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Lyr ADD: A version of Sweet William's Ghost

DigiTrad:
GREY COCK
GREY COCK (2)
NIGHT VISITING SONG
OH, ARE YOU SLEEPING MAGGIE
SWEET WILLIAM'S GHOST
WESTRON WYND (3)


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GUEST,Dalillama 22 Feb 17 - 01:34 PM
Reinhard 22 Feb 17 - 01:47 PM
Snuffy 22 Feb 17 - 04:33 PM
GUEST,Dalillama 23 Feb 17 - 03:28 PM
GUEST,Dalillama 02 Feb 18 - 10:46 PM
GUEST 25 Aug 21 - 01:54 AM
GUEST,Nick Dow 25 Aug 21 - 02:40 AM
Reinhard 25 Aug 21 - 02:16 PM
leeneia 26 Aug 21 - 08:27 PM
leeneia 30 Aug 21 - 11:56 AM
Joe Offer 13 Sep 21 - 05:02 PM
leeneia 13 Sep 21 - 06:49 PM
leeneia 23 Jan 23 - 12:09 PM
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Subject: Lyr Req: A version of Sweet William's Ghost
From: GUEST,Dalillama
Date: 22 Feb 17 - 01:34 PM

I'm looking for a particular recording of Sweet William's Ghost/Sweet William and Lady Margaret. I heard this particular track on OPB's Mist Covered Mountain broadcast ~20-25 years ago now (I've checked at the office, they haven't records of what they played that far back, and the DJ has retired).
The singer is a woman (or possibly a man with a notably high voice), accompanied IIRC by a fiddle, and the chorus goes:
O Margaret, O Lady Margaret he cried
For Love or for charity,
Will you give me back my plighted troth
That once love I gave to thee, to thee?
No, I'll not give you back your plighted troth,
Nor any such a thing
Til you take me down to yon churchyard,
And marry me with a ring, a ring
And marry me with a ring.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: A version of Sweet William's Ghost
From: Reinhard
Date: 22 Feb 17 - 01:47 PM

Paddy Tunney sings these verses in his version of Lady Margaret:

Lady Margaret she lay on her fine feather bed,
The midnight hour drew nigh,
When the ghostly form came to her room,
And to her it did appear, appear,
And to her it did appear.

"Are you my father, the king?" she said,
"Are you my brother John?
Or are you my true love William," she said,
Coming home from Scotland along, along,
Coming home from Scotland along?"

"I'm not your father, the king," he said,
"Nor am I your brother John,
But I am your sweetheart William," he said,
Coming home from Scotland along, along,
Coming home from Scotland along."

"Oh Margaret, oh Lady Margaret," he said,
"For love or charity,
Will you give me back the plighted troth
That once, love, I gave thee, gave thee,
That once, love, I gave thee?"

"I'll not give you back your plighted troth
Or any such a thing,
Until you bring me to my father's hall
Where ofttimes we have been, have been,
Where ofttimes we have been."

And he took her then to her own father's hall,
And as they entered in
The gates flew open of their own free will
For to let young William in, in,
For to let young William in.

"Oh Margaret, oh Lady Margaret," he said,
"For love or charity,
Will you give me back the treasure troth
That once, love, I gave thee, gave thee,
That once, love, I gave thee?"

"I'll not give you back your treasure troth
Or any such a thing,
Until you bring me to my own father's hall
And marry me with a ring, a ring,
And marry me with a ring."

He took her then to yon high churchyard,
And as they entered in
The gates flew open of their own sweet will
For to let young William in, in,
For to let young William in.

"Oh Margaret, oh Lady Margaret," he said,
"For love or charity,
Will you give me back the plighted troth
That once, love, I gave thee, gave thee,
That once, love, I gave thee?"

Then out of her pocket she drew a cross
And she laid it on his breast,
Saying, "Here is back your plighted troth,
In Heaven may your soul find rest, find rest,
In Heaven may your soul find rest."

"Oh the winds do blow and the moorcock crow
And it's nearly breaking day,
And it's time that the living should part from the dead,
So now, my love, I must away, away,
So now, my love, I must away."


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: A version of Sweet William's Ghost
From: Snuffy
Date: 22 Feb 17 - 04:33 PM

(or possibly a man with a notably high voice)

J J Niles?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: A version of Sweet William's Ghost
From: GUEST,Dalillama
Date: 23 Feb 17 - 03:28 PM

Reinhard:
That's the lyrics I remember alright, but I'm prepared to swear it wasn't Paddy Tunney singing them.

