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Review: Things learned from Folk Ballads

Chip2447 14 Sep 07 - 10:29 AM
Vixen 14 Sep 07 - 10:49 AM
GUEST,baz parkes 14 Sep 07 - 10:59 AM
Waddon Pete 14 Sep 07 - 11:52 AM
Big Al Whittle 14 Sep 07 - 05:56 PM
Joe_F 14 Sep 07 - 08:33 PM
TheSnail 14 Sep 07 - 10:24 PM
wysiwyg 14 Sep 07 - 10:38 PM
Kent Davis 15 Sep 07 - 12:06 AM
John MacKenzie 15 Sep 07 - 05:28 AM
the button 15 Sep 07 - 01:05 PM
Bill D 15 Sep 07 - 01:09 PM
the button 15 Sep 07 - 01:14 PM
Emma B 15 Sep 07 - 01:31 PM
Emma B 15 Sep 07 - 02:18 PM
Chip2447 15 Sep 07 - 11:56 PM
Dave Hanson 16 Sep 07 - 12:22 AM
BK Lick 16 Sep 07 - 12:43 AM
the button 16 Sep 07 - 12:38 PM
bubblyrat 16 Sep 07 - 12:49 PM
Tootler 16 Sep 07 - 03:35 PM
GUEST 16 Sep 07 - 03:55 PM
Surreysinger 16 Sep 07 - 05:50 PM
John MacKenzie 16 Sep 07 - 05:56 PM
GUEST,leeneia 17 Sep 07 - 09:57 AM
GUEST,edthefolkie 17 Sep 07 - 10:17 AM
GUEST,edthefolkie 17 Sep 07 - 10:24 AM
Tootler 17 Sep 07 - 03:42 PM
MystMoonstruck 17 Sep 07 - 06:41 PM
Big Al Whittle 17 Sep 07 - 06:57 PM
Big Al Whittle 17 Sep 07 - 07:00 PM
Uncle Phil 17 Sep 07 - 10:48 PM
Big Al Whittle 18 Sep 07 - 02:20 AM
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Subject: Review: Things learned from Folk Ballads
From: Chip2447
Date: 14 Sep 07 - 10:29 AM

This is apparently going round some circles. Although a bit long, still, IMO worth the read. I thought some of you might enjoy...


Things I've learned from British folk ballads

Don't ignore warnings.
If someone tells you to beware of Long Lankin, friggin' beware of him.
If someone tells you not to go by Carterhaugh, stay away.
Same goes for your mother asking you not to go out hunting on a particular day.
Portents about weather, particularly when delivered by an old sailor who is not currently chatting up a country maid, are always worth heeding.

If someone says that he's planning to kill you, believe him.

If someone says he's going to die, believe him.

Avoid navigable waterways.
Don't let yourself be< talked into going down by the wild rippling water, the wan water, the salt sea shore, the strand, the lowlands low, the Burning Thames, and any area where the grass grows green on the banks of some pool.
Cliffs overlooking navigable waterways aren't safe either.

Broom, as in the plant, should be given a wide berth.

Stay away from the greenwood side, too.

Avoid situations where the obvious rhyme-word is "maidenhead."

If you look at the calendar and discover it's May, stay home.

The flowing bowl is best quaffed at home. Don't drink with strangers. Don't drink alone. Don't toss the cups or pass the jar about in bars where you haven't arranged to keep a tab. Drinks of unusual or uncertain provenance should be viewed askance, especially if you're offered them by charming members of the opposite sex. Finally, never get drunk and pass out in a bar called the "Cape Horn."

Members of press gangs seldom tell the truth.
Recruiting sergeants will fib to you shamelessly.
They are not your friends, even if they're buying the drinks. Especially when they're buying the drinks.

If you're drinking toasts, mention your One True Love early and often.

If you're a young lady, dressing yourself in men's array and joining the army or the navy has all sorts of comic possibilities, but you yourself aren't going to find it too darned humorous at the time.

If you are an unmarried lady and have sex, you will get pregnant. No good will come of it.

If you are physically unable to get pregnant due to being male, the girl you had sex with will get pregnant. No good will come of it. You'll either kill her, or she'll kill herself, or her husband/brother/father/uncle/cousin will kill you both.
In any case her Doleful Ghost will make sure everyone finds out.
You will either get hanged, kill yourself, or be carried off bodily by Satan.
Your last words will begin "Come all ye."

