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Origins: Captain Kidd shape note melody

DigiTrad:
AIKENDRUM
CAPTAIN KIDD
CAPTAIN ROBERT KIDD
VAN GOGH
WONDROUS LOVE


Related threads:
DTStudy: Captain Kidd (5)
chords-Wondrous Love (8)
Captain Kidd Traditional recordings (4)
(origins) Origins: Wondrous Love (23)


jbeanmusic 10 Aug 07 - 10:17 PM
masato sakurai 10 Aug 07 - 11:38 PM
Barry Finn 11 Aug 07 - 12:52 AM
Bonzo3legs 11 Aug 07 - 05:26 AM
T in Oklahoma (Okiemockbird) 12 Jun 08 - 10:52 PM
Nerd 13 Jun 08 - 12:15 AM
The Doctor 13 Jun 08 - 05:36 AM
Nerd 13 Jun 08 - 10:19 AM
Peace 13 Jun 08 - 10:22 AM
Nerd 13 Jun 08 - 10:29 AM
Peace 13 Jun 08 - 10:37 AM
Lighter 02 Jan 16 - 07:35 AM
GUEST,Arkie 02 Jan 16 - 12:43 PM
Jack Campin 02 Jan 16 - 06:16 PM
Lighter 03 Jan 16 - 09:41 AM
Jack Campin 03 Jan 16 - 01:45 PM
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Subject: Origins: Captain Kidd shape note melody
From: jbeanmusic
Date: 10 Aug 07 - 10:17 PM

What evidence is there that the Captain Kidd ballad was sung to the shape note melody? The text obviously scans, but all the recorded versions I've heard are rather different.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Captain Kidd shape note melody
From: masato sakurai
Date: 10 Aug 07 - 11:38 PM

Related threads include:

wondrous love

Lyr/Tune Req: Ballad of Sam Hall.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Captain Kidd shape note melody
From: Barry Finn
Date: 11 Aug 07 - 12:52 AM

Not knowing much about shape note singing, I'd ask if it goes back as far as the song, 1701???? same as "Jack Hall" & Captain Kidd. "Sam Hall" comes along just about 150 years later. The tune must date back further for it to have been use for both Kidd & Hall were hanged in 1701, Kidd in London & Hall in Devonshire (Tyburn /Tedburn Hill), unless the tune smith attended both hangings & figured he'd write a two'for.

Barry


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Subject: RE: Origins: Captain Kidd shape note melody
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 11 Aug 07 - 05:26 AM

When we have a sing at our house, the words that always come to mind in certain songs are

His knob is out, his knob is out
His knob is out, his knob is out!!!!!!!

Which rather puts the dampers on any religious connection - or maybe not - it's referring to the begatting!!!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Captain Kidd shape note melody
From: T in Oklahoma (Okiemockbird)
Date: 12 Jun 08 - 10:52 PM

It looks as though no one ever answered jbeanmusic's question. Is there any record of the ballad being sung to the shape-note melody?

I would offer three points:

(1) The name of the shape-note melody. A plausible reason for naming a hymn tune Captain Kidd is that it was already known by that name.    A plausible reason for it being known by that name is because it was sung with the ballad.

(2) If you are willing to accept it, there is the evidence of one of Harriet Beecher Stowe's semi-fictionalized memoirs of her childhood, Oldtown Fireside Tales. This work describes "Sam Lawson" singing the ballad (and commenting on it as he goes). Stowe writes:
A most wailing minor-keyed tune was doled forth, which seemed quite refreshing to Sam's pathetic vein, as he sing in his most ligubrious tones, -

My name was Rober Kidd
As I sailed, as I sailed,
My name was Rober Kidd;
GOd's laws I did forbid,
And so wickedly I did,
As I sailed, as I sailed
I would not call the shape-note tune "wailing" or "lugubrious," but perhaps a mid-Victorian might.

(3) Ethel and Chauncey O. Moore, the authors of Ballads and Folk songs of the Southwest (Norman, Oklahoma, 1964) collected a version of "Captain Kidd" from a Tulsa informant, who claimed to have learned it "while on a Boy Scout Jamboree". "Captain Kidd" was not published in Ballads and Folk songs of the Southwest (not in the edition I saw, at any rate.)   The Moores planned a second, larger, work, The Ballads and Songs of Oklahoma. As far as I know, this was never published, but the manuscript is in the Western History Collection of the University of Oklahoma Library, where I was able to see it. The tune they collected from their informant is, to my ears, clearly related to, and possibly derived from, the shape-note tune.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Captain Kidd shape note melody
From: Nerd
Date: 13 Jun 08 - 12:15 AM

Tyburn Hill isn't in Devon, it's in London. It was right at the western end of Oxford street, by the Marble Arch tube station. That was where most prisoners from London Jails, especially Newgate, were hanged, on a very unusual gallows.

