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Origins: And Canst Thou Leave Thy Nancy

seaJane 08 Aug 09 - 05:14 PM
Snuffy 08 Aug 09 - 05:39 PM
seaJane 08 Aug 09 - 05:47 PM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 08 Aug 09 - 05:48 PM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 08 Aug 09 - 05:49 PM
seaJane 08 Aug 09 - 05:49 PM
Snuffy 08 Aug 09 - 06:07 PM
seaJane 08 Aug 09 - 06:35 PM
seaJane 08 Aug 09 - 06:41 PM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 08 Aug 09 - 06:42 PM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 08 Aug 09 - 06:43 PM
Paul Burke 08 Aug 09 - 06:47 PM
seaJane 08 Aug 09 - 07:04 PM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 08 Aug 09 - 07:16 PM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 08 Aug 09 - 08:27 PM
Jim Dixon 10 Aug 09 - 01:52 AM
GUEST,MtheGM 10 Aug 09 - 02:01 AM
seaJane 11 Aug 09 - 06:48 PM
Snuffy 11 Aug 09 - 07:57 PM
seaJane 30 Nov 09 - 01:50 PM
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Subject: Origins: 'And canst thou leave thy Nancy'
From: seaJane
Date: 08 Aug 09 - 05:14 PM

Evening all,

I have this chantey (I think it's an "art" chantey rather than a genuinely oral transmission) before me, and am trying to find a source or a writer. I have googled the first line, and find it on a manuscript at Harvard as well as on the MS I am researching. Does anyone recognise it?

First verse only for starters. The verses alternate Nancy's words with those of her beloved (bet his name was William but it doesn't say)

And canst thou leave thy Nancy
And quit thy native shore?
It comes into my fancy
I ne'er shall see ye more

Many thanks


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Subject: RE: Origins: 'And canst thou leave thy Nancy'
From: Snuffy
Date: 08 Aug 09 - 05:39 PM

Found a bit at EASMES: this page dates 'And canst thou leave thy Nancy' to 1765, on page 5 of True Blue" by Harry Carey

Amazon had for sale And canst thou leave thy Nancy. A dialogue. Sung by Mr and Mrs Mattocks in True Blue. [Words and music by H. Carey.] [1765?] Followed by accompaniments for German flute and guitar (Unknown Binding.


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Subject: RE: Origins: 'And canst thou leave thy Nancy'
From: seaJane
Date: 08 Aug 09 - 05:47 PM

Aha, thanks: there's a 1787 edition of "True Blue" in the Bodleian. That'll do for starters.

Incidentally the Harvard MS is dated 1745.


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Subject: RE: Origins: 'And canst thou leave thy Nancy'
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 08 Aug 09 - 05:48 PM

The Roud broadside index shows three entries with that first line. All seem to be in the Madden Collection: Madden Collection (London Printers 2) [VWML mfilm No.75] Item nos.59, 60 and 1186 under the titles And Can You Leave Your Nancy, And Can'st Thou Leave Thy Nancy and Nancy or the Parting Lovers respectively. (Here's some background on the collection: The Madden Collection).

My copy of the index gives no dates for the collection, but I imagine they're late198th or 19th C broadsides with anonymous authors (songs rather than shanties, and probably written by someone who hadn't been nearer the sea the a printer's shop in central London!).

You could contact the Vaughan-Williams library to see if they can give you more information (they are helpful).

Mick


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Subject: RE: Origins: 'And canst thou leave thy Nancy'
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 08 Aug 09 - 05:49 PM

Cross-posted with Snuffy - maybe not anonymous after all, though that attribution could refer to the play only.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Origins: 'And canst thou leave thy Nancy'
From: seaJane
Date: 08 Aug 09 - 05:49 PM

Mick, thanks. I'll give them a try too.


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Subject: RE: Origins: 'And canst thou leave thy Nancy'
From: Snuffy
Date: 08 Aug 09 - 06:07 PM

If this Henry Carey os the author, then your 1745 date seems more likely than the 1765 attribution. According to Wikipedia:

He had another popular success in 1739 with Nancy, or, The Parting Lovers, a patriotic play about a sailor leaving his beloved to fight against the Spanish. As with other works, Carey's point was primarily patriotic. Patriotic plays at the time were often demurrals of official policy and England's foreign entanglements. Nancy was set as well as written by Carey, and its main characters are a sailor, Nancy, and a Press Gang officer. The play broke new ground in explicitly treating a contemporary matter of social concern in song (Gillespie 128).

Carey's son, Charles, died in 1743, and Carey hanged himself at his home in London later that year.
If True Blue is a collection of earlier songs then this could be the same man.


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Subject: RE: Origins: 'And canst thou leave thy Nancy'
From: seaJane
Date: 08 Aug 09 - 06:35 PM

Experience in rare books / history means I am not too surprised to find someone who died 1743 being revived in 1787, just when the naval wars were hotting up again (though after Napoleon invaded Spain in 1807 and the Spaniards came round to our side I can imagine some hasty alterations to the script) ... mmm wish it wasn't the weekend, no chance of getting into a library till next week.

