

Old Ballad. Recomposed by P. W. JOYCE.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Lake of Coolfinn
From: GUEST,unkown person 34
Date: 23 Oct 09 - 06:33 PM

Who sings this song?

heya


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Lake of Coolfinn
From: Paul Burke
Date: 23 Oct 09 - 06:39 PM

Lots of us!

Oh, you meant somebody famous?


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE LAKES OF KILLIN
From: Young Buchan
Date: 23 Oct 09 - 08:51 PM

I've had a look at the versions in the DT and one element which I haven't seen in those quoted, but which certainly exists in some versions, is the portent of death in the form of the vision of a coffin in the lake.

It was early one morning Bill Leonard arose,
And straight to his comrades' bedchamber he goes,
Crying,"Rise up my comrades, and let nobody know.
It's a fine summer's morning, and a-bathing we'll go".

They walked and they walked till they came to a lane
And the first one they met was the keeper of game.
He said, "Go back, young fellows, do not venture in,
For I've seen a black coffin in the Lakes of Killin."

Bill Leonard stripped off and he swam all around;
He swam to an island of soft, mossy ground.
"Oh comrades, my comrades, do not venture in
For the waters are false in the Lakes of Killin."

He leapt from the island to swim back around
And he swam and he swam but he never made ground.
"Oh comrades, my comrades, don't follow me in,
For the coffin was mine in the Lakes of Killin."

It was later that morning his father came there
And rode [or rowed?] round the island like a man in despair.
"Oh where was he drownded, where did he fall in?
My curse on the waters of the Lakes of Killin."

It was later that morning his mother came there
A-wringing her hands and a-tearing her hair.
"Oh why was he drownded? Was nobody nigh
That would venture their life for my darling young boy?"

The day of his funeral, it was a grand sight;
There were four and twenty young girls and all dressed in white.
The guns they did sound and the trumpets did play.
They bade adieu to Bill Leonard and went on their way.

So come all you young fellows and listen to me:
Though you be as young, strong and handsome as he,
Beware of Bill Leonard and don't venture in
To the dark silent waters of the Lakes of Killin.


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE LAKES OF COLD FINN
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 25 Oct 09 - 11:53 PM

Here's another version, from Irish Come-All-Ye's: A Repository of Ancient Irish Songs and Ballads, compiled and arranged by Manus O'Conor (New York: L. Lipkind, 1901), page 15:


THE LAKES OF COLD FINN.

It was early one morning young William had rose,
Straightway to his comrades' bed-chamber he goes,
Saying: Comrades, royal comrades, let nobody know,
For it's a fine morning and a-bathing we'll go.

So they walked right along till they came to Long Lane,
And the first that they met was the keeper of the game;
He advised them for sorrow to turn back again,
For their doom was to die on a watery main.

So young William stepped off and swam the lake 'round,
He swam 'round the island, but not the right ground,
Saying: Comrades, royal comrades, don't you venture in,
For there's depth in false water, in the lakes of Cold Finn.

'Twas next morning, next morning, when his sister had arose,
She straightway to her mother's bed-chamber she did go,
Saying: Mother, dear mother, I had a sad dream,
That young William was floating on a watery stream.

It was early one morning when his mother went there,
She had rings on every finger and was tearing her hair,
Crying: Murder! oh, murder! was there nobody by
That would venture their life for my fine darling boy?

So it was early one morning when his uncle went there,
He rode 'round the island like one in despair,
Saying: Where was he drowned, or did he fall in?
For there's depth in false water, in the lakes of Cold Finn.


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE LAKE OF ALL FAME
From: meself
Date: 26 Oct 09 - 01:52 AM

Here's a version of this anti-swimming song that I learned many years ago from Metis singer and song-writer George Anderson, of Reedy Creek, Manitoba. He had learned it from an uncle.

I may have altered a word or two over the years, but I'm sure it's very close to the way I learned it. I heard the name of the lake as "All Fame", but that may not have been exactly what George was saying.

It's curious, some of the details that inexplicably appear and disappear in the various versions, and the way the rhymes change ....

THE LAKE OF ALL FAME

It was early one morning, young William arose,
And it's off to his friend's, to his comrade he goes,
Saying Royal, dearest Royal, let nobody know,
It is a fine morning, and a-bathing we'll go.

They both jogged along till they came to the long line,
The first one they met with was the keeper of time;
He kindly advised them to return home again,
For a-bathing is a-dying on the Lake of All Fame.

They both jogged along till they came to the brim,
Young Willie undressed, was the first to go in,
Crying, 'Comrade, dearest comrade, I am growing weak',
Those were the last words young Willie did speak.

