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Death by drowning in traditional songs

Phil Edwards 13 Nov 11 - 09:54 AM
John MacKenzie 13 Nov 11 - 10:06 AM
Paul Burke 13 Nov 11 - 10:21 AM
GUEST,henryp 13 Nov 11 - 10:41 AM
GUEST,henryp 13 Nov 11 - 11:03 AM
John MacKenzie 13 Nov 11 - 11:16 AM
Pete Jennings 13 Nov 11 - 11:48 AM
Phil Edwards 13 Nov 11 - 12:01 PM
GUEST,lewbook 13 Nov 11 - 12:49 PM
GUEST,John from "Elsie`s Band" 13 Nov 11 - 12:54 PM
MGM·Lion 13 Nov 11 - 01:10 PM
Lizzie Cornish 1 13 Nov 11 - 01:19 PM
Paul Burke 13 Nov 11 - 01:25 PM
GUEST 13 Nov 11 - 02:05 PM
Phil Edwards 13 Nov 11 - 02:32 PM
Nigel Parsons 13 Nov 11 - 02:37 PM
GUEST,henryp 13 Nov 11 - 02:56 PM
Jack Campin 13 Nov 11 - 04:40 PM
Dave the Gnome 14 Nov 11 - 06:23 AM
The Doctor 14 Nov 11 - 07:20 AM
Black belt caterpillar wrestler 14 Nov 11 - 07:26 AM
Jack Campin 14 Nov 11 - 08:19 AM
GUEST 14 Nov 11 - 08:29 AM
matt milton 14 Nov 11 - 08:41 AM
MGM·Lion 14 Nov 11 - 08:42 AM
GUEST,henryp 14 Nov 11 - 08:43 AM
Lizzie Cornish 1 14 Nov 11 - 08:47 AM
tijuanatime 14 Nov 11 - 08:50 AM
The Sandman 14 Nov 11 - 01:08 PM
GUEST,leeneia 14 Nov 11 - 01:31 PM
Phil Edwards 14 Nov 11 - 05:39 PM
Phil Edwards 14 Nov 11 - 05:41 PM
Nathan in Texas 14 Nov 11 - 08:30 PM
Dave Sutherland 15 Nov 11 - 03:03 AM
Phil Edwards 15 Nov 11 - 03:38 AM
Big Al Whittle 15 Nov 11 - 04:42 AM
Brian Peters 15 Nov 11 - 05:29 AM
Big Al Whittle 15 Nov 11 - 06:57 AM
GUEST,henryp 15 Nov 11 - 07:26 AM
Dave Sutherland 15 Nov 11 - 07:34 AM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 15 Nov 11 - 07:41 AM
Big Al Whittle 15 Nov 11 - 09:13 AM
MGM·Lion 15 Nov 11 - 09:22 AM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 15 Nov 11 - 09:29 AM
GUEST,matt milton 15 Nov 11 - 09:49 AM
Mr Happy 15 Nov 11 - 10:25 AM
GUEST,henryp 15 Nov 11 - 10:30 AM
GUEST,John from "Elsie`s Band" 15 Nov 11 - 11:00 AM
Brian Peters 15 Nov 11 - 11:07 AM
MGM·Lion 15 Nov 11 - 11:44 AM
Jim Carroll 15 Nov 11 - 12:15 PM
Jim Carroll 15 Nov 11 - 12:24 PM
MGM·Lion 15 Nov 11 - 12:41 PM
The Sandman 15 Nov 11 - 01:13 PM
dick greenhaus 15 Nov 11 - 02:24 PM
ChillToad 15 Nov 11 - 03:55 PM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 15 Nov 11 - 04:14 PM
Nathan in Texas 15 Nov 11 - 04:23 PM
Artful Codger 15 Nov 11 - 05:41 PM
Big Al Whittle 15 Nov 11 - 07:56 PM
tijuanatime 16 Nov 11 - 04:49 AM
matt milton 16 Nov 11 - 05:40 AM
Big Al Whittle 16 Nov 11 - 06:29 AM
GUEST,henryp 16 Nov 11 - 06:43 AM
MGM·Lion 16 Nov 11 - 06:56 AM
dick greenhaus 16 Nov 11 - 11:35 AM
Artful Codger 16 Nov 11 - 03:06 PM
GUEST,henryp 18 Nov 11 - 02:44 AM
The Doctor 18 Nov 11 - 04:32 AM
GUEST,Uncle_DaveO 18 Nov 11 - 04:02 PM
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Subject: Death by drowning in traditional songs
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 13 Nov 11 - 09:54 AM

Any suggestions? Particularly involving rivers, and ideally involving soldiers as the victims.

