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Lyr Req: Margarie Gray. Ballad.

In Mudcat MIDIs:
MARGERY GREY (Helen Hartness Flanders and George Brown's Vermont Folk-songs and Ballads (1931): as noted from Mr. Orlon Merrill of Charlesworth (formerly Pittsburgh), New Hampshire, c.1930. This may not be the same tune used by Margaret MacArthur)


GUEST,dewainewakeman@aol.com 25 May 00 - 02:22 AM
KathWestra 25 May 00 - 10:47 AM
GUEST,Margmac 25 May 00 - 10:40 PM
Wolfgang 26 May 00 - 04:46 AM
GUEST,dewainewakeman@aol.com 26 May 00 - 06:15 AM
GUEST,margmac 26 May 00 - 09:16 PM
Gypsy 28 May 00 - 12:35 AM
GUEST,margmac 28 May 00 - 09:24 PM
Gypsy 29 May 00 - 10:49 PM
KathWestra 30 May 00 - 11:11 AM
Gypsy 30 May 00 - 11:00 PM
GUEST,Dewey 31 Dec 01 - 03:56 AM
Malcolm Douglas 31 Dec 01 - 01:02 PM
GUEST,Dewey 04 Jan 02 - 12:29 AM
Desert Dancer 04 Jan 02 - 01:04 PM
Stewart 04 Jan 02 - 02:11 PM
GUEST,Dewey 04 Jan 02 - 05:48 PM
Desert Dancer 05 Jan 02 - 02:24 AM
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Subject: Margarie Gray. Ballad.
From: GUEST,dewainewakeman@aol.com
Date: 25 May 00 - 02:22 AM


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Margarie Gray. Ballad.
From: KathWestra
Date: 25 May 00 - 10:47 AM

Margaret MacArthur is the person who has brought this incredible New England true-story ballad to light -- and life. She has recorded it on one of her recent CDs. I'll send her an e-mail to confirm which one, and ask her if she'd be willing to post the lyrics here. Kathy


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Subject: Lyr Add: MARGERY GREY: A LEGEND OF VERMONT (Dorr)
From: GUEST,Margmac
Date: 25 May 00 - 10:40 PM

Margery Grey A Legend of Vermont by Julia C. Dorr Tune: traditional As sung by me, Margaret MacArthur, on cs Vermont Ballads and Broadsides, 1989. Am now working on cover to have it burnt into a Cd as last pressing of cs is nearly gone. Full booklet comes with either cs or potential CD. Thanks Kathy for posting notice of this request

Fair the cabin walls were gleaming
In the sunlight's golden glow,
On that lovely April morning,
Near one hundred years ago,
When upon that humble threshold
Stood the young wife, Margery Grey,
With her fearless blue eyes glancing
Down the lonely forest way.

In her arms a laughing baby
With its father's dark hair played,
As he lingered there beside them,
Leaning on his trusty spade,
"I am going to the wheat lot,"
With a smile said Robert Grey,
"Will you be too lonely Margery,
If I leave you all the day?"

Then she smiled a cheerful answer
And the tone of her replying
Was as sweet as any bird:
"No," she said, "I'll take the baby
And go stay with Anna Brown,
You must meet us there dear Robert,
Ere the sun has quite gone down."

Thus they parted, strong and steady
All the day he labored on,
Digging up the fertile acres,
From the stubborn forest won.
Till at length the shadows told him
That the sun was in the west,
On his homeward way he started
Murmuring, "Now for home and rest."

But when he reached the clearing
Of his friend a mile away,
Neither wife nor child was waiting there
To welcome Robert Grey.
"She is safe at home," said Anna
"For she left an hour ago."
"It is strange I did not meet her,"
Came the answer swift and low.

Back he sped, but night was falling,
And the way he scarce could see;
Here and there his feet were guided
Onward by some deep-gashed tree.
But when he reached the cabin
Dark and desolate it stood,
Cold the hearth, the windows rayless,
In the stillest solitude.

