Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafemuddy

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


Repeating the first verse at the end

Richard Mellish 09 Mar 14 - 02:24 PM
Mrrzy 09 Mar 14 - 02:34 PM
GUEST,twerp 09 Mar 14 - 02:36 PM
Gurney 09 Mar 14 - 02:38 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 09 Mar 14 - 02:38 PM
Crowhugger 09 Mar 14 - 02:39 PM
GUEST,Guest TF 09 Mar 14 - 02:45 PM
Mrrzy 09 Mar 14 - 02:51 PM
Uncle_DaveO 09 Mar 14 - 03:13 PM
Steve Gardham 09 Mar 14 - 03:15 PM
GUEST,matt milton 09 Mar 14 - 04:07 PM
Don Firth 09 Mar 14 - 04:25 PM
Richard Mellish 09 Mar 14 - 04:37 PM
Bert 09 Mar 14 - 05:20 PM
Newport Boy 09 Mar 14 - 05:47 PM
GUEST,matt milton 09 Mar 14 - 07:17 PM
Steve Gardham 09 Mar 14 - 07:31 PM
Allan C. 09 Mar 14 - 07:37 PM
Phil Edwards 09 Mar 14 - 07:40 PM
Matthew Edwards 09 Mar 14 - 07:45 PM
Lighter 09 Mar 14 - 08:29 PM
Larry The Radio Guy 09 Mar 14 - 08:56 PM
Joe_F 09 Mar 14 - 10:44 PM
MGM·Lion 10 Mar 14 - 02:02 AM
Jim Carroll 10 Mar 14 - 03:45 AM
The Sandman 10 Mar 14 - 05:10 AM
The Sandman 10 Mar 14 - 05:22 AM
GUEST 10 Mar 14 - 08:17 AM
Scabby Douglas 10 Mar 14 - 09:47 AM
Mo the caller 10 Mar 14 - 09:54 AM
GUEST,Phil at work 10 Mar 14 - 10:00 AM
Marje 10 Mar 14 - 12:22 PM
Jim Carroll 10 Mar 14 - 12:46 PM
Marje 10 Mar 14 - 01:26 PM
The Sandman 10 Mar 14 - 02:36 PM
Jim Carroll 11 Mar 14 - 04:16 AM
johncharles 11 Mar 14 - 04:42 AM
The Sandman 11 Mar 14 - 04:51 AM
MGM·Lion 11 Mar 14 - 05:04 AM
Jim Carroll 11 Mar 14 - 05:47 AM
Jim Carroll 11 Mar 14 - 06:08 AM
GUEST 11 Mar 14 - 06:16 AM
JHW 11 Mar 14 - 06:20 AM
Jim Carroll 11 Mar 14 - 06:47 AM
The Sandman 11 Mar 14 - 07:30 AM
Richard Mellish 11 Mar 14 - 08:27 AM
Jim Carroll 11 Mar 14 - 11:41 AM
Richard Mellish 11 Mar 14 - 01:31 PM
The Sandman 11 Mar 14 - 01:49 PM
The Sandman 11 Mar 14 - 02:08 PM
GUEST 11 Mar 14 - 04:38 PM
Seamus Kennedy 12 Mar 14 - 01:57 AM
Jim Carroll 12 Mar 14 - 04:09 AM
GUEST,FloraG 12 Mar 14 - 04:30 AM
Jim Carroll 12 Mar 14 - 04:43 AM
The Sandman 12 Mar 14 - 05:44 AM
Jim Carroll 12 Mar 14 - 05:50 AM
Brian Peters 12 Mar 14 - 06:34 AM
Brian Peters 12 Mar 14 - 06:45 AM
IanC 12 Mar 14 - 07:14 AM
Brian Peters 12 Mar 14 - 07:39 AM
MGM·Lion 12 Mar 14 - 07:56 AM
Brian Peters 12 Mar 14 - 08:36 AM
Dave Sutherland 12 Mar 14 - 08:41 AM
Jim Carroll 12 Mar 14 - 08:47 AM
IanC 12 Mar 14 - 09:00 AM
GUEST,FloraG 12 Mar 14 - 09:13 AM
The Sandman 12 Mar 14 - 09:58 AM
MGM·Lion 12 Mar 14 - 10:21 AM
Jim Carroll 12 Mar 14 - 10:26 AM
Jim Carroll 12 Mar 14 - 10:26 AM
IanC 12 Mar 14 - 11:01 AM
The Sandman 12 Mar 14 - 11:24 AM
Brian Peters 12 Mar 14 - 11:26 AM
Jim Carroll 12 Mar 14 - 11:37 AM
GUEST 12 Mar 14 - 12:08 PM
IanC 12 Mar 14 - 12:28 PM
Jim Carroll 12 Mar 14 - 01:07 PM
Brian Peters 12 Mar 14 - 01:10 PM
IanC 12 Mar 14 - 01:37 PM
Jim Carroll 12 Mar 14 - 02:09 PM
Jim Carroll 12 Mar 14 - 02:37 PM
GUEST,LynnH 12 Mar 14 - 02:46 PM
johncharles 12 Mar 14 - 02:49 PM
The Sandman 12 Mar 14 - 03:52 PM
MGM·Lion 12 Mar 14 - 06:32 PM
Leadfingers 12 Mar 14 - 06:49 PM
GUEST,FloraG 13 Mar 14 - 04:39 AM
The Sandman 13 Mar 14 - 05:08 AM
MGM·Lion 13 Mar 14 - 05:20 AM
Jim Carroll 13 Mar 14 - 07:05 AM
johncharles 13 Mar 14 - 07:36 AM
Steve Gardham 13 Mar 14 - 08:17 AM
Jim Carroll 13 Mar 14 - 08:18 AM
johncharles 13 Mar 14 - 08:35 AM
Allan C. 13 Mar 14 - 08:59 AM
johncharles 13 Mar 14 - 09:14 AM
Jim Carroll 13 Mar 14 - 09:26 AM
The Sandman 13 Mar 14 - 01:40 PM
The Sandman 13 Mar 14 - 02:03 PM
Jim Carroll 13 Mar 14 - 02:43 PM
johncharles 13 Mar 14 - 03:04 PM
Jim Carroll 13 Mar 14 - 03:44 PM
The Sandman 13 Mar 14 - 04:26 PM
johncharles 13 Mar 14 - 04:39 PM
JohnInKansas 13 Mar 14 - 05:19 PM
The Sandman 13 Mar 14 - 05:54 PM
JHW 13 Mar 14 - 06:23 PM
Phil Edwards 13 Mar 14 - 07:43 PM
GUEST,Andrew Murphy 13 Mar 14 - 07:46 PM
Jim Carroll 14 Mar 14 - 04:14 AM
The Sandman 14 Mar 14 - 04:15 AM
The Sandman 14 Mar 14 - 04:33 AM
Marje 14 Mar 14 - 06:07 AM
Jim Carroll 14 Mar 14 - 07:03 AM
Dave Sutherland 14 Mar 14 - 08:39 AM
Jim Carroll 14 Mar 14 - 09:33 AM
Jim Carroll 14 Mar 14 - 09:33 AM
Jim Carroll 14 Mar 14 - 09:51 AM
GUEST,Phil at work 14 Mar 14 - 12:34 PM
Brian Peters 14 Mar 14 - 01:06 PM
Jim Carroll 14 Mar 14 - 01:29 PM
The Sandman 14 Mar 14 - 01:53 PM
MGM·Lion 14 Mar 14 - 02:24 PM
Phil Edwards 14 Mar 14 - 05:19 PM
maeve 14 Aug 15 - 06:53 PM
EBarnacle 14 Aug 15 - 09:08 PM
GUEST,Musket 15 Aug 15 - 03:08 AM
maeve 15 Aug 15 - 05:33 AM
GUEST,Chris Lamb 12 Jun 16 - 05:34 AM
Jack Campin 12 Jun 16 - 06:03 AM
Richard Mellish 12 Jun 16 - 07:35 AM
Lighter 12 Jun 16 - 07:45 AM
Jim Carroll 12 Jun 16 - 09:44 AM
GUEST, DTM 12 Jun 16 - 10:51 AM
FreddyHeadey 12 Jun 16 - 11:09 AM
Lighter 12 Jun 16 - 02:18 PM
Lighter 12 Jun 16 - 02:19 PM
Jim Carroll 12 Jun 16 - 03:14 PM
GUEST,LynnH 13 Jun 16 - 04:09 AM
Pete from seven stars link 13 Jun 16 - 09:39 AM
Jim Carroll 13 Jun 16 - 10:56 AM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:









Subject: Repeating the first verse at the end
From: Richard Mellish
Date: 09 Mar 14 - 02:24 PM

I notice nowadays, far more often than I used to, a singer coming to the end of a song and singing the first verse again. To my mind this seldom works well. Usually it's a mere waste of time, and sometimes it actually messes up the story.

For example, in The Bay of Biscay, in the first verse the girl says she doesn't know where her man is. Then he appears, and reveals himself to be a ghost. Now she knows that his body is at the bottom of the sea. So repeating "Where he is I do not know" at the end seems nonsense.

(As I write this, it occurs to me that he might have died in battle rather than by drowning, in which case his body would be in a graveyard somewhere over the sea rather than at the bottom of the sea. So she might still not know for sure where it is. But she certainly knows that he is dead, so the first verse still doesn't fit at the end.)

Why do singers do it? Is it just a fashion that they think they ought to follow?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Repeating the first verse at the end
From: Mrrzy
Date: 09 Mar 14 - 02:34 PM

I like the same verse at the end with one small change, as in The Highwayman where first he "came riding" (and the story is in past tense) then in the repeat he "comes riding" (and suddenly it's a ghost story). It was a common way of signaling the end of a ballad, coming around to the beginning, but ...

Good question...

why was that? The familiarity would tell people the song was about to end so they could beat feet for the privy, or something? Sovereigns had to be told because with inbreeding they couldn't tell?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Repeating the first verse at the end
From: GUEST,twerp
Date: 09 Mar 14 - 02:36 PM

to make a short song longer


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Repeating the first verse at the end
From: Gurney
Date: 09 Mar 14 - 02:38 PM

A common practice in Country and some Pop songs, usually to pad out a short song. Sometimes the chorus is repeated several times with varied accompaniments for the same reason.
Can't see any reason for doing it in Folk, as the content is usually graphic enough. (Or the song long enough;-))


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Repeating the first verse at the end
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 09 Mar 14 - 02:38 PM

The practice is old, it occurs with some folk songs.
The verse must be general enough that it emphasizes the subject and does not interfere with the story line.

