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Help: Usher's Well: What is a 'winding sheet'

Grey Wolf 05 Feb 00 - 09:44 AM
sophocleese 05 Feb 00 - 09:48 AM
Clinton Hammond2 05 Feb 00 - 09:51 AM
sophocleese 05 Feb 00 - 09:55 AM
Amos 05 Feb 00 - 09:56 AM
Grey Wolf 05 Feb 00 - 12:25 PM
paddymac 05 Feb 00 - 12:32 PM
Grey Wolf 05 Feb 00 - 12:34 PM
katlaughing 05 Feb 00 - 03:16 PM
Susanne (skw) 05 Feb 00 - 05:22 PM
katlaughing 05 Feb 00 - 05:34 PM
Grey Wolf 05 Feb 00 - 06:32 PM
Amos 05 Feb 00 - 06:42 PM
sophocleese 05 Feb 00 - 06:50 PM
Grey Wolf 05 Feb 00 - 07:05 PM
Night Owl 05 Feb 00 - 07:35 PM
katlaughing 05 Feb 00 - 07:58 PM
Grey Wolf 05 Feb 00 - 08:22 PM
Metchosin 05 Feb 00 - 08:24 PM
katlaughing 05 Feb 00 - 08:35 PM
katlaughing 05 Feb 00 - 08:35 PM
Sourdough 05 Feb 00 - 11:17 PM
Margo 06 Feb 00 - 07:01 PM
paddymac 07 Feb 00 - 12:20 AM
Escamillo 07 Feb 00 - 02:02 AM
katlaughing 07 Feb 00 - 08:39 AM
Penny S. 07 Feb 00 - 10:54 AM
Blackcat2 07 Feb 00 - 01:12 PM
Amos 07 Feb 00 - 01:20 PM
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Subject: Usher's Well: What is a 'winding sheet'
From: Grey Wolf
Date: 05 Feb 00 - 09:44 AM

In some versions of 'The Wife of Usher's Well' (not the 2 in the DT database)there are references to a 'winding sheet' The recent Carthy version is the most obvious exampe.

Having checked the excellent glossary in Child volume 5, and searched though the best dictionaries I can find, I'm still at a loss

Any ideas appreciated.

Wolf


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Subject: RE: Help: Usher's Well: What is a 'winding sheet'
From: sophocleese
Date: 05 Feb 00 - 09:48 AM

I thought it was the sheet in which the bead person was wrapped before they were buried.


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Subject: RE: Help: Usher's Well: What is a 'winding sheet'
From: Clinton Hammond2
Date: 05 Feb 00 - 09:51 AM

I'm gonna have to second that, But I'd like to phone a friend... ;-)

P.S. I want my Shroud-Of-Turin beach towel back! That thing was a million laughs....


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Subject: RE: Help: Usher's Well: What is a 'winding sheet'
From: sophocleese
Date: 05 Feb 00 - 09:55 AM

That should read 'dead' person not 'bead' person, it is/was not a practice exclusive to trinket vendors.


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Subject: RE: Help: Usher's Well: What is a 'winding sheet'
From: Amos
Date: 05 Feb 00 - 09:56 AM

Now soph, take it easy on those bead people! They're harmless. You don't need to wrap them up in long linens!

A winding sheet is a shroud, a sheet for wrapping up corpses.

A


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Subject: RE: Help: Usher's Well: What is a 'winding sheet'
From: Grey Wolf
Date: 05 Feb 00 - 12:25 PM

sophocleese,

Thanks for that, it makes perfect sense.

curious as to why the Oxford English Dictionary doesn't mention that usage...

Thanks again

Wolf


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Subject: RE: Help: Usher's Well: What is a 'winding sheet'
From: paddymac
Date: 05 Feb 00 - 12:32 PM

The forerunner of today's "body bags". In a psychological sense, they "sanitize" the dead, make the "untouchable" touchable, and hide much unpleasantness. All in all, an accomodation to the cold realities of life and death.


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Subject: RE: Help: Usher's Well: What is a 'winding sheet'
From: Grey Wolf
Date: 05 Feb 00 - 12:34 PM

thanks to Amos too


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Subject: RE: Help: Usher's Well: What is a 'winding sheet'
From: katlaughing
Date: 05 Feb 00 - 03:16 PM

My old feels-like-fifty-pounds Random House says the usual:

1. a sheet in which a corpse is wrapped for burial;

but then it goes on to say:

2. a mass of tallow or wax that has run down and hardened on the side of a candle, sometimes considered an omen of misfortune!

Thanks goodness for dripless, eh?


