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Tune Req: Derry Down

DigiTrad:
RED IRON ORE


Related thread:
(DTStudy) Lyr Req: Red Iron Ore / Derry down, down (33)


Steve Gardham 13 Sep 19 - 04:24 PM
GUEST,Starship 13 Sep 19 - 04:44 PM
Jeri 13 Sep 19 - 04:55 PM
GUEST,Wm 13 Sep 19 - 05:12 PM
Steve Gardham 13 Sep 19 - 06:00 PM
Lighter 13 Sep 19 - 06:34 PM
Reinhard 13 Sep 19 - 07:22 PM
GUEST,Wm 13 Sep 19 - 09:42 PM
GUEST,Wm 13 Sep 19 - 09:45 PM
GUEST 14 Sep 19 - 07:40 AM
Jim Carroll 14 Sep 19 - 07:50 AM
Lighter 14 Sep 19 - 08:06 AM
Jim Carroll 14 Sep 19 - 08:12 AM
Steve Gardham 14 Sep 19 - 03:47 PM
Steve Gardham 14 Sep 19 - 03:55 PM
Steve Gardham 14 Sep 19 - 04:02 PM
Steve Gardham 14 Sep 19 - 04:30 PM
Lighter 14 Sep 19 - 06:41 PM
RTim 14 Sep 19 - 07:13 PM
Lighter 14 Sep 19 - 07:29 PM
Lighter 14 Sep 19 - 10:17 PM
GUEST,Mike Yates 15 Sep 19 - 02:28 AM
Jim Carroll 15 Sep 19 - 03:35 AM
Lighter 15 Sep 19 - 08:53 AM
Lighter 15 Sep 19 - 09:29 AM
Jeri 15 Sep 19 - 09:46 AM
Jim Carroll 15 Sep 19 - 11:26 AM
Lighter 15 Sep 19 - 02:31 PM
Steve Gardham 15 Sep 19 - 03:01 PM
Steve Gardham 15 Sep 19 - 05:20 PM
Jim Carroll 16 Sep 19 - 02:08 AM
GUEST 16 Sep 19 - 03:09 AM
GUEST,Mike Yates 16 Sep 19 - 03:10 AM
Jim Carroll 16 Sep 19 - 03:25 AM
Jack Campin 16 Sep 19 - 04:11 AM
Jim Carroll 16 Sep 19 - 04:30 AM
Steve Gardham 16 Sep 19 - 09:54 AM
Jack Campin 16 Sep 19 - 10:00 AM
Steve Gardham 16 Sep 19 - 10:03 AM
Steve Gardham 16 Sep 19 - 10:21 AM
Jim Carroll 16 Sep 19 - 11:28 AM
leeneia 16 Sep 19 - 11:35 AM
Steve Gardham 16 Sep 19 - 12:13 PM
Jack Campin 16 Sep 19 - 02:29 PM
Jim Carroll 16 Sep 19 - 03:09 PM
Lighter 16 Sep 19 - 04:13 PM
Steve Gardham 16 Sep 19 - 04:21 PM
Lighter 16 Sep 19 - 04:35 PM
Steve Gardham 16 Sep 19 - 05:02 PM
GUEST,Wm 16 Sep 19 - 05:58 PM
GUEST,Wm 16 Sep 19 - 06:06 PM
GUEST,Wm 16 Sep 19 - 07:23 PM
Kevin Werner 16 Sep 19 - 07:29 PM
Kevin Werner 16 Sep 19 - 07:55 PM
Lighter 16 Sep 19 - 08:15 PM
Kevin Werner 16 Sep 19 - 08:40 PM
leeneia 16 Sep 19 - 09:09 PM
GUEST,Wm 16 Sep 19 - 11:02 PM
Lighter 17 Sep 19 - 07:51 AM
Steve Gardham 17 Sep 19 - 09:03 AM
Steve Gardham 17 Sep 19 - 09:56 AM
Steve Gardham 17 Sep 19 - 10:29 AM
GUEST,Wm 17 Sep 19 - 10:49 AM
Lighter 17 Sep 19 - 11:00 AM
Steve Gardham 17 Sep 19 - 12:30 PM
Lighter 17 Sep 19 - 12:38 PM
Steve Gardham 17 Sep 19 - 01:59 PM
Steve Gardham 17 Sep 19 - 02:21 PM
Steve Gardham 17 Sep 19 - 02:56 PM
Steve Gardham 18 Sep 19 - 04:09 AM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 18 Sep 19 - 10:33 AM
Steve Gardham 18 Sep 19 - 04:34 PM
Steve Gardham 19 Sep 19 - 09:25 AM
Jim Carroll 19 Sep 19 - 09:44 AM
Lighter 19 Sep 19 - 09:49 AM
Steve Gardham 19 Sep 19 - 09:52 AM
Jim Carroll 19 Sep 19 - 10:01 AM
Lighter 21 Sep 19 - 01:39 PM
Steve Gardham 21 Sep 19 - 02:32 PM
Lighter 21 Sep 19 - 03:13 PM
Steve Gardham 21 Sep 19 - 04:28 PM
Steve Gardham 21 Sep 19 - 04:38 PM
Steve Gardham 21 Sep 19 - 04:39 PM
Lighter 21 Sep 19 - 04:50 PM
GUEST,Wm 23 Sep 19 - 10:42 PM
GUEST,Wm 23 Sep 19 - 11:01 PM
GUEST,Wm 23 Sep 19 - 11:05 PM
GUEST,Wm 23 Sep 19 - 11:38 PM
GUEST,Wm 23 Sep 19 - 11:54 PM
Jim Carroll 24 Sep 19 - 03:24 AM
Jim Carroll 24 Sep 19 - 03:57 AM
Steve Gardham 24 Sep 19 - 04:22 AM
Jim Carroll 24 Sep 19 - 04:52 AM
Jim Carroll 24 Sep 19 - 04:55 AM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 24 Sep 19 - 07:24 AM
Jim Carroll 24 Sep 19 - 09:25 AM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 24 Sep 19 - 10:03 AM
GUEST,Wm 24 Sep 19 - 10:09 AM
Jim Carroll 25 Sep 19 - 08:08 AM
Jim Carroll 25 Sep 19 - 10:50 AM
Joe Offer 29 Sep 19 - 12:11 AM
Jim Carroll 29 Sep 19 - 02:55 AM
Jim Carroll 29 Sep 19 - 03:00 AM
leeneia 30 Sep 19 - 01:07 PM
Steve Gardham 30 Sep 19 - 02:38 PM
leeneia 30 Sep 19 - 04:24 PM
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Subject: Tune Req: Derry Down
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 13 Sep 19 - 04:24 PM

Hi all,
I'm writing a paper on the tune, chorus and format of this well-known tune. I have lots of examples up to about 1850. Probably the best known use is for 'The Dreadnaught' nowadays. it appears to have almost died out in the British isles by the end of the 19th century but had already taken off in North America, particularly in New York State where it was adopted for a whole host of songs often associated with the lumber camps.

Carpenter collected a version of The Kerry Recruit to it in Scotland in the 1920s and of course the American songs The Dreadnaught and The Dom Pedro both used it in some versions, The Dreadnaught becoming popular in the British revival.

What I'd like to know is did it crop up in the 20th century in British tradition, and has anyone used the format/tune in their own songwriting?

I'm fully aware the combination of derrys and downs is common in folk ballads and has been since Tudor times, but I'm only interested on this occasion in the tune specifically known as 'Derry Down'.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Derry Down
From: GUEST,Starship
Date: 13 Sep 19 - 04:44 PM

Steve Gardham, would you please link to somewhere that plays the melody? I'm thinking that listening to it may refresh some memories out there.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Derry Down
From: Jeri
Date: 13 Sep 19 - 04:55 PM

Here's Cliff Haslam (one of my favorite voices) singing "The Dreadnought" which has the line you mention. I don't know if that's the song you're referring to, though.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Derry Down
From: GUEST,Wm
Date: 13 Sep 19 - 05:12 PM

Some singers of Well Sold the Cow, i.e., John Strachan, used that chorus. Not sure if you'd consider the verse tune sufficiently comparable for your purposes.

Poking around on Musical Traditions, it looks like Bob Lewis sings a derry-down song called The Cobbler he formulated from Henry Burstow's manuscripts and "an old school book." Also not sure if that's quite what you're looking for, but here's the link.

Inspired by Theodore Ashlaw (Beaver River/Miner Hill), I've made occasional use of the tune myself.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Derry Down
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 13 Sep 19 - 06:00 PM

Jeri, yes that's the one. Thanks.
And Bob Lewis has also the same tune and chorus so thanks to Wm as well.

Can I please have more info on your use of the tune, titles and subject matter of songs? I'm also not familiar with 'Beaver River/ Miner Hill'.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Derry Down
From: Lighter
Date: 13 Sep 19 - 06:34 PM

Steve, you probably already know that MacColl popularized the "Derry Down" tune for "The Dreadnought" in the mid '50s.

It was, IIRC, more often sung in America to tunes of the "Vilikins" family.

I'm not sure what led MacColl to attach the "Derry Don" tune to "The Dreadnought."


