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Sad traditional songs?

GUEST,VulpesFish 23 Mar 08 - 12:03 AM
Nerd 23 Mar 08 - 01:04 AM
Barry Finn 23 Mar 08 - 01:06 AM
Kiss Me Slow Slap Me Quick 23 Mar 08 - 02:33 AM
Jim Lad 23 Mar 08 - 05:00 AM
GUEST 23 Mar 08 - 05:30 AM
GUEST,Gene Burton elsewhere 23 Mar 08 - 05:31 AM
GUEST,VulpesFish 23 Mar 08 - 05:44 AM
Big Al Whittle 23 Mar 08 - 06:27 AM
Bonnie Shaljean 23 Mar 08 - 06:52 AM
Willa 23 Mar 08 - 06:56 AM
RobbieWilson 23 Mar 08 - 07:46 AM
Maryrrf 23 Mar 08 - 08:33 AM
Fiolar 23 Mar 08 - 09:02 AM
Leadfingers 23 Mar 08 - 09:28 AM
Deskjet 23 Mar 08 - 09:46 AM
oldhippie 23 Mar 08 - 10:16 AM
Leadfingers 23 Mar 08 - 10:24 AM
sharyn 23 Mar 08 - 10:36 AM
GUEST,Pamela from Ithaca 23 Mar 08 - 10:47 AM
Nerd 23 Mar 08 - 11:42 AM
Nerd 23 Mar 08 - 11:50 AM
GUEST,iancarterb 23 Mar 08 - 12:06 PM
GUEST,votivon 23 Mar 08 - 12:35 PM
Art Thieme 23 Mar 08 - 02:24 PM
Don Firth 23 Mar 08 - 04:18 PM
Suegorgeous 23 Mar 08 - 04:46 PM
GUEST,VulpesFish 23 Mar 08 - 09:42 PM
Malcolm Douglas 23 Mar 08 - 10:20 PM
Stewart 23 Mar 08 - 11:53 PM
GUEST,Kenny B Sans Kuki 24 Mar 08 - 07:48 PM
Scabby Douglas 24 Mar 08 - 08:11 PM
Deskjet 24 Mar 08 - 08:21 PM
toadfrog 24 Mar 08 - 08:50 PM
McGrath of Harlow 24 Mar 08 - 09:03 PM
michaelr 25 Mar 08 - 02:32 AM
Dave Sutherland 25 Mar 08 - 09:19 AM
GUEST,Joseph de Culver City 25 Mar 08 - 12:44 PM
emjay 25 Mar 08 - 01:49 PM
ard mhacha 25 Mar 08 - 02:37 PM
GUEST,The Mole Catcher's unplugged Apprentice 25 Mar 08 - 02:45 PM
Willa 25 Mar 08 - 03:11 PM
Willa 25 Mar 08 - 03:12 PM
GUEST,Little Musgrave 25 Mar 08 - 03:35 PM
Don Firth 25 Mar 08 - 03:44 PM
Deskjet 25 Mar 08 - 04:39 PM
Don Firth 25 Mar 08 - 07:32 PM
Deskjet 25 Mar 08 - 08:45 PM
Suegorgeous 25 Mar 08 - 09:25 PM
Don Firth 25 Mar 08 - 10:16 PM
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Subject: Sad traditional songs?
From: GUEST,VulpesFish
Date: 23 Mar 08 - 12:03 AM

Hello!

I'm not sure if this is an appropriate place to ask this or not so I greatly apologise if it is not. I am looking for the names of any 'sad' traditional songs, in the same vein, for example, as such Scottish songs as Annachie Gordon or the Ca' the Yowes to the Knowes, or such Irish songs as The Green Fields of Canada, and so forth. Basically any old traditional songs with sad or slow melodies! :) Any help would be very much appreciated, though I am sorry if this is a somewhat odd request.

Have a good day!


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Subject: RE: Sad traditional songs?
From: Nerd
Date: 23 Mar 08 - 01:04 AM

Annan Water
Andrew Lammie

and about a thousand others....


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Subject: RE: Sad traditional songs?
From: Barry Finn
Date: 23 Mar 08 - 01:06 AM

It's not an odd request but it is daunting.