Going to sea to avoid marrying your sweetie is an option, but if she hangs herself after your departure (and it's even money that she's going to) her Doleful Ghost will arrive on board your ship and the last three stanzas of your life will purely suck.

If you are a young gentleman who had sex it is possible the girl won't get pregnant. In those rare instances you will either get Saint Cynthia's Fire or the Great Pox instead. No good will have come of it.

New York Girls, like Liverpool Judies, like the ladies of Limehouse, Yarmouth, Portsmouth, Gosport, and/or Baltimore, know how to show sailors a good time, if by "good time" you mean losing all your money, your clothes, and your dignity.
Note: All of these places are near navigable waterways.
In practical terms this means that if you're a sailor you're screwed (and so are any young ladies you happen to meet).
See also: Great Pox; Doleful Ghost.

If you are a young lady do not allow young men into your garden.
Or let them steal your thyme.
Or agree to handle their ramrods while they're hunting the bonny brown hare.
Cuckoo's nests are right out.
And never stand sae the back o' yer dress is up agin the wa' (for if ye do ye may safely say yer thing-a-ma-jig's awa').

Never let a stranger teach you a new game.
No good will come of it.

Sharing a boyfriend with your sister is a bad plan.

Having more than one True Love at a time is a non-starter.

If you're a brunette, give up.

Not that being a blonde will improve the odds much.

If your name is Janet, change it.

If you are a young lady and an amorous soldier, sailor, ploughboy, blacksmith, cavalry officer, or other young man fails to stop the first time you tell him he's being too bold, knock off the maidenly protests and take more direct measures.
If saying "no" the first time didn't stop him, you've no reason to believe that twice will work any better.

Professions to be particularly wary of: clerks, salty sailors, serving maids, blacksmiths, highwaymen, gamblers, rank robbers, stonemasons, soldiers, tinkers, and millers. Anyone described as "jolly," "bold," or "saucy."
Supernatural creatures are best avoided.
If they can't be avoided, they should be addressed respectfully.
If a supernatural creature sets you a task you're well and truly screwed.

If you are a young lady and a soldier promises to "marry you in the morn," it means he's already married. And has kids.
And he's not going to marry you anyway.
Even if you're pregnant.
Which you will be.

If you're a young unmarried lady with child, and your pregnancy embarrasses or inconveniences someone else, consider yourself a sitting duck.
Don't meet with your young gentleman alone, or at odd hours, or in isolated locations, even if he says he's taking you to be married.
Next thing you know your Doleful Ghost will be telling your mother all about it.
While he may say "Come all ye" in the last stanza or two this will be small comfort.

Young ladies who feel uneasy should always act on their feelings.
If in your good opinion you fear some young man (however handsome, rich, and well-spoken) is some rake, depend upon it: He's a rake.
Rakes will protest that you have them all wrong.
They'll be fibbing.
Never go anywhere with a rake, particularly to isolated spots.
See above: Doleful Ghost.

If you are a young lady and someone arrives to tell you that your boyfriend was slain on a foreign battlefield, take it with a grain of salt.
Especially if you're carrying a broken token.

If a former significant other turns up unexpectedly after a long absence, don't throw yourself into his/her arms right away.

That goes double if they refuse to eat anything.

Triple if they turn up at night and want you to leave with them immediately.

Have nothing to do with former boyfriends who turn up and say it's no big deal that you're now married to someone else and have a child.
If their intentions are legit, that's got to be a problem.
If it's not a problem, their intentions are not legit.

You are justified in cherishing the direst suspicions of a suddenly and unexpectedly returned significant other who mentions a long journey, a far shore, or a narrow bed, or who's oddly skittish about the imminent arrival of cockcrow.

If you are a young lady and you meet a young man who says his name is "Ramble Away," don't be surprised if, by the time you know you're pregnant, it turns out he's moved and left no forwarding address.

A fellow who's a massively accomplished flirt hasn't been spending his time sitting around waiting for his One True Love to come along.
Furthermore, odds are poor that you'll turn out to be his One True Love who will reform him.

