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Lyr Add: The Land (Rudyard Kipling)

DigiTrad:
A PRESENT FROM THE GENTLEMEN
ENGLAND HAS TAKEN ME
ENGLAND SWINGS
GENTLEMEN-RANKERS
OAK, ASH, AND THORN
THE BASTARD KING OF ENGLAND
THE FRENCH WARS
THE LADIES
THE SONG OF THE BANJO
THE YOUNG BRITISH SOLDIER
WHEN 'OMER SMOTE 'IS BLOOMIN' LYRE


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LaMarca 17 Jun 97 - 06:14 PM
Jim Dixon 27 Oct 07 - 01:44 PM
Bill D 27 Oct 07 - 02:02 PM
Joe_F 27 Oct 07 - 08:55 PM
Leadfingers 27 Oct 07 - 09:45 PM
Jack Blandiver 28 Oct 07 - 05:06 AM
Midchuck 28 Oct 07 - 11:50 AM
Herga Kitty 28 Oct 07 - 03:57 PM
Jack Blandiver 28 Oct 07 - 04:20 PM
Herga Kitty 28 Oct 07 - 08:01 PM
Jack Blandiver 29 Oct 07 - 06:03 AM
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Subject: The Land-R. Kipling
From: LaMarca
Date: 17 Jun 97 - 06:14 PM

Here is Kipling's "The Land", filtered through my memory. I wish I was adept at transcribing tunes and could give Peter Bellamy's setting for it, but it's on "Keep On Kipling", Fellside Records (?). I got it on tape from Andy's Front Hall Records.

When Julius Fabricius, Sub-Prefect of the Weald,
In the days of Diocletian, owned our lower river field,
He called to him Hobdenius, a Briton of the clay,
Saying, "What about that river piece for laying into hay?"

    And that agéd Hobden answered, "I remember as a lad
    My father told your father that she wanted dreenin' (draining) bad,
    And the more that you neglect her, the less you'll get her clean-
    Hev it jest as you've a mind to, but if I was you, I'd dreen!"

So they drained her long and crossways in the lavish Roman style
Still we find along the watercourse some ancient flakes of tile
And in droughthy middle August when the bones of meadows show,
We can trace the lines they followed 1600 years ago.

    Then Julius Fabricius died, as even prefects do,
    And after certain centuries, Imperial Rome died, too
    Then did robbers enter Britain, from across the Northen Main
    And our lower river field was won by Ogier the Dane.

Well could Ogier work his warboat, well could Ogier wield his brand,
Much he knew of foaming waters - not so much of farming land;
So he called to him a Hobden of the old, unaltered blood
Saying "What about that river piece? She doesn't look no good."

    And that agéd Hobden answered, "Tain't for me to interfere,
    But I've known that bit of meadow now for 5 and 50 years
    Hev it jest as you've a mind to, but I've proved it time on time
    If you want to change her nature, you have GOT to give her lime!"

Ogier sent his wains to Lewes, twenty hours solemn walk,
Where they drew back great abundance of the cool, grey healing chalk;
And old Hobden spread it broadcast, never heeding what was in't
Which is why, when cleaning ditches, we sometimes find a flint.

    Ogier died, his sons grew English, Anglo-Saxon was their name
    Until out of blossomed Normandy another pirate came,
    For Duke William conquered England and divided with his men,
    And our lower river field he gave to William of Warrenne.

But the brook, you know her nature, rose one rainy autumn night
And tore down sodden flitches of the banks, both left and right.
William said unto his bailiff, as they rode their dripping rounds,
Hob, what about that river bit? The brook's got up no bounds!"

    And that agéd Hobden answered,"Tain't my business to advise,
    But you might have known 'twould happen by the way the valley lies,
    Where you can't hold back the water, you must try to save the soil;
    Hev it jest as you've a mind to, but if I was you, I'd spile!"
      So they spiled along the watercourse with trunks of willow trees,
      And planks of elm behind them, and immortal oaken knees,
      And when the spates of autumn whirl the gravel beds away,
      We can see their faithful fragments, iron-hard in iron clay.

Georgii Quinti Anno Sexto, I, who own the river field
Am fortified by Title Deed, attested, signed and sealed,
Guaranteeing me, my Assigns, my Executors and Heirs
All sorts of Powers and Profits, which
Are neither mine nor theirs!

