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Tune Req: I'd Sooner Go Hedging / Hedger's Lay

Related threads:
Lyr Req: Blackthorn (from Anuna) (8)
Lyr Req/Add: Blackthorn (10)


skipy 12 Jan 08 - 05:23 PM
Peace 12 Jan 08 - 05:28 PM
skipy 12 Jan 08 - 05:33 PM
Peace 12 Jan 08 - 05:39 PM
Peace 12 Jan 08 - 05:49 PM
Peace 12 Jan 08 - 05:52 PM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 12 Jan 08 - 06:40 PM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 12 Jan 08 - 07:16 PM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 13 Jan 08 - 05:23 AM
Tradsinger 13 Jan 08 - 06:07 AM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 13 Jan 08 - 06:38 AM
Newport Boy 13 Jan 08 - 07:31 AM
Tradsinger 13 Jan 08 - 08:28 AM
Newport Boy 13 Jan 08 - 10:27 AM
Newport Boy 13 Jan 08 - 10:58 AM
Tradsinger 13 Jan 08 - 11:18 AM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 13 Jan 08 - 11:33 AM
Newport Boy 13 Jan 08 - 11:58 AM
Tradsinger 13 Jan 08 - 01:24 PM
skipy 13 Jan 08 - 04:01 PM
GUEST,The black belt caterpillar wrestler 14 Jan 08 - 07:46 AM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 14 Jan 08 - 07:58 AM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 14 Jan 08 - 07:59 AM
skipy 14 Jan 08 - 02:36 PM
FreddyHeadey 16 May 18 - 05:25 AM
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Subject: Tune Req: Help! I'd sooner lay blackthorn
From: skipy
Date: 12 Jan 08 - 05:23 PM

I need the tune to I'd sooner lay blackthorn, NOW!
I am on a 2 day hedging course & would like to sing this to the rest of the course in the morning!
I have the words but no tune HELP!
Skipy


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Subject: ADD: The Hedger's Lay
From: Peace
Date: 12 Jan 08 - 05:28 PM

THE HEDGER'S LAY

I'd sooner go hedging than build a stone wall
All pick up and place it and hope it don't fall
When the east wind blows bitter and keen through the trees
I'd sooner lay blackthorn than dry wall and freeze

I'd sooner go hedging, the best thing I know
For anger and anguish and woman made woe
No matter how hurt or insulted I feel
A tussle with blackthorn will help it to heal

I'd sooner go hedging than read in a book
For more you get thinking the darker things look
Since study and weeping are hard on the eyes
I'd sooner lay blackthorn than learn to be wise

I'd sooner go hedging than seek all my days
For wealth or position or other men's praise
Plain billhook and axe are the tools of my trade
Six shillings a chain is the rate I am paid

I'd sooner go hedging than lie in my bed
With wench that grows sourer the longer we'm wed
But much as I grieve for our loving when young
I'd sooner lay blackthorn than suffer her tongue

I'd sooner go hedging but come next spring
I'll be up and be gone like a bird on the wing
And all I shall miss when I reach my new home
Will be hedges to slash at and blackthorn in bloom


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Help! I'd sooner lay blackthorn
From: skipy
Date: 12 Jan 08 - 05:33 PM

Thanks Peace, I have the words, it's the tune I need, but thanks for coming onboard.
Skipy


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Help! I'd sooner lay blackthorn
From: Peace
Date: 12 Jan 08 - 05:39 PM

Skipy, I know. However, the song has a few titles.

Check this thread.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Help! I'd sooner lay blackthorn
From: Peace
Date: 12 Jan 08 - 05:49 PM

If "The Blackthorn Stick" melody would suffice for the nonce,

then here it is in notation.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Help! I'd sooner lay blackthorn
From: Peace
Date: 12 Jan 08 - 05:52 PM

"Bibliography
Here are all transcriptions of this tune under any title whatsoever – considering only the indexed books – listed in chronological order. I have discovered by careful comparison that these are very similar to this tune as played on the recordings listed above.

