Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafemuddy

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


Penguin: Streams Of Lovely Nancy

DigiTrad:
STREAMS OF LOVELY NANCY


Related thread:
Stanza of 'Streams of Lovely Nancy'? (1)


In Mudcat MIDIs:
Streams of Lovely Nancy (from The Penguin Book Of English Folk Songs)


Alan of Australia 02 Jul 00 - 09:10 AM
GUEST,Bruce O. 02 Jul 00 - 04:47 PM
Joe Offer 21 Jan 03 - 08:35 PM
Joe Offer 21 Jan 03 - 08:58 PM
Stephen R. 30 Mar 03 - 06:39 PM
Malcolm Douglas 30 Mar 03 - 07:30 PM
Stephen R. 31 Mar 03 - 01:58 AM
GUEST,Steve Gardham 24 Mar 05 - 04:11 PM
Les from Hull 25 Mar 05 - 09:05 AM
Malcolm Douglas 25 Mar 05 - 02:45 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 31 Dec 08 - 02:28 PM
The Sandman 31 Dec 08 - 03:18 PM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:




Subject: Penguin: Streams Of Lovely Nancy
From: Alan of Australia
Date: 02 Jul 00 - 09:10 AM

G'day,
From the Penguin Book Of English Folk Songs, Ed Pellow's rendition of the tune of Streams Of Lovely Nancy can be found here.

Sung by George Dowden, lackington, Dorset (H.E.D.H. 1905)

Previous song: Six Dukes Went A-Fishing.
Next song: The Trees They Grow So High.


Cheers,
Alan


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Penguin: Streams Of Lovely Nancy
From: GUEST,Bruce O.
Date: 02 Jul 00 - 04:47 PM

There are several copies of this on the Bodley Ballads website, as well as an 'Answer to streams of lovely Nancy".

This belongs to the "Shrewsbury for me/ Bonny Udney/ Bonney Paisley/ Pleasures of Sunderland/ Boys of Kilkenny", complex which is outlined in Scarce Songs 1 on my website (www.erols.com/olsonw). There is also some of it in "Bonny Portmore" ("My heart's in the Highlands"). Also given there is a good early American variant version (with tune).


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Penguin: Streams Of Lovely Nancy
From: Joe Offer
Date: 21 Jan 03 - 08:35 PM

Seems like we should have more information on this song. Here's the entry from the Traditional Ballad Index.

Streams of Lovely Nancy, The

DESCRIPTION: The singer (a sailor?) describes the "streams of lovely Nancy", a mountain with a castle, his beloved (who lives in the castle), a river, and a ship. He ends by addressing all "streamers"; he will write to his love, "For her rosy lips entice me..."
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1905
LONG DESCRIPTION: In this extremely confused song, the singer (probably a sailor) describes the "streams of lovely Nancy", a mountain with a castle, his beloved (who lives in the castle), a river, and a ship from the Indies. He ends by addressing all "streamers" (tin-miners washing ore?), saying he will write to his love, "For her rosy lips entice me, with her tongue she tells me 'No'/And a angel might direct us right, and where shall we go?"
KEYWORDS: love rejection lyric nonballad
FOUND IN: Britain(England(West,South)) Ireland
REFERENCES (5 citations):
Vaughan Williams/Lloyd (The Penguin Book of English Folk Songs), p. 98, "The Streams of Lovely Nancy" (1 text, 1 tune)
Copper-SoBreeze, pp. 294-295, "The Streams of Lovely Nancy" (1 text, 1 tune)
Hodgart (Faber Book of Ballads), p. 149, "The Streams of lovely Nancy" (1 text)
SHenry H520, p. 259, "The Strands of Magilligan" (1 text, 1 tune)
DT, LOVNANCY* (erroneously titled "The Steams of Lovely Nancy" [this has been corrected-JRO])

CROSS-REFERENCES:
cf. "Cursor Mundi" (14th century religious poem, sharing images)
cf. "The Ploughboy (I)" (lyrics)
cf. "If I Were a Fisher" (floating verses)
ALTERNATE TITLES:
The Streams of Nantsian
Faithful Emma
Notes: All versions of this song seem to be equally mysterious. Lloyd quotes A.G. Gilchrist as speculating, with evidence, that this song is actually a relic of a hymn to Mary. -PJS
Margaret Dean-Smith offers the speculation that "streams/streamers" refer not to flowing waters but to "streamers," who worked in tin mines. If that helps. - RBW
File: VWL098

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

The Ballad Index Copyright 2002 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: ADD: The Strands of Magilligan
From: Joe Offer
Date: 21 Jan 03 - 08:58 PM

Here's a version from Sam Henry's Songs of the People, which says the source is unknown.
-Joe Offer-

THE STRANDS OF MAGILLIGAN

I'm a stranger in this country, from America I came,
There's few in it knows me or can tell my name,
And here among strangers I will stay for a while,
For the sake of my darling I'll go many a long mile.

