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

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


Lyr Add: Swinton May Songs #'s 1 and 2

DigiTrad:
DRAWING NEARER TO THE MERRY MONTH OF MAY
OLD SWINTON MAY SONG


Related thread:
Tune Req: Drawing Near to the Merry Month of May (23)


In Mudcat MIDIs:
Swinton May Song (from Roy Palmer, English Country Songbook)


Mary Humphreys 04 Jan 99 - 02:20 PM
Animaterra 04 Jan 99 - 04:54 PM
Wolfgang Hell 07 Jan 99 - 02:37 AM
Wolfgang 07 Jan 99 - 02:53 AM
Dave the Gnome 29 Jan 01 - 06:20 AM
Dave the Gnome 29 Jan 01 - 06:22 AM
Dave the Gnome 29 Jan 01 - 06:24 AM
Dave the Gnome 29 Jan 01 - 06:26 AM
Dave the Gnome 29 Jan 01 - 11:41 AM
Noreen 29 Jan 01 - 11:54 AM
MMario 29 Jan 01 - 12:14 PM
Noreen 29 Jan 01 - 12:20 PM
GUEST,JohnB 29 Jan 01 - 12:31 PM
Malcolm Douglas 29 Jan 01 - 12:38 PM
Bernard 29 Jan 01 - 04:14 PM
GUEST,Paul Burke 16 Oct 02 - 04:21 AM
greg stephens 16 Oct 02 - 05:33 AM
greg stephens 16 Oct 02 - 05:56 AM
Dave the Gnome 21 Oct 02 - 09:21 AM
GUEST,Paul Burke 21 Oct 02 - 12:35 PM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:





Subject: Swinton May Day Carol
From: Mary Humphreys
Date: 04 Jan 99 - 02:20 PM

Does anyone have the words to the Swinton May Day carol as sung by the Watersons on Pence & Spicy Ale LP?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: Lyr Add: SWINTON MAY SONG^^^
From: Animaterra
Date: 04 Jan 99 - 04:54 PM

SWINTON MAY SONG^^^

All in this pleasant evening together
come has we for the summer springs so fresh and green and gay.
We'll tell you of a blossom and a bud on every tree
Drawing near to the merry month of May

Rise up, the master of this house all in your chain of gold
For the summer springs so fresh and green and gay
We hope you're not offended with your house we make so bold
Drawing near to the merry month of May

Rise up, the mistress of this house with gold all on your breast
For the summer springs so fresh and green and gay
And if your body is asleep we hope your soul's at rest
Drawing near to the merry month of May

Rise up, the children of this house, all in your rich attire
For the summer springs so gresh and green and gay.
And every hair all on your head shines like a silver wire
Drawing near to the merry month of May

God bless this house and arbor, your riches and your store
For the summer springs so fresh and green and gay
We hope that the Lord will prosper you both now and evermore
Drawing near to the merry month of May

So now we're going to leave you in peace and plenty here
For the summer springs so fresh and green and gay
We will not sing you May again until another year
For to drive you these cold winter nights away

The Watersons


Click to play

Tune from English Country Songbook (Roy Palmer), page 133


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Swinton May Day Carol
From: Wolfgang Hell
Date: 07 Jan 99 - 02:37 AM

virtually all of the Watersons lyrics can be found on the unofficial Watersons Page set up by Garry Gillard.

Wolfgang


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Swinton May Day Carol
From: Wolfgang
Date: 07 Jan 99 - 02:53 AM

here's part of the notes on the Watersons site:
"Another version is sung by the Copper Family; it may be found in the Digital Tradition as Drawing Nearer to the Merry Month of May."
Wolfgang


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: Swinton May Songs #'s 1 and 2
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 29 Jan 01 - 06:20 AM

The following is exactly as researched from Chambers book of days in Manchester central library. The footnotes are not mine but as per the book. I also have the piano scores for both songs, but neither the skill nor the technology to get these converted to midi files. If anyone would like to volunteer to attach the music I can email or fax the dots. The correspondent mentioned btw says 'From Job Knight I obtained the airs of both songs, which have been arranged or harmonised for me by a musical friend...' Is history repeating itself here???

I have split the thread into three seperate postings below.

Part 1 is the correspondents description of the songs and circumstances

Part 2 is the old May song and part 3 the new.

Enjoy!

