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origins of 'Two Ravens'

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


Related threads:
Origins: Twa Corbies / Three Ravens / etc. (66)
Twa Corbies (46)
3 Ravens (Ravenscroft) what's it about? (72)
Three Black Crows (21)
Twa Corbies - transl. into Engl, please (63)
Lyr Req: Three Ravens, newer version? (22)
Lyr Req: The Twa Corbies (13)
Mudcatter's CD's Part 2 (16)
Help! Twa Corbies (12)
Lyr Req: Old Black Crow (6)
Info needed for 'Two Ravens' (13)
Lyr Req: Scot Gaelic Song - The Two Crows? (7)
Lyr/Chords Req: The Twa Corbies (Old Blind Dogs) (5)
Lyr Req: Three Black Birds (8)


GUEST,Mrbisok@aol 07 Dec 00 - 08:59 PM
Charcloth 07 Dec 00 - 10:35 PM
Malcolm Douglas 07 Dec 00 - 10:41 PM
Ira 07 Dec 00 - 10:59 PM
GUEST,The Raven 12 Aug 06 - 03:27 PM
Slag 12 Aug 06 - 05:00 PM
Janice in NJ 12 Aug 06 - 11:21 PM
Slag 13 Aug 06 - 12:18 AM
dick greenhaus 13 Aug 06 - 10:41 AM
GUEST,Shimrod 13 Aug 06 - 11:14 AM
dick greenhaus 13 Aug 06 - 11:40 AM
GUEST,Lighter 13 Aug 06 - 01:02 PM
Abby Sale 13 Aug 06 - 02:19 PM
Effsee 13 Aug 06 - 02:57 PM
dick greenhaus 13 Aug 06 - 10:51 PM
GUEST 14 Aug 06 - 11:22 AM
Paul Burke 14 Aug 06 - 11:30 AM
Billy Weeks 14 Aug 06 - 02:48 PM
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Subject: origins of 'Two Ravens'
From: GUEST,Mrbisok@aol
Date: 07 Dec 00 - 08:59 PM

I want to teach the song "two ravens" to a class of 9th graders tomorrow, Friday. Is this basically the same song as "Twa Corbies"? Is this a Child ballad? What is an appx date for the surfacing of this song, "Two Ravens"? The version I'm playing for the kids is by two brothers, The Dransfields. Please reply. And, as always,thanks


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Subject: RE: origins of 'Two Ravens'
From: Charcloth
Date: 07 Dec 00 - 10:35 PM

I don't know about two ravens but Twa Corbies is a Child's ballad ( #26 )which dates at least to 1803. He also has listed in the Student edition an older version called the three ravens which dates to 1611. Twa cabies starts, "As I was walking all alane I heard twa corbies making a mane." The Three Ravens starts, " there were three rauens on a tree, downe a downe, hay down, hay downe". I don't know if this helps or no but I thought you might like the info none the less


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Subject: RE: origins of 'Two Ravens'
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 07 Dec 00 - 10:41 PM

This is a duplicate thread, albeit with a title of its very own.  It might be helpful to continue the discussion in the larger thread, here:  Info needed for 'Two Ravens'

Malcolm


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Subject: RE: origins of 'Two Ravens'
From: Ira
Date: 07 Dec 00 - 10:59 PM

It is Child #26. There are actually 2 major variants. The Child version has the Knight's hawks, hounds, etc. defend the corpse.

There is a another, later variant, where the ravens tell how "his hounds are to the hunting gane, his hawks to fetch the wild bird hame, and his lady taen another mate, so we may make our dinner sweet"

Less romantic, more realistic.


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Subject: RE: origins of 'Two Ravens'
From: GUEST,The Raven
Date: 12 Aug 06 - 03:27 PM

You live in dark world where nothing good happens. Yes it is rare that loyalty could exist and love continues despite travails, but that doesnt mean it could not or does not happen. So, if it happens once in the real world, it is "realistic." I'd be careful to not confuse rare with fantasy.


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Subject: RE: origins of 'Two Ravens'
From: Slag
Date: 12 Aug 06 - 05:00 PM

The verse is about the transitoriness of life. The hounds are about the business of being hounds, hunting; the greiving widow has already taken another lover while the body, though out of sight is certainly not hidden, yet it is undiscovered by all but the twa corbies who have not one whit of sentimentality under their feathers. They will thatch their nest with his hair and pluck out his bonnie blue e'en (eyes) for a tasty tidbit. To complete the utter desolation of a forgotten life of a nobleman, the cold wind blows forevermare over his white hausbane (bleached bones). A child's song? Perhaps.


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Subject: RE: origins of 'Two Ravens'
From: Janice in NJ
Date: 12 Aug 06 - 11:21 PM

A child's song? Perhaps.

Nay!

Child = Professor Francis J. Child, the author of The English and Scottish Popular Ballads.

