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Lyr Req: Lady Vangeline, Greek folksong

GUEST,Tony Patriarche 27 Sep 07 - 06:51 AM
llareggyb (inactive) 27 Sep 07 - 10:00 AM
llareggyb (inactive) 27 Sep 07 - 10:41 AM
llareggyb (inactive) 27 Sep 07 - 12:14 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 27 Sep 07 - 02:07 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 28 Sep 07 - 05:18 PM
George Papavgeris 29 Sep 07 - 12:01 AM
George Papavgeris 29 Sep 07 - 12:15 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 29 Sep 07 - 02:05 PM
llareggyb (inactive) 13 Sep 08 - 11:00 PM
Joe Offer 14 Sep 08 - 04:44 AM
llareggyb (inactive) 15 Sep 08 - 09:08 AM
Joe Offer 21 Sep 08 - 02:34 AM
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Subject: Lyr Req: Lady Vangeline, Greek folksong
From: GUEST,Tony Patriarche
Date: 27 Sep 07 - 06:51 AM

Is anyone familiar with the Greek folksong, Lady Vangeline? I have the lyrics to just one verse, which is not nearly enough for such a lovely tune (in a lilting 7/8 metre). I would love to have more verses. What little I have is as follows:

O who art thou Lady Vangeline?
Thou rulest here like a lovely queen. (2x)
   From the sky thou dost appear
   Bringing blessed water so pure and clear.
O who art thou Lady Vangeline?
Thou rulest here like a lovely queen.

I can post or email a midi file if anyone wants the tune. Feel free to email me at tony@patriarche.net.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lady Vangeline, Greek folksong
From: llareggyb (inactive)
Date: 27 Sep 07 - 10:00 AM

Oops, I just found my original copy of the song ... I had it all along! Cancel the Lyric Request. I'll see if I can get the song added to the database, as it is unusual and pretty. But, for the record, here are the lyrics I (now) have:

O who art thou, Lady Vangeline,
Thou rulest here like a lovely queen. (2x)
   From the sky thou dost appear
   Bringing blessed water so pure and clear.
O who art thou Lady Vangeline,
Thou rulest here like a lovely queen.

The cypress tree and the lemon tree
Hold up their booughs for a drink from thee. (2x)
   Fail them not, O lovely one,
   Leave them not to burn in the summer sun.
The cypress tree and the lemon tree
Hold up their booughs for a drink from thee.

The water thou bringest from the sky
Must quench their thirst or the trees will die. (2x)
   Mercy, mercy Lady mine!
   Let thy raindrops fall on the tree and vine.
The water thou bringest from the sky
Must quench their thirst or the trees will die.

O who art thou Lady Vangeline,
Thou rulest here like a lovely queen.
==============================
llareggyb, aka Tony Patriarche


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Subject: ADD: Lady Vangeline, Greek folksong
From: llareggyb (inactive)
Date: 27 Sep 07 - 10:41 AM

LADY VANGELINE
(traditional Greek)

O who art thou, Lady Vangeline,
Thou rulest here like a lovely queen. (2x)
   From the sky thou dost appear
   Bringing blessed water so pure and clear.
O who art thou Lady Vangeline,
Thou rulest here like a lovely queen.

The cypress tree and the lemon tree
Hold up their booughs for a drink from thee. (2x)
   Fail them not, O lovely one,
   Leave them not to burn in the summer sun.
The cypress tree and the lemon tree
Hold up their booughs for a drink from thee.

The water thou bringest from the sky
Must quench their thirst or the trees will die. (2x)
   Mercy, mercy Lady mine!
   Let thy raindrops fall on the tree and vine.
The water thou bringest from the sky
Must quench their thirst or the trees will die.

O who art thou Lady Vangeline,
Thou rulest here like a lovely queen.

=======
I know this song only from a choral arrangement by the late Rodney Webster of Victoria, BC, Canada. The tune is in 7/8 (a common rhythm in that part of the world, but with a very catchy lilt to most Western ears).

T.P.


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Subject: RE: ADD: Lady Vangeline, Greek folksong
From: llareggyb (inactive)
Date: 27 Sep 07 - 12:14 PM

Midi file Lady_Vangeline.mid has been sent to Alan Foster (Alan of Australia).

T.P.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lady Vangeline, Greek folksong
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 27 Sep 07 - 02:07 PM

Vangeline-
mp3 clip here, and a note.
Vangeline

New to me.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lady Vangeline, Greek folksong
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 28 Sep 07 - 05:18 PM

Can't help wondering if the words are recent, by Eleanor Graham Vance, applied to an old tune of another name.
Somehow I doubt that the lyrics are traditional.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lady Vangeline, Greek folksong
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 29 Sep 07 - 12:01 AM

Of course they are not traditional, how could they be, being written in English and all... Neither are they a translation. The "thou"s and "dost"s have no Greek equivalent, and are used here to give a romanticised impression of oldness. Yet they are based on the original:

The actual traditional song is called "Kyra-Vaggelio", which means "Mrs Vangeline", as you would refer to a neighbour (as opposed to "lady" with its connotations of grandeur, "lovely queen" and all that). The tune of the mp3 above is the same as the original. Eleanor Graham Vance took a reference to lemon trees, cypresses and rain, from the original song's third verse, and based the whole set of English lyrics on that, adding enough to turn it into some sort of semi-pagan hymn.