Dave the Gnome


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Swinton May Songs #'s 1 and 2
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 29 Jan 01 - 06:22 AM

SWINTON MAY-SONGS

A correspondent sends us the following account of a custom in South Lancashire, which, he says, is new to him, and of which he can find no notice in either Brand, or Strutt, or Hone, or in Notes and Queries, and which has therefore the recommendation of novelty, though old:

While reading one evening towards the close of April 1861, I was on a sudden aware of a party of waits or carollers who had taken their stand on the lawn in my garden,* and were serenading the family with a song. There were four singers, accompanied by a flute and a clarinet; and together they discoursed most simple and rustic music. I was at a loss to divine the occasion of this local custom, seeing as the time not within any of our great festivals - Easter, May-day, or Whitsuntide. Inquiry resulted in my obtaining from and old 'Mayer' the words of two songs called by the singers themselves 'May Songs,' though the rule and custom are that the must be sung before the first day of May. My chief informant, an elderly man named Job Knight, tells me that he went out 'a May singing' for about fourteen years, but has now left it off. He says the Mayers usually commence their singing rounds about the middle of April, though some parties start as early as the beginning of that month. The singing invariably ceases on the evening of the 30th April. Job says he can remember the custom for about thirty years and he never heard any other than the two songs which follow. These are usually sung, he says, by five or six men, with a fiddle or a flute and clarinet accompaniment. The songs are verbally as recited by Job Knight, and when I ventured to hint that one line (the third in the third verse of the New May Song), was too long, he sang the verse, to show that all the words were deftly brought into the strain. The first song bears the mark of some antiquity both in construction and phraseology. There is its double refrain - the second and fourth line is every stanza - which both musically and poetically, are far superior to the others. Its quaint picture of manners, the worshipful master of the house in his chain of gold, the mistress with gold along her breast &c; the phrases 'house and harbour,' 'riches and store,' - all seem to point to earlier times. The last line of this song appears to convey its object and to indicate a simple superstition, that these songs were charms to draw or drive 'these cold winters away.' There are several lines in both songs, in which the sense, no less the rhythm, seems to have been marred, from these songs having been handed down by oral tradition alone; but I have not ventured on any alteration. In the second, and more modern song, the refrain in the fourth line of each stanza is again the most poetical and musical of the whole. But I detain your readers too long from the ballads themselves.

* In the hamlet of Swinton, township of Worsley, parish of Eccles.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: Lyr Add: Old May Song^^
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 29 Jan 01 - 06:24 AM

OLD MAY SONG.

All in this pleasant evening, together comers [?come are] we,
For the Summer springs so fresh, green, and gay;
We'll tell you of a blossom and buds on every tree,
Drawing near to the merry month of May.

Rise up, the master of this house, put on your chain of gold,
For the Summer springs so fresh, green, and gay;
We hope you're not offended, [with] your house we make so bold,
Drawing near to the merry month of May.

Rise up, the mistress of this house, with gold along your breast,
For the Summer springs so fresh, green, and gay;
And if your body be asleep, we hope your soul's at rest,
Drawing near to the merry month of May.

Rise up, the children of this house, all in your rich attire,
For the Summer springs so fresh, green, and gay;
For every hair upon your head[s] shines like the silver wire,
Drawing near to the merry month of May.

God bless this house and harbour, your riches and your store,
For the Summer springs so fresh, green, and gay;
We hope the Lord will prosper you, both now and evermore,
Drawing near to the merry month of May.

So now we're going to leave you, in peace and plenty here,
For the Summer springs so fresh, green, and gay;
We shall not sing you May again until another year,
For to draw you these cold winters away.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: Lyr Add: NEW MAY SONG^^
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 29 Jan 01 - 06:26 AM

NEW MAY SONG

Come listen awhile unto what we say,
Concerning the season, the month we call May;
For the flowers are springing, and the birds they do sing,
And the baziers* are sweet in the morning of May.

When the trees are in bloom, and the meadows are green,
The sweet smelling cowslips are plain to be seen;
The sweet ties of nature, which we plainly do see,
For the baziers are sweet in the morning of May.

All creatures are deem'd, in their station below,
Such comforts of love on each other bestow;
Our flocks they're folded, and young lambs sweetly do play,
And the baziers are sweet in the morning of May.

So now to conclude, with much freedom and love,
The sweetest of blessings proceeds from above;
Let us join in our song that right happy may we be,
For we'll bless with contentment in the morning of May**

*The bazier is the name given in this part of Lancashire to the auricula, which is usually found in full bloom in April. This name is not to be found in Gerard's History of Plants, or Culpepper's British Herbal, or in the glossaries of Halliwell, Nares, &c. The auricula was introduced into this country from Switzerland about the year 1567. Can its Lancashire name, say base-ear (i.e. low ear) have any relation to the name auricula? (q.d. little ear).

