Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafemuddy

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


Origins: Drowsy Sleeper

DigiTrad:
I WILL PUT MY SHIP IN ORDER
I WILL SET MY SHIP IN ORDER (2)
LITTLE SATCHEL
SILVER DAGGER
WAKE, O WAKE, YOU DROWSY SLEEPER


Related threads:
Lyr Req: Awake Ye Drowsy Sleepers (Ian & Sylvia) (17)
(origins) Origins: Little Satchel (24)
Lyr Req: Who Is at My Window Weeping (14)
Lyr Req: Oh, Katie Dear (4)
Lyr Req: Awake, Awake, You Drowsy Sleeper (9)


Richie 13 Jun 16 - 05:03 PM
Richie 13 Jun 16 - 05:21 PM
GUEST,Nick Dow 13 Jun 16 - 05:22 PM
Richie 13 Jun 16 - 05:41 PM
Richie 13 Jun 16 - 05:46 PM
Richie 13 Jun 16 - 06:16 PM
Richie 13 Jun 16 - 06:31 PM
Richie 13 Jun 16 - 10:17 PM
Richie 14 Jun 16 - 12:26 AM
Steve Gardham 14 Jun 16 - 09:31 AM
Steve Gardham 14 Jun 16 - 09:40 AM
Richie 14 Jun 16 - 10:22 AM
Richie 14 Jun 16 - 11:20 AM
Richie 14 Jun 16 - 11:40 AM
Steve Gardham 14 Jun 16 - 01:16 PM
Reinhard 14 Jun 16 - 01:40 PM
Richie 14 Jun 16 - 02:12 PM
Richie 14 Jun 16 - 02:28 PM
Steve Gardham 14 Jun 16 - 04:29 PM
Steve Gardham 14 Jun 16 - 05:06 PM
Steve Gardham 14 Jun 16 - 05:12 PM
Richie 14 Jun 16 - 10:23 PM
Richie 14 Jun 16 - 10:39 PM
Steve Gardham 15 Jun 16 - 03:57 AM
Richie 15 Jun 16 - 09:00 AM
Richie 15 Jun 16 - 11:09 AM
GUEST,Jon Dudley 15 Jun 16 - 01:35 PM
Richie 15 Jun 16 - 06:32 PM
Jim Brown 16 Jun 16 - 05:07 AM
Richie 16 Jun 16 - 09:15 AM
Richie 16 Jun 16 - 10:25 AM
Richie 16 Jun 16 - 12:22 PM
Richie 16 Jun 16 - 10:17 PM
Steve Gardham 17 Jun 16 - 10:29 AM
Richie 17 Jun 16 - 11:39 AM
Richie 17 Jun 16 - 11:48 AM
Richie 17 Jun 16 - 12:25 PM
Steve Gardham 17 Jun 16 - 01:14 PM
Jim Brown 17 Jun 16 - 03:35 PM
Richie 17 Jun 16 - 05:35 PM
Steve Gardham 17 Jun 16 - 05:48 PM
Steve Gardham 17 Jun 16 - 05:50 PM
Richie 17 Jun 16 - 10:01 PM
Richie 17 Jun 16 - 10:13 PM
Steve Gardham 18 Jun 16 - 01:17 PM
Steve Gardham 18 Jun 16 - 01:34 PM
Richie 18 Jun 16 - 01:44 PM
Steve Gardham 18 Jun 16 - 04:52 PM
Richie 18 Jun 16 - 09:51 PM
Richie 18 Jun 16 - 10:06 PM
Steve Gardham 19 Jun 16 - 12:16 PM
Richie 19 Jun 16 - 08:50 PM
Richie 20 Jun 16 - 08:28 AM
Steve Gardham 20 Jun 16 - 08:38 AM
Richie 20 Jun 16 - 09:16 AM
Richie 20 Jun 16 - 09:37 AM
Steve Gardham 20 Jun 16 - 12:45 PM
Richie 20 Jun 16 - 10:49 PM
Richie 20 Jun 16 - 11:04 PM
Richie 21 Jun 16 - 11:05 AM
Richie 21 Jun 16 - 11:57 AM
Richie 21 Jun 16 - 01:58 PM
Richie 21 Jun 16 - 06:16 PM
Richie 22 Jun 16 - 09:54 PM
Richie 23 Jun 16 - 11:03 PM
Richie 26 Jun 16 - 02:48 PM
Steve Gardham 26 Jun 16 - 03:01 PM
Richie 27 Jun 16 - 12:45 PM
Richie 28 Jun 16 - 11:47 AM
Steve Gardham 28 Jun 16 - 01:53 PM
Richie 28 Jun 16 - 02:14 PM
Richie 28 Jun 16 - 02:36 PM
Richie 28 Jun 16 - 02:57 PM
Steve Gardham 28 Jun 16 - 05:02 PM
Richie 28 Jun 16 - 11:22 PM
Richie 28 Jun 16 - 11:46 PM
Steve Gardham 29 Jun 16 - 04:12 AM
Richie 29 Jun 16 - 12:01 PM
Richie 29 Jun 16 - 02:33 PM
Richie 29 Jun 16 - 02:52 PM
Steve Gardham 29 Jun 16 - 03:13 PM
Steve Gardham 29 Jun 16 - 03:16 PM
Richie 29 Jun 16 - 05:05 PM
Steve Gardham 29 Jun 16 - 05:33 PM
Richie 29 Jun 16 - 06:40 PM
Richie 29 Jun 16 - 06:52 PM
Richie 29 Jun 16 - 09:11 PM
Steve Gardham 30 Jun 16 - 02:32 PM
Richie 30 Jun 16 - 04:38 PM
Richie 01 Jul 16 - 11:26 PM
Richard Mellish 02 Jul 16 - 07:41 AM
Richie 03 Jul 16 - 06:37 PM
Richie 04 Jul 16 - 12:15 PM
Steve Gardham 04 Jul 16 - 04:51 PM
Richie 04 Jul 16 - 08:08 PM
Richie 05 Jul 16 - 02:43 PM
Richie 05 Jul 16 - 10:07 PM
Richie 06 Jul 16 - 11:34 PM
Richie 09 Jul 16 - 04:47 PM
Richie 09 Jul 16 - 11:02 PM
Steve Gardham 11 Jul 16 - 05:37 PM
Richie 13 Jul 16 - 12:12 AM
Richie 13 Jul 16 - 12:49 AM
Richie 15 Jul 16 - 07:27 PM
Tradsinger 16 Jul 16 - 01:04 PM
Richie 16 Jul 16 - 05:27 PM
Richie 16 Jul 16 - 09:37 PM
Richie 17 Jul 16 - 02:44 PM
Richie 17 Jul 16 - 03:19 PM
Richie 17 Jul 16 - 03:27 PM
Richie 18 Jul 16 - 07:27 PM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:









Subject: Origins: Drowsy Sleeper
From: Richie
Date: 13 Jun 16 - 05:03 PM

Hi,

I'm doing a study of this ballad on my site and am enlisting the aide of catters to get this study completed. There's quite a bit of information on this ballad and it is known by the following titles, among them: Awake, Awake; Bedroom Window; The Silver Dagger; O Katie Dear; I will put my ship in order.

This is considered a "night visit" ballad and there are a number of related earlier versions. The earliest recognized version is said to be dated circa 1817. I post it here in its entirety:

THE DROWSY SLEEPER
Harding B 28(233) J. Crome; c. 1817

"Awake, awake, ye drowsy sleeper.
Awake, awake! 'Tis almost day.
How can you sleep, my charming creature,
Since you have stole my heart away?"

"Begone, begone! You will awake my mother.
My father he will quickly hear.
Begone, begone, and court some other,
But whisper softly in my ear."

Her father hearing the lovers talking,
Nimbly jumped out of bed.
He put his head out of the window,
But this young man quickly fled.

"Turn back, turn back! Don't be called a rover.
Jemmy, turn back, and sit you by my side.
You may stay while his passion's over.
Jemmy, I will be your lovely bride."

"O daughter, daughter, I will confine you.
Jemmy he shall go to sea,
And you may write your truelove a letter,
As he may read it when far away."

"O father, pay me down my portion,
Which is five thousand pounds, you know,
And I'll cross the wide watery ocean,
Where all the hills are covered with snow."

"No, I will not pay down your portion,
Which is five thousand pounds, I know;
Nor you shan't cross the wide watery ocean,
Where the hills are covered with snow.

"O daughter, daughter, I will confine you,
And all within your private room;
And you shall live upon bread and water
Once a day, and that at noon."

"No, I will have none of your bread and water,
Nor nothing else that you have.
If I can't have my heart's desire,
Single I will go to my grave."

So as I understand it, there is an ancient sanctioned night visit (by the parents) in England called "bundling" and another courting custom called "hand-fasting." Similar sanctioned courting customs are found in Western-Europe and were also brought to the US. The male would visit and be allowed to enter and sleep with the girl as long as they were wearing clothes!!!

The Drowsy Sleeper is an unsanctioned courtship, where the young man wakes the girl who is at her parents house. Romeo and Juliet may be considered a parallel story. Some questions are:

1. Is this the oldest extant broadside?
2. What similar broadsides or ballads led to its creation?
3. How many variant broadsides or print versions are there?
4. What are the oldest traditional versions?

For example, is this fragment from Burns a version, or a related ballad?

No. 357. As I lay on my bed on a night.
Tune: Go from my window, love, do (see No. 307).

As I lay on my bed on a night,
I thought upon her beauty bright,
But the moon by night
    Did give no light
Which did perplex me sore—
Yet away to my love I did go.

Then under her window I came,
I gently call'd her by her name;
Then up she rose,
    Put on her clothes,
And whisper'd to me slow,
Saying:—' Go from my window, love, do.'

'My father and my mother are asleep,
And if they chance to hear you speak,
There will be nocht
    But great abuse
Wi' many a bitter blow:—
And it's Go from my window, love, do.'

Richie


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Drowsy Sleeper
From: Richie
Date: 13 Jun 16 - 05:21 PM

Hi,

Here are two more examples:

"The Secret Lover." Stanza 2:

"What is my Love a-sleeping? or is my Love awake?"
"Who knocketh at the Window, who knocketh there so late?"
"It is your true love, Lady, that for your sake doth wait."
And sing, Go from the Window, love, go!

Wit and Mirth: Or, Pills to Purge Melancholy by Henry Playford- 1719; 1st stanza:

"Arise, arise, my Juggy, my Puggy,
    Arise, get up, my dear;
The Night is cold, it bloweth, it snoweth;
I must be lodged here."

Is this version considered to be the oldest extent traditional version?

From Alan Cunningham's Works of Robert Burns: With His Life, Volume 4 (1834). Cunningham writes: 'An old Nithsdale song seems to have been in the Poet's thoughts when he wrote this exquisite lyric. Martha Crosbie, a carder and spinner of wool, sometimes desiring to be more than commonly acceptable to the children of my father's house, made her way to their hearts by singing the following ancient strain:-

    "Who is this under my window?
    Who is this that troubles me?"
    "O, it is I, love, and none but I, love,
    I wish to speak one word with thee.

    Go to your mother, and ask her, jewel,
    If she'll consent you my bride to be;
    And, if she does na, come back and tell me,
    This is the last time I'll visit thee."

    "My mother's in her chamber, jewel,
    And of lover's talking will not hear;
    Therefore you may go and court another,
    And whisper softly in her ear."

The song proceeds to relate how mother and father were averse to the lover's suit, and that, exasperated by their scorn, and the coldness of the maiden, he ran off in despair: on relenting, she finds he is gone, and breaks out in these fine lines:-

    "O, where's he gone that I love best,
    And has left me here to sigh and moan?
    O I will search the wide world over,
    Till my true love I find again.

    The seas shall dry, and the fishes fly,
    And the rocks shall melt down wi' the sun;
    The labouring man shall forget his labour,
    The blackbird shall not sing, but mourn,
    If ever I prove false to my love,
    Till once I see if he return." '


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Drowsy Sleeper
From: GUEST,Nick Dow
Date: 13 Jun 16 - 05:22 PM

Marina Russell had the song and the tune is in Midi form on the full English. Read Bert Lloyds' notes to one Night as I lay on my bed in Penguin 1. He used a set of words from Geo. House of Beaminster 1906 to Mrs Russells tune. I collected the same song with an extra verse from Georges son Bill in 1984.
You may be confusing two songs with your Burns song which is Go from my window however they stemmed from a common international root. Go from my Window is still common with Gypsies today. Berts' notes will set you straight.
kind regards


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Drowsy Sleeper
From: Richie
Date: 13 Jun 16 - 05:41 PM

Hi,

TY for your post. I thought "One Night as I lay on my bed" to be a different song from "Drowsy Sleeper" just as all songs I've posted are different songs except the broadside, Drowsy Sleeper. Many of the variants are missing the opening, "Awake" or "Arise" such as this variant from the Bahamas called "The Gold Ring":

True love, true love,
Go an' ask your mother,
An' what Come back to me.
An' if she say yes,
Come back an' tell me;
An' if she say no,
I would no marry.

Richie


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Drowsy Sleeper
From: Richie
Date: 13 Jun 16 - 05:46 PM

Correction: The Cunningham "Who is under my Window" is a traditional version.

Richie


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Drowsy Sleeper
From: Richie
Date: 13 Jun 16 - 06:16 PM

Hi,

Just as the end of Cunningham's version appears to be a different song- perhaps related to: "The Unkind Parents, or, The Languishing Lamentation of two Loyal Lovers" (the source of the "Dearest Dear" songs in the US) from the late 1600s- the ballad, "Drowsy sleeper" may have be spawned by an earlier broadside- clearly none I have posted are that broadside or print version. It may not exist.

Here's the complete Bahama version from: "Folk-tales of Andros Island, Bahamas" Parsons; 1918, Story and song from Lucy Rolle about 33, from Andros. (Only the end of the story "bride o' mine" and first verse are part of Drowsy Sleeper)

112. THE GOLD RING.

Once was a time, a very good time,
When monkey chew tobacco an' spit white lime.

Dis was Jack. Engaged to a girl name Greenleaf. He was cotin' her for many months. Jack parents say dey ain't agree for him to marry to Greenleaf. "0h," he said, "if he don' marry to Greenleaf, he go away." Befo' he went he bought a beautiful gol' ring. An' he went to Greenleaf house, gave her de ring, says, "Take dis gol' ring, put it on yer finger. Take dis gol' ring to remember me. An' if I shall remain for a few years mo' longer, I hope you remain a bride o' mine."

1 True love, true love,
Go an' ask your mother,
An' what Come back to me.
An' if she say yes,
Come back an' tell me;
An' if she say no,
I would no marry.

2. Take dis gol' ring,
Put it on your finger;
Take dis gol' ring
To remember me.
Take dis gol' ring,
Put it on your finger;
Take dis gol' ring
To remember me.

Den off Jack went. At las' Jack wrote for de girl. An' she went. She was married in dat far countree. It was one of de grandest weddin' dat we have ever seen. As I was passin' along de bouquet dat de bride had in her han', she knock me wid de bouquet, an' dere I fell; an' no sooner dan I was on de groun' dere I piss.

