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Twa Corbies

DigiTrad:
SAYS THE BLACKBIRD TO THE CROW
THE THREE CROWS (BILLY MACGEE MACGORE)
THE THREE RAVENS
THE THREE RAVENS (5)
THE TWA CORBIES (7)
THOMAS O YONDERDALE
THREE CRAWS
TWA CORBIES
TWA CORBIES 2
TWA CRAWS SAT ON A STANE


Related threads:
Three Black Crows (21)
Twa Corbies - transl. into Engl, please (63)
Origins: Twa Corbies / Three Ravens / etc. (46)
3 Ravens (Ravenscroft) what's it about? (38)
Lyr Req: Three Ravens, newer version? (22)
Lyr Req: The Twa Corbies (13)
Mudcatter's CD's Part 2 (16)
Help! Twa Corbies (12)
Lyr Req: Old Black Crow (6)
Info needed for 'Two Ravens' (13)
origins of 'Two Ravens' (4)
Lyr Req: Scot Gaelic Song - The Two Crows? (7)
Lyr/Chords Req: The Twa Corbies (Old Blind Dogs) (5)
Lyr Req: Three Black Birds (8)


In Mudcat MIDIs:
The Corbie and the Crow


GUEST,Paul Crawte 02 Apr 00 - 05:37 AM
Susan of DT 02 Apr 00 - 09:01 AM
Abby Sale 02 Apr 00 - 11:51 AM
GUEST,Sophocleese 02 Apr 00 - 12:11 PM
Ditchdweller 02 Apr 00 - 12:38 PM
Malcolm Douglas 02 Apr 00 - 12:41 PM
GUEST,Sophocleese 02 Apr 00 - 12:46 PM
Liz the Squeak 02 Apr 00 - 12:55 PM
Jeri 02 Apr 00 - 01:31 PM
Ed Pellow 02 Apr 00 - 01:51 PM
Mary in Kentucky 02 Apr 00 - 02:13 PM
Bill D 02 Apr 00 - 03:00 PM
Joan 02 Apr 00 - 03:49 PM
McGrath of Harlow 02 Apr 00 - 04:23 PM
Jeri 02 Apr 00 - 04:24 PM
McGrath of Harlow 02 Apr 00 - 04:34 PM
GUEST,Sophocleese 02 Apr 00 - 06:57 PM
Mary in Kentucky 02 Apr 00 - 07:12 PM
McGrath of Harlow 02 Apr 00 - 07:47 PM
McGrath of Harlow 02 Apr 00 - 07:50 PM
Susan of DT 02 Apr 00 - 08:12 PM
Mary in Kentucky 02 Apr 00 - 08:43 PM
Malcolm Douglas 02 Apr 00 - 08:55 PM
Jeri 02 Apr 00 - 09:32 PM
Alan of Australia 02 Apr 00 - 09:38 PM
Malcolm Douglas 02 Apr 00 - 10:11 PM
Abby Sale 03 Apr 00 - 08:25 AM
Malcolm Douglas 03 Apr 00 - 01:27 PM
GUEST,Helge in Norway 03 Apr 00 - 07:10 PM
Bill D 04 Apr 00 - 03:33 PM
Alan of Australia 08 Apr 00 - 10:29 PM
Stewie 09 Apr 00 - 08:52 PM
Jack Campin 07 Jun 18 - 11:00 AM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 07 Jun 18 - 01:28 PM
Jack Campin 07 Jun 18 - 01:48 PM
Reinhard 07 Jun 18 - 02:14 PM
meself 07 Jun 18 - 03:43 PM
Lighter 07 Jun 18 - 06:12 PM
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Subject: Twa Corbies
From: GUEST,Paul Crawte
Date: 02 Apr 00 - 05:37 AM

I'm getting to grips with "Twa Corbies", having heard it on "New Boots" by Tim Van Eyken. A great little song that suits my playing well (i.e. it's easy). However, Tim Van Eyken, in his sleeve notes, makes reference to a version of the song where it is clear the "lady" within it has killed the knight herself. I've had a bit of a look round, found all manner of versions, from the crows just wittering on about their mothers, to the lady carrying the knights body and then drooping dead (harsh).

