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Lyr Req: Willie's Lady (from Ray Fisher)

DigiTrad:
WILLIE'S LADY
WILLIE'S LADY 2


Related threads:
Willie's Lady:more info? (24)
(origins) Origin: Willie's Lady (Child #6) (25)


Ferrara 10 Apr 99 - 05:35 PM
bill/sables 10 Apr 99 - 08:51 PM
Sandy Paton 10 Apr 99 - 09:35 PM
Ferrara 10 Apr 99 - 10:18 PM
Sandy Paton 10 Apr 99 - 10:21 PM
Ferrara 10 Apr 99 - 10:39 PM
Barry Finn 11 Apr 99 - 12:01 AM
Ferrara 11 Apr 99 - 11:32 AM
Barry Finn 11 Apr 99 - 02:25 PM
MacRodel@aol.com 11 Apr 99 - 09:55 PM
Ferrara 11 Apr 99 - 10:30 PM
Barry Finn 11 Apr 99 - 11:21 PM
Abby Sale 11 Dec 99 - 11:58 AM
Malcolm Douglas 11 Dec 99 - 04:09 PM
Alan of Australia 11 Dec 99 - 06:40 PM
Abby Sale 12 Dec 99 - 01:21 PM
lamarca 13 Dec 99 - 03:01 PM
lamarca 13 Dec 99 - 03:02 PM
GUEST,Roldo 16 Oct 10 - 04:39 PM
Desert Dancer 16 Oct 10 - 09:24 PM
Roberto 17 Oct 10 - 01:54 AM
GUEST,wmlbrown 30 Jan 12 - 07:27 PM
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Subject: Willie's Lady: Ray Fisher version
From: Ferrara
Date: 10 Apr 99 - 05:35 PM

I have Ray Fisher's record, "Willie's Lady," and have been trying to transcribe the words, but the dialect defeats me. I suspect the record came with lyrics, but goodness knows where we've hidden them.

I don't want an anglicized version if I can avoid it, I want Ray's version, incomprehensible Scottish words and all. The one I found in the DT wasn't even close, and what Ray sings isn't in Child. I think she adapted it. She sings it to the tune of a Breton drinking song, I think Dick said.

I'm also not looking for the anglicized version that Martin Carthy sings. Those are all available, but like a two-year-old, I've set my heart on getting exactly the version I like and none other.

I would be willing to do my best at a transcription, post the pitiful results, and let someone else point out my mistakes. Is anyone familiar enough with it (or could guess at the meaning of the Scottish words) to do that? - Rita Ferrara


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Subject: RE: Willie's Lady: Ray Fisher version
From: bill/sables
Date: 10 Apr 99 - 08:51 PM

Rita why not try Ray Fishers neice Sarah here is her e-mail number

sfisher@painshaw.freeserve.co.uk

Cheers Bill


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Subject: RE: Willie's Lady: Ray Fisher version
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 10 Apr 99 - 09:35 PM

Rita: We have some of the booklets left from Ray's Folk-Legacy recording, which is still available as a "custom" cassette. The complete text is there. Send me your snail-mail address and I'll be happy to send you one. It's just too darned long to type here!!! The spirit is willing, as my mother used to say, but...

Sandy


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Subject: RE: Willie's Lady: Ray Fisher version
From: Ferrara
Date: 10 Apr 99 - 10:18 PM

Sandy, Thanks!!! - Perfect solution, from my point of view. Thank you so much.

Bill/sables, I might have contacted Sarah (Fisher?) if no one else had it, but as Sandy said, it's a lot of typing, so I would have hated to impose. Anyway, thank you! -- It occurs to me that Judy Cook (see related thread) may be talking to both of them this very week, too bad I didn't think of it before she left for England.


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Subject: RE: Willie's Lady: Ray Fisher version
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 10 Apr 99 - 10:21 PM

Address coming by E-pistle or via Mudcat's "personal" message? We'll be away through Monday, but I can get son Robin to mail it for me then. folklegacy@snet.net.

Sandy


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Subject: RE: Willie's Lady: Ray Fisher version
From: Ferrara
Date: 10 Apr 99 - 10:39 PM

Already sent. I got your e-address from the 'Cat, but sent it via my own e-mail. Can't get either the 'cat e-mail or the personal messages to work although I've received quite a few messages lately. I've been messing with trying to get the words for weeks, so a few more days won't hurt.


