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Women's Song Circle II

Related threads:
A Last Song Circle for Katlaughing (99)
Women's Song Circle ??III (51)
Lovingkindness Song Circle (69)
straight & sober song circle (54)
Guy's Song Circle (56)
Women's Song Circle (82)


Nonie Rider 07 Oct 97 - 06:05 PM
Bruce 07 Oct 97 - 06:51 PM
Shula 07 Oct 97 - 08:28 PM
Suibhan 08 Oct 97 - 12:35 AM
Nonie Rider 08 Oct 97 - 08:58 PM
Moira Cameron 09 Oct 97 - 03:13 AM
dick greenhaus 09 Oct 97 - 04:38 PM
Helen 11 Oct 97 - 08:45 PM
Alice 26 Apr 00 - 08:37 PM
alison 26 Apr 00 - 09:07 PM
Alice 26 Apr 00 - 10:12 PM
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Subject: Women's Song Circle II
From: Nonie Rider
Date: 07 Oct 97 - 06:05 PM

Shall we start a new thread? The 81+ messages are kinda bogging down the old one.

I'm constantly amazed by the variety of songs about women dressed as men. Sure, the majority of them (like "The Ranger's Command" and "The Finest Flower of Serving-Men") are about the man going off to battle/sea/the open range, and the woman dressing as a man so she can stay with him, without his knowledge.

But then you get ones like "The Drummer Girl," who (at least in the versions I've heard) takes on her "fine cap and feathers;/Likewise {her} rattlin' drum" either just because she feels like it, or because she needs the pay.

Let's see, what other reasons have come up?


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Subject: RE: Women's Song Circle II
From: Bruce
Date: 07 Oct 97 - 06:51 PM

"The Famous Flower of Serving-men" (ZN2994) is by Laurence Price, the ballad having been entered in the Stationers' Register in July of 1656. A year earlier he had written "The Famous Woman Drummer" (ZN2076) giving very little real information about his subject. She was a Mrs. John Clarke, and gave birth to a child in an inn in London on July 16, 1655. A better broadside ballad about her is "The Gallant She-Souldier" (ZN3084). There was also a contempory news account about her, which is where her name and the precise date come from.

Earlier, apparently in 1584, we had Mary Ambree donning mail and fighting. (Bishop Percy's Folio Manuscript, I, p. 516. The tune for the ballad, incidently, is "The blind Beggar's Daughter" according to a broadside copy in the Manchester collection, ZN468. Traditional tune for it in DT.)


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Subject: RE: Women's Song Circle II
From: Shula
Date: 07 Oct 97 - 08:28 PM

Tsk, Tsk, Tsk, Bruce, y' disappoint me. Nothin' about Jeanne D'Arc?

Shula


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Subject: RE: Women's Song Circle II
From: Suibhan
Date: 08 Oct 97 - 12:35 AM

One of my favorite songs on one of my favorite CDs (Celtic Mouth Music, Ellipsis Arts) is "Marie Louise," which tells the usual story of a girl who disguises herself as a man to join the army and be at her lover's side. After seven years, upon their return, she reveals her identity. This is a Breton song and is a call and response song, or kan ha diskan. I have never heard any other songs like this, does anyone know of any? I think it would be alot of fun to sing, but I have never attempted it.

Anyway, how could a girl conceal her identity from someone who knows her well for seven years???? He must be a moron! (This is not addressed in the song.) I couldn't fool my husband for 15 seconds!

Sorry this is not very well written, but it's late and I have to type everything with a cat in my lap.


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Subject: RE: Women's Song Circle II
From: Nonie Rider
Date: 08 Oct 97 - 08:58 PM

I suspect disguising oneself as a man worked better when fashions were absolute. I mean, if the trousers or bonnet or whatever were as clear a gender marker as a beard or breasts, why would you question it?

