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Origins: Der Treue Husar and the Unfortunate Rake

DigiTrad:
LOCKE HOSPITAL
ST. JAMES HOSPITAL
ST. JAMES INFIRMARY
THE UNFORTUNATE RAKE


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Lyr Req: St. James Infirmary (24)
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Chords Req: St. James Infirmary (6)
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Lyr Req: St James Infirmary (request only) (4) (closed)
Chords/Tab Req: St. James Infirmary (5)
Tune Req: St. James Infirmary (7)


GUEST,Midnight-Blue766 18 Jun 16 - 03:00 PM
GUEST 18 Jun 16 - 03:01 PM
Joe Offer 18 Jun 16 - 03:53 PM
Lighter 18 Jun 16 - 04:10 PM
Joe Offer 18 Jun 16 - 04:35 PM
keberoxu 18 Jun 16 - 04:37 PM
Joe Offer 18 Jun 16 - 04:48 PM
Lighter 18 Jun 16 - 05:03 PM
GUEST 18 Jun 16 - 10:10 PM
Jim Carroll 19 Jun 16 - 11:21 AM
Steve Gardham 19 Jun 16 - 12:07 PM
Jim Carroll 20 Jun 16 - 03:28 AM
Steve Gardham 20 Jun 16 - 08:28 AM
Jim Carroll 20 Jun 16 - 11:55 AM
Steve Gardham 20 Jun 16 - 12:38 PM
Jim Carroll 20 Jun 16 - 01:21 PM
Wolfgang 20 Jun 16 - 01:49 PM
Wolfgang 20 Jun 16 - 02:03 PM
GUEST,Bob 21 Jun 16 - 12:22 AM
Steve Gardham 21 Jun 16 - 09:32 AM
leeneia 21 Jun 16 - 10:44 AM
Steve Gardham 21 Jun 16 - 03:55 PM
GUEST,Grishka 21 Jun 16 - 06:09 PM
Jim Carroll 22 Jun 16 - 01:35 AM
Lighter 22 Jun 16 - 10:31 AM
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Subject: Origins: Der Treue Husar and the Rake Cycle
From: GUEST,Midnight-Blue766
Date: 18 Jun 16 - 03:00 PM

It seems I have found a possible origin for a part of the Rake Cycle (i.e. the Unfortunate Rake, St James Infirmary et al). The German folk song "Der Treue Husar" (or the Faithful Hussar) is about a soldier whose lover falls ill and dies. In a version of the song dating back to 1825, the soldier laments,

"Where do we get six pallbearers from?
Six peasant boys that are strong,
Six brave hussars it must be,
[Who carries my darling to her grave]."

Compare the Unfortunate Rake, where the Rake sings:

"Get six young soldiers to carry my coffin,
Six young girls to sing me a song,
And each of them carry a bunch of green laurel
So they don't smell me as they bear me along."

While the Streets of Laredo and St James Infirmary both have the singer request groups of six pallbearers to carry them to their graves. While it seems that the Unfortunate Rake actually dates back to the 1790s, I have a distinct feeling that Der Treue Husar and the Rake Cycle have either influenced each other or come from a common origin.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Der Treue Husar and the Unfortunate Rake
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Jun 16 - 03:01 PM

Oh jeez, I think I screwed up for the top part, but you understand what I'm trying to say, right?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Der Treue Husar and the Unfortunate Rake
From: Joe Offer
Date: 18 Jun 16 - 03:53 PM

Oh, that's interesting. There are lyrics for "Der Treue Husar" Here:



DER TREUE HUSAR
 

1. Es war einmal ein treuer Husar,
Der liebt' sein Mädchen ein ganzes Jahr,
|: Ein ganzes Jahr und noch viel mehr,
   Die Liebe nahm kein Ende mehr. :|

2. Der Knab' der fuhr ins fremde Land,
Derweil ward ihm sein Mädchen krank,
|: Sie ward so krank bis auf den Tod,
   Drei Tag, drei Nacht sprach sie kein Wort. :|