Richie


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Drowsy Sleeper
From: Richie
Date: 13 Jun 16 - 06:31 PM

Hi,

Similar to the Cunningham versions and perhaps as old is a version from a MS dated February 22, 1874 found by Belden in Missouri. It also has the "The Unkind Parents/Dearest Dear" stanzas attached at the end. Spelling and punctuation on the MS have not been corrected:

Awake awake you drowsey sleeper
Awake awake it is allmost day
How can you Sleep you felistian[1] creature
When your true love is Just gone1 away

Go way go way youl will wake my
Mother and that will be sad news to me
you must go way and cort Some other
She whispered low love in my year[2]

Go way go way you will wake mi father
he lies on yonders bed of rest
and in his hand he holds a rapture[3]
To pearse the one whome i love best

Go fetch to me yonders pen and paper
That i may Set down and write a while
I will tell you of the greaf and sorow
that troubles me bothe day and night

I wish i was a little swalow
Or els Some lonesome turkle dove
I would fly away over hils of Sorow
and lite on Some land of love

In yonders field go stick an arow
I wish the same was in my heart
Then i would bid adieu to Sin and
Sorow then my poor Sole would be at rest

go dig my grave in yonders meadow
'lace marble stones at head and feet
and on my brest a turtle dove to tes
testify i died for love

1. usually "charming" Belden has Philistine? (Belden 1940)
2. ear
3. rapier


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Drowsy Sleeper
From: Richie
Date: 13 Jun 16 - 10:17 PM

Hi,

A single stanza entitled "Wake Up" was printed in the 1855 Social Harp, p. 155 as by John G. McCurry of Georgia, 1852:

Wake up, wake up, ye drowsy sleepers,
O wake, O wake for it's almost day!
How can you lie there and sleep and slumber,
When your true love is going away?

Richie


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Drowsy Sleeper
From: Richie
Date: 14 Jun 16 - 12:26 AM

Hi,

I apologize for starting a new thread when we already had two that I participated in with Malcolm Douglas, Stewie, Dicho, Jean Ritchie (KY Trad) and others years ago :)

At least the texts I've posted are mostly different :)

If anyone has anything to add maybe we can come up with new (old) material.

TY

Richie


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Drowsy Sleeper
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 14 Jun 16 - 09:31 AM

Hi Richie,
Again you seem to be confusing 'song/ballad' and 'theme' when using the word 'version'. Songs that have the same theme but no substantial text in common are versions of a theme but not versions of the same song. Child sometimes had this problem so you're in good company.

There are many different 'night visit' songs on a similar theme but we wouldn't class them all as the same song.

Taking this even further there are actually 2 distinct 'Drowsy Sleeper' songs Roud 22620 and 22621. Laws even confused them and gave them the same number M4 but they are not the same song. 22621 is only found in America and could have picked up its initial stanza from the English broadside ballad which has caused the confusion by those who haven't looked at the whole song(s).

You can see this easily in the 2 versions you have already posted.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Drowsy Sleeper
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 14 Jun 16 - 09:40 AM

There is an early version in Ramsay's Tea Table Miscellany of 1733 which has 4 sts and the late 18thc broadside appears to be a hack's development of this.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Drowsy Sleeper
From: Richie
Date: 14 Jun 16 - 10:22 AM

Hi Steve,

What is the name of the Ramsey version? I'm aware of the two Roud numbers- and some of the differences. Have you found any similar broadsides under Maiden's complaint? Do you think the ending is part of "The Unkind Parents, or, The Languishing Lamentation of two Loyal Lovers" or a similar broadside? Here's another British broadside. It seems her father is more than willing to marry her off to save money!!!

THE MAIDEN'S COMPLAINT. Harding B 17 (183a). Printer, T. Birt, 10, Great St. Andrew Street, wholesale and retail, Seven Dials, London, Country Orders punctually attended to, Every description of Printing on reasonable terms. Between 1828 and 1829.

Awake, awake, you drowsy sleeper,
Awake, awake, 'tis break of day,
Can you sleep my love any longer,
Since my poor heart you've stole away.

Ah! who is that under my window,
Ah! who comes there to disturb my rest?
'Tis thy lover, the young man did answer
Long thus I have waited for your sake.

Jemmy, says she, should my father hear you,
We shall be ruined I fear;
He will send a cruel press gang for you,
And separate you and me, my dear.

Her father chanc'd to overhear them,
And for a press gang sent straight-way;
Against this young man gave information,
And sent him sailing on the sea.

So now my dear daughter I have deprived you
Of your love whom I have sent to see; (sic)
And now you may send him a letter,
With your misfortunes acquainted to be.

Oh cruel father pay down my fortune
Five hundred pounds is due you know;
And I will cross the briny ocean,
To find my true love I will go.

Jemmy is the man that I do admire,
He is the man that I do adore;,
And if I can't have my heart's desire
Single I will go for evermore.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Drowsy Sleeper
From: Richie
Date: 14 Jun 16 - 11:20 AM

Hi,

Another broadside title is "Cruel Father" or "Cruel Father or, The Maiden's Complaint."

There earliest full version of Roud 22621 (Silver Dagger) that I have from the US is "Come Youth and age" dated 1866, original spelling of MS kept. From The Old Album of William A. Larkin by Ruth Ann Musick; The Journal of American Folklore, Vol. 60, No. 237 (July- Sept., 1947), pp. 201-251:

Come Youth and age [24] No. 13th sung by William Larkin (IL) 1866

1. Come youth and age prepay atention
To these few lines I am about to right
Tis of a youth whitch I shall mention
Who has lately corted a beauty bright

2. And his parent came to no it
They did in deavor both night and day
To part him from his own dear guble (jewel)
She is two poor they would of times say

3. He would kneel down on his knees before them
He would implore them both night and day
Saying o do not my true love dis pleasure
Or what is this hold worlde to me

4. She being a maid that was crowed with beauty (crowned)
Not noing whitch course to persew
She rambled forth and left the sitty
Some silent grove to wander threw

5. At length she reached the crystial river
And sat her down beneath a tree
She sied and said o shall I ever
Eaver more my true love see

6. She then pulled out her silver dager
And pierced it through her snowwhite breast
Saying fare the well my own truelover
So fare the well I am a going to rest

7. Her truelove was wandering wild and frantic
Not thinking he would see her more
Those words he heard thy seemed romantic
As she lye bleeding in her gore

8. He ran toward his truelove weeping
And raised her from the purple ground
Saying o truelove how can thou dare to
Waste this life that nature gave

9. Its are you tired of all earthy pleasurs
Or are you going with all your charms
Are there no friends nor golde can save you
While you lye bleeding in my armes

10. Her cold black eyes like stars did open
Saying o truelove you have come to late
Prepare to mete me on mountzion (Mount Zion)
Where all our joyes will be complete

12. He then picked up his true loves wepon
And pierced it through his tender heart
Saying let this be a sollum warning
To all who do truelovers part.

This is the "composed" ballad from the early 1800s which is missing. I also know the Drowsy Sleeper Round 22620 was sung during the Civil War but only have a fragment.

Richie


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Drowsy Sleeper
From: Richie
Date: 14 Jun 16 - 11:40 AM

Hi,

The only US broadside I know is: "Who s[sic] at My Bedroom Window?" by H. J. Wehman. I've posted a copy of it on my site if anyone wants to see it (text is below): http://www.bluegrassmessengers.com/us--canada-versions-2-the-drowsy-sleeper.aspx

"Who s at My Bedroom Window?" --broadside by H. J. Wehman, 50 Chatham St., New York; 1890

Who is it at my bedroom window?
Who is it mourns so bitterly?
'Tis I, 'tis I, your own true lover,
'Tis I that mourns so bitterly.

Oh! Katy dear, go ask your mother
If you my wedded wife may be;
And if she says no, return and tell me,
Then I no more shall trouble thee.

Oh! Willie dear, I dare not ask her,
For she intends to keep me in;
So, Willie dear, you go and ask her
If I your wedded wife may be.

Oh! Katy dear, go ask your father
If you my wedded wife may be;
And if he says no, return and tell me,
And I no more shall trouble thee.

Oh! Willie dear, I dare not ask him,
For he lies on his bed of rest;
And by his side lays a silver dagger,
To pierce the young man that I love best.

So Willie took that silver dagger
And pierced it through his own true breast;
Saying, adieu to father, adieu to mother,
Adieu sweet Katy, for thee I rest.

So Katy drew that bloody dagger
And pierced it through her lily-white breast;
Saying, adieu to father, adieu to mother,
Adieu sweet Willie, with thee I rest.

So dig my grave both long and deep,
Place a marble stone at my head and feet,
And on my breast a turtle dove,
To show the world I died for love.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Drowsy Sleeper
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 14 Jun 16 - 01:16 PM

Aaargh!

'Come Youth and Age' is a different 'Silver Dagger'. It shouldn't be in with 22621. There are a few hybrids but this one is Laws G21. If Steve hasn't got a separate number for it then I'll have to ask him to give it one.

Ramsey has no title for the song and it is quite likely one from his own pen. As it's only short here it is:

He
Awake, thou fairest thing in nature
How can you sleep when day does break?
How can you sleep, my charming creature,
When half a world for you are awake.

She
What swain is this that sings so early,
Under my window by the dawn?
He
'Tis one, dear nymph, that loves you dearly,
Therefore in pity ease my pain.
She.
Softly, else you'll 'wake my mother,
No tales of love she lets me hear;
Go tell your passion to some other,
Or whisper softly in my ear.
He.
How can you bid me love another,
Or rob me of your beauteous charms?
'Tis time you were wean'd from your mother,
You're fitter for a lover's arms.

Ben Schwartz spotted this, not me!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Drowsy Sleeper
From: Reinhard
Date: 14 Jun 16 - 01:40 PM

From the first line, Roud has this as V16784, found in the Madden Collection.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Drowsy Sleeper
From: Richie
Date: 14 Jun 16 - 02:12 PM

Hi,

TY Steve- It's close enough that I'd say it's an early version. That takes the date back to 1725. I'll also credit Ben Schwartz.

I have three Roud numbers, also Roud 402 which may have been the original number. A dozen or so are under 402. Yes, and the other two are mixed together a little but only two are wrong in 22620 (51 listings). Here are two more broadsides, I've included the end text on the first. Need date on first.

1. Drowsy Sleeper
J. Cadman, Printer Manchester

Daughter, daughter, I'll confine you,
All within your private room,
And you shall live on bread and water,
once a day at noon.

No, I'll have none of your bread and water,
. . .

2. Cruel Father w/Then Say My Sweet Girl Can You love/ Maid and the Soldier [no imprint]

Richie


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Drowsy Sleeper
From: Richie
Date: 14 Jun 16 - 02:28 PM

hi,

What is the date of Tea-table Miscellany: A Collection of Choice Songs, Scots, Volume 2? It's around 1726 I imagine?

Richie


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Drowsy Sleeper
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 14 Jun 16 - 04:29 PM

My copy of TTM is a 12th edition 1763 where it is given at p306, Song 97. I don't know whether it appeared in all of the previous editions. You might find it online. The dedication is dated 1724.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Drowsy Sleeper
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 14 Jun 16 - 05:06 PM

Hi Richie
I do my best when advising Steve of errors in the Roud Index but quite often, especially with American more obscure collections, Steve only has a title or a first line to go on and I don't have copies of everything. The idea is if you know of a definite mistake let either Steve or me know and we will eventually correct it.

Yes, 402 was the old number. When we decided to sort out the different songs under that number Steve decided to give 2 new numbers but probably left the few we didn't have access to under the old number, likewise any still in the wrong place will be because we don't have enough info on those versions to allocate the correct number. This is a problem when 2 distinct songs start with the same verse and sometimes share titles.

Then there is the added complication of what if you only have the first verse? Where does it go?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Drowsy Sleeper
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 14 Jun 16 - 05:12 PM

The Silver Dagger is Roud 711. Like 22621 it isn't found this side of the pond.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Drowsy Sleeper
From: Richie
Date: 14 Jun 16 - 10:23 PM

Hi,

According to Roxburghe Ballads Vol. 6, the Ramsey Vol. 2 date is 1725. On pages 193-215 are similar songs "Go from my window, go" and "Who is at my window, who?" both dating back to the 1500s. Another old song "Widow, are you waking?" has vanished but Ramsey printed a new version in the same 1725 edition that begins:

"O, wha's that at my chamber-door?"
"Fair widow, are you waukin'?"

Richie


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Drowsy Sleeper
From: Richie
Date: 14 Jun 16 - 10:39 PM

Hi,

This is one of several broadsides that resemble "drowsy sleeper" although different ballads.

The Secret Lover; c. 1672

A Dainty spruce young Gallant, that lived in the "West,
He courted a young Lady, and real love profest:
And coming one night to her, his mind he thus exprest,—
And sing, Go from my Window, love, go !

"What is my Love a-sleeping? or is my Love awake?"
"Who knocketh at the Window, who knocketh there so late?"
"It is your true love, Lady, that for your sake doth wait."
And sing, Go from the Window, love, go!

"Then open me your Father's Gate, and do not me deny;
Bat grant to me your true love, or surely I shall dye."
"I dare not open now the Gates, for fear my Father spy!"
And sing, Go from my Window, love, go!

"O Dearest, be not daunted, thou needest not to fear;
Thy Father may be sleeping, our loves he shall not hear:
Then open it without delay, my joy and only Dear!"
And sing, Go from the Window, love, go!

"My Father he doth watch me, his jealousie is so:
If he should chance to catch me, 0 then what should we do?
Therefore I dare not venture, my dear to open now."
And sing, Go from my Window, love, go!

"I wish there were no Hinges, nor yet no Key nor Lock;
That I might come unto my love, now she is in her Smock!"
"O peace and be contented! I hear my Father knock."
    And sing, Go from my Window, love, go!

"O Daughter dear, why are you out of your Bed so late?"
"0 Father, I am very sick, and in distressed state."
"Methinks I hear some body under your Window prate."
    And sing, Go from my Window, love, go!

"0 Father, 'tis the Watch-men, this Evening, passing by."
Hark, how a faithful Lover can frame a pritty lye!
"0 Daughter, I command you unto your bed to hye."
    And sing, Go from my Window, love, go!

"Dear Father, I obey you, and quickly I am gone;
But yet I am not willing to leave my Love alone:
Bo soon as you are Sleeping, I down again will come."
And sing, Go from my Window, love, go!

And then she sent her Maiden unto her Chamber straight;
And came unto her true Love, who at the Door did wait:
And open'd him the Wickit, for all it was so late.
   And sing, Go from my Window, love, go! 40

Then softly he did enter, and to the Lady said:
"My Love, there is no Danger, we cannot be betray'd:
Let us enjoy our Pleasure, and never be afraid."
    And sing, Go from my Window, lore, go!

And thus this Faithful Couple their wishes had at last:
For all her Jealous Father, the sweets of love they taste:
And when the day appeared, her Love away did haste:
    And sing, Go from my Window, love, go!

Printed for P. Brooksby, at the Golden-ball, near the Hospital-gate, in West-Smithfield.

Richie


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Drowsy Sleeper
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 15 Jun 16 - 03:57 AM

There seems to be several songs with this 'Go from my window' motto. They must have been pretty popular as they provoked answers and parodies.
The well known one from the 16th century is Roud 966.

Apart from the Vol 6 Roxburghe ref there is also another broadside at Roxburghe Vol3 p596. All of the Roxburghe Ballads are now online on the Santa Barbra website.

It also appeared in Pills at the end of the 17thc. It can be found in early oral collections as well.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Drowsy Sleeper
From: Richie
Date: 15 Jun 16 - 09:00 AM

TY Steve, the ballad, or part of it, was sung in the Civil War in Kentucky.

George Dallas Mosgrove was born in Louisville, Kentucky, in 1844, and enlisted in the Fourth Kentucky Cavalry Regiment as a private on September 10, 1862. In his book, Kentucky Cavaliers in Dixie; or, The Reminiscences of a Confederate Cavalryman (271 pp., Courier-Journal Job Printing Co., Louisville, 1895) he describes a Kentucky soldier who sang the ballad during the Civil War to rouse the Fourth Kentucky boys:

"Possessing a deep bass voice, he was wont to arouse the Fourth Kentucky boys by singing, 'Awake, awake, ye drowsy sleeper,' in the early morn before Tom Hayden sounded reveille with his bugle."

Richie


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Drowsy Sleeper
From: Richie
Date: 15 Jun 16 - 11:09 AM

Wow - if some Joe clone could fix that last redundant post :)

Here's a different version from Some Songs and Ballads from Tennessee and North Carolina by Isabel Gordon Carter; The Journal of American Folklore, Vol. 46, No. 179 (Jan. - Mar., 1933), pp. 22-50. She also collected an important version of 'Bramble Briar".


