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Lyr Req: Meaning of Lucana in Isle of st Helena?

GeoffLawes 01 Sep 16 - 05:16 PM
GUEST,Mike Yates 02 Sep 16 - 04:05 AM
GUEST,Mike Yates 02 Sep 16 - 04:07 AM
Lighter 02 Sep 16 - 06:51 AM
Matthew Edwards 02 Sep 16 - 11:42 AM
Lighter 02 Sep 16 - 12:05 PM
Brian Peters 02 Sep 16 - 02:21 PM
Matthew Edwards 02 Sep 16 - 03:17 PM
GUEST,Mike Yates 03 Sep 16 - 03:49 AM
GUEST,JeffB 03 Sep 16 - 12:38 PM
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Subject: Lyr Req: Meaning of Lucana in Isle of st Helena?
From: GeoffLawes
Date: 01 Sep 16 - 05:16 PM

In the song about Napoleon's exile on St Helena known as The Isle of St Helena or Bony on St Helena some sing of Napoleon " thinking on Lucana ". Who or what is Lucana? I have googled and found an area of Italy called Atena Lucana which has Roman connections but I would like to know what Napoleon thinking on Lucana could mean. The song entitled " Bonaparte on St Helena" which appears in Gale Huntington's book "Songs The Whalermen Sang" is often quoted as a source of this song but it has no reference to Lucana. Does anyone know where and when the Lucana reference made its appearance?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Meaning of Lucana in Isle of st Helena?
From: GUEST,Mike Yates
Date: 02 Sep 16 - 04:05 AM

Could "Lucana" be a corruption of "Diana" (as in the Roman Goddess of the hunt Dinana), a name which occurs in other versions of the song?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Meaning of Lucana in Isle of st Helena?
From: GUEST,Mike Yates
Date: 02 Sep 16 - 04:07 AM

Sorry, that should be "Diana" in both cases!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Meaning of Lucana in Isle of st Helena?
From: Lighter
Date: 02 Sep 16 - 06:51 AM

"Diana's Peak" (or "Mt. Diana") is the highest point on St. Helena.

Other versions clearly have "Mt. Diana."


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Meaning of Lucana in Isle of st Helena?
From: Matthew Edwards
Date: 02 Sep 16 - 11:42 AM

I have very much enjoyed hearing Stuart Carolan sing this song, and I was delighted to hear him perform it at Whitby last week. I hadn't given much thought to the meaning of the term 'Lucana' in the song, but just assumed it to refer to an obscure Napoleonic battle or campaign. It seems Geoff's question was raised in an earlier thread about this song Origins: Isle of St Helena, but it wasn't answered then.

The song was widely printed in Britain and America, but the printed broadside texts vary considerably. The earliest printing seems to be in a chapbook printed by J.Fraser of Stirling in 1817, but the text isn't available for online viewing. There are however some 15 broadside texts which can be seen at the Bodleian Ballads Online site. The Poet's Box, Glasgow, attributes the song to "the pen of James Watts, Esq. of Paisley" to the air of 'The Braes of Balquither' and this includes the following eight line stanza:-

"The rude rushing waves
A' its shores round are washing,
And the billows heave
A' the wild rocks a-dashing.
He may look upon the moon,
And think of Louisa,
With his heart full of woe,
On the Isle of St. Helena."

Louisa refers to Bonaparte's wife, Marie-Louise of Austria.

A broadside printed by J. Harkness of Preston also has an eight line stanza, but gives 'Louisanna' instead of Louisa, presumably for a more effective rhyme with 'St. Helena'. Other printings by Harkness use the more commonly known four line stanza - with the two lines above becoming two half lines.
In other texts printed by J.Marshall of Newcastle, H. Such of London and M.W.Carrall of York the name appears as Lusianna, Luciana, and Luciania, while Catnach of London prints it as Lucanna.