So, does any one know of a version in which the lady is blamed for the knights death ?


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Subject: RE: Twa Corbies
From: Susan of DT
Date: 02 Apr 00 - 09:01 AM

Not in any traditional version of the Three Ravens/Twa Caorbies I've seen. See Child #26. Search for #26 to see five versions of the song. The leman (lover) is often presented as a deer.


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Subject: RE: Twa Corbies
From: Abby Sale
Date: 02 Apr 00 - 11:51 AM

This is intriguing & mysterious.  We don't know how Knight died.  We assume foul play but don't know it.  I agree with Susan that I've never seen any such version from tradition and feel it a bit unlikely that one would have Lady kill him.

This is, I believe, a very important ballad as a thinking/teaching piece.  The main theme is generally retained but the treatment in Scotland (cynicism - or, as I take it, as life really is), England (romance) and America (travesty) just fascinates me.  It's incidentally generally a good song, too.

On the point of the question raised, one line in "Twa Corbies" always disturbs me.

An' naebody kens that he lies there, o
But his hawk and his hound and his lady fair, o.
How does she know?  Why doesn't she tell anyone?  How can she leave his body to the most terrible fate - flesh eaten by animals, lying unburied, unsolemnized "for evermair?"

In England, if she's involved, she clearly loves him tenderly & carries him home.

In the US she not mentioned.  Here, I've learned a new thing.  I learned it & first heard it from McCurdy.  He sang (for no less than Mac Leech)

There lies a knight on yonder plain,
Who by some cruel butcher was slain.
But in all the versions I see in Bronson (and sometimes by McCurdy), it reads 'There lies a horse.'
I don't know if I should make anything of that or not.

In spite of the song's popularity today, it may be recalled that neither Sharp nor Greig ever found a version and that the current (brilliant!) tune for "Corbies" is a recent, not traditional one.  The
traditional one just wasn't all that good.  This, obviously, accounts for the scarcity of a fine text in tradition.

One could easily weave a plausible plot by collating the three versions, but that's cheating & "improving."  No, just one of life's Great Mysteries.


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Subject: RE: Twa Corbies
From: GUEST,Sophocleese
Date: 02 Apr 00 - 12:11 PM

I just looked in the DT and found three versions of the song right off none of which have the tune that I sing. So Which tune Abby is the current one which you are referring to? The oe I sing I learned from an old song book of my singing teacher's years ago and it is also the one that I found in the Chester Book of Madrigal's. There they list it as traditional arranged by Thomas Ravenscroft. I must admit I like that tune, is it the one you're not so delighted with?


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Subject: RE: Twa Corbies
From: Ditchdweller
Date: 02 Apr 00 - 12:38 PM

May not be a "folkie" style performance, (watch out for the horses) but the old recording by Alfred Deller(sp??) still sends shivers up my back!!! This is a song where it is possible to vary the length almost as you sing it! You can either sing each line once, or repeat the 1st line of each verse twice, effectivly doubling the number of verses. Bob


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Subject: RE: Twa Corbies
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 02 Apr 00 - 12:41 PM

The tune Abby referred to would be An Alarc'h (The Swan); it's the melody of a Breton song (first published in 1839) and was fitted to Twa Corbies some time in the 1960s: opinions differ as to by whom.  It's mentioned in the notes for one of the versions on the DT (TWA CORBIES 2), but the midi there is actually a different tune.

Malcolm


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Subject: RE: Twa Corbies
From: GUEST,Sophocleese
Date: 02 Apr 00 - 12:46 PM

Thanks Malcolm, so any idea where I can find the tune? I'll keep searching, myself as well.


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Subject: RE: Twa Corbies
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 02 Apr 00 - 12:55 PM

I was always under the impression he'd been killed in a battle.....

LTS, who loves this song and just hasn't got the guts to do it in public....


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Subject: RE: Twa Corbies
From: Jeri
Date: 02 Apr 00 - 01:31 PM

Abby, if he's a "new slain knight," Lady may have been with him when it happened. Sounds like he was home on furlough, enjoying a bit of hunting when his bow misfired or something.

