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Origins: The Unquiet Grave (Cold Blows the Wind)

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THE UNQUIET GRAVE
UNQUIET GRAVE 2


Related threads:
The Unquiet Grave (55)
Lyr Req: Unquiet Grave, Hammond and Gardiner (10)
Lyr Req: Unquiet Grave (Nancy Kerr version) (10)
Help: 'The Unquiet Grave' (6)
Lyr/Chords Req: chords 'The unquiet grave' (8)
unquiet grave (4)


Hutch 30 May 97 - 12:12 PM
Bert Hansell 30 May 97 - 01:22 PM
Susan of DT 01 Jun 97 - 08:26 PM
Hutch 02 Jun 97 - 05:33 AM
LaMarca 02 Jun 97 - 06:19 PM
Hutch 03 Jun 97 - 04:37 AM
jon a 31 Jul 99 - 06:26 PM
laurel 02 Aug 99 - 01:33 PM
Sandy Paton 02 Aug 99 - 02:17 PM
Joe Offer 02 Aug 99 - 03:37 PM
Sandy Paton 02 Aug 99 - 05:00 PM
jon a 02 Aug 99 - 06:17 PM
dick greenhaus 02 Aug 99 - 06:26 PM
GUEST,Jeff Sampson 08 Sep 00 - 07:43 PM
Mbo 08 Sep 00 - 07:50 PM
Liz the Squeak 09 Sep 00 - 05:45 AM
IanC 09 Sep 00 - 10:45 AM
GUEST,Bruce O. 09 Sep 00 - 02:01 PM
Nigel Parsons 18 Feb 11 - 09:05 AM
GUEST,leeneia 18 Feb 11 - 09:34 AM
BrianD 19 Feb 11 - 09:12 AM
JohnH 19 Feb 11 - 06:12 PM
Uncle_DaveO 19 Feb 11 - 07:41 PM
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Subject: The Unquiet Grave
From: Hutch
Date: 30 May 97 - 12:12 PM

A beautiful folk song is the Unquiet Grave, wherein a young man remains by the grave of his loved one until the ghost tells him to go and get a life. The tune is particularly beatiful, and can be found in a rather stayed version in the English Hymnal under the name Kingsfold.

Could anyone provide me with any version of the words that they know, and suggest any other tunes it may have been set to. Also any history, what part of England does it come from?


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Subject: RE: The Unquiet Grave
From: Bert Hansell
Date: 30 May 97 - 01:22 PM

Found this site on the web.

http://kendaco.telebyte.com/~gduke/unquiet.html

Bert.


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Subject: RE: The Unquiet Grave
From: Susan of DT
Date: 01 Jun 97 - 08:26 PM

It's in the database. Search for "unquiet"


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Subject: RE: The Unquiet Grave
From: Hutch
Date: 02 Jun 97 - 05:33 AM

Thankyou both of you. I now have at least three versions of the words. I'm still worried about the tune though.

I remember a record of a group called Gryphon (that I borrowed from my brother years ago) and it had the same odd number of verses. As I said, it has been set to a tune RVW calles Kingsfold (see English Hymnal). However, that requires two lots of 4 lines per verse. See my problem. Is it that the song is actually incomplete, and has been sung with an unfinished last verse for years, or is there another tune of which anyone knows.

Cheers.


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE UNQUIET GRAVE (from Hammond-Gardiner)
From: LaMarca
Date: 02 Jun 97 - 06:19 PM

Hutch, I have the Gryphon version. It's set to a tune known in the traditional folk world as "The Star of the County Down" (Irish variant) or Dives and Lazarus (English variant from a Child ballad about the biblical rich man and the beggar). R. Vaughan Williams wrote a theme and variations on Dives and Lazarus for chamber ensemble that's quite beautiful.