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Subject: Lyr Add: WILLIE'S LADY
From: Barry Finn
Date: 11 Apr 99 - 12:01 AM

O Willie's ta'en ower the raging faem
He's woo'd a wife & he's bocht her hame
He's woo'd her for her lang yellow hair
But his mother wrocht her muckle care

And muckle dolour gar'd her dree
For light o' bairn his lady canna be
For light o' bairn she canna be

And aye she lies in her bower wi' pain
And Willie mourns his lady a' in vain
And Willie mourns her a' in vain

So Willie's tae his wicked mither gane
The vilest witch o' womenkind

And says, "My lady has a bonnie cup
Wi' gowd & silver set aboot"

"This goodly gift it shall be yer ain
Gin ye let her be lighter o' her bairn
Gin ye let her be lighter o' bairn"

"O, light o' bairn she ne'er will be
Nor in her bower will shine sae bricht for ye
Nor in her bower will shine for thee"

"but she will die & slowly turn tae clay
You will wed wi' anither may"

"O, anither may I'll never wed
Anither may shall never share my bed
I'd rather die" Young Willie said

So Willie's tae his mither yet again
That vilest witch o' womenkind
And says "My lady has a milk white steed
Like o' it's no' in the lands o' Leed"

"At lika tett o' that horse's mane
Hangs fifty bonnie siller bells & ten
Fifty siller bells & ten"

"This goodly gift it shall be yer ain
Gin ye let her be lighter o' her bairn
Gin ye let her be light o' bairn"

"O, light o' bairn she ne'er will be
Nor in her bower will shine sae bricht for ye
Nor in her bower will shine for thee"

"But she will die & slowly turn tae clay
And you will wed wi' anither may"

"O, anither may I'll never wed
Anither may shall never share my bed
I'd rather die" young Willie said

So Willie's tae the wise old Billy Blind
And aye he spoke oot in good time

He says "Go down intae the market place
There ye'll buy a loaf of wax"

"And shape it bairn & bairnie-like
And in ti's heid twa glassen e'en ye'll put
And in it's heid twa e'en ye'll put"

"And you will tae yer wicked mither gae
Invite her tae yer son's christenin"

"But ye must stand a way forbye
And listen weel what yer wicked mither says
Listen weel what she does says"

So Willie's tae his wicked mither gane
Invited her tae his son's christenin

And he did stand a wee forbye
And listened weel what his wicked mither said
Listened weel what she did say

"And wha has ta'en oot the kaims o' care
That hung amang yon lady's hair"

"And wha has killed the Master Kid
That ran beneath that bonnie lady's bed
That ran beneath that lady's bed"

"And wha has ta'en doon the bush o' woodbine
That hung atween that lady's bower & mine
That hung atween her bower & mine"

"And wha has loos'd her left foot shee
So light o' bairn this lady then may be
So light o' bairn this lady be"

Then Willie's ta'en oot the nine & witchen knots
That were amang his lady's locks

And Willie's ta'en oot the kaims o' care
That hung amang his lady's hair

And Willie's killed the Master Kid
That ran beneath his bonnie lady's bed
That ran ran beneath his lady's bed

And Willie's ta'en doon the bush o' woodbine
That hung atween his lady's bower sae fine
Hung atween her bower sae fine

Then Willie's looosened his lady's leften shee
That light o' bairn she then might be

And when & a' these things were done
His lady's brocht forth untae him a son
His lady's brocht forth a bonnie son

Barry
^^


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Subject: RE: Willie's Lady: Ray Fisher version
From: Ferrara
Date: 11 Apr 99 - 11:32 AM

YES! Thanks, Barry. Have already saved it, changed a few typos, printed, and I'm so pleased to have it that I was singing it while I was proofreading it. I suspect my family is going to hear it a lot for the next few days.


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Subject: RE: Willie's Lady: Ray Fisher version
From: Barry Finn
Date: 11 Apr 99 - 02:25 PM

You're welcome Ferrara. What do you mean fixed the typos, those 3 o's in looosened aren't supposed to be there? If there are any other typos I won't take credit for them, blame Sandy (ha, ha), I took it all off the jacket from some Folk-Legacy recording of Ray's from back in 1982. You should still get the whole shabang from Sandy if it's still available. She gives a meaning to all those words that looked like typos & says what the connection they have to the song itself, like the Master Kid whom like the cat symbolizes the link between the forces of evil & the witch & how the left-sided shoe (leften shee) has evil influences. She also says like you suspected that she has "omitted, added & telescoped some of the verses". And as Dick mentions she says that she has "set this magnificent ballad to the tune of a Breton drinking song - I have no idea what it's called". I met Ray a few years back at a NEFFA fest., what a gracious outgoing energetic tike this chain smoking little women is & such a big voice in so small a frame that when she weaves a song around you it's a double shock to be taken in so quickly & quitely in such an unexpected manner that one sits in wonder about the way they've just been overcome in so gentle a fashion. When I first heard Ray do Tannahill's "Are Ye Sleepin' Maggie", also on the same Folk-Legacy LP, Maggie Thacher was still holding court & Ray in her "deadicating" the song to M.T. showed an insite into what keen wit her sharp tounge can toss. A recording or a performance by her should not to be missed. Good Luck with the song. Barry


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Subject: RE: Willie's Lady: Ray Fisher version
From: MacRodel@aol.com
Date: 11 Apr 99 - 09:55 PM

thanks for this grait thread. I was gaun tae e-mail th' wairds, but someane beat me tae it. Ray Fisher is ane o' ma Role Models, alang wi' Belle Stewart, Frankie Armstrong an' Ewan MacColl. Sic grait singer/srorytellers. Whaur is Ray these days? I haird her in Bath, Maine several times, an' allus cam' awa' spellboond. Thanks again.


