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BRAVE WOLF

DigiTrad:
BOLD GENERAL WOLFE (3)
BRAVE WOLFE (2)
BRAVE WOLFE or THE BATTLE OF QUEBEC


Related threads:
Lyr Add: Acadian Driftwood (Robbie Robertson) (29)
Lyr Add: Wolfe (Ashley Hutchings) (16)
Lyr Req: Plains of Abraham (20)


ALDUS 19 May 98 - 09:19 AM
Wolfgang Hell 19 May 98 - 09:25 AM
Teru 19 May 98 - 09:33 AM
Matts Lundgren 19 May 98 - 11:42 AM
Matts Lundgren 19 May 98 - 12:02 PM
Teru 20 May 98 - 12:37 AM
rich r 21 May 98 - 01:02 AM
aldus 21 May 98 - 09:32 AM
Bruce O. 23 May 98 - 03:44 PM
Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca 23 May 98 - 05:06 PM
Tony Toole 04 Jun 98 - 02:11 PM
GUEST 31 Jan 22 - 07:20 PM
Joe Offer 31 Jan 22 - 07:31 PM
meself 31 Jan 22 - 09:26 PM
RTim 31 Jan 22 - 10:52 PM
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Subject: BRAVE WOLF
From: ALDUS
Date: 19 May 98 - 09:19 AM

I have heard several versions of an old Canadian song called Brave Wolf. The best known version is on an old Ian Sylvia Album. I wonder if anyone out there knows the complete lyrics to this. I would be grateful for any assistance. thanks.


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Subject: RE: BRAVE WOLF
From: Wolfgang Hell
Date: 19 May 98 - 09:25 AM

ALDUS, search the database for "Brave Wolfe" (this spelling) and you'll find two versions.


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Subject: RE: BRAVE WOLF
From: Teru
Date: 19 May 98 - 09:33 AM

There may be another version of Brave Wolfe, but I am not quite sure. I'll look it up in my songbook.


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Subject: RE: BRAVE WOLF
From: Matts Lundgren
Date: 19 May 98 - 11:42 AM

Hi!

One of my favorites actually, although I have only heard one version, sung by the Watersons. You'll find it on an old Topic record (12T 142). It's not even in stereo. But lovely. If You are not familiar with the Watersons, their records is a goldmine if you are into a capella stuff.

Bye for now

Matts


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Subject: RE: BRAVE WOLF
From: Matts Lundgren
Date: 19 May 98 - 12:02 PM

I forgot all a bout the lyrics (got carried away). If you search the data base using the string "Cheer up, me lads,General Wolfe did say," you will be all right.


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Subject: Lyr Add: BRAVE WOLFE / THE BATTLE OF QUEBEC
From: Teru
Date: 20 May 98 - 12:37 AM

The lyrics I meant are almost the same as those in BRAVE WOLFE or THE BATTLE OF QUEBEC in this DT. The first and second verses are a bit different as below.

1. Come, all you old men all,
Let this delight you;
Come, all you young men all,
Let naught affright you.
Nor let your courage fail
When comes the trial.
Nor do not be dismayed
At the first denial.

2. I went to see my love,
Thinking to woo her;
I sat down by her side,
Not to undo her;
But when I looked on her
My tongue did quiver;
I could not speak ny mind
While I was with her.

3. "Love, here's a diamond ring,
Long time I've kept it.
All for you sake alone,
If you'll accept it.
When you this token view,
Think on the giver;
Madame, remember me,
Or I'm undone forever."

4. Then forth went this brave youth
And crossed the ocean;
To free America
Was his intention.
He landed at Quebec
With all his party,
The city to attack,
Both brave and hearty.

I have heard that the lyrics were collected by Elisabeth Greenleaf in Newfoundland in 1929.

Regards

Teru (of Japan)

HTML line breaks added. --JoeClone, 2-Nov-02.


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Subject: Lyr Add: BRAVE WOLFE
From: rich r
Date: 21 May 98 - 01:02 AM

Verse 4 seems to have been heavily folk processed. Here is another take on it.

That brave and gallant youth have crossed the ocean
To free America of her division.
He landed at Quebec with all his party,
A city to attack both brave and haughty.

I don't expecially like the singular youth with the plural have. The last word is a good example of what happens in aural tradition. The three words (hardy, hearty, haughty) all sound sort of the same depending on the singer and all three fit into the line without altering the song very much. Here are some additional line and verse variants primarily from Edith Fowke and Alan Mills.

Brave Wolfe drew up his men in a line so pretty
On the Plains of Abraham before the city
The French came marching down, arrayed to meet them
In double numbers 'round, resolved to beat them.

Montcalm and this brave youth together walk-ed
On the Plains of Abraham, together talk-ed.....

The drums did loudly beat, with colors flying
The purple gore did stream and men lay dying
When shot from off his horse fell that brave hero
We'll long lament his loss that day in sorrow.

