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lyr/Origins: Pretty polly (Knife in the Window)

DigiTrad:
KNIFE IN THE WINDOW


ruairiobroin 19 Feb 10 - 03:55 PM
katlaughing 19 Feb 10 - 04:17 PM
ruairiobroin 19 Feb 10 - 04:43 PM
Joe Offer 19 Feb 10 - 04:53 PM
GUEST,Ed 19 Feb 10 - 05:02 PM
Joe Offer 19 Feb 10 - 05:08 PM
GUEST,Ed 19 Feb 10 - 05:11 PM
Joe Offer 19 Feb 10 - 07:13 PM
Goose Gander 19 Feb 10 - 11:06 PM
Goose Gander 20 Feb 10 - 12:12 AM
Ruth Archer 20 Feb 10 - 03:26 AM
ruairiobroin 20 Feb 10 - 12:05 PM
The Sandman 20 Feb 10 - 12:43 PM
The Sandman 20 Feb 10 - 12:45 PM
The Sandman 20 Feb 10 - 12:50 PM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 20 Feb 10 - 06:36 PM
MGM·Lion 21 Feb 10 - 12:40 AM
Goose Gander 21 Feb 10 - 04:26 AM
MGM·Lion 21 Feb 10 - 04:45 AM
The Sandman 21 Feb 10 - 10:44 AM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 21 Feb 10 - 12:43 PM
Goose Gander 22 Feb 10 - 11:24 AM
Goose Gander 22 Feb 10 - 11:26 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 16 Mar 10 - 03:32 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 17 Mar 10 - 02:32 PM
Lighter 16 Aug 15 - 04:32 PM
GUEST,Mike Yates 17 Aug 15 - 05:13 AM
Lighter 17 Aug 15 - 11:15 AM
Steve Gardham 17 Aug 15 - 11:43 AM
Lighter 17 Aug 15 - 01:03 PM
Steve Gardham 17 Aug 15 - 01:30 PM
Steve Gardham 17 Aug 15 - 02:18 PM
Reinhard 17 Aug 15 - 02:23 PM
Reinhard 17 Aug 15 - 02:24 PM
Steve Gardham 17 Aug 15 - 02:28 PM
Lighter 17 Aug 15 - 02:31 PM
Lighter 17 Aug 15 - 02:42 PM
Steve Gardham 17 Aug 15 - 03:01 PM
Lighter 17 Aug 15 - 03:15 PM
Steve Gardham 17 Aug 15 - 03:28 PM
Steve Gardham 17 Aug 15 - 03:45 PM
Lighter 17 Aug 15 - 06:04 PM
MGM·Lion 18 Aug 15 - 12:45 AM
Jim Carroll 18 Aug 15 - 06:18 AM
Lighter 18 Aug 15 - 08:29 AM
Steve Gardham 18 Aug 15 - 10:27 AM
Lighter 18 Aug 15 - 10:54 AM
Steve Gardham 18 Aug 15 - 11:06 AM
Lighter 18 Aug 15 - 11:57 AM
Jim Carroll 18 Aug 15 - 12:34 PM
Steve Gardham 18 Aug 15 - 02:36 PM
Steve Gardham 18 Aug 15 - 02:37 PM
Steve Gardham 18 Aug 15 - 03:39 PM
Steve Gardham 18 Aug 15 - 04:18 PM
Steve Gardham 18 Aug 15 - 04:38 PM
Lighter 18 Aug 15 - 04:41 PM
Steve Gardham 18 Aug 15 - 04:42 PM
Steve Gardham 18 Aug 15 - 04:49 PM
Steve Gardham 18 Aug 15 - 05:09 PM
Lighter 18 Aug 15 - 06:55 PM
Jim Carroll 19 Aug 15 - 04:17 AM
GUEST,Mrr 19 Aug 15 - 09:58 AM
Steve Gardham 19 Aug 15 - 06:31 PM
Steve Gardham 19 Aug 15 - 06:45 PM
Steve Gardham 19 Aug 15 - 06:48 PM
Lighter 19 Aug 15 - 08:24 PM
Jim Carroll 20 Aug 15 - 03:22 AM
Steve Gardham 20 Aug 15 - 04:40 AM
Steve Gardham 20 Aug 15 - 04:53 AM
Jim Carroll 20 Aug 15 - 05:58 AM
Lighter 20 Aug 15 - 07:59 AM
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GUEST,Lighter 04 Sep 15 - 08:55 AM
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Subject: Pretty polly
From: ruairiobroin
Date: 19 Feb 10 - 03:55 PM

I remember a song starting with
"Pretty polly pretty polly I have come a wooin" and verse ending "Lay your leg over me over me do."
Anyone any info and lyrics if poss. Thanks R


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Subject: RE: Pretty polly
From: katlaughing
Date: 19 Feb 10 - 04:17 PM

I checked the DT aka Digital Tradition in the Lyrics & Search box, in the upper righthand corner of this page, and found several songs listed as "Pretty Polly" but not with those lyrics. I've no doubt someone here will know, though.

Welcome to the Mudcat!

kat


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Subject: RE: Pretty polly
From: ruairiobroin
Date: 19 Feb 10 - 04:43 PM

Yeah I saw those I think the one I'm looking for is a variation of the Knife In The Window Thanks for the welcome Took a long time to find this place Thankfully I've time to use Mudcat


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Subject: RE: lyr req: Pretty polly (I have come a wooin')
From: Joe Offer
Date: 19 Feb 10 - 04:53 PM

Well, the Digital Tradition version of "Knife in the Window" is here (click), which is from Peter Kennedy: Folksongs of Britain & Ireland, sung by Harry Cox. Looks like your version may have come from Bert Lloyed, but it's not in Lloyd's Folk Song in England.

We really haven't done a study of "Knife in the Window," so it's high time for us to get started. Here's the Traditional Ballad Index entry on "Knife":

    Creeping and Crawling

    DESCRIPTION: The young man, creeping and crawling, seduces the maid, taking a knife to cut the tie on her drawers. He leaves her to lament nine months later.
    AUTHOR: unknown
    EARLIEST DATE: 1907 (Sharp mss., a "Sally My Dear" version with the words bowdlerized)
    KEYWORDS: bawdy childbirth sex seduction lament clothes
    FOUND IN: Britain(England(Lond,South)) US(So) Canada(Newf)
    REFERENCES (4 citations):
    Randolph-Legman I, pp. 33-39, "Creeping and Crawling" (7 texts, 2 tunes)
    Kennedy 178, "The Knife in the Window" (1 text, 1 tune)
    Lehr/Best (Come and I Will Sing You) 89, "Pretty Polly" (1 text, 1 tune)
    DT, CRPCRAWL* KNIFWIND

    Roud #12590
    RECORDINGS:
    James "Iron Head" Baker, "Crawling and Creeping" (AFS 717 A1, 1936)
    Harry Cox, "The Knife in the Window" (on FSB2CD)
    A. L. Lloyd, "Pretty Polly" (on BirdBush1, BirdBush2)
    Asa Martin, "Crawling and Creeping" (Oriole 8452, 1935)

