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Lyr Req: True Born Sons of Levi

GUEST,glen_bunn@roadshow.com.au 15 Mar 01 - 03:27 AM
Joe Offer 15 Mar 01 - 03:39 AM
Joe Offer 15 Mar 01 - 03:52 AM
MartinRyan 15 Mar 01 - 05:57 AM
Stewie 18 Mar 01 - 07:16 PM
Joe Offer 08 May 01 - 01:47 PM
KAS 08 May 01 - 06:00 PM
Sandy Paton 08 May 01 - 10:27 PM
Abby Sale 09 May 01 - 09:35 AM
Abby Sale 09 May 01 - 10:19 AM
GUEST,Neil Comer 13 May 01 - 05:02 PM
Liz the Squeak 13 May 01 - 05:33 PM
manitas_at_work 14 May 01 - 07:33 AM
Joe Offer 15 May 01 - 03:40 AM
GUEST,robcrutchfield@yahoo.com 22 Apr 02 - 10:47 PM
GUEST,robcrutchfield@yahoo.com 23 Apr 02 - 07:56 AM
DMcG 23 Apr 02 - 11:45 AM
GUEST,MCP, Lyric Add 23 Apr 02 - 12:00 PM
GUEST,MCP 23 Apr 02 - 12:14 PM
DMcG 23 Apr 02 - 02:53 PM
GUEST,MCP, Tune Add 23 Apr 02 - 03:08 PM
GUEST,Par Henson 08 Dec 15 - 11:01 PM
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Subject: True Born Sons of Levi
From: GUEST,glen_bunn@roadshow.com.au
Date: 15 Mar 01 - 03:27 AM

I am looking for the lyrics to a song which begins ( I think ) "we are the true born sons of levi"

would appreciate any help available

thanks


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE SONS OF LEVI (Darach MacDonald)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 15 Mar 01 - 03:39 AM

Hmmm. Looks interesting, Glenn. I found a little bit here (click). Sounds like it might be an old hymn, with some sort of connection to the Freemasons.


The Sons of Levi
Darach MacDonald
The Grand Design

Come all ye craftsmen that do wish
To propagate the grand design;
Come enter into our High Temple
And learn the art that is divine.
For we are the true-born Sons of Levi,
None on earth can with us compare;
We are the root and branch of David,
The bright and glorious Morning Star.


Mudcatter Abby Sale wrote a piece on this a while back in his infamous "Happy" series at rec.music.folk - Click here to see what he says. There's a connection with the Knights of Malta. Watch this thread over the next few days, and you may find all sorts of interesting stuff.
-Joe Offer (e-mail sent)-


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Subject: True Born Sons of Levi
From: Joe Offer
Date: 15 Mar 01 - 03:52 AM

Well, here's what Abby Says. I hope he or Bruce Olson will come and say more.
-Joe Offer

The Knights of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem was recognized in 1113. After being ousted from Jerusalem & Rhodes, Emperor Charles V of Sicily, gave them Malta, Gozo and Comino and the city of Tripoli as a fief of the Kingdom of Sicily in 1530. (The annual rent was one falcon - hence the legend of the Maltese Falcon.)

The Order took possession on 10/26/1530. They surendered Malta to Napoleon's fleet May 10, 1798 and left for Italy.

The Maltese rebelled against the French who left. At that point the knights thought it might be nice to reclaim their fiefdom. The Maltese, however, were now spoiled and preferred freedom to serfdom kept them out too.

The Knights were arrogant sons of bitches and professed they had wholly replaced Jews as the subjects of the Bible:

Come all ye knights, ye knights of Malta,
In your glittering armour shine,
Assist your good and worthy Prince
To protect the ark devine;

For we are the true-born sons of Levi,
Few on earth with us compare;
We are the root and branch of David,
That bright and glorious morning star.

    "The Knights of Malta," Ord's Bothy Songs and Ballads, 1930.

© Abby Sale - all rights reserved


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: True Born Sons of Levi
From: MartinRyan
Date: 15 Mar 01 - 05:57 AM

I think this turns up in the NOrth of Ireland as an Orange song?