But Richard is correct; some singers don't know when to quit.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Repeating the first verse at the end
From: Crowhugger
Date: 09 Mar 14 - 02:39 PM

I like it for songs that start with a declaration and then proceed to explain the whys and wherefores of that opening statement. When the first verse repeats it's in the spirit of "now you can see all the layers of meaning within these-first-verse-words." I don't take it too seriously if someone does a verse 1 repeat that doesn't fit that notion--on the one hand I tend to shrug off interpretive choices that don't make sense to me at the moment, yet I also file them away in case I figure out a use for that approach myself some day in a way that makes sense to me.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Repeating the first verse at the end
From: GUEST,Guest TF
Date: 09 Mar 14 - 02:45 PM

If it doesn't make sense, why do it?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Repeating the first verse at the end
From: Mrrzy
Date: 09 Mar 14 - 02:51 PM

In French you pad short songs by repeating each line so that the end of each verse is repeated as the beginning of the following one, so basically you can do A la claire fontaine singing it twice through once... or the short way, once through. Don't know of any English ballads where they do that, though?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Repeating the first verse at the end
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 09 Mar 14 - 03:13 PM

In grade school it was common for student
writers in those early grades to do this same
thing, closing what they wrote and turned
in by repeating or at least paraphrasing their
first sentence at the end, thus padding out their
essay to try to meet the assignment length and
trying to get away with a simplistic, empty
thought. The teacher would criticize this practice
and give a failing grade to the lazy student who
couldn't or wouldn't find more content.

These young writers were often repeat offenders,
who seemed never to learn, but appeared to naively
justify this stylistic gaffe as a way to bring
closure to their inadequate thought.

Someone who never understood the shortcomings of
the end-repetition might apply it to performance in
later life, thinking it acceptable stylistic practice.

Dave Oesterreich


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Repeating the first verse at the end
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 09 Mar 14 - 03:15 PM

With narrative song, i.e., ballads I don't see a reason, and I don't think I do it, but occasionally with a non-narrative song that is mostly chorus where there are lots of musicians and singers joining in I will do it to let them all know we're coming to the end, e.g., The Candlelight Fisherman.

Similar situation to using the commonplace:
'There's buns in the oven and cheese on the shelf,
if you want any more you can sing it yourself.'

These simple devices have a long tradition.

As several posters have said, it's a way of milking a good chorus song if it's going well and you want the occasion to go on a little more.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Repeating the first verse at the end
From: GUEST,matt milton
Date: 09 Mar 14 - 04:07 PM

I do it with some songs. One example being 'The Grey Cock' ('Lover's Ghost'), which I know from the Vaughn Williams/Penguin book of folksongs.

That's partly because I generally cut two verses, but mainly because there's that line about 'the burning Thames I have to cross', and repeating it suggests a return trip: that the ghostly revenant is re-crossing some Stygian river of fire back to hell. Or, in my case, if I'm finishing with that song, returning to South London from North London...

There's one or two other songs in which I repeat the first verse. 'The Mermaid' sometimes, because the first verse is a sort of framing verse that might imply the verses of the song are a dream, and if I wanted to make that implication more explicit I could repeat the first verse.

I wouldn't do it if there wasn't a reason. There's always a reason; though sometimes that reason is simply a matter of atmosphere ie 'it feels right'


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Repeating the first verse at the end
From: Don Firth
Date: 09 Mar 14 - 04:25 PM

Standard formula for expository writing:

You tell them what you are going to tell them.

You tell them.

Then you tell them what you've just told them.

I don't gratuitously repeat the first verse at the end--unless that is the way it is presented by my source for the song, such as in a Cecil Sharp collection or in a text from Child. Or if this is the way it is sung by someone I learned it from, such as on a record by someone notable for their authentic and tasteful presentations.

And if it doesn't "clank."

Don Firth


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Repeating the first verse at the end
From: Richard Mellish
Date: 09 Mar 14 - 04:37 PM

Matt said,
> there's that line about 'the burning Thames I have to cross', and repeating it suggests a return trip: that the ghostly revenant is re-crossing some Stygian river of fire back to hell. Or, in my case, if I'm finishing with that song, returning to South London from North London...

But not "into the arms of my dear love/lass" when he's going away from her. And a stumble that would delay his journey would be all to the good if he's on his way back to hell. So the first verse doesn't fit at the end unless you change some words.

HOWEVER I do like that interpretation of "the burning Thames". Much better than dismissing it as a corruption of "this morning's tempest".

Don said
"Standard formula for expository writing:

You tell them what you are going to tell them.

You tell them.

Then you tell them what you've just told them."

But not usually in exactly the same words. Some modification is needed e.g. at the beginning "Come all you (whoevers) and listen" then at the end "Come all you (whoevers) who've listened".


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Repeating the first verse at the end
From: Bert
Date: 09 Mar 14 - 05:20 PM

It is quite common in Country and Pop music, especially when writing songs in the AABA format.

The song has to be written so that the repetition makes sense and reinforces the message.

There is nothing wrong with short songs, sometimes the message is short.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Repeating the first verse at the end
From: Newport Boy
Date: 09 Mar 14 - 05:47 PM

It's not always the first verse. The 'Donibristle Moss Disaster' is an example - repeating the second verse at the end is very effective. It's both a moment of reflection (particularly if the names are almost spoken) and a fund-raising reminder.

"There was Rattray, Macdonald, Hynde, Patterson:
Too well the knew the dangers...".

Phil


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Repeating the first verse at the end
From: GUEST,matt milton
Date: 09 Mar 14 - 07:17 PM

"But not "into the arms of my dear love/lass" when he's going away from her. And a stumble that would delay his journey would be all to the good if he's on his way back to hell. So the first verse doesn't fit at the end unless you change some words."

I'm happy with imperfection and inconsistencies and things that don't fit: there's already plenty of that in the song! It starts being sung in the first person - "I" - but then changes to the third person – "he", "she". It also changes tense. It leaps from one person's mouth to an overall God's-eye-view the way a trippy movie does. It also has a couplet that rhymes "day" with, er, "day".

If you're not happy with the idea of that verse signifiying a return journey to the afterlife, then all you have to do is not think of it that way. Think of it as the rambling song of an addled, wandering spirit. Or think of it as being sung by me, the actual singer, declaring my own intent to go home to my missus. Or just think of it as a repeated verse in a song that doesn't actually have a stable narrator anyway.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Repeating the first verse at the end
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 09 Mar 14 - 07:31 PM

Or indeed a unique song that has been cobbled together from 3 other songs, but what a magnificent job they made of it! If Cecilia Costello is the author then she's a genius.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Repeating the first verse at the end
From: Allan C.
Date: 09 Mar 14 - 07:37 PM

I will sometimes repeat the first line or so, but rarely the entire verse. This can be especially effective if the opening line sets the stage for a repeating scene. The only example of this that comes to mind is: "Fog's rollin' in off the East River bank
Like a shroud it covers Bleeker Street"

It sounds far better than it looks in print ;-)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Repeating the first verse at the end
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 09 Mar 14 - 07:40 PM

A lot of songs have a framing verse as the first verse - the first verse seems like it's going somewhere ("As I walked out...") but it turns out to be a set-up for the second and subsequent verses ("I overheard a young ticket inspector lamenting for his true love who had gone to work for a pork butcher on the other side of town"). Repeating the first verse of a song like that should work well, I think.

I used to sing The Bonny Bunch of Roses quite a lot, and always intended to repeat the first verse at the end; whether I actually did would depend on how well I thought the song had gone down up to then.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Repeating the first verse at the end
From: Matthew Edwards
Date: 09 Mar 14 - 07:45 PM

I think Richard is right that the repetition of the first verse at the end of a song is becoming more common practice; I've noticed it a few times, but I haven't paid much attention to notice whether it happens with specific songs, or types of songs, or in specific occasions. I'd regard it as simply a sort of framing technique on the part of the singer to say, in effect, that the story is now over.

My impression is that the repeated verse is sung at a different pace when used to conclude the song - otherwise you get the alarming sensation that the singer is going to sing the whole thing again!

I wonder whether the practice is more common in singarounds, than say in recordings or concert performances, since it acts as a useful signal that the singer is finishing their turn and it is time for the next person.

I can't say that I've found it irritating or time-wasting generally; perhaps in some cases it might be meant to illustrate the cyclical nature of time - "in my end is my beginning", but I think it really is just another way of saying "That's All Folks!"

Matthew


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Repeating the first verse at the end
From: Lighter
Date: 09 Mar 14 - 08:29 PM

Very, very few traditional songs or singers ever did this.

I remember the practice from the '60s.

Presumably it "wraps up" the song by "bringing it full circle."

It does make for less abrupt endings. The audience has a full stanza to realize that the song is over.

Pop singers sustain a high note to show they're done. Folkies repeat the first stanza.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Repeating the first verse at the end
From: Larry The Radio Guy
Date: 09 Mar 14 - 08:56 PM

I do it for the same reason Crowhugger suggests--for many songs it's a reminder of the 'problem' the was, eventually in some form or another, resolved.    Hearing the first verse at the end of the song, you get a totally different perspective than when you first heard it.

But I think it needs to be the singer's decision as to whether such a repeat is doing that, rather than being something that is just done automatically.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Repeating the first verse at the end
From: Joe_F
Date: 09 Mar 14 - 10:44 PM

I sing "The Cuckoo" & "Dink's Song" that way. In such songs the first verse is not part of the story & can well serve as a recapitulation. In the case of "Dink's Song" I sing the repetition to a slightly more elaborate tune (not sure where I learned that -- getting on 60 years now).


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Repeating the first verse at the end
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 10 Mar 14 - 02:02 AM

It's surely just one of many possible "That's all Folks" techniques. Many traditional singers would speak the title, or the last few words, at the end. Or I often like just to re-sing, unaccompanied, the first phrase, or first line, of the first verse in some songs {to take above two examples, to sing just "O the cuckoo is a pretty bird" or "If I had wings", & break off}. And sometimes repeat the first verse with variations {"& so you called on me to sing and I've showed what I could do, & now that I have finished it, I'll call on one of you", & this time repeat last line in speech, and point at someone}. And sometimes just speak instead of sing the last few words {Sing "And our mothers made colcannon": pause: then speak with emphasis "In the little skillet pot!"}. Or, sometimes, just as I'm doing with original point in this post -- REPEAT FIRST VERSE.

