Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafemuddy

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


Anti-Heroines in Traditional Song?

Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 08 Feb 10 - 09:36 AM
GUEST 08 Feb 10 - 09:48 AM
RTim 08 Feb 10 - 10:08 AM
Steve Gardham 08 Feb 10 - 10:18 AM
MGM·Lion 08 Feb 10 - 10:25 AM
Fred McCormick 08 Feb 10 - 11:00 AM
MGM·Lion 08 Feb 10 - 11:10 AM
Tootler 08 Feb 10 - 11:14 AM
Fred McCormick 08 Feb 10 - 11:22 AM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 08 Feb 10 - 11:23 AM
MGM·Lion 08 Feb 10 - 11:31 AM
Fred McCormick 08 Feb 10 - 11:32 AM
Jim Carroll 08 Feb 10 - 11:33 AM
MGM·Lion 08 Feb 10 - 11:36 AM
Young Buchan 08 Feb 10 - 11:40 AM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 08 Feb 10 - 11:46 AM
celticblues5 08 Feb 10 - 11:49 AM
Flashmeister 08 Feb 10 - 12:01 PM
Nicholas Waller 08 Feb 10 - 12:04 PM
beeliner 08 Feb 10 - 12:08 PM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 08 Feb 10 - 12:10 PM
mousethief 08 Feb 10 - 12:36 PM
Nicholas Waller 08 Feb 10 - 12:50 PM
Dave Sutherland 08 Feb 10 - 12:54 PM
GUEST,Tootler 08 Feb 10 - 01:05 PM
Emma B 08 Feb 10 - 01:14 PM
RTim 08 Feb 10 - 01:26 PM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 08 Feb 10 - 01:56 PM
mousethief 08 Feb 10 - 02:05 PM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 08 Feb 10 - 02:17 PM
Cuilionn 08 Feb 10 - 02:34 PM
Peter the Squeezer 08 Feb 10 - 02:46 PM
Young Buchan 08 Feb 10 - 02:56 PM
GUEST,ollaimh 08 Feb 10 - 03:43 PM
Joe_F 08 Feb 10 - 11:31 PM
Herga Kitty 09 Feb 10 - 02:33 AM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 09 Feb 10 - 02:58 AM
MGM·Lion 09 Feb 10 - 04:00 AM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 09 Feb 10 - 04:03 AM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 09 Feb 10 - 04:23 AM
Dave the Gnome 09 Feb 10 - 04:34 AM
Young Buchan 09 Feb 10 - 04:50 AM
VirginiaTam 09 Feb 10 - 02:31 PM
VirginiaTam 09 Feb 10 - 02:36 PM
VirginiaTam 09 Feb 10 - 02:43 PM
Steve Gardham 09 Feb 10 - 02:45 PM
Tootler 09 Feb 10 - 02:47 PM
MGM·Lion 09 Feb 10 - 02:48 PM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 09 Feb 10 - 03:47 PM
GUEST,MadAuntieCat 09 Feb 10 - 05:10 PM
The Borchester Echo 09 Feb 10 - 05:43 PM
GUEST 09 Feb 10 - 05:54 PM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 10 Feb 10 - 01:54 PM
MGM·Lion 10 Feb 10 - 02:24 PM
Uncle_DaveO 10 Feb 10 - 02:27 PM
Uncle_DaveO 10 Feb 10 - 02:29 PM
Uncle_DaveO 10 Feb 10 - 02:38 PM
VirginiaTam 10 Feb 10 - 05:48 PM
Steve Gardham 10 Feb 10 - 06:33 PM
Emma B 10 Feb 10 - 06:38 PM
Snuffy 11 Feb 10 - 09:23 AM
Fred McCormick 11 Feb 10 - 10:46 AM
Fred McCormick 11 Feb 10 - 10:47 AM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 11 Feb 10 - 11:23 AM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 13 Feb 10 - 05:43 PM
Richard Bridge 13 Feb 10 - 06:47 PM
Jack Campin 13 Feb 10 - 07:03 PM
MGM·Lion 13 Feb 10 - 10:34 PM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 14 Feb 10 - 03:04 AM
Richard Bridge 14 Feb 10 - 04:23 AM
Jack Campin 14 Feb 10 - 05:07 AM
MGM·Lion 14 Feb 10 - 05:43 AM
VirginiaTam 14 Feb 10 - 05:52 AM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 16 Feb 10 - 07:57 AM
VirginiaTam 16 Feb 10 - 03:01 PM
Jack Campin 16 Feb 10 - 05:20 PM
Richard Bridge 16 Feb 10 - 06:13 PM
Jack Campin 16 Feb 10 - 08:02 PM
Jack Campin 16 Feb 10 - 08:59 PM
GUEST 16 Feb 10 - 09:20 PM
MGM·Lion 16 Feb 10 - 11:02 PM
MGM·Lion 17 Feb 10 - 02:06 AM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 17 Feb 10 - 05:24 AM
freda underhill 17 Feb 10 - 05:37 AM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 17 Feb 10 - 05:38 AM
Artful Codger 17 Feb 10 - 05:56 AM
Jack Campin 17 Feb 10 - 05:57 AM
theleveller 17 Feb 10 - 06:43 AM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 26 Feb 10 - 11:26 AM
Richard Mellish 27 Feb 10 - 01:34 PM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 27 Feb 10 - 04:16 PM
GUEST,mayomick 27 Feb 10 - 06:28 PM
GUEST,CS 09 Apr 10 - 09:32 AM
Jack Campin 09 Apr 10 - 09:46 AM
GUEST,CS 09 Apr 10 - 09:46 AM
LadyJean 10 Apr 10 - 01:43 AM
MGM·Lion 10 Apr 10 - 06:31 AM
GUEST,CS 10 Apr 10 - 06:45 AM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 15 May 10 - 08:55 AM
Leadfingers 16 May 10 - 04:49 AM
Larry The Radio Guy 17 May 10 - 02:34 AM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 07 Aug 10 - 02:38 PM
MGM·Lion 07 Aug 10 - 03:42 PM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 07 Aug 10 - 04:07 PM
MGM·Lion 07 Aug 10 - 04:28 PM
Gurney 07 Aug 10 - 10:14 PM
MGM·Lion 08 Aug 10 - 12:22 AM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 08 Aug 10 - 06:21 AM
MGM·Lion 08 Aug 10 - 07:35 AM
MGM·Lion 22 Aug 10 - 05:18 PM
Steve Gardham 22 Aug 10 - 05:53 PM
Steve Gardham 22 Aug 10 - 06:37 PM
GUEST,Patsy 23 Aug 10 - 10:34 AM
MGM·Lion 17 Oct 10 - 03:27 PM
MGM·Lion 17 Oct 10 - 03:44 PM
GUEST,John Moulden 17 Oct 10 - 05:25 PM
MGM·Lion 31 Oct 10 - 08:28 AM
MGM·Lion 01 Nov 10 - 05:46 AM
MGM·Lion 02 Nov 10 - 05:21 AM
MorwenEdhelwen1 05 Jul 11 - 07:08 PM
Jim Carroll 06 Jul 11 - 03:56 AM
reynard 06 Jul 11 - 09:38 AM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 06 Jul 11 - 10:23 AM
Joe_F 06 Jul 11 - 09:12 PM
MGM·Lion 07 Jul 11 - 12:01 AM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:









Subject: Anti-Heroines in Traditional Song?
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 08 Feb 10 - 09:36 AM

I've always enjoyed bad girls in classical literature, and so too have I found the anti-heroine figure in folk songs equally engaging. For example, three songs I've recently enjoyed learning have all included a bad girl or rebel: Three Gypsies for the runaway bride, Rolling of the Stones for the beguiling necromancer, Wild Wild Berry for the inventive poisoner.

Any more?
Your favourite cold-blooded murderesses, sorceresses and down right bad 'uns from traditional songs please!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anti-Heroines in Traditional Song?
From: GUEST
Date: 08 Feb 10 - 09:48 AM

The lass in 'William Taylor' should fit your bill. See this thread: Click.

--Stewie.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anti-Heroines in Traditional Song?
From: RTim
Date: 08 Feb 10 - 10:08 AM

Young Hunting - in all it's versions

Tim Radford


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anti-Heroines in Traditional Song?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 08 Feb 10 - 10:18 AM

Surely The Cruel Mother (Child 20) and Sister (Child 10) qualify.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anti-Heroines in Traditional Song?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 08 Feb 10 - 10:25 AM

I nominate 'Hard-hearted Barbara Allen', from Pepys on...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anti-Heroines in Traditional Song?
From: Fred McCormick
Date: 08 Feb 10 - 11:00 AM

The two mothers in Clydes Water and Lord Gregory's mother in Lord Gregory. Alison Gross. The Farmer's Curst Wife. The wife of the Baron of Brackley. They'll do to be going on with.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anti-Heroines in Traditional Song?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 08 Feb 10 - 11:10 AM

Surely, tho, mothers are supporting-roles rather than anti-heroines. The anti-heroine must surely be the main character, who is a baddie, rather than just any old nasty female who happens to have any sort of walk-on part?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anti-Heroines in Traditional Song?
From: Tootler
Date: 08 Feb 10 - 11:14 AM

Maybe not a bad girl in our eyes, but the lass in Jock O' Hazeldean certainly thumbed her nose at all those who were arranging a "suitable" marriage for her and went off with her own choice of partner!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anti-Heroines in Traditional Song?
From: Fred McCormick
Date: 08 Feb 10 - 11:22 AM

Without mothers, none of these stories could have happened.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anti-Heroines in Traditional Song?
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 08 Feb 10 - 11:23 AM

"The anti-heroine must surely be the main character, who is a baddie, rather than just any old nasty female who happens to have any sort of walk-on part?"