Then again, in one version, Lady has ta'en another mate. Maybe the mate offed her former husband. She may not have done the deed, but she's an accessory. Classic folk murder - take someone hunting in order to do away with them.

I could very easily and quickly do a MIDI of the tune I know from the singing of Maddy Prior. It's different from the ones in the DB, but I have no idea if it's the one Malcolm refers to.


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Subject: RE: Twa Corbies
From: Ed Pellow
Date: 02 Apr 00 - 01:51 PM

Paul,

I'd be tempted to take Tim Van Eyken's sleeve notes with a pinch of salt. On the same album, he claims that the Hesleyside Reel is named after the River Hessle in Yorkshire (Rather than Hesleyside Hall in Northumbria). I remember when I saw him live he said that the Wounded Hussar was written by Thomas Hardy, and so on.

Maybe he should join the mudcat :-)

If you're desperate to know what he's referring to you could email him at appledore.music@ukonline.co.uk

If you do, let us know what he says

Ed


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Subject: RE: Twa Corbies
From: Mary in Kentucky
Date: 02 Apr 00 - 02:13 PM

Jeri--I'd also be interested in the tune if it's not too much trouble. I've always been more interested in tunes than words and I've had trouble finding info.

So far all I've found is this:

Search for child #26 at the Digitrad and you'll get 5 tunes (and words).

At Lesley's site there are three tunes (and words, only one of which appears to be at the Digitrad.

The Bird Song

The Twa Corbies

The Three Ravens

I'm interested in "The Bird Song" in particular. Several weeks ago I started a thread about Roy Harris' American Folksong Symphony in which I thought I heard a snippet of "The Bird Song." It seems that kat was the only person that had any info and we corresponded privately.

Thanks.
Mary


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Subject: RE: Twa Corbies
From: Bill D
Date: 02 Apr 00 - 03:00 PM

I got my version from a Jean Redpath recording 25-30 years ago, and have heard no better tune since.( a sort of 'minor key' sound. I have asked others to do it, but few do...so I sing it myself, and although I am NOT known as a 'better' singer, I have worked this wonderful song up to a decent presentation. I never try to analyze it too much....I just take it as a word picture of 'the way it is' with death in battle sometimes. Once he is gone, those who used to care soon forget. Trying to figure out how to post/represent Jean's tune......


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Subject: RE: Twa Corbies
From: Joan
Date: 02 Apr 00 - 03:49 PM

I do a version from Richard Chase's collection that Lani Herrmann pointed me to ages ago. It's set the the tune of "Banks and Braes of Bonny Doone" and has the magic verse:

As I was walking on the sea strand,
I saw a fair ship sailing near at hand.
I flapped my wings, I bent my beak;
the ship went down, I heard a shriek.
And there lie the sailors, one, two and three;
come, let us go dine by the salt, salt sea.

About the wife: His hawk has to the hunting gone, his hounds to bring the wild fowl home; his lady's gone to another mate...oh, we shall have a feasting, sweet.

They don't write them that good these days! Joan


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Subject: Lyr Add: IS MY TEAM PLOUGHING (A E Housman)
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 02 Apr 00 - 04:23 PM

Well, you can read the Scottish version to i ply some kind of sinister role for the lady - but I think Bill D's reading is more poignant - "a word picture of 'the way it is' with death in battle sometimes. Once he is gone, those who used to care soon forget."

A bit like AE Housman's "Is my team ploughing" really, in The Shropshire lad

'Is my team ploughing,
That I was used to drive
And hear the harness jingle
When I was man alive?'

Ay, the horses trample,
The harness jingles now;
No change though you lie under
The land you used to plough.

'Is football playing
Along the river shore,
With lads to chase the leather,
Now I stand up no more?'

Ay, the ball is flying,
The lads play heart and soul;
The goal stands up, the keeper
Stands up to keep the goal.

'Is my girl happy,
That I thought hard to leave,
And has she tired of weeping
As she lies down at eve?'

Ay, she lies down lightly,
She lies not down to weep:
Your girl is well contented.
Be still, my lad, and sleep.

'Is my friend hearty,
Now I am thin and pine,
And has he found to sleep in
A better bed than mine?'

Yes, lad, I lie easy,
I lie as lads would choose;
I cheer a dead man's sweetheart,
Never ask me whose.