~M~

I think you'll find all these somewhere in my Youtube channel.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Repeating the first verse at the end
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 10 Mar 14 - 03:45 AM

"The practice is old, it occurs with some folk songs."
As far as British and Irish singing It is an 'old' revival affectation; the older generation of singers seldom, if ever did it; many frowned on it when it became fashionable.
Our songs are mainly narrative and it has always seemed pointless to me to reach the climax of a story and start talking about clocks striking thirteen all over again.
Speaking the last line (usually the last few words) is mainly an Irish practice - when we saw it happen with the older singers it was invariably in rooms full of strangers - a sort of self-assurance that these 'incomers' had understood what they had just been told.
Again, many of the old boys disapproved of it - we were specifically told that it ever happened in the farmhouse kitchens where the singing took place.
Quite often then, the listeners would join in with the last few words of a song - a sort of affirmation of its familiarity among people to whom the songs were part of their lives.
I've just re-listened to about four hundred songs we recorded from Clare singers and cannot recall the practice with any of the 'big' traditional singers here, though I will admit, I hear it sometimes from the present generation, but then again, not that often.
Pausing before last few words - nope - exclusive to younger singers
Jim Carroll


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Repeating the first verse at the end
From: The Sandman
Date: 10 Mar 14 - 05:10 AM

Jim, there are occasions when it makes sense, particptory songs like shanties,of non narrative songs candlight fishermen, when a performer has good chorus singing going, do it one more time.
I talk from the point of view of a as a professional performer,not as a collector of traditional songs from traditional singers, all that concerns me as a performer is what works as a performer, I could not care a toss whether any other trad singer approved of it, they were frequently singing in different situations, that does not mean that I do not have respect for other aspects of unaccompanied traditional singers style, you are right, it is generally speaking a nonsense in a narrative ballad,here is a song where it would be a bit silly
Phil Tanner here
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0xVT-vdJL4g
The point about shanties is they can be of any length, they were work songs designed to last as long as the job took, as regards singing shanties in folk clubs they can last as long as they are doing the job of getting people to join in ,it is up to the performer to judge when enough is enough, as the actress said to the bishop.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Repeating the first verse at the end
From: The Sandman
Date: 10 Mar 14 - 05:22 AM

a song where it might work here, a repeat of the very first line, is adieu sweet lovely nancy, the first line starts as a farewell, furthermore the chord progression ends on the tonic giving a finished sound.
a repeat of the first verse of hard times of old england is not nosensencial, in hard times of old england by ding so, it changes from a note of optimism to one of reflecting back on the situation but it is not nonsense, neither is a repeat of the the first verse candlelight fishermen, so there will always be exceptions where it will work.
It is about analysing the lyrics beforehand and giving it some thought.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Repeating the first verse at the end
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Mar 14 - 08:17 AM

It comes from one of the formalities of Welsh harp music, where the expositor starts with s statement and then works a series of variations on it, bringing the complexity around in a circle until the logical conclusion is to return to where we started. IT may have had some roots in classical music of the 17th Century, we see something similar in Britten's variations on a theme of Purcell known as The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra.
It should not be common practice unless the song actually calls for it. Indeed, I've long been of the opinion that we should actually think about what we're singing, as some of the Trad repertoire is hybridised from two songs: Outlandish Knight, for example, picks up the tail end of Young Hunting in a way which makes no sense whatsoever.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Repeating the first verse at the end
From: Scabby Douglas
Date: 10 Mar 14 - 09:47 AM

I've often come across this practice in the context of a singaround, for well-known songs without a chorus. When the first (or any) verse is repeated, there's a tacit understanding and encouragement from the singer to the rest of the company that they can join in. It's almost like saying "I'm sorry there's no chorus that you were able to join in, but here's the first verse instead. Please feel free to sing along."


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Repeating the first verse at the end
From: Mo the caller
Date: 10 Mar 14 - 09:54 AM

"My impression is that the repeated verse is sung at a different pace when used to conclude the song - otherwise you get the alarming sensation that the singer is going to sing the whole thing again!"

Yes, I heard that done too!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Repeating the first verse at the end
From: GUEST,Phil at work
Date: 10 Mar 14 - 10:00 AM

I think you need to listen to Young Hunting again, or at least have a look at the text. There's very little overlap between YH and TOK - certainly not enough to suggest hybridisation. Near the beginning of YH (not the tail end) a lady tries to get a talking bird onside by promising it a cage made of glittering gold, but (a) it's a fairly transparent ruse to kill the bird & (b) the bird doesn't fall for it. The only thing it has in common with the bargain at the end of TOK is the reference to a gold (and ivory) cage.

Nic Jones sang a version of TOK with a first-verse repeat on his second album ("And he's followed her up and he's followed her down", etc). I hadn't listened to that much folk when I first heard it, and it took me ages to work out what was going on ("he came back?"). I don't think the first-verse repeat works with ballads generally.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Repeating the first verse at the end
From: Marje
Date: 10 Mar 14 - 12:22 PM

That repetition of the first verse is something you get in certain poetry too. I think the effect is much the same as with certain songs: it brings new meaning to the verse you heard first, because now you know the story that it was introducing, and understand the significance of what it told you. It can bring a certain irony (popular in late romantic poetry) and sense of knowingness or regret.

On a practical level, it makes it clear that you're winding up the song, and (Jim Carroll won't approve of this, but it's common in England now) allows your audience to join in because that first verse is more familiar to them now. I like this; it gives the audience a chance to express their endorsement, their participation in the sentiments or the story of the song.

Marje


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Repeating the first verse at the end
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 10 Mar 14 - 12:46 PM

Whether you do or don't is a matter of personal taste - my intervention was purely based on the statement that it was an old practice.
I don't see the need for it, particularly in narrative songs - it has to spoil the plot.
Joining in on the last verse wouldn't make the slightest difference anyway - if you've gone back to the beginning of the story you would have spoiled it for me anyway
I believe it to be a modern affectation, that's all.
Another affectation is the use of recitative, a straight lift from the music-hall and the Vaudeville stage.
As Marge says, in general, I detest joiners inners ; if I still lived in the U.K. I would attempt to organise an annual cull.
Jim Carroll


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Repeating the first verse at the end
From: Marje
Date: 10 Mar 14 - 01:26 PM

Blimey, Jim, do warn us if you're coming over here - it's so common now for people to join in, there would be few left standing once you started culling!

Marje


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Repeating the first verse at the end
From: The Sandman
Date: 10 Mar 14 - 02:36 PM

music is about participating, joining in, occasionally it is inappropriate, but with folk music it was something Pete Seeger managed to use successfully. here is another song that in my opoinion it is satisfactory to repeat the first verse so that people can join in, on one april morning.
JIM, Have you ever sung in a museum, I think you might like it.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Repeating the first verse at the end
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 11 Mar 14 - 04:16 AM

Folk song has never been been about joining in - it is about people who have turned their emotions and experiences into musical verse and passed them on to others - poets, playwrights, authors.... painters whoever, have done the same for millenia and will continue to do so long after we have shuffled off.
I am totally at a loss to understand this moronic desire to join in with the verses of a song should have ever caught on - the massed choirs of the folk song revival.   
Try going to an opera and joining in - or muttering your way through Shakespearean soliloquies.... I've seen people being asked to leave a cinema because they insisted in echoing familiar lines in a film.
Joining in on songs as a matter of course without being asked is arrogant interference in a solo singers rights to interpret a song for themselves.
If it is a widespread trend in British folk clubs it is an extremely disturbing one - if it happens at singing weekends I attend here people talk about long after the culprits have departed from Shannon airport back to Heathrow (it seems yet another British eccentricity designed to damage folk song even further).
If I have been given the opportunity to sing I expect to be allowed to be given the consideration of people listening to what I an saying with my songs.
If I want them to join in I will ask them to do so - that's what choruses are for.
If you want to sing, wait till it's your turn.
You want to sing in groups - join a feckin' choir!
Jim Carroll


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Repeating the first verse at the end
From: johncharles
Date: 11 Mar 14 - 04:42 AM

most joiner inners would find a choir very difficult, given their propensity to sing faster or slower than the performer; never in time.
john


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Repeating the first verse at the end
From: The Sandman
Date: 11 Mar 14 - 04:51 AM

folksong has always been about joining in, but in the appropriate places, look at the format of some of the oldest ballads that have a line and then a line to join in with.
it is not moronic to get an audience to participate,Jim, you clearly are uninformed about performing, neither is it moronic to turn the first verse or any verse of a song into in effect a chorus, if the performer wants people to join in,AS LONG AS IT DOES NOT MAKE A NONSENSE OF THE SONG.
A poem that i set music to.. Sailortown, i used one of the verses as a chorus it was a non narrative song, as a performance it works well.As a performer what matters are that you perform well, and the audience enjoy themselves if they are enjoying themselves by joining in and is not detrimental to my performnce,I do not have a problem, it is easy enough for a performer to say in a pleasant way you can join in, or this one is better without etc. Folk song is not opera neither is it going to the cinema, it is about people enjoying themselves.
a good performer should be aware of the audience and be able to encourage or discourage certain things in a pleasant way, it is up to the performer
the only problem I have ever had was when i was booked at the folk club in cecil sharp house,and some fllor singer decided to join in with his concertina ,the problem was he was playing a completely different set of chords, yes, jim that sort of thing is out of order.   by the way your anti english remark was racist and unecessary, in ireland this sort of thing is sometimes mistakenly done by tourists of many different nationalities, it is in a different situation to the guest perfomer booked in folk club, it can be irritating if the person joining in is incompetent,on the other hand i have ha great musicians call in and play because it is an open session, but it is the problem of the irish tourist industry who give the impression that all sessions are free for alls.
so we have 2 different situations, tourists coming to ireland and being under the impression they can join in regardless of whether they know the music, and people in england paying to get in to a folk club and joining in,they are two different situations and both can be dealt with tact fully.
Jim, the word radical means getting to the root of the problem ,singling out english folk club visitors as the proplem is not accurate, the problem is the nature of an open session it is open to anyone, if you dont want an oipen session play in your own house with invited guests, a public house is a public house it is open to the public , if you dont like it set up to your own house session, but dont come on here putting the blame on english people.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Repeating the first verse at the end
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 11 Mar 14 - 05:04 AM

I remember long ago [at the very 1st Cambridge FF, 1965, IIRC] Jon Raven & his group The Black Country Three [I think they were called] sang The Bonnie Lass Of Fyvie; & Jon in his intro saying that they always sang the second verse ['Mony a bonnie lass in the Howes o' Auchterless...'] as a chorus after each verse, "because we find people like singing choruses". That is a song with a good bouncy tune, and it seemed a good idea; and no-one obtrusively then took it on themselves to join in with the other verses, even tho most of us knew them. It is surely a matter of courtesy to take one's lead from the performer[s] in this particular.

~M~


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Repeating the first verse at the end
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 11 Mar 14 - 05:47 AM

Dick - I have no intention of following you into one of your rather gloomy and unpleasant blind alleys - Mike has just said it all
"It is surely a matter of courtesy to take one's lead from the performer"
If a performer is happy that an audience joins in on what he or she does - fine, that is their prerogative.
Nobody should ever be put in the position of having to ask an audience not to join in; that is an unacceptable imposition and where a club carries it out as common practice, it would set up an immediate barrier between listener/would-be-joiner-inner and performer.
On the few occasions I have found myself sitting next to one of these strange people in an audience I have moved away rather than ask them to shut up (my first instinct)
People here have argued for it happening at open sessions, they have suggested that it is arrogant to expect to be allowed to sing solo.
Personally, I would avoid such clubs like the plague - they should be required to put up health warnings - it is, at the very least, bad manners - at worst artistic vandalism
Jim Carroll .