MtheGM to clarify my initial query, I'm particularly interested in 'subversive' or non-traditional (ones who might traditionally be considered negative) female figures, who play a key role in the plot. Such a figure might perhaps be 'shadowy' and not feature as the central character or protagonist, but without her there would be no story to tell.

Otherwise, I'm happy for people to throw up any songs they feel describes interesting subversive female figures. It's been fun to read through the lyrics of the songs suggested so far, and compare these characters!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anti-Heroines in Traditional Song?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 08 Feb 10 - 11:31 AM

Thanks for clarifying, Crow Sister - but might I humbly suggest that in that case 'anti-heroine' wasn't quite the designation you actually intended, as it means by definition an unlikeable heroine, i.e. main female character?

Lady Macbeth is an anti-heroine, as Macbeth is an anti-hero; the three witches are not anti-heroines, they are just bad women who happen to be around and have rather a lot of influence.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anti-Heroines in Traditional Song?
From: Fred McCormick
Date: 08 Feb 10 - 11:32 AM

Crow Sister. I agree. The mothers I named are crucial to the ballads in question.

Anyway, what about Lady Erskine in Child Owlet? They can't come much meaner than that.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anti-Heroines in Traditional Song?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 08 Feb 10 - 11:33 AM

The lady with her 'hair pinned to the ground' in The Three Butchers - anybody's mother in a ballad, Queen of Elfland in Tam Lin, the wife of William Hare and McDougal in Burke and Hare... how long have you got?
Jim Carroll


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anti-Heroines in Traditional Song?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 08 Feb 10 - 11:36 AM

They are 'crucial' as villainesses, not as heroines, actual or 'anti-'. Iago is "crucial" to 'Othello'; but he is the villain, not the 'anti-hero'.

Accuracy matters, in nomenclature as in anything else. If agreed definitions are departed from, chaos ensues.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anti-Heroines in Traditional Song?
From: Young Buchan
Date: 08 Feb 10 - 11:40 AM

The step mother in Lady Isabel. Accuses Isabel of incest - then poisons her. Oh, and she tells fibs!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anti-Heroines in Traditional Song?
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 08 Feb 10 - 11:46 AM

"might I humbly suggest that in that case 'anti-heroine' wasn't quite the designation you actually intended, as it means by definition an unlikeable heroine, i.e. main female character?"

Sure, I hummed and haa'd about the thread title, but it was the best description I could come up with without getting overly verbose!

One point of distinction though, I don't believe that an anti-hero/heroine is necessarily a full on "baddie" (though often they will be) in the panto sense, just a figure who's character and values run contrary to those of the collective or community. We can often identify with the anti-hero/ine where we see them revolting against prevailing social mores for example. Think Robin Hood or any amount of equivalent morally ambiguous figures?

What makes the anti-hero/ine exciting, is their high degree of individuality and the striking impact that the expression of that individuality can have upon the collective.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anti-Heroines in Traditional Song?
From: celticblues5
Date: 08 Feb 10 - 11:49 AM

I think the crucial difference is, there is always something to admire (in however skewed a way) in the action of the anti-hero/anti-heroine.

A mother who kills her children is just cruel. A woman who sleeps with a judge to get her lover off the gallows & then kills the judge when he reneges on his promise is an anti-heroine.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anti-Heroines in Traditional Song?
From: Flashmeister
Date: 08 Feb 10 - 12:01 PM

Amen the cruel mother and also the wife of Lord Randall who is hung at the end of teh epoymous song for poisoning her husband. oh, not forgetting of course the sister Anne in Bows of London who pushes her sister into teh murky river only to be outed by the skeletal violin crafed by a fool from her murdered siters bony remains.

In less gruesome style the best one I can think of at the moment would be in The Ranter where she throws a loaf of bees at the dirty old preacher and pockets his cold - and trousers too!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anti-Heroines in Traditional Song?
From: Nicholas Waller
Date: 08 Feb 10 - 12:04 PM

It's not traditional, but traditional-style: King Willy from cloudstreet. King Willy has a true love but his evil witchy mother won't let them have a child together... a cruel sorceress, anyway.

Lyrics: http://www.cloudstreet.org/lyrics_swallow.htm
Hear it: http://www.cloudstreet.org/sounds/KINGWILLY.mp3


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anti-Heroines in Traditional Song?
From: beeliner
Date: 08 Feb 10 - 12:08 PM

Does Hard Hearted Hanna, the vamp of Savannah count?

How 'bout the lady in Mean Woman Blues?

I was going to mention the slayer of Henry Lee - I think that's a variation of Young Hunting, already named.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anti-Heroines in Traditional Song?
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 08 Feb 10 - 12:10 PM

"It's not traditional, but traditional-style: King Willy from cloudstreet.It's not traditional, but traditional-style: King Willy from cloudstreet."

I think that is a traditional song, just more usually known as Willy's Lady (Child ballad No'6).


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anti-Heroines in Traditional Song?
From: mousethief
Date: 08 Feb 10 - 12:36 PM

From Harry Smith:

Fatal Flower Garden (from Child Ballad 155, Little Sir Hugh)
Frankie (from the long line of Frankie & Johnny songs)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anti-Heroines in Traditional Song?
From: Nicholas Waller
Date: 08 Feb 10 - 12:50 PM

@Crow Sister re King Willie being traditional - I stand corrected, and in fact on cloudstreet's site a review of one of their CDs (Swallow the Concertina) makes that point too.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anti-Heroines in Traditional Song?
From: Dave Sutherland
Date: 08 Feb 10 - 12:54 PM

The nurse in "Long Lankin"
The "wicked woman" in "Georgie Barnell"
The midwife in "The Midwife's Ghost"
The wife of the ship's carpenter in "The Demon Lover"


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anti-Heroines in Traditional Song?
From: GUEST,Tootler
Date: 08 Feb 10 - 01:05 PM

The lady in "The well below the valley" who has killed all her children but she has been forced into incest.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anti-Heroines in Traditional Song?
From: Emma B
Date: 08 Feb 10 - 01:14 PM

Solvay, or the Female Highwayman.

"Another girl who dressed in men's clothes, high-spirited this time to a dangerous degree. The heroine of this piece has been called "the kinkiest girl in folk song". It's not quite clear whether her name is really Sylvie or Sophie, but of her fortright and adventurous character there can be no doubt.
Lucy Broadwood found this "an exceedingly favourite ballad with country singers", and every collector of prominence has found versions of it. The good Dorian tune here is akin to the one Sharp published to the words of The Flash Lad (he called it The Robber) in his Somerset series, Vol. V, and is substantially the same as H.E.D. Hammond's Sovie tune from Long Burton, Dorset." Bert Lloyd's sleeve notes


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anti-Heroines in Traditional Song?
From: RTim
Date: 08 Feb 10 - 01:26 PM

The Mother in The Famous Flower and The Flower of Serving Men!

Tim Radford


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anti-Heroines in Traditional Song?
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 08 Feb 10 - 01:56 PM

"From: mousethief - PM
Date: 08 Feb 10 - 12:36 PM

Fatal Flower Garden (from Child Ballad 155, Little Sir Hugh)"

Ooh, positively the most eerie song I ever did here! Shiver..


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anti-Heroines in Traditional Song?
From: mousethief
Date: 08 Feb 10 - 02:05 PM

Isn't it the greatest? I think the way the two voices work together, with the harmony being so sepulchral, hugely magnifies the eeriness of the lyrics.

(But if you listen really closely to the second voice -- does he not sound just a little like Huckleberry Hound?)

O..O
=o=


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anti-Heroines in Traditional Song?
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 08 Feb 10 - 02:17 PM

Doh! How could I omit Mad Maudlin's Search [for her Tom of Bedlam]? The best trad. lyrics for an anti-heroine I've seen. I prefer the alternate chorus as printed below, for providing the addition of Tom's voice describing their mutual passionate devotion. A few more verses here than is usual for good measure too.


To find my Tom of Bedlam
Ten thousand years I'll travel,
Mad Maudlin goes on dirty toes
To save her shoe from gravel.

CHO: But I will find Bonny Maud, merry mad Maud
    And seek whate'er betides her
    Yet I will love beneath or above
    The dirty earth that hides her.

I now reprent that ever
Poor Tom was so disdain-ed
My wits are lost since him I crossed
Which makes me thus go chained

I went down to Satan's kitchen
To break my fast one morning
And there I got souls piping hot
All on the spit a-turning.

There I took a cauldron
Where boiled ten thousand harlots
Though full of flame I drank the same
To the health of all such varlets.

My staff has murdered giants
My bag a long knife carries
To cut mince pies from children's thighs
For which to feed the fairies.

No gypsy, slut or doxy
Shall win my mad Tom from me
I'll weep all night, with stars I'll fight
The fray shall well become me.

