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Origin: The Earl King / Erl-King

DigiTrad:
THE ERL-KING


Arkie 11 Sep 07 - 09:30 PM
GUEST,soprano 11 Sep 07 - 09:44 PM
Kent Davis 11 Sep 07 - 09:47 PM
GUEST,leeneia 11 Sep 07 - 10:17 PM
masato sakurai 11 Sep 07 - 11:14 PM
Genie 11 Sep 07 - 11:20 PM
Charlie Baum 11 Sep 07 - 11:43 PM
GUEST,Shimrod 12 Sep 07 - 05:01 AM
NormanD 12 Sep 07 - 06:07 AM
Arkie 12 Sep 07 - 10:51 AM
michaelr 12 Sep 07 - 03:21 PM
Arkie 12 Sep 07 - 03:45 PM
Jim Dixon 17 Sep 07 - 09:07 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 18 Sep 07 - 12:55 AM
Art Thieme 18 Sep 07 - 08:31 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 19 Sep 07 - 12:25 AM
Ernest 19 Sep 07 - 02:21 AM
MudGuard 19 Sep 07 - 01:41 PM
Wilfried Schaum 20 Sep 07 - 01:10 AM
Ernest 20 Sep 07 - 02:28 AM
GUEST,jojo 17 Oct 10 - 08:34 PM
Jack Campin 17 Oct 10 - 08:52 PM
Anne Lister 18 Oct 10 - 03:42 PM
Hrothgar 19 Oct 10 - 08:04 AM
Joe Offer 05 Oct 18 - 01:33 PM
Joe Offer 05 Oct 18 - 02:24 PM
Raedwulf 07 Oct 18 - 01:26 PM
michaelr 07 Oct 18 - 03:56 PM
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Subject: The Earl King
From: Arkie
Date: 11 Sep 07 - 09:30 PM

Does anyone have any information on the ballad, "The Earl King". Steve Gillette did this on one of the Fast Folk recordings and I have found no other references.

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Subject: RE: The Earl King
From: GUEST,soprano
Date: 11 Sep 07 - 09:44 PM

Franz Schubert wrote a very famous lied of the same title. About a young boy traveling with his father in the woods who sees a monster/ghost/devil? can't remember what exactly. He tries to tell the father. I believe they are traveling on horse back and being chased by this evil spirit. The father doesn't believe the boy and I think in the end the boy is taken by the Erleking? not sure of the German spelling. Very famous lied.


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Subject: RE: The Earl King
From: Kent Davis
Date: 11 Sep 07 - 09:47 PM

It may the spelling that's keeping you from finding other references. Try "erl" rather than "earl" and try this: @displaysong.cfm?SongID=1844
and http://64.233.169.104/search?q=cache:AAtz2gYGgXwJ:www.moonfairye.com/library/Erlkoenig/erlking.htm+%22erl+king%22&hl=en&ct=clnk&
Hope this helps.
Kent


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Subject: RE: The Earl King
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 11 Sep 07 - 10:17 PM

Thanks, Kent. That's interesting.


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Subject: RE: The Earl King
From: masato sakurai
Date: 11 Sep 07 - 11:14 PM

Schubert's "Erlkönig" (words by Goethe) is in Schubert
Lieder
, vol. 1, Ausgewählte Lieder, no. 1 (click here).


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Subject: RE: The Erl King
From: Genie
Date: 11 Sep 07 - 11:20 PM

This was one of my favorite poems from my early college days.


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Subject: RE: The Earl King
From: Charlie Baum
Date: 11 Sep 07 - 11:43 PM

Dom Flemons (of the Carolina Chocolate Drops and Sankofa Strings, etc.) has a great version--if it had been an Appalachian ballad played by Doc Boggs, it might have sounded like the one at http://www.myspace.com/domflemonsmusic (and click "Earl King").

Steve Gillette's version of "Erl King" is already in the Digital Tradition:
http://www.mudcat.org/@displaysong.cfm?SongID=1844

--Charlie Baum


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Subject: RE: The Earl King
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 12 Sep 07 - 05:01 AM

Back in the 70s I read an extraordinary novel called 'The Erl King'. I think it was by a French writer called something like Michel de Tournier (possibly?). It's a long time since I read it but, as far as I can recall, it was about a rather unworldly man who builds a sort of vast symbolic system for explaining the world around him and then finds that the inverse of his system has a ghastly counterpart in the real world.

