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The Parting Glass, About what?

DigiTrad:
FAREWELL
PARTING GLASS


Related threads:
Lyr Req: The Parting Glass sung with another song (29)
Parting glass lyrics needed (4)
(origins) Origins: The Parting Glass (71)
English Goodnight & joy be with you all? (5)
Lyr Req: The Parting Glass - full version? (4)
Film rendition of 'The Parting Glass' (20)
Tune Req: The 'Other' 'Parting Glass' (29)
Lyr Add: Parting Glass (alternate verses) (1)
Lyr Req: The Parting Glass (4) (closed)
Lyr Req: 'The Parting Glass' in Irish Language? (6)
Lyr Req: tasteless Parting Glass parody (7)


Nick E 14 Nov 08 - 07:24 PM
Acme 14 Nov 08 - 07:56 PM
Leadfingers 14 Nov 08 - 07:57 PM
Liz the Squeak 15 Nov 08 - 06:07 AM
MMario 15 Nov 08 - 07:55 AM
GUEST,Big Tim 15 Nov 08 - 08:00 AM
GUEST,Big Tim 15 Nov 08 - 08:06 AM
Acme 15 Nov 08 - 09:16 AM
Marje 15 Nov 08 - 09:35 AM
Big Al Whittle 15 Nov 08 - 12:27 PM
GUEST 15 Nov 08 - 12:39 PM
gnu 15 Nov 08 - 12:46 PM
trevek 15 Nov 08 - 01:07 PM
Malcolm Douglas 15 Nov 08 - 01:16 PM
GUEST,Big Tim 15 Nov 08 - 02:24 PM
Amos 15 Nov 08 - 06:02 PM
GUEST 15 Nov 08 - 06:16 PM
Malcolm Douglas 15 Nov 08 - 06:22 PM
RTim 15 Nov 08 - 07:47 PM
RTim 15 Nov 08 - 07:50 PM
Art Thieme 15 Nov 08 - 10:30 PM
Acme 16 Nov 08 - 12:07 AM
Amos 16 Nov 08 - 03:37 AM
greg stephens 16 Nov 08 - 07:26 AM
Liz the Squeak 16 Nov 08 - 08:03 AM
gnu 16 Nov 08 - 09:32 AM
Megan L 16 Nov 08 - 09:39 AM
gnu 16 Nov 08 - 10:35 AM
Ron Davies 16 Nov 08 - 10:40 AM
Acme 16 Nov 08 - 11:22 AM
RTim 16 Nov 08 - 11:27 AM
Amos 16 Nov 08 - 11:54 AM
gnu 16 Nov 08 - 11:55 AM
Marje 16 Nov 08 - 11:59 AM
Claymore 16 Nov 08 - 12:18 PM
GUEST,Gerry 16 Nov 08 - 04:44 PM
Malcolm Douglas 16 Nov 08 - 05:23 PM
Jim McLean 16 Nov 08 - 05:52 PM
Lighter 16 Nov 08 - 06:00 PM
McGrath of Harlow 16 Nov 08 - 06:04 PM
Acme 16 Nov 08 - 06:59 PM
McGrath of Harlow 16 Nov 08 - 07:05 PM
Amos 16 Nov 08 - 08:59 PM
Rowan 17 Nov 08 - 04:35 PM
trevek 18 Nov 08 - 08:08 AM
Snuffy 18 Nov 08 - 09:09 AM
Sue the Borderer 18 Nov 08 - 09:48 AM
Malcolm Douglas 18 Nov 08 - 10:27 AM
Megan L 18 Nov 08 - 10:29 AM
McGrath of Harlow 18 Nov 08 - 12:41 PM
Megan L 18 Nov 08 - 01:44 PM
GUEST,Big Tim 18 Nov 08 - 03:42 PM
McGrath of Harlow 18 Nov 08 - 03:57 PM
Megan L 18 Nov 08 - 04:08 PM
Rowan 18 Nov 08 - 04:36 PM
Lighter 18 Nov 08 - 04:59 PM
GUEST,Big Tim 19 Nov 08 - 04:06 AM
Jim McLean 19 Nov 08 - 05:03 AM
GUEST,Jorrox 19 Nov 08 - 05:06 AM
Jim McLean 19 Nov 08 - 05:07 AM
Jim McLean 19 Nov 08 - 06:48 AM
Nick E 20 Nov 08 - 09:58 PM
Sue the Borderer 04 Dec 08 - 08:07 PM
gnu 30 Sep 12 - 11:08 PM
Georgiansilver 01 Oct 12 - 02:10 AM
Dave Hanson 01 Oct 12 - 03:23 AM
Jim Carroll 01 Oct 12 - 03:35 AM
Georgiansilver 01 Oct 12 - 05:57 PM
stallion 01 Oct 12 - 07:18 PM
Joe_F 01 Oct 12 - 09:00 PM
Dave Hanson 02 Oct 12 - 03:46 AM
mayomick 02 Oct 12 - 07:16 AM
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Subject: Parting Glass, a song for sots?
From: Nick E
Date: 14 Nov 08 - 07:24 PM

