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Lyr Req: True Lover's Discourse / Discussion

tijuanatime 29 Dec 09 - 06:13 AM
Jim Carroll 29 Dec 09 - 07:18 AM
Jim Dixon 01 Jan 10 - 08:27 PM
Jim Dixon 04 Jan 10 - 12:07 PM
Steve Gardham 04 Jan 10 - 01:40 PM
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Subject: Lyr Req: True Lover's Discourse (from Jerry Hicks)
From: tijuanatime
Date: 29 Dec 09 - 06:13 AM

Can anybody help me fill in the missing lyrics in this transcription of True Lover's Discourse, as sung by Jerry Hicks on "Ulster's Flowery Vale":

One pleasant evening when pinks and daisies
Closed in their bosom one drop of dew
And feathered warblers of every species
Together warbled their notes so true
As I did stray wrapped in meditation
It charmed my heart for to hear them sing
Night's silent harbingers were   ?? rising
And the air in concert did sweetly ring

With joy transported    ??
And gazing round   ??
Two youthful lovers in conversation
Closely engaged I chanced to spy
This couple spoke with such force of reason
Their sentiments they expressed so clear
That for to listen to their conversation
My inclination was to draw near

Oh it is too late now to ask that question
Since you despise me before my friends
The   ??            , if you could command them
Were not sufficient for to make amends
For there's not a tree in the imperial forest
Maintains its colour except in one
And that's the laurel that I do cherish
And I'll always carry it in my right hand

Oh the blooming laurel sir you do admire it
Because its colour is always new
But there's another and you can't deny it
And it's just as fair in the garden ??
It's wisely resting throughout the winter
It blooms again when the spring draws near
The pen of Homer has wrote its praises
In June and July it does appear

Near Ballnahinch, about two miles distant
Where blackbirds whistle and thrushes sing
Where hills resounding and valleys sounding
A charming prospect all in the Spring
Where fair maid's beauty is never wanting
The lonely stranger a refuge finds
Near ?? , if you'll enquire
You'll find the author of these simple lines


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: True Lover's Discourse
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 29 Dec 09 - 07:18 AM

Coincidence - I've just put it up on Man-woman songs thread - can't guarantee it to be Jerry Hicks' version, but I think it's a pretty standard text.
Jim Carroll

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Subject: Lyr Add: THE LOVER'S DISCUSSION (1870)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 01 Jan 10 - 08:27 PM

The above song takes verses 1, 2, 13, 14, and 18 from this version:

From Craig Dhu; or, My Lodging by the Sea by Edwin Waugh (Manchester: John Heywood, 1870), page 38:

"Old Sally" was our housemaid.... Sometimes when we were sitting round the fire at night, the dog asleep on the hearth, and little Johnny dosing, with his head leaned against the hob; when the house was quiet, and all the world was still outside, except the moan of the sea, and the wild sough of the wind around the lonely cottage, Sally would tell us tales of banshees and fairies, and disasters at sea; and sometimes she would croon a song. It was a great treat to hear her sing "The Lover's Discussion," a song so racy of the soil that—as it has never yet appeared in any published collection of Irish song—I think the reader will pardon me if I introduce it here:—

[1] One pleasant evening, when pinks and daisies closed in their bosoms the drops of dew,
And feathered warblers of every species together chanted their notes so true,
As I did stray, wrapt in meditation, it charmed my heart for to hear them sing;
Night's silent arbours were softly rising, and all the air did in concert ring.

[2] With joy transpoorted, each sight I coorted, and gazing round with inspective eye,
Two youthful lovers in conversation, all close engagéd, I did espy.
Those couple spoke with such force of raison, their sentiments they expressed so clear,
That for to hearken their conversation, my inclination was to draw near.

[3] He pressed her hand, and he said, "My darling, tell me the raison you've changed your mind;
Or have I loved you to be degraded while love and innocence are in their prime?
For I am slighted and ill requited for all the favours I did bestow:
You'll surely tell me, before I lave you, why you're inclined for to trate me so?"

[4] With great acuteness she made him answer, "If on your favours I would rely,
You might contrive for to blast my glory, and our marriage day you might hover by.
Young men in gineral are fickle-minded, and for to trust you I am afraid;
If for your favours I am indebted, both stock an' int'rest you shall be paid."

[5] "To blast your glory I ne'er intinded, nor fickle-minded I'll never be;
And for my debts, you can never pay them, except by true love and loyalty.
Remember, darling, our first engagement, when childhood's pleasure was all we knew!
Be true and constant;—I'm thine for ever!—I'll brave all dangers, my love, with you."

