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Question about 'Lady of Carlisle'

DigiTrad:
LADY OF CARLISLE
THE LADY'S FAN


Related threads:
(origins) Origins: The Lady's Fan (9)
Lyr Add: The Lion's Den (6)
Why Is the Lady of Carlisle Speechless? (22)


SouthernCelt 17 Sep 07 - 01:12 PM
Fred McCormick 17 Sep 07 - 01:23 PM
GUEST,Terry McDonald 17 Sep 07 - 01:49 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 17 Sep 07 - 01:54 PM
peregrina 17 Sep 07 - 02:17 PM
GUEST,Russ 17 Sep 07 - 03:06 PM
peregrina 17 Sep 07 - 03:13 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 17 Sep 07 - 05:18 PM
12-stringer 17 Sep 07 - 05:43 PM
GUEST,Terry McDonald 17 Sep 07 - 07:11 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 17 Sep 07 - 10:45 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 17 Sep 07 - 10:57 PM
masato sakurai 18 Sep 07 - 02:04 AM
GUEST,Janine 18 Sep 07 - 09:26 AM
SouthernCelt 18 Sep 07 - 01:33 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 18 Sep 07 - 02:03 PM
Fred McCormick 19 Sep 07 - 11:31 AM
GUEST,woodsie 19 Sep 07 - 12:32 PM
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Subject: Question about 'Lady of Carlisle'
From: SouthernCelt
Date: 17 Sep 07 - 01:12 PM

In the Digitrad db, "Lady of Carlisle" , 4th verse, last line says 'Captain of the ship that come from far.'

In the Ian and Sylvia version, this line sounds to me to be sung as 'Captain of the ship named Hong Kong Car.'

Neither of these would seem to be good grammatical phrasing; however, I can live with either one. Since I learned the song from listening to I & S, I tend to want to go with their version due to knowing the timing of the lyrics better.

Other lyrics web sites have similar versions to the Digitrad listing except for "Misc Folk Lyrics" which has the perceived I & S version above with 'Hong Kong Kar' in the line.

What do other 'catters who are familar with the I & S version think?

BTW, there are several other lyrical variations by I & S from the lyrics here but the rest are clear on the recording.

SC


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Subject: RE: Question about 'Lady of Carlisle'
From: Fred McCormick
Date: 17 Sep 07 - 01:23 PM

For what it's worth, the Basil May version, collected by Alan Lomax in Kentucky in 1937, I think, has

"On board of a ship called the Colonel Carr."

There's no such thing as a "correct" version 0f course, but that to me makes more sense than either of the above.


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Subject: RE: Question about 'Lady of Carlisle'
From: GUEST,Terry McDonald
Date: 17 Sep 07 - 01:49 PM

I've always sung it as 'captain of a ship that had come from afar.' Makes sense to me.


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Subject: RE: Question about 'Lady of Carlisle'
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 17 Sep 07 - 01:54 PM

In the versions in the Bodleian Library, one has Colonel Kerr, another has bold Colonel Carr. Neither ships, but men.

"One of them bore a captain's commission, under the command of bold Colonel Carr,
The other he was a noble lieutenant on board of the Tiger man-of-war."

Many versions, many changes, do what you will.

Bodleian versions titled "Bold Lieutenant."


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Subject: RE: Question about 'Lady of Carlisle'
From: peregrina
Date: 17 Sep 07 - 02:17 PM

I have just been listening to Basil May (on The Music of Kentucky: Early American Rural Classics 1927-37, Yazoo) and I can't quite make out what he says, but to me it sounds like:

'a brave sea captain/ a captain on a ship that was twelve by four'
--not quite sure, but it's [one syll. word] by [one syll. word.]??

Joe Penland (Standing on Tradition) sings: 'a brave sea captain/ he belonged to a ship called the Colonel Corr'

Alas, this ballad not included on Dark Holler (SF Folkways); can't remember if there's any snippet of it on The End of an Old Song'...

nice example of variation anyway; the information is metrically necessary but extraneous to the essential drama.


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Subject: RE: Question about 'Lady of Carlisle'
From: GUEST,Russ
Date: 17 Sep 07 - 03:06 PM

What Terry McDonald said.

I learned it from I & S too

Russ (Permanent GUEST)


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Subject: RE: Question about 'Lady of Carlisle'
From: peregrina
Date: 17 Sep 07 - 03:13 PM

It *is* on Dark Holler after all, track 1, called the Carolina Lady and sung by Dillard Chandler.