The Masterless Men have recorded a version of The Parting Glass on their latest album.(I assume it is the latest as they just started playing it on CJYQ....RadioNewfoundland.ca) They music & lyrics are in the DigiTrad database A very fine song, and I have never heard any other version, so nothing to compare it to. It strikes me that It could well be an alternative to Auld Ang Syne.

It also seems I can read it as a song where the protagonist is a pub denizen who has drunk everyone under the table and thinks in an intoxicated state he has a shot at some lassie he has never really had a chance with.

So my question is, is it a fond farewell, or just another drunk at the bar, or a bit of each?

Whack fall the day, Nick


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Subject: RE: The Parting Glass, About what?
From: Acme
Date: 14 Nov 08 - 07:56 PM

He died.


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Subject: RE: The Parting Glass, About what?
From: Leadfingers
Date: 14 Nov 08 - 07:57 PM

I take it as a 'Goodbye Old Friends' song !


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Subject: RE: The Parting Glass, About what?
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 15 Nov 08 - 06:07 AM

It's a fond farewell, possibly before the eve of a battle.

Not everyone who goes to a pub and says goodbye is a drunken sot.

LTS


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Subject: RE: The Parting Glass, About what?
From: MMario
Date: 15 Nov 08 - 07:55 AM

I've always read it as a fond farewell; the last words of someone who had "gone away"


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Subject: RE: The Parting Glass, About what?
From: GUEST,Big Tim
Date: 15 Nov 08 - 08:00 AM

I first heard this song by the Clancy's and assumed that it was Irish. However, I've since discovered that it isn't, it's definitely of Scots origin.

GOOD NICHT, AND JOY BE WI' YE A'

Good nicht and joy be wi' ye a',
Since it is sae that I maun gang,
Short seemed the gate to come – but ah!
Tae gang again is weary lang.
Sic joyous nichts come nae sae thrang,
That I sae soon should haste awa',
But since it's sae that I maun gae,
Good nicht and joy be wi' ye a'.

This nicht I ween we've had the heart,
Tae gar auld time tak' tae his feet,
That mak's us a' fu' laith tae pairt,
And aye mair fain again tae meet.
Tae dree the winter's drift an' weet,
For sic a nicht is nocht ava,
For hours the minutes o' the sweet,
Good nicht and joy be wi' ye a'.

Our bald-powed daddies, here we've seen,
In younkers revels fidgin' fain,
Our grey haired grannies, here hae been,
Like daffin' hizzies young again.
Tae mony a merry auld Scots strain,
We've deftly passed the time awa',
We met in mirth, we pairt in pain,
Good nicht and joy be wi' ye a'.

My nimble steed neighs at the yett,
My shooders roun' the plaid I throw,
I've clapt the spur upon my buit,
The guid braid bunnet on my brow.
The nicht is wearin' late I trow,
My hame lies mony a mile awa',
The mair's the need tae mount an' go,
Good nicht and joy be wi' ye a'.

Bring me the deochandorus gill,
'Twill licht a bouat in my e'r,
Through mirk nae fear that I gang will,
Drink doubly an' I'll doubly see.
Young lads an' lasses, tent ye me,
As hame ye daunder twa an' twa,
Love guide your gait, blin' though it be,
Good nicht and joy be wi' ye a'.

Glossary. sae, go. gate, road, distance. thrang, often. gar, make. ween, suppose. laith, loathe. fain, glad. dree, endure. ava, at all. pow, head. fidgin' fain, fidgeting excitedly. hizzies, light hearted young girls. yett, gate. buit, boot. trow, in truth. deochandorus gill, large farewell whisky (literally, a drink at the door).bouat, (bouet) sparkle (literally, a lantern). mirk, dark night. tent, listen to, heed.

This version is credited (by bothy ballads man John Ord to the Aberdeen poet John Imlah (1799-1846), of 'Whaur Gadie Rins' fame. Though he probably did write these words, Imlah didn't originate the song, as at least two versions were in print before he was born.


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Subject: RE: The Parting Glass, About what?
From: GUEST,Big Tim
Date: 15 Nov 08 - 08:06 AM

typo: sae, so.


