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What the heck is this word (Beautiful Light o'er..

DigiTrad:
I WISH I HAD SOMEONE TO LOVE ME
IF I HAD THE WINGS
PILOT'S LAMENT
THE PRISONER'S SONG


Related threads:
If I had the wings of an angel - parodies (30)
Lyr Req: The Prisoner's Song (Dalhart , et al.) (34)
(origins) Origins/ADD: Meet Me Tonight in the Moonlight (23)
Lyr Add: Here's Adieu to All Judges and Juries (14)
Lyr Req: New Prisoner's Song (Boggs, et al.) (14)
Review: Over these prison walls I will fly (2) (closed)
Lyr Req: If I had the wings of an angel... (7) (closed)
wings of an angel/sitting alone in an (3) (closed)


tiompanista 27 Apr 16 - 05:22 PM
Joe Offer 27 Apr 16 - 06:53 PM
Amos 27 Apr 16 - 07:06 PM
keberoxu 27 Apr 16 - 07:12 PM
Joe Offer 27 Apr 16 - 07:19 PM
Megan L 28 Apr 16 - 10:04 AM
GUEST,Senoufou 28 Apr 16 - 12:32 PM
Thompson 28 Apr 16 - 12:49 PM
Joe Offer 28 Apr 16 - 01:21 PM
tiompanista 28 Apr 16 - 03:16 PM
tiompanista 28 Apr 16 - 03:37 PM
Helen 29 Apr 16 - 09:13 PM
BobKnight 30 Apr 16 - 06:03 AM
Steve Gardham 30 Apr 16 - 10:58 AM
GUEST 01 May 16 - 10:11 AM
GUEST 01 May 16 - 11:17 AM
GUEST,RaraAvis 01 May 16 - 11:29 AM
mayomick 01 May 16 - 11:40 AM
Greg F. 01 May 16 - 04:51 PM
Joe Offer 02 May 16 - 12:43 AM
Brian May 02 May 16 - 05:28 AM
Megan L 02 May 16 - 05:56 AM
Senoufou 02 May 16 - 11:38 AM
Megan L 03 May 16 - 02:52 AM
Senoufou 03 May 16 - 02:56 AM
eftifino 03 May 16 - 02:58 AM
leeneia 03 May 16 - 11:24 AM
tiompanista 03 May 16 - 11:36 AM
Megan L 03 May 16 - 11:42 AM
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Subject: Folklore: What the heck is this word
From: tiompanista
Date: 27 Apr 16 - 05:22 PM

Hey! I'm doing a little [free] research in "Ballads and Sogs Collected by the Missouri Folk-Lore Society. ed. H. M. Belden. U. of Missouri Press, 1940, 1966. On page 494 there is a version of "Beautiful Isle O'er the Sea" called "Beautiful Light O'er the Sea," collected by Ada Belle Cowden. The person for whom I'm doing the research wants any specifics I can find about this version, and there's a word in a verse I cannot guess that may be a corruption, a mis-hearing, or some-such. Here's the verse (everyone has heard a version of it):

   I wish I had the wings of an angel
   The voice of ANNOVLING dove
   I'd sail this wide world over
   And sail to the one that I love

Any ideas on "annovling dove"?

djames@tiompanalley.com


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Subject: ADD: Beautiful Light o'er the Sea
From: Joe Offer
Date: 27 Apr 16 - 06:53 PM

Looks like we haven't had that one posted before. The Traditional Ballad Index links it to "Meet Me Tonight in the Moonlight" Here are the lyrics from Belden.

BEAUTIFUL LIGHT O'ER THE SEA

I was out last night a-drinking,
I was out the night before,
But if I ever get sober
I'll never get drunk any more.

Chorus:
Beautiful light o'er the sea, o'er the sea,
O beautiful light o'er the sea,
O beautiful light o'er the sea, o'er the sea,
There's someone waiting for me.