Snuffy:
I can't find a copy of his version of this particular song, but he doesn't sound right at all in the stuff I did find.

Thank you both, though.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: A version of Sweet William's Ghost
From: GUEST,Dalillama
Date: 02 Feb 18 - 10:46 PM

My sister found a copy of the Lou and Sally Killen recording from their 1975 LP "The Bright Shining Morning", and assures me that's the one we're after.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: A version of Sweet William's Ghost
From: GUEST
Date: 25 Aug 21 - 01:54 AM

That's definitely the Paddy Tunney version, execpt for one inaccuracy, namely in the following verse it is treasue trove and not "treasure troth" :
"Oh Margaret, oh Lady Margaret," he said,
"For love or charity,
Will you give me back the treasure trove
That once, love, I gave thee, gave thee,
That once, love, I gave thee?"

P.S. The traveller singer Thomas McCarthy has a bewitching version of this song with the same air but small differences ine the text, and his own unique style of singing.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: A version of Sweet William's Ghost
From: GUEST,Nick Dow
Date: 25 Aug 21 - 02:40 AM

Try my LP A mark upon the earth 1986. Side Two track 1. I got it from Tunney. You may wish to check out George Deacon and Marion Ross. They used to sing a much older version, and Lisa Null sings an excellent American version. The best ever is sung by my good acquaintance Thomas McCarthy. Brilliant!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: A version of Sweet William's Ghost
From: Reinhard
Date: 25 Aug 21 - 02:16 PM

Thank you for correcting the "treasure trove", guest. I copied Paddy Tunney's words from the Topic album's booklet and obviously didn't check them thoroughly enough.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: A version of Sweet William's Ghost
From: leeneia
Date: 26 Aug 21 - 08:27 PM

This ballad seems to have suffered some "dings and scratches" over the years. This is how I would change it to sing for friends:

Lady Margaret she lay on her fine feather bed,
The midnight hour drew near,
When a ghostly form in her room did tread,
And to her it did appear, appear,
And to her it did appear.

"Are you my father, the king?" she said,
"Are you my brother John?
Or are you my true love William," she said,
Coming home from Scotland along, along,
Coming home from Scotland along?"

"I'm not your father, the king," he said,
"Nor am I your brother John,
But I am your sweetheart William," he said,
Coming home from Scotland along, along,
Coming home from Scotland along."

"Oh Margaret, oh Lady Margaret," said he,
"For love or charity,
Will you give me back the plighted troth
That once, love, I gave thee, gave thee,
That once, love, I gave thee?"

"I'll not give you back your plighted troth
Or any such a thing,
Until you take me to my father's hall
Where ofttimes we have been, have been,
Where ofttimes we have been."

And he took her then to her own father's hall,
And as they entered in
The gates flew open of their own free will
For to let Lady Margaret in, in,
For to let Lady Margaret in.

"Oh Margaret, oh Lady Margaret," said he,
"For love or charity,
Will you give me back the treasure troth
That once, love, I gave thee, gave thee,
That once, love, I gave thee?"

"I'll not give you back your treasure troth
Or any such a thing,
Until you take me to yon high churchyard
And marry me with a ring, a ring,
And marry me with a ring."

He took her then to the high church hill,
And as they entered in
The gates flew open of their own sweet will
For to let young William in, in,
For to let young William in.

"Oh Margaret, oh Lady Margaret," he said,
"For love or charity,
Will you give me back the plighted troth
That once, love, I gave thee, gave thee,
That once, love, I gave thee?"

Then out of her pocket she drew a cross
And she laid it on his breast,
Saying, "Here is back your plighted troth,
In Heaven may your soul find rest, find rest,
In Heaven may your soul find rest."

"Oh the winds do blow and the moorcock crow
And it's nearly breaking day,
And it's time that the dead from the living must go
So now, my love, I must away, away,
So now, my love, I must away."
=========
It's a good story. I like troth better than trove. For one thing, a trove is a collection of precious items, not just one. For another, troth rhymes better with cross. Finally, a troth is a promise, and I can imagine people of yore extending the meaning of troth to the cross he gave her when promised to marry.