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Derry Down
From: Reinhard
Date: 13 Sep 19 - 07:22 PM

The Old Bachelor, Roud 7162, Greig-Duncan 7:1390, also has the Derry Down chorus. A.L. Lloyd sang it on The Bird in the Bush.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Derry Down
From: GUEST,Wm
Date: 13 Sep 19 - 09:42 PM

Hi Steve, sorry for the confusion. You can add Beaver River and Miner Hill to the list of New York State lumberjack songs with the tune in question. Both can usually be heard at adirondackmusic.org, although the site appears to be down at the moment. I've added the lyrics to the latter below.

--

MINER HILL

[Transcribed in ONE ROUGH LIFE, Robert D. Bethke, from the 1972 singing of Theodore Ashlaw. Ashlaw attributes primary authorship to Johnny Pealo, ca. 1915–17, and secondary authorship to himself.]

Come boys, if you'll listen, I'll sing you a song,
If you'll pay good attention, it won't take me long;
It's up here at Cutting's, at Camp Number One,
The boys call the firm there Cutting and Son,
Derry down, down, dey derry down.

Now the camp it is run by a Fort Jackson pet;
You all know him well, it's Levi Fayette.

Miss Fayette is our cook, she is big and fat,
She's got lots to do but but she doesn't mind that;
She's got lots to do, so I've heard her tell,
But she gets right around and she does it up well.

Now, two in the morning the foreman would call,
To wake up the teamsters, likewise Mike, his son.
Saying, "Come on there, you teamsters, and get out of that;
"Go and feed those big horses and throw on the straps."

There's but nine loaders, there's three in each gang;
We loaded our loads and the binders we sprang.
We loaded our loads with both strength and skill,
For they're all damn poor skidways up around Miner Hill.

Now, there's Myron Planty, he drives the big blacks;
He's on the lead and he hurries right back.
He drives to the skidway four times every day,
And said, "Roll them on, boys, and I'll haul them away."

Arthur Binan, he drives the big bays;
He['s always happy when hooked to the sleighs.
He works his team both early and late;
No other team there their eveners dare take.

But his brother, Lawrence, can't do quite so well,
For his old team is all shot to hell.

His little nigh mare, she's not very fat,
And he said, "I don't care, by the bald-headed cat!"

There's but one more teamster, big George Supernault;
He ought to be dealt with according to law.
For he whips them poor horses, it's surely a sin;
He's got a long whip with a chain on the end.

Now, whiskey and poker they do not allow:
One is a nuisance, the other violates the law.
So we'd say to the blacksmith, "Let's have a few pots."
He said, "Go get the boys and we'll play in the shop."

Now, our logs are all landed down on the railroad;
When our checks are made out we'll go down the tote road.

Now some will buy a quart, and perhaps three or four,
But be damned if they'd work for Fayette any more.

--

Beaver River is of similar character, and attributed to Ashlaw.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Derry Down
From: GUEST,Wm
Date: 13 Sep 19 - 09:45 PM

To clarify, the two line verses above are intentional, not an accident of bad formatting.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Derry Down
From: GUEST
Date: 14 Sep 19 - 07:40 AM

Maybe MacColl (or somebody before him) took it from "The Flash Frigate/ La Pique."


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Derry Down
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 14 Sep 19 - 07:50 AM

Tunes for many of these songs were moveable feasts and can never be definitely attached to one particular set of words
If print origins of folk songs have any credence, which I strongly doubt as musical literacy was virtually non existent up to comparatively recent;y
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Derry Down
From: Lighter
Date: 14 Sep 19 - 08:06 AM

Lumberman Michael Dean (1858-1931) uses the tune for "Red Iron Ore":

http://www.minnesotafolksongcollection.org/item/mcd/a034

He was recorded by Gordon in 1924.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Derry Down
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 14 Sep 19 - 08:12 AM

Musically, the tune belongs to the same family as Phil Tanner's 'Henry Martin'
Amazing what you come up with when you start to follow these trails
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Derry Down
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 14 Sep 19 - 03:47 PM

All excellent examples. Keep 'em coming please.

Jon, did MacColl supply the tune for Dreadnaught to Hugill as that is my main source for its use with Dreadnaught, and also The Dom Pedro(The Fancy Frigate). Both are New York songs although The Fancy Frigate has earlier precedents. If the DD tune was applied to songs during the revival (i.e., post WWII) they will still be relevant to my article. Can anyone notice the Dreadnaught to this tune from prewar oral tradition?

I have all the ones mentioned in FS of the Catskills and some others mentioned in Simpson.

Any examples given that I haven't got a well-known source for I will attribute to this thread on Mudcat, with any author details of course.
They will be part of a chronological appendix at the end of the article.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Derry Down
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 14 Sep 19 - 03:55 PM

Jon,
'I'm not sure what led MacColl to attach the "Derry Don" tune to "The Dreadnought." '

If he did it was a masterstroke. Vastly superior to Vilikins, and it brought back an excellent tune into our consciousness that might have faded out of use in Britain.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Derry Down
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 14 Sep 19 - 04:02 PM

Wm
If you can give me a proper name and the titles of any songs you've got to that tune I'll add them to the list and credit you.

Many thanks to all.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Derry Down
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 14 Sep 19 - 04:30 PM

Jim
Phil Tanner's Henry Martin certainly has some phrases in common with Derry Down but is completely different rhythm and format, superb as it is. Curiously FS of the Catskills also mentions Henry Martin so I will see if this links up.

For more than 3 centuries the Derry Down format has remained very true to itself, i.e., Anapestic tetrameter and an aabb rhymescheme, as per the excellent example above; if occasionally the chorus line is tweaked.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Derry Down
From: Lighter
Date: 14 Sep 19 - 06:41 PM

Joanna C. Colcord's "Roll and Go" (1924) sets "Dom Pedro" to the "Derry Down" tune.

In the much expanded "Songs of American Sailormen" (1937), Colcord identifies the singer as Mr. Harry Perry, alias "Jimmy Star" (of whom Colcord tells us no more).    ("Star" also contributed canonical versions of "The Banks of Newfoundland" and "Row, Bullies, Row.")

Now it gets interesting: Colcord (both eds.) observes that the Villikins-related tune of "The Dreadnought" "is a variant of an old English naval song, 'The Flash Frigate' or 'La Pique.'" In other words, she associated *neither* song with "Derry Down."

Whall (1910) likewise prints "La Pique" with a more-or-less Villikins-style tune, with the words to "The Dreadnought" he'd known at sea appended as sung to the same air. (For some reason, "La Pique" is omitted from Whall's later editions, illustration and all.)

The earliest "Derry Down/ La Pique" combination I have found appears in Seeger and MacColl's "Singing Island" (1960), "contributed by A. L. Lloyd," who (p. 53) vaguely credits Whall!

Hugill (1961) concurs that both "La Pique" (words from his father's notebook) and "The Dreadnought" went to Villikins-y airs.

But he also says (p. 465) that "Dreadnought" "was often sung, with the inconsequence typical of seamen, to the tune of another forebitter called 'The Dom Pedero' [sic]." He then prints the tune with a stanza of "The Dreadnought."

This raises once again the possibility (or probability) that Hugill and Lloyd were in contact before the appearance of either "Shanties" or "Singing Island." Hugill, unfortunately, gives no source for his information about "The Dreadnought" and "Derry Down."


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Derry Down
From: RTim
Date: 14 Sep 19 - 07:13 PM

I sing two songs with the Derry Down chorus - and they are so opposite......

It is the chorus of The Three Ravens - a Child Ballad - https://mainlynorfolk.info/cara/songs/threeravens.html - https://mainlynorfolk.info/cara/songs/threeravens.html

and also a song from Hampshire - Avington Pond - http://www.musicanet.org/robokopp/english/avington.htm

http://www.musicanet.org/robokopp/english/avington.htm

Tim Radford


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Derry Down
From: Lighter
Date: 14 Sep 19 - 07:29 PM

Gibb Sahib noted on another thread that MacColl & Lloyd sang "The Dreadnought" to the "Dom Pedro" tune as early as 1954/55 on "The Singing Sailor."


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Derry Down
From: Lighter
Date: 14 Sep 19 - 10:17 PM

Another American song to a variant of "Derry, Derry Down" is "Red Iron Ore," popularized by Carl Sandburg.

Now almost unknown, however, is "Bucking and Gagging Him," from the Mexican War (1846-48) ("United Service Magazine," Sept., 1852, p. 101):

Come all Yankee soldiers, give car to my song,
It is a short ditty, 'twill not keep you long;
It's of no use to fret on account of our luck,
We can laugh, drink, and sing yet in spite of the buck.
Derry down, &c.

Sergeant, buck him, and gag him, our officers cry,
For each trifling offence which they happen to spy;
Till with bucking and gagging of Dick, Tom and Bill,
Faith, the Mexican ranks they have helped to fill.
Derry down, &c.

The treatment they gave us, as all of us know,
Is bucking and gagging for whipping the foe;
They buck us and gag us for malice or spite,
But they're glad to release us when going to fight.
Derry down, &c.

A poor soldier's tied up in the sun or the rain,
With a gag in his mouth till he's tortured with pain;
Why I'm bless'd, if the eagle we wear on our flag
In its claws shouldn't carry a buck and a gag.