One of the brothers is:
'a brave lieutnenant of/on a man of war'
and the other--the line in question--'a brave sea captain/
he belonged on a ship called the colonel corr'


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Subject: RE: Question about 'Lady of Carlisle'
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 17 Sep 07 - 05:18 PM

Duncan Emrich, 1974, "American Folk Poetry, An Anthology," pp. 234-236, shows the evolution of the verse.
""The Lady of Carlisle" derives from an eighteenth-century broadside entitled "The Distressed Lady, or a Trial of True Love. In Five parts." The five parts last for fifty-five stanzas. In the condensed folk version, "the lover, rather than rejecting the lady, gladly accepts the prize that he has won."

Original English version:
One bought a captain's commission,
Under the brave Colonel Carr,
The other was a first lieutenant
In the Tyger man-of-war.

Kentucky version (1911):
One he was a bold lieutenant
A man of honor and of high degree;
The other was a brave sea-captain,
Belonging to a ship called Karnel Call.

Singing of Basil May, 1937, Library of Congress album, recorded by Alan Lomax.
One being a brave lieutenant,
Brave lieutenant and a man of war,
The other being a brave sea-captain,
Captain of the ship that was Kong Kong Kar.

Emrich states the incident was recounted as a fact by Brantôme in his memoirs (1666), used as a poem by Schiller for his poem "Der Handschuh" and by Robert Browning for "The Glove."


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Subject: RE: Question about 'Lady of Carlisle'
From: 12-stringer
Date: 17 Sep 07 - 05:43 PM

Basil May's diction is clear through most of the song, but it's very muddy on this phrase, which is obviously corrupted. I've only heard it on vinyl, at 78RPM (in the 60s you could buy an LOC 78RPM single of this, c/w Pete Steele's "Pretty Polly," and I did), but the best I could make of what he's saying is "Captain on a ship that was called Kon Carr." It could as easily be "Kong Kong Karr," as Ruth Crawford Seeger transcribed it from the same recording in "Our Singing Country." The "k" and "r" sounds come through pretty clearly but the words they're part of aren't so easy to understand.

The "come from far" version probably traces back to the NLCR Songbook, which gives the phrase in that form -- an obvious attempt to have it make a little more sense.

I'm with the "do it however you want" group, if ya don't mind being asked, "Is a Hong Kong Car anything like a Toyota?" (That's when I changed to "come from [a]far.")


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Subject: RE: Question about 'Lady of Carlisle'
From: GUEST,Terry McDonald
Date: 17 Sep 07 - 07:11 PM

I learned it from someone at Dorchester (UK) folk club in the 1960s (my memory says it was from from Sarah Morgan, long before she was part of Craig, Morgan,Robson) I've never heard a recorded version and assume that, as is so often the case, I learned the melody and first verse from a club singer and then found the words in a book. I have a vague memory of being told that it was a Peggy Seeger song -if Sarah reads this,she might be to confirm or deny this! Whatever the origins of the verse being queried, I've always sung it as:

The first being a brave lieutenant
A brave lieutenant and a man of war
The second being a brave sea captain
Captain of a ship that had come from afar.

As I said, makes sense to me, although it's possibly the silliest song I know........or are there sillier ones?


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Subject: Lyr. Add: BOLD LIEUTENANT (Lady of Carlisle)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 17 Sep 07 - 10:45 PM

Malcolm Douglas provided a capsule history of this song in thread 65185: Lady of Carlisle speechless
Here is one of the broadside versions (with mistakes and bad composition) from which later singers took versions and mis-hearings. I have inserted parenthetically a few words for clarity.
^^
Lyr. Add: BOLD LIEUTENANT 1

