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Lyr Req: Allison Gross

DigiTrad:
ALLISON GROSS


Related threads:
a verse in Lizzie Higgins' Alison Gross (12)
Tune Req: Allison Gross How to sing (27)
(origins) Origins: Alison Cross / Allison Gross (5)


In Mudcat MIDIs:
Allison Gross (transcription (undecorated) made by Colin Ross and published in English Dance and Song (vol.55, no.2, 1993))


Snuffy 11 Sep 00 - 09:59 AM
Jock Morris 11 Sep 00 - 12:27 PM
Barbara 11 Sep 00 - 02:52 PM
Snuffy 11 Sep 00 - 07:04 PM
Jock Morris 12 Sep 00 - 09:04 AM
Malcolm Douglas 12 Sep 00 - 08:09 PM
Joe Offer 12 Sep 00 - 11:54 PM
Susan of DT 13 Sep 00 - 06:21 AM
Joe Offer 13 Sep 00 - 09:13 PM
Snuffy 13 Sep 00 - 09:34 PM
Joe Offer 13 Sep 00 - 10:05 PM
Barbara 14 Sep 00 - 01:06 PM
MMario 14 Sep 00 - 01:39 PM
Joe Offer 14 Sep 00 - 01:51 PM
Mary in Kentucky 14 Sep 00 - 03:04 PM
MMario 14 Sep 00 - 03:41 PM
MMario 14 Sep 00 - 03:46 PM
GUEST,Bruce O. 14 Sep 00 - 04:27 PM
Snuffy 14 Sep 00 - 06:23 PM
Barbara 14 Sep 00 - 07:18 PM
Susan of DT 14 Sep 00 - 07:42 PM
MMario 14 Sep 00 - 09:20 PM
Malcolm Douglas 14 Sep 00 - 09:39 PM
GUEST,Bruce O. 14 Sep 00 - 09:58 PM
Malcolm Douglas 14 Sep 00 - 11:03 PM
GUEST,Bruce O. 15 Sep 00 - 12:52 AM
Barbara 15 Sep 00 - 01:07 AM
GUEST,Kernow John 15 Sep 00 - 12:35 PM
GUEST,Kernow John 15 Sep 00 - 12:36 PM
Barbara 15 Sep 00 - 04:11 PM
Barbara 15 Sep 00 - 04:13 PM
Malcolm Douglas 15 Sep 00 - 05:17 PM
Malcolm Douglas 15 Sep 00 - 05:24 PM
GUEST,Kertnow Jon 17 Sep 00 - 05:47 AM
GUEST,Kernow Jon 17 Sep 00 - 06:41 AM
GUEST,Kernow Jon 17 Sep 00 - 06:47 AM
Barbara 17 Sep 00 - 07:05 PM
GUEST,Kernow John 19 Sep 00 - 05:24 AM
Malcolm Douglas 25 Jan 01 - 09:25 PM
katlaughing 22 Aug 06 - 11:57 PM
Sorcha 18 Feb 07 - 02:18 AM
Roberto 18 Feb 07 - 09:24 AM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 01 Oct 09 - 08:12 AM
Jack Blandiver 01 Oct 09 - 08:35 AM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 01 Oct 09 - 08:50 AM
Thomas Stern 12 Oct 12 - 08:43 PM
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Subject: Allison Gross
From: Snuffy
Date: 11 Sep 00 - 09:59 AM

The version in the DT states: Child#35 Recorded by Steeleye Span, Parcel of Rogues

but the text is not Steeleye's version. The Steeleye version only covers the first 2/3 of what's in DT, has been "translated" into English, and has a chorus which is not in DT.

The DT version appears to be Scottish in origin and presumably older. Is it from Child or has it come from elsewhere?

Is the Steeleye Span tune the one traditionally associated with this older version? Or did they "borrow" their tune from somewhere else?

