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Unknown Sandy Denny song: is it trad?

GUEST,PhilipW 24 Jul 10 - 06:36 AM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 24 Jul 10 - 06:49 AM
Bernard 24 Jul 10 - 06:52 AM
Bernard 24 Jul 10 - 06:53 AM
Steve Gardham 24 Jul 10 - 09:59 AM
GUEST,PhilipW 24 Jul 10 - 10:37 AM
GUEST,leeneia 24 Jul 10 - 11:09 AM
Bernard 24 Jul 10 - 11:49 AM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 24 Jul 10 - 12:14 PM
GUEST,erbert 24 Jul 10 - 12:18 PM
Bonzo3legs 24 Jul 10 - 12:47 PM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 24 Jul 10 - 01:00 PM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 24 Jul 10 - 01:02 PM
Jack Campin 24 Jul 10 - 01:43 PM
Reinhard 24 Jul 10 - 02:11 PM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 24 Jul 10 - 02:47 PM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 24 Jul 10 - 02:57 PM
Rumncoke 24 Jul 10 - 03:01 PM
GUEST,PhilipW 24 Jul 10 - 03:21 PM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 24 Jul 10 - 03:35 PM
glueman 25 Jul 10 - 06:40 AM
Bernard 25 Jul 10 - 07:20 AM
GUEST,BB 25 Jul 10 - 07:20 AM
greg stephens 25 Jul 10 - 07:44 AM
GUEST,Orgueil 25 Jul 10 - 09:24 AM
GUEST,Peter Laban 25 Jul 10 - 09:26 AM
GUEST,erbert 25 Jul 10 - 09:46 AM
GUEST,erbert 25 Jul 10 - 09:58 AM
glueman 25 Jul 10 - 11:46 AM
Bonzo3legs 25 Jul 10 - 04:58 PM
pavane 26 Jul 10 - 03:10 AM
GUEST 26 Jul 10 - 01:11 PM
Nicholas Waller 26 Jul 10 - 01:32 PM
greg stephens 26 Jul 10 - 06:16 PM
Nicholas Waller 26 Jul 10 - 06:54 PM
Bernard 27 Jul 10 - 12:18 PM
GUEST,Orgueil 27 Jul 10 - 01:24 PM
Bernard 27 Jul 10 - 04:33 PM
Bernard 27 Jul 10 - 04:47 PM
MoorleyMan 27 Jul 10 - 06:27 PM
Nicholas Waller 27 Jul 10 - 08:37 PM
Bonzo3legs 28 Jul 10 - 06:40 AM
Ian@whitby 28 Jul 10 - 08:03 AM
GUEST,nickp (cookieless) 28 Jul 10 - 09:50 AM
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Subject: Unknown Sandy Denny song: is it trad?
From: GUEST,PhilipW
Date: 24 Jul 10 - 06:36 AM

In the course of research for the 19-CD box set of Sandy Denny's work due out in October, a previously unknown early recording has come to light. It had its first airing on the Radcliffe and Maconie show on BBC Radio 2 on Wednesday night. No one can identify it. It doesn't sound like an original composition of hers. Could it be trad? The lyrics are approximately as follows:

I saw a dark star against the black sky
Of a night thirteen hundred years long
It cast shrouding shadows upon the desert
Of the dark moons that formed in her eyes

On the ? of ? the sun never smiled
And the noon of the day was in shadow
And the sky left its tears on the black barren earth
And the ? was ? in ?

On a shrine of black flowers Methusa lay dead
As he had for thirteen centuries
At his feet five crows stood and watched to his keep
And the whisper of time sighed around the hills

Pannasowna has tried fair winged [weird] for it stead
Though the sky's in search of a [the] star
And the serpent entwined about the stag's head
Tried to reach out and poison her hair.

O no, Pannasowna, you will not go far
Methusa has only one hour
And if you do not reach him before it is over
Then the ? falls into the ocean [sea].