With a murmured prayer, a shudder
And a cry of anguish wild,
Thru the forest he went running,
Calling for his wife and child.
Soon the scattered settlers gathered
From the clearings far and near,
And the lonely woods resounded
With their voices rising clear.

Torches flared, and fires were kindled
And the horn's long peal rang out,
But only echoes answered
To the hardy woodman's shout.
All in vain their sad endeavor,
Night by night and day by day,
For no sign or token found they
Of the child or Margery Grey,

Woe! Woe! for pretty Margery!
With the baby on her arm,
On her homeward way she started,
Thinking nothing that could harm.
With a lip and brow untroubled,
With a heart at utter rest,
Through the forest she went singing
To the baby on her breast.

But in sudden terror, pausing,
Gazed she round in blank dismay.
Where were all the white scarred hemlocks
Pointing out the lonely way?
God of mercies! She had wandered
From the pathway. Not a tree
Giving mute but friendly warning
Could her straining vision see.

Twilight deepened into darkness,
And the stars came out on high.
All was silent in the forest
Save the owls low brooding cry.
Round about her at the midnight,
Stealthy shadows softly crept,
And the babe upon her bosom
Closed its tired eyes and slept.

Then a shout! And in the distance
She could see a torch's gleam.
But alas! She could not reach it,
And it vanished like a dream.
Another shout and then another,
But she shrieked and sobbed in vain,
Rushing wildly towards the presence
She could never, never gain.

Oh, the days so long and dreary!
Oh, the nights more dreary still!
More than once she heard the sounding
Of the horn upon the hill.
More than once a smoldering fire
In some sheltered nook she found,
And she knew her husband's footprints
Close beside it on the ground.

Dawned the fourth relentless morning,
And the sun's unpitying eye
Looked upon the haggard mother,
Looked to see the baby die.
All night long its plaintive moaning
Wrung the heart of Margery Grey.
All day long her bosom cradled
A pallid thing of clay.

Three days more she bore it with her,
On her weary toilsome way,
Till she knew that she must leave it
In the forest for to stay.
Till she knew that she must leave it
In the forest for to sleep,
Where the prowling wild beasts only
Watch above its grave could keep.

Down she sat beside that grave
For how long she never knew!
With the prayers her mother taught her,
To the Dear All Father True;
Till the skies turned brass above her,
Till all the earth seemed dim,
And all her prayers and pleadings
Brought no answer down from Him.

Till at length the stern life tyrant
Bade her take her burden up.
To her lips, so pale and shrunken,
Press again the bitter cup.
Up she rose, still tramping onward
Through the forest far and wide,
Till the May flowers bloomed and perished,
And the sweet June roses died.

Till July and August brought her
Fruit and berries from their store;
Till goldenrod and aster
Told her summer was no more;
Till the maples and the birches
Donned their robes of red and gold;
Till the birds were flying southward
And the days were growing cold.

One chill morning in October
When the trees were brown and bare,
Through the streets of ancient Charlestown,
With a strange bewildered air,
Walked a gaunt and pallid woman,
Whose disheveled locks of brown
O'er her naked breast and shoulders
In the wind were streaming down.

Wondering glances fell upon her,
Women veiled their modest eyes
As they slowly ventured near her,
Drawn by pitying suprise.
"'Tis some crazy one," they whispered.
Back her tangled locks she tossed
"O kind souls, take pity on me,
For I am not mad but lost."

Then she told her piteous story
In a strange disjointed way,
And with cold, white lips she murmered
"Take me home to Robert Gray."
"But the river," said they, pondering,
"We are on the other side.
How crossed you the rapid water?
Deep the torrent is, and wide!"

But she said she had not crossed it
In her strange erratic course.
She had wandered to the northward,
Till she reached its fountain source
In the dark Canadian forest,
And then blindly tramping on
Thru the steep New Hampshire valleys
Her bewildered feet had gone.