I'm hoping the line breaks come through there from the site I lifted it from. If not, "I'll be back", as the man said.
line breaks added S of DT


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Subject: Tune Add: TWA CORBIES
From: Jeri
Date: 02 Apr 00 - 04:24 PM

This is similar to the tune on Lesley's page, and I'm wondering if hers is simply a more elaborate arrangement. I did it in MIDIText. If anyone wants me to e-mail the MIDI (1KB), e-mail me. Here goes:
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

MIDI file: corbies.mid

Timebase: 120

TimeSig: 4/4 24 8
Key: D
Tempo: 089 (666667 microsec/crotchet)
Start
0420 1 66 100 0060 0 66 000 0000 1 71 100 0060 0 71 000 0000 1 71 100 0060 0 71 000 0000 1 74 100 0120 0 74 000 0000 1 71 100 0120 0 71 000 0000 1 69 100 0060 0 69 000 0000 1 69 100 0060 0 69 000 0000 1 71 100 0120 0 71 000 0060 1 66 100 0060 0 66 000 0000 1 71 100 0060 0 71 000 0000 1 71 100 0060 0 71 000 0000 1 74 100 0120 0 74 000 0000 1 71 100 0120 0 71 000 0000 1 69 100 0060 0 69 000 0000 1 69 100 0060 0 69 000 0000 1 71 100 0120 0 71 000 0060 1 74 100 0060 0 74 000 0000 1 74 100 0060 0 74 000 0000 1 76 100 0060 0 76 000 0000 1 78 100 0180 0 78 000 0000 1 78 100 0060 0 78 000 0000 1 76 100 0060 0 76 000 0000 1 74 100 0060 0 74 000 0000 1 78 100 0120 0 78 000 0000 1 76 100 0120 0 76 000 0000 1 71 100 0060 0 71 000 0000 1 71 100 0030 0 71 000 0000 1 73 100 0030 0 73 000 0000 1 74 100 0060 0 74 000 0000 1 71 100 0060 0 71 000 0000 1 76 100 0060 0 76 000 0000 1 73 100 0060 0 73 000 0000 1 74 100 0060 0 74 000 0000 1 73 100 0060 0 73 000 0000 1 71 100 0060 0 71 000 0000 1 69 100 0060 0 69 000 0000 1 71 100 0060 0 71 000 0000 1 71 100 0030 0 71 000 0000 1 73 100 0030 0 73 000 0000 1 74 100 0060 0 74 000 0000 1 71 100 0060 0 71 000 0000 1 76 100 0060 0 76 000 0000 1 73 100 0060 0 73 000 0000 1 71 100 0120 0 71 000 0060 1 66 100 0060 0 66 000 0000 1 71 100 0060 0 71 000 0000 1 71 100 0060 0 71 000 0000 1 74 100 0120 0 74 000 0000 1 71 100 0120 0 71 000 0000 1 69 100 0060 0 69 000 0000 1 69 100 0060 0 69 000 0000 1 71 100 0120 0 71 000 0060 1 66 100 0060 0 66 000 0000 1 71 100 0060 0 71 000 0000 1 71 100 0060 0 71 000 0000 1 74 100 0120 0 74 000 0000 1 71 100 0120 0 71 000 0000 1 69 100 0060 0 69 000 0000 1 69 100 0060 0 69 000 0000 1 71 100 0120 0 71 000 0060 1 74 100 0060 0 74 000 0000 1 74 100 0060 0 74 000 0000 1 76 100 0060 0 76 000 0000 1 78 100 0180 0 78 000 0000 1 78 100 0060 0 78 000 0000 1 76 100 0060 0 76 000 0000 1 74 100 0060 0 74 000 0000 1 78 100 0120 0 78 000 0000 1 76 100 0120 0 76 000 0000 1 71 100 0060 0 71 000 0000 1 71 100 0030 0 71 000 0000 1 73 100 0030 0 73 000 0000 1 74 100 0060 0 74 000 0000 1 71 100 0060 0 71 000 0000 1 76 100 0060 0 76 000 0000 1 73 100 0060 0 73 000 0000 1 74 100 0060 0 74 000 0000 1 73 100 0060 0 73 000 0000 1 71 100 0060 0 71 000 0000 1 69 100 0060 0 69 000 0000 1 71 100 0060 0 71 000 0000 1 71 100 0030 0 71 000 0000 1 73 100 0030 0 73 000 0000 1 74 100 0060 0 74 000 0000 1 71 100 0060 0 71 000 0000 1 76 100 0060 0 76 000 0000 1 73 100 0060 0 73 000 0000 1 71 100 0120 0 71 000 0060 1 66 100 0060 0 66 000
End

This program is worth the effort of learning it.