The Execution Dock, where Kidd was executed, is also in London, at Wapping. It's not at all farfetched that the same ballad writer attended both executions--in fact, it's very likely.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Captain Kidd shape note melody
From: The Doctor
Date: 13 Jun 08 - 05:36 AM

According to Roy Palmer, 'The Sound of History' pp.122-3, Jack or John Hall was finally hanged, at Tyburn, on 17 December 1707, having been previously condemned but then reprieved in 1701. He then discusses the song, the words being collated by Sharp from fragments, the tune, 'Chimney Sweep', being first mentioned in 1719, but the distinctive metre linking it to various other songs, including Kidd. John Hall is also mentioned in 'Chasing the Sun', pp.134-5, a history of dictionaries by Jonathon Green, who refers back to the Dictionary of National Biography. He has Hall executed at Tyburn on 12 December 1707, after writing his memoirs, including a glossary of thieves' cant, which apparently he stole from another author - a thief to the very end. Bronson in 'The Ballad as Song' devotes a whole chapter to Samuel Hall's Family Tree.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Captain Kidd shape note melody
From: Nerd
Date: 13 Jun 08 - 10:19 AM

Thanks, Doctor.

The previous evidence of Hall having been hanged in 1701 was brought into discussions of the song by Kidson, in a note in Sharp's Folk Songs from Somerset. Palmer may be right, though. In either case, it is likely that the same balladmongers were watching and singing at both hangings.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Captain Kidd shape note melody
From: Peace
Date: 13 Jun 08 - 10:22 AM

Stupid question #749 from me to Mudcat.

WHAT is a shape note/what is shape note singing?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Captain Kidd shape note melody
From: Nerd
Date: 13 Jun 08 - 10:29 AM

Shape note singing is a style of hymn singing spread initially through the eastern US, starting I believe in New England, but now more associated with white folks in the south. It takes its name not from the sound, but from the form of notation. "Shape note" books like The Sacred Harp represent each note of the scale by a different geometric shape.

The tune of Kidd is used for several hymns in this tradition, including "What wondrous love is this, o my soul, o my soul..."

You can find out a lot about this kind of singing just be googling--even the Wikipedia article's not bad.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Captain Kidd shape note melody
From: Peace
Date: 13 Jun 08 - 10:37 AM

Than you for an excellent and clear answer, Nerd. As always.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Captain Kidd shape note melody
From: Lighter
Date: 02 Jan 16 - 07:35 AM

Any reader of this thread should check out this site:

http://davidkidd.net/Songs_like_Captain_Kidd.html


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Subject: RE: Origins: Captain Kidd shape note melody
From: GUEST,Arkie
Date: 02 Jan 16 - 12:43 PM

John and Charles Wesley were once criticized for using popular tunes for their hymns. I think that it was John's supposed reply; Why should the devil have all the good tunes? The Methodist Hymnal contains several hymns set to old folk melodies.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Captain Kidd shape note melody
From: Jack Campin
Date: 02 Jan 16 - 06:16 PM

What we need to answer this question properly is an American source of the tune that the creator of "Wondrous Love" would probably have had access to. We have no answer to that in what's been presented here so far.

Has anybody indexed 18th and early 19th century songbooks circulating in America? Burns's version of "Ye Jacobites By Name" would certainly have been available, but the pattern of its words is not as close to "Wondrous Love" as one of the "Jack Hall" family.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Captain Kidd shape note melody
From: Lighter
Date: 03 Jan 16 - 09:41 AM

Eighteenth Century Collections Online is a database that includes no less than 180,000 British and American publication, including garlands and some broadsides. Its coverage of music books is good, but probably not complete.

A search finds not a single instance of the phrases, "My name is William/ Robert/ Captain Kidd," "As I sail/ed, as I sail/ed," or "What wond'rous/ wondrous/ wonderous love is this, O."

The earliest appearance in ECCO of "Ye Jacobites by Name" is in the anonymously edited "Scotish [sic] Songs. In Two Volumes" (London: J. Johnson & J. Egerton, 1794), II, p. 257. Some of the collection's songs are attributed to Burns. This is unattributed.

The second half of the tune is a little (but noticeably) different from that popularized (I believe) by Ewan MacColl.

ECCO contains no exx. of the very similar "Aikendrum," words or music.

The British Library Catalog indexes nothing of great age under the title "Captain Kidd"

Nor does the Bodleian Ballads site contain anything under "Captain Kidd" or "Kidd."

Washington Irving quotes a half-dozen lines from the ballad in his sketch "Kidd the Pirate" (1824).

Any other search suggestions?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Captain Kidd shape note melody
From: Jack Campin
Date: 03 Jan 16 - 01:45 PM

The hymn writer and the people commenting on it may not have known it by the same name - widening the search to include "Jack Hall" might help. So would a theme code search - the National Tune Index includes American 18th century sources, but I think it cuts off sharp at 1800. Maybe there's a follow-on I don't know about?


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