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Origins: Solvay, Solvay / Sovay

DigiTrad:
SOVAY
THE FEMALE HIGHWAYMAN
THE MALE FEMALE HIGHWAYMAN


Related threads:
Tune Req: Sovay (20)
Time signature????? (20)
Lyr Req: Sovay / Sylvie (17)
TAB or Notation to 'Sovay' (21)


GUEST,Anne MacFie 10 Feb 00 - 06:43 PM
Lanfranc 10 Feb 00 - 06:47 PM
Noah Zacharin 11 Feb 00 - 12:35 PM
GUEST,Helge 11 Feb 00 - 02:35 PM
McGrath of Harlow 11 Feb 00 - 03:03 PM
McGrath of Harlow 11 Feb 00 - 03:10 PM
Sandy Paton 11 Feb 00 - 04:51 PM
alison 12 Feb 00 - 12:16 AM
GUEST 12 Feb 00 - 09:17 AM
Malcolm Douglas 12 Feb 00 - 05:36 PM
Lesley N. 12 Feb 00 - 05:46 PM
GUEST,Roberto 14 Feb 00 - 04:00 AM
Garry Gillard 26 Feb 00 - 11:55 PM
Malcolm Douglas 27 Feb 00 - 12:21 AM
Ed Pellow 27 Feb 00 - 05:50 AM
Garry Gillard 27 Feb 00 - 09:34 AM
Ed Pellow 27 Feb 00 - 10:07 AM
Garry Gillard 01 Mar 00 - 02:03 AM
GUEST,Rossin 02 Apr 11 - 06:41 PM
Joe Offer 01 Jun 20 - 01:36 AM
GUEST,henryp 01 Jun 20 - 03:05 AM
GUEST,henryp 01 Jun 20 - 03:05 AM
GUEST,Gerry 01 Jun 20 - 03:51 AM
GUEST 18 Oct 20 - 01:04 PM
GUEST 18 Oct 20 - 04:53 PM
GUEST 18 Oct 20 - 05:37 PM
Steve Gardham 18 Oct 20 - 06:02 PM
GeoffLawes 18 Oct 20 - 07:36 PM
GeoffLawes 20 Oct 20 - 07:03 AM
GeoffLawes 20 Oct 20 - 07:23 AM
Steve Gardham 20 Oct 20 - 02:32 PM
GeoffLawes 23 Oct 20 - 12:17 PM
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Subject: Solvay
From: GUEST,Anne MacFie
Date: 10 Feb 00 - 06:43 PM

Need lyrics for version of THE FEMALE HIGHWAYMAN in which her name is Solvay. I think Martin Carthy recorded it.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Solvay, Solvay
From: Lanfranc
Date: 10 Feb 00 - 06:47 PM

Try a search for SOVAY in the database


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Solvay, Solvay
From: Noah Zacharin
Date: 11 Feb 00 - 12:35 PM

pentangle also recorded it, beautiful version, as 'sovay, sovay'


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Solvay, Solvay
From: GUEST,Helge
Date: 11 Feb 00 - 02:35 PM

Bert Jansch recorded this one with his Conundrum

Helge in Norway


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Solvay, Solvay
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 11 Feb 00 - 03:03 PM

I just checked, and it don't seem to be in DT. Someone please send it in. (Normally when I say that, it turns out it's been there all along. But I couldn't find it nohow.)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Solvay, Solvay
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 11 Feb 00 - 03:10 PM

Belay that. I tried asking the DT for Carthy, and it came up with Solvay at last. (But when I asked for Solvay it didn't, nor when I looked up "robber") Basic rule seems to be, unless you just wrote it yourself, or Harry Fox has been interfering again, it's probably on the DT.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Solvay, Solvay
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 11 Feb 00 - 04:51 PM

Cliff Haslam recorded it on his Folk-Legacy album, now available as a cassette.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Solvay, Solvay
From: alison
Date: 12 Feb 00 - 12:16 AM

the lyrics for SOVAY are in the DT..

here is another thread where we discussed the tune Sovay - time signature?

slainte

alison


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Subject: Lyr Add: SOVAY, SOVAY (from Martin Carthy)
From: GUEST
Date: 12 Feb 00 - 09:17 AM

I have written down these two versions of Sovay. I hope that I got correctly all the words. In Lloyd's, in the second stanza, he doesn't actually sing "or else this moment I'll shoot you dead", but I can't get what he sings. If anybody can tell me, I'd be glad. Thank you. Roberto

Martin Carthy's:

Sovay, Sovay, all on a day
She dressed herself in man's array.
With a sword and pistol all by her side,
To meet her true love,
To meet her true love away did ride.

