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Gypsy Rover a real folk song?

DigiTrad:
GYPSY ROVER
GYPSY ROVER (2)
GYPSY ROVER (3)


Related threads:
(origins) Whistling Gypsy - prejudice? (133)
Gypsy Rover - River Claydee (12)
Help: history of the song 'Gypsy Rover (15)
Req: Gypsy's Whistling Rover (parody-unanswered) (9)
Lyr/Chords Req: Whistling Gypsy (3) (closed)


In Mudcat MIDIs:
Gypsy Davy ( Widdermer Schauffler version)
Gypsy Davy (Flanders' version of "Gypsy Davy" (collected from Mrs. Woodbury))
The Gypsy Rover [Leo Maguire]


Shack 26 Apr 99 - 05:26 PM
Bruce O. 26 Apr 99 - 05:40 PM
26 Apr 99 - 05:54 PM
Zorro 26 Apr 99 - 11:06 PM
Joe Offer 27 Apr 99 - 12:15 AM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 27 Apr 99 - 01:22 AM
Steve Parkes 27 Apr 99 - 03:39 AM
Alan of Australia 27 Apr 99 - 09:08 AM
Barbara 27 Apr 99 - 02:46 PM
Ian 27 Apr 99 - 02:59 PM
Matthew B. 27 Apr 99 - 03:03 PM
Bruce O. 27 Apr 99 - 03:27 PM
Susan of DT 27 Apr 99 - 07:29 PM
Alan of Australia 28 Apr 99 - 06:24 AM
Matthew B. 28 Apr 99 - 06:17 PM
skw@worldmusic.de 28 Apr 99 - 08:10 PM
Martin Ryan 28 Apr 99 - 08:21 PM
GUEST,John Minear - minmax@ceva.net 14 Jun 02 - 06:15 PM
Malcolm Douglas 14 Jun 02 - 08:17 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 14 Jun 02 - 09:05 PM
Malcolm Douglas 14 Jun 02 - 09:18 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 14 Jun 02 - 09:22 PM
Malcolm Douglas 14 Jun 02 - 09:27 PM
GUEST,Minear - minmax@ceva.net 14 Jun 02 - 09:56 PM
Malcolm Douglas 15 Jun 02 - 10:40 AM
GUEST,Minear - minmax@ceva.net 15 Jun 02 - 04:12 PM
alinact 15 Jun 02 - 05:07 PM
Malcolm Douglas 15 Jun 02 - 05:20 PM
Herga Kitty 15 Jun 02 - 05:54 PM
alinact 15 Jun 02 - 06:08 PM
Snuffy 16 Jun 02 - 06:20 AM
alinact 16 Jun 02 - 10:34 AM
GUEST,GUEST Glen Reid glenreid@onlink.net 16 Jun 02 - 11:13 AM
John Minear 23 Jun 02 - 01:23 PM
GUEST,JB 11 Nov 02 - 01:32 AM
Malcolm Douglas 11 Nov 02 - 02:09 AM
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Subject: Gypsy Rover a real folk song?
From: Shack
Date: 26 Apr 99 - 05:26 PM

There was a popular song back in the 60s named "Gypsy Rover" (click here). Was that a real folk song, or an adaptation of, say, an Irish ballad?


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Subject: RE: Gypsy Rover a real folk song
From: Bruce O.
Date: 26 Apr 99 - 05:40 PM

Scots: Said to be a ballad about Lady Cassillis and John Fa in 1643, while the Earl of Cassilis was away at a Covenanter's meeting, but Lady Cassillis died in early Dec. of 1642 (and never abandoned her husband at any date), so it was probably a song meant to embarass the Earl of Cassillis, a staunch covenanter, using the already known tune of "Lady Cassillis' Lilt". [Child ballad. See Gypsy Davie in DT]


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Subject: RE: Gypsy Rover a real folk song
From:
Date: 26 Apr 99 - 05:54 PM

Search DT for '#200' for versions of the song.


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Subject: RE: Gypsy Rover a real folk song
From: Zorro
Date: 26 Apr 99 - 11:06 PM

Wow! Bruce O. said it all. My information has Johnny Fa being hanged for whatever. Bruce, what is a Covenanter?


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Subject: RE: Gypsy Rover a real folk song
From: Joe Offer
Date: 27 Apr 99 - 12:15 AM

Gee, my search for #200 came up with TEN versions of the song and instructions to look for other songs that start with GYP. Does the database have so many versions of any other song? the song that was recorded with the title "Gypsy Rover" sure sounds commercial - it must have been horribly mutilated by some singer-songwriter type, eh? (actually, I really like it)
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Gypsy Rover a real folk song
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 27 Apr 99 - 01:22 AM

I was just reading about the Gypsy Rover song the other day. Look up these links

Gypsy Laddie
Johnny Faa
Wraggle Taggle Gypsy


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Subject: RE: Gypsy Rover a real folk song
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 27 Apr 99 - 03:39 AM

This seems to be of those songs which comes along every now and then and grabs everybody - everybody has to have his/her own version of it. It's been rewritten so many times - in the last hundred years or so, that's howq to get your copyright on it.


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE TRAVELLING SALESMAN (Alan Foster)
From: Alan of Australia
Date: 27 Apr 99 - 09:08 AM

G'day,
There's even an Aussie version............

THE TRAVELLING SALESMAN

by Alan Foster

A travelling salesman came knocking on the door
Of a bored young housewife on the north shore
And he spoke so sweet and he dressed so neat
That he stole the heart of the lady, oh.

Late that night when the yuppie came home
From his office at Jones & Bagnell's, oh
Of his wife there's no sign but a note on the fridge
And a volume of Funk & Wagnell's, oh.

Well he thought that the note would tell him that
His dinner was waiting in the microwave
But instead it said "I have gone far away
So don't bother waiting up for me, Dave".

So he ran to his Porsche in the triple garage
The BM's not so speedy, oh
And his brand new Merc's just another tax lurk
To hell with the poor and needy, oh.

Oh he drove north and he drove south
Searching every motel, oh
Until he spied his own wedded bride
In the bar of the Railway Hotel, oh.

Oh how could you leave your fine waterbed
Your swimming pool and Jacuzzi, oh
And your upwardly mobile husband dear
And become another salesman's floozie, oh.

What care I for my fine waterbed
It's just sprung a leak on my side, oh
For tonight I'll lie both warm and dry
In arms of the travelling salesman, oh.

Cheers,
Alan


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Subject: RE: Gypsy Rover a real folk song
From: Barbara
Date: 27 Apr 99 - 02:46 PM

Say Alan, you need a bit of our slang for your ballad: here BMW's are called "Beemers". Dunno why.


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Subject: RE: Gypsy Rover a real folk song
From: Ian
Date: 27 Apr 99 - 02:59 PM

There's also a Kipper Family version called "The Raggle Taggle Travellers" - a bit dated now, because it mentions "Morecambe and Wise"


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Subject: RE: Gypsy Rover a real folk song
From: Matthew B.
Date: 27 Apr 99 - 03:03 PM

Alan,

Bravo! I love that version. Are you Alan Foster?

If so, may I use your song at my next singalong?

- Matthew


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Subject: RE: Gypsy Rover a real folk song
From: Bruce O.
Date: 27 Apr 99 - 03:27 PM

Bronson's 'Traaditional Tunes of the Child Ballads' has 128 tunes, all but about 3 with versions of the songs.

Actually 2 Johnnie Fa's were hung early in the 17th century, and the ballad writer may have picked one of them for his song, but neither had any known connection with a Lady Cassillis. The 18th century tune "The Gypsie Laddie" wasn't known to be the 17th century "Lady Cassillis' Lilt" until 1838, and Child didn't know that, and thought Cassilis was derived from castle, instead of the other way around.