I wish I had the wings of an angel,
The voice of annovling* dove,
I'd sail this wide world over
And sail to the one that I love.

I wish I had someone to love me,
Someone to call me their own,
Someone to guide and protect me,
Someone to see me safe home.

*So in the MS. I have no suggestion to offer.


"Beautiful Light o'er the Sea." From the MS ballad-book of Ada Belle Cowden of Woodlandville, Boone County.

Belden's notes: I have not found this maudlin effusion elsewhere, unless it is to be considered a form of 'The Prisoner's Song,' for which see BSSNS 303, MAFLS XXIX 49.

from Ballads and Songs Collected by the Missouri Folk-Lore Society, edited by H.M. Belden., Second Edition (1955), page 494


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Subject: RE: What the heck is this word (Beautiful Light o'er..
From: Amos
Date: 27 Apr 16 - 07:06 PM

I hazard it is a typo but of what I am uncertain.


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Subject: RE: What the heck is this word (Beautiful Light o'er..
From: keberoxu
Date: 27 Apr 16 - 07:12 PM

It reads like several songs smashed together....


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Subject: ADD: I Was Drunk Last Night
From: Joe Offer
Date: 27 Apr 16 - 07:19 PM

Roud ties the song to "I Was Drunk Last Night" from Randolph.

I WAS DRUNK LAST NIGHT

I was drunk last night, my darlin',
An' drunk the night before,
But if I ever get sober
I'll never get drunk any more.

CHORUS
Beautiful light o'er the sea, the sea,
Beautiful light o'er the sea,
Beautiful light o'er the sea, the sea,
I've only been waitin' for thee.

And now I'll gather the roses
To twine in my long braided hair,
An' when Willie comes in the evenin'
He'll smile when he sees me so fair.

Sung by Mrs. Marie Wilbur, Pineville, Mo, July 21, 1934. Mrs Wilbur says that it is part of a drinking song well known in the Ozarks.

Vance Randolph, Ozark Folksongs (1980 edition), #407, Volume III, page 140-141


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Subject: RE: What the heck is this word (Beautiful Light o'er..
From: Megan L
Date: 28 Apr 16 - 10:04 AM

Catalog of Copyright Entries: Musical compositions, Part 3 has an entry for Beautiful light oer the sea: w Rex Lampman, melody Jack Foy. (copyright symbol) 1c. June 2 , 1941. E unp. 260533; peer internatl. corp New York. 21364


Now none of that means a thing to me but it might to someone.
found a mention of it here Michigan ballads


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Subject: RE: What the heck is this word (Beautiful Light o'er..
From: GUEST,Senoufou
Date: 28 Apr 16 - 12:32 PM

I'm not sure if this helps, but 'ovel' is a Hebrew word for to mourn. An 'ovelling dove' would be a mourning dove. I understand that mourning doves are very common in North America, and have a very, well, mournful call! The word ovelling also means moaning or lamenting (I looked up some old sermons online) which comes to the same thing.

Just an idea, but it could fit with the sentiments in the song...


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Subject: RE: What the heck is this word (Beautiful Light o'er..
From: Thompson
Date: 28 Apr 16 - 12:49 PM

Hovering dove? But doves don't really hover.


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Subject: RE: What the heck is this word (Beautiful Light o'er..
From: Joe Offer
Date: 28 Apr 16 - 01:21 PM

Sure sounds like a credible idea, Senoufou. Gee, you may have outsmarted Belden, who admits he does not know!

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: What the heck is this word (Beautiful Light o'er..
From: tiompanista
Date: 28 Apr 16 - 03:16 PM

Senoufou, I think you've got it. Makes perfect sense. Now, who was sitting down with her when Anna Bell Cowden transcribed the song (¿A Hebrew speaker?), or from whom did she get it? A Jewish singer with a sense of humor? A Jewish singer who had the song from a Hebrew source--Was the song originally Hebrew? (Like Dona, Dona, Dona, maybe) Any guesses anyone?

