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Origins: Melody Origins to be precise

RealOregonWoman 28 Apr 15 - 04:40 PM
GUEST,# 28 Apr 15 - 04:45 PM
RealOregonWoman 29 Apr 15 - 12:00 PM
GUEST,# 29 Apr 15 - 12:10 PM
Steve Gardham 29 Apr 15 - 03:53 PM
GUEST,Stim 29 Apr 15 - 04:02 PM
GUEST,leeneia 29 Apr 15 - 06:46 PM
GUEST,# 29 Apr 15 - 08:13 PM
FreddyHeadey 29 Apr 15 - 08:35 PM
Mrrzy 30 Apr 15 - 12:47 PM
GUEST,leeneia 30 Apr 15 - 03:21 PM
GUEST,leeneia 30 Apr 15 - 03:44 PM
RealOregonWoman 03 May 15 - 03:50 PM
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Subject: Origins: Melody Origins to be precise
From: RealOregonWoman
Date: 28 Apr 15 - 04:40 PM

I recently came across a YouTube video of Elspeth Cowie singing The Irish Boy at the Costa Del Sol event. I was taken aback by the melody, which I've always known as "The Water Is Wide" (Pete Seeger version" Joan Baez? who knows my original source).

I am very aware of the lyric link back to various versions of Waly Waly, however the melody and sung syllabic emphasis seem quite different to my ears.

Can anyone tell me where the melody of The Water Is Wide (American) and The Irish Boy came from?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Melody Origins to be precise
From: GUEST,#
Date: 28 Apr 15 - 04:45 PM

Here's a good history of the melody

http://www.justanothertune.com/html/wateriswide.html


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Subject: RE: Origins: Melody Origins to be precise
From: RealOregonWoman
Date: 29 Apr 15 - 12:00 PM

Thank you for the link - I am very familiar with that article. However there is a basic misconception within it - the melody of The Water Is Wide and the most common melody for Waly Waly are NOT the same! I have searched out all the various online versions of Waly Waly or Wallie Wallie and none have the same melody as The Water Is Wide. Nor do any of the folk songs that share the extremely common verses that those two songs contain.

The only similar melody that I have located is the one that Elspeth Cowie sings as a song she calls The Irish Boy. I have found one other set of lyrics similar to The Irish Boy but no other online vocal version.

So, back to my original query: where does the melody shared by The Water Is Wide and The Irish Boy come from . . . (there is a third instance of the same tune that I'm not willing to cite because it will likely just revert to suggestions of Waly Waly or Wallie Wallie and I already know that that is not the correct answer).


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Subject: RE: Origins: Melody Origins to be precise
From: GUEST,#
Date: 29 Apr 15 - 12:10 PM

Sorry. Best of luck with your search.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Melody Origins to be precise
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 29 Apr 15 - 03:53 PM

WE have enough problems trying to trace the origins and evolution of texts. Tunes, Wow! That really seems to me like a real stinker of a problem.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Melody Origins to be precise
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 29 Apr 15 - 04:02 PM

Why do you think those melodies are not the same?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Melody Origins to be precise
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 29 Apr 15 - 06:46 PM

The article that # kindly linked gives the history of the tune for "The Water is Wide." It was collected by Cecil Sharp.

It was whacky of Cecil Sharp to call the tune 'Waly, Waly' merely because a different song with the words 'waly, waly' in it shared many floating verses with 'The Water is Wide.' What WAS he smoking?

It's kind of like referring to the 'Wreck of the Old 97' as 'I Been Working on the Railroad' because they both have trains in them.

I know a nice 'Waly, Waly' that I learned from a CD by Martin Wyndham Read. The tune and words are different from 'The Water is Wide.'

When cockleshells turn silver bells
and mussels grow on ev-ry tree -
when blooms the rose 'mid frost and snows,
then will my false love prove true to me.
O, waly, waly, ah, love it is bonny

oops I've forgotten the rest!

It is a lovely song, well worth learning.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Melody Origins to be precise
From: GUEST,#
Date: 29 Apr 15 - 08:13 PM

Hi, leeneia. Here's the lyrics. Ma'am, you have a heck of a memory.

When cockleshells turn silver bells,
And mussels grow on ev'ry tree;
When blooms a rose 'mongst frost and snow
Then will my false love prove true to me.

Chorus (after each verse):

O waly, waly, our love is bonnie
A little while when it's new.
But love grows old and waxes cold
And fades away like the morning dew.

O had I wist, before I kissed
That love had grown so ill to win;
I'd locked my heart in a box of gold
And tied it up with a silver pin.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Melody Origins to be precise
From: FreddyHeadey
Date: 29 Apr 15 - 08:35 PM

Costa del Sol video Elspeth Cowie -The Irish Boy


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Subject: RE: Origins: Melody Origins to be precise
From: Mrrzy
Date: 30 Apr 15 - 12:47 PM

Fascinating thread.

I like the tunes that are re-used - I know about 17 songs to the tune of Sweet Betsy From Pike - but then it's always interesting when (for instance) someone puts Master McGrath to a different tune, it's almost a whole new song.

There is a song from one of my kids' video games about Big Iron On His Hip (a cowboy song) that you can do the Hobo's Lament (the one where he was nothin' but a railroad bum who died out in the cold) to...

Also, I have a memory of a different song, I firmly believe it to be Irish but it might be Pentagle, where cockleshells turn silver bells? Maybe one of the "I can't marry you I have a wife at home" soldier/maid songs with a more cruel ending, like even if I didn't I wouldn't marry you? Sound familiar?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Melody Origins to be precise
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 30 Apr 15 - 03:21 PM

Thank you for the complete lyrics to Oh Waly, Waly, #.

Mrrzy, you may have set a record with 17 songs to the same tune.
Sorry, I don't recognize the song about the soldier and the maid.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Melody Origins to be precise
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 30 Apr 15 - 03:44 PM

And I guess I should acknowledge that I do have a good memory for lyrics. Rhythm and rhyme tend to stick to my brain like glue. In fact, all the lyrics to 'Waly,Waly' came back to me within a couple hours of posting the beginning of the song to this thread.

The downside is that if I hear doggerel or mediocre lyrics to a good tune, then I can't get the lyrics out of my mind. One Christmas I learned an uninspired hymn to 'Air on the G String,' and it has ruined that beautiful melody forever for me.

My mother told me that one day, when my brothers were 6 and 8, they decided to sing school songs in the car. I surprised my parents by knowing all the words and singing along. I was 2 years old.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Melody Origins to be precise
From: RealOregonWoman
Date: 03 May 15 - 03:50 PM

Mrrzy, there is a song done by Marty Robbins called "Big Iron" and the chorus goes "Big Iron, Big Iron, Big Iron on his hip." I believe that it was on an album titled "Gunfighter Ballads".

Here is a link to a YouTube version: www.youtube.com/watch?v=iGmUsJvRv7U


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