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Lyr Req: Trad songs featuring color

Phil Cooper 12 Jun 16 - 07:34 AM
Jack Campin 12 Jun 16 - 10:17 AM
GUEST 12 Jun 16 - 10:36 AM
Effsee 12 Jun 16 - 10:39 AM
GUEST,Ebor Fiddler 12 Jun 16 - 10:44 AM
mkebenn 12 Jun 16 - 01:36 PM
Joe Offer 12 Jun 16 - 04:44 PM
GUEST,Phil Cooper on the iPhone 12 Jun 16 - 06:06 PM
GUEST,Ebor Fiddler 12 Jun 16 - 06:34 PM
Joe Offer 12 Jun 16 - 10:06 PM
Mrrzy 13 Jun 16 - 12:58 AM
Megan L 13 Jun 16 - 01:27 AM
MGM·Lion 13 Jun 16 - 02:16 AM
GUEST 13 Jun 16 - 03:47 AM
Jack Campin 13 Jun 16 - 04:42 AM
Phil Cooper 13 Jun 16 - 09:11 AM
Jim Carroll 13 Jun 16 - 11:19 AM
Jack Campin 13 Jun 16 - 11:44 AM
Mottsnave 13 Jun 16 - 02:00 PM
GUEST,Mike Yates 13 Jun 16 - 02:05 PM
MGM·Lion 13 Jun 16 - 02:17 PM
MGM·Lion 13 Jun 16 - 02:43 PM
Richard Mellish 13 Jun 16 - 03:02 PM
Phil Cooper 13 Jun 16 - 05:11 PM
MGM·Lion 13 Jun 16 - 05:32 PM
Joe_F 13 Jun 16 - 05:44 PM
Jack Campin 13 Jun 16 - 05:51 PM
Phil Cooper 14 Jun 16 - 08:14 AM
Jack Campin 14 Jun 16 - 08:32 AM
Jim Carroll 14 Jun 16 - 09:15 AM
eftifino 14 Jun 16 - 09:28 AM
MGM·Lion 14 Jun 16 - 10:24 AM
Jim Carroll 14 Jun 16 - 11:12 AM
Ged Fox 15 Jun 16 - 07:03 AM
Phil Cooper 15 Jun 16 - 08:41 AM
Jack Campin 20 Jun 16 - 07:52 PM
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Subject: Lyr Req: Trad songs featuring color
From: Phil Cooper
Date: 12 Jun 16 - 07:34 AM

My spouse, Susan Urban, and I are developing a UU service based on color, symbolizing someone's sense of independence and style. The song that inspired it was Zoe Mulford's I'm Gonna Wear Red Today. I was thinking of traditional songs that feature color and clothing as statements and had trouble thinking of some. I ruled out Lord Thomas & Lady Margaret (red scarlet robes lady margaret wore never could be mended again) as not on the point we want to make. Also Lang a-growin' is out (made my love a shroud of linen o so fine). Any ideas about songs where the clothing, or colors can symbolize a personal liberation? We are also considering a couple Dave Carter songs (either Disappearing Man or Frank to Valentino). I trust I'm not being too vague on what we're looking for, but any insights will be appreciated.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Trad songs featuring color
From: Jack Campin
Date: 12 Jun 16 - 10:17 AM

Colours as badges of political allegiance go back a long way. The blue and grey of the opposing sides in the US civil war; the colours of cockades in Britain when the Jacobites and Hanoverians were slogging it out; colours associated with Irish politics.

There was a series of songs that may have made an oblique comment on those. "The Black Jock" was a bawdy Anglo-Irish song from Dublin in the 1730s; a jock is female public hair. The followups included The White Jock, The Grey Jock and The Blue Jock (maybe also a Green Jock). Google image search will tell you what they had in mind, but I didn't think blue was chemically possible in the middle of the 18th century.

Maybe closer to what you have in mind, what's that song about the kid who likes to draw things in his own personal choice of colours until the art teacher beats it out of him?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Trad songs featuring color
From: GUEST
Date: 12 Jun 16 - 10:36 AM

The Wearing of the Green?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Trad songs featuring color
From: Effsee
Date: 12 Jun 16 - 10:39 AM

Jack,"Flowers are red" by Harry Chapin is the one you're thinking of I think.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Trad songs featuring color
From: GUEST,Ebor Fiddler
Date: 12 Jun 16 - 10:44 AM

Little Tim Maguire.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Trad songs featuring color
From: mkebenn
Date: 12 Jun 16 - 01:36 PM

or the visual and virtual "Black Velvet Band" Mike


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Trad songs featuring color
From: Joe Offer
Date: 12 Jun 16 - 04:44 PM

Hi, Phil -
Well the first two that struck me were "Lavender's Blue" and "Jenny Jenkins" - but making either of them fit your service, might be a stretch...
    Oh, what do you care if I just go bare...