Pannasowna took her form and she stabbed [pierced] the serpent's eye
And he fell through the clouds to the land. [sea]
As she rode on and on through the blazing sky
With horizons of light in her unsung [till she came to ?]

It was then that the daylight became the dark night
[And] she recalled [remembered] what the ? [sermon] had said:
When the night becomes black and no sound can be heard,
You have come to the land of ? [Fardinarel]

And she found the dark star hanging low in the sky
And she gathered it up in her arms
And she rode to the shrine where Methusa lay dead [and she rode to the place that was so ?]
And she placed the dark star on her ?

And the star became bright and it shone on the land
And the shrouds of darkness were gone
And Methusa was standing beside [before] Pannazorna
And the light came to bear in her hair.


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Subject: RE: Unknown Sandy Denny song: is it trad?
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 24 Jul 10 - 06:49 AM

Doesn't sound like it. Far too purple.


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Subject: RE: Unknown Sandy Denny song: is it trad?
From: Bernard
Date: 24 Jul 10 - 06:52 AM

The style seems too modern to be trad - perhaps it was a joint effort? I didn't hear it - was she performing solo or with others?

It seems to lack a consistent rhyming pattern, too... odd verses rhyme the first and third lines, but the others do not.

Usually a trad song will appear in different forms, and lines (or even verses) will be 'borrowed from' or 'lent to' other songs.

It will be interesting to see what eventually turns up!


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Subject: RE: Unknown Sandy Denny song: is it trad?
From: Bernard
Date: 24 Jul 10 - 06:53 AM

What CS just said!

;o)


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Subject: RE: Unknown Sandy Denny song: is it trad?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 24 Jul 10 - 09:59 AM

Could be a translation from something like Gaelic. We have nothing remotely like this in the English-speaking tradition. Another possibility is a poem from a fiction work set to music. Has it got a trad tune or is the tune flowery as well?


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Subject: RE: Unknown Sandy Denny song: is it trad?
From: GUEST,PhilipW
Date: 24 Jul 10 - 10:37 AM

It's a very simple tune: vaguely modal, but with alternating major and minor chords in the harmony. The accompaniment is finger-picking guitar -- unusually fast for Sandy. If you're in the UK you can hear it on the BBC site at Radcliffe and Maconie show (it's about 32 minutes into the show).

I hear someone like Lord Dunsany in the words. I remember The King of Elfland's Daughter was big in the 60s and 70s.


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Subject: RE: Unknown Sandy Denny song: is it trad?
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 24 Jul 10 - 11:09 AM

"Far too purple."

Brilliant, Crow Sister! It would take most people a paragraph or two to say that.


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Subject: RE: Unknown Sandy Denny song: is it trad?
From: Bernard
Date: 24 Jul 10 - 11:49 AM

...which is exactly what I did...!!


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Subject: RE: Unknown Sandy Denny song: is it trad?
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 24 Jul 10 - 12:14 PM

I'm glad my brevity entertained you!

"Could be a translation from something like Gaelic."

Gaelic poems can indeed be quite colourful and (melo)dramatic, but I've never heard of Methusa (which sounds like someone's heard the name Methusela) or Fardinarel (ditto Tolkien) or Pannazorna (ditto something Polynesian).

"Another possibility is a poem from a fiction work set to music."

That sounds plausible.


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Subject: RE: Unknown Sandy Denny song: is it trad?
From: GUEST,erbert
Date: 24 Jul 10 - 12:18 PM

as exciting as the discovery of lost hidden treasure
and first listening may be..

..it's not really that good though, is it ???


err.. nearly 200 quid for the full box set ?????


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Subject: RE: Unknown Sandy Denny song: is it trad?
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 24 Jul 10 - 12:47 PM

..it's not really that good though, is it ???


The English are masters of understatement - it's absolutely dire and best forgotten! It sounds like a second rate floor spot in a London folk club when everyone else has gone to Sidmouth!!!


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Subject: RE: Unknown Sandy Denny song: is it trad?
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 24 Jul 10 - 01:00 PM

Nearly 200 quid? Well I guess that is for nearly 20 CD's. It adds up in my head.

