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Settings of 'art' poems by folkies

Edthefolkie 21 Apr 10 - 05:38 PM
Acorn4 21 Apr 10 - 06:48 PM
Charley Noble 21 Apr 10 - 07:45 PM
Jim Carroll 21 Apr 10 - 08:14 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 21 Apr 10 - 08:21 PM
Dan Schatz 21 Apr 10 - 08:22 PM
Rowan 21 Apr 10 - 08:33 PM
MGM·Lion 22 Apr 10 - 12:01 AM
Anglo 22 Apr 10 - 01:27 AM
Seayaker 22 Apr 10 - 05:02 AM
Jack Campin 22 Apr 10 - 06:43 AM
tijuanatime 22 Apr 10 - 07:05 AM
theleveller 22 Apr 10 - 09:01 AM
MGM·Lion 22 Apr 10 - 09:16 AM
Seayaker 22 Apr 10 - 09:37 AM
Morris-ey 22 Apr 10 - 10:07 AM
Uncle_DaveO 22 Apr 10 - 10:21 AM
SteveMansfield 22 Apr 10 - 10:43 AM
Jack Campin 22 Apr 10 - 12:23 PM
Amos 22 Apr 10 - 12:57 PM
SteveMansfield 22 Apr 10 - 01:21 PM
Steve Gardham 22 Apr 10 - 01:54 PM
Edthefolkie 22 Apr 10 - 05:14 PM
Stewie 22 Apr 10 - 08:23 PM
Songbob 22 Apr 10 - 08:43 PM
JHW 23 Apr 10 - 07:10 AM
sharyn 23 Apr 10 - 10:00 AM
MGM·Lion 23 Apr 10 - 10:55 AM
MGM·Lion 23 Apr 10 - 11:00 AM
matt milton 23 Apr 10 - 11:26 AM
matt milton 23 Apr 10 - 11:28 AM
Edthefolkie 23 Apr 10 - 02:45 PM
Jack Campin 23 Apr 10 - 03:23 PM
Herga Kitty 23 Apr 10 - 03:41 PM
JHW 23 Apr 10 - 04:38 PM
Tattie Bogle 23 Apr 10 - 05:03 PM
michaelr 23 Apr 10 - 08:20 PM
Suegorgeous 23 Apr 10 - 08:40 PM
GUEST,Shimrod 24 Apr 10 - 03:45 AM
rich-joy 24 Apr 10 - 04:53 AM
Singing Referee 24 Apr 10 - 05:12 AM
GUEST,Silas 24 Apr 10 - 05:16 AM
JHW 04 May 10 - 04:07 PM
Charley Noble 04 May 10 - 04:28 PM
Paul Burke 04 May 10 - 04:39 PM
BK Lick 04 May 10 - 04:41 PM
GUEST,Robbie Preston 04 May 10 - 05:08 PM
Folknacious 04 May 10 - 06:29 PM
Bonnie Shaljean 04 May 10 - 06:34 PM
Herga Kitty 04 May 10 - 06:42 PM
Charley Noble 04 May 10 - 07:59 PM
Charley Noble 04 May 10 - 08:37 PM
Joe_F 04 May 10 - 10:02 PM
GUEST,KiKelly 04 May 10 - 10:51 PM
GUEST,Vajrabum 05 May 10 - 12:42 AM
Suegorgeous 05 May 10 - 05:24 AM
raymond greenoaken 05 May 10 - 06:16 AM
Morris-ey 05 May 10 - 08:46 AM
JHW 05 May 10 - 03:59 PM
Edthefolkie 05 May 10 - 06:42 PM
Dave MacKenzie 05 May 10 - 07:25 PM
brezhnev 07 May 10 - 02:56 AM
GUEST,KiKelly 07 May 10 - 07:24 AM
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Subject: Settings of 'art' poems by folkies
From: Edthefolkie
Date: 21 Apr 10 - 05:38 PM

I wondered if people can think of versions of songs/poems etc which might be thought to be a bit left field/arty for the folkie repertoire.

We've already come up with "Silent Worship" by Barry Dransfield on the "Singing Together" thread - I'll throw in Donne's "Go and Catch a Falling Starre" by Steve Ashley and Lovelace's "To Althea from Prison" by Dave Swarbrick assisted by Fairport. Any more?


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Subject: RE: Settings of 'art' poems by folkies
From: Acorn4
Date: 21 Apr 10 - 06:48 PM

"Going and Staying" by Thomas Hardy has been put to a lovely setting by Brass Monkey.


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Subject: RE: Settings of 'art' poems by folkies
From: Charley Noble
Date: 21 Apr 10 - 07:45 PM

Over 80 Cicely Fox Smith poems have now been adapted for singing and recorded at last count.

About half a dozen John Masefield poems have also been adapted for singing and recorded.

Of course it may make a difference in terms of what you call "art."

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Settings of 'art' poems by folkies
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 21 Apr 10 - 08:14 PM

Don't know about folkies, but not long before he died Walter Pardon, who was a Thomas Hardy fanatic (every novel of his at least half-a-dozen times), sang us a beautiful ballad-type version of The Tramp Woman's Tragedy.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Settings of 'art' poems by folkies
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 21 Apr 10 - 08:21 PM

"Bit left field/arty"

Depends upon the viewpoint of the individual.


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Subject: RE: Settings of 'art' poems by folkies
From: Dan Schatz
Date: 21 Apr 10 - 08:22 PM

I'm just wrapping up the mixing of a new CD, The Song and the Sigh, which takes it's title from the Henry Lawson poem of the same name. The setting is mine. I'll let folks know when the CD is out.