From the hag and hungry goblin
That into rags would rend ye,
All the sprites that stand by the naked man
In the book of moons, defend ye.

The moon's my constant mistress,
And the lonely owl my marrow;
The flaming drake and the night crow make
Me music to my sorrow.

The spirits white as lightening
Would on my travels guide me
The stars would shake and the moon would quake
Whenever they espied me.

And then that I'll be murdering
The Man in the Moon to the powder
His staff I'll break, his dog I'll shake
And there'll howl no demon louder.

With a host of furious fancies,
Whereof I am commander,
With a burning spear and a horse of air
To the wilderness I wander.

I'll bark against the Dog-Star
I'll crow away the morning
I'll chase the Moon till it be noon
And I'll make her leave her horning.

So drink to Tom of Bedlam
Go fill the seas in barrels
I'll drink it all, well brewed with gall
And maudlin drunk I'll quarrel


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anti-Heroines in Traditional Song?
From: Cuilionn
Date: 08 Feb 10 - 02:34 PM

How about "The Proud Girl" from the eponymous ballad (not sure which Child #), who in the end is tied to a stake and "burns like the holly green"? Proud, aye...and supremely creepy in her vengeful actions.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anti-Heroines in Traditional Song?
From: Peter the Squeezer
Date: 08 Feb 10 - 02:46 PM

Not traditional - but I've always found the character (un-named) in "The Irish Ballad", by Tom Lehrer decidedly scary!

Don't know whether this is a "Cruel Child" Ballad, or a Cruel "Child Ballad", though.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anti-Heroines in Traditional Song?
From: Young Buchan
Date: 08 Feb 10 - 02:56 PM

Henry Higgins would like to point out that you haven't mentioned Fanny Blair yet.

Tony Blair would like to point out that she is no relation and that there is absolutely no history of lying to get people killed in his family.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anti-Heroines in Traditional Song?
From: GUEST,ollaimh
Date: 08 Feb 10 - 03:43 PM

crowsister where did you get those lyrics? they are great!!!

i nominate lady musgrave of musgrave as an anti heroine. she suduces the little musgrave and when caought this leads to both their deaths. she even ignores the warnings and poor musgraves misgivings.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anti-Heroines in Traditional Song?
From: Joe_F
Date: 08 Feb 10 - 11:31 PM

I second Fred McCormick's nomination of the lady in Child Owlet, whose villainy (framing a man for attempted rape in revenge for his refusal to commit incest) goes, IMO, well beyond mere meanness.

While we are delving into Child (always a likely source for wickedness in either sex), we might well retrieve Queen Eleanor's Confession.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anti-Heroines in Traditional Song?
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 09 Feb 10 - 02:33 AM

Mary Hamilton, the feathery wife....

Kitty


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anti-Heroines in Traditional Song?
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 09 Feb 10 - 02:58 AM

Ollaimh, from here: Tom O' Bedlam . Though after a bit more browsing, I think verses from the two songs (ie: 'Tom of Bedlam's Song', and 'Mad Maudlin's Search for her Tom of Bedlam') might be a bit overlapped here, and require a little sifting. In fact I think what most people think of as 'Tom of Bedlam', is in fact more rightly 'Mad Maudlins Search' - as such the alternate chorus I posted above, probably belongs to Tom's Song & not Maudlin's Search! Eh oh!

Interesting factet from Wiki I found about Ms. Maudlin though, apparently "Maudlin" was a form of "Mary Magdalaine" - as the equivalent of the all male 'Bedlam' for women, was the Hospital of St. Mary of Bethlehem.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anti-Heroines in Traditional Song?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 09 Feb 10 - 04:00 AM

Crow Sister - Magdalene College Cambridge & Magdalen College Oxford are both always pronounced 'Maudlin' within their universities, so your discovery is no news to us Bluesers. In the song Magdalene Green, however, about the open space in Dundee, it is pronounced 'Madeleine', like a French cake.

Kitty - surely the Feathery Wife a real heroine: no 'anti-' about it?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anti-Heroines in Traditional Song?
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 09 Feb 10 - 04:03 AM

"From: Joe_F - PM
Date: 08 Feb 10 - 11:31 PM

I second Fred McCormick's nomination of the lady in Child Owlet, whose villainy (framing a man for attempted rape in revenge for his refusal to commit incest) goes, IMO, well beyond mere meanness."

Cor blimey, you're not kidding there folks! Lady Erskine is quite a one isn't she? What an 'orrible gory song ..gotta learn this one! *smile*

Maddy Prior sings it here in a somewhat rocked up arrangement: Child Owlet


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anti-Heroines in Traditional Song?
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 09 Feb 10 - 04:23 AM

"From: MtheGM - PM
Date: 09 Feb 10 - 04:00 AM

Crow Sister - Magdalene College Cambridge & Magdalen College Oxford are both always pronounced 'Maudlin' within their universities,"

Tsk is me, yes of course Mike - I really should have known that already!

Otherwise, thoroughly enjoying this thread - keep the murderesses, witches and mad-women coming.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anti-Heroines in Traditional Song?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 09 Feb 10 - 04:34 AM

The Oyster Girl

Poor lad ends up with no money and not even a nibble of her whelks!

Has Maggie May been mentioned? Not Rod the Mods version of course.

Cheers

DeG


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anti-Heroines in Traditional Song?
From: Young Buchan
Date: 09 Feb 10 - 04:50 AM

This doesn't seem to be in DT although it is on a very old thread. Bits of these got assimilated into Dogger Bank.

My love she is a tailoress - a tailoress by trade
And many a fancy waistcoat for me my love has made,
She gets up in the morning and stitches away till nine
Then her high-heeled boots go clattering down the Knickerbocker line.

Chorus:
Watch her, trail her, pipe her as she goes
High heeled boots - and patent leather toes,
That she was one of those flash-girls I soon found out in time
When her high-heeled boots went clattering down the Knickerbocker line.

When first I saw this pretty girl in High Street she did dwell,
She really took my breath away - she was such a swell
She'd a dandy hat with feathers and couldn't she cut a shine
When her high-heeled boots went clattering down that Knickerbocker line.

I took my love to London - to the Theatre we did go,
To see them all a-staring at her - you'd think she was the show.
Comin' out she stopped me - And partickiller asked the time
Then skiddaddled with my ticker down the Knickerbocker line.

When I found my ticker gone - I raised a hue and cry,
I called out to a Bobby - there was one standin' by.
He says to her - Now come with me - and marched her off so fine
It's three months you must shuffle off this 'ere Knickerbocker Line.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anti-Heroines in Traditional Song?
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 09 Feb 10 - 02:31 PM

The Jealous Woman - Graham & Eileen Pratt

Dialogue between woman drowning and the jealous woman who will not rescue her, because she desires drownee's husband, and by the sound of it, her 3 brothers as well.

Pretty cool. I have not sung it in a long time. I should do that again soon.

I daren't post the lyrics here as they would still be under copyright.

But you could go to their website and maybe contact them about using it.

http://www.grahamandeileenpratt.co.uk/music.html


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anti-Heroines in Traditional Song?
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 09 Feb 10 - 02:36 PM

Doh! I forgot The Gay Green Gown! You have heard, maybe even sung that.

Not really a baddie, but she is ruined due to her pride.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anti-Heroines in Traditional Song?
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 09 Feb 10 - 02:43 PM

I wish I could get my ideas together.

Fine Flowers in the Valley

Mother killed and buried her baby and is haunted by its ghost.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anti-Heroines in Traditional Song?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 09 Feb 10 - 02:45 PM

Vague memories of a song from the 60s 'About a maiden is my song, sing rickety tickety tin....did great wrong...family....did every one of them in, them in, she did every one of them in.' Might have been Leon Rosselson or Tom Lehrer or suchlike.

Emma
'I robbed you for I wished to know if you my truelove was or no,
But now I have contented mind, my heart and hand are always thine'

More of a heroine than an anti-heroine really. We have no evidence she robbed anyone but her lover of his ring and that to test his love.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anti-Heroines in Traditional Song?
From: Tootler
Date: 09 Feb 10 - 02:47 PM

I don't think I've seen the "Black Velvet Band" mentioned. There's an out and out femme fatale if ever there was one.

I mentioned "The Well Below the Valley" earlier. It is a version of Child #21, "The Maid and the Palmer".


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anti-Heroines in Traditional Song?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 09 Feb 10 - 02:48 PM

Steve - it was Tom Lehrer: his "Irish Ballad".


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anti-Heroines in Traditional Song?
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 09 Feb 10 - 03:47 PM

"From: Tootler - PM
Date: 09 Feb 10 - 02:47 PM

I don't think I've seen the "Black Velvet Band" mentioned. There's an out and out femme fatale if ever there was one."

Yes, she's a fine bad 'un!

So, I thought I'd look up a few versions to contrast with the usual Dubliners stylee rendering (like this). I found the experience most illuminating, and in the spirit of sharing humbly proffer up these select offerings for your enjoyment pleasure:

Black Velvet Band #1
Black Velvet Band #2
Black Velvet Band #3


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anti-Heroines in Traditional Song?
From: GUEST,MadAuntieCat
Date: 09 Feb 10 - 05:10 PM

CrowSister, THANKYOU for the extra verses for Tom/Maud, I'm going to use the ones I don't know along with the alternative chorus tomorrow night. (Starting and finishing with the original first and last verses, like I would for Tom).
Maudlin was from Magdalene, it was sometimes used as an euphemism for a prostitute. Hence Mad Maudlin being 'A mad tart' fighting invisible celestial foes, gypsies, sluts, doxies for the love of her madman.

I love this song.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anti-Heroines in Traditional Song?
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 09 Feb 10 - 05:43 PM

King Willy - Cloudstreet

Certainly this is traditional, as Crow Sister points out it is Child 6 Willie's Lady most famously recorded by Martin Carthy. However, the Breton tune he uses was brilliantly put to the ballad by Ray Fisher.

Surely the most notorious anti-heroine is the mother (or sometimes mother-in-law) in Famous Flower Of Serving Men as Tim points out.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anti-Heroines in Traditional Song?
From: GUEST
Date: 09 Feb 10 - 05:54 PM

The Crafty Maid's Policy is an absolute favourite of mine and I sing it at any session I can get to. The twist in the tale is superb!

CRAFTY MAID'S POLICY

Come listen a while and I'll sing you a song
Of three merry gentlemen riding along
They met a fair maid and to her did say
"I fear this cold morning will do you some harm"

"Oh no, kind sir," said the maid, "You're mistaken
To think this cold morning will do me some harm
There's one thing I crave, it lies twixt your legs
If you give me that, it will keep me warm"

"Since you crave it, my dear, you shall have it
If you'll come with me to yonder green tree
Then since you do crave it, my dear you shall have it
I'll make these two gentlemen witness to be"

So the gentleman lighted and straightway she mounted
And looking the gentleman hard in the face
Saying, "You knew not my meaning, you wrong understood me"
And away she went galloping down the long lane

"Oh gentlemen, lend me one of your horses
That I might ride after her down the long lane
If I overtake her, I'll warrant I'll make her
Return unto me my horse back again"

But soon as this fair maiden she saw him coming
She instantly then took her pistol in hand
Saying, "Doubt not my skill, it's you I would kill
I'd have you stand back or you are a dead man"

"Oh why do you spend your time here in talking
Why do you spend your time here in vain
Come give her a guinea, it's what she deserves
I'll warrant she'll give you your horse back again"

"Oh no, kind sir, you're vastly mistaken
If it is his loss, well it is my gain
And you are a witness that he give it to me"
And away she went galloping over the plain

And comes complete with midi file in the Digital Tradition.
here


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anti-Heroines in Traditional Song?
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 10 Feb 10 - 01:54 PM

MadAuntiesCat, yeah fabulous imagery in Tom/Maudlin - thanks for the extra illumination regards Maudlin's likely 'profession' too, she's by far and away one of the most engaging female figures I can think of in the traditional songs I know.

Otherwise, I think this is a great rendition of Greenwood Side by Ian and Sylvia.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anti-Heroines in Traditional Song?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 10 Feb 10 - 02:24 PM

Re Maudlin's profession ~ ref also to song sung by Frankie Armstrong:~

As I came in by Tansy's Wood and down by Geordie's Mill O,
Four and twenty of Geordie's men kissed me against my will O.

~ poignant tale of imprisoned prostitute who attributes her fall to having been gang-raped. It is called 'The Magdalene's Lament'.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anti-Heroines in Traditional Song?
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 10 Feb 10 - 02:27 PM

Of course we have Frankie, of Frankie and Albert or Frankie and Johnnie, who killed her pimp, who done her wrong.

Yes, we may find her justified in a manner, but murder is a pretty strong reaction for the provocation.

Dave Oesterreich


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anti-Heroines in Traditional Song?
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 10 Feb 10 - 02:29 PM

And there's Aunt Clara, whom "we never mention".

Dave Oesterreich


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anti-Heroines in Traditional Song?
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 10 Feb 10 - 02:38 PM

And then Hannah, the wife in The German Musicianer

and

The unnamed wife in The Man Who Wrote the 'Home Sweet Home' Never was a Married Man

and

The Half Hitch

and

The wife in The Molecatcher

and

The wife of The Wee Cooper o' Fife

There's such a lot of them!

Dave Oesterreich


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anti-Heroines in Traditional Song?
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 10 Feb 10 - 05:48 PM

what about undrentide? bout a queen who goes mad after sleeping too long under a fairy tree... I think


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anti-Heroines in Traditional Song?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 10 Feb 10 - 06:33 PM

Surely that 'Crafty Maid' and the like are heroines, not anti-heroines. Suppose it all depends on your perspective.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anti-Heroines in Traditional Song?
From: Emma B
Date: 10 Feb 10 - 06:38 PM

Thanks Uncle DaveO Aunt Clara is indeed an 'anti heroine' role model for us all :)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anti-Heroines in Traditional Song?
From: Snuffy
Date: 11 Feb 10 - 09:23 AM

Princess Janet, who not only gets herself pregnant by Willy o' Winsbury, but then has the cheek to tell bare-faced lies to her father: "I have not had any sore sickness, nor yet been sleeping with a man"

Shameless hussy: no heroine she.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anti-Heroines in Traditional Song?
From: Fred McCormick
Date: 11 Feb 10 - 10:46 AM

Dunno whether anyone's mentioned it, but Lady Isobel of Child 4 fame seems to me to be the perfect anti-heroine. First of all, she elopes with the elf knight, stealing her parents gold and money and two fine horses in the process. Then, when she discovers his real motives, she sweet talks him into turning his back while she strips naked, or else to bend perilously close to the water while he cuts the thistles so that they won't cut her lily white skin. Either way, she then pushes him in, tells him to get lost when he cries for help, rides home, returns the horses and the money, sweet talks the parrot into -covering for her, and climbs into bed as though nothing had happened.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anti-Heroines in Traditional Song?
From: Fred McCormick
Date: 11 Feb 10 - 10:47 AM

Come to think of it, the Female Highwayman didn't do so bad either.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anti-Heroines in Traditional Song?
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 11 Feb 10 - 11:23 AM

Heartless girls dumps her longstanding boyfriend and marries another bloke:

The False Bride

Shirley Collins sings         

I courted a bonny girl for many's the day,
And hated all people who 'gainst her did say.
But now she's rewarded me well for my pains
For she's gone to get tied to another.

The week before Easter, the morn bright and clear,
When the sun it shone brightly and keen blew the air,
I went down to the forest to gather fine flowers
But the forest won't yield me no roses.

The first time I saw my love it was to the church go,
The bride and the bridegroom they caught a fine show.
While I followed after, my heart full of woe,
For to see my love tied to another.

The parson that married them aloud he did cry,
All you'd who'd forbid it, I'd have you draw nigh.
Well, thought I to myself, I'd a good reason why,
Though I had not the heart to forbid it.

The next time I saw my love, it was in the church stand,
A gold ring on her finger, white gloves on her hand.
Thought I to myself, I should have been that man,
Though I'd never once mentioned to have her.

And the last time I saw my love, she was all dressed in white,
Made my eyes fill with tears, they quite dazzled my sight.
So I picked up my hat and I wished her good night,
Here's adieu to all false-hearted true loves.

The ladies and gentlemen they are all asking me,
“How many lilies grow in the salt sea?â€쳌
But I'll ask them back with a tear in my eye,
“How many ships sail in the forest?â€쳌

Go dig my grave both long, wide and deep,
And strew it all over with roses so sweet.
So that I might lie down there and take a long sleep
And that's the best way to forget her.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anti-Heroines in Traditional Song?
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 13 Feb 10 - 05:43 PM

Struck me, that the eponymous Katy of Katy Cruel, must be an anti-heroine of sorts. We don't know exactly why she's shunned and re-named 'cruel' by the town, but we can guess that she's a rebellious individual - perhaps a heartbeaker - who refuses to be pinned down and live according to conventional codes.

A rendering by Bert Jansch

Katy Cruel

When I first came to town
They called me the roving jewel
Now they've changed their tune
They call me Katy Cruel
Oh diddle day, oh diddle lie o day

    Oh that I was where I would be
    Then I would be where I am not
    Here I am where I must be
    Go where I would, I can not
    Oh diddle day, oh diddle lie o day

When I first came to town
They brought me the bottles plenty
Now they've changed their tune
They bring me the bottles empty
Oh diddle day, oh diddle lie o day

    CHORUS

I know who I love
And I know who does love me
I know where I'm going
And I know whose going with me
Oh diddle day, oh diddle lie o day

    CHORUS

Down the road I go
And through the boggy mire
Straight way cross the field
And to my heart's desire
Oh, diddle day, oh, diddle lie o day

    CHORUS


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anti-Heroines in Traditional Song?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 13 Feb 10 - 06:47 PM

There are some much nastier verses than that to "the False Bride".

What about Anna Feyer?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anti-Heroines in Traditional Song?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 13 Feb 10 - 07:03 PM

The prostitute-murderess Mary McKinnon (in my Edinburgh songs collection):

McKinnon's Ghost


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anti-Heroines in Traditional Song?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 13 Feb 10 - 10:34 PM

Sorry, I know tastes vary: but what a horrible fussy piddly-pom-pom Katy Cruel from that pseud Jansch! I have loved that song since Sandy Paton taught it to me at the Troubadour in Old Brompton Road in 1958, and, with all due modesty, I sing it a hell of a lot better than that: was always a fave among members when I ran a folk club near Cambridge 60s-70s.