    I have rights to chase and warren, as my dignity requires,
    I can fish - but Hobden tickles; I can shoot - but Hobden wires;
    I repair, but he re-opens, certain gaps which men allege
    Have been used by every Hobden since a Hobden swopped a hedge!

Should I dog his morning progress through the track-betraying dew?
And demand his dinner basket into which my pheasant flew?
Confiscate his evening faggot under which my coneys ran?
And summons him to judgement? I would sooner summons Pan!

    For his dead are in the churchyard, thirty generations laid;
    Their names were old in history when Domesday Book was made,
    And the passion and the piety and prowess of his line
    Have seeded, rooted, fruited in some land the Law calls mine.

Not for any beast that burrows, not for any bird that flies,
Would I lose his large, sound counsel or his keen, amending eye.
He is bailiff, woodsman, wheelwright, field-surveyor, engineer,
And if flagrantly a poacher, tain't for ME to interfere!

    "Hob, what about that river bit?" I turn to him again
    With Fabricius and Ogier and William of Warrenne,
    "Hev it jest as you've a mind to...", and here he takes command,
    For whoever pays the taxes, old Mus' Hobden owns The Land!


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE LAND (Rudyard Kipling)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 27 Oct 07 - 01:44 PM

LaMarca's memory was remarkably accurate, but this was actually copied from an old book found with Google Book Search.
^^
THE LAND
Rudyard Kipling

WHEN Julius Fabricius, Sub-Prefect of the Weald,
In the days of Diocletian owned our Lower River-field,
He called to him Hobdenius—a Briton of the Clay,
Saying: "What about that River-piece for layin' in to hay?"

And the aged Hobden answered: "I remember as a lad
My father told your father that she wanted dreenin' bad.
An' the more that you neeglect her the less you'll get her clean.
Have it jest as you've a mind to, but, if I was you, I'd dreen."

So they drained it long and crossways in the lavish Roman style-
Still we find among the river-drift their flakes of ancient tile,
And in drouthy middle August, when the bones of meadows show,
We can trace the lines they followed sixteen hundred years ago.

Then Julius Fabricius died as even Prefects do,
And after certain centuries, Imperial Rome died too.
Then did robbers enter Britain from across the Northern main
And our Lower River-field was won by Ogier the Dane.

Well could Ogier work his war-boat—well could Ogier wield his brand—
Much he knew of foaming waters—not so much of farming land.
So he called to him a Hobden of the old unaltered blood,
Saying: "What about that River-piece, she doesn't look no good?"

And that aged Hobden answered: " 'Tain't for me to interfere,
But I've known that bit o' meadow now for five and fifty year.
Have it jest as you've a mind to, but I've proved it time on time,
If you want to change her nature you have got to give her lime!"

Ogier sent his wains to Lewes, twenty hours' solemn walk,
And drew back great abundance of the cool, grey, healing chalk.
And old Hobden spread it broadcast, never heeding what was in 't.
Which is why in cleaning ditches, now and then we find a flint.

Ogier died. His sons grew English—Anglo-Saxon was their name—
Till out of blossomed Normandy another pirate came;
For Duke William conquered England and divided with his men,
And our Lower River-field he gave to William of Warenne.

But the Brook (you know her habit) rose one rainy autumn night
And tore down sodden flitches of the bank to left and right.
So, said William to his Bailiff as they rode their dripping rounds:
"Hob, what about that River-bit—the Brook's got up no bounds?"

And that aged Hobden answered: " 'Tain't my business to advise,
But ye might ha' known 'twould happen from the way the valley lies.
Where ye can't hold back the water you must try and save the sile.
Hev it jest as you've a mind to, but, if I was you, I'd spile!"

They spiled along the water-course with trunks of willow-trees
And planks of elms behind 'em and immortal oaken knees.
And when the spates of Autumn whirl the gravel-beds away
You can see their faithful fragments iron-hard in iron clay.

Georgii Quinti Anno Sexto, I, who own the River-field,
Am fortified with title-deeds, attested, signed and sealed,
Guaranteeing me, my assigns, my executors and heirs
All sorts of powers and profits which—are neither mine nor theirs.

I have rights of chase and warren, as my dignity requires.
I can fish—but Hobden tickles. I can shoot—but Hobden wires.
I repair, but he reopens, certain gaps which, men allege,
Have been used by every Hobden since a Hobden swapped a hedge.

Shall I dog his morning progress o'er the track-betraying dew?
Demand his dinner-basket into which my pheasant flew?
Confiscate his evening faggot under which the conies ran,
And summons him to judgment? I would sooner summons Pan.

