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Lyr Req: Is My Team Ploughing (A. E. Housman)

Related threads:
Lyr Req: Oh, Sick I Am to See You (A. E. Housman) (12)
Lyr Add: One and Twenty (A E Housman) sound poem (36)


GUEST,gettingron 27 Mar 08 - 06:06 AM
GUEST,Howard Jones 27 Mar 08 - 09:11 AM
Cool Beans 27 Mar 08 - 09:20 AM
nutty 27 Mar 08 - 09:44 AM
Jack Campin 27 Mar 08 - 12:28 PM
IanC 27 Mar 08 - 12:54 PM
Crane Driver 27 Mar 08 - 01:23 PM
Jack Campin 27 Mar 08 - 03:35 PM
The Vulgar Boatman 27 Mar 08 - 04:52 PM
Jack Campin 27 Mar 08 - 05:58 PM
Big Al Whittle 27 Mar 08 - 06:14 PM
Gervase 27 Mar 08 - 06:55 PM
Big Al Whittle 27 Mar 08 - 07:26 PM
GUEST,gettingron 28 Mar 08 - 07:38 AM
Peace 28 Mar 08 - 06:09 PM
Snuffy 29 Mar 08 - 06:11 AM
GUEST 30 Mar 08 - 07:58 AM
GUEST,gettingron 08 Apr 08 - 01:50 PM
Jack Campin 08 Apr 08 - 06:23 PM
GUEST,gettingon 09 Apr 08 - 06:07 AM
GUEST, Sminky 10 Apr 08 - 06:46 AM
GUEST,Classic FM listener 10 Apr 08 - 09:42 AM
Jack Campin 10 Apr 08 - 04:36 PM
Joe_F 10 Apr 08 - 09:03 PM
GUEST, Sminky 11 Apr 08 - 05:21 AM
Mr Happy 18 Apr 08 - 11:25 AM
Jack Campin 18 Apr 08 - 11:43 AM
Jim Dixon 19 Apr 08 - 05:01 PM
GUEST,Ryster 05 Mar 09 - 05:51 AM
GUEST,AW 05 Mar 09 - 11:23 AM
GUEST,AW 05 Mar 09 - 11:30 AM
glueman 24 Aug 09 - 04:54 PM
giles earle 24 Aug 09 - 05:24 PM
Anglo 25 Aug 09 - 01:02 AM
MGMLion 07 Sep 09 - 03:02 PM
Joe Offer 07 Sep 09 - 03:12 PM
MGMLion 07 Sep 09 - 03:20 PM
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Subject: Lyr Req: Does my team still plow or: Is my team
From: GUEST,gettingron
Date: 27 Mar 08 - 06:06 AM

OR "Is my team still plowing? Not certain of the exact title, but it is an acoustic recording by a mixed gender group. I need to know the recording artist and an album title or label.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Does my team still plow or: Is my team
From: GUEST,Howard Jones
Date: 27 Mar 08 - 09:11 AM

I don't know the song, but it sounds as if it could be a setting of one of A E Housman's poems from "A Shropshire Lad"

http://www.bartleby.com/123/27.html


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Does my team still plow or: Is my team
From: Cool Beans
Date: 27 Mar 08 - 09:20 AM

Actually, it sounds like a quote from George W. Bush: "Is our team still plowing?" (Except that it's grammatical.)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Does my team still plow or: Is my tea
From: nutty
Date: 27 Mar 08 - 09:44 AM

This is a poem by AE Houseman. A tune was put to it by Dave Webber and I'm sure he recorded this on one of his CD's.

In Fact .... SEE HERE


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Does my team still plow or: Is my team
From: Jack Campin
Date: 27 Mar 08 - 12:28 PM

A.E. Housman. No "e" in the surname. From his collection "A Shropshire Lad".

The best-known setting is by Vaughan Williams, probably the only heterosexual composer to set it. It must have been set dozens of times by other English composers.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Does my team still plow or: Is my team
From: IanC
Date: 27 Mar 08 - 12:54 PM

Poem's here.

:-)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Does my team still plow or: Is my team
From: Crane Driver
Date: 27 Mar 08 - 01:23 PM

It's sung by Dave Webber and Anni Fentiman on their "Away from it all" CD, in Dave's own setting.

Not sure what a composer's sexuality has to do with anything.

Andrew


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Does my team still plow or: Is my team
From: Jack Campin
Date: 27 Mar 08 - 03:35 PM

The point about Housman's sexuality is that a rather definite pattern emerges if you look at which poets twentieth century English composers chose to set. Look at Britten's rather strange choices of lyricists/librettists for starters. Housman was a gay literary icon, the most prominent one of his time, and the most mainstream. However, "Is My Team Ploughing" is brilliant but exceptional - he didn't have a whole lot to say. Thomas Hardy and D.H. Lawrence were active at the same time, dealing with a much wider range of subjects than just muscular young lads having dramatic emotions in quaint rural environments, but attracted far fewer song settings. There was a reason for that.