As she was riding over the plain,
She met her true love and bid him stand.
"Your gold and silver, kind sir," she said,
"Or else this moment,
Or else this moment your life I'll have."

And when she'd robbed him of his store,
She said, "Kind sir, there's just one thing more--
A golden ring which I know you have,
Deliver it,
Deliver it your sweet life to save."

"O, that golden ring a token is;
My life I'll lose, the ring I'll save."
Being tender-hearted just like a dove,
She rode away,
She rode away from her true love.

Now, next morning in the garden green,
Just like two lovers they were seen.
He spied his watch hanging by her cloak
Which made him blush,
Made him blush like any rose.

"O what makes you blush at so silly a thing?
I thought to have had your golden ring.
'Twas I that robbed you all on the plain,
So here's your watch
Here's your watch and your gold again.

"For I did intend and it was to know
If that you were my true love or no.
Well, now I have a contented mind;
My heart and all,
My heart and all my gear is thine."

A.L.Lloyd's:

Sovay, Sovay, all on a day
She dressed herself in man's array
With a brace of pistols all at her side
To meet her true love,
To meet her true love away she ride.

As she was galloping on the plain,
She met her sweetheart and bid him stand,
"Stand and deliver, young man", she said,
"Or else this moment,
Or else this moment I'll shoot you dead!"

He delivered up his golden store
And still she craved for one thing more,
"That diamond ring that I see you wear,
O hand it over,
O hand it over and your life I'll spare!"

"From me diamond ring I wouldn't part
For it's a token from me sweetheart,
Shoot and be damned, you rogue", said he,
"And you'll be hanged,
And you'll be hanged for murdering me!"

She being softhearted, much like a dove,
She turned her horse and she rode away from her true love.

Next morning in the garden green
Young Sophie and her love were seen.
He spied his watch hanging by her clothes
Which made him blush,
Which made him blush like any rose.

"Why do you blush, you foolish thing?
I thought to have that diamond ring:
'T was I who robbed you all on the plain,
And here's your gold, love,
Here's your gold and your watch and chain."

"I only did it for to know
Whether you were a man or no;
If you would given me that ring", she said,
"I'd pull the trigger,
I'd pull the trigger and shot you dead!"


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Solvay, Solvay
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 12 Feb 00 - 05:36 PM

Roberto:

That's a good piece of transcription, though I'd go for "clothes" and "dear" instead of "cloak" and "gear" in the Carthy version.  Both alternatives turn up in other versions of the song, so it's not terribly important.  The line in A.L. Lloyd's version that you couldn't make out is

If'n you do not
If'n you do not, I'll shoot you dead.


That's a dialectal form; you may safely ignore the "'n"! The final two lines should be:

I'd have pulled the trigger,
I'd have pulled the trigger and shot you dead!


Incidentally, Martin Carthy has recorded the song three times, latterly with this final verse:

"I did intend and it was to know
If that you were my truelove or no;
But if you'd given me that ring," she said
"I'd have pulled the trigger:
I'd have pulled the trigger and shot you dead."

Malcolm


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Subject: Lyr Add: SILVY, SILVY
From: Lesley N.
Date: 12 Feb 00 - 05:46 PM

I got this version from a songbook circa 1890. There is a midi of the music from that sonbook at The Female Highwayman (http://www.contemplator.com/folk5/hiway.html).

Silvy, Silvy, all on one day,
She dressed herself in man's array,
A sword and pistol all by her side,
To meet her true love she did ride.

She met her true love all in the plain,
'Stand and deliver, kind sir,' she said,
'Stand and deliver, kind sir,' said she,
Or else this moment you shall die.'

Oh, when she'd robbed him of all his store,
She says, 'Kind sir, there's one thing more,
A diamond ring which I know you have,
Deliver that, your sweet life to save.'