Oh dear, I've probably put you off reading it now ...


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Subject: RE: The Earl King
From: NormanD
Date: 12 Sep 07 - 06:07 AM

Not to be confused with the late, and exceptionally great, New Orleans blues/R&B singer, Earl King, who wrote "Big Chief" (for Professor Longhair), "Do-Re-Mi" (Lee Dorsey), "Trick Bag", and "Come On".

Norman


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Subject: RE: The Earl King
From: Arkie
Date: 12 Sep 07 - 10:51 AM

I figured there had to be answers at Mudcat.   Thanks to you all. It is amazing what a difference one letter can make.   Never having heard the expression "Earl King" I wondered how common this song might be. I've been listening to folk music for over half a century and had never heard this ballad until yesterday.


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Subject: RE: The Earl King
From: michaelr
Date: 12 Sep 07 - 03:21 PM

Erle is German for alder. My 1904 dictionary says that Erlkoenig or Erlenkoenig is a mutation of Elfenkoenig, King of Elves.

Cheers,
Michael


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Subject: RE: The Earl King
From: Arkie
Date: 12 Sep 07 - 03:45 PM

Thanks.   The logic in the process is becoming more apparent.


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Subject: RE: The Earl King
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 17 Sep 07 - 09:07 PM

THE ERL-KING
by Sir Walter Scott
FROM THE GERMAN OF GOETHE

(The Erl-King is a goblin that haunts the Black Forest in Thuringia.—To be read by a candle particularly long in the snuff.)

O who rides by night thro' the woodland so wild?
It is the fond father embracing his child;
And close the boy nestles within his loved arm,
To hold himself fast, and to keep himself warm.

"O father, see yonder! see yonder!" he says;
"My boy, upon what dost thou fearfully gaze?"
"O, 'tis the Erl-King with his crown and his shroud."
"No, my son, it is but a dark wreath of the cloud."

(The Erl-King speaks)
"O come and go with me, thou loveliest child;
By many a gay sport shall thy time be beguiled;
My mother keeps for thee many a fair toy,
And many a fine flower shall she pluck for my boy."

"O father, my father, and did you not hear
The Erl-King whisper so low in my ear?"
"Be still, my heart's darling -- my child, be at ease;
It was but the wild blast as it sung thro' the trees."

Erl-King
"O wilt thou go with me, thou loveliest boy?
My daughter shall tend thee with care and with joy;
She shall bear thee so lightly thro' wet and thro' wild,
And press thee, and kiss thee, and sing to my child."

"O father, my father, and saw you not plain
The Erl-King's pale daughter glide past thro' the rain?"
"Oh yes, my loved treasure, I knew it full soon;
It was the grey willow that danced to the moon."

Erl-King
"O come and go with me, no longer delay,
Or else, silly child, I will drag thee away."
"O father! O father! now, now, keep your hold,
The Erl-King has seized me -- his grasp is so cold!"

Sore trembled the father; he spurr'd thro' the wild,
Clasping close to his bosom his shuddering child;
He reaches his dwelling in doubt and in dread,
But, clasp'd to his bosom, the infant was dead!


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Subject: RE: Origin: The Earl King / Erl-King
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 18 Sep 07 - 12:55 AM

"Erlkonig, or Erl-King, a mythical character in modern German literature, represented as a gigantic bearded man with a golden crown and trailing garments, who carries children away to that undiscovered country where he himself abides.
There is no such personage in ancient German mythology, and the name is linguistically nothing more than the perpetuation of a blunder. It first appeared in Herder's "Stimmen der Volker (1778), where it is used in the translation of the Danish song of the "Elf-King's Daughter" as equivalent to the Danish ellerkonge, or ellekonge, that is, elverkonge, the king of the elves; and the true German word would have been Elbkonig or Elbenkonig,
afterwards used under the modified form of Elfenkonig by Wieland in his "Oberon" (1780). Herder was probably misled by the fact that the Danish word elle signifies not only elf, but also alder tree (Ger. Erle). His mistake at any rate has been perpetuated by both English and French translators, who speak of a "king of the alders," "un roi des aunes," and find an explanation of the myth of tree-worship of early times, or in the vapoury emanations that hang like weird phantoms round the alder trees at night.
The legend was adopted by Goethe as the subject of one of his finest ballads, rendered familiar to English readers by the translations of Lewis and Sir Walter Scott; and since then it has been treated as a musical theme by Reichardt and Schubert."

Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th ed., 1911; synthesized in Erlkonig

Also see Sir Oluf, and the Elf-King's Daughter," Child, "The English and Scottish Ballads, vol. 1, online version of the 1860 edition.
The Elf-King's Daughter


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Subject: RE: Origin: The Earl King / Erl-King
From: Art Thieme
Date: 18 Sep 07 - 08:31 PM

I always was pretty certain that STEVE GILLETTE wrote his musical version of this story. He recorded it on his first album/LP --- a record issued by VANGUARD RECORDS in the 1960s. If it is available now you can probably get it on CD from Steve Gillette and Cindy Mangsen's website.

Art


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Subject: RE: Origin: The Earl King / Erl-King
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 19 Sep 07 - 12:25 AM

On his cd, "Steve Gillette," track 1, "The Erlking," originally issued 1967, re-issued 1993, Vanguard label; at Amazon.com and other sources.


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Subject: RE: Origin: The Earl King / Erl-King
From: Ernest
Date: 19 Sep 07 - 02:21 AM

just a little correction: the Black Forest is not located in Thuringia, but in Baden-Würtemberg.
Otherwise, great thread - thanks especially for the link to Dom Flemons version!
Best
Ernest


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Subject: RE: Origin: The Earl King / Erl-King
From: MudGuard
Date: 19 Sep 07 - 01:41 PM

just a little correction: the Black Forest is not located in Baden-Württemberg, but in Baden-Württemberg. ;-)


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Subject: RE: Origin: The Earl King / Erl-King
From: Wilfried Schaum
Date: 20 Sep 07 - 01:10 AM

ERLKÖNIG, m. s. erlenkönig. in HERDERS stimmen der völker (1778) wurde das dän. ellerkonge, ellekonge, d. i. elverkonge, elvekonge, also elbkönig, elbenkönig, beherscher der elbe (sp. 400) falsch übersetzt, was hernach auch GÖTHEN verführte. einen erlkönig gibt es in keiner sage.

in HERDER'S Voices of the Peoples the Danish ellerkonge, ellekonge, i. e. elverkonge, elvekonge = elf-king, elves-king, elves' ruler was translated falsely, what later on seduced GOETHE. There is no erlkönig in any myth

Grimm Bros. German Dictionary


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Subject: RE: Origin: The Earl King / Erl-King
From: Ernest
Date: 20 Sep 07 - 02:28 AM

thank you Andy....looks like I had a shortage of t`s here for a while - apparently the shop was busy producing the red and green ones for you... ;0)


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Subject: RE: Origin: The Earl King / Erl-King
From: GUEST,jojo
Date: 17 Oct 10 - 08:34 PM

my music teacher told me that the story of the elf king is that a boy and his father are riding in the forest and the boy claims to of seen the elf king{ if a child sees the elf king their supposed to die.}the father doesn't believe the boy and the elf king is trying to convince the boy to come with him and persuade him with his daughter, toys, ect. The father is still not believing the boy and by the end of the ride the boy is dead..............


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Subject: RE: Origin: The Earl King / Erl-King
From: Jack Campin
Date: 17 Oct 10 - 08:52 PM

Loewe's version is better than Schubert's. Look it up.


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Subject: RE: Origin: The Earl King / Erl-King
From: Anne Lister
Date: 18 Oct 10 - 03:42 PM

And there's a Herefordshire/Welsh borders tale of King Herla which may or may not be related to the Erlking ... and I've made a song out of it. King Herla seems to be doomed to ride through the skies until a puppy he's been given by a mysterious underground king jumps from his arms onto the ground. Probably for ever. A strange fragmentary story!


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Subject: RE: Origin: The Earl King / Erl-King
From: Hrothgar
Date: 19 Oct 10 - 08:04 AM

I have a very old Peter Dawson LP with this on it. Magnificent!


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Subject: ADD: The Erl King / Erl-King (Steve Gillette)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 05 Oct 18 - 01:33 PM

Up above, Charlie Baum links to Steve Gillette's "Erlking" is in the Digital Tradition, but here's my transcription from the Steve Gillette recording.