Dan


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Subject: RE: Settings of 'art' poems by folkies
From: Rowan
Date: 21 Apr 10 - 08:33 PM

"Bit left field/arty"

Depends upon the viewpoint of the individual.


Indeed, and Lawson's material is a good example. Chris Kempster, Phyl Lobl, Priscilla Herdman, Gerry Hallom and Mike Jackson are just the ones whose names I can remember who've had a go, and gold old Anon. has been responsible for a few settings as well.

I suppose you could argue that Lawson's poems were already halfway towards being folk songs; all they needed was a good tune. A bit like Kipling and Bellamy.

Cheers, Rowan


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Subject: RE: Settings of 'art' poems by folkies
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 22 Apr 10 - 12:01 AM

Caroline Jackson-Houlston, author of a good book called Ballads Songs & Snatches [Ashgate], sang Hardy's The Ruined Maid on The Mellstock Quire LP [Forest Tracks 1980], set to the well-known Dorset Hammond-collected set of The Bold Grenadier, familiar from singing by Bonny Sartin with The Yetties et al.

Various people [including me] have made their own settings of Unhappy Bella, another humorous 'ruined maid' song which George Orwell claimed in Down & Out In Paris & London to have heard sung by two old tramps in a 'spike', which was republished [without acknowledgment or this info], in the first Penguin Book Of Comic & Curious Verse, with no tune given.

~Michael~


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Subject: RE: Settings of 'art' poems by folkies
From: Anglo
Date: 22 Apr 10 - 01:27 AM

Natalie Merchant has just released a 2-CD set of settings of poems "for children" (though the concept of the album is not what I would consider "kid's music"). IMHO it's superb.

Leave Your Sleep. She worked on it for years, inspired by having a child of her own.


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Subject: RE: Settings of 'art' poems by folkies
From: Seayaker
Date: 22 Apr 10 - 05:02 AM

Jason Rosser came to Warwick Folk Club and did a floor spot which included Rudyard Kipling's Danny Deevor, (An' they're hangin' Danny Deevor in the mornin')

Absolutely superb.


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Subject: RE: Settings of 'art' poems by folkies
From: Jack Campin
Date: 22 Apr 10 - 06:43 AM

"all in green went my love riding" by e.e. cummings, on Joan Baez's "Baptism" LP. Wonderful tune by Peter Schickele.

In Turkish folk, settings of art poetry are very much more common (everything from the present day back to Yunus Emre in the Middle Ages). In French, there have been quite a few settings of Jacques Prevert.


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Subject: RE: Settings of 'art' poems by folkies
From: tijuanatime
Date: 22 Apr 10 - 07:05 AM

Craig Morgan Robson (among others) have recorded an arrangement of 'Crossing The Bar' (Tennyson).

And 'How Should I Your True Love Know' (Shakespeare)


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Subject: RE: Settings of 'art' poems by folkies
From: theleveller
Date: 22 Apr 10 - 09:01 AM

Gordon Tyrell's CD, A Distance from the Town, sets some of John Clare's poems to music - and very good it is - especially The Woodcutter's Night Song.


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Subject: RE: Settings of 'art' poems by folkies
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 22 Apr 10 - 09:16 AM

Was the version of Danny Deever reported by Seayaker 3 or 4 posts back Peter Bellamy's set to Derwentwater's Farewell, or another setting?

I once asked Peter if he minded my singing it publicly, and he said he didn't see that he could have any sort of copyright on Kipling's words set to a traditional tune; but I said the fertile combination of combining them had been his idea. A nice point, we thought.

~Michael~


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Subject: RE: Settings of 'art' poems by folkies
From: Seayaker
Date: 22 Apr 10 - 09:37 AM

I'm afraid I'm not sure about that MtheGM as I'm not familiar with that setting and it was the first time I had heard it as a song.

Very moving though.


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Subject: RE: Settings of 'art' poems by folkies
From: Morris-ey
Date: 22 Apr 10 - 10:07 AM

W.B. Yeats "Wandering Aengus" (Golden apples of the sun) has been recorded by many.


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Subject: RE: Settings of 'art' poems by folkies
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 22 Apr 10 - 10:21 AM

I have made tunes for, and sing occasionally, both Loveliest of Trees and When I Was One and Twenty.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Settings of 'art' poems by folkies
From: SteveMansfield
Date: 22 Apr 10 - 10:43 AM

Bellowhead do a suitably dyspeptic version of 'Cholera In Camp' by Kipling.

And someone beat me to the gorgeous atmospheric version of Hardy's 'Going and Staying' by Brass Monkey, but I've also got a vague recollection of Martin Carthy singing a poem by Gerard Manley Hopkins - sorry, can't trace the exact track.


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Subject: RE: Settings of 'art' poems by folkies
From: Jack Campin
Date: 22 Apr 10 - 12:23 PM

Bellowhead do a suitably dyspeptic version of 'Cholera In Camp' by Kipling

Do they do Peter Bellamy's or one of their own?


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Subject: RE: Settings of 'art' poems by folkies
From: Amos
Date: 22 Apr 10 - 12:57 PM

I've mentioned before that "When I Was One and Twenty" fits very naturally into a classic Talking Blues structure.


A


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Subject: RE: Settings of 'art' poems by folkies
From: SteveMansfield
Date: 22 Apr 10 - 01:21 PM

Bellowhead do a suitably dyspeptic version of 'Cholera In Camp' by Kipling

Do they do Peter Bellamy's or one of their own?


It's the Peter Bellamy one - to my shame I've never heard Bellamy's version so can't say how closely they stick to PB's version, but the great man gets full credit.