Oh,the joy bells, sweet their ringing
On the frosty autumn air!
Oh, the boats across the waters,
How they leaped the tale to bear!
Oh, the wondrous golden sunset
On the blest October day,
When the weary wife was folded
To the heart of Robert Gray.
^^


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Subject: Lyr Add: MARGERY GREY: A LEGEND OF VERMONT (Dorr)
From: Wolfgang
Date: 26 May 00 - 04:46 AM

Thanks a lot for posting that beautiful ballad. I just have reposted it the way I guess you wanted it to look.

Wolfgang

MARGERY GREY A LEGEND OF VERMONT
by Julia C. Dorr
Tune: traditional
As sung by me, Margaret MacArthur, on cs Vermont Ballads and Broadsides, 1989.
Am now working on cover to have it burnt into a Cd as last pressing of cs is nearly gone.
Full booklet comes with either cs or potential CD.
Thanks Kathy for posting notice of this request

Fair the cabin walls were gleaming
In the sunlight's golden glow,
On that lovely April morning,
Near one hundred years ago,
When upon that humble threshold
Stood the young wife, Margery Grey,
With her fearless blue eyes glancing
Down the lonely forest way.

In her arms a laughing baby
With its father's dark hair played,
As he lingered there beside them,
Leaning on his trusty spade,
"I am going to the wheat lot,"
With a smile said Robert Grey,
"Will you be too lonely Margery,
If I leave you all the day?"

Then she smiled a cheerful answer
And the tone of her replying
Was as sweet as any bird:
"No," she said, "I'll take the baby
And go stay with Anna Brown,
You must meet us there dear Robert,
Ere the sun has quite gone down."

Thus they parted, strong and steady
All the day he labored on,
Digging up the fertile acres,
From the stubborn forest won.
Till at length the shadows told him
That the sun was in the west,
On his homeward way he started
Murmuring, "Now for home and rest."

But when he reached the clearing
Of his friend a mile away,
Neither wife nor child was waiting there
To welcome Robert Grey.
"She is safe at home," said Anna
"For she left an hour ago."
"It is strange I did not meet her,"
Came the answer swift and low.

Back he sped, but night was falling,
And the way he scarce could see;
Here and there his feet were guided
Onward by some deep-gashed tree.
But when he reached the cabin
Dark and desolate it stood,
Cold the hearth, the windows rayless,
In the stillest solitude.

With a murmured prayer, a shudder
And a cry of anguish wild,
Thru the forest he went running,
Calling for his wife and child.
Soon the scattered settlers gathered
From the clearings far and near,
And the lonely woods resounded
With their voices rising clear.

Torches flared, and fires were kindled
And the horn's long peal rang out,
But only echoes answered
To the hardy woodman's shout.
All in vain their sad endeavor,
Night by night and day by day,
For no sign or token found they
Of the child or Margery Grey,

Woe! Woe! for pretty Margery!
With the baby on her arm,
On her homeward way she started,
Thinking nothing that could harm.
With a lip and brow untroubled,
With a heart at utter rest,
Through the forest she went singing
To the baby on her breast.

But in sudden terror, pausing,
Gazed she round in blank dismay.
Where were all the white scarred hemlocks
Pointing out the lonely way?
God of mercies! She had wandered
From the pathway. Not a tree
Giving mute but friendly warning
Could her straining vision see.

Twilight deepened into darkness,
And the stars came out on high.
All was silent in the forest
Save the owls low brooding cry.
Round about her at the midnight,
Stealthy shadows softly crept
And the babe upon her bosom
Closed its tired eyes and slept.

Then a shout! And in the distance
She could see a torch's gleam.
But alas! She could not reach it,
And it vanished like a dream.
Another shout and then another,
But she shrieked and sobbed in vain,
Rushing wildly towards the presence
She could never, never gain.

Oh, the days so long and dreary!
Oh, the nights more dreary still!
More than once she heard the sounding
Of the horn upon the hill.
More than once a smoldering fire
In some sheltered nook she found,
And she knew her husband's footprints
Close beside it on the ground.

Dawned the fourth relentless morning,
And the sun's unpitying eye
Looked upon the haggard mother,
Looked to see the baby die.
All night long its plaintive moaning
Wrung the heart of Margery Grey.
All day long her bosom cradled
A pallid thing of clay.

