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Lyr Req: 'Birdie nee, Birdie nee'

GUEST,Bob Coltman 21 Aug 12 - 07:33 AM
GUEST,Bob Coltman 25 Sep 12 - 01:19 AM
GUEST,Lighter 25 Sep 12 - 08:38 AM
GUEST,Lighter 25 Sep 12 - 09:06 PM
GUEST,Bob Coltman 26 Sep 12 - 03:36 PM
GUEST,Lighter 26 Sep 12 - 07:24 PM
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Subject: Lyr Req: 'Birdie nee, Birdie nee'
From: GUEST,Bob Coltman
Date: 21 Aug 12 - 07:33 AM

The title I've given is a soundalike (spelling not guaranteed) for a song I vaguely remember sung by folk festival artists in the 1970s. None of the "birdie" songs in the DT that come up in a search of "birdie" are it.

It sounds like a lullaby. The pattern goes

(Line not remembered)
Birdie nee, birdie nee,
(Line not remembered)
Birdie nee, Birdie nee.

Does this ring a bell with anyone? It's been running through my head for days now, and I'd love to run it to earth. Thanks all in advance.

Bob


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'Birdie nee, Birdie nee'
From: GUEST,Bob Coltman
Date: 25 Sep 12 - 01:19 AM

One addition: I have the impression the song was Gaelic, or translated from Gaelic, if that helps.

Bob


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'Birdie nee, Birdie nee'
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 25 Sep 12 - 08:38 AM

Bob, Margie Butler sings this lullaby. Will check the CD for the words. I can't remember whether they're Gaelic or English!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'Birdie nee, Birdie nee'
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 25 Sep 12 - 09:06 PM

Bob, Sam Hinton recorded this in 1961 on the LP "Whoever Shall Have Some Good Peanuts" (Folkways FC 7530). The tune is the Irish "The Eagle's Whistle," but Hinton calls the song "The Eagle's Lullaby."

Here's what he says of it:

"Often you find a single tune being used for many different purposes. 'The Eagle's Whistle' used to be an Irish marching tune that was played on the bagpipes; later on, it became a fiddle tune used for dancing in the United States. The way it's used here is another Irish way of treating it - as a lullaby. It is supposed to represent a mother eagle singing to her babies in the nest. 'Ei-nee-nee' is an old Irish word for a little bird, and 'sho-ho-een' is just a quiet sound, to make a baby go to sleep."

Hinton's lyrics:

Go to sleep now, go to sleep now, Birdeenee, Birdeenee. (2x)

West to Ardmore with the Birdeenee, Birdeenee.
East to Tramore with the Birdeenee, Birdeenee.
Down to the shore with the Birdeenee, Birdeenee.
Over the Ferry-Boat with the Birdeenee, Birdeenee.

Lie down now, lie down now, ye small birds, ye small birds. (2x)

Go to sleep now, go to sleep now, Birdeenee, Birdeenee. (2x)

Sho-ho-een, sho-ho-een, ay-nee-nee, ay-nee-nee. (2x).

Margie Butler's words from "Celtic Lullaby" (Musical Heritage Society, CD514895H, 1992) are about the same except they lack the "Sho-ho-een" lines" and add these words after the Tramore stanza. (She gives no information about the song's source or origin either:

Children be patient, till the snow it is melted, snow it is melted. (2x)

Turns out there's an earlier thread on the song too:

thread.cfm?threadid=134883

It would be interesting to know where this song came from.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'Birdie nee, Birdie nee'
From: GUEST,Bob Coltman
Date: 26 Sep 12 - 03:36 PM

Yes, that's the one! Lighter, you're a champion. Thanks so much for digging this one out. Best wishes, Bob


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'Birdie nee, Birdie nee'
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 26 Sep 12 - 07:24 PM

Bob, no prob. I was curious about the song the first time I heard it. It's impossible to tell whether it's a translation or originally macaronic, though the latter kind of songs seem to be pretty rare.

The U.S. fiddle tune that Hinton had in mind (I guess) was "Bonaparte's Retreat."


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