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Origins: The World is Old (Laurence Housman)

kytrad (Jean Ritchie) 29 Mar 01 - 07:43 PM
Amos 29 Mar 01 - 08:00 PM
catspaw49 29 Mar 01 - 08:17 PM
Sorcha 29 Mar 01 - 08:29 PM
catspaw49 29 Mar 01 - 08:39 PM
Amos 29 Mar 01 - 10:04 PM
kytrad (Jean Ritchie) 30 Mar 01 - 02:06 PM
catspaw49 30 Mar 01 - 03:03 PM
Amos 30 Mar 01 - 03:04 PM
Noreen 30 Mar 01 - 05:36 PM
kytrad (Jean Ritchie) 30 Mar 01 - 06:30 PM
mousethief 30 Mar 01 - 06:47 PM
Stewie 30 Mar 01 - 07:48 PM
catspaw49 30 Mar 01 - 07:49 PM
catspaw49 30 Mar 01 - 07:51 PM
Rick Fielding 30 Mar 01 - 07:52 PM
Amos 30 Mar 01 - 08:02 PM
catspaw49 30 Mar 01 - 08:14 PM
McGrath of Harlow 30 Mar 01 - 08:17 PM
Noreen 30 Mar 01 - 08:43 PM
Mary in Kentucky 30 Mar 01 - 09:29 PM
wysiwyg 30 Mar 01 - 10:05 PM
Joe Offer 30 Mar 01 - 11:27 PM
Giac 31 Mar 01 - 08:23 AM
Amos 31 Mar 01 - 01:02 PM
catspaw49 31 Mar 01 - 01:10 PM
McGrath of Harlow 31 Mar 01 - 01:47 PM
kytrad (Jean Ritchie) 31 Mar 01 - 02:30 PM
Big Mick 31 Mar 01 - 02:55 PM
GUEST,Bruce O. 31 Mar 01 - 03:13 PM
kytrad (Jean Ritchie) 01 Apr 01 - 04:55 PM
Sorcha 01 Apr 01 - 05:07 PM
GUEST,Bruce O. 01 Apr 01 - 05:33 PM
Greