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Origins: Oh my darling Clementine

Albatross 11 Oct 17 - 02:29 PM
Steve Gardham 11 Oct 17 - 04:01 PM
leeneia 11 Oct 17 - 06:55 PM
Tattie Bogle 11 Oct 17 - 07:10 PM
rich-joy 11 Oct 17 - 10:56 PM
Snuffy 12 Oct 17 - 11:16 AM
Jason Xion Wang 12 Oct 17 - 11:21 AM
GUEST 12 Oct 17 - 03:57 PM
Albatross 15 Oct 17 - 11:29 AM
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Subject: Origins: Oh my darling Clementine
From: Albatross
Date: 11 Oct 17 - 02:29 PM

The old song called "Oh My Darling Clementine" has been a popular song since at least the 1840's.

The tune of the song was used a few years back in a popular techno version of a world cup football music instrumental using Scottish bagpipes.

Is it possible the song originates from Bonnie Prince Charlie's Mother who was called Maria Clementine Sobieska?

She was a very beautiful Polish princess who married the last of the Scottish Stuart Kings (The Old Pretender) and had two sons before she died at the tender age of 32 in 1735. If the Jacobite rebellions had been successful she would have been Queen of England. The palace where she grew up in Olawa, Poland still stands and is used by the local council.

Being one of Europe's wealthiest heiresses, she was betrothed to James Francis Edward Stuart. King George I of Great Britain was opposed to the marriage because he feared that the union might produce heirs to James Francis Edward's claim to his thrones. To placate him, the Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI arrested Maria Clementina while on her way to Italy to marry James Francis Edward. She was confined in Innsbruck Castle but eventually the guards were deceived and, with the help of Charles Wogan, Maria Clementina escaped to Bologna, Italy, where, for safety from further intrusions, she was married by proxy to James, who was in Spain at that time.

As the Jacobite period spawned many famous and long lasting folk songs such as Loch Lomond, Over the Sea to Sky and Killiecrankie, it seems possible that a song was written about the beautiful Clementine but possibly suppressed by Hanoverian propoganda until it resurfaced years later in America?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Oh my darling Clementine
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 11 Oct 17 - 04:01 PM

Sorry to disappoint, Albatross, but it was written in 1884 by Percy Montrose, who might just be a descendant of the great Montrose, but I doubt it.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Oh my darling Clementine
From: leeneia
Date: 11 Oct 17 - 06:55 PM

The nineteenth century saw many sentimental ballads about damsels who died young, and "O My Darling Clementine" was a parody of them.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Oh my darling Clementine
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 11 Oct 17 - 07:10 PM

And in slight thread drift, it has become popular in some some circles to sing it to the tune of "Guide me, O thou great Redeemer" rather than its original tune.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Oh my darling Clementine
From: rich-joy
Date: 11 Oct 17 - 10:56 PM

Yes TB, I recall it was very popular in the 80s in Darwin (Oz), in the harmony singing sessions :)

Chiz! R-J


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Subject: RE: Origins: Oh my darling Clementine
From: Snuffy
Date: 12 Oct 17 - 11:16 AM

Back in the late 60s/early 70s it was sung in South Wales to the tune "Austria" (aka. Glorious Things of Thee Are Spoken/Deutschland Uber Alles). This had the merit of having enough notes to allow the whole of the verse and chorus to be sung.

I recall a group of us singing it thus in a bar in Croatia in 1968, and being delighted to find a party of Germans who knew "Clementine" and joined in with us

I imagine it morphed to Cwm Rhondda by accident: both tunes start in a very similar manner, and if you start the wrong one it's tempting to keep going and to finish when the tune does, by replacing the "Thou art lost and gone forever, Dreadful sorry Clementine" passage with another "Oh my darling Clementine".


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Subject: RE: Origins: Oh my darling Clementine
From: Jason Xion Wang
Date: 12 Oct 17 - 11:21 AM

The tune of the song was set to lyrics in Chinese as "???" (which literally means "Happy New Year").

I think it's one of - if not the most popular song in China, as everybody seems to know it.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Oh my darling Clementine
From: GUEST
Date: 12 Oct 17 - 03:57 PM

I blame Huckleberry Hound


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Subject: RE: Origins: Oh my darling Clementine
From: Albatross
Date: 15 Oct 17 - 11:29 AM

Hi Jason Xion Wang,
Yes, very popular in China. Maybe exported to China from Britain or America? 100 years ago?

Yes, thanks Steve Gardham. Written by a Percy Montrose in 1884. Montrose is a famous Scottish surname relevant to the Jacobite Rebellions.

Was Percy Montrose a Victorian romantic Scottish Catholic emigrated to America? Perhaps inspired by his family history and the history of the three Jacobite Rebellions? The song of 1884 was based on an earlier song - Down by the River Liv'd a Maiden (1863)
by H. S. Thompson. The river Oder runs through Olava. Thompson is also a Scottish name and connected with Culloden.

1863 is more than one hundred years after the last 1745 rebellion. I guess we can always see connections if we look hard enough. But it is interesting. The Jacobite Rebellions inspired and spawned many romantic folk songs and tunes.


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