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May Song

GUEST,nancy 28 Mar 01 - 04:09 AM
Wolfgang 28 Mar 01 - 08:51 AM
LR Mole 28 Mar 01 - 10:05 AM
GUEST,nancy 28 Mar 01 - 01:26 PM
Wolfgang 28 Mar 01 - 01:36 PM
Malcolm Douglas 28 Mar 01 - 02:36 PM
Malcolm Douglas 28 Mar 01 - 02:40 PM
GUEST,Nancy 28 Mar 01 - 03:33 PM
Malcolm Douglas 28 Mar 01 - 03:36 PM
GUEST,Nancy 28 Mar 01 - 03:38 PM
GUEST,JohnB 29 Mar 01 - 12:40 PM
GUEST,Bruce O. 29 Mar 01 - 01:14 PM
GUEST,Bruce O. 29 Mar 01 - 02:30 PM
GUEST,Nancy 29 Mar 01 - 03:34 PM
Snuffy 29 Mar 01 - 03:59 PM
gnu 29 Mar 01 - 04:17 PM
GUEST,Bruce O. 29 Mar 01 - 04:45 PM
kytrad (Jean Ritchie) 29 Mar 01 - 07:32 PM
roopoo 30 Mar 01 - 01:51 AM
GUEST,Bruce O. 30 Mar 01 - 02:05 AM
GUEST,nancy 30 Mar 01 - 05:17 AM
GUEST,Bruce O. 30 Mar 01 - 03:13 PM
raredance 30 Mar 01 - 10:02 PM
GUEST,nancy 31 Mar 01 - 01:48 AM
GUEST,Bruce O. 31 Mar 01 - 11:21 PM
Malcolm Douglas 06 Apr 01 - 11:41 PM
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Subject: May Song
From: GUEST,nancy
Date: 28 Mar 01 - 04:09 AM

The great lines thread made me think of a song I've been trying to find for years, the last verse of which is

The life of man is but a span, it flourish like the flower He's here today, has not long to stay, and is gone in an hour.

It's in a drone-y sort of myxolidian mode...would love to have words and guitar chords if anybody knows it. Thanks very much...

nancy


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Subject: RE: May Song
From: Wolfgang
Date: 28 Mar 01 - 08:51 AM

MAY SONG

as sung by Martin Carthy on Because It's There.

We have been rambling all of the night
the best part of this day
and we are returning here back again
and we've brought you a garland gay

A bunch of may we bear about
before the door it stands
It is but a sprout and it's unbudded out
and it's the work of God's own men

Oh wake up you wake up pretty maid
to take the may bush in
for it will be gone and tomorrow morn
and you will have none within

The heavenly gates are open wide
to let escape the dew
it makes no delay it is here today
and it falls on me and you

For the life of a man is but a span
he's cut down like the flower
he makes no delay he is here today
and he's vanished all in an hour

And when you are dead and you're in your grave
you're covered in the cold cold clay
the worms they will eat your flesh good man
and your bones they will waste away

My song is done and I must be gone
I can no longer stay
God bless us both great and small
and wish us a gladsome May

copied from Garry Gillard's Watersons/Carthy pages by

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: May Song
From: LR Mole
Date: 28 Mar 01 - 10:05 AM

April, Come She Will


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Subject: RE: May Song
From: GUEST,nancy
Date: 28 Mar 01 - 01:26 PM

Hi Wolfgang...

thanks so much for this full text....all the verses sound familiar to me but the first...I heard it years ago sung by Cynthia Gooding....for a may song it is surprisingly mournful! You wouldn't happen to know what key? Pushy, asking, I know....Thx again....nancy


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Subject: RE: May Song
From: Wolfgang
Date: 28 Mar 01 - 01:36 PM

We are used here to questions (and have many ourselves), Nancy, no need to worry. Sorry, but I can't help you with the key.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: May Song
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 28 Mar 01 - 02:36 PM


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Subject: RE: May Song
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 28 Mar 01 - 02:40 PM

Whoops.  I was going to say that Martin Carthy actually learned this one from a Cynthia Gooding record; does anybody know offhand where she got this particular set?  There have been a lot of traditional versions found in England over the years, some of which have been posted here in the past (Swinton May Songs, for example).

Malcolm


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Subject: RE: May Song
From: GUEST,Nancy
Date: 28 Mar 01 - 03:33 PM

Just got through searching 20-some pages of Google but could not find anything pertaining to recent re-releases of Gooding's....does anybody know if any of her albums ever made it onto CD? I have a vague recollection that she made an album in the early 50's wi/Brit. folk songs on one side and Songs of the Auvergne on the other....I have recordings of the latter, but remember her's as superior (altho shorter).