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Subject: RE: Settings of 'art' poems by folkies
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 22 Apr 10 - 01:54 PM

I've often heard Scott's 'Jock o' Hazeldean' in folk clubs, John O'Hagan particularly sings it. There are other Scott songs set to music. In the north many people set dialect poetry to music. Is this included?


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Subject: RE: Settings of 'art' poems by folkies
From: Edthefolkie
Date: 22 Apr 10 - 05:14 PM

I would have thought that Kipling is now an honorary folkie thanks to Peter Bellamy. I read "Puck of Pook's Hill" and "Rewards and Fairies" aeons ago but it took Peter to make me realise that some of RK's verse is very close, deliberately so, to folk song. A humdinger of an example is "Who Shall Judge The Lord". I would love to know if he ever nipped down to Rottingdean to listen to the Coppers.

As to Hardy, he's definitely one of us - I could see HIM in a folk club, probably playing the Dorset Four Hand Reel. The love for his heritage shines out in many of his stories (the obvious example is "Absent-mindedness in a Parish Quire"). As to his poems, lots would work - "The Darkling Thrush" or "The Oxen" for example, but others like "On the Departure Platform" might not.

I was really thinking of people who shine a new light on a poem and bring it to more people by setting it into song - eg Barry Dransfield did "Silent Worship" to Handel's familiar tune but brought something new to it.


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Subject: RE: Settings of 'art' poems by folkies
From: Stewie
Date: 22 Apr 10 - 08:23 PM

English folkie, Dave Walters, did some lovely settings of 10 of William Blake's 'Songs of Innocence and Experience' on his LP on the long-defunct Greenwich Village label: Dave Walters 'Innocence and Experience' Greenwich Village LP GVR 204, 1979.

Greg Brown also did some settings (mostly different pieces to those on Walters' LP) which are still available on CD.

Songs of Innocence and Experience

--Stewie


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Subject: RE: Settings of 'art' poems by folkies
From: Songbob
Date: 22 Apr 10 - 08:43 PM

No fewer than four folkies of my acquaintance have set Arthur O'Shaunessy's "Ode" ("We are the music makers") -- Bob Zentz, Jake Walton, Lorraine Hammond, and me. In fact, one Getaway, we had a "print to voice" workshop with Bob, Lorraine, and me, each doing their version in the first round of the workshop. Very interesting, in that each of us did something different -- Lorraine used 3/4 time, Bob put the middle stanza as a bridge, and I used the first stanza as a chorus.

I have set a couple of Kipling poems to non-traditional tunes, as well. One, "The Bell Buoy," I gave up on -- it didn't work -- but the tune got used for one of my originals. The other, "Prodigal Son -- Western Version," I still sing.

I could probably find others in my songbag, but can't call them to mind.

Bob


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Subject: RE: Settings of 'art' poems by folkies
From: JHW
Date: 23 Apr 10 - 07:10 AM

I plead guilty to this. It started when I heard 'Lord Ullin's Daughter' read at Skipton F.C. and thought that's a ballad that needs a tune.
Next was 'I am the Great Sun', Charles Causley then 'Lambs that Learn to Walk in Snow', Philip Larkin because I thought it such a great little poem that deserved a wider audience. 'Passing Through Woods', Robert Frost, conjures a lovely image of winter and I was determined Not to inflict a melody on it but it crept up on me one night!
My take on 'Ghosts' by Robert Service can be heard at http://www.whitclifferecords.co.uk/#/leap-year-cd/4523136646 where as a song I have retitled it 'Remember Dear'


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Subject: RE: Settings of 'art' poems by folkies
From: sharyn
Date: 23 Apr 10 - 10:00 AM

I built a song around "Westron Wind." I have also set "Eros Turannos" by Edwin Arlington Robinson and Wyatt's "The Lover Complaineth...."

Marla Fibish of the Bay Area has used bits of a Hopkins poem ("What would the world be, once bereft") and has set Robert Service and Don West poems.

And, of course, one we all know is Patrick Kavanagh's "Raglan Road."


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Subject: RE: Settings of 'art' poems by folkies
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 23 Apr 10 - 10:55 AM

"I would love to know if he [Kipling]"ever nipped down to Rottingdean to listen to the Coppers." =====

Yes, almost certainly: a family called Copper is mentioned as local in Rewards & Fairies.

~Michael~


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Subject: RE: Settings of 'art' poems by folkies
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 23 Apr 10 - 11:00 AM

"As to Hardy, he's definitely one of us " ===

I had an article, Folksong In Thomas Hardy, in Folk Review, December 1972. If anyone would like a photocopy, pm address to me & I will happily send you one.

~Michael~


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Subject: RE: Settings of 'art' poems by folkies
From: matt milton
Date: 23 Apr 10 - 11:26 AM

dunno what you mean by "art" poems really. A poem's a poem.

I've sung Byron's "Lines Inscribed Upon a Cup Formed From a Skull".

I mean, the title's brilliant enough to start with, but it scans and rhymes really well - lends itself to song.

I've also sang a few Blake poems (I Saw A Chapel, a couple of verses of The Mental Traveler and The Poison Tree). And a couple of John Clare's prison poems. Clare's short poems lend themselves surprisingly well to the blues form - both in subject matter and structure (you have to repeat the odd line here and there).

As regards "art" poems, well, I've been toying with the idea of singing a version of Ron Padgett's poem "Nothing In The Draw". For those that don't know it the (14 line) poem is as follows:

Nothing in that drawer.
Nothing in that drawer.
Nothing in that drawer.
Nothing in that drawer.
Nothing in that drawer.
Nothing in that drawer.
Nothing in that drawer.
Nothing in that drawer.
Nothing in that drawer.
Nothing in that drawer.
Nothing in that drawer.
Nothing in that drawer.
Nothing in that drawer.
Nothing in that drawer.