With future weeks at 52fs in mind, I'm looking for songs with a thematic link to Kipling's "Ford o' Kabul River". Pete Seeger's "Waist Deep in the Big Muddy" comes to mind, but offhand I can't think of anything traditional.


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Subject: RE: Death by drowning in traditional songs
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 13 Nov 11 - 10:06 AM

A Sailor's Life
Golden Vanitee


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Subject: RE: Death by drowning in traditional songs
From: Paul Burke
Date: 13 Nov 11 - 10:21 AM

Lowlands away?

Drowning in the songs I can remember is more for romantic effect than narrative factuality, things like Annan Water, Stow Brow, Clyde Water etc.


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Subject: RE: Death by drowning in traditional songs
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 13 Nov 11 - 10:41 AM

Drownings galore in rivers, lakes and mill ponds, but no military connection, I'm afraid;
Twa Sisters
Marrowbones
Drowned Lovers/Clyde's Waters
Annan Water
Lakes of Shilin

(And how strange to think that Nic Jones was once a lifeguard at Chelmsford Swimming Pool.)

Plenty of sailors drowned in storms at sea;
Drowned Sailor
Sir Patrick Spens


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Subject: RE: Death by drowning in traditional songs
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 13 Nov 11 - 11:03 AM

Two more, one ancient, one modern;

The Bitter Withy

On Morecambe Bay

300 and more men have been collecting cockles on Foulnaze Bank in the Ribble estuary. They have little knowledge of the tides, and Lytham lifeboat has been called out 26 times in two months. The fishery has been officially closed, but men are now going out under cover of dark. Be prepared for another disaster.


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Subject: RE: Death by drowning in traditional songs
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 13 Nov 11 - 11:16 AM

WILLIE'S DROWNED IN YARROW
Traditional

Doun in yon garden sweet and gay,
Where bonnie grows the lilie,
I heard a fair maid, sighing, say,
'My wish be wi' sweet Willie!

O Willie's rare, and Willie's fair,
And Willie's wondrous bonnie;
And Willie hecht to marry me,
Gin e'er he married ony.

But Willie's gone, whom I thought on,
And does not hear me weeping;
Draws many a tear frae true love's e'e,
When other maids are sleeping.

Yestreen I made my bed fu' braid,
The nicht I'll mak' it narrow;
For, a' the live-lang winter nicht,
I lie twined o' my marrow.

Oh gentle wind, that bloweth south,
From where my love repaireth,
Convey a kiss frae his deir mouth,
And tell me how he fareth!

O Tell sweit Willie to come doun,
And bid him no be cruel;
And tell him no to break the heart
Of his love and only jewel.

O tell sweit Willie to come doun,
And hear the mavis singing;
And see the birds on ilka bush,
And leaves around them hinging.

The lav'rock there, wi' her white breast,
And gentle throat sae narrow;
There's sport eneuch for gentlemen,
O Leader haughs and Yarrow.

O Leader haughs are wide and braid,
And Yarrow haughs are bonnie;
There Willie hecht to marry me,
If e'er he married ony.

O cam' ye by yon water side?
Pu'd you the rose or lilie?
Or cam' ye by yon meadow green?
Or saw ye my sweit Willie?'

She sought him up, she sought him doun,
She sought the braid and narrow;
Syne, in the cleaving o' a craig,
She found him drowned in Yarrow.


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Subject: RE: Death by drowning in traditional songs
From: Pete Jennings
Date: 13 Nov 11 - 11:48 AM

Cruel Sister (a variant of Twa Sisters, above??)
Omie Wise


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Subject: RE: Death by drowning in traditional songs
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 13 Nov 11 - 12:01 PM

Clyde Waters is a possibility, as long as I can avoid all those Communist spies (the Russians in the Clyde water...). Lowlands would do, although I might save that for a week with a focus on ghosts/dead lovers/haircuts - or for that matter pair it with the Golden Vanitee, whose action seems to have taken place in the same neighbourhood.

Stow Brow would definitely fit. Thanks for suggesting that, Paul - I hadn't come across it before.


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Subject: RE: Death by drowning in traditional songs
From: GUEST,lewbook
Date: 13 Nov 11 - 12:49 PM

Some versions of the Mountain of Pomeroy (possibly composed by George Sigerson - see prior thread) end:

And a pale drowned bride met Reynardine
on the Mountains iof Pomeroy.

