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Songs about death, 'sheet winding'

Gallus 24 Mar 16 - 08:24 AM
GUEST 24 Mar 16 - 10:58 AM
mg 24 Mar 16 - 12:31 PM
MartinRyan 24 Mar 16 - 12:35 PM
Llanfair 24 Mar 16 - 01:43 PM
mg 24 Mar 16 - 03:35 PM
mg 24 Mar 16 - 03:39 PM
mg 24 Mar 16 - 04:59 PM
Bert 24 Mar 16 - 06:37 PM
GUEST,DrWord 24 Mar 16 - 08:06 PM
mg 24 Mar 16 - 08:19 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 24 Mar 16 - 09:26 PM
Gallus 25 Mar 16 - 06:31 AM
Murpholly 25 Mar 16 - 09:50 AM
GUEST,DrWord 25 Mar 16 - 12:18 PM
Gallus 25 Mar 16 - 08:30 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 25 Mar 16 - 09:41 PM
mg 26 Mar 16 - 01:14 AM
mg 26 Mar 16 - 01:16 AM
Stower 27 Mar 16 - 06:41 AM
Gallus 27 Mar 16 - 07:30 AM
GUEST,.gargoyle 27 Mar 16 - 07:43 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 27 Mar 16 - 07:47 PM
Joe_F 28 Mar 16 - 08:34 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 28 Mar 16 - 10:39 PM
Joe_F 29 Mar 16 - 07:13 PM
GUEST,iain 30 Mar 16 - 05:46 AM
Gallus Moll 30 Mar 16 - 04:34 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 31 Mar 16 - 02:53 AM
Gallus 03 Apr 16 - 03:56 AM
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Subject: Sheet winding songs
From: Gallus
Date: 24 Mar 16 - 08:24 AM

Hi. My name is Paul and this is my first post on Mudcat.

I live in North Wales and I'm a folk singer and songwriter. Recently I wrote a song concerned with the preparation of the dead for burial called Song of The Bones. I am familiar with The Shaking of the Sheets and The Lyke Wake Dirge and also recently came across the wonderful Doleful Dance of Death performed by the Remnant Kings.

I read a piece on the latter by Ian Pittaway (here: http://earlymusicmuse.com/lyke-wake-dirge/) and I have become interested in educating myself about this area of folk music. Clearly, there are lots of folk songs connected to death but there is something intimate and hidden about music from the preparation for burial.

You will find a copy of my lyric at the bottom to give you an idea of the sort of thing I mean.

It's a very general question about a very specific thing but I wonder if Mudcat might help guide my future searches. Any and all ideas or thoughts gratefully received.

Song of the Bones

Dance to- the song of the bones
We all- die on our own.
Torn from our mothers- cruelly hurled
here to eat- the sins of the world

Sister! Hold out your hand
Cut me- down where I hang
Wrap me up in my resting shroud
Wind me- around and around.

Mother! Hold out your hand.
Comb my dead hair- strand by strand.
Draw for me- a bath from the well.
Cry for me a final farewell.

Dance to- the song of the bones
We all- die on our own.
Torn from our mothers- cruelly hurled
here to eat- the sins of the world

Brother! Hold out your hand.
Cut me- a womb in the land.
Once more take me away from the pain.
Lay me out by my grave in the rain.

Father! Hold out your hand.
Lay me down in the soil of the strand.
and sing for me your sweet lullaby.
Wash my soul with the tears that you cry.

Dance to- the song of the bones
We all- die on our own.
Torn from our mothers- cruelly hurled
here to eat- the sins of the world


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Subject: RE: Sheet winding/ Songs about death
From: GUEST
Date: 24 Mar 16 - 10:58 AM

Fiddlers green. Streets of laredo. I once loved a lass. Butcjers boy.


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Subject: RE: Sheet winding/ Songs about death
From: mg
Date: 24 Mar 16 - 12:31 PM

wrap me up in my tarpaulin jacket. dig my grave both long and narrow. when i die bury me low..

I wrote one about rilroaders that says blow me sky high. Cotton mill girls.


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Subject: RE: Sheet winding/ Songs about death
From: MartinRyan
Date: 24 Mar 16 - 12:35 PM

The Brown and the Yellow Ale

Regards


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Subject: RE: Sheet winding/ Songs about death
From: Llanfair
Date: 24 Mar 16 - 01:43 PM

Welcome, Gallus. "Shaking of the sheets" is the only one I'm familiar with, together with all the incarnations of "when I was on horseback"
There's poetry, Of course, could be set to music. "Do not go gentle" springs to mind


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Subject: RE: Sheet winding/ Songs about death
From: mg
Date: 24 Mar 16 - 03:35 PM

mostly i can think of instructions for burial etc.

tan shoes and pink shoelaces.
one Gordon Bok wrote about the angels..one named Silas one named Saul

I wrote a famine song where mother takes children to workhouse and says if I die on the road keep on walking.

green green grass of home.
bury me beneath the willow
golden vanity


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Subject: RE: Sheet winding/ Songs about death
From: mg
Date: 24 Mar 16 - 03:39 PM

MacPherson's Lament
Minstral Boy
Danny Boy

I am thinking of that song by Louis Reil (?) but can't remember it other than he takes mon knife and writes a letter in blood to his sister.