If you arrange an assignation with your new sweetie, a little foot page will be listening in and will carry the news to exactly the last person you'd want to hear the story.

If your girlfriend insists that you go back to sleep after some odd sound woke you, it's time to dive out the window and run for the hills right then.

If you're hiding in the hills, don't inform anyone exactly where you're sleeping, particularly not an attractive member of the opposite sex.

If your girlfriend serves eels in eel broo, make sure you see her eat some first.

Informing your current significant other that you're about to be wed to someone else is risky.
Even if you're doing it as a joke, or to test their love.
Especially if you're doing it as a joke or to test their love. Testing someone's love in general isn't too bright.

Not even sending a talking goshawk to tell your significant other that the engagement is off will help you.
You're going to find yourself at the bottom of a well full fifty fathoms deep.
A Doleful Ghost may get involved.

If, after you inform your current significant other that you're to be wed to someone else, he or she suggests that the two of you meet in some lonely spot for one last fling, do not go.

Inviting your old flame to your wedding is a bad idea.

If your old flame invites you to his/her wedding, leave town.

If your old flame shows up uninvited at your wedding, start eyeing the exits. There's a chance he/she is a Doleful Ghost.
Be that as it may, no good will come of it.

If you're out hunting, make sure of your sight picture before you pull the trigger/loose your bow.
Especially so if you're near a navigable waterway or the greenwoodside.

Do not allow the words "I wish" to pass your lips.

Avoid oaths, particularly when you're near navigable waterways or the greenwoodside.

If the jailer indicates his willingness to take your gay gold ring to carry a message to your sweetheart, see if he'll take that same gay gold ring to leave the door open and look the other way for five minutes while you or the sweetheart (as appropriate) escape.

Always use the buddy system. "Bare is brotherless back," as Grettir the Strong put it; and if Grettir was worried about going places alone, you'd better worry too. So bring a friend with you.
Friends keep bad things from happening.
If things go badly anyway, you'll need their help. And if things go well (hey, it could happen), it'll be nice to have a friend along to share the laughs.

Pop quiz!

You are a beautiful young lady named Janet. On the first of May you meet a man in a patch of broom down by the greenwoodside. He invites you to his home on the far side of the sea, and earnestly entreats you to keep his invitation secret from your parents. The ship is leaving right away, this very night!

What should you do?

A) Woo hoo, sounds like fun! You'll go, have a great time, and return home happy, healthy, and with some great gossip for your chums.

B) You blow loudly on a police whistle and run home as if jet-propelled. You tell mom and dad what just went down, put on a Stetson, and load your forty-four caliber revolver with silver bullets.

C) You decide that it would save everyone concerned a great deal of trouble if you skipped ahead a bit and hanged yourself right now. Your Doleful Ghost informs mom of the situation.

D) Rather than go with him you disguise yourself as a man and join the Army. Next time you're marching through the Lowlands Low you seduce a beautiful young lady. She is so amazed to discover that she isn't pregnant that she hangs herself. Her Doleful Ghost gets confused and drives the young man you met down by the greenwoodside mad. He delivers a long speech that begins "Come all ye wild and roving lads a warning take by me…"

Chip2447


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Subject: RE: Review: Things learned from Folk Ballads
From: Vixen
Date: 14 Sep 07 - 10:49 AM

Amusing indeed! Also a practical handbook to human relations. In other fields of study:

"Peaches in the summertime, apples in the fall"

"Hound dog barks and billy goat jumps"

"Build you a fire of hickory, hickory, ash, and oak;
Never use green or rotten wood (they'll get you by the smoke)"

I'm sure there's an encyclopedia of human knowledge in folk music!

Neat thread idea.

V


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Subject: RE: Review: Things learned from Folk Ballads
From: GUEST,baz parkes
Date: 14 Sep 07 - 10:59 AM

Ten thousand miles is a very long way

Baz


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Subject: RE: Review: Things learned from Folk Ballads
From: Waddon Pete
Date: 14 Sep 07 - 11:52 AM

Excellent!

Peter


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Subject: RE: Review: Things learned from Folk Ballads
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 14 Sep 07 - 05:56 PM

being hanged with a silver chain for pinching 16 of the kings royal deer could have been appealed in European Court of Civil Rights nowadays.