(The singer is described as a "north of Ireland man.")

Though flogging had been abolished in the navy in 1850 and the army in 1861, "bucking and gagging" survived as a form of punishment in the U.S. military until almost 1890.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Derry Down
From: GUEST,Mike Yates
Date: 15 Sep 19 - 02:28 AM

I think that I first heard this tune being used for the song 'The Coal Owner and the Pitman's Wife'.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Derry Down
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 15 Sep 19 - 03:35 AM

"Phil Tanner's Henry Martin certainly has some phrases in common with Derry Down"
Not a matter of phrases Steve - much more
During the life o The Critics Group Peggy Seeger and others did a great eal on tune structures and how they fell into families
I caught th bug myself at one time but was stymied by my inability to read music, but you learned to relate tunes
Can't remember if The Deadnought ever came up, but after a simple listen to it and others it becomes obvious which belongs to what family
MacColl used the idea extensively on his own song-making - write a set of words, pick a tune, then mess abut with it.
Not bad for a bunch of 'not academics' - it's a crying shame that the work Ewan, Peggy and the Critics has become the no-go area it - very useful

To me, it's as much a waste of time being dogmatic about tunes as it is origins
If the singers didn't like the tunes when they first heard the songs they took up they either adapted them or they chose another
We recorded two brothers in North Clare with doxen or so songs between them - about six of the songs came with the same tune, and on questioning, we found they hadn't noticed

'The Coal Owner and the Pitman's Wife'.
A perfect example - another member of the family
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Derry Down
From: Lighter
Date: 15 Sep 19 - 08:53 AM

"The United States Army and Navy Journal" (Jan. 28, 1882, p. 573) prints a topical, anonymous 16-stanza naval "Derry Down" song from a manuscript of ca1830.

The song bears at least a generic resemblance to "La Pique."

Stanza 1:

Come all you young sailors that are full of fun,
Come listen to this and I will sing you a song;
And if these few verses should happen to please
I will sing another about the salt seas.
                                          Derry down - down, derry down.

More samples:

We sailed from the States in the month of July,
And of course everything had for to fly,
Such as bending and reefing and furling likewise;
It was lay out G-d d--n you - lay in d--n your eyes! ...

And when that the hammocks were all stowed away,
I heard a few words, just as I say -
Such a damnable ship I never got in,
And I hope to be d-----d if they get me again. ...

While laying at rest there was work for all,
Such as cleaning brightwork - rigging up for a ball;
Our quarter-deck guns were run forward so close,
Which brought our ship four feet by the nose. ...

On this foolish subject I shall say no more,
But where this came from there is enough more;
So let us all join in the chorus to sing,
And we'll sing it so loud as to cause it to ring.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Derry Down
From: Lighter
Date: 15 Sep 19 - 09:29 AM

The nine-stanza version of "The Flash Frigate" in U. S. Admiral Stephen B. Luce's "Naval Songs" (1883) is, again, set to a Villikins tune:

https://books.google.com/books?id=DrcQAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA9#v=onepage&q&f=false

Luce entered the Navy, as a fourteen-year-old midshipman, in 1841.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Derry Down
From: Jeri
Date: 15 Sep 19 - 09:46 AM

Article on Music and Meaning in Early America
"The first printed version of "Derry Down" was a broadside ballad titled "A New Ballad of King John and the Abbot of Canterbury," which was printed for P. Brooksby in London sometime between 1670 and 1696. Identifying the tune as "The King and the Lord Abbot," the Brooksby print of "Derry Down" contained no music, but does have the characteristic refrain, "Derry down, down…," which implies a tune. The first printed music appeared in 1700, in Wit and Mirth; or, Pills to Purge Melancholy (fig. 1 shows the 1719 edition), a collection of songs by the successful playwright and song composer Thomas d'Urfey (1653-1723)."


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Derry Down
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 15 Sep 19 - 11:26 AM

I'd forgotten about that Jeri
There's a wonderful recording of it by WARD H FORD - different tune
Having recorded a story version of it in Clare, I was hoping there was a song version for my Irish Child ballad project - no luck so far
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Derry Down
From: Lighter
Date: 15 Sep 19 - 02:31 PM

A splendid trad performance of 'Red Iron Ore,' by Stanley Baby of Toronto. Baby learned the song from his father, who had shipped in the Great Lakes schooner "E. C. Roberts" in the mid 1870s.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=inVD1Vg9_uA

This "Derry Down" is different from the usual British form, but still recognizable.

Ivan Walton collected a text and tune of "Red Iron Ore" from 84-year-old "Ves" Ray of Port Huron. Mich., in 1934. Ray had also sailed on the "Roberts" in the '70's, and believed the song had been composed by his shipmate, Billy Clark of Buffalo, who had also written "dozens of others."

Crazily, Ray's tune is more like "Vilikins" than "DDD."

It may be that the modal tune of "DDD" drifted increasingly toward the major "Vilikins" family during the 19th century.

In a similar vein, I know a lady who ordinarily can carry a tune well, but who told me twenty years ago that the only difference she heard between "Mademoiselle from Armentieres" (major) and "When Johnny Comes Marching Home Again" (modal) was in the refrains.

And in fact, Robert W. Gordon wrote that, as a boy in Maine in the 1890s, he and friends sang the immediate forebear of "Mademoiselle" to the tune of "When Johnny."


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Derry Down
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 15 Sep 19 - 03:01 PM

Wow! I'm having to revise the ending of my article based on the above.
We basically appear to have 4 nautical songs here, all with themes and styles in common. The earliest is probably 'The Fancy Frigate' c1820, then we have Jon's US Navy Song c1830, then perhaps Dreadnaught c1860, then Dom Pedro. It looks like at the moment unless better evidence comes up 'Dom Pedro' is the only one we can definitely say used the DD tune and chorus from oral tradition. The others appear only to have had it attached during the revival.

Tim,
Many thanks for your reminder about Avington Pond. It's a bugger when you can't remember and include stuff you've edited yourself! Of course 'Three Ravens' is a totally different derry down ballad, unrelated, unless you've changed it.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Derry Down
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 15 Sep 19 - 05:20 PM

Here's one strong probability. Bert set La Pique to DD and Ewan set Dreadnought to it, both in the 50s, and Stan latched on to this.

A lot of the history of the tune is covered in Simpson and in Catskills.
I'm basically pulling it together and adding a long list of examples in an appendix.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Derry Down
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 16 Sep 19 - 02:08 AM

"Here's one strong probability"
Why is it probable Steve ?
I've never seen any evidence that the songs they sang were anything other Bert and Ewan than they described them
Of course, as they're dead, we'll never know
Neither were specific about where there songs came from - they were more involved in passing them on than placing them under microscopes
Bert talked about learning songs from fellow sea voyagers and sheep-men - he actually named a few, I can see no reason to disbelieve them
I know from conversations with historians, Ruth and Eddie Frow, that Ewan's boyhood home was one of songs - his father "had a lot of strange old songs", and Scots lodgers and immediate neighbours brought songs in from the north, including the Highlands

It seems to me that much of today's scholarship is based on tearing down the work of the past, including the pioneers
I don't believe we'll ever come to terms or begin to understand our folk traditions using this methodology
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Derry Down
From: GUEST
Date: 16 Sep 19 - 03:09 AM

'It seems to me that much of today's scholarship is based on tearing down the work of the past, including the pioneers'. Sadly, I have to agree with Jim. I am always saddened when people do this. And it is often people who were not around at the time, but who seem to think that they know best.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Derry Down
From: GUEST,Mike Yates
Date: 16 Sep 19 - 03:10 AM

Sorry, that was me above!


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Derry Down
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 16 Sep 19 - 03:25 AM

Thanks for that Mike - I feel it needed saying
These people may not have got everything right - who does? - but at least we need to credit them for speaking the truth, especially when they have no reason to have been lying
If my memory serves me right, Bert named several sources for his sea songs, if not in print, certainly in his introductions at clubs - Fred Clauson seems to ring a bell
Jim


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Derry Down
From: Jack Campin
Date: 16 Sep 19 - 04:11 AM

Matt McGinn's "The Foreman O'Rourke" uses a very similar tune. If it isn't actually "Derry Down" I don't what other name you'd give it.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Derry Down
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 16 Sep 19 - 04:30 AM

I though the same Jack - DD with slight variations
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Derry Down
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 16 Sep 19 - 09:54 AM

Hello, Jack.
Can you point me to an online recording please so I can check it out?


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Derry Down
From: Jack Campin
Date: 16 Sep 19 - 10:00 AM

Here's Matt singing it.

https://youtu.be/7ooSDU8W8Ok


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Derry Down
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 16 Sep 19 - 10:03 AM

Hello again, Jack.
Thanks, but sorry, nowhere near close enough. The tune and chorus are very distinct in DD. Matt's tune to me is much closer to The Braes o' Strathblane. The chorus is nothing like. Yes there are a few similarities in phrasing but that's as far as it goes.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Derry Down
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 16 Sep 19 - 10:21 AM

To be a bit more precise any variant would need to have that characteristic leap on the last note of the 3rd line and the descending sequence in the 4th line, and have something much closer to the usual refrain. O'Rourke has none of this.