If not traditional in the sense of anonymously composed, Three Score and Ten is one often sung. See the Cantaria website for a scholarly history

Methinks I see a host of craft
Spreading their sails alee
Down the Humber they do glide
All bound for the Northern Sea
Me thinks I see on each small craft
A crew with hearts so brave
Going out to earn their daily bread
Upon the restless wave

Chorus:
And it's three score and ten
Boys and men were lost from Grimsby town
From Yarmouth down to Scarborough
Many hundreds more were drowned
Our herring craft, our trawlers
Our fishing smacks, as well
They long defied that bitter night
And battled with the swell

Methinks I see them yet again
As they leave this land behind
Casting their nets into the sea
The herring shoals to find
Me thinks I see them yet again
They're all on board all right
With their nets rolled up and their decks cleaned off
And the side lights burning bright

Me thinks I've heard the captain say
"Me lads we'll shorten sail"
With the sky to all appearances
Looks like an approaching gale
Me thinks I see them yet again
Midnight hour is past
The little craft abattling there
Against the icy blast

October's night brought such a sight
'Twas never seen before
There were mast and yards and broken spars
Come a washed up on the shore
There were many a heart in sorrow
Many a heart so brave
There were many a fine and hearty lad
That met a watery grave


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Subject: RE: Death by drowning in traditional songs
From: GUEST,John from "Elsie`s Band"
Date: 13 Nov 11 - 12:54 PM

"Hartlake Bridge" tells of the hop-pickers who were drowned when swept off the bridge in their carriages due to the Medway in flood. They are remembered on a gravestone in the churchyard at Hadlow, near Tonbridge.


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Subject: RE: Death by drowning in traditional songs
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 13 Nov 11 - 01:10 PM

In Prentice Boy/Ekefield Town it is not entirely clear, nor consistent between versions, as to whether the young woman is already dead from stabbing or assault before she is plunged into the waters, or whether she is murdered by being pushed or thrown in to drown.

~M~


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Subject: RE: Death by drowning in traditional songs
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 13 Nov 11 - 01:19 PM

Death by Boredom in Traditional Songs

Famous Floosies of Serving Men! ;0)


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Subject: RE: Death by drowning in traditional songs
From: Paul Burke
Date: 13 Nov 11 - 01:25 PM

Shut up Lizzie, unless you've something to say to the point.

This is about a soldier drowning, though far worse than a river; and it's not (as far as I know) a song:

Memorial Tablet (Siegfried Sassoon)

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: Death by drowning in traditional songs
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Nov 11 - 02:05 PM

The Outlandish Knight - 7 drownings including 1 outlandish knight (does he count as a soldier?)


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Subject: RE: Death by drowning in traditional songs
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 13 Nov 11 - 02:32 PM

In The Wind and the Rain, which is a kind of cross between Prentice Boy and Two Sisters, we have

He spun her around and he struck her to the ground
Threw her in deep water where he knew she would drown

so that's drowning as murder weapon.

It's really "he/she drowned and I'm really sad about it" that I'm after, or else "I very nearly drowned and I'm really angry about it". Three Score and Ten is a good one.

Turn yer 'orse from Kabul town
Draw the trumpet, blow the sword-


damn it, I always get that wrong...


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Subject: RE: Death by drowning in traditional songs
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 13 Nov 11 - 02:37 PM

Not a soldier, and it turns out that the 'victim' actually survived, but: Judy Drownded


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Subject: RE: Death by drowning in traditional songs
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 13 Nov 11 - 02:56 PM

Riley the Fisherman

It was then twelve months after, she was walking by the sea
When Riley he came back again and took his love away
The ship was wrecked, all hands was lost, her father grieved full sore
He found his daughter in Riley's arms, drowned upon the shore

Collected by Ralph Vaughan Williams from George Hall in Hooton Roberts in 1907; sung by Coope Boyes and Simpson on Triple Echo, and the Roses and Thorns Choir in The Toilers' Gift concerts.


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Subject: RE: Death by drowning in traditional songs
From: Jack Campin
Date: 13 Nov 11 - 04:40 PM

Pharaoh's Army Got Drownded


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Subject: RE: Death by drowning in traditional songs
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 14 Nov 11 - 06:23 AM

If you put @drowning in the search box it comes up with a few.

BTW - I think it would be an excellent fate for some people...

:DtG


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Subject: RE: Death by drowning in traditional songs
From: The Doctor
Date: 14 Nov 11 - 07:20 AM

Hartlake Bridge, which is a great song, was written by Pete 'Blossom' Currie of Skinners Rats. Words and music on their website.
The Constant Lovers may or may not be the same as The Drowned Lovers.
Stow Brow is also known as the Drowned Sailor.


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Subject: RE: Death by drowning in traditional songs
From: Black belt caterpillar wrestler
Date: 14 Nov 11 - 07:26 AM

I have announced "A muvver was washing her baby one night" as a bathing tragedy song!