Brave Wolfe lay on the ground where the guns did rattle
And to his aide he said, "How goes the battle?"
"Quebec is all our own, they can't prevent it"
He said without a groan, " I die contented"

The song is a fairly accurate description of the battle of Quebec that took place on September 13, 1759. It proved to be a decisive event in the history of North America and perhaps the world. In 1755 the Acadians had been driven out of Nova Scotia and a year later the Seven Years War broke out in Europe and elsewhere. Britain bumbled around early and was not doing very well. But by 1759 Louisville, Fort Frontenac & Fort Duquesne had been taken by Britain. Montcalm had pulled back to Quebec for a last stand. The British fleet under Wolfe had layed siege to Quebec from below on the St Lawrence River. British scouts finally discovered a narrow way up the cliffs to the city and on the night of Sept 12 about 5000 men secretly took small boats down the river and scaled the cliffs to the Plains of Abraham. The battle was over quickly and both Wolfe and Montcalm were killed. The first verses reflect the fact that young Wolfe had become engaged to Kathrine Lowther shortly before sailing to America. The only real poetic license in the song concerns the horse that Wolfe was shot from. How did they get a horse up those steep cliffs?


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Subject: RE: BRAVE WOLF
From: aldus
Date: 21 May 98 - 09:32 AM

Thank you all very much.. you"ve provided some verses I was unaware of..... I find the tune a difficult one and I wonder how some of these new verses fit into it.


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Subject: RE: BRAVE WOLF
From: Bruce O.
Date: 23 May 98 - 03:44 PM

Teru's version above has more of "The Unconstant Maiden" (ZN872) than the DT (2nd) version that I noted on the other thread. That one appears to be the original of what Ebsworth called the "Ring of Gold" series of ballads in Roxburghe Ballads.


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Subject: RE: BRAVE WOLF
From: Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca
Date: 23 May 98 - 05:06 PM

I was told at university by a professor of Canadian history that the British had been trying to figure out for some weeks how they would get up the cliffs at Quebec. (They were opposite the Quebec City, where the city of Levis now is) Some officers went for a walk and noticed women washing clothes in the river opposite. They watched how the women got back up the hill, and it was this path that they used to scale the heights. It was in fact defended, but the first troops up the path were led by a Scotsman who could speak French without an accent. He tricked the sentries into believing that French troops were coming up the path, and the next morning the British were outside the walls of the city.

(When the Americans attacked Quebec some years later they had no such luck. They attacked in a blinding snowstorm and were easily chased away. They did capture Montreal, where they introduced the first printing press into Canada.)


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Subject: RE: BRAVE WOLF
From: Tony Toole
Date: 04 Jun 98 - 02:11 PM

Martin Carthy sang an excellent version of Brave Wolfe on one of his early albums - which are now out on CD. A search for his discography should be fruitful. He is, of course, married to Norma Waterson who contributed to the equally good Waterson's version mentioned in a previous message.


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Subject: RE: BRAVE WOLF
From: GUEST
Date: 31 Jan 22 - 07:20 PM

Montcalm and this brave youth together walked,
Between two armies they like brothers talked.
Then each one took his post, and did retire.
'Twas then this numerous host commenced to fire.

Well, no, it's not historical. The British took the French by surprise, by going up the hill in the early morning. There was no talk between Wolfe and Montcalm. And there was no horse!

I found it in "Singing Our History: Canada's Story in Song," by Edith Fowke. At least I think so.


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Subject: RE: BRAVE WOLF
From: Joe Offer
Date: 31 Jan 22 - 07:31 PM

Joe - fix this


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Subject: RE: BRAVE WOLF
From: meself
Date: 31 Jan 22 - 09:26 PM

The British took the French by surprise - but the French forces, under Montcalm, came out on the plain to face them. I don't remember whether Wolfe and Montcalm walked and talked - it was a long time ago ......


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Subject: RE: BRAVE WOLF
From: RTim
Date: 31 Jan 22 - 10:52 PM

BRAVE WOLFE.

Come all you young men all, let this delight you
Come all you young men all, let nothing fright you.
Never let your courage fail, when your brought to trial
Nor let you fancy move at the first denial.

This brave undaunted youth, he crossed the ocean,
To free America, was his intention
He landed at Quebec with all his party
This city to attack, being brave & hearty.

Bold Wolfe drew ‘bout his men, in a line so pretty.
On the Plains of Abraham, before the city.
The French came marching down, in hope to beat him
With a double number round, resolved to beat him.

Montcalm & this brave youth, together talked
Between two armies they, like brother walked
Then each one to his post then did retire,
And then both numerous host, commenced their fire.

The drums did loudly beat, and the colors flying
The purple body stream, and them lay dying.
And shot from off his horse fell that great hero.
We’ll long lament his loss in tears & sorrow.

He lifted up his head as the guns did rattle,
And to his army said, How goes the battle?
Quebec is all our own, none can prevent it!
And then bold Wolfe replied - I die contented.

Via Carthy who learnt from Cyril Tawney (N.American)
Collected in 1958 by Kenneth Peacock from Isaac Freeman Bennett    [1896-1984] of St Paul's, NL, and published in Songs Of The Newfoundland Outports, Vol 3, pp.986-987, by The National Museum of Canada (1965)


Tim Radford


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