The version I've been singing comes from the Hammond-Gardiner collection; they collected it with the tune of Dives and Lazarus (or pretty damn close) somewhere in rural England; Bronson has an American version set to this tune, too. Many of the songs collected by Hammond and Gardiner were issued in several paperbacks edited by Frank Purslow for the English Folk Dance and Song Society in the late 60's/early 70's. A whole bunch of the English folk rockers and revivalists got large chunks of their repertoires from this collection. Here's the lyrics I sing (mostly from Hammond/Gardiner, with a bit of folk-processing); it evens out the slightly irregular verse structure Gryphon used, and adds some really grim verses at the end that Gryphon decided to leave out...(A is the A part of the tune, B is the second part) I love a good, spooky English necrophilia song...


THE UNQUIET GRAVE
(from Hammond-Gardiner)

A: Cold blows the wind from my true love
And gently drops the rain.
I never had but one true love
And in greenwood he lies slain.

B: I'll do as much for my true love
As any young girl may.
I'll sit and mourn all on his grave
For a 12-month and a day.

A: When the twelve-month and a day was past
The ghost began to speak:
"Why sittest thou all on my grave
And will not let me sleep?"

B: "There's one thing that I want, sweetheart.
There's one thing that I crave,
And that is a kiss from your lily-white lips
And I'll go from your grave."

A: "My lips, they are as cold as clay.
My breath is earthy strong;
And if you kiss my clay-cold lips,
Your days they won't be long.

B: "Go fetch me water from the desert deep
And blood from out a stone.
Go fetch me milk from a young maid's breast
That a young man ne'er has known."

A: "Oh, down in Cupid's garden, love,
Where you and I would walk,
The fairest flower that ever I saw
Lies withered to a stalk.

B: Oh, the stalk is withered and dry, sweetheart,
And the flower will ne'er return,
And since I've lost my own true love,
What can I do but mourn?"

A: "Oh, don't you see those flames, sweetheart,
Those flames that burn so blue,
Where my poor soul tormented lies
While I bide here with you?

B: And if you were not my own true love,
As I know you well to be,
I would rend you up in pieces small
As the leaves upon a tree!

A: Mourn not for me, my own true love.
Mourn not for me, I pray,
For I must leave you and all the world
And turn down to my grave."

B: "When shall we meet again, sweetheart?
When shall we meet again?"
"When the oaken leaves that fall from the trees
Are green and spring up again."


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Subject: RE: The Unquiet Grave
From: Hutch
Date: 03 Jun 97 - 04:37 AM

That now makes a lot more sense. And thanks for the added info, just what I needed. Do you know if the paperbacks to which you refer are still available, or indeed, were they ever on general sale?

Many thanks again.

    Threads combined. Messages below are from a new thread.
    -Joe Offer-


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Subject: ADD Version: THE UNQUIET GRAVE
From: jon a
Date: 31 Jul 99 - 06:26 PM

THE UNQUIET GRAVE

Cold blows the wind to my true love,
And gently drops the rain.
I only had but one true love,
And in green-wood she lies slain.

I'll do as much for my true love,
As any young man may,
I'll sit and mourn all on her grave,
For twelve months and a day.

When the twelve months and one day was passed,
The ghost began to speak,
"Why sittest thou all on my grave
And will no let me sleep?"

There is one thing that I want sweetheart,
There is one thing that I crave,
And that is a kiss from your lily white lips,
Then I'll go from your grave.

"My lips they are as cold as clay,
My breath is earthy strong,
And if you kiss my cold clay lips,
Your days they won't be long."

"Go fetch me water from the desert,
and blood from out a stone,
Go fetch me milk from a fair maid's breast,
That a young man never has known.

"T'was down in cupid's garden,
where you and I would walk,
The finest flower that ever I saw
Has withered to a stalk."

The stalk is withered and dry sweetheart,
the flower will ne're return,
and since I lost my own true love,
what can I do but mourn?

"When will we meet again, sweetheart,
When will we meet again?"
"When the autumn leaves that fall from the trees
Are green and spring up again."


This is the lyrics to the Unquiet Grave as I was taught them Back in the late 1970's when I was at school. I do not know if anyone is interested or how to add them to the data base so I left this thread/.