'The diamond ring is a token won,
I will keep it if my life I lose;'
She being tender hearted just like a dove,
She rode away from her true love.

Next morning in the garden green,
O like true lovers they were seen;
He saw his watch hang by her clothes,
Which made him flush like a red rose.

'What makes you flush at so silly a thing,
I fain would have had your diamond ring,
I only did it for to know,
Whether you were a man or no.'


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Solvay, Solvay
From: GUEST,Roberto
Date: 14 Feb 00 - 04:00 AM

Thank you, Malcolm! Roberto


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Solvay, Solvay
From: Garry Gillard
Date: 26 Feb 00 - 11:55 PM

Thanks very much, Malcolm! I hadn't realised that Martin Carthy varied the words in his three recordings: on Martin Carthy, Life and Limb, and Rigs of the Time. My transcription is prolly from the first album. I'll have to check.

thanks, Garry


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Solvay, Solvay
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 27 Feb 00 - 12:21 AM

Garry:

Ihadn't realised that Carthy had recorded Sovay again on "Rigs of the Time" (I've not heard it yet) -I was thinking of the Brass Monkey recording (1983), though the final verse on Life and Limb is also as above.  That makes four, then!

Malcolm


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Solvay, Solvay
From: Ed Pellow
Date: 27 Feb 00 - 05:50 AM

Malcolm,

The Rigs of Time version is the Brass Monkey one

Ed


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Solvay, Solvay
From: Garry Gillard
Date: 27 Feb 00 - 09:34 AM

I've now checked the three recordings I have of Sovay, two by MC and one by Bert Lloyd and put them all in the one file at http://hum2mac1.murdoch.edu.au/watersons/sovay.html I don't have Life and Limb. Ed is of course right.

Hope this helps, Garry

Thanks again, Malcolm.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Solvay, Solvay
From: Ed Pellow
Date: 27 Feb 00 - 10:07 AM

Garry,

The lyrics for the Life and Limb version are the same as for the Brass Monkey one.

Thanks for your hard work

Ed


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Solvay, Solvay
From: Garry Gillard
Date: 01 Mar 00 - 02:03 AM

Thanks, Ed.

Oh well, we're back to only two versions of the words of Sovay as sung by Martin Carthy. The 1965 Martin Carthy one and the 'other' one, on Brass Monkey, Rigs, and Life & Limb.

cheers, Garry


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Solvay, Solvay
From: GUEST,Rossin
Date: 02 Apr 11 - 06:41 PM

Thank you from the year 2011. I heard this song first in 1992!


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Subject: RE: Originsq: Solvay, Solvay / Sovay
From: Joe Offer
Date: 01 Jun 20 - 01:36 AM

Female Highwayman, The [Laws N21]

DESCRIPTION: (Sylvie) decides to test her love's faithfulness. Dressed as a (male) robber, she stops him on the road. He gives her his watch and gold, but refuses to hand over his diamond ring. She lets him go, satisfied of his faithfulness, and later reveals herself
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: before 1845 (broadside, Bodleian Harding B 25(1877))
KEYWORDS: outlaw cross-dressing disguise love
FOUND IN: US(MA,NE,Ro) Canada(Mar,Newf,Ont) Britain(England(South)) Australia Ireland
REFERENCES (14 citations):
Laws N21, "The Female Highwayman"
Warner 58, "Pretty Sylvia" (1 text, 1 tune)
Flanders/Brown, pp. 133-134, "The Female Highwayman" (1 text, 1 tune)
Hubbard, #40, "Silvia Rode Out One Day" (1 text, 1 tune)
Greenleaf/Mansfield 27, "Wexford City" (1 text, 1 tune)
Creighton-NovaScotia 25, "Silvy" (1 text, 1 tune)
Peacock, pp. 342-343, "Gold Watch and Chain" (1 text, 1 tune)
Mackenzie 129, "Zillah" (1 text), "The Diamond Ring" (1 text)
Manny/Wilson 52, "The Female Highwayman (Nelly Ray)" (1 text, 1 tune)
Kennedy 334, "Sylvia" (1 text, 1 tune)
Wiltshire-WSRO Ox 305, "Buxom Blade" (1 text)
RoudBishop #134, "The Female Highwayman" (1 text, 1 tune)
SHenry H35, pp. 327-328, "The Female Highwayman" (1 text, 1 tune)
DT 451, FEMHWAY* SOVAY*