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Subject: RE: Help: Usher's Well: What is a 'winding sheet'
From: Susanne (skw)
Date: 05 Feb 00 - 05:22 PM

The usage also occurs in 'Wrap the green flag round me boys': 'Let Ireland's noble emblem (?)boys, be my winding sheet' (sorry, off the top of my head - I'm not good at remembering lyrics). - Susanne


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Subject: RE: Help: Usher's Well: What is a 'winding sheet'
From: katlaughing
Date: 05 Feb 00 - 05:34 PM

If you search the DT for "winding sheet", the following songs come up:

WHERE HELEN LIES
TALL MEN RIDING
SIR WILLIAM GOWER
THE SHAKING OF THE SHEETS
THE SAILOR'S GRAVE
PATRICK SPENCER
MOVING FATHER'S GRAVE
LITTLE SIR WILLIAM
LITTLE SIR HUGH
JAMIE FOYERS
THE DRUMMER BOY OF SHILOH
THE CRUEL MOTHER

The flag his winding sheet, God's Book 13) THE CRUEL MOTHER

And made it into a winding sheet


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Subject: RE: Help: Usher's Well: What is a 'winding sheet'
From: Grey Wolf
Date: 05 Feb 00 - 06:32 PM

Kat,

I did the search and came up with the same results.

Possibly I'm really stupid, but you guys have come up with an answer that I found really to find. As I said I looked at Child in the library and did the same with the multi volume Oxford English Dictionary.

What do you mean by 'random house?' I assume that it's a publishing company, but I'd like further info.

My research technique is obviously somewhat suspect. Any advice would be appreciated.

Wolf


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Subject: RE: Help: Usher's Well: What is a 'winding sheet'
From: Amos
Date: 05 Feb 00 - 06:42 PM

Mine came from the American Heritage digital dictionary which I keep handy on my putyain.

Random House is a US publishing house which produces dictionaries among other things.

A


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Subject: RE: Help: Usher's Well: What is a 'winding sheet'
From: sophocleese
Date: 05 Feb 00 - 06:50 PM

Actually I checked my copy of the Concise Oxford Dictionary and they list it there - in which corpse is wrapped for burial.


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Subject: RE: Help: Usher's Well: What is a 'winding sheet'
From: Grey Wolf
Date: 05 Feb 00 - 07:05 PM

Sophocleese and others,

A lesson for me, I guess...

I'd been so pleased with the search abilities of the CD ROM versions of the OED that I assumed that they were always right.

Had I bothered to consult my paper version of the humble 'concise' OED I'd have found the answer within a few minutes...

My apologies if I wasted any of your time

Wolf


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Subject: RE: Help: Usher's Well: What is a 'winding sheet'
From: Night Owl
Date: 05 Feb 00 - 07:35 PM

Grey Wolf.....NOT a waste of time...now we ALL got another piece of educashun about the lyrics we sing!!


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Subject: RE: Help: Usher's Well: What is a 'winding sheet'
From: katlaughing
Date: 05 Feb 00 - 07:58 PM

No problem at all, GW, this is what makes it so interesting around here! We love delving into the obscure & figuring it out! Oh, and it was the "hard copy" I consulted.

Here's a site you may find interesting: Humongous OnLine Dictionary of every language imaginable including some languages I've never even heard of before! Fun site!

I had another thought on this. Don't you suppose this is where the custom came from of thinking/making *ghosts* look like a white bedsheet with eyeholes cut out of it? I wonder how many parents and children, nowadays, would want to drape them in such for Halloween, knowing what we know about winding sheets!? Ooo, cooties! **BG** Woooooooo!!!!BOO!

kat


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Subject: RE: Help: Usher's Well: What is a 'winding sheet'
From: Grey Wolf
Date: 05 Feb 00 - 08:22 PM

Kat,

That's a very interesting thought - one that I'd never considered.

If I had considered it I'd have probaby got no further back than Scooby Doo. Hanna / Barbara (sp?) must have based it on something

Wolf

hating non musical threads, i hold up my hands, close my eyes and wait to be shot at


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Subject: RE: Help: Usher's Well: What is a 'winding sheet'
From: Metchosin
Date: 05 Feb 00 - 08:24 PM

Grey Wolf, Winding sheet is also referred to in the song Bennachie, also in the DT, but it doesn't appear to have come up in the above list, so you may not get all the references even if they are in there.

Benannachie is in the DT as a song by Old Blind Dogs, but the actual lyrics on their Album, New Tricks is closer to the lyrics posted by Murray on Saltspring in Bennachie(2). They also have an additional verse too, something like:

Gin me awa where the Gadie runs
Wi the bonnie broome and the yellow hunds
Gin me awa where the Gadie runs
At the back of Bennachie.

If anyone with a knowledge of dialect, familiar with their song could help me with the correct words, I would be most appreciative.

But perhaps I should just start a new thread.