** This line would read better thus:
'For we're blest with content in the morning of May.'


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Swinton May Songs #'s 1 and 2
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 29 Jan 01 - 11:41 AM

No takers for the music bit??? What happens now BTW - I guess someone puts the words in the DT? - If this is right thanks very much in advance. If wrong can someone put me right?

Cheers

dtG


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Swinton May Songs #'s 1 and 2
From: Noreen
Date: 29 Jan 01 - 11:54 AM

Dave, it's fascinating hearing about the hamlet of Swinton and its history! If you scan the dots and e-mail as an attachment to MMario, he very kindly waves a magic wand over them or something...

Noreen


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Swinton May Songs #'s 1 and 2
From: MMario
Date: 29 Jan 01 - 12:14 PM

And I am sure Joe will be by sooner or later to "Harvest" the lyrics.

my address = lpola@edutech.org e-mail away!

BTW = if you are on a pc platform there are several free or near to free programs that allow you to save midi files - if you are capable of copying the dots. And I have heard there are several for the Mac as well.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Swinton May Songs #'s 1 and 2
From: Noreen
Date: 29 Jan 01 - 12:20 PM

...I did put im MMario's e-mail address, but unfortunately in pointy brackets...

Noreen


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Swinton May Songs #'s 1 and 2
From: GUEST,JohnB
Date: 29 Jan 01 - 12:31 PM

There is a Watersons recording of the OLD song, which I know the melody of. I think it may be on an albumn called For Pence and Spicy Ale, I am not sure and can not check it out at work. Never heard the NEW song. JohnB.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Swinton May Songs #'s 1 and 2
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 29 Jan 01 - 12:38 PM

The old song also appears in Roy Palmer's Everyman's Book of English Country Songs (1979)

Malcolm


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: The cavalry is here!!
From: Bernard
Date: 29 Jan 01 - 04:14 PM

Dave - simplest thing is bring 'em round to me. I still live in Farnworth!!

It will take me very little time to put them into Cakewalk, which saves standard MIDI files, and I can burn a CD of them for you.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Swinton May Songs #'s 1 and 2
From: GUEST,Paul Burke
Date: 16 Oct 02 - 04:21 AM

Now my Mum (d2000) was from Pendlebury (Agecroft Road). She used to have a May song that ran something like:

We come to greet you on the First of May
And we hope you will not turn us away
As we dance and sing round the merry, merry maypole ring
For we are bright as the flowers that bloom in the spring
(lost a bit here)...

Once we had a maypole, it was a pretty sight,
For pretty Peggy Dolan* was dressed all in white,
As we danced around the maypole, we heard the angles sing..

When Charley Wink came down our snow- white chimney pot
We were gay, bright and gay, happy news I bring
Lady, lady, bright and shady, in the midst of April showers
The Queen of May is here today to bring us all a holiday...

*insert name as desired

Not exactly a classic, but it was all we had.


The period would be just after World War I.

Paul Burke


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Swinton May Songs #'s 1 and 2
From: greg stephens
Date: 16 Oct 02 - 05:33 AM

A problem arises with the New Song...the music in Chambers Book of Days doesnt fit the words totally, there's a mis match somewhere. And the intriguing often mentioned point is the similarity between the two tunes and the two Padstowe May Songs.Are they to be explained by aformerly widespread pair of songs which died out in the large area between Padstowe and Manchester, or are we looking at some Cornish miners settling in the north-west? Or Mancunians on holiday in Cornwall leaving the songs behind 200 years ago?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Swinton May Songs #'s 1 and 2
From: greg stephens
Date: 16 Oct 02 - 05:56 AM

Paul Burke: do you have a tune for your May song?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Swinton May Songs #'s 1 and 2
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 21 Oct 02 - 09:21 AM

Paul - I live on Bolton Road - about 500yds from the top of Agecroft Road. I'd love to have the tune as well.

And where's my bloody tape, Stephens...;-)

Cheers

DtG


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Swinton May Songs #'s 1 and 2
From: GUEST,Paul Burke
Date: 21 Oct 02 - 12:35 PM

Yes, at least for the bits I can remember. I'll write it out tonight (Noteworthy do you? I don't know ABC). I can get more when my brother gets back from Tuscany (bastard), but that won't be till December. Send me your email to paul@scazon.com, and I'll send it back to you.


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: 5 December 2:44 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.