As tune #136 in [CRE 1] Breandán Breathnach. Ceol Rince na hÉireann 1.
On page 106 of [RM] Randy Miller and Jack Perron. Irish Traditional Fiddle Music. [available]
As tune #155 in [JOL] Terry Moylan. Johnny O'Leary of Sliabh Luachra. Dance Music from the Cork-Kerry Border. [available]
As reel #210 in [MM] Martin Mulvihill. First Collection of Traditional Irish Music.
As tune #1 in [DM 2] Dave Mallinson. 100 Enduring Irish Session Tunes. [available]
As reel #157 in [Cobb] Dan Cobb. Cobb's Music of Ireland. [available]"

from

www.irishtune.info/album/Ch+W/


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Help! I'd sooner lay blackthorn
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 12 Jan 08 - 06:40 PM

skipy

If you haven't left yet, the tune I've heard is not the Blackthorn Stick jig as given above, but (I think) the tune used for Cappy, The Pitman's Dog (The Chapter of Kings). If you're about still I'll post that soon.

Mick


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Subject: Tune Add: BLACKTHORN
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 12 Jan 08 - 07:16 PM

Here's the tune for Cappy modified to fit the words given. I can't guarantee that it's exactly correct for the song; it's not one I sing, I haven't heard it for a long time and I can't lay my hands on a recording (though I'm sure I have one somewhere). The chorus is fine but there might be some minor changes in the tune that I haven't remembered correctly. None-the-less, it's at least something close to the correct tune. The tempi given are mine, again from memory - feel free to ignore them.

Mick



X: 1
T:Blackthorn
M:6/8
L:1/8
B:Stokoe - Songs of Northern England - Cappy modified
N: This is the air for Cappy modified to fit the words
N: of Blackthorn as posted in Mudcat but from my memory
N: I haven't been able to compare it to a recording of
N: a sung version - MCP
Q:3/8=56
K:D
AG|FDF AFA|BGB A2
w:Well I'd soon-er be hedg-in' than build a stone wall
c|dcd Bcd|cAc d2
w:And put up and push it and hope it don't fall
d/d/|cde ecA|ecA A2
w:When the east wind blows bit-ter and hard in the trees
F|GAB BAG|GEF HG
w:I'd rath-er lay black-thorn than dry-wall and freeze
Q:3/8=46
"^Chorus"AG|F>GA F D2|
w:And I'd soon-er lay black-thorn,
G>AB G E2|
w:Soon-er lay black-thorn,
F>GA Bed|cBc Hd||
w:Soon-er lay black-thorn the rest of me days


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Subject: Tune Add: Swaggering Boney, Longborough
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 13 Jan 08 - 05:23 AM

When I posted the tune last night, I remembered that it was like one of the morris tunes, but I couldn't think which one. However, in the thread: Req/Add: Blackthorn GRex has just mentioned that the LP sleeve notes give it as a slowed down version of Swaggering Boney, so I give one of the version of that here (from JC's Tunefinder).

Mick



X: 1
T:Swaggering Boney, Longborough
M:6/8
L:1/8
A:Longborough
P:A(AB3)2(AC3)2A
F:http://jc.tzo.net/~jc/music/abc/England/MorrisRing/Longborough.abc
K:F
P:A
|:c|AGF ABc|ded d2d|f>ef dgf|ede f2:|
P:B
f|gec gec|gec c2A|B>cd ded|BGA B3 |
ABc F3 |Bcd G3 |A>Bc dgf|ede f2||
P:C
f|gec gec|gec c2A|B>cd ded|BGA B3 |
(2AB c3|F3 F3 |\
(2Bc d3|G3 G3 |A>Bc dgf|ede f2||


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Help! I'd sooner lay blackthorn
From: Tradsinger
Date: 13 Jan 08 - 06:07 AM

I'm very bemused to find the song turning up as an Irish or north of England song, as the words were written as a poem by the late Frank Mansell of Gloucestershire and first recorded on the album 'Cotswold ballads'. Give me time and I will dig out the tune.

Tradsinger


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Help! I'd sooner lay blackthorn
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 13 Jan 08 - 06:38 AM

I don't think anyone suggested it was either Irish or from the North of England - they were just being used as sources for the tune.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Help! I'd sooner lay blackthorn
From: Newport Boy
Date: 13 Jan 08 - 07:31 AM

Agreed, Tradsinger. I have a copy of the 'Cotswold Ballads' album on tape. "I'd Sooner Lay Blackthorn" is sung unaccompanied, and I'll try a quick notation in ABC shortly.

The album has Frank Mansell reading a number of poems, with others set to music and sung by Peter Tatham and Celia Carroll. It's available on Saydisc CD-SDL 268.

Phil


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Help! I'd sooner lay blackthorn
From: Tradsinger
Date: 13 Jan 08 - 08:28 AM

OK, I take the point about the Irish or north country connections. I just wanted Mudcatters to know something of the Gloucestershire origins of the song and not to label it as trad or anon. As it is a poem, I suppose it could be put to any number of tunes, but as Newport Boy says, it would be nice to get the tune that Frank Mansell himself heard and presumably approved of.

Tradsinger


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Subject: ADD: I'd sooner go hedging
From: Newport Boy
Date: 13 Jan 08 - 10:27 AM

I'D SOONER GO HEDGING
(Frank Mansell)

I'd sooner go hedging than build a stone wall
All pick up and place it and hope it don't fall
When east winds blow bitter and keen in the trees
I'd sooner lay blackthorn than dry wall and freeze

I'd sooner go hedging, the best thing I know
For anger and anguish and woman made woe
No matter how hurt or insulted I feel
A tussle with blackthorn will help it to heal

I'd sooner go hedging than read in a book
For more you get thinking the darker things look
Since study and weeping are hard on the eyes
I'd sooner lay blackthorn than learn to be wise

I'd sooner go hedging than writing of verse
And weaving and rhyming as if by a curse
For little men care what a poet may scrawl
But a blackthorn well laid is a pleasure to all

I'd sooner go hedging than seek all my days
For wealth or position or other men's praise
Plain billhook and axe are the tools of my trade
Six shillings a chain is the rate I am paid

I'd sooner go hedging than lie in my bed
With a wench that grows sourer the longer she's wed
And much as I grieve for our loving when young
I'd sooner lay blackthorn than suffer her tongue

I'd sooner go hedging but come the next spring
I'll be up and be gone like a bird on the wing
And all I shall miss when I reach my new home
Will be hedges to slash at and blackthorn in bloom


Sung unaccompanied by Peter Tatham. Transcribed from a tape "Cotswold Ballads" of a number of Frank Mansell's poems, read by Frank, with some set to music and sung by Peter Tatham and Celia Carroll. (Recording recently reissued as a CD by Saydisc - CD-SDL 268).
PJH

Tune: abc file

X:1
T:I'd Sooner Go Hedging
C:Composer:
N: Roughly transcribed from the unaccompanied
N: singing of Peter Tatham of the poem by
N: Frank Mansell. "Cotswold Ballads"
N: (Phil Holland 13 Jan 08)
Q:1/4=120    %Tempo
V:1    %
    %!STAVE 0 'Melody' @
    %!INSTR 'Piano 1' 0 0 @
M:6/8    %Meter
L:1/8    %
K:G
z4 z B |BAG B d2- |d2 e dGA |G3- G2 d |
ede g3 |d2 e dGB |d3- d2 d |
ede g3 |d2 e dGB |A3- A2 B |
BAG B d2- |d2 e dGA |G3- G2 z |]
    %End of file

The tune is clearly based one of a number of similar trad tunes, but I'll leave it to you to argue which.

