Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafesj

Post to this Thread - Printer Friendly - Home
Page: [1] [2] [3]


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
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:













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'.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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'.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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."


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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."


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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."


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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."


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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'.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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)."


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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."


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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

Sorry, that was me above!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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"?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
Next Page

  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 30 November 1:49 PM EST

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.