Phil Tanner's Henry Martin has none of these and is even in a different rhythm/format to anapestic tetrameter which has been part of this tradition for over 3 centuries. A very strong consistent tradition.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Derry Down
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 16 Sep 19 - 11:28 AM

Variants have to do nothing Steve - they don't adhere to rule-books
Rhythms, refrains line endings et al are as much subject to change as are textts
Jack's link makes the point that the Forman O'Rourke tune is rooted in DD perfectly
This becomes ridiculous - I spent enough of time with musicians who have covered this subject fairly great detail to go along with their take on musical structures
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Derry Down
From: leeneia
Date: 16 Sep 19 - 11:35 AM

On the 13th of September, Steve said that the link Jeri posted, to a song sung by Cliff Haslam, was the tune he's writing about.

I liked the tune, so I've made a MIDI of it for myself and to post here. If Joe is available, the MIDI should appear here soon.

Cliff is singing in the belly-dance minor of the key of F, so the song has B flats and C sharps in it. It's in 6/8 time and starts with a pick-up note. Raising it to G would make it easier for folkies but would push the highest note up to E, not a popular note.
========
I have a theory about 'derry down' choruses. I think they are supposed to be imitating the sound of a drum, so I try to sing them to sound like drum beats, not words. Steve, you can put that in your paper and get points for originality. As to your basic question, I have never heard the song before, so that includes in the 20th century.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Derry Down
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 16 Sep 19 - 12:13 PM

Thanks, Leeneia.

Jon,
Did the Army and Navy Journal ballad have a title please?


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Derry Down
From: Jack Campin
Date: 16 Sep 19 - 02:29 PM

There is a MUCH more spectacular speculation about the meaning of "derry down" than a drumbeat. Connoisseurs of romantic bollocks will know what I'm referring to.

Unfortunately romantic bollocks is all it is.

McGinn did sometimes say where he got the tunes for his songs, and sometimes remembered right. Anybody know what he said about "The Foreman O'Rourke"?


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Derry Down
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 16 Sep 19 - 03:09 PM

"Anybody know what he said about "The Foreman O'Rourke"?"
Can't find my copy of The Iron Muse - will check later
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Derry Down
From: Lighter
Date: 16 Sep 19 - 04:13 PM

It did not, Steve.

The words were supplied by Bvt. Lt. Col. W. R. Smedberg, U.S. Army, at the request of his friend, Maj. F. W. Peirce.   The song was found "among some old papers of his father's, John Peirce, Professor of Mathematics on board the _Congress_ when Adm. Porter was 1st lieutenant and Raphael Semmes was a middy."

The vague dating to the time of early careers of David Dixon Porter (one of the most celebrated Union naval officers of the Civil War) and Raphael Semmes (commander of the Confederate raider "Alabama") indicates the '30s.

"John Peirce, Jr." is listed as "School-master" (of the midshipmen) in the frigate _Brandywine_ by The Army & Navy Chronicle I (June 4, 1835), p. 184.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Derry Down
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 16 Sep 19 - 04:21 PM

Thanks, Jon
I've credited you in the article. Excellent detail as ever. I'd like to credit Wm but I'd need a name. It feels good to credit Mudcat in an article of this sort. I'll come back with the details when it is published. The name Peirce looks familiar. Isn't one of the US Navy books by a Peirce?


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Derry Down
From: Lighter
Date: 16 Sep 19 - 04:35 PM

Smedberg mentions the frigate Congress, without clearly identifying it as the ship in the song.

"The New World" (Dec. 23, 1843), p. 158, identifies Peirce specifically as "Professor of Mathematics" on the Congress.

In fact, the untitled song is followed by an extended, untitled poem in heroic couplets indicting an unnamed captain for the death, after a flogging, of a seaman named Patterson. The poem is signed with the pseudonym "Congress," and it seems likely that both poem and song were written by Peirce.

In any event, the song-maker's choice of the "Derry Down" tune implies that the tune was very familiar in the U.S. around 1840.
Cf. its use just a few years later in "Bucking and Gagging."

Launched in 1841, the Congress was destroyed in 1862 by the ironclad Merrimac.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Derry Down
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 16 Sep 19 - 05:02 PM

It appears to have taken a strong hold in New York State lumbercamps according to Cazden, almost as a go-to tune for anything in anapaestic tetrameter.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Derry Down
From: GUEST,Wm
Date: 16 Sep 19 - 05:58 PM

JOE LIVERMORE

[Sung by Mr. Hiram O. Hilshie, Dartmouth; transcribed by Helen Creighton in Songs and Ballads from Nova Scotia, first published 1932]

Come sit down beside me, come listen awhile,
I'll sing you a song that will cause you to smile
About this old villain, he's very well known,
And he sails the Columbia from Eastport town.

Chorus.
Singing down, down derry down.

As we said from Eastport when we first left the land
With watery eye as we sailed from the strand,
This old villain would holler and bawl,
"Then lay aft, ye damn lubbers, and give us a haul."    Cho.

When we got to Eastport it was on the lucky day,
Each man took his chest and no longer would stay,
If we can't do no better, boys, we'll stay on the shore
And we'll never go to sea with old Joe Livermore.    Cho.

Now he says, if you want to hear any more of this rogue,
Look under his coat and you'll see the old foge'.
He has a snuff-colourred coat and he's known very well,
He has a thing on his nose what they call the hotel.    Cho.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Derry Down
From: GUEST,Wm
Date: 16 Sep 19 - 06:06 PM

Here's an English instance from the late nineteenth century, published in Volume 1 (July 1879) of The Pearl, apparently an erotic magazine published privately in London under the mark of "the Society of Vice." The Wanton Lass, which I am linking instead of pasting as it is NSFW.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Derry Down
From: GUEST,Wm
Date: 16 Sep 19 - 07:23 PM

Here's a Canadian logging example printed in Larry Gorman: The Man Who Made the Songs (Edward D. Ives, first printed 1964), recorded from Alden F. Mace of Southwest Harbor and attributed to Gorman, who was famed for his bitingly satirical song-making. Date of composition would fall in the 1880s or 90s.

BILL WATTS

You jolly brook drivers who drive by the day,
Likewise pay attention to all that I say;
Take my advice and never take charge
Of a crew of greenhorns or a leaky old barge.
Derry down, down, oh down derry down.

It was upon Tuesday, the first day of May;
As long as I live I'll remember the day.
I took my whole crew up to Rocky Pond
In full expectation the ice would be gone.
Derry down, etc.

When I got there my heart it grew sad;
The task was enough to drive a man mad.
All four of the booms they were broken and gone,
And all of the logs drifted over the pond.
Derry down, etc.

At length we got ready, a rigging prepared,
With much difficulty got some of them snared;
Consisting of cedar, peeled hemlock and spruce;
On Friday the fourth, we began to sluice.
Derry down, etc.

Before we h'isted I sent up to Hen
To send me down ten of his best peavey men,
For those that we had were both useless and green,
But jolly Jim Coffey and Ruel McKeen.
Derry down, etc.

There were six men from Elllsworth came up on a team,
In haste they were stationed the length of the stream;
They was well-able drivers, full worthy of hire,
They could handle a peavey or fight against fire.
Derry down, etc.

For forty-odd years I've been known in this place,
The name that I go by is Old Dirty Face;
I never yet washed it but once in my life,
That was the first time I went courting my wife.
Derry down, etc.

When I get to Ellsworth, I must have a wash;
My face it is covered with gurry and moss.
The water I'll bottle to poison the botts—
Now what do you think of your friend Mr. Watts?
Derry down, etc.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Derry Down
From: Kevin Werner
Date: 16 Sep 19 - 07:29 PM

There's another Scottish song that uses this tune, "Will i the Lum".

Here are two recordings of the song, it appears to be quite rare:
First:
http://tobarandualchais.co.uk/en/fullrecord/39412
Second:
https://sounds.bl.uk/World-and-traditional-music/Peter-Kennedy-Collection/025M-C

The song starts at 1:04 in the recording. The first song is "Wee Cooper o' Fife", after that comes "Will i the Lum" whith the beautiful Down, Derry Down chorus.

It is a variant of the song that is known as "Will the Weaver" (Roud No. 432) in the US.

I've been searching for songs that make use of this tune quite extensively, but there are not many recent recordings of it from Britain as far as I know.

Here are two fragments of Well Sold The Cow sung to this tune, also from Scotland:
First
http://tobarandualchais.co.uk/en/fullrecord/37334
Second:
http://tobarandualchais.co.uk/en/fullrecord/19970

Other than that I only know of Bob Lewis' song, "The Cobbler", as sung on "The Painfull Plough" (2003) and also on "Two Bobs' Worth (MTCD374)" (2017).

A. L. Lloyd sang his arrangement of "The Old Bachelor" from Greig-Duncan to the tune, but you never know with Lloyd.

Finally, Ewan MacColl sung "The Coal-Owner and the Pitman's Wife" to this tune, but I don't think there is much traditional about this song.

Apart from that I know of several songs recorded in Canada and the Adirondack region that use the tune.

King John and The Bishop comes to mind. There's a splendid, but sadly poorly sounding recording of it in the Flanders Collection:
https://ia801209.us.archive.org/32/items/HHFBC_tapes_D70B/D70B%20sideA.mp3

The song starts at 37:00 on the tape.