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Trad songs featuring color
From: GUEST,Phil Cooper on the iPhone
Date: 12 Jun 16 - 06:06 PM

Thanks. I Should also mention that we are going to do is the rolling stones, she comes in colors.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Trad songs featuring color
From: GUEST,Ebor Fiddler
Date: 12 Jun 16 - 06:34 PM

I hope I'm not being dense, but what is "UU" please Phil?

Thanks,

Chris B.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Trad songs featuring color
From: Joe Offer
Date: 12 Jun 16 - 10:06 PM

"UU" is the Unitarian Universalist Association.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Trad songs featuring color
From: Mrrzy
Date: 13 Jun 16 - 12:58 AM

My dad was appalled that I knew that the people who wore grey had lost and the people who wore blue had won the US Civil War, but didn't know which side had worn which color... the songs all had the boy in blue limping home and the boy in grey in the coffin, but never mentioned the geography.

There is the purple heather, too.

And the purple moor, looped by the ribbon of darkness. But that was a poem first...


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Trad songs featuring color
From: Megan L
Date: 13 Jun 16 - 01:27 AM

Three came to my mind, only one is trad

Lassie wie the yellow coatie
Dylans Yellow is the colour
and Nina simone does a lovely one Black is the colour of my true loves hair


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Trad songs featuring color
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 13 Jun 16 - 02:16 AM

"Black Is The Colour" was traditional before the egregious Niles went to work on it: beautiful version in Sharp & Campbell's Appalachian collection.

≈M≈


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Trad songs featuring color
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Jun 16 - 03:47 AM

Dylans Yellow is the colour

Donovan's?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Trad songs featuring color
From: Jack Campin
Date: 13 Jun 16 - 04:42 AM

How about:

I'm just a country boy,
Money have I none.
But I've got silver in the stars,
And gold in the morning sun.


A hit for Don Williams but maybe it had a trad origin?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Trad songs featuring color
From: Phil Cooper
Date: 13 Jun 16 - 09:11 AM

Thanks again for the suggestions. I was thinking a possible idea which I did not articulate well initially was how the clothes one wore could help one's sense of well being, or self esteem. Also how drab or uniform type clothing can be designed to stifle that.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Trad songs featuring color
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 13 Jun 16 - 11:19 AM

We have a memorable recording of Ewan MacColl working with a singer, Gordon MuCulloch, using the colour and surroundings in the opening verses of the ballad, The Beggar Laddie.

"It was in the pleasant month of June
When gentle ladies walk their 'lane
When woods and valleys a' grow green
And the sun it shines sae clearly."

A masterful scene-setter.
Macoll suggested that it was possible to give your narrative ballds their own colour in order to visualise them
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Trad songs featuring color
From: Jack Campin
Date: 13 Jun 16 - 11:44 AM

Clothing colours: in Scottish songs, the combination of yellow trousers and blue socks was a Masonic symbol (from the brass shanks and steel points of a stonemason's compass).

For a modern equivalent maybe there are songs about biker gang patches?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Trad songs featuring color
From: Mottsnave
Date: 13 Jun 16 - 02:00 PM

Not clothing specifically, but Green Grow the Lilacs has quite a bit of color symbolism: there's "I wrote my love a letter in rosy red lines" symbolizing affection/love, and of course "And by the next meeting I hope to prove true/And change the green lilacs to the red white and blue," changing allegiance as an Irish immigrant to the US.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Trad songs featuring color
From: GUEST,Mike Yates
Date: 13 Jun 16 - 02:05 PM

"The Colour of Amber".


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Trad songs featuring color
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 13 Jun 16 - 02:17 PM

Nobody seems [unless I have missed it] to have mentioned Jennie Jenkins!

≈M≈


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Trad songs featuring color
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 13 Jun 16 - 02:43 PM

Sorry -- Joe had indeed mentioned it in an early post.

Apologies, Joe¡

≈M≈


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Trad songs featuring color
From: Richard Mellish
Date: 13 Jun 16 - 03:02 PM

In one of the versions of Lord Thomas and Fair Eleanor/Ellender/Annet, when she set off to go to the wedding "She dressed herself in scarlet red". Admittedly she comes to a sticky end, along with the other leading parties, but when she is setting off she is asserting herself.

Then there are some blues where someone has died and their friends and relations "re-ragged in red". Was that a colour of mourning or again asserting something positive?

And how about The Green Wedding?