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Subject: RE: Settings of 'art' poems by folkies
From: matt milton
Date: 23 Apr 10 - 11:28 AM

I mistyped the title rather hopelessly. Rather than correct it, you can probably guess what it is. There's no prizes for guessing correctly.


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Subject: RE: Settings of 'art' poems by folkies
From: Edthefolkie
Date: 23 Apr 10 - 02:45 PM

10/10 Matt!

It's all art innit - my old mate Paddy once thought up a version of Waiting for Godot featuring the number 27 bus and Long Eaton in Derbyshire.

"I will alight at the Green".

"You won't!"

"I will!"

"You won't!"

"I will!"

"You won't, I will stop you!"

"You won't!"

"I will!"

And so on, ad infinitum/nauseam.


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Subject: RE: Settings of 'art' poems by folkies
From: Jack Campin
Date: 23 Apr 10 - 03:23 PM

Somebody's set a bunch of Charles Causley poems to folk-ish music, haven't they?

A lot of Robert Graves ought to work but I can't think of an example.

Adrian Mitchell suggested "St James Infirmary" as the tune for his poem "Fifteen Million Plastic Bags" - I learned a folk-processed version of that from somebody I can't trace now.

Stevie Smith? Denis Glover?


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Subject: RE: Settings of 'art' poems by folkies
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 23 Apr 10 - 03:41 PM

Stewie and Edtf - Derek and I sing The William Blake / Dave Walters Little Vagabond, which we got from Pete Watkinson's recording. Also Martyn Wyndham-Read's setting of Byron's When we two parted / Silence and Tears.

There's also Kipling's Five and Twenty Ponies, not to mention the Bedstead Men reworking by Flanders and Swann...

Kitty


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Subject: RE: Settings of 'art' poems by folkies
From: JHW
Date: 23 Apr 10 - 04:38 PM

I've heard Noyes 'The Highwayman' to several albeit similar melodies.


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Subject: RE: Settings of 'art' poems by folkies
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 23 Apr 10 - 05:03 PM

Kitty beat me to it with Silence and Tears, also very well done by Scots group, The Sangsters.
And on this side of the border, the late Jim Reid set several of Violet Jacob's poems to music notably Norland Wind and Hallowe'en: Carol Pryor (Baltic Street Montrose) and Steve Byrne have turned others into songs.
James Hogg (The Ettrick Shepherd) from which we got the song "Both Sides the Tweed" via Dick Gaughan.
Lady Nairne (Caroline Oliphant) - Land O the Leal, Rowan Tree and many more.
And would you call Robert Burns' writings "art poems" - he borrowed all the tunes.And there's a recent CD out of musical settings of Rpbert Louis Stevenson's "Child's garden of Verses"


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Subject: RE: Settings of 'art' poems by folkies
From: michaelr
Date: 23 Apr 10 - 08:20 PM

Sean Tyrell has set a number of poems to music, including Yeats' "The Host of the Air", Kipling's "The Green Eye of the Little Yellow God", and Shanly's "Walker of the Snow".


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Subject: RE: Settings of 'art' poems by folkies
From: Suegorgeous
Date: 23 Apr 10 - 08:40 PM

Like JHW, a melody for Kipling's Seal Lullaby seems to have just crept up on me, without me trying at all...


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Subject: RE: Settings of 'art' poems by folkies
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 24 Apr 10 - 03:45 AM

"Somebody's set a bunch of Charles Causley poems to folk-ish music, haven't they?"

It was the late Alex Atterson who set a number of Charles Causley's poems to music. 'The Ballad of Katherine of Aragon' springs to mind.

Mr Atterson, who was a skilled singer and guitarist (and, incidentally, an accomplished jazz pianist), was one of the founders of Peterborough folk club and for many years ran a successful folk club in Norwich.


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Subject: RE: Settings of 'art' poems by folkies
From: rich-joy
Date: 24 Apr 10 - 04:53 AM

Polly Bolton (Band) with Nigel Hawthorne, has a CD :
"Loveliest of Trees : from A Shropshire Lad by A.E.Housman"
1995-96 : Centenary Recording.

Cheers, R-J


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Subject: RE: Settings of 'art' poems by folkies
From: Singing Referee
Date: 24 Apr 10 - 05:12 AM

"Craig Morgan Robson (among others) have recorded an arrangement of 'Crossing The Bar' (Tennyson)."

The original melody, so beautifully arranged by CMR, is by Rani Arbo


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Subject: RE: Settings of 'art' poems by folkies
From: GUEST,Silas
Date: 24 Apr 10 - 05:16 AM

On Vin Garbuts 'Little innocents' album is his recording of Kiplings 'If' - don't know if it is a Bellamy one though - the LP is very hard to find now.


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Subject: RE: Settings of 'art' poems by folkies
From: JHW
Date: 04 May 10 - 04:07 PM

Cicely Fox Smith poems have been set by Alan Fitzsimmons and sung by the Keelers and others.
Early in Artisan's career Brian Bedford set an album of poems by Dorothy Una Radcliffe.
All excellent stuff. But beware.
Kipling has been oft mentioned above but I'm told there was serious acrimony resulting from Peter Bellamy setting his work. Charles Causley too I understand did not wish his poems to be sung but again they are.
In my ignorance I had assumed that a poem was fair game to record as is a song as long as you pay up to MCPS etc.
Poets or their estates however may not see musical setting of their work as homage.