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Subject: RE: Gypsy Rover a real folk song
From: Susan of DT
Date: 27 Apr 99 - 07:29 PM

Alan - check out the Hippies and the Beatniks version of #200. a similar flavor to yours.


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Subject: RE: Gypsy Rover a real folk song
From: Alan of Australia
Date: 28 Apr 99 - 06:24 AM

G'day,
Matthew B, yes I'm the author, I'd be pleased if you'd sing it. It's a buzz to find your songs being sung in some other part of the world.

Susan, thanks, that's a great version.

Cheers,
Alan


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Subject: RE: Gypsy Rover a real folk song
From: Matthew B.
Date: 28 Apr 99 - 06:17 PM

Alan,

Thanks for the permission.

I'm leaving right now to go sing with my friends. Your little gem will be in our repertoire tonight for sure.

Matthew


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Subject: RE: Gypsy Rover a real folk song
From: skw@worldmusic.de
Date: 28 Apr 99 - 08:10 PM

The 'Gypsy Rover' does seem to be a modernised (and horribly sentimentalised) version of the Gypsy Laddie. I've seen it attributed to one Leo Maguire.I prefer the older versions! - Susanne


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Subject: RE: Gypsy Rover a real folk song
From: Martin Ryan
Date: 28 Apr 99 - 08:21 PM

Leo Maguire was well known in music circles in Ireland in the 50's. He presented a radio programme which, at the time, was one of the few to use traditional music, Believe me, very few Irish people would have known any other version of the song in those days!

Regards


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Subject: Lyr Add: GYPSY DAVY
From: GUEST,John Minear - minmax@ceva.net
Date: 14 Jun 02 - 06:15 PM

I posted the following information in another thread on "Whistling Gypsy - Prejudice". I think it was perhaps the wrong thread, so I would like to try again here. I am interested in how these songs originate, grow and change. I would speculate that there was a mid-nineteenth century version of "The Whistling Gypsy" in Ireland, that had roughly the same tune and chorus as Maguire's version, and that this came over to America before the turn of the 20th century. ----------------------------------------------

In her book, ANCIENT BALLADS TRADITIONALLY SUNG IN NEW ENGLAND, Helen Hartness Flanders has a version of "The Gypsy Laddie" (K on pp. 210-213, entitled "Gypsy Davy" that seems related to "The Whistling Gypsy" song by Maguire. She says, "As heard by Charles H. Benjamin in lumber camps north of Patten, Maine, around the 1860's and 1870's. This was sung by his daughter, Mrs. Charles Woodbury, now of Washington, D.C. - December 15, 1948". The tune looks similar. I don't have the means to reproduce it here. Perhaps someone else can do that. The words are as follows:
^^
Oh,Gypsy Davy came over the hills,
Came down through the Eastern valleys.
He sang till he made the wild woods ring,
And he charmed the heart of a lady.

Ah-da-dum, a-da-doo, ah-da-doo, ah-da-day,
Ah-da-dum, ah-da-doo, ah-da-day-dee;
He sang till he made the wild wood ring,
And he charmed the heart of a lady.

A lord returning home at night,
Inquiring for his lady,
They made him this reply, that she
Had gone with the Gypsy Davy.

"Go fetch me now my coal-black steed;
My gray is not so speedy;
I've rode all day, but I'll ride all night
Till I overtake my lady."

He rode till he came to the muddy water side-
It looked so dark and dreary;
He rode till he came to the muddy water side,
Where he beheld his lady.

"Oh, will you leave your house and home?
Oh, will you leave your baby?
Oh, will you leave your own wedded lord
To go with the Gypsy Davy?

"Last night you lay in your soft, warm bed
And in our arms your baby;
Tonight you'll lie on the cold, cold ground
In the arms of the Gypsy Davy."

"I never loved my house and home,
I never loved my baby,
I never loved my own wedded lord
As I love the Gypsy Davy."

The verses after verse one are certainly different from what the Clancy Brothers sing, and seem much more akin to other American versions. But the tune is there and the basic form of the story. In this version the "Lord" is her husband rather than her father.

---- I also came across the following in Dorothy Scarborough's book A SONG CATCHER IN THE SOUTHERN MOUNTAINS, published in 1937, pp. 224-225. Dorothy Scarborough says:

"Margaret Widdemer gave me the words and music for another account of the elopement. She wrote, "This is a variant of the RAGGLE-TAGGLE GYPSIES, evidently. It was given to me orally by Mrs. Margaret Leamy, who learned it as a child in Ireland. It is a lullaby, as is clear not only from the refrain, but from the interesting reproach in the last stanza..." ^^ (G)GYPSY DAVY

Gypsy Davy came over the hills,
Down thro the valleys shady,
He whistled and sang till the wild woods rang,
And he won the heart of a lady.

Ah de doo ah de day ah de day dee,
He whistled and he sang till the wold(sic)woods rang,
And he won the heart of a lady.

My lord returning late at night,
Asking for his lady,
The servants said, "She's out of door,
She's gone with the Gypsy Davy."

Oh, saddle to me my jet black steed,
The brown one is not so speedy;
Oh saddle to me my jet black steed,
I'll off and find my lady!

He sought her up, he sought her down,
Thro woods and valleys shady,
He sought her down by the waterside,
And there he found his lady.

What made you leave your house and home?
What made you leave your baby?
What made you leave your own wedded lord
To go with the Gypsy Davy?

I never loved my house and home,
I never loved my baby,
I never loved my own wedded lord
As I love the Gypsy Davy.

---
Scarborough does not give a tune for this version. The verses are very similar to the version from Maine. Perhaps the Maine version was based on an earlier Irish version. Both predate the Maguire version, especially if the Maine version comes from the 1860's or 70's. The one from Scarborough/Leamy would probably date from about the same period.

Does anyone know of a 19th century Irish version similar to either of these? John


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Subject: RE: Gypsy Rover a real folk song
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 14 Jun 02 - 08:17 PM

We can't do anything about the tune unless you give it to us; I don't have that particular volume of Flanders. If you have the means to send me a scan of the music, I'll put a link here to a midi file of it.

Email


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Subject: RE: Gypsy Rover a real folk song
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 14 Jun 02 - 09:05 PM

The Leo Maguire version in the DT is brief, so not quite sure what you are looking for. Are they songs with the verse about never having loved the baby, etc.? Or whether the father or the lord is searching? Saddling a steed? Gloves?

Most of these songs in America were collected in the 20th century. Although the singer may refer to 19th C. origins one can never be certain, nor can they be placed in chronological order.
The Max Hunter Collection has six versions: Gypsy etc

Vance Randolph has seven in his Ozark Folksongs. They all seem singable to the tune used by most singers.
The Frank C. Brown Collection of North Carolina Folklore gives music for 13 versions (vol. 4). On page 84 is the comment that the melodies have much in common with "Der mey hat menig Herze hoch ersteiget, which was composed by Neithart von Reuenthal (1180-1240)." Differences seem to be based on the singers abilities or search for emphasis rather than on inherent differences in the melody or meter.
Give me more details of what you are looking for and I will try to find it in these references.


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Subject: RE: Gypsy Rover a real folk song
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 14 Jun 02 - 09:18 PM

You did notice that this thread is 3 years old, and suddenly revived just yesterday? %>)


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Subject: RE: Gypsy Rover a real folk song
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 14 Jun 02 - 09:22 PM

Minear's post was today.


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Subject: RE: Gypsy Rover a real folk song
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 14 Jun 02 - 09:27 PM

Indeed it was. I thought you were replying to the original question!