Three days more she bore it with her,
On her weary toilsome way,
Till she knew that she must leave it
In the forest for to stay.
Till she knew that she must leave it
In the forest for to sleep,
Where the prowling wild beasts only
Watch above its grave could keep.

Down she sat beside that grave
For how long she never knew!
With the prayers her mother taught her,
To the Dear All Father True;
Till the skies turned brass above her,
Till all the earth seemed dim,
And all her prayers and pleadings
Brought no answer down from Him..

Till at length the stern life tyrant
Bade her take her burden up.
To her lips, so pale and shrunken,
Press again the bitter cup.
Up she rose, still tramping onward
Through the forest far and wide,
Till the May flowers bloomed and perished,
And the sweet June roses died.

Till July and August brought her
Fruit and berries from their store;
Till goldenrod and aster
Told her summer was no more;
Till the maples and the birches
Donned their robes of red and gold;
Till the birds were flying southward
And the days were growing cold.

One chill morning in October
When the trees were brown and bare,
Through the streets of ancient Charlestown,
With a strange bewildered air,
Walked a gaunt and pallid woman,
Whose disheveled locks of brown
O'er her naked breast and shoulders
In the wind were streaming down.

Wondering glances fell upon her,
Women veiled their modest eyes
As they slowly ventured near her,
Drawn by pitying suprise.
"'Tis some crazy one," they whispered.
Back her tangled locks she tossed
"O kind souls, take pity on me,
For I am not mad but lost."

Then she told her piteous story
In a strange disjointed way,
And with cold, white lips she murmered
"Take me home to Robert Gray."
"But the river," said they, pondering
"We are on the other side.
How crossed you the rapid water?
Deep the torrent is, and wide!"

But she said she had not crossed
In her strange erratic course.
She had wandered to the northward,
Till she reached its fountain source
In the dark Canadian forest,
And then blindly tramping on
Thru the steep New Hampshire valleys
Her bewildered feet had gone.

Oh,the joy bells, sweet their ringing
On the frosty autumn air!
Oh, the boats across the waters,
How they leaped the tale to bear
Oh, the wondrous golden sunset
On the blest October day,
When the weary wife was folded
To the heart of Robert Gray.



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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Margarie Gray. Ballad.
From: GUEST,dewainewakeman@aol.com
Date: 26 May 00 - 06:15 AM

Thanks everyone for the info on Margerie Grey. Hope to see the ORIGINAL ballad posted here. The original is about 5 pages long.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Margarie Gray. Ballad.
From: GUEST,margmac
Date: 26 May 00 - 09:16 PM

Wolfgang, thanks for putting the verses in order.I'm not sure how they got strung out. In Flanders 1932 Vermont Folksongs and Ballads this covers 7 and a half pages. I learned it from the singing of Bertha Cahpin of Waterbury,who left out 2 of the verses that appear in Flanders book, 2 verses that don't really advance the story. In the booklet accompanying my cs Vermont Ballads and Broadsides the text covers 5 and three quarter pages. If anyone has Julia Dorr's poetry they will have access to the original poem, rather than the ballad that passed into Margaret MacArthurtradition not only in Vermont but throughout New England


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Margarie Gray. Ballad.
From: Gypsy
Date: 28 May 00 - 12:35 AM

Interesting, my print out came to 5 pages. Any chance of telling what "traditional" tune this is? Is tune the same as title, and if so, where to find musics? What a fabulous ballad!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Margarie Gray. Ballad.
From: GUEST,margmac
Date: 28 May 00 - 09:24 PM

The tune I sing on cs Vermont Ballads & Broadsides I learned from a tape of traditional Vermont singer Chapin. This tape was from the Helen Hartness Flanders Collection. The song from a different singer is included in Flander's 1932 book . I could never have learned it without hearing it sung.

