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Lyr/Chords Req: the two sisters

DigiTrad:
BINNORIE
BINNORIE (TWO SISTERS)
CRUELISH SISTER
OH, THE WIND AND RAIN (The Two Sisters)
THE CRUEL SISTER
THE SWAN SWIMS BONNIE (Two Sisters)
THE SWAN SWIMS BONNIE (Two Sisters)
THE TWA SISTERS
THE TWO SISTERS (7)
THE TWO SISTERS (8)
THE TWO SISTERS (9)
THE WIND AND RAIN (Two Sisters)
TWO SISTERS (12)
TWO SISTERS (13)
TWO SISTERS (Bonnie Broom)


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Lyr Req: The Cruel Sister (esp. Old Blind Dogs) (8)
Lyr Req: american version of Two Sisters (12)
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Yet another blurb about 'Cruel Sister' (3)
Lyr Req: Two Sisters (Niamh Parsons ver.) Tha (5)
Lyr Req: The Cruel Sister (from Pentangle) (12)
Percy's Song: History? (7)
Hilary Kelley (9)
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And A Two And A Three (5)
Lyr Add: Rollin' a-Rollin' (Child #10) (5)
Twa sisters (17)
Percy's Song (4)


GUEST,bedford_simon@hotmail.com 15 Jun 00 - 01:15 AM
Stewie 15 Jun 00 - 02:25 AM
Brendy 15 Jun 00 - 03:07 AM
Sourdough 15 Jun 00 - 04:06 AM
Malcolm Douglas 15 Jun 00 - 08:14 AM
Rana who SHOULD be working 15 Jun 00 - 09:21 AM
GUEST,Mrr 15 Jun 00 - 09:49 AM
GUEST,simon 15 Jun 00 - 10:35 AM
Malcolm Douglas 15 Jun 00 - 11:03 AM
GUEST,simon 15 Jun 00 - 11:16 AM
Wolfgang 15 Jun 00 - 11:26 AM
GUEST,simon 15 Jun 00 - 11:27 AM
GUEST,Mrr 15 Jun 00 - 11:52 AM
GUEST 15 Jun 00 - 12:06 PM
GUEST,Mrr 15 Jun 00 - 12:08 PM
MMario 15 Jun 00 - 12:10 PM
MMario 15 Jun 00 - 12:16 PM
Wolfgang 15 Jun 00 - 12:30 PM
GUEST,simon 15 Jun 00 - 01:32 PM
GUEST,simon 15 Jun 00 - 01:41 PM
MMario 15 Jun 00 - 02:01 PM
Stewie 15 Jun 00 - 06:54 PM
GUEST,simon 15 Jun 00 - 10:24 PM
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Subject: the two sisters
From: GUEST,bedford_simon@hotmail.com
Date: 15 Jun 00 - 01:15 AM

i know a little of an american version of this song with a different melody and words but i cant remeber most of it

there was an old lady who lived by the sea shore
bow and balance to me
there was an old lady who lived by the seashore
the number of stars was 1 2 3 4
ill be true to my love
my love will be true to me

there was a young man who came to these...
bow and balance to me
there was a young man who ....to them
the eldest one got....
ill be true to my love if my love will be true to me
he gave the youngest a beaver hat....
the older one got mad at that.....
ill be true...
oh sister lets walk past the ???
bow and balance to me
oh sister oh sister lets walk

can you fill in the blanks ? do you know this version ? anyone ?


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE TWO SISTERS (Ed McCurdy)
From: Stewie
Date: 15 Jun 00 - 02:25 AM

I have an American version from an Ed McCurdy album that mentions the 'beaver hat' and has a 'bow (or bough) down' refrain, but it is different from what you have posted. The first bit goes:

There lived an old lord by the northern sea
Bough (bow) down
There lived an old lord by the northern sea
The boughs they bend to me
There lived an old lord by the northern sea
And he had daughters one, two, three
I will be true, true to my love, love, if my love will be true to me

A young man came a courting there
Bough (bow) down
A young man came a courting there
The boughs they bend to me
A young man came a courting there
His natural choice was the young and fair
I will be true, true to my love, love, if my love will be true to me

He gave this girl a beaver hat
Bough (bow) down
....

