The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #33361   Message #2790396
Posted By: GUEST,patrickdebee
17-Dec-09 - 11:54 AM
Thread Name: Lyr Add: Bonny Woodhall/Bonny Wood Green
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Bonny Woodhall/Bonny Wood Green
And here is Sam Henry's 'Songs of the People' version.

I have transcribed it exactly as it appears on page 84 in the 1990 edition. The differences between this version and Andy Irvine's version ('Aiming For The Heart', 1988 edition) are highlighted in bold typeface.

Like so many of you who contributed to this thread, I learned this wonderful song from Andy's version and I am proud to have made the effort (over the years!) to play it note for note on my Gibson H1 mandola strung, in Andy's own way, with mandolin strings and tuned down to FCGC, in an attempt to get as close as possible to his own sound.

I also sing Andy's version of the lyrics, although I have made the following 'adjustments':

1. At 2:4, I sing a hybrid of both versions:

'I will wed with you, Annie, near Calder's clear burn.'

… thus keeping the rhythm of the word group 'wed with' from Andy's version, but returning to the 'you' of Sam Henry's collected version, which enables me to emphasise 'you', thereby seeming to address Annie directly, as if still in her presence. When I sing it this way, it greatly heightens the poignancy of his longing (IMHO).

2. At 6:4, I use Sam Henry's collected version, but with 'Woodhall' at the end (in order to rhyme with the word 'fall' from the previous line in Andy's version):

Like the dew on the roses near bonny Woodhall.

… thus preserving the original poetry of the dew as a metaphor for our hero's tears.

In any case, here is Sam Henry's collected version, as it appears on page 84:
Bonny Woodha' [H476: 14 Jan 1933]

o: (m) "The Green Bushes"; g: "Sweet Calder Burn."
Source not given.
Key G.

Down by yon green bushes, near Calder's clear stream,
Where I and my Annie sae often have been,
When the hours that flew past us, right happy were we,
It was little she thought that a sailor I'd be.

I said to my Annie, 'I now must away,
My country calls on me and I must obey,
But if heaven protect me until I return,
I will wed you, my Annie, near Calder's clear burn.'

On the fourteenth of August our regiment was lost,
When a ball from the enemy my line came across,
It struck me on the forehead, the blood trickled down,
I reeled and I staggered and I fell to the ground.

'Come here,' said our captain, 'come here with good speed,'
For I fear by this bullet young Dinsmore lies dead.'
Two men with a stretcher did quickly prepare
And they carried me off to an hospital there.

Cold water and brandy they poured out so free,
And they turned me all over, my wounds for to see,
But if I had my Annie to bind up my wounds,
One kiss from her sweet lips would deaden the stoun.

It's when I am weary and think on lang syne,
When I was a miner and wrought in yon mine
The tears they do trickle and down they do fa'
Like the dew on the roses near bonny Woodha'.

5.4: stoun [stound] = pang, throb, pain. [m]