24. YOUNG MEN AND MAIDS PRAY LEND ATTENTION [1]

1. Young men and maids pray lend attention,
To these few lines I'm going to write,
Of a pretty youth how I mention
I courted a lady fair and bright.

2. But when her parents came to know it,
They strove to part us day and night;

3. Down on her bended knee she bowed,
Saying, "Father, father pity me!
Don't let my true love be denied,
Of all this world can do for me."

4. She wandered, she wandered a great way from them,
She wandered the green meadows round,
She wandered along the broad green rivers,
And under a green shady tree sat down.

5. She pulled out her silver dagger,
She pinned it through her lily white breast;
Saying "Farewell to my true lover,
Farewell, farewell I'm going to rest."

6. Her true love being on the river,
He thought he heard his true love's voice;
He ran, he ran like one distracted,
Saying, "Dear heart (?) I feel quite lost."

7. Like stars her black eyes opened,
Saying "My true love, you've come too late.
Prepare to meet me in old Zion,
Where all our joys will be complete."
Oh let this be a woeful warning
To all who keeps true lovers apart.

[1] Recorded from Lizzie Fletcher, Rugby, Tenn. The last two lines of admonition were not given until Earnest Brooks, a Rugby boy who was present, said "That isn't all--you've left off the best part." Then the singer, with many wise shakes of her head, sang the last two lines.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Drowsy Sleeper
From: GUEST,Jon Dudley
Date: 15 Jun 16 - 01:35 PM

Bob Copper's father Jim used to quietly sing the first couple of lines of this song to rouse his young son to accompany him fishing or hauling lobster pots early in the morning. It intrigued Bob as he get older but Jim could remember no more than than those few words. It wan't until we started visiting the USA in the 1990's that he discovered an American version of the song which pleased him no end.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Drowsy Sleeper
From: Richie
Date: 15 Jun 16 - 06:32 PM

Hi,

Jon thanks for sharing that. I wonder what version in the US he liked?

Here's and old one before the Civil War (early 1860s) taken from a motherless tom-boy in the care of her old grandmother, on a farm near Dardanelle, Arkansas, near Russellville. It was from her grandmother that she had learned her songs by rote, since she could neither read nor write.

The Drowsy Sleeper- sung by Mary Lou Miller of Dardanelle, Arkansas in 1932, learned before 1864. Miller was married at the beginning of the Civil war. Melody is similar to Burl Ives version (Coffin). Mr. Haun, who transcribed the music for this article uses both "sleeper" and "sleepers" here.

Wake up, wake up, you drowsy sleeper
The morning wind blows with the tide.
How can you bear to lie in slumber
When your true love lies at your side?

Her face was pale; her eyes were blue,
And black as ravenswing her hair,
The smell of flowers in her bosom:
Men wept to see a maid so fair.

Oh Mary, Mary tell your father
That you would wed this night with me.
If he says no, come back at morning.
We'll sail away across the sea.

Oh love, my father passed his word,
As he lay on his bed at rest.
And in his hand he held a dagger
Which I hold now within my breast.

Wake up, wake up, you drowsy sleeper.
Wake up, wake up, it's almost day,
How can you bear to lie in slumber
When your true love lies cold as clay?

Richie


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Drowsy Sleeper
From: Jim Brown
Date: 16 Jun 16 - 05:07 AM

> I don't know whether it appeared in all of the previous editions.

"Awake, thou fairest thing in nature" is also on pp. 306-307 of the 1740 10th edition of TTM, where it is included in volume 3. I can't find an earlier edition online to check, but The National Library of Scotland catalogue lists a copy of vol. 3 published in 1727, and I've seen that year cited in several places as the year vol. 3 was first published, so I guess that is most likely the earliest date of publication of the song.

By the way, in connection with the general issue of how and when British songs entered circulation in North America, the following feedback from an American reader proudly quoted by Ramsay in the Preface to the 1740 TTM might be of interest:

"THIS tenth edition in a few years, and the general demand for the book by persons of all ranks, wherever our language is understood, is a sure evidence of its being acceptable. My worthy friend Dr. Bannerman tells me from America,

Nor only do your lays o'er *Britain* flow,
Round all the globe your happy sonnets go ;
Here thy soft verse, made to a *Scottish* air,
Are often sung by our *Virginian* fair.
*Camilla's* warbling notes are heard no more,
But yield to *Last time I came o'er the moor*;
*Hydaspes* and *Rinaldo* both give way
To *Mary Scot*, *Tweed-side*, and *Mary Gray*."


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Drowsy Sleeper
From: Richie
Date: 16 Jun 16 - 09:15 AM

TY Jim,

The Roxburghe Ballads, Volume 6 p. 193 says:

"{In the second volume of his dainty little 32mo. Tea-Table Miscellany, issued in 1725, Allan Ramsay printed the Song which Tom D'Urfey had first published in 1683;"

That's where I got the 1725 date.

The Ramsey text however is not attributed. It give the first two stanzas of 1817 Drowsy Sleeper broadside in different words which to me are the identifying stanzas for the ballad. It's the conflict with the parents that vary. The Firth broadside gives a different ending and introduces writing a letter.

There is an old early 1800s late 1700s broadside printed in the United States (probably Boston) that is missing which begins similarly:

Young men and maidens lend attention,
While unto you these lines I write,

I posted a Tennessee version and a Cox version dates back to the 1850s. Hopefully that broadside which may have been copied from a missing British broadside can be recovered.

As far as I can tell there are at least four distinct variants:

1. The broadsides
2. traditional versions that do not mention the dagger and have instead: This is the last time I'll visit thee
3. traditional versions that do mention the dagger; have the double suicide
4. Versions from the US based on an early missing print version that begin: Young men and maidens lend attention,

Richie


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Drowsy Sleeper
From: Richie
Date: 16 Jun 16 - 10:25 AM

Hi,

Mike Yates collected a number of versions of the "missing broadside" version of Silver Dagger in North Carolina (Far in the Mountains 1 and 2- which I own!!). They begin with the broadside "Come All Ye." Scarborough said the ballad was of Irish origin- no sure where she got that. Yates notes follow. Here's one:


36. The Truelover's Warning (Laws G21, Roud 711)
(Sung by Evelyn Ramsey at her home in Sodom Laurel, Madison County, NC. 30.8.80)

Come all you friends and pay attention,
And listen to these few lines I'm going to write.
They are as true as ever was written,
Concerning the life of a beautiful bride.

A young man courted a handsome lady,
He loved her as dear as he loved his life.
And unto him she made this promise,
She would be his lawful wife.

As soon as her parents learnt to know this,
They tried to part them night and day.
'Oh son, why be so foolish?
She's too poor.' they would often say.

Down on his knees before his father,
He cried, 'Oh father, please pity me.
How can you keep me from my true-love?
For she is all the world to me.'

As soon as this lady came to know this,
She soon made up what she would do.
She wandered forward and left the city,
The green wild rose no more to view.

She wandered down by the lonesome river,
And for death she did prepare.
'Let this be a youthful warning,
That all true-lovers may never part.'

Her true-love being not far behind her,
He heard an awful sound.
He looked and saw his true-love lying,
With a sword upon the ground.

Her cold black eyes, like stars she opened,
Saying, 'Love, oh love, you've come too late.
Prepare to meet me up in Heaven,
Where all true-lovers will be complete.'

He then picked up the sword, a-weeping,
And placed it to his own dear heart.
Saying, 'Won't this be a joyful morning,
When all true-lovers may never part.'

This version of The Silver Dagger was well-established in Madison County when I first visited the area - although Cecil Sharp only published sets from Kentucky and Virginia - and I also recorded three of Evelyn's neighbours singing versions of the song. (Doug Wallin's version appears on Volume 3, track 20, of this set).

Richie


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Drowsy Sleeper
From: Richie
Date: 16 Jun 16 - 12:22 PM

Hi,

Here's the letter stanza (see Firth Broadside) from Mrs Jacobs learned about 1871 in Kentucky. She sings it here: http://digicoll.library.wisc.edu/WiscFolkSong/data/audio/MmBib/WiscFolkSong/500/reference/000459r.mp4

Oh Mary dear, go ask your mother,
If you indeed may marry me
And if she says, "No" come back and tell me
And it's the last time I'll trouble thee.

Oh no I can't ask my mother,
For she's in her bed of rest.
And in her hand she holds a letter,
That has caused the most, of my distress.

Richie


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Drowsy Sleeper
From: Richie
Date: 16 Jun 16 - 10:17 PM

Hi,

AWAKE, DROWSY SLEEPER - Bodleian Broadside- Firth C17 (25). H. Such, Printer & Publisher, 177, Union street, Boro.' S.E. London. c. 1863 (between 1863- 1885)

Awake, awake, you drowsy sleeper
Awake, awake, it is almost day,
How can you be there and sleep so easy
Since my poor heart you have stole away.

Oh, who is that underneath my window?
Oh who is that that sings so sweet?
It's me, my dear, the young man made answer,
Long time been waiting for your sweet sake.

My mother lies in the next chamber,
My father he will quickly hear
So I'd have you go, love, and court some other,
Or whisper softly in my ear.

Oh no I won't go and court no other,
Since I have rifled your sweet charms
You are fit, love, for to leave your mother,
You're fitter to sleep in your true love's arms.

The old man heard in their conclusion
He gently stept out of the bed,
He popped his old head out of the window
But Jane's true love was gone and fled.

Daughter, daughter, I will close confine you,
Your brisk young lad I will send to sea
Then you may write to him a letter,
And he may read it in Botany Bay.

Jim is the lad that I do admire
Jim is the lad I mean to wed
And if I can't have my own desire
A maid I will go to my silent grave.

Father, father, pay down my portion,
Which is five hundred pounds you know,
That I may cross the briny ocean,
If Botany Bay is covered with snow.

Oh no I won't pay your portion
And you shan't cross the raging main,
For you and your love shall be married,
And that will ease you all of your pain.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Drowsy Sleeper
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 17 Jun 16 - 10:29 AM

Studying at least 3 songs at once here, Richie. You have me confused.
I know my ageing brain couldn't handle it. I would have to approach it in a different manner. Get all of the versions together sort them into groups and then study each song separate from the others. I don't know how you do it but good luck.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Drowsy Sleeper
From: Richie
Date: 17 Jun 16 - 11:39 AM

Hi,

The songs are at least related. The Drowsy Sleeper broadsides are the source of the traditional versions in the UK collected in the late 1800s and 1900s. Below is one version from William Wise of Alvescot. The same opening stanzas are found in the US- with the different ending. The other "missing US broadside" was written based on the US traditional version. Additionally stanzas have been attached to other songs in the US.

Single I'll go to my grave- Sung by William Wise of Alvescot, Oxfordshire. Collected by Alfred Williams.

Verse 1
"Awake! Awake! you drowsy[1] sleepers.
Awake! Awake! for it's almost day,
How can you sleep, love, here, any longer,
Since you have stole my heart away?"

Verse 2

"Begone! Begone! you'll wake my mother,
My father he will quickly hear,
Begone! Begone! and court some other,
And whisper softly in her ear."

Verse 3
My father heard those lovers talking,
And quickly jumped out of bed,
He put his head out of the window,
And this young man he quickly fled.

Verse 4
"Come back! Come back! don't be called a rover,
Come back! Come back! and stay with me,
And stay until his passion's over,
Your lawful bride then I will be."

Verse 5
"O daughter, dear, now I'll confine you,
Your Jimmy dear shall go to sea,
Then you can write your love a letter,
So that he can read it when far away."

Verse 6
"O father dear, pay me down my fortune,
Which is five hundred pounds, you know,
Then I will cross the watery ocean,
To where the hills are covered in snow."

Verse 7
"No daughter dear, I'll not pay your fortune,
Which is five hundred pounds I know,
Nor you'll not cross the watery ocean,
To where the hills are covered with snow."

Verse 8
"But daughter, dear, now I'll confine you,
All in your own private room,
And you shall have naught but bread and water
But once a day and that's at noon.

Verse 9
"I want none of your bread and water,
Nor any other thing you have;
If I can't have my heart's desire,
Then single I'll go to my grave."

1. spelled, "downy" in MS.

Richie


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Drowsy Sleeper
From: Richie
Date: 17 Jun 16 - 11:48 AM

Hi,

I have a question about "fortune" usually "portion":

"O father dear, pay me down my portion/fortune,"

Is this portion a dowry? Is this something a girl would expect to receive in the UK? Would she demand it? Is it a marriage payment?

Richie


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Drowsy Sleeper
From: Richie
Date: 17 Jun 16 - 12:25 PM

Hi,

What is not know is that this was one of the UKs first "rap" songs :)

Who is that, that raps? - A fragment recorded by Mr. Percy Merrick from Sussex from Mr. Hills on October 10, 1901, who learned it from his mother. It was later arranged by Vaughan Williams for voice and piano.


O, who is that that raps at my window
As I lie on my bed of ease?
I'll go and write my love a letter,
And he will read it when he please,
I'll go and write my love a letter,
And he will read it when he please

My daddy lies in the next chamber
My mammy does so quickly hear,
Begone, begone, and court some other,
And whisper softly in my[1] ear,
Begone, begone, and court some other,
And whisper softly in my[1] ear.

1. her

Richie


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Drowsy Sleeper
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 17 Jun 16 - 01:14 PM

An even older 'rap' was 'Rap-a-tap-tap'.

portion and fortune would have been almost interchangeable.

Yes, portion is a dowry, what she would receive as a marriage dowry from a relatively wealthy family such as a landed farmer. It's 'portion' in the sense that in those times people had large families and each child would expect a portion and would usually have a good idea how much it would be. A common phrase in the ballads 'you will not get one penny portion'

They would demand it if it had been promised and it was seen as a right, but if she didn't marry someone of her station or higher, the father could withdraw it. Fortune would more usually refer to the inheritance at death of a parent, and this would have been willed so in some ballads if the father has died and left her say £10,000 in the will there was nothing the mother could do about it even if she married the servant.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Drowsy Sleeper
From: Jim Brown
Date: 17 Jun 16 - 03:35 PM

> "In the second volume of his dainty little 32mo. Tea-Table Miscellany, issued in 1725, Allan Ramsay printed the Song which Tom D'Urfey had first published in 1683"

I've found the Roxburghe Ballads volume at https://archive.org/details/p1roxburgheballa06chapuoft . The quotation is on p. 197, but it refers to "She rose and let me in" (AKA "The kind lady"), which is in TTM vol. 2, not "Awake, thou fairest thing in nature" in vol. 3. "She rose and let me in" is a night visit song, but as far as I can see it doesn't have any specific links to the "Drowsy Sleeper" cluster (no parental opposition, not letter, etc.). As you mentioned in an earlier post, Richie, TTM vol. 2 also includes Ramsay's version of "Widow are ye wawkin" ("The auld man's best argument") - a variant on the night visit, in which in an old man woos a young widow who in the end is more impressed by the clinking of his money than anything else - again, no particular connection to the "Drowsy sleeper" songs, apart from sharing the night visit motif.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Drowsy Sleeper
From: Richie
Date: 17 Jun 16 - 05:35 PM

TY Steve for portion. TY Jim for that.

Actually all the stanzas of "Awake, thou fairest thing in nature" appear with slightly different wording in Drowsy Sleeper broadside/trad UK versions. There's no story. It introduces the mother, the broadside pen gives the specific conflict with the father, which was then taken into tradition.

What is curious is that North American versions which probably predate 1817 also have the writing a letter reference.

I'm not able to get the versions from the Grieg-duncan Collection, I think in Volume 3, I only have volume 1. Anyone?