Who says there isn't progress?

Avoid Ratcliff Highway - even it means using the M24.

If you meet a brisk young ploughboy, nutting down in Kent. Don't let his girlfriend handle your nuts.

Last night there were four Mary's. Tonight there'll be but three. Try to manage.

The Whistling Gypsy came over the hill.........he could do that with just one hand and Playmate of the Month.


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Subject: RE: Review: Things learned from Folk Ballads
From: Joe_F
Date: 14 Sep 07 - 08:33 PM

Remember that psychopaths are often deficient in prudence. With a little luck & guile, you may be able to persuade one to turn his back to you while standing near a navigable waterway. Or he may choose a moment when you are armed & close at hand to confess that he murdered your mother.

If you have gotten a lady in bad trouble, you cannot make amends by inviting her to dinner.

When bargaining with a parrot, on no account offer it freedom in exchange for hushing up. That can only make it hard to enforce the bargain. Offer it a fancier cage.

A quick way to join your lover in hell is to tell your husband that you prefer your lover's company.

It is vulgar to use a penknife for making pens from quills. Refined ladies use them for infanticide, killing their lovers' brides, and improving the credibility of false accusations of attempted rape.


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Subject: RE: Review: Things learned from Folk Ballads
From: TheSnail
Date: 14 Sep 07 - 10:24 PM

If your family consists of seven brothers and one sister, don't bank on having any grandchildren.


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Subject: RE: Review: Things learned from Folk Ballads
From: wysiwyg
Date: 14 Sep 07 - 10:38 PM

Do NOT go into that room, especially if you have to sneak a key for it out of a box.

Never trust men with red eyes.

~S~


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Subject: RE: Review: Things learned from Folk Ballads
From: Kent Davis
Date: 15 Sep 07 - 12:06 AM

Here's an interesting site: http://www.ouphrontis.com/writings/childltr-admiralty.html
Kent


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Subject: RE: Review: Things learned from Folk Ballads
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 15 Sep 07 - 05:28 AM

Keep your balls away from strange lady's gardens, especially if your name is Hugh.
G.


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Subject: RE: Review: Things learned from Folk Ballads
From: the button
Date: 15 Sep 07 - 01:05 PM

Don't be fooled by good weather conditions if you set sail on a Monday morning.

Beware of posh women hanging around after church services. Especially if they're looking all about.


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Subject: RE: Review: Things learned from Folk Ballads
From: Bill D
Date: 15 Sep 07 - 01:09 PM

If you're not getting along with your siblings, don't stand too near the edge of bodies of water.


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Subject: RE: Review: Things learned from Folk Ballads
From: the button
Date: 15 Sep 07 - 01:14 PM

If Jesus asks you to play, probably best to go along with it.


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Subject: RE: Review: Things learned from Folk Ballads
From: Emma B
Date: 15 Sep 07 - 01:31 PM

If your father has imprisoned someone , there's probably a good reason for it.

A kitchen boy may be a job for life but it may also be a short one.

Never rely on your true love arriving just in time especially if your parents are burning you at the stake.

And avoid wearing green.


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Subject: RE: Review: Things learned from Folk Ballads
From: Emma B
Date: 15 Sep 07 - 02:18 PM

If you have a striking resemblance to a swan - best avoid wearing a white apron too!


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Subject: RE: Review: Things learned from Folk Ballads
From: Chip2447
Date: 15 Sep 07 - 11:56 PM

Avoid women with babies in baskets...

Black velvet armbands are not a sign of Mournng...


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Subject: RE: Review: Things learned from Folk Ballads
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 16 Sep 07 - 12:22 AM

If some posh tart at church invites you to Bucklesfordberry, just say no.

eric


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Subject: RE: Review: Things learned from Folk Ballads
From: BK Lick
Date: 16 Sep 07 - 12:43 AM

Eggs and marrow bones will make your old man blind but if you want for to do him in, creep up from behind.


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Subject: RE: Review: Things learned from Folk Ballads
From: the button
Date: 16 Sep 07 - 12:38 PM

Funeral arrangements for people cut down in their prime is fairly standardised, irrespective of their gender or previous profession.


