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Help: Henry Martin


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GUEST,Adam, a 5th grade Destination Imagination te 24 Feb 01 - 07:39 PM
GUEST,Adam, a 5th grade D.I. team member 24 Feb 01 - 07:48 PM
Mrrzy 24 Feb 01 - 07:48 PM
Sorcha 24 Feb 01 - 08:09 PM
Mick Lowe 24 Feb 01 - 08:19 PM
GUEST,Adam 24 Feb 01 - 08:36 PM
balladeer 24 Feb 01 - 09:10 PM
Malcolm Douglas 24 Feb 01 - 09:15 PM
Malcolm Douglas 24 Feb 01 - 09:20 PM
Uncle_DaveO 24 Feb 01 - 09:48 PM
Deckman 24 Feb 01 - 11:39 PM
SINSULL 25 Feb 01 - 12:39 AM
GUEST,Adam, a 5th grade Destination Imagination te 25 Feb 01 - 07:57 AM
Uncle_DaveO 25 Feb 01 - 11:48 AM
GUEST,RE: To DaveO from Adam 25 Feb 01 - 12:39 PM
Deckman 25 Feb 01 - 10:54 PM
katlaughing 25 Feb 01 - 11:30 PM
Nigel Parsons 19 Feb 11 - 09:29 PM
michaelr 20 Feb 11 - 01:50 AM
GUEST,Alan Whittle 20 Feb 11 - 05:55 AM
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Subject: Henry Martin
From: GUEST,Adam, a 5th grade Destination Imagination te
Date: 24 Feb 01 - 07:39 PM

My name is Adam. I am 10 years old. My Destination Imagination team is working on a problem called Anonymously Yours. We had to pick a work of art that is listed as anonymous and create our own story about how the work was created. We chose to use the scottish folk song Henry Martin which we heard on Lesley Nielson's website. We know from our research that it is a Child ballad but that he did not write it. We need to have proof in writing that it is anonymous or traditional to show the judges. Something in writing from an expert in this area is acceptable. Could someone who knows alot about this song please post a reply.

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Subject: 5th grader Henry Martin help
From: GUEST,Adam, a 5th grade D.I. team member
Date: 24 Feb 01 - 07:48 PM

My name is Adam. I need help in proving that Henry Martin does not have a known author. If an expert in Scottish folk music could post that Henry Martin is truly anonymous I would really appreciate it.

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Subject: RE: Help: Henry Martin
From: Mrrzy
Date: 24 Feb 01 - 07:48 PM

Excellent assignment. Have you searched this database? There is often quite a lot of information already in it...

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Subject: RE: Help: Henry Martin
From: Sorcha
Date: 24 Feb 01 - 08:09 PM

Lesley might answer an e mail about this......address is on the site. A few of Child's own words about what he was collecting would probably do the trick. Ask your librarian if she could InterLibrary Loan Volume 1 of the "English and Scottish Popular Ballads" by Francis J. Child, and look in the introduction.

Lesley is the OnLine Child expert, could you use a quote from the site itsself?

Most of us here at the Mudcat are "amateur" musicologists, but Malcolm Douglas is pretty amazing at documenting things. I'll message him and ask him to check in on this.

Great idea for a project, by the way! Good Luck!

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Subject: RE: Help: Henry Martin
From: Mick Lowe
Date: 24 Feb 01 - 08:19 PM

Hi Adam
It just so happens I have "100 English Folksongs, edited by Cecil Sharp", sitting by me as I noticed your thread. If you don't know, Sharp is one of the leading figures in the world of folk music. It is no coincidence that the English Folk Dance and Song Society is based in a building called Cecil Sharp House. Here is his notes for the song Henry Martin, which might be of some use to you.