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Subject: RE: Help: Usher's Well: What is a 'winding sheet'
From: katlaughing
Date: 05 Feb 00 - 08:35 PM

Dear Scooby/GW, this most definitely rates as a musical thread, through and through. You just experienced a bit of associative thread drift or creep, whichever you prefer. As you can see by Metchosin's example and others, someone always jumps in, even in the BS threads, to include music in some way. No probs!**BG**

Wind me round, wrap me tight
Just like a mummy in the night
I'll haunt you, maybe taunt you
Make you jump when I say "Boo!"

There ya go, a chorus, all it needs is some verses now!

katlaughing (with a lower case "k", as there is another "Kat" here)


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Subject: RE: Help: Usher's Well: What is a 'winding sheet'
From: katlaughing
Date: 05 Feb 00 - 08:35 PM

Dear Scooby/GW, this most definitely rates as a musical thread, through and through. You just experienced a bit of associative thread drift or creep, whichever you prefer. As you can see by Metchosin's example and others, someone always jumps in, even in the BS threads, to include music in some way. No probs!**BG**

Wind me round, wrap me tight
Just like a mummy in the night
I'll haunt you, maybe taunt you
Make you jump when I say "Boo!"

There ya go, a chorus, all it needs is some verses now!

katlaughing (with a lower case "k", as there is another "Kat" here)


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Subject: RE: Help: Usher's Well: What is a 'winding sheet'
From: Sourdough
Date: 05 Feb 00 - 11:17 PM

Isn't a winding sheet a synonym for a shroud? I always think of ghosts as wearing their shroud. (As I write this, I am watching the Italians sailing against the US. Both boats are wearing *their* shrouds.)

Sourdough


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Subject: RE: Help: Usher's Well: What is a 'winding sheet'
From: Margo
Date: 06 Feb 00 - 07:01 PM

Another reference to a winding sheet. This line from this song taught me the meaning without having had to ask. The mourner is crying over the grave....

(From the Unquiet Grave)
"whose salton tears come running down, and wet my winding sheet?"

Another reference to being wound in linens is in the Robert Burns song "Merry Hae I Been"
"Blessed be the hour she cooled in her linens"

As you may have guessed, he was glad she died!

Margo


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Subject: RE: Help: Usher's Well: What is a 'winding sheet'
From: paddymac
Date: 07 Feb 00 - 12:20 AM

Same idea, but in "Fiddlers' Green" it's "wrap me up in me oilskins and blanket, no more on the docks I'll be seen". Presumptively for a burial at sea.


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Subject: RE: Help: Usher's Well: What is a 'winding sheet'
From: Escamillo
Date: 07 Feb 00 - 02:02 AM

Kat, GW, here is another demonstration that among musical people, all matters drive us to some aspect of music sooner or later :)
Your reference to the multi-dictionaries drove me to an excelent site where I could find a course on German, which is a language that I always wanted to learn and never have had the time. Why am I willing to study German ? 'cause I want to SING German songs with a full knowledge and not just by phonetics and translations. Thank you for the link !
Un abrazo - Andrés


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Subject: RE: Help: Usher's Well: What is a 'winding sheet'
From: katlaughing
Date: 07 Feb 00 - 08:39 AM

Andrés, you are welcome. I came by it through soomone else at the Mudcat. It is indeed wonderful how we share and things come round, isn't it?

katlaughing


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Subject: RE: Help: Usher's Well: What is a 'winding sheet'
From: Penny S.
Date: 07 Feb 00 - 10:54 AM

There was a law once in England (not sure whether in Wales or other parts Celtic) that shrouds must be made of wool -there was a problem with a drop in demand for woollen material, and this was seen as a solution! In one of Kipling's poems, he refers to Old Mother Laidinwool, who comes back to see how her family is doing.

Penny


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Subject: RE: Help: Usher's Well: What is a 'winding sheet'
From: Blackcat2
Date: 07 Feb 00 - 01:12 PM

Greetings all

The winding sheet also appears in some versions of "William Bloat" and as for "Fiddler's Green" - the version I learned was "Dress me up in me oilskins and jumpers, no more on the docks I'll be seen - implying (to me at least) that the fellow was asking to be clothed in his work gear so he'd be ready for "work" in the other realm (Fiddler's Green being the "Heaven" of sailors).

pax yall


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Subject: RE: Help: Usher's Well: What is a 'winding sheet'
From: Amos
Date: 07 Feb 00 - 01:20 PM

There's a number of sea songs that are third cousins to "Play the Fife Lowly" and the "Streets of Laredo", in which wrapping a dying sailor in his hammock was de rigueur preparatory to weighting him down with shot and sliding him off to lee'ard.

The sturdy canvas hammock made a fine winding sheet, and lord knows how many of 'em from centuries past are littering the bottom of the seas. Well, the shot, anyway.

A


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