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Lyr Req: Fish, stone, deer and the bonny oak tree

GUEST,Mr Fox 11 Mar 16 - 12:28 PM
maeve 12 Mar 16 - 06:58 AM
GUEST 12 Mar 16 - 06:11 PM
maeve 12 Mar 16 - 06:24 PM
GUEST 13 Mar 16 - 07:54 AM
maeve 13 Mar 16 - 08:08 AM
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Subject: Lyr Req: Fish, stone, deer and the bonny oak tree
From: GUEST,Mr Fox
Date: 11 Mar 16 - 12:28 PM

Hi all, I'm trying to find the lyrics to a riddle song that has the common phrase 'bent to the bonny broom' in the chorus, but also has the the line 'The fish and the stone and the deer and the bonny oak tree' as part of the same chorus.. can anyone help?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fish, stone, deer and the bonny oak tree
From: maeve
Date: 12 Mar 16 - 06:58 AM

Here's a long tangle of Mudcat explanation with some very informative bits from some of our best song scholars... Lyr Req: Twa Sisters / Lay Bent to the Bonny Broom


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fish, stone, deer and the bonny oak tree
From: GUEST
Date: 12 Mar 16 - 06:11 PM

Hi Maeve, thanks for the link. I've only had time for a quick scan but couldn't see anything in there with the line 'The fish and the stone and the deer and the bonny oak tree'. Has anyone ever heard this line as part of a chorus in a riddle song?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lay the Bent...Fish/stone/deer/oak
From: maeve
Date: 12 Mar 16 - 06:24 PM

I've just dug out that link (packed with other good links) out of several with 'bent to the bonny broom' part to give you a start. It might help if the subject could be focused a bit differently. You can post a request here for a moderator to help with changing the subject a wee bit if you wish to do so.

If I have any time later this weekend I'll do some more digging for fish, stone, deer, and oak used in conjunction with bent and broom. And it's a riddle song...you might try looking up riddle in the DT.

Could you perhaps give us some more information, please? Where you know it from, who might have sung it and where, etc.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fish, stone, deer and the bonny oak tree
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Mar 16 - 07:54 AM

Thanks again Maeve. Yes, perhaps a moderator can help phrase the subject better?

I heard someone singing the song recently in a session I run in south Devon, UK. He didn't know what the song was called or where it came from originally, but told me he had learnt it from a Perthshire singer who used to sing very long ballads. The singer he learnt the song from was apparently a collector of Child ballads and grew up in the Perth tradition. He was called Malcolm and was the head librarian at the University of Bangor, but is probably deceased. The song had quite a few Scots words in it, so I'm guessing it's a Scottish or Border ballad. This probably means that the line "The fish and the stone and the deer and the bonny oak tree" would have been 'stane' rather than 'stone'.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fish, stone, deer and the bonny oak tree
From: maeve
Date: 13 Mar 16 - 08:08 AM

Thanks for the added information. You never know when one detail will lead to the song.


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