Richie


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Drowsy Sleeper
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 17 Jun 16 - 05:48 PM

I have a full set of GD but there's nothing in there relating to'DS'. Have you got a page number or song number?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Drowsy Sleeper
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 17 Jun 16 - 05:50 PM

The letter writing motif is a commonplace appearing in many ballads. Is it just a ref to writing a letter or is there actual phraseology in common?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Drowsy Sleeper
From: Richie
Date: 17 Jun 16 - 10:01 PM

Hi Steve,

According to Malcolm Douglas who was helping on the old thread: "There are some 23 examples in Greig-Duncan volume 4, which I don't have."

The letter is mentioned in the 1828 broadside:

So now my dear daughter I have deprived you
Of your love whom I have sent to see; (sic)
And now you may send him a letter,
With your misfortunes acquainted to be.

In the 1901 version, the UK rap song:

O, who is that that raps at my window
As I lie on my bed of ease?
I'll go and write my love a letter,
And he will read it when he please.

And in a dozen of US versions- to me it's mysterious connection- the broadside is more clear of the letter's intention.

I've written about 4 pages of headnotes, if anyone would like to look over them please do:
http://www.bluegrassmessengers.com/2-the-drowsy-sleeper-awake-awake.aspx

TY

Richie


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Drowsy Sleeper
From: Richie
Date: 17 Jun 16 - 10:13 PM

Sorry about the double post- The first one went into cyberspace- it wasn't there when I checked- then it appeared- magic!!!

Richie


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Drowsy Sleeper
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 18 Jun 16 - 01:17 PM

Hi Richie

Did you get both of my emails. I did try to post here twice but like you I have problems with Mudcat. In future I will probably send you texts by email. I haven't got the time to type it out here and then lose it.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Drowsy Sleeper
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 18 Jun 16 - 01:34 PM

Read your notes, Richie. Look great to me. I think using Roud Numbers would be a helpful tool though.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Drowsy Sleeper
From: Richie
Date: 18 Jun 16 - 01:44 PM

Hi,

I did get one email from you but not the Grieg-Duncan texts. I did find an 1849 version of the "composed" US Silver dagger" that was taken from tradition in Indiana, this was published in New York and reprinted from another New York Weekly probably c. 1840s. This is one print source but not the original source:

Gazette of the Union, Golden Rule and Odd-fellows' Family Companion, Volumes 10-11; 1849 Published: New York, N.Y.: J. Winchester.

Indiana Quilting Parties (excerpt with text)

"Sal Jenkins, you come right up here and open them jaws o' your'n fust with me!"

Miss Julia whispered to me: " Sally is nothing but a good singer; she leads in the meetin' home, and that's her beau."

The play (I never shall forget it) commenced with "Over the hills and lofty mountings." A musical friend, who was with our company, complimented Miss Sally on her great vocal powers, and she told him he " hadn't half heard her yit." He asked her if she was fond of sentimental songs. She said she didn't know what they meant, but she knew one that always made her feel so bad when she sang it.

"Oh, my law! Sal," said an old maid, who they called Miss Betsy, "now do sing the Silver Dagger. Oh, it is so infecting! I'll git 'em all to shot up while you sing it, because its jest like natur where true lovers are parted. Shet up!" bawled Miss Betsey, (whose word was law.) " Sally is goin' to sing the Silver Dagger."

"0h, do! do! do! Sally!" came from a dozen voices at once.

Hush! all was still. After a glass of sprucebeer, Miss Bally sang the following, which I was most fortunate in getting a copy of, next day, from her own fair hand:

The Silver Dagger

Young men and maidens pray lend attention,
To these few lines I am about to write:
It is as true as ever was mentioned
Concerning a fair beaty bright.

A young man courted her to be his darling
He loved her as he loved his life,
And often times to her he vowed
That he would make her his lawful wife.

But when his father came to know it,
He strove to part them night and day;
To part him from his own dear jewel
She is poor, she is poor, he did oft-times say.

Then on his bended knees he bowed,
Saying, father, father, pity me,
For I to her my love have showed
What would this world be, without her, to me?

Now when this lady came to hear this,
She quickly resolved what she would do ;
She wandered forth and left the city,
No more the pleasant groves to view.

She wandered down by a flowing river,
And there for death she did prepare;
Saying, here I'll end my youthful morning,
or I am sunk in deep despair.

Then out she pulled her Silver Dagger.
And pierced it through her snow white breast;
At first she reeled, and then she staggered,
Saying, oh! my dear, I'm going to rest.

Then he being near her in a thicket,
He thought he heard his true love's voice;
He ran, he ran, like one distracted,
Saying, oh! my dear, I fear you're lost.

Then up he picked the bleeding body,
And rolled it over in his arms;
Is there no friend nor gold can save you,
Or must you die with all your charms?

Her coal black eyes like stars she opened,
Saying, "oh! my dear, you have come too late,
But prepare to meet me in Mount Zion,
Where all our joys will be complete.

Then up he picked the bloody weapon,
And pierced it through his own dear heart—
Saying, let this be a woful warning
To all that does true lovers part.

After the song, Miss Sally was complimented from all hands. . .
[reprinted from--N.Y. Spirit of the Times]

Richie


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Drowsy Sleeper
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 18 Jun 16 - 04:52 PM

Lovely.
Don't suppose they gave the text of 'Over Hills and High Mountains' as well?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Drowsy Sleeper
From: Richie
Date: 18 Jun 16 - 09:51 PM

Hi,

"Over the hills and lofty mountings[mountains]" is also part of Bramble Briar text :)

The 1849 Silver Dagger version (above) is attributed to Sally Jenkins of Indiana. It's a bit suspicious that she hand-wrote the text. The article was reprinted from--N.Y. "Spirit of the Times" which means it's at least a year older.

Now if we can find the original print version!!!

Richie


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Drowsy Sleeper
From: Richie
Date: 18 Jun 16 - 10:06 PM

Hi,

I found another publication that used the same version. On Friday, January 18, 1850 the Burlington Weekly Free Press of Burlington, Vermont on Page 2 printed:

Tho following is the ballad from the Spirit of the Times:

"The Silver Dagger"

Young men and maidens pray lend attention,
To these few lines I am about to write;
It is as as true as ever was mentioned,
Concerning a fair beauty bright. [etc.]

Richie


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Drowsy Sleeper
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 19 Jun 16 - 12:16 PM

There is also an English folk song (Roud 1362) of which oral versions have the title 'Over the hills and the mountains/Over hills and high mountains'. It can be traced back to 17thc broadsides. There's a more recent broadside at the Bodl. Harding B22 (381). It also features as 'Over Hills and High Mountains' in Chappell. The 17thc version is called 'The Wandering Maiden'.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Drowsy Sleeper
From: Richie
Date: 19 Jun 16 - 08:50 PM

Hi,

The composed ballad (Silver Dagger), a rendition of which was sung by Sal Jenkins was known in some remote locations in the Appalachians which leads me to conclude it was in circulation by the 1820s. So we're still looking for that original print version.

TY everyone for your help. If anyone has other versions let me know. Stanzas of Drowsy Sleeper were incorporated into other similar ballads for example, Kelly Harrell's "O! Molly Dear Go Ask Your Mother" 1926.

Richie


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Drowsy Sleeper
From: Richie
Date: 20 Jun 16 - 08:28 AM

Hi,

Here's another variant resembling somewhat Christie's version, from Northumbrian Minstrelsy: A Collection of the Ballads, Melodies, and Small-Pipe Tunes of Northumbria; edited by John Collingwood Bruce, John Stokoe; 1882.

I Drew My Ship into the Harbour

   I drew my ship into the harbour,
    I drew her up where my true love lay,
I drew her close by up to the window,
   To listen what my dear girl did say.

"Who's there that raps so loud at my window
   That raps so loud and fain would be in?"
"It is your true love that loves you dearly,
   So rise, dear girl, and let him in."

Then slowly, slowly, got she up,
   And slowly, slowly, came she down;
But before she got the door unlocked
   Her true love had both come and gone.

"Come back, come back, my only true love,
   Come back, my ain one, and ease my pain;
Your voice I knew not, your face I saw not,
   Oh John my heart will break in twain."

The ripest apple is soonest rotten,
The hottest love is soonest cold;
Seldom seen, is soon forgotten,
True love is timid, so be not bold.

He's brisk and braw, lads, he's far awa' lads;
He's far beyond yon raging main,
Where fishers dancing and dark eyes glancing,
Have made him quite forget his ain.

Richie


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Drowsy Sleeper
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 20 Jun 16 - 08:38 AM

This version of 402 was much reprinted in anthologies like Oxford Song Book and New National Folk Song Book. The penultimate verse is of course a commonplace and the last verse is unique to this version.
You have a typo. 'aim' in sts 2 & 6 should be 'ain' = 'own'.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Drowsy Sleeper
From: Richie
Date: 20 Jun 16 - 09:16 AM

TY Steve,

Will fix typo- there's another one too :) Waiting to get Grieg Duncan, if possible so I can compare versions. I assume its a number of pages- sorry.

The "over the hills lofty Mountain" verse is also found in the related "Rise Up Quickly and Let Me In" songs also known as "The Ghostly Lover" which has similar stanzas in "Drowsy Sleeper" and can be compared to Child's "Grey Cock."

I might post the Ontario version "I'll Go see my Love" so the relationship with Drowsy Sleeper is clear.

Richie


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Drowsy Sleeper
From: Richie
Date: 20 Jun 16 - 09:37 AM

Hi,

Another related "night visit" song (only related by the knocking at the window). See also related "Grey Cock."

I'll Go See My Love- ‎Sung by LaRena LeBarr Clark, Ontario-- dating back to the 1930s.

1. "This night of May I can stay no longer;
The burning tempest I have to cross,
And though the night be as dark as dungeon,
This very night I'll go see my love.

2. "And though the night be as dark as dungeon,
And no daylight should appear,
I will be guided without one stumble
Into the ar-rums of you, my dear."

3. And when he got to his true love's window
He gentlie knelt down on a stone,
And through the pane, oh, he whispered lowly:
"My darling girl, are you alone?"

4. She then arose from her soft down pillow,
And snowy milk-white was her breast
And through the pane, oh, she whispered lowly,
Saying, "Who's this keeps me from my night's rest?"

5. "'Tis your true lover, so now uncover,
And rise up quicklie and let me in,
I'm weary, weary, from my long journey,
Besides I'm wet, love, unto the skin."

6. She then arose with the greatest pleasure
To let her own dear true lover in.
They kissed, shook hands, and embraced each other
Till that long night wore to an end.

7. The night being spent and daylight appearing,
And the wee cocks they began to crow;
They kissed, shook hands, and in sorrow parted;
He took his leave and away did go.

Richie


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Drowsy Sleeper
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 20 Jun 16 - 12:45 PM

Yes,
Scotland was something of a melting pot for these night visit songs, but in my opinion, reached its zenith in Ireland with the likes of Cecilia Costello. Her 'Grey Cock' concoction is truly magnificent.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Drowsy Sleeper
From: Richie
Date: 20 Jun 16 - 10:49 PM

Hi,

I will be giving some of the texts from the The Greig-Duncan folk song collection - Volume 4 Edited by Patrick N. Shuldham-Shaw, ‎Emily B. Lyle - 1981. Collected in Northern Scotland in the early 1900s before c. 1914 by Gavin Greig (1856–1914), and the minister James Bruce Duncan (1848-1917). Here's version A:

A. I WILL SET MY SHIP IN ORDER- J.W. Spence - G

1. I will set my fine ship in order,
I will sail her into the sea,
I'll sail to some foreign nation
To see if my love will fancy me.

2. I sail-ed east and I sail-ed west,
And I sailed far, far seekin' land,
Until I came to my true love's window,
And knock-ed loudly and would be in.

3. Who is that at my bow[er] window,
That knocks so loudly and would be in?
It's I, it's I, your ain true lover,
I hope ye'll rise up and let me in.

4. Few true lovers I have without,
And it is as few I have within,
Except it be my true Love, Johnnie,
And I'm sure ye are nae him.

5. Go ye love and ask your father,
If he be willing that ye my bride be,
And if he denies thee come back and tell me,
For it is the last night I'll visit thee.

6. My father's in his chamber writing,
And setting down his merchandise;
And he has a letter in his pocket,
Which greatly speaks much to your dispraise.

7. To my dispraise, my bonnie lassie,
To my dispraise it cannot be,
For I never slighted thee nor yet denied you,
Till the last night you slighted me.

8 Go ye love and ask your mother,
If she be willing that ye my bride be,
And if she denies thee come back and tell me,
For it is the last night I'll visit thee.

9. My mother's in her closet sleeping,
The sounds of love she will not hear,
But quickly go, and court another,
And whispers softly in her ear.

10. Slowly, slowly this maid rose up,
And slowly put her clothing on,
But before she got her door unlocked
His ship was sailing and he was gone.

Richie


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Drowsy Sleeper
From: Richie
Date: 20 Jun 16 - 11:04 PM

Hi,

TY Steve Gardham for sending me copies of the texts.

From: The Greig-Duncan folk song collection - Volume 4; edited by Patrick N. Shuldham-Shaw, ‎Emily B. Lyle - 1981. Collected in North Scotland early 1900s by Gavin Greig (1856–1914), and the minister James Bruce Duncan 1848-1917).

B. I WILL SET MY SHIP IN ORDER- Mrs Sangster- G

1. I will put my good ship in order,
And I will sail out owre the main,
I've sailed into some foreign country
To see what tidings I can bring home.

2. I sailed east and I sailed west,
And I sailed far, far seeking land,
Until I came to my true love's window,
And rapped loudly and would be in.

3. Who's that, who's that raps at my window,
It raps so loudly and would be in?
It's I, I, your true love Johnnie,
And I'm sure well it's nae him."

4. Few few lovers have I [with]out,
And as few I have [with]in,
Unless it be my true love Johnnie,
And I'm well sure it's nae him.

5. Oh then go and ask your mother,
And see if she'll let you my bride be,
And if she deny you come back and tell me,
It may be the last time I'll visit thee.

6. "My mother's in her chamber sleeping,
You knock so loudly an' she winna hear,
She bids you love and court another,
And whisper slowly in her ear.

7. Oh then oh then go and ask your father,
See if he'll let you my bride be,
If he deny you come back and tell me,
It may be the last time I'll visit thee.

8. "My father's in his chamber writing,
And setting down at his merchandise;
In his hand he holds a letter,
That speaks much unto your dispraise.

9. To my dispraise, my bonnie lovey,
To my dispraise how can that be,
For I've neither wronged not yet denied thee,
And thrice this night you've denied me.

10 Up she rose, put her clothes,
It was to let her true lovie in ,
Before she got herself araiked [arrayed]
The ship was sailing out owre the main.

11. Come back, my bonnie lovey, come back my bonnie,
Come back, come back speak now wi' me.
How could I come and speak wi' you,
And our ship sailing out owre the seas?

12.The fish may fly, love, the seas go dry,
And the rocks may moulder and sweep the sun[1],
The husbandmen may forget their labour
So keep your love till I return[2].

1. original has "sund"
2. This stanza is from "True-Lovers Farewell" family of songs and can be traced back to the broadside "The Unkind Parents, or, The Languishing Lamentation of two Loyal Lovers" late 1600s.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Drowsy Sleeper
From: Richie
Date: 21 Jun 16 - 11:05 AM

Hi,

There are no notes. This is what I've gathered:

A. I Will Set my Fine ship in Order; Collected by Gavin Grieg in April, 1906; Sung by J. W. Spence of Rosecroft, Fyvie. Spence learned his songs from his father W. Spence of Peterhead and his sister Miss H. Spence of New deer also sang some ballads.

B. I will put my good ship in order; Collected by Gavin Grieg, no date before 1914 (c.1910). Sung by Mrs. Sangster of Cortiecram, Mintlaw; died about 1919 at the age of 80. She also sang a version of Child 52.