THE ERLKING
(Steve Gillette)

Who rides through the night so dark and wild?
The father rides with his own fearful child.
The boy he holds so close in his arms
He guards him safely, he keeps him warm.
Why do you hide your face as in fear?
Father, don't you see, the Erl King is here?
He calls to me with a crown and a shroud
No, my son, that's nothing but a passing cloud.

The Erl King beckons to the terrified boy,
You must come with me.
I'll give you jewels and wealth untold,
You'll walk in robes of bright and shining gold.
Father, father, do you not hear
The Erl King whispering low in my ear.
Hush now and rest ye, it's nothing my child
But the trees in the night wind playing their melody wild.

The Erl King says, oh, come with me
And my own fair daughters will wait on thee.

A heavenly vigil o'er your cradle they'll keep
And tenderly sing and rock you to sleep.
Father, father, see them there
The Erl King's daughters with bright shining hair.
No, my son, there are no fair maids
Nothing but the willow that wave in the glade.

Clutching the reins in his trembling hand
With pain and despair that he can't understand.
Alone on the road with the stars overhead
Fearful and hopeless, the boy in his arms is dead.
To the trees in the nightwind he cries aloud
He seeks out the face of death in every passing cloud
Down in the meadow where the boy's grave is laid
Nothing but the willow that wave in the glade.

Nothing but the willow that wave in the glade.


Steve Gillette Recording: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yCAfrJZDwyc

Here's another translation: https://www.sarfend.co.uk/erlking/lyrics.html


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Subject: ADD Version: Erlkoenig (Goethe)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 05 Oct 18 - 02:24 PM

And, for the sake of being complete, I have stolen Goethe's lyrics from Wikipedia.

ERLKÖNIG
(Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, 1782)

Wer reitet so spät durch Nacht und Wind?
Es ist der Vater mit seinem Kind;
Er hat den Knaben wohl in dem Arm,
Er faßt ihn sicher, er hält ihn warm.

"Mein Sohn, was birgst du so bang dein Gesicht?" –
"Siehst, Vater, du den Erlkönig nicht?
Den Erlenkönig mit Kron' und Schweif?" –
"Mein Sohn, es ist ein Nebelstreif."

"Du liebes Kind, komm, geh mit mir!
Gar schöne Spiele spiel' ich mit dir;
Manch' bunte Blumen sind an dem Strand,
Meine Mutter hat manch gülden Gewand." –

"Mein Vater, mein Vater, und hörest du nicht,
Was Erlenkönig mir leise verspricht?" –
"Sei ruhig, bleibe ruhig, mein Kind;
In dürren Blättern säuselt der Wind." –

"Willst, feiner Knabe, du mit mir gehn?
Meine Töchter sollen dich warten schön;
Meine Töchter führen den nächtlichen Reihn,
Und wiegen und tanzen und singen dich ein." –

"Mein Vater, mein Vater, und siehst du nicht dort
Erlkönigs Töchter am düstern Ort?" –
"Mein Sohn, mein Sohn, ich seh' es genau:
Es scheinen die alten Weiden so grau. –"

"Ich liebe dich, mich reizt deine schöne Gestalt;
Und bist du nicht willig, so brauch' ich Gewalt." –
"Mein Vater, mein Vater, jetzt faßt er mich an!
Erlkönig hat mir ein Leids getan!" –

Dem Vater grauset's; er reitet geschwind,
Er hält in Armen das ächzende Kind,
Erreicht den Hof mit Mühe und Not;
In seinen Armen das Kind war tot.


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Subject: RE: Origin: The Earl King / Erl-King
From: Raedwulf
Date: 07 Oct 18 - 01:26 PM

If memory serves correctly, the Erlkoening is neither "Elf King" nor "Earl King". He is Alder or Beech King. Supernatural, yes; faerie, yes (i.e. otherworldly again); but not fairy or elven.


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Subject: RE: Origin: The Earl King / Erl-King
From: michaelr
Date: 07 Oct 18 - 03:56 PM

"Ich liebe dich, mich reizt deine schöne Gestalt;
Und bist du nicht willig, so brauch' ich Gewalt."

"I love you, I'm charmed by your beautiful form;
And if you're unwilling, then I shall use force."

Resonates quite a bit these days, doesn't it?


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