Jon


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Subject: RE: the unquiet grave- different lyrics (slightly
From: laurel
Date: 02 Aug 99 - 01:33 PM

Thank you, Jon. I like to know the different variations of song lyrics.

Laurel


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Subject: RE: the unquiet grave- different lyrics (slightly
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 02 Aug 99 - 02:17 PM

Can you give us the source of your text, please? I'd like to look it up.

Sandy


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Subject: RE: the unquiet grave-different lyrics (slightly)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 02 Aug 99 - 03:37 PM

I searched for #78 in the database and found two versions of this song, which is Child Ballad #78 -this (one) and this (two). The notes in the database on the first song are particularly interesting. The version Jon posted is quite different. Are there others? I heard somebody make this into a terrific story on a storytelling tape I heard a while back.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: the unquiet grave- different lyrics (slightly
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 02 Aug 99 - 05:00 PM

I sing three versions: One from Baring-Gould, one from Sharp, and one from Flanders (collected in New York State from Lily Delorme). This text, however, I'll have to look up in Bronson tonight, when I get home from running errands for Caroline.

Sandy


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Subject: RE: the unquiet grave- different lyrics (slightly
From: jon a
Date: 02 Aug 99 - 06:17 PM

I am glad you like it. unfortunately I have no source for it as I was taught these lyrics at school in about 1977,and we were only given photocopied sheets.

sorry Sandy!


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Subject: RE: the unquiet grave- different lyrics (slightly
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 02 Aug 99 - 06:26 PM

It's one of the fine ballads. Somehow, though, it always makes me think of the drunk who fell into an open grave while wending his uneven way from the tavern one winter day. A second drunk, passing by, heard him wailing, "Help! I'm freezing down here!" To which the second responded, "No wonder you're cold. You kicked all your dirt off."
    Threads combined. Messages below are from a new thread.
    -Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: The Unquiet Grave
From: GUEST,Jeff Sampson
Date: 08 Sep 00 - 07:43 PM

For those interested in hearing a hauntingly lovely, if abbreviated, version of this tune, SOLAS covered it on Sunny Skies and Scattered Showers.


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Subject: RE: The Unquiet Grave
From: Mbo
Date: 08 Sep 00 - 07:50 PM

My favorite version is by Robin Laing. He accompanies himself on classical guitar (YES!) and does some cool rasguetados in there at the end.


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Subject: RE: The Unquiet Grave
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 09 Sep 00 - 05:45 AM

As a girl in school, we were given a choice of poems to learn, for reciatation. Of 31 in the class, 30 chose a version of this to learn. Guess who was the odd one out. I learned Tyger, tyger. Even after 20 years, I can still remember this one better than I do tyger! It REALLY gets monotonous when you hear 30 girls do it in one afternoon. Even the teacher had to go out for a minute (we always suspected she kept a flask of scotch about her person.....)

Ah, the wind doth blow today my love,
And a few small drops of rain,
I never had but one true love,
In a cold grave, she was lain......

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!

LTS


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Subject: ADD Version: THE UNQUIET GRAVE
From: IanC
Date: 09 Sep 00 - 10:45 AM

THE UNQUIET GRAVE

Cold blows the wind, today, my love
With a few small drops of rain
I only had but one true love
And she in the cold grave is lain

I'll do as much for my true love
As any young man may
I'll sit and mourn all on her grave
for a twelvemonth and a day

Now twelvemonth and a day being o'er
The dead began to speak
"Oh who is this sits on my grave
And will not let me sleep"

"'Tis I 'tis I, your own true love
Who will not let you sleep.
I crave one kiss from your cold, dead lips,
And then I'll let you sleep"

"You crave one kiss from my clay cold lips
My breath is earthy strong
If you had one kiss from my cold clay lips
Your time would not be long"

"Look down in yonder garden green,
Love, where we used to walk
The fairest flower in all the land
Is withered to a stalk"

"The stalk is withered dry, my love,
So must we all decay,
So make yourself contented be
Till God calls you away"
^^^
This is the version I have sung since I can remember singing it. My friend Alan, however, signs a longer version without the flowers but including some of the riddles.