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Repeating the first verse at the end
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 11 Mar 14 - 06:08 AM

Sorry
In a hurry when I wrote that
Should read
"People here have suggested that it should happen in clubs"
Jim Carroll


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Repeating the first verse at the end
From: GUEST
Date: 11 Mar 14 - 06:16 AM

This conversation has gone a bit off-thread, though, Jim - it was about repeating the last verse. In a way you should go a tad further, though, recognising that some songs are dialogues with the audience and go desperately flat if they're the Wigmore Hall kind of audience sitting there purely expecting to be entertained - the kind who expect a live performance to be the ultimate in hi-fidelity recordings and give no feedback whatsoever. Horses for courses, therefore, and dependent also on the audience.
The funniest one I ever discovered was at a dead kitsch tourist performance of Strauss waltzes in Vienna - first piece, dead silence at the end. There's no applause on CDs. Silence. I had the eye of the leader and the conversation went, roughly, "for fuck's sake somebody lead them" "me?" "Yeah, you" "Oh, OK then". Release of the log-jam. Which goes to make the point that if you are going to get the audience involved, seed it with people you know who can come with you and lead them - or risk it going flat.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Repeating the first verse at the end
From: JHW
Date: 11 Mar 14 - 06:20 AM

Occasionally it has become standard practice with certain songs.

Mervyn Vincent never returned to the first verse of Sailing Time. As the last verse ends 'haul away for heaven, God be by your side' surely that is the way the song writer intended to leave it but far more prevalent has become the first verse repeat.
Mary Ellen Carter ends with a variant chorus but you're very likely to get a finisher of the regular one.
(Here I prefer a finisher of the variant chorus repeated)

Could be (in general) that one singer copies what he heard another do without giving thought to the effect.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Repeating the first verse at the end
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 11 Mar 14 - 06:47 AM

"This conversation has gone a bit off-thread, though, Jim "
You are right of course, but in way they are linked in what has happened to folk songs in the hands of people whose involvement with them appears to be very different from their makers and those who have kept them as part of their lives for centuries.
That said, I'm quite happy to leave it there and let the topic proceed uninterrupted by my particular béte noire
Jim Carroll


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Repeating the first verse at the end
From: The Sandman
Date: 11 Mar 14 - 07:30 AM

"It is surely a matter of courtesy to take one's lead from the performer",
exactly the point that i made, the performer encourages or gives a lead, or if he is in a situation where something he doesnt like occurs, he has every right tactfully to ask the person to desist, whether it be a club or singaround or irish song session, I had to do this with a tourist who was not english who was playing random notes on a harmonica to a set of tunes, at an irish pub session, i explained nicelt fuirst time that it was a good idea to know the tune but if not to play quietly,[he took no notice]so i had to ask him again, this guy was just playing anything regardless of the tune or key, but that is a bit different from people repeating the last verse of a song.
I am in effect partially agreeing with you , with the proviso ,it can vary on ciurcumstance.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Repeating the first verse at the end
From: Richard Mellish
Date: 11 Mar 14 - 08:27 AM

JHW said
"Could be (in general) that one singer copies what he heard another do without giving thought to the effect."

That probably accounts for many instances, and would be a particular instance of a wider phenomenon of singers not always paying attention to the sense of the words that they are singing. (And that's not only revivalists: it applies to some of the old traditional singers too.)

On the other hand there can sometimes be some justice in what Michael Flanders said about Donald Swann's singing of To Kokoraki, which (if my memory isn't too far off) was something along the lines of "Personally I don't worry about the words too much: I just look on it as a jolly pleasing noise".


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Repeating the first verse at the end
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 11 Mar 14 - 11:41 AM

"he has every right tactfully to ask the person to desist,"
He or she should never be put in the position of having to make such a request - it should be taken as read that he or she is a solo performer until it is shown otherwise - as is the case with every other performing art
You have been given the reason for this fact already - respond to this or go away and stop nausing up a discussion with inanities.
Jim Carroll


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Repeating the first verse at the end
From: Richard Mellish
Date: 11 Mar 14 - 01:31 PM

Having started this thread I am pleased that it has generated some active discussion, but sorry that it has given GSS and Jim another subject to cross swords about.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Repeating the first verse at the end
From: The Sandman
Date: 11 Mar 14 - 01:49 PM

Jim, there are no inanities,
what you have shown on this thread that you are capable of making racist, generalised remarks, that you know nothing about performing. you cannot make hard and fast rules that do not take into account individual differing circumstances that have to take into account differing performing situations.
you seem to forget that people go out to hear folk music and enjoy it, if the majority of people in a club are enjoying people joining in and you are not, you are in a minority what you should do is leave and subsequently write a letter to the organiser, voicing your dissatisfaction
if you are in a majority at the time then say something to the organiser.
its very simple if you are in a minority, you have a number of options put up with it or leave and write a letter to the organiser. can we now get away from your red herring and return to the discussion of the last verse repetition.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Repeating the first verse at the end
From: The Sandman
Date: 11 Mar 14 - 02:08 PM

there is evidence that people have always joined in some narrative ballads, that is why some ancient narrative songs have repeat lines so that audiences can join in in appropriate places.
repeating the first verse is not always nonsensical, it depends on the lyrics of the song.,
and the particular situation the performer find him/herself in, there are not hard and fast rules that have to be obeyed, much depends on varying situations, experienced performers are able to be sensitive to diferent situations and they adapt,
there will always be grumpy old bollcks who appear to want to lay down rules, whats new?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Repeating the first verse at the end
From: GUEST
Date: 11 Mar 14 - 04:38 PM

The main reason for repeat lines is typified in Breton music, it's so the song is reinforced in those who know it and learned line by line by those who don't. It's the core of oral transmission. Anyone teaching by ear does exactly the same, mostly they run through it once to give the shape, again to teach the detail, and a third time to hold the learners' hand. Then a few times to perfect it. A few more to play with it to make it your own and find the balance against the others doing the same. And suddenly it's not quite the same as taught. Folk is at work.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Repeating the first verse at the end
From: Seamus Kennedy
Date: 12 Mar 14 - 01:57 AM

Luciano Pavarotti used to hate it when I joined in with him at La Scala on "Che Gelida La Manina".
It's really cool done as a round, repeating the first line just after he'd sung it, and so forth all the way through.
Bugger had me thrown out more than once, especially when I stood up and tried to get all the people around me singing along too.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Repeating the first verse at the end
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 12 Mar 14 - 04:09 AM

"but sorry that it has given GSS and Jim another subject to cross swords about."
No from me Richard - one moron is enough to cope with on this forum without following the Cap'n down his particular rabbit hole.
I've made my points about repeated choruses and I've sad all I intend to say (here) on what I consider to be a deplorable habit of joining in uninvited on what is essentially a solo interpretative art.
I'm happy to drop the latter as it is off-topic, but I would be interested in any feedback on my views on repeated verses.
I may be totally off-beam, but we did go to some lengths over the last thirty odd years to ask as many of the old singers we could how the singing tradition worked.
JIm Carroll


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Repeating the first verse at the end
From: GUEST,FloraG
Date: 12 Mar 14 - 04:30 AM

If Im playing along its really useful. I usually know the first verse but not always the others - so I know its about to end.
FloraG


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Repeating the first verse at the end
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 12 Mar 14 - 04:43 AM

That's fine from a musicians point of view Flora, but how does it help the listener to follow the story?
Jim Carroll


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Repeating the first verse at the end
From: The Sandman
Date: 12 Mar 14 - 05:44 AM

Jim, if you could be civil on this forum everyone else would appreciate it, it is quite unnecessary to insult someone who has a different point of view.
I have explained my point of view a number of times my position is not moronic.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Repeating the first verse at the end
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 12 Mar 14 - 05:50 AM

"everyone else would appreciate it"
It was addressed to you Cap'n, not everyone else
Richard makes the point that there are two of us involved "but sorry that it has given GSS and Jim another subject to cross swords about"
You want to be treated with respect - show some respect for others - you have a record of not doing so
Over and out
Jim Carroll


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Repeating the first verse at the end
From: Brian Peters
Date: 12 Mar 14 - 06:34 AM

I've been looking recently at 'Through Bushes and Briars', which is often sung these days with the first verse repeated (the song itself is partly a Vaughan Williams confection anyway). I think it rounds off quite nicely a song that doesn't have a strong narrative, although there's no evidence that the small number of traditional singers who knew the song used to repeat the verse. On the other hand, such a device would only be appropriate to a performance context, so a singer faced by a toff with a notebook probably wouldn't have bothered anyway - and who's to say the collector have noted it, even if they had?

And I know it's off topic, but I really can't let Jim get away with "Folk song has never been about joining in."

East Anglian pub sings such as Blaxhall and Eels' Foot were full of joining in, to the extent that singers would deliberately repeat the second half of each verse to serve as a chorus. Cyril Poacher's 'Green Broom' is a classic example (I've always been tickled by such an old magical ballad being turned into a singalong number), but only one of many. He sang the repeats in the pub, but not when recorded at home. Not quite the same as repeating the first verse, but still a participatory invitation quite unneccessary to the narrative.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Repeating the first verse at the end
From: Brian Peters
Date: 12 Mar 14 - 06:45 AM

... or, going back a little further than Suffolk pub singing:

"The maidens in dulcet manner chanted out this song [The Fair Flower of Northumberland], two of them singing the ditty, and all the rest bearing the burden [refrain]"

John Deloney, 1597.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Repeating the first verse at the end
From: IanC
Date: 12 Mar 14 - 07:14 AM

Thomas Deloney!

:-)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Repeating the first verse at the end
From: Brian Peters
Date: 12 Mar 14 - 07:39 AM

"Thomas Deloney!"

Whoops, of course. I copied the name along with the quote from a third-party source, without taking the trouble to engage brain. That's my credibility blown.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Repeating the first verse at the end
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 12 Mar 14 - 07:56 AM

Take more'n that to blow your cred, Brian. Y, U R A Nashunal Treshur!

~M~

And it's hey but her love was easy won...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Repeating the first verse at the end
From: Brian Peters
Date: 12 Mar 14 - 08:36 AM

"And it's hey but her love was easy won... "

And so is mine, by flattery like that!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Repeating the first verse at the end
From: Dave Sutherland
Date: 12 Mar 14 - 08:41 AM

I have always repeated the first verse at the end of "Little Musgrave" as I feel that it rounds the ballad off nicely following the high drama climax. That's just my opinion and in the last forty years nobody has challenged me over it. In similar fashion I always repeat the first line at the end of the ballad "Alan McLean" again feeling that it brings to a close a particularly sad tale. But calling "The Fair Flower of Norhumberland" a ditty.......


