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Origins: Lord Landless

Fergie 29 Jul 09 - 05:17 PM
GUEST,George Henderson 30 Jul 09 - 05:34 AM
Fergie 30 Jul 09 - 06:30 AM
GUEST,leeneia 30 Jul 09 - 05:43 PM
Uncle_DaveO 30 Jul 09 - 08:18 PM
Fergie 31 Jul 09 - 08:31 PM
Severn 31 Jul 09 - 08:45 PM
Uncle_DaveO 01 Aug 09 - 07:38 PM
Charley Noble 01 Aug 09 - 08:49 PM
Uncle_DaveO 01 Aug 09 - 11:30 PM
Fergie 10 Aug 09 - 06:20 AM
Lighter 10 Aug 09 - 08:11 AM
Uncle_DaveO 10 Aug 09 - 12:05 PM
GUEST,Drumshanty 22 Feb 10 - 05:33 AM
Diva 22 Feb 10 - 11:08 AM
Diva 05 Mar 11 - 01:02 PM
Fergie 24 Dec 12 - 01:06 PM
CapriUni 24 Dec 12 - 01:47 PM
GUEST,Guest, LC 24 Dec 12 - 05:05 PM
Fergie 20 Jan 13 - 01:15 PM
GUEST,Diva 09 Apr 14 - 09:03 AM
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Subject: ADD: Lord Landless
From: Fergie
Date: 29 Jul 09 - 05:17 PM

Hi all

I came across this song in P.J.McCall's 'Irish Fireside Songs' Dublin 1911
(here)

I am taken by the poetry, enigmatic nature and mystery of the lyrics and in the absence of a known air I have composed one, and have taken to singing this song.

There seems to be references within the song to a 10th century Latin riddle that translates as follows

White bird, featherless,
Flew from Paradise,
Pitched on a castle wall;
Along came Lord Landless,
Took it up handless,
And rode away horseless to the King's white hall.

The white bird = snow
Lord Landless = the sun

Any Mudcatter got any further thoughts, leads, knowledge, ideas or insights?

These are the words I use when I sing the song

LORD LANDLESS.

Whither away, Lord Landless? said she;
My mossy bank why pass over?
Maiden, the landless must wanderers be;
No world is too wide for the rover!
Heigh-ho!
Onward I go;
No world is too wide for the rover!

On what do you feast, Lord Landless? said she;
My honey and oaten cake scorning;
Flocks of white fowls on the Night's dark Tree
I slay with my long Sword of Morning!
Heigh-ho!
Bosoms of snow
I slay with my long Sword of Morning!

And where do you sleep, Lord Landless? said she;
My thatch it would be mean abiding!
Rock of the mountain and wave of the sea
Make pillows for head under hiding;
Heigh-ho!
The stilly and flow
Make pillows for head under hiding!

And who is your love, Lord Landless? said she;
What fair lady sighs for the rover?
Kisses are yours if you'll journey with me,
Far from your own bonnie lover!
Heigh-ho!
Girl, will you go
Far from your own bonnie lover!

Awalking went she with Landless and Free;
O'er highways and byeways they travel!
Weary maid down by the brink of the sea,
She sleepeth on green grey gravel!
Heigh-ho!
Heart full of woe,
She sleepeth on green grey gravel!

Fergus


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Subject: RE: Origins: Lord Landless
From: GUEST,George Henderson
Date: 30 Jul 09 - 05:34 AM

Hi Fergie,

Did you ever sing that in my presence. I do not remember it and I don't think I have heard you sing it but maybe I was asleep.

I have no idea of its history but i am intrigued by the lyrics and will really look forward to hearing it when you get back from Inismaan.

George


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Subject: RE: Origins: Lord Landless
From: Fergie
Date: 30 Jul 09 - 06:30 AM

Hi George

Never sang it in public but I'll give it an airing soon.

By the way Clarence AND Claire were asking for you.

Give my love to Joy

Ferg


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Subject: RE: Origins: Lord Landless
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 30 Jul 09 - 05:43 PM

Thanks for posting this interesting song, Fergie.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Lord Landless
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 30 Jul 09 - 08:18 PM

"Flocks of white fowls on the Night's dark Tree" clearly seem to equal stars, slain with the long sword of morning.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Origins: Lord Landless
From: Fergie
Date: 31 Jul 09 - 08:31 PM

Hi Dave and leeneia

'the long sword of morning' is such a poetic image. If the song was inspired by the riddle then the "flocks of white fowl" might also represent clumps of snow hanging on the branches of 'night's dark tree' being melted by 'the long sword of morning'. The song seems loaded with allegorical images. That is what I find so delicious about it.

Fergus


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Subject: RE: Origins: Lowered Landless
From: Severn
Date: 31 Jul 09 - 08:45 PM

So it all originated as:


"Where have you been, Lord Landless, my sun?........"?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Lord Landless
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 01 Aug 09 - 07:38 PM

I, too, am "taken by" the song, Fergie, and fervently thank you for posting it and the link to the 1911 book.

Reading the song for the first time, I immediately found myself singing it to a tune which flowed into my mind, unasked for. And on examination, I am sure I've not just applied some tune I've known previously. I think this song will become a permanent part of my repertoire--whether for public performance I don't know yet, but for myself definitely.

I compared your version with the 1911 version. I think I see where you were going with your fairly minimal emendations, but I think that for my own purposes I'll stick very close to the 1911 version.

I really like the Irish riddle in the 1911 book a little better than the translated Latin.