The original lyrics simply talk about an admired, kindly and "much-praised" woman (this last reference usually means "good looking") who seems to have been killed falling down a crevasse. The original lyrics then have Kyra-Vaggelio enter a garden full of trees, as a sort of paradise in afterlife (a characteristic ruse in traditional Greek songs about loved ones who have died, as a way of softening the blow).

The original Greek song is at least a couple of hundred years old, I believe (my guess is, anything between 1600 and 1800). If so, then there is very likely an interesting story behind it, but that has been lost in the mists of time. Reading between the lines, with the benefit of other stories I know about similar songs, I could make the following supposition:

Vaggelio was a reasonably young and certainly good looking married woman, admired by others, who was accosted by a stranger while drawing water at the village well (the song has the repeated line "give me some water", which was a typical chat-up line back then, when the time of drawing water was one of the few occasions a married woman would be seen on her own outside the house). She should have ignored the stranger and not spoken to him or acknowledged him, but being young and inexperienced - or flattered - she did give some water to the stranger. This would have been a great offence to her husband. Accusations followed, and in shame she threw herself down a crevasse. Saddened by the loss of such a "praised and admired" woman, anon takes over and concocts the story about ending up in a garden watering the trees.

I repeat that the above is only a supposition on my part, based on the knowledge of the customs and how such songs came about those days. "Kyra-Vaggelio" is certainly well known in Greece; no, that's an understatement, babies are danced on knees to that, youngsters learn to dance trad dances to that, every Greek knows it. Just go to any Greek and say "ena nero, Kyra-Vaggelio" (the first line of the song meaning "give me some water"), and they will answer with "ena nero, kryo nero" (the second line - "water, cool water") and then ask you how YOU knew about it!

Traditional Greek songs were rarely (almost never) about royalty, lords and ladies, for the simple reason that there were none about. Remember that between the 15th and 19th centuries Greece was simply part of the Ottoman empire and most Greeks were peasants, bar a few "scribes" and courtiers in the entourage of the local rulers such as Ali Pasha of Ioannina (I mention him because there are a few songs from that era referring to people other than normal peasants). Invariably then the old songs refer to ordinary people, or (later, when the War of Independence had begun) to famed fighters and brigands.

Which is why the English lyrics grate a little with me; all this grandeur and fake "olde worlde" language goes against the grain. But I am even more grateful that such an old song has travelled outside my country's borders and is enjoyed by others.

There - that's my thesis, can I have the PhD?
The things we do at 4 in the morning....


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lady Vangeline, Greek folksong
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 29 Sep 07 - 12:15 AM

Oh, sod it - for completeness' sake:

Original words, in my fake phonetics:

"Ena nero, kyra-Vaggelio
Ena nero, kryo nero".
Kiapo poothe katevenee,
Vaggelio moo penemenee.

Apo gremno kyra-Vaggelio,
Apo gremno gremnizeteh.
Se perivolaki benee
Vaggelio moo penemenee.

Poteezee the- kyra-Vaggelio,
Poteezee thendra ke kladia,
Lemonies ke kyparissia
San ta omorfa koritsia.

Translation:

"Some water, Mrs Vangeline
Some water, cool water".
And where does she come down from,
My praised Vangeline?

From a crevasse, Mrs Vangeline,
It's from a crevasse that she falls
And enters a little garden,
My praised Vangeline.

She waters, Mrs Vangeline
She waters trees and boughs
Lemon trees and cypresses,
like beautiful girls.

Perhaps you can now see the basis of my supposition in the previous message, and also why the lyrics of Eleanor Graham Vance grate a bit. I ought to do a version that is truer to the original...


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lady Vangeline, Greek folksong
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 29 Sep 07 - 02:05 PM

Thanks, George. I suspected it was one of those 'new age' bits of nonsense, but I could find no source in google.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lady Vangeline, Greek folksong
From: llareggyb (inactive)
Date: 13 Sep 08 - 11:00 PM

Well...

I came back today to this thread (after once again fruitlessly searching the web for the original Greek lyrics or provenance) after I finally got smart, and asked my barber, Nick the Greek, as he was cutting my hair, whether he knew the song. I sang a couple of phrases to him (in English, of course), and he sang a couple back to me. As George Papavgeris says, the tune is well known in Greece and a favourite for dancing to; Nick thought it was at least 100 years old when he left Greece 40 years ago.

