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Origins: Is this a Scottish tune?

GUEST,Guest in Sweden 25 May 12 - 01:02 AM
GUEST,Mike Yates 25 May 12 - 02:29 AM
GUEST,Mike Yates 25 May 12 - 02:33 AM
GUEST,Maa Bonnie Lad 25 May 12 - 04:05 AM
MartinRyan 25 May 12 - 04:19 AM
Jack Campin 25 May 12 - 05:30 AM
Jim McLean 25 May 12 - 09:33 AM
greg stephens 25 May 12 - 10:02 AM
greg stephens 25 May 12 - 10:07 AM
Marje 25 May 12 - 10:50 AM
greg stephens 25 May 12 - 12:06 PM
GUEST,Guest in Sweden 25 May 12 - 12:28 PM
GUEST,Chris P 25 May 12 - 05:16 PM
Marje 26 May 12 - 04:21 AM
Steve Gardham 26 May 12 - 10:57 AM
Marje 26 May 12 - 12:09 PM
GUEST,Ebor_Fiddler 26 May 12 - 01:01 PM
GUEST,Allan Conn 26 May 12 - 07:33 PM
GUEST 26 May 12 - 07:38 PM
Paul Burke 26 May 12 - 08:52 PM
GUEST,Tony Rundle 08 Oct 13 - 09:54 AM
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Subject: Origins: Is this a Scottish tune?
From: GUEST,Guest in Sweden
Date: 25 May 12 - 01:02 AM

I have been wondering about this song for ages and since I have always found great information from the mudcat forum I now turn here for help. The youtube link here Oesterlensvisan, instrumental
goes to an instrumental version known in Sweden as "österlensvisan". It is sung to lyrics by a Swedish singer songwriter called Olle Adolphson, who liked to use traditional tunes from the British isles and write his own lyrics to them, and he says about the tune that it is a Scottish folk song. I love the tune but simply can't stand his sentimental and very un-folksy lyrics, so I've been on a hunt for an original song set to this tune. Does anyone know a song or tune like this one? It may or may not be Scottish, Swedes are extremely lazy when it comes to citing origin of the tunes they borrow or original titles and never seem to get anything even remotely right, so the tune may very well be mainly Irish (a friend of mine insists that it has to be a reworking of the tune of "Where the three counties meet, but I'm not sure I agree) or English or even American! Anyway, I will be extremely grateful for any at all clues to an original song or tune. /Anna Malena


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Subject: RE: Origins: Is this a Scottish tune?
From: GUEST,Mike Yates
Date: 25 May 12 - 02:29 AM

This is the tune for the song "The Keel Row", a very well-known song from the north-east of England.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Is this a Scottish tune?
From: GUEST,Mike Yates
Date: 25 May 12 - 02:33 AM

Sorry, the above could be confusing. The song is actually called "Maa Bonnie Lad" ("The Keel Row" is a different song)but it inclues
mention of the keel row in the text. So, check out Maa Bonnie Lad".


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Subject: RE: Origins: Is this a Scottish tune?
From: GUEST,Maa Bonnie Lad
Date: 25 May 12 - 04:05 AM

This is the text that Anne Briggs used to sing:

Have you seen ought of my bonny lad?
Are you sure he's well-o?
He's gone o'er land with a stick in his hand,
He's gone to row the keel-o.

Yes I have seen your bonny lad,
'Twas on the sea I spied him.
His grave is green but not wi' grass
And you'll never lie beside him.

Have you seen ought of my bonny lad?
And are you sure he's well-o?
He's gone o'er land with a stick in his hand,
He's gone to row the keel-o.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Is this a Scottish tune?
From: MartinRyan
Date: 25 May 12 - 04:19 AM

I would agree with your friend about the resemblance to "Where the Three Counties Meet" - though I doubt that's its origin! For that matter, it's not unlike "The Rose of Allendale" - and several others.

Regards


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Subject: RE: Origins: Is this a Scottish tune?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 25 May 12 - 05:30 AM

Another vaguely similar tune is "Blow the Wind Southerly".


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Subject: RE: Origins: Is this a Scottish tune?
From: Jim McLean
Date: 25 May 12 - 09:33 AM

It resembles my song The Massacre of Glencoe I places.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Is this a Scottish tune?
From: greg stephens
Date: 25 May 12 - 10:02 AM

The tune is also known as Biddy from Sligo and the Humours of Donnybrooke, as far as I remember


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Subject: RE: Origins: Is this a Scottish tune?
From: greg stephens
Date: 25 May 12 - 10:07 AM

Ignore the latter part of my previous post. The tune is indeed known as Biddy from Sligo. But the Humours of Donnybrook is in fact the alternative name for the One-Horned Sheep, another tune altogether.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Is this a Scottish tune?
From: Marje
Date: 25 May 12 - 10:50 AM

My Bonny Lad (or however you like to spell it) seems to be a traditional song from the north-east of England, and only two verses are known (see lyrics as recorded by Anne Briggs, above).