Hmm, the Irish song Drimindown, where a man laments the loss of his cow does not use the Down Derry Down chorus, but the tune is very, very similar, at least in the Canadian version recorded by Helen Creighton from Mr. Ernest Sellick.

You should be able to listen to the recording on youtube:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uUNK1rIKUtw

Here's a fragment of John Hopper's Hill sung by Warde Ford of Wisconsin:
https://www.loc.gov/item/2017701449/

"A Comical Ditty", sung by Almeda Riddle on "More Ballads and Hymns from the Ozarks" (1976) also uses a form of the tune and chorus, but it sounds rather different, I've uploaded the recording to youtube so you can give it a listen for yourself:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KeVIRLBYA3w

You already know about Beaver River and Miner Hill, as sung by Ted Ashlaw. I was going to link the recordings, but sadly, the website adirondackmusic.org is no longer working for me.

There's also "The E. C. Roberts / Red Iron Ore" as sung by Stanley Baby on "Songs of the Great Lakes" (1964):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=inVD1Vg9_uA

The Ballad of Blue Mountain Lake, or Loon Lake also uses the tune, various recordings of it are in the Flanders collection.

Also "The Aviator's Hymn", as sung by Yankee John Galusha, another Adirondack singer.

Some versions of "Little Brown Bulls" also use the Derry Down chorus, but the tune sounds different to me.

And there is also a quite strange song in the Sidney Robertson Cowel Wisconsin Folksong Collection called The Pickled Jew or The Barrel of Pork that uses the tune:
https://search.library.wisc.edu/digital/AVDTDHMVLMQ2DW8T

The humour of the song is in bad taste from a modern point of view, but the tune as sung by Robert Walker is splendid.

Anyways, those are all I could think of on the top of my head. I'm sure there are many more rather recent songs in Canada/Northern US that use the tune as it was very popular in the lumber camps.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Derry Down
From: Kevin Werner
Date: 16 Sep 19 - 07:55 PM

Oh, it's getting quite late and I'm a little tired. I apologize for any spelling mistakes made. (I think I confused sung and sang. English is not my first language, sometimes I make silly mistakes like that).

I happened to see your enquiry about the Down Derry Down tune and thought "wait a moment, this is one I should know a thing or two about."

The tune took my fancy when I first heard it in a variant of Drimindown, so I started looking for as many field recordings of it as I could find.

Next time I'll take my time to proof read before I click on "submit message".

I also remembered a version of The Three Ravens from the Flanders collection that uses what could be considered a variant of the chorus:
https://ia801203.us.archive.org/25/items/HHFBC_tapes_C09A/C09A%20sideB.mp3

Here it goes "Hi-Dum, Di-Dum Derry Hi Ho".

I know that another similar British text from John Holmes, Round-hay, Derbyshire, used Down Derry Down in its place.

The tune is different, though. It is the first song on the tape, it starts at 1:12. It is remarkable for being one of the few recent texts to make mention of a lady full of grief who for the love of the slain soldier/knight died.


Now this is completely unrelated to your enquiry, but say, you wouldn't happen to know of any songs from "recent" oral tradition that use the tune "Packington's Pound"?

It was a popular ballad tune in its time, but other than a bawdy version of Brian O Lin, called "Brinzi O' Flynn" recorded by Sam Eskin in 1942 from a British seaman in San Francisco I have not been able to find any trace of it in modern tradition.

I was reminded of that tune while writing this. If it doesn't belong here I can also create a new topic for that. I just thought it couldn't hurt to ask.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Derry Down
From: Lighter
Date: 16 Sep 19 - 08:15 PM

It seems to me that the song "Droylsden Wakes" in Williams & Lloyd's _Penguin Book of English Folk Songs_ goes to a tune readily identifiable as "Packington's Pound."

Snippet of Ewan MacColl singing it:

https://tinyurl.com/yyyrwqyd

I've never met with any version of Brian O'Linn that went to the Packington tune; maybe it was unique to the "Brinzi" versions, which are extremely rare.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Derry Down
From: Kevin Werner
Date: 16 Sep 19 - 08:40 PM

Thank you for that, Lighter.

That is definitely a variant of the tune.

I've expected there to be songs that use the tune, but I was unable to find any. Shame, that no field (sound) recording of "Droylsden Wakes" seems to exist.

As for Brinzi O Flynn, that was printed in Randolph/Legman's Unprintable Ozark Folksongs.

Here are the respective pages:
First:
https://i.imgur.com/eiYEX8H.jpg
Second:
https://i.imgur.com/zvvoMjh.jpg
Third:
https://i.imgur.com/weW0AfW.jpg
Last:
https://i.imgur.com/zCihqdI.jpg

There also a second text there, Thumble O'Lynn, also set to the Packington tune.

I have never encountered another Brinzi version apart from the one given in this book.

There's a Tombolin text in the Flanders collection that was sung to a variant of the Greensleeves tune.

I have heard it as Barney O'Lynn, but that was sung to the tune "Irish Washerwoman".

The tune I heard the most was however When She Cam Ben She Bobbit / Laird O Cockpen.

Ok, I'm sorry for interrupting the discussion with this. Thanks again, Lighter, for helping me out.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Derry Down
From: leeneia
Date: 16 Sep 19 - 09:09 PM

The MIDI I promised is facing unavoidable delay. Anybody who's interested can PM me. You must be a Mudcat regular.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Derry Down
From: GUEST,Wm
Date: 16 Sep 19 - 11:02 PM

Aside from The Pickled Jew, linked above, there appears to be at least one more song on the subject of pork fitted to this air: Old Enoch, noted here in western New York, 1841–56.

Funnily enough, Owd Enoch is the name of an unrelated poem (first published 1866?) by the nineteenth-century Lancashire dialect poet Edwin Waugh—and that too is fitted to Derry Down, along with at least one other poem of his, The Grindlestone.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Derry Down
From: Lighter
Date: 17 Sep 19 - 07:51 AM

Kevin, thanks for all the info.

I've posted a lot on both "Brian O'Linn" and "Tom Bolynn."

See esp. threads

https://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=159824

https://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=61309

https://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=43706#3972875


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Derry Down
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 17 Sep 19 - 09:03 AM

Wow!
Lots to go at there. Many thanks to you all. I was hoping to finish the list tonight but not with all this to add. Wm, I'd still like your full name to credit you if possible. If you join the forum you can PM me. It's quite easy to do.

Regarding 'Packington's Pound' I used to sing Droylsden Wakes in the 60s with a group, and I'm sure lots of Lancashire singers from that period like Harry Boardman used to sing it. The tune is very simple and repetitive. I have plenty of dots for PP. As you suggest it's always a good idea to start a new thread for a separate tune and then it can be added to and found easily by future researchers. FWIW the tune has elements of the theme in Greig's Spring Song if I've got the right one.

I know this looks silly considering the paper I'm writing but I can't actually sightread music and can only follow slowly on concertina with a lot of effort. I think I have 'The Pickled Jew' already in the list. It seems it was originally set to that tune but I'll check it anyway.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Derry Down
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 17 Sep 19 - 09:56 AM

In my area of Yorkshire Brian O'Lynn was always sung to a variant of the well-known 'Richard of Taunton Dean' tune, a.k.a. 'Dumble dum deary'.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Derry Down
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 17 Sep 19 - 10:29 AM

Jon/Kevin
If you can flag up a version of PP midi or performed I'll see if I can give any suggestions.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Derry Down
From: GUEST,Wm
Date: 17 Sep 19 - 10:49 AM

Steve, I'll find a way to message you later. In the meantime, I dug this up from my files.

BEAVER RIVER
[As sung by Ted Ashlaw, and transcribed by Robert D. Bethke in Adirondack Voices, pp. 128–30]

1. Come boys, if you'll listen, I'll sing you a song,
If you'll pay good attention, it won't take me long;
It's up at Beaver River, a place you know well,
And it's not far from Tupper, but closer to Hell,
Derry down, down, dey derry down.

2. When I first came to Beaver I got in there late,
Quit a good job at Saranac, came there for a stake.
The first job I landed was for my brother, Ed;
He had a pulp job from his chum old Hedge,
Derry down, down, dey derry down.

3. The very next morning our troubles began:
To find us a camp or a shack to stay in.
When Paradise to Eddie said, “A camp I can get.”
He says, “If you can, why, you’ll go and get it.”
Derry down, down, dey derry down.

4. Paradise he started, he wasn’t gone long,
Came back with a story twice long as my song.
For that Paradise he lied, it is surely a sin;
He’ll talk for two hours and not say a thing,
Derry down, down, dey derry down.

5. But he got the camp, and that I will say;
But he told us right then we couldn’t move in that day,
Derry down, down, dey derry down.

6. For his brother-in-law, Haines, he had figured on that, too;
But he’s full of big plans that he never can do,
Derry down, down, dey derry down.

7. Smith was the first man had this job, you know;
But ‘course he was under this big John Davignon.
But Harry Smith, he wasn’t there long
When to John Davignon someone else sucked around,
Derry down, down, dey derry down.

8. The next man had this job it was Howard Haines;
And he’s just as big a man but I believe less brains,
Derry down, down, dey derry down.

