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Origins: My Singing Bird

DigiTrad:
MY SINGING BIRD


Barbara 23 Jan 10 - 06:11 PM
Deckman 23 Jan 10 - 06:35 PM
Barbara 23 Jan 10 - 06:38 PM
GUEST,Derek Schofield 23 Jan 10 - 06:53 PM
Mary Humphreys 23 Jan 10 - 06:53 PM
bradfordian 23 Jan 10 - 06:58 PM
Barbara 23 Jan 10 - 07:07 PM
jacqui.c 23 Jan 10 - 07:12 PM
Deckman 23 Jan 10 - 07:55 PM
open mike 23 Jan 10 - 09:36 PM
Joe Offer 23 Jan 10 - 09:51 PM
Joe Offer 23 Jan 10 - 10:00 PM
Alice 23 Jan 10 - 10:06 PM
GUEST,Barbara sans cookie 24 Jan 10 - 02:18 AM
Joe Offer 24 Jan 10 - 02:21 AM
Joybell 24 Jan 10 - 02:28 AM
GUEST,Barbara sans cookie 24 Jan 10 - 02:32 AM
cetmst 24 Jan 10 - 07:02 AM
jacqui.c 24 Jan 10 - 09:23 AM
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Subject: Origins: My Singing Bird
From: Barbara
Date: 23 Jan 10 - 06:11 PM

I learned this a long time ago from Jean Redpath, and I always thought it was Scottish. However, googling it comes up with a number of hits calling it Irish, but with no particular attribution.
Can anyone provide me with a bit more background on this song?

Also I heard a third verse at one point from Paddy Graber, and I'm not recalling it at the moment. Anyone?

Blessings,
Barbara


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Subject: RE: Origins: My Singing Bird
From: Deckman
Date: 23 Jan 10 - 06:35 PM

Do you mean this one:

"I have heard the blackbird pipe it's notes,
Heard the thrush and the linnet too ...."

bob(deckman)nelson


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Subject: RE: Origins: My Singing Bird
From: Barbara
Date: 23 Jan 10 - 06:38 PM

Yep. The song is in DT here:My Singing Bird   but I couldn't find any discussion of it.
Blessings,
Barbara


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Subject: RE: Origins: My Singing Bird
From: GUEST,Derek Schofield
Date: 23 Jan 10 - 06:53 PM

This was popularised by the McPeakes. It's on the reissue Topic CD, Wild Mountain Thyme, and the notes (written in 1963 by Bert Lloyd) state: "The melody is of a Munster folk tune. The words are by the Irish poetess, Edith Wheeler. The song came to the McPeakes from Cathal O'Byrne, who organised stage ceilidhs at which Frances senior played as a young man."
Derek


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Subject: RE: Origins: My Singing Bird
From: Mary Humphreys
Date: 23 Jan 10 - 06:53 PM

I recall that the McPeakes used to sing this song - but I could be wrong...


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Subject: RE: Origins: My Singing Bird
From: bradfordian
Date: 23 Jan 10 - 06:58 PM

On my 1963 LP of Clancy Bros +TM, Singing Bird is attributed to the McPeake Family, so there's a place to try for further info.
I've sang it a couple times myself, love the melody.

brad


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Subject: RE: Origins: My Singing Bird
From: Barbara
Date: 23 Jan 10 - 07:07 PM

Here's the third verse:
Oh I will climb the high, high tree
And I'll rob that sweet bird's nest
And back I'll bring what I find there
To the arms I love the best.

But none of them can sing so sweet.....(as per other verses)
Blessings,
Barbara


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Subject: RE: Origins: My Singing Bird
From: jacqui.c
Date: 23 Jan 10 - 07:12 PM

Third verse as I know it.

Ah then I will climb a high, high tree
And I'll rob that wild bird's nest
Aye, and I'll bring back that singing bird
To the arms I love the best
For there's none of them can sing so sweet
My singing bird as you
No there's none of them can sing so sweet
My singing bird as you


Jim Brannigan does a beautiful version of this song.


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Subject: RE: Origins: My Singing Bird
From: Deckman
Date: 23 Jan 10 - 07:55 PM

The late Dave Spence, of Los Gatos, California, used to sing this frequantly. He explained to me that the images in this song were allegorical (sp?) relating to Ireland herself. He used to say: "To climb a high, high tree and rob a wild bird's nest" was to gather the rebels around you ... and "bring back my singing bird ... to the arms I love best." bob nelson


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Subject: RE: Origins: My Singing Bird
From: open mike
Date: 23 Jan 10 - 09:36 PM

oh i would love to include a recording of this in my Feb. radio show..a continuation of the jan. bird special...where i hope to air
2 (more) hours of songs related to birds and bird songs..if any one knows of a disc containing this let me know. thanks!