Kathleen Ferrier was probably the first to record it:
http://www.youtube.com watch?v=Ik9BbRkMTGE. She is interestingly described here as a "British Folk Singer". This recording dates from about 1950 (not 1968 as the youtube clip implies - she died in 1953). The song was also recorded by Isla Cameron in the 1950s.

Biddy from Sligo is a similar melody but played much faster, as an instrumental jig that also has a "B" section to the music.

Marje


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Subject: RE: Origins: Is this a Scottish tune?
From: greg stephens
Date: 25 May 12 - 12:06 PM

Of course it is a matter of opinion, but I stick by my statement that My Bonnie Lad is the same tune as Biddy from Sligo, rather than Marje saying it is similar to it. Obviously all versions of folk tunes differ by a note here and there, but a listen to, or a look at, versions of these two should confirm their identity. Of course, as Marje points out, Biddy of Sligo is a conventional jig, and has a B part not associated with the usual version of My Bonnie Lad.


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Subject: Thank you!
From: GUEST,Guest in Sweden
Date: 25 May 12 - 12:28 PM

Thank you so much for all the info! I love the lyrics to "maa bonny lad", so simple and sweet and with a hint of sadness, just perfect for the tune. I guess Olle Adolphsson must have heard someone sing "maa bonny lad" in northern dialect, to untrained Swedish ears it would sound like Scottish. One funny thing: the same friend who insists the tune must have come from "Where the three counties meet" actually has "Billy from Sligo" in one of her Irish session books but when we played together that's one of the tunes she would always skip because she thought it was boring - so there she had an answer for my quest for many years and never realised it!
Again with many thanks and if you find more info I'll be even more grateful :)
/Anna Malena


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Subject: RE: Origins: Is this a Scottish tune?
From: GUEST,Chris P
Date: 25 May 12 - 05:16 PM

My Bonnie Lad at Beamish


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Subject: RE: Origins: Is this a Scottish tune?
From: Marje
Date: 26 May 12 - 04:21 AM

That verson (Beamish) is a lovely one to compare with the original clip, as it's so similar in character.
One more thing for your information, Anna, is that the "Geordie" (north-east England) dialect is a lot closer to lowland Scottish than it is to most other English dialects, so any confusion is understandable. It's also more influenced by Scandinavian languages than any other variety of English is.

Marje


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Subject: RE: Origins: Is this a Scottish tune?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 26 May 12 - 10:57 AM

'more influenced by Scandinavian languages than any other variety of English is.'

If by 'variety of English' you mean dialect, I was always led to believe that the East Riding dialect only a hundred years ago was very close to Danish. They used to say that ER farmers could hold a conversation with the visiting Danish fishermen in the local Hull pubs. Nigel Hudleston's glossary of East Yorkshire dialect does seem to confirm this.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Is this a Scottish tune?
From: Marje
Date: 26 May 12 - 12:09 PM

The Geordie accent with its distinctive sing-song intonation probably owes a lot to Scandinavian connections over the centuries. But you're right, Steve, that Yorkshire has similar links, and if you go back as far as Old English, Yorkshire and Northumberland share a linguistic heritage; both dialects are Scandinavian influenced.

Marje


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Subject: RE: Origins: Is this a Scottish tune?
From: GUEST,Ebor_Fiddler
Date: 26 May 12 - 01:01 PM

Home Rule for the Danelaw?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Is this a Scottish tune?
From: GUEST,Allan Conn
Date: 26 May 12 - 07:33 PM

"Home Rule for the Danelaw?" Mind I think that what we now call Northumberland wasn't actually part of the Danelaw as such. The southern part of Northumbria was. That is Deira which consisted of the area between the Humber and the Tyne. But Bernicia, ie from the Tyne to the Forth, wasn't part of the Danelaw proper.

http://www.englandsnortheast.co.uk/VikingNorthumbria.html


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


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Subject: RE: Origins: Is this a Scottish tune?
From: GUEST
Date: 26 May 12 - 07:38 PM

Sorry meant Bernicia ie between the Forth and Tees!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Is this a Scottish tune?
From: Paul Burke
Date: 26 May 12 - 08:52 PM

Whatever it is, well played to all the excellent musicians there. Especially the one whose instrument was almost bigger than him.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Is this a Scottish tune?
From: GUEST,Tony Rundle
Date: 08 Oct 13 - 09:54 AM

I used to sing this in the 60's and 70's. It's a Geordie song (i.e. from the North East). Ewan MacColl told me that only one verse had been found in a written collection (can't remember where) and that he had written the second verse. I don't know if the tune was originally associated with the verse, or whether Ewan chose a suitable tune. In any case it's not uncommon for good tunes to be re-used for new verses.


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