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords Req: the two sisters
From: Brendy
Date: 15 Jun 00 - 03:07 AM

I have Clannad's version on tape (words differ in part), which I can convert to MP3 if you want.
It may not be what you want, but the offer is there, anyway.

B.


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords Req: the two sisters
From: Sourdough
Date: 15 Jun 00 - 04:06 AM

I used to hear this at the old Yale hoots in Street Hall.

THe version that a guy used to sing there may e wha tyou are looking for but I don't know where he got it from.

There was a lord by the Lowland Sea
Bow and balance to me.
There was a lord by the Lowland Sea,
He had daughters one, two and three.
I will be true, true to my love,
Love and my love will be true to me.

A young lord he come courting there
Bow and balance to me.
A young lord he come courting there,
He fell in love with the youngest fair.
I will be true, etc.

He gave the youngest a beaver hat.
Bow and balance to me
He gave the eldest a beaver hat,
THe eldest daughter thought hard on that.
I will be true, etc.

Two sisters walk by the river's brim
Bow and balance to me.
Two sisters walk by the river's brim,
The young one pushed the eldest in.
I will be true, etc.

Down along the river she swam
Bow and balance to me
Down along the river she swam,
Until she come to the miller's own dam
I will be true....

Memory fails here, I remember tha the miller fishes her out of the "brook" with his "crook" and after that missing verse...

From off of her fingers, he takes three gold rings,
Bow and balance to me
From her fingers he takes three gold rings
Then he pushed her back in again.
I will be true...

And then there is the moral verse which I have also forgotten. Somehow, the miller gets hung in hs own dam. Damn. I thought i knew this whole song. What happens if you don't think of a song to sing it then you suddenly find you have forgottens a verse or two. Well, perhaps this is enough to remind someone lese to fill it in. (Now if this is already in DT, I will be really embarrassed.)

Sourdough


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords Req: the two sisters
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 15 Jun 00 - 08:14 AM

More of this strand of versions may be found at

Two Sisters #7
On a "Two Sisters" Song

Malcolm


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Subject: Lyr Add: CRUEL SISTER (Pentangle)
From: Rana who SHOULD be working
Date: 15 Jun 00 - 09:21 AM

Hi,

Pentangle recorded a version entitled Cruel Sister which, presumably, a different version of the same song - words as follows

CRUEL SISTER

There lived a lady by the North Sea shore
Lay the bent to the bonnie broom
Two daughters were the babes she bore
Fa la la la la la la la la la

As one grew bright as is the sun
So coal black grew the elder one.

A knight came riding to the lady's door
He traveled far to be their wooer.

He courted one with gloves and rings
But he loved the other above all things.

"O sister will you go with me
To watch the ships sail on the sea?"

She took her sister by the hand
And led her down to the North Sea strand.

And as they stood on the windy shore
The dark girl threw her sister o'er.

Sometimes she sank, sometimes she swam
Crying "Sister, reach to me your hand."

"O sister, sister, let me live
And all that's mine, I'll surely give."

"Your own true love that I'll have and more
But thou shalt never come ashore."

And there she floated like a swan
The salt sea bore her body on.

Two minstrels walked along the strand
And saw the maiden float to land.

They've made a harp of her breastbone
Whose sound would melt a heart of stone.

They took three locks of her yellow hair
And with them strung the harp so rare.

They went into her father's hall
To play the harp before them all.

But as they laid it on a stone
The harp began to play alone.

The first string sang a doleful sound
"The bride her younger sister drowned."

The second string as that they tried
"In terror sits the black-haired bride."

The third string sang beneath their bow
"And surely now her tears will flow."


Rana


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords Req: the two sisters
From: GUEST,Mrr
Date: 15 Jun 00 - 09:49 AM

I also have both the Pentagle version (where I heard the line that goes "The bride her younger sister drowned" as "The brighter, younger sister drowned" - remember, she was golden and the elder one, dark, so it made sense to me!) and a lovely version by Cynthia Gooding that is very close, but not identical, to the Bough Down version put here. When I have the time, I'll post the Cynthia Gooding version.


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords Req: the two sisters
From: GUEST,simon
Date: 15 Jun 00 - 10:35 AM

maybe the cynthia gooding version is the one? it is certainly an american version of the song there is no lords and fair damsels but beaver hats and counting the stars that shone one two three four....also the melody is markedly different than the songs that are listed here...this song comes from a dylan performance i have a snippet of from 1960 .


