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DTStudy: what is a Brandy Tree?

DigiTrad:
BELAMENA
BRANDY TREE (Otter's Song)
CAPE ANN
CLEAR AWAY IN THE MORNING
DARK OLD WATERS
DILLAN BAY
DUNA
HEARTH AND FIRE
HERRING CROON
HILLS OF ISLE AU HAUT
HUSH YE MY BAIRNIE
ISLE AU HAUT LULLABY (Hay Ledge Song)
JOHN OF DREAMS
KIRSTEEN/CHRISTINN
LITTLE RIVER
MRS. MACDONALD'S LAMENT
MY IMAGES COME
O-E-DALLAY
OLD FAT BOAT (Mattapoisset Harbor Inventory)
RIGHT SAID FRED (CUP OF TEA)
RORY DALL
THE BAYOU SARA
TUNE FOR NOVEMBER
TURN OVER IN THE MORNING
TURN YE TO ME
TURNING TOWARD THE MORNING
WAYS OF MAN ARE PASSING STRANGE
WEARY OF THE DARNING


Related threads:
(origins) Origins: Hadjanek: The Snow That Comes (Bok) (5)
(origins) Origins: Homeward Bound (from Gordon Bok) (10)
Chords: Turning toward the Morning (Gordon Bok) (14)
(origins) Origins: Hills of Isle au Haut (Gordon Bok) (18)
Lyr Req/Add: Duna ^^^ (61)
Lyr Req: Hang On John (Bob Stuart) (7)
Lyr Req: Seal Djiril's Hymn (Gordon Bok) (3)
Gordon Bok's Ways of Man (8)
Lyr Req: Pearly [Little Red] (Gordon Bok) (6)
Lyr Req: contains Wide Dark Waters, All Alone (9)
Lyr Req: Sier Lapalang (from Gordon Bok) (17)
Lyr Req: Dylan Bay? / Dillan Bay (Gordon Bok) (18)
Req:Mare's Tails and Mackerel Scales-Herring Croon (8)
Help: Hills of Idaho? / Hills of Isle au Haut (13)
Lyr Req: Saben, the Woodfitter (Gordon Bok) (8)
Lyr Req: Saben the Woodfitter (Gordon Bok) (6)
Lyr Req: Mr Eneos (Gordon Bok) (4)
Lyr Req: Jeremy Brown and Jeannie Teal (4)
Lyr Req: Sailors' Carol (from Gordon Bok) (3)
A rare treat: Bok & MacArthur songwriting workshop (4)
Lyr Add: Cape Ann (Gordon Bok) (10)
Lyr Req: Turning of the Year (Gordon Bok) (7)
Lyr Req: The Kind Land (Gordon Bok) (4)
Lyr Req: Old Fat Boat (Gordon Bok) (3)


GUEST,Susan-Marie 06 Feb 21 - 03:03 PM
Joe Offer 06 Feb 21 - 03:24 PM
maeve 06 Feb 21 - 03:45 PM
Joe Offer 06 Feb 21 - 03:49 PM
Joe Offer 06 Feb 21 - 04:25 PM
GUEST,Susan-Marie 06 Feb 21 - 04:34 PM
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Subject: Origins: what is a Brandy Tree?
From: GUEST,Susan-Marie
Date: 06 Feb 21 - 03:03 PM

I'm a life-long lover of Gordon Bok and often sing The Brandy Tree.

But I can't find any information on what a "Brandy Tree" is.

I know brandy is often aged in oak barrels - is a Brandy Tree an oak?


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Subject: RE: Origins: what is a Brandy Tree?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 06 Feb 21 - 03:24 PM

Hi, Susan-Marie - I've always liked Gordon Bok's "Brandy Tree" song, but I have also been mystified about it. Here are the lyrics we have in the Digital Tradition Folk Song Database - they appear to have been taken from Gordon's 1977 Time and the Flying Snow songbook (with insignificant differences). I compared the lyrics on the Gordon Bok Website and put the different words from the Website in italics. The major difference is one word, "ride."

BRANDY TREE (Otter's Song) (DT Lyrics)

(E) Am Em / Em Am Em / F Em / Am G Am

I go down to the brandy tree
(And?) Take my nose and my tail with me,
All for the world and the wind to see
And never come back no more.

