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Shaking hands in folksongs - instances?

MGM·Lion 19 Apr 13 - 02:23 PM
mg 19 Apr 13 - 02:31 PM
John MacKenzie 19 Apr 13 - 02:32 PM
meself 19 Apr 13 - 02:49 PM
GUEST,mg 19 Apr 13 - 03:10 PM
GUEST,mg 19 Apr 13 - 03:11 PM
GUEST,mg 19 Apr 13 - 03:11 PM
Susan of DT 19 Apr 13 - 03:14 PM
GUEST,mg 19 Apr 13 - 03:14 PM
John MacKenzie 19 Apr 13 - 03:27 PM
John MacKenzie 19 Apr 13 - 05:22 PM
Bert 19 Apr 13 - 05:42 PM
MGM·Lion 19 Apr 13 - 05:50 PM
GUEST 19 Apr 13 - 06:12 PM
Doug Chadwick 19 Apr 13 - 06:16 PM
GloriaJ 19 Apr 13 - 06:22 PM
MGM·Lion 20 Apr 13 - 03:13 AM
GUEST,Musket sans cookie 20 Apr 13 - 08:10 AM
Richard Hardaker 20 Apr 13 - 03:10 PM
MGM·Lion 20 Apr 13 - 06:03 PM
BK Lick 21 Apr 13 - 12:24 AM
MGM·Lion 21 Apr 13 - 01:17 AM
GUEST,Jack Sprocket 21 Apr 13 - 03:53 AM
Jim Carroll 21 Apr 13 - 04:31 AM
MGM·Lion 21 Apr 13 - 04:48 AM
Jim Carroll 21 Apr 13 - 05:28 AM
MGM·Lion 21 Apr 13 - 06:03 AM
Jim Carroll 21 Apr 13 - 06:22 AM
Dave Sutherland 21 Apr 13 - 06:26 AM
GUEST,Gail 21 Apr 13 - 06:43 AM
Jim Carroll 21 Apr 13 - 08:29 AM
GUEST,Jack Sprocket 21 Apr 13 - 10:54 AM
MGM·Lion 21 Apr 13 - 05:26 PM
doc.tom 22 Apr 13 - 05:22 AM
Jim Carroll 22 Apr 13 - 06:50 AM
Sugwash 22 Apr 13 - 09:19 AM
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Subject: Shaking hands in folksongs - instances?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 19 Apr 13 - 02:23 PM

A detail in Dave and Toni Arthur's song on their first record so many years ago, 'All Frolicking I'll Give Over', has always intrigued me. As the lovers part -

'I asked if she would wait for me while I was o'er the main
And if she would be true to me till I returned again.
She swore she would be true to me till death should prove unkind,
So we kissed, shook hands, and parted, and I left my girl behind.'

It's that "shook hands" ~~ doesn't it seem rather a strangely formal leave-taking for a betrothed pair?

There is a lot of hand-shaking in early C19 literature. In Jane Austen's Emma, e.g., the humble schoolgirl Harriet Smith, brought by permission to the great house by her headmistress, a regular card-playing visitor with Emma's father, is much gratified by how affable her hostess Emma is to her throughout the evening, "And even shook hands with her" as she left. There seem to have been strict rules as to who could expect a handshake from whom, within which degree of social equality and intimacy. Jane Austen's editor Dr R W Chapman has much to say of it in his essay on "Manners in the Age of Jane Austen", an afterword to his edition of one of the novels.

But the Arthurs' verse is the only mention of the custom that I can think of in a folksong; and here, as I say, it strikes, to our C20/21 ears at least, an oddly eccentric or inappropriate note. Can anyone think of any other folksong refs to the custom of shaking hands, or to the circumstances, degree of acquaintance, &c, of the handshakers?

~Michael~


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Subject: RE: Shaking hands in folksongs - instances?
From: mg
Date: 19 Apr 13 - 02:31 PM

prob a music hall song

Shake hands with your uncle mike boy and here's your sister Kate


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Subject: RE: Shaking hands in folksongs - instances?
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 19 Apr 13 - 02:32 PM

Night Visiting Song.