Agree she will well qualify as anti-heroine tho ~ I am sure she well desrved the empty bottles...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anti-Heroines in Traditional Song?
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 14 Feb 10 - 03:04 AM

Thanks for Mary McKinnon Jack - she's definitely going on my list!

Sorry about Bert offending your sensibilities there MtheGM *smile*, this any better?
Cordelia's Dad
I think this is pretty good actually.
I like to rummage through YouTube and compare as many different interpretations of traditional songs as possible (as most of these songs are new to me).

As for Anna Freyer RB, can't seem to find her online bar a fragment of a lyric about a judge and some horses.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anti-Heroines in Traditional Song?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 14 Feb 10 - 04:23 AM

The song is Laszlo Feyer. The song might be Hungarian trad translated and arranged MacColl - or it might be MacColl pretending that one of his originals is Hungarian trad.

Laszlo Feyer stole a stallion, and is tried and convicted and sentenced to be hanged. His sister (Anna Feyer) learns, and goes with gold and six white horses to buy her brother's freedom. The judge says that only "her sweet favour" will do. While the judge takes her virginity in his golden bed at midnight she hears the gallows groaning, and Laszlo's body is re-hanged in the pine forest to rot.

Then she produces the most magnificent curse on the judge

"Cursed be that judge so cruel
Thirteen years may he lie bleeding
Thirteen doctors cannot cure him
Thirteen shelves of drugs can't cure him".

We are not told of the effect of the curse - but you could always add a verse that did just that (folk process)!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anti-Heroines in Traditional Song?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 14 Feb 10 - 05:07 AM

"Feher Anna" or "Feher Laszlo" (depending on which of them you want to name the song after) is one of the most widespread Hungarian ballads. There must be more variants of it than there are of "Barbara Allen". A quick YouTube search should come up with a few, with tunes related neither to each other nor to the usual English translated version.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anti-Heroines in Traditional Song?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 14 Feb 10 - 05:43 AM

CS, thank you for that alternative Katy Cruel. I too always flick thru different versions offered on Utube; for this one, liked best the three unaccompanied unison ladies from Gloucester Hornpipe & Clog Society.

~ Michael ~


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anti-Heroines in Traditional Song?
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 14 Feb 10 - 05:52 AM

I Am Eve

Mé Éva, ben Ádaim uill
Mé ro sáraig Ísu thall
Mé ro thall nem ar mo chloinn
Cóir is mé do-chóid sa crann

Mé Éva, ben Ádaim uill
Mé ro sáraig Ísu thall
Mé ro thall nem ar mo chloinn
Cóir is mé do-chóid sa crann

Ropa lem rigtheg dom réir
Olc in mithoga rom-thár
Olc in cosc cinad rom-chrin
For-ír! Ni hidan mo lám

Mé Éva, ben Ádaim uill
Mé ro sáraig Ísu thall
Mé ro thall nem ar mo chloinn
Cóir is mé do-chóid sa crann

Mé tuc in n-uball an-úas
Do-chúaid t ar cumang mo chraís
In céin marat-sam re lá
De ní scarat mná re bats

Ní bíad eigredd in cach dú
Ní bíad geimred gaethmar glé
Ní bíad iffern, ní bíad brón
Ní bíad oman, minbad mé

Mé Éva, ben Ádaim uill
Mé ro sáraig Ísu thall
Mé ro thall nem ar mo chloinn
Cóir is mé do-chóid sa crann

Mé Éva, ben Ádaim uill
Mé ro sáraig Ísu thall
Mé ro thall nem ar mo chloinn
Cóir is mé do-chóid sa crann

Mé Éva, ben Ádaim uill
Mé ro sáraig Ísu thall
Mé ro thall nem ar mo chloinn
Cóir is mé do-chóid sa crann

Mé Éva, ben Ádaim uill
Mé ro sáraig Ísu thall
Mé ro thall nem ar mo chloinn
Cóir is mé do-chóid sa crann

Mé Éva, ben Ádaim uill
Mé ro sáraig Ísu thall
Mé ro thall nem ar mo chloinn
Cóir is mé do-chóid sa crann

Mé Éva, ben Ádaim uill
Mé ro sáraig Ísu thall
Mé ro thall nem ar mo chloinn
Cóir is mé do-chóid sa crann

Mé Éva, ben Ádaim uill
Mé ro sáraig Ísu thall
Mé ro thall nem ar mo chloinn
Cóir is mé do-chóid sa crann

Mé Éva, ben Ádaim uill
Mé ro sáraig Ísu thall
Mé ro thall nem ar mo chloinn
Cóir is mé do-chóid sa crann

English translation

i am eve great adam's wife
it is i that outraged jesus of old
it is i that stole heaven from my children
by rights it is i that should have gone upon the tree

i had a kingly house at my command
grievous the evil choice that disgraced me grievous
the chastisement of the crime that has withered me
alas my hand is not clean

it is i that plucked the apple
it overcame the control of my greed
for that women will not cease from folly
as long as they live in the light of day

there would be no ice in any place
there would be no glistening windy winter
there would be no hell there would be no sorrow
there would be no fear were it not for me


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anti-Heroines in Traditional Song?
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 16 Feb 10 - 07:57 AM

Who wrote 'I am Eve'? someone in the Medaeval Babes?

Wondering if there are any other songs about Eve, surely the first anti-heroine and model of all subsequent.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anti-Heroines in Traditional Song?
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 16 Feb 10 - 03:01 PM

I Am Eve

Words = Irish 11th Century - Anonymous

Music Katherine Blake, Mediaeval Baebes, The Rose cd


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anti-Heroines in Traditional Song?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 16 Feb 10 - 05:20 PM

Another one: Clerk Colvil (Child 42). Colvil has sex with a mermaid (and "nor of his lady speer'd he leave"), immediately develops an excruciating headache, and she gleefully tells him it will get worse and worse until he dies, which he does the same night.

I posted about this on uk.music.folk a few years ago, after reading Quétel's "History of Syphilis". I believe the medical evidence dates this song very precisely, from the mid-1490s to 1508 at the latest. The reason is that the early phase of the syphilis epidemic in Europe was a far more virulent illness, but it seems to have mutated to something milder within ten years. The characteristic symptom of the early form was that it attacked the bones in the subacute (secondary) phase, within a few weeks. The disease ate the bones away from inside, causing limb fractures and excruciating pain, often intense headache as the bones of the skull disintegrated. Other organ systems could also be affected (sometimes causing death from internal rupturing); Quétel also describes one case of a man whose penis swelled so much from the disease that he couldn't get the fingers of both hands round it. This early form was frequently fatal within months, something that virtually never occurred after 1510. (If you survived a couple of years, the pain would subside and you'd only have gummatous ulcerations to deal with, unless you lived long enough to have the disease affect the brain and nervous system - most people in the late Middle Ages would die of something else first).

So, Colvil's illness fits this early form of syphilis pretty well, allowing for a bit of poetic licence in killing him off the same day. The song is a public health warning about raping mermaids.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anti-Heroines in Traditional Song?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 16 Feb 10 - 06:13 PM


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anti-Heroines in Traditional Song?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 16 Feb 10 - 08:02 PM

In a somewhat lighter vein and perhaps not quite traditional yet:

Tom Lehrer's "Alma"

(Most of Lehrer's songs have MIDI files with the lyrics, this one doesn't).


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anti-Heroines in Traditional Song?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 16 Feb 10 - 08:59 PM

Come to think of it, it's consensual between Colven and the mermaid. The one whose leave he isn't asking is the girlfriend he's left at home.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anti-Heroines in Traditional Song?
From: GUEST
Date: 16 Feb 10 - 09:20 PM

dick greenhaus here, from a different puder

Young Charlotte (the frozen one)

The Lady of Carlyle (who dropped a glove in the lion's den)

The mothers in Mother's Malison and in Lord Gregory And there's always Mrs. Todd, the barber's wife


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anti-Heroines in Traditional Song?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 16 Feb 10 - 11:02 PM

Worth mentioning here the retelling by C19 poet of The Lady Of Carlyle, Leigh Hunt's The Glove & The Lions, which draws a somewhat different moral from that of the folk version:

She dropped her glove, to prove his love, then looked at him and smiled;
            He bowed, and in a moment leaped among the lions wild:
            The leap was quick, return was quick, he has regained his place,
            Then threw the glove, but not with love, right in the lady's face.
            "By God!" said Francis, "rightly done!" and he rose from where he sat:
            "No love," quoth he, "but vanity, sets love a task like that."