"Versions of this ballad with tunes, are in Kidson's "Traditional Tunes" and "Songs of the West". The words appear on a Catnach broadside; and in Percy's "Relkiques".
In "English and Scottish Ballads", Chil prints the versions in Traditional Tunes and Songs of the West, and gives, in addition, four other sets - one from Motherwell's MS., two traditional copies from residents in the U.S., and a Suffolk fragment contributed by Edward Fitzgerald to "Suffolk Notes and Queries (Ipswich Journal, 1877-78)".
In several versions, the hero is variously styled Henry Martin, Robin Hood, Sir Andrew Barton, Andrew Bodee, Andrew Bartin, Henry Burgin and Robedrtson.
Child suggests that "the ballad must have sprung from the ashes of'Sir Andrew Barton' (Percy's Reliques), of which name 'Henry Martin' would be no extraordinary corruption." The Rev. S. Baring-Gould, in his note to the ballad Songs of the West, differs from this view and contends that the Percy version is the ballad "as recomposed in the reign of James I, when there was a perfect rage for re-writing the old historical ballads".
I am inclined to agree that the two versions are quite distinct. Sir Andrew Barton deals with the final encounter between Barton and the King's ships, in which Andrew Barton's ship is sunk and he himself killed; whereas the traditional versions are concerend with a piratical raid made by Henry Martin upon an English merchantman. It is true that in Songs of the West, Henry Martin receives his death wound, but, as Child points out, this incident does not square with the rest of the story and may, therefore, be an interpolation.
Unlike so many so-called historical ballads, this one is really based on fact. In the latter part of the 15th century, a Scottish sea-officer, Andrew Barton, suffered by sea at the hands of the POrtuguese, and obtained letteres of marque for his two sons to make reprisals upon the trading ships of Portugal. The brothers, under the pretence of searching for Portuguese shipping, levied toll upon English merchant vessels. King Henry VIII accordingly commissioned the Earl of Surrey to rid the seas of the pirates and put an end to their illegal depredations. The earl fitted out two vessels and gave the command of them to his two sons, Sir Thomas and Sir Edward Howard. They sought out Barton's ships, the Lion and the Union, fought them, captured them, and carried them in triumph up the river Thames on August 2, 1511.
I have noted down in different parts of England no less than seventeen variations of this ballad."

I think you can safely say from that Adam that Child did not write this song (if indeed Child actually wrote any song he collected, for that matter).


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Subject: RE: Help: Henry Martin
From: GUEST,Adam
Date: 24 Feb 01 - 08:36 PM

Thank you for sending the information from Cecil Sharp. Our team only a has a 100 dollar budget and I did not want to have to buy the book just to prove this song is ananymous. I'm sure you gave me enough proof for the judges.

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Subject: RE: Help: Henry Martin
From: balladeer
Date: 24 Feb 01 - 09:10 PM

Mick, as I read your posting, I too have a copy of Cecil Sharp's One Hundred English Folk Songs at my elbow. Not a HUGE coincidence in Mudcatworld, I suppose, but a coincidence nevertheless.

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Subject: RE: Help: Henry Martin
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 24 Feb 01 - 09:15 PM

Well, there are plenty of resources to look at here.  Here are some:

The Bodleian Library in Oxford (UK) has a large collection of broadside ballads -that is to say, songs that were printed and sold cheaply by travelling salesmen, up until the early years of the 20th. century.  If you click on these links, you'll see some versions of "Henry Martin":

Henry Martin  Printed between 1820 and 1824 for W. Armstrong of Liverpool.
Henry Martin  Printed between 1845 and 1859 by Ryal & Co., Printers, 2 & 3, Monmouth Court, Seven Dials, London.

There are quite a few more, but these ones have dates, so are probably more useful to you.

There is an entry at  The Traditional Ballad Index:

Henry Martyn [Child 250]  -You may find it a bit confusing, but what it really says is that nobody can be quite sure who wrote the song, or when.  It also makes the point that old songs often get changed quite a lot, and finish up with different titles; "Henry Martin" is also known, for example, as "(Sir) Andrew Barton" (and lots of other names, too) -people in those days usually learned songs just by hearing other people sing them, and so they would quite often get muddled about some of the words.

These songs aren't just old and forgotten, though; people still sing them.  There's a very interesting website, for example, called  The Max Hunter Folksong Collection,  where you can hear a recording of a traditional version of "Henry Martin" (though it's called "Andrew Batan", it's really the same song) sung by someone in Arkansas in 1958.  That will sound like a long time ago to you, but I was four years old that year, so it isn't really such a long time, honest!