The strands of Magililgan divide in two parts
Where young men and maidens they meet their sweethearts,
They will take no denial, we must frolic and sing
And the sound of the fiddle, oh, it makes my heart ring.

On the top of a cuff where her castle does stand,
It is well built, with ivy down to the back strand
It is well built, with ivy and diamonds so bright,
It's a pilot for sailors on a dark stormy night.

On Magilligan top where the wild birds do fly,
There is one amongst them that flies very high,
On eagle's wings soaring, I'll speed as the wind,
The wild deep exploring, my true love I'll find.

The strands of Magilligan divide in two parts
And rejoin, as in dancing do lads their sweethearts,
So the strands, bright and shining, tho' parted in twain,
Reunite like two lovers where the Foyle meets the Main.

Notes: versions of this song vary greatly - there are almost as many titles as versions.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Penguin: Streams Of Lovely Nancy
From: Stephen R.
Date: 30 Mar 03 - 06:39 PM

The Penguin version of "The Streams of Lovely Nancy" is a composite text. There are in fact either two quite distinct versions of a single song here, or arguably two related songs. One of these is "The Streams of Lovely Nancy" proper; it has several reagional forms in England, one in Ireland ("The Strands of Magilligan"), and one in Newfoundland.

The other is "Come All You Little Streamers," known in England only from Sussex and neighboring Hampshire, with a distinctive variant tradition, "The Green Mountain," attested only from North America.

The only common element between "The Streams of Lovely Nancy" on the one hand and "Come All You Little Streamers"/"The Green Mountain" on the other is the stanza about the castle. (Well, there is also a stanza borrowed from "The Manchester Angel" that turns up in both "The Streams of Lovely Nancy,"--which in various versions may incorporate any of four stanzas from "The Manchester Angel"--and in "The Green Mountain.")

These two have been treated as a single song since the days of Lucy Broadwood and Anne Gilchrist, and continue to be so regarded down to the present. The Penguin version is the first, I think, to conflate them.

Sam Henry's text is from an unidentified singer, all right, but was pretty obviously revised under the influence of Sabine Baring-Gould's version in _Songs of the West_ and in the Castle stanza of versions of "Come All You Little Streamers" published in JEFDSS. And Baring-Gould's version itself was revised from the oral texts. So neither the Penguin version nor that of Sam Henry, or for that matter that of Baring-Gould, should be taken as directly representing the oral tradition of the song. (This is a historical issue, and does not imply anything wrong with them esthetically.)

The history of the song is in fact very intricate. It is considerably older than the earliest published versions (ca. 1800); it is universally agreed to be of English, likely Cornish, origin, but must have arrived in Ireland in the eighteenth century, not long after the corpus of English-language Irish songs began to be formed. And there is some indication in material that looks to me as though it has been borrowed from "Streams of Lovely Nancy" resp. "Green Mountain"/"Little Streamer" that it *may* have been once part of longer song incorporating both of the above.

Stephen R.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Penguin: Streams Of Lovely Nancy
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 30 Mar 03 - 07:30 PM

Roud 688

Mr Dowden had only three verses, two of which appear in first and third places in the "Penguin" collation; the latter a little modified. His third verse was:

As the sailor and his true love was a-walking along,
Said the sailor to his true love: "I will sing you a song,
It's a falsehearted woman caused my heart for to say
'O! I never will be married, till my love come again!' "

A. L. Lloyd noted:

"Our text has been amended and filled out with fragments from various sources, notably from Sussex versions obtained by Miss A. G. Gilchrist, and Francis Jekyll and George Butterworth [FSJ IV (17) 1913 310-11]."

Broadside examples at  Bodleian Library Broadside Ballads:

Streams of lovely Nancy

As can be seen, they include verses from The Manchester Angel. The list also includes examples of Answer to the Streams of Lovely Nancy.

The erotic aspects of the song seem rather to have been ignored in the past in favour of mystical interpretations which perhaps over-speculate given the available evidence. Still, James Reeves (Everlasting Circle, 1960, p. 253) points out that religious mysticism and erotic image are far from being mutually exclusive.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Penguin: Streams Of Lovely Nancy
From: Stephen R.
Date: 31 Mar 03 - 01:58 AM

The third stanza about the sailor and his truelove is borrowed mostly from the song by the same title AKA "It Was Pleasant and Delightful" etc, but has undergone some further influences in the form in which it appears in "Streams of Lovely Nancy."

