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Nostalgia with The National Song Book

Will Fly 09 Jun 15 - 04:12 AM
GUEST,Jon 09 Jun 15 - 04:54 AM
Leadfingers 09 Jun 15 - 05:08 AM
GUEST,matt milton 09 Jun 15 - 05:13 AM
GUEST,matt milton 09 Jun 15 - 05:19 AM
MGM·Lion 09 Jun 15 - 05:33 AM
GUEST,ST 09 Jun 15 - 06:13 AM
Les in Chorlton 09 Jun 15 - 06:22 AM
Brian Peters 09 Jun 15 - 08:15 AM
Will Fly 09 Jun 15 - 09:01 AM
MartinRyan 09 Jun 15 - 09:12 AM
Will Fly 09 Jun 15 - 09:15 AM
Will Fly 09 Jun 15 - 09:38 AM
GUEST,matt milton 09 Jun 15 - 09:57 AM
MartinRyan 09 Jun 15 - 01:05 PM
Will Fly 09 Jun 15 - 02:35 PM
MGM·Lion 09 Jun 15 - 02:58 PM
Ged Fox 10 Jun 15 - 03:36 AM
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Subject: Nostalgia with The National Song Book
From: Will Fly
Date: 09 Jun 15 - 04:12 AM

I don't know about you, but tunes have a way of bubbling up from the subconscious to the conscious for me from time to time. A few weeks ago, for no reason whatever, a tune I used to sing at primary school in the early '50s rose to the surface in just such a manner. I knew it then as "The Oak And The Ash", but it's more usual title these days is "The North Country Maid".

I was playing it (as an instrumental) last night at the Charlwood village singaround - always an occasion of great fun and good music - and asked if anyone else had spent the last hour of a Friday afternoon singing at primary school. Back came a chorus of responses - the National Song Book! - and out came a flood of tune titles that we remembered singing: "Sweet Lass Of Richmond Hill", "The Minstrel Boy" (one of my pet hates), "Oh No, John" and many, many others.

There was a new National Song Book - the "Red Book" - which was published in 1958, but my memories are earlier than that, so it must have been the original 1905/1906 publications which us kids all sang from. Anyway, I found a PDF on the US Internet Archive site this morning and downloaded it, just out of curiosity!

I wonder if singing those songs at school all those years ago had any subliminal influence on our chosen path in music...


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Subject: RE: Nostalgia with The National Song Book
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 09 Jun 15 - 04:54 AM

Oddly enough I was thinking of The North Country maid the other day. Just a conversation of town vs country living and it seemed to fit the thoughts.

I'm afraid I'm a bit younger than you and don't know The national song book. Singing Together starting late 60s for me. Mostly from pamhplets although there was a blue ST book sometimes used. We also had a couple of Welsh songs.

Influence on path in music. I think with me there was initially a mix of mother playing songs on the piano, parents recording The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem on tv to an old reel to reel as well as school. I liked things that (I guess you could say) sounded "folky" to me. My own direction did change later on going towards the (mostly Irish) session tunes more than songs but I still like the songs.

One other comment. When we had folkinfo, we didn't get a lot of reponses to any songs but I'd suggest the song that attracted most interest from the ST ones was Italian (at least the melody was, I don't think it was a translation) - Marianina. Maybe it was just it was easier to find there than on the larger sites or maybe there was some nostalgic reason. I don't know but I know I loved singing it.


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Subject: RE: Nostalgia with The National Song Book
From: Leadfingers
Date: 09 Jun 15 - 05:08 AM

The only book I remember is 'The Oxford Book of Songs' - a blue hard back with at least one song that I still sing now and then -"Twas in the Broad Atlantic"


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Subject: RE: Nostalgia with The National Song Book
From: GUEST,matt milton
Date: 09 Jun 15 - 05:13 AM

A song I used to love singing - I wonder if it was in the National Song Book? – was 'Dashing Away with a Smoothing Iron'. I would have been singing this song around the age of 5 or 6 at primary school.

I also remember singing a song which I think may have been called 'Hiawatha', or had some reference to him, but nothing to do with the Longfellow poem, which had a chorus of 'Down among the dead men', which I liked too.


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Subject: RE: Nostalgia with The National Song Book
From: GUEST,matt milton
Date: 09 Jun 15 - 05:19 AM

oh dear, just found the song I was looking for. It's called 'We are the Red Men'. It's not very PC, to say the least! Apparently was a popular campfire, cub scouts/girl guides song.

What's amazing though, is that I was able to click a link to hear the tune. Instantly back in that primary-school hall, singing along. It's a nice tune actually, I may pinch it for something else...