Wassail! V


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Allison Gross
From: Jock Morris
Date: 11 Sep 00 - 12:27 PM

I believe it is a Scottish song, though usually known across here as Alison Cross. Malinky (excellent young Scottish band) have a version on their new CD. I'll try and find the time to post the lyrics tomorrow. Their version is very similar to the DT version, but the Scots language is better than the DT version.

Jock Morris


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Allison Gross
From: Barbara
Date: 11 Sep 00 - 02:52 PM

I'm planning on transcribing the tune in the next day or so from the STeeleye Span version, so I can see what I come up with for words at the same time.
Blessings,
Barbara


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Subject: Lyr Add: ALISON GROSS (from Steeleye Span)^^
From: Snuffy
Date: 11 Sep 00 - 07:04 PM

Just to keep the record straight, this is what Steeleye Span actually sing

ALISON GROSS

Oh, Alison Gross, that lives in yon tower
The ugliest witch in the north country
Has trysted me one day up to her bower
And many a fair speech she made to me

She stroked my head and she combed my hair
And she set me down softly on her knee
Saying, "If you will be my lover so true
So many good things I would give to you'"

"Away, away, you ugly witch
Go far away and let me be
I never will be your lover so true
And I wish I were out of your company"
Alison Gross, she must be
The ugliest witch in the north country
Alison Gross, she must be
The ugliest witch in the north country
She showed me a mantle of red scarlet
With golden flowers and fringes fine
Saying, "If you will be my lover so true
This goodly gift it shall be thine"

She showed me a shirt of the softest silk
Well wrought with pearls about the band
Saying, "If you will be my lover so true
This goodly gift you shall command"
Alison Gross, she must be
The ugliest witch in the north country
Alison Gross, she must be
The ugliest witch in the north country
She showed me a cup of the good red gold
Well set with jewels so fair to see
Saying, "If you will be my lover so true
This goodly gift I would give to thee"

"Away, away, you ugly witch
Go far away and let me be
I never would kiss your ugly mouth
For all of the gifts that you could give"
Alison Gross, she must be
The ugliest witch in the north country
Alison Gross, she must be
The ugliest witch in the north country
She's turned her right and round about
And thrice she blew on a grass-green horn
She swore by the moon and the stars up above
That she'd make me rue the day I was born

Then out she has taken a silver wand
She's turned her three times round and round
She's muttered such words till my strength it did fail
And she's turned me into an ugly worm
Alison Gross, she must be
The ugliest witch in the north country
Alison Gross, she must be
The ugliest witch in the north country

Alison Gross, she must be
The ugliest witch in the north country
Alison Gross, she must be

Wassail! V
^^


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Subject: Lyr Add: ALLISON CROSS (from Malinky)^^
From: Jock Morris
Date: 12 Sep 00 - 09:04 AM

As promised here's Malinky's version:

ALLISON CROSS

Alison Cross lives in yon tower
The ugliest witch in the North countrie
She's trysted me ae day til her bower
And mony's the braw speech she made tae me

She showed me a mantle o reid scarlet
Weel wrocht wi gowd and fringes fine
Says gin ye'll be my leman sae true
This gudely gift it shall be thine
Awa, awa ye ugly witch
Haud far awa and let me be
Afore I'll kiss yer ugly mou
I'd raither toddle aroond the tree

She showed me a sark o the saftest silk
Weel wrocht wi pearls abune the band
Says gin ye'll be my leman sae true
This gudely gift's at your command

She showed me a cup o the gude reid gowd
Weel wrocht wi jewels sae fair and fine
Says gin ye'll be my leman sae true
This gudely gift it shall be thine

She's ta'en oot her grass green horn
She blew it three times loud and shrill
She swore by the moon and the stars abune
She'd gar me rue the day I ever was born

She's ta'en oot her silvery wand
She straiked it three times o'er her knee
She's muttered sic words as my senses failed
I feel doon senseless tae the ground

It fell upon last Halloween
When the seely coort came riding by
The Queen's lichit doon on a gowany bank
Nae far fae the tree whaur I did lie

She's ta'en oot her silvery wand
She straked it three times o'er her knee
She's turned me back tae ma proper shape
Nae mare tae toddle around the tree