    CROSS-REFERENCES:
    cf. "Hares on the Mountain" (tune)
    ALTERNATE TITLES:
    Pretty Polly
    The Snoring Maid
    Lay Your Leg over Me Do
    Nancy and Johnny
    The Young Doctor
    Notes: In England, this song regularly mixes with "Hares on the Mountain," with which it shares a tune. But the plots are different; I happily keep them separate though Roud lumps them (while defining "Crawling and Creeping" as a separate item). - RBW
    The Lloyd recording provocatively contains the chorus "Lay your leg over me, over me, do" And at least one recorded version of "Sally, My Dear" -- an American one -- contains the "cutting the trousers" motif. So if "Sally, My Dear" is truly part of the "Hares on the Mountain" family, then "Creeping and Crawling" (or the "Pretty Polly" variant of it) is another link to "Roll Your Leg Over." - PJS
    File: RL033

    Go to the Ballad Search form
    Go to the Ballad Index Instructions
    Go to the Bibiography
    Go to the Discography

    The Ballad Index Copyright 2009 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.


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Subject: RE: lyr req: Pretty polly (Knife in the Window)
From: GUEST,Ed
Date: 19 Feb 10 - 05:02 PM

A bit more information and a tune here


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Subject: ADD Version: Knife (Knife in the Window)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 19 Feb 10 - 05:08 PM

I'm quite sure it's the Bert Lloyd version you want, but I haven't found a transcription and don't have time to do one until later this afternoon. In the meantime, there's a version on the Cordelia's Dad Website:

Knife
(as sung by Cordelia's Dad)

I was out one night
acrawling and acreeping.
I spied a fair maiden
asnoring and asleeping.
Just lay your leg over me, do.

Says I, "My pretty monarch,
I'll come to bed to you."
She snored, and replied,
"Just come to bed to me,
and lay your leg over me do."

"Your drawers are so tight
that I can not undo them."
She snored, and replied,
"Then take a knife to them.
Just lay your leg over me, do."

"I haven't owned a knife
since I can remember."
She snored, and replied,
"There's a knife in the window.
Just lay your leg over me, do."

The knife was got down
and the drawers was cut under,
and then they went at it
like alightning and athunder
and alay your leg over me, do.

In about nine months,
this maid fell aweeping,
and then she remembered
the snoring and the creeping
and the "Lay your leg over me, do."

The babe it was born.
It was an awful wonder
that it wasn't killed
by the lightning and the thunder
and the "Lay your leg over me, do."

Google Books will give you a partial view of the entry on this song from Randolph/Legman.


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Subject: RE: lyr req: Pretty polly (Knife in the Window)
From: GUEST,Ed
Date: 19 Feb 10 - 05:11 PM

The Cordelia's Dad's version uses the same tune as the one I linked at above. It's pretty much the same lyric too.


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Subject: ADD Version: Pretty Polly (Knife in the Window)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 19 Feb 10 - 07:13 PM

OK so here's A.L. Lloyd's version, from the CD The Bird and the Bush: Traditional Songs of Love and Lust

PRETTY POLLY
(as sung by A.L. Lloyd)

Pretty Polly, pretty Polly, it's I've come a-wooin';
Pretty Polly, pretty Polly, it's I've come a-wooin'.
She says, "Creep and crawl through the window, And let's get doin'
And lay your leg over me, over me, do.

Oh, me britches is tight and I cannot undo 'em,
Me britches is tight and I cannot undo 'em;
There's a knife on the window sill, love, take it to 'em,
And lay your leg over me, over me, do.

Well the knife it was got and the britches cut asunder,
The knife it was got and the britches cut asunder;
And then they went to it like lightning and thunder,
Cryin' lay your leg over me, over me, do.

About forty weeks after, the fine baby come bawlin',
About forty weeks after, a fine baby come bawlin';
But she never regretted that creepin' and crawlin',
And cryin' lay your leg over me, over me, do.


transcribed by ear from the CD The Bird and the Bush: Traditional Songs of Love and Lust


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Subject: ADD: Crawling and Creeping (Knife in the Window
From: Goose Gander
Date: 19 Feb 10 - 11:06 PM

CRAWLING AND CREEPING

Well, I dreamed last night I went a-crawling and a-creeping (x2)
And I crawled in the room where my baby was sleeping
And I never want to do it again.

My baby woke up and she called the law (x2)
The next stop I made was the City Hall.
And I never want to do it again.

The judge said, "Young man, don't you laugh (x2)
"This crawling and creeping's gonna be your last.
"You'll never want to do it again."

Well, he gave me nine months for crawling and a-creeping (x2)
For going in the room where my baby was sleeping
But I never want to do it again.

Listen here, young men, when you're sleeping
Don't never get the habit of crawling and creeping
And going in the room where your baby is sleeping
You'll never want to do it again

As performed by Asa Martin and Jim Gaskin, recorded by Mark Wilson, Irvine, Ky, December, 1972; on Meeting's A Pleasure: Folk-songs of the Upper South vol. 1+2 (Musical Traditions MTCD341-2).


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Subject: RE: lyr/Origins: Pretty polly (Knife in the Window
From: Goose Gander
Date: 20 Feb 10 - 12:12 AM

Crawling and Creeping Blues as sung by Spence Moore in Smythe County, Virginia, 3-28-77. "I learned it from a record," he says.


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Subject: RE: lyr/Origins: Pretty polly (Knife in the Window
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 20 Feb 10 - 03:26 AM

I'm pretty sure there are liner notes in the Cordelia's Dad album Spine which give Tim Eriksen's source for the American version of the song, which is what their arrangement is based on. From what I remember it's not the Gaskin version mentioned here, but I'm not at home till tomorrow night so I can't check yet. It's a fantastic version of the song, and I remember finding some really good on-line info about it a couple of years back. Again, when I get home I'll do some digging.


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Subject: RE: lyr/Origins: Pretty polly (Knife in the Window)
From: ruairiobroin
Date: 20 Feb 10 - 12:05 PM

Joe, the AL Lloyd version is the one I remember ,and, thank you all so much for your help. All the versions are crackers and worth the learning. I already had a snippet of AL Lloyds so it's learning time. If only the poetry we were forced to study in school had such structure and content, or do they still DO poetry in school? Thanks again


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Subject: RE: lyr/Origins: Pretty polly (Knife in the Window)
From: The Sandman
Date: 20 Feb 10 - 12:43 PM

this song,knife in the window was collected in essex from a cliff yeldham,and can be found at cecil sharp house.


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Subject: RE: lyr/Origins: Pretty polly (Knife in the Window)
From: The Sandman
Date: 20 Feb 10 - 12:45 PM

cliff yeldham was a thaxted morrisman,it was collected by fred hamer.