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Subject: RE: The Parting Glass, About what?
From: Acme
Date: 15 Nov 08 - 09:16 AM

I listened to Paddy Graber's version many times as I was learning the words--each listening strikes me that his ghost is leaving the tavern, unseen by his companions.

SRS


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Subject: RE: The Parting Glass, About what?
From: Marje
Date: 15 Nov 08 - 09:35 AM

Thanks for posting those lovely Scots words.

As for the more commonly sung version, I've always thought that its appeal was that (like a lot of the best songs) it would suit a variety of circumstances. Someone has to leave (he doesn't say why), and invites friends to share a final drink before the parting. He is going to miss them all, and one girl in particular.

He's not necessarily drunk, or for that matter dead or dying. But it could be a fitting song for various occasions, and that's part of its charm.

Marje


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Subject: RE: The Parting Glass, About what?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 15 Nov 08 - 12:27 PM

well there does seem to be an element of resignation. Resigning the company, and sad to be doing so - for whatever the reason - the party's over for this bloke, wouldn't you say?


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Subject: RE: The Parting Glass, About what?
From: GUEST
Date: 15 Nov 08 - 12:39 PM

Big tim, e'e instead of e'r, I think.


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Subject: RE: The Parting Glass, About what?
From: gnu
Date: 15 Nov 08 - 12:46 PM

Never saw it any other way but death. Great discussion.


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Subject: RE: The Parting Glass, About what?
From: trevek
Date: 15 Nov 08 - 01:07 PM

Big Tam, thanks for the Scots lyrics. While it seems to fit the 'Clancy' tune, is there also an alternative tune?

I took it that someone was leaving, perhaps for death or perhaps a journey (maybe to the army). I believe the Clacy's played it at some funerals of their number (Liam?.

When I was leaving the army I sang it to my friends at the Irish Pub in Dusseldorf before I left Germany.


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Subject: RE: The Parting Glass, About what?
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 15 Nov 08 - 01:16 PM

Several other sets of words, both Scottish and (later) Irish, are in other threads on this song (see links above). It has long been used as an all-purpose song of parting; as I've mentioned before ('origins' thread, with abc notation) the tune appeared in Gow's Repository of the Dance Music of Scotland, II, c.1802, p 76, with the comment 'This Tune is played at the Conclusion of every convivial Dancing meeting throughout Scotland.'

No particular reason to think that references to death or the army were ever intended, though of course the song in most of its forms is sufficiently general to be interpreted in that way if it suits the situation.


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Subject: RE: The Parting Glass, About what?
From: GUEST,Big Tim
Date: 15 Nov 08 - 02:24 PM

Yet another version is by Sir Alexander Boswell (1775-1822) of Ayrshire. His version is quite different from the others, apparently written by a man close to death. In 'Scots Minstrelsie', John Greig says that the air was '[was] popular long before 1740'.

Good night, and joy be wi' ye a',
Your harmless mirth has cheered my heart,
May life's fell blasts oot o'er ye blaw,
In sorrow, may ye never pairt.
My spirit lives but strength is gone,
The hillside fires now blaze in vain,
Remember, sons, the deeds I've done,
And in your deeds, I'll live again.

When on yon moor, oor gallant clan,
Frae boasting foes, their banners tore,
Who showed himsel' a better man,
Or braver bore the red claymore?
But when in peace, then mark me there,
When through the glen the wanderer came,
I gave him o' oor hardy fare,
I gave him here a welcome hame.

The auld may speak, the young maun hear,
Be canty, but be guid and leal,
Your ain ills, aye ha'e heart tae bear,
Anither's, aye ha'e heart tae feel,
So ere I set, I'll see you shine,
I'll see you triumph ere I fa',
My parting breath shall boast ye mine,
Good night, and joy be wi' ye a'.

Glossary. fell, hard, testing. canty, cheerful. leal. loyal, true.

(Yes GUEST, should be e'ye (eye).


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Subject: RE: The Parting Glass, About what?
From: Amos
Date: 15 Nov 08 - 06:02 PM

The key line is "since it has fallen to my lot that I should rise and you should not....".

I see no intent of mentioning death in this line. The word "to rise" means to rise in the world (by promotion to a city office, for example, or to a brigade somewhere, or some such) as much as it might to rise out of it by transcendent transmigration.

A


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Subject: RE: The Parting Glass, About what?
From: GUEST
Date: 15 Nov 08 - 06:16 PM

Big tim, e'e pronounced ee, wan ee twa een.


