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Penguin: O Shepherd, O Shepherd


Related thread:
(origins) Origins: The Shepherd's Wife (Robert Burns?) (15)

In Mudcat MIDIs:
O Shepherd, O Shepherd ((Joe - as far as I can tell this midi is the same as the one below except for volume - lmp))
O Shepherd, O Shepherd (from The Penguin Book Of English Folk Songs)

GUEST,Big_Roly 07 Feb 13 - 05:56 AM
Malcolm Douglas 19 Oct 06 - 10:31 PM
GUEST,MB 19 Oct 06 - 09:13 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 18 Jan 05 - 03:47 PM
Joe Offer 13 Jan 05 - 03:01 AM
Alan of Australia 19 Mar 00 - 03:04 AM
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Subject: RE: Penguin: O Shepherd, O Shepherd
From: GUEST,Big_Roly
Date: 07 Feb 13 - 05:56 AM

It's one of those songs which keeps cropping up everywhere. Numerous versions have been collected from Spanish and Sephardic Jewish traditions ("Romance de la gentil dama y el rústico pastor"; Menéndez Pidal, R. & Torner, E. (1944): "Flor Nueva de Romances Viejos"), a rare example in Guernsey-French (text in the final chapter of Marie de Garis' "Folklore of Guernsey"), and I am told there are also versions from Brittany. In each instance it's a dialogue between a lady of breeding who fancies a bit of rough, trying to persuade a a peasant - usually a shepherd - to come home with her. In at least one Spanish version she actually fails, even though she draws attention to her nipple erection ("Mis teticas agudicas quieren el brial romper") amongst other attractions.

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Subject: RE: Penguin: O Shepherd, O Shepherd
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 19 Oct 06 - 10:31 PM

Martin Carthy, I expect. Sweet Wivelsfield; originally Deram (Gama Records) SML 1111, 1974. Since re-issued on cd by Topic Records: TSCD418.

Sound samples are available at the usual online record dealers; for example


Martin recorded an arrangement of the Penguin set.

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Subject: RE: Penguin: O Shepherd, O Shepherd
Date: 19 Oct 06 - 09:13 PM

I heard this sung by a male singer with unique guitar style, probably British Isles. The song went into my mind with that one hearing, so I can sing it perfectly. Unfortunately, I cannot remember the singer's name. Does anyone have discographic info on this song? I'd like to find the LP or CD. Thanks.

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Subject: RE: Penguin: O Shepherd, O Shepherd
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 18 Jan 05 - 03:47 PM

The song is in the DT under the name "Oh Shepherd ..." and is not found with - o shepherd -

Link to Ed Pellow's rendition does not work.
    -Joe & JoeClones-

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Subject: RE: Penguin: O Shepherd, O Shepherd
From: Joe Offer
Date: 13 Jan 05 - 03:01 AM

Here are the notes from Penguin:
    O Shepherd O Shepherd (FSJ II 122)
    From the form of this song, Miss Anne Gilchrist suspected that it may once have been a singing game — perhaps in the form of the advancing and retiring line — with one person playing the shepherd to whom inducements arc offered to persuade him to return home. Various early Scottish compilers (Johnson, Herd, Chambers) printed versions of the song, though we have found no other English set than this. The tune is interesting as being a modal version of "Greensleeves." Either the well-known version is a modal tune 'improved' by an ignorant musician, or else it has here been converted into a modal tune by a country singer.

Here's the Traditional Ballad Index entry:

O Shepherd, O Shepherd

DESCRIPTION: Shepherd's wife offers a breakfast of bacon and beans if he will come home; he refuses, he must tend his sheep. She offers a dinner of pudding and beef, then a supper of bread and cheese. Finally she offers clean sheets and a pretty lass. He accepts.
AUTHOR: unknown
KEYWORDS: marriage sex food dialog humorous wife shepherd
FOUND IN: Britain(Scotland,England(South))
REFERENCES (2 citations):
Vaughan Williams/Lloyd, pp. 74-75, "O Shepherd, O Shepherd" (1 text, 1 tune)

Roud #1055
cf. "Greensleeves" (tune)
Bonnie Saint John (DT, BONSTJON)
Shepherd, O Shepherd
Notes: This seems to exist in two forms, "O Shepherd O Shepherd" and "The Shepherd's Wife." The two have identical plots, but the latter -- at least as recorded by Gordeanna McCulloch, based on the version in Herd -- *feels* much bawdier, as well as more fun. (Anne Gilchrist thinks it may be derived from a singing game, and it does have rather that feel.)
The distinction is so strong that I thought of calling them separate songs, but I can't imagine a clear dividing line.
The tune of the "O Shepherd O Shepherd" versions is described as a "modal version of Greensleeves." This is a bit strong; the tune has been altered in more ways than the simple removal of accidentals. - RBW
File: VWL074

Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Instructions

The Ballad Index Copyright 2004 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.

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Subject: Penguin: O Shepherd, O Shepherd ^^
From: Alan of Australia
Date: 19 Mar 00 - 03:04 AM

From the Penguin Book Of English Folk Songs, Ed Pellow's rendition of the tune of O Shepherd, O Shepherd or The Sheep Are In The Wilderness can be found here.

Previous song: The New York Trader.
Next song: The Old Man From Lee.

Penguin Index provided by Joe Offer

Alan ^^

midi link corrected - Jan 18/05 - joeclone

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