Annan Water
Six Lords Went-A Hunting
Long A Growing
Lord Randel
Ramble Away
Polly Vaughan
Bogy's Bonny Belle
The Brown & Yellow Ale
Jamie Duglas Tragedy (Wail, Waily)
Bonny LIght Horseman
Plain of Waterloo
Banks of the Nile
Lass of Maui
Jamie Raeburn
Low Lands of Hallland
She Moved Through the Fair
The Red Haired Man's Wife
Lakes of Ponchartrain
High Walls of Derry
Matty Groves
Sheep Crook & Black Dog
Banks of Red Roses
Lord Gregory
Death of Queen Jane
All Things Are Quite Silent
The Silkie of Sule Skerry
Lord Thomas & Fair Annet
Young Waters

There's a scratch on the surface
Good Luck
Barry


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Subject: RE: Sad traditional songs?
From: Kiss Me Slow Slap Me Quick
Date: 23 Mar 08 - 02:33 AM

The Wife Of Ushers Well
The Twa Brithers
Clerk Saunders
Braes O'Yarrow
MacCrimmond's Lamemt
Willie O'Windsbury
Lady Keith's Lament
Belt Wae Colours Three
Jamie Foyers


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Subject: RE: Sad traditional songs?
From: Jim Lad
Date: 23 Mar 08 - 05:00 AM

The Brick Layer Song.


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Subject: RE: Sad traditional songs?
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Mar 08 - 05:30 AM

The Leaves of Life, Swansea Town, The Lily of the West, The Queen of Hearts...just a few slow minor key trad songs from my own repertoire. But there's an awful lot out there! Best of luck, anyway.


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Subject: RE: Sad traditional songs?
From: GUEST,Gene Burton elsewhere
Date: 23 Mar 08 - 05:31 AM

GUEST above is I, BTW.


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Subject: RE: Sad traditional songs?
From: GUEST,VulpesFish
Date: 23 Mar 08 - 05:44 AM

Thanks so much everyone; these are excellent! :)


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Subject: RE: Sad traditional songs?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 23 Mar 08 - 06:27 AM

Any razor blades to go with that sir?


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Subject: RE: Sad traditional songs?
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 23 Mar 08 - 06:52 AM

What's The Life Of A Man (also sometimes called The Leaf)
Fanny Blair (angry as well as sad)
She Lived Beside The Anner


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Subject: RE: Sad traditional songs?
From: Willa
Date: 23 Mar 08 - 06:56 AM

Quiet Land of Erin, Pretty Saro, Laddie Lie Near Me, She Moved Thourh the Fair,


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Subject: RE: Sad traditional songs?
From: RobbieWilson
Date: 23 Mar 08 - 07:46 AM

Carrickfergus, Raglan Road, The False Bride


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Subject: RE: Sad traditional songs?
From: Maryrrf
Date: 23 Mar 08 - 08:33 AM

All of the above are good suggestions. Actually I'd be harder pressed to come up with cheery, happy traditional songs. The sad ones seem to predominate!


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Subject: RE: Sad traditional songs?
From: Fiolar
Date: 23 Mar 08 - 09:02 AM

A few more sad ones:
Pinch and Caoch O'Leary.
Noreen Bawn.
Ballad of Michael Collins.
Old Rivers.


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Subject: RE: Sad traditional songs?
From: Leadfingers
Date: 23 Mar 08 - 09:28 AM

Mary has it right ! You DONT sing Traditional songs to brighten the atmosphere do you ?
Next thing is , someone will suggest you go to a folk Club to ENJOY yourself !


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Subject: RE: Sad traditional songs?
From: Deskjet
Date: 23 Mar 08 - 09:46 AM

Jock O'Hazeldean


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Subject: RE: Sad traditional songs?
From: oldhippie
Date: 23 Mar 08 - 10:16 AM

Kilkelly, Ireland


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Subject: RE: Sad traditional songs?
From: Leadfingers
Date: 23 Mar 08 - 10:24 AM

And a few Fairly modern written songs in there too ! Kilkenny is recent , Raglan Road , and Lakes of Ponchartrain too
Pedantry Riules !!! LOL


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Subject: RE: Sad traditional songs?
From: sharyn
Date: 23 Mar 08 - 10:36 AM

Johnny My Man (aka Farewell to Whiskey)
I'm a Poor Bonnie Lassie
Johnny, Lovely Johnny
Loving Hannah
The Highland Widow's Lament
The Bonnie Banks of Fordie (aka Babylon)
Barbara Allen

And, while we're on pedantry, the words to "She Moved Through the Fair" were written by an Irish poet, one of the Padraics (Padraic Colum?) and so are not strictly traditional.