9. One day, says Eddie, he needed some pants,
Says as he went to dinner he went by Haines’ camp.
As he was a-walking around that way
A man would be surprised to hear what he heard Haines say,
Derry down, down, dey derry down.

10. Haines was inquiring about the Canadian job
As he walked to the swamp with his two little “Frogs,”
Derry down, down, dey derry down.

11. Now, it’s over at Smitty’s, where the gamblers do dwell,
Till one night two Polacks came in to raise hell.
Smith grabbed for his club, he got hit in his hand,
And he made for the Polack and called his hard man,
Derry down, down, dey derry down.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Derry Down
From: Lighter
Date: 17 Sep 19 - 11:00 AM

Steve, here's one of several on YouTube:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6AVL3wEt2Q4


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Derry Down
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 17 Sep 19 - 12:30 PM

Hmm! If I might play Devil's advocate for a moment, it would seem to be quite possible, because of their sheer simplicity, that they were composed completely independently of each other. What adds to that is they come from eras at least 2 centuries apart. This idea would be strengthened if no evidence of PPs usage is found in the interim period.
Also they appear to be in different modes or at least one is minor and the other is major.

Wm, try gardhams
at
Hotmail
dot
com


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Derry Down
From: Lighter
Date: 17 Sep 19 - 12:38 PM

Steve, that occurred to me too. Both tunes are pretty sing-songy.

"PP" was supposedly an extremely popular tune, so it would have made sense for it to stay alive somewhere.

G. Legman, who wrote that he he personally couldn't carry a tune, thought "PP" was just beautiful, "like angels singing."


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Derry Down
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 17 Sep 19 - 01:59 PM

I could go with that. It has beauty in its simplicity and the classical variations do sound well on the guitar. I bet it would go nicely on the harp with variations. I really used to like playing variations to the Keel Row on my concertina, another very simple tune.

Simpson has plenty to say about PP in the 16th and 17th centuries, but he only takes it up to 1733. Had he found anything more recent other than reprints he would I'm sure have flagged up some at least. I don't think he was that clued up on oral tradition so he may have missed some.

'Specimens are in all of the great ballad collections (17thc presumably), scarcely any of the songbooks of the late seventeenth and early eighteenth century fail to include political or amatory pieces to the tune; and modern reprints of broadsides are full of examples. A half-dozen ballad operas introduce the tune, including Gay's The Beggar's Opera, 1728, Hippisley's A Sequel to the Opera of Flora, 1732, and Phillips's The Mock lawyer, 1733, which reprints the music.'


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Derry Down
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 17 Sep 19 - 02:21 PM

Kevin
Yes I did have Barrel of Pork down. It's on a broadside c1850 on the Bodleian Broadside site.

Regarding The Auld Bachelor, the 4 versions given in Greig-Duncan are definitely Derry Down though the verse tune has been ironed out somewhat. The chorus is unmistakable in text and tune.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Derry Down
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 17 Sep 19 - 02:56 PM

We have some fascinating revelations regarding the Dom Pedro, but I'll let Mick start the ball rolling as he found the Sharp version.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Derry Down
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 18 Sep 19 - 04:09 AM

Whilst there is a lull in the more recent versions coming in, I'd like to put in a request for earlier usage. The earliest usage I have totally confirmed is the Brooksby broadside of about 1685. However, Chappell quite confidently states this version with the 19 stanzas was written in the time of James I without offering any proof. He also states the tune and chorus were used for Rump Parliament pieces in the middle of the century. I've seen plenty of Rump parliament skits and ballads but can't find any that would use our tune and format. Also Simpson offers nothing earlier than Brooksby. Cue Mick P.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Derry Down
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 18 Sep 19 - 10:33 AM

Nothing earlier that I can find Steve. Using the Abbot of Canterbury title finds a fair number of early 18thC titles (ca1717-1750 in BL, Bodleian and EBBA), but the only early dated one seems to be the Brooksby. I'll search more later.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Derry Down
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 18 Sep 19 - 04:34 PM

There are plenty of very early (16th/17thc)long versions of 'King and the Abbot/Bishop' that could use the DD tune but there is no evidence that they did, and of course the actual plot features in the folklore of many lands.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Derry Down
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 19 Sep 19 - 09:25 AM

Harking back to earlier postings as I want to finish my article on revival matters; there are no pre-1954 recordings/printings/refs of Dreadnaught to DD tune, so I'm going to assume, I think reasonably, that MacColl set it to that tune for the Topic album 'The Singing Sailor' of 1954/5. Likewise there are no recordings/printings/refs of 'Fancy Frigate/La Pique' to DD tune prior to the publication of Singing Island, 1960, contributed by Lloyd, quoting sources as Whall and Firth, neither of which use the DD tune, so again I am here assuming reasonably that Lloyd set it to that tune. There are good solid reasons for Lloyd and MacColl doing this and I'm not suggesting for one moment that there is any malpractice involved. The related lesser known piece 'Dom Pedro' definitely used the DD tune, and I think most people would agree that DD is far superior to the Vilikins variants and other tunes collected to the 2 songs from oral tradition.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Derry Down
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 19 Sep 19 - 09:44 AM

"There are good solid reasons for Lloyd and MacColl doing this "
Sigh
It gets a little tiresome to have to continually remind people that there is not a shred of evidence that they did anything of the sort
If they did, that makes Bert a liar, whether they did anything "malpractical" or not
It seems this denigrating of the work of others is going to continue - if that's the case, as Arne once remarked "I'll be back"
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Derry Down
From: Lighter
Date: 19 Sep 19 - 09:49 AM

Not only is it not "malpractice," it's perfectly "within the tradition," esp. since the tunes are already first or second cousins.

It would have been academically desirable (for the handful of us who care) if the revivalists had specified their contribution, but they didn't. Let's just be thankful they were governed by such good taste.

Neither did Hugill, who, as a working chanteyman, must have created verses which later appeared anonymously in his books. And he may well have forgotten which ones.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Derry Down
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 19 Sep 19 - 09:52 AM

Absolutely, Jon. As I've stated several times on this thread, I am very very thankful for what they did, in more ways than one.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Derry Down
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 19 Sep 19 - 10:01 AM

Still doesn't alter the fact that, despite you patronising hand-wringing, if you are right Bert lied
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Derry Down
From: Lighter
Date: 21 Sep 19 - 01:39 PM

From Hugh St. Leger, “Chanties,” Black and White (London) (July 2, 1892), p. 15:        

That Elysium of sailors, Ratcliffe Highway, is by no means forgotten in the songs they sing when very far from it. One runs thus: --

“As Jack was a-walking down Ratcliffe Highway,
A fair pretty maiden he chanced to espy;
But when he did see her most beautiful face
Why, he hoisted his topsails and for her gave chase,
        To me ‘ow di – ‘ow derry way.”

After relating the sailor’s adventures with this damsel, which occupy many verses and are not always fit to mention in the politest or most refined society, the song goes on to point its moral.

“Now all you young sailors take warning by me,
Avoid the Highway when you go on the spree;
And all you young maidens take warning I pray,
Don’t rattle your rigging down Ratcliffe Highway.         
                To me ‘ow di – ‘ow derry way.”

I almost posted this to the "Cruising Round Yarmouth" thread but thought it would be of more interest here.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Derry Down
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 21 Sep 19 - 02:32 PM

Hi Jon,
Is the full article available anywhere?

I have an early broadside version from about 1800.

What you have there is very interesting as all the other versions I have start off in first person 'As I/we was a-walking etc.' The end warning verse also I have only seen in one of Hugill's versions. A pity St Leger didn't record the whole thing.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Derry Down
From: Lighter
Date: 21 Sep 19 - 03:13 PM

Steve, I have so much material on this "Ratcliffe Highway" song family that I can't find time to deal with it.

The type, "sex as naval battle," is traceable straight back to the sixteenth or seventeenth century, but the modern "Yarmouth/Ratcliffe Highway/ Blow the Man Down" branch seems to be from the early to mid nineteenth.

The riggin' rattlin' is also in a fragmentary version sent to Gordon about 1924 from R. M. Davids (one of Colcord's sources).

And it's a "Derry Down" version too:

                              DOWN DERRY DOWN

As Jackie was walking the streets upon Down
He spied pretty Peggy of fair London town,
He spoke her in English, the signal she knew,
And she backed her main yard and she let him come to.
Singing down, down, derry down,
And she rattled his rigging right down to the rail.

She burnt poor Jack's rigging right down to the hull
So off to the doctors, poor Jack he did skull,
His yards were well braced and his blocks were well hung
Saying doctor, dear doctor, my main yard is sprung.


The standard folkie version was apparently introduced by Cyril Tawney. In response to my inquiry years back, Cyril kindly wrote that his version was precisely one collected in Orkney by Patrick Suldham-Shaw (I think in the late '30s or '40s).

It's too bad that it now goes by the title "The Fire Ship," which is better reserved for an entirely different, apparently late nineteenth century song on the same theme. Even Hugill chose the "Fire Ship" title when he recorded his (conflated?) version on "Sailing Days."

Thanks again for the broadside texts you sent me a few years ago!