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Subject: RE: Gypsy Rover a real folk song
From: GUEST,Minear - minmax@ceva.net
Date: 14 Jun 02 - 09:56 PM

I've been looking at many different versions of the Child #200 ballad. Part of my search was to see what was on Mudcat. My introduction to this song was the Clancy Bros singing "the Whistling Gypsy", many, many years ago. So, I was interested in this discussion. When I came across the versions in Flanders and Scarborough, it seemed to me that there was some connection between them and Maguire's rewrite and I wondered if he had a precedent of some kind that had an Irish origin in the 19th century.

I'm sorry I don't have a way to scan the tune from Flanders, but it is close to Maguire's. Perhaps someone else will be able to do this. I've always thought that the shift from husband/lord to father was a way of making the story more presentable, perhaps to kids. Maguire's version seems almost like a kids' song, or a camp song. It is missing most of the rough edges of "Black Jack Davy". My question is not profound. I'm just wondering if there are Irish precedents that known to anyone for Maguire's particular version, that are similar to the Flanders and Scarborough versions that I've posted. I'll keep looking and let you know if I find anything else.

I'm aware of the collections in Randolph, Brown, Hunter, Sharp, Bronson, etc., along with the many recorded versions. Part of what is unique about the Flanders and Scarborough versions is the chorus. I've not found that anywhere else.


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Subject: RE: Gypsy Rover a real folk song
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 15 Jun 02 - 10:40 AM

John has now sent me notation for Mrs. Woodbury's tune (see above), and it certainly is close to the Maguire rewrite, which begins to look like a minor polishing job only. Whether Maguire based his song on an American or Irish example I wouldn't care to guess; nor which American versions derive from English, which from Irish and which from Scottish sources.

The tune should eventually be available at Mudcat Midis; for now it can be heard via the South Riding Folk Network site:

Gypsy Davy (midi)


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Subject: RE: Gypsy Rover a real folk song
From: GUEST,Minear - minmax@ceva.net
Date: 15 Jun 02 - 04:12 PM

Many thanks to Malcolm Douglas for posting the tune for Flanders' version of "Gypsy Davy" (collected from Mrs. Woodbury). I've done some further looking and I discovered that John Harrington Cox, in 1939, published the same version of "Gypsy Davy" that Dorothy Scarborough has published in 1937. In fact, he got it from the same source, Mrs. Margaret Widdemer Schauffler of New York City. The head note reads:

"Contributed by Mrs. Margaret Widdemer Schauffler, New York City, Novermber 10, 1925. Obtained from Miss Lucis Sanderson, Cleveland, Ohio, who had it from an Englishwoman. Music noted by Miss Frances Sanders, Morgantown, Monongalia County (WVa)" [From FOLKSONGS MAINLY FROM WEST VIRGINIA by John Harrington Cox, published by the Works Progress Administration in June of 1939. This was subsequently published as TRADITIONAL BALLADS MAINLY FROM WEST VIRGINIA in 1939 and again in 1964(ed. George Boswell). Cox's version has been reprinted in Bronson's THE TRADITIONAL TUNES OF THE CHILD BALLADS, vol. 3(?),p. 205.]

Cox's and Scarborough's texts are almost identical, so I won't reprint Cox's version. Scarborough has "Gypsy Davy came over the hills,down thro the valleys shady," and Cox has "Gypsy Davy came over the hill, down through the valley shady." There is a difference in the chorus. Cox has:

>Ah dee doo, ah dee doo, doo day, >Ah dee doo, doo doo, day dee. >He whistled and sang ...

Cox does print a tune, which I have sent to Malcom Douglas to see what he can do with it. From what I can tell, it is quite close to the tune from Maine collected by Flanders. At least they are in the same family, and I would suggest related to Maguire's tune.

Unfortunately, Mrs. Widdermer/Schauffler gives two conflicting sources. She tells Scarborough that the song was "given to me orally by Mrs. Margaret Leamy, who learned it as a child in Ireland." She tells Cox that she got it from Miss Lucia Sanderson of Cleveland, who got it from an "Englishwoman". I don't know what to make of this.


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Subject: RE: Gypsy Rover a real folk song
From: alinact
Date: 15 Jun 02 - 05:07 PM

I have an old 45 at home by Karl Dallas (must be circa 1960) with Gypsey Rover on one side and Wimmoweh on t'other. Would have to be the worst versions of both songs ever recorded, in fact, would have to be one of the worst records ever recorded.

The songs are done sort of skiffle style, he sings in a high-pitched, nasally, voice and the guitar backing is going hell-for-leather over the top.

Wouldn't sell it for quids!

Allan


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Subject: RE: Gypsy Rover a real folk song
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 15 Jun 02 - 05:20 PM

The second tune is very close to Maguire's. Though the Flanders set was probably published after Maguire had come up with his, this one was around well beforehand, and I could imagine it being Maguire's direct source. Regularise the tune just a wee bit, make the lyric a little more polished and bland, and...

Judge for yourselves: Gypsy Davy: Widdermer Schauffler version. (midi)


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Subject: RE: Gypsy Rover a real folk song
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 15 Jun 02 - 05:54 PM

Thanks all for a wonderful addition to thread - Alinact especially (can you still play the Karl Dallas or was that from memory?.

The Gypsy Davy used to be the contemporary folk club at Oxford when I was a student......


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Subject: RE: Gypsy Rover a real folk song
From: alinact
Date: 15 Jun 02 - 06:08 PM

Herga Kitty

Yeah, it still plays, but the sound is as you would expect of a 40 year old record.

Allan


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Subject: RE: Gypsy Rover a real folk song
From: Snuffy
Date: 16 Jun 02 - 06:20 AM

I thought it was Karl Denver had a hit with Wimoweh (about 1960/61).

WassaiL! V


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Subject: RE: Gypsy Rover a real folk song
From: alinact
Date: 16 Jun 02 - 10:34 AM

Karl Dallas - DOH!!!

Of course, Karl Denver - Karl Dallas probably did a review of it somewhere, though?

Allan


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Subject: RE: Gypsy Rover a real folk song
From: GUEST,GUEST Glen Reid glenreid@onlink.net
Date: 16 Jun 02 - 11:13 AM

Back in 1969, while a member of an Irish pub band called "Brannigan's Boys", we recorded an album including Whistling Gypsy. Also in the band were Dubliner's, John Devlin and Noel Gogarty a.k.a. Joe Brannigan. What made this interesting at the time, was Leo Maguire and Noel Gogarty were related (Leo being, Noel's uncle) According to Noel his uncle gave us the thumbs up and was pleased with the end result(At least, he was) In subsequent years I have heard other versions like Gypsy Davy etc. and have been left with the burning question, did he, or didnt he? G.R.


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Subject: RE: Gypsy Rover a real folk song
From: John Minear
Date: 23 Jun 02 - 01:23 PM

In a posting above dated 6-14-02, I mistakenly said that Dorothy Scarborough did not have a tune for her version of "Gypsy Davy". The other day I was back in the library and taking another look at her book, A SONG CATCHER IN THE SOUTHERN MOUNTAINS, and I found the tune in the back of the book on page 414. While in a different key from that of Cox's version (which is from the same source and is basically the same song - Cox's tune is available above from Malcolm's posting), it is essentially the same tune, minus the chorus. Cox's is the more complete rendition.

Bronson include's the Cox/Scarborough(from Widdemer Schuffler)version in his grouping Ab, a collection of 12 variations of "The Gypsy Laddie", all from North America, and all with some kind of non-sense syllable chorus, and all following the same sort of tune outline. It is interesting that none of these come from Ireland or England. This general grouping is perhaps the milieu from which Maguire's "Gypsy Rover" comes.