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Subject: RE: lyr/Origins: Pretty polly (Knife in the Window)
From: The Sandman
Date: 20 Feb 10 - 12:50 PM

Subject: RE: Traditional Singing and Apprenticeship
From: Good Soldier Schweik - PM
Date: 06 Jun 09 - 04:34 PM

You only need to listen,start with Phil Tanner,Harry Cox,Sam Larner,Joseph Taylor,W Pardon then revival singers such as Ron Taylor,Isabel Sutherland.
there was an essex traditional singer called cliff yeldham,I believe in the efdss archives,they have a recording of him singing the knife in the window.or hares on the mountain,and possibly others.
I have never heard the recording, but I remember seeing it as Cecil Sharp house,late sixties or early seventies.


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Subject: RE: lyr/Origins: Pretty polly (Knife in the Window)
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 20 Feb 10 - 06:36 PM

There's no record in Roud of Cliff Yeldham singing Knife in the Window/Hares on the Mountain. There were versions collected in Essex from Ernest Austin at Bentley in Essex (Tony Engle in 1973 collected Knife In The Window; Neil Lanham, nd, Hares On The Mountain).

Mick


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Subject: RE: lyr/Origins: Pretty polly (Knife in the Window)
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 21 Feb 10 - 12:40 AM

Dick & Mick above relate this Pretty Polly version to Hares On The Mountain, to which I would add aka Sally My Dear, with which HOTM is so often fused/collated. I have often come across stanza ~

O Sally My Dear, your clothes they do hinder [x2]
She laughed & replied "There's a knife by the window*"
To me wack fol de diddle i-do
& me wack fol de day {chorus variable)

* presumably pronounced in demotic fashion as 'winder'?

Always one of my favourite songs, tho I don't usually sing the 'knife by window/to bed they did tumble & how they did fumble &c' verses as I think this a more agreeable song kept slightly more chaste; but that just a personal taste/preference.


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Subject: RE: lyr/Origins: Pretty polly (Knife in the Window
From: Goose Gander
Date: 21 Feb 10 - 04:26 AM

There's an unaccompanied version of this song, sung by Jim Garland, at Just Something My Uncle Told Me from the field recordings of Lou Curtis. Quite a bit of interesting stuff at this site, actually, but not for the squeamish . . .

CRAWLING AND CREEPING

Early one morning, come crawling & creeping
I spied a fair maiden while snoring and sleeping

Lay over, lay over
Lay your left leg over mine

I said, "Fair maid, may I come to bed to you?"
She stood and replied, "I'm afraid you'll undo me"

Lay over, lay over
Lay your left leg over mine

"Oh, no fair maid I won't undo you"
She stood and replied, "Then come to bed to me."

Lay over, lay over
Lay your left leg over mine

"You got on drawers and I can't undo them."
"You got on drawers and I can't undo them."
"You got on drawers and I can't undo them."
She stood and replied, "Just take your knife to them.

Lay over, lay over
Lay your left leg over mine

I haen't a knife since I can remember
I haen't a knife since I can remember
Well, I haen't a knife since I can remember
She stood and replied, "There's one in the winda."

Lay over, lay over
Lay your left leg over mine

In about nine months and wasn't that a wonder.
In about nine months and wasn't that a wonder.
In about nine months and wasn't that a wonder.
That I hadn't been killed in that lightnin' and thunder.

Lay over, lay over
Lay your left leg over mine

Notes:
"Jim Garland's version of Crawling and Creeping is likewise fairly close to its British prototype, e.g. Harry Cox's Nancy and Johnny on EFDSS lp 1004 or Ernest Austin's Knife in the Window on Topic 12T243. The latter text is combined, as frequently happens, with the ancient Hares on the Mountain, parent of the ubiquitous Roll Your Leg Over. In the Appalachians, there has been a tendency to detach the song from the original story; another version (from North Carolina) I have heard appends to a text like Jim's:

Well, I jumped right out and shit in the floor
Said, "It's been good pussy but it won't no more" (sic)
In about nine months she fell to weeping
'Long came a bastard crawling and a-creeping
I went to the doctor with a hack and a cough
Said "I can save your dick but your balls'll rot off."

The Spence Moore link from the Digital Library of Appalachia I posted above doesn't seem to be working, but the problem seems to be with the site itself(?) . . .


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Subject: RE: lyr/Origins: Pretty polly (Knife in the Window)
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 21 Feb 10 - 04:45 AM

What a variable song-family!: from the comparatively lyrical, harmless love cycle of "Would I could woo you:Well would wooing undo you?/Mouth I would kiss it:Well be sure you don't miss it/Love you & wed you:Don't say I misled you" ~

to the "Drawers they do hinder:knife by the winder/Can't undo me breeches:Take a knife & cut the stitches" ~

to the above "Shit on floor", "Save prick but bollocks drop off", &c variants. Wow, what a distance in expression and atmosphere.

Fascinating!


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Subject: RE: lyr/Origins: Pretty polly (Knife in the Window)
From: The Sandman
Date: 21 Feb 10 - 10:44 AM

Presentation graphic only - Essex Record Office logo.                  
Seax - Essex Archives Online
From the Essex Record Office
        Presentation graphic only - Photograph of Essex Record Office.         Presentation graphic only - Photograph of Essex Record Office.
21/02/2010
        New Search         Back         Help         Contact Us         Retrieve         

Document Reference:
        Go

SA 21/1307/1


Repository:         Essex Record Office
Level: Category         Sound Archive
Level: Fonds         DAVE OCCOMORE TAPES

Level:         
Item
Reference Code         SA 21/1307/1
Scope and Content         Title: Essex Singers; Cliff Yeldham and Harry Green
Speaker(s): Hamer, Fred; Yeldham, Cliff; Green, Harry
Length of tape: 35 mins
Depositor: Occomore, Dave
Restrictions: Not to be copied, lent or broadcast
Synopsis of tape: A recording of Essex singers Cliff Yeldham and Harry Green made by Fred Hamer.
Custodial History         Deposited 7/11/1994

This document has been indexed. The indexes are listed below.
Index Type         Index Terms         Description

Subjects
        

Folk Music
        

Essex Singers; Cliff Yeldham and Harry Green, c1965

Subjects
        

Music
        

Essex Singers; Cliff Yeldham and Harry Green, c1965

Document Types
        

Sound recording
        

Essex Singers; Cliff Yeldham and Harry Green, c1965
Google,Cliff Yeldham knife in the window,it is available from essex sound archives


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Subject: RE: lyr/Origins: Pretty polly (Knife in the Window)
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 21 Feb 10 - 12:43 PM

I can find the index record Dick, but as far as I can see no contents are listed (although contents are listed for SA 30/1/27/1, with 4 songs by Cliff Yeldham).

The Roud index has several other entries for Chris Yeldham and Harry Green, but Steve Roud must either not be aware of the tapes or not have indexed them yet. (I imagine keeping track of material must be quite hard these days!).