From the sleeve notes "Last leaves (1925 publication of the Greig-Keith collection Last Leaves of Traditional Ballads and Ballad Airs) refers to a version from 1783 by a Mrs Brown and ours is a shortened version from the singing of the great Lizzie Higgins"

^^ Jock


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Allison Gross
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 12 Sep 00 - 08:09 PM

The version in the DT is Anna Brown's, though somebody has partly modernised the words.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Allison Gross
From: Joe Offer
Date: 12 Sep 00 - 11:54 PM

Is it Cross, Gross, or both?
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Allison Gross
From: Susan of DT
Date: 13 Sep 00 - 06:21 AM

Back in the olden days of my entering songs, I indicated recordings so that people could hear some version of the song, not necessarily to indicate that I got that version from that record. I also did not used to be very careful about saying where I had gotten the version. I had to have gotten it from a book, since I do not know the words.

Joe - It is generally known as Gross, or at least that is how I have always seen it.

Snuffy - The Child number is used to identify songs, whether or not that particular version was included in Child's collection.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Allison Gross
From: Joe Offer
Date: 13 Sep 00 - 09:13 PM

Susan, the version in the database is almost exactly the same as what's in Child. Child has only one version of this ballad.
This is a great song. I think I'll have to learn it and then go visit Australia, so I can sing it for a certain individual...
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Allison Gross
From: Snuffy
Date: 13 Sep 00 - 09:34 PM

Joe, Cross or Gross? I've also seen Crowse.

Susan, I know that not all songs with a Child # are actually in Child (I have 5 versions of #110 that almost certainly aren't) - but as I have never seen Child, I was asking whether the DT text was from Child itself or another source. Is Child available online anywhere?

Wassail! V


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Subject: Is Child Online?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 13 Sep 00 - 10:05 PM

Oh, Snuffy, it would be wonderful if Child were online, but it ain't. We have many songs in the database that are transcribed from Child (but, as Susan says, not always identified as such). As I said above (probably while you were typing your question), the version of this song is very close to the Child version - Susan just typed the modern forms of some words, like perhaps "away" instead of "awa'" - very minor differences.
Mudcatter Bruce Olson (click) has some terrific old stuff on his site, but I don't think he's gone so far as to transcribe all ten volumes of Child. Bruce is always happy to answer questions, and many of us have Child and other old references available. Just post a question, and somebody will jump to respond.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Allison Gross
From: Barbara
Date: 14 Sep 00 - 01:06 PM

Snuffy, and all, I have given Alison Gross (Steeleye Span version) a long listen now, and I'm pretty sure that the basic time is 4/4 but y'know Martin Carthy, right? You are familiar with the wonderful, percussive off-beat things he does with time? Alison Gross is a sterling example of that. The singers/guitar on that song are before, after, tied over and syncopated to the downbeat.
So, should we try to put any, all of that in DT? I'm not sure my skills are up to it (any more than yours, Snuffy/V). So, find someone else?
Or do we go with the Steeleye Span tune, but with the kinks taken out?
Or should we find the Child tune?
Susan? V? Joe? Anyone?
Blessings,
Barbara


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Allison Gross
From: MMario
Date: 14 Sep 00 - 01:39 PM

Joe - Child *IS* available online, but you have to look very very hard.....and download...and then it is in a very awkward format to read.

I'd offer to send it to you, but I'm still in the process of editing it down for legibility (not taking out text, just reformatting the file, which was in an ascii type database)


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Subject: Child Online?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 14 Sep 00 - 01:51 PM

MMario, my interest has been piqued. Tell us more.
-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Allison Gross
From: Mary in Kentucky
Date: 14 Sep 00 - 03:04 PM

Joe, Lesley Nelson has been working on making midis of various Child ballads. Her site is here. (http://www.contemplator.com)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Allison Gross
From: MMario
Date: 14 Sep 00 - 03:41 PM

Joe - I don't remember where I found it, but out there is a text file (ascii delimited) of child's ballads. thorugh 305 C I believe.

it was well over 2500 pages when I started work on it. (I haven't gotten very far) in Word, 1A thorugh 10Y is 48 pages, double columned. I have that as a seperate file.