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Subject: RE: Settings of 'art' poems by folkies
From: Charley Noble
Date: 04 May 10 - 04:28 PM

JHW-

The number of singers who have set Cicely Fox Smith poems to music are legion. Here is a selected discography in chronological order:

Breeze for a Bargeman, by Bob Roberts, © 1981

Race of Long Ago (Racing Clippers)

Port of Dreams, by William Pint & Felicia Dale, © 1991

The Tow-Rope Girls

Making Waves, by Tom Lewis, William Pint & Felicia Dale, © 1992

Sou' Spain

Seaboot Duff & Handspike Gruel, by Pinch o' Salt, © 1995

Sou' Spain, Cooper Ore, Eight Bells, Hoodoo, The Tow-Rope Girls, Let Her Go (a Tramp Shanty), Lee Fore Brace, Shanghai Passage, The Cape Horner, Peaceable Mister M'Gee, Home for Christmas - Old Style, A Sailor's Delight, Follow the Sea, The Half Loaf, Merchantmen

Tinker Tailor Soldier Singer, by Tom Lewis, © 1995

150 Days Out from Vancouver

Round the Corner, by William Pint and Felicia Dale, © 1997

The Tow-Rope Girls, Tryphena's Extra Hand, Blue Peter

Old Wood is Best, by Alan Fitzsimmons, © 1998.

North Sea Ground

On the North Sea Ground, by The Keelers, © 1998

North Sea Ground, So Long

Tomorrow's Tide, by Salt of the Earth, © 1998

A Wool Fleet Chorus, Copper Ore

Where Seagulls Dare, by Landlocked, © 1999

Lee Fore Brace

When Our Ship Comes Home, by Bob Walser & Friends, © 1999

Shanghai Passage

Just for the Record, by Marrowbones (Gordon Morris and Peter Massey), © 1999

Port o' Dreams

Old Swansea Town, by Baggyrinkle, ©2000

150 Days Out from Vancouver

One More Pull, by Baggyrinkle, © 2000

Lee Fore Brace

Bank Trollers, by Bob Webb, © 2000

150 Days Out from Vancouver

Constant Lovers, by Dave Webber and Anni Fentiman, © 2000

Limehouse Reach

Sailing Bye, by Derek Gifford, © 2001

Shanghai Passage

Away from It All, by Dave Webber and Anni Fentiman, © 2002

Race of Long Ago (Racing Clippers)

Full Sail: Inside the Lid, by Gordon Morris, © 2002

Port o' Dreams, Racing Clippers, Mainsail Haul, The Convalescent, Tom Pascoe (Told at the Pilchards), Sea Change, The Extra Hand, Admiral Dugout, Stately Blackwaller, Mariquita, The Shipkeeper, See You in Liverpool

Rare Thing, by Marrowbones (Gordon Morris and Peter Massey), © 2002

Port o' Dreams, The Shipkeeper, Racing Clippers, The Convalescent

Never a Cross Word, by Danny & Joyce McLeod, © 2002

The Capehorner, Tryphena's Extra Hand, The Stately Blackwaller, Port o' Dreams, Lee Fore Brace, So Long

Now and Then, by Johnny Collins, © 2002

Sailor Town

Around the Harbour Town, by Dick Miles & Friends, © 2003

Sailor Town

Tom Lewis 360º, by Tom Lewis, © 2003

The Tow-Rope Girls

England Expects, by Dogwatch, © 2004

A Dog's Life, Casey's Concertina, Rosario

Bung Up Bilge Free, by the Portsmouth Shantymen, © 2004

All Coiled Down (So Long), Tow-Rope Girls

Seven Seas, William Pint and Felicia Dale, © 2004

The Packet Rat

Uncommon Sailor Songs, by Charlie Ipcar, © 2004

Flying-Fish Sailor, Outward Bound, Shanghai Passage, Limehouse Reach, Port o' Dreams, Mariquita

More Uncommon Sailor Songs, by Charlie Ipcar, © 2005

Rio Grande, Lee Fore Brace, Lumber, Hastings Mill, Old Fiddle, Rosario, Pacific Coast, All Coiled Down (So Long)

Shipshape and Harry Fashion, by The Harry Browns, © 2005

The Tow-Rope Girls

Adventures, by Dogwatch, © 2006

The Packet Rat, Bill's Enemy

The Long Road Home, by Peter Massey, © 2006

Conversation Book, The Long Road Home

Rolling Down to Sailortown, by Roll & Go, © 2006

Outward Bound, All Coiled Down (So Long), Mariquita, Port o' Dreams

Rolling Home to Bristol, by The Harry Browns, © 2006

A Sea Burthen, Home Boys Home (Homeward)

Sing the Sun into the Sky, by Two Black Sheep & a Stallion, © 2006

Homeward (Home, Boys, Home)

Closehauled on the Wind of a Dream, by Bob Zentz, © 2007

Ships & Folks, A Dog's Life, The Eternal Feminine, The Blue Peter, Pictures, Sea Dream, Casey's Concertina, Ice: The Bosun's Story, The Tryphena's Extra Hand, The Portsmouth Road, Ships that Pass, The Red Duster, The Ballad of the Eastern Crown, Racing Clippers, The Tow-Rope Girls, Bill's Christmases, Eight Bells, Leave Her Johnny

Extra Rough Tracks, by John Hills et al of Elsie's Band, © 2007

Gerrans Churchtown

Old Sailor-Poets, by Charlie Ipcar, © 2007

Sailor Town, Shipmates (1914), A Ship in a Bottle, The Long Road Home

Raising Wind with The Harry Browns, by The Harry Browns, © 2007

Sacramento

Life of Brine, by The Roaring Forties, Australia, © 2008

Wool Fleet Chorus, Lee Fore Brace, Mainsail Haul, The Day's Work, A Channel Rhyme

Sailortown Days, by Charles Ipcar, © 2009

Leave Her Johnnie, Mobile Bay, News in Daly's Bar, By the Old Pagoda Anchorage, Sailor's Farewell, The Traveller

Cutaway Mike, by John Hills et al of Elsie's Band, © 2009

Limehouse Reach

Look Out, by Roll & Go, © 2010

Mobile Bay, Shipmates, Lumber, The Long Road Home

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Settings of 'art' poems by folkies
From: Paul Burke
Date: 04 May 10 - 04:39 PM

I've often thought that this one, by Siegfried Sassoon, would make a good song, perhaps to a modified version of one of the 'Mr Fox' tunes:

Squire nagged and bullied till I went to fight,        
Under Lord Derby's Scheme. I died in hell—        
They called it Passchendaele. My wound was slight,        
And I was hobbling back; and then a shell        
Burst slick upon the duck-boards: so I fell                 
Into the bottomless mud, and lost the light.        