3. Und als der Knab' die Botschaft kriegt,
Daß sein Herzlieb am Sterben liegt,
|: Verließ er gleich sein Hab und Gut,
   Wollt seh'n, was sein Herzliebchen tut. :|

4. Ach Mutter bring' geschwind ein Licht,
Mein Liebchen stirbt, ich seh' es nicht,
|: Das war fürwahr ein treuer Husar,
   Der liebt' sein Mädchen ein ganzes Jahr. :|

5. Und als er zum Herzliebchen kam,
Ganz leise gab sie ihm die Hand,
|: Die ganze Hand und noch viel mehr,
   Die Liebe nahm kein Ende mehr. :|

6. "Grüß Gott, grüß Gott, Herzliebste mein!
Was machst du hier im Bett allein?"
|: "Hab dank, hab Dank, mein treuer Knab'!
   Mit mir wird's heißen bald: ins Grab!" :|

7. "Grüß Gott, grüß Gott, mein feiner Knab.
Mit mir wills gehen ins kühle Grab.
|: "Ach nein, ach nein, mein liebes Kind,
   Dieweil wir so Verliebte sind." :|

8. "Ach nein, ach nein, nicht so geschwind,
Dieweil wir zwei Verliebte sind;
|: Ach nein, ach nein, Herzliebste mein,
   Die Lieb und Treu muß länger sein. :|

9. Er nahm sie gleich in seinen Arm,
Da war sie kalt und nimmer warm;
|: "Geschwind, geschwind bringt mir ein Licht!
   Sonst stirbt mein Schatz, daß's niemand sicht. :|

10. Und als das Mägdlein gestorben war,
Da legt er's auf die Totenbahr.
|: Wo krieg ich nun sechs junge Knab'n,
   Die mein Herzlieb zu Grabe trag'n? :|

11. Wo kriegen wir sechs Träger her?
Sechs Bauernbuben die sind so schwer.
|: Sechs brave Husaren müssen es sein,
   Die tragen mein Herzliebchen heim. :|

12. Jetzt muß ich tragen ein schwarzes Kleid,
Das ist für mich ein großes Leid,
|: Ein großes Leid und noch viel mehr,
   Die Trauer nimmt kein Ende mehr. :|

tr. Frank 1999

A faithful soldier, without fear,
He loved his girl for one whole year,
For one whole year and longer yet,
His love for her, he'd ne'er forget.

This youth to foreign land did roam,
While his true love, fell ill at home.
Sick unto death, she no one heard.
Three days and nights she spoke no word.

And when the youth received the news,
That his dear love, her life may lose,
He left his place and all he had,
To see his love, went this young lad.

Oh mother dear, bring light to me,
My darling dies, I cannot see.
He was indeed a soldier true,
Who loved his girl, a whole year through.

And as to his dearheart he went,
Without a word, her hand she lent.
She lent her hand, and then much more.
That love would last for evermore.

Hello my dear, love of my own,
What do you here, in bed alone?
Thank you, thank you, my faithful friend,
With me, it soon will be the end.

Hello my dear, my faithful knave,
Soon I will be in a cool grave.
Oh no, oh no, my honeychild,
Our love will make your illness mild.

Oh no, oh no, not quite so fast,
Not for as long our love would last.
Oh no, oh no, dearheart to me,
Our love and faih must longer be.

He took her in his arms to hold,
She was not warm, forever cold.
Oh quick, oh quick, bring light to me,
Else my love dies, no one will see.

And when the maid, in death lay here,
Her body he laid on a bier.
Where can I get six strong young men,
To the grave carry my love then.

Pallbearers we need two times three,
Six farmhands they are so heavy.
It must be six of soldiers brave,
To carry my love to her grave.

A long black coat, I must now wear.
A sorrow great, is what I bear.
A sorrow great and so much more,
My grief it will end nevermore.

Here's a recording of "Der Treue Husar":



The melody is very familiar to me. I wonder why I know it so well. I've heard the German song a few times, but I wonder if there's an English-language song that uses it.