Whether any of these are remotely suitable for the OP's purposes is another question.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Trad songs featuring color
From: Phil Cooper
Date: 13 Jun 16 - 05:11 PM

They're all in consideration at this point. I appreciate everyone's comments.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Trad songs featuring color
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 13 Jun 16 - 05:32 PM

Green Wedding indeed. I published an article in OUP's 'Notes & Queries' literary journal for Dec 1987, continuous series Vol 232 No 4, called Married In Green: a common source for Scott & Dickens, which drew attention to the use of superstitions against wearing green for weddings in Scott's lengthy poem Marmion, & the relation of its interpolated poem about the Laird of Loch Invar {"Young Lochinvar"} to the 'Green Wedding' ballads, esp 'Katharine Jaffray', Child #221; & Dickens's Nicholas Nickleby, in which the miser Gride wears his suit of bottle-green to marry the young & beautiful Madeline Bray by blackmail and bribery of her venal father — only to have her carried off by the hero from under his very nose, "Just like Young Lochinvar".

≈M≈


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Trad songs featuring color
From: Joe_F
Date: 13 Jun 16 - 05:44 PM

There are a fair number of songs mentioning orange. But they, too, tend to be political.

Likewise (since we are creeping up on 4 July), "Columbia the Gem of the Ocean" ("Three cheers for the red, white, and blue").


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Trad songs featuring color
From: Jack Campin
Date: 13 Jun 16 - 05:51 PM

Matt McGinn:

On the beach at Portobello
Maggie met up with a fellow
His hair was black, his teeth were yellow
Down on Portobello beach...


(tune: "Torna a Sorrento").

And Paul Mauriat's late 60s hit "Love is Blue" but now we're getting silly.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Trad songs featuring color
From: Phil Cooper
Date: 14 Jun 16 - 08:14 AM

We are going to use Jenny Jenkins for the intergenerational moment. We're looking at the other suggestions, too. I can't say thanks enough for your input.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Trad songs featuring color
From: Jack Campin
Date: 14 Jun 16 - 08:32 AM

From one of the versions of Shule Aroon/Shule Agra/Gone for a Soldier/whatever...

I'll dye my petticoats, I'll dye them red
Through the world I'll beg for bread...


but it isn't all that clear what she had in mind. And in "Her Mantle So Green" there is absolutely nothing to indicate what statement the colour was meant to make, if any.

Green is hunter's camouflage in the Robin Hood stories and probably in e.e.cummings's take on it

all in green went my love riding
on a great horse of gold
into the silver dawn...


set to music by Peter Schickele and sung by Joan Baez on her "Baptism" album.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Trad songs featuring color
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 14 Jun 16 - 09:15 AM

Wouldn't mind a copy of that Mike, if we're still friends
The Green Wedding was one of the great surprises we found while recording elderly Clare singers - we recorded it last a couple of years ago from a 94 year-old farmer here.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Trad songs featuring color
From: eftifino
Date: 14 Jun 16 - 09:28 AM

New Christie Minstrels 1963 - Green, Green

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

Donovan   - Colours

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hoEle04qu_U


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Trad songs featuring color
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 14 Jun 16 - 10:24 AM

Of course we are still friends, Jim. email me your steam mail address to

mgromyer@yahoo.co.uk

& I will mail a copy off to you.

Cheers

≈Michael≈


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Trad songs featuring color
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 14 Jun 16 - 11:12 AM

Thanks Mike - will do.
Jim


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Trad songs featuring color
From: Ged Fox
Date: 15 Jun 16 - 07:03 AM

"how the clothes one wore could help one's sense of well being, or self esteem. Also how drab or uniform type clothing can be designed to stifle that."

There may well be more songs to suggest that uniforms enhance "one's sense of well being, or self esteem." The "Rout for the Blues" is such a one:
"They're as gallant young fellows as ever you'll see,
Though you search bonny Britain all through.
When dressed in His Majesty's suit you'll agree
There's none can compare with the Blues."

There's a nice verse in "Richard of Taunton Dean" where he dresses up to go courting:
"Young Herchard put on his Sunday clo'es,
his buckskin britches and silken hose,
A brand new hat upon his head As were bedecked with ribbon so red." Whether or not his wooing was successful depends on the version you prefer.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Trad songs featuring color
From: Phil Cooper
Date: 15 Jun 16 - 08:41 AM

I had thought of Rout of the Blues. Thanks.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Trad songs featuring color
From: Jack Campin
Date: 20 Jun 16 - 07:52 PM

Just remembered: a couple of years ago I met a Brummie woman at a klezmer event who was so taken with the Gogol Bordello song "Start Wearing Purple" that she had (a) started wearing purple clothes herself, (b) dyed her hair purple, and (c) invested in a purple accordion to accompany herself singing it.

I doubt there are two such people in Birmingham so if anybody knows her, say hello. That act was a blast.


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