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Subject: RE: The Parting Glass, About what?
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 15 Nov 08 - 06:22 PM

'To rise' also (and more usually) means simply 'to stand up'. Often the simplest interpretation is the most likely.


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Subject: RE: The Parting Glass, About what?
From: RTim
Date: 15 Nov 08 - 07:47 PM

I am another singer who loves to play golf - and when I am in the mood, ie. when the sun is on my back! - I play at least 4 days a week!! Tim Radford


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Subject: RE: The Parting Glass, About what?
From: RTim
Date: 15 Nov 08 - 07:50 PM

I am going crazy..... I posted a message to the WRONG THREAD!!! maybe because we have just finished a bottle of Champagne to celebrate the birth of my second Granddaughter - Emmeline Constance...Hic Tim Radford.


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Subject: RE: The Parting Glass, About what?
From: Art Thieme
Date: 15 Nov 08 - 10:30 PM

A fine sentiment---in all of them.

Art


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Subject: RE: The Parting Glass, About what?
From: Acme
Date: 16 Nov 08 - 12:07 AM

For those of us challenged by the dialects above, here it is in English, from the DT:

Of all the money that e'er I spent
I've spent it in good company
And all the harm that ever I did
Alas it was to none but me
And all I've done for want of wit
To memory now I can't recall
So fill to me the parting glass
Good night and joy be with you all

If I had money enough to spend
And leisure to sit awhile
There is a fair maid in the town
That sorely has my heart beguiled
Her rosy cheeks and ruby lips
I own she has my heart enthralled
So fill to me the parting glass
Good night and joy be with you all

Oh, all the comrades that e'er I had
They're sorry for my going away
And all the sweethearts that e'er I had
They'd wish me one more day to stay
But since it falls unto my lot
That I should rise and you should not
I'll gently rise and softly call
Good night and joy be with you all





It is the poetics of the song that speak of death, in my estimation.

But since it falls unto my lot
That I should rise and you should not
I'll gently rise and softly call
Good night and joy be with you all


This sounds like and reads like a departure not seen or heard by the others. Gently/softly sounds incorporeal. Ghostly. A spirit in the room, wishing a farewell to the friends who can't see him rise or hear the soft call.

SRS


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Subject: RE: The Parting Glass, About what?
From: Amos
Date: 16 Nov 08 - 03:37 AM

Oh. Well it could be so. I had thought he had simply drunk everyone else under the table.


A


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Subject: RE: The Parting Glass, About what?
From: greg stephens
Date: 16 Nov 08 - 07:26 AM

I just imagine him standing up, saying cheerio and slipping quietly out and leaving his friends to drink on.Possibly he has got to relieve the babysitter, or the pre-booked taxi has arrived.


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Subject: RE: The Parting Glass, About what?
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 16 Nov 08 - 08:03 AM

Sorry Greg... I cannot see a bloke, whilst there is still drink to be had, rising from the table to go home and relieve the babysitter.

Not in my experience - either as babysitter or as mother!

LTS


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Subject: RE: The Parting Glass, About what?
From: gnu
Date: 16 Nov 08 - 09:32 AM

"They're sorry for my going away"

"They'd wish me one more day to stay"

"That I should rise and you should not"

He's gonna die.


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Subject: RE: The Parting Glass, About what?
From: Megan L
Date: 16 Nov 08 - 09:39 AM

Behave the Scots are great at parting songs hell they have had plenty of practice. emmigration, the sea , wars and work. Not everything has to be about death.


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Subject: RE: The Parting Glass, About what?
From: gnu
Date: 16 Nov 08 - 10:35 AM

Rise. To heaven. Dead... as a nit.... as a doornail... takin a dirt nap... pushin up shamrocks...


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Subject: RE: The Parting Glass, About what?
From: Ron Davies
Date: 16 Nov 08 - 10:40 AM

That's part of the appeal of this wonderful song--that it is open to so many different interpretations.


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Subject: RE: The Parting Glass, About what?
From: Acme
Date: 16 Nov 08 - 11:22 AM

I agree.


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Subject: RE: The Parting Glass, About what?
From: RTim
Date: 16 Nov 08 - 11:27 AM

I have to stay very focused and un-emotional when singing this song - or I dissolve into tears thinking about all my absent friends and family. Tim Radford


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Subject: RE: The Parting Glass, About what?
From: Amos
Date: 16 Nov 08 - 11:54 AM

Going away from what? How about leaving a small town where he built friendships and had lovers, learned to kick a goal, learned to smoke and drink, and finally is leaving for a bigger city where his diligence has earned him a seat in a Large Corporation? Or a staff position in the London Constabulary? Or a sergeant's stripe in an Expeditionary Battalion? Or what have you-=-maybe he's rising by going to Amerikay?