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Subject: RE: Sheet winding/ Songs about death
From: mg
Date: 24 Mar 16 - 04:59 PM

My cannery shed song says just can me when I die.

I think there are a number of songs that follow that cotton mill girls theme..pickle my body in alcohol etc.

Songs about how admiral nelson was pickled..


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Subject: RE: Sheet winding/ Songs about death
From: Bert
Date: 24 Mar 16 - 06:37 PM

Plastic flower seeds


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Subject: RE: Sheet winding/ Songs about death
From: GUEST,DrWord
Date: 24 Mar 16 - 08:06 PM

Hey Paul | Gallus ~ thanks for the post. Good inputs from 'catter's so far ~ you've come to the right place. Found myself _almost_ singing|chanting your Bones lyric. A very definite hook there, for me, both poetically and rhythmically.
thought of "Slow rider", whose disposition wishes are pretty simple (do wonder about the poor horse, though).
Dig my grave with a silver spade
st James infirmary blues

keep on pickin'   [& writing & composing]
dennis


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Subject: RE: Sheet winding/ Songs about death
From: mg
Date: 24 Mar 16 - 08:19 PM

then there are have a drink on me songs..

rosin the beau bow?
croppy boy
jug of punch


then see that my grave is kept clean songs


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Subject: RE: Sheet winding/ Songs about death
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 24 Mar 16 - 09:26 PM

I like what you compose.

If you are seeking kin...look to e e cummings


gee i like to think of dead


it means nearer because deeper
firmer since darker than little round water at one end of
the well      

it's too cool to be crooked and it's too firm
to be hard but it's sharp and it's thick and it loves,
dead says come with me he says(and why ever not)into
the round well and see the kitten and the penny and
the jackknife and the rosebug
                               and you say Sure ...


Sincerely,
Gargoyle

The original has correct format.


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Subject: RE: Sheet winding/ Songs about death
From: Gallus
Date: 25 Mar 16 - 06:31 AM

Wow! What a response! Thank you. Lot's of leads to follow up and I shall; every one.

Tricky to find songs of a ceremonial type so great to see some of these here. Very valuable.

@ Dr.Word and Gargoyle: Thanks for the compliments on the lyric. Had a long gestation this one. Perhaps I should post up a link to the recording?

Thanks again all. More suggestions very welcome.
Paul


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Subject: RE: Sheet winding/ Songs about death
From: Murpholly
Date: 25 Mar 16 - 09:50 AM

Isn't it grand boys to be bloody well dead.


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Subject: RE: Sheet winding/ Songs about death
From: GUEST,DrWord
Date: 25 Mar 16 - 12:18 PM

Yes, Paul ~ post a link. Garg's evocation of e.e.c   brang my ole brane to the last couple of poems Yeats wrote ~ NOT 'Under Ben Bulben' with its graveyard scene, but 'Cuchulain comforted' and 'The Black Tower'. These two were written two weeks and one week before Yeats died, and hold, I think, striking imagery …
keep on pickin'
dennis


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Subject: RE: Sheet winding/ Songs about death
From: Gallus
Date: 25 Mar 16 - 08:30 PM

Thanks Dennis. See below.

I read gee i like to think of the dead

It has me foxed. I must read it some more. There's something there but I don't get it yet. Maybe I can hear a reading somewhere.

@Murpholly thanks. Will follow that up

Song of the Bones
https://soundcloud.com/paulgreenacoustic/song-of-the-bones-3


Notes: I'm on guitar and vocals. Percussion played on the face of the guitar. Aimee Dobbie on harmonies.


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Subject: RE: Sheet winding/ Songs about death
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 25 Mar 16 - 09:41 PM

I like the layering and hypnotic qualities of "The Bones."

Thank you for posting. Please post another.

Sincerely,

Gargoyle

Good poetry is like great jerky...it stings, it bites, it is salovated, and returns much more than that consumed.


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Subject: RE: Sheet winding/ Songs about death
From: mg
Date: 26 Mar 16 - 01:14 AM

Wake songs. Finnegan's.a


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Subject: RE: Sheet winding/ Songs about death
From: mg
Date: 26 Mar 16 - 01:16 AM

Tell old bill. Housewives lament.