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Subject: RE: Death by drowning in traditional songs
From: Jack Campin
Date: 14 Nov 11 - 08:19 AM

Pharaoh's army gets drownded here:

http://www.springsteenlyrics.com/lyrics/o/omarydontyouweep.php

References to many versions at Roger McGuinn's site:

http://www.reveries.com/folkden/oh_mary.html

More variants here:

http://www.bluegrassmessengers.com/545-pharaohs-army-.aspx


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Subject: RE: Death by drowning in traditional songs
From: GUEST
Date: 14 Nov 11 - 08:29 AM

Edward in the Lowlands low - probably doesn't count, as he was murdered by his girl's parents


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Subject: RE: Death by drowning in traditional songs
From: matt milton
Date: 14 Nov 11 - 08:41 AM

I just read the Kipling poem in question. Death by drowning didn't strike me as being the dominant theme. War, apocalypse and a general portrayal of Babylonian ruin struck me as more of a theme.

On that note, I would suggest Hamish Henderson's "Banks of Sicily":
http://sniff.numachi.com/pages/tiBKSICILY;ttBKSICILY.html

Or that darkest of whaler-ship songs, "Desolation":
http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=120604

Though maybe Six Dukes Went A Fishing might be appropriate, bearing it springs from the discovery of a drowned body:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Six_Dukes_Went_a-Fishing

Oh of course New York Trader too, that has a sort of "Rime of the Ancient Mariner" quality to it:
http://www.traditionalmusic.co.uk/folk-song-lyrics/New_York_Trader.htm


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Subject: RE: Death by drowning in traditional songs
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 14 Nov 11 - 08:42 AM

Can hardly believe this ~ have I missed it? ~ but can find no ref above to Sir Patrick Spens!

~M~


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Subject: RE: Death by drowning in traditional songs
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 14 Nov 11 - 08:43 AM

Another spiritual - Little Moses


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Subject: RE: Death by drowning in traditional songs
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 14 Nov 11 - 08:47 AM

"Shut up Lizzie, unless you've something to say to the point."

Sorry, forgot about the No Humour Rule...do apologise...


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Subject: RE: Death by drowning in traditional songs
From: tijuanatime
Date: 14 Nov 11 - 08:50 AM

Drowning, with accompanying violence:

High Barbaree
Henry Martin


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Subject: RE: Death by drowning in traditional songs
From: The Sandman
Date: 14 Nov 11 - 01:08 PM

pincher marten


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Subject: RE: Death by drowning in traditional songs
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 14 Nov 11 - 01:31 PM

Irish song, "...for there's dark and cold waters in the lake of Cool Finn."

Not a soldier, just a lad who goes swimming early in the morning and loses his life.


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Subject: RE: Death by drowning in traditional songs
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 14 Nov 11 - 05:39 PM

tijuanatime - excellent choices on the maritime warfare front (see also the Dolphin, & is Polly On The Shore disqualified because nobody is actually described as drowning?)

Jack - that's a terrific (group of) song(s); I think I need to hear several versions before I think of tackling it.

matt - hadn't thought of the New York Trader (or William Glenn); it could go well with Banks of Green Willow. I didn't know Six Dukes or Desolation - one really strange song, and one that's perhaps not overdue for revival (I guess the 'abolitionists' verse could be skipped).

Not sure what you mean about the Kipling, though - the narrator's saying that a lot of men have drowned fording the river, and he's particularly upset about this because his best friend was one of them. Very like "Big Muddy" with less of a happy ending.

Great thread!


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Subject: RE: Death by drowning in traditional songs
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 14 Nov 11 - 05:41 PM

(Actually nobody drowns in the Dolphin, either. Never mind.)


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Subject: RE: Death by drowning in traditional songs
From: Nathan in Texas
Date: 14 Nov 11 - 08:30 PM

When I saw the thread title, I had a momentary vision of going under for the last time in a vast ocean of traditional songs.


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Subject: RE: Death by drowning in traditional songs
From: Dave Sutherland
Date: 15 Nov 11 - 03:03 AM

Go to the ballads thread "Lord Gregory"

then there is the Australian children's song "The Sparrow and the Emu's Egg"


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Subject: RE: Death by drowning in traditional songs
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 15 Nov 11 - 03:38 AM

That faint thudding sound you can hear is me kicking myself for forgetting "Lord Gregory".

Nathan - what a way to go!


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Subject: RE: Death by drowning in traditional songs
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 15 Nov 11 - 04:42 AM

in the best possible taste:-

http://www.bigalwhittle.co.uk/id22.html


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Subject: RE: Death by drowning in traditional songs
From: Brian Peters
Date: 15 Nov 11 - 05:29 AM

Not really what Pip was looking for, but with a thread title like this, how come no-one's mentioned The Banks of Green Willow? The most poignant of the lot!


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Subject: RE: Death by drowning in traditional songs
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 15 Nov 11 - 06:57 AM

Running Bear - well its traditional in our house.


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Subject: RE: Death by drowning in traditional songs
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 15 Nov 11 - 07:26 AM

Perhaps you could contrast Banks of Green Willow with Canadee-i-o.