Megan L, Anna Bell Cowden died before the 1941 copyright date you list. I wonder (it's been done--see Tom Dooley) if Lampman and Foy copyrighted the song in preparation for someone who recorded it, looking for a "hit song"?

Thank-you everyone who has responded. This shows the vibrancy of the folksong/folklore community in the U.S. I was amazed at the volume and precision of the responses, and they've brought me back to a Web site, which though 'way old in format--it reminds me of the old listserv_L sites--is still perfect for our needs.


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Subject: RE: What the heck is this word (Beautiful Light o'er..
From: tiompanista
Date: 28 Apr 16 - 03:37 PM

And . . . there's the Carter's "Beautiful Isle O'er the Sea"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hTSMH5uDUbw

The sentiments in the "drunk" verses and the sentiments in the "love/sorrow" verses are universal. Had 'em myself at times.


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Subject: RE: What the heck is this word (Beautiful Light o'er..
From: Helen
Date: 29 Apr 16 - 09:13 PM

I did a bit of a search on the Wings of an angel/ wings of a dove lines:

I found this page:

Ballads & Songs of Southern Michigan-songbook

for a song called Seven Long Years, which has the following two lines:

If I had the wings of an angel,
Or like the wings of a dove,

SEVEN LONG YEARS
For a vanation of this song see Campbell and Sharp, p. 256; Eddy, No 68, text D; and Fuson, p. 118.
The present version was communicated in 1916 by Miss Louise Griffiths, a student in Michigan State Normal College, Ypsilanti; she obtained it from Miss Florence Ott, Halltown, West Virginia, who had learned it from school children.

1    O seven long years I've been married;
I wish. I had died an old maid,
For now I see nothing but trouble.
My husband won't work at his trade.

Chorus
Beautiful light o'er the ocean,
Beautiful light o'er the sea,
Beautiful light o'er the ocean,
My love, I am waiting for thee.

2    I have to go down to the barroom
And get him home if I can.
Young girls, you see nothing but trouble
When once you are tied to a man.

3    I have to get up in the morning,
Work hard and toil all the day;
At night I have to get supper
And put the dear children to bed.

4    If I had listened to mother,
I wouldn't have been here today;
But I was so young and so foolish,
I had to have my own way.

5    If I had the wings of an angel,
Or like the wings of a dove,
I'd fly across the wide ocean
And light in the arms of my love.

The line also reminded me of a verse in:

Botany Bay - Oz traditional song

Oh had I the wings of a turtle dove
I'd soar on my pinions so high
Slap bang to the arms of my Polly love
And in her sweet presence I'd die


I always wondered why that line is common in folk songs, but in my search I discovered that it is also a line from Psalm 55 in the Bible.

(Sorry, I never did much Bible reading in my younger days, otherwise I probably would have known that.)


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Subject: RE: What the heck is this word (Beautiful Light o'er..
From: BobKnight
Date: 30 Apr 16 - 06:03 AM

There's a wee word that seems to be falling out of use these days, and it's "an." It's usually used before a word with a vowel such aa "an Hotel" or "an idea,' therefore it would be grammatically correct to use it before, "loving." So, I suggest that it's TWO words, not one. There you go - sorted!!


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Subject: RE: What the heck is this word (Beautiful Light o'er..
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 30 Apr 16 - 10:58 AM

The 'If I had the wings of a' stanza is indeed a commonplace/floater found in many ballads, laments, prison songs etc. I've used it myself in my own song writing. It makes a great rounding off stanza.


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Subject: RE: What the heck is this word (Beautiful Light o'er..
From: GUEST
Date: 01 May 16 - 10:11 AM

Here are a couple more speculative ideas:

Mr. Breid of Missouri mentioned to me the word "nolve," a type of speech identifying a person, place or thing.

In the OED, I find "Nowell," in the 1300s a word shouted or sung as an expression of joy, originally to commemorate Christ's birth, now retained in Chrstmas carols. So, this one is tied to European singing tradition.