Thread creep: who wrote "The Lakes of Ponchartrain?" I thought it was found in traditional repertories, including some New York singer Ellen Stekert recorded ages ago. (And, yes, I'll look this up in the Forum)


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Subject: RE: Sad traditional songs?
From: GUEST,Pamela from Ithaca
Date: 23 Mar 08 - 10:47 AM

I'd start to list some of my favorite sad songs
Nobleman's Wedding
Palace Grand
Dearest dear...

but I'd never be able to stop, because there are so many.

And yes, Lakes of Ponchartrain is a traditional song.
Ellen Stekert got it from her source "Fuzzy"Barhight,
but it's in the lumbering tradition from others as well
all across the northeast.

I'm curious, what's the search for sad songs feeding?
A particular performance, or do you just like sad songs?
Almost anything slow tune in minor will feel sad, if that's what you're seeking.

best, Pamela


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Subject: RE: Sad traditional songs?
From: Nerd
Date: 23 Mar 08 - 11:42 AM

The Lakes of Ponchartrain is a traditional American song. It made it to Ireland once through a returning immigrant, and appeared in Sam Henry's collection. However, the version now common in Ireland is not that version. The common version was first learned by Mike Waterson in England, then taught to Christy Moore, who taught it to Paul Brady. I don't know who taught it to Mike. Most people learned it from Christy or Paul.


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Subject: RE: Sad traditional songs?
From: Nerd
Date: 23 Mar 08 - 11:50 AM

To add more to Pamela's post, The Lakes of Ponchartrain was also common in the south, and has been collected in Missouri, Kentucky, and Florida. It appears in Laws's Native American Balladry as number H-9.

As Pamela said, it became popular among loggers, and in fact the person who brought it to Ireland first had gone to America to be a logger. It was in Ireland by about 1905, when said ex-logger, Frank McAllister, taught it to Paddy McCloskey, who gave it to Sam Henry.


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Subject: RE: Sad traditional songs?
From: GUEST,iancarterb
Date: 23 Mar 08 - 12:06 PM

All the best ones, those which partake of mythic themes, are about mortality, the great transcendant subject of all human art, variants on the problem that none of us is getting out of here alive! They're ALL sad!
Good question!


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Subject: RE: Sad traditional songs?
From: GUEST,votivon
Date: 23 Mar 08 - 12:35 PM

The happy ones, like Tom Lehrer's Irish Ballad, seem to be recnt creations!!!


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Subject: RE: Sad traditional songs?
From: Art Thieme
Date: 23 Mar 08 - 02:24 PM

from my own repertory:

The Shanty Boy On The Big Eau Claire (It is Romeo and Juliet transposed to the lumber woods of America. A wonderful song from W.N. Allen --wrote under the name of SHAN T> BOY -- about 1885.)

Indeed, there are many thousands of these sad songs. Life being rather sad and tragic, this fact comes through in the songs.
If you doubt this fact, it is possibly because you haven't lived long enough to see the truth of it.

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: Sad traditional songs?
From: Don Firth
Date: 23 Mar 08 - 04:18 PM

I don't see "Jock o'Hazeldean" as a sad song. In fact, it's about a young woman being shoved into an arranged marriage, but on the wedding day, she takes command of her own life and
They sought her both in bower and hall,
But the lady wasna' seen.
She's o'er the border and awa'
Wi' Jock o'Hazeldean!
The man she really loves. Way to go, girl!!

CLICKY

Now, if you want a sad song, how about the one Carl Sandburg referred to as "The Sad Song?" Also known as "Lady Mary."

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Sad traditional songs?
From: Suegorgeous
Date: 23 Mar 08 - 04:46 PM

Sharyn - I have somewhere some gaelic lyrics to She moved through the fair, so I presume it was originally written in gaelic? would be interested to know who wrote it, as I've always introduced it as a traditional song..

Don - I was just thinking that myself - Jock o'Hazeldean is a very happy song in my eyes.

Sue


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Subject: RE: Sad traditional songs?
From: GUEST,VulpesFish
Date: 23 Mar 08 - 09:42 PM

Pamela -- I just really love performing and listening to the sadder varieties of song; for some reason I resonate strongly with minor chords! :D I guess I'm just a bit dull, hehe!

Thank you so much for your recommendations everybody; and a thank you to Willa, because I have just now listened to Pretty Saro and fallen instantly in love with it.