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Derry Down
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 21 Sep 19 - 04:28 PM

That clinches it. I'll definitely include it in the list. Many thanks.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Derry Down
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 21 Sep 19 - 04:38 PM

Hi
I can't find a number for the thread anywhere and I want to quote it in my 'sources' to the paper. How do you get the number? Google it?


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Derry Down
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 21 Sep 19 - 04:39 PM

Sorted 166643


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Derry Down
From: Lighter
Date: 21 Sep 19 - 04:50 PM

Steve, this is the thread I was thinking of:

https://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=42245#3583716

BTW, the Folktrax site also confuses the familiar Yarmouth/ Fire Ship songs, then makes things worse by lumping both together under the title, "The Roving Kind."

Maybe I should do as Richie does and post my data and comments on Mudcat in installments. Otherwise they'll probably get lost or shoved back in a closet while I tend to other things.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Derry Down
From: GUEST,Wm
Date: 23 Sep 19 - 10:42 PM

[Link: page 1 of the Rockland County Messenger, July 8, 1852, a column titled "Poetry"]

The following was composed by a genuine son of the Emerald Isle, laboring in one of our Brick Yards, we insert it Verbatim.

A New Song Concerning the Brick Yards.

LABORER'S LAMENTATION

Come all ye hard laborers wherever ye be,
I pray pay attention and listen to me ;
Don't covet the Brick yards above all work going,
Or they will leave you to sigh a languishing moan.
Chorus, down, high down, derry down.

As for the Brick yards, I fear they are cursed,
Many a good man come there and goes back the worst ;
When he will rise int he morning, with sleep in his eyes,
He will scarcely get light his old bootees to tie.
Chorus, &c.

If you saw the pit shovelers, you would think they were mad,
They leap in the pit, without a hat on their head;
It's four by the clock boys, then they would say, —
I fear we shall loose one fourth of our day.
Chorus, &c.

As for the foreman, he is not much to blame,
Though he runs through the yard, and lets many a scream ;
If you heard the moulders, they are the worst of all
It's for the off bearers they loudly will call.
Chorus, &c.

It you saw the off bearers, you would pity their case,
They look black and dirty, with sweat on their face ;
As for the engine it runs very keen,
It will push out a mould with every wheel.
Chorus. &c.

As for the engineer, he is a smart man,
He runs the engine as fast as he can ;
If he was an off bearer, he would alter the case,
He would let her go at a very slow pace.
Chorus, &c.

Now as for the hackmen, you would think they are cracked,
They will roar, bawl and shout, with pain in their back ;
The hacks they won't stand, boys, and what will we do,
We must work bare naked, without hat or shoe.
Chorus, &c.

As for the kiln shed, it is a wholesome clime,
Though the men that works on it has very hard times;
If you saw the wheelers, I am sure they are teased ;
For the setters they sit on the brick at their ease.
Chorus, &c.

As for sloop loading, I know it is hard,
It's the most dangerous work that is on the yard ;
When the river is high, the run it is steep,
Both men, brick and barrows will fall in the deep.
Chorus, &c.

If you saw the loafers, sure you would feel hard,
When dinner is ready, they. are sure to be had ;
When their bellies are full, away they will go,
Around Creney's corner they will cut a great show.
Chorus, &c.

To speak of the Boss, he is not the worst,
He will come with his hands in his pocket, and a very long purse ;
Saying, boys, keep your courage up to the Fall,
I will pay you in specie every cent of it all.
Chorus, &c.

And now to conclude and to finish my song,
To mention the bell, I think I'm not wrong ;
When the Boss hears it, hurrah boys, he will say,
Go ahead to your work, for I think it's a clear day.
Chorus, &c.

Patrick Kalehigh


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Derry Down
From: GUEST,Wm
Date: 23 Sep 19 - 11:01 PM

Here's another application of the tune, also in a New York paper, this time the November 5, 1842 edition of the Poughkeepsie Eagle (reprinted, apparently, from the New Bedford Mercury). It lacks the genuine folk quality (sardonic air quotes optional) of the last piece, but has some wit. I have endeavored to transcribe it accurately, errors of punctuation and all.

Light Reading.
From, the New Bedford Mercury.
OIL SONG
A LAMP-OON ;
OR, PIG'S FAT VERSUS WHALE'S OIL
By a Sau-sage
Air—"Derry Down."

A cry from the West has reached us down East—
New light's the cause of a squeal from the beast—
Fish-oil has lost its once far-famed repute,
And must yield to hog's fat beyond a dispute.
Derrydown, down, down, derry down.

That the fat of the pig, Western savans affirm,
With a wick (of hog's bristles?) does brilliantly burn ;
Sperm candles or oil are poor trash at best,
Compar'd with the hog-fat that's raised at the West.
Derry down, &c.

That the old lights have ever come out of the East,
From the first of sun rising, (as a data the least,)
And as the world goes upside down at the best,
The hogs have determined to illumine the West.
Derry down, &c.

That the virtue of pig-tail our forefathers knew,
When they wove it behind and term'd it a queue,
But in those dark ages, most writers agree,
They slighted the hogs for the fish of the sea.
Derry down, &c.

Had they but known what a pig-tail has done.
When steep'd in hog's lard, how it rivall'd the sun,
No drawing-room lusters, assemblies, or feasts,
Would be any great shakes without tails of the beasts.
Derry down, &c.

The West had indignantly rais'd to a man,
To throw fat on the lights of the East, if they can ;
And their ends to attain, at no trifles will stick,
They will go the whole hog and use bristles for wick
Derry down, down, down, derry down.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Derry Down
From: GUEST,Wm
Date: 23 Sep 19 - 11:05 PM

Darn it, in the above post, please read the end of Verse 3, Line 3, as "as a data the least."


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Derry Down
From: GUEST,Wm
Date: 23 Sep 19 - 11:38 PM

This is in Ballads and Songs of Southern Michigan, collected and edited by Emelyn Elizabeth Gardner and Geraldine Jencks Chickering (1939). (A scan of the volume is available at archive.org.) No tune is indicated (and no chorus given), but Derry Down is an obvious choice. It's also a clever example of its genre.

--

DAVID WARD

Sung in 1932 by Mr. Bert E. Eddy, Romeo; he had learned the song about 1887 from Mr. Sherm Eddy, who had worked in Ward's camp in Manistee, Michigan, and in other lumber camps.

Come all my good friends, I'll sing you a song;
It's my own intention, and it won't take me long.
What I'm going to tell you is what happened to me
When I was a-lumbering up on the Manistee.

'Twas on one bright morning I started away;
I went to the woods there expecting to stay;
I was not alone, for I had a good pard,
And we were both lumbering for old David Ward.

Now I will tell you the style of our camp:
If we didn't nail down, we were set out to tramp;
And man's the good man who has got his discharge,
And they kept the small boys who were not very large.

Now the grub that we got there was not very nice;
'Twas mush and molasses, with codfish and rice,
Pork and corn beef with a very course grain;
We were turned out long days in the snow and the rain.

Now there was the foreman, a very nice man;
He was always at work contriving some plan.
Our pockets he'd pick, and our clothes he would sell,
And get drunk on the money at the Greeland Hotel.

Now there was young Charlie, a very poor sort;
He would go through the bush for to get a sly peek.
If he saw a man straight just to rest his lame back,
He would go to the office and give him the sack.

Now there was old David, along with the rest,
Like an old settin' hen just got off from her nest;
He'd cluck, and he'd sputter and look rather blue,
And swear at us boys for soldiering, too.

Now there was the scaler, I nearly forgot;
He was the worst reprobate in the whole lot.
If he was sent up to have his just dues,
He would go to jail barefoot without any shoes.

And now to conclude and to finish this rhyme;
To sing any more I don't feel inclined.
But now that I'm out, I won't go back again
To be turned out long days in the snow and the rain.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Derry Down
From: GUEST,Wm
Date: 23 Sep 19 - 11:54 PM

Ballads and Songs of Southern Michigan also contains a relevant snippet of King John and the Bishop, if you need another recent American example at which to point. One verse remembered in 1937 by Mr. Henry R. Vaughn, Detroit, from the singing of his mother in Vermont:

I'll tell you a story, a story anon,
Of a noble prince, and his name was King John;
For he was a prince and a prince of great might,
He held up great wrongs, and he put down great right.
To me down, down, diddy-i-down.

Elmer George of North Montpelier, VT, the singer in the Flanders collection sample linked above, sings a similar version of the burden ("down, down, derry-i-down").


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Derry Down
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 24 Sep 19 - 03:24 AM

Can't remember for the life of me which albuum But I remember MacColl singing one of the few Broadsides that stuck in my mind down the years to this air

When Henry the Second, not Henry the First
With vexations and poxes was impotent cursed
The court gathered round and they thought up a plan
To produce him a son in a Brass Warming Pan
Derry down....