They kissed shook hands, and embraced each other.


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Subject: RE: Shaking hands in folksongs - instances?
From: meself
Date: 19 Apr 13 - 02:49 PM

There is some folksong in the back of my mind with the line, "We both shook hands and parted", in reference to lovers ... if more of the song or the title comes to me, I'll be back ....

As well, it seems to me that there is a southern American type of song in which the speaker proposes that he and the love interest 'shake hands' and go their separate ways, apparently with no hard feelings - again, if I remember more, I'll let you know.


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Subject: RE: Shaking hands in folksongs - instances?
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 19 Apr 13 - 03:10 PM


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Subject: RE: Shaking hands in folksongs - instances?
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 19 Apr 13 - 03:11 PM

so here's a hand my trust friend and gie's a hand o' thine.


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Subject: RE: Shaking hands in folksongs - instances?
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 19 Apr 13 - 03:11 PM

they all joined hands in wedlock bands ..not sure where from


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Subject: RE: Shaking hands in folksongs - instances?
From: Susan of DT
Date: 19 Apr 13 - 03:14 PM

One version of Black Jack Davey (Child #200) has this verse

She pulled off her long black gloves
All made of Spanish leather
She gave to him her lily white hand
and said good-by for ever

Sweet William's Ghost (Child #77)

They spent the night in deep discoursing
Concerning their courtship sometime ago.
They kissed, shook hands with sorrowful parting,
Just as the cocks began to crow.

Verse in I'm a Rover, where they shake hands when he enters, rather than leaves,as in the Night Visiting song mentioned above

She opened the door wi' the greatest pleasure,
She opened the door and let him in,
They baith shook hands and embraced each other
Until the mornin' they lay as one.

From The Ship Carpenter's Wife

The hammer came down, concluding the sale,
Poor "Tarry" paid down then the brass on the nail ,
He shook hands with Betsy and gave her a smack,
And took her away straight home on his back.

From the Hiring Fair of Hamiltonsbawn

He brought me home that evening and made me lots of tea
He fried me eggs and bacon and then he shook hands with me.
Saying, "you must be good worker and do the best you can,
If you don't I'm afraid you won't be here." says Mr. Tom McCann

There are lots more - search the DT.


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Subject: RE: Shaking hands in folksongs - instances?
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 19 Apr 13 - 03:14 PM

in ich hatte einem comaraden..

he says can you give me your hand...I can't because I am having to reload..


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Subject: RE: Shaking hands in folksongs - instances?
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 19 Apr 13 - 03:27 PM

They've kissed shook hands, aye they've kissed and parted
He's saddled and mounted, and away did go.

Another version of the Night Visiting Song


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Subject: RE: Shaking hands in folksongs - instances?
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 19 Apr 13 - 05:22 PM

There's also Auld Lang Syne, of course.


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Subject: RE: Shaking hands in folksongs - instances?
From: Bert
Date: 19 Apr 13 - 05:42 PM

Scandalize my name


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Subject: RE: Shaking hands in folksongs - instances?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 19 Apr 13 - 05:50 PM

.. of course, John, my trusty fiere.

Many of the instances, for which many thanks, esp Night Visiting, which I should have remembered, are very like my opening quote, though. Kiss & shake hands - in that order, it appears, on parting, or once or twice on meeting. Was this as customary as these songs seem to suggest? Was such formal greeting or valediction usual between lovers? When? Anyone any precise info? Or analogies in literature - the Jane Austen instances I gave were between friends or fellow guests, &c, rather than between lovers: Emma shakes Mr Knightley's hand at one point, IIRC; but before they acknowledge their mutual love. And does any social historian know when such manifestations died out between lovers?

~M~


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Subject: RE: Shaking hands in folksongs - instances?
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Apr 13 - 06:12 PM

My Kitty sailed away from me
To strange and distant lands
And when I asked a goodbye kiss
She said, "Oh no, shake hands"


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Subject: RE: Shaking hands in folksongs - instances?
From: Doug Chadwick
Date: 19 Apr 13 - 06:16 PM

Oops!

Don't know how I managed to get logged out.