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Subject: RE: lyr/Origins: Pretty polly (Knife in the Window)
From: Goose Gander
Date: 22 Feb 10 - 11:24 AM

LIGHTNING AND THUNDER

As sung by Dan Tate at his home in Fancy Gap, Carroll County, VA. 8/23/80, recorded by Mike Yates, from Far in the Mountains: Vols 1 & 2 (Musical Traditions MTCD321-2).

Oh, Nancy my dear, won't you come to bed to me?
Oh, Nancy my dear, won't you come to bed to me?
Oh, Nancy my dear, won't you come to bed to me?
She snored, she replied, 'I'm afraid you'll undo me'.
Sing fol-de-rol-day

My britches is buttoned and I cannot undo them (x3)
She snored and replied, 'There's a knife in the window.'
Sing fol-de-rol-day.

The knife it was got and the britches cut asunder (x3)
And then they went at it like lightnin' and thunder.
Sing fol-de-rol-day.

Well the babe it was born and they did all wonder(x3)
That it hadn't a-been killed by lightnin' and thunder.
Sing fol-de-rol-day.

Notes:
"Usually titled The Knife in the Window, it is a song that has survived best in East Anglia. Cecil Sharp called it Sally My Dear and found it associated with the song Hares on the Mountain (see Cecil Sharp's Collection of English Folk Songs edited by Maud Karpeles, Vol.1, pp.430-36) which Bertrand Bronson suggested was derived from the ballad The Two Magicians (Child 44). A version that I collected in 1972 from Bill Whiting of Longcot in Berkshire can be heard on the CD Up in the North and Down in the South (Musical Traditions MTCD311-2) while other versions from Dickie Lashbrook and Harry Cox can be heard on Rounder CD 1778. American versions can sometimes be somewhat 'rawer' - see, for example, Jim Garland's version on the album Just Something My Uncle Told Me (Rounder LP 0141). Asa Martin & James Roberts recorded a less forthright version, Crawling and Creeping, in 1934, which was issued on a number of 78's (Banner 33400, Melotone M13367, Oriole 8452, Perfect 13130 and Romeo 5452)."


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Subject: RE: lyr/Origins: Pretty polly (Knife in the Window)
From: Goose Gander
Date: 22 Feb 10 - 11:26 AM

The Spence Moore link is working again, I'm just about certain that the record he learned it from was that 1934 Asa Martin version.


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Subject: RE: lyr/Origins: Pretty polly (Knife in the Window)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 16 Mar 10 - 03:32 PM

The song Pretty Polly is No. 1 in Randolph and Legman, Roll Me in Your Arms, Vol. 1 of their classic "Unprintable" Ozark Folksongs and Folklore; four verses with musical score.

The page numbers for Randolph and Legman, Vol. 1 pp. 33-39, are correct in the Traditional Ballad Index, but the heading is "Pretty Polly," not "Creeping and Crawling." The index in vol. 2 references all titles.
The text varies slightly from that already posted, but not in substance.


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Subject: RE: lyr/Origins: Pretty polly (Knife in the Window)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 17 Mar 10 - 02:32 PM

Refresh


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Subject: RE: lyr/Origins: Pretty polly (Knife in the Window)
From: Lighter
Date: 16 Aug 15 - 04:32 PM

Lloyd recorded his version on the LP _The Bird in the Bush_ in 1966 as "Pretty Polly."

It is exactly the version well and raucously sung in the current (2015) film version of Hardy's "Far from the Madding Crowd".


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Subject: RE: lyr/Origins: Pretty polly (Knife in the Window)
From: GUEST,Mike Yates
Date: 17 Aug 15 - 05:13 AM

I see that somebody above mentioned the Dan Tate version. Dan called it "Lightning & Thunder" when he first sang it to me. A littler later I asked if we could record it, calling it "Thunder & Lightning". The look on Dan's face was just wonderful - a sort of "how can anybody be so stupid?" look - before saying, "Mike, its 'Lightning & Thunder', don't you English know that lightning always comes before thunder?"


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Subject: RE: lyr/Origins: Pretty polly (Knife in the Window)
From: Lighter
Date: 17 Aug 15 - 11:15 AM

I can't find anything in the Lomax collections called "Hallelu!" sung by James "Ironhead" Baker. Baker did, however, sing a song called "Jack and Betsy" for John and Alan Lomax in 1934. In May, 1934, they collected the following from Pete Harris at Richmond, Texas, giving it the same title. From Pete Harris, "Is You Mad at Me?" (Suncoast Music, 2015).


Molly's in the bed a-snorin' and a-sleepin', hallelu!
Molly's in the bed a-snorin' and a-sleepin', hallelu!
Jack's on the floor a-crawlin' and a-creepin', hallelu!

Molly, my dear, can I come to bed and see you, hallelu!
Molly, my dear, can I come to bed and see you, hallelu!   
[unintelligible] undo me, hallelu!

I sho'ly tied my britches fast and I can't undo 'em, hallelu!
I sho'ly tied my britches fast and I can't undo 'em,hallelu!
I'm goin' to the bed like lightnin' in the winter, hallelu!

O, nine months ago she wrote me a letter, hallelu!
O, nine months ago she wrote me a letter, hallelu!
She had a mighty fine boy [unintelligible], hallelu!

The baby was born, his name was Wonder, hallelu!
The baby was born, his name was Wonder, hallelu!
Po' thing got killed by lightning and thunder, hallelu!

If you see my lover, please tell her for me, hallelu!
If you see my lover, please tell her for me, hallelu!
I found them horses [?] on Calvary, hallelu!


Since "calvary" is a common mispronunciation of "cavalry," it's tempting to interpret the final line as "I'm ridin' them horses in the cavalry," which makes more sense (particularly by suggesting that Jack has enlisted to get away). (The African-American 9th and 10th regiments of Cavalry were well known in Texas.)

Unfortunately, what I *do* hear sung is closer to the "Calvary" line.

That's folk for ya.


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Subject: RE: lyr/Origins: Pretty polly (Knife in the Window)
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 17 Aug 15 - 11:43 AM

I can't find any broadside versions or early print on either 'Hares on the Mountains' or 'Knife in the Window'. I feel a study coming on. If I get time this week I'll do a study using what I have got and what is given here. If nothing else they probably need separating properly anyway.


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Subject: RE: lyr/Origins: Pretty polly (Knife in the Window)
From: Lighter
Date: 17 Aug 15 - 01:03 PM

I would be very interested in seeing what you come up with, Steve.

BTW, Harris's "tune" is hardly more than a rhythmic, guitar-backed recitative.

Judging from its reported range and the fact that it used to be unprintable, this song must once have been extremely well-known in certain circles.

Lloyd's tune is a modal variant of Bunting's Irish "Hares on the Mountains" tune, which Peadar Kearney employed almost unchanged for his nationalist "Down by the Glenside," apparently ca1920.