It was early that morning, his uncle came there,
He ran 'round the lake like a man in despair,
Crying, 'Where did Willie fall in? Oh, where did he drown,
In the cold, stormy waters of the Lake of All Fame?'

It was later that morning, his mother came there,
She was wringing her hands, and tearing her hair,
Crying, 'Murder, yes, murder, is there anyone here,
Who will answer to swim for my own Willie dear?'

On the day of his funeral, it was sad sight,
There were twenty-four young man all dressed up in white;
They carried him, and they laid him in the cold silent clay,
'Here's adieu, Willie Leonard', and they all marched away.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Lake of Coolfinn
From: meself
Date: 26 Oct 09 - 11:50 AM

An error in the above, the second line should be:

And it's off to his friend's, to the timber he goes,


Mudelf?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Lake of Coolfinn
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 04 Jan 11 - 03:32 PM

Lovely version by Johnny Coppin: haven't yet checked against all these various sets of words to see which of them he sings.


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE LAKE OF SHEE-LYN
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 05 Jan 11 - 08:31 PM

Here's another version I found embedded in what appears to be a work of fiction: The Dead-Watchers, and Other Folk-Lore Tales of Westmeath by Patrick Bardan (Mullingar: Patrick Bardan, 1891), page 44:


Early, early one morning Willie Leonard arose,
And straight to his comrade's bed-chamber he goes,
Saying "Arise, loyal comrade, let nobody know,
The morning is fine, and a-bathing we'll go."

They walked down along till they came to a lane
Where they were o'ertaken by the keeper of game,
Who said "Turn back, boys, and don't venture in,
For there's death and cold water in the lake of Shee-lyn!"

Willie stripped off his clothes and he swam the lake round.
He swam towards the island, but ne'er reached dry ground.
He said "Loyal comrade, I feel very weak,"
And these were the last words young Willie did speak.

Early, early next morning his sister arose,
And quick to her mother's bed-chamber she goes,
Saying "Mother, I have had a most sorrowful dream—
Willie's corpse is afloat on Shee-lyn's parting stream!"

* * *

On the day of the funeral it was a grand sight
To see four-and-twenty young men all banded in white.
They carried him on their shoulders, and they laid him in the clay;
Then "Adieu, Willie Leonard," and all marched away.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Lake of Coolfinn
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 06 Jan 11 - 04:55 AM

Phillips Barry's note to the Vermont version collected by Helen Harness Flanders from New Green Mountain Songster.
An example of an over-imaginative acedemic turning one of the most beautiful ballads of domestic tragedy in the tradition, into mystical nonsense - while displaying a contempt for the tradition and its singers,
Jim Carroll

FROM Lilith, the wild woman of perilous love, and Morgain la Fee, to the mood: a street ballad about one of the many Irish youths who have lost their lives in fresh water, is a long leap. But "The Lakes of Col Fin" takes it. Irish singers understand the lore of the ballad perfectly: Willie was not "drowned"; he was taken away to Tir fa Tonn, "Fairyland-under-wave," by a water woman who had fallen in love with him. Legends of similar content are frequent in Middle Irish literature and have survived into modern popular tradition. We may compare Motherwell's, "The Mermayden," whose "bower is biggit o' the gude ships' keels, and the banes o': the drowned at sea"—a grim picture of the supernatural woman's cruelty in love, which the poet nicely caught—and Leyden's "The Mermaid of Corrievrekan," with a happy ending wrought by a clever hero who inveigles the mermaid into taking him back to bid farewell to his former love, "the maid of Colonsay." Both poems were based on local traditions and legends.
Popular tradition, however, does not mean popular origin. In the case of our ballad, the underlying folklore is Irish de facto, but not de iure: the ballad is of Oriental and literary origin, and has sunk to the level of the "folk" which has the keeping of folklore. To put it in a single phrase, memory not invention, is the function of the folk.
"The Lakes of Col Fin" was first printed by Dr. P. W. Joyce in 1872, in a version, with the air, obtained from a County Limerick singer. A full history of the ballad and of the folk tradition pertaining to it is in FSSNE, Bulletin No. 8, pp. 9— 12.
Mrs. Flanders met this ballad as "The Lakes of Champlain" while talking about old songs with Mrs. Herbert Haley of Cuttingsville, Vermont. Mrs. Haley sang the words to the tune of "The Dying Cowboy" and had been told that the drowned boy was "Willie Lanard," well known to the person who gave her the song.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Lake of Coolfin
From: Dave Sutherland
Date: 23 Nov 18 - 04:26 AM

Seriously late to this thread but Nic Jones did record the song on his "From the Devil to a Stranger" LP. A good rendition on the album but live I always though it to be the best thing he ever did.


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