A


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Subject: RE: The Parting Glass, About what?
From: gnu
Date: 16 Nov 08 - 11:55 AM

I agree. (Thought I could wind up Megan.)


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Subject: RE: The Parting Glass, About what?
From: Marje
Date: 16 Nov 08 - 11:59 AM

As Malcolm says, the simplest interpretation is often the best - if you're all sitting together having a drink, and someone has to leave, they'll stand up (rise) before the others, and say goodbye. The song suggests a longer parting than just "see you all again next Friday", but the separation could be for all sorts of reasons. You don't have to be about to die to know, or hope, that people will miss you when you go.

Marje


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Subject: RE: The Parting Glass, About what?
From: Claymore
Date: 16 Nov 08 - 12:18 PM

Though often sung in a minor key (usually Em),the Clancys sang it in a major key in full voice, especially in the greatist movie of all time, IMHO, the "Waking of Ned Devine" as the closing piece. As joyful an ending as one could want. It's an Irish indie flick from about 1998; the endimg is clearly about life. It says as much about the Irish as "Tunes of Glory" speaks of the Scots, and "The Englishman who went up a Hill and Down a Mountain" speaks to the Welsh sensibilities. Together with "Local Hero" a fine lot of viewing.

But I digress; sorry about the thread creep ;)


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Subject: RE: The Parting Glass, About what?
From: GUEST,Gerry
Date: 16 Nov 08 - 04:44 PM

I once heard a singer introducing this song say that the narrator was going to be hanged, which gives another meaning to the line, "That I should rise and you should not." I'm surprised no one else has suggested this interpretation.


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Subject: RE: The Parting Glass, About what?
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 16 Nov 08 - 05:23 PM

Why would they? It's completely barmy.


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Subject: RE: The Parting Glass, About what?
From: Jim McLean
Date: 16 Nov 08 - 05:52 PM

I've just come back from a couple of weeks of 'online freedom' and looked at this thread. I can only endorse Malcom's last posting. It's merely a 'cheerio' song with many variants and closed a number of songbooks and meetings until Auld Lang Syne took over.


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Subject: RE: The Parting Glass, About what?
From: Lighter
Date: 16 Nov 08 - 06:00 PM

I'm with Malcolm on this, but I'm also with SRS. There is no *logical* reason to associate the song with death, but the summing up of the speaker's life at the beginning, the sad melody, the introspection, and even the duration of the song can easily suggest - intentionally or otherwise - a regretful departure from something more meaningful than a beer bust.

Decades ago, when I first heard it, I associated "rise" with going to Heaven. There is no real contextual basis for this interpretation, but songs often inspire satisfyingly illogical feelings.


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Subject: RE: The Parting Glass, About what?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 16 Nov 08 - 06:04 PM

"since it has fallen to my lot that I should rise and you should not...."

I always thought of this as a song for the the night before they hang you - "Whether on the scaffold high...

It's about parting anyway, and that can be for any reason and for any length of time.


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Subject: RE: The Parting Glass, About what?
From: Acme
Date: 16 Nov 08 - 06:59 PM

Though chances are that you're not sitting in a bar drinking with your chums the night before they're going to hang you. ;-D


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Subject: RE: The Parting Glass, About what?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 16 Nov 08 - 07:05 PM

You'd have them in your cell, maybe, if you could arrange it. As in the case of The Night Before Larry was Stretched.


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Subject: RE: The Parting Glass, About what?
From: Amos
Date: 16 Nov 08 - 08:59 PM

IT is fascinating to me how an abstract text poetically constructed induces such widely differing visions of the "inevitable" meaning to be taken. I know this was said before, but it striking what people inject in the willing framework of those indefinite poetic words. Doomed to hang? ABout to die? Off to the army? NEw job in another town?

There's no determinant in the song itself, so the difference must rise from the viewpoints doing the viewing of it.


A


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Subject: RE: The Parting Glass, About what?
From: Rowan
Date: 17 Nov 08 - 04:35 PM

It fascinates me too, Amos. Malcolm has said it better than I could but I reckon it's the mark of a great poem (or song) that the simplicity of its expression allows wide variation in interpretation, which would mean it could be applied to a wide range of situations.

Early in Melbourne's folk scene revival it was routinely sang as the last song of the evening. While occasionally someone dropped off the perch most of us survived until the next gathering and I never heard anyone associate it with death/hanging/military service/ghostly presences departing or any of the other fates mentioned above.