Steve may have more info,

Richie


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Drowsy Sleeper
From: Richie
Date: 21 Jun 16 - 11:57 AM

Hi,

More from The Greig-Duncan Folk Song Collection - Volume 4; edited by Patrick N. Shuldham-Shaw, ‎Emily B. Lyle - 1981. Collected in North Scotland in early 1900s by Gavin Greig (1856–1914), and the minister James Bruce Duncan 1848-1917). It should be noted that this version is likely much older than my estimated date of 1909 (she died in 1910 at her son's home), since she learned most of her ballads at home from her parents and a family washerwoman, as well as local singers such as George Innes.

C. I WILL SET MY SHIP IN ORDER- Sung by Mrs. Margaret Gillespie of Glasgow, Scotland, c. 1909. Born in 1841 and died in 1910 in Tranvaal. Daughter of William Duncan, collected by James B. Duncan, her brother.

1. I will set my ship in order,
An' I will put her to the sea,
An' I'll sail over to yonder border
To see gin my love will fancy me.

2. We sail-ed east an' we sail-ed west,
We sail-ed up, so did we down,
Through France and Flanders we spent no leisure,
Until we sail-ed the whole world 'round.

3. We sail-ed east an' we sail-ed west,
We sail-ed up, so did we down,
Until we sail-ed to yonder harbour,
The harbour where my love was in.

4. I walk-ed east, I walk-ed west,
I walk-ed up, so did I down,
Until I came to my love's bower window,
When I knocked sae loudly and wid[1] be in.

5. O who is that at my bower window,
That knocks so loud and wid[1] be in?
Tis I, tis I, your true love Johnnie,
O rise, O rise an' let me in.

6. I have no lovers without, she said
And as few have I within,
Unless it be my true love Johnnie,
An' sure am I that ye're nae him.

7. Ye may go and ask yere mother,
If she be willing ye my bride be,
If she denies me come back an' tell me,
It'll be the last time I'll visit thee.

8. My mother's in her bedroom chamber,
Combing down her yellow hair;
But she says ye may go an' ask another
And whisper softly in her ear.

9. Ye may go and ask yere father,
If he be willing ye my bride be,
If he denies me come back an' tell me,
It'll be the last time I'll visit thee.

10. My father's in his office writing,
Settling up his merchandise;
In his right hand he holds a letter,
And it speaks greatly to your dispraise.

11. To my dispraise, that is not true love,
To my dishonour, that cannot be,
For I never slighted you nor yet disowned you,
Until this night you've slighted me.

12 If ye be Johnie, my true love Johnie,
I will rise an' let you in,
But e'er she got unto the window
He was bound for his ship again.

13. Up she rose put on her clothes,
It was to let her true love in,
But fore[2] she had the door unlocked
His ship was sailing on the main.

14. Come back, come back, my true love Johnie,
Come back, come back an' I'll let you in
The ship is sailing an' the wind is blowing,
An' how can I return again?

15. Come back, come back, my true love Johnie,
Come back, come back I'll be your bride
The ship is sailing an' the wind is blowing,
An' floating swiftly wi' the tide.

16. Tho all the hills were pens and paper
An' all the seas were perfect ink
Tho the hills of Goram were ink holder
To my love's praise I never would write.

17. The fish may fly, an' the seas gang dry,
And the rocks they may melt wi' the sund[2],
And husbandmen may give over labour
That shall a' be, fore[3] I return.

1. would
2. sand
3. before; has "or"


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Drowsy Sleeper
From: Richie
Date: 21 Jun 16 - 01:58 PM

Hi,

More from The Greig-Duncan Folk Song Collection - Volume 4; edited by Patrick N. Shuldham-Shaw, ‎Emily B. Lyle - 1981. Collected in North Scotland in early 1900s by Gavin Greig (1856–1914), and the minister James Bruce Duncan 1848-1917). See in text lines that correspond to Ramsay from TTM:

'Tis time you were wean'd from your mother,
You're fitter for a lover's arms.

Also Drowsy Sleeper opening lines in stanza 3.


D. I WILL SET MY GOOD SHIP IN ORDER- Sung by Mr. Alexander M. Lee and Mrs. Lee of Stichen in June, 1908. Mr Lee was a chemist in Strichen at that time and a member of the Buchan Club.

1. I will set my good ship in order,
And I will set her to the sea,
And I'll sail over to yonder ocean
To see gin my love will fancy me.

2. We sail-ed east sae did we west,
We sail-ed up, sae did we down,
From the port of Venice to the coast of Genoa,
All the ocean we sail-ed 'round.

3. Now unto my love's bower window,
And see what she's got to say,
Awake, awake you downy[1] sleeper,
Awake, awake it's almost day.

4. Ye'll gang to your father's bower,
And see if he'll let you my bride be,
If he deny you, come back and tell me,
It'll be the last time I'll visit thee.

5. My father's in his office writing,
Trading out his merchandise;
In his hand he holds a letter,
That speaketh much to your dispraise.

6. To my dispraise, love, how can that be?
Or how can it speak ill of thee?
I never proved you an inconstant lover,
Until this time you've denied me.

7. Gang tell your mother love,
And see gin she'll let you my bride be,
If she denies, then come back and tell me,
It'll be the last time I'll visit thee.

8. My mother is in her chamber sleeping
And the terms of marriage wouldn't reach her ear,
It's so my love go chise[2] another
She softly whispered in my ear.

9. Oh how can I go chise another
And you so full o' beauty's charms?
You're fit enough to leave your mother[3]
You're fit enough for your true love's arms.

10 Up she rose, put on her clothes,
For let her true love in,
But before she got the door unlock-ed
Her true love, he was past and gone.

11. Come back, come back, my true lovie,
Come back, come back and speak with me,
The drums may beat and the cannon roar,
But I hinna time to speak wi' thee.

12 The fish may fly, and the seas gang dry,
And the rocks melt in the sun,
And workin' man may give over labour
But ne'er to you, love, will I return.

1. drowsy
2. choose
3. Compare to lines from Ramsay above.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Drowsy Sleeper
From: Richie
Date: 21 Jun 16 - 06:16 PM

Hi,

This is another hybrid version from the US. It mixes East Virginia Blues/In Old Virginny (Sharp II, No. 167) with Drowsy Sleeper. B.F Shelton's 1927 recording does also but his only has one stanza of Drowsy Sleeper.

O! MOLLY DEAR GO ASK YOUR MOTHER- As sung by Kelly Harrell of Draper's Valley, Wythe County, Virginia; recorded 1926.

Wake up, wake up, you drowsy sleeper
Wake up, wake up, for it's almost day
How can you stand to sleep and slumber
When your true lover's going away

Once I lived in old Virginia
To North Carolina I did go
There I spied a nice young lady
Oh her name I did not know

Her hair was black and her eyes was sparkling
And on her cheeks were diamonds red
And on her breast she wore a lily
Oh/o'er the tears that I did shed

When I'm asleep I'm dreaming about her
When I'm awake I see no rest
Every moment seems like an hour
Oh the pains that cross my breast

Oh Molly dear, go ask your mother
If you my bride can ever be
If she says no, come back and tell me
And I no more will trouble thee

Oh no, I'll not go ask my mother
For she lies on her bed at rest
And in one hand she holds a dagger
To kill the man that I love best.

Richie


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Drowsy Sleeper
From: Richie
Date: 22 Jun 16 - 09:54 PM

Hi,

I'll post one more version of the Scotch "I'll Put My Ship" soon.

The Carter Family's Virginia version "Who's That Knockin' On My Window" was recorded June 8, 1938. Look at this verse,

I've come to whisper in your ear, love
Do you think it any harm?
I've come to wean you of your mother
Pray trust yourself in your darling's arms!

and compare to lines from: Ramsay's Tea-Table Miscellany, c. 1725

Go tell your passion to some other,
Or whisper softly in my ear.

'Tis time you were wean'd from your mother,
You're fitter for a lover's arms.

Another version not found on the web is Victor recording 23795 made in Memphis, TN on 6-4-1930 by The Oaks Family. They were led by Charlie Oaks who was a blind street singer from Richmond, Kentucky. He recorded solo for Vocalion as early as 1924.

Wake up, You Drowsy Sleeper- Oaks Family lead by Charlie Oaks (vocals and guitar), recorded June 4, 1930.

[Harmonica solo]

Wake up, wake up, you drowsy sleeper
Wake up, wake up, for it's almost day;
Stick your head out of the window
And see your true love march away.

Who is there that's come so early
Who is there that's come so soon?
Katie dear, it's your true lover
That's come so early and so soon.

[Harp break]

Katie, dear, go ask your parents,
If you may be the bride of mine,
And say "No," return and tell me,
And no longer will I pine."

Willie dear, it's no use asking,
They're in their room a-taking a rest
And in their hands they both hold daggers,
To kill the one that I love best.

I'll then take out my silver dagger,
And pierce it in my tender breast
Saying goodbye Katie goodbye darling
I'll die for the one that I love the best

I'll then take out this bloody dagger,
And pierce it in my lily-white breast,
Saying goodbye Katie[1] goodbye darling,
I'll die for the one that I love the best.

[guitar solo]

Oh may this day be long remembered,
Oh may this day be ne'er forgot,
To all your cruel-hearted parents,
Who try and keep two lovers apart.

1. It should be "Willie" and Katie is singing.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Drowsy Sleeper
From: Richie
Date: 23 Jun 16 - 11:03 PM

Hi,

More from The Greig-Duncan Folk Song Collection - Volume 4; edited by Patrick N. Shuldham-Shaw, ‎Emily B. Lyle - 1981. Collected in North Scotland in early 1900s by Gavin Greig (1856–1914), and the minister James Bruce Duncan 1848-1917).

G- I Will Put My Ship- Sung by Mrs. Watt of Whinhill, New Deer, collected by Gavin Greig, c. 1910.

1. It's I will put my ship in order,
And I will sail out owre the main,
I'll sail into some foreign country
To see what tidings I can bring hame.

2. I've sail-ed east and I've sail-ed west,
We sail-ed far, far seeking land,
Till i came to me true love's window
And rapped loudly and would be in.

3. "Who's that, who's that raps at my window
That raps so loudly and would be in,"
"It's I, it's I your true love Johnnie,
O rise, o rise and lat me in."

4 Few, few lovers have I out,
And as few have I in,
Unless it be my true love Johnnie,
And I'm weel sure love, that ye're nae him.

5. Oh then, oh then, go and ask your mother,
To see if she'll let ye my bride be,
If she deny ye'll come back and tell me,
It may be the last time I may visit thee.

6. My mother's in her chamber sleeping,
The knocks so loudly winna hear;
She bids you go love and court another
And whisper [her] slowly into her ear.

7. Oh then, oh then, go and ask your father,
To see if he'll let ye my bride be,
If he deny ye'll come back and tell me,
It may be the last time I may visit thee.

8. My father's in her chamber writing,
And setting down at this merchandise;
And in his hand he holds a letter,
It speaks much to your dispraise.

9. To my dispraise, my bonnie lovey,
To my dispraise, how can it be?
For I've never wronged or yet denied you,
And thice this night you've denied me.

10. Then up she rode, put on her clothes,
It was to let her true lovey in,
Before she got herself arrayed,
The ship was sailing oot owre the main.

11. Come back, come back, my bonnie lovey,
Come back, come back speak wi' me now
How could I come back, speak wi' ye,
And our ship sailing oot owre the main?

12. The fish may fly, love, the seas go dry, love
The rocks may moulder and weep the sand,
And husbandmen may forget their labour
So keep your love, until I return.

Richie


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Drowsy Sleeper
From: Richie
Date: 26 Jun 16 - 02:48 PM

Hi,

The original composed ballad, "The Silver Dagger" has not been found. However it was collected in 1838 and a collected version from southern Indiana was published in 1849 and 1850 in New York and Vermont. The ballad has rarely been found in tradition in the Northeast or Canada. The print version would be circa 1810 and maybe as late as 1820. It begins:

The Silver Dagger

Young men and maidens pray lend attention,
To these few lines I am about to write:
It is as true as ever was mentioned
Concerning a fair beauty bright. [1849 text]

The author uses one traditional stanza (7) and uses it again for half of 11:

7 Then out she pulled her Silver Dagger.
And pierced it through her snow white breast;
At first she reeled, and then she staggered,
Saying, oh! my dear, I'm going to rest.

Compare this to Wehman's and two other traditional NY versions:

The 7th stanza, is found similarly in the only print version from 1890[7]:

So Katy drew that bloody dagger
And pierced it through her lily-white breast;
Saying, adieu to father, adieu to mother,
Adieu sweet Willie, with thee I rest. [Wehman's 1890]

And then she plunged that bloody dagger
Unto her lily-white breast,
"Sing farewell, Father, Mother;
Now we are both at rest. [Eleanor Franz of Dolgeville, NY before 1939]

Then Mary seized that blood-stained dagger
And pierced it through her lily-white breast.
Bid farewell to father and mother,
"Farewell, farewell, we're now at rest." [George Edwards, NY pre1940s Cazden]

All retain the rhyme of "breast/rest" in lines 2 and 4 but the 1849 version adds dagger/stagger in lines 1 and 3, a typical broadside writer's invention.

Here's my point: Traditional versions in North America that have "silver dagger" in the text or the traditional stanza 7 are simply versions of Drowsy Sleeper- they are not versions of the composed "Silver Dagger." This has been confused by the Traditional Ballad Index and most collectors who often say, "the end is mixed with 'Silver Dagger.'"

Richie


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Drowsy Sleeper
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 26 Jun 16 - 03:01 PM

Great research, Richie. You might find the original in one of the many American songsters of the period.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Drowsy Sleeper
From: Richie
Date: 27 Jun 16 - 12:45 PM

Hi,

The "Over High hills and Lofty Mountains" connection is evident in a series of related songs from Ireland often titled "Sweet Bann Water."

Len Graham's version begins:

Away[Awake], away, I can stay no longer.
The sweet Bann water I mean to cross.
Over high high hills and lovely[lofty] mountains.
To spend the night with my own wee lass.

It's similar to I'll Go See My Love as sung by LaRena LeBarr Clark, Ontario which I posted that is related to "The Grey Cock." Sarah Underhill has recorded Joe Holmes/Len Graham version which is similar to the version by Valentine Crawford collected in the Commercial Hotel, Bushmills in September 1937:

Sweet Bann Water

I must away, I'll no longer tarry,
The sweet Bann water I mean to cross,
And over the mountains I'll roam with pleasure,
And spend one night with my own wee lass.

If the night was dark as a dungeon
And not a star ever to appear,
I would be guided without a stumble
To that sweet arbour where lies my dear.

When I came to my true love's window,
I kneel-ed low on a marble stone,
And through a pane I did whisper slowly,
Saying, 'Darling, darling, are you at home?'

She raised her head from her downy pillow,
And covered was her snow-white breast,
Saying, 'Who is that, that is at my window
Disturbing me quite of my night's rest?

' 'It is I, it is I, your poor wounded lover,
So rise up, darling, and let me in,
For I am tired of my long journey,
Besides I'm wet, love, into the skin.'

When this long night was almost ended
And drawing nigh to the break of day,
She says, 'My darling, the cocks are crowing,
It's now full time you were going away.'

'Well , you may go , love , and ask your father
If he be willing you my bride may be,
And what he says, love, come back and tell me,
For this is the last night I'll trouble thee.'

'I need not go, love, to ask my father
For he is lying in his bed of ease
And in his hand he does hold a letter
Which leadeth much on to your dispraise.'

'Well, you may go, love, and ask your mother
If she be willing you my bride will be
And what she says, love, come back and tell me,
For this is the last night I'll trouble thee.'

'I need not go, love, to ask my mother,
For to love's silence she won't give ear,
But away, away, and court some other
That will consent without a fear.'

For after night, love, there comes a morning,
And after morning comes a new day,
And after one false love comes another,
It's hard to hold them that must sway.