What's the 'Voice of the People' cost?


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Subject: RE: Unknown Sandy Denny song: is it trad?
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 24 Jul 10 - 01:02 PM

Oh I dunno, I've been listening to some so-called Acid Folk lately. I reckon this wee piece would fit fairly neatly in among the 'shroomy faery visions.


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Subject: RE: Unknown Sandy Denny song: is it trad?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 24 Jul 10 - 01:43 PM

This question is floating far and wide through the blogosphere.

I like this guess:

"On the vowel of her rack the sun never smiled
And the noon of the day was in shadow
And the sky left its beard on the black barren earth
And the ? was ? in ?"

which sets some kind of record for furious sleeping in the colourless green ideas league.


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Subject: RE: Unknown Sandy Denny song: is it trad?
From: Reinhard
Date: 24 Jul 10 - 02:11 PM

At nearly 200 quid this is for the serious Sandy Denny fans obviously. That is, for those who already have every studio album multiple times: LP, CD reissue, deluxe CD issue, plus several box sets with *all* previously unreleased stuff as the Music Rehashing Industry already promised us several times. How many really new tracks will be found in the bottom of the barrel and in which quality? A dozen? Twenty? That would be 10 quid per track. Fans must really be desperate?


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Subject: RE: Unknown Sandy Denny song: is it trad?
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 24 Jul 10 - 02:47 PM

I must confess that I'm somewhat bemused - as a relative newbie to the folk scene myself - at the suggestion this is a "traditional" song from music people who are a) presumably quite well educated types, and b) who know Sandy Denny's work - considering she was of course a folk singer who did indeed perform traditional songs of which this clearly isn't one.

So, can I have a research job please music people. I like music and I can Google too..




;-)


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Subject: RE: Unknown Sandy Denny song: is it trad?
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 24 Jul 10 - 02:57 PM

Oops! Sorry 'Philip W.' I guess it might sound like ripping the pee outa you a bit there.. Just rantin'.


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Subject: RE: Unknown Sandy Denny song: is it trad?
From: Rumncoke
Date: 24 Jul 10 - 03:01 PM

I carry it round to the pubs where I go
And I ask at the door 'Can I join in the show?'
And this was the first place that didn't say 'no'
and I'd like you to join in the chorus.


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Subject: RE: Unknown Sandy Denny song: is it trad?
From: GUEST,PhilipW
Date: 24 Jul 10 - 03:21 PM

Why so cynical? First off, if you pay 200 quid for the box you've been robbed. Amazon is listing at under £150 and others may come in cheaper. As I understand it, the aim is to have the whole box set on iTunes, so if fans don't want the eighty or more tracks previously unreleased or the lavish accompanying book full of previously unseen photos, they can probably download what they do want. Take a look at the Island site for track listings.

In any case, this thread wasn't about the box. It was a polite request for help with identifying a mystery track. We've established what it's not - traditional. So any ideas what it is, please?


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Subject: RE: Unknown Sandy Denny song: is it trad?
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 24 Jul 10 - 03:35 PM

Again PW, sorry.. :/
Mudcat can be a gout inspired den of mischief sometimes!
I still think the song isn't a bad piece of psych-folk though. It might not be 'Jane Delawney's Garden', but watch out for the young brood of Wickerish-Folkies snapping it up in the months to come!


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Subject: RE: Unknown Sandy Denny song: is it trad?
From: glueman
Date: 25 Jul 10 - 06:40 AM

The line between Fairae Twaddle and Noble Weirdness is a thin one, and mostly in the ears of the beer-holder.


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Subject: RE: Unknown Sandy Denny song: is it trad?
From: Bernard
Date: 25 Jul 10 - 07:20 AM

I think we have to accept that, sometimes, the words are secondary to the overall effect... sort of folkie scat singing!


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Subject: RE: Unknown Sandy Denny song: is it trad?
From: GUEST,BB
Date: 25 Jul 10 - 07:20 AM

One of the missing words in the lyrics as given is "Valdemorad."