To download the March 10 MIDItext 98 software and get instructions on how to use it click here

ABC format:

X:1
T:
M:4/4
Q:1/4=89
K:D
F8|BBd2B2AA|B3FBBd2|B2AAB3d|def3fed|f2e2BB/2c/2dB|
ecdcBABB/2c/2|dBecB3F|BBd2B2AA|B3FBBd2|B2AAB3d|
def3fed|f2e2BB/2c/2dB|ecdcBABB/2c/2|dBecB3F|
||


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Subject: Lyr Add: IS MY TEAM PLOUGHING?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 02 Apr 00 - 04:34 PM

Right,,here I am:

'Is my team ploughing,
That I was used to drive
And hear the harness jingle
When I was man alive?'

Ay, the horses trample,
The harness jingles now;
No change though you lie under
The land you used to plough.

'Is football playing
Along the river shore,
With lads to chase the leather,
Now I stand up no more?'

Ay, the ball is flying,

The lads play heart and soul;
The goal stands up, the keeper
Stands up to keep the goal.

'Is my girl happy,
That I thought hard to leave,
And has she tired of weeping
As she lies down at eve?'

Ay, she lies down lightly,
She lies not down to weep:
Your girl is well contented.
Be still, my lad, and sleep.

'Is my friend hearty,
Now I am thin and pine,
And has he found to sleep in
A better bed than mine?'

Yes, lad, I lie easy,
I lie as lads would choose;
I cheer a dead man's sweetheart,
Never ask me whose.

I used to like the "cynical" Scottish version better; now I'm finding I tend to prefer the "romantic" English version - Roy Bailey did a lovely rendering of it on a children's record years ago, and probably since as well. I was wondering, is this a song that's ever been collected in an Irish version?


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Subject: RE: Twa Corbies
From: GUEST,Sophocleese
Date: 02 Apr 00 - 06:57 PM

Thank you Jeri for reminding me of the Maddy Prior version. I found the CD and this is what it says of the tune used there, "Ray Fisher set the stark old Scottish words to this moody Breton tune and we have amplified its gothic atmosphere." I don't personally like the organ setting for it but the tune is good.


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Subject: RE: Twa Corbies
From: Mary in Kentucky
Date: 02 Apr 00 - 07:12 PM

Thanks Jeri, that's lovely.

McGrath, I like the romanticized version.

And Joan, Bonnie Doon is one of my top 50 favorites. I like the salt, salt sea words. Aren't those words popular in some riddle songs? I'm lost without SuperSearch, but I seem to remember the words "salt, salt sea" and something about strawberries. It's not Waly, Waly or Scarborough Fair. It's driving me crazy.

Mary


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Subject: RE: Twa Corbies
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 02 Apr 00 - 07:47 PM

Mary in Kentucky - sometimes it's called the False Bride, and sometimes the Week before Easter, and a few other names, and it's a lovely song. There are lots of variants, but here's a link to a set of words in the DT with the verse you remember WEEK BEFORE EASTER (The same tune is also used for a great song called DANCING AT WHITSUN which is a lot less cynical about people who've had loved ones killed. More realistic I think too. (Like the "romantic" version of the corbies in that respect, I feel..)


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Subject: RE: Twa Corbies
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 02 Apr 00 - 07:50 PM

I don't know where that link to WEEK BEFORE EASTER went...


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Subject: RE: Twa Corbies
From: Susan of DT
Date: 02 Apr 00 - 08:12 PM

Mary and McGrath - There are many versions of the False Bride in the DT since it is one of my favorite songs. We seem to have forgotten to give it a DT number, so you can search for them by flsebrd* to get 13 of them.