Roud #7
RECORDINGS:
Freeman Bennett, "Gold Watch and Chain" (on PeacockCDROM) [one verse only]
A. L. Lloyd, "Sovay, the Female Highwayman" (on Lloyd2, Lloyd3)
Mrs. Bride Power, "The Broken Token" (on MUNFLA/Leach)
Tim Walsh, "Sylvia" (on FSB7)

BROADSIDES:
Bodleian, Harding B 25(1877), "Sylvia's Request, and William's Denial" ("Fair Sylvia on a certain day, Drest herself in man's array"), J. Pitts (London), 1819-1844; also 2806 c.16(131), Harding B 11(4362), Firth c.17(26), Harding B 11(3723), Harding B 15(326b), Harding B 15(327a), "Sylvia's Request, and William's Denial"
ALTERNATE TITLES:
Sovay, Sovay
Sophie
Sylvia's Request and William's Denial
Cecilia
NOTES [218 words]: According to Patrcik Pringle, Stand and Deliver: Highwaymen from Robin Hood to Dick Turpin, chapter 7, "Wicked Ladies," there were a few known instances of female highwaymen during their great era in the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries.
He mentions specifically Mary Frith ("Molly Cutpurse"), though she was first and foremost a fence rather than a highway(wo)man (to be a highwayman, one had to have a horse, and a pistol generally helped, too). She supposed was the subject of Dekker and Middleton's 1611 play "The Roaring Girls" but her death is dated 1659.
Pringle does not mention a case similar to that in this song.
Jerome S. Epstein, who transcribed the Warner version of Lena Bourne Fish, noted the peculiar tonal peregrination of the tune -- it appears to be in the key of C, but uses all of the following tones (ascending the scale): B C D E F F# G A Bb C. He comments that this sort of modal modulation is very rare in folk song -- but in fact the result, except for that one stray Bb and the ending on C, is pretty close to the Dorian version of "Sovay" I have heard. It sounds to me as if it's a Dorian tune partly and imperfectly moved to Ionian.
Mackenzie's peculiar name for the girl, Zillah, recalls Lamech's wife in Genesis 4:19-23, but I don't know if that is significant. - RBW
Last updated in version 4.2
File: LN21

Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Song List

Go to the Ballad Index Instructions
Go to the Ballad Index Bibliography or Discography

The Ballad Index Copyright 2020 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Solvay, Solvay / Sovay
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 01 Jun 20 - 03:05 AM

There's a very persuasive version by Polly Bolton - with John Shepherd and Steve Dunachie - on her album Woodbine and Ivy (1990).

From Mainly Norfolk; Martin Carthy sang Sovay;
in 1965 on his first album Martin Carthy.
A slightly different version is on the 1983 LP Brass Monkey,
re-released in 1993 both on the CD The Complete Brass Monkey and on Rigs of the Time: The Best of Martin Carthy and in 2003 on the Martin Carthy anthology The Definitive Collection.
A live recording with Dave Swarbrick at the Folkus Folk Club in 1966 is available on Both Ears and the Tail,
another one — recorded at Focal Point, St. Louis, Missouri in 1990— is on their album Life and Limb.

A.L. Lloyd sings a very similar version (same tune, slightly different words) of Sovay, the Female Highwayman on First Person. This was re-released, for example, on the CD reissue of Bold Sportsmen All and on Classic A.L. Lloyd. From his sleeve notes:

Lucy Broadwood found this “an exceedingly favourite ballad with country singers”, and every collector of prominence has found versions of it.
The good Dorian tune here is akin to the one Sharp published to the words of The Flash Lad (he called it The Robber) in his Somerset series, Vol. V,
and is substantially the same as H.E.D. Hammond's Sovie tune from Long Burton, Dorset.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Solvay, Solvay / Sovay
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 01 Jun 20 - 03:05 AM

There's a very persuasive version by Polly Bolton - with John Shepherd and Steve Dunachie - on her album Woodbine and Ivy (1990).