At sermon-time, while Squire is in his pew,        
He gives my gilded name a thoughtful stare:        
For, though low down upon the list, I'm there;        
'In proud and glorious memory' - that's my due.        
Two bleeding years I fought in France, for Squire:        
I suffered anguish that he's never guessed.        
Once I came home on leave: and then went west.        
What greater glory could a man desire?


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Subject: RE: Settings of 'art' poems by folkies
From: BK Lick
Date: 04 May 10 - 04:41 PM

Check this thread: Common poems set to music


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Subject: RE: Settings of 'art' poems by folkies
From: GUEST,Robbie Preston
Date: 04 May 10 - 05:08 PM

Phil Ochs did "The Highwayman". The San Francisco 60's rock band Mad River did Wm. Blake's 'Little Fly'
Little Fly,
Thy summer's play
My thoughtless hand
Hath brushed away.

Am I not
A fly like thee.
Or at thou not
A man like me.

For I laugh
And dance and sing
'til some blind hand
Shall brush my wing


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Subject: RE: Settings of 'art' poems by folkies
From: Folknacious
Date: 04 May 10 - 06:29 PM

Natalie Merchant has just released a 2-CD set of settings of poems "for children" (though the concept of the album is not what I would consider "kid's music"). IMHO it's superb.

I just got this in the post today from Amazon. I second your "superb". Musically enthralling, beautifully produced, loads of great roots/ trad musicians involved, and as for the package - a hard back book with short articles on all the poets - words fail me. An incredible body of work, and on UK Amazon it's only £12.99 which for 2 long CDs and a book this good seems extraordinarily cheap.

Something else to look out for, The Wraiths, a Bristol duo with Spiro connections have just put out a nice CD called Welcome, Stranger, To This Place (from William Blake). All poems adapted to music, Keats, Emily Dickinson, Tennyson etc. Samples to hear here


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Subject: RE: Settings of 'art' poems by folkies
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 04 May 10 - 06:34 PM

I always loved Johnny Collins' singing of the Myra Brooks Welch poem The Touch Of A Master's Hand.

Nice anecdote here - I think Johnny would have liked it.

http://www.aboutonehandtyping.com/storiesfolder/master.html


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Subject: RE: Settings of 'art' poems by folkies
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 04 May 10 - 06:42 PM

Charley - your list included "Homeward" - Home, Boys, Home, which was set to music by Sarah Morgan and recorded by Tall Stories (Pat Ryan, Ken Howard, Malcolm Gibbons).

Kitty


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Subject: RE: Settings of 'art' poems by folkies
From: Charley Noble
Date: 04 May 10 - 07:59 PM

Herga-

Sarah Morgan should certainly be credited with the musical arrangement of "Homeward" that almost everyone uses now for this song; it's an excellent musical setting. However, she didn't realize at the time that the poem she set to music was by Cicely Fox Smith.

Unfortunately, in my discorgraphy posted above I have not identified who set the poems to music, just who has recorded them. I'll see what I can do to provide that additional information.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Settings of 'art' poems by folkies
From: Charley Noble
Date: 04 May 10 - 08:37 PM

Here's my best attempt to credit the people who have adapted C. Fox Smith poems for singing in CD's:

Prepared by Charles Ipcar 5/1/2010

Select Discography: Cicely Fox Smith Poems Recorded as Songs


Breeze for a Bargeman, by Bob Roberts, © 1981

Race of Long Ago (Racing Clippers as adapted by Bob Roberts)


Port of Dreams, by William Pint & Felicia Dale, © 1991

The Tow-Rope Girls as adapted by William Pint


Making Waves, by Tom Lewis, William Pint & Felicia Dale, © 1992

Sou' Spain as adapted by William Pint


Seaboot Duff & Handspike Gruel, by Pinch o' Salt, © 1995

Sou' Spain, Cooper Ore, Eight Bells, Hoodoo, The Tow-Rope Girls, Let Her Go (a Tramp Shanty), Lee Fore Brace, Shanghai Passage, The Cape Horner, Peaceable Mister M'Gee, Home for Christmas - Old Style, A Sailor's Delight, Follow the Sea, The Half Loaf, Merchantmen as adapted by Alan Fitzsimmons


Tinker Tailor Soldier Singer, by Tom Lewis, © 1995

150 Days Out from Vancouver as adapted by Tom Lewis


Round the Corner, by William Pint and Felicia Dale, © 1997

The Tow-Rope Girls as adapted by William Pint, Tryphena's Extra Hand as adapted by Bob Zentz, Blue Peter as adapted by Bob Zentz


Old Wood is Best, by Alan Fitzsimmons, © 1998.