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Subject: RE: Twa Corbies
From: Mary in Kentucky
Date: 02 Apr 00 - 08:43 PM

THAT'S IT! In the DT when I enter flsebrd* I like number 4's tune, but wouldn't you know, that one has Scottish lyrics and says black berries instead of strawberries. Anyway, the words are lovely. Thanks.

Mary


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Subject: RE: Twa Corbies
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 02 Apr 00 - 08:55 PM

The Twa Corbies link that Mary of Kentucky gave to Lesley's site leads to the An Alarc'h tune, or a version of it; it may be a little over-arranged, as it's difficult to separate the melody-line.  I've tried Jeri's .ABC and it plays more-or-less as gibberish for me, but that could be AbcMus misbehaving!  Ed Pellow makes some good points about Tim Van Eyken's notes: I was tempted earlier to suggest that they were fanciful nonsense, but thought better of it...

Malcolm


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Subject: Tune Add: TWA CORBIES
From: Jeri
Date: 02 Apr 00 - 09:32 PM

Malcolm, this might work better.

T:TWA CORBIES
M:4/4
L:1/4
Q:100
K:D
F|BBd2B2AA|B3FBBd2|B2AAB3d|def3fed|f2e2BB/2c/2dB|
ecdcBABB/2c/2|dBecB3z||


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Subject: RE: Twa Corbies
From: Alan of Australia
Date: 02 Apr 00 - 09:38 PM

G'day,
If anyone has a tune for any version of Twa Corbies in any form, please go to the Mudcat MIDI Site and email it to me. I'll post it on the site for all to share.

Cheers,
Alan


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Subject: Lyr/Tune Add: THE CORBIE AND THE CROW
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 02 Apr 00 - 10:11 PM

Thanks, Jeri!  AbcMus still complains, but it now plays a tune that I recognise; it's An Alarc'h alright.  Sophocleese mentions Ray Fisher as the original knitter of melody to song, and that sounds convincing to me, though credit has also been given variously to Alasdair Claire (sp?) and to John Greig.

To add to the collection, here is an extremely Scottish version that Jack Campin posted to one of the folkmusic ngs. a while back:

The corbie wi' his roupie throat ca'd frae the leafless tree,
"Come ow'r the loch! Come ow'r the loch! Come ow'r the loch tae me!"

The crow pit up her sooty heid, looked frae her nest whaur she lay,
And gied a fluff wi her rusty wings, and cried "Whaur tae, whaur tae?"

"To pyke a deid man lying there, ahint yon mickle stane".
"Is he fat, is he fat, is he fat, is he fat? If no we'll let him alane".

"He's frae merry England come to steal oor sheep and kill oor deer".
"I'll come, I'll come, for an Englishman is aye the best o' cheer".

"We'll breakfast on his bonnie breest and on his back we'll dine,
For the lave hae gane to their countrie and ne'er come back sin-syne".

He goes on to say:
From William Macmath's manuscripts; recorded from the lawyer John Christian in 1893 - he'd got it from his Dumfries family. Apparently it's in Whitelaw's "Book of Scottish Song", which I have no recollection of if I've ever seen it; Whitelaw thought Alexander "Jupiter" Carlyle (the more-or-less-atheist minister of Inveresk in Enlightenment times) wrote it.

X:1 T:The Corbie and the Crow S:Edinburgh University Library Mic.M.605 (William Macmath MSS) Z:Jack Campin, Valentines Day 2000 M:C L:1/4 K:F C|A>G Ac|A>G Ac|d>c cA |c2 z|| A|G>F GA|G>F GA|cf A>G|F3 |]

Bit of a puzzle how Houseman and The Week Before Easter got onto this thread while I was out at the pub...

Malcolm


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Subject: Tune Add: TWA CORBIES
From: Abby Sale
Date: 03 Apr 00 - 08:25 AM

I believe the tune DT uses for "Corbies" is one of the two I sent up October of 97. (Text was already there).  Anyway, it's from Bronson & he gets it from George Eyre-Todd, Ancient Scots Ballads.  I also sent up the 'An Alarc'h' tune modified as best I could to how it's actually sung.  I agree that Leslie's tune (in this rare case) misses the haunting-ness of it.  Unfortunately I can't do much better and can't even do MIDI.  For those that still have some form of Basic, this is what I tried to render.