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Repeating the first verse at the end
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 12 Mar 14 - 08:47 AM

"East Anglian pub sings such as Blaxhall and Eels' Foot were full of joining in"
With respect Brian - what happened at Blaxhall, Woodbridge, Winterton and all those other singing pubs had little to do with 'folk song' as such - they were free-for-alls where everything was sung.
Sam Larner described them, and the fishermen's concerts he attended up the East coast just like that and said "the serious singing was done at home or at sea".
The exclusively 'folk' performances were done for 'the man with the microphone'after the Beeb took an interest.
Exactly the same was claimed by the older singers in Ireland
Jim Carroll


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Repeating the first verse at the end
From: IanC
Date: 12 Mar 14 - 09:00 AM

For me, though, Jim the free-for-all is the folk.

:-)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Repeating the first verse at the end
From: GUEST,FloraG
Date: 12 Mar 14 - 09:13 AM

We did a dance session in a primary school and to break it up sang the Rochester recruiting sargent. When we asked the children what it was about very few had listened or understood - I'm not sure which - to tell us. We've not been able to repeat the experiment with adults but I suspect that few actually listen with any degree of intensity.

Would it matter to most if you did the verses in a random order? It would be an intersting experiment.
Florag


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Repeating the first verse at the end
From: The Sandman
Date: 12 Mar 14 - 09:58 AM

"You want to be treated with respect - show some respect for others - you have a record of not doing so"
the pot calling the kettle black. I could find many examples of your lack of respect TO OTHERS on this forum particularly to Keith A. The singing sessions that Brian quotes are very good examples, the cause is irrlevant it happened way back in the fifties it is not anything new.of course they were folk songs stop being silly Jim, to say they were not folk songs shows yopu do not know what you are talking about


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Repeating the first verse at the end
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 12 Mar 14 - 10:21 AM

'But calling "The Fair Flower of Northumberland" a ditty.......'
.,,.

That's how it would have seemed to Deloney, tho, Dave. Have you seen the length of his songs!

~M~


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Repeating the first verse at the end
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 12 Mar 14 - 10:26 AM

"For me, though, Jim the free-for-all is the folk."
Not to the folk we spoke to Ian - nobody ever bothered to sang them what they thought of what they sang so we ended up with the "Singing horses" nonsense - but we don't want to go there, do we.
Was some of them had to say is housed at the British Library with our collection.
"Keith A." is receiving his come-uppance on another thread at this moment - you seem to be using an openly declared racist in support of your own behaviour - tsk, tsk!
Jim Carroll


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Repeating the first verse at the end
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 12 Mar 14 - 10:26 AM

"For me, though, Jim the free-for-all is the folk."
Not to the folk we spoke to Ian - nobody ever bothered to sang them what they thought of what they sang so we ended up with the "Singing horses" nonsense - but we don't want to go there, do we.
Was some of them had to say is housed at the British Library with our collection.
"Keith A." is receiving his come-uppance on another thread at this moment - you seem to be using an openly declared racist in support of your own behaviour - tsk, tsk!
Jim Carroll


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Repeating the first verse at the end
From: IanC
Date: 12 Mar 14 - 11:01 AM

No Jim, I don't want to go there, but what we're talking about here, in my eyes at least, is what is a traditional thing to do.

If the free-for-all is traditional, that's what's traditional. Can you sincerely tell me that people didn't sing pop songs at home too? Is what you're calling a folk song still a folk song when it's sung by an operatic tenor?

Just for the sake of differentiation, I'll call it traditional but I don't think it's very reasonable to dismiss what people have done in pubs for centuries as untraditional or somehow wrong.

On the contrary. Traditional singing has always, but not all the time, been about joining in.

Ian


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Repeating the first verse at the end
From: The Sandman
Date: 12 Mar 14 - 11:24 AM

Jim, stop being silly, provide some evidence that the songs sung at the blaxhall ship and eels foot were not folk songs.
you made a racist remark, I have no time for any sort of racist remark, however, I do not insult people who have different opinions, you frequently do ,please stop it.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Repeating the first verse at the end
From: Brian Peters
Date: 12 Mar 14 - 11:26 AM

Interesting to hear what Sam Larner had to say, Jim. I would agree that pub sessions were never the be-all and end-all of traditional singing - as some people brought up on folk clubs might assume - and that many singers were proud of their craft as soloists and storytellers. However, a song like 'Jones's Ale' surely owed its undoubted popularity to its rousing chorus, as did many others. Social singing wasn't just confined to pubs either, as Bob Copper and Walter Pardon told us.

I was interested in FloraG's point about people not paying attention to the narrative. I must admit I first got excited about folk music because of the way it sounded, and only learned to appreciate the stories later. I think that's something that takes a while, given that modern popular music doesn't usually have a strong narrative, so I'm not surprised that schoolkids couldn't follow the Rochester recruiting sergeant. They (and indeed most adults) would probably have needed a bit of a history lesson to make any sense of it at all. Who is this Marlborough dude anyway?

Much as I love narrative songs, I've always had a soft spot for 'The Streams of Lovely Nancy', as random a collection of floating verses as you could wish for. I'm sure you could mess with the order of those without causing undue damage.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Repeating the first verse at the end
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 12 Mar 14 - 11:37 AM

"Can you sincerely tell me that people didn't sing pop songs at home too"
No - of course can't - if you go to South Wales you will find miner's choirs singing Verdi arias - no doubt those that had them bunched around the Joanna ans sang them at home - what's your point - that they are all folk songs - surely not?
Taking your argument to its logical conclusion we may as well abandon any attempt at identifying out music and call it....what exactly - music maybe?
Back in the sixties we all came together to sing, listen to and promote a certain type of song and music - not pop, not jazz, not music hall, not light opera - we called it folk and by and large we knew what it was and where to find it.
I stopped visiting most clubs when folk clubs turned themselves into musical versions of Woolworths, and confined myself to venues that went in for what it said on the label
Folk song, like "honesty", seems "All our of fashion" - the Rigs of the Times, perhaps?
My point about the old singers is, whatever they sang they had a name for the songs we choose to call "folk songs".
Now where did I put my album of Peggy Lee (sigh!!) folk songs?
Jim Carroll


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Repeating the first verse at the end
From: GUEST
Date: 12 Mar 14 - 12:08 PM

You realise that Miss Piggy was Frank Oz' revenge on Peggy Lee, after she had him booted of a flight when he was a student so she could fly?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Repeating the first verse at the end
From: IanC
Date: 12 Mar 14 - 12:28 PM

Jim

We're talking here about verses and choruses in songs.

I'm sorry you seem to be ridiculing my idea of what is traditional. I'm not at all sure that all singers of folk songs really had a concept of the difference between "real folk songs" and what they were singing within what I'm calling the tradition.

Perhaps you can sing Lennon/McCartney and Ray Davies songs within that tradition.

Ian


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Repeating the first verse at the end
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 12 Mar 14 - 01:07 PM

"Perhaps you can sing Lennon/McCartney and Ray Davies songs within that tradition."
After you pay copyright costs you can, that's why they'll never belong to 'the folk'
You're slithering rapidly down the 'singing horses' slope, which is what robbed us of our right to choose what we listen to in folk clubs in the first place - sorry; I prefer to know what's in the tin before I open it.
"I'm not at all sure that all singers of folk songs really had a concept of the difference between "real folk songs"
Some did, some didn't, but they all knew that 'Searching For Young Lambs', 'Please Please Me' and 'Nessun Dorma' came out of different stables - something that seems to have gone over the heads of many folkies.
Don't think I know the story of Paggy Lee(sigh) and Miss Piggy Guest.
That woman messed about with my adolescence something rotten (not Miss Piggy, I hasten to add.
Jim Carroll


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Repeating the first verse at the end
From: Brian Peters
Date: 12 Mar 14 - 01:10 PM

We know from Flora Thompson's account, reproduced in The New Penguin Book of English Folk Songs, that participants in a particular pub did absorb newer material over the passage of time, and that younger singers preferred the newer stuff, while the old boys stuck to things like 'The Outlandish Knight'. On the other hand, Jim is not the only one who will tell you that traditional singers, when asked the question, did differentiate between the older songs in their repertoire and the newer ones, often placing a higher value on the older repertoire.

And, talking of 'The Outlandish Knight', I notice that higher up this thread an anonymous Guest, who was otherwise correct in saying that songs have often borrowed verses from one another, put forward the idea that this ballad stole its 'Parrot Coda' from 'Young Hunting'. The same theory was advanced by, coincidentally, another anonymous Guest in
this thread about the BBC Cecil Sharp initiative. I did think I'd managed to debunk it there, but it still seems to be flapping around on its broken wing. Sorry, but it ain't so.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Repeating the first verse at the end
From: IanC
Date: 12 Mar 14 - 01:37 PM

Jim

I wonder if you can understand that I value different things about the tradition within which I make music. To me, it isn't always the song that you sing but about how and under what circumstances you do it.

There's a difference between songs that people sing and ones that they listen to. I don't see any slippery slope out there.

I go round to The Rose & Crown and sing songs I like to sing, with other people who like to sing songs, often different from the ones I like to sing. In doing this, I happily accept that they'll occasionally be singing songs that I don't even like very much or I don't think are really being sung in the right place. Fine. I don't have some automatic right to decide for them.

I went to folk clubs for a fairly short period of time because I thought they were singing songs I liked to sing and to hear. I stopped going for a different reason than you. Because of the snobbery about singing songs like "The Wild Rover" and people telling other people what they should and shouldn't be singing.

When I stopped doing that, I reverted to what I now recognise as the tradition I was brought up in and started a music / singing session in The Rose & Crown. I wish I hadn't called it folk, but that's what it is known as now.

I'd honestly rather listen to a bad punk band in a pub than have it full of piped muzak, which seems to be the other option.

I get pleasure from researching songs and knowing about their background but it's singing them that gives me most pleasure and that's why I do it. I really don't get a buzz out of ridiculing other people or trying to make them look small, nor do I find it helpful when other people do.