Two more songs about drowning (or not) sung by Nic Jones.


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Subject: RE: Death by drowning in traditional songs
From: Dave Sutherland
Date: 15 Nov 11 - 07:34 AM

Did the lady and the baby drown in "Banks of Green Willow" Brian? In the version that I know the captain is pretty confident that they will do so but it remains inconclusive.


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Subject: RE: Death by drowning in traditional songs
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 15 Nov 11 - 07:41 AM

Death by drowning in traditional songs, eh? Sounds like a good way to go! Get yourself over to the National Sound Archive and dive in...

Otherwise - reminds me, we still haven't recorded the version of Ford o' Kabul River we worked up for Earthbound's Kipling with the Tradition show at Fylde this year. Actually based on my earlier - er - re-imagining in which an old colonel sits by a fireside of a wild English winter night in his gout racked dotage remembering the tragic events that swept half a regiment away... I trust my fellow 'Bounders will forgive me if, in the meantime, I put my old demo from 2008 up there on the Soundcloud page in its stead??

Ford O' Kabul River : Sedayne, November 2008


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Subject: RE: Death by drowning in traditional songs
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 15 Nov 11 - 09:13 AM

Willie Moore


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Subject: RE: Death by drowning in traditional songs
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 15 Nov 11 - 09:22 AM

Surely Willie Moore died of a broken heart? ~~ either in Montreal, or beside his true love's grave.

~M~


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Subject: RE: Death by drowning in traditional songs
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 15 Nov 11 - 09:29 AM

And how about Oh My Darling Clementine? Which we always used to sing to Cwm Rhonda in the Old Durham City Folk Club, led in mighty chorus by our gaffa Ian McCulloch...


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Subject: RE: Death by drowning in traditional songs
From: GUEST,matt milton
Date: 15 Nov 11 - 09:49 AM

"Desolation - one really strange song, and one that's perhaps not overdue for revival (I guess the 'abolitionists' verse could be skipped."

If you think it's really strange now, you should hear Ewan MacColl sing it in a bizarre Woody Guthrie-gone-Australian attempt at an american accent!

I've wondered about altering the abolitionists verse to this:

"The captains of whalers are abolitionists
They go in for amalgamation;
black or white, Jew, Portuguese â€"
all men are dogs on Desolation"

..or maybe even "the captain he's a liberal man/He goes in for... etc"


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Subject: RE: Death by drowning in traditional songs
From: Mr Happy
Date: 15 Nov 11 - 10:25 AM

In the village of Kilgory there's a deep stream flowing by
On her marriage day at midnight she drowned with her soldier boy
In the cottage there is music, you can hear her father say:
Step it out, Mary, my fine daughter, Sunday is your wedding day


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Subject: RE: Death by drowning in traditional songs
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 15 Nov 11 - 10:30 AM

Sometimes I live in the country, Sometimes I live in town
Sometimes I have a great notion To jump into the river and drown

Irene goodnight, Irene goodnight,
Goodnight Irene, goodnight Irene
I'll see you in my dreams

The Titanic

Husbands and wives,
Little children lost their lives
Wasn't it sad when the great ship went down

Wasn't that a Mighty Storm (Galveston 1900)

They had two trains loaded With people trying to leave town
Tracks gave way to the water now And all of those people drowned

Louisiana 1927 by Randy Newman, though I think the chorus is traditional

The river rose all day, The river rose all night
Some people got lost in the flood, Some people got away alright
The river have busted through clear down to Plaquemines
Six feet of water in the streets of Evangeline

Louisiana, Louisiana
They're tryin' to wash us away, They're tryin' to wash us away


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Subject: RE: Death by drowning in traditional songs
From: GUEST,John from "Elsie`s Band"
Date: 15 Nov 11 - 11:00 AM

The Doctor. The "Hartlake Bridge" song that I had in mind was the one handed down by the oral tradition in the travellers commumity. A search of that song on the internet will give chapter, verse and sung examples.


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Subject: RE: Death by drowning in traditional songs
From: Brian Peters
Date: 15 Nov 11 - 11:07 AM

Did the lady and the baby drown in "Banks of Green Willow" Brian? In the version that I know the captain is pretty confident that they will do so but it remains inconclusive.

The English versions tend to be a bit inconclusive, if not garbled, Dave. Sometimes she's last seen swimming towards the aforementioned Banks, but in my version she's to be buried there (the coffin, or nails, of "gold shining yellow" providing a convenient half rhyme).


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Subject: RE: Death by drowning in traditional songs
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 15 Nov 11 - 11:44 AM

Banks of Green Willow = Child #24, Bonnie Annie.