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Subject: Tune Req: Gypsy Rover
From: GUEST,JB
Date: 11 Nov 02 - 01:32 AM

I am trying to get my hands on the melody or the sheet music of the song "Gypsy Rover" written by Leo McGuire of Walton`s fame.

Can anyone help here please?

Tnanks.


JB


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Gypsy Rover
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 11 Nov 02 - 02:09 AM

There is a midi of the tune with the DT file on this very site: GYPSY ROVER

The same midi can be seen as staff notation at "Another Digital Tradition": Digital Tradition Mirror: Gypsy Rover

It doesn't sound exactly as I remember it from the days when McGuire's song was regularly played on the radio, but it's pretty close, I think. Interestingly, it turns out that it was less his composition than we used to believe; he seems to have based it very closely indeed on a traditional variant of The Gypsy Laddie (among other titles) collected in America. More details in this thread (particularly towards the end).


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Subject: RE: Gypsy Rover a real folk song
From: GUEST,Tamilane Murray
Date: 29 Jun 04 - 08:13 PM

The version of Gypsy Davy in Dorthy Scarborough's quote is the version passed on to me by my mother of Irish and Scottish heritage this is a ballad that was sang by her mother, grandmother, and great grand mother, I never knew there was so many versions of it or that it was so popular, I found this site by accident and enjoyed reading every word. Thanks for enlightening me.


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Subject: RE: Gypsy Rover a real folk song
From: GUEST
Date: 30 Jun 04 - 04:14 AM

There is also a version called Black Jack Davey, which has different words but the same story and a different tune to the ones given above. Does anyone know anymore about that version.


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Subject: RE: Gypsy Rover a real folk song
From: MartinRyan
Date: 30 Jun 04 - 04:36 AM

GUEST

Do a search (top of page) on "Black jack" - it'll get you to several.

Regards


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Subject: RE: Gypsy Rover a real folk song
From: GUEST
Date: 30 Jun 04 - 04:50 AM

To Martin Ryan


Thank you for yuor help it'll take me a while to read through but I will.

G


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Subject: RE: Gypsy Rover a real folk song
From: GUEST
Date: 30 Jun 04 - 09:56 AM

But where did "the river Claydee" in the Clancy version conme from? And where is it?


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Subject: RE: Gypsy Rover a real folk song
From: Flash Company
Date: 30 Jun 04 - 10:06 AM

Dickie Bishop used to sing this with Chris Barber's Skiffle Group, had a last verse:-

What became of the rich man's wife
I think is worth relating
Her gypsy found another love
And left her heart a-breaking, away went Gypsy Dave

FC


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Subject: RE: Gypsy Rover a real folk song
From: GUEST,RRM
Date: 27 Jan 06 - 05:37 PM

this is all very intresting but I would be ever so gratefull if anyone knows if this song is considered traditional/ public domaim or is ther a pubilisher who can be contacted to get the proper info if one wants to include it on a recording now days???

thanks,RRM


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Subject: RE: Gypsy Rover a real folk song
From: GUEST,Melani
Date: 27 Jan 06 - 07:21 PM

For the record, there is a version recorded by Annie Lore, one of our local people, which I believe is called "The Travelling Refrigerator Repairman, O". Similar to the salesman version, but she takes her toothbrush.


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Subject: RE: Gypsy Rover a real folk song
From: GUEST,Anonny Mouse
Date: 27 Jan 06 - 11:21 PM

Y'all ain't gonna wanna hear this--but the KINGSTON TRIO did a pretty fair rendition on an album, musta been about '61-or maybe early '62-right after David Guard left and John Stewart came in. From the sounds of it, seems they mighta borrowed the Clancys' version-or something close to it. So--I suppose that makes it NOT a "real folk song" now? LOL Interesting to read all the variations on this one...the KT's version the "Gypsy rover" turned out to be the lord of the lands. Rich dude. Girl did o.k. even tho Daddy didn't like him at first.


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Subject: RE: Gypsy Rover a real folk song
From: GUEST,J C
Date: 28 Jan 06 - 04:22 AM

This is my note to a version we recorded from an Irish Travellers in London in 1973

Tradition has it that in 1724, Sir John Faa of Dunbar, accompanied by seven gypsies and disguised as one himself, persuaded Lady Jean Cassilis, to whom he had previously been betrothed, to run away with him. Faa and the gypsies were caught and hanged. The wife, for her part in the affair, was confined in a tower built especially for the purpose, for the rest of her life.   Tradition says that the eight heads carved into the tower below one of the turrets represent those hanged, the plane tree "which yet flourishes upon a mound in front of the castle gate", is the site of the execution and the ford by which the fugitives crossed The River Doon is still called The Gypsies Steps. This ballad originated in Scotland and was claimed, without any historical foundation, to be related to the supposed abduction
It has enjoyed great popularity in England, Scotland and America and, while it has turned up in Ireland, as collector Tom Munnelly points out, "the task of fixing its Irish provenance has been made difficult by the ubiquity of a recent re-write by Leo Maguire known as "The Whistling Gypsy".
There have been Irish versions collected; Child gives one taken down from Miss Margaret Reburn in County Meath around 1860 and Joyce give a tune entitled "The Gypsies Came To Lord M-s Gate".   The BBC recorded four sets in Ireland in the 1950s, two from Travellers and two from settled singers in Ulster. Since then there have been more versions found here, including two from Co. Roscommon Traveller John "Jacko" Reilly, one entitled "The Raggle Taggle Gypsy" and another, which he thought of as a separate song and which he knew as "The Dark Eyed Gypsy".
"Pop's" Johnny Connors learned it from members of his family and other Travellers.

Reference
The English And Scottish Popular Ballads   F.J.Child (ed),   
Old Irish Folk Music And Songs               W.P.Joyce;   
The Bonny Green Tree;                      John Reilly; Tom         Munnelly (ed) (Topic LP)

A Re-write, circa early 1970ish Graham Miles (I think), goes -

Rather late last night Mr Jones came home
On the eight-forty-five from Victoria-O
He was rich and fat with a big bowler hat
And he hated the hippies and the beatnicks O

He put his key in his mock-tudor door
And he called out "dear, I'm home O
The train was late and we had to wait,
It must have been the hippies and the beatnicks O"

But no answer came when he stepped inside
But his daughter came to meet him O
Saying, "mummy isn't here, she's gone, I fear
Along with the hippies and the beatnicks O"

"Go get me the keys of my three litre Jag,
For the Mini is not so speedy O
And I will drive till I find her alive
Or dead with the hippies and the beatnicks O"

Oh he drove east and he drove west,
Up the motorways and the bye-ways O
Till he came soon to a hippie commune
And there he espied Mrs Jones O

"What makes you leave your house and your car,
The washing machine and the tele O,
Your children three, not to mention me,
And go with the hippies and the beatnicks O"

Oh what care I for my house and my car,
The washing machine and the tele O
My children three, for now I'm free
To roam with the hippies and the beatnicks O

And as for you, well the day I rue
That ever we got married O,
I'll grow my hair and I'll travel anywhere
Along with the hippies and the beatnicks O"


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Subject: RE: Gypsy Rover a real folk song
From: Peace
Date: 28 Jan 06 - 04:58 AM

"Even if a song is P[ublic] D[omain], there may be arrangements of the song still under copyright. You MUST work from a published copy of the item with a copyright date old enough to qualify the item for public domain status."

From

www.pdinfo.com/list/l.htm


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Subject: RE: Gypsy Rover a real folk song
From: GUEST,Anonny Mouse
Date: 28 Jan 06 - 02:51 PM

A bit of a hijack here-but the public domain thing has me curious about copyright and royalties. Can a public domain song be appropriated, some lyrics changed-maybe a diff chord/music line here and there put in-and copyrighted by the lyricist/music changer as "new" or his/hers to record and get royalties from? Figure someone around here must know about copyright laws (this would be U.S. BTW).