The erotic aspects are touched on by Reeves and by Renwick; I think there really is old religious symbolism underlying several stanzas, but it has been recast with a subtly erotic meaning. Reeves, Renwick, and Toelken are all illuminating on this.

Note that the "Sussex versions" are all of "Come All Ye Little Streamers"; as far as I know, "Streams of Lovely Nancy" proper has not been found in Sussex. Mrs Goodyear, of Axford (Hants) is the one singer who is known to have had both "Streams of Lovely Nancy" and "Come All You Little Streamers" in her repertory; she apparently regarded them as two distinct songs. They do have different melodies, and "The Green Mountain" differs from both, although the text is clearly a regional type of "Come All You Little Streamers." I think I will start a separate thread about another occasional stanza in "Streams of Lovely Nancy," which I hope someone may have seen in some other context.

Stephen


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Strands of Magilligan
From: GUEST,Steve Gardham
Date: 24 Mar 05 - 04:11 PM

Could some kind person please post any reliable oral versions of this song, i.e., those in Shamrock, Rose and Thistle (Shields) or any others? All I have to go on at the moment is the unreliable version in 'Songs of the People'. I am aware of Stephen's and John's research on this and it looks like Bruce was taking an interest before he left us. For such a seemingly seminal song it should be more readily available on the net.
SteveG


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Penguin: Streams Of Lovely Nancy
From: Les from Hull
Date: 25 Mar 05 - 09:05 AM

Here you go, Steve:

TURP BROWN The Streams Of Lovely Nancy.
Recorded by Rob Copper in Cheriton, near Alresford. Hampshire. November 1957

The streams of lovely Nancy were divided in three parts.
Where young men and maidens go to meet their sweethearts.
Drinking of strong liquors caused my heart to sing.
It's the knives of yonder valley made the rocks for to ring.

In yonders high mountain there's an high castle stands
Buided up with ivory all near the black sand,
Builded up with ivory and the diamonds so bright.
It's a pilot for the sailor on a dark winter's night.

"I will go, love, in some nunnery and there end my life.
Never will get married nor yet made the wife.
Constant and true-hearted from ever I'll remain.
I never will yet married till my sailor come again."

This is from The voice of the people vol 2 track 8.

I don't know, you ask a question on of international folk forum, and somebody answers from just a few miles away!

Les


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Penguin: Streams Of Lovely Nancy
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 25 Mar 05 - 02:45 PM

I think Steve (Gardham) was asking about the Strands of Magilligan branch of the song-group.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: Lyr. Add: The Streams of Lovely Nancy (c. 1820s)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 31 Dec 08 - 02:28 PM

Lyr. Add: THE STREAMS OF LOVELY NANCY

1
O the streams of lovely Nancy divided in three parts,
Where young men and maidens do meet their sweethearts
For drinking good liquor makes my heart to sing,
And the noise in the valleys makes the rocks for to ring.
2
Upon yonder high mountain a castle does stand,
It is built up with ivory nigh to yon back strand,
It is built up with ivory and diamonds so bright,
It's a pilot for sailors on a dark winter's night.
3
Upon younder high mountain where wild fowls do fly,
There is one amongst them that flies very high,
If I had her on my *galligan or all night on the strand,
O how soon I would tame her by the sl[e]ight of my hand.
4
We got the rout on Sunday, on Monday march'd away,
Where drums loud did sound, boys, and fifes sweet did play.
Some hearts may be sorry for mine is full sad,
When I think on the pleasures my love and I had.
5
We march'd from Chester to Liverpool town,
Where there we spied girls, some fair and some brown;
But of all the fine lasses that e'er I did see,
At the sign of the angel lives the girl for me.
6
I'll go up to the captain, on my knees beg at large,
That fifty bright guineas might buy your discharge;
And if that won't do, love, I have twice as much more,
Dare you let me go with you, O no my love, no.
7
I'll go down to yon nunnery, and there end my life,
I never will be married, nor be made a wife,
So constant and true hearted for ever I'll remain,
And I'll never be married till my love comes again.

*galligan- loose breeches, i. e., had her on my lap.

Bodleian Collection, Harding B 28(29), c. 1820-1824.
W. Armstrong, Banastre-street.

Parts of this song appear in Appalachian versions of "Old Smoky," a complex to which several songs contribute. The tune is similar.
See thread 'On Top of Old Smoky,' 76295: Old Smoky


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Penguin: Streams Of Lovely Nancy
From: The Sandman
Date: 31 Dec 08 - 03:18 PM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4K4-2laAOkI
here is a version .


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 17 February 5:07 PM EST

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.