Then to work went the church on her majesty's womb...
With prelates and priests and pontiffs from Rome.... etc

Political satire at it's very highest as far as I'm concerned

Peggy's idea of song families didn't get much of an airing here - much good research seems to flounder on the rocks of sme people's disinterest in the work of others nowadays, but it makes sense to me
I've been doing a great deal of work on Child ballads recently and have been struck how many of them, rather than being pinned down to a specific date, have been around forever - Hind Horn's roots in Homer, for instance
I was stunned to discover that 'Get Up and Bar the Door' had its counterpart in Ancient Egypt as a story of fig stealing and tomb raiding
I see no reason that the same couldn't be applied to evolving tunes and there is no reason on earth that the Henry Martin tune could not be a close relation of this one (rejected out of hand here)
Trying to pin these tunes and songs down and put earliest dates any any of these songs (and tales) is to put bridles on wild horses
I think it also puts bridles on our chances of understanding our traditions
Tunes (and songs) must have started somewhere but it's doubtful we'll ever know where for certain

Incidentally, I came across a which of McGinn's 'Forman O'Rourke in an old folk magazine which gives 'Derry Down' as the source of the air
There you go...!
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Derry Down
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 24 Sep 19 - 03:57 AM

Don't know what happeend to that last snetence
Should read
Article which gives Derry Down as the source of his O'Rourk tune
Posted too soon after I got up
Jim


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Derry Down
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 24 Sep 19 - 04:22 AM

All of this will be very useful for future scholars but I will have to call a halt to my appendix to the paper soon as it's beginning to look more like a book than a paper. Please keep them coming though.

Wm, I'd still like a name to credit please.

Hi Jim, MacColl's broadside was titled 'The Warming Pan' of 1745 and in the original it's Jemmy I and II, not Henrys, but MacColl could have changed it. You have good memory, especially for pieces you abhor.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Derry Down
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 24 Sep 19 - 04:52 AM

Or I could have disremembered it - MacColl never changed important things like that - he was far too accurate a researcher
I never sang the song, but I've liked i since I first heard it;
It was probably on 'The Angry Muse', come to think of it
Jim


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Derry Down
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 24 Sep 19 - 04:55 AM

I don't "abhor" broadsided by the way - they are far too important as history carriers for that
I said I believed the vast majority were totally unsingable, which makes their authors extremely dubious contenders for having made our fit-in-the-mouth folk songs
But that's another argument
Jim


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Derry Down
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 24 Sep 19 - 07:24 AM

Jim - It was on The Angry Muse as The Warming Pan.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Derry Down
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 24 Sep 19 - 09:25 AM

Thanks Mick - haven't had time to check yet
Best
Jim


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Derry Down
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 24 Sep 19 - 10:03 AM

I've had a quick listen and he does start When Jemmy The Second, not Jemmy The First.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Derry Down
From: GUEST,Wm
Date: 24 Sep 19 - 10:09 AM

Wm, I'd still like a name to credit please.

Steve, I've sent you an email.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Derry Down
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 25 Sep 19 - 08:08 AM

"I've had a quick listen and he does start When Jemmy The Second, not Jemmy The First."
Thanks again Mick
That would not have been necessary had it not been suggested that Ewan might have altered it
It really is time the new breed of researchers stopped undermining he work of people who helped put folk song on the map for so many of us
Jim


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Derry Down
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 25 Sep 19 - 10:50 AM

Just come across a bit of a curiosity here
Jim Carroll

Jimmy Rendal (Chid 12)
“Where have you been, Jimmie Rendal, my son,
Where have you been, my own lov-ed one?”
“I’ve been to see pretty Polly—mother, make my bed soon,
For I’m sick to my heart and I can’t but lie down,
Down, derry-down,
Down, derry-down.
For I’m sick to my heart and I can’t but lie down.”


“What had you for breakfast, Jimmie Rendal, my son,
What had you for breakfast, my own lov-ed one?”
I had eels fried in butter—mother, make my bed soon,
For I m sick to my heart and I can’t but lie down,
Down, derry-down,
Down, derry-down,

For I’m sick to my heart and I can’t but lie down.”
“What color were they, Jimmie Rendal, my son,
What color were they, my own lov-ed one?”
They were green, white and checkered—mother, make my bed soon,
For I’m sick to my heart and I can’t but lie down.
Down, derry-down,
Down, derry-down,
For I’m sick to my heart and I can’t but lie down.”

“What for your mother, Jimmie Rendal, my son,
What for your mother, my own lov-ed one?”
“My gold and my silver-mother, make my bed soon,
For I’m sick to my heart and I can’t but lie down.
Down, derry-down,
Down, derry-down,
For I’m sick to my heart and I can’t but lie down.”

“What for your sister, Jimmie Rendal, my son,
What for your sister, my own lov-ed one?”
“My coach and six horses-mother, make my bed soon,
For I’m sick to my heart and I can’t but lie down.
Down, derry-down,
Down, derry-down,
For I’m sick to my heart and I can’t but lie down.”

“What for your brother, Jimmie Rendal, my son,
What for your brother, my own lov-ed one?”
“My gun-shot and powder—mother, make my bed soon,
For I’m sick to my heart and I can’t but lie down.
Down, derry-down,
Down, derry-down.
For I’m sick to my heart and I can’t but lie down.”

“What for pretty Polly, Jimmie Rendal, my son,
What for pretty Polly, my own lov-ed one?” ‘
“The gates of Hell wide—mother, make my bed soon,
For I’m sick to my heart and I can’t but lie down.
Down, derry-down,
Down, derry-down.
For I’m sick to my heart and I can’t but lie down.”

As sung by Mr. James Shepard, whose songs were learned many years ago in Ireland. Mr. Shepard lived at Baltimore, Vermont.
H. H. F., Collector October 29, 1933


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Derry Down
From: Joe Offer
Date: 29 Sep 19 - 12:11 AM

Here's a MIDI that leeneia prepared. It doesn't sound like any version of "Derry Down" that I know, but I am far from all-knowing.


Click to play (joeweb)


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Derry Down
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 29 Sep 19 - 02:55 AM

"It doesn't sound like any version of "Derry Down" that I know,"
That's the standard version I've known since it was used for The Dreadnought' on the early Topic Sea albums Joe
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Derry Down
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 29 Sep 19 - 03:00 AM

Try HERE
(MacColl at his most 4-square - shame)
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Derry Down
From: leeneia
Date: 30 Sep 19 - 01:07 PM

Since "derry down" is a floating vocable with no meaning, used in many songs, I don't see how a song can be named "Derry Down." That would be like naming a song "Tra la la."


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Derry Down
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 30 Sep 19 - 02:38 PM

Hi Leeneia
There are actually a couple called Derry Down, but that aside it isn't a song that is called Derry Down, it's the tune and chorus which have been used for hundreds of songs since about 1685 on both sides of the Atlantic. During the nineteenth century it was mostly to be found in the maritime states of the US and Canada, particularly New York State, and even more particularly in the lumbercamps.

I agree with Jim that is the better known of any of the DD tunes. I just found the 4th line slightly different. Have a listen to MacColl's singing. That is pretty much the tune as printed in about 1700, though there are lots of variations and the further you get from the source both in time and geographically the more diverse they become, as you would expect.

If it helps, the format is always anapaestic tetrameter and the chorus is pretty much recognisable in all its forms, and the leap in the 3rd line is almost always there. I think it's a great tune.

As I stated wayback in the thread the 2 words 'derry' and 'down' have appeared in various combinations since Tudor times and probably earlier, but if the tune is designated 'Derry Down' it has become so famous that most people in history with any musical knowledge would have known what the tune was.

Having said that a great musical historian of the late 19thc mentioned the 2 'Derry Down' tunes and I'd be pleased to be told what the other one is, (other than that you've posted here and sung by Ewan).


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Derry Down
From: leeneia
Date: 30 Sep 19 - 04:24 PM

Thank you for posting the MIDI, Joe. That tune is the tune that Steve Gardham asked about in the original post.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Derry Down
From: Joe Offer
Date: 30 Sep 19 - 07:15 PM

The tune I think of as "Derry Down" is the one used for "Red Iron Ore." The digital tradition tune is here (click). There are similarities, but I don't think the two are the same tune. Maybe if I slowed Leeneia's tune down, the two would sound more similar.
-Joe-

I guess they are the same melody. When I slowed leeneia's MIDI down and changed the voice to piano, it sounded very much like the Digital Tradition melody.

Click to play (joeweb)


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Derry Down
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 01 Oct 19 - 01:58 PM

The chorus line is the clincher, but the rest is almost a cross between DD and the usual tune for Henry Martin. Interesting. Perhaps the 2 tunes are distantly related after all. DD and the regular Henry Martin are sufficiently different to have their own identities, but the main point is that Henry Martin does not in any version have the AABB rhyming pattern which is evident in all of the hundreds of DD songs.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Derry Down
From: Stanron
Date: 01 Oct 19 - 03:53 PM

If anyone is interested I've done an abc of the midi file posted

Date: 29 Sep 19 - 12:11 AM

X:1
T:Dreadnought
C:Traditional
M:6/8
Q:228
L:1/8
K:Dmin
A|ABA GFE|FED ^C2 A,1|D^C D FED|CDE F2 G/G/|
FED CDC|CDC c2 d/d/|dcB AGF|GFG A2 F/E/|D3 A3 |GFE D2 |]

I've changed the clef to treble clef and raised it by an octave, otherwise it's the same.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Derry Down
From: leeneia
Date: 03 Oct 19 - 10:23 AM

Thanks, Stanron. Now more people can play it.


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