Also, by my reckoning Gooding must be about 76, if she is still alive....does anybody know anything about her in recent times?

Nancy


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Subject: RE: May Song
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 28 Mar 01 - 03:36 PM

I found a limited discography:

Faithful Lovers and Other Phenomena
Languages of Love
Mexican Folk Songs
Queen of Hearts
The Best of Cynthia Gooding
Early English Folk Songs

Mostly on Elektra, I think; none reissued so far as I can tell.

Malcolm


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Subject: RE: May Song
From: GUEST,Nancy
Date: 28 Mar 01 - 03:38 PM

Thanks Malcolm....and sorry about the multiple posts (have you GOT it yet????)...don't know what happened...I got an error msg so posted again....hmmmmmm

nancy


I deleted the duplicates. Often when you get the error message, your post still has gone through. You can refresh the thread to make sure. --JoeClone


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Subject: RE: May Song
From: GUEST,JohnB
Date: 29 Mar 01 - 12:40 PM

The words above are pretty much the same as what I know as the "Bedford May Carol" at least for the first threee verses. My fourth verse goes Arise arise my fair pretty maid out of your dozy dream and go down to your dairy house and fetch us a dish of cream If not a dish of your fresh cream a jug of your brown beer and if we return for to tarry in your town we'll call on you next year. The final verse is then similar. It could be that the miserable verses came from a different song. I don't know what the tune is like for the Martin Carthy version as I have never heard it. JohnB


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Subject: RE: May Song
From: GUEST,Bruce O.
Date: 29 Mar 01 - 01:14 PM

Probably inspired by Shakespeare, or Tichbourne's Elegie. For similar ones of the 17th century see ZN220, ZN271 in the broadside ballad index at www.erols.com/olsonw


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Subject: RE: May Song
From: GUEST,Bruce O.
Date: 29 Mar 01 - 02:30 PM

[Made by Chidiock Tichborne the night before he was executed, 1586. These lines and others of his poem pop up often in songs of the following centuries. For the rest, see Scarce Songs 2 on my website.]

The glass is full, and yet my glass is run;
And now I live, and now my life is done!


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Subject: RE: May Song
From: GUEST,Nancy
Date: 29 Mar 01 - 03:34 PM

"Arise arise my fair pretty maid out of your dozy dream" What a great line....I'll include those verses whether or NOT they belong.... The tune is quite liturgical...works best in the Dorian mode on a dulcimer but as I play completely by ear I can't transpose to the guitar....a sort of Em, D, Am chord set is the best I can come up with...I have some recollection that this might have come from the Oxford book of carols...despite its vernal setting... Thanks for the verses....nancy


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Subject: RE: May Song
From: Snuffy
Date: 29 Mar 01 - 03:59 PM

Carols aren't just for Christmas - Good King Wenceslas was set to the tune of the much older Flower Carol, which was a vernal carol.


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Subject: RE: May Song
From: gnu
Date: 29 Mar 01 - 04:17 PM

My brother, a song writer of not, composed a short ode to May as follows....

Hooray, hooray; It's the first of May; Outside ****ing begins today.

Not sure of the key because he can't sing, either.

gnu


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Subject: RE: May Song
From: GUEST,Bruce O.
Date: 29 Mar 01 - 04:45 PM

See "the Birds Noats on May Day last" on my website. The birds told what they saw young lovers do.


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Subject: RE: May Song
From: kytrad (Jean Ritchie)
Date: 29 Mar 01 - 07:32 PM

Cynthia Gooding has been dead for many years- ten or so, alas. She was a good friend and a lovely person, but I did not know she had ever recorded the May Day Carol. Jean


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Subject: RE: May Song
From: roopoo
Date: 30 Mar 01 - 01:51 AM

I have a version called "The Moon Shines Bright" on a Ramsbottom album with the following notes:

"Collected in Sussex by Lucy F. Broadwood from the Gypsy family Groby. This is one of numerous versions of the carol, sung with suitable adaptations at Christmas or Easter. We use it at the end of our Father Christmas guising play."

I can't do the HTML thing cos I am thick, so here are the words:

O the moon shines bright and the stars give a light/ O a little before the day/ Our Lord, our God, He calls upon us all/ and bids us awake and pray.

Awake, awake, good people all/ and listen, and you shall hear/ Our blessed Saviour died upon the cross/ saying Christ loved us so dear.