I don't vouch for the accuracy of the transcription as I have no idea who did it. all I know is it had to be an incredible amount of work.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Allison Gross
From: MMario
Date: 14 Sep 00 - 03:46 PM

BTW - thanks for reminding me about that! I should start working on that little project again!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Allison Gross
From: GUEST,Bruce O.
Date: 14 Sep 00 - 04:27 PM

The text in DT is pretty close to Child's text, #35, (there's only one text) from the Jamieson-Brown MS. There's no traditional tune for it (or any version) in Bertrand Bronson's 'The Traditional Tunes of the Child Ballads'


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Allison Gross
From: Snuffy
Date: 14 Sep 00 - 06:23 PM

So where did Steeleye Span get their tune from? Is it traditional or did they make it up themselves?

Wassail! V


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Allison Gross
From: Barbara
Date: 14 Sep 00 - 07:18 PM

Do they ever tell you these things in the Steeleye Span liner notes? No, they do not. I hate their notes. No history, no sources, no documentation, no song words, just chatty little info about the band:
"...a ballad exemplifying the dramatic power of electric instrumentation, and realized during the recording that one of their distinguishing features, the fact that they didn't have a drummer, had become a handicap. So they added ....on their next..." AAAAAAGGHHRRR!
Blessings, and the occasional grump,
Barbara


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Allison Gross
From: Susan of DT
Date: 14 Sep 00 - 07:42 PM

One of the projects Dick and I dream about is putting Child and Bronson on a CD, crossreferenced and click to play. We thought we would have to scan in all of Child. Mario - you have it on computer already??? Can I have a copy of the file??? Pretty please???


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Allison Gross
From: MMario
Date: 14 Sep 00 - 09:20 PM

Susan - it's pretty ratty - How about I send it too you as I get it prettied up? As I said, the original was in database format and that made it pretty illegible...not to mention huge.

have 1 through 10 done. Halfway through 11-20.

text or ms-word? PM me...


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Allison Gross
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 14 Sep 00 - 09:39 PM

There is also (assuming we're not talking about the same thing)  A "Working" KWIC Concordance to Francis James Child's The English and Scottish Popular Ballads (1882-1898)  by Cathy Lynn Preston, University of Colorado.  I've only so far tried one of the (large) zipped files available, and once unzipped they have to be given a .ps or .eps extension so that programs such as Photoshop can read them (text editors would be a serious nightmare, as they display all the associated code!); however these do seem to be, well, concordances rather than straight transcriptions.  Maybe later files will prove to contain the actual texts rather than a comparative list of words and phrases, though given the source I rather doubt it.  Something, perhaps, to explore at leisure...

Malcolm


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Allison Gross
From: GUEST,Bruce O.
Date: 14 Sep 00 - 09:58 PM

Bronson's 'The Traditional Tunes of the Child Ballads' has in vol. IV, 1972, an addenda with some tunes collected as late as 1967, but there's no tune for "Allison Gross", #35, there. So, when and where did Lizzie Higgins' version of the ballad appear? Can anyone supply us her version, text and tune?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Allison Gross
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 14 Sep 00 - 11:03 PM

Lizzie Higgins' version was recorded on What a Voice (Lismor LIFL 7004, 1985); all the notes have to say is: "...came to Lizzie through her father, who learned it from his mother", which isn't terribly helpful.  The text is pretty much as quoted by Jock Morris, above, though his transcription lacks a verse, and there are the usual minor variations.  I'll try to sort out a midi from Lizzie's singing, but it may take time.