She is seen swimming away; then it is promised that she shall have a coffin made of the gold that does shine yellow and that she shall be buried on Banks of Green Willow. But whether she is drowned, or even actually dead, is indeed left uncertain.

You will find it on my youtube channel.

~M~


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Subject: RE: Death by drowning in traditional songs
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 15 Nov 11 - 12:15 PM

From a Travelling lady.
Jim Carroll

In Charlestown there Lived a Lass (Roud 1414)   Mary Delaney

For in Charlestown there dwelled a lass,
She was as constant as she was true,
When the young man fell in courting her
And drew her in despair.

He courted her, oh, for six long months,
And to him she proved unkind,
Then he courted her for six long months,
And by him she proved a child.

"Oh, go home, go home to your dwelling place,
And don't bring your parients in disgrace.
Oh go home to your dwelling place
And you proved with a false young man."

"Now I will not go home to my dwelling place,
For to bring my parients in disgrace,
I would sooner go and drown myself
In a dark and a lonely place."

Now as Willie, he went out walking,
He went out to take fresh air,
And he seen his own love Mary
In the waves of the silvery tide.

Oh, he strips off his fine clothing,
To the river brim he swum,
And he brung his own love Mary
From the waves of the silvery tide.

"Oh Mary, darling Mary,
Is this what you have done,
And the last words I have said to you,
I just said it for fun."

Otherwise known as Floating Down the Tide; The Collier Lad; Molly and William etc.; this ballad was taken down several times in England: in Somerset, Oxfordshire, Suffolk and Dorset, and in Scotland, in Aberdeenshire. As far as we could find, there has been only one version made available from Ireland, that sung by publican Annie Mackenzie of Boho, Co Fermanagh, although the collector, Sean Corcoran, says it was widely known in that area.
The English texts locate the events as taking place in Camden, Brighton or Cambridge, while in Scotland it is set in Kilmarnock, Dumbarton or Marno (Marnock, Banffshire?). A Canadian version places the location as Charlottetown, similar to Mary's Charlestown. One English version gives the unfaithful lover as a farmer's son, while the three complete Scots texts make him a collier; otherwise he is, as here, 'a false young man'.
Mary's text has similarities to the two version of the song Camden Town, (Roud 564 Laws P18), recorded from English gypsies William Hughes and Nelson Ridley by Ewan MacColl and Peggy Seeger, particularly the verse that begins 'Now I will not go home...'


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Subject: RE: Death by drowning in traditional songs
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 15 Nov 11 - 12:24 PM

Or - from the sublime to the ridiculous
Jim Carroll

Toon O' Kelso

It was in the toon o' Kelso
A lovely woman did dwell
She loved her husband dearly
But another man twice as well
Singin, fal di la lairly, fal di la lairy, fal di la lairy, an

She went doon tae the chemist's shop
Some medicine for tae buy
For she had resolved in her ain mind
That her auld man should die

She bought a dozen marrow bones
And she's ground them up right sma'
And before he'd eaten the half o' them
He couldnae see ony at a'

Im tired o' my life he cried
I'm tired o' my life
I think I'll awa' and drown myself
And that will end this strife

So down the street together they went
She whistled and she sang
Oh my husbands going to drown himself
I'll help tae push him in

Well doon the street together they went
Til they came to the waters brim
Said he, You'll take a great long race
To help to ding me in

So she went back a great lang race
Tae help tae ding him in
But the cunning old bugger he jumped aside
And she gaed tumblin' in

Oh save ma life, oh save ma life
Oh save me when I call
Oh how can I save your life
When I canna see ony at a'

Well she swam up and she swam doon
Til she cam tae the waters brim
But the cunning old man he got a long stick
And he poked her further in

Ye jaud, ye jaud, ye silly auld jaud
Ye thought ye had me blind
But I'll gae whistlin' hame again
And another wife I'll find


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Subject: RE: Death by drowning in traditional songs
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 15 Nov 11 - 12:41 PM

Ah, yes, indeed, "Marrow Bones" ~~ the song that Frank Purslow used as the eponym for the first of those fine collections he edited for EFDSS all those years ago!

A drowning that doesn't happen is that of The Friar In The Well ~~"Help sweet love or I shall drown" ~~ who does manage to get out. It's in my mind as I sang it just last night at the 'This Is Us' CDs launch...