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Subject: RE: Sheet winding/ Songs about death
From: Stower
Date: 27 Mar 16 - 06:41 AM

Hello, Paul / Gallus. I'm glad you took up my suggestion to post on Mudcat. I don't know if this is quite what you're looking for, as it's not British Isles, but some countries retain their traditions (as we see happened in England in Lyke Wake Dirge) of paying singers to sing traditional death songs over the body or at funerals. I only wish I could point you to a source that gives details, but my search has revealed nothing for the British Isles beyond what's in the Lyke Wake Dirge you cite in your opening post. But if you do want to go international, you may find these 2 YT videos of interest: Korea and Cypress.


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Subject: RE: Sheet winding/ Songs about death
From: Gallus
Date: 27 Mar 16 - 07:30 AM

Brilliant Ian! Thank you.

I shall look at these later.

Thanks for keeping an eye out. Please let me know if something catches your eye/ ear at any point.


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Subject: RE: Sheet winding/ Songs about death
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 27 Mar 16 - 07:43 PM

Somehow...I believe this thread title was changed from:

POEMS to ....
SONGS


Sincerely,
Gargoyle

if the thread continues....


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Subject: RE: Sheet winding/ Songs about death
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 27 Mar 16 - 07:47 PM

Another …… e e cummings


Buffalo Bill's Defunct

Buffalo Bill's

defunct

       who used to

       ride a watersmooth-silver

                                  stallion

and break onetwothreefourfive pigeonsjustlikethat

                                                 Jesus



he was a handsome man

                      and what i want to know is

how do you like your blueeyed boy

Mister Death



Sincerely,
Gargoyle


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Subject: RE: Sheet winding/ Songs about death
From: Joe_F
Date: 28 Mar 16 - 08:34 PM

Moriturus, by Edna St Vincent Millay.


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Subject: RE: Sheet winding/ Songs about death
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 28 Mar 16 - 10:39 PM

You have me "itching" to resurrect and review the 140 pieces in Peter Coyne"s, (RIP 2015) 1974 collection of "Death Kit."

Sincerely,
Gargoyle

KITE FLYINGG -It is much more than letting go...


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Subject: RE: Sheet winding/ Songs about death
From: Joe_F
Date: 29 Mar 16 - 07:13 PM

Heavens! I forgot "Jealout Daddy's Death Song" by Antonia & Paul Presti.


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Subject: RE: Sheet winding/ Songs about death
From: GUEST,iain
Date: 30 Mar 16 - 05:46 AM

The Child Ballads: 78. The Unquiet Grave.
Definitely a dirge this one, but Luke Kelly gave a striking rendition.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jyqBA_Qr3qs


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Subject: RE: Sheet winding/ Songs about death
From: Gallus Moll
Date: 30 Mar 16 - 04:34 PM

You live in North Wales and are called Gallus? Are you Scottish?


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Subject: RE: Sheet winding/ Songs about death
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 31 Mar 16 - 02:53 AM


......

Unknown Citizen>
By Auden about 1939 (Random House)

(To JS/07 M 378
This Marble Monument
Is Erected by the State)

He was found by the Bureau of Statistics to be
One against whom there was no official complaint,
And all the reports of his conduct agree
That, in the modern sense of the old-fashioned word, he was a saint,
For in everything he did he served the Greater Community.
Except for the war till the day he retired
He worked in a factory and never got fired,
But satisfied his employers, Fudge Motors Inc.
Yet he wasn't a scab or odd in his views,
For his union reports that he paid his dues,
(Our report of his union shows it was sound)
And our Social Psychology workers found
That he was popular with his mates and liked a drink.
The Press are convinced that he bought a paper every day,
And that his reactions to advertisements were normal in every way.
Policies taken out in his name prove that he was fully insured,
And his Health-card shows that he was once in hospital but left it cured.
Both Producers Research and High–Grade Living declare
He was fully sensible to the advantages of the Installment Plan
And had everything necessary to the Modern Man,
A gramophone, a radio, a car and a frigidaire.
Our researchers into Public Opinion are content
That he held the proper opinions for the time of the year;
When there was peace he was for peace; when there was war he went.
He was married and added five children to the population,
which our Eugenist says was the right number for a parent of his generation,
And our teachers report he never interfered with their education.
Was he free? Was he happy? The question is absurd:
Had anything been wrong, we should certainly have heard.

Sincerely,
Gargoyle


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Subject: RE: Sheet winding/ Songs about death
From: Gallus
Date: 03 Apr 16 - 03:56 AM

Thanks for the new suggestions guys. Sorry I haven't been on; work and family.

@gargoyle: In this case I know what you mean. Other songs I've written are more prose or narrative. Don't know why; I'm not really in charge of it but it of me.

@Gallus Moll Oddly, no I'm not. It's a long story but I was mucking about with Latin to come up with a user name for a forum years ago. It was only later I found the word in Scots.


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