So far as I can tell (and I do agree about their sleeve-notes), Steeleye Span made their tune up themselves, but Martin Carthy wasn't involved; he was long gone by then.  If he'd still been around, they'd have made a better job of it.  Dave and Toni Arthur recorded a version, (on Hearken to the Witches' Rune, Trailer LER 2017, 1970) set to a melody that I take to be a modified (modal) form of the tune Cecil Sharp found in Somerset with The Knight and the Shepherd's Daughter, including a form of the refrain: "Line, twine, the willow dee".  As Bruce has pointed out, there are no known traditional tunes for this song prior to the late 20th century, so anybody who's recorded an earlier text has got the music from somewhere else.

Malcolm


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Allison Gross
From: GUEST,Bruce O.
Date: 15 Sep 00 - 12:52 AM

Thanks Malcolm.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Allison Gross
From: Barbara
Date: 15 Sep 00 - 01:07 AM

You're right, Malcolm. I'd been assuming that any guitar that percussive and off beat was Martin, and now that I read the notes, I see it isn't. I thought he was the only one in the group who did that stacato effect. Out of curiosity, do you know who it is? Robert Johnson?
Stripped of its rhythmic changes, the tune is pretty straightforward. Let me post it that way, and see what it sounds like.
Is anyone familiar with the Malinky tune, and if so could you post it?

Blessings,
Barbara


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Allison Gross
From: GUEST,Kernow John
Date: 15 Sep 00 - 12:35 PM

I have this in the Steeleye Span song book and could post it if anyone is interested. KJ


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Allison Gross
From: GUEST,Kernow John
Date: 15 Sep 00 - 12:36 PM

Sorry should have said I have the words and music.
KJ


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Allison Gross
From: Barbara
Date: 15 Sep 00 - 04:11 PM

SUUURRRE! Know how to post the tune? If not, ship me a MIDI at millikan@viclink.com
Blessings,
Barbara


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Allison Gross
From: Barbara
Date: 15 Sep 00 - 04:13 PM

If you look further back in this thread, the words should be there. Check them out against the songbook, John, and let us know if there are differences. according to the book, who wrote the tune?
Blessings,
BArbara


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Allison Gross
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 15 Sep 00 - 05:17 PM

The final .zip file on the site I mentioned above contains Child texts 1-305, but be warned; the link doesn't work.  This one should do:  http://www.colorado.edu/ArtsSciences/CCRH/Ballads/text.ZIP

It's a 1087 KB file, and will need to be given a .txt extension when unzipped.  As MMario said, there is a lot of stuff to strip out so that it can be easily read.  As it's a concordance, they haven't transcribed the notes.

Malcolm


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Allison Gross
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 15 Sep 00 - 05:24 PM

I should explain that it's the link on the site that doesn't work.  Also, it turns out that the link I've just given won't take you there, but will invite you to download the file, so please don't use it unless you intend to do that; my apologies for any confusion.  They intend in due course to make the files available in .pdf format, incidentally.


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Subject: Tune Add: ALISON GROSS
From: GUEST,Kertnow Jon
Date: 17 Sep 00 - 05:47 AM

Hope this helps
Further explanations to follow
X: 1
T:ALISON GROSS
M:3/4
L:1/8
Q:1/4 = 120
K:C
"v1"ABAG-G2zB|cc c2BBzE|ABAG- GABc-|
cd2B-B2zB|cBcd- d-cde-|edcd- dzd|
edcd- dd2c|B2GA-A2zE||:"Part A v2. 4."A-BAG- GAB2|
cc B2z2E2|AB AG- GA- Bc-|cd2B-B2GG|
cdcd- dcde-|edcd-d2zd|ed c2B2dc|
BGA2z2zE||"Part B V3. 5."A-BAG- GAB2|ccB2z2E|
A-BCG- G-ABc-|cd2B-B2zB|cBcd- d-cde-|
edcB- Bcd2|edc2B2dc|BGA2z4|
"chorus **"BAA2A2z2|AB2d-d2zD|edcB-Bd2c|
B2c-BA4|GAA2A2z2|AB2d-d2z"TO **"d|
edcB- Bd2c|
M:2/4
B4 c2-B2|
M:4/4
A4|"1. 3. "z4z2zE:||

% Output from ABC2Win Version 2.1 h on 9/17/2000
KJ


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Allison Gross
From: GUEST,Kernow Jon
Date: 17 Sep 00 - 06:41 AM

The words are as given above by Snuffy.
The song is listed as traditional, arranged Timothy Hart,Peter knight,Frederick Kemp, Madelaine Prior & Robert Johnson (no further info given).