~M~


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Subject: RE: Death by drowning in traditional songs
From: The Sandman
Date: 15 Nov 11 - 01:13 PM

The Golden Vanity[Did anyone mention this

    (Trad - Child #286)

    There was a lofty ship and they put her out to sea
    And the name of the ship was the Golden Vanity
    And they sailed her on the lowland lowland low
    And they sailed her on the lowland sea

    And she had not been sailing but two weeks or three
    When she was overtaken by a Turkish revelry
    As she sailed along the lowland lowland low
    As she sailed along the lowland sea

    Then boldly up spoke our little cabin boy
    Saying, What would you give me if the galley I destroy
    If I sink them in the lowland lowland low
    If I sink them in the lowland sea

    To the man that them destroys, our captain then replied
    Five thousand pounds and my daughter for his bride
    If he'll sink them in the lowland lowland low
    If he'll sink them in the lowland sea

    The boy he made ready and overboard went he
    And he swam to the side of the Turkish enemy
    As she lay along the lowlands lowlands low
    As she lay along the lowland sea

    And he had a brace and auger made for the use
    And he bored nine holes in her hull all at once
    As she lay along the lowland lowland low
    As she lay along the lowland sea

    And some were playing poker and some were playing dice
    And some were in their hammocks and the sea as cold as ice
    And the water rushed in and it dazzled to their eyes
    They were sinking in the lowland sea

    He swam back to his ship and he beat upon the side
    Crying, Shipmates take me up for I'm wearied with the tide
    And I'm weary of the lowlands lowlands low
    I'm weary of the lowland sea

    Well, I'll not pick you up, the captain then replied
    I'll shoot you, I'll drown you, I'll sink you in the tide
    I will sink you in the lowland lowland low
    I will sink you in the lowland sea

    If it was not for the love that I bear for your men
    I'd do unto you as I did unto them
    I would sink you in the lowland lowland low
    I would sink you in the lowland sea

    And the boy bowed his head and down sank he
    And he said farewell to the Golden Vanity
    As she lay along the lowland lowland low
    As she lay along the lowland sea


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Subject: RE: Death by drowning in traditional songs
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 15 Nov 11 - 02:24 PM

I've been drowning in traditional songs for some 65 years, and haven't died yet


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Subject: RE: Death by drowning in traditional songs
From: ChillToad
Date: 15 Nov 11 - 03:55 PM

Not soldiers, not rivers:

One Friday morn as we set sail
our ship not far from land
I there did espy a fair pretty maid
with a comb and a glass in her hand her hand her hand
with a comb and a glass in her hand

And the raging seas did roar
and the stormy winds did blow
while we jolly sailor boys were up were up aloft
and the land lubbers lying down below below below
and the landlubbers lying down below
.
.
.
and she sank to the bottom of the sea the sea the sea
and she sank to the bottom of the sea


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Subject: RE: Death by drowning in traditional songs
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 15 Nov 11 - 04:14 PM

Housecarpenter


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Subject: RE: Death by drowning in traditional songs
From: Nathan in Texas
Date: 15 Nov 11 - 04:23 PM

Two possibilities haven't been mentioned: "Down in the Willow Garden" and "Knoxville Girl." Perhaps because the coroner's reports are still pending. Definitely murder, but cause of death yet to be determined.


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Subject: RE: Death by drowning in traditional songs
From: Artful Codger
Date: 15 Nov 11 - 05:41 PM

Banks of the Ohio (he leads his ex-girlfriend down the the river at knife-point, then pitches her in--perhaps in some versions he stabs her first)

The Bold Fisherman (by G.W. Hunt; the fisherman drowns in the Thames)

The Leaves of the Woodlands (by Peter Bellamy, from "The Transports": the singer plans to top herself in a river)

A Norrible Tale of the Suicidal Family (one of them drowns herself in the water-butt--the only manner of suicide in the entire song that seems remotely feasible)

Willie Drowned in Eero/Yarrow

I've read accounts of soldiers and cowboys drowning while fording rivers, but don't recall any songs specifically about this.


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Subject: RE: Death by drowning in traditional songs
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 15 Nov 11 - 07:56 PM

Wasn't there a West Indian song called Judy Drowned?


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Subject: RE: Death by drowning in traditional songs
From: tijuanatime
Date: 16 Nov 11 - 04:49 AM

A song involving soldiers and drowning, but not together:

Billy Don't You Weep For Me (Nic Jones)


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Subject: RE: Death by drowning in traditional songs
From: matt milton
Date: 16 Nov 11 - 05:40 AM

The Loss of Seven Clergymen - an eccentric, slightly rococo, Irish song that I know from Len Graham's book. Concerns 7 priests who go fishing and drown.

Contains the great line "all for to decoy the finny trout", a line I can't read without cracking a smile.


http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=aiQ7UAwQgDUC&pg=PA104&lpg=PA104&dq=%22the+loss+of+seven+clergymen%22&source=bl&ots=tmokP8UGs4


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Subject: RE: Death by drowning in traditional songs
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 16 Nov 11 - 06:29 AM

Heres Belafonte singing 'Judy drownded', which is about as ethnic as i care to get.

http://www.myspace.com/harrybelafonte/music/songs/judy-drownded-80990400





Sweet Anna drowned in Willie Moore - well she was found at the bottom of a stream. I suppose , she might have died of food poisoning and then fell in.