Regards


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE SONS OF LEVI^^
From: Stewie
Date: 18 Mar 01 - 07:16 PM

Here's one collected from oral tradition:
THE SONS OF LEVI

Come all ye knights, ye knights of Molites
Come learn to do as I have done
You might have seen the armour brighter
Within the New Jerusalem

We are the true-born sons of Levi
We are the true-born sons of God
We're the root and branch of David
The glorious bright and morning star

Moses planted Aaron's rod
In one night the rod did bud
Moses smote the Egyptian waters
And that very night they turned to blood

When Joshua and I crossed over Jordan
When Joshua and I crossed over home
The seven trumps and the ram's horn sounded
Sounded loud before the throne

We are the true-born sons of Levi
We are the true-born sons of God
We're the root and branch of David
The glorious bright and morning star

Collected by Harvey H. Fuson from C.M. Moses. In Fuson 'Ballads of the Kentucky Highlands' London, 1931, p 203.

Source: Duncan Emrich 'American Folk Poetry: An Anthology' Little, Brown and Company 1974, p 384.
PS. ^^


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: True Born Sons of Levi
From: Joe Offer
Date: 08 May 01 - 01:47 PM

I'm still not clear on the meaning and history of this song. Can anybody shed more light? How about a tune?
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: True Born Sons of Levi
From: KAS
Date: 08 May 01 - 06:00 PM

A terrific version is sung (I think by Peter and Mary Alice Amidon, though I don't actually have a copy to check) on Folk-Legacy's "Sharon Mountain Harmony - A GOLDEN RING OF GOSPEL" album (C-86). Here (hopefully)is a link to the listing on Folk-Legacy's site: Click here

A brilliant tune - tight harmony a cappella duet. The whole album is pretty great, and the liner notes should offer good clues about this song.

Ken Schatz


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Subject: Lyr Add: SONS OF LEVI
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 08 May 01 - 10:27 PM

The liner notes are a bit skimpy on this one, I'm afraid. I'll quote it in full:

"Mary Alice (Amidon) remembers that we learned "Bright Morning Star" (the title they use for the song in question) from a record in the New World series entitled I'm a Long Time Traveling Here Below. It is sung by a man and a lady, accompanied by guitar. Mary Alice took to the song and introduced it to me; I worked out the harmony. We love the uneven phrasing of the melody and the powerful imagery of the words. (written by Peter Amidon)

Unfortunately, I don't have that particular New World album, so I can't tell you who sings it there. It sounds a bit aas though it might have been Estil C. Ball and his wife, from Rugby, Virginia, but I'm just guessing. Anyone have a copy of that one to find the Amidon's source?

The text they sing is similar to the Fuson text contributed above by Stewie, but I'll add it here for comparison.

We are the true-born sons of Levi;
We are the true-born sons of God.
We are the roots and the branch of David,
The bright and glorious morning star.

When Joshua and I crossed the Jordan,
Two leaves of corn were lifted high;
To the high priest and the grand master
We bore the ark of God and Son.

Come all ye knights, ye knights of Molite,
And learn to do what we have done.
You might have been a guard much brighter,
When in the new Jerusalem.

When Moses planted the rod of Aaron,
And in one night that rod did bud;
When Moses smote Egyptian water,
That very night it turned to blood.

(They then repeat the first verse)

Stewie's planting of "Aaron's rod" retains the rhyme more appropriately, of course.

Now, which of you whiz-kids who can contribute music to these threads has a copy of the New World album or of our Sharon Mountain Harmony and can add the tune here? Our cassette of Sharon Mountain Harmony may be found among the cassettes on our web site. It has not yet been re-issued as a CD (sigh!).

Sandy


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: True Born Sons of Levi
From: Abby Sale
Date: 09 May 01 - 09:35 AM

Bellamy, as Young Trad. sings it as "Bright Morning Star" on Wake the Vaulted Echoes but they learned it in Washington, DC. I seem to have misplaced my Ord so I can't post the rest of the Scottish hymn. (I still think the Knights were arrogant sons of bitches.)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: True Born Sons of Levi
From: Abby Sale
Date: 09 May 01 - 10:19 AM

Hmmm. Try O MORNING STAR, HOW FAIR AND BRIGHT. (with tune) It cites: I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star Revelation 22:16 as its source.