I find British coyness around this sort of issue really irritating. BBC Radio 3 announcers will often talk their way through whole programmes of the gay men's English song genre without ever saying a word about its historical basis. (The best gay composers of the time weren't part of the clique - Michael Tippett set his own words and Peter Maxwell Davies never set any gay writer I can think of). It's not as if there was any shortage of biographical material.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Does my team still plow or: Is my team
From: The Vulgar Boatman
Date: 27 Mar 08 - 04:52 PM

Ever thought that it might not be that interesting? They don't acknowledge heterosexuality either. And Housman wasn't gay, he was largely bloody miserable.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Does my team still plow or: Is my team
From: Jack Campin
Date: 27 Mar 08 - 05:58 PM

The stories behind this stuff can be *very* interesting. Look at "February House" by Sherill Tippins (on a period when Auden and Britten were collaborating most closely) for one example.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Does my team still plow or: Is my team
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 27 Mar 08 - 06:14 PM

Are my bollocks itchy?
Like my athletes foot
Since I jumped off Wenlock Edge
my verse is in a rut


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Does my team still plow or: Is my tea
From: Gervase
Date: 27 Mar 08 - 06:55 PM

Jack's analysis is intriguing, and something I hadn't considered before. Has anything been published on the sexuality of early arrangers and their choice of material? It certainly rings true with Billy Budd.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Does my team still plow or: Is my team
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 27 Mar 08 - 07:26 PM

I can't believe anybody could miss such a totally obvious bloody thing.

Still, if your parents weren't victims of sexual harassment by the upper classes, I suppose you might. Did you never sit in a sauna with all these these beautiful muscular miners and be aware of your flabby middle class gut.

To me it absolutely screams in every line of song in the 'traditional' folk revival. Those 'pretty ploughboys....'


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Does my team still plow or: Is my team
From: GUEST,gettingron
Date: 28 Mar 08 - 07:38 AM

I thank you all for the scholarly analysis, but there is another recording that I am looking for. The group has "Bay" in their name; I believe they only recorded one album. And I think they are Left Coasters. When I first heard the song, I was sure it was Jim & Ingrid Croce, but I caught part of the credits, and I was wrong.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Does my team still plow or: Is my team
From: Peace
Date: 28 Mar 08 - 06:09 PM

Can you name anything they recorded?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Does my team still plow or: Is my team
From: Snuffy
Date: 29 Mar 08 - 06:11 AM

Is "Left Coasters" another euphemism for the sexual orientation of pretty ploughboys and English composers?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Does my team still plow or: Is my team
From: GUEST
Date: 30 Mar 08 - 07:58 AM

Sorry, by Left Coasters I mean the Pacific coast of the U.S. This is the only song I know from the album, heard it on a folk show from WPSUFM some years ago.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Is My Team Ploughing (A. E. Housman)
From: GUEST,gettingron
Date: 08 Apr 08 - 01:50 PM

I have found the info; I finally got in touch with the DJ who played the song. The group was the Beacon City Band, and they made one album.

http://www.denicefranke.com/beaconcityband.html

Thanks to all who submitted their help.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Is My Team Ploughing (A. E. Housman)
From: Jack Campin
Date: 08 Apr 08 - 06:23 PM

What tune did they use for it?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Is My Team Ploughing (A. E. Housman)
From: GUEST,gettingon
Date: 09 Apr 08 - 06:07 AM

I'm trying to get a copy of the album from the DJ; I'll let you know if and when.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Is My Team Ploughing (A. E. Housman)
From: GUEST, Sminky
Date: 10 Apr 08 - 06:46 AM

It must have been set dozens of times by other English composers.

By sheer coincidence, Six Songs From A Shropshire Lad, arranged by George Butterworth, is currently on sale on eBay UK (and only hours to go).


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Is My Team Ploughing (A. E. Housman)
From: GUEST,Classic FM listener
Date: 10 Apr 08 - 09:42 AM

Years ago, Classic FM (to which I used to listen) had phone-in competitions. One time I remember a contestant, speaking quickly and correctly identifying a composer as Benjamin Britten, managed to get the whole of this lttle couplet out:

"Benjamin Britten and Peter Pears
Were both a pair of f***ing queers"


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Is My Team Ploughing (A. E. Housman)
From: Jack Campin
Date: 10 Apr 08 - 04:36 PM

I'll have you know that Benjamin Britten patted me on the head when I was a baby. My mum was doing tea and biscuits at a concert he and Pears did.

My grandma wasn't very impressed. "Funny he never married" was her comment.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Is My Team Ploughing (A. E. Housman)
From: Joe_F
Date: 10 Apr 08 - 09:03 PM

Housman was homosexual, or whatever you want to call it. He was in love with a young soldier & never dared to tell him so, and the soldier got killed, and Housman never got over it. There is stuff about it in his poems.

How miserable the mere fact of being queer made him is not clear. Auden speculates (on what grounds, he does not say) that he wanted to get fucked, and was ashamed of *that*, because such a role in a grown man was thought ridiculous in antiquity.