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anti-Heroines in Traditional Song?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 17 Feb 10 - 02:06 AM

,,, & Dick Greenhaus [& others who make similar suggestions] ~ the Mothers in Gregory & Malison are NOT 'anti-heroines'; they are VILLAINESSES: an important semantic & taxonomical distinction that must be maintained if this thread is to make any sense.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anti-Heroines in Traditional Song?
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 17 Feb 10 - 05:24 AM

Found lyrics to Clerk Colvill, but no Midi - which is a bummer:

Clerk Colvill


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anti-Heroines in Traditional Song?
From: freda underhill
Date: 17 Feb 10 - 05:37 AM

from a more reecent tradition.
Loreena's Lament

(sung to the tune of the Banks of the Ohio)

I told my love go take a walk
Take a walk just a little walk
Down beside where the waters flow
Down by the banks of the Ohio

CH
And only say that you'll be mine
And in no others arms entwine
Down beside where the waters flow
Down by the banks of the Ohio

I took a knife unto his dick
And sliced right through that cheatin'prick
He cried Loreena don't ya mutilate me
I'm not prepared for celibacy

And only say that you'll be mine
And in no others arms entwine
Down beside where the waters flow
Down by the banks of the Ohio

I drove my car through the lonely night
And tossed that old fella off to the right
He dialed triple 9 for emergency
They found his manhood beneath a tree

And only say…etc

The po-lice man he didn't blink
He said Loreena you need a shrink
He said Loreena that just wasn't nice
And he thrust that dick on frozen ice

And only say…etc

The doctor came and sewed him up
I wept into my empty cup
He made a million on cheap porn flix
They counseled me and I got nix

And only say that you'll be mine
And in no others' arms entwine
Down beside where the waters flow
Down by the banks of the Ohio


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anti-Heroines in Traditional Song?
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 17 Feb 10 - 05:38 AM

Ah, this is much better. From Digital Tradition Mirror:

Clerk Colvill


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anti-Heroines in Traditional Song?
From: Artful Codger
Date: 17 Feb 10 - 05:56 AM

Eve features in "Man Smart (Woman Smarter)," but she's only one of the anti-heroines, and none of them are particularly evil, just temptresses getting what they want.

Similarly, "Don't Bring Lulu" and "Whatever Lola Wants".

"The Female Robber" and "The Female Smuggler" are closer to the mark.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anti-Heroines in Traditional Song?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 17 Feb 10 - 05:57 AM

That mirrored version of Clerk Colvil/Colven has been drastically rewritten, and not for the better - the one in Bronson (and the Digitrad) is the version to go for.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anti-Heroines in Traditional Song?
From: theleveller
Date: 17 Feb 10 - 06:43 AM

Well, there's the "false woman" in Two Butchers who slew Johnson, the Queen of Fairies in Tam Lin amd the landlady in Radcliffe Highway.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anti-Heroines in Traditional Song?
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 26 Feb 10 - 11:26 AM

American traditional song 'Sea Lion Woman' (See Line Woman / C-Line Woman etc.) which is thought to be a corruption of 'see the lying woman', I think fits in with the anti-heroine remit.

Lots of remixes out there of the Nina Simone classic (which is the way I first heard it), here's another take by Christine and Katherine Shipp She Began to Lie


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anti-Heroines in Traditional Song?
From: Richard Mellish
Date: 27 Feb 10 - 01:34 PM

Crow Sister said

> Ah, this is much better. From Digital Tradition Mirror:

with a link to http://sniff.numachi.com/pages/tiCLRKCLVL;ttCLRKCLVL.html

but I am finding that the links from that page to the music don't work.

Then Jack Campin said

> That mirrored version of Clerk Colvil/Colven has been drastically rewritten, and not for the better - the one in Bronson (and the Digitrad) is the version to go for.

but the words on that page are exactly the same as those at http://www.mudcat.org/@displaysong.cfm?SongID=1213

Confused of Harrow


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anti-Heroines in Traditional Song?
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 27 Feb 10 - 04:16 PM

"but I am finding that the links from that page to the music don't work."

Odd. When I posted that link, everything linked to on the mirror was working fine. But now even the score is missing. That's frustrating as I haven't memorised the melody yet.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anti-Heroines in Traditional Song?
From: GUEST,mayomick
Date: 27 Feb 10 - 06:28 PM

The cruel nourice (nurse) in Lamkin .

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
LAMKIN

It's Lamkin was a mason good
As ever built wi' stane,
He built Lord Wearie's castle
But payment he got nane.

But the nourice was a fause limmer
As e'er hung on a tree;
She laid a plot wi' Lamkin,
Whan her lord was o'er the sea.

She laid a plot wi' Lamkin,
When the servants were awa'
Loot him in at a little shot-window
And brought him to the ha'.

"Oh whare's the lady o' this house
That ca's me Lamkin?"
"She's up in her bower sewing
But we soon can bring her down.

Then Lamkin's ta'en a sharp knife
That hung down by his gair
And he has gien the bonny babe
A deep wound and a sair.

Then Lamkin he rocked,
And the fause nourice sang
Till frae ilka bore o' the cradle
The red blood out sprang.

"Oh still my bairn, nourice,
Oh still him wi' the pap!"
"He winna still, lady,
For this nor for that."

"Oh still my bairn, nourice,
Oh still him wi' the bell!"
"He winna still, lady,
Till ye come down yoursel."

Oh the firsten step she steppit
She steppit on a stane;
But the neisten step she steppit
She met him --- Lamkin.

"Oh sall I kill her, nourice,
Or sall I lat her be?"
"Oh kill her, kill her, Lamkin'
For she ne'er was good to me."

"Oh scour the bason, nourice,
And mak' it fair and clean,
For to keep this lady's heart's blood,
For she's come o' noble kin."

"There need nae bason, Lamkin,
Lat it run through the floor;
What better is the heart's blood
O' the rich than o' the poor?"

But ere three months were at an end,
Lord Wearie came again;
"Oh, wha's blood is this" he says,
"That lies in my hame?"

"Oh, wha's blood," says Lord Wearie,
"Is this on my ha'?"
"It is your young son's heart's blood,
It's the clearest ava'."

Oh sweetly sang the blackbird
That sat upon the tree;
But sairer grat Lannkin,
When he was condemned to dee.

And bonny sang the mavis,
Oot o'the thorny brake;
But sairer grat the nourice,
When she was burnt at the stake.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anti-Heroines in Traditional Song?
From: GUEST,CS
Date: 09 Apr 10 - 09:32 AM

This was proposed as a possible song for this thread by Jack Campin elsewhere. Unsure if it strictly fits in here, but maybe it does? Anyway I decided to add it along with another traditional song about a woman wreaking her own form of vengeance on an abusive husband. Neither are possibly very PC, but then arguably neither is infanticide or any number of the themes covered by this thread..

Blue Bleezing Blind Drunk

I'll go and I'll get blue bleezing blind drunk
Just to give Mickey a warning
And just for to spite I will stay out all night
And come rolling home drunk in the morning

Now friends, I have a sad story
A very sad story to tell
I married a man for his money
And he's worse than the devil himself

For when Mickey comes home in the evening
He batters me all black and blue
He knocks me about from the kitchen
From the bedroom right through to the room

For of whiskey I ne'er was a lover
But what can a poor woman do
I'll go and I'll drown all my sorrows
But I wish I could drown Mickey too

Recorded by Sheila Stewart (Stewarts of Blair)
SOF

Blue Bleezing Blind Drunk

Including a link to the Winterset's rendition above. Personally I found the first half of this almost unendurable and as someone who quite frankly knows how it is to be both physically assaulted and get properly drunk too, I found the delivery impossible to believe. The second half clearly represents a shift in character however, though I find it too jaunty to describe anyone I know that's been genuinely knocked about. Anyway, it's possibly a tricky song to deal with, as has been mentioned elsewhere - but this is the only version on YouTube so I don't know how others have dealt with it.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anti-Heroines in Traditional Song?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 09 Apr 10 - 09:46 AM

There are other versions on Spotify, including Sheila Stewart's.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anti-Heroines in Traditional Song?
From: GUEST,CS
Date: 09 Apr 10 - 09:46 AM

A second battered wife 'vengeance' song, though rather less tragic (or indeed realistic) than the first. This time she's not resorting to alcohol as a (rather disempowered) means to spite him, but her *wits*, and of course she wins out in the end too as "it's goodbye to a drunken husband". So arguably the comedic feel to the song, is less troubling. Or maybe not. That's my take on it anyhoo.

Stitch in Time

Oh there was a woman and she lived on her own,
She slaved on her own and she skivvied on her own,
She'd two little girls and two little boys --
And she lived all alone with her husband.

For her husband he was a hunk of a man
A chunk of a man and a drunk of a man,
He was a hunk of a drunk and a skunk of a man
Such a boozing, bruising husband.

For he would come home drunk each night,
He thrashed her black, he thrashed her white;
He thrashed her, too, within an inch of her life,
Then he slept like a log, did her husband.

One night she gathered her tears all round her shame
She thought of the bruising and cried with the pain,
Oh, you'll not do that ever again,
I won't live with a drunken husband.

But as he lay and snored in bed,
A strange old thought came into her head,
She went for the needle, went for the thread,
And went straight in to her sleeping husband.

And she started to stitch with a girlish thrill
With a woman's heart and a seamstress' skill,
She bibbed and tucked with an iron will,
All around her sleeping husband.

Oh, the top sheet, the bottom sheet, too,
The blanket stitched to the mattress through,
She stitched and stitched for the whole night through
Then she waited for the dawn and her husband.

And when her husband woke with a pain in his head,
He found that he could not move in bed,
Sweet Christ, I've lost the use of me legs!
But this wife just smiled at her husband.