I changed it to have the castle gates open for Margaret, because she's a daughter of the house. The churchyard gates open for William because he's dead.   

Not all the rhymes are improved, but c'est la vie.

Joe, you can mark this circa 2021.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: A version of Sweet William's Ghost
From: leeneia
Date: 30 Aug 21 - 11:56 AM

And what about "plighted"? For years I have heard the phrase "plighted troth" and never asked myself what it meant. According to my unabridged dictionary, to plight is to pledge, to engage, or to make subject to forfeiture. It gives the example "plighted bride." So there you have it.

Interestingly, it says that "plight" is never applied to money or property.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: A version of Sweet William's Ghost
From: Joe Offer
Date: 13 Sep 21 - 05:02 PM

Joe - needs cleanup


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Subject: RE: Lyr ADD: A version of Sweet William's Ghost
From: leeneia
Date: 13 Sep 21 - 06:49 PM

My new version went over well as the Mudcat singaround. At the last minute, I changed it so he asked for three things back.

sweet kisses
plighted troth
treasure troth

I guess I've been naive. Today I realized that with each request she is moving him nearer to the grave in the churchyard where he belongs. Yes, she loved him, and yes she tenderly gives him back the cross, but she doesn't want him treading around her bedroom the rest of her life.


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Subject: RE: Lyr ADD: A version of Sweet William's Ghost
From: leeneia
Date: 23 Jan 23 - 12:09 PM

I have made it longer than ever, adding verses to show what happened when they reached their destinations. Also, a verse seemed to be missing, so I made one up - the kisses/garden verse. At the moment, I don't see why one seemed to be missing, but it's time to make my morning toast.

I didn't care for the tune, so I made up two tunes, one for Margaret and one for William. The type-face indicates when to change. Sorry about the lines breaking in the wrong place.
=======
1.Lady Mar'gret lay 'neath a fine feather bed, as the midnight hour drew near,
When a ghostly form in her room did tread, And to her it did appear, appear,
And to her it did appear.
"Are you my father, the king?" said she. "Are you my dear brother John?
"It's I'm your sweetheart, William, said he. Coming home from Scotland anon, anon
Coming home from Scotland anon."

2. "Oh Marg'ret, oh Lady Marg'ret," said he, "For love or charity,
Will you give me back the plighted troth that once, love, I gave thee, gave thee,
that once, love, I gave thee?"
"I'll not give you back your plighted troth nor give you any such thing,
until we go to my father's hall where ofttimes we have been, have been,
where ofttimes we have been."
And so went they to her father's hall, And as they entered in
the gates drew back of their own free will for to let Lady Margaret in, o, in,
for to let Lady Marg'ret in.
"Oh Marg'ret, oh Lady Marg'ret," said he,
"A castle ruin I see. The pennant's gone and the towers fall,
withdraw, my love, come away with me, withdraw, my love come with me."

3."Oh Marg'ret, oh Lady Marg'ret," said he, "For love or charity,
Will you give me back the kisses kind that once, love, I gave thee, gave thee,
that once, love, I gave thee?"
"I'll not give you back your kisses kind nor give you any such thing.
Until we go to the garden fair where oft the small birds sing, do sing.
where oft the small birds sing."
And so they went to the garden fair, and as their footsteps drew nigh,
the rose pulled back its thorny boughs to let these sweethearts pass by, o by,
to let these sweethearts pass by.
"Oh Marg'ret, oh Lady Marg'ret," said he, "the mist lies low on the lea.
The moon is gray and the roses pale, thy lovely face I scarce can see,
thy face I scarce can see."

4."Oh Marg'ret, oh Lady Marg'ret," said he, "For love or charity
Will you give me back the treasure troth That once, love, I gave thee, gave thee
That once, love, I gave thee?"
"I'll not give you back your treasure troth nor give give you any such thing
until we go to yon high churchyard and married be with a ring, a ring,
and married be with a ring."
He took her then to the high churchyard, and as they entered in
the gates drew back of their own accord
for to let young William in, o, in, for to let young William in.
Then out of her pocket she drew a cross and laid it on his breast,
Saying, "Here is back your treasure troth. In Heaven may your soul find rest, find rest.
In Heaven may your soul find rest."
"Oh the cold wind blows and the moorcock crows, And it's nearly break of the day,
And it's time that the dead from the living must go .
So now, my love, I must away,So now, my love, I'm away." [2x]


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