Cheers
IanC


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Subject: RE: The Unquiet Grave
From: GUEST,Bruce O.
Date: 09 Sep 00 - 02:01 PM

Child #78, for which Bronson gives 43 tunes in 'The Traditional Tunes of the Child Ballads'. The "Gilderoy/ Lazarus/ Star of the County Down" tune is #41, the first in Bronson's group B. Rather different than most, but it seems to be the oldest (Burne's 'Shropshire Folk-Lore', 1886, then Broadwood and Fuller Maitland's 'English County Songs', 1893).
    Threads combined. Messages below are from a new thread.
    -Joe Offer-


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Subject: Lyr Add: Cold Blows The Wind
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 18 Feb 11 - 09:05 AM

COLD BLOWS THE WIND.

Cold blows the wind to-night, true love,
Cold are the drops of rain;
I never had but one sweetheart,
And in greenwood she lies slain.

I'll do as much for my sweetheart
As any young man may;
I'll sit and mourn all on her grave,
A twelvemonth and a day.

The twelvemonth and a day was past,
The ghost began to speak.
Why weep you there upon my grave,
And will not let me sleep?

What is it that you want of me.
And will not let me sleep?
Your salten tears they trickle down
And wet my winding-sheet.

What dost thou want of me, true heart.
Of me what dost thou crave?
One only kiss from your lily-white lips,
Then I'll go from your grave.

My lips are cold as clay, sweetheart,
My breath smells earthy strong,
And if you kiss my lily-white lips
Your time will not be long.

Mv time be short, my time be long,
To-morrow or to-day,
May Christ in heaven have all my soul—
But I'll kiss your lips of clay.

When shall we meet again, sweetheart?
When shall we meet again?
When the oaken leaves that fall from the trees
Are green—and spring again.

NP

Having searched for this by both title, and distinctive line. This version appears not to be in the DT
This version is from:
"English Folk-Songs for Schools" (Curwen Edition 6051)
collected and arranged by S Baring Gould, M.A. and Cecil J. Sharp, B.A.

I'll drop a PM to Joe asking that this be added to the links for "The Unquiet Grave"


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Cold Blows The Wind
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 18 Feb 11 - 09:34 AM

Thanks, Nigel.


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Unquiet Grave (Cold Blows the Wind)
From: BrianD
Date: 19 Feb 11 - 09:12 AM

My favourite version has to be Luke Kelly


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Unquiet Grave (Cold Blows the Wind)
From: JohnH
Date: 19 Feb 11 - 06:12 PM

Heard Shona Donaldson sing this at Bromyard FF about 4 years ago. Superb. It brought tears to my eyes! Where is she?


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Unquiet Grave (Cold Blows the Wind)
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 19 Feb 11 - 07:41 PM

The version I've been singing for years beyond count is as follows.
I have "bolded" words and phrases that I think differ from what has been cited above, but more's the pity, the HTML isn't turning off correctly, so I changed it back.

THE UNQUIET GRAVE

Bold blows the wind to my true love
And gentle drops the rain.
I never had but one true love
And in greenwood she is lain.

I'll do as much for my true love
As any young man may.
I'll sit and weep all on her grave
For a twelve-month and a day.

When twelve-month and one day were o'er
Her ghost began for to speak:
"Why do you sit all on my grave
And will not let me sleep?"

"There's one thing more I want, sweetheart.
And one thing more I crave,
And that's a kiss from your lily-white lips
And then I'll go from your grave."

"My lips are cold as clay, sweetheart.
My breath smells heavy and strong;
And if you kissed my lily-white lips,
Your time would not be long."

"Oh, down in yonder's garden green
Love,where we used to walk,
The finest flower that e'r was seen
Is withered to a stalk."

Ask me not where I learned this song; I have no idea at this late date. I've been singing it this way for about fifty years.

Dave Oesterreich


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