It cast shrouding shadows upon the dead earth
Of the dark moons of Valdemorad

Over Valdemorad the sun never smiled....

It's in there a number of times.


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Subject: RE: Unknown Sandy Denny song: is it trad?
From: greg stephens
Date: 25 Jul 10 - 07:44 AM

I refuse to believe that anybody could be so gormless as to imagine words like that could be a trad song.Or certainly not somebody who lashed out a lot of money on Sandy Denny records, anyway. So, what could the motives of the original poster have been?


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Subject: RE: Unknown Sandy Denny song: is it trad?
From: GUEST,Orgueil
Date: 25 Jul 10 - 09:24 AM

OK so the guy asked the wrong question. He should have asked: can anyone identify this song? Since evidently no one can, I suggest you let it drop instead of slagging him off for having the temerity to ask a question, however wrong-headed.

What is Valdemorad anyway? Valdemoro is a place in Spain.


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Subject: RE: Unknown Sandy Denny song: is it trad?
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 25 Jul 10 - 09:26 AM

Maybe it's a pre-quel to Harry Potter


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Subject: RE: Unknown Sandy Denny song: is it trad?
From: GUEST,erbert
Date: 25 Jul 10 - 09:46 AM

the biggest problem with writing lyrics like that

is you then have to not only be able to remember them
but also be able to sing them in public
with no sense of shame or embarrassment....


or if in doubt, just hide them under the bed and hope nobody finds them for over 30 years...


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Subject: RE: Unknown Sandy Denny song: is it trad?
From: GUEST,erbert
Date: 25 Jul 10 - 09:58 AM

though fair play to Marc Bolan..

half baked flower power poetic pretension and aggressively confident
artistic self-delusion
were an essential ingredient of his undoubted pop elf charm..



..maybe it's one of his misbegotten lost epic songs..???


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Subject: RE: Unknown Sandy Denny song: is it trad?
From: glueman
Date: 25 Jul 10 - 11:46 AM

"though fair play to Marc Bolan.."

Anyone who copped off with Gloria Jones can write what the hell lyrics he wants.

One of the finest uptempo floor stompers ever!


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Subject: RE: Unknown Sandy Denny song: is it trad?
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 25 Jul 10 - 04:58 PM

I bet it hasn't got any tracks from the Lincoln Festival 1971!!!


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Subject: RE: Unknown Sandy Denny song: is it trad?
From: pavane
Date: 26 Jul 10 - 03:10 AM

I have them, though. AND I was there - have the program to prove it.


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Subject: RE: Unknown Sandy Denny song: is it trad?
From: GUEST
Date: 26 Jul 10 - 01:11 PM

Actually Reinhard, I am compiling this boxset, and I can assure you there are many unreleased recordings of exceptionally high quality- far better than most of the unreleased tracks on Boxful- you really should hear some of them before issuing such a negative judgement! perhaps it would be helpful for you to look at it in another way- if there wasn't a large selection of high quality unreleased recordings this boxset wouldn't be happening. Also there is a 72 page hard back book full of amazing pictures of Sandy not seen before. Yes this is aimed at a collector, but this will I assure you be a most impressive release, and you are getting alot for your money.

best

Andrew


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Subject: RE: Unknown Sandy Denny song: is it trad?
From: Nicholas Waller
Date: 26 Jul 10 - 01:32 PM

@ greg stephens - "I refuse to believe that anybody could be so gormless as to imagine words like that could be a trad song."

It was Radcliffe and Maconie on their show who said that it "it looks like it's a traditional song, or it sounds like it's a traditional song", so maybe the OP was merely repeating their question. No need to impute impure motives to him.

They also said it was found "two weeks ago" (two weeks before 21 July, presumably) in a tape box under her bed (32:55 at http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/console/b00t38c9 )


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Subject: RE: Unknown Sandy Denny song: is it trad?
From: greg stephens
Date: 26 Jul 10 - 06:16 PM

Oh, Radcliffe and Maconie. That explains it. I thought the poster was speaking for him/herself, and it surprised me.