-Joe-

Also take a look at the Lieder-archiv (click)

And there's a Wikipedia page on the song.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Der Treue Husar and the Unfortunate Rake
From: Lighter
Date: 18 Jun 16 - 04:10 PM

Most interesting, though the 1825 date means that the English song may well have come first. You'll have noted that other than the funeral the subject matter is rather different.

And isn't this the song sung in the final scene of Kubrick's "Paths of Glory"?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Der Treue Husar and the Unfortunate Rake
From: Joe Offer
Date: 18 Jun 16 - 04:35 PM

Here's a post about the song from another thread:
    Thread #90812   Message #2980007
    Posted By: AutumnStar
    04-Sep-10 - 02:41 PM
    Thread Name: French and German Songs of the Great War
    Subject: RE: French and German Songs of the Great War

    REF: "Der Truer Husar". The tune of "Der Truer Husar" is long familiar in both French and Italian cultures as well. The lyrics, however, are different. My Bavarian grandmother who was born in the 1890's was well known for memorizing and singing old folksongs. "Der Truer Husar" was one of her favorites. My Italian husband is long familiar with the tune and the Italian version. We were both surprised to discover we each had our own renditions when we watched Kubrick's "Path to Glory". Apart from Wikipedia saying that "Der Treue Husar" is presumed to date back to 1825, I've found no way to learn the origins of the tune (german, french, italian or whatever) nor which lyrics were the original ones. On U-Tube, one can hear these alternative lyric versions sung in both French (even Dalida sings it) and Italian.
    It would be lovely if a knowledgable folk music historian could enlighten me on the origins and evolution of both song and lyrics. My gut feeling is that this song is not of military origin but an old folk song that was part of the shared culture derived from the many villages and towns from which the soldiers came and therefore had a bonding affect on military men so far from family and community. --AutumnStar


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Subject: RE: Origins: Der Treue Husar and the Unfortunate Rake
From: keberoxu
Date: 18 Jun 16 - 04:37 PM

Joe, et al.: sounds familiar, you say?

Would you believe, Louis Armstrong on the Ed Sullivan Show?

Here's Armstrong:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ebzced7Gz50


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Subject: RE: Origins: Der Treue Husar and the Unfortunate Rake
From: Joe Offer
Date: 18 Jun 16 - 04:48 PM

keberoxu, Louis Armstrong never ceases to amaze me. Thanks for the link.

Here's Christiane Kubrick (she married Stanley after the filming of the movie) singing "Der Treue Husar" in Paths of Glory: ....and Vera Lynn singing "Don't Cry, My Love" - same melody, same story (partly): ...and Ted Heath:


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Subject: RE: Origins: Der Treue Husar and the Unfortunate Rake
From: Lighter
Date: 18 Jun 16 - 05:03 PM

The popular melody, at least acc. to Wikipedia, was written so late as the 1920s.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Der Treue Husar and the Unfortunate Rake
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Jun 16 - 10:10 PM

Lighter,

You do make a good point about the Unfortunate Rake, but I definitely see some similarities between Der Treue Husar and St James Infirmary. Both songs seem to be about a man visiting his dying lover, and both detail the funeral arrangements in similar style.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Der Treue Husar and the Unfortunate Rake
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 19 Jun 16 - 11:21 AM

Interesting, but I'm not convinced.
The raison d'etre of The Unfortunate Rake is to lament the death of a man (or woman) dying of the clap - evident throughout the genre, while the other is simply a lament for a dying lover.
The motivation for the song is not the trappings of the funeral but the cause of death.
The description of the funerary arrangements are commonplaces, which are to be found elsewhere, including the childrens' repertoire.
That the earliest version only appeared in 1790 is totally immaterial - we know virtually nothing of the oral tradition prior to the beginning of the 20th century, and even that is extremely sketchy - it never appears to have occurred to anybody to ask the singers about their songs.   
The whole 'Holy-Grail-type search for origins is beginning to worry me a little - much of it appears to be aimed at proving that the folk didn't make folk songs (not suggesting that this is the case here).
I very much doubt if there are many folk songs that can be traced back to their origins - I've never been fully convinced that any of them have.
I've been intending to open a thread on the claims that a nonsensical number of our songs originated on the broadside presses - I intend to raise this during the Ballad Conference in Limerick next week to see how far this particular malaise has spread.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Origins: Der Treue Husar and the Unfortunate Rake
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 19 Jun 16 - 12:07 PM

I couldn't agree more with the first four lines of your posting, Jim.
As for the rest......well you know.