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Subject: RE: Sad traditional songs?
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 23 Mar 08 - 10:20 PM

'She Moved Through the Fair' was based on a traditional song (see numerous discussions here on the subject; the name of the writer isn't in doubt), but it wasn't in Gaelic. Probably the Gaelic text mentioned is a modern translation into that language, or a song on a similar topic. The 20th century rewrite is a feature more of the revival than the tradition, having been popularised via a commercial recording by 'Count' John McCormack and later by Margaret Barry.

For interesting background on 'Pretty Saro' (a late C19 American development of an Irish song) see also past discussions here, all of which can be found via the search engine.


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Subject: RE: Sad traditional songs?
From: Stewart
Date: 23 Mar 08 - 11:53 PM

For the great Gaels of Ireland
Are the men that God made mad,
For all their wars are merry
And all their songs are sad.
— G. K Chesterton

Cheers, S. in Seattle
who sings sad Irish songs


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Subject: RE: Sad traditional songs?
From: GUEST,Kenny B Sans Kuki
Date: 24 Mar 08 - 07:48 PM

The Band Played Waltzing Matilda
& the Green Fields of France
The Croppy Boy
The South Coast


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Subject: RE: Sad traditional songs?
From: Scabby Douglas
Date: 24 Mar 08 - 08:11 PM

Hmm

"The Band Played Waltzing Matilda
& the Green Fields of France"

Not traditional.

Sad, yes.

Traditional, no.

Both by Eric Bogle.


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Subject: RE: Sad traditional songs?
From: Deskjet
Date: 24 Mar 08 - 08:21 PM

Jock O'Hazeldean is dead.


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Subject: RE: Sad traditional songs?
From: toadfrog
Date: 24 Mar 08 - 08:50 PM

South Coast is also not traditional.
You can pretty much run through the 305 English and Scottish Popular Ballads and skim off the saddest 100, and you have 100 sad traditional songs. And there are 7000 versions of those 305 balads in Bronson, many of which could be called distinct "songs," so if you can read music (I can't) it should not be hard to come up with a couple thousand sad traditional songs in the time it takes to read it through.

My pick for saddest would be "The Clerk's Twa Sons of Owsenford," which is a lovely song, although it is not often sung.


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Subject: RE: Sad traditional songs?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 24 Mar 08 - 09:03 PM

Well, there are some excellent songs which aren't sad. But...


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Subject: RE: Sad traditional songs?
From: michaelr
Date: 25 Mar 08 - 02:32 AM

"The Lumbering Tradition." Now there's a swell name for a compilation album!

Lumber up, limbo down


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Subject: RE: Sad traditional songs?
From: Dave Sutherland
Date: 25 Mar 08 - 09:19 AM

Betsy the Serving Maid
Alan McLean


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Subject: RE: Sad traditional songs?
From: GUEST,Joseph de Culver City
Date: 25 Mar 08 - 12:44 PM

How about:

'Banks of the Ohio' or

'Careless Love'

? Joseph


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Subject: RE: Sad traditional songs?
From: emjay
Date: 25 Mar 08 - 01:49 PM

How could you forget Grace -- not really traditional, but has that sound and it is certainly one of the saddest songs!

And I think this has been the topic of a few other threads on Mudcat -- but for some reason a lot of us like these songs. I know I do!

MJ


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Subject: RE: Sad traditional songs?
From: ard mhacha
Date: 25 Mar 08 - 02:37 PM

Skibereen, The Famine song,My only son was shot in Dublin,John O`Hallrahan, Dan`O``Hara, The valley of Knockanure, The bold fenian men, The croppy boy,Kevin Barry, Shall my soul pass through old Ireland,The fields of Amerikay,The Irish soldier boy.


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Subject: RE: Sad traditional songs?
From: GUEST,The Mole Catcher's unplugged Apprentice
Date: 25 Mar 08 - 02:45 PM

The re are a fair number of song data bases on the internet, including, of course, The Digital Tradition.

Charlotte (the view from Ma and Pa's piano stool)


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Subject: RE: Sad traditional songs?
From: Willa
Date: 25 Mar 08 - 03:11 PM

Vulpesfish
Here's a lovely version of 'Quiet Land of Erin'sung by Maureen Hegarty

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mt7NDjT0MB4&feature=related

This should be a blicky; if it doesn't work perhaps someone will kindly correct it!