From Mainly Norfolk; Martin Carthy sang Sovay;
in 1965 on his first album Martin Carthy.
A slightly different version is on the 1983 LP Brass Monkey,
re-released in 1993 both on the CD The Complete Brass Monkey and on Rigs of the Time: The Best of Martin Carthy and in 2003 on the Martin Carthy anthology The Definitive Collection.
A live recording with Dave Swarbrick at the Folkus Folk Club in 1966 is available on Both Ears and the Tail,
another one — recorded at Focal Point, St. Louis, Missouri in 1990— is on their album Life and Limb.

A.L. Lloyd sings a very similar version (same tune, slightly different words) of Sovay, the Female Highwayman on First Person. This was re-released, for example, on the CD reissue of Bold Sportsmen All and on Classic A.L. Lloyd. From his sleeve notes:

Lucy Broadwood found this “an exceedingly favourite ballad with country singers”, and every collector of prominence has found versions of it.
The good Dorian tune here is akin to the one Sharp published to the words of The Flash Lad (he called it The Robber) in his Somerset series, Vol. V,
and is substantially the same as H.E.D. Hammond's Sovie tune from Long Burton, Dorset.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Solvay, Solvay / Sovay
From: GUEST,Gerry
Date: 01 Jun 20 - 03:51 AM

It's also on Anne Hills and Cindy Mangsen, Never Grow Old, as Pretty Silvia. Liner notes say,

A female highwayman song from Lena Bourne Fish. We found this in the Frank & Anne Warner collection.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Solvay, Solvay / Sovay
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Oct 20 - 01:04 PM



http://sounds.bl.uk/World-and-traditional-music/Peter-Kennedy-Collection/025M-C0604X0091XX-0001V0


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Subject: RE: Origins: Solvay, Solvay / Sovay
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Oct 20 - 04:53 PM

Pentangle's version:

https://www.google.com/search?q=SOVAY%2C+SOVAY&rlz=1C1CHBF_enCA846CA846&oq=SOVAY%2C+SOVAY&aqs=chrome..69i57&sourceid=chrome&ie=U


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Subject: RE: Origins: Solvay, Solvay / Sovay
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Oct 20 - 05:37 PM

are those spellings anglicised versions of the french "sauvez(vous)" which I suppose would have been the french highwaymans version of"yer money or yer life"?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Solvay, Solvay / Sovay
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 18 Oct 20 - 06:02 PM

Nope, mondegreen for Sylvia.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Solvay, Solvay / Sovay
From: GeoffLawes
Date: 18 Oct 20 - 07:36 PM



The Guest who posted four places above was me. I don't know why the posting says I am a Guest or why the link did not go up as a blue clicky. Here it is again - an interesting recording where the female highwayman is Sylvia as Steve says.https://sounds.bl.uk/World-and-traditional-music/Peter-Kennedy-Collection/025M-C0604X0091XX-0001V0


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Subject: RE: Origins: Solvay, Solvay / Sovay
From: GeoffLawes
Date: 20 Oct 20 - 07:03 AM



And here on this Roy Palmer recording the female highwayman is called Priscilla

https://sounds.bl.uk/World-and-traditional-music/Roy-Palmer-collection/025M-C1023X0046XX-0100V0


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Subject: RE: Origins: Solvay, Solvay / Sovay
From: GeoffLawes
Date: 20 Oct 20 - 07:23 AM



PeterKennedy says This song is usually classified as The Female Highwayman since the young lady's name varies from Sylvia to Sovie, Sovay, Shillo, Sally, Silvery, and so on; on broadside copies the title is sometimes given as Sylvia's Request and William's Denial.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Solvay, Solvay / Sovay
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 20 Oct 20 - 02:32 PM

Independent of Peter I also gave it the Master Title The Female Highwayman for the very same reason. However, on all of the many broadsides she is Sylvia, including the earliest I have by Robertson of Glasgow dated 1802.

'Priscilla in an oral version may have derived from 'Pretty Sylvia' in another oral version.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Solvay, Solvay / Sovay
From: GeoffLawes
Date: 23 Oct 20 - 12:17 PM


Here it is in Bodleian Ballads on-line
http://ballads.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/search/?query=Sylvia%27s+Request+and+William%27s+Denial


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