Just a more melodic and expressive communal way of saying "Hooroo."

Cheers, Rowan


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Subject: RE: The Parting Glass, About what?
From: trevek
Date: 18 Nov 08 - 08:08 AM

how many songs about hanging speak of 'rising'? It's usually swinging or dropping.

Or are we to assume that the final drop is at the bottom of the Parting Glass.


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Subject: RE: The Parting Glass, About what?
From: Snuffy
Date: 18 Nov 08 - 09:09 AM

Rowan,

I don't think I've ever said "hooroo". I assume it means something like bye-bye: is it an Aussie expression?


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Subject: RE: The Parting Glass, About what?
From: Sue the Borderer
Date: 18 Nov 08 - 09:48 AM

I knew I'd heard the hanging theory before!
Just searched out an old (1964) LP called Scotch and Irish by Robin Hall and Jimmy MacGregor. The sleeve note says
"We use here a combination of the two Irish tunes but there are also several Scottish variants of this fine song. In Sir Walter Scott's "Scottish Minstrelsy" it is described as the farewell song of a murderer on the eve of his execution and contains the final line "I hope you're a' my friends as yet. Goodnight and joy be wi' ye all."

Can anyone access the "Scottish Minstrelsy" to check this out? I can't even listen to the LP to hear what they sing on it, but it does seem that Gerry's suggestion is perhaps not 'completely barmy.'

Sue


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Subject: RE: The Parting Glass, About what?
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 18 Nov 08 - 10:27 AM

See the 'origins' thread (links above) for some comments on the Scott business. The 'hanging' song was 'Johnie Armstrong', not 'Parting Glass'; there may be a link between the tunes, and a number of people over the years seem to have jumped to conclusions that aren't justified by such evidence as we have.


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Subject: RE: The Parting Glass, About what?
From: Megan L
Date: 18 Nov 08 - 10:29 AM

The problem with the hanged man theory is that even in those days it would be unlikely they would have let him nip down the alehouse the night before tae say tara tae his pals.


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Subject: RE: The Parting Glass, About what?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 18 Nov 08 - 12:41 PM

It's not really a matter of what a song is about, more often than not, it's to do with applicability. Rather the way that often wimding up some event on TV - a football match, or maybe some political story - they will often edit the pictures with some pre-existing song, and the song matches the mood and the images.
.......................

You clearly didn't open up the link in my previous post, Megan...


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Subject: RE: The Parting Glass, About what?
From: Megan L
Date: 18 Nov 08 - 01:44 PM

I never open links unless a friend has notified me in advance that one has been sent or created, one can never be sure if it contains a virus.


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Subject: RE: The Parting Glass, About what?
From: GUEST,Big Tim
Date: 18 Nov 08 - 03:42 PM

Much as I like Hall and MacGregor, I wouldn't take their notes as absolute gospel.

Here's what John Greig said about the song, in his 'Scots Minstrelsie'.

'The words of this song were published anonymously in 1803 by Sir Alexander Boswell, Bart, for reference to whom see under 'O Auld Guidman ye're a Drucken Carle'. Of the air Mr. Stenhouse says, 'This beautiful tune has, time out of mind, been played at the breaking up of convivial parties in Scotland'. Granted that this may have been so in the past, 'Auld Langsyne' is the song which in the present time [1890s], almost universally does duty in this respect at Scottish gatherings. In many of the old and important collections of our native minstrelsy, such as Macgibbon's, Oswalds, Johnson's, and R.A. Smith [of Braes of Balquidder fame,] this melody occupies the concluding place.

In Sir Walter Scott's 'Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border' there is a fragment entitled 'Armstrong's Goodnight', which, with Sir Walter's note regarding it may well be quoted here: 'The following verses are said to have been composed by one of the Armstrongs, executed for the murder of Sir John Carmichael of Eldrom, Warden of the Middle Marches. The tune is popular in Scotland, but whether these are the original words will admit of some doubt:

This night is my departing night,
For here nae langer must I stay,
There's neither friend or foe o' mine
But wishes me away.

What I have done thro' lack o' wit,
I never, never can recall,
I hope ye're a' my frieds as yet,
Good-night, and joy be wi' ye all!

'Sir John Carmichael, the Warden, was murdered, 16th June, 1600, by a party of Borderers, at a place called Raesknows, near Lochmaben {Dumfrieshire], whither he was going to hold a Court of Justice. Two of the ringleaders in the slaughter, named 'Ringan's Tam', and Adam Scott, called 'The Pecket', were tried at Edinburgh, at the instance of Carmichael of Edrom. They were comdemned to have their right hands struck off, thereafter to be hanged, and their bodies gibbeted on the Borough Moor, which sentence was executed, 14th November, 1601'.

