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Lyr Add: Female Drummer

DigiTrad:
FEMALE DRUMMER
SOLDIER MAID
THE FEMALE DRUMMER
THE HANDSOME YOUNG SAILOR


Related thread:
DT Correction/origins: Female Drummer/Soldier Maid (5)


John MacKenzie 12 Oct 08 - 04:12 PM
michaelr 12 Oct 08 - 04:29 PM
Malcolm Douglas 12 Oct 08 - 06:04 PM
John MacKenzie 12 Oct 08 - 06:23 PM
Malcolm Douglas 12 Oct 08 - 06:36 PM
Snuffy 12 Oct 08 - 06:47 PM
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Subject: Lyr Add: THE FEMALE DRUMMER
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 12 Oct 08 - 04:12 PM

I see only one version of this song in the Digitrad. This is the version from which Adam McNaughtan borrowed the tune, for his lovely song, Yellow on the Broom.


THE FEMALE DRUMMER

When I was a young girl at the age of sixteen,
Far from my parents ran away all to serve the Queen,
The officer enlisting me said I was a nice young man,
"I think you'll make a drummer, so it's come along young man.

So it's come along young man,
so it's come along young man,
I think you'll make a drummer,
so it's come along young man.

I was sent up to my quarters all for to go to bed,
And sleeping by a soldier's side I did not feel afraid,
In pulling off my red jacket it often made me smile,
To think I was a drummer and a maiden all the while.

And a maiden all the while,
And a maiden all the while,
To think I was a drummer,
And a maiden all the while.

My waist being long and slender, my fingers thin and small,
All for to beat upon the drum I soon exceeded all,
I played upon my kettledrums like other drummers played,
I played upon my kettledrums and still remained a maid.

And still remained a maid,
And still remained a maid,
I played upon my kettledrums,
And still remained a maid.

I was sent up to London all for to guard the Tower,
And there I might have been till this very day and hour,
But a young girl fell in love with me, I told her I was a maid,
And straightway to my officer the secret she betrayed.

The secret she betrayed,
The secret she betrayed,
And straightway to my officer,
The secret she betrayed.

The officer he sent for me to know if it was true,
"Of such a thing I cannot nor I won't believe of you",
He looked me in the face and he smiled as he said,
"It's a pity we should lose such a drummer as you've made."

Such a drummer as you've made,
So fare you well, dear officer,
It's a pity we should lose,
Such a drummer as you've made,

So fare you well, dear officer, you have been kind to me,
And likewise dear comrades, I'm not forgetting thee,
And if your army should be short for want of any man,
I'll put on my hat and feather and I'll march with you again.

I'll march with you again,
I'll march with you again
I'll put on my hat and feather,
and I'll march with you again.


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Subject: Lyr Add: WHEN I WAS A FAIR MAID
From: michaelr
Date: 12 Oct 08 - 04:29 PM

Interesting version, John! I've only heard this one:

WHEN I WAS A FAIR MAID (trad.)


When I was but a fair maid, about seventeen
I listed in the Navy for to serve the queen
I listed in the Navy, a sailor lad to stand
For to hear the cannons rattling and the music so grand
And the music so grand, the music so grand
For to hear the cannons rattling and the music so grand

The officer that listed me was a tall and handsome man
He said, You'll make a sailor, so come along my man
My waist being tall and slender, my fingers long and thin
O very soon I learned me and I soon exceeded them
I soon exceeded them, I soon exceeded them
O very soon I learned me and I soon exceeded them

They sent me off to bed and they sent me off to bunk
To lie with a sailor I never was afraid
But taking off my blue coat it often made me smile
To think I was a sailor and a maiden all the while
A maiden all the while, a maiden all the while
For to think I was a sailor and a maiden all the while

They sent me off to London for to guard the Tower
And I'm sure I'd still be there `til my very dying hour
But a lady fell in love with me, I told her I was a maid
She went unto the captain and my secret she betrayed
My secret she betrayed, my secret she betrayed
She went unto the captain and my secret she betrayed

The captain he came up to me and he asked if this was so
I would not, I could not, I dared not say no
It's a pity we should lose you, such a sailor lad you made
It's a pity we should lose you, such a handsome young maid
You're a handsome young maid, a handsome young maid
It's a pity we should lose you, such a handsome young maid

So fare thee well, captain, you've been so kind to me
And likewise my shipmates, I'm sorry to part with thee
But if ever the Navy needs a lad, a sailor I remain
I'll put on my hat and feathers and I'll run the rigging again
I'll run the rigging again, I'll run the rigging again
I'll put on my hat and feathers and I'll run the rigging again


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Female Drummer
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 12 Oct 08 - 06:04 PM

There are three examples in the DT, including the text John has just posted.

Female Drummer   transcribed from a Steeleye Span record, but with numerous mis-hearings. They got it from the Watersons, who got it from Bert Lloyd, who told them that Percy Grainger had collected it from 'a Yorkshire-born singer' at Barton on Humber (Lincolnshire); this seems to be wrong. So far as I can tell, Grainger noted the song once only; from a Mrs Mary Hawker, at Broad Campden in Gloucestershire. Perhaps Bert wanted the Watersons to think that it was a Yorkshire song.

The Female Drummer   copied from Frank Purslow, The Wanton Seed (London: EFDS, 1968). Contains some typos. The traditional source is not acknowledged in the DT, but for the record, it was noted by Dr George Gardiner and Charles Gamblin from William Bone of Alton, Hampshire, in November 1907. Purslow 'regularised' the order of the verses and edited the text a bit.

Soldier Maid   no source of any kind is credited, but it appears to have been copied from Gavin Greig, Folk-Song of the North-East (a text without tune, collated from several traditional versions); Norman Buchan and Peter Hall included it in The Scottish Folksinger, with a tune from Mrs Jean Horn of Aberdeen. The DT file merely links to William Bone's tune.

All three are also copied-and-pasted into thread DT Correction/origins: Female Drummer/Soldier Maid, which was started by somebody who wanted to correct the DT transcription; sadly, he made nearly as many mistakes himself.

Michael's text is quoted on a few websites, but only one of them credits any source (Tríona Ní Dhomhnaill; presumably the others learned it off her record); but where did she get it?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Female Drummer
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 12 Oct 08 - 06:23 PM

Thanks Malcolm. Like a fool I looked under F for female drummer, and only found one.
I cannot understand the practice of filing songs with THE in the title under that word.
I always list songs like that with 'The' appended after.
e.g. Female Drummer [The]
It is very confusing.

JM


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Female Drummer
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 12 Oct 08 - 06:36 PM

Yes, it is; mind you, the alphabetical index is hopeless anyway. Far better to use the search engine; it hasn't been updated for a couple of years, but then neither has the DT.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Female Drummer
From: Snuffy
Date: 12 Oct 08 - 06:47 PM

Michael's title and text (with a handful of very minor differences) is the version recorded by the American group Morrigan on their 1980 album By Land or By Sea, where it appears followed by Leave Her Johnny as a single track.

The sleeve notes do not mention where they got it from, but the chronology suggests it could well be Tríona Ní Dhomhnaill


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