The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #116315   Message #2502115
Posted By: Mysha
26-Nov-08 - 11:38 AM
Thread Name: Lyr Add: I folk process 'We Gather Together'
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: I folk process 'We Gather Together'

Leeneia, I probably overreacted, but I was a bit shocked to see how easily text can be changed back to loose characters. Yes, in each verse, each of the first two lines has internal rhyme. The song, however, was not written to the tune it has now, that We Gather Together is sung too as well. I don't know the origin of the current tune - I have to leave that to the others to add - but you could be right that that tune has a more tranquil origin. You should not, however, read the Dutch words as self-congratulatory. Our culture of that time was quite "Nothing, but through Gods might", and that's the message here as well: There's a reason to celebrate, but remember it's not the doing of man.

I see I made an unintended error in the translation: "bedrog" is not just treachery, but deceit in general. ("Heed all deceit" should fit.)

Q, thanks for finding that. I knew there was an earlier song to the original melody, but I didn't know its lyrics. It's a bit long to take a go at translating it in between work and running errands, but the singer is apparently a man, who has always lived free, but now love has brought him trouble. He then continues for several verses about all that makes him love her so, and it takes quite a while before we learn that his trouble is not love's sweet sorrow. Rather it's the fact that he is the gaol, to be hanged. We don't know the reason why, but it's his love who put him there.

Joe, if you dislike changes to hymns, does that mean you don't consider them part of the folk tradition? And if that's true, do you know why?
Considering the choice you gave us, I'll have to go for "what???". It's the flag of the German Empire, the second Reich if you will, around 1900. You'll note that the colours, black, white, and red, were still popular a generation later, in the third Reich. Flags of the World have a page on this flag.

Yes, that would be Habsburg rule, I guess, but in the Netherlands it's more common to use nationalities: The Netherlands fought Spain. "Holland" in this context is definitely wrong, though, as Holland was only one of the Seven United Netherlands. Still, regarding the occasion, I'd say the Battle of Turnhout - 1000 Dutch defeat 5000 Spanish - is much more of a miracle than Spain after eighty years giving up on a province somewhere on the other side of France. So I expect that the text attributing it to the battle is correct, with the other one being a generalisation of sorts.

Having thought it over, I think the Dutch used to be longer. I'll see whether I can find a better source somewhere.

OK, going into town again to run some errants.