Other versions of the present song, all based more or less on 'Armstrong's Goodnight', have been written by Joanna Baillie, Lady Nairne, the Ettrick Shepherd [James Hogg], and John Imlah [a progenitor of Hamish Imlach, probably]. To the same air was set Burns's 'Farewell to the Brethern of St. James's Lodge, Tarbolton [Ayrshire]', which, it is said, was sung to the Lodge by the poet when his chest was on the way to Greenock, en route for the West Indies [to which he never went as his book of poems in 1786 earned him a small fortune]. The following quotation fron Burns will conclude our reference to the song:

'Ballad-making is now as completely my hobby as ever fortification was Uncle Toby's, so I'll e'en canter it away till I come to the limit of my race (God grant that I may take the right side of the winning post); and then, cheerfully looking back on the honest folks with whom I have been happy, I shall say or sing, 'Sae merry as we a' ha'e been;' and raising my last looks to the whole human race, the last words of the voice of Coila shall be 'Goodnight and joy be wi' ye a'!'


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Subject: RE: The Parting Glass, About what?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 18 Nov 08 - 03:57 PM

Interesting point Megan, The link was in fact to the Digital Tradition on the Mudcat, so there is nothing to worry about.

I don't think there should ever be any risk from a link in a post - but I've started a thread asking about this, just in case I'm wrong, and it might be possible for a virus to get in that way.


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Subject: RE: The Parting Glass, About what?
From: Megan L
Date: 18 Nov 08 - 04:08 PM

Thanks McGrath I Had a nasty case from another site and a link i thought could be trusted so till i get told different i will be ultra careful


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Subject: RE: The Parting Glass, About what?
From: Rowan
Date: 18 Nov 08 - 04:36 PM

Rowan,
I don't think I've ever said "hooroo". I assume it means something like bye-bye: is it an Aussie expression?


That it is, Snuffy.
It was more frequently heard in my youth, along with such terms as cobber and bonzer (both of which I think I've seen in Mudcat's Oz glossary) but it is still heard occasionally among older people. There are other Oz terms meaning bye-bye that still have currrency;
"Bo-bo" is heard among indigenous people in the Top End,
"Catch yah" is heard more in rural areas than in cosmopolitan ones,
and "Look after yourself" is widespread.

Apologies for the thread drift but I reckon there's some relevance to the song.

Cheers, Rowan


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Subject: RE: The Parting Glass, About what?
From: Lighter
Date: 18 Nov 08 - 04:59 PM

"Hurroo" may be most frequently associated around here with "Johnny, I Hardly Knew Ye."


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Subject: RE: The Parting Glass, About what?
From: GUEST,Big Tim
Date: 19 Nov 08 - 04:06 AM

Sue, I just re-read your post and the notes on the Hall/McG LP are actually very good! So, my apologies to the writer. Is there a name given? Hope it wasn't 'our very own' Jim McLean!, who did write the sleeve notes for Hall/McG's LP 'We Belong to Glasgow' (1970).


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Subject: RE: The Parting Glass, About what?
From: Jim McLean
Date: 19 Nov 08 - 05:03 AM

Hi Big Tim, the sleeve notes to Hall/McG's LP 'We Belong to Glasgow' (1970)were split between myself and Clifford Hanley but there is no reference to Good Night and Joy be wi' you a' as it is not on the album. The two verses you quoted in your last posting are from the Burns' version on the last page of Johnson's Scots Musical Museum, printed after Burns died.
Joanna Baillie's version called Good-night, Good-night begins:
The sun is sunk, the day is done,
E'en stars are setting, one by one;
Nor torch nor taper longer amy
Eke out the pleasure of the day;


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Subject: RE: The Parting Glass, About what?
From: GUEST,Jorrox
Date: 19 Nov 08 - 05:06 AM

Re The Clancys singing Parting Glass at a funeral of one of their number.

It wasn't Liam's funeral - thankfully he is still with us and is pretty much 'last man standing' of that scene.

The funeral in question was that of Paddy Clancy, the eldest of the brothers (just over 10 years ago). It was sung at his graveside by Liam & Bobby Clancy, Tommy Makem, Ronnie Drew, Finbar Fury, Paddy Reilly and others. This was featured in the documentary tribute to Paddy, all of which is on Youtube - this being the link to part one of three.

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=6j-JlAN5Fh4


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Subject: RE: The Parting Glass, About what?
From: Jim McLean
Date: 19 Nov 08 - 05:07 AM

Sorry, hit the wrong button..