Richie


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Drowsy Sleeper
From: Richie
Date: 28 Jun 16 - 11:47 AM

Hi,

I'm putting the North American versions on my site (over 200): http://www.bluegrassmessengers.com/us--canada-versions-2-the-drowsy-sleeper.aspx

From: The Traditional Music of Beech Mountain; Folk Legacy CD22; also New American Songster; and Folksongs II, Burton and Manning, 1969. Burton and Manning's text was sung in 1966 by Hattie Presnell as taken from Lee Monroe. Hattie's text is different in several places.

Lee Monroe Presnell, the youngest of ten children, was born in May 15, 1876 on the "Wataugy" river. His father was Eli Murphy Presnell and his mother was Council Harmon's daughter Louisa Jane Harmon.

"Awake, Awake, My Old True Lover"- sung by Lee Monroe Presnell of Beech Mountain, NC. Probably learned circa 1886 from his mother.

1 Awake, awake, my old true lover;
Awake, arise, it's almost day.
How can you bear those thoughts of[1] sleeping,
And your true love going away?

2 "Oh, who is that a-knocking at my window?
I pray you'll tell to me."
"It's me, it's me, your old true lover;
Awake, arise, come pity me."

3 "Go love, go and ask your father
If this night you could be my bride.
If he says no, so return and tell me;
[It will] be my last time ever bother thee."

4 "I can't go and ask my father,
For he's on his bed of rest,
And by his side there lies a weapon
To kill the one that I love best."

5. Go love, go and ask your mama
If this night you could be my bride.
If she says no, so return and tell me;
[It'll] Be my last time ever bother thee.

6 "I can't go and ask my mama
And tell her of your love so dear.
You may go and court some other
And whisper soft-lie in her ear.

7 "I will go to some wide river,
Spend my days, my months and years;
Eat anything but the green growing willows,
Also drink from my flowing tears.

8 "Come back, come back, my old true lover
And stay a little while with me.
I will forsake my dear old mother
And go along by the side of thee."

1. sings what sounds like "soft, soft" probably forgotten

Richie


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Drowsy Sleeper
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 28 Jun 16 - 01:53 PM

Sweet Bann Water

Is this a modern hybrid or does it have some precedence in other versions?

It looks like 6 stanzas of The Grey Cock, 4 stanzas of Awake, Awake and finishing with a commonplace, but that's off the top of my head.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Drowsy Sleeper
From: Richie
Date: 28 Jun 16 - 02:14 PM

Hi,

This was published by Gale Huntington in Sam Henry's Songs of the People as collected by Sam Henry in 1937. A number of covers have been made. It's similar to other versions of "Sweet Bann Water" such as Len Graham's version (source: Joe Holmes?). There are several texts online with no attribution. They are missing the additional Drowsy Sleeper stanzas and are versions related to The Grey Cock (The Ghostly Lover/The Lover's Ghost):

Sweet Bann Water

    I must away, I'll no longer tarry,
    The Sweet Bann Water I mean to cross,
    And over the mountains I'll go with pleasure,
    To spend a night with my own sweet lass.

    Though the night be as dark as a dungeon,
    Not a star to be seen above,
    I will be guided without a stumble
    Into the arms of my own true love.

    When he came to his true love's window,
    He knelt gently upon a stone,
    And through the window he whispered slowly,
    My darling dear, do you lie alone?

    She raised her head from her downy pillow,
    And slowly raised her milk-white breast,
    Saying, Who is this at my bedroom window,
    Disturbing me at my night's rest ?

    Arise, arise, it's your true lover,
    Arise, my love, and let me in,
    For I am weary of my long journey
    And I am wet, love, unto the skin.

    It's up she got, with greatest pleasure,
    For to let her true love in.
    They both embraced and they kissed each other,
    And till morning they lay as one.

    The cocks were crowing, the birds were whistling,
    The night drew on to the break of day.
    Remember, lass, I'm a ploughboy laddie,
    And the farmer I must obey.

    Now, my love, I must go and leave you,
    To climb the hills, they lie high above,
    But I will climb with greatest pleasure
    Since I've been lying with my love. [source???]


Since the Sam Henry version has "high hills and lofty mountains" or a line resembling that I was wondering about broadside "The Wandering Maiden" that you mentioned. Is it in the Bodleian?

Also if anyone has lyrics to Sarah Ogan Gunning's Silver Dagger or knows where a recording is online- I'd appreciate it.

Richie


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Drowsy Sleeper
From: Richie
Date: 28 Jun 16 - 02:36 PM

Hi,

Steve- I'm missing one page of Greig/Duncan; 163 and with that page I can finish two versions of "I Will Set My Ship". TY Here is the broadside:

"The Wandering Maiden; or, True Love at length united," &c.: "to an excellent new tune." "Printed by J. Deacon, at the Angel in Guiltspur Street, without Newgate." It commences thus :—

"Over hills and high mountains long time have I gone;
Ah ! and down by the fountains, by myself all alone;
Through bushes and briars, being void of all care,
Through perils and dangers for the loss of my dear."

This seems like "Bramble Briar" but I can't find the rest of the text.

Richie


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Drowsy Sleeper
From: Richie
Date: 28 Jun 16 - 02:57 PM

Hi,

Steve, I found Wandering Maiden in Bagford Ballads so I don't need the rest of it. There's really nothing relating to either of these,

TY anyway

Richie


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Drowsy Sleeper
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 28 Jun 16 - 05:02 PM

p163 despatched.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Drowsy Sleeper
From: Richie
Date: 28 Jun 16 - 11:22 PM

TY steve

Here's an Irish text from John Butcher, 1969 (collected by Hugh Shields) which also has elements of "The Lover's Ghost":

The Cock Is Crowing

1. Oh the cock is crowing, daylight's appearing,
It's drawing nigh to the break of day,
-Arise my charmer, out of your slumber,
And listen to what your true-love says.

2. He walk-ed to his true love's window,
He kneel-ed low down upon a stone,
And through a pane he did whisper slowly,
-Arise my darling and let me in.

3. -O, who is that, that is at my window,
Or who is that, that knows me so well?
It's I, it's I, a poor wounded lover,
Who fain would talk, love, to you awhile.

4. Well go away love and ask your daddy,
If he'll allow you my bride to be,
If he says no, return and tell me,
For this is the last night I'll trouble you.

5. Well my dada is in his bed chamber,
He's fast asleep in his bed of ease,
But in his pocket there lies a letter,
Which read-es far, love, to your dispraise.

6. Oh, what dispraise can he give unto me?
A faithful husband to you I'll be,
And what all the neighbors has 'round their houses,
The same, my darling, you'll have with me.

7. Well go away love and ask your mammy,
If she'll allow you my bride to be,
If she says no, return and tell me,
For this is the last night I'll trouble you.

8. Well my mama is an old-age person,
She scarce could hear me, one word I say,
But she says, love, you go court some other,
For I'm not fitting, love, your bride to be.

9. Well I may go but I'll court no other,
My heart's still link-ed to all on your charms,
I would have you wed, love and leave your mammy,
For you're just fit to lie in your true-love's arms.

10. Now Kellybawn it is mine in chorus (sic),
And the green fields they are mine in white,
And if my pen was made of the temper steel,
Sure my true-loves praises I could never write.

11. But I'll go off to the wild mountains,
Where I'll see nothing but the wild deers,
Nor I'll eat nothing but the wild herbs,
Nor I'll drink nothing but my true-love's (spoken) tears.

Richie


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Drowsy Sleeper
From: Richie
Date: 28 Jun 16 - 11:46 PM

Hi,

Didn't know Butcher text and tune was online. You can listen here: http://www.itma.ie/digitallibrary/sound/cocks_is_crowing_john_butcher_senior

Richie


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Drowsy Sleeper
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 29 Jun 16 - 04:12 AM

These hybrid versions would make a very interesting close study.

I'm just about to revisit 'Wild and Wicked Youth' which has also been hybridised but much earlier. The chorus and some verses of a 17th century highwayman ballad 'The Flash Lad' have been mixed up with the normal 18th century 'Wild and Wicked Youth' making things difficult.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Drowsy Sleeper
From: Richie
Date: 29 Jun 16 - 12:01 PM

Hi,

It's interesting to note that Scarborough says in "A Song Catcher" that "This is an Irish ballad." She wrote this about 1931 but she gets her information from other collectors/commentators and would not have written that unless she was informed. She gives no source for this statement.

My last two posted texts are hybrid Irish versions of the Drowsy Sleeper, both lacking the normal "Awake, awake you drowsy sleeper" opening stanza(s). They do have stanzas of "grey cock" which I believe is traced back to a broadside "Willy- O".

Steve--do you have that broadside or know where it is online?

Ty

Richie


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Drowsy Sleeper
From: Richie
Date: 29 Jun 16 - 02:33 PM

Hi,

I found Willy-O at Bodleian- Firth c12(293) and 2806 c15(136), Dublin, 1867. There are only two relevant stanzas:

As Mary lay sleeping, her true love came creeping
To her bed-chamber door so slow,
Saying rise up, lovely Mary,
For I am your own true Willy O.

Mary rose up and put on her clothes,
To her chamber door did go,
It's there she found her own true love
And his face as white as snow.


Two lines of the second stanza are found similarly in "I will Set my Ship:

Mary rose up and put on her clothes,
To her chamber door did go, [Willy-O]

There's not much of a connection between Willy-O and the two Irish variants of "Drowsy Sleeper" which are Henry's "Sweet Bann Water" and Shields' "The Cock Is Crowing."

Richie


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Drowsy Sleeper
From: Richie
Date: 29 Jun 16 - 02:52 PM

Hi,

This version is very close to the online text titled "Sweet Bann Water" except that line is different; it has "burning Thames." It's a version of Grey Cock as sung by Mrs Cecilia Costello, Birmingham (M.S. & P.S.-S. 1951)

'I must be going, no longer staying,
The burning Thames I have to cross.
Oh, I must be guided without a stumble
Into the arms of my dear lass.'

When he came to his true love's window,
He knelt down gently on a stone,
And it's through a pane he whispered slowly.
'My dear girl, are you alone?'

She rose her head from her down-soft pillow,
And snowy were her milk-white breasts,
Saying: 'Who's there, who's there at my bedroom window,
Disturbing me from my long night's rest?'

'Oh, I'm your love and don't discover,*
I pray you rise, love, and let me in,
For I am fatigued from my long night's journey.
Besides, I am wet into the skin.'

Now this young girl rose and put on her clothing.
She quickly let her own true love in.
Oh, they kissed, shook hands, and embraced together,
Till that long night was near an end.

'O Willie dear, O dearest Willie,
Where is that colour you'd some time ago?'
'O Mary dear, the clay has changed me.
I'm but the ghost of your Willie O.'

'Then O cock, O cock, O handsome cockerel,
I pray you not crow until it is day.
For your wings I'll make of the very first beaten gold,
And your comb I'll make of the silver grey.'

But the cock it crew, and it crew so fully.
It crew three hours before it was day.
And before it was day, my love had to go away.
Not by the light of the moon or the light of day.

Then it's 'Willie dear, O dearest Willie,
Whenever shall I see you again?'
'When the fish they fly, love, and the sea runs dry, love,
And the rocks they melt in the heat of the sun.'

The last stanza and the last two lines are found in "I Will Set my ship" see versions posted above. The first several stanzas are found in Henry's "Sweet Bann Water" of 1937.

Richie


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Drowsy Sleeper
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 29 Jun 16 - 03:13 PM

Richie,
Costello's song is made up of 3 separate songs, 2 Scottish and one Irish. Willy-o Roud 22567 as you have found is the Irish one, the old Scots song of 'the Grey Cock' Roud 179 found in Herd and elsewhere and the largely Scots song Roud 22568 with various titles which goes under my Master Title 'Night Visiting Song'. Whoever put the 3 songs together was a genius but we are unlikely ever to find out.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Drowsy Sleeper
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 29 Jun 16 - 03:16 PM

I should add there will be other threads on all 3 songs.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Drowsy Sleeper
From: Richie
Date: 29 Jun 16 - 05:05 PM

Hi,

TY Steve. What originally piqued my interest in Drowsy Sleepers back 12 years ago or so is its association with East Carolina Blues or as Sharp titled it "Old Virginny" which begins:

I was born in old Virginny,
North Carolina I did go. . .

This was a song I'd played many times with my bluegrass group and I noticed other people singing "Drowsy Sleeper" lyrics mixed in. Here's an example of Drowsy Sleeper with the East Carolina Blues lyrics mixed in:

Lila Shiflett, of Pirkey, Virginia, contributed a version.

(C) Drowsy Sleepers [original spelling kept]

Wake up, wake up, you drowsy sleepers,
Wake up, wake up, for it's almost day.
How can you stand for to sleep and slumber
When your own true love is going away?

Once I lived in old Virginia,
To North Carolina I did go,
And there I spyed a nice young lady,
And oh her name I did not know.

Her hair was black, her eyes were sparkling,
And on her cheeks were diamonds red,
And on her breast she wore a lily,
And ah the tears that I did shed.

When I am sleep I am dreaming about her,
When I am awake I see no rest.
Every moment seems like an hour,
And ah the pains that crosst my breast.

Oh, Mollie dear, go ask your mother
If you my bride can ever be,
And if she says no, come back and tell me,
And I no more will trouble thee.

Ah, no, I will not go ask my mother,
For she lies on her bed at rest,
And in one hand she holds a dagger
To kill the man that I love best.

From: Scarborough; "A Song Catcher in the Southern Mountains" 1938, published posthumously. Her notes follow:

This is an Irish ballad, which fact explains its omission from Child's collection, or from the Virginia volume which limits itself to Child items. It is given by Cecil Sharp in his English Folk Songs from the Southern Appalachians, listed as a ballad, and he notes its previous appearances in Britain (Gavin Grieg's Folk-Song of the North-East, I, arts. 54, 123; Christie's Traditional Ballad Airs, I, 225, etc.). Professor Kittredge has a note on it in the Journal of American Folk-Lore,XX,260, as a variant of a song which Allan Cunningham knew in a Nithsdale version and quotes in part in a note to "O, my luve's like a red, red rose," in his edition of Burns, 1834, IV, 285.
Sharp gives it under the title of "Arise, Arise," I, 72. Baskerville discusses it as one of a group of songs in "The Night Visit," Publications of the Modern Language Association, XXXI, 566 et seq.

This ballad is pieced out in some instances with parts of a song current in America, called "The Silver Dagger," or "The Bloody Dagger," but they are not the same.


In the Charles Read Baskervill article mentioned by Scarborough is the Ramsay text (TTM circa 1725) which Steve quoted-- which I already had on my web-site but overlooked.

The question is: Why does Scarborough call this an Irish ballad?

Richie


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Drowsy Sleeper
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 29 Jun 16 - 05:33 PM

Richie,
That was a long time ago. She was probably picking out a verse she had seen something similar to it in what she supposed was an Irish song.
I wouldn't place too much weight on this.

She may have based it just on the name 'Molly'! You can drive yourself barmy trying to follow up comments like this. Highly unlikely is my response.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Drowsy Sleeper
From: Richie
Date: 29 Jun 16 - 06:40 PM

Hi,

This version from Randolph's Ozark Folksongs, vol. I, British Ballads and Songs, manages to quote Joan Baez and also Alan Ramsey!! See footnotes below.

C. "Love Will Find a Way." Communicated by Professor F. M. Goodhue, Mena, Ark., Oct. 10, 1930. Professor Goodhue obtained it from one of his neighbors, who called it "Love Will Find a Way," and insisted that the song was written by a Mrs. Sarah A. Foster, in April, 1869.

Awake, awake, you drowsy sleepers,
Awake, awake, for it's almost day,
Day is breakin' here an' yonder,
Day is breakin' everywhere.

Love can creep an' love can wonder,
Love can go where it does not show,
Love has been the ruin of many,
A many a pore man's overthrow.