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Subject: RE: Unknown Sandy Denny song: is it trad?
From: Nicholas Waller
Date: 26 Jul 10 - 06:54 PM

@ greg stephens "I thought the poster was speaking for him/herself, and it surprised me"

He mentioned the "trad" possibility only after hearing Radcliffe or Maconie comment. On his own Sandy Denny blog the day before the radio broadcast he says of it: "It may be an original, but if so, with its cod mythology and sword-and-sorcery medievalism, it's not quite like anything else Sandy ever did" and he's just looking for any info he can find on it.
http://sandydenny.blogspot.com/2010/07/mystery-song.html


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Subject: RE: Unknown Sandy Denny song: is it trad?
From: Bernard
Date: 27 Jul 10 - 12:18 PM

Well, Mark Radcliffe is a master of wind up... he's well-informed enough to have worked out it wasn't trad, but quite prepared to wind up the stuffed shirts who get prickly at the suggestion it might be!

Don't forget that he's a folk performer in his own right, and as part of the 'Family Mahone'.


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Subject: RE: Unknown Sandy Denny song: is it trad?
From: GUEST,Orgueil
Date: 27 Jul 10 - 01:24 PM

It wasn't Radcliffe. He's on holiday or something. Maconie presented the show solo (and presumably made up all that blather about a tape being found two weeks ago "under her bed"). If he knew anything about Denny he'd know that her effects ended up in Australia after her death when her husband moved back there.


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Subject: RE: Unknown Sandy Denny song: is it trad?
From: Bernard
Date: 27 Jul 10 - 04:33 PM

Ah... right. I haven't had a chance to listen, yet.


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Subject: RE: Unknown Sandy Denny song: is it trad?
From: Bernard
Date: 27 Jul 10 - 04:47 PM

Just listened... the accompaniment is someone playing a 12-string guitar, but I would doubt it to be Sandy. It sounds as if it was recorded on a reasonably good tape machine, and the tape itself seems to have survived exceptionally well.


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Subject: RE: Unknown Sandy Denny song: is it trad?
From: MoorleyMan
Date: 27 Jul 10 - 06:27 PM

Yes, I too felt the accompaniment was distinctly different in style to what I'd normally associate with Sandy herself (and certainly uncharacteristically fast). I also noticed that her voice did not cut through the guitar part very well in the first few stanzas and it was very hard to make out the words until around halfway into the song. And yes, the tape itself does seem to have survived remarkably well. It is all a bit of a puzzle, for sure.


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Subject: RE: Unknown Sandy Denny song: is it trad?
From: Nicholas Waller
Date: 27 Jul 10 - 08:37 PM

@Orgueil - "her effects ended up in Australia after her death"

Maybe her effects included her bed. And boxes of tapes.


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Subject: RE: Unknown Sandy Denny song: is it trad?
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 28 Jul 10 - 06:40 AM

Well of course Lucas may have identified a commercial opportunity in there somewhere!!!


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Subject: RE: Unknown Sandy Denny song: is it trad?
From: Ian@whitby
Date: 28 Jul 10 - 08:03 AM

Is it just me, or is that really a dire song? It sounds like very early Sandy, vocally - my guess would be it was one of her early efforts, or possibly something written by the frantic 12-stringer, assuming that to be someone else. Sandy was a great singer in Fairport and a captivating solo performer and songwriter - releasing this does her memory no favours.


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Subject: RE: Unknown Sandy Denny song: is it trad?
From: GUEST,nickp (cookieless)
Date: 28 Jul 10 - 09:50 AM

Yep it's a dire song and is almost certainly running fast. No reason why it shouldn't be Sandy playing her 12 string herself - that might be more apparent if it was slowed a little.

And it was known about a lot more than a few weeks ago as it nearly made it to the Attic Tracks about 20 years ago (that from John Penhallow who had some of those tapes in storage)...

Perhaps 'forgotten about until a few weeks ago' might be more appropriate.

Still an uninspiring song though!

Nick


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