For in her hand she held the frying pan
With a flutter in her heart she given him a lam;
He could not move but he cried, ``God damn!''
``Don't you swear,'' she cried to her husband.

Then she thrashed him black, she thrashed him blue,
With the frying pan and the colander too,
With the rolling pin just a stroke or two
Such a battered and bleeding husband.

She said, ``If you ever come home drunk any more,
I'll stitch you in, I'll thrash you more,
Then I'll pack my bag and I'll be out the door,
I'll not live with a drunken husband.''

So isn't it true what small can do
With a thread and a thought and a stitch or two?
He's wiped his slate and his boozing's through
It's goodbye to a drunken husband.

Here's the young Lucy Ward singing it A Cappella (flagged up by Leveller elsewhere). I was pretty taken with her delivery: A Stitch in Time


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anti-Heroines in Traditional Song?
From: LadyJean
Date: 10 Apr 10 - 01:43 AM

Nobody's mentioned Eppie Maurie, a favorite of mine for years. You have to love a woman who beats the tar out of her abductor.
Then of course there's Mary Hamilton, the royal mistress who drowns her baby.

Then there's Fanny Blair who perjured herself to hang young Higgens.

Or the nameless lady of the Long Black Veil.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anti-Heroines in Traditional Song?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 10 Apr 10 - 06:31 AM

Eppie Morrie ~~ just a heroine; what's supposed to be "anti-" about her? She defies and defeats her dishonorable abductor & his companions ~~ what's anti-heroic there?

Fanny Blair ~~ a straight villainess: not any kind of heroine, even an "anti-" one.

I'm getting tired of pointing out that an anti-heroine is not the same thing as a female villain. Can people really not comprehend this vital distinction?

~Michael~


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anti-Heroines in Traditional Song?
From: GUEST,CS
Date: 10 Apr 10 - 06:45 AM

I guess I could ask Joe to alter the title to include Villainesses?

Otherwise I found this silly quiz for anyone interested in finally and scientifically determining whether a character in a song - or indeed they themselves - be a Heroine, Ant-Heroine or Villainess ;-)

I ended up an Anti-Heroine - yay!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anti-Heroines in Traditional Song?
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 15 May 10 - 08:55 AM

Can't recall if anyone's mentioned Child 95 'Maid Freed From the Gallows' or 'The Prickle Eye Bush' yet? But it just dawned on me as a perfect candidate for this thread. Bunch of variants at SacredTexts.Com: Maid Freed from the Gallows


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anti-Heroines in Traditional Song?
From: Leadfingers
Date: 16 May 10 - 04:49 AM

100


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anti-Heroines in Traditional Song?
From: Larry The Radio Guy
Date: 17 May 10 - 02:34 AM

I don't think anyone's mentioned Frankie (of Frankie and Johnny). Although, to some perspectives, she's OK because after all Johnny had "done her wrong".   

But how about the Leaving Home variation (popularized by Charlie Poole in the 1930's). Here Frankie kills Johnny (underneath her silk kimona she drew a 44 gun) not because he did her wrong, but simply because he was going away ("never coming home, goin' away to roam". Probably a borderline personality disordered woman for whom abandonment was the equivalent to death.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anti-Heroines in Traditional Song?
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 07 Aug 10 - 02:38 PM

I'm unsure if anyone's flagged up Fanny Blair on this thread as yet, and I haven't checked. But here it is, and a most fitting submission it seems for the theme, sung by our own MtheGM: Fanny Blair

The lyrics are quite sad, I find myself siding with the child (presumably) prostitute "perjuring whore" for some reason, perhaps simply because the anti-heroine is a theme that always engages me or perhaps it's because of the gathered crowd's murmurings against her and the calls for her to be caught and "cropped".
I wonder what the crime was that he went down for, and what she accused him of? And was he innocent or guilty? And what could his young accuser have gotten out of the whole deal, if she had falsely accused him?

I think these lyrics differ slightly, to those MtheGM sings:

Come all you young men and maidens whereever you may be
Beware of false swearing and sad perjury
For it is by a false woman I am wounded so soon
And you see how I am cut down in the height of my bloom.

It was last Monday morning I lay in my bed
A young friend came to me and unto me said
Rise up Dennis Higgins and flee you elsewhere
For they're now down against you for the young Fanny Blair.

Fanny Blair is a girl of eleven years old
And if I was a-dying the truth I'd unfold
It's I never had dealings with her in my time
And it's I have to die for another man's crime

On the day of the trial squire Vernon was there
And it's on the green table he handed Fanny Blair
And the oath that she swore I am ashamed to tell
And the judge spoke up quickly you have told it well

Dennis Higgins of Branfield whither art thou flown
That you are a poor prisoner condemned and alone
If John O'Neil of Shane's Castle only was here
In spite of (Dawson) n'er known he'd soon set you clear

On the day that young Higgins was condemned to die
The people rose up with a murmuring cry
Go catch her and crop her she's a perjuring whore
Young Dennis is innocent we are very sure

One thing yet remaining I ask you my friends
To wake me in Branfield amongst my dear friends
Bring my body to lie in Merrylee mold
And I hope that great God will pardon my soul


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anti-Heroines in Traditional Song?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 07 Aug 10 - 03:42 PM

Many thanks, CS. You requested me on another thread for my comments on this song 'Fanny Blair', & how it fits this thread.

I don't actually see Fanny Blair as an anti-heroine, but purely as a villainess. She seems to me to be one of those children that all teachers &c so much have to beware of these days [read the paper practically any week!], motivated by pure malicious intention to stir up all the trouble she can, by making a false accusation of child abuse {rape, presumably; or some sort of sexual interference in any event} against a randomly chosen neighbour, the unfortunate Higgins ~~ surely we are to believe his denials of having ever had 'dealings' with her. When the people, incensed by the judge's insistence on believing her against his denials, 'rise up against her', and call her 'a perjuring little whore', they do not presumably think her an actual prostitute, but use the word 'whore' rather as a piece of abuse against a dishonest woman. I also prefer the end of my version to the variant you give, in which it is Fanny's soul, rather than his own, which he prays God to pardon ~~ it is she, not he, we should surely infer from that, who is the sinner in the whole affair, with her 'false witness ... cruel perjury ... the lies she came out with' [=, in your version, 'the oath that she swore'].

That has always been my take on the song, which I have always found profoundly worrying. The most successful performance I have ever given of it, I have always thought, was one at Linton Folk Club, near Cambridge, years ago, which was met, not with applause, but by a dead pin-drop silence.

~Michael~


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anti-Heroines in Traditional Song?
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 07 Aug 10 - 04:07 PM

MtheGM, I thought you'd take the narrator's view *smile*..

But to offer a more modern counterpoint, clearly his *perspective* (the narrator of the song is the accused man) is no more valid than that of Humbert Humbert who utterly charms and seduces the reader, while simultaneously conniving to murder his young wards Mother in order to gain sexual access to her, fantasising about sexually molesting his own eight year old grandchild by her, and indeed proceeding to abduct her in order to fulfill his sexual fantasies through her.

I'm not suggesting that the man accused by Fanny Blair was as much of a charming pervert as Humbert Humbert, but that charming perverts are, well, charming, but nevertheless perverts.

The notion of an 11 yr. old simply "stirring up malicious bullshit" is also far more likely now, than it was back then.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anti-Heroines in Traditional Song?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 07 Aug 10 - 04:28 PM

I think not: it's just that we make more of a thing now than perhaps previously. Consider following from Wikipedia:-

'While sexual abuse has been prevalent throughout history, it has only become the object of such public attention in recent times.'

Humbert Humbert glories in his relations with Dolores Haze [who is, btw, noted, his step-daughter, not grandchild or any actual blood relation]. She was also 11+, not 8 ~~ same just-about-pubescent as Miss Blair, indeed. Higgins insists on his innocence, and is believed by all his contemporaries: had there been anything in her accusations, he would surely have been met with much more censoriousness than sympathy. "Young Higgins was innocent, of that I am quite sure."

~M~


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anti-Heroines in Traditional Song?
From: Gurney
Date: 07 Aug 10 - 10:14 PM

Michael, that 'Fanny Blair' was the song that got me into folk music. I was persuaded into a folk club -"Hey man, I'm into jazz!"- and heard Barry Skinner of Coventry sing it. Accusatory, and LOUD. Stunning, and as you said happened to you, followed by stunned silence!

I always thought 'Lovely Joan' was an absolute bitch. Con artist and horse thief. Ladies seem to like her, though.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anti-Heroines in Traditional Song?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 08 Aug 10 - 12:22 AM

Further thoughts next morning: I see the initial attraction of comparing Lolita ~ some obvious thematic similarities and analogies ~ Bert Lloyd & others have used Nabokov's coinage 'nymphet' in reference to Fanny. But Humbert is, explicitly, from the start, the 'unreliable narrator'. It seems to me that, if we don't regard Higgins as a reliable narrator, the whole point and dramatic impulse of the song are lost. To take Fanny's side is surely a perverse interpretation. I am reminded of a production of Measure For Measure I once had to review, in which Lucio recognised the disguised Duke from the start and just meant to wind him up with his libels. It flew in the face of the author's clear intention and simply didn't work. Similarly one of J M Synge's Shadow Of The Glen where the wife knew her husband wasn't really dead all along. The whole song is surely predicated on Fanny's lying and Higgins' innocence: I honestly don't think any other interpretation works.