His dead are in the churchyard—thirty generations laid.
Their names were old in history when Domesday Book was made.
And the passion and the piety and prowess of his line
Have seeded, rooted, fruited in some land the Law calls mine.

Not for any beast that burrows, not for any bird that flies,
Would I lose his large sound council, miss his keen amending eyes.
He is bailiff, woodman, wheelwright, field-surveyor, engineer,
And if flagrantly a poacher—'tain't for me to interfere.

"Hob, what about that River-bit?" I turn to him again,
With Fabricius and Ogier and William of Warenne
"Hev it jest as you've a mind to, but"—and here he takes command.
For whoever pays the taxes old Mus' Hobden owns the land.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Land (Rudyard Kipling)
From: Bill D
Date: 27 Oct 07 - 02:02 PM

*smile*..I have heard LaMarca perform this on two occasions, and she did a FINE job.

It is a wonderful poem, and Bellamy did justice to it.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Land (Rudyard Kipling)
From: Joe_F
Date: 27 Oct 07 - 08:55 PM

Yes, it's beautiful. I particularly like "drouthy middle August, when the bones of meadows show" and "the cool, grey, healing chalk" -- but especially "out of blossomed Normandy another pirate came". What a lovely line!

To my taste, however, it does get a bit squishy toward the end. I faintly hope Kipling never showed it to Hobden.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Land (Rudyard Kipling)
From: Leadfingers
Date: 27 Oct 07 - 09:45 PM

Not that long before Peter Bellamy took the exit route , he was at Herga Folk Club , depping for Louis Killen who had been at Fylde , bellowing with Tom Lewis & Co , and had no voice ! Someone who shall be nameless tried a 'Stitch Up' on Peter and requested The Land - As his 'favourite' Kipling/Bellamy - and was quietly perusing the lyrics in a book while Peter was singing . Peter spotted this , and without missing a word or a note , walked 'Off Stage' , took the book out of 'pillock's' hand and walked back on stage and finished the song to slightly more applause than any one expected . One of my happier Bellamy memories .


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Land (Rudyard Kipling)
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 28 Oct 07 - 05:06 AM

I put up a wee film of me doing this on to YouTube a few months back, though I can't promise that it's word perfect. Click: Sedayne : The Land

I did this purely in the hope that someone, somewhere would upload some actual footage Bellamy - we live in hope. Actually I've got an hour's worth on VHS in my keeping just now (interviews, Soldiers Three etc. ) but no way of doing a digital transfer.

For the poem itself : Rudard Kipling : The Land


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Land (Rudyard Kipling)
From: Midchuck
Date: 28 Oct 07 - 11:50 AM

For people this side the pond, Robers and Barrand do this very well on Naulakha Redux. In fact, they do all the songs on there (all Kipling/Bellamy) very well. I would suggest it to one and all. Usual Disclaimers.

Peter


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Land (Rudyard Kipling)
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 28 Oct 07 - 03:57 PM

LF - IIRC, the "pillock" who hadn't previously been a Peter Bellamy fan, became one as a result....

Johnny Collins and Peter Wood both do good versions of the song. And, of course, there is the Mike Sparks parody.

Kitty


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Land (Rudyard Kipling)
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 28 Oct 07 - 04:20 PM

I might add that the first time I ever heard 'The Land' was sung by Pete Woods at The Ship in Wylam circa 1984; a spell-binding performance, avec anglo as I remember it, though I've since heard a recording of him singing it unaccompanied.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Land (Rudyard Kipling)
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 28 Oct 07 - 08:01 PM

Sedayne - Pete
recorded it on John o' Greenfield, originally on cassette, but now also on CD.

Kitty


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Land (Rudyard Kipling)
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 29 Oct 07 - 06:03 AM

Thanks for that, Herga - as an ex-pat Geordie it's always a joy hearing Pete's voice. That's a lovely version of Jim Jones; one of the first songs I ever sang in public after hearing J. Kirkpatrick sing it on '...Really High Class Band'. Actually I feel moved to dig it out again, both the album and the song; nice how these things come around. I've always loved the line 'Don't get too Gay in Botany Bay...'

I was at a singaround at The Cumberland Arms a few months back and Pete Wood was in - as I remember it he sang The White Hare, and it was the wonderful Piers (another commited Bellamist & one of the finest voices on Tyneside) who sang The Land.


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