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Subject: RE: Nostalgia with The National Song Book
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 09 Jun 15 - 05:33 AM

Indeed, Matt, I suppose we couldn't sing "We are the red men, tall & quaint, With our feathers & war paint" any more: tho it was indeed just a harmless bit of chorus singing with actions. Pretty sure "Dashing away...smoothing iron" was there. iirc the book was edited by Walford Davies, sometime Master of the King's Musick.

What objection to "Minstrel Boy", Jim? Rather moving, I used to find it. Has anyone noticed BTW that the opening phrase of the Act III-IV entracte music of Bizet's Carmen is identical to that of The Minstrel Boy, but then goes off in entirely different direction?

≈M≈


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Subject: RE: Nostalgia with The National Song Book
From: GUEST,ST
Date: 09 Jun 15 - 06:13 AM

My wife and I were reminiscing about the National Songbook and our singing "lessons" at school as we returned from a singaround on Sunday night. I can recall all the songs you mention Will. A few of the songs that I learned from the National Songbook are still in my own repertoire – I particularly like the (Welsh) hare hunting song – do you remember that one? (Oh, the yelping of hounds the skelping …)


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Subject: RE: Nostalgia with The National Song Book
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 09 Jun 15 - 06:22 AM

I have a number of copies from various junk shops. Some good folks songs and loads of others which in some ways shows that, to me at least, 'folk songs' are a bit different to popular songs of long ago.


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Subject: RE: Nostalgia with The National Song Book
From: Brian Peters
Date: 09 Jun 15 - 08:15 AM

"I wonder if singing those songs at school all those years ago had any subliminal influence on our chosen path in music"

I never much cared for them at the time - 'Spanish Ladies' seemed deeply turgid when there were Beatles and Stones to listen to. But no doubt something seeped in, as it will also have done from the Burl Ives children's song EP that my Mum and Dad bought me. Familiar music from childhood tends to be comforting when you're a bit older.


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Subject: RE: Nostalgia with The National Song Book
From: Will Fly
Date: 09 Jun 15 - 09:01 AM

What objection to "Minstrel Boy", Jim?

'Twas my comment, Michael. Oh, I suppose as a kid of 7 or 8 at the time, I rather think I expected the Minstrel Boy to have taken a sword to war, rather than a useless harp! :-)

Cheers,

Will


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Subject: RE: Nostalgia with The National Song Book
From: MartinRyan
Date: 09 Jun 15 - 09:12 AM

From memory:

His father's sword he has girded on, and his wild harp slung behind him"

Inevitably, fishing the sword from its scabbard while balancing a harp on his back, caused problems...



Regards


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Subject: RE: Nostalgia with The National Song Book
From: Will Fly
Date: 09 Jun 15 - 09:15 AM

God - I'd forgotten he'd girded his dad's sword on! Fat lot of good it did him...


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Subject: RE: Nostalgia with The National Song Book
From: Will Fly
Date: 09 Jun 15 - 09:38 AM

Looking through the PDF of the Song Book, there are a considerable number of poems by one A.P. Graves, whose name meant nothing to me. On looking him up in Wikipedia, I discovered that, as well as being the father of the writer Robert Graves, he was also an inspector of schools. Pole position to be be in when a song book for schools is being compiled...


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Subject: RE: Nostalgia with The National Song Book
From: GUEST,matt milton
Date: 09 Jun 15 - 09:57 AM

Just imagine if Michael Gove had written songs! Shudders...


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Subject: RE: Nostalgia with The National Song Book
From: MartinRyan
Date: 09 Jun 15 - 01:05 PM

Graves was a Dublin born poet who set verses to many traditional Irish airs and published several books, some with musical notation. After his son Robert published Goodbye to All That , A.P. published an autobiography entitled To Return to All That !

Regards


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Subject: RE: Nostalgia with The National Song Book
From: Will Fly
Date: 09 Jun 15 - 02:35 PM

Indeed Martin - and I read that, in later life, he was also a respected member of Welsh-speaking society. A man of many facets!


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Subject: RE: Nostalgia with The National Song Book
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 09 Jun 15 - 02:58 PM

Sorry to have absent-mindedly misaddressed you, Will. Can't imagine what I was thinking of. Thanks for reply anyhow.

Best
≈M≈


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Subject: RE: Nostalgia with The National Song Book
From: Ged Fox
Date: 10 Jun 15 - 03:36 AM

I've always considered "The Minstrel Boy" to be totally illogical, albeit good to sing. Why didn't the minstrel leave his harp to the victors? They proved themselves, presumably, braver and freer.


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