North Sea Ground as adapted by Alan Fitzsimmons


On the North Sea Ground, by The Keelers, © 1998

North Sea Ground, So Long, as adapted by Alan Fitzsimmons


Tomorrow's Tide, by Salt of the Earth, © 1998

A Wool Fleet Chorus, Copper Ore as adapted by Alan Fitzsimmons


Where Seagulls Dare, by Landlocked, © 1999

Lee Fore Brace as adapted by Alan Fitzsimmons


When Our Ship Comes Home, by Bob Walser & Friends, © 1999

Shanghai Passage as adapted by Alan Fitzsimmons


Just for the Record, by Marrowbones (Gordon Morris and Peter Massey), © 1999

Port o' Dreams as adapted by Gordon Morris


Old Swansea Town, by Baggyrinkle, ©2000

150 Days Out from Vancouver as adapted by Tom Lewis


One More Pull, by Baggyrinkle, © 2000

Lee Fore Brace as adapted by Alan Fitzsimmons


Bank Trollers, by Bob Webb, © 2000

150 Days Out from Vancouver as adapted by Bob Webb


Constant Lovers, by Dave Webber and Anni Fentiman, © 2000

Limehouse Reach as adapted by Dave Webber


Sailing Bye, by Derek Gifford, © 2001

Shanghai Passage as adapted by Alan Fitzsimmons


Away from It All, by Dave Webber and Anni Fentiman, © 2002

Race of Long Ago (Racing Clippers) as adapted by Dave Webber


Full Sail: Inside the Lid, by Gordon Morris, © 2002

Port o' Dreams, Racing Clippers, Mainsail Haul, The Convalescent, Tom Pascoe (Told at the Pilchards), Sea Change, The Extra Hand, Admiral Dugout, Stately Blackwaller, Mariquita, The Shipkeeper, See You in Liverpool as adapted by Gordon Morris


Rare Thing, by Marrowbones (Gordon Morris and Peter Massey), © 2002

Port o' Dreams, The Shipkeeper, Racing Clippers, The Convalescent as adapted by Gordon Morris


Never a Cross Word, by Danny & Joyce McLeod, © 2002

The Capehorner, Tryphena's Extra Hand, The Stately Blackwaller as adapted by Alan Fitzsimmons, Port o' Dreams as adapted by Joyce McLeod, Lee Fore Brace, So Long as adapted by Alan Fitzsimmons


Now and Then, by Johnny Collins, © 2002

Sailor Town as adapted by Dick Mills

Around the Harbour Town, by Dick Miles & Friends, © 2003

Sailor Town as adapted by Alan Fitzsimmons


Tom Lewis 360º, by Tom Lewis, © 2003

The Tow-Rope Girls as adapted by William Pint


England Expects, by Dogwatch, © 2004

A Dog's Life, Casey's Concertina, Rosario as adapted by John and Joy Rennie


Bung Up Bilge Free, by the Portsmouth Shantymen, © 2004

All Coiled Down (So Long), Tow-Rope Girls, as adapted by Alan Fitzsimmons


Seven Seas, William Pint and Felicia Dale, © 2004

The Packet Rat as adapted by William Pint


Uncommon Sailor Songs, by Charlie Ipcar, © 2004

Flying-Fish Sailor, Outward Bound, Shanghai Passage, Limehouse Reach, Port o' Dreams, Mariquita as adapted by Charlie Ipcar


More Uncommon Sailor Songs, by Charlie Ipcar, © 2005

Rio Grande, Lee Fore Brace, Lumber, Hastings Mill, Old Fiddle, Rosario, Pacific Coast as adapted by Charlie Ipcar, All Coiled Down (So Long) as adapted by Alan Fitzsimmons

Shipshape and Harry Fashion, by The Harry Browns, © 2005

The Tow-Rope Girls, as adapted by Alan Fitzsimmons


Adventures, by Dogwatch, © 2006

The Packet Rat, Bill's Enemy as adapted by John and Joy Rennie


The Long Road Home, by Peter Massey, © 2006

Conversation Book, The Long Road Home as adapted by Peter Massey


Rolling Down to Sailortown, by Roll & Go, © 2006

Outward Bound as adapted by Charlie Ipcar, All Coiled Down (So Long) as adapted by Alan Fitzsimmons, Mariquita, Port o' Dreams as adapted by Charlie Ipcar


Rolling Home to Bristol, by The Harry Browns, © 2006

A Sea Burthen as adapted by The Harry Browns, Home Boys Home (Homeward) as adapted by Sarah Morgan


Sing the Sun into the Sky, by Two Black Sheep & a Stallion, © 2006

Homeward (Home, Boys, Home) as adapted by Sarah Morgan


Closehauled on the Wind of a Dream, by Bob Zentz, © 2007

Ships & Folks, A Dog's Life, The Eternal Feminine, The Blue Peter, Pictures, Sea Dream, Casey's Concertina, Ice: The Bosun's Story, The Tryphena's Extra Hand, The Portsmouth Road, Ships that Pass, The Red Duster, The Ballad of the Eastern Crown, Racing Clippers, The Tow-Rope Girls, Bill's Christmases, Eight Bells, Leave Her Johnny as adapted by Bob Zentz


Extra Rough Tracks, by John Hills et al of Elsie's Band, © 2007

Gerrans Churchtown as adapted by John Hills


Old Sailor-Poets, by Charlie Ipcar, © 2007

Sailor Town as adapted by Dick Miles, Shipmates (1914), A Ship in a Bottle, The Long Road Home as adapted by Peter Massey


Raising Wind with The Harry Browns, by The Harry Browns, © 2007

Sacramento as adapted by The Harry Browns


Life of Brine, by The Roaring Forties, Australia, © 2008

Wool Fleet Chorus as adapted by John Warner, Lee Fore Brace as adapted by Charlie Ipcar, Mainsail Haul, The Day's Work, A Channel Rhyme as adapted by John Warner


