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Lyr Add: House in the Country (from Albion Band)

LaMarca 11 Jun 97 - 03:15 PM
lamarca 03 Nov 99 - 12:57 PM
bigJ 03 Nov 99 - 04:41 PM
lamarca 03 Nov 99 - 04:55 PM
bigJ 04 Nov 99 - 04:22 PM
bigJ 04 Nov 99 - 04:32 PM
lamarca 04 Nov 99 - 05:10 PM
GUEST 23 Mar 04 - 08:17 AM
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Subject: House in the Country:background info?
From: LaMarca
Date: 11 Jun 97 - 03:15 PM

The Albion Country Dance Band (or The Albion Band or one of their many morphic forms) did a gorgeous song on "Rise Up Like the Sun" called House in the Country:

Oh, I can't get a house in the country
I can't get a house in the town
But I have my horse and my wagon,
And I'll travel the country around.

Oh, it's fine to get up in the morning
When the lark's flying high in the sky
And pack up all your belongings,
And bid all the Travellers goodbye.

Away to the hills we'll go roaming
To find us a new resting place
It might be a clearing in woodland
It might be some wide open space.

And why should I join the army
When I've got no home of my own?
I would fight for my King and my country
But we've no place that we can call home.

The notes say it was taken from interviews with Travellers recorded in Cecil Sharp House, and the credits say "Stewart/trad."

Does anyone know who might have turned this into a song? Where did the tune come from? Which of the many travelling Stewarts is being referred to (Davey? Belle?) I'd love to know more about it!


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Subject: RE: House in the Country:background info?
From: lamarca
Date: 03 Nov 99 - 12:57 PM

Two years later, and I'm still looking for info on this song... Now that we've got more members in the UK, maybe someone new knows more about the song. Is it another John Tams creation?


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Subject: Lyr Add: I CAN'T GET A HOUSE IN THE COUNTRY
From: bigJ
Date: 03 Nov 99 - 04:41 PM

Hi Lamarca, The (English) Folk Music Journal for 1975 is devoted to 'Music of the Travelling People' and on page 50 there's a song written by Maggie Stewart, once of Aberdeen then of Montrose. Here it is:
I CAN'T GET A HOUSE IN THE COUNTRY

I can't get a house in the country,
Nor I can't get a house in the town,
But I have my horse and my wagon,
And I travel the country around.

For it's fine to get up in the morning,
When the lark's flying high in the sky,
And pack up all your belongings,
And you bid all the travellers goodbye.

And away to the hills we go roaming,
To find our new resting place,
It may be clearing in the woodland,
Or it may be some wide open space.

Then why should I join the army?
When I've no home to call my own.
I would fight for my king and my country,
But I've no place that I can call home.


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Subject: RE: House in the Country:background info?
From: lamarca
Date: 03 Nov 99 - 04:55 PM

Thanks, bigJ. Did the Journal have a tune with the song, or say anything about when it was written? I'm in the USA, and copies of the EFDSS Journal are a bit scarce here...


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Subject: Tune Add: I CAN'T GET A HOUSE IN THE COUNTRY
From: bigJ
Date: 04 Nov 99 - 04:22 PM

Hi Lamarca, Sorry I haven' got back to you sooner, but I have a music staff-notation programme which is fine for printing music for myself, but when it comes to sending it - well that's a different matter. Anyway, here's my ABC approximation of the tune as it appears in the Journal, good luck.

T: I Can't Get A House In The Country.
C: Maggie Stewart.
M: 3/4
K: G (transposed from E in the book).

ea/C4BC/E3CCA/fe3ef/A4BC/E4FE/EBB2eA/
C2B2BC/E2C3A/fe3ee/e2g3B/BA3//


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Subject: RE: House in the Country:background info?
From: bigJ
Date: 04 Nov 99 - 04:32 PM

P.S. Sorry, the preface to the song says:- Another indication of a flourishing tradition is the addition of new material into the repertoire. The most obvious, although not the only way this may take place is by the composition of original songs. Maggie Stewart, formerly living in Aberdeen and now in Montrose, has written a number of fine pieces as well as being an important contributor of traditional material. The song given here illustrates the dilemma of tinkers who wished to become integrated into society and yet at the same time not to discard any of their own character and custom. The Second World War was an important era for the travelling community, when the expanded beaurocratic machine pushed tinkers into the mainstream of society, requiring them to fight and to be listed and counted. Notes by Peter A. Hall.


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Subject: RE: House in the Country:background info?
From: lamarca
Date: 04 Nov 99 - 05:10 PM

Thanks a whole lot! I'm performing the song this weekend, and I prefer being able to credit a song's author and give info about its background whenever I can.


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Subject: RE: House in the Country:background info?
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Mar 04 - 08:17 AM

I first heard the song by Kate and Anna McGarigle at the first or second Great Hudson River Revival. I liked the song so much I added another verse at the end.


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