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Lyr Req: The Elfin Knight (from Mary O'Hara, #2)

Roberto 16 Jul 05 - 12:56 PM
Megan L 16 Jul 05 - 01:06 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 16 Jul 05 - 02:13 PM
Roberto 16 Jul 05 - 02:32 PM
Bill D 16 Jul 05 - 05:26 PM
Roberto 17 Jul 05 - 03:54 AM
GUEST,Bob Coltman 17 Jul 05 - 11:09 AM
Bill D 17 Jul 05 - 11:54 AM
Bill D 17 Jul 05 - 12:17 PM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 17 Jul 05 - 12:51 PM
Malcolm Douglas 17 Jul 05 - 08:22 PM
Roberto 18 Jul 05 - 09:21 AM
Lighter 18 Jul 05 - 11:22 AM
Bill D 18 Jul 05 - 11:50 AM
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Subject: Lyr Req: Mary O'Hara's The Elfin Knight #2
From: Roberto
Date: 16 Jul 05 - 12:56 PM

The ballad is Child n2. It seems the version is basically the one from the singing of Alexander Robb, Aberdeenshire, 1908, also recorded by Ewan MacColl. The main problem is with the 12th stanza. Please, help. THanks. R

The Elfin Knight
Mary O'Hara, Mary O'Hara's Scotland, C-Five Records C5CD 576

There stands three trumpeters on yon hill
Blaw, blaw, blaw winds, blaw
Blaw their trumpets sae loud and shrill
And the wind blaws aye my plaid awa'

Gin I'd his trumpet in my kist
Blaw, blaw, blaw winds, blaw
And were in the lad's arms that I like best
And the wind blaws aye my plaid awa'

Gin ye would be wed wi' me
Blaw, blaw, blaw winds, blaw
There's ae thing ye maun dae for me
And the wind blaws aye my plaid awa'

I maun hae a fine linen sark
Blaw, blaw, blaw winds, blaw
Without a stitch o' needlewark
And the wind blaws aye my plaid awa'

Ye maun wash it in yon draw-well
Blaw, blaw, blaw winds, blaw
Where water never sprang nor fell
And the wind blaws aye my plaid awa'

Ye maun drt't on yon hawthorn
Blaw, blaw, blaw winds, blaw
That hasna seen blossom since man was born
And the wind blaws aye my plaid awa'

Gin I mak'a sark for thee
Blaw, blaw, blaw winds, blaw
There's ae thing ye maun tae me dae
And the wind blaws aye my plaid awa'

My faither has an acre o' land
Blaw, blaw, blaw winds, blaw
Ye maun ploo it wi' your ae hand
And the wind blaws aye my plaid awa'

Ye maun sow it wantin' corn
Blaw, blaw, blaw winds, blaw
And roll it wi' a sheep's shank-bone
And the wind blaws aye my plaid awa'

Ye maun shear it wi' a scythe o' leather
Blaw, blaw, blaw winds, blaw
And bind it wi' a peacock's feather
And the wind blaws aye my plaid awa'

Ye maun stook it in the sea
Blaw, blaw, blaw winds, blaw
And bring the whaetsheaf dry tae me
And the wind blaws aye my plaid awa'

Ye maun winny't in your ? (sounds like "leaf")
Blaw, blaw, blaw winds, blaw
And ? (sounds like "stak") it on your richt-hand ? (sounds like "weaf")
And the wind blaws aye my plaid awa'

And gin you wark noo all this wark
Blaw, blaw, blaw winds, blaw
Come to me and you'll get your sark
And the wind blaws aye my plaid awa'


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Mary O'Hara's The Elfin Knight #2
From: Megan L
Date: 16 Jul 05 - 01:06 PM

Roberto the DT has that verse as

'And thou must winnow it in thy looff,
And also seek it in thy glove.
For thou must bring it over the sea,
And thou must bring it dry home to me.

if you want to compare several versions go to
here


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Mary O'Hara's The Elfin Knight #2
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 16 Jul 05 - 02:13 PM

Robb verse, "The Laird o' Elfin":
10.
And ye maun winny't in your nieves
Ba-ba-ba leelie ba
And ye maun seek it in your gloves
And the wind blaws aye my plaid awa.
11.
And ye maun stook it on the sea
Ba-ba-ba leelie ba
And a dry sheaf ye maun bring to me
And the wind blaws ate my plaid awa.

From Bronson, pp. 7-8.