Ian


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Repeating the first verse at the end
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 12 Mar 14 - 02:09 PM

"And that younger singers preferred the newer stuff, while the old boys stuck to things like 'The Outlandish Knight'"
Walter Pardon said exactly the same thing.
He said that when his cousins abandoned the old songs (Walter actually called them "folk songs" for the new ones, he decided to put together all his family's songs.
He carefully wrote them down in an exercise book, memorised the tunes on his malodeon and checked them out with the surviving family members.
We have his books; with a couple of discrepancies, they are catergorised into folk and non-folk - not named that way; that's the order in which they come.
We hope to be recording a ninety odd year old man shortly with a repertoire to die for (Lord Bateman, Keach in the Creel, Constant Farmer's Son, Pat O'Brien, Lord Lovel, Banks of Sweet Dundee, Green Wedding, Suffolk Miracle....)
He stopped singing thirty years ago because he disapproved of how his songs were being sung by "the younger lot" and now says he is "too old to sing", but at least we hope to interview him on - to borrow a phrase from Martin Carthy's radio programme, "How the old songs should be sung".
To say that the older singers do not discriminate is simply inaccurate
"I value different things about the tradition within which I make music."
Too often these discussions are taken as disapproval and criticism - they certainly aren't with me.
I have fairly catholic tastes but like to chose when and what to listen to.
My activities as a researcher requires some degree of accuracy, but it has nothing to do with my taste.
Jim Carroll


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Repeating the first verse at the end
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 12 Mar 14 - 02:37 PM

Meant to say Walters notebook was dated 1947
Jim Carroll


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Repeating the first verse at the end
From: GUEST,LynnH
Date: 12 Mar 14 - 02:46 PM

"In Sir Patrick Spens I clean forgot the 42nd. verse
so I sang the 27th. once again and twice as loud
And no-one noticed....."

Fred Wedlock 'The Folker' on audiences not following the text.

As to the actual topic here, I think it depends upon the song being sung and what works for the singer. For me, for example, the perfect way to close Paul Metsers 'Farewell to the gold' is to repeat the last verse but without the refrain:

"I'll pack up, I'll make the break clean........."

...and out.Applause. Other singers may consider that ending unacceptable.

On the other hand, repeating verse 1 doesn't work for 'The female drummer'in my opinion.

Richard Thompson's 'Withered and died' is written with a repeat first verse (or part thereof) at the end.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Repeating the first verse at the end
From: johncharles
Date: 12 Mar 14 - 02:49 PM

perhaps clearer definitions of what any particular club is offering would help.
1. Historical Song Club (folk) - songs collected and recorded on wax cylinders and magnetic tape. Usually, unaccompanied singing.
2. Folk Club (modern) - songs as above and any other song that you can play guitar to.
3. Folk and Roots Club - as above plus any other instrument; credit will be given for Tibetan or Peruvian instruments.
3. Folk Roots and Acoustic Club - all of the above plus pop songs and obviously you will be able to plug your guitar into a powerful amp.
hope this helps. john


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Repeating the first verse at the end
From: The Sandman
Date: 12 Mar 14 - 03:52 PM

Much as I love narrative songs, I've always had a soft spot for 'The Streams of Lovely Nancy', as random a collection of floating verses as you could wish for. I'm sure you could mess with the order of those without causing undue damage"
I agree, most of the verses can be exchanged around with the exception of possibly the verse that is usually sung last.
Jim, it is not of importance to me when i make a decision about how I perform, what some long dead traditional singer thought about singing the last verse of a song again, neither am i interested in your activities as a researcher ,when it comes to making a decision about performing.
I certainly do not think would Walter Pardon have approved of me singing the last verse of The Candlelight Fisherman again, I base my decisions on analysis of the lyrics and what works performance wise, and that is how it should be if you are a performer.
JIM CAROLL, said"I stopped visiting most clubs when folk clubs turned themselves into musical versions of Woolworths, and confined myself to venues that went in for what it said on the label"
Typical, sweeping generalisation about folk clubs.
nobody is able to define folk music we all have different varying ideas, but what you say is just another of your ill thought statements, no one on this forum has yet been able to define successfully, that which is folk music.
Have you thought about taking up collecting butterflies, they are dead, and they can be carefully labelled, when it says red admiral on the label it is a red admiral, evrything is ordered and labelled ,unlike folk songs they do not attempt to evolve, your collected red admiral will always be in its case for you to look at, just like your collection of long gone traditional singersand songs, preserved, unchanging, labelled, here is what Walter Pardon said in 1975,it must be gospel, very different from tradtional folk songs, which by their nature evolve.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Repeating the first verse at the end
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 12 Mar 14 - 06:32 PM

'The Streams of Lovely Nancy', oddly enough, is one of few songs in DT printed with the first verse repeated at the end; which, I suppose, makes that, Mudcat-wise, official.

Insofar as such a concept, in context of Mudcat, can have any actual referent!

There, as Humpty Dumpty might remark, is glory for you!

~M~


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Repeating the first verse at the end
From: Leadfingers
Date: 12 Mar 14 - 06:49 PM

I was trying to actually remember which songs I regularly did a "repeat First Verse' on , and couldn't until this afternoon , walking back to Faversham Station from Andy Perkins banjo place , and sang "Wild Goose Shanty' - Repeat first verse seems perfect on THAT one .


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Repeating the first verse at the end
From: GUEST,FloraG
Date: 13 Mar 14 - 04:39 AM

I am thinking that it might be a good MA/ PHd study for someone on the folk degree to look at how much of songs are listened to/ understood.
FloraG


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Repeating the first verse at the end
From: The Sandman
Date: 13 Mar 14 - 05:08 AM

The sessions at the blaxhall ship were not a free for all, a gentleman by the name of wicketts richardson was keeping order as can be clearly heard on the recordings.Jim,its a good idea to check facts before posting


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Repeating the first verse at the end
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 13 Mar 14 - 05:20 AM

Indeed, Dick: and he would constantly call for "Lovely order, please!", which I always found most delightful phraseology.

~M~


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Repeating the first verse at the end
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 13 Mar 14 - 07:05 AM

"Jim,its a good idea to check facts before posting"
And it's equally a good idea to pay attention to what people write and respond to it honestly.
You never stop do you Dick?
What happened pre-BBC intervention as far as what was sung there - which is what I referred to if you took the trouble to read what was posted, is well documented, as was how the BBC sessions were set up to record exclusively 'Folk Songs' - it was an 'anything-goes session as far as repertoire was concerned.
I believe The Countryman Magazine carried an article on it.
Please stop nausing up discussions with your small-minded vendettas.
Jim Carroll


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Repeating the first verse at the end
From: johncharles
Date: 13 Mar 14 - 07:36 AM

Summer's 1972 recordings in the ship feature multiple versions of the black velvet band, the wild colonial boy,and the nutting girl. There are also multiple versions of the song referred to as slap-dab (The Amateur Whitewasher).
I fear that neither the songs nor the singing would have persuaded me to stay for a second pint.
john


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Repeating the first verse at the end
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 13 Mar 14 - 08:17 AM

It's great that we all have our own personal opinions, John. Personally I'm extrememly grateful the film exists and would have given my right arm to have met these people and hear them sing live.
The version of Fagan the Cobbler with all the actions is one of my all-time favourites and I'd rather witness that on film than anything we can produce today.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Repeating the first verse at the end
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 13 Mar 14 - 08:18 AM

The later sessions at The Ship were very much folkie orientated, from a film that was made about it in the 70s, it had little to do with what had previously taken place there.
A far better impression of what took place can be got from 'Here's a Health to the Barley Mow' filmed in the 1950s.
It has just three songs and a couple of melodeon tunes on it; Barley Mow (Arthur Smith), Nutting Girl (Cyril Poacher), General Wolfe (Bod Scarce) and playing by Fred Pears and Bob Roberts.
Nostalgic, though not great singing.
Jim Carroll


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Repeating the first verse at the end
From: johncharles
Date: 13 Mar 14 - 08:35 AM

I haven't seen the film I was listening to recordings from the British sound archive. Summers recordings are the only ones available for public listening. Others were recorded at the ship but are only accessible through subscribing organisations e.g. universities. This is a bugbear of mine and the British library which we fund needs to overcome the copyright issues and make them all freely accessible.
john


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Repeating the first verse at the end
From: Allan C.
Date: 13 Mar 14 - 08:59 AM

Boys! Boys! Can we get back on topic, please? You should know by now that there is no sense in debating, "What is folk music?" all over again. But should you choose to do so, pick a different venue, if you please.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Repeating the first verse at the end
From: johncharles
Date: 13 Mar 14 - 09:14 AM

Ultimately I guess it is down to the singer what to sing and how they wish to sing it. There may be a trend for repeating verses but it is not something I have personally noted.
john


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Repeating the first verse at the end
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 13 Mar 14 - 09:26 AM

"Boys! Boys! Can we get back on topic, please?"
With respect Alan, nobody is debating what folk music is (at least not seriously). Rather, this is about what has happened to folk music in the hands of today's singers.
Verse repeats are only part of what has happened, in my opinion - but I am happy to abide by the referees rules.
Jim Carroll


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Repeating the first verse at the end
From: The Sandman
Date: 13 Mar 14 - 01:40 PM

as usual,jim carroll attempts to muddy the waters. Brian was refrring to the recorded versions of the singing at the Blaxhall ship, In which wickets richardson kept order and folk songs were sung and people joined in,
as usual, you brought in a red herring,, what you think happened before[were you there?], in an attempt to muddle things up.
Jim, stick to collecting your museum pieces, that you can safely label like a collector of dead butterflies, and let people, who know something about the performance of folk music, discuss it,amicably, amicably, means not calling someone a moron,


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Repeating the first verse at the end
From: The Sandman
Date: 13 Mar 14 - 02:03 PM

Nostalgic, though not great singing."
Jim Carroll
and since when are you an expert on singing?.
100


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Repeating the first verse at the end
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 13 Mar 14 - 02:43 PM

"and since when are you an expert on singing?."
I've requested that you stop nausing up these discussions with your nastiness - you obviously have no intention of doing
Get a life Dick
Jim Carroll


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Repeating the first verse at the end
From: johncharles
Date: 13 Mar 14 - 03:04 PM

I must be getting old I find urban slang very distasteful


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Repeating the first verse at the end
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 13 Mar 14 - 03:44 PM

"I must be getting old I find urban slang very distasteful"
Sorry John (I assume you're referring to my outburst)
My apologies - I really am trying my best here - must try harder.
Never thought it as 'urban" though - very popular here in rural Ireland
Jim Carroll


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Repeating the first verse at the end
From: The Sandman
Date: 13 Mar 14 - 04:26 PM

Jim if you insult someone, calling someone a moron is an insult, you will get an adverse reaction, you have also used racist sterotyping. for your information I have a life,
i am not communicting from the spirit world, i am pleased to say have spent very little time on the computer with your nastiness, bad manners and pomposity, i have spent my time painting the windows of my house[ the sun has been shining in this part of ireland] and playing a bit of music, you need to get some manners.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Repeating the first verse at the end
From: johncharles
Date: 13 Mar 14 - 04:39 PM

Discussions seem to end up in arguments because people insist on comparing apples with pears.
From an academic point of view you would want to preserve the songs in as original form as possible. ( not always the case with some of the collectors though.)
When it comes to performers they are not bound by the same academic conventions and many will alter songs in a variety of ways to meet their own needs.
The initial comment seemed to be from the perspective of an audience member wondering why verses were repeated. The only way to be certain is to ask the performer. If it is someone known to you it might even be possible to suggest that it detracts rather than adds to the song if that is how you feel.
A search of the web looking for alternative versions of songs may even be able to ascertain whether repeats have crept in and who/when why it started. I have neither the inclination nor the time ( got a gig on Saturday to practice for) to pursue this option.
John


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Repeating the first verse at the end
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 13 Mar 14 - 05:19 PM

Being a little less ardent in my devotion to folk songs, I'll say that some of them are so long I might have forgotten what they were about by the time they're ready to be ended. A reminder at the end could be helpful for those like me. ... (?)