I wish that I'd had such an interesting project to do when I was at school.  I hope that I've told you enough, but if I haven't, please say so; there's lots more.

With best wishes


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Subject: RE: Help: Henry Martin
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 24 Feb 01 - 09:20 PM

I meant to put in a link to that Arkansas recording, but forgot; here it is:  Andrew Batan

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Subject: RE: Help: 5th grader Henry Martin help
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 24 Feb 01 - 09:48 PM

I can tell you that there are a number of versions, with different heroes' names, with basically the same story line. Some have other tunes, or at least major variations on the tune most people know.

I do not claim to be an historical ethnomusicologist (a person who studies different cultures' music from a historical perspective) but in fifty years of singing and playing this song, and hearing it played and sung, I've never heard an attribution to a particular author.

I BELIEVE (and one of the Mudcat experts can and surely will correct me if I'm wrong) that Henry Martin is one of the songs we refer to as Child Ballads. This expression is from Professor Frances James Child, an American professor who is one of the sainted names in the study of folk music, and especially the English and Scottish popular ballads. I doubt that he would have included it (them) in his collection if the author was known.

I hope this is helpful.

Dave Oesterreich

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Subject: RE: Help: Henry Martin
From: Deckman
Date: 24 Feb 01 - 11:39 PM

Hello Adam ... My name is Bob (deckman) Nelson. I want to suggest a different approach to you. I was only two years older than you are now when I discovered the song "Henry Martin." We know that you have uncovered enough 'evidence' of the ancestry of this song to satisfy your school requirement. I would like to challenge you to look at this song somewhat differently. Read the tale to yourself, feel the tale, then speak the story. Read it to yourself as if it is an adventure ... because it is. Then, SING the story, maybe to yourself. Feel the power of the tale. Practice the story line, imagine what it would have been like to witness that story. Then, as you grow older, and better able, delight in sharing this wonderful ale with friends. This is what folk songs, and folk singing is ALL about ... sharing the adventure of these wonderful stories. Best wishes to you.

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Subject: RE: Help: Henry Martin
Date: 25 Feb 01 - 12:39 AM

Kendall sings a version in which Henry is caught and hung for piracy. But I believe this last verse was written by Gordon Bok. Will that screw up your whole assignment, Adam?

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Subject: To deckman from Adam
From: GUEST,Adam, a 5th grade Destination Imagination te
Date: 25 Feb 01 - 07:57 AM

Dear deckman, My team has done alot with this song because we have to make up an 8 minute performance for a March 10 competition. There are 5 team members. We are all boys. We picked a song for our work of art because we all like music. My part is old Henry Martin, the narrator and author of the song. I sing the song while the other team members act out the story. Young Henry and the merchant sing their part when it comes along. Ialso play violin while I sing. We also added to the song to show what happens to Henry. Aftre he sinks the merchant ship he goes to Italy to try to do more pirating. He is in a lagoon waiting for a ship when he is sunk by a keel breaker. But he somehow escapes and gets back home. After the song is done British soldiers come and take old Henry Martin away. Then he is beheaded and his head is hung on London bridge. We made a paper mache head to look like mine. We are not nearly done with everything and we only have 2 weeks left. Plus it is hard to hear me sing over the violin so we are trying to borrow a body mike. Thank you for writing to me.

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Subject: RE: Help: Henry Martin
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 25 Feb 01 - 11:48 AM

The last verse that Richard Dyer-Bennett sings is:

They brought Henry Martin to fair London Town
Hanged him up on the gallow
His body did twist in the cold winter wind, winter wind, winter wind
And his shadow fell black on the snow.

I don't know who wrote this verse. It may be the verse that Sinsull refers to, which she thinks was written by Gordon Bok.

Just goes to show you that a folk song is never finished.