1.
In London city there lived a lady who possessed a vast estate,
She was courted by men of honour, dukes and earls did on her wait,
This lady made a resolution to join in wedlock with none but he,
Who signalised hims. if by honour 'all in the wars by land or sea.
2.
There were two brothers who became lovers, they both admired this lady fair,
They did endeavour to gain her favour, likewise to please her was all their care;
One of them bore a captain's commission, under the command of bold Colonel Carr,
The other was a noble lieutenant on board of the Tiger man of war.
3.
The eldest brother (who) was a captain great protestations of (love) did make.
The yongest brother swore he would venture his life and fortune for her sake,
Now said she I will find a way to try them, to see which of them first from danger start,
And he that shall behave the bravest shall be the governor of my heart.
4.
She desired her coachman for to be ready as soon as he could see the break of day,
And she and her two warlike heroes to Tower-hill they rode away,
When she arrived unto the Tower she threw her fan into the lion's den,
Saying he that wishes to gain a lady shall bring to me my fan again.
5.
Then well bespoke the faint-hearted captain, who was distracted all in his mind,
To hostile danger I'm no stranger, to face my foe I'm still inclined,
But to hear the lions and the wild beasts roaring, for to approach them I do not approve,
So therefore madam forbear of danger some other champion must gain your love.
6.
And well bespoke the bold lieutenant with voice like thunder so loud and high,
To hostile danger I am no stranger, I will bring you back, love, your fan or die,
He drew his sword and went in amongst them, the lions fawned and fell at his feet,
It was then he stooped for the fan and brought it and left the lions all asleep.
7.
The gallant action now being over, unto the lady he took his way,
While she sat in the coach a trembling, thinking he might become lions' prey,
But when she saw her bold hero coming, unto him there was no harm done,
With open arms she did embrace him, saying take your prize, love you have won.

Bodleian Library, Harding B 16 (29a). No date, no data.

I will post another later.


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Subject: RE: Question about 'Lady of Carlisle'
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 17 Sep 07 - 10:57 PM

In a version called The Lions' Den," the King hears of this gallant action (two lions slain) and raises our hero to "an admiral of the blue." (Harding B17(167)

(Better, the lady should have been served as a tidbit to the remaining lions)


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Subject: RE: Question about 'Lady of Carlisle'
From: masato sakurai
Date: 18 Sep 07 - 02:04 AM

The DT version seems to have been from The New Lost City Ramblers Song Book (p. 52). Pentangle, on Solomon's Seal (1972), sang this version.


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Subject: RE: Question about 'Lady of Carlisle'
From: GUEST,Janine
Date: 18 Sep 07 - 09:26 AM

The song doesn't relect well on the fair sex and I suppose it doesn't reflect too well on the men either. I wonder what sort of marriage they had! Does anyone know a recorded version where the lieutenant does indeed recover the lady's fan but then slaps her across the face and off he goes?

Jan


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Subject: RE: Question about 'Lady of Carlisle'
From: SouthernCelt
Date: 18 Sep 07 - 01:33 PM

Well, Janine, I wouldn't judge songs about customs from long ago by any of today's standards (or any of the twentieth century for that matter); however, the fun of folk music is that if you want the Lt. to slap her and leave, you can make up a version that has him do that. I always figured that her attraction must have been her wealth rather than her looks. In effect, that's what the version posted above (Bold Lieutenant 1)implies since it refers to her suitors being interested in her estates, etc.

SC


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Subject: RE: Question about 'Lady of Carlisle'
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 18 Sep 07 - 02:03 PM

The song does seem ripe for parody. A wonder none has shown up.


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Subject: RE: Question about 'Lady of Carlisle'
From: Fred McCormick
Date: 19 Sep 07 - 11:31 AM

Basil May's version has been reissued on CD; Music of Kentucky: Early American Rural Classics 1927 - 37: Vol 2. Yazoo        2014

I haven't played the Basil May track in quite a while but my recollection is that the line in question is pretty audible.

Also I've played Dillard Chandler's much later recording (1963) recently. His line is definitely about a ship called Colonel Carr.



"Basil May's diction is clear through most of the song, but it's very muddy on this phrase, which is obviously corrupted. I've only heard it on vinyl, at 78RPM (in the 60s you could buy an LOC 78RPM single of this, c/w Pete Steele's "Pretty Polly," and I did), but the best I could make of what he's saying is "Captain on a ship that was called Kon Carr." It could as easily be "Kong Kong Karr," as Ruth Crawford Seeger transcribed it from the same recording in "Our Singing Country." The "k" and "r" sounds come through pretty clearly but the words they're part of aren't so easy to understand."


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Subject: RE: Question about 'Lady of Carlisle'
From: GUEST,woodsie
Date: 19 Sep 07 - 12:32 PM

The Grateful Dead do a great version called "Lady With A Fan" on Terrapin Station


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