Sure, these days we see both genders in all styles of clothing, so we're used to more than one look. But it would be different if you had flat assumptions:

1. All soldiers are men.

2. X is a soldier (complete with men's uniform, etc.)

3. Therefore, in the absence of obvious markers like breasts, X is a man.

Or ditto a beardless person in gown, apron, bonnet, et al; of COURSE she's a woman, you maroon!

Even when you have cross-gender disguise plots in books earlier this century, they tended to make flat assumptions about hair length. "The boy's cap was knocked off, and the sudden spill of long hair revealed to us that he was, in truth, a woman!" This gets particularly silly when you're talking about non-Western cultures; you'd think even an Englishman could imagine long-haired men from Tibet or mystical barbaric forests. But no; pre-flapper, OF COURSE all women had long hair, unless they 1) had been sick, or 2) had been shorn in disgrace.

But we can theorize all we want. The truth is, there are several historical cases where women passed as men for decades, even among those who knew them well. So it must have worked somehow!

--Nonie


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Subject: RE: Women's Song Circle II
From: Moira Cameron
Date: 09 Oct 97 - 03:13 AM

Have any of you heard Martin Carthy's version of the "Famous Flower of Serving Men"? It isn't about dressing as a man to go to war. It is his own elaboration of the Child Ballad fragment of the same name. A young woman's lover and baby are murdered by men sent by her mother. In her grief, she cuts her hair and changes her name and finds work as a serving man for the king. He is so enamored with her (as a man) that he makes her a personal assistant. One day, the king goes off hunting on his own, leaving the 'Famous Flower of Serving Men' to watch over the castle. During his hunt, he encounters a talking dove who reveals the truth about his beloved servant. He hurries home, intent on ending the cherade, marrying the woman, and exacting revenge--on her behalf--against the mother. The mother is found and burnt at the stake. I would write out the song for you, but it is incredibly long. If anyone is interested in more details, I'll be happy to oblige.


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Subject: RE: Women's Song Circle II
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 09 Oct 97 - 04:38 PM

Moira- You have the plot right, but you needn't enter the song. It (Child #106) is in the database, Search for [Famous Flower]


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Subject: Lyr Add: EPPIE MORRIE
From: Helen
Date: 11 Oct 97 - 08:45 PM

Rosebrook submitted a question about the song Eppie Morrie and I thought what a great song to contribute to this song circle.

Subject: RE: Eppie Morie: What does it all mean?
From: Helen
Date: 11-Oct-97 - 08:42 PM

Hi I'll do a rough translation for you.

If you want to hear a brilliant version of this, listen to the Sileas CD - either Beating Harps or Delighted with Harps album. They are a Scottish duo - harps and vocals. 2 of the best albums in my collection, (and I have eclectic tastes - everything except C&W, & most Opera.)

Note about the song: Eppie is married to Willie against her will, but according to the law of the time if Willie can't get her to consummate the marriage then she is entitled to annul the marriage and go back home "a maiden as she came", i.e. with her maidenhead and her reputation intact.

Quick notes: "ch" can be changed to "gh" in a lot of words - "licht" becomes "light" "frae" = "from" "sae" = "so" "wadna" = "wouldn't", "couldn'a" = "couldn't" "gang" = "go "daurna" = "do not" "hae" = "have" "rid" = "ridden"

EPPIE MORRIE

Four-and-twenty Hielan' men
Cam' frae the Carron side
To steal awa' Epple Morrle
For she wadna be a bride, a bride,
She wadna be a bride.

Then oot it's cam' her mither then,
It was a moonlicht nicht,
She couldnae see her dochter (daughter)
For tbe water shine sae bricht, sae bricht
The water shine sae bricht.

Haud awa' frae me, mither, (hold)
Haud awa' frae me!
There's no' a man in' Strathdon
Shall wedded be with me, with me,
Shall wedded be with me.

They've taken Eppie Morrie, tben,
And a horse they've bound her on,
And they hae rid to the minister's hoose
As fast as horse could gang, could gang,
As fast as horse could gang.

Then Willie's ta'en his pistol oot (taken)
And set it to the minister's breist,
O marry me, marry me, minister,
Or else I'll be your priest, your priest
Or else I'll be your priest.