~Michael~


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anti-Heroines in Traditional Song?
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 08 Aug 10 - 06:21 AM

Here's something worth a look: Glimpses into the 19th Century Broadside Ballad Trade. No 3: Fanny Blair


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anti-Heroines in Traditional Song?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 08 Aug 10 - 07:35 AM

Worth a look indeed ~~ many thanks, Suibhne.

~M~


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anti-Heroines in Traditional Song?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 22 Aug 10 - 05:18 PM

Refresh ~~ I am still much exercised by this question as to whose version of events we should believe in Fanny Blair ~~any more views to adjudicate between my view & that of Crow Sister as expressed in posts above, 7 & 8 Aug? Do not wish to be a bore or flog any dead horses, but this seems to me a question worth pursuing.

~Michael~


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anti-Heroines in Traditional Song?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 22 Aug 10 - 05:53 PM

Michael,
I don't think any person using logic could take any other interpretation from this song than the one you give. We only have the text of the song to go on. All versions come from the same viewpoint and don't vary much in text. To try to apply other interpretations is therefore futile and is of the same order as those who try to place allegorical symbolism into perfectly straightforward literal ballads.

Higgins may well have been the villain, but with no evidence of any sort in front of us we can only accept the testament of the narrator.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anti-Heroines in Traditional Song?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 22 Aug 10 - 06:37 PM

Having now reread the whole of Roly Brown's article mentioned above, it appears we do have the facts of the case or at least contemporary descriptions. These have been researched by John Moulden and the trial and execution were reported in the Belfast Mercury or Freeman's Chronicle, Vol III, No 19, Tuesday October 4th 1785, p3.

The ballad, like many other N Irish ballads, appears to have entered England through the port of Liverpool. The earliest and fullest version appears to have been printed by Armstrong of Liverpool in the 1820s, and from there spread around northern England, a truncated version ending up in the south and printed by the likes of Catnach and Pitts in London.

I have a copy of John's thesis, 'The Printed Ballad in Ireland' and as soon as I get time I'll check out the info he gives.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anti-Heroines in Traditional Song?
From: GUEST,Patsy
Date: 23 Aug 10 - 10:34 AM

You canna shove yer Granny off a bus,
No you canna shove yer Granny off a bus,
No you canna shove yer Granny cos she's your Mammy's Mammy,
No you canna shove yer Granny off a bus.

You can shove yer Granny off a bus,
Oh yes you can shove yer Granny off a bus,
Yes you can shove yer Granny,
Cos she's your Daddy's Mammy,
Oh yes you can shove yer Granny off a bus.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anti-Heroines in Traditional Song?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 17 Oct 10 - 03:27 PM

Just come back to this thread to check something, and would suggest that, in this last post by GUEST Patsy, the second stanza should read "You can shove your other Granny off a bus."

That's how Robin Hall used to sing it; & he specialised in Glasgow children's street ballads. & this seems to me a vital point from the semantic/interpretative point of view!


~Michael~


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anti-Heroines in Traditional Song?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 17 Oct 10 - 03:44 PM

Following on some points made above, I shall in next couple of days be putting my version of Katy Cruel on my YouTube channel


http://www.youtube.com/user/mgmyer


~Michael~


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anti-Heroines in Traditional Song?
From: GUEST,John Moulden
Date: 17 Oct 10 - 05:25 PM

For the only English printing of Fanny Blair that states it to be an Irish song, see the Bodleian Ballads website and search for "An Irish Song, called, Young Higgins Sentence"

http://bodley24.bodley.ox.ac.uk/cgi-bin/acwwweng/ballads/image.pl?ref=Harding+B+25%282134%29&id=10396.gif&seq=1&size=1

The ballad has no imprint but perhaps someone more versed in the woodcuts of English usage may be able to indicate its printer.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anti-Heroines in Traditional Song?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 31 Oct 10 - 08:28 AM

"Katy Cruel' now on my YouTube channel as promised 2 posts back.

~M~


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anti-Heroines in Traditional Song?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 01 Nov 10 - 05:46 AM

Another nomination, reminded by the married Out Of Hand thread ~~
the female convict married out of hand by the Captain on the way to Van Dieman's Land, who proceeded then to "give us all good usage Going to Van Dieman's Land". Wow!

~Michael~


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anti-Heroines in Traditional Song?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 02 Nov 10 - 05:21 AM

And there are several songs based on the tale of that well-known lupicide, Red Riding Hood*.

~Michael~

*Any truth in the assertion that she had a brother called Robin who was a famous king's-deer-icide?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anti-Heroines in Traditional Song?
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 05 Jul 11 - 07:08 PM

What about the woman in "Stone Cold Dead In The Market", based on the traditional song "Murder in De Market," who murdered her husband because of battered woman syndrome?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anti-Heroines in Traditional Song?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 06 Jul 11 - 03:56 AM

THE FEMALE FROLIC (English)
OR: An Account of a young Gentlewoman, who went upon the Road to rob in Man's Cloaths, well mounted on a Mare, etc.
Our first record of women taking to the highway for the purpose of robbery and crime is from the 14th century. Since the late 16th century, writers and street poets have been intrigued with the roaring girls, the Moll Cutpurses and those women who disguised themselves as sailors or soldiers, to follow their lovers or to avoid the more mundane cares of women. This kind of piece was probably to the 16th and 17th centuries what the cowboy films have been to our time - the wilds of Hampstead and Highgate were exotic and unmapped. Each heath or highroad had its denizens, and if the denizen was a woman so much the more exotic. This humorous song, known variously as "The Female Highwayman', "The Female Robber', was taken from the Pepys collection of broadside ballads. It is also printed in Alfred Williams* FOLKSONGS OF THE UPPER THAMES.


1    You Gallants of every Station,
Give ear to a Frollicksome Song;
The like was ne'er seen in the Nation,
'Twas done by a Female so young.

2    She bought her a Mare and a Bridle,
A Saddle and Pistols also,
She resolved she would not be idle,
For upon the Pad she did go.

3    She Cloathed her self in great Splendor,
For Breeches and Sword she had on,
Her Body appear'd very slender;
She showed like a handsome Young-man.

4    And then like a Padder so witty,
She mounted with speed on her Mare;
She left all her Friends in the City,
And steered her Course towards Ware.

5    The first that she met was a Grocer
Was walking with Cane in his Hand,
She soon to the Spark came up closer,
And boldly she bid him to stand.

6    She took from him but a Guinea,
And then met a Taylor with Shears,
And because the poor Rogue had no Money
She genteely clipt of his Ears.

7    The next that she met was a Tanner.
For loss of his money he cry'd,
And because he bawled in this manner,
She handsomely tanned his Hide.

8    And then she up with a Quaker,
She told him, she must have his Coin:
Quoth he, Thou silly Wise-acre
Thou shalt have no Money of mine.

9    She show'd him a Pistol to prove him;
He told her by Yea and by Nay,
That since the good Spirit did move him,   
She might take his money away.

10 An Excise-man then she accosted.
And bid him Deliver with speed;
He often of Valour had boasted,
But he was a coward indeed.

11 She Rifled him of his Money
Oh! This was a very rich Prize,
She took from him Four-score Guineys,
That he had for Excise.

12 The next that she met was a Padder,   
Well mounted upon a bay Nag;
Oh! This made her so much the gladder,
She told him she wanted his bag.

13 He thought she would certainly fight him,
Prepared himself out of hand:
But she was resolved to fright him,
She damn'd him, and bid him to stand.

14 He presently drew out his Rapier
And bid her to stand on her guard;
But quickly away she did Caper,
The High-way-man. follow'd her hard.

15 He followed and soon overtook her,
And searched her Breeches with speed;-
And as he did well overlook her,
He found her a Woman indeed!

16 The High-way-man stood all amazed;
But she had no cause to complain.
Tho' with her he did what he pleased,
He gave her the Money again.

Jim Carroll


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anti-Heroines in Traditional Song?
From: reynard
Date: 06 Jul 11 - 09:38 AM

On the "Heartless girl dumps her longstanding boyfriend and marries another bloke" theme-

If "The week before Easter" counts then so does "Pretty Nancy of Yarmouth". She promised to wait for the sailor and he was only gone a few years...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anti-Heroines in Traditional Song?
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 06 Jul 11 - 10:23 AM

Nice to see this up again. I've got nothing to add, just love these threads. Whatever happened to CS anyway??? Still off with the fairies no doubt, like she was ever anything else ;-]


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anti-Heroines in Traditional Song?
From: Joe_F
Date: 06 Jul 11 - 09:12 PM

When I was little, in the age of Hitler, Mussolini, and Tojo, I wondered if history afforded any *women* of superlative wickedness. My mother thought a moment & suggested Lucrezia Borgia. It seems from Wikipedia that she had enemies who made up a lot of stuff about her for which there is no evidence. However, it turns out that there is also an opera about her in which she poisons five people. Perhaps there is a song in that.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anti-Heroines in Traditional Song?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 07 Jul 11 - 12:01 AM

It wouldn't tho, Joe, be 'traditional song' as rubricated in the thread title, would it?

~M~


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 17 July 4:44 AM EDT

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.