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Subject: RE: lyr/Origins: Pretty polly (Knife in the Window)
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 17 Aug 15 - 01:30 PM

Jon,
Just an initial foray. The 2 songs certainly come together in Somerset and not just the tune is in common, so it's easy to see why Steve gives it the one number and why I didn't query this. There are 8 versions in Sharp/Karpeles, 6 of them fragments of one or the other, but 2 of them have both sets of verses with 'Knife in the window' followed by 'Hares on the Mountains'. I still am of the opinion though that they originated separately.

The following may or may not be significant. I have a 1901 piece of sheet music 'If all the young maidens' where the words are ascribed to Samuel Lover. It is the 3 well-known verses of 'Hares' in a stage Irish spelling. Lover died in 1868. 2 of the possibilities here are:

Lover was well-known for adapting ideas from existing songs.

Lover did write it based on the well-known ideas in folklore (see Graves' intro in English and Scottish Ballads, though Graves himself was well-known for romanticising)


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Subject: RE: lyr/Origins: Pretty polly (Knife in the Window)
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 17 Aug 15 - 02:18 PM

O Lochlainn has this to say 'Sometimes attributed to Samuel Lover (1797-1865 sic.) as he printed it in his novel Rory O More (1837) but is probably an older ballad rewritten. He was a versatile genius, poet, artist, novelist, folk-lorist and antiquarian.....'


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Subject: RE: lyr/Origins: Pretty polly (Knife in the Window)
From: Reinhard
Date: 17 Aug 15 - 02:23 PM

Samuel Lover, Rory O'More: A National Romance, p.234-235:

Oh! if all the young maidens was blackbirds and thrishes,
Oh! if all the young maidens was blackbirds and thrishes,
Oh! if all the young maidens was blackbirds and thrishes,
It's then the young men would be batin' the bushes.

Oh! if all the young maidens was ducks in the wather,
Oh! if all the young maidens was ducks in the wather,
Oh! if all the young maidens was ducks in the wather,
It's then the young men would jump in and swim afther.

Oh! if all the young maidens was birds on a mountain,
Oh! if all the young maidens was birds on a mountain,
Oh! if all the young maidens was birds on a mountain,
It's then the young men would get guns and go grousin'.

If the maidens was all throut and salmon so lively,
If the maidens was all throut and salmon so lively,
If the maidens was all throut and salmon so lively,
Oh! the divil a one would te mate in a Friday.


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Subject: RE: lyr/Origins: Pretty polly (Knife in the Window)
From: Reinhard
Date: 17 Aug 15 - 02:24 PM

Sorry, I forgot the release date of Rory O'More. It's 1837.


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Subject: RE: lyr/Origins: Pretty polly (Knife in the Window)
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 17 Aug 15 - 02:28 PM

The sheet music follows that in the novel well. Last line should read 'ate mate on ...'. The tune given by O Lochlainn is more or less that composed by Hermann Lohr both very different to the traditional tune.


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Subject: RE: lyr/Origins: Pretty polly (Knife in the Window)
From: Lighter
Date: 17 Aug 15 - 02:31 PM

Samuel Lover, "Rory O'More: A National Romance" (London: Bentley, 1837), I, p. 234:



Oh! if all the young maidens was blackbirds and thrishes, [sic
Oh! if all the young maidens was blackbirds and thrishes,
Oh! if all the young maidens was blackbirds and thrishes,
It's then the young men would be batin' the bushes.

Oh! if all the young maidens was ducks in the wather,
Oh! if all the young maidens was ducks in the wather,
Oh! if all the young maidens was ducks in the wather,
It's then the young men would jump in and swim afther.

Oh! if all the young maidens was birds on a mountain,
Oh! if all the young maidens was birds on a mountain,
Oh! if all the young maidens was birds on a mountain,
It's then the young men would get guns and go grousin'.

If the maidens was all throut and salmon so lively,
If the maidens was all throut and salmon so lively,
If the maidens was all throut and salmon so lively,
Oh! the divil a one would ate mate on a Friday.



A prefatory note advises significantly that "The Songs in this Work are all Copyright, have been set to Music by the Author, and are published by J. Duff and Co. 65, Oxford Street."

A 6/8 tune ("If all the young maidens were blackbirds and trushes [sic]" without provenance, is No. 821 in George Petrie's (not Bunting's) collection. Petrie died in 1866. Despite my hasty remark above it is not "precisely" Kearney's melody, but it is quite similar from "Fiddler's Companion"):

X:1
T:If all the young maidens were blackbirds and thrushes
M:6/8
L:1/8
R:Air
N:"Moderate"
S:Stanford/Petrie (1905), No. 821
Z:AK/Fiddler's Companion
K:Emin
G/A/ | BEE E>GF/E/ | DEF/G/ AF :| G/A/ | Bed/d/ B^cd |
AA/B/A/G/ FDE/F/ | G2 F/E/ A2 G/A/ | BEE E2 ||




The Irish-American collector Francis O'Neill says the following in "Irish Folk Music" (Chicago, 1910):


"A delightful, though simple air, was that of a song in common circulation among the peasantry of W. Cork, fifty years ago. Each verse began with the hypothetical phrase—'If all the Young Maidens'—varying the situation ad finitum until the singer's muse was exhausted. In songs of this character every singer was privileged to extemporize, and no end of fun was possible under such unrestrained freedom. A few samples of the verses may not be found uninteresting to the general reader: —

If all the young maidens were blackbirds and thrushes,
If all the young maidens were blackbirds and thrushes;
How soon the young men would get sticks and beat bushes,
Fal the daw, fal the day, fal the didy o-dee.

If all the young maidens were swans on the water,
If all the young maidens were swans on the water;
How soon the young men would strip off and swim after,
Fal the daw, fal the day—etc., etc.

If all the young maidens were birds on the mountain,
If all the young maidens were birds on the mountain;
How soon the young men would get guns and go fowling,
Fal the daw, fal the day —etc., etc."


Seamus Ennis's different melody and stanza pattern:   

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5jDPmCJ42zE


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Subject: RE: lyr/Origins: Pretty polly (Knife in the Window)
From: Lighter
Date: 17 Aug 15 - 02:42 PM

Two other related songs are the American military/collegiate "Roll Your Leg Over" (first reported during WW2) and the rather uncommon English "The Sergeant" (or "Corporal") (first reported 1926).


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Subject: RE: lyr/Origins: Pretty polly (Knife in the Window)
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 17 Aug 15 - 03:01 PM

'varying the situation ad finitum until the singer's muse was exhausted.'

Absolutely, and you Yanks have really extended that in 'Roll Your Leg Over'. See the latest edition of Ed's 'The Common Muse' p301>

BTW I disagree with Ed (and Goldstein, Legman, Reuss and Wilgus) that the song derives ultimately from Child 44.
The idea is so widespread internationally that all of these songs could easily have arisen separately based on the folklore surrounding it.

Indeed (IMHO) 'The Twa Magicians' was written by Peter Buchan in the early 19thc and the Somerset version collected by Sharp is so close to be an anglicised rewrite of Buchan's song. I think Bert blended the 2 to make the version sung on the folk scene. (That should put the hare among the hounds!)