[6] "Your proffer's good, sir,—I thank you for it—but yet your offer I can't receive;
By soft persuasion and kind endearment the wily serpent beguiléd Eve.
There's other raisons might be assignéd—the highest tide, it may ebb and fall;
Another faymale might suit you better—therefore I cannot obey your call."

[7] "Yes, I'll admit that the tide's in motion, and always moving from shore to shore;
But still in substance it's never changing, nor ever will, until time's no more.
I'll sound your love with all loyal lovers, to fix their love on whose mind is pure,
Where no existence can ever change it, nor yet physician prescribe a cure."

[8] Says she, "Young man, for to tell you plainly, for to refrain you I am inclined;
Another young man, of birth and fortune, has gained my favour and changed my mind.
My future welfare I have consulted—on fickle footing I'll never stand;
Beside, my parents might be affronted to see you walking at my right hand."

[9] "What had you, darling, when you were born, dear? What nature gave you—and so had I.
Your haughty parents, I do despise them; your ill-got riches I do defy.
An honest heart, love, is far suparior; your golden riches will soon decay;
All naked into this world we came, dear, and much the same we shall go away."

[10] "You falsify when you say you love me, and slight my parents whom I hold dear;
I think it's justice for to despise you, since that's the course that you mean to steer.
By wealth, or fayture, or art of nature, you're not my aiqual in any line.
Since I conjure you, insist no further, for to your wishes I'll not incline."

[11] "To falsify, dear—I do deny it; your imputation is wrong, I swear,
Like Eve, I find you're a rale deceiver; your heart's as foul as your face is fair.
For want of riches you merely slight me, and my complexion you do disdain;
Our skins may differ—but true affection, in black or white, love, it's all the same."

[12] "Oh, curb your passion," she did exclaim then; "'twas not to quarrel I met you here,
But to discoorse you with moderation, and a rale intintion to make appear.
I speak in candour, I will surrender to what is daycent in every way,
If you'll submit to a fair discussion, and Raison's dictates you will obey."

[13] "It's now too late for to ask that question, when you despise me before my friends;
Lebanon's plains, if I could command them, would not suffice for to make amends.
There's not a tree in the Persian forest retains its colour, excepting one,
And that's the laurel, which I will cherish, and always hold it in my right hand."

[14] "The blooming laurel you may admire, because its verdure is always new;
But there's another—you can't deny it—it's just as bright to the gard'ner's view;
It's wisely resting all through the winter—it blooms again when the spring draws near;
The pen of Homer did write its praises; in June and July it does appear."

[15] "You speak exceedingly, but not correctly; with words supported, your cause is vain;
Had you the tongue of the Syren goddess, your exaltation I would disdain.
It was your love that I did require; but since you place it on golden store,
I'll strike my harp-string, and it shall murmur, 'Farewell, my darling, for evermore!'"

[16] She seemed affected, and, half distracted, with exclamation she thus gave way:—
"Sir, my denial was but a trial—ye gods, be witness to what I say!
And, oh, my love, if you don't forgive me, and quite forget my incredulity,
A single virgin through life I'll wander, while green leaves grow on the laurel tree."

[17] So, all young maidens, I pray take warning; let love and virtue be still your aim;
No worldly treasure shall yield you pleasure but those whose person you do disdain,
All loyal lovers will then respect you, and to your memory will heave their sighs;
The blooming rose and the verdant laurel will mark the spot where your body lies.

[18] From Ballynahinch, about two miles distant, where blackbirds warble and thrushes sing,
With hills surrounding, and valleys bounding—a charming prospect all in the spring—
There female beauty is never wanting—the lonely stranger a refuge finds;
Near Mara-Timpenny, if you'll inquire, you'll find the man that has wrote these lines.

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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: True Lover's Discourse
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 04 Jan 10 - 12:07 PM

There are several copies of this song in the Bodleian collection of broadsides. The title varies somewhat:


They all begin "One pleasant evening when pinks and daisies" except one which begins "One pleasant morning when pinks and daisies".

The words stick pretty close to the version posted above.

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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: True Lover's Discourse / Discussion
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 04 Jan 10 - 01:40 PM

There's another oral version in Huntington 'Sam Henry's Songs of the People' p362. I have its author down as M'Kittrick. Birmingham of Dublin printed it along with Sanderson of Edinburgh, Williamson of Newcastle, Pearson of Manchester, The Poet's Box of Glasgow in 1872, and both Such and Fortey of London.

The first stanza seems to owe something to 'The Bonny Bunch of Roses-O'

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