Thoughts anyone?


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Subject: RE: What the heck is this word (Beautiful Light o'er..
From: GUEST
Date: 01 May 16 - 11:17 AM

A low flying dove?


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Subject: RE: What the heck is this word (Beautiful Light o'er..
From: GUEST,RaraAvis
Date: 01 May 16 - 11:29 AM

Could this be a varient of anoven, meaning 'upward'?


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Subject: RE: What the heck is this word (Beautiful Light o'er..
From: mayomick
Date: 01 May 16 - 11:40 AM

maybe the word was inserted by the same stuck-for-the-right-word person who wrote about twining with raven black hair the non-existent "armitar" flower?


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Subject: RE: What the heck is this word (Beautiful Light o'er..
From: Greg F.
Date: 01 May 16 - 04:51 PM

An loving / a loving.

Typo


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Subject: RE: What the heck is this word (Beautiful Light o'er..
From: Joe Offer
Date: 02 May 16 - 12:43 AM

Belden says he got the song "from the MS ballad-book of Ada Belle Cowden of Woodlandville, Boone County," and Belden noted the incomprehensible word in his book. So, I'm wondering what this "MS ballad-book" was - a handwritten book of Cowden's repertoire of songs?

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: What the heck is this word (Beautiful Light o'er..
From: Brian May
Date: 02 May 16 - 05:28 AM

"The voice of an ovelling dove" (mournful bird)

Sounds the most likely to me - it's two words making 'an' correct preceeding a vowel.


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Subject: RE: What the heck is this word (Beautiful Light o'er..
From: Megan L
Date: 02 May 16 - 05:56 AM

Brian where did you find the definition of ovelling? I couldn't find it in the OE dictionary would love to know
.


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Subject: RE: What the heck is this word (Beautiful Light o'er..
From: Senoufou
Date: 02 May 16 - 11:38 AM

Megan L, if you Google 'meaning of ovel' and choose the Collins English Dictionary option, it will give the Hebrew meaning of 'a mourne'r. So presumably, ovelling is mourning.
It also gives the rate of useage over 10,50 and 100 years, and shows the word was much-used during the early part of the 20th Century.

I learned about the N American Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura) from my RSPB bird identification book, which says that this bird has a mournful call. It sometimes gets blown off-course and is seen, albeit rarely, in UK.


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Subject: RE: What the heck is this word (Beautiful Light o'er..
From: Megan L
Date: 03 May 16 - 02:52 AM

THanks Senoufou I tried ovelling in the Oxford English and came up with nothing I have the sort of brain that needs to find things :)


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Subject: RE: What the heck is this word (Beautiful Light o'er..
From: Senoufou
Date: 03 May 16 - 02:56 AM

I have hardly any brain left at all, I don't know where it went! :)


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Subject: RE: What the heck is this word (Beautiful Light o'er..
From: eftifino
Date: 03 May 16 - 02:58 AM

I think it might be as simple as :
"The voice of an old lovey-dove"
Lovey dove is a widely used term of endearment.


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Subject: RE: What the heck is this word (Beautiful Light o'er..
From: leeneia
Date: 03 May 16 - 11:24 AM

I think that's the best guess so far, eftifino. It explains the AN, the O, and the V. The G in "The voice of ANNOVLING dove" could have been the Y of "lovey", written carelessly.


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Subject: RE: What the heck is this word (Beautiful Light o'er..
From: tiompanista
Date: 03 May 16 - 11:36 AM

Senoufou - Thanks for the Collins reference - Here's the next fun twist. "Ovel" makes sense, but what is the Hebrew verbal-noun that corresponds? Certainly not "ovelling" unless you're adapting the original Hebrew word into English (which is, I guess, what's going on here) like the Yiddish "schlep"/ schlepping.


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Subject: RE: What the heck is this word (Beautiful Light o'er..
From: Megan L
Date: 03 May 16 - 11:42 AM

oh for a time machine :)


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