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords Req: the two sisters
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 15 Jun 00 - 11:03 AM

Generally speaking it's a good idea to persevere in your original thread rather than start a  new one   so soon, though I do realise that it can be frustrating when people post lengthy answers to questions that you haven't asked.  The precise version that you're looking for doesn't seem to be in either the DT or the Forum, though the two links I provided above lead to what appear to be close variants.  Here is another, from Kentucky:  Re: Cruel Sister and one from Florida: Rollin',a Rollin' Of course, there are a lot of different melodies associated with this very widespread song; it's possible that you may be able to re-construct the text you partly remember from resources available here, even if nobody is able to give you the precise one that Dylan sang (he's liable to have changed the lyric a bit in any case).

(Just by way of a footnote, the Pentangle version is already in the Forum, here; the melody they used is more usually associated with Lay the Bent to the Bonny Broom -a.k.a. "Riddles Wisely Expounded", "The Elf-Knight" and so on.)

Malcolm


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords Req: the two sisters
From: GUEST,simon
Date: 15 Jun 00 - 11:16 AM

thanks malcolm for the advice i did start another thread actually i thought that might work better. have to admit i am very new here. the rollin song is closer getting closer for sure but the structure of the song is like this when bob does it ( he wasnt called the purest of the pure for nothing in his early days ! lol)

line bow and balance to me line rhyming line

it unique but not just to him i am sure off it!


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords Req: the two sisters
From: Wolfgang
Date: 15 Jun 00 - 11:26 AM

Simon,
you'll find the 'bow and balance to me' line in 'The two sisters' (7) of the DT database.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords Req: the two sisters
From: GUEST,simon
Date: 15 Jun 00 - 11:27 AM

yes i checked that version but its not the one its close but no cigar!


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords Req: the two sisters
From: GUEST,Mrr
Date: 15 Jun 00 - 11:52 AM

The Cynthia Gooding one doesn't have the stars 1234. I will try to do those lyrics over lunchtime...


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE TWO SISTERS (sung by Cynthia Gooding)
From: GUEST
Date: 15 Jun 00 - 12:06 PM

THE TWO SISTERS
Cynthia Gooding version as understood by Mrrzy

(Each verse is sung with the same refrains unless otherwise specified, so I'll only indicate them for the first verse)

There was an old man in the North Country
Refrain: Bough down
There was an old man in the North Country
Refrain: The boughs they bend to me
There was an old man in the North Country
And he had daughters one, two, three.
Refrain: Love will be true, true to my love, love will be true to me.

There was a young man came a-courting there
And he did choose the youngest fair.

He gave to the youngest a gay gold ring
And to the oldest not a single thing.

He gave to the youngest a beaver hat
And the oldest, she thought hard of that.

She said Sister, O sister, let's walk the seashore
To see the ships come sailing o'er.

They were walking along on yonder sea brim
When the oldest shoved the youngest in.

She said Sister O sister, hand me your hand
And you may have my house and land.

She said Sister O sister, hand me your glove
And you shall have my own true love.

I'll neither hand you hand nor glove
All I want is your true love
Love will be true, true to my love, love and your love shall be true to me.

So down she sank and away she swam
Until she reached the old mill dam.

That miller threw out his old grab hook
And he pulled the fair maiden out of the brook.

She said Miller O Miller, here's three gold rings
If you'll take me to my father's again.
Well, he up with her fingers and off with her rings
And he threw her back in the brook again.
That miller was hung at his millgate
For the drowning of my sister Kate.
Love will be true, true to my love, love and her love shall be true to me.

One thing I like about this version is that the older sister seems to get away with it.


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords Req: the two sisters
From: GUEST,Mrr
Date: 15 Jun 00 - 12:08 PM

Sorry, that was me up there, forgot to fill in that cell as I was checking and rechecking the html, which I seem to have done right for once. Maybe the "daughters one two three" is the remnant of the stars 1234 lyric mentioned in the original request?