-OR- can "arrangers" or "adapted by-ers" also get royalties? Just wonderin'.


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Subject: RE: Gypsy Rover a real folk song
From: GUEST
Date: 16 Jun 06 - 03:23 AM

I am not a lawyer, but here's a bit of clarification.

Making a recording from a song is a creative act, and so the recording falls under copyright. To play it back, broadcast it, or create other material based *on the recording* would require payment of a royalty or license fee. Whether or not the *song as recorded* is copyrightable is another question, depending on the nature and extent of the changes. A judge would refer to the 1914 case Cooper v. James [1].

In Cooper v. James, two men had independently republished the public-domain Sacred Harp songbook with their own newly-devised alto parts. One brought suit, arguing that to add a fourth part was his own creative idea and protected under copyright. The court found against him: "In patents we say that any improvement which a good mechanic could make is not the subject of a patent, so in music it may be said that anything which a fairly good musician can make, the same old tune being preserved, could not be the subject of a copyright."

I gather that nowadays arranging gets more respect under the law. If your arrangement or adaptation substantially changes the experience of hearing the song, it may be creative enough to be copyrightable. But it's got to be meaty work -- as much as I think Eva Cassidy improved Somewhere Over the Rainbow when she recorded it, I don't think she wrote a new *song* in the process. And I don't think tweaking a couple of words or chords would do it either.

Oh, and for what it's worth, US law does not allow chord progressions to be copyrighted by themselves -- only with a melody attached. Jazz musicians are safe.

[1] http://ccnmtl.columbia.edu/projects/law/library/cases/case_cooperjames.html

P.S.: Back on topic, anyone heard Doc and Richard Watson's recording of "Gypsy Davey" on Third Generation Blues? Any guess where they got that melody from? I note that they, too, have a moralizing verse at the end (two, actually):

When the silks and the rings and the gold were gone,
Old Davey would not tarry.
He said, "You're not a gypsy girl,
and you I cannot marry;
You I cannot marry."

As a beggar now, she's dressed in rags;
In her heart she's still a lady.
At night she'll cry herself to sleep,
Thinking about her baby,
True love and her baby.


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Subject: RE: Gypsy Rover a real folk song
From: Warsaw Ed
Date: 13 Sep 08 - 07:19 PM

Subject: RE: Gypsy Rover a real folk song
From: GUEST
Date: 30 Jun 04 - 09:56 AM

But where did "the river Claydee" in the Clancy version conme from? And where is it?

This was never answered.   Anyone know?


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Subject: RE: Gypsy Rover a real folk song
From: Stringsinger
Date: 14 Sep 08 - 04:53 PM

River Clyde?

Actually I don't agree with what's been said about the "Whistlin' Gypsy" sung by Tommy Makem. I think it's a fine tune and people pick up on the chorus easily.


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Subject: RE: Gypsy Rover a real folk song
From: GUEST,MK
Date: 24 Jan 09 - 05:49 AM

The Whistling Gypsy was written by Leo McGuire in Dublin about 1950 and first sung by Joe Lynch, the popular ballad singer from Cork. The song was written on a dare -according to McGuire himself - that he could write a popular Irish song that would not have a sad ending ! The song was very popular throughout the 1950s


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Subject: RE: Gypsy Rover a real folk song
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 24 Jan 09 - 08:04 AM

The anecdote is well known, and many of us remember the song very well from the 1950s; but if you read the rest of this discussion (which started nearly 10 years ago and has been periodically revived over the years) instead of just the thread title, you'll see that there is strong evidence that McGuire based his 'new' song very closely -both tune and text- on an existing form or forms already circulating in oral tradition (though in America rather than Ireland). The specifically happy ending seems to be his most significant contribution to the 'new' piece, which is really just a minor re-write as opposed to an original song.


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Subject: RE: Gypsy Rover a real folk song
From: GUEST,Guest JimK
Date: 30 Jan 09 - 12:42 PM

Close reading of the thread also suggests that this older-than-Maguire variant may indeed have originated in Ireland - Scarborough says as much in one story above that conflicts with her recollection of another source.

The enormous popularity of the sentimental Maguire-based versions apparently contributes to the suspicion (and earnest desire on the part of some) that this is not a "real" folk song. One thing this thread makes clear is that there are published versions of a song from 1919, 1927, 1935, and 1937 that are virtually the same as the one Maguire copyrighted. Maguire just did what many others in the business did - took a traditional song, changed it around a bit, and claimed (in this case lucrative) copyright.

It's no big deal - except for the now fashionable urban myth that Maguire wrote it. He didn't. My Galway-born grandmother recalled singing it as a girl, and she was born in 1891 - she did pretty much the Tommy Makem version of the song.


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Subject: RE: Gypsy Rover a real folk song
From: GUEST,TJ
Date: 30 Jan 09 - 01:29 PM

Though they may share the same roots, the "Whistling Gypsy" or "Gypsy Rover" and "The Wraggle-Taggle Gypsies" seem to be very different songs. The latter, as I recall it, was done in a minor key, say Am, with a touch of melancholy and at a pace one might call a slow gallop. The others were done in a major key and with more of a leisurely lilt. Both (or all) were commonly performed during my early coffee house days in the 1950's. Until this thread appeared, I always saw them as unrelated. No doubt both have suffered the "arrangement disease." I actually preferred "The Wraggle-Taggle Gypsies" as a song to perform.


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Subject: RE: Gypsy Rover a real folk song
From: GUEST
Date: 22 Feb 09 - 11:09 PM

What about its relationship to the Irish language song "An Spailpin Fanach"? I had always thoght, McGuire's version was a corrupted translation, no?

fergus riv


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Subject: RE: Gypsy Rover a real folk song
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 23 Feb 09 - 01:07 AM

No relationship at all, I'd say. However, Proinsias Ó Maonaigh translated Maguire's words into Irish and called the result 'An Spailpín Fánach' - that is perhaps what you are thinking of. See thread  Whistling Gypsy - prejudice?  for more details.

JimK's grandmother's recollection of the song confirms that a form of this version of it was current in Ireland at least in the early years of the 20th century, so it may well be that Maguire didn't have to look too far from home for his raw material after all.


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Subject: RE: Gypsy Rover a real folk song
From: MBSGeorge
Date: 23 Feb 09 - 07:29 AM

From: Ian - PM
Date: 27 Apr 99 - 02:59 PM

There's also a Kipper Family version called "The Raggle Taggle Travellers" - a bit dated now, because it mentions "Morecambe and Wise"

You could change it to 'Ant & Dec' They're a wee bit more up to date.


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Subject: RE: Gypsy Rover a real folk song
From: MBSGeorge
Date: 23 Feb 09 - 07:31 AM

From: Warsaw Ed - PM
Date: 13 Sep 08 - 07:19 PM

Subject: RE: Gypsy Rover a real folk song
From: GUEST
Date: 30 Jun 04 - 09:56 AM

But where did "the river Claydee" in the Clancy version conme from? And where is it?

This was never answered.   Anyone know?


Another version has it down as 'the river so shady' There are always loads of slight variations btween the song that has been sung and the version that gets written down.

G x


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Subject: RE: Gypsy Rover a real folk song
From: GUEST,U.K. ukulele
Date: 07 Mar 09 - 06:41 AM

This may be heresy to all you people out there with Irish connections but here goes.
It may be worth considering that the 'river Claydee' mentioned in the song may be the river Clyde a major river in Scotland, 'River Clyde' in the Gaelic language is Abhain Chluaidh.


