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Chord Req: As the Gowans Grow Gay

Spearcarrier 17 May 17 - 11:54 AM
GUEST,Grishka 17 May 17 - 12:33 PM
GUEST,Grishka 17 May 17 - 12:48 PM
Jack Campin 17 May 17 - 12:53 PM
Spearcarrier 17 May 17 - 01:17 PM
Spearcarrier 17 May 17 - 01:24 PM
Spearcarrier 17 May 17 - 01:56 PM
GUEST,Grishka 17 May 17 - 03:58 PM
Spearcarrier 17 May 17 - 04:24 PM
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Subject: Chord Req: As the Gowans Grow Gay
From: Spearcarrier
Date: 17 May 17 - 11:54 AM

I've been looking for this for 3 days in a row. In my search I've come across a couple of mudcat threads actually! But... they weren't the chords I need. AT least I think they weren't... I honestly don't know. I toyed with them. I also asked a bardic circle I'm a member of thinking "hey this song is traditional, someone there will know!" and got told to Google it. So my darling mudcat peeps, please help me out. I have Googled it. A lot. I have read the mudcat threads, snoringly. I just wanna learn to play a song dangit.

As the Gowans Grow Gay, also known at Lady Isobel and the Elf Knight.
The versions posted here in mudcat are not the versions I want to learn. I am putting the lyrics at the end of this message.

I have found two recordings of this version, one by someone named Theriot. (You can hear it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OipbPM_NK7w) It's lovely sounding, but I'm not interested in imitating this person (I'm guessing the bards thought I was even though I said I wasn't). I just want chords I can learn with.

I don't have a guitar. I have an autoharp, 15 bars. But as old as the song is, my mental logic says I should be fine as old old songs tend to stay in my range. Usually in the key of G or C. At least I think that's the key. Truth is I get confused when you throw music theory at me. Also, for the record, I also can only do a basic strum. I'm just learning.

Please help meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee (sobs, beats forehead on wall)

The lyrics:

1           Fair lady Isabel sits in her bower sewing,
      Aye as the gowans grow gay
There she heard an elf-knight blawing his horn.
      The first morning in May
2           'If I had yon horn that I hear blawing,
      Aye as the gowans grow gay
And yon elf-knight to sleep in my bosom.'
      The first morning in May
3           This maiden had scarcely these words spoken,
      Aye as the gowans grow gay
Till in at her window the elf-knight has luppen.
      The first morning in May
4           'It's a very strange matter, fair maiden,' said he,
      Aye as the gowans grow gay
'I canna blaw my horn but ye call on me.
      The first morning in May
5           'But will ye go to yon greenwood side?
      Aye as the gowans grow gay
If ye canna gang, I will cause you to ride.'
      The first morning in May
6           He leapt on a horse, and she on another,
      Aye as the gowans grow gay
And they rode on to the greenwood together.
      The first morning in May
7           'Light down, light down, lady Isabel,' said he,
      Aye as the gowans grow gay
We are come to the place where ye are to die.
      The first morning in May
8           'Hae mercy, hae mercy, kind sir, on me,
      Aye as the gowans grow gay
Till ance my dear father and mother I see.'
      The first morning in May
9           'Seven king's-daughters here hae I slain,
      Aye as the gowans grow gay
And ye shall be the eight o them.'
      The first morning in May
10           'O sit down a while, lay your head on my knee,
      Aye as the gowans grow gay
That we may hae some rest before that I die.'
      The first morning in May
11           She stroakd him sae fast, the nearer he did creep,
      Aye as the gowans grow gay
Wi a sma charm she lulld him fast asleep.
      The first morning in May
12           Wi his ain sword-belt sae fast as she ban him,
      Aye as the gowans grow gay
Wi his ain dag-durk sae sair as she dang him.
      The first morning in May
13           'If seven king's-daughters here ye hae slain,
      Aye as the gowans grow gay
Lye ye here, a husband to them a'.'
      The first morning in May


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: As the Gowans Grow Gay
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 17 May 17 - 12:33 PM

Since these lyrics have been sung to many different tunes, please tell us which one you want to sing, by posting a link to either a recording or the sheet music or both.

In former times, when questions like this were posted, the Folk Police used to jump from behind the next tree and tell us that Robin Hood did not have an autoharp. However, what you play at home is none of their business.


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: As the Gowans Grow Gay
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 17 May 17 - 12:48 PM

The YouTube you mentioned is not available where I live, and Theriot is given as a user name, not necessarily the singer or composer. Other versions are available on YouTube; one singer mentions Theriot as if she were the composer. On Mudcat, we prefer tunes with at least some "tradition" rather than copyright behind them, but giving you a handful of chords should be no problem.


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: As the Gowans Grow Gay
From: Jack Campin
Date: 17 May 17 - 12:53 PM

Is this the same tune as the 17th century Scottish part song "The gowans are gay"? - I think that's in both Musica Britannica and if you want the original.


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: As the Gowans Grow Gay
From: Spearcarrier
Date: 17 May 17 - 01:17 PM

Wow.

I *did* post the original, and it's the 17th century song yes. As found in "Ancient Ballads and Songs" (Edinburough, 1875 - can be found at archive.org). It's just called "The Gowans So Gay" there but I guess I transposed the title. In fact I'd say that it's a tune with at least some tradition wouldn't you? :-p

Anyway, Theriot most certainly did not compose the original. Perhaps she composed the music. I wouldn't know as I can't find anything but recordings of the OTHER versions which would have to be different because they're written differently and even tell different stories. This is why I came to you guys.

It's because of this I've taken to researching songs when I find I like them, as I'm learning that a lot of people claim they "composed" something when in fact it's a folk song. I was at a thing 2 weekends ago and was told The House of the Rising Sun was copyright. No. No it's not. Especially not my version.

The folk police are going to have to take me in kicking and screaming. I'm not letting go of my Appalachian instrument. Mwahahahaaaaa.


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: As the Gowans Grow Gay
From: Spearcarrier
Date: 17 May 17 - 01:24 PM

Here's another tune I found? It's not like Theriot's. But it seems to use the same words.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q6q4qHEXfMs


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: As the Gowans Grow Gay
From: Spearcarrier
Date: 17 May 17 - 01:56 PM

I also found this, which uses the same tune as Theriot and apparently was put onto a CD. I don't know what else to provide here, unfortunately.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zlWpPSSZDD0


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: As the Gowans Grow Gay
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 17 May 17 - 03:58 PM

The chords used in the last mentioned video are:

D D G D G G D D
D D G F F D G D D
D D

Hope that helps.


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: As the Gowans Grow Gay
From: Spearcarrier
Date: 17 May 17 - 04:24 PM

You are amazing. Thank you. I'll start with that. (stress blows away....)


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