Down in the meadowmarsh, deep and wide,
Tumble the tangle by my side,
All for the westing wind to run (ride?)
And slide in the summer rain.

C G7 G / C G7 G / Am Em / Am G Am
    Sun, come follow my happy way;
    Wind, come walk beside me.
    Moon on the mountain, go with me:
    A wondrous way I know.

I go down to the windy sea
And the little grey seal will play with me;
Slide on the rock and dive in the bay
And sleep on the ledge at night.
    But the seal don't try to tell me
    How to fish in the windy blue;
    Seals (Seal's ?)been fishing for a thousand years,
    And he knows that I have, too.

When the frog goes down to the mud to sleep
And the lamprey hide (hides?) in the boulders deep,
I take my nose and my tail and go
A hundred thousand hills.
    Sun come follow my happy way, wind come walk beside me
    Moon on the mountain go with me, a wondrous way I know
Someday, down by the brandy tree,
I'll hear the Shepherd call for me;
Call me to leave my happy ways
And the shining world I know.
    Sun on the hill, come go with me,
    My days have all been free.
    The pipes come laughing down the wind
    And that's the way I go, That's the way for me.


Words and music by Gordon Bok.
Recorded on "Seal Djiril's Hymn," FSI-48
"I learned this song from a small otter on Sherman's Point,
Knox County, State of Maine, on a cold morning in 1966. Thinking
it over, I wrote the refrain myself. A thousand years (I was
told) is a long time for an otter. So should it be for us."
Copyright Folk Legacy Records, Inc 1977
@animal
filename[ BRANDYTR
TUNE FILE: BRANDYTR
CLICK TO PLAY
DC


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Subject: RE: Origins: what is a Brandy Tree?
From: maeve
Date: 06 Feb 21 - 03:45 PM

Some further information from Gordon: http://www.timberheadmusic.com/disc/brandytree.htm


    I got most of this song from a small otter who used to hang out in the same woods I did, around Sherman's Point, many years ago. Many folks have asked me about the name of the song: I was never sure of what that word was, (Bandy Tree, Bundy Tee?) nor do I think it matters. I've come to think of it as a place inside ourselves where, once we've been there, we know how to find it again.


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Subject: RE: Origins: what is a Brandy Tree?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 06 Feb 21 - 03:49 PM

Thanks, Maeve. I added the pertinent text from your link to your post. I see from the link from the Maeve that the song is ©1967 Gordon Bok, BMI. Apparently, Gordon doesn't know what the Brandy Tree is, either. He couldn't completely understand Otterspeak when he learned the song from the little otter.

The song was released in 1972 on a Folk-Legacy album titled Seal Djiril's Hymn. Smithsonian Folkways now owns the Folk-Legacy label and usually has full album notes, but not on this album.

The explanatory notes in the Digital Tradition are what Gordon Bok says about the song in his 1977 Time and the Flying Snow Songbook:
    "I learned this song from a small otter on Sherman's Point, Knox County, State of Maine, on a cold morning in 1966. Thinking it over, I wrote the refrain myself.
    A thousand years (I was told) is a long time for an otter. So should it be for us."
I found the album notes. They say essentially the same thing, but in abbreviated form.



Lyrics and chords can also be found on Page 28 of the Rise Up Singing Songbook.

Here's the original 1972 recording: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oKzDcE53iss

And here's a recording from the Gordon Bok Other Eyes album, apparently recorded in 2015: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ZtOkjyxcro


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Subject: RE: Origins: what is a Brandy Tree?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 06 Feb 21 - 04:25 PM

So, Susan-Marie, in case you get lost in all this verbiage, Gordon Bok's explanation is that he doesn't know what a Brandy Tree is, and isn't even sure he has the word straight. He says: I was never sure of what that word was, (Bandy Tree, Bundy Tee?) nor do I think it matters. I've come to think of it as a place inside ourselves where, once we've been there, we know how to find it again.


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Subject: RE: Origins: what is a Brandy Tree?
From: GUEST,Susan-Marie
Date: 06 Feb 21 - 04:34 PM

Cool, thanks! I'll have to find an otter myself and ask them.


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