[A]
She showed me a cup of the good red gold
Well set with jewels so fair to see
Saying, "If you will be my lover so true
This goodly gift I would give to thee"

[B]
"Away, away, you ugly witch
Go far away and let me be
I never would kiss your ugly mouth
For all of the gifts that you could give"

[A]
She's turned her right and round about
And thrice she blew on a grass-green horn
She swore by the moon and the stars up above
That she'd make me rue the day I was born

[B]
Then out she has taken a silver wand
She's turned her three times round and round
She's muttered such words till my strength it did fail
And she's turned me into an ugly worm.

I've listed these verses again to show where they fit into the music.
There is a second voice given for part B that I have not included but if anyone want's it let me know.
KJ.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Allison Gross
From: GUEST,Kernow Jon
Date: 17 Sep 00 - 06:47 AM

I can also supply the chords if needed.
The music should be OK. but if it don't sound right in places let me know and I'll re-check.
I've typed all this in while on a high. We had a gig last night and the crowd wouldn't let us go till after midnight and they've just phoned to book us 5 times next year and increased our fee without us asking! KJ


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Allison Gross
From: Barbara
Date: 17 Sep 00 - 07:05 PM

KJ, is there any chance you could send it to me email as a MIDI? Otherwise, I think V (Snuffy) can convert ABC, ,but I've never got my ABC software to work ( think I must be missing a file) Congratulations on your success, long may it continue! Interesting that you have it in three/four. I could have sworn it was in 2 or 4. Guess I need to work on improving my transcription skills.
Blessings,
Barbara


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Allison Gross
From: GUEST,Kernow John
Date: 19 Sep 00 - 05:24 AM

Barbara
Let me have your address and it's no problem.
I did send it but to a different Barbara who kindly returned it.
Ps. it should of course be 4/4! and there are one or two other errors that I will correct and re-post
KJ


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Allison Gross
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 25 Jan 01 - 09:25 PM

I made a start on a transcription to midi of Lizzie Higgins' tune, but got bogged down in the ornamentation and postponed finishing it; today, however, I came across a transcription (undecorated) made by Colin Ross and published in English Dance and Song (vol.55, no.2, 1993) which I had forgotten about.  I have made a midi from it, and sent it to Alan for the Mudcat Midi Pages.  The verse missing from Malinky's arrangement of Lizzie Higgins' set of Allison Cross given above is as follows:

Wi' silver basin, silver kaim,
Tae kaim my heedie upon her knee,
Aye on ilkae Setterday nicht
Aul' Allison Cross she comes tae me.

This goes immediately before the "hallowe'en" verse.

Malcolm


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Allison Gross
From: katlaughing
Date: 22 Aug 06 - 11:57 PM

Thanks for all of the above, folks! Have been listening to this song, done by Steelye Span, for the first time, recently, and been meaning to look it up.

Mudcat never fails!


kat


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Allison Gross
From: Sorcha
Date: 18 Feb 07 - 02:18 AM

Once more, withe feeling.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Allison Gross
From: Roberto
Date: 18 Feb 07 - 09:24 AM

Alison Gross
Lizzie Higgins, In Memory of Lizzie Higgins 1929-1993, Musical Traditions MTCD337-8. Ballad recorded by Peter Hall at the Jeannie Robertson Memorial Concert, 1977. Unfortunately, Peter Hall's tape recorder came to the end of the reel before Lizzie reached the end of the song, and so the final three verses in Times face come from another recording made by Tim Neat.

Aul Alison Gross she lives in yon tower,
The ugliest witch in the north country,
Has trysted me ae day til her bower
And many a braw speech she's made to me

Awa, awa, ye ugly witch,
Haud far awa an lat me be.
Afore I kiss your ugly mou
I'd raither toddle around the tree

She showed me a mantle of reid scarlet
Wrocht wi golden fringes fine.
"Gin ye will be my leman so true,
This goodly gift it sall be thine".