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Subject: RE: Sad traditional songs?
From: Willa
Date: 25 Mar 08 - 03:12 PM

I'll try again


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Subject: RE: Sad traditional songs?
From: GUEST,Little Musgrave
Date: 25 Mar 08 - 03:35 PM


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Subject: RE: Sad traditional songs?
From: Don Firth
Date: 25 Mar 08 - 03:44 PM

Re: Jock o' Hazeldean (Child #293):

"Jock O'Hazeldean is dead."

That's certainly an interesting interpretation of the text, Deskjet, and indeed a rather gloomy one. But there is little, either explicit or implicit within the song itself, to indicate that. I suppose one could draw an inference that she had committed suicide or (as many ballad heroines are wont to do) just hauled off and died rather than marry a man she doesn't love. But upon hearing
She's o'er the border and awa'
With Jock o' Hazeldeen.
what leaps immediately to mind is that she's o'er the geographical border rather than the border between life and death.

Perhaps you are hanging this on "Now, let this willful grief be done." But my immediate interpretation of that was that she "let the tears doon fa'" because others, her parents, guardians, whoever, had declared Jock o' Hazeldean persona non marriage material because he was poor or not of her class, and besides, why would she want to marry him when she could marry the wealthy young laird she was being offered?

The general consensus:    CLICKY #1, and CLICKY #2.

And the following excerpt:
Footnote : A poem by Sir Walter Scott, first published in Albyn's Anthology in 1806, which Scott derived from an older ballad, "John of Hazelgreen." For once the course of true love wins out as the young lady of the song, who is being forced into marriage by the father of the prospective groom (guardian?), elopes on her wedding day with her true love, Jock o' Hazeldean.
The most commonly heard version of the song was "written" by Sir Walter Scott. It is well known that he was an avid collector of border ballads and that he often was given to "tidying up" and "improving" them, which he may well have done from the viewpoint of a professional poet (what the English professor who taught the "Popular Ballad" course I took many years ago, Dr. David C. Fowler, called "essence of ink-pot."). There are earlier versions of the ballad than Scott's

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Sad traditional songs?
From: Deskjet
Date: 25 Mar 08 - 04:39 PM

Thanks for the detailed response Don.

I ain't hangin' on nothing.
It's a song I sing often and I find the whole sentiment/melody beautifully tragic.
The song itself more than allows for my interpretation.

The opening line is
"Why weep ye by the tide lady,why weep ye by the tide"
This is before any mention of an offer of marriage or possible implication of force thereof.(In fact I interpret the offer of marriage as an attempt at consoling the girl, albeit one with an ulterior motive...his son gets the comely maiden)

Now,no doubt you may present the consensus of opinion, and indeed the historically accurate viewpoint of the song, but we shouldn't let that stand in the way, should we?


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Subject: RE: Sad traditional songs?
From: Don Firth
Date: 25 Mar 08 - 07:32 PM

No indeed! That is an interesting interpretation of the song that simply hadn't occurred to me.

My assumption about the opening line was that she was weeping because she loved Jock and her parents or guardians had vetoed her marrying him. A similar situation existed at the beginning of "Anachie Gordon," where the girl was forced to marry the rich man, then dies of grief, followed by Gordon, who arrives too late and he, too, rolls over and dies. I figured "Jock o' Hazeldean" as a similar situation, except in this case, the young lady refused to be a pawn in someone else's game, took matters into her own hands and crawled out the window.

I shall ponder the matter further.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Sad traditional songs?
From: Deskjet
Date: 25 Mar 08 - 08:45 PM

I'll sing you my version sometime Don.Maybe that'll sway you!


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Subject: RE: Sad traditional songs?
From: Suegorgeous
Date: 25 Mar 08 - 09:25 PM

hmmmm... no doubt in my mind they're both alive


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Subject: RE: Sad traditional songs?
From: Don Firth
Date: 25 Mar 08 - 10:16 PM

I'll look forward to it, Deskjet.

That's one of the fascinating things about ballads. There is almost always a substantial element of ambiguity in them. For example, why did Lord Randal's sweetheart poison him? No explanation in the ballad. Or "A little bit of bush," indeed! Why did Edward really kill his brother-in-law? Incest? Infidelity? And who was the brother-in-law, anyway? Edward's wife's brother? His sister's husband? And who's asking the questions? The ballad doesn't say.

Plenty of room for speculation and darned few solid answers.

"Fascinating!"
         —Mr. Spock

Don Firth


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