The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #23696   Message #728513
Posted By: GUEST,John Minear -
12-Jun-02 - 02:24 PM
Thread Name: Whistling Gypsy - prejudice?
Subject: Lyr Add: GYPSY DAVY (from Helen Hartness Flanders)
In her book, ANCIENT BALLADS TRADITIONALLY SUNG IN NEW ENGLAND, Helen Hartness Flanders has a version of "The Gypsy Laddie" (K on pp. 210-213, entitled "Gypsy Davy" that seems related to "The Whistling Gypsy" song by Maguire. She says, "As heard by Charles H. Benjamin in lumber camps north of Patten, Maine, around the 1860's and 1870's. This was sung by his daughter, Mrs. Charles Woodbury, now of Washington, D.C. - December 15, 1948".

The tune looks similar. I don't have the means to reproduce it here. Perhaps someone else can do that. The words are as follows:

Oh,Gypsy Davy came over the hills,
Came down through the Eastern valleys.
He sang till he made the wild woods ring,
And he charmed the heart of a lady.
Ah-da-dum, a-da-doo, ah-da-doo, ah-da-day,
Ah-da-dum, ah-da-doo, ah-da-day-dee;
He sang till he made the wild wood ring,
And he charmed the heart of a lady.

A lord returning home at night,
Inquiring for his lady,
They made him this reply, that she
Had gone with the Gypsy Davy.

"Go fetch me now my coal-black steed;
My gray is not so speedy;
I've rode all day, but I'll ride all night
Till I overtake my lady."

He rode till he came to the muddy water side-
It looked so dark and dreary;
He rode till he came to the muddy water side,
Where he beheld his lady.

"Oh, will you leave your house and home?
Oh, will you leave your baby?
Oh, will you leave your own wedded lord
To go with the Gypsy Davy?

"Last night you lay in your soft, warm bed
And in our arms your baby;
Tonight you'll lie on the cold, cold ground
In the arms of the Gypsy Davy."

"I never loved my house and home,
I never loved my baby,
I never loved my own wedded lord
As I love the Gypsy Davy."

The verses after verse one are certainly different from what the Clancy Brothers sing, and seem much more akin to other American versions. But the tune is there and the basic form of the story. In this version the "Lord" is her husband rather than her father.

I am always interested in how these songs evolve.


line breaks fixed by mudelf