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Virtual House Concert

Pamela R 22 Jul 18 - 02:48 AM
Noreen 22 Jul 18 - 11:12 AM
Pamela R 22 Jul 18 - 04:02 PM
Pamela R 09 Aug 18 - 09:17 PM
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Subject: Virtual House Concert: Traditional Ballads
From: Pamela R
Date: 22 Jul 18 - 02:48 AM

I have limited opportunities to tour or record in the studio, so I have imposed on a very generous friend and neighbor to record a "virtual house concert" in his home studio here in Mission Hills, San Diego. These are for the most part single unedited takes. Like a live house concert, there are background noises of our environment (cars, planes, birds) here and there, and the random variations (like skipped or improvised verses) that happen in live performance. More informal and imperfect than a studio project -- but a pretty good representation of how it would be if I stood up in a singers session where-ever you are, and sang a song.

For those interested, the "Mission Hills Sessions" playlist of 26 unaccompanied traditional ballads may be found here:


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Subject: RE: Virtual House Concert
From: Noreen
Date: 22 Jul 18 - 11:12 AM

I'm enjoying listening to these, thank you Pamela. I've not heard the Holland Handkerchief or Lady Elsbet before.
I would have commented on the individual recordings but that doesn't seem to be possible, so will do so here.

With respect to McPherson's Lament you say:
The only alteration I’m aware of making is changing a line in the fourth verse from “I’ll take him at his word” to “I’ll brave him at the word,” which seems less ambiguous

I don't understand this. I know the meaning of “I’ll take him at his word”, but “I’ll brave him at the word” means nothing to me: what do you intend it to mean?

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Subject: RE: Virtual House Concert
From: Pamela R
Date: 22 Jul 18 - 04:02 PM

Thanks, Noreen,
First, I confirmed that in my settings the videos are set to accept comments. So if you could not comment, perhaps that is because you were not logged into YouTube.

Thanks for your question - it caused me to discover a mistake!

To me, "I'll take him at his word" means "I'll believe him" or "I'll trust him". But I think the intended meaning of the line is that MacPherson would gladly fight any man who challenged him to a fair fight (as against having been captured "by treachery"). So I thought even if "I'll take him" can also mean "I'll take him on", the phrase "I'll brave him" would rule out the first interpretation.

Because you asked, however, I did a little more digging and found that Robert Burns' poem has the line as "I'll brave him at a word," and some transcriptions of the earlier traditional MacPherson's Rant have "I'll brave him at his word". Which caused me to wonder if I had just mis-remembered Alan's singing in the first place? So I dug up the recording I had made of Alan (at a workshop at Swannanoa Gathering a few years back). Sure enough he sang "brave". The substitution of "take" had been my own mistake in the first place! So I'm going to remove that whole point from my liner notes.


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Subject: RE: Virtual House Concert
From: Pamela R
Date: 09 Aug 18 - 09:17 PM

Realizing that I failed to provide a proper blue clicky for that. Here it is:

Virtual House Concert


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