Margaret MacArthur


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Margarie Gray. Ballad.
From: Gypsy
Date: 29 May 00 - 10:49 PM

Thanks for your response. I will have to go to the local (yeah right, ONLY) music dealer and order your cd. Looks to be the way to learn it. Any one else out there that might have the sheet music?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Margarie Gray. Ballad.
From: KathWestra
Date: 30 May 00 - 11:11 AM

Gypsy -- I'm sure that you can order Margaret's CD directly from her(that way the musician reaps all the benefit of a self-produced labor of love). Send me a private e-mail (or maybe Margaret will post info. here in this thread) and I'll tell you how to get in touch with her. Also, Camsco Music is a source of hard-to-find mail-order folk music -- AND a portion of the sales benefit the Mudcat! Click on the jumpin' catfish logo on the front page of this forum where it says "support the Mudcat". Kathy


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Margarie Gray. Ballad.
From: Gypsy
Date: 30 May 00 - 11:00 PM

You brilliant woman! Thank you so much!


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Subject: Lyr Add: MARGARIE GRAY
From: GUEST,Dewey
Date: 31 Dec 01 - 03:56 AM

Here’s the version I know. Some of the words are different. This version also includes the extra verses (more than two) Margmac referred to, and a few difference phrases here and there. I do not know if my version is original and completely accurate however, as it was taped and sung by a friend who knew the ballad and mailed it to me.

Fair the cabin walls were gleaming in the sunbeam’s golden glow,
On that lovely April morning, near one hundred years ago.

And upon the humble threshold stood a young wife, Margarie Gray,
With her fearless blue eyes glancing down the lonely forest way.

In her arms, a laughing baby with its father’s dark hair played,
As he lingered there beside them, leaning on his trusty spade.

“I am going to the wheatlot,” with a smile said Robert Gray.
“Will you be too lonely, Margarie, if I leave you all today?”

Then she smiled a cheerful answer ere she spoke a single word,
And the tone of her reply was sweeter than the songs of birds.

“No,” she said, “I’ll take the baby and go stay with Annie Brown.
You must meet us there, dear Robert, ere the sun has gone on down.”

Thus they parted strong and steady. All day long he labored on,
Spading up the fertile acres from the stubborn forest won.

And when lengthening shadows warned him that the sun was in the west,
Down the woodland isles he hastened, whispering now for home and rest.

But when he had reached the clearing of their friend a mile away,
Neither wife nor child was waiting there to welcome Robert Gray.

“She is safe at home,” said Annie, “for she left and hour ago,
While the woods were still illumined by the sunset’s crimson glow.”

Back he sped but night was falling, and the path he scarce could see.
Here and there his feet were guided onward by some deep gashed tree.

When at last he gained the cabin, black and desolate it stood.
Cold the hearth, the windows rayless, in the stillness, solitude.

With a murmured prayer, a shudder, and a sob of anguish wild,
Back he darted through the forest, calling on his wife and child.

Soon the scattered settlers gathered, all from clearings far and near,
And the solemn woods resounded with their voices rising clear.

Torches flared and fires were kindled, and the horn’s long peal rang out,
While the startled echoes answered to the hardy woodsman shout.

But in vain their sad endeavor, night by night and day by day,
For no sign or token found they of the child or Margarie Gray.

Woe, Oh Woe! For pretty Margarie, with the baby on her arm,
On her homeward way she started, fearing nothing that could harm.

With a lip and brow untroubled, and a heart at utter rest,
Through the dim woods she went singing to the baby on her breast.

But in sudden terror pausing, gazed she round in blank dismay.
Where were all the white scarred hemlocks, pointing out her weary way?

God of mercies! She had wandered from the pathway. Not a tree,
Giving mute but kindly warning, could her straining vision see.

Twilight deepened into darkness, and the stars came out on high.
All was silent in the forest, save the owl’s foreboding cry.

Round about her in the midnight, stealthily the shadows crept,
And the babe upon her bosom closed its tiny eyes and slept.

Hark! A shout, and in the distance, she could she a torch’s gleam,
But alas! She could not reach it and it vanished like a dream.

Then a shout and then another, but she shrieked and sobbed in vain,
Rushing wildly toward the presence she could never ever gain.

Morning came and with the sunbeams, hope and courage rose once more,
Sure, ere another nightfall, all her wanderings would be o’er.