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Subject: RE: lyr/Origins: Pretty polly (Knife in the Window)
From: Lighter
Date: 17 Aug 15 - 03:15 PM

I'm with you on Child 44. There's a partial conceptual resemblance, of course, but no more.

I have no position on Buchan's authorship, however.

If you can stand it, check out the more or less improvised versions of "Roll Your Leg Over" on Youtube. And there are many, many more written ones on line.

It is often presented as a RenFaire song, i.e. "Elizabethan."

ISTR that Lloyd frankly acknowledged concocting the folkie version, around 1966. It's a good song.


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Subject: RE: lyr/Origins: Pretty polly (Knife in the Window)
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 17 Aug 15 - 03:28 PM

To be honest with you I think Buchan's original is pretty good. Not so keen on the English rewrite even though there's a good rendition by a traditional singer in my collection (derived from Sharp's). Bert's is phenomenal.

I think those that Ed prints will suffice for now. I don't see any milage in pursuing the versions of 'Roll your leg over' but someone like Richie might have a go.


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Subject: RE: lyr/Origins: Pretty polly (Knife in the Window)
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 17 Aug 15 - 03:45 PM

It's worth rereading Bronson on the matter. He also prints versions of 'Hares on the Mountain' in an appendix. Again though he makes that same slip of stating he thinks 'Hares' probably derived from 'Twa Magicians'. Why do these earlier scholars assume that if two ballads are on the same theme one always has to derive from the other? In many cases the themes are floating about in all sorts of folklore and on the continent.


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Subject: RE: lyr/Origins: Pretty polly (Knife in the Window)
From: Lighter
Date: 17 Aug 15 - 06:04 PM

> Why do these earlier scholars assume that if two ballads are on the same theme one always has to derive from the other?

It demonstrates their perceptive powers while flattering their assumptions about the wonders of the folk process.


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Subject: RE: lyr/Origins: Pretty polly (Knife in the Window)
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 18 Aug 15 - 12:45 AM

But Steve is absolutely right: the fact that two songs share a particular widespread theme [here animal/human metamorphosis, what one might perhaps call 'the werewolf motif'] clearly doesn't lead inevitably to the conclusion that one has to 'derive' from the other. We don't go around saying that every song in which a young woman gets screwed and falls pregnant* must all derive from some ur-original, do we?

≈M≈

*Drift observation. Aren't folkloric females fantastically fertile? Only ever needs a single casual sex-act and away their wombs are bound to go!


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Subject: RE: lyr/Origins: Pretty polly (Knife in the Window)
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 18 Aug 15 - 06:18 AM

"Indeed (IMHO) 'The Twa Magicians' was written by Peter Buchan in the early 19thc "
Is there any actual evidence of this Steve?
It seems to me that shape-shifting has been a part of folklore as far back as Homer and has surfaced constantly in folk literature.
Attributing is to someone you have made a poing of not approving of without evidence to back it up is somewhat iffy, to say the least.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: lyr/Origins: Pretty polly (Knife in the Window)
From: Lighter
Date: 18 Aug 15 - 08:29 AM

Since I've never seen the sheet music of Lover's song, I can't tell how much it resembles Petrie's tune or which came first.

I'm inclined to guess that Kearney's tune came from Lover's apparently once familiar sheet music rather than straight from tradition.

It *is* a dandy, however.


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Subject: RE: lyr/Origins: Pretty polly (Knife in the Window)
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 18 Aug 15 - 10:27 AM

Hence the IMHO Jim. I'm going on what I know of the rest of his material. This is just one of his many pieces that don't have anything to corroborate it. In other words his version is the only one prior to it appearing in his volumes. Perhaps when you've had a serious close look at all of his material you would like to pick fault with what I have to say.

Jon,
I don't know how close Lohr's 1901 adaptation is to the published original. I'm also no good at ABC but I could give you the dots easily enough or scan the sheet and email you it.


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Subject: RE: lyr/Origins: Pretty polly (Knife in the Window)
From: Lighter
Date: 18 Aug 15 - 10:54 AM

Steve, you can cut the ABC's and paste them here:

http://mandolintab.net/abcconverter.php

Very handy, and you can even transpose.

I'd appreciate it if you could email me the sheet music for my "collection."


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Subject: RE: lyr/Origins: Pretty polly (Knife in the Window)
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 18 Aug 15 - 11:06 AM

Jon,
John Duff and Co were at 65 Oxford St 1831 to 1837. From 1837 to 1862 the company was known as Duff and Hodgson. If this is accurate the sheet music must have come out at about the same time as the novel was published. It is of course possible that Lover was including a song in his novel that he had already published on sheet music. In this case it could be as early as 1831. Have you checked Lester Levy?


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Subject: RE: lyr/Origins: Pretty polly (Knife in the Window)
From: Lighter
Date: 18 Aug 15 - 11:57 AM

I do not find it in Levy.


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Subject: RE: lyr/Origins: Pretty polly (Knife in the Window)
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 18 Aug 15 - 12:34 PM

"Perhaps when you've had a serious close look at all of his material you would like to pick fault with what I have to say"
I have, and I remain unconvinced.
You seen to still be working o the assumption that folksong (or 90-odd percent of it, did not exist before print - common-sense contradicts this
The bulk of our knowledge of the repertoire does not pre-date the begining of the 20th century, and unless that is taken into consideration, all the paper-chases in the world remain kite-flying, as far as I'm concerned.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: lyr/Origins: Pretty polly (Knife in the Window)
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 18 Aug 15 - 02:36 PM

'common-sense contradicts this'
Really? Who's common sense? Please explain.

'The bulk of our knowledge of the repertoire does not pre-date the beginning of the 20th century'
I think I understand what you're trying to say but I disagree anyway.
As for the ballads, what Child has to say on the ballads (not always right) has still not been surpassed even in the 21st century.

As for the English repertoire 89% of it existed on commercial sheets of some sort before the likes of Sharp came along and indeed that 89% is the earliest extant form of each item in the canon, whether that be 16thc, 17thc, 18thc or 19thc.


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Subject: RE: lyr/Origins: Pretty polly (Knife in the Window)
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 18 Aug 15 - 02:37 PM

Corr. line 2 . For who's read whose


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Subject: RE: lyr/Origins: Pretty polly (Knife in the Window)
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 18 Aug 15 - 03:39 PM

Jon,
I'm now even more convinced the 2 songs had separate origins. They exist as separate entities in far more versions than there are hybrids. I'll be able to quantify that shortly.


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Subject: RE: lyr/Origins: Pretty polly (Knife in the Window)
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 18 Aug 15 - 04:18 PM

Jon,
Currently I can only find the 2 Somerset versions that are hybrids, those of Jack Barnard and William Davis. All 8 versions are pretty fragmentary and somewhat corrupt anyway.

I've been looking through Child's continental versions in his headnotes and some of the verses seem to be pretty universal.

Hare motif...French and Moravian
Duck motif...Polish
Fish/angler/net motif...French, Moravian, Polish, Serb and German.