Thank you, George, for setting the record straight. I feel a little disillusioned, but it is also amusing to see how far from the original the beautified English lyric has come.

Q, I am not familiar with Eleanor Graham Vance -- is that the known provenance of these pseudo-medieval English lyrics to this tune, or was it just meant as an example of the type?

Nevertheless, the "fake olde worlde" style of the English version I learned is at least 40-50 years old - definitely pre-new-age. But then William Morris was writing fake medieval lyrics and carols in the 19th century, and no doubt if I'd studied Classics I could find a Roman poet who was writing fake Homerics in 25 AD, so there's not much new under the folk-song sun. And not all mock-medieval songs are bad: Morris's own Carol "Masters in this Hall" bounces right along with a rollicking rhythm that makes "Good King Wenceslas" (another 19th century burlesque of an old Latin Spring carol) freeze solid in his own footsteps by comparison.

Soppy words or not, I love the tune, and I have now done a couple of choral arrangements of it myself. And there are so many folk songs that have undergone that kind of transmogrification, from a down-to-earth, homely or even grim original to a prettified lyric -- it's all part of the folk process. So the stark Twa Corbies becomes the courtly Three Ravens, complete with a "derry, derry down"; and a snippet of chorus overheard on a Scottish Ferry becomes "Charlie is My Darling".... My personal working definition of a folk song is any song that two or three people like to get together and sing (so long as it isn't tied up in copyright), to which my ex would add "and so long as it's simple enough that you can sing it in the kitchen while cooking dinner".

This comes a long time after the original thread, I know, but George, if you see this, I would love it if you would indeed do a singable version that is truer to the original, as you say.

If there is any legitimate reference for the English lyrics I learned, why not add it to the DT? There are far worse bits of doggerel with no better claims to authenticity. I did try to add the tune at the time I started this thread, but the email address I sent it to was out of date, and I set it aside for later. If nothing else, I think the tune deserves to be much better known outside its native land.

Tony Patriarche


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lady Vangeline, Greek folksong
From: Joe Offer
Date: 14 Sep 08 - 04:44 AM

There's a song called "Angeline" in a Ginn & Co. school songbook indexed in this thread. I wondered if it was the same one, but it's not. It's a very nice Czech tune with very poor English lyrics.
Maybe that's too far off - but Q linked to this page which has an MP3 of a song called "Vangeline," which was found in a children's songbook called Songs of Many Lands (1943). Ginn published a book by that title, so it got me wondering....

-Joe-


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Subject: Lyr ADD: Lady Vangeline,
From: llareggyb (inactive)
Date: 15 Sep 08 - 09:08 AM

LADY VANGELINE
(Greek Traditional, English lyrics attrib. to Eleanor Graham Vance)

O who art thou, Lady Vangeline,
Thou rulest here like a lovely queen. (2x)
   From the sky thou dost appear
   Bringing blessed water so pure and clear.
O who art thou Lady Vangeline,
Thou rulest here like a lovely queen.

The cypress tree and the lemon tree
Hold up their boughs for a drink from thee. (2x)
   Fail them not, O lovely one,
   Leave them not to burn in the summer sun.
The cypress tree and the lemon tree
Hold up their booughs for a drink from thee.

The water thou bringest from the sky
Must quench their thirst or the trees will die. (2x)
   Mercy, mercy Lady mine!
   Let thy raindrops fall on the tree and vine.
The water thou bringest from the sky
Must quench their thirst or the trees will die.

O who art thou Lady Vangeline,
Thou rulest here like a lovely queen.
=================================================================
Source: Songs of Many Lands (1943) by Eleanor Graham Vance.
The original Greek lyrics are quite different - simpler and earthier: see the post by George Papavgeris above (29 Sep 07). This song is still well-known and popular in Greece both to sing and to dance to (sources: my barber, Nick the Greek, and George Papavgeris) and is at least 100 years old, possibly much older.
T.P.
I've attached the following midi (type 1) files:
  1. Lady_Vangeline_Tune.mid (click) -- the bare melody.
  2. Lady_Vangeline_Harmony.mid (click) -- Three part harmony
  3. Lady_Vangeline_Harmony2.mid (click) -- identical with 2 except different midi voicing - pick whichever you like best
  4. Lady_Vangeline_Men's_Chorus.mid (click) -- a full choral arrangement of all 3 verses
    -- probably a bit too classical & complicated for the DT


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lady Vangeline, Greek folksong
From: Joe Offer
Date: 21 Sep 08 - 02:34 AM

Note the MIDI files from llareggyb, added to the message above. Judging from the MP3 that Q linked to above, I'd say the tempo on the MIDI tunes should be just a bit faster.
Thanks, llareggyb.
-Joe-


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