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Tune Req: Derry Down

DigiTrad:
RED IRON ORE


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


leeneia 03 Oct 19 - 10:23 AM
Stanron 01 Oct 19 - 03:53 PM
Steve Gardham 01 Oct 19 - 01:58 PM
Joe Offer 30 Sep 19 - 07:15 PM
leeneia 30 Sep 19 - 04:24 PM
Steve Gardham 30 Sep 19 - 02:38 PM
leeneia 30 Sep 19 - 01:07 PM
Jim Carroll 29 Sep 19 - 03:00 AM
Jim Carroll 29 Sep 19 - 02:55 AM
Joe Offer 29 Sep 19 - 12:11 AM
Jim Carroll 25 Sep 19 - 10:50 AM
Jim Carroll 25 Sep 19 - 08:08 AM
GUEST,Wm 24 Sep 19 - 10:09 AM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 24 Sep 19 - 10:03 AM
Jim Carroll 24 Sep 19 - 09:25 AM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 24 Sep 19 - 07:24 AM
Jim Carroll 24 Sep 19 - 04:55 AM
Jim Carroll 24 Sep 19 - 04:52 AM
Steve Gardham 24 Sep 19 - 04:22 AM
Jim Carroll 24 Sep 19 - 03:57 AM
Jim Carroll 24 Sep 19 - 03:24 AM
GUEST,Wm 23 Sep 19 - 11:54 PM
GUEST,Wm 23 Sep 19 - 11:38 PM
GUEST,Wm 23 Sep 19 - 11:05 PM
GUEST,Wm 23 Sep 19 - 11:01 PM
GUEST,Wm 23 Sep 19 - 10:42 PM
Lighter 21 Sep 19 - 04:50 PM
Steve Gardham 21 Sep 19 - 04:39 PM
Steve Gardham 21 Sep 19 - 04:38 PM
Steve Gardham 21 Sep 19 - 04:28 PM
Lighter 21 Sep 19 - 03:13 PM
Steve Gardham 21 Sep 19 - 02:32 PM
Lighter 21 Sep 19 - 01:39 PM
Jim Carroll 19 Sep 19 - 10:01 AM
Steve Gardham 19 Sep 19 - 09:52 AM
Lighter 19 Sep 19 - 09:49 AM
Jim Carroll 19 Sep 19 - 09:44 AM
Steve Gardham 19 Sep 19 - 09:25 AM
Steve Gardham 18 Sep 19 - 04:34 PM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 18 Sep 19 - 10:33 AM
Steve Gardham 18 Sep 19 - 04:09 AM
Steve Gardham 17 Sep 19 - 02:56 PM
Steve Gardham 17 Sep 19 - 02:21 PM
Steve Gardham 17 Sep 19 - 01:59 PM
Lighter 17 Sep 19 - 12:38 PM
Steve Gardham 17 Sep 19 - 12:30 PM
Lighter 17 Sep 19 - 11:00 AM
GUEST,Wm 17 Sep 19 - 10:49 AM
Steve Gardham 17 Sep 19 - 10:29 AM
Steve Gardham 17 Sep 19 - 09:56 AM
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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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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: 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: 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: 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: 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 - 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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 - 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 - 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: 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: 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 - 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: 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: 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: 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 - 11:05 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 - 11:01 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 - 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: 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: Steve Gardham
Date: 21 Sep 19 - 04:39 PM

Sorted 166643


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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 - 04:28 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: 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 - 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 - 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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 - 04:09 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: 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: 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 - 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: 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 - 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 - 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: 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: 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: 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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