So she soothed her wailing baby, and when faint from want of food,
Ate the wintergreens and acorns that she found within the wood.

Oh, the days were long and dreary! Oh, the nights more dreary still!
More than once she heard the sounding of the horn from hill to hill.

More than once a smoldering fire in some sheltered nook she found,
And she knew her husband’s footprints close beside it on the ground.

Dawned the fourth relentless morning, and the sun’s unpitying eye
Looked upon the haggard mother, looked to see the baby die.

All night long its plaintive moaning wrung the heart of Margarie Gray.
All day long her bosom cradled it, a pallid thing of clay.

Three long days she bore it with her on her rough and toilsome way,
‘Til across its marbled beauty stole the plaguèd spot, decay.

Then she knew that she must leave it in the wilderness to sleep,
Where the prowling wild beasts only watched its grave should keep.

Dumb with grief she sat beside it. Ah! How long she never knew.
Were the tales her mother taught her of the dear All Father true?

When the skies were brass above her and the earth was cold and dim,
When all tears and pleading brought her no answer down from Him.

But alas! Stern life, the tyrant, bade her take her burden up,
To her lips so pale and shrunken, press again the bitter cup.

Up she rose, still tramping onward, through the forest far and wide,
‘Til the mayflowers bloomed and perished, and the sweet June roses died,

‘Til July and August brought her fruit and berries from their store,
‘Til the goldenrod and aster said that summer was no more,

‘Til the maples and the birches donned their robes of red and gold,
‘Til the birds were hastened southward and the days were growing cold.

Was she doomed to roam forever o’er this desolate earth,
She the last and only being, to those whiles of human birth?

Sometimes from her dreary pathway wolves or black bear turned away,
But not once did human presence bless the sight of Margarie Gray.

One chill morning in October, when the trees were brown and bare,
Through the streets of ancient Charlestown, with a strange bewildered air,

Walked a gaunt and pallid woman whose disheveled locks of brown,
O’er her naked breast and shoulders, in the wind were streaming down.

Wandering glances fell upon her. Women veiled their modest eyes
As they slowly ventured near her, drawn by pity and surprise.

“‘Tis some crazy one,” they whispered. Back her tangled locks she tossed.
“O kind soul, take pity on me, for I am not mad but lost.”

Then she told her piteous story in a strange disjointed way,
And with cold white lips she murmured, “Take me home to Robert Gray.”

“But the river!” said they pondering. “We are on the other side.
How crossed you the rapid water? Deep the torrent is and wide!”

But she said she had not crossed it in her strange erratic course.
She had wandered to the northward ‘til she reached its fountain source.

In the dark Canadian forest, and then blindly tramping on
Through the steep New Hampshire valleys, her bewildered feet had gone.

Oh, the joy bells sweet their ringing on the frosty autumn air!
Oh, the boats across the waters, how they leaped their tale to bear!

Oh, the wondrous golden sunset on the blessed October day,
When the weary wife was folded to the heart of Robert Gray!

My version misses one verse however, that thanks to Margmac I now have. There are close to 50 verses to this tune so it is a great one to play on open stage when the emcee says you have but only one number left before getting booted off the stage.

As far as the melody, it is similar to the Hymn: What a friend we have in Jesus. (But this, however, is not the TRUE melody) But you could probably use it as a crude makeshift until learning the RIGHT one)

I will gladly mail a tape of the melody to anyone desiring it for the cost of postage if they are interested!

HTML line breaks added. Also, a few spelling and punctuation changes. --JoeClone, 6-Jan-02.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Margarie Gray. Ballad.
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 31 Dec 01 - 01:02 PM

Margaret referred to the set in Helen Hartness Flanders and George Brown's Vermont Folk-songs and Ballads (1931): this was noted from Mr. Orlaon Merrill of Charlesworth (formerly Pittsburgh), New Hampshire, c.1930.  He learned it as a boy of eight from one George Abbott, who in his turn had learned the tune from Mrs. Bern Watts of Pittsburgh, and the text from Miss Alice Woods of Beecher's Falls, Vermont.  Mrs. Julia C.R. Orr's poem appeared in her Poems (Lippincott's, 1872) and, according to Flanders and Brown, was first printed in The Northern Gazette about a hundred years after the event happened.