I'll be interested to hear your findings in Limerick of course. Good luck!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Der Treue Husar and the Unfortunate Rake
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 20 Jun 16 - 03:28 AM

"As for the rest......well you know."
Not the place here Steve and probably not the best time while this site is acting up, but it seems to me that, in claiming as many songs originating on broadsides as you do is disenfranchising the folk (ordinary people) from the creation of their music - you really need to be able to prove such a serious suggestion beyond relying on earliest printed versions.
It's been our experience over the last forty years that farmers, fishermen, road-workers, et al are far more likely to have produced our folk-songs than did a school of anonymous bad poets (hacks).
Ordinary (whatever that means) made songs by the hundreds - we recorded dozens of them just on a small section of the West Coast of Clare and from illiterate Travellers.
Miners and mill workers made songs, bothy workers made songs (I believe you conceded that), I have little doubt that merchant seamen made songs describing their lives and thoughts.
One old farmer put it in a nutshell a couple of years ago - "If a man farted in church when I was young, somebody made a song about it".
I believe this to be far too serious a subject to allow to let go - it harks back to the old arguments that "the people were incapable of making the ballads" (this would be the same people who queued up in Elizabethan London to catch the first performance of Hamlet).
When this site settles down, I suggest we take this up seriously and see if we can't avoid the "romanticism" level arguments this time or get bogged down in chimney-sweeping technicalities.
People were capable of making songs, people did make songs by the hundreds, there is no reason in the world why they didn't make the songs we call folk-songs.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Origins: Der Treue Husar and the Unfortunate Rake
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 20 Jun 16 - 08:28 AM

Your call, Jim.
I don't remember anyone saying or declaring 'the people were INCAPABLE of making ballads'. Remind me who said that. I didn't concede anything about bothy ballads: I actually put that forward and gave a local example I recorded myself. Having said that, nothing in my stance changes.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Der Treue Husar and the Unfortunate Rake
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 20 Jun 16 - 11:55 AM

"I don't remember anyone saying or declaring 'the people were INCAPABLE of making ballads'"
It's been part of ballad scholarship for as long as I can remember Steve epitomised in Phillips Barry's not to Lake of Col Finn
I think I put up the bothy ballas as an example of workers making their own songs - doesn't matter anyway -- it's a perfect example of the creative abilities of the rural classes.
Jim Carroll

"Popular tradition, however, does not mean popular origin. In the case of our ballad, the underlying folklore is Irish de facto, but not de-jure: the ballad is of Oriental and literary origin, and has sunk to the level of the folk which has the keeping of folklore. To put it in a single phrase, memory not invention is the function of the folk". [our italics]                                                                                                                                                               
Note by Phillips Barry to 'Lake of Col Finn', in the Helen Hartness Flanders collection, New Green Mountain Songster, Yale University Press, 1939


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Subject: RE: Origins: Der Treue Husar and the Unfortunate Rake
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 20 Jun 16 - 12:38 PM

We've come a long way since 1939. However,
I would say he was generalising, and would say, if that is the case, he is right on this one. Unfortunately I personally think he chose a bad example in Willie Leonard. Like some of the similar ballads that came out of Northern Ireland, even though their earliest examples are from broadsides, I actually think some of these, Molly Bawn, Streams of Lovely Nancy, Fanny Blair etc., were locally made and based on real events, but we'll probably never know.

What he should have put and probably what he meant is 'memory not invention is largely the function of the folk' but I don't expect for one moment you'll go with that.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Der Treue Husar and the Unfortunate Rake
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 20 Jun 16 - 01:21 PM

"but I don't expect for one moment you'll go with that."
Not in my experience Steve.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Origins: Der Treue Husar and the Unfortunate Rake
From: Wolfgang
Date: 20 Jun 16 - 01:49 PM

The German lyrics go as far back as 1781, see:

Der rote Husar

There have been many tunes married to the lyrics. The tune now known is fairly recent as has been said. Some date it to 1925.