DC


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Subject: RE: Shaking hands in folksongs - instances?
From: GloriaJ
Date: 19 Apr 13 - 06:22 PM

Poor Nancy fell and fainted
But soon they brought her to
They both shook hands together
And bid a fond adieu

   - from the sublime "Lovely On The Water" collected by Vaughan Williams.I;ve been singing this song,off and on, for 30 years and never tire of it.


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Subject: RE: Shaking hands in folksongs - instances?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 20 Apr 13 - 03:13 AM

Thanks for more instances. And another that comes back to me from Jane Austen: in Sense & Sensibility, when Willoughby first appears cold towards Marianne, who has had romantic hopes of him, but he has only been dallying & has now found a rich heiress to marry, she exclaims '"Good God, Willoughby ... will you not shake hands with me?" He could not then avoid it, but her touch seemed painful to him, and he held her hand only for a moment'.

So when, I continue to wonder, did the handshake cease to be an expected part of lovers' conduct towards one another, and become the more formal gesture, not implying any sort of affection, that it has become?

Trouble is, hard to establish a negative. When did it vanish, as such, from folksong & fiction?

~M~


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Subject: RE: Shaking hands in folksongs - instances?
From: GUEST,Musket sans cookie
Date: 20 Apr 13 - 08:10 AM

I've always assumed shaking hands between lovers in song was euphemistic. Sporting and playing etc.

A music hall song which I can't remember the name of but I think Cosmotheaka used to sing includes theterm "shaking hands with the unemployed." No prizes for guessing what it was describing. ..


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Subject: RE: Shaking hands in folksongs - instances?
From: Richard Hardaker
Date: 20 Apr 13 - 03:10 PM

In the final verse of "Just as the tide was a flowing",
"They both shook hands and off did steer..."
No euphemism there, as she is clearly horizontal on the grass with her colour changing in the previous verse. They would appear to be sealing a business arrangement since SHE is paying HIM for services rendered.


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Subject: RE: Shaking hands in folksongs - instances?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 20 Apr 13 - 06:03 PM

Still, an interesting suggestion, Musket. But I can't say I find it very convincing ~~ handshaking is not quite so suggestive as "Winding up her little ball of yarn" or "Squaring up her Bury New Loom" or "Making her mill to rattle round and grinding her grist so clean" &c &c &c, is it now? Even as a euphemism for foreplay or intimate caressing, which you seem to be suggesting, it doesn't quite cut it for me.

~M~


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Subject: RE: Shaking hands in folksongs - instances?
From: BK Lick
Date: 21 Apr 13 - 12:24 AM

Hello stranger, put your loving hand in mine


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Subject: RE: Shaking hands in folksongs - instances?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 21 Apr 13 - 01:17 AM

In some of these, like the last, it is not quite clear whether a handshake is meant, or a holding of hands which is often the first indication, IIRC from my long-since days of courting, of a hoped-for mutual affection.

~M~


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Subject: RE: Shaking hands in folksongs - instances?
From: GUEST,Jack Sprocket
Date: 21 Apr 13 - 03:53 AM

Richard Hardaker quoted:
"They both shook hands and off did steer..."

Note that BOTH. If the Jolly Sailor had been a Zen master, he could have shaken hands without Sam Lover doing so, as he would have known what is the sound of one hand shaking. Or is it implying that some third party, hitherto unmentioned, was present, and shook hands with each of them? Or should the line read "They both shock Hans..."


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Subject: RE: Shaking hands in folksongs - instances?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 21 Apr 13 - 04:31 AM

"The Horseman's grip and word" in the bothy ballad 'Nicky Tams' refers to the secret handshake and word used by horsemen belonging to secret masonic-like societies in North East Scotland.
Hamish Henderson was given both by an old Horseman while he was collecting there, though he always refused to pass it on in honour of the promise he made to the old man, so I think it died with him.
These societies were used in Orkney writer, George McKay Brown's novel, Greenvoe and I think they are covered in David Kerr Cameron's book on the bothies, 'The Ballad and the Plough'.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Shaking hands in folksongs - instances?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 21 Apr 13 - 04:48 AM

Indeed, Jim. But I am most concerned with handshaking apparently having been a conventional sign of affection between lovers, which strikes us today as an odd sort of idea, doesn't it?