It seems likely that some sort of song existed in English on the theme
prior to 1800, though Buchan often takes his themes from the continent and Scandinavia as did the 18thc hacks.


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Subject: RE: lyr/Origins: Pretty polly (Knife in the Window)
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 18 Aug 15 - 04:38 PM

Jon,
It just occurred to me that people your side of the pond might find a collated English text of 'Knife in the Window' useful. This is collated from the versions of Harry Cox (Norfolk), Bill Whiting (Berkshire) and Jack Barnard (Somerset) as shown.

Last Saturday night young Nancy laid sleeping x2
And into her bedroom young Johnny went a-creeping
With his long fol-the-riddle-ido right down to his knee. (HC)

He said Lovely Nancy, may I come to bed to you x2
She smiled and replied, John, I'm afraid you'll undo me. (HC)

Now the door it is bolted and I cannot undo it
The door it is bolted and I cannot undo it.
O now she replied you must put your knee to it. (BW)

So I put my knee to it and the door flew asunder x2
And upstairs I went like lightning and thunder. (BW)

My breeches fit tight, love, I cannot undo them, x2
She smiled and replied, John, you must take a knife to them. (HC)

My knife will not cut, love, it ain't worth a cinder x2
She smiled and replied, John, there's two on the window (HC)

He picked up the knife and he unrest his breeches x2
The knife it was sharp and it cut through the stitches (HC)

His small clothes fell from him and into bed tumbled x2 (HC)
I'll leave you to guess how the gay couple fumbled (Jack Barnard)

All the night long how they rolled and they tumbled x2
Before daylight in the morning Nancy's nightgown he crumpled (HC)

Now nine months being past it fell on a Sunday x2
A child it was born with a knife-mark in the window. (HC)


The last line of course is a motif found in many comic songs dating back centuries.


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Subject: RE: lyr/Origins: Pretty polly (Knife in the Window)
From: Lighter
Date: 18 Aug 15 - 04:41 PM

>Hare motif...French and Moravian
Duck motif...Polish
Fish/angler/net motif...French, Moravian, Polish, Serb and German.

Aren't these almost invariably in the English versions as well? "Rushes a-growing" appear less often, but then there are so few texts that it may well mean nothing.

Do we know that the continental versions antedate the English, including Lover's?

I would expect not - which leaves us nowhere in terms of the direction of influence.

The wide distribution of the European cognates, however, does suggest a very old oral tradition.


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Subject: RE: lyr/Origins: Pretty polly (Knife in the Window)
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 18 Aug 15 - 04:42 PM

On second thoughts the 8th verse fits better from Bill Whiting.

Now her small things fell off her and (he) into bed tumbled x2
And I'll leave you to guess how (the) young couple fumbled.

(Whiting uses the first person here which is inconsistent.)


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Subject: RE: lyr/Origins: Pretty polly (Knife in the Window)
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 18 Aug 15 - 04:49 PM

motifs. Yes, that's why I mention them.

Actually, 'Rushes a-growing' is at least as common as the ducks and hares, the fish less so.

Child gives all of his sources and dates so it would be a moment's job to check them. You might need to look up the publication dates in Vol 5. I would guess they are older than the English versions.

I agree on 'old tradition'. The theme is also very common in folktales and Child quotes some of these as well.


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Subject: RE: lyr/Origins: Pretty polly (Knife in the Window)
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 18 Aug 15 - 05:09 PM

Jon,
Sheet music emailed.


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Subject: RE: lyr/Origins: Pretty polly (Knife in the Window)
From: Lighter
Date: 18 Aug 15 - 06:55 PM

Thanks, Steve. I'll have a close look at it tomorrow morning.


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Subject: RE: lyr/Origins: Pretty polly (Knife in the Window)
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 19 Aug 15 - 04:17 AM

"Really? Who's common sense? Please explain"
People are known to have made song independent of print throughout the 19th and into the twentieth century - the large repertoire of unpublished local Irish songs made as times such as those you described as their being too busy staying alive and feeding their families - famines, wars - civil and international), mass evictions, mass emigration, general hardship and poverty, oppression...... examples of this, are to be found from Travellers, the bothies, soldiers, seamen, textile workers, miners, and, no doubt from other group and communities (all independent of print and serving people who either couldn't or chose not to rely on literacy for their own culture.
All have produced a wealth of home-made songs, on these events and of life in general - man, it seems, is a natural song-maker with an in-built need to record his and her life in verse.
Yet you describe our folk repertoire as being no different from the pop songs produced for the mass market and the audiences as being mere recipients of a product - produced by an anonymous school of poets who have proved themselves less than adequate to create such gems as those to be found in our traditional repertoire - HACKS in name and description.
Any small knowledge we have of our song traditions - and it is minute - comes from the end of the 19th century, when our traditions were largely in decline, and to dismiss our people who we know to have made songs as "retired people scribbling verse" is, to me, is totally illogical.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: lyr/Origins: Pretty polly (Knife in the Window)
From: GUEST,Mrr
Date: 19 Aug 15 - 09:58 AM

I am also reminded of the Yeoman of Kent? He scrawling, she tugging, with hauling and lugging through window at last he got in?


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Subject: RE: lyr/Origins: Pretty polly (Knife in the Window)
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 19 Aug 15 - 06:31 PM

Deja-vu, Jim. Nobody could deny what you say about rural people making songs, I've seen plenty myself. None of the ones I've seen made it into the folk canon though, for whatever reason. Perhaps they didn't have access to the distribution system the printers had.

At the risk of repeating myself, for about the 50th time on various threads, 20th century Ireland has very little in common with 17th-early 18thc southern England.

"retired people scribbling verse". Where did you get that quote from, Jim?


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Subject: RE: lyr/Origins: Pretty polly (Knife in the Window)
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 19 Aug 15 - 06:45 PM

Just for the record the word 'hack' here does not mean an old weary horse. It is related to the slang word for journalists. It simply means lyricists at the bottom end of the literary world, some of them only temporarily. Some of our more celebrated poets have been known to try their hand in their early days when in need of a bob or two.

Don't forget also that a goodly portion of this material originated in the theatres and the pleasure gardens of London, before finding its way onto street lit. and then into oral tradition.


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Subject: RE: lyr/Origins: Pretty polly (Knife in the Window)
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 19 Aug 15 - 06:48 PM

Oops! That 6.31 post line 2 should read. 18th-early 19thc. It's getting late over here!


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Subject: RE: lyr/Origins: Pretty polly (Knife in the Window)
From: Lighter
Date: 19 Aug 15 - 08:24 PM

Steve, I'm too musically illiterate to turn your sheet music into ABC for the interest of all, but I do see that the melody is very different from anything I'm familiar with, including the tune in Petrie.

That music, BTW, is credited to "Hermann Loehr."

Not even the stanza form is same as in "Rory O'More":

Oh! if all the young maidens was blackbirds and thrishes,
                                          was blackbirds and thrishes,
It's then the young men would be batin' the bushes.