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Subject: RE: Review: Things learned from Folk Ballads
From: bubblyrat
Date: 16 Sep 07 - 12:49 PM

In order to minimise the terrible risk of the possibility of waking up in the morning, with a throbbing and debilitating migraine, in the bed of a very well-built and possibly hirsute lady, try to avoid rolling down to Old Maui,especially when returning from colder climes.


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Subject: RE: Review: Things learned from Folk Ballads
From: Tootler
Date: 16 Sep 07 - 03:35 PM

Don't mope on your girlfriend's grave or you will get a good talking to from the aforesaid doleful ghost.


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Subject: RE: Review: Things learned from Folk Ballads
From: GUEST
Date: 16 Sep 07 - 03:55 PM

Holy crap, with all of those rules, don't you folkies in the UK have any fun? :)

Folk ballads have always been the bastion of morality. All those grisly Scottish derivative ballads have a Calvinistic hue. Alan Lomax called the ballad a "morality play".

Frank Hamilton


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Subject: RE: Review: Things learned from Folk Ballads
From: Surreysinger
Date: 16 Sep 07 - 05:50 PM

Sorry, but wasn't this the subject of a very long thread last year... we're repeating ourselves here!!


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Subject: RE: Review: Things learned from Folk Ballads
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 16 Sep 07 - 05:56 PM

Similar from some time back.
G


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Subject: RE: Review: Things learned from Folk Ballads
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 17 Sep 07 - 09:57 AM

I just read a book about the life and death of Anna Nicole Smith. She could have used the advice given above:

'They are not your friends, even if they're buying the drinks.'

Add 'drugs' to make it modern, and you would forestall the downfall of many of celeb.


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Subject: RE: Review: Things learned from Folk Ballads
From: GUEST,edthefolkie
Date: 17 Sep 07 - 10:17 AM

If you're a young lady with dark hair and lips as red as wine STOP LOOKING FOR THAT FOXY LOOKING BLOKE!!


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Subject: RE: Review: Things learned from Folk Ballads
From: GUEST,edthefolkie
Date: 17 Sep 07 - 10:24 AM

Oh and....

If you're a chap about to hang in a traditional song, your true love will come over the stile with the money to get you off.

If you're a chap about to hang in a song by Richard Thompson, stop looking - you're gonna swing!


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Subject: RE: Review: Things learned from Folk Ballads
From: Tootler
Date: 17 Sep 07 - 03:42 PM

Except if your name is MacPherson, when the authorities cheated and put the clock forward. He swung, but not before doing a Pete Townshend and smashing his fiddle.


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Subject: RE: Review: Things learned from Folk Ballads
From: MystMoonstruck
Date: 17 Sep 07 - 06:41 PM

What about all of those Will/Willy/Williams? They're always going to sea, vowing to come back or wandering off to eat meals they shouldn't. Perhaps someone should add Willy warnings. *giggle*

Somewhere I have O'Carolan's Daughters' CD on which there is a very funny take on ballads about fellows with these names.


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Subject: RE: Review: Things learned from Folk Ballads
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 17 Sep 07 - 06:57 PM

Yes I've often thought Willy....his friends must think - he's a bit of a prick!

rhymming slang for Silly

besides my dearest Willy, I am with child by thee

Oh really......!
I'm silly willy, I don't notice these things. Gosh.....! preggers.... I suppose I'd better go off to sea for seven long years, that's the sort of twat I am. I've taken the Kings Shilling and when a fellow's given his word, Queen Anne comands and we obey! Sorry old fruit!

Seriously though. is this our priceless heritage, that we turn to serious folksingers/songwriters and tell them they are not singing real folk music because it doesn'r bear some fatuous relationship to?


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Subject: RE: Review: Things learned from Folk Ballads
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 17 Sep 07 - 07:00 PM

sorry about that last post, I was suffering from a willy infection.


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Subject: RE: Review: Things learned from Folk Ballads
From: Uncle Phil
Date: 17 Sep 07 - 10:48 PM

If your true love has been gone for seven long years something interesting is about to happen.
- Phil


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Subject: RE: Review: Things learned from Folk Ballads
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 18 Sep 07 - 02:20 AM

when the king sits in dunfermline town drinking his blood red wine, and making enquiries for a skeely skipper - remember, that's the week you booked your holiday. you'd like to help, but you've already paid the deposit.


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