The first verse (and no more of it) is the number one carnival hit in Cologne, sometimes called the national anthem of Cologne, though the song has no relation whatsoever to either Cologne or Carnival. But there is a carnival club in Cologne named the "Treuer Husar" and that may be the reason.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Origins: Der Treue Husar and the Unfortunate Rake
From: Wolfgang
Date: 20 Jun 16 - 02:03 PM

If you feel like listening how a folksong can degenerate into a one verse carnival song click

Ein treuer Husar

The single verse can be heard twice embedded in a song about this one verse song. Even if you understand German you are not likely to understand the lyrics into which the song stump is embedded.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Origins: Der Treue Husar and the Unfortunate Rake
From: GUEST,Bob
Date: 21 Jun 16 - 12:22 AM

Late 19th century Victorian cultural anthropology, even earlier and later, is littered with well-meaning but misguided Darwinian evolutionary scheme attempts to find the "ultimate distant origin" of this or that popular custom--or formulaic rhyme, expression, etc. Sometimes songs entered the mix.

Lost in much of the speculation and claiming was that human beings, over time and space, are much capable of "independent invention" as well as influenced by learned and past-along diffusions.

If someone, most anywhere in a largely Christianized-influenced Western World, wanted to construct a song telling about carrying a coffin, wouldn't it contain a verse with words and imagery about doing so? About the need for more than one person to do so? Maybe reference to singing or chanting along the way?

There is a point at which well-meaning, oft clever, but very tenuous pursuits and connections just do not seem very reasonable.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Der Treue Husar and the Unfortunate Rake
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 21 Jun 16 - 09:32 AM

Amen to that, Bob.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Der Treue Husar and the Unfortunate Rake
From: leeneia
Date: 21 Jun 16 - 10:44 AM

I disagree. I don't think that unrelated people suddenly decided to put a verse about six pallbearers toward the ends of their songs. No, I think the idea started somewhere and was heard in taverns and along trade routes, and it spread the way other things, such as new fashions or new recipes, spread.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Der Treue Husar and the Unfortunate Rake
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 21 Jun 16 - 03:55 PM

Why not, Leeneia? We still use 6 pall-bearers even today, though more often it's shoulders nowadays rather than palls. Even so you still need to make sure you have 6 of roughly the same height. With the palls it isn't quite that necessary. The way you are describing how it spread makes it sound like it was only ever done once and the rest spread by folklore. It's a very widespread ceremony.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Der Treue Husar and the Unfortunate Rake
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 21 Jun 16 - 06:09 PM

Countless folk songs and poems end with directions for a funeral ceremony with a characteristic detail. This is an archetype if there ever was one, definitely predating any particular song we know today.

The Hussar wants his lover's coffin to be carried by fellow hussars rather than by farmhands who would be too ponderous (- that is what "schwer" seems to mean in this context). The Rake has different concerns.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Der Treue Husar and the Unfortunate Rake
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 22 Jun 16 - 01:35 AM

"Why not, Leeneia? We still use 6 pall-bearers even today"
Totally agree
These were common to many countries and it is natural that they appear in songs wherever they occurred.
They were used as commonplaces in the making of of songs, as were milk-white steeds, even by children.
The use of these rituals may be coincidental, but when you think about it, not that surprising when you consider how common they actually where.
I sometimes think that getting bogged down in trying to prove these unprovable theories that individual songs are related is a diversion from the international nature of these genres which take many everyday occurrences into the making of these songs.
People have always made songs on what they saw – they were representations of what was going on around them rather than copies of other songs
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Origins: Der Treue Husar and the Unfortunate Rake
From: Lighter
Date: 22 Jun 16 - 10:31 AM

It's said too that there's a "Czech version" of the "Rake," but I don't how close the resemblance really is.

Not very, would be my guess.


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