In elementary "How to Make a Speech" classes, it is often taught that you should always use three steps:

1. Tell 'em what you're going to tell 'em.

2. Tell 'em.

3. Tell 'em what you told 'em.

The repeated first verse might be an attempt at following something similar to this practice, although the more modern classes say "don't tell 'em anything. Just make 'em want to buy it."

John


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Repeating the first verse at the end
From: The Sandman
Date: 13 Mar 14 - 05:54 PM

The initial comment seemed to be from the perspective of an audience member wondering why verses were repeated"
as a performer i have attempted to answer that,here we go again, on occasions when it has been a non narrative song, such as the candlight fisherman ,or april morning or a shanty, and i have noticed the audience is joining in choruses, i have used it in effect like an extra chorus, there is nothing moronic about this, it is about noticing the audience are having a good time joining in and trying to keep the audience in that mood, simple really its not rocket science.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Repeating the first verse at the end
From: JHW
Date: 13 Mar 14 - 06:23 PM

'I have always repeated the first verse at the end of "Little Musgrave"'

I admit to that too and would like several Rosie Andersons taken into consideration


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Repeating the first verse at the end
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 13 Mar 14 - 07:43 PM

Just listening to a recording of Tom Padget, which I think benefits from repeating the first verse at the end (I hardly ever do this with any other songs). I'd be interested in Jim's thoughts on this one, as I understand the song was collected in his home town (earlier thread).


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Repeating the first verse at the end
From: GUEST,Andrew Murphy
Date: 13 Mar 14 - 07:46 PM

I always repeat the first verse of Peggy Gordon for a last join in verse, everyone knows the fiirst verse and everyone loves to sing it!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Repeating the first verse at the end
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 14 Mar 14 - 04:14 AM

John,
It really isn't a case of preserving the songs without change - nobody has suggested that for one minute; it is a matter of making sense of them.
It does not make sense - not to me anyway - to repeat the first verse of a narrative song when you have come to the end of the story - it is building in an anti-climax.
It can possibly work with non-narrative songs, but even there it is unnecessary if the song is satisfyingly long enough.
Somebody has already suggested that the reason it happens is that the songs are not long enough - I might go with that for one with only a couple of verses, but short songs are usually short for a creative purpose unless you have an incomplete text, than repeating a verse doesn't make a happorth of difference.
I joined this discussion to point out that it seldom, if ever, happened in the tradition - among the thousand-odd songs we recorded from field singers I can't recall a single case of it happening.
As far as I can see, it is a revival practice; a theatrical device for a massed audience.
I neither approve or disapprove of it, I just find it unnecessary.
Hi Phil
Not sure how this fits into the topic - hope we're not treading on too many toes here.
What recording were you listening to?
I've been researching this song over the last few weeks.
The only version from Clare is the one we recorded from Packie Russell, the old concertina player from Doolin, in North Clare - he didn't have a complete set of it.
I yesterday had a note from Roy Harris who confirmed that he learned his version from Brian Blanchard.
Tho only versions from oral tradition I could trace were Packie's and one from Robert Cinnamond of Gleneavy in County Antrim - I have no idea where Brian Blanchard's Harry Boardman's or Lois Killen's came from.
This is the note I finally decided on for the website.

Tom Tadger (Roud 3080) Packie Russell
While this is sung by several of the younger generation of singers in England and Ireland, there are very few examples of it having been found in the old oral traditions.
In 1955 the BBC recorded a version from Robert Cinnamond of Glenavy, County Antrim with the title 'The Beggarman of County Down', apart from this, there are no references to the song from a source singer, either recorded or in print, though there are similarities to other songs of an amorous itinerant; see: 'Donnelly' (Roud 836), versions of which we recorded in Miltown Malbay, Fanore, and from Tipperary Travelling woman Mary Delaney. Packie told us he believed the song to be connected to the 1798 uprising in Mayo, when the French sent a fleet to assist the struggle for independence; he thought it to be an allegorical reference to inviting strangers into your home. There is little, if any information to confirm this, but it's an interesting thought.
This was how the song was sung around the folk clubs in Manchester in the mid 1960s; from the singing of the late Harry Boardman:

Tom Padgett
Of all the trades going it's in the begging I take great delight.
For my rent it is paid as I lay down my bags for the night.
And my rent it is paid as I take a long stick in my hand.
And at night I will please the fair maidens as best as I can.

Oh, I walked the long day 'til I came to some rich farmer's house;
and I knocked on the door like some poor fool left lately without -
without eating or drinking, for twenty long hours or more.
And I said, 'Kind madam, will you pray for and remember the poor?'

'If it's alms that you want, you shall get them old man,' she said.
But before she gave pennies, she ran to her mother upstairs.
'Oh mammy, oh mammy! There is a strange man in the hall!
Stay close to your chamber, for I fear he will ravish us all!'

But her mother did scuff her, and call her a silly young fool.
To have any such notion, about that poor man in the hall.
For his clothes were in tatters, and his britches torn behind and before.
And his doldrums (sic?) hung down a good fourteen long inches or more.

'Oh Tom Padget,' she said, 'Why don't you go and work for your bread?
For some rich farmer and be decently clothed and fed.'
'To plough and sow madam, I'm afraid I have but little skill.
But I'll plough that small furrow that lies at the foot of your hill.'

'Oh Tom Padget!' she said, 'Now if you and I could but agree;
I would make you the steward, of all of my lands for to be.
And we'd eat at one table, and we'd sleep on a soft bed of down.
If only I could have you, Tom Padget of Killaloe town.'

And of all the trades going it's in the begging I take great delight.
For my rent it is paid as I lay down my bags for the night.
And my rent it is paid as I take a long stick in my hand.
And at night I will please the fair maidens as best as I can.
Cap'n
This really is the last thing I have to say to you - I will not be part of your vandalising any more threads with your nasty, small-minded vendettas.
I think it was you who mentioned kettles being called black.
We all contribute to these threads to the best of our abilities and try to make up for our ignorance and our shortcomings the best we can.
I'm sure you realise this far better than most people - over and out.
Jim Carroll


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Repeating the first verse at the end
From: The Sandman
Date: 14 Mar 14 - 04:15 AM

exactly, andrew murphy, about performance and people enjoying themselves.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Repeating the first verse at the end
From: The Sandman
Date: 14 Mar 14 - 04:33 AM

out of curiosity ,JHW, which version of little musgrave do you sing, and which lyrics do you repeat, i think a repeat" of a holiday a holiday the first one of the year, lord donalds wife went to church the gospel for to hear" could work, its like an exclamation mark and quickly reflect back on story., but on the other hand it reduces the dramatic effect of the last verse, but its not a nonsense.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Repeating the first verse at the end
From: Marje
Date: 14 Mar 14 - 06:07 AM

It's pointless to be too dogmatic about this. There are many songs - including narrative songs - in which the first verse is is simply a scene-setting or introduction. It may tell us something about the motives or inclinations of the narrator or other character or the times they lived in. Repeating it at the end can add another layer of meaning, because now that the story has been told, the things mentioned in the first verse can be better understood and reflected on. As I said earlier, this device is used for deliberate effect in some lyric poetry.

No one is saying you have to do it. But to say it should never happen is as foolish as saying you should never have a chorus or refrain (why, logically, would you choose to keep interrupting the story to keep saying the same thing over and over?).

The main thing is that the singer should have a considered reason for repeating a verse, rather than just copying a recording artist who needed to extend the song by another 30 seconds or so.

Marje


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Repeating the first verse at the end
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 14 Mar 14 - 07:03 AM

"The main thing is that the singer should have a considered reason for repeating a verse,"
Would go along with this totally - it makes perfect sense.
Jim Carroll


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Repeating the first verse at the end
From: Dave Sutherland
Date: 14 Mar 14 - 08:39 AM

In my case GSS it is "As it befell one Holy Day, as many do in the year, Little Musgrave to the church did go, to see fair ladies there";
I don't think that it detracts from the dramatic/climatic previous two verses but simply rounds off the song with a reminder that from Musgraves initial (almost)innocent intentions such carnage ensued.
Jim, Louis Killen also learned "Tom Padgett" from Brian Blanchard.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Repeating the first verse at the end
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 14 Mar 14 - 09:33 AM

"Jim, Louis Killen also learned "Tom Padgett" from Brian Blanchard."
Thanks for that Dave - pardon my ignorance; the name rings a bell, but could someone remind me who Brain Blanchard is/was - something to do with Horsham Folk Club if my memory serves me correctly.
I've just Googled a version of the song by Spiers and Boden - a reminder, if I needed one, of how a narrative ballad should most definitely NOT be sung (to almost borrow a phrase Martin Carthy used for a radio programme on 'The Critics Group')
Jim Carroll


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Repeating the first verse at the end
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 14 Mar 14 - 09:33 AM

"Jim, Louis Killen also learned "Tom Padgett" from Brian Blanchard."
Thanks for that Dave - pardon my ignorance; the name rings a bell, but could someone remind me who Brain Blanchard is/was - something to do with Horsham Folk Club if my memory serves me correctly.
I've just Googled a version of the song by Spiers and Boden - a reminder, if I needed one, of how a narrative ballad should most definitely NOT be sung (to almost borrow a phrase Martin Carthy used for a radio programme on 'The Critics Group')
Jim Carroll


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Repeating the first verse at the end
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 14 Mar 14 - 09:51 AM

Incidentally, I've just managed to dig out Robert Cinnamond's version of this song; as with Packie Russell's, it does not have a repeated verse at the end, nor is it particularly bawdy, so unless there is another version of it we can't find, the one that was sung around the clubs was an entirely 'revival' creation - no harm in that, just a confirmation that the repeated line has nothing to do with how it was sung in the tradition.
Jim Carroll


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Repeating the first verse at the end
From: GUEST,Phil at work
Date: 14 Mar 14 - 12:34 PM

Hi Jim,

It was Spiers and Boden's version I was listening to. I don't much like what they do to either the tune or the words (bowdlerising the 'small furrow' line), but it served the purpose of reminding me of the straight unaccompanied version Jon Boden did as part of A Folk Song A Day, which was a lot better.