So dear, so dear Christ loveth us/ that for our sins was slain/ We'll all leave off our wicked, wicked ways/ and turn to the Lord again. O the life of a man it is but a span/ he flourishes like a flower./ He is here today, then tomorrow he is gone/ and he's dead all in an hour.

O teach tour children well, good man/ as long as ere you may/ for it might be better for your sweet soul/ when your body lies under the clay.

There's a green turf at your head, good man/ and another at your feet./ God bless you all, both great and small/ and I hope you a happy New Year.

This is, in fact another version of the Bellman's song which is to be found in the Oxford Book of Carols, along with the tune the above version is sung to. (Collected by Lucy Broadwood in 1894). There are 2 other tunes also given.

Andrea


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Subject: RE: May Song
From: GUEST,Bruce O.
Date: 30 Mar 01 - 02:05 AM

For another traditional version of the Bellman's song see ZN360 in the broadside ballad index on my website. Listed there also are versions from the early 17th century.


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Subject: RE: May Song
From: GUEST,nancy
Date: 30 Mar 01 - 05:17 AM

Dear Jean...

thanks for the information about Cynthia Gooding...very sorry to hear she is no longer with us. The May Day Carol was on her Queen of Hearts album, as i recall and her voice was perfect for it.

nancy


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Subject: RE: May Song
From: GUEST,Bruce O.
Date: 30 Mar 01 - 03:13 PM

Carthy's version above appears to be a selection of verses (with some tinkering) of "May-Day Carol" (Essex), collected by J. A. Fuller-Maitland and "The Moon shines Bright" (Hertfordshire), collected by Lucy Broadwood, both published in their joint book, 'English County Songs', 1893.

See also ZN935| for another 'Bell-man' song in the broadside ballad index on my website.


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Subject: RE: May Song
From: raredance
Date: 30 Mar 01 - 10:02 PM

This version of "The Moon Shines Bright" was collected in 1910 by Cecil Sharp. For those interested "English Traditional Songs and Carols" by Lucy Broadwood (1908)was reprinted by EP Publishing in 1974. The reprint may be easier to find. It contains "The Moon Shines Bright" with a piano score by Ms Broadwood.

The moon shines bright and the stars give light
A little before it was day.
What ur Lord god has suffered on the cross
For us whom he loved so dear.

The life of a man it si but a span,
It's like a morning flower;
We're here today, tomorrow we're gone,
We're dead all in one hour.

O teach them well your children, dear man,
While you have got them here.
It will be better for your soul, dear man,
When your corpse lays on the bier

Today you may be living, dear man,
With many a thousand pound;
Tomorrow you may be dead, dear man,
And your corpse lay under the ground

With the green turf at you head, dear man,
And another at your feet,
Your good deeds and your bad, dear man,
Will all together meet.

My song is done and I must be gone,
No longer can I stay here.
God bless you all, both great and small
And send you a happy new year.

rich r


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Subject: RE: May Song
From: GUEST,nancy
Date: 31 Mar 01 - 01:48 AM

To mouldy and rich r

Thanks for these verses...I must say the doleful melody I know fits with these words better than the version I first heard....

I like the less religious verses better but actually it was the tune (always a sucker for a minor key!) that really got me...

Nancy


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Subject: RE: May Song
From: GUEST,Bruce O.
Date: 31 Mar 01 - 11:21 PM

The tune for the broadside "Bellman" text was "O man in desperation", which was popular from 1585 to nearly 1600. See "Jerusalem, my happie home", 1587, in the Scarce Songs 1 file on my website for that song and some possible tunes for it. There's nothing to suggest that 19th and 20th century tunes for it are of any great antiquity. [Extracts of it are still in some current hymnals]


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Subject: RE: May Song
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 06 Apr 01 - 11:41 PM

I've made midis of the two sourced versions given in this thread:

(1)  The Moon Shines Bright  Noted by Lucy Broadwood from the Goby family of Sussex/Surrey.

(1)  The Moon Shines Bright  Noted by Cecil Sharp from Mrs. Prudence Handy of Ilmington, Warwickshire, in 1910.  You'll notice that this tune is very close to the one recorded by Martin Carthy, as he remembered it from Cynthia Gooding's recording; allowing for normal changes consequent on that kind of transmission, this could very well be the source of both.

Both midis will go to the  Mudcat Midi Pages:  until they appear there, the midis may be heard via the  South Riding Folk Network  website.


Malcolm


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