Dave Oesterreich

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Subject: RE: Help: Henry Martin
From: GUEST,RE: To DaveO from Adam
Date: 25 Feb 01 - 12:39 PM

My D.I. team finished the song like this:

The british army was gaining on him "Here I can no longer stay. I will go seek fortune in far off Italy, Italy, Italy. Oh for a sattelite to show me the way."

Henry's new voyage was painful and long with no wind and scorching heat. But he was so farfrom fair London's reach, London's reach, London's reach. Young Henry Martin would not yet be beat.

At last reached an Italian lagoon and patiently waited for prey. But deep at the bottom the keelbreaker laid, laid, laid. The end of his pirate career came that day.

WE added sattelite for humor. As part of soving our problem we had to build a technical element from the time period we use. We chose the late 1500's. Today me and another team member are building the keelbreaker.

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Subject: RE: Help: To deckman from Adam
From: Deckman
Date: 25 Feb 01 - 10:54 PM

Hello Adam ... It certainly sounds like a very exciting production and performance is soon to happen. Where do I buy tickets? You, and your fellow team members have certainly picked up on the adventure of the story of Henry Martin. One of the most wonderful parts of folk ballads are the things that are left unsaid. By leaving many of the details out, the story teller (ballad singer) requires you, the audience, to fill in the spaces. That always gives the listener free reign of imagination. That has always been a large part of the attraction of balladry. I live in Washington state, in the Northwest corner of the United States. When I stand at the edge of the sea and look West, I can see Japan, but it is 3,000 miles away, and my eyes are old. What country do you live in? My VERY BEST WISHES to you on this performance. Please write to me again and tell me how it went. Your friend ... the deckman

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Subject: RE: Help: To deckman from Adam
From: katlaughing
Date: 25 Feb 01 - 11:30 PM

Adam, that is really neat. Good for you, deckman.

Adam, thanks for sharing your plans with all of us here at the Mudcat. Have a good show!

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Subject: Lyr Add: HENRY MARTIN
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 19 Feb 11 - 09:29 PM


There were three brothers in merry Scotland,
In Scotland there lived brothers three;
And lots they did cast which should rob on the sea,
To maintain his two brothers and he.

The lot it did fall upon Henry Martin,
The youngest of all the three,
All for to turn robber upon the salt sea,
To maintain his two brothers and he.

He had not been sailing a long winter's night
And a part of a short winter's day,
Before he espi-ed a lofty stout ship
Come a-bibbing down on him straightway.

How far are you bound for? Cried Henry Martin;
O where are you bound for? Cried he.
I'm a rich merchant ship bound for merry England
And I will you to let me pass free.

O no! O no! Cried Henry Martin,
That thing it never could be;
For I've turned a robber all on the salt sea,
To maintain my two brothers and me.

Come lower your topsail and brail-up your mizzen,
And bring your ship under my lee,
Or a full flowing ball I will fire at your tail,
And your bodies drown in the salt sea.

With broadside and broadside and at it they went.
For fully two hours or three,
When Henry Martin gave to her the death shot,
And listing to starboard went she.

The rich merchant ship was wounded full sore;
Right down to the bottom went she.
And Henry Martin sailed away, sailed away,
To maintain his two brothers and he.

Bad news! Bad news! Unto fair London town,
Bad news I will tell unto thee;
They've robbed a rich vessel and she's cast away;
All the sailors drowned in the salt sea.


Having searched for this by both title, and distinctive line. This version appears not to be in the DT
This version is from:
"English Folk-Songs for Schools" (Curwen Edition 6051)
collected and arranged by S Baring Gould, M.A. and Cecil J. Sharp, B.A.

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Subject: RE: Help: Henry Martin
From: michaelr
Date: 20 Feb 11 - 01:50 AM

I first heard this sung by Donovan, and his text is almost identical to the one Nigel posted.

What a cool thread!

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Subject: RE: Help: Henry Martin
From: GUEST,Alan Whittle
Date: 20 Feb 11 - 05:55 AM

Great song. I used to like the late barrie roberts singing this one.

You know how Martin Carthy sings a version called Lofty Tall Ships. I often wonder if maybe Sam Larner just didn't know all the words, and sort of soldered what he did know into a song.

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