Quite different from the McColl-Peggy Seeger version posted by Stewie in thread 55899: The Elfin Knight


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Mary O'Hara's The Elfin Knight #2
From: Roberto
Date: 16 Jul 05 - 02:32 PM

The MacColl-Seeger recording you mention (through Stewie) is not a version of The Elfin Knight, but a different song. Ewan MacColl recorded the Elfin Knight we are talking about on Classic Scots Ballads (Tradition) and on his Folkways three-lps anthology of Child Ballads. The Mary O'Hara recording is almost the same as MacColl's, with slight differencies. Tha stanza I can't get is not in the MacColl's set, nor in Grieg. The version in Grieg was from Alexander Robb, Aberdeenshire, 1908 (The Laird o' Elfin). If a Scots speaking person is willing to help me, I could make him hear the part I can't get through a file. R

The Elfin Knight
Ewan MacColl, Classic Scots Ballads, Tradition TCD 1051 (recorded 1959; original release: TLP 1015). Learned from Gavin Grieg's Last Leaves of Traditional Ballads and Ballad Airs, 1925.

There stands three trumpeters on yon hill
Blaw, blaw, blaw winds, blaw
And they blaw their trumpets sae loud and shrill
And the wind it blaws my plaid awa'

Gin I'd his trumpet in my kist
Blaw, blaw, blaw winds, blaw
And was in the lad's arms that I like best
And the wind it blaws my plaid awa'

Gin ye would be wed wi' me
Blaw, blaw, blaw winds, blaw
There's ae thing ye maun dae for me
And the wind it blaws my plaid awa'

Ye maun mak' me a linen sark
Blaw, blaw, blaw winds, blaw
Without a stitch o' needlewark
And the wind it blaws my plaid awa'

Ye maun wash it in yon draw-well
Blaw, blaw, blaw winds, blaw
Where water never sprang or fell
And the wind it blaws my plaid awa'

Ye maun drt't on yon hawthorn
Blaw, blaw, blaw winds, blaw
That hasna seen blossom since man was born
And the wind it blaws my plaid awa'

And gin I mak'a sark for thee
Blaw, blaw, blaw winds, blaw
There's ae thing ye maun dae for me
And the wind it blaws my plaid awa'

My faither has an acre o' land
Blaw, blaw, blaw winds, blaw
Ye maun plough it wi' you ae hand
And the wind it blaws my plaid awa'

Ye maun sow it wantin' corn
Blaw, blaw, blaw winds, blaw
And roll it wi' a sheep's shank-bone
And the wind it blaws my plaid awa'

Ye maun shear it wi' a scythe o' leather
Blaw, blaw, blaw winds, blaw
And bind it wi' a peacock's feather
And the wind it blaws my plaid awa'

Ye maun stook it in the sea
Blaw, blaw, blaw winds, blaw
And bring the whaetsheaf dry to me
And the wind it blaws my plaid awa'

And gin ye wark noo all this wark
Blaw, blaw, blaw winds, blaw
Come to me and you'll get your sark
And the wind it blaws my plaid awa'


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Mary O'Hara's The Elfin Knight #2
From: Bill D
Date: 16 Jul 05 - 05:26 PM

"Ye maun winny't in your ? (sounds like "leaf")

"loof" or "luif" which a book I have defines as "open hand"

'stak', I think, is 'sack' (word used in several versions)
the other word used in combination with 'loof/luif' is glove...but listening to Mary O'Hara, it doesn't sound like 'gloof', does it?

the closest I see are the versions that say either:

"Ye maun thresh 't atween your lufes,
And ye maun sack it atween your theis" (thighs)
or

"And ye maun sack it in your gluve
And ye maun winno't in your leuve"

I guess it was not always understood even BY Scottish speakers....and since ALL the 'suggestions' were impossible, I suppose any silly combination makes sense, hmmm?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Mary O'Hara's The Elfin Knight #2
From: Roberto
Date: 17 Jul 05 - 03:54 AM

Thank you all. Now, I think this could be the transcription of the 12th stanza:

Ye maun winny 't in your luif
Blaw, blaw, blaw winds, blaw
And stak it on your richt-hand gluf
And the wind blaws aye my plaid awa'

R


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Mary O'Hara's The Elfin Knight #2
From: GUEST,Bob Coltman
Date: 17 Jul 05 - 11:09 AM

Would anyone be willing to post an ABC or midi of the Mary O'Hara (and presumably Robb) melody?

Thanks! Bob


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Mary O'Hara's The Elfin Knight #2
From: Bill D
Date: 17 Jul 05 - 11:54 AM

yes Bob, I will put up an MP3 of Mary O' Hara, so you can hear the details...hold on


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Mary O'Hara's The Elfin Knight #2
From: Bill D
Date: 17 Jul 05 - 12:17 PM

ok, here is Mary O'Hara singing "The Elfin Knight..(I'll leave it up 'awhile', but not forever)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Mary O'Hara's The Elfin Knight #2
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 17 Jul 05 - 12:51 PM

From Bill's mp3 here are some changes. Some are just putting in Scots words she sings to align with your other use of them, a few are substantive changes.