He also wrote a spirited poem defending Oscar Wilde, but did not allow it to be published while he lived.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Is My Team Ploughing (A. E. Housman)
From: GUEST, Sminky
Date: 11 Apr 08 - 05:21 AM

In fact Housman had a passionate, but unrequited, love for Moses Jackson, his undergraduate contemporary at St John's College, Oxford and housemate in London lodgings in the late 1870s and early 1880s. Housman was devastated when Jackson upped sticks suddenly and moved to India (of which there are several references in his poems). Jackson died of stomach cancer.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Is My Team Ploughing (A. E. Housman)
From: Mr Happy
Date: 18 Apr 08 - 11:25 AM

Above message translated from Chinese!


The lettuce patterned silk marrow mediocre fine jade crow honored praises reddish brown! wing 7 Liang draws .. holds praises.. the marrow thousand towering hair buns... to install the wing to hold .. the supersearch.mudcat.org paper money japonica rice praises reddish brown

******

Talk about thread drift, what?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Is My Team Ploughing (A. E. Housman)
From: Jack Campin
Date: 18 Apr 08 - 11:43 AM

"Never mind the hair buns, here's the lettuce patterned silk marrow"?

I think Housman could have gone for that.


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Subject: Lyr Add: IS MY TEAM PLOUGHING (A. E. Housman)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 19 Apr 08 - 05:01 PM

From A Shropshire Lad, by A. E. Housman, New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1923, page 38ff:

XXVII

'Is my team ploughing,
That I was used to drive
And hear the harness jingle
When I was man alive?'

Ay, the horses trample,
The harness jingles now;
No change though you lie under
The land you used to plough.

'Is football playing
Along the river shore,
With lads to chase the leather,
Now I stand up no more?'

Ay, the ball is flying,
The lads play heart and soul;
The goal stands up, the keeper
Stands up to keep the goal.

'Is my girl happy,
That I thought hard to leave,
And has she tired of weeping
As she lies down at eve?'

Ay, she lies down lightly,
She lies not down to weep:
Your girl is well contented.
Be still, my lad, and sleep.

'Is my friend hearty,
Now I am thin and pine,
And has he found to sleep in
A better bed than mine?'

Yes, lad, I lie easy,
I lie as lads would choose;
I cheer a dead man's sweetheart,
Never ask me whose.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Is My Team Ploughing (A. E. Housman)
From: GUEST,Ryster
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 05:51 AM

There's a great song version by George Butterworth. The chord progressions are simple and haunting. Bryn Terfel does a great job interpreting the song.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Is My Team Ploughing (A. E. Housman)
From: GUEST,AW
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 11:23 AM

There is a lovely version (I think of the Butterworth setting) by Dave Goulder on his album 'Stone, Steam and Starlings', available on CD.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Is My Team Ploughing (A. E. Housman)
From: GUEST,AW
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 11:30 AM

Correction to above post. The song is not on 'Stone, Steam and Starlings' (I should hae checked the CD before posting - I was thinking of 'I will go with my Father a'ploughing, which is another lovely setting of a poem). But I have a distinct memory of hearing Dave sing 'Is My Team Ploughing'. Does anyone know if he does, or have I just imagined it?


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Subject: Is my team ploughing?
From: glueman
Date: 24 Aug 09 - 04:54 PM

Before anyone pops a button I know it isn't folk, but two marvellous settings for the Housman poem by RVW and Butterworth.

Ploughing


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Subject: RE: Is my team ploughing?
From: giles earle
Date: 24 Aug 09 - 05:24 PM

Housman's own view of his poem: "I think it may be my best, though it is not the most perfect."


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Subject: RE: Is my team ploughing?
From: Anglo
Date: 25 Aug 09 - 01:02 AM

I rather like the folkier setting by Dave Webber.


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Subject: Football Crazy - & Housman
From: MGMLion
Date: 07 Sep 09 - 03:02 PM

Wonder why the Is My Team Ploughing thread got closed down? Much interested in Housman & football, esp Shropshire Lad xvii: 'Twice a week the winter thorough Here stood I to keep the goal'. As an ex-goalkeeper myself tho you wouldn't believe it to see me now [Hendon County School 1st XI, 1949-50], it makes the ShropLad, & I suspect Housman himself [cf the bit about the goalkeeper in Team Ploughing], one of gems of my collection of goalkeepers: Albert Camus [played for Algeria], A Conan Doyle [played for Portsmouth], Che Guevara, all Three Tenors [Carreras signed amateur forms for Barcelona], Pope John-Paul II, Nabokov, A H Clough, Boris Becker who opted for tennis tho, Max Schmelling ditto boxing ...

Any folkie goalkeepers to join me out there?

And, to keep this thread above line: "I'm football crazy, I'm football mad..."


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Is My Team Ploughing (A. E. Housman)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 07 Sep 09 - 03:12 PM

Hi, Michael -
"Ploughing" got closed down because it was a duplicate thread, which was subsequently combined with the previous thread. There's usually an explanation for thread closures in the last message.
Hope you don't mind that I moved you over here.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Is My Team Ploughing (A. E. Housman)
From: MGMLion
Date: 07 Sep 09 - 03:20 PM

No, fine: my somewhat mnemonic reminiscences belong here perfectly, and they won't get moved down below line. Thanks Joe.

Once again ? any more goalkeepers out there?


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