The implication from the Knights' first verse "We are..." rather than "I am" reom Revelations, implies strongly to me that they've not only replaces the Jews as the Chosen ones, but have also replaces Jesus. Worse than I thought.

The phrase "The bright and Morning Star" seems to be used in many hymns but always in praise of Jesus, not of the singer-Knights.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: True Born Sons of Levi
From: GUEST,Neil Comer
Date: 13 May 01 - 05:02 PM

This is regularly sung in Orange Lodges (I have on good authority) and it has the same tune as 'The Spanish Lady.'


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: True Born Sons of Levi
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 13 May 01 - 05:33 PM

There's curious. I acquired a book today with this very song in it, and couldn't work out where I'd seen it before, but want to learn it.... isn't life strange!

LTS


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: True Born Sons of Levi
From: manitas_at_work
Date: 14 May 01 - 07:33 AM

That's because Mike Mullen gave me the words a few years back, no doubt from that very book you have now. And Mike did say that it was an Orange Lodge hymn.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: True Born Sons of Levi
From: Joe Offer
Date: 15 May 01 - 03:40 AM

What's the book you have, Liz? Does it give any background information on the song? a tune?
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: True Born Sons of Levi
From: GUEST,robcrutchfield@yahoo.com
Date: 22 Apr 02 - 10:47 PM

I'm posting to a long-dormant thread because the following might be interesting to somebody sometime.

The song (in some versions) seems to refer to "Knights of Molite" (rather than "of Malta"). I have never heard of any "Knights of Molite" but there have been "Knights of Molay", that is, the Templars under their last Grand Master, Jaques de Molay.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: True Born Sons of Levi
From: GUEST,robcrutchfield@yahoo.com
Date: 23 Apr 02 - 07:56 AM

Forgot to mention that I'm still researching this song and would be very glad to compare notes.

I know that "We Are the True-Born Sons of Levi" was the title of a hymn familiar to Southern African-American Methodists in the late 19th Century, but I haven't yet tracked it down...


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: True Born Sons of Levi
From: DMcG
Date: 23 Apr 02 - 11:45 AM

I have a recording of it by "The Valley Folk" circa 1975, but there are no relevant sleeve notes. The words are much more general that those above, so it sounds more like a hymn (as do the rest of the tracks on the tape).

If yet another set of words would help anyone, let me know and I'll transcribe them.


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE SONS OF LEVI
From: GUEST,MCP, Lyric Add
Date: 23 Apr 02 - 12:00 PM

Here are two versions from the oral tradition - one collected by Sharp, one by Greig. (I'll put the tunes up later when I have time).

The notes in Sharp (ed Karpeles) say "Published in Carols, No.16. A text of the carol is printed on a broadside by T. Nicholson of Belfast. This, like the version given here, has some unintelligible passages. The Irish broadside is a Masonic song.
    The first stanza is as follows:
Come all you Craftsmen that do wish
To propagate the grand design,
Come, enter into our high temple
And learn the art that is divine.

The carol used to be sung annually at Christmas by a party of Male singers. Cecil Sharp doubts whether it can be regarded as a folk song"


Mick


THE SONS OF LEVI
(Sharp from James Beale, Warehorn, Kent 1908)

Come all you knights, you knights of honour
When the wars they first began,
That you might shine in your armour bright
All in the new Jerusalem.
For we are the true-born sons of Levi,
Very few they can compare,
For we are the root and the branch of David
By the light and glorious star, for we are.

It was in Gilgarlich Moses wandering
Playing on his musical horn,
It was in Gilgarlich Moses was quartered
There he left on a rolling mark.

It was in the wilderness Moses wandering
Near unto the place as good
Where the Christians smote the Egyptians
Turning the waters into blood.

Broad is the place that leads to ruin,
Many walk that way therein
That will take them to that simple [sinful?] temple
That burdened with sin.

Narrow is the path that leads to Heaven,
Very few that walks therein,
That will take them to that holy temple,
That very place that is free from sin.



THE SONS OF LEVI
(Greig-Duncan from F.R. Brown)

Come all ye knights of Malta, come forth
In glittering armour shine
Assist your good and worthy Prince
To protect the ark divine.
For we are true-born sons of Levi
Few on Earth to us compare
We wear the black and scarlet garter
On our left breast a blazing star.