The text printed in London by J.Pitts corresponds fairly closely to the versions given by Huntington in 'Songs the Whalemen Sang' from 1827 and 1829, in omitting Louisa/Louisanna/Lucanna completely.
'He may look at the moon by the great mount Diana,
While forlorn he does mourn on the Isle of St. Helena'

It is difficult to ascribe a definitive chronological process of alteration from 'Louisa' to 'Louisianna' and thence to 'Luciana', 'Luciania' and 'Lucanna' and finally 'Lucana' since the dates of the various printings are so uncertain, and there are many other changes in verse order, additional verses, wording and stanza form going on at the same time.

Matthew


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Meaning of Lucana in Isle of st Helena?
From: Lighter
Date: 02 Sep 16 - 12:05 PM

Most enlightening, Matthew. Thanks for posting.

It's easier to believe that the geographically appropriate rhyme "Mount Diana" was replaced by the less obscure, historically justified, but imperfect rhyme "Louisa" than the other way around.

It all depends on how much the original author had read about the Isle of St. Helena.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Meaning of Lucana in Isle of st Helena?
From: Brian Peters
Date: 02 Sep 16 - 02:21 PM

Just by the way, 'Bonaparte on St Helena' appeared both in 'The Forget-me-not Songster' (with the 'Mount Diana' line) and The Social Harp -as a shape-note piece. Might explain why it survived in several parts of N. America.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Meaning of Lucana in Isle of st Helena?
From: Matthew Edwards
Date: 02 Sep 16 - 03:17 PM

The National Library of Scotland has a digital image of the 1817 chapbook printed by J.Fraser of Stirling which contains the earliest dated text of 'The Isle of St. Helena'; it can be viewed via this link Isle of St Helena, Chapbook 1817. It is an eight page booklet containing The Isle of St helena, Banks of Doon, Highland Harry, Ralph and Moses, and Dull Care. There is a handwritten note on the last page "William Henderson his Ballads 1819".

I'll post the full text below for comparison with other versions.

Isle of St Helena (Roud 349)

Now Boney is awa,
From his warring and fighting,
He is gone to a place,
That he ne'er can delight in.
He may sit now and tell
Of the scenes he has seen a',
While forlorn he doth mourn
On the isle of St Helena.

No more at St Clouds
He'll appear in great splendor,
Nor go forth with his crouds,
Like the great Alexander.
He may sigh to the winds,
By the great mount Diana,
With his eyes o'er the waves,
That surrounds St Helena.

Now Louisiana weeps
For her husband departed,
She dreams while she sleeps,
And awakes broken hearted.
Not a friend to condole,
Even those that might they winna,
And she mourns while she thinks
On the isle of St Helena.

The rude rushing waves
A' our shores round us washing,
And the great billows heaves,
A' the wild rocks a dashing.
He may look upon the moon,
And think on Louisiana,
With his heart full of woe,
On the isle of St Helena.

Now ye that have great wealth,
Beware of ambition;
For some decree of fate
May change your condition,
Be ye stedfast in time,
For what's to come ye kenna,
[May] be your race may end
At the isle of St Helena.

No tune is given in the chapbook, nor is any author credited.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Meaning of Lucana in Isle of st Helena?
From: GUEST,Mike Yates
Date: 03 Sep 16 - 03:49 AM

Forget Diana. Mathew's suggestion is far more plausible.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Meaning of Lucana in Isle of st Helena?
From: GUEST,JeffB
Date: 03 Sep 16 - 12:38 PM

I have always assumed that Lucana meant Lucania, which was a province of Roman Italy covering what is now southern Basilicata and northern Calabria. But this region had no more significance to Bonaparte than Louisianna, which I suppose (along with all the other variants) were guesses made more or less at random by the broadside publishers.

There is a possibility that the original author confused Lucana/Lucania with Liguria, which is where Bonaparte's ancestors came from. Liguria - the area around Genoa - is only about 60 miles north of Elba, and is much closer than to it than Lucania.


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