According to Buchan (generally to be believed) It's based (as stated) on an ancient Breton war tune, 'Al Alarc'h,' arr. & first used for "Twa Corbies" by Morris Blythman.  It was taught to him by Breton folksinger Zaig Montjarrét.  Ray Fisher's part was that she was among the first to sing it.  A tad fast at first but this "new" song was just getting known.  Buchan comments that a great song as this is nothing, lying fallow, until a singable tune gets put to it.  The Ancient Scots Ballads tune is, to me, barely more than a jingle.

I've tried to give it pretty much as it's sung but it's still a pretty poor excuse for it.

' Use QBASIC, BASICA or GWBASIC to run all from here to the bottom ***
' Or don't.
'
ON KEY(7) GOSUB 3000: KEY(7) ON
f$ = CHR$(34)
CLS
PRINT "Type for abortion"
PRINT : PRINT f$; "The Twa Corbies"; f$
PRINT : PRINT "(from Norman Buchan, _101 Scottish Songs_)"
PLAY "O2 L8 MF t90 mn"
PLAY "mfp16p2p2"
' key = 2 Flats; 3/4
LOCATE 1, 1: PRINT STRING$(22, " ")
LOCATE 5, 1: PRINT STRING$(42, " ")
LOCATE 6, 1

PRINT "As  I was walk-ing all a-lane,"
'          /-downbeat     /  (hold the g-written as 8th note)
PLAY " d   g a   b-4  g4  f   f mlg2mng "

PRINT "I heard twa cor-bies mak-in' a  mane."
'                  /                   /(hold the g-written as 8th note)
PLAY " d g     a   b-4 g4   f16 f16 f  mlg2mng "

PRINT "The tane in-tae the tith-er  did  say,"
'          /               /                (hold the a-written as 8th note)
PLAY " g   b-   >c d   c   c16  c16 c32

PRINT f$; "Whaur sall we gang and dine the day,   Oh,"
'                /                /               (hold the d-written as 8th note)
PLAY "     d     g    a  b-4  g4  f    f   mlgmnf mld4mnd"

PRINT "Whaur sall we gang and dine the day?"; f$
'            /                /
PLAY " g     g    a  b-4  g4  f    f   g4"

3000 '
' ***********************************************
 


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Subject: RE: Twa Corbies
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 03 Apr 00 - 01:27 PM

An Alarc'h turns out to be on the DT, titled BRETON LIBERATION SONG. There's a midi of the tune, as well.

I've sent a midi of The Corbie And The Crow, made from Jack Campin's abc given above, to Alan's midi site.

Malcolm


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Subject: RE: Twa Corbies
From: GUEST,Helge in Norway
Date: 03 Apr 00 - 07:10 PM

I´ll remember Bert Jansch recorded this one in 1971 ?? on the album called "Moonshine" Helge

hlyster@c2i.net


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Subject: RE: Twa Corbies
From: Bill D
Date: 04 Apr 00 - 03:33 PM

An Alarc'h is 'close' to the tune Jean Redpath uses, though she starts the 3rd line similar to 1 & 2, then moves to the higher note and decends on 'the other did say'...(very small differences in tune and wording can change the character of this song a lot)

As I was walking all alane
I heard twa corbies makin' mane
And one ontae the other did say
Where will we gang and dine the day
Where will we gang and dine the day


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Subject: RE: Twa Corbies
From: Alan of Australia
Date: 08 Apr 00 - 10:29 PM

G'day,
Thanks to Malcolm the tune for "The Corbie And The Crow" can be found here at the Mudcat MIDI site.

Cheers,
Alan


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Subject: RE: Twa Corbies
From: Stewie
Date: 09 Apr 00 - 08:52 PM

I first heard this back in the early 70s on a tape that someone gave me of Robin Hall and Jimmie McGregor's Folk Song Cellar. It was sung by Scots singer Nigel Denver. The words were the same as the first text given in Child #26 except that the last line of each stanza was repeated and, on the first occurrence, the line was lengthened by a syllable in the way indicated above by Abby: 'So we may mak our dinner sweet-o/So we may mak our dinner sweet'; 'The wind sall blaw for evermair-o/The wind sall blaw for evermair'. As far as I can tell, the tune was similar to that given for 'The Twa Corbies' on Lesley's site.