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Subject: RE: Gypsy Rover a real folk song
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 07 Mar 09 - 07:35 AM

That's the usual suggestion, yes; see for example 'Stringsinger's' post of last September earlier on this page. There are other possibilities, of course, but it was probably just drafted in for the sake of the rhyme with 'lady' rather than in any specific attempt at localization.


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Subject: RE: Gypsy Rover a real folk song
From: GUEST,UK ukulele
Date: 07 Mar 09 - 10:05 AM

My previous reply was in response to MBSGeorge who said that this had not been answered.
In response to your assersion that this was drafted in for the sake of rhyme I would say that when discusing the development of folk songs through history anything is possible, but there are things that can be said for certain.
The storyline of the ballad closely resembles A Gypsy Laddie which is given as a tradition of Renfrewshire in 1825 although it was in use much earlier than the date of the written reference. Renfrewshire being the geographic location of the mouth of the river Clyde, I find the reference to the river Claydee more compelling. The ballad minus the ah-de-doo-dah chorus,and with no reference at all to a specific river harks back to a much earlier date when gypsies were outlawed in Scotland, and indeed some were hanged. The tradition of handing songs down by word of mouth among people who could not read or write has no doubt lead to this particular song being re-written many many times. Still, it provides for interesting, if rather fruitless speculation.
I have nothing but admiration for Leo Maguire who made himself some easy money in the days before hordes of copyright lawyers could decend on him. Incidentally what is the collective noun for copyright lawyers, I suggest 'A Shyste'.


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Subject: RE: Gypsy Rover a real folk song
From: GUEST
Date: 09 Jun 10 - 06:30 AM

Hi
I found this thread by accident and wonder if anyone on it can help me. I'm trying to puzzle out the lyrics of the last verse. As my grandomther (a Scottish traveller) taught me it goes:

He is a gypsy, my father, she said,
And Lord of the free lands all over

But it seems there is a version where she denies he is in fact, a gypsy which goes

He's no gypsy, my father, she said,
But a Lord of these lands all over

Can anyone tell me where to find the history of these two versions (if such a thing exists)
Thanks


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Subject: RE: Gypsy Rover a real folk song
From: Joe Offer
Date: 09 Jun 10 - 03:39 PM

That's an interesting question, and I don't think we've answered it fully - despite all the threads we've had on this song. As far as I can tell from what's been posted, "The Gypsy Rover" is a modern composition by Leo Maguire, and I believe somebody said the song was published in 1950. It is a reworked version of Child Ballad #200, titled Gypsy Davy, Blackjack Davy, Wraggle-Taggle Gypsies, and a dozen other names.
In most of the versions of this song, the wife of a wealthy man runs off with a gypsy - not with a lord disguised as a gypsy. In "Gypsy Rover," the daughter of said father runs of with the Gypsy Rover, who turns out to be lord of "these lands all over," and not a gypsy. I don't know of other versions of this song that have a daughter and a lord disguised as a gypsy - I think that could have been Maguire's creation.
We have another thread, titled Whistling Gypsy - prejudice?, which explores the question of whether Maguire's "not really a gypsy" idea is prejudiced against gypsies.
I respect your grandmother's initiative in changing the lyrics, but I think that the "not really a gypsy" idea is part of the original Maguire composition. Now, in the the other (traditional) versions of Child #200, the gypsy is really a gypsy - but the lyrics are very different from "Gypsy Rover."
So, can the ballad experts out there give a definitive answer on the roots of "Gypsy Rover"? - which parts of the song are traditional, and which are Maguire's invention? There are posts above that contend that Maguire's version came from a American versions of Gypsy Laddie (click), but those versions don't seem to have the "not really a gypsy" idea.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Gypsy Rover a real folk song?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 09 Jun 10 - 07:24 PM

I was wondering if the Digital Tradition had the definitive version of "Gypsy Rover." Since it was published by Walton's, I looked in my six Walton's Irish songbooks for the song - and didn't find it. The closest I could come to a "definitive" version was in the Collected Reprints from Sing Out! (pink volume, page 283) [words that are different from the DT version are bold]:

THE GYPSY ROVER (The Whistling Gypsy)
(Leo Maguire)

1. The gypsy rover come over the hill,
Bound through the valley so shady;
He whistled and he sang 'til the green woods rang,
And he won the heart of a lady.

CHORUS:
Ah-di-do, ah-di-do-da-day,
Ah-di-do, ah-di-day-dee;
He whistled and he sang 'til the green woods rang,
And he won the heart of a lady.

2. She left her father's castle gate,
She left her own true lover;
She left her servants and her estate,
To follow the gypsy rover.

3. Her father saddled his fastest steed
Roamed the valley all over;
Sought his daughter at great speed,
And the whistling gypsy rover.

4. He came at last to a mansion fine,
Down by the river Clayde;
And there was music, and there was wine,
For the gypsy and his lady.

5. "He's no gypsy, my father," said she,
"My lord of free lands all over;
And I shall stay till my dying day
With my whistling gypsy rover."

Words and music by Leo Maguire
©1951, Walton's Piano & Musical Instrument Galleries


Notes: Many folkies mistakenly regard this as a traditional song. Though it is clearly based on the "Gypsy Davy" family of songs (Child Ballad #200), it is actually a modern composition by Irish songwriter Leo Maguire...Tommy Makem performs this on Newport Folk Festival 1960, vol. 1 (VRS) 9083)


Child #200
Roud-1
@gypsy @courtship
filename[ GYPSYRVR
TUNE FILE: GYPSYRVR
CLICK TO PLAY
DC

    Note that phrase toward the bottom: "My lord of free lands all over" - is she addressing the father, or talking about the gypsy? It isn't abstitutely clear, is it?
    Note that the Digital Tradition has it "Ah-de-do, ah-de-da-ay" in the second line of the chorus. At first, I thought this was a typographical error - but it's how the Seekers sing it.




For comparison, here is the version in the Digital Tradition:

GYPSY ROVER
(Leo Maguire)

1. The gypsy rover came over the hill
Down through the valley so shady,
He whistled and he sang 'til the greenwoods rang,
And he won the heart of a lady.

Chorus:
Ah-de-do, ah-de-do-da-day,
Ah-de-do, ah-de-da-ay
He whistled and he sang 'til the greenwoods rang,
And he won the heart of a lady.

2. She left her father's castle gates
She left her own fine lover
She left her servants and her state
To follow the gypsy rover.

3. Her father saddled up his fastest steed
And roamed the valleys all over
Sought his daughter at great speed
And the whistling gypsy rover.

4. He came at last to a mansion fine,
Down by the river Claydee
And there was music and there was wine,
For the gypsy and his lady.

5. "He is no gypsy, my father" she said
"But lord of these lands all over,
And I shall stay 'til my dying day
With my whistling gypsy rover."


Child #200
Roud-1
@gypsy @courtship
filename[ GYPSYRVR
TUNE FILE: GYPSYRVR
CLICK TO PLAY
DC

My conclusion? Maybe there is no definitive version, but the Digital Tradition transcription is as good as any.


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Subject: RE: Gypsy Rover a real folk song?
From: pavane
Date: 10 Jun 10 - 05:47 AM

Obviously, writing at the time he did, if he wanted to get published, Maguire HAD to say Lord's daughter, presumably single, rather than describe adultery by the Lord's wife.

There are clear echos of the lord or King disguised as a beggar, to give the story a "happy" ending. The traditional ending, with the gypsy, or 3 or 7 gypsies, often being hanged for stealing a lady, wasn't really suitable for his purposes.