Interesting that it's unattested in tradition apart from the Robert Cinnamond "Beggarman" (Round 3080), which sounds fairly different. Have you got the words for that one?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Repeating the first verse at the end
From: Brian Peters
Date: 14 Mar 14 - 01:06 PM

There's already been a lengthy thread on Tom Paget, including much discussion of the precise meaning of 'doldrums', interventions from Bryan Blanchard's daughter, Jon Boden, and Steve Gardham - who mentioned having seen some bawdy broadside versions.

I've an idea that Bryan ended up in East Anglia, since I remember him booking me for a one-day event down there and remarking in the programme that I'd been influenced by Harry Boardman - who he admired very much. If I remember rightly, he was also one of that rare, talented and possibly schizophrenic breed who can play both English and Anglo concertina.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Repeating the first verse at the end
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 14 Mar 14 - 01:29 PM

"Have you got the words for that one?"
I have just hand-written them out - I'll put them up when I've translated them into English!
I'm pretty certain it appeared on the Topic Cinnamond album under the Title, 'The Beggarman'
There's also a text in Jackie Boyce's 'Songs of County Down; Jackie says he got it from the singing of Len Graham, who in turn got it from Packie Russell, as we did - though it lacks the sexual boast verse that Packie gave us.
The broadside suggestion makes sense, but I have been unable to find any reference to it - will try the 'Word From the Street' site again later.
Jim Carroll


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Repeating the first verse at the end
From: The Sandman
Date: 14 Mar 14 - 01:53 PM

Brya Blanchard was a good singer and a mainstay of the sussex folk scene in the 70s and 80s.
returning to te version i sing of matty groves, which starts, a holiday a holiday the first one of the year, lord donalds wife went to church the gospel for to hear. if that is repeated it does detract from the dramatic ending, but it takes the listener back to reflect on the story ,so its not nonsense, i do not repeat the first verse normally,but have no problem with others repeating it.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Repeating the first verse at the end
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 14 Mar 14 - 02:24 PM

Last verse can also repeat first, but with slight variation to remind of developments in the narrative: an eg from way I sing it -- first verse, "He courted Rosie Anderson, A lady into Perth"; last verse, "He's married Rosie Anderson..."

& last verse of Butter&Cheese&All ~~ "So now you called on me for a song, & I've showed what I could do, & now that I have finished it..."

~M~


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Repeating the first verse at the end
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 14 Mar 14 - 05:19 PM

Re Tom Padget, I've dug out the 18th-century broadside referred to by Steve Gardham & transcribed it in the other thread. I'd say there are about four lines of it in Tom Padget; the 'story' element isn't there at all & must have come from somewhere else.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Repeating the first verse at the end
From: maeve
Date: 14 Aug 15 - 06:53 PM

Refresh


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Repeating the first verse at the end
From: EBarnacle
Date: 14 Aug 15 - 09:08 PM

I generally sing the last verse of Mary L Mackay at the start and then repeat it slowly at the end. It seems to put a good cap to the ballad.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Repeating the first verse at the end
From: GUEST,Musket
Date: 15 Aug 15 - 03:08 AM

I suppose it is a musical feature that has spread over a couple of hundred years so is in itself a tradition, even if you apply it to a new song.

Some friends perform an excellent version of Schooldays Over, MacColl and Seeger's wonderful song from the radio ballad The Big Hewer. It has three verses to reflect the three coalfields visited. So when they repeat the first verse it doesn't seem right to me. I like their rendition but the repeat bit? Works for some songs better than others, obviously.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Repeating the first verse at the end
From: maeve
Date: 15 Aug 15 - 05:33 AM

This thread was refreshed for someone who was asking- it's been talked to death for me, but others may have cogent thoughts regarding the subject.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Repeating the first verse at the end
From: GUEST,Chris Lamb
Date: 12 Jun 16 - 05:34 AM

Apologies for reviving a thread that's died a natural death but I just found it when seeking guidance on the practice of repeating the first verse of a song. As an inexperienced singer who occasionally sings at singarounds and pub sessions, I was a bit miffed when my rendering of The Sheep Stealer in a Dorset pub last year was greeted with dead silence instead of the usual polite applause. It turned out that they were all waiting for me to repeat the first verse, which local singers apparently do. The same thing happened at another session, also in Dorset, this weekend, so it's clearly a widespread custom in the area. Is it done simply because it's a short song that singers feel they need to extend, I wonder?

It seems to me that the song builds to a natural climax in a powerful cry of defiance, "I'll swear all I have is my own, my brave boys, I'll swear all I have is my own", and that repeating the first verse is anti-climatic and weakens the song's effect. So should I bow to local custom or should I persist in finishing the song without a repeat? If I do the latter, should I announce before starting that I will not be repeating the first verse? Or should I endeavour to indicate by the manner of my delivery that the song has ended, for example by increasing the volume, or by drawing out the final phrase with a vibrato? And will listeners accustomed to hearing a repeated first verse pick up those clues?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Repeating the first verse at the end
From: Jack Campin
Date: 12 Jun 16 - 06:03 AM

This is where singing from a book helps. You don't need to look at it (it might as well have blank pages or be open at a different song), but closing it and putting it down says you've got to the end.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Repeating the first verse at the end
From: Richard Mellish
Date: 12 Jun 16 - 07:35 AM

GUEST,Chris Lamb's post fills me with horror. If a singer is now expected to repeat the first verse at the end, regardless of the sense and of that singer's personal preference, heaven help us!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Repeating the first verse at the end
From: Lighter
Date: 12 Jun 16 - 07:45 AM

The "folk" are the final arbiters.

In this case, regrettably.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Repeating the first verse at the end
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 12 Jun 16 - 09:44 AM

I sympathise totally with Guest, Chris Lamb - no - you should never be forced into doing what you don't feel necessary by audience pressure - I always remember Billy Connolly's stopping one of his audiences foot stamping by asking them if they were "trying out your new wellies?
One of the worst examples, to my mind, of the unnecessary repeating of a verse is when it happens in, 'Will ye Go Tae Flanders' a beautifully succinctly tragic children's song which says it all in two verses - until somebody goes and ruins it by repeating the first verse - what an anti-climax.
Jim Carroll


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Repeating the first verse at the end
From: GUEST, DTM
Date: 12 Jun 16 - 10:51 AM

My take on all of this.
When you sing a song you're giving your own interpretation of it. This can be varied from the "original" in structure, tempo, style, emotion, etc.
All that really matters is that you sing it how you feel it. (Unless of course you are getting paid to perform it in a certain way and therefore by not doing so, you shortchange your customers.)

As for repeating the first verse, I have no problems with that as it can be used with effect as a bookend to the story.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Repeating the first verse at the end
From: FreddyHeadey
Date: 12 Jun 16 - 11:09 AM

Chris Lamb "..indicate by the manner of my delivery that the song has ended, for example by increasing the volume..."

Yes, or lengthening of the last note(not sure about vibrato though, personally) or a nod of the head, / smile...

It's quite embarrassing as an an audience member when I don't know if the song has ended. It's good to get a clear indication.
I actually like it when there is a second of silence at the end of a piece. I really hate people clapping in the final moments of the song. I want the silence to be part of the performance.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Repeating the first verse at the end
From: Lighter
Date: 12 Jun 16 - 02:18 PM

> until somebody goes and ruins it by repeating the first verse

Jim, haven't you heard the version, quite popular in fact, that features new verses as well?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Repeating the first verse at the end
From: Lighter
Date: 12 Jun 16 - 02:19 PM

> until somebody goes and ruins it by repeating the first verse

Jim, haven't you heard the version, quite popular in fact, that features new verses as well?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Repeating the first verse at the end
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 12 Jun 16 - 03:14 PM

"Jim, haven't you heard the version, quite popular in fact, that features new verses as well"
I have - I even know one of the people who added to the song, I think they add nothing to it whatever, on the contrary, thy blunt its impact for me.
My opinion, of course.
On another aspect of audience interference.
We spent twenty years visiting Walter Pardon, England's last big repertoire traditional singer.
Waalter actually dropped two of his favourite songs (Old Brown's Daughter and Dark Eyed Sailor) from his public repertoire because of various audiences' practice of slowing down the last line of the choruses, leaving hi to stumble his way through the versions he grew up with as best he could.
Some audiences simply don't listen to what the singers are singers, so involved are they in what they are doing - that's simple bad manners.
Don't get me started about eejits who join in the verses uninvited - open season material or what?
Jim Carroll


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Repeating the first verse at the end
From: GUEST,LynnH
Date: 13 Jun 16 - 04:09 AM

@Chris Lamb: You could try doing what some of the old singers used to do - instead of singing the last line or phrase you speak it. How much emphasis you give the spoken line depends upon the song in question.

Apart from that, you're the singer and how you choose to sing the song is your affair. If the audience apparently suffers from closed mind syndrome......that's their problem!

@Jim: I have memories of trying to sing 'Fathom the Bowl' a tad quicker and with a bit more 'swing' than everybody else. When I got to the chorus it was like running into a sand drag or moving from firm ground to loose gravel - the audience stood on the brakes with a vengeance!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Repeating the first verse at the end
From: Pete from seven stars link
Date: 13 Jun 16 - 09:39 AM

I notice that a lot of singers say thank you as they finish . Maybe that is gratitude that they have listened ( sometimes doubtful !) or as invitation to give em a clap !    As others have noted, if you are an unpaid singer , you do it just as you think fit. Hopefully, if your contribution was appreciated someone will say so later, even if they were confused as to the song ending.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Repeating the first verse at the end
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 13 Jun 16 - 10:56 AM

"I have memories of trying to sing 'Fathom the Bowl' a tad quicker and with a bit more 'swing' than everybody else. "
It's like trying to run through a pool of water, isn't it?
Peggy Seeger used to get up people's noses by stopping and teaching the chorus - that's why I fell in love with her!
Speaking the last line is a newish Irish affectation - never came across an older singer who did it.
No harm in that - I do it myself regularly - it can help to break the tension for the next song, but I don't think it does much to help the one you're finishing.
One old storyteller/singer we recorded used to finish each song and story by banging his stick on the floor and saying "now"
Fine when we recorded him in the local stone-flagged shop-cum-bar, but didn't do the floor of our Mini much goos - we were never able to record him in his home for various reasons,   
"if you are an unpaid singer "
I would hope you would do this whether you were paid or unpaid Pete - when you sing you are a creative or interpretive artist, not a juke box.
Jim Carroll


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 23 June 7:08 AM EDT

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.