A question occurs to me: How do you treat the "heigh ho"? As "hi-ho" or "hey-ho"? I vacillate between those pronunciations. As a Midwestern American I claim no expertise in Irish singing tradition or orthographic conventions, and if there is a reason to go one way rather than the other I'd like to know it.   

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Origins: Lord Landless
From: Charley Noble
Date: 01 Aug 09 - 08:49 PM

Fergie-

An intriguing song, and one to think about. You definitely should be singing it.

Thanks for posting it.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Origins: Lord Landless
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 01 Aug 09 - 11:30 PM

I asked:

A question occurs to me: How do you treat the "heigh ho"? As "hi-ho" or "hey-ho"?


On reflection, it seems to me that "hi-ho" is more upbeat, whereas "hey-ho" impresses me as more like a sigh or an expression of regret.

But my question remains: How do you see it?

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Origins: Lord Landless
From: Fergie
Date: 10 Aug 09 - 06:20 AM

Hi all

I've been away on holidays since and have had no chance to catch up with my Mudcat buddies until now.

Dave I sing hi-ho. I'd be interested to hear how you sing it. When I get back to Dublin at the end of the month I'll open a myspace page and put the song as I sing it on the page and I'll post a link to it.

Fergus


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Subject: RE: Origins: Lord Landless
From: Lighter
Date: 10 Aug 09 - 08:11 AM

The lyrics Fergie posted are recited with (IIRC)some other cool riddles on Steeleye Span's "Now We are Six" from the mid '70s.

The Wisconsin Journal of Education, III, 1873, has:

White bird, featherless,
Flew out of Paradise,
Sat on the castle wall.
King came, footless,   
Took it up, handless,
Ate it up, toothless,
Rode away, horseless.

The earliest printing of the words ending with "to the King's white hall" seems to be in The Gentleman's Magazine (London)1881. It's identical to the Steeleye version except that 'Lord Landless" is "Lord John Landless," which unfortunately doesn't scan.

I don't have the Opies' book on English nursey rhymes handy. It may contain further info.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Lord Landless
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 10 Aug 09 - 12:05 PM

Fergie, I have at length settled on "hey-ho", with a somewhat drawn-out "hey". Somehow that pronunciation seems to me more like a sigh, an expression of regret or sadness, whereas I cannot hear or think of "hi-ho" without thinking of it as being jolly, which doesn't fit my reading of the song.

I think this is my own personal loading of "hi-ho", from the off-to-work dwarf song in the Disney movie of Snow White, so I guess I can't expect many others to weigh it in the same way. Not everyone still around had their nose rubbed in that song and that movie when in early childhood, as did I.

I look (listen?) forward to hearing your tune and performance of this fascinating, mysterious, sad song. I just might do likewise, if I can defeat personal inertia and suppress household background noises so as to make a usable recording.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Origins: Lord Landless
From: GUEST,Drumshanty
Date: 22 Feb 10 - 05:33 AM

Hello Fergie

So I take it that it was yourself who sang this last Friday night? It was a highlight of the evening for me and Diva, and we have bickered and squabbled over the song ever since. She found a copy of "Irish Fireside Songs" in the ITMA on Saturday and took the words from there, and we'd both dearly love to sing it. But we can't remember the tune you sang it to. So we've bickered about that too!

Any chance of that myspace page you mentioned further upthread?

We've sort of made the tune of "Lovers and Friends" fit it, but I'd still like to hear your tune again...

Anyway, thank you for the song, and thank the lovely people we met on Friday for us.

Tracy and Kathy


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Subject: RE: Origins: Lord Landless
From: Diva
Date: 22 Feb 10 - 11:08 AM

What Drumshanty said!!!!!

It was a brill weekend and between being at the Gollin on Friday night and the wonderful singing..and a quiet night at that and in the archive on Saturday we had a blast. I spent most of Saturday night trying to fit a tune to Lord Landless. Planning the next trip


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Subject: RE: Origins: Lord Landless
From: Diva
Date: 05 Mar 11 - 01:02 PM

It's had a couple of outings...once at Melrose and Tracy sang it in Edinburgh. We are still "squabling" over it Fergie! See what you started Mr Russell ****BG****


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Subject: RE: Origins: Lord Landless
From: Fergie
Date: 24 Dec 12 - 01:06 PM

Hi all

I was a guest at Frank Harte Festival 2012 and the Irish Traditional Music Archives recorded the proceedings for posterity. The ITMA have posted a video on youtube of me singing Lord Landless to the tune I wrote back in 2009.

Here is a link Lord Landless

Hope you enjoy it

Fergus


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Subject: RE: Origins: Lord Landless
From: CapriUni
Date: 24 Dec 12 - 01:47 PM

Thank you, Fergus. That's a lovely rendition.

(the maiden needed a boat of her own, clearly...) ;-)


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Subject: RE: Origins: Lord Landless
From: GUEST,Guest, LC
Date: 24 Dec 12 - 05:05 PM

FERGIE - et al -
Many, many thanks - you just considerably brightened this Rocky Mountain Christmas Eve - Splendid post - especially the ITMA link, to see and hear Fergie's splendid rendition -


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Subject: RE: Origins: Lord Landless
From: Fergie
Date: 20 Jan 13 - 01:15 PM

Thanks for watching the clip and for the kind remarks,

Fergus


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Subject: RE: Origins: Lord Landless
From: GUEST,Diva
Date: 09 Apr 14 - 09:03 AM

I wis there Ferus, I was there! Still singing it Ferg - it got an outing at Innishowen! And the title of the new cd is going to be The Night Dark Tree

Kathy


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