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Lyr Req: Pre-1840 source requested

My guru always said 26 Oct 18 - 09:40 AM
Richard Mellish 26 Oct 18 - 03:40 PM
Jack Campin 26 Oct 18 - 04:25 PM
Steve Gardham 26 Oct 18 - 04:26 PM
leeneia 29 Oct 18 - 12:12 PM
leeneia 31 Oct 18 - 10:14 AM
Steve Gardham 31 Oct 18 - 06:16 PM
leeneia 01 Nov 18 - 10:48 PM
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Subject: Lyr Req: Pre-1850 source requested
From: My guru always said
Date: 26 Oct 18 - 09:40 AM

Hi Catters All, I've had the following enquiry sent to me from a friend. I know nothing else about it - can anyone help? (sorry 1850 not 1840) Old English perhaps?
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Came across this in a book by William S Wickenden (of Etloe) published in 1850. A few of the lines appear in 'On top of Old Smokey' so it seems to be connected with a traditional song / nursery rhyme going back some way. Wondered if you might be able to find a pre-1850 source? Here's the lines: “ Come all you voir moidens wherever e be Never vix your avections on a green willy tree, Vor the leaves thoy will wither and the roots will decoy, And the beawty of a voir moid will zoon vade awoy"





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Hmmm, I'll do a query on the Cat! x


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Pre-1840 source requested
From: Richard Mellish
Date: 26 Oct 18 - 03:40 PM

Apart from the dialect, which might be genuine or might be burlesque, those words look like a floating verse that crops up in various places. I'd be surprised if 1850-ish was the first appearance.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Pre-1840 source requested
From: Jack Campin
Date: 26 Oct 18 - 04:25 PM

The tune that comes to mind is the one used for "The Lads that were Reared among Heather" a.k.a. "The Times They Are A-Changing" - what was that originally?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Pre-1840 source requested
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 26 Oct 18 - 04:26 PM

Richard is correct: This is a commonplace often tagged on to the end of female laments.

I have a version of The Lily-White Hand in front of me, collected by Fred Hamer. the last verse of 11 runs

Now all young maidens take a warning from me,
And never build a nest in a tree,
For the flowers may wither and the leaves may die
And the love of a young man will soon fade away.

Here is a standard English version of your Somerset version.

Come all you fair maidens wherever you be
Never fix your affections on a green willow tree
For the leaves they will wither and the roots will decay
And the beauty of a fair maid will soon fade away.

It can be found in a number of similar songs and very likely dates back to the 17th century when such pieces abounded.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Pre-1840 source requested
From: leeneia
Date: 29 Oct 18 - 12:12 PM

I can send in a MIDI for this song which I learned off a record of southern folk songs. Let me know if you're interested.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Pre-1840 source requested
From: leeneia
Date: 31 Oct 18 - 10:14 AM

Here are the exact words for the song I learned. If anybody is ever interested in the melody, send me a PM. IIRC, the record I learned it from gave no source or date.

Come all you pretty maidens, wherever you be.
Don't place your affections on a green willow tree.
The leaves they will wither; the roots will decay.
My true love has left me and wandered away.

A meeting is a pleasure; a parting is grief.
A false-hearted lover is worse than a thief.
A thief he will come rob you and take what you have.
A false-hearted lover will lead you to the grave.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Pre-1840 source requested
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 31 Oct 18 - 06:16 PM

What Leeneia has highlighted here is that the stanza is very much part of 'The Cuckoo' and has been so since at least 1800 on broadsides. It also attached itself in oral tradition to Roud 587 'My True Love is Lost' which dates back to the 17th century.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Pre-1840 source requested
From: leeneia
Date: 01 Nov 18 - 10:48 PM

In case anybody doesn't know what a MIDI is, a MIDI is a music file that you can listen to. I am offering to send in a MIDI file so somebody can learn the tune and sing the song. I will also e-mail a PDF to trusted Mudcatters who PM me.


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