The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #17334   Message #168366
Posted By: raredance
25-Jan-00 - 08:53 PM
Thread Name: Lyr Req: Awake Ye Drowsy Sleepers (Ian & Sylvia)
Subject: Lyr Add: AWAKE YE DROWSY SLEEPERS (Ian & Sylvia)
Well here's one old folkie who kept his complete collection of Ian & Sylvia. The album is "Early Morning Rain" (Vanguard VSD-79175, all of Ian & Sylvia's Vanguard albums have been reissued on CD) On the line notes they say they learned the song from Jean Ritchie. I checked the Jean Ritchie "Folksong of the Southern Appalachians" book but it was not there. My reason for that is there is one word that I am not sure of (there could be others I have wrong, but I am sure of those). The song overlaps the Katy Dear, Silver Dagger family, but doesn't seem to be the same because the threatened dagger action never happens. Dorothy Scarborough in "A Song Catcher In the Southern Mountains" lists four different texts ( none of which directly solve my missing word from the I & S recording) and says that the song is an Irish ballad. Her texts are variously titled: Katy Dear, or Willie Daarling; Mollie Dear Go Ask Your Mother; Drowsy Sleeper; and Little Willie. Cecil Sharp includes it under the title "Arise Arise". The Brown collection of North Carolina folklore has 5 texts or text fragments. ONe of those called "Bessie and Charlie" is really the Silver Dagger song replete with the reqisite plungins of daggers into lily-white breasts.


Awake awake you drowsy sleeper
How can you lie and slumber so
When your true love is a going to leave you
And never to return any more.

How can you slumber on your pillow?
When your true love must stand and wait
And must I go and wear the willow
In sorrow mourning for your sake.

O Molly deal go ask your father
If you my ??, my bride can be
And then return and quickly tell me
An I no more shall trouble thee

O no I cannot ask my father
He's lying on his bed of rest
And in his hand is a silver dagger
To pierce the one that I love best

Down in yon valley there grows a green yarrow
I wish that yarrow shot through my breast
It would end my dream, it would end my sorrow
And set my troubled heart at rest

rich r