Sailortown Days, by Charles Ipcar, © 2009

Leave Her Johnnie as adapted by Bob Zentz, Mobile Bay, News in Daly's Bar, By the Old Pagoda Anchorage, Sailor's Farewell, The Traveller as adapted by Charlie Ipcar


Cutaway Mike, by John Hills et al of Elsie's Band, © 2009

Limehouse Reach as adapted by Dave Webber


Look Out, by Roll & Go, © 2010

Mobile Bay, Shipmates, Lumber as adapted by Charlie Ipcar, The Long Road Home as adapted by Peter Massey

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Settings of 'art' poems by folkies
From: Joe_F
Date: 04 May 10 - 10:02 PM

Note particularly, in the thread linked to by BKLick's posting, the comments by me & others about Kipling. If not an honorary folkie, he was at any rate a more than honorary songwriter. Many of his poems (including many that did not invite the process by including "Song" or "Ballad" in the title) were set to music *repeatedly*; quite a few made it into the music halls, according to Orwell.

There seems to be no way of finding out whether he himself had any particular tunes in mind.


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Subject: RE: Settings of 'art' poems by folkies
From: GUEST,KiKelly
Date: 04 May 10 - 10:51 PM

Many years ago I heard a recording of Dave Van Ronk singing Yeats' Song of the Wandering Aengus. Beautiful, just beautiful!


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Subject: RE: Settings of 'art' poems by folkies
From: GUEST,Vajrabum
Date: 05 May 10 - 12:42 AM

Geoff Maldaur mades something wonderful of Tenessee Williams Kitchen Door Blues with some help from David Lindley. And People have been doing Down By The Sally Gardens to the tune of The Maids of the Mourne Shore long enough (set to that tune in 1909 by Herbert Hughes) now that its simply become a folk song.


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Subject: RE: Settings of 'art' poems by folkies
From: Suegorgeous
Date: 05 May 10 - 05:24 AM

Folknacious - I went to the Wraiths' album launch the other week (were you there?), and they were absolutely stunning. I second your recommendation of Welcome, Stranger, To This Place.


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Subject: RE: Settings of 'art' poems by folkies
From: raymond greenoaken
Date: 05 May 10 - 06:16 AM

Joe F wrote:
"Note particularly, in the thread linked to by BKLick's posting, the comments by me & others about Kipling. If not an honorary folkie, he was at any rate a more than honorary songwriter. Many of his poems (including many that did not invite the process by including "Song" or "Ballad" in the title) were set to music *repeatedly*; quite a few made it into the music halls, according to Orwell.
There seems to be no way of finding out whether he himself had any particular tunes in mind"

Actually, there's plenty of evidence that he did. Recessional was consciously set to a well-known hymn tune, for example. Lowestoft Boat and Harwich Ladies are plainly set to the tunes of A-Rovin' and Spanish Ladies respectively. PB was convinced Who Shall Judge The Lord was deliberately crafted to fit The Leaves Of Life. And so on... It's often quite hard to read a Kipling poem without a tune forming in your mind.

As for Robert Graves, mentioned earlier, US musician Jay Ansill has released a CD of Graves settings, A Lost World. Check out his website www.jayansill.com where you'll also hearo his setting of Graves' Under The Olives, not on the CD.

The late victorian poet AC Swinburne was a devotee of traditional ballads and wrote many pastiches of the form. Johnny Dickinson recorded a CD's worth of these a few years back.


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Subject: RE: Settings of 'art' poems by folkies
From: Morris-ey
Date: 05 May 10 - 08:46 AM

Kipling: Road to Manderlay

Jah Wobble's "Poems of Willaim Blake" is quite intersting too.


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Subject: RE: Settings of 'art' poems by folkies
From: JHW
Date: 05 May 10 - 03:59 PM

Charley Noble - Thanks for the momentous cataloguing of C Fox Smith.


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Subject: RE: Settings of 'art' poems by folkies
From: Edthefolkie
Date: 05 May 10 - 06:42 PM

JHW mentioned Peter Bellamy's problems with the Kipling estate and the Kipling Society. In the 70s when Peter wanted to record the settings Kipling's daughter, Mrs Bambridge I think it was, turned the idea down flat. I don't know if this decision was influenced by photos of Peter, especially if they featured his rather splendid trousers!

Anyway somehow the problem was overcome and I believe things are somewhat rosier now. Just had a look on the Society's website and he is namechecked.

While there I noticed that Kipling's elephant logo has lost the swastika which is present on the cover of my 1928 copy of Kipling's "Songs from Books" (£2.50 from Oxfam, absolute bargain). Just as well I suppose, given certain people's literal mindedness!


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Subject: RE: Settings of 'art' poems by folkies
From: Dave MacKenzie
Date: 05 May 10 - 07:25 PM

I've been singing macDiarmid's "Oh Wha's been here afore me lass" since the 60s.

Tolkien used to sing "Troll sat alone" to what sounds like avariant of "Daddy Fox".


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Subject: RE: Settings of 'art' poems by folkies
From: brezhnev
Date: 07 May 10 - 02:56 AM

Although the story about bellamy's 'problems' with kipling's daughter has gone into folklore, I don't think it was as straightforward as it's often painted. Bellamy didn't appear to have any problem getting permission to release Oak Ash and Thorn or Merlin's Isle of Gramarye. Whatever the problems were, they surfaced later. See here.


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Subject: RE: Settings of 'art' poems by folkies
From: GUEST,KiKelly
Date: 07 May 10 - 07:24 AM

Then there's always Edgar Allen Poe's "El Dorado" sung by Michael Hurley. Yes, THAT Michael Hurley!


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