Willie Moore was a king, his age twenty-one,
He courted a damsel fair;
O, her eyes was as bright as the diamonds every night,
And wavy black was her hair.

He courted her both night and day,
'Til to marry they did agree;
But when he came to get her parents consent,
They said it could never be.

She threw herself in Willie Moore's arms,
As oftime had done before;
But little did he think when they parted that night,
Sweet Anna he would see no more.

It was about the tenth of May,
The time I remember well;
That very same night, her body disappeared
In a way no tongue could tell.

Sweet Annie was loved both far and near,
Had friends most all around;
And in a little brook before the cottage door,
The body of sweet Anna was found.

She was taken by her weeping friends,
And carried to her parent's room,
And there she was dressed in a gown of snowy white,
And laid her in a lonely tomb.

Her parents now are left all alone,
One mourns while the other one weeps;
And in a grassy mound before the cottage door,
The body of sweet Anna still sleeps.

[Willie Moore never spoke that anyone heard,
And at length from his friends did part,
And the last heard from him, he'd gone to Montreal,
Where he died of a broken heart.]

This song was composed in the flowery West
By a man you may never have seen;
O, I'll tell you his name, but it is not in full,
His initials are J.R.D.4


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Subject: RE: Death by drowning in traditional songs
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 16 Nov 11 - 06:43 AM

Would you like a contrasting song where a ship-wrecked sailor survives? The Isle of France - Mauritius or l'Ile Maurice - another song from Nic Jones.

"I'm from the Shamrock," this convict cried,
"That has been tossed on the ocean wide.
For being unruly, I do declare,
I was doomed to transport these seven long years.

"When six of them they were up and past
I was coming home to make up the last.
When the winds did blow and the seas did roar
They cast me here on this foreign shore."


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Subject: RE: Death by drowning in traditional songs
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 16 Nov 11 - 06:56 AM

Ah, yes, right, thanks Al. Fair Annie [or whoever] does indeed drown in Willie Moore, in the little stream before the farmhouse door.

~M~


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Subject: RE: Death by drowning in traditional songs
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 16 Nov 11 - 11:35 AM

Bold Fisherman

C G7 C / G7 / F C G7 C / F C G7 C

There was a bold fisherman who sailed out from Pimlico
To slew the wild codfish and the bold mackerel.
When he arrived off Pimlico, the stormy winds did wildly blow
His little boat went wibble, wobble, and over board sprang he.

    G7 C G7 / G7 C /

    Singing:
    Twinki doodle dum, twinki doodle dum, twas the highly
          interesting song he sung.
    Twinki doodle dum, twinki doodle dum sang the bold fisherman.

He wriggled and scriggled in the water, so briny-O.
He yellowed and bellowed for help but in vain.
Then downward he did gently glide to the bottom of the silvery tide;
But previously to this he cried: "Fare the well Mar-i-Jane."

    Singing: . . .

His ghost walked at midnight to the bedside of his Mar-i-Jane
He told her how dead he was; said she: "I'll go mad."
"Since my love he is so dead," said she, "All joy on earth has fled
    for me."
"I never more will happy be.", and she went raving mad.

    Singing: . . .


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Subject: RE: Death by drowning in traditional songs
From: Artful Codger
Date: 16 Nov 11 - 03:06 PM

Hunt's song "The Bold Fisherman" is more extensive in its original. See this thread:
There Was a Bold Fisherman

As for the reversal--a sailor surviving--there's "Fare Thee Well, My Dearest Dear", where the one who drowns (along with most of the crew, presumably) is the sailor's true love, who insisted on going with him disguised as his cabin boy. But this occurs on the briny. There are also all the Robinson Crusoe songs, for that matter.


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Subject: RE: Death by drowning in traditional songs
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 18 Nov 11 - 02:44 AM

A lovely song about logging in northern New York state - River Driving (My girl's waitin' for me) - sung by both Jeff Warner and Jeff Davis. You can now go tubing on the Sacandaga.

Big French Joe and I went out
To break a jam when I heard him shout
'Prenez garde' and the jam went out
My girl's waitin for me

Big French Joe, the logs drowned him
He had no chance to fight or swim
With the logs jammed up to the river's rim
My girl's waitin for me


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Subject: RE: Death by drowning in traditional songs
From: The Doctor
Date: 18 Nov 11 - 04:32 AM

Hi John of Elsie's Band
I didn't know about the trad version of Hartlake Bridge so thanks for that. If you're not familiar with Blossom's song it's worth seeking out.


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Subject: RE: Death by drowning in traditional songs
From: GUEST,Uncle_DaveO
Date: 18 Nov 11 - 04:02 PM


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