Nor torch nor taper longer may
Eke out the pleasure of the day;
And, since, in social glee's despite,
It needs must be, Good-night, good-night!


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Subject: RE: The Parting Glass, About what?
From: Jim McLean
Date: 19 Nov 08 - 06:48 AM

Sorry, Big Tim, I misread your posting; I thought you were asking WHO wrote the sleeve notes for Hall/McG's LP 'We Belong to Glasgow' (1970)


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Subject: RE: The Parting Glass, About what?
From: Nick E
Date: 20 Nov 08 - 09:58 PM

Well.. in my stumblng around I find the Pouges do a version of this song. If Liz does not think every bar denizen is a drunk, she may be right, the song must be about mainlining heroine! wtg liz!


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Subject: RE: The Parting Glass, About what?
From: Sue the Borderer
Date: 04 Dec 08 - 08:07 PM

Hi Big Tim
I've just refound this thread. In answer to your question, the sleeve notes for the "Scotch and Irish" LP (with the Parting Glass on) were written by Jimmy MacGregor.

Thanks for all the information...... those "frieds" made me laugh - and wonder if there was a French connection....

Sue


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Subject: RE: The Parting Glass, About what?
From: gnu
Date: 30 Sep 12 - 11:08 PM

I said it before.


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Subject: RE: The Parting Glass, About what?
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 01 Oct 12 - 02:10 AM

You might recognise these as being at that funeral!


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Subject: RE: The Parting Glass, About what?
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 01 Oct 12 - 03:23 AM

Far too flowery Georgiansilver, try and find the version by Ronnie Drew, much better

Dave h


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Subject: RE: The Parting Glass, About what?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 01 Oct 12 - 03:35 AM

The song works best for me when it is sung unrehearsed by a room full of people with just one lead singer.
I remember being very moved at The Frank Harte weekend (I think it might have been the first one following Frank's death) - it seemed to sum up everything that the man whose life was being celebrated was about.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: The Parting Glass, About what?
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 01 Oct 12 - 05:57 PM

OK Dave... this is my version... is that too flowery? (or just crap? LOL)   The Parting Glass.


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Subject: RE: The Parting Glass, About what?
From: stallion
Date: 01 Oct 12 - 07:18 PM

try this one!


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Subject: RE: The Parting Glass, About what?
From: Joe_F
Date: 01 Oct 12 - 09:00 PM

As to the DigiTrad version, most commonly sung in America these days, it is clear that he is saying farewell to the company on the spot ("I should rise and you should not"), but that he is also leaving town, and that right soon ("wish me one more day to stay"). Probably he has to get to bed betimes in order to get up & be off.

For me, most of the poetry is in the first stanza. There is a flash of malice in that "Alas" (if only I had had the guts to do the harm to my enemies instead!), followed by a flash of paradise (with the help of the booze & the company, he has gotten rid of all his shameful memories). If I were dictator, I would follow that up straight with the wonderful advice in Boswell's 3rd stanza: Your ain ills ay hae heart to bear, Anither's ay hae heart to feel. Fortitude & sympathy!

Thank God, the flame of conviviality is not quite yet out.


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Subject: RE: The Parting Glass, About what?
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 02 Oct 12 - 03:46 AM

Hi Georgiansilver, I loved your version, I found The High Kings [ what a feckin name ] far too ' showbizzy '

Dave H


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Subject: RE: The Parting Glass, About what?
From: mayomick
Date: 02 Oct 12 - 07:16 AM

An emigrants' farewell song . When Irish people sailed for the US in the nineteenth century , it was rare that they ever returned , so family and friends held a "wake" for them the night before they left.

I think Sweet Cootehill Town preceded the Parting Glass . This is from the database , sung to the same tune :
SWEET COOTEHILL TOWN

Oh fare you well sweet Cootehill town,
The place where I was born and bred,
Through shady groves and flowery hills
My youthful fancy did serenade,
But now I'm bound for Amerikay,
A country that I never saw;
These pleasant scenes I'll always mind
When I am roving far away.

The pleasant hills near Cootehill town
Where I have spent my youthful days
Both day and night I took delight
In dancing and in harmless plays.
But while I rove from town to town
Fond memory in my mind shall stay
Of those pleasant happy youthful hours
That now are spent and passed away.

Perchance kind fate will reinstate,
And fortune's face upon me smile
To safe conduct me home again
To my own dear native Irish isle;
When all my comrades and friends likewise
Will gather round and to me say
"We'll sing and dance as in days gone by,
For you're welcome home from Amerikay."


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