My father's a-layin' in his bed chamber,
A-takin' of his natural rest,
An' in his hand he holds a weapon
To stay the one that I love best.

Don't sing no songs to wake my mother[1],
No songs of love would she wish to hear,
Go sing your songs to some other lady,
Some other lady more beauty than I.

Oh madam, oh madam, I court no other,
For thinkin' on your lovely charms,
It is time you was weanin' from your mother[2],
Embracin' of your true love's arm.

Footnotes:

1. See Joan Baez, 1960;

   Don't sing love songs, you'll wake my mother
   She's sleeping here right by my side,

2. See also Allan Ramsay's Tea-table Miscellany; 1725:

    'Tis time you were wean'd from your mother,
    You're fitter for a lover's arms.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Drowsy Sleeper
From: Richie
Date: 29 Jun 16 - 06:52 PM

Hi Steve,

Scarborough was not a researcher, she relied on other people's opinions and some collector told her this- that it was Irish. Very curious! The supposition is that it has to be Irish since Child's ballads were English and Scottish and it wasn't included :) Barmy indeed!

I did find this in Fraser's Magazine, Volume 3, edited by James Anthony Froude, John Tulloch; 1831

"The Drowsy Sleeper, which still exists upon a halfpenny broadside, where it is recommended as "a new song," — the Farmer's Daughter, and the Roving Beggar Man, with many more, may readily be enumerated as specimens of the old English minstrelsy popular in Ireland, and which certainly appear to merit preservation. But it is requisite that we should pass on rapidly to the commencement of the last century, to gain a position more generally interesting than those usually chosen by antiquaries."

They called the broadside a "new ballad" in 1831. Do you suppose this was printed in Ireland? Are there Irish broadsides?

Richie


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Drowsy Sleeper
From: Richie
Date: 29 Jun 16 - 09:11 PM

Hi,

Here's a challenge for you transcribers. See if you can fill in and/or correct the parts I couldn't get after a couple listens:

http://digital.berea.edu/cdm/ref/collection/p16020coll13/id/509/

Wake Up Ye Drowsy Sleeper- Sung by Clay Walters of Saylersville, Kentucky on October, 27, 1937. Recorded by Alan Lomax.

1. Wake up wake up ye drowsy sleeper
Wake up wake up, it's almost day,
How can you lay there in sleep and slumber,
When your true love is goin' away?

2. "Who's this, who's this, that is at my window?
Who's this calls out, [?]
Oh, just rise up, it's your own true lover,
Rise up forthwith and go with me.

3. "Go ask your father if he is willing
Tonight [if you] my bride you ever can be,
If he says, 'No,' come back and tell me,
It's the very last time I'll trouble thee."

3. "Oh no my dear, I dare not ask him,
He lies back yonder taking his rest.
And in his hand he holds a dagger,
To pierce it through your tender breast.

4. "Go ask your mother if she is willing,
Tonight my bride you ever can be,
If she says, 'No,' come back and tell me
It's the very last time I'll trouble thee."

5. Oh no my dear, I dare not ask her,
For tales of love she scorns to hear.
Go 'way back yonder and court some other,
Or whisper lowly in my[1] ear.

6. I'll not won't go 'way, nor court no other,
For what I say I mean no harm;
I've come to win[2] you from your mother,
And rest you in a true love's arms.

7. . . [?]
. . .[?]
I'm going to leave my own true lover
I'm going to leave her [a] thousand miles

8. "Come back, come back, you [wounded] lover,
Come back, come back to me,
And I'll forsake both father and mother,
I'll leave them all and go with thee."


1. sings "my" should be "her"
2. sings "win" could be "wean" See Ramsay, 1725

Richie


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Drowsy Sleeper
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 30 Jun 16 - 02:32 PM

I haven't seen any Irish broadsides of DS but even as early as the middle of the 18th century Irish printers were printing all manner of stuff and some of it from the English pleasure gardens. Of course a lot of what was going on in the English theatres was also going on in Dublin.

'new ballad'/ 'new song' on broadsides practically meaningless, a ploy to sell an old ballad with a few words changed. At best it can mean new to this area, or even new on the streets. Which is presumably why the commentator put it in inverted commas.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Drowsy Sleeper
From: Richie
Date: 30 Jun 16 - 04:38 PM

TY Steve,

Here's a version of "Sweet Bann Water' by Len Graham. I assume the source is Joe Holmes (1906-1978). The link to the recording is here: https://audioboom.com/boos/3563229-the-sweet-bann-water I'm not sure if my transcription is exactly right. Corrections welcomed.

"The Sweet Bann Water." Sung by Len Graham- live.

Away, away I can stay no longer,
The Sweet Bann Water I mean to cross,
O'er high hills and the lofty mountains,
To spend the night with my own wee lass.

Though the night be as dark as [a] dungeon,
And none a star there did appear,
I will not be guided without a stumble
Into the ar-rums[1] of my dear.

Slowly I crept unto my love's window,
And slowly knelt down upon a stone,
And through the pane I gently whispered,
Saying, Mary darling, are you at home?

Then slowly, slowly the door she opened,
And slowly, slowly I slid in,
And the night we lay each other arms,
Till the lang night was near an end.

Oh, go away and ask your mother
If she is willing my bride you may be,
if she says, No, come back and tell me,
Tis the last night I will trouble you.

I will not go and rouse my mother
For she's in her chamber all at her ease
In her right hand she holds a letter
Which reads, my love, to your disgrace.

What makes them speak so ill of me, love?
A loyal lover to you I have been.
A loyal lover and a constant sweetheart,
True to you I have always been.

For I can climb the high, high tree,
And I can rob the wild bird's nest;
And I can pluck the sweetest flower,
But not the flower that I love best.

For after dawning, there comes a morning
And after morning there comes a day,
And after one love there comes another
We need not hold them that will [go] away.

And as I sit down all at my leisure
And my foolish follies I think on
In placing of my fond affection
All on a maid so hard to win.

1. arms


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Drowsy Sleeper
From: Richie
Date: 01 Jul 16 - 11:26 PM

Hi,

Compare Len Graham's stanza:

For after dawning, there comes a morning
And after morning there comes a day,
And after one love there comes another
We need not hold them that will [go] away.

to stanza 11 below. At the end she commits suicide by plunging into the sea.

From: The Greig-Duncan folk song collection - Volume 4; p. 162-163 edited by Patrick N. Shuldham-Shaw, ‎Emily B. Lyle - 1981. Collected in North Scotland early 1900s by Gavin Greig (1856–1914), and the minister James Bruce Duncan 1848-1917).

E. I WILL SET MY GOOD SHIP IN ORDER- Sung by Miss Kate Mitchell, collected by Gavin Grieg, c. 1910.

1. I will set my good ship in order,
And I'll sail far across the sea,
I'll sail far over to yon border
To see if my love minds on me.

2. I sail-ed east and I sail-ed west,
And I sail-ed far across the main,
I sail-ed on to my true love's window,
And knocked loudly and fain be in.

3. Fa's[1] that at my wee window,
That knocks sae loud and fain be in,
Tis I, it is yer ain dear Johnnie,
Arise, arise love and lat me in.

4. As few lads have I withoot ye,
And as few do I lat in,
But unless ye be my ain dear Johnnie
And I some doot that ye're nae him.

5 Arise, arise go ask your father,
If he will let you my bride be,
If he denies thee, come back and tell me,
For it's be the last time I'll visit thee.

6. My father's in his chamber writing,
Writing out some merchandise;
And he has a letter in hsi pocket,
And it bespeaks love, of your disgrace.

7. Of my disgrace, of my disgrace
Of my disgrace, it cannot be?
For I never denied thee, nor yet despised thee
Until this night ye've denied me.

8. Arise, arise go ask your mother,
If she will let you my bride be,
If she denies thee, come back and tell me,
For it's be the last time I'll visit thee.

9.My mother's in her beddie sleepin'
And words o' love she winna hear,
So I pray young man go and court some other
And whipser softly in her ear.

10. Fat[2] way could I gang and court anither,
Fin ye're the girl I love dear
Fin ye're the girl I adore,
And thocht love, that ye loved me.

11. But after night there comes a morning
and after morning there comes a day,
And after one Love there coems another
So fare-ye well I must away.

12. Before she got on her clothes,
therefore to let her love in
But before she got hte door unlocked
The ship was sailing unto the main.

13 Come back, come back my ain dear Johnnie,
Come back and speak ance mair tae me,
Fat way could I come back again love,
When my ship is sailing far o'er yon sea.

14. The fish may fly and the sea run dry,
And the very rocks melt wi' the sun.
Husbandmen may give o'er their labour
But that will be, love, when you return.

15. She stepped on a few steps further,
and she plunged her body into the sea,
Sayin' Ye may come back and court some other,
But ye winna come back and court wi' me.

1. Who's
2. what


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Drowsy Sleeper
From: Richard Mellish
Date: 02 Jul 16 - 07:41 AM

We seem to have here a phenomenon somewhat analogous to floating verses, but in this case floating chunks of story. Pick and mix your desired set of chunks and you've another song. Cecilia Costello's Grey Cock is an especially effective example but several of the others quoted here show the same phenomenon. Identifying particular combinations to assign Roud numbers must be a challenge, but Steve Roud is a clever chap.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Drowsy Sleeper
From: Richie
Date: 03 Jul 16 - 06:37 PM

Hi,

I'm posting my version of "Drowsy Sleeper" which I call "Silver Dagger" that I learned in North Carolina in the 1980s when I backed up a traditional singer- it's got two extra beats in a measure but that's how she sang it. I found several other versions that also had the extra two beats :) I changed the words somewhat and added an obscure stanza that is also sung by Mary Lomax (Northern Georgia):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rx0WNYh_2Vc

There are also clips of my painting. All my youtube vids were one take -hit or miss :) and I'd do 5 or 6 in a session -one after another in 20 minutes.

I almost have 200 North American version on my site now:

http://www.bluegrassmessengers.com/us--canada-versions-2-the-drowsy-sleeper.aspx

Should be finishing that up soon.

Richie


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Drowsy Sleeper
From: Richie
Date: 04 Jul 16 - 12:15 PM

Steve,

I've added Roud numbers when possible. I'm not really sure what number should be on the versions that are mixed with other songs. For example, "Oh Molly Dear" by B. F. Shelton is listed as Roud 22620 but it only has one Drowsy Sleeper out of seven stanzas. Is one stanza enough? What about all the other mixed versions from the US? Here's a partial list:

I. [Versions that include stanzas of the Drowsy Sleeper text]
   a. "The Gold Ring" Andros Island, Bahamas; Parsons 1918
   b. "O Hatty Bell."- Sung by Mrs. Godfrey of Marion, NC on September 3, 1918 from Sharp MS
   c. "O! Molly Dear Go Ask Your Mother" Kelly Harrell" recorded June 9, 1926 in New York City.
   d. "Annie Girl" Hudson JAF, 1926
   e. "Kind Miss" no informant named from American Songbag by Carl Sandburg; 1927.
   f. "Oh Molly Dear" B.F. Shelton recorded on July 29, 1927 in Bristol, Tennessee. Issued as Victor 4017.
   g. "The False Lover" sung by Margaret Combs (KY) 1931 Henry
   h. "Hattie Belle" MS from Greer Collection before 1932; hybrid version of "A Sweetheart in the Army"
   i. "Little Satchel"
   j. "Vandy, Vandy"

These have mostly stanzas from other songs. Several of them are similar composites and could be grouped: "O Hatty Bell," "Annie Girl," "Hattie Belle," and "Vandy, Vandy." They all use the same three songs as a composite. They could be a separate number.

There are several more that have two stanzas from "East Virginia Blues" mixed with Drowsy Sleeper. These should probably be 22621.

Then I'm not sure about the 3 traditional Irish versions of "Sweet Bann Water" which are clearly Drowsy Sleeper but mixed with "Grey Cock." Roud number?

Richie


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Drowsy Sleeper
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 04 Jul 16 - 04:51 PM

Hi Richie,
Like your own site the Roud Index is a massive project. Unfortunately it doesn't really cater properly for hybrids. At first Steve started putting related songs all under one number. I helped a lot to change this and sorted out some real messes like all the Died for Love relatives and they now all have separate numbers. I have just requested that Steve give separate numbers to 'Wild and Wicked Youth' and 'The Flash lad' the reason being that though they have 3 and a half stanzas in common out of about 12 stanzas in each song that is much less than half the total. My own personal response to your question is go with the majority, i.e., if the song contains more than half of its stanzas of song A then classify it with that song. Another alternative is to give both (or multiple) Roud numbers where hybrids occur. 327/1168, or even explain that the song is a hybrid.

As I've explained before, where a new song has arisen from the hybridisation of 2 or more songs and can be demonstrated to have become established in oral tradition, or where a new song has arisen from the ashes of an old one, American scholars call this 'oecotype' or sometimes 'oikotype' and treat it as a separate song, e.gs., 'The Butcher Boy', 'Streets of Laredo'.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Drowsy Sleeper
From: Richie
Date: 04 Jul 16 - 08:08 PM

TY Steve,

Maybe you can talk to Steve about this one too :) It's certainly very difficult to flesh this all out, when so many different variants exist.

What has become increasingly clear is The Drowsy Sleeper, the main title as represented by 1817 broadside, only has two stanzas of the traditional ballad-- the rest is from the broadside pen!!!

So it only has two stanzas in common with the ballad it represents. Other broadsides (Firth) have one or two more but the British broadsides and the UK versions based on them, do not adequately represent the traditional ballad. Whereas The Cunningham Version, the traditional North American versions, the Scottish versions, and even the few "Sweet Bann Water" Irish versions are more part of the traditional ballad that the British broadsides.

It's also clear by what's been written that few early collectors (almost none) understood the "Silver Dagger" composed ballad, Roud 711.

I'll start using Roud numbers when possible. Also I always check Roud for versions to make sure I've got them all. He only misses a few- very thorough,

Richie


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Drowsy Sleeper
From: Richie
Date: 05 Jul 16 - 02:43 PM

Hi,

This stanza from Arkansas is nearly identical to the one (posted above a couple posts) sung by Len Graham in "Sweet Bann Water":

'Tis I can climb the highest tree top,
'Tis I could rob the rich's nest,
'Tis I could wed the fairest lady,
But not the one that I love best.

From: Drowsy Sleeper- Sung by Oleavia Houser [Olivia Hauser] of Fayetteville, Arkansas on October 26, 1958. Max Hunter/ Ozark Folksong Collection.

Richie


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Drowsy Sleeper
From: Richie
Date: 05 Jul 16 - 10:07 PM

Hi,

Here's a stanza also from Arkansas, that I'm sure Steve will recognize from the Scotch versions:

I cannot go and ask my mother,
She's lying on her bed of rest,
And in her hand she holds a letter
That speaks so much of your disgrace.
[from John Pennington, of Fayetteville, Ark. on May 1, 1952]

This same stanza appears in most of the Scottish "I Will Put My Ship in Order" versions.

Richie


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Drowsy Sleeper
From: Richie
Date: 06 Jul 16 - 11:34 PM

Hi,

Finally finished putting North American versions I have on here: http://www.bluegrassmessengers.com/us--canada-versions-2-the-drowsy-sleeper.aspx

There are 191 North American versions of traditional versions- Roud No: 22621, version of the "composed ballad" which had two stanzas found in the traditional one Roud No: 711 plus nearly one dozen hybrid versions with at least one stanza of Drowsy Sleeper No: 33621.I'm missing quite a number of versions, all of Flanders and Creighton which were never published. There are probably 225 versions that can be recovered.

I'm including one last hybrid version titled "Drowsy Sleeper," this is made up of three ballads; 1) Drowsy Sleeper 2) Johnson Boys 3) inserted between Johnson Boys stanzas are two stanzas of "Spanish Lady." The "handsome man" line was changed to "rebel man."