Denver's performance was excellent. He also had a fine album out around that time - 'Rebellion' - which was quite popular. My main purpose in contributing to this thread is to ask whether anyone knows what happened to him. Did he make any recordings after 'Rebellion'? Is he still performing? My favourite folk revival singers seem to have a habit of seemingly disappearing from the face of the earth - Al O'Donnell is another case in point.

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Twa Corbies
From: Jack Campin
Date: 07 Jun 18 - 11:00 AM

Here's another try at "The Corbie and the Crow", as I originally
posted it to uk.music.folk, with the ABC arranged better.

From William Macmath's manuscripts; recorded from the lawyer
John Christian in 1893 - he'd got it from his Dumfries family.
Apparently it's in Whitelaw's "Book of Scottish Song", which
I have no recollection of if I've ever seen it; Whitelaw thought
Alexander "Jupiter" Carlyle (the more-or-less-atheist minister
of Inveresk in Enlightenment times) wrote it. Note that the tune
has no resemblance to "An Alarc'h" and the metre is different to
"Twa Corbies".

X:1
T:The Corbie and the Crow
S:Edinburgh University Library Mic.M.605 (William Macmath MSS)
Z:Jack Campin, Valentines Day 2000
M:C
L:1/4
K:F
C|A>G Ac|A>G Ac|d>c cA |c2 z||
A|G>F GA|G>F GA|cf  A>G|F3  |]


The corbie wi' his roupie throat ca'd frae the leafless tree,
"Come ow'r the loch! Come ow'r the loch! Come ow'r the loch tae me!"

The crow pit up her sooty heid, looked frae her nest whaur she lay,
And gied a fluff wi her rusty wings, and cried "Whaur tae, whaur tae?"

"To pyke a deid man lying there, ahint yon mickle stane".
"Is he fat, is he fat, is he fat, is he fat? If no we'll let him alane".

"He's frae merry England come to steal oor sheep and kill oor deer".
"I'll come, I'll come, for an Englishman is aye the best o' cheer".

"We'll breakfast on his bonnie breest and on his back we'll dine,
For the lave hae gane to their countrie and ne'er come back sin-syne".


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Subject: RE: Twa Corbies
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 07 Jun 18 - 01:28 PM

You posted it in the Origins thread in 2006 Jack!
Origins: Twa Corbies / Three Ravens / etc.


Mick


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Subject: RE: Twa Corbies
From: Jack Campin
Date: 07 Jun 18 - 01:48 PM

I was prompted to revisit it by a thread on FB.

Surely worth a repost now we have David Mundell to dedicate it to.


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Subject: RE: Twa Corbies
From: Reinhard
Date: 07 Jun 18 - 02:14 PM

Yesterday I have been to a concert of the Danish group Phønix with the Chinese guzheng player SangKa who recorded a beautiful Danish version of "Twa Corbies" called "De to ravne" on their latest CD, "Groovy Guzheng".


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Subject: RE: Twa Corbies
From: meself
Date: 07 Jun 18 - 03:43 PM

An' naebody kens that he lies there, o
But his hawk and his hound and his lady fair, o.


Given the context - the terse, grim, sardonic dialogue of the twa corbies - I don't see how you could interpret those lines in any other way than to mean that the 'lady fair' had a hand in the death. Why on earth else would the lady fair not happen to mention to anyone where the body is? That is a rhetorical question; please treat it as such.


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Subject: RE: Twa Corbies
From: Lighter
Date: 07 Jun 18 - 06:12 PM

Absolutely correct, meself.

I know because when I used to discuss the lyrics with undergraduates I'd always point that out.

Jack, "The Corbie and Craw" [sic] appears on p. 403 of "The Book of Scottish Song" (Glasgow: Blackie & Son, 1844), attributed to "Alex. Carlile."

The text is nearly identical, but the "craw" is male. Spelling and dialect are slightly more English-y.


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