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Subject: RE: Gypsy Rover a real folk song?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 10 Jun 10 - 09:32 PM

Yeah, it's interesting to see that in 1950, people weren't as "modern" as they had been in earlier generations.
Leaving her husband for a mere gypsy? Shame! Scandal!
-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Gypsy Rover a real folk song?
From: LadyJean
Date: 11 Jun 10 - 12:04 AM

As a child, I read in a book of Irish fairy tales, the story of a princess given her choice of kings and choosing the King of the Tinkers, Jeremy Doone. As I remember he turned out to be an actual monarch with an actual castle.

If you can find a copy of Songs of the Isenfiri, you can find the song a friend of mine wrote about the deserted husband.

If you haven't heard Boiled In Lead's heavy metal version of Gypsy Rover, you really should.


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Subject: ADD Original: Whistling Gypsy (Leo Maguire)
From: GUEST,^&*
Date: 21 Jun 10 - 01:31 PM

Had a look at the original sheet music in the Irish Traditional Music Archive and this is how it shows:
THE WHISTLING GYPSY
(Leo Maguire)

1. The gypsy rover come over the hill,
Down thro' the valley so shady;
He whistled and sang 'til the green woods rang,
And he won the heart of a lady.

CHORUS:
Ah-di-do, ah-di-do-da-day,
Ah-di-do, ah-di-day-dee;
He whistled and he sang 'til the green woods rang,
And he won the heart of a lady.

2. She left her father's castle gate,
She left her fair young lover;
She left her servants and her state,
To follow the gypsy rover.

3. Her father saddled up his fastest steed
He ranged the vallies over;
He sought his daughter at great speed,
And the whistling gypsy rover.

4. He came at last to a mansion fine,
Down by the river Claydy
And there was music, and there was wine,
For the gypsy and his lady.

5. "He's no gypsy, father dear,
But lord of these lands all over;
I'm going to stay till my dying day
With my whistling gypsy rover."

So, lots of minor variations within a few years of publication.


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Subject: RE: Gypsy Rover a real folk song?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 23 Jun 10 - 06:03 PM

Thank you very much for finding this. So, it's clear now that Maguire's original text had the " he's a lord, not a gypsy" concept. I also note that the version in the Digital Tradition is very close to the original.

Does the original text really have "vallies"?

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Gypsy Rover a real folk song?
From: GUEST,^&*
Date: 24 Jun 10 - 09:12 AM

Does the original text really have "vallies"?


That's what I wrote down on transcription! There's an outside chance my mind was wandering at the time..... but I don't think so. Never struck me at the time.


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Subject: RE: Gypsy Rover a real folk song?
From: MissouriMud
Date: 24 Jun 10 - 10:01 AM

As one who grew up with the Clancy Borthers version, I've always assumed, with no factual basis, that the "he is no gypsy ... but lord of these lands all over" line was not to be taken literally - but rather in the more poetic sense of "He is not a homeless scoundrel but is "king" of all his surroundings". It's interesting to read about the John Faa history which suggests that meaning may well have been intended to be literal. Fascinating and highly educational thread - thanks to all for the great research.


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Subject: RE: Gypsy Rover a real folk song?
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 24 Jun 10 - 01:12 PM

The various versions of 'The Gypsy Laddie' are very interesting and often beautiful songs - but the "ah-di-doo-dah" thing is an abomination!!!


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Subject: RE: Gypsy Rover a real folk song?
From: GUEST,gypsy royal
Date: 26 Jul 10 - 08:25 PM

The song and the various derivations are based on Scottish Gypsy history. Johnnie Faa was the first of the gypsy royals in the Borders area of Scotland (Yetholm). This was an official title granted to him by the King of Scotland for services rendered (he is referred to in records as "most belovit of the King); they were staunch supporters of the Scottish crown against the English and were hung as criminals or transported in prison ships for being so. The character Meg Merilees by Walter Scott is based on the Wife of Johnnie Faa's grandson. Her name was Jean Gordon and she ended up being drowned for being a jacobite.
People seem to be hung up on the line he is no gypsy ... but lord of these lands all over. Well the thing is, he was both: he was a gypsy but also lord of these lands.


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Subject: RE: Gypsy Rover a real folk song?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 26 Jul 10 - 09:11 PM

Maybe GUEST just read this:

The Kirk Yetholm Gypsies by AV Tokely (1996, reprinted 2002)

which I saw in the museum in Hawick.

There is a website about them:

The Yetholm Gypsies


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Subject: RE: Gypsy Rover a real folk song?
From: GUEST
Date: 16 Mar 12 - 05:07 PM

This can be categorized under FWIW - Google Books has a facsimile copy of the Cox book online, complete with the four American versions of the gypsy song that he had heard or collected himself, going back as early as 1880 - which is the oldest date I have found so far with a gypsy-themed song that includes a chorus of nonsense syllables like the Scarborough/Maguire "ah dee doo."

Cox's Gypsy Songs

Child#200 and its variants have no chorus beyond the repetition of the "gypsy-o" or "Davy-o" phrase at the end of each verse.

Further - the University of Wisconsin Digital Collections has a .pdf of the musical setting for a version of "Gypsy Davy" collected in that state in 1946 and featuring, like the Scarborough version, a tune in a major key with a nonsense-syllable chorus.

Frances Perry's 1946 "Gypsy Davy"

I may be able to make a MIDI of this and if so will post it, but it is similar to the "Gypsy Davy (Widdermer Schauffler version)" already posted in Mudcat MIDIs here. Both the Perry and Schauffler tunes are very close to Maguire's, though not identical.

What this says is that Maguire composed a little and cut and pasted quite a bit, however he may have heard the tune and picked up all the American tropes like crossing the plain/hills, singing sweetly, going down into the valley, and so on. Maguire may - MAY - have changed "lord" to "father" and made the gypsy a lord (though once again there seem to be wraggle taggle variants that include these), but in any event, like it or not and abomination or not (as above), "The Whistling Gypsy Rover" has a legitimate pedigree as a folk song that, while a variant of "The Wraggle Taggle Gypsies" is not a Tin-Pan-Alley type composition cut from whole cloth by Leo Maguire.


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Subject: RE: Gypsy Rover a real folk song?
From: PHJim
Date: 16 Mar 12 - 08:17 PM

We used to sing this and I recall the last verse being:

Last night I slept in a warm feather bed
With my servants all around me.
Tonight I'll sleep on the cold, hard ground
In the arms of the Gypsy Davey.


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Subject: RE: Gypsy Rover a real folk song?
From: GUEST
Date: 09 Mar 13 - 06:16 AM

ALL WRONG I'M AFRAID...I am amazed at the lack of credible notations regarding the Gypsy Rover stories. I live in Cassilis Victoria Australia a carbon copy of Cassilis Scotland where,, thanks to the Kennedy's of Ayreshire and the West coast, birthplace of Poet Robert Burns we exist. A few years ago mu Wife and I in search of truth, travelled to Scotland and sought out the Kennedy lairds to fill in the many historic gaps of our small towns origins. Being able to quote a few lines of Burns in his epic poem "Holloween" we were able to have a guided tour of the kKennedy Estate. Her ladyship, Mother of the current Earl of Cassilis spoke openly and frankly about the Kennedys'd chequered history and in particular of the young man and his band of what I recall 14 men who were to occupy the Kennedy estate in a Gypsy fashion. The leader of which claimed his family were duped by the Kennedy's and robbed of there tradtional lands. He became very freindly with one of the Kennedy's daughters much to the disgust of the Lairds who plotted to end this relationship and bury forever this claim to his birthright. Her ladyship told us that the Gypsy Rover's men were attacked by the River Doon and killed except the leader who was courting the Kennedy'd Daughter, he was taken to the estate in Maybole Cassilis and hung from a Sycamore tree known as the Dule tree!? We were shown a suckering remnant this ancient tree and have photo's of it. I think the Irish version is pure fantasy although a place in Ireland named Casheal (Cassilis) does exsist. This is a very sad love story which led to the song the Whistling Gypsy Rover, a song that travelled to Australia in various forms. By studying the verses of the song it is clear to me that the origins are Scottish not Irish and despite the fact that the kennedy's would love to see the Irish claim the origins of this appalling miscarriage of justice and cover-up it cannot be so. My Wife and I would like to praise the Staff of the Kennedy's and in particular the Factor and the the Marquesses Mother for their frankness and wonderful hospitality. My sincere apologies for the typing and gramatical errors. Howard Reddish cassilis , Australia


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Subject: RE: Gypsy Rover a real folk song?
From: Manitas_at_home
Date: 09 Mar 13 - 08:17 AM

All wrong!? Maybe the origin story is wrong but that's just the word of a tour guide? But to say all of the above is wrong is just plain wrong itself.