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Subject: ADD: My Singing Bird (Gerry Rafferty recording)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 23 Jan 10 - 09:51 PM

I'm sure this isn't the song Barbara is seeking - but for the record, here it is.
-Joe-

MY SINGING BIRD
(recorded by Gerry Rafferty)

Sing your song to me, my singing bird
Let your voice ring loud and clear so you'll be heard
While you're here tonight, we'll be as one
For tomorrow you will seek the sun.

Sing your song to me, my singing bird
Let your voice ring loud and clear so you'll be heard
Just for the moment I'm asking you to stay
For tomorrow you'll be far away
For tomorrow you'll be far away.

Sing your song once more, my singing bird
Let your voice ring loud and clear so you'll be heard
While you're here tonight, we'll be as one
For tomorrow you will seek the sun
Yes tomorrow you will seek the sun.


from the CD Borderlands: The Best of Scottish Folk

From: http://www.musicbabylon.com, and compared with the recording


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Subject: RE: Origins: My Singing Bird
From: Joe Offer
Date: 23 Jan 10 - 10:00 PM

There's nothing on this song at the Traditional Ballad Index, but there is a bit at the Folktrax Archive:

    MY SINGING BIRD - "I've seen the lark so high at morn" - words by Edith Wheeler to Munster air - ROUD#2946 - see also SONG OF THE THRUSH (Music Hall song about an Australian miner with SB) -- Frank McPEAKE rec by PK, Belfast 78/7/52: 7"RTR-0544/ McPEAKE Family Trio of Belfast rec by PK, London 1961: FTX-071/ SAYDISC CD SDL-411 1995/ PRESTIGE International 13018 1961/ TOPIC 12-T-87 1962 - Robin HALL & Jimmie McGREGOR: FONTANA TL-5296 1965 "The Best of the White Heather Clubs" - Alex CAMPBELL TRANSATLANTIC TRA-SAM-6 1969 - Helen WOODALL (voc/ gtr): FOREST TRACKS FT-3001 1973 "First Tracks"


Most recordings seem to have the third verse. Here are the Digital Tradition lyrics with the third verse added:
    MY SINGING BIRD

    I have seen the lark soar high at morn
    Heard his song up in the blue
    I have heard the blackbird pipe his note
    The thrush and the linnet too
    But there's none of them can sing so sweet
    My singing bird as you

    If I could lure my singing bird
    From his own cozy nest
    If I could catch my singing bird
    I would warm him on my breast
    For there's none of them can sing so sweet
    My singing bird as you

    Ah then I will climb a high, high tree
    And I'll rob that wild bird's nest
    Aye, and I'll bring back that singing bird
    To the arms I love the best
    For there's none of them can sing so sweet
    My singing bird as you
    No there's none of them can sing so sweet
    My singing bird as you



    Often attributed to the McPeake family, but the origin of this song is uncertain. Peter Kennedy (folktrax-archive.org) says the words were written by Edith Wheeler and set to a Munster air.

    @music @animal @love
    recorded by Jean Redpath
    filename[ SINGBIRD
    TUNE FILE: SINGBIRD
    CLICK TO PLAY
    SOF


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Subject: RE: Origins: My Singing Bird
From: Alice
Date: 23 Jan 10 - 10:06 PM

I learned it from the Clancy Bros. recording in the '60's, and the line was "I've seen the lark soar high at morn".


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Subject: RE: Origins: My Singing Bird
From: GUEST,Barbara sans cookie
Date: 24 Jan 10 - 02:18 AM

The Jean Redpath album (CD) that has the song on it is Love is Teasing.
Enjoy.
Blessings,
BArbara


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Subject: RE: Origins: My Singing Bird
From: Joe Offer
Date: 24 Jan 10 - 02:21 AM

Hi, Barbara -
Do you have the Redpath recording - how many verses does it have?

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Origins: My Singing Bird
From: Joybell
Date: 24 Jan 10 - 02:28 AM

True-Love sang this song to me during our wedding ceremony. He always leaves out the verse about robbing the wild-birds nest, (No wonder they're wild -- I say) because he's a softie about birds.
We both learned it from the Clancys -- me from a record and True-Love direct from them.
Cheers, Joy


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Subject: RE: Origins: My Singing Bird
From: GUEST,Barbara sans cookie
Date: 24 Jan 10 - 02:32 AM

I'm pretty sure it just had two verses. I learned the song that way, and then years later got the third verse from Paddy Graber. Not sure if I still have the record (or was it a tape?). But lotsa places on the net offer downloads of the song or the CD.
Blessings,
Barbara


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Subject: RE: Origins: My Singing Bird
From: cetmst
Date: 24 Jan 10 - 07:02 AM

Jean Redpath sings two verses on her Love Is Teasing album. She notes "Every performance of this song, especially when there is whole-hearted audience participation,conjures up memories of the McPeake family of Belfast, and of Francie (sic) McPeake, senior, from whom I learned it".


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Subject: RE: Origins: My Singing Bird
From: jacqui.c
Date: 24 Jan 10 - 09:23 AM

if any one knows of a disc containing this let me know. thanks

I just ordered this from Amazon - here's the link.

You can find the track list here.


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