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Subject: RE: Willie's Lady: Ray Fisher version
From: Ferrara
Date: 11 Apr 99 - 10:30 PM

I keep hearing that Ray Fisher has been at various British folk festivals in the last two or three years, but I guess she hasn't done any American tours recently. I agree, Ray is a powerhouse, and I love her singing. The first time I saw her was at a house concert. She said that when she was growing up, the music teachers all felt that you had to sing folk songs as if they were art songs, in what Ray called a "twee" sort of voice. Later, she was pleased to learn that audiences thought her full, robust voice was extremely well suited to folk music.

Here's Dick G's comments on the tune:

'Ray Fisher married the words to the tune of the Breton "Son ar Chiste" (The Song of Cider) which was written in 1930 by a piper who is now a tramp on the streets of Paris. '

At NOMAD I once heard it played by a group called "Bells & Motley," Sondra and John Bromka et al. They do both the Martin Carthy version of the ballad, and the Breton Cider Drinking Song version, as a medley on their tape "Seasons & Lovers." They said they believed the tune was a "very old traditional song from Brittany." I suspect Dick's version is the truth of it. I bought the tape for that tune, although I like the whole thing.


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Subject: RE: Willie's Lady: Ray Fisher version
From: Barry Finn
Date: 11 Apr 99 - 11:21 PM

Hi again Ferrara, Ray was over (New England) about 3 years ago on tour with two other women Jo Freya & Siwsann George collectively called "Songs Of Three Nations", don't know anything more up to date than that. Barry


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Subject: RE: Willie's Lady: Ray Fisher version
From: Abby Sale
Date: 11 Dec 99 - 11:58 AM

A friend asks for an e-mail of the tune for "Willie's Lady." DT claims to have the tune but it lies. I explained that the only way to reasonably get it was to buy the Folk Legacy tape but I'm still being asked.

Might any know of a midi or abc or such of it? I can't find one anywhere. Or, for that matter, for the Breton "Son ar Chiste" on which it's based. I've never heard that at all.

Thanks.


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Subject: RE: Willie's Lady: Ray Fisher version
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 11 Dec 99 - 04:09 PM

Regrettably, I've never heard Ray Fisher sing this one, but I'll send a midi of the tune, as I remember it from Martin Carthy's recording, to the Mudcat Midi site. No guarantees as to accuracy, but it should give a reasonable idea of the thing. I don't think that either Ray or Martin changed it very much from the original pipe tune.

Malcolm


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Subject: RE: Willie's Lady: Ray Fisher version
From: Alan of Australia
Date: 11 Dec 99 - 06:40 PM

G'day,
Thanks Malcolm, the tune can now be downloaded from here.

Cheers,
Alan


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Subject: RE: Willie's Lady: Ray Fisher version
From: Abby Sale
Date: 12 Dec 99 - 01:21 PM

Thank you both. Very. It's a good job, Malcolm and will well suit my asker. (I do recommend hearing Ray if you have an ear for the Scottish. Even though Martin makes the minimal changes he can to make it understandable to non-Scot ears and barely Martinizes the tune, in a way it's still a different song. Different mood, I guess.)


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Subject: RE: Willie's Lady: Ray Fisher version
From: lamarca
Date: 13 Dec 99 - 03:01 PM

Martin not only Anglicized the song, he feminized it. In most versions of "Willie's Lady" (including Ray Fisher's), the way to save his lady is given by the "old Blind Billie". Martin changed the wise one to Willie's lady herself. Martin has a penchant for singing ballads about strong women characters, and will alter or add to a text to make a good story. Another one he did this to was "The Bonny Lass of Anglesey", which is just a fragment in most collections. He filled out the verses and made a good story in which the Lass herself is the (deserving) winner in the end.


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Subject: RE: Willie's Lady: Ray Fisher version
From: lamarca
Date: 13 Dec 99 - 03:02 PM

Martin not only Anglicized the song, he feminized it. In most versions of "Willie's Lady" (including Ray Fisher's), the way to save his lady is given by the "old Blind Billie". Martin changed the wise one to Willie's lady herself. Martin has a penchant for singing ballads about strong women characters, and will alter or add to a text to make a good story. Another one he did this to was "The Bonny Lass of Anglesey", which is just a fragment in most collections. He filled out the verses and made a good story in which the Lass herself is the (deserving) winner in the end.