Drowsy Sleeper- Sung to the tune of "Johnson Boys" by Hedy West, recorded in 1963, learned from Vergie West in Alabama.

[banjo intro]

Awake, awake, you drowsy sleeper
Awake, awake, it's almost day,
How can you sleep and slumber
With all them pretty girls running away.

Yonder stands a couple of ladies
With their faces white as snow
Go and court 'em for your duty
Make them answer, "yes or no."

[banjo fill]

Madam I have gold and silver
Madam I have house and land
Madam I've a world of treasure
They are all at your command.

I don't want gold and silver
I don't want your house and land
I don't your world of treasure
All I want's a rebel[1] man.

Rebel boys were made in honor
They know how court a maid,
Hug 'em, kiss 'em, call them "honey,"
Rush up pretty boys don't be afraid.

Yankee boys were raised in ashes
Don't know how to court a maid;
Turn there backs and hide their face
Sight of a pretty girl makes 'em afraid.

1. handsome (Spanish Lady)

Richie


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Drowsy Sleeper
From: Richie
Date: 09 Jul 16 - 04:47 PM

Hi,

I've completed the North American versions (and 1 from South America) plus the headnotes: http://www.bluegrassmessengers.com/us--canada-versions-2-the-drowsy-sleeper.aspx

It's best to read on my site but I'll post my conclusions below:

In North America The Drowsy Sleeper is a traditional ballad which sometimes has been mixed with other traditional songs. It is often titled "Drowsy Sleeper" regardless of whether the opening "awake, arise you drowsy sleeper" stanza is present. A circa 1810 US composed ballad, usually titled "The Silver Dagger," was written based on the traditional song and the original has not yet been found. The writer of the "composed ballad" used only one and one-half stanzas of the traditional ballad as well as the double-suicide plot. Stanzas of the traditional UK ballads have been found in versions from North America including "Drowsy Sleeper (broadsides and resulting traditional British versions)," the 4 stanza Ramsay song (1725), the Cunningham variant, the Scottish "I Will Put My Ship" versions and lastly the Irish traditional versions known under the "Sweet Ban Water" title. None of the versions from the UK have a "silver dagger" or a murder weapon. The Scottish and Irish traditional versions from the UK are related to the "The Lover's Ghost" (Child 248) and have similar stanzas but the US versions do not have those "Lover's Ghost" stanzas. Commercial US versions and other traditional versions from North America that have left off the Drowsy Sleeper- "Awake, Awake" opening stanza(s) have nothing in common with the British broadsides which are composed ballads keeping mainly the traditional opening "Awake" stanza.

Richie


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Drowsy Sleeper
From: Richie
Date: 09 Jul 16 - 11:02 PM

Hi,

I've rewritten the conclusion and corrected some mistakes. I'll start working on the finishing the UK versions soon- better to read online since it's long (See link above).

All the best,

Richie


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Drowsy Sleeper
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 11 Jul 16 - 05:37 PM

Well researched, Richie!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Drowsy Sleeper
From: Richie
Date: 13 Jul 16 - 12:12 AM

Hi,

I finally put all the Grig-Duncan versions on my site. Version V is by the same informant as version P so there are 21 versions. I have two questions maybe someone could help:

1) Footnote 1- is that right for "couthie"?
2) Who is James M. Taylor- I guessed but I don't like to presume anything :)

From: The Greig-Duncan Folk Song Collection - Volume 4; edited by Patrick N. Shuldham-Shaw, Emily B. Lyle - 1981. Collected in North Scotland in early 1900s by Gavin Greig (1856–1914), and the minister James Bruce Duncan 1848-1917).

I'm guessing that this is James M. Taylor (1872-1944), a poet, of Alford, Aberdeenshire.

A James M. Taylor wrote this in the WFP, "18 April 1914, p 12 [warm appreciation of work of Gavin Greig and the way it is changing the popular perception of folk song]. Greig, of course, ran the most famous folk-song column of all, in the Buchan Observer, . . ."


T. "I Will Put My Ship" - Sung by James M. Taylor (1872-1944) of Alford, Aberdeenshire. Collected by Gavin Greig.

1.   I will put my ship all in good order,
And I will sail far across the sea,
I will sail on to my true love's window,
And see if my love minds on me.

2. I sail-ed east, sae did I west,
I sail-ed up, sae did I down,
Until I came to my true love's window,
I knock-ed loudly and fain would be in.

3. "Who is that at my bedroom window,
That speaks sae couthie[1] unto me?"
It's the voice of my true love Johnnie,
But I'm afraid that it is not he.

4.   It's you'll arise, love, go and ask your mother
And see if she be willing you my bride to be,
And if she refuse you, come back and tell me,
It'll be the last time I'll visit thee.

5. My mother's in her bedroom sleeping,
And talks of love, cannot reach her ear
She bids you to go love and court another,
And whisper softly in her[2] ear.

6. It's you'll arise, love, go and ask your father
And see if he be willing you my bride to be,
And if he refuse you, come back and tell me,
It'll be the last time I'll visit thee.

7. My father's in his count room counting,
He's counting o'er his merchandise;
And he has a letter into his pocket,
Which bears note to your dispraise.

8. To my dispraise love, to my dispraise,
To my dispraise love, how can it be?
For I never denied you nor never slighted you,
Until this night ye have slighted me.

9. It's she 'rose, putting on her clothes,
It was a' to let her ain true love in,
But before she got the door unbolted,
The ship was sailing across the main.

10. "Come back, come back, come back my Johnnie,
Come back and speak one word to me,"
It's "How could I come back to you love,
When the ship she's sailing across the sea?"

11. The fish may fly, the seas gang dry,
And a' the rocks melt wi' the sun,
Husbandmen may give over their labour,
Before that I return again.

12. She turned herself right 'round about,
And she's flang herself into the sea
Saying, "Ye may come back again when ye think proper,
But ye'll never hae to come back to me."

1. uncouthly; i.e boisterously or loudly
2. originally "my"

Richie


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Drowsy Sleeper
From: Richie
Date: 13 Jul 16 - 12:49 AM

Hi,

Here are the UK versions so far: http://www.bluegrassmessengers.com/british--other-versions-2-the-drowsy-sleeper.aspx

Please let me know if I'm missing any versions. I haven't thoroughly looked at every possible UK version or put them all on (the Butcher version is not on yet- but I have it).

I have used Steve Gardham's composite for the "I Will Put My Ship" versions (23 total, some just one stanza) and have roughed in the headnotes (see link above to read them). These Scottish stanzas (16) are some of the finest traditional examples-- yet they have no age or provenance, going back to the mid-1800s.

It seems like quite a leap to have Irish versions (and broadsides) dated 1834 and 1892 which are based on The Drowsy Sleeper British broadsides to then jump to "Sweet Bann Water" in 1937 which is totally different but closer to the traditional ballad.

The more recent Irish versions by John Butcher, Joe Holmes and Len Graham seem almost to have been recreations of the 1937 version. I'm not sure of any connecting versions from the 40s or 50s.

Any help is appreciated,

Richie


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Drowsy Sleeper
From: Richie
Date: 15 Jul 16 - 07:27 PM

Hi,

I've finished the headnotes on the Drowsy Sleeper, a ballad that encompasses 6 different ballads. You may read the headnotes on my site: http://www.bluegrassmessengers.com/2-the-drowsy-sleeper-awake-awake.aspx There are also separate headnotes for the US versions and UK versions.

I want to thank everyone who participated in this study and particularly Steve Gardham who sent me the Greig-Duncan versions- they are all on my site. I also want to thank other mudcatters who participated in the earlier threads: East Virginia.

This is a complex ballad and the six groups have subgroups as well as related ballads (The Lover's Ghost/ East Virginia etc.). All suggestions or additional comments are welcomed.

TY

Richie


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Drowsy Sleeper
From: Tradsinger
Date: 16 Jul 16 - 01:04 PM

I haven't absorbed all the above information but if it helps, here's what I recorded from Rita Emerson, aged 90, from WVa in 1998:


Drowsy Sleepers

Arouse, arouse, you drowsy sleepers
Arouse, arouse, 'tis almost day.
Throw open your doors and armour your windows
And hear what your true lover has to say.

'Go away, dear Willie, you'll wake up my mother.
Tales of love she will not hear.
Go away, dear Willie and court another
Or whisper softly in my ear.'

'I will not go 'way and court any other
For by my love I mean no harm
I would only take you away from your mother
To rescue in your true lover's arms.'

'Go away, dear Willie, you'll wake up my father.
And he is taking of his rest
And in his broad arms he carries a weapon
To slay the one that I love best.

I wish I were in some lonely valley
Where I could neither see nor hear
My food it would be of grief and of sorrow
My drink would be of the briny tears.

For down in yon meadow there is a sharp arrow
I wish it were through my breast,
It'd drive away all grief and all sorrow
And take my troubles home to rest.

Tradsinger


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Drowsy Sleeper
From: Richie
Date: 16 Jul 16 - 05:27 PM

Ty Gwilym,

Richie


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Drowsy Sleeper
From: Richie
Date: 16 Jul 16 - 09:37 PM

By the way Gwilym, the version you collected is part of the second type of US traditional ballad where no suicide by silver dagger occurs. A very similar version was collected by Cox in West Virginia that dates back to 1880. In it the lover leaves but kills himself with an arrow (in your collected version it's only a wish that the suicide would happen). Another version with the arrow suicide is "Awake, Awake" in James Ashby's MS from Missouri in 1874 (Belden C).

The usual versions without a suicide have similarly this excellent stanza,

I wish I were in some lonely valley
Where I could neither see nor hear
My food it would be of grief and of sorrow
My drink would be of the briny tears.

which is followed by the "Come back" stanza found in Scotch "I Will Put My Ship" versions.

A very nice and somewhat rare version,

Richie


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Drowsy Sleeper
From: Richie
Date: 17 Jul 16 - 02:44 PM

Hi,

I'm reviewing the US/Canada versions. I've seen three references to a Nithdale ballad from Cunningham but I believe that is not the source. Here's what he said:

From Alan Cunningham's Works of Robert Burns: With His Life, Volume 4 (1834). Cunningham writes: 'An old Nithsdale song seems to have been in the Poet's thoughts when he wrote this exquisite lyric. Martha Crosbie, a carder and spinner of wool, sometimes desiring to be more than commonly acceptable to the children of my father's house, made her way to their hearts by singing the following ancient strain:-

    "Who is this under my window?
    Who is this that troubles me?"
    "O, it is I, love, and none but I, love,
    I wish to speak one word with thee.

I don't see where Cunningham says it's a Nithdale ballad and I think it was collected in London at his father's house. Do you agree? Was father's house in London in 1834? Where is Martha Crosbie from?

Richie


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Drowsy Sleeper
From: Richie
Date: 17 Jul 16 - 03:19 PM

Hi,

I've found out that Allan's father John Cunningham (1743-1800) was a neighbor of Burns when Robert lived in Ellisland.

Apparently it is a Nithsdale song. From "Remains of Nithsdale and Galloway Song" by Robert Hartley Cromek, Allan Cunningham, William Gillespie, 1880 (reprinted from 1810):


O WHO IS THIS UNDER MY WINDOW?

This old song is taken down from the singing of Martha Crosbie, from whose recitation Burns wrote down the song of "The Waukrife Minnie."
It has a fine affecting tune, and is much sung by the young girls of Nithsdale. Burns has certainly imitated the last verse of it in his "Red, red Rose."

O Who is this under my window?
O who is this that troubles me?"
"O it is ane wha is broken-hearted,
Complaining to his God o' thee."

"O ask your heart, my bonnie Mary,
O ask your heart gif it minds o' me!"
"Ye were a drap o' the dearest bluid in't,
Sae lang as ye were true to me."

"If e'er the moon saw ye in my arms, love,
If e'er the light dawned in my ee,
I hae been doubly fause to heaven,
But ne'er ae moment fause to thee.

"My father ca'd me to his chamber,
Wi' lowin' anger in his ee;
Gae put that traitor frae thy bosom,
Or never mair set thy ee on me.

"I hae wooed lang love—I hae loved kin' love,
An' monie a peril I've braved for thee;
I've traitor been to monie a ane love,
But ne'er a traitor nor fause to thee.

"My mither sits hie in her chamber,
Wi' saute tears happin' frae her ee;
O he wha turns his back on heaven,
O he maun ay be fause to thee!"

"Gang up, sweet May, to thy ladie mother,
An' dight the saute tears frae her ee;
Tell her I've turned my face to heaven,
Ye hae been heaven owre lang to me!"

O up she rose, and away she goes,
Into her true love's arms to fa';
But ere the bolts and the bars she loosed,
Her true love was fled awa.

"O whare's he gane whom I lo'e best,
And has left me here for to sigh an' mane;
O I will search the hale world over,
'Till my true love I find again.

"The seas shall grow wi' harvests yellow,
The mountains melt down wi' the sun;
The labouring man shall forget his labour,
The blackbird shall not sing but mourn,
If ever I prove fause to my love,
Till once I see if he return."

Here's a link p. 219-221: https://archive.org/stream/remainsofnithsda00cromiala#page/220/mode/2up
This is obviously the same version of "Drowsy Sleeper". The question is why is it so different from the version published in 1834?

Richie


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Drowsy Sleeper
From: Richie
Date: 17 Jul 16 - 03:27 PM

Here's Crosbie's version given by Cunningham in 1834:

    "Who is this under my window?
    Who is this that troubles me?"
    "O, it is I, love, and none but I, love,
    I wish to speak one word with thee.

    Go to your mother, and ask her, jewel,
    If she'll consent you my bride to be;
    And, if she does na, come back and tell me,
    This is the last time I'll visit thee."

    "My mother's in her chamber, jewel,
    And of lover's talking will not hear;
    Therefore you may go and court another,
    And whisper softly in her ear."

The song proceeds to relate how mother and father were averse to the lover's suit, and that, exasperated by their scorn, and the coldness of the maiden, he ran off in despair: on relenting, she finds he is gone, and breaks out in these fine lines:-

    "O, where's he gone that I love best,
    And has left me here to sigh and moan?
    O I will search the wide world over,
    Till my true love I find again.

    The seas shall dry, and the fishes fly,
    And the rocks shall melt down wi' the sun;
    The labouring man shall forget his labour,
    The blackbird shall not sing, but mourn,
    If ever I prove false to my love,
    Till once I see if he return." '

Richie


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Drowsy Sleeper
From: Richie
Date: 18 Jul 16 - 07:27 PM

Hi,

Any help would be appreciated.

Robert Burn was a neighbor of John Cunningham (Allan's father) at Ellisland Farm, Dumfries from 1788-1791. According to Cromek's notes (provided by Cunningham) in 1810 Martha Crosbie the informant of "O who knocks at my Window" was also the informant for the "Seventeen Come Sunday" song, "The Waukrife Minnie" which was collected from recitation by Burns himself.

Cromek's Notes: This old song is taken down from the singing of Martha Crosbie, from whose recitation Burns wrote down the song of "The Waukrife Minnie."

According to Cunningham: Martha Crosbie, a carder and spinner of wool, sometimes desiring to be more than commonly acceptable to the children of my father's house, made her way to their hearts by singing the following ancient strain:

Since Allan Cunningham was born in 1784 I assume he was one of the children that Crosbie sang to.

So did Cromek meet Allan Cunningham in 1808 while working on his 1808 book, "Reliques of Burns, consisting chiefly of Original Letters, Poems, and Critical Observations on Scottish Songs"?

Then I assumed he had Allan collect songs in 1808-1809 and Alan submitted his recreated "O who knocks at my Window" as well as other recreations?

Since Allan provided the traditional text in 1834, what date should be given to "O who knocks at my Window"? 1809? Or earlier when Burns collected his version "How Old are you My pretty Little Miss?"

TY

Richie


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 16 August 4:13 PM EDT

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.