Awa, awa, ye ugly witch,
Haud far awa an lat me be.
Afore I kiss your ugly mou
I'd raither toddle around the tree

She showed me a sark o the saftest silk,
Weel wrocht wi pearls aboun the band.
"Gin ye will be my leman so true,
This goodly gift at yer command."

Awa, awa, ye ugly witch,
Haud far awa an lat me be.
Afore I kiss your ugly mou
I'd raither toddle around the tree

She showed me a cup o the guid red gowd
Weel set wi jewels and they're sae fine.
"Gin ye will be my leman so true,
This goodly gift it shall be thine."

Awa, awa, ye ugly witch,
Haud far awa an lat me be.
Afore I kiss your ugly mou
I'd raither toddle around the tree

She's taen oot her grass green horn,
She's blew it three times loud and shrill,
Swore by the moon and stars aboun
She'd gar me rue the day that I was born.

Awa, awa, ye ugly witch,
Haud far awa an lat me be.
Afore I kiss your ugly mou
I'd raither toddle around the tree

She's taen oot her silver wand,
She's turned three times aroun the tree,
Muttered sic words that my sense did fail
And I fell doon senseless tae the ground.

Awa, awa, ye ugly witch,
Haud far awa an lat me be.
Afore I kiss your ugly mou
I'd raither toddle around the tree

Wi silver basin an silver kaim
Tae kaim my headie upon her knee,
Aye on ilka Saturday nicht
Aul Alison Gross she comes tae me.

Awa, awa, ye ugly witch,
Haud far awa an lat me be.
Afore I kiss your ugly mou
I'd raither toddle around the tree

But it fell upon last Halloween
When the Seily Court cam ridin by,
The Queen's lichted on a gowan bank,
Nae far frae the tree where I did lie.

She's lifted me in her milk-white hand.
She's pricked me three times on her knee.
She's turned me back tae ma proper shape.
Nae mair I'll toddle aroon the tree.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Allison Gross
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 01 Oct 09 - 08:12 AM

There's one verse I don't understand.

So after rejecting all her gifts, Alison's finally blown her horn and turned our reluctant leman into a poor old worm, and so now he's crawling around the tree.

Then there's this verse (right before Halloween when the Selie Court ride by & he's changed back again):

"Wi silver basin an silver kaim
Tae kaim my headie upon her knee,
Aye on ilka Saturday nicht
Aul Alison Gross she comes tae me."

What's that mean?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Allison Gross
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 01 Oct 09 - 08:35 AM

I've always taken it to mean she comes and washes and combs his hair every Saturday night. It's a piece of tender mercy, or simply caring for the beast he now is; treating him with possessive affection.

Rachel & I sang this a lot last year and will no doubt be featuring it in the months to come. Hear our version (live at The Fylde Festival 2008!) at http://www.myspace.com/venereumarvum


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Allison Gross
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 01 Oct 09 - 08:50 AM

That makes sense - I couldn't penetrate all the dialect.

I noticed up above just now actually, that that same verse (or rather an altered version) appears to have been placed at the beginning of the song by Steeleye Span.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Allison Gross
From: Thomas Stern
Date: 12 Oct 12 - 08:43 PM

Anyone have any indication how this song entered the revival?
From printed sources, or recordings?

Keefer lists publication: Leach, MacEdward / The Ballad Book, Harper & Row, Bk (1955), p128

There is a 1962 recording by John Laurie in a collection THE JUPITER
BOOK OF BALLADS (Jill Balcon; Isla Cameron; V.C. (Victor Clinton) Clinton-Baddeley ; Pauline Letts; John Laurie; Osian Ellis) released
by JUPITER Records (UK) and FOLKWAYS (US).

Parcel of Rugues is 1973.

Any revival recordings prior to the Jupiter?

Thanks, Thomas.


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