The Chieftains also recorded the Breton tune/song that Ray used on their album "Celtic Wedding".


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Willie's Lady (from Ray Fisher)
From: GUEST,Roldo
Date: 16 Oct 10 - 04:39 PM

Does anyone know what a "Master Kid" is? I've had no luck at finding out.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Willie's Lady (from Ray Fisher)
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 16 Oct 10 - 09:24 PM

This thread offers some possibilities (like that it was a toad, not a goat).

~ Becky in Tucson


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Willie's Lady (from Ray Fisher)
From: Roberto
Date: 17 Oct 10 - 01:54 AM

Willie's Lady
Martin Carthy, Martin Carthy, Crown of Horn, Topic TSCD300, first lp release, 1976

King Willie he's sailed over the raging foam
He's wooed a wife and he's brought her home

He wooed her for her long golden hair
His mother wrought her a mighty care

And a weary spell she's laid on her
She'd be with child for long and many's the year
But a child she would never bear

And in her bower she lies in pain
King Willie at her bedhead he do stand
As down his cheeks salten tears do run

King Willie back to his mother he did run
He's gone there as a begging son

Says - Me true love has this fine noble steed
The like of which you ne'er did see

At every part of this horse's mane
There's hanging fifty silver bells and ten
There's hanging fifty bells and ten

This goodly gift shall be your own
If back to me own true love you'll turn again
That she might bear her baby son

Oh, the child she'll never lighter be
Nor from sickness will she e'er be free

But she will die and she will turn to clay
And you will wed with another maid

Then sighing said this weary man
As back to his own true love he's gone again -
I wish my life was at an end

King Willie back to his mother he did run
And he's gone there as a begging son

Says - Me true love has this fine golden girdle
Set with jewels all about the middle

At every part of this girdle's hem
There's hanging fifty silver bells and ten
There's hanging fifty bells and ten

This goodly gift shall be your own
If back to me own true love you'll turn again
That she might bear her baby son

Oh, of her child she'll never lighter be
Nor from sickness will she e'er be free

But she will die and she will turn to clay
And you will wed with another maid

Sighing says this weary man
As back to his own true love he's gone again -
I wish my life was at an end

Then up and spoke his noble queen
And she has told King Willie of a plan
How she might bear her baby son

She says - You must go get you down to the market place
And you must buy you a loaf of wax

And you must shape it as a babe that is to nurse
And you must make two eyes of glass

Ask your mother to a christening day
And you must stand there close as you can be
That you might hear what she do say

King Willie he's gone down to the market place
And he has bought him a loaf of wax

And he has shaped it as a babe that is to nurse
And he has made two eyes of glass

He asked his mother to a christening day
And he has stood there close as he could be
That he might hear what she did say

How she spoke and how she swore
She spied the babe where no babe could be before
She spied the babe where none could be before

Says - Who was it who undid the nine witch knots
Braided in amongst this lady's locks

And who was it who took out the combs of care
Braided in amongst this lady's hair

And who was it slew the master kid
That ran and slept all beneath this lady's bed
That ran and slept all beneath her bed

And who was it unlaced her left shoe
And who was it that let her lighter be
That she might bear her baby boy

And it was Willie who undid the nine witch knots
Braided in amongst this lady's locks

And it was Willie who took out the combs of care
Braided in amongst this lady's hair

And it was Willie the master kid did slay
And it was Willie who unlaced her left foot shoe
And he has let her lighter be

And she is born out a baby son
And greater the blessings that be them upon
And greater the blessings them upon


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Willie's Lady (from Ray Fisher)
From: GUEST,wmlbrown
Date: 30 Jan 12 - 07:27 PM

Interesting to compare the anglicized version with both the Ray Fisher version and the Childe version (if it is accurately reproduced in the two places I looked online). In the latter two Willie offers his mother a horse and a "bonny" cup as a bribe. In the former, it is a horse and a girdle.

In the Childe version the narrative jumps from Billy Blind's instruction to Willie to the mother's unwitting admission. The other two versions go to a description of Willie following Billy Blind's instruction. I wonder how that bit got added in - whether invented by a singer who wanted to make the story clearer, or from research into the several Scandinavian versions we are told exist.

I do have a question, here. I'm curious about these Scandinavian versions. I wonder have any been translated to English, and whether there is a tune or tunes for them. The tune it is commonly sung to is nice, but it was written in the 1930s, according to one note here.

I've done some online searching. Best I could find was a recording of a version a duo matched to an old Scandinavian lullaby. The Ray Fisher tune is more compelling, I'm afraid.


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