Haud awa' frae me, Willie,
Haud awa' frae me,
I daurna avow to marry you
Except she's willin' as thee, as thee,
Except she's willin' as thee.

Haud awa' frae me, good sir,
Haud awa' frae me,
There's no' a man in a' Strathdon
Shall married be by me, by me,
Shall married be by me.

They've taken Eppie Morrie then,
Sin' better couldna' be,
And they hae rid o'er Carron side
As fast as horse could flee, could flee,
As fast as horse could flee.

The mass was sung and bells were rung
And they'r awa' to bed,
And Willie and Eppie Morrie,
In ane bed they were laid, were laid
In ane bed they were laid.

He's ta'en the sark frae aff his back ("sark" = "shirt?")
And kicked awa his shoon (shoes)
And thrawn awa the chaulmer (chamber?) key,
And naked he lay doon, lay doon (down)
And naked he lay doon.

"Haud awa frae me, Willie,
Haud awa' frae me,
Before I lose my maidenheid
I'll try my strength wi' thee, wi' thee.
I'll try my strength wi' thee:"

He's kissed her on the lily breist
And held her shouthers twa (2)
But aye she grat (fought him off?) and aye she spat
And turned tae the wa', the wa', (wall)
And turned tae the wa'.

"Haud awa frae me, Willie,
Haud awa' frae me,
Before I lose my maidenheid
I'll fecht (fight) wi' you till day, till day
I'll fecht wi' you till day.

A' through the nicht they warssled (wrestled) there
Until the licht o' day,
And Willie grat and Willie swat (sweated)
But he couldna' streitch her spey, her spey (maidenhead/hymen?)
He couldna' streitch her spey

Then, early in the morning
Before the licht o' day
In came the maid o' Scallater
Wi' a goun and shirt alane, alane (gown & shirt)
Wi' a goun and shirt alane

Get up, get up, young woman
And drink the wine wi' me,
You nicht hae ca'd (called) me "maiden",
For I'm sure as hale (whole) as thee, as thee,
For I'm sure as hale as thee.

Weary fa' you, Willie, then, (don't know :-) )
That ye couldna' prove a man,
Ye micht hae ta'en (taken) her maidenheid,
She wuuld hae hired (don't know :-) )your hand, your hand,
She would hae hired your hand.

"Haud awa' frae me, lady,
Haud awa' frae me!
There's no' a man in a' Strathdon
Shall wedded be with me, with me,
Shall wedded be with me.

Then in there came young Breadalbane
Wi' a pistol on each side,
O, come awa', Eppie Morrie,
And I'll mak' you my bride, my bride,
And l'll mak' you my bride.

Gae (go) get to me a horse, Willie,
Get it like a man,
And send me back to my mither
A maiden as I cam', I cam'
O a maiden as I cam'.

The sun shines ower the westlin hills (westward)
By the lamplicht o' the moon,
O --- saddle your horse, young John Forsythe,
Just whistle and I'll come soon, come soon,
Just whistle snd I'll come soon.

HTML line breaks added. --JoeClone, 14-Feb-02.


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Subject: RE: Women's Song Circle II
From: Alice
Date: 26 Apr 00 - 08:37 PM

This thread is one of a series of song circles that we created back in 1997, the year I joined Mudcat. I can't join you on hearme, so I'm going to refresh this one... it was a kick at the time, maybe the "newer" Mudcat will enjoy it, too.

Lately I've been singing "She Lived Beside The Anner". I entered the lyrics already in a thread of that name.

alison? Helen? anyone want to take the next turn?

Alice


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Subject: RE: Women's Song Circle II
From: alison
Date: 26 Apr 00 - 09:07 PM

welll seeing as it was Max's birthday, and he's feeling old... I'll do "Old maid in the garrett"....

slainte

alison


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Subject: RE: Women's Song Circle II
From: Alice
Date: 26 Apr 00 - 10:12 PM

Oh, dear, yes, to be as "old" as 28 again!!

Alice


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