With trembling steps I slow advanced
Sometimes I knocked both loud and shrill
Until a knight in armour bright
Demanded me what was my will
For we are true-born sons of Levi
Few on Earth to us compare
We wear the black and scarlet garter
On our left breast a blazing star.

After some questions being asked
To which I answered with some fear
They told me neither Turk nor heathen
Could by any means enter here.
For we are true-born sons of Levi
Few on Earth to us compare
We wear the black and scarlet garter
On our left breast a blazing star.

With a cross and star placed on my breast
And justice girded my loins all around
Always remember the twelve stones
On Jordan's banks are to be found.
For we are true-born sons of Levi
Few on Earth to us compare
We are the root and branch of David
That bright and glorious morning star.

Noah planted the first garden
Moses planted the first rod
He smote the waters for the Egyptians
And turned the Jordan into blood.
For we are true-born sons of Levi
Few on Earth to us compare
We wear the black and scarlet garter
On our left breast a blazing star.

As Joshua and I passed over Jordan
These twelve stones we bore along
It was the twelve priests and our Grand Master
That moved the ark of God along.
For we are true-born sons of Levi
Few on Earth to us compare
We are the root and branch of David
That bright and glorious morning star.

Come all you brethren and join with me
And bear the cross as I have done
Come enter into this bright temple
Fitted near Jerusalem.
For we are true-born sons of Levi
Few on Earth to us compare
We wear the black and scarlet garter
On our left breast a blazing star.

There are seven trumpets of ram's horn
Sounded loud before the ark
Gilgal is our resting quarter
And there we left our holy mark.
For we are true-born sons of Levi
Few on Earth to us compare
We are the root and branch of David
That bright and glorious morning star.




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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: True Born Sons of Levi
From: GUEST,MCP
Date: 23 Apr 02 - 12:14 PM

Forgot to add Greig notes include "...The tune of the song is "The Mason's Word - Keep Your Mouth Shut". Greig's comment indicates that F.R. Brown knew of, but could not remember, a stanza before the stanza 1 given here. In the Poet's Box version, the "knights of Malta" stanza is the second and the first has the following wording:
    Come all ye craftsmen that do wish
To propagate the grand design,
Come enter into this bright temple
And learn the craft sublime;
For we are the true born sons of Levi,
Few on earth to us compare,
We are the root and branch of David,
That bright adn glorious morning star"

There is also a copy in The Bodleian published by W.Armstrong of Liverpool between 1820 and 1824: The Sons of Levi

Mick


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: True Born Sons of Levi
From: DMcG
Date: 23 Apr 02 - 02:53 PM

Thanks MCP, it is the James Beale version that The Valley Folk sing. That saves me typing the words up!


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Subject: Tune Add: THE SONS OF LEVI
From: GUEST,MCP, Tune Add
Date: 23 Apr 02 - 03:08 PM

Here's the tune for that version. I don't appear to have the tune for the Greig one (it's in a different collection).

Mick


THE SONS OF LEVI

Come/ all you knights, you/ knights of hon-our/
When the wars they/ first be-gan,
That/ you might shine in your/ armour bright
All/ in the new Je-/ru-sa-lem.
For we/ are the true born/ sons of Le-vi,
Ve- ry few they/ can com-pare,
For we/ are the root and the/ branch of Da-vid/
By the light and/ glo-rious star, for we/ are.


X: 1
T:Sons Of Levi
M:4/4
L:1/8
S:Sharp
K:G
D2|G3 D (EF) G2|c2 B2 A2 G2|
c2 B2 A2 G2| (GA) (ce) d2
(3Bcd|e2 d2 c2 B> A|G2 E2 (FG)
A2|d3 A B2 (GF)|E2 F2 G2
D> D|G3 D (EF) G2|c2 B2 A2 G2|
c2 B2 A2 G2| (AB) (ce) d2
(3(Bc)d|e2 d2 c2 B> A|G2 E2 (FG) A2|
d3 A B2 (GF)|E2 D2 (DE) D> D|G6||


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: True Born Sons of Levi
From: GUEST,Par Henson
Date: 08 Dec 15 - 11:01 PM

Just heard Alabama sing this song and it was wonderful!


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