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Subject: RE: Gypsy Rover a real folk song?
From: Lighter
Date: 09 Mar 13 - 10:35 AM

Well, the "tour guide" in this case was "her ladyship," whose family has lived there for centuries, and the story is so detailed ("14 men") as to be taken seriously, if not enthusiastically believed.

That the family accepts the story as true is in itself significant to the history of the song. Thanks, Guest!

Further research might tease out what (if anything) really happened.

BTW, the chorus of Cox's 1880 version resembles that of "Sixteen Next Sunday." Too bad there's no tune given.


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Subject: RE: Gypsy Rover a real folk song?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 09 Mar 13 - 11:43 AM

Howard, ALL WRONG I'M AFRAID
If you read the whole of this thread you will see that no-one is claiming the origins of 'The Gypsy Laddie' Child 200, as Irish. Anyone who knows anything about ballads is aware the ballad originated in Scotland.

In fact there are several historical events which could have led to the origin of this ballad in Scotland, apart from which it could also be totally fictitious.

Your information from her ladyship, however, is still of interest, but would be more useful if some dates could be attached to her story.


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Subject: RE: Gypsy Rover a real folk song?
From: Airymouse
Date: 09 Mar 13 - 01:23 PM

my 2 cents 1st penny: I'm an old timer saddled with long-abandoned rules of grammar. I was taught to use AS for affirmation and SO for negation. For example, A is AS good as B, but not SO good as C. The only place I know where this rule is honored is Black Jack Davy. In every version I've heard the second horse is always "not SO speedy".
2nd penny: There is an interesting western version, called Clayton Boone I don't remember it exactly, but it goes something like this
    Way out in old New Mexico
    Along the Spanish line
    I was working for old Clayton Boone
    A man well past his prime

    Well he rides in and asks of me
    What's happened to my lady
    I says to him she's quit your range
    And runs with handsome Davy

    Go saddle for me the ??? drum
    With the coal-black mane and tail
    Point out to me them fresh-laid tracks
    And after them I'll trail

    I rode upon a saddle fine
    A saddle made of silver
    My bridle rein of beaten gold
    Not of your common leather

    I rode in to the midnight sun
    Till I seen the campfires burnin
    I heard the sweetest mandolin
    And the voice of Davy singin

    Come home with me your own sweet bed
    The sheets turned down so gaily
    Do not forget my silver and gold
    Do not forget your baby

    (I'll not come home .. etc.)

    Last night I slept with a mean ole man
    In a golden room so stately
    Tonight I'll sleep on hard cold ground
    By the warm side of my Davy.

P.S. It seems that when the Child ballads get to my country they tend to be kinder to the womenfolk. Another example is Almeda Riddle's version of The 4 Marys versus the older versions, where Mary Hamilton is portrayed as wicked an unrepentant.


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Subject: RE: Gypsy Rover a real folk song?
From: The Sandman
Date: 10 Mar 13 - 05:53 AM

who cares, if you like the song sing it ,if you do not like it do not sing it.


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Subject: RE: Gypsy Rover a real folk song?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 10 Mar 13 - 05:57 AM

Dick 'who cares'.

Obviously a lot of people do care, in answer to your question!


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Subject: RE: Gypsy Rover a real folk song?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 10 Mar 13 - 08:30 AM

After all, Dick; if nobody cares about these things, what do you perceive this forum as being for, precisely? You obviously do care, being one of the most industrious contributors on a variety of topics.

~M~


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Subject: RE: Gypsy Rover a real folk song?
From: Mr Happy
Date: 10 Mar 13 - 02:45 PM

The puzzling part for me is, what's a 'real folk song?'


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Subject: RE: Gypsy Rover a real folk song?
From: The Sandman
Date: 10 Mar 13 - 02:48 PM

: Gypsy Rover a real folk song?
NOBODY ON THIS FORUM HAS BEEN ABLE TO DEFINE A FOLK SONG, including steve gardham, So the sensible thing is to forget such idiotic fripperys , regard such a discussion as a waste of time, and either sing the song or forget about it


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Subject: RE: Gypsy Rover a real folk song?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 10 Mar 13 - 03:20 PM

Careful, Dick; you are in danger of rationlising the entire forum away if you don't watch it.


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Subject: RE: Gypsy Rover a real folk song?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 10 Mar 13 - 04:20 PM

Dick,
This is a discussion forum.
You are the first one to mention DEFINITION on this thread which contains some interesting discussion.

Obviously 'folk song' has now got many differing meanings to different people. My perception of the OP's question is he is asking if the song was collected from oral tradition or was it purposely rewritten for Tin Pan Alley. I for one am happy that the question has been answered perfectly well.

Dick, you are perfectly entitled to your opinion, but the impression I get from others on the thread is that you are on your own.


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Subject: RE: Gypsy Rover a real folk song?
From: Rusty Dobro
Date: 10 Mar 13 - 05:13 PM

I think this may be the original version.....

An old Range Rover came over the hill,
Driven by the Gypsy Davy,
It rattled and it clanged and it popped and it banged,
And it frightened a little old lady.

CH: Hardy-do, hardy-doo-da-day,
       Hardy-do, hardy-day, etc.

He'd towed his caravan from County Kildare,
And parked it near Campsea Ash,
He'll tarmac your drive or cut down your trees,
But he'll only take payment in cash.
(CH:)
A fair young maiden came over the lea,
And Davy found her quite fetching,
He showed her his home with its milk-churn of chrome,
And his metaphorical etchings.
(CH:)
He promised her this and he promised her that,
She promised him plenty of the other,
But things went wrong like they do in folk songs,
Now she's going to be a mother.
(CH:)
The next time that maiden came over the lea,
Where was her lover so pure -o?
He'd done a runner, and he spent the next summer
On a building site in Truro.
(CH:)
So all young maidens, take a warning from me,
And don't let him string you along,
Don't give him a thing till you're wearing a ring,
Or you'll end up in a folk song.


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Subject: RE: Gypsy Rover a real folk song?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 10 Mar 13 - 06:55 PM

Nice one, Rusty. Love it!


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Subject: RE: Gypsy Rover a real folk song?
From: Edthefolkie
Date: 09 Feb 14 - 11:50 AM

Leo Maguire's song seeped into Brit DNA via the Elton Hayes version, played frequently on "Children's Favourites". Must have been one of the first er, "folk songs" I ever heard.

Elton also performed the campest version, rewritten by him for the Alan Ladd film The Black Knight. Famously, Alan Ladd's wife wouldn't let Bryan Forbes insert a scene where Mr Ladd stole a horse. She told Forbes "He steals a horse, we lose the Boy Scouts Association and the Daughters of the American Revolution, to say nothing of his fan club".

What these splendid organisations made of THIS is anyone's guess!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=696tg5gX8_E


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