Oh! if all the young maidens was ducks in the wather,
                                        was ducks in the wather,...
[Etc.]

One likely interpretation is that Lover gave traditional lyrics in the traditional pattern in "Rory O'More." These he adapted, with Loehr's help, into a new parlor song of his own.


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Subject: RE: lyr/Origins: Pretty polly (Knife in the Window)
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 20 Aug 15 - 03:22 AM

"Deja-vu, Jim. Nobody could deny what you say about rural people making songs, "
You have in the past Steve - you've written it off somewhat disparagingly.
"None of the ones I've seen made it into the folk canon though, for whatever reason."
Then you really haven't looked at them.
"None of the ones I've seen made it into the folk canon though, for whatever reason"
The "folk canon" was a definition decided on by collectors and academics desperately researching songs they believed (with some justification) were rapidly disappearing and totally without reference to their history within the communities they were found or the significance to the people who sang them.
It is an artificial definition based on thin evidence.
These songs lay side by side with the 'traditional' songs and ballads in the repertoire of those who sang them and many were indistinguishable in form - the love songs certainly weren't.
It is an outsider's analysis which has nothing to do with the communities that gave life to the songs and without having excamined them, you have no grounds for making any claims on them, yet you8 dismissed them as the scribblings of retired people.
The fact is that, though you might have traced some versions of folk songs to broadside sources, you have yet to prove that any of them originated on the broadside presses, yet, on that basis, you are prepared to disenfranchise "the Folk" from their role as song creator and that they weren't products of the communities in which they were found - even the broadside printers and contemporary witnesses, such as Isaac Walton, referred to them as "country songs".
"It is related to the slang word for journalists."
Yet another excuse among others you have afford to substantiate your theory.
It is a dictionary based word referring to bad poetry and journalism and every definition I have access to (unless you have another I've missed) refers to the mediocrity of the product - which is my point.
It is highly unlikely that the same hacks that filled volume after volume with clumsy, unsingable songs, such as Roxborough, Euing, Ashton and Hindley, also produced our folk repertoire, with it's vitality, subtlety and basis in experience.
Anybody suggesting such a hypothesis is honour-bound to produce more argument than retired old people" and re-definitions of the term "hack".
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: lyr/Origins: Pretty polly (Knife in the Window)
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 20 Aug 15 - 04:40 AM

Jim,
Whatever mistakes or selectivity the collectors of the material made, I made it very clear that this was the corpus of material I was using. By using your own definitions you are adding in material that was not being discussed and which is not part of that corpus. We are therefore trying to compare very different repertoires. I am not disparaging in any way your corpus of material. I'm sure it is very valid and I could easily produce a similar corpus of material from my own area.

You keep constantly trying to put words into my mouth that I haven't said.

I repeat: where did you get this quotation from, your own writing?
''retired people scribbling verse''


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Subject: RE: lyr/Origins: Pretty polly (Knife in the Window)
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 20 Aug 15 - 04:53 AM

Lover and Lohr can't have collaborated on anything, Jon.
Lover died before Lohr was born.
The sheet music I sent you is a typical parlour piece of the period. Well-known composers often reset earlier material with their own arrangements of the tunes and often restructured the song. I have lots of examples of this using old English songs and folk songs. However, the interest to us is to what extent these pieces of sheet music then went on to influence oral tradition. For example, how many versions of 'Barbara Allen' from oral tradition were influenced by the many printed versions both on broadsides and on sheet music?


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Subject: RE: lyr/Origins: Pretty polly (Knife in the Window)
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 20 Aug 15 - 05:58 AM

" By using your own definitions you are adding in material that was not being discussed and which is not part of that corpus. "
Only as an example of the fact that people have always created songs independent of that which was sold to them - which you dismissed out of hand.
The fact that they were not included in the main corpus is down entirely to an ignorance of their existence - I have to admit that, up to the time we started working with people who had been part of a living, thriving tradition, we had been totally unaware of the enormity and scope of the unrecorded local repertoire, but that was due to our relying on a highly questionable body of information gathered by collectors who were doing little more than collecting butterflies.
I'm working on archiving our masses of American field recordings at present and have become aware of how much further advanced research has been in the U.S. than it has over here, but even there, actual information gathered from source singers is fairly thin o the ground.
The fact that these local songs have not been part of our researches in the past only serves to underline our ignorance on the making and transmission of the repertoire
"retired people scribbling verse''" You've asked this before and I provided the source ( (my current reiteration of it should not have been in quotation marks, as it was a paraphrase of what you actually wrote - but it boiled down to the same thing, retired people writing poetry for their own satisfaction - that is how you wrote off my suggestion - if memory serves, it was on a tread discussing 'Higher Germany'.
My point remains; you have yet to prove that the vast bulk of our folksong repertoire originated on the broadside presses, yet you continue to make it as a definitive statement and you make excuses for the anomalies in your claims - are we to assume that your re-definition of the term 'hack' was just that - your redefinition, was it yet another excuse, along with revolutionary broadside writes who have possible worked on the land or served at sea in order to have obtained the insight which enabled them to create folksongs?
If you are going to deny working people recognition for having created a repertoire of songs reflecting their experiences, you at least owe them more evidence that that so far offered.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: lyr/Origins: Pretty polly (Knife in the Window)
From: Lighter
Date: 20 Aug 15 - 07:59 AM

Steve, what we need then is a copy of Lover's 1830s sheet music.

The British Library Catalogue lists Lover's "Songs of Rory O'More" (London, 1837).

That would be the item to examine. No copy appears to be on line.

The collection of six songs was noticed in the "Spectator" X (June 3, 1837), 523.


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Subject: RE: lyr/Origins: Pretty polly (Knife in the Window)
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 20 Aug 15 - 05:09 PM

Jon, I'll try the BL online catalogue.

Jim,
Every piece of literature/work of art that exists cannot have a cast- iron proven origin. In most cases the majority of us are prepared to accept that the earliest extant known version is likely to be either the origin or close to it.

You certainly can't give instances of a proven rural origin for any of the songs collected by the collectors in England.

I can at least demonstrate conclusively that 89% of that corpus has as its earliest extant manifestation something that was commercially produced in an urban environment. I have the materials in front of me. However, I don't base my hypothesis on this; it is based on 40-odd years of close studying the material that entered oral tradition and a great deal that didn't.

Now, unless you have something fresh to say, I don't propose to upset you any further.


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Subject: RE: lyr/Origins: Pretty polly (Knife in the Window)
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 04 Sep 15 - 08:55 AM

Darley & McCall's "Feis Ceoil Collection of Irish Airs" (1914) affords a very nice version of the tune, titled only "Im Bo (Milking Song)":

http://www.tunearch.org/wiki/Im_B%C3%B3

It was "Played by Brian Mac Intyre, fiddler, Virginia, Co. Cavan." The editors observe that "There must have been an old Gaelic song sung to this air (Im, butter; Bo, a cow)."

D & Mc began collecting in 1897.


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