The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #90911   Message #4116738
Posted By: Joe Offer
16-Aug-21 - 11:41 AM
Thread Name: Lyr Add: The Minstrel (Graham and Eileen Pratt)
Subject: Origins: The Minstrel (Pratt)
Thread #11535   Message #4117637
Posted By: GUEST,jugmws
23-Aug-21 - 05:06 PM
Thread Name: 'I SANG A SONG'? -Nick Dow- what song???-Minstrel
Subject: RE: 'I SANG A SONG'? - Nick Dow - what song???

I am a little bemused by all these comments about The Minstrel as sung by Eileen Pratt. My understanding of this is that the song itself was written by someone entirely different called Stewart Hendrickson. Two extra verses were written later by Robert Rodriquez, though the song itself is long enough as it it is in original form.
Eileen does a great job of it & is one of the best versions I have ever heard of it. i have a recording of it by Nick Dow also. A great melody.       Mick Shaw

Thread #11535   Message #4117641
Posted By: GUEST,Nick Dow
23-Aug-21 - 05:30 PM
Thread Name: 'I SANG A SONG'? -Nick Dow- what song???-Minstrel
Subject: RE: 'I SANG A SONG'? - Nick Dow - what song???

Here are the Lyrics as I learned them.

(Graham and Eileen Pratt)

I sang my song at Hastings' battle
To praise the deeds of Charlemagne.
I sang of Arthur and of Roland,
That men remember their great fame.
I sang to rouse a sinking nation,
That king and man might never yield.
But when the battle cry was over,
We all lay dead on Hastings' field.

I sang my song to conquer loved ones.
I sold my voice to him who paid,
To sing his lady gentle love songs,
To lend his passion subtler shade.
But when my silver-throated praises
At last did melt her heart of stone,
He paid me and they both departed,
And left me there to sing alone.

I sang my song at fair and market,
A song much bawdier than before.
Amidst the pigs and geese and cattle,
I sought to please the crowd once more.
I sang to win applause and favour,
Songs of the cuckold and the whore.
But though I gladly took their money,
I missed the songs I'd sung before.

I sang my song in time of anger.
And found new purpose in the rhymes.
At kings and queens, did point the finger,
And bid them see the nation's crimes.
How bitterly did I condemn them,
All those who left the poor oppressed,
But the time was not yet ripe for changes,
I hung at Tyburn with the rest.

I sang my song in mill and coal-pit,
My voice all cracked with dust and fumes.
I took my tune from the factory sirens,
I took my rhythm from the looms.
But whether anybody listened,
Or paid attention, I can't say.
I couldn't stand the smoke and chimneys,
So I packed my bags and I moved away.

My voice grows tired. My eyes are weary.
The aging memory nearly gone.
I've sung my song for lord and lady.
I've sung it too for common man.
Until there's no more time for singing,
Until we reach the stories' end,
I'll always find the strength within me
To rise and sing my song again.

Mally has been on at me to sing the song again, but my voice is at least a tone and a half deeper now. I was 29 when I made 'A Branch of May'. It was made on a shoestring budget with only 500 copies, but it has gone a very long way since 1980, supplying Jim Moray with 'Seven Long Years, and 'Jenny of the Moor' to my own tune.
Jim performed Seven Long Years at Shrewsbury festival with the skulk band and a large choir. It brought tears to my eyes.
I used to know Robert Rodriguez, when he came over to the UK. He used to turn up at Dingles folk club. He was a good singer, and he was blind. All the best to Clive.

Thread #11535   Message #4117650
Posted By: GUEST,jugmws
23-Aug-21 - 06:38 PM
Thread Name: 'I SANG A SONG'? -Nick Dow- what song???-Minstrel
Subject: RE: 'I SANG A SONG'? - Nick Dow - what song???

Nick you really should attempt it again; it is a great song & with your skill you can carry off the tonal change easily. I had not come across Robert Rodriguez, but if I met him I would like to ask why he thought it needed the extra verses ? Graham sent me a package last week & is still very active, though more on choral scene now.
Here's to the next live meet.      m