I've made a midi of the tune, as sung by Mr. Merrill, from the notation given in the Flanders/Brown book.  Until it gets to the  Mudcat Midi Pages,  it can be heard via the  South Riding Folk Network  site:

Margaret Gray.mid

I have no idea how close, if at all, it may be to Margaret MacArthur's tune.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Margarie Gray. Ballad.
From: GUEST,Dewey
Date: 04 Jan 02 - 12:29 AM

Hope nobody minds or is offended by me posting the additional lyrics.

This is my favorite ballad of all time Bar None! and the melody is simply beautiful.

The original peom is far too long however (best to skip a few verses when singing this one). You will quickly lose your audience if you don't.

Thanks for the link Malcolm, hope this Ballad makes Digital Tradition very soon. It is a very very worthy ballad and deserves being posted here.

Dewey


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Margarie Gray. Ballad.
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 04 Jan 02 - 01:04 PM

You can contact Margaret Macarthur and order recordings through her web site.

~ Becky in Tucson


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Margarie Gray. Ballad.
From: Stewart
Date: 04 Jan 02 - 02:11 PM

There's a different version "Margery Grey" by Steve Gillette in SingOut! vol.45 #2 Summer 2001. The tune is different - midi on SO web site here. From the intro in SO: "The poem, in Mrs. Door's words, was 'founded on a half a dozen lines that caught my eye in some newspaper simply stating the fact that a woman of the pioneers, being lost in the woods and unable to cross the Connecticut River, had wandered northward round its source and come down the other side.'"

S. in Seattle


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Margarie Gray. Ballad.
From: GUEST,Dewey
Date: 04 Jan 02 - 05:48 PM

I think the public has had enough shameless plugs for the Margmac CD in this thread. If anyone wishes to learn the tune from me or anyone else, please let me know as it won't cost you a dime. I do not take credit for the ballad, nor should anyone else for that matter. I am also not interested in making a buck off of someone else's work and remaking it as my own.

I only added to the thread because the original words posted were inaccurate. And I wished for the ballad to be spread to as many people as possible and in its correct form. Often times artists will develope their own versions so as to create new ownership.

Sorry if I've ofeended Margmac or any of her supporters. It disappoints me however when artists develope their own versons and promote them, as it weakens and waters down the original ballad.

Cheat books work this way, everyone is so fearful of copyright, they begin bastardizing original songs. In the end there are hundreds of different versions, as everyone tries to claim ownership to his or her version.

My goal here was to promulgate the ballad in as close to its original as possible, without claiming authority over it so as to save it for posterity.

This is what I would like to see the mudcat cafe primarily used for, spreading good music and stories among friends who care about the integrity of the music, and who are eager to share all and everything they know without money or strings attached.

Again, I don't mean to offend Margmac or anyone else. I just like to see a spirit of cooperation develope her in promting the ballad and posting it here, not in having it cost someone $20.00 to learn soemthing that should belong to all of us.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Margarie Gray. Ballad.
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 05 Jan 02 - 02:24 AM

Dewey, you may not "mean to offend" anyone, but you sure comes across pretty offensively. It's possible to volunteer your assistance without being critical of others.

Margaret Macarthur cited her sources clearly. And in 1931 Helen Flanders, in Vermont Folksongs & Ballads, wrote that there were many oral versions extant, and offered one. I'm not sure then what "original version" you may refer to -- you've already said that the original poem is too long to use. In the world of folk song a definitive version is a rare thing.

I offered Margaret Macarthur's web site as a point of information given that there had been an earlier inquiry concerning where to purchase her recording of the song. Kath Westra plugged the recording above because she thinks it's worthwhile, not because she profits from it. And if you think profit is Margaret's motive for recording, you're greatly mistaken about her and about the profitability of traditional music!

~ Becky in Tucson


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