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Ladies dancing at Whitsun

DigiTrad:
DANCING AT WHITSUN
FORLORN LOVER
I AINSE LOVED A LASS
I COURTED A WEE GIRL
I LOVED A LAD
IT'S ONLY MY AULD SHEEN (FALSE BRIDE)
LAMBS ON THE GREEN HILLS
THE FALSE BRIDE
THREE WEEKS BEFORE EASTER
WEEK BEFORE EASTER 2


Related threads:
Lyr Add: Dancing at Whitsun (59)
Lyr Req: 'How many ships sail in the forest?' (41)
Chord Req: Lambs in the Greenfield (Emmylou Harris (17)
Lyr & Tune add: The False Bride (Penguin) (8)
(origins) Origin: I Loved a Lad (7)


Tug the Cox 18 Aug 19 - 07:11 PM
RTim 18 Aug 19 - 07:20 PM
Tug the Cox 19 Aug 19 - 07:30 AM
GUEST,Starship 19 Aug 19 - 11:19 AM
Dave the Gnome 19 Aug 19 - 01:01 PM
vectis 20 Aug 19 - 07:20 PM
GUEST,Some bloke 21 Aug 19 - 04:32 AM
vectis 21 Aug 19 - 05:33 PM
Noreen 21 Aug 19 - 06:38 PM
vectis 22 Aug 19 - 04:40 AM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 22 Aug 19 - 05:42 AM
GUEST,Derrick 22 Aug 19 - 05:42 AM
BobL 23 Aug 19 - 02:21 AM
GUEST,Some bloke 23 Aug 19 - 02:47 AM
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Subject: Ladies dancing at Whitsun
From: Tug the Cox
Date: 18 Aug 19 - 07:11 PM

Is the lovely song, 'Ladies go dancing at Whitsun' based on any actual event. My understanding is that most Morris teams had ceased well before the first war.


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Subject: RE: Ladies dancing at Whitsun
From: RTim
Date: 18 Aug 19 - 07:20 PM

Austin John Marshall commented: (he wrote it in 1972)

Many of the old ladies who swell the membership lists of Country Dance Societies are 1914/18 war widows, or ladies who have lost fiancés and lovers. Country dancing kept the memory of their young men alive. When Shirley Collins started singing the piece to the tune of The False Bride, the impact was disturbing, for many people in audiences identified with it. Tears were frequent. Now a sharp relevance in contemporary song is one thing but such a pessimistic effect was not what was intended. So when Shirley recorded the song we showed the way the spirit of the generation sacrificed in the mud of France had been caught and brought to life by the new generation born since World War II by concluding with the chorus of the Staines Morris:

Come you young men come along
With your music, dance and song
Bring your lasses in your hands
For 'tis that which love commands
Then to the Maypole haste away
For 'tis now a holiday.


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Subject: RE: Ladies dancing at Whitsun
From: Tug the Cox
Date: 19 Aug 19 - 07:30 AM

Have read this, it doesn't mention Morris dancing at all, but talks of the many older ladies in Country dance clubs whom he suggests ( without evidence) that their membership of these clubs somehow commemorates the WW1 Fallen. The membership of Country dance clubs are still, 100 years later, are still swelled by old ladies.


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Subject: RE: Ladies dancing at Whitsun
From: GUEST,Starship
Date: 19 Aug 19 - 11:19 AM

Some interesting argument at

https://doctroidalresearch.wordpress.com/pages/morris-dancing/morris-dancing-origins-and-history/the-ladies-go-dancing-at-whitsu


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Subject: RE: Ladies dancing at Whitsun
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 19 Aug 19 - 01:01 PM

What a coincidence! I heard the song for the first time in years at a festival over the weekend and made a note that I must learn it. Got the words off the web and noticed while I was looking that the dots give it in the key of C. Which is a boon for me coz it makes it easier to play on my C/G Anglo :-)

This thread has given me the final push to go ahead.


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Subject: RE: Ladies dancing at Whitsun
From: vectis
Date: 20 Aug 19 - 07:20 PM

The story behind the song that I got was as follows:

It was written for Shirley Collins by her husband, at the time, to sing at The Royal Albert Hall for the concert marking the 50th anniversary of the end of WW1.

The green farmlands are the Sussex Downs.


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Subject: RE: Ladies dancing at Whitsun
From: GUEST,Some bloke
Date: 21 Aug 19 - 04:32 AM

I've been singing this for years and is a bit of an old faithful .

I do mention the history when introducing it. If it is a folk club audience, I don't mention Morris by name as the distinction between Morris and other forms of traditional dance can lead to "discussion." Granted, as it mentions the downs and a poppy field donated by the queen, Morris would be a valid word to use, but life is too short for boring discussions at the bar afterwards.

Whatever the ins and outs, Austin John Marshall had noted that as festivals were becoming popular, the preconceived image of Morris (etc) being a male fertility ritual was questioned when he saw how many women, and in particularly women of a certain generation dancing. From talking to them, the women stepping up in WW1 made the difference between a team stopping or carrying on.

It ws a similar story with bell ringing. Many bell towers fell into disuse during the period and never restarted but like traditional dance, bell ringing had a renaissance and once defunct towers are now rehung.

Whether you look for literal meaning in song or enjoy the noise it makes, this is a beautiful song.


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Subject: RE: Ladies dancing at Whitsun
From: vectis
Date: 21 Aug 19 - 05:33 PM

It's a wreath of red poppies, a gift from the Queen. Not a field.


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Subject: RE: Ladies dancing at Whitsun
From: Noreen
Date: 21 Aug 19 - 06:38 PM

I'v never heard it sung like that, vectis, it's always
There's a field of red poppies (and) a wreath from the Queen

mainlynorfolk.info/shirley.collins/songs/whitsundance


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Subject: RE: Ladies dancing at Whitsun
From: vectis
Date: 22 Aug 19 - 04:40 AM

It's a mishearing that has been perpetuated for almost 50 years.


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Subject: RE: Ladies dancing at Whitsun
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 22 Aug 19 - 05:42 AM

Shirley certainly sang wreath from the Queen on Anthems In Eden.

(Interestingly I've just looked at a bunch of transcriptions here on Mudcat and not one I looked at had exactly what Shirley sang!).

Mick


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Subject: RE: Ladies dancing at Whitsun
From: GUEST,Derrick
Date: 22 Aug 19 - 05:42 AM

From: vectis
Date: 22 Aug 19 - 04:40 AM

It's a mishearing that has been perpetuated for almost 50 years.

Reading the link above it appears the writer Austin John Marshall himself misheard the words,or did you?


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Subject: RE: Ladies dancing at Whitsun
From: BobL
Date: 23 Aug 19 - 02:21 AM

Don't forget - or perhaps it would be better forgotten - the parody version featuring a Japanese car long past its best, Wincing at Datsun.


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Subject: RE: Ladies dancing at Whitsun
From: GUEST,Some bloke
Date: 23 Aug 19 - 02:47 AM

I’ll happily stand corrected as a wreath does work and it looks like that’s how it was written, although the oral tradition can apply here I’m sure.

At the time of the fiftieth anniversary, many (normally) fallow fields owned by the crown were seeded with poppies and this I assumed might be what he meant.

Perhaps not.

Whether I’ll change how I sing it? Mebbe, mebbe not.


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