Getting late so I am signing off. Thanks yet again


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Subject: RE: Origins: 'And canst thou leave thy Nancy'
From: seaJane
Date: 08 Aug 09 - 06:41 PM

No I'm not, I'm back again. I just looked up Henry Carey in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography http://www.oxforddnb.com/ which corroborates Wikipedia on the 1739 date. And was delighted to read that "Carey was also mindful of those less successful, and helped found the Fund for Decayed Musicians in 1738", bless him.


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Subject: RE: Origins: 'And canst thou leave thy Nancy'
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 08 Aug 09 - 06:42 PM

You can find the play, including the song on Google Books: The dramatick works of Henry Carey.

Nancy, or the Parting Lovers starts on pdf page 265. The song starting with the required words is on pdf page 271, page 251 of the book, about half way down the page.

Kudos Snuffy!

Mick


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Subject: RE: Origins: 'And canst thou leave thy Nancy'
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 08 Aug 09 - 06:43 PM

PS - he's called True Blue - not William!

Mick


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Subject: RE: Origins: 'And canst thou leave thy Nancy'
From: Paul Burke
Date: 08 Aug 09 - 06:47 PM

Was he Australian then?

Echoes of Pleasant And Delightful?


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Subject: RE: Origins: 'And canst thou leave thy Nancy'
From: seaJane
Date: 08 Aug 09 - 07:04 PM

Bullseye! Much thanks Mick, Snuffy and all.

Next question... anyone identify the tune? Perhaps I'd better leave that to the VWML.

At last I go


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Subject: RE: Origins: 'And canst thou leave thy Nancy'
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 08 Aug 09 - 07:16 PM

I had a look in Simpson (The British Broadside Ballad and its Music) earlier and it's not listed under any of the titles. There are several Carey references, but not this one as far as I can see.


Mick


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Subject: RE: Origins: 'And canst thou leave thy Nancy'
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 08 Aug 09 - 08:27 PM

The music was entered in Stationers' Hall 18/4/1740.

I can't find the music anywhere at a quick look, though the first air is performed on youtube: Clio and Euterpe: True Blue: To Be Gazing on Those Charms.

The Clio and Euterpe project are slowly (v.slowly - only a few of the thousands of pages available so far) making available Welcker's Clio and Euterpe or British Harmony. I can't find an index for the volumes, but you might contact them and see if the other airs are there.

The interlude also appears under the titles of True Blue and also The Press Gang and was certainly revived under the latter title during the 19thC.

Mick


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Subject: Lyr Add: AND CANST THOU LEAVE THY NANCY (H Carey)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 10 Aug 09 - 01:52 AM

From "Nancy: or, the Parting of Lovers" in The Dramatick Works of Henry Carey by Henry Carey (London: S. Gilbert, 1743), page 251:

AIR IV.
DIALOGUE.

Nancy.
And canst thou leave thy Nancy,
And quit thy Native Shore?
It comes into my Fancy,
I ne'er shall see thee more.

True-Blue.
Yes, I must leave my Nancy,
To humble haughty Spain;
Let Fear ne'er fill thy Fancy,
For we shall meet again.

Nancy.
Amidst the foaming Billows,
Where thund'ring Cannons roar,
You'll think on these green Willows,
And wish yourself on Shore.

True-Blue.
I fear not Land, or Water,
I fear not Sword, or Fire;
For sweet Revenge, and Slaughter,
Are all my Heart's Desire.

Nancy.
May Guardian Gods protect thee,
From Water, Fire, or Steel;
And may no Fears affect thee,
Like those which now I feel.

True-Blue.
I leave to Heaven's Protection,
My Life, my only Dear;
You have my Soul's Affection,
So still conclude me here.

Nancy.
I leave to Heaven's Protection,
My Life, my only Dear;
So fond is my Affection,
That still I wish you here.


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Subject: RE: Origins: 'And canst thou leave thy Nancy'
From: GUEST,MtheGM
Date: 10 Aug 09 - 02:01 AM

Nobody seems to have mentioned what must surely be the poem for which Henry Carey is best remembered ? Sally In Our Alley.


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Subject: RE: Origins: 'And canst thou leave thy Nancy'
From: seaJane
Date: 11 Aug 09 - 06:48 PM

Thanks Jim. Interestingly the copy I'm looking at lacks the last verse - not an unusual copier's slip with two almost-identical stanzas.


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Subject: RE: Origins: 'And canst thou leave thy Nancy'
From: Snuffy
Date: 11 Aug 09 - 07:57 PM

I would guess they might both be the last verse sung simultaneously as a duet.


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Subject: RE: Origins: 'And canst thou leave thy Nancy'
From: seaJane
Date: 30 Nov 09 - 01:50 PM

Late addition to this but many thanks to Martin Holmes at the Bodleian for negotiating a digital image of their item - with music - hooray!


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