~M~


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Subject: RE: Shaking hands in folksongs - instances?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 21 Apr 13 - 05:28 AM

"handshaking apparently having been a conventional sign of affection between lovers,"
Which rules out Morrisey and the Russian sailor who "both shook hands, walked round the ring, prceeding then to fight" and the Kerry Recruit who "shook hands with his spade" - damn!"
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Shaking hands in folksongs - instances?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 21 Apr 13 - 06:03 AM

But Morrissey & the Russian sailor would still shake hands on that situation; but lovers meeting or parting would not still do so. I don't see where that fact in any way 'rules out' Morrissey and his opponent having done. Entirely mystified as to what point you think you are making with that observation, Jim.

~M~


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Subject: RE: Shaking hands in folksongs - instances?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 21 Apr 13 - 06:22 AM

A joke Mike - feeble, but 'tis my own.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Shaking hands in folksongs - instances?
From: Dave Sutherland
Date: 21 Apr 13 - 06:26 AM

Morrissey was the first song that came into my mind too upon reading the name of the thread.


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Subject: RE: Shaking hands in folksongs - instances?
From: GUEST,Gail
Date: 21 Apr 13 - 06:43 AM

I wonder if these lovers' handshakes refer to taking hold of both hands as an affectionate gesture, rather than the formal handshake.


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Subject: RE: Shaking hands in folksongs - instances?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 21 Apr 13 - 08:29 AM

Loads of information on lovers holding hands, taking a hand in marriage, placing ring on finger of left hand etc., but not of shaking them.
The custom of shaking hands goes back to Roman times.
One custom - hand-fasting, hand fisting (perfectly aware of modern connotations of this) or hand in fist, allows an unmarried couple to live together for three nights at the end of which time, if they are pleased with one another, they can live together for the rest of their lives. Can't find a description of the ceremony, but there may be some connection
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Shaking hands in folksongs - instances?
From: GUEST,Jack Sprocket
Date: 21 Apr 13 - 10:54 AM

Usually handfasting, Jim.


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Subject: RE: Shaking hands in folksongs - instances?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 21 Apr 13 - 05:26 PM

GUEST Gail ~~ A pleasant suggestion, and gives rise to a pleasant image. That does strike me as a distinct possibility. Tho I don't suppose there will ever be any way of knowing for sure.

~M~


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Subject: RE: Shaking hands in folksongs - instances?
From: doc.tom
Date: 22 Apr 13 - 05:22 AM

They both shook hnds and parted on the Braes of Strathblane.


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Subject: RE: Shaking hands in folksongs - instances?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 22 Apr 13 - 06:50 AM

"Usually handfasting, Jim."
Depends where you look Jack; Halliwell and Funk and Wagnall give it your way; Hone and Brand do it my way.
Brewer gives Hand-fasting or more revealingly to this thread perhaps hand-fastening.
There's a lovely, slightly disapproving account of the Scottish version of the custom in 'Curious Customs of Sex and Marriage,' one of those quirky reprints you used to find in abundance in London remainder shops.
It deals with it (hand-fasting in this case) as a clan custom and puts it down to a shortage of clergy, but says when a priest becomes available he is rushed in.
We became fascinated with marriage customs when we worked with Irish Travellers; they were strictly conventional to the point that we were roped in as chaperones to the intended bride on the eve of a wedding we had been invited to.
When we asked about stepping 'over the broom' they shunned it as a practice but said it went on among "Gypsies and Navvies".
We were told by one of them of an English Gypsy custom of the couple peeing into the same bucket, the results of which where then swirled around, symbolising their hopefully life-long partnership.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Shaking hands in folksongs - instances?
From: Sugwash
Date: 22 Apr 13 - 09:19 AM

From 'The Gallant Brigantine':

Was then she introduced me to a noble looking man,
Most kindly he saluted me and shook me by the hand,
The wine being on the table and dinner served up soon,
Oh we both sat down together, spent a jolly afternoon.


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