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords Req: the two sisters
From: MMario
Date: 15 Jun 00 - 12:10 PM

Contemplator website has the 21 Child's versions... here


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords Req: the two sisters
From: MMario
Date: 15 Jun 00 - 12:16 PM

This site appears to have something close

Max Hunter site


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords Req: the two sisters
From: Wolfgang
Date: 15 Jun 00 - 12:30 PM

You see, Simon, you have us hooked. If you follow all links you'll find more than 30 versions so far. Could you answer your own question with these more or less close versions printed out and transcribe what Dylan sings? If that's possible for you, I guess many of us would love to see these lyrics posted here.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords Req: the two sisters
From: GUEST,simon
Date: 15 Jun 00 - 01:32 PM

so far there is a version of a song called rovin a rovin i think that is lyrically closest to two sisters that i know i will check it again and get back to you all . by the way you folks are the most helpful i have met!!!


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE TWO SISTERS (Dylan)
From: GUEST,simon
Date: 15 Jun 00 - 01:41 PM

Well, the Max Hunter site has the closest lyrics yet!

Here is the Dylan text. It’s recorded poorly, so I will leave blanks where I can’t make out the words.

There was an old lady lived by the seashore.
Bow and balance to me.
There was an old lady lived by the seashore
Number of stars there was one two three four.
Now I’ll be true to my love
And my love will be true to me.

There was a young man who...there
Bow and balance to me.
There was a young man who came...
(Someone starts talking into the tape here explaining why she can’t get it to work properly.)
The older one got...
I’ll be true to my love
As long as she’s true to me.

He gave the younger a beaver hat.
Bow and balance to me.
He gave the younger a beaver hat.
The eldest one got mad at that.
I’ll be true to my love
And my love will be true to me.

Oh, sister, oh, sister, let’s walk by the...(the tape fades away)

HTML line breaks added. --JoeClone, 5-May-02.


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords Req: the two sisters
From: MMario
Date: 15 Jun 00 - 02:01 PM

Simon - I am working blind here, but from the descriptions you have given and the descriptions I have found on web sites while looking for this, you appear to have the "armpit" version of the St. Paul tape, which according to the sites is the most common version. However, several of the sites pointed out that NONE of the tapes include complete versions of the majority of songs on the tape.


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE TWO SISTERS (sung by Horton Barker)
From: Stewie
Date: 15 Jun 00 - 06:54 PM

Duncan Emrich printed a version in his 'American Folk Poetry' that seems close to what you want. It was recorded from the singing of Horton Barker at Chilhowie, Virginia, in 1939 for the Library of Congress:

THE TWO SISTERS

There was an old woman lived on the seashore
Bow and balance to me
There was an old woman lived on the seashore
Her number of daughters one, two, three, four
And I'll be true to my love if my love'll be true to me

There was a young man came by to see them
Bow and balance to me
There was a young man came by to see them
And the oldest one got struck on him
And I'll be true to my love if my love'll be true to me

He bought the youngest a beaver hat
And the oldest one got mad at that

'Oh, sister, oh, sister, let's walk the seashore
And see the ships as they sail o'er'

While these two sisters were walking the shore
The oldest pushed the youngest o'er

'Oh, sister, oh, sister, please lend me your hand
And you will have Willie and all of his land'

'I never, I never will lend you a hand
But I'll have Willie and all of his land'

Sometime she sank and sometime she swam
Until she came to the old mill dam

The miller got his fishing hook
And fished the maiden out of the brook

'Oh, miller, oh, miller, here's five gold rings
To push the maiden in again'

The miller received those five gold rings
Bow and balance to me
The miller received those five gold rings
And pushed the maiden in again
And I'll be true to my love if my love'll be true to me

The miller was hung at his mill gate
Bow and balance to me
The miller was hung at his mill gate
For drowning little sister Kate
And I'll be true to my love if my love'll be true to me

--Stewie


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords Req: the two sisters
From: GUEST,simon
Date: 15 Jun 00 - 10:24 PM

Well, it looks like Stewie has found the correct answer and thanks for that! Yes, the fragment of the tape is from the armpit version however.... I am sure that Dylan sings the whole song and that he stuck to a traditional version (the Stewie version matches every lyric perfectly) in his early days. (Remember this is pre-Guthrie (at least for Bob), pre-Denver, pre-Jesse Fuller, pre-Tony Glover.) Bob has just arrived in Minnesota and is just starting out. (Big hint at how early: no harmonica!)

Thank you all again so much,

Simon


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