Mick




There stands three trumpeters on yon hill
Blaw, blaw, blaw winds, blaw
Blaws their trumpets baith loud and shrill
And the wind blaws aye my plaid awa'

Gin I'd his trumpet in my kist
Blaw, blaw, blaw winds, blaw
And were in the lad's airms that I like best
And the wind blaws aye my plaid awa'

Gin ye would a-be wed wi' me
Blaw, blaw, blaw winds, blaw
There's ae thing ye maun dae for me
And the wind blaws aye my plaid awa'

Ye maun dry it on yon hawthorn
Blaw, blaw, blaw winds, blaw
That hasna seen blossom sin* man was born (* or syne=since)
And the wind blaws aye my plaid awa'

Ye maun stook it in the sea
Blaw, blaw, blaw winds, blaw
And bring the wheatsheaf dry tae me
And the wind blaws aye my plaid awa'

Ye maun win* it in your luif    (*=winnow)
Blaw, blaw, blaw winds, blaw
And stack it a' in your richt-hand with
And the wind blaws aye my plaid awa'

And gin you wark noo a' this wark
Blaw, blaw, blaw winds, blaw
Come tae me and you'll get your sark
And the wind blaws aye my plaid awa'


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Mary O'Hara's The Elfin Knight #2
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 17 Jul 05 - 08:22 PM

I should imagine that Mary O'Hara got the song from Alexander Keith's Last Leaves, where three sets from Greig's collection are quoted. In fact she hasn't used Alexander Robb's text at all, but Bell Robertson's (omitting two verses). Miss Robertson had the verse that is puzzling you as

Ye maun winnow it on your loof,
And stack it all in yer right-hand glove.

"Loof" is "palm". O'Hara has made minor alterations to some verses, mostly by introducing extra words to make the rhythm more regular. From my point of view, these are of no more interest than, say, changes made by Britten in his arrangements of traditional songs; except, I suppose, insofar as people may learn songs from "art music" recordings and mistake them for the real thing.

As Mick mentions, verse 1 line 3 isn't "sae loud and shrill" but "baith loud and shrill" (actually Miss Robertson wrote "both", but of course Mary O'Hara is not singing this song in her natural accent, but in a carefully-rehearsed imitation Scottish one). "drt't" and whaet" are presumably typos for "dry 't" and "wheat".

Now, Bell Robertson didn't sing, though she knew the words to a lot of songs. The tune used is Alexander Robb's (a little elaborated), which is also in Last Leaves. I quote it below, with Robb's first verse, from The Greig-Duncan Folk Song Collection, II no 329A p 483.


X:1
T:Laird o' Elfin
S:Alexander Robb, New Deer, Aberdenshire 1908
B:Greig-Duncan Collection II no 329A p 483
Z:Noted by Gavin Greig
N:Aeolian
L:1/8
Q:1/4=100
M:4/4
K:C
E3|E3 E c2 B2|A2 E E D3 z|E4 E4|D2 E G A2
w:The Laird o' El-fin stands on yon hill Ba ba ba lee-lie ba:
c d|e3 e c2 B2|A E3 D2 C D|E3 D C2 D2|E2 A2 A2|]
w:And he blows his trum-pet loud and shrill And the wind blows aye my plaid a-wa.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Mary O'Hara's The Elfin Knight #2
From: Roberto
Date: 18 Jul 05 - 09:21 AM

I've seen Alexander Robb's tune on Bronson,and checked it is the one used by Ewan MacColl and Mary O'Hara. I didn't mean the text sung by MacColl and O'Hara was from Alexander Robb, but I admit that when I wrote "from the singing of Alexander Robb" I was inaccurate. Thanks to everybody, especially to Bill D, Mick Pearce, Malcolm Douglas, for solving this problem. R


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Mary O'Hara's The Elfin Knight #2
From: Lighter
Date: 18 Jul 05 - 11:22 AM

Okay, get ready. Traditional Aberdeenshire pronunciation is notorious elsewhere, partly because what is usually spelled "oo" in Scots is often pronounced "ee." (The spelling "ui" is often adopted to suggest this.) "Shoon / sheen" (shoes) is a good example.

So what's spelled "loof" (palm) should be pronounced as "leef"; and "gloof" (glove) as "gleef."

That may tidy things up in stanza 12.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Mary O'Hara's The Elfin Knight #2
From: Bill D
Date: 18 Jul 05 - 11:50 AM

indeed, Lighter...I suspected something like that might be involved when I saw a couple of different spellings in Scottish songbooks and Child....and when those spelling/pronunciations are mixed within a version by others attempting to make sense of it, it gets worse.

anyway, looks like there is enough info now to sing a passable version and explain it to an audience..


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