Phil


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Help! I'd sooner lay blackthorn
From: Newport Boy
Date: 13 Jan 08 - 10:58 AM

Some further information on Frank Mansell and his poetry. The best collection is his "Cotswold Ballads" published as a pocket-sized stapled book in 1969. I have a 'Second and Enlarged Edition' from 1970, but it does not include I'd Sooner Go Hedging. The collection was re-published as a hardback with illustrations by Robert Ball in 1974. All editions carried a foreword by Laurie Lee, in which he says:

These are simple, singing lyrical ballads, sometimes gay, sometimes profoundly melancholy. They speak of youth, love, and the brevity of life, but they are also redolent with Cotswold sounds and scents. To me they have the natural eloquence of Irish or Scottish ballads, something that belongs to an earlier age of inspired illiteracy.

In the 1970s we had a local poetry group, and Frank Mansell was our guest one evening. I was an occasional provider of the musical interludes at these meetings, and it was a great pleasure to meet him and hear his own readings. My songs were very poor by comparison.

Quite a few of Frank's poems have turned up as songs - now he's been drawn to my attention again, I'll try and produce a list.

Phil


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Help! I'd sooner lay blackthorn
From: Tradsinger
Date: 13 Jan 08 - 11:18 AM

Hey Phil,

I keep getting a 'run-time error' when I copy and paste the tune into ABC. Could you check, please.

Thanks

Tradsinger


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Help! I'd sooner lay blackthorn
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 13 Jan 08 - 11:33 AM

I've had no trouble with the abc - it works fine in abc2mps and abcmidifier.

I don't think I've ever heard it sung to that tune! I've always heard the Ian and Charley version with chorus to the Swaggering Boney/Cappy tune.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Help! I'd sooner lay blackthorn
From: Newport Boy
Date: 13 Jan 08 - 11:58 AM

Dunno, Tradsinger - It loads and plays fine in MusicEase and Harmony Assistant. There's a redundant bracket at the end of the melody - you could try deleting that and also some of the % annotations, but I don't know why they should affect things.

Mick - I haven't heard any other version, and of course the original poem has no chorus. I did hear Frank Mansell read this, and Peter Tatham's singing has much of the feel of his reading. But there's more than one way to present a song.

Phil


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Help! I'd sooner lay blackthorn
From: Tradsinger
Date: 13 Jan 08 - 01:24 PM

Hey Phil,

Removing the bracket worked. Many thanks. PM me if you're still around Gloucestershire.

Tradsinger


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Help! I'd sooner lay blackthorn
From: skipy
Date: 13 Jan 08 - 04:01 PM

Hi, thanks for everyones help on this one, when we can turn up the tune I will send it ti then along with the words.
Never know I may even drop it to tape for them!
Once again Thanks.
The course was great by the way, hard work but fun!
Skipy


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Help! I'd sooner lay blackthorn
From: GUEST,The black belt caterpillar wrestler
Date: 14 Jan 08 - 07:46 AM

I may be imagining things but when Charlie Yarwood used to sing it (and yes the tune was very similar to Swaggering Boney) there was a chorus to finish off the tune.

I'd sooner lay blackthorn,
Sooner lay blackthorn,
Sooner lay blackthorn the rest of my days.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Help! I'd sooner lay blackthorn
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 14 Jan 08 - 07:58 AM

BBCW - That's already been referred to above and is posted as such in the other thread in the links above.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Help! I'd sooner lay blackthorn
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 14 Jan 08 - 07:59 AM

I still haven't been able to find my copy of Hooks and Nets to transcribe the tune properly, though I'm sure I have a copy somewhere!

Mick


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Help! I'd sooner lay blackthorn
From: skipy
Date: 14 Jan 08 - 02:36 PM

There are 2 renditions of swaggering-boney on youtube, one is quite scary!
Skipy


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: I'd Sooner Go Hedging / Hedger's Lay
From: FreddyHeadey
Date: 16 May 18 - 05:25 AM

Paul Carbuncle singing it in 2016 to the Peter Tatham tune
https://youtu.be/hKmZIuVe_54 


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