Twa Corbies may be a Child ballad, but it is not a children's song.


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Subject: RE: origins of 'Two Ravens'
From: Slag
Date: 13 Aug 06 - 12:18 AM

Closer scrutiny on my part would have helped, wouldn't it have? I went to the Sylvia Plath speed reading school! 8o)


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Subject: RE: origins of 'Two Ravens'
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 13 Aug 06 - 10:41 AM

From notes to "The LOng Harvest" (MacColl and Seeger) :
Child gives two versions of 'The Three Ravens', and four of its Scots
counterpart, the 'Twa Corbies'. Bronson prints twenty-one versions of the
ballad, of which number sixteen were recorded from oral sources in North
America during the present century.
The earliest printed text (and melody) of THE THREE RAVENS
comes from Ravenscroft's MELISMATA (1611), but Ritson believed it to
be much older than that. Professor Bronson has argued convincingly that
the Corpus Christ! Carol, of which the earliest extant text was recorded
in the first part of the 16th-century, is a pious adaptation of an earlier
variant of the THREE RAVENS - a supposition which, if correct, would
move the ballad back into the 15th-century.


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Subject: RE: origins of 'Two Ravens'
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 13 Aug 06 - 11:14 AM

The note from dick greenhaus, above, reminds us of that neglected work of genius, 'The Long Harvest' by Ewan MacColl and Peggy Seeger - 10 LPs of pure gold! This is where I first heard 'The Three Ravens' and many other ballads besides.

I've said it before and I'll say it again - THE 'LONG HARVEST' SHOULD BE RE-ISSUED IN CD FORM. The present generation should have the opportunity to experience this monumental work and be moved and informed by it as I was. I believe that 'The Long Harvest', and the subsequent 'Blood and Roses', set are as important, in their way, as Child and Bronson.


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Subject: RE: origins of 'Two Ravens'
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 13 Aug 06 - 11:40 AM

If anyone has an interest in The Long Harvest, please contact me (disk greenhaus) at dick@camsco.com

BTW, CAMSCO Music is currently working with Peggy Seeger on a re-release (on CD) of the five-LP set "Blood and Roses"


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Subject: RE: origins of 'Two Ravens'
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 13 Aug 06 - 01:02 PM

Many American texts are sung to "When Johnny Comes Marching Home."

(Or is it a version of "John Anderson, My Jo"?)


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Subject: RE: origins of 'Two Ravens'
From: Abby Sale
Date: 13 Aug 06 - 02:19 PM

Don't neglect the US, travesty version, "Billie McGhee MaGaw." See, eg McCurdy on The Ballad Record" or Digitrad list above.

Today is an excellent day to consider the #26 since on le 13 août 1374, le duc Jean IV, rappelé par les Bretons, aborde à Dinard, accueilli par Jeanne de Penthièvre et par les barons, dans l'enthousiasme général. (August 13, 1374, the duke Jean IV, recalled by the Bretons, lands in Dinard, accomodated by Jeanne de Penthièvre and the barons, in general enthusiasm.)

Usual current tune for "Twa Corbies" is based on an ancient Breton war tune, "Al Alarc'h," (The Crow) arranged and first used for "Twa Corbies" by Morris Blythman. It was taught to him by Breton folk-singer Zaig Montjarr


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Subject: RE: origins of 'Two Ravens'
From: Effsee
Date: 13 Aug 06 - 02:57 PM

Abby, "Al Alarc'h" actually translates as "The Swan". Shame eh? "Crow" would have been so much more approprate!


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Subject: RE: origins of 'Two Ravens'
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 13 Aug 06 - 10:51 PM

One of the variations--The Carrion Crow--apparently was misheard and conerted to "The Kangaroo Sat in a Tree". Talk about mondegreens.


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Subject: RE: origins of 'Two Ravens'
From: GUEST
Date: 14 Aug 06 - 11:22 AM

Does anyone have words for the Gaelic version 'An Da Fheannag?'


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Subject: RE: origins of 'Two Ravens'
From: Paul Burke
Date: 14 Aug 06 - 11:30 AM

Did you ever hear tell of the Third Raven, Corbie Fox?


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Subject: RE: origins of 'Two Ravens'
From: Billy Weeks
Date: 14 Aug 06 - 02:48 PM

I heard a Royal Engineers warrant officer sing this to the tune of 'The Old Hundredth' in 1949:

Three big black crows sat on a tree
They were as black as black could be;
One big black crow said to the other:
'You're blacker than me, you dirty black bugger'.

They flew across a lofty plain
And found a horse just newly slain;
They setteld on the poor brute's head
And pecked his eyes out, one by one.

As I was walking through the wood
I shit myself just where I stood;
I called for help, but no help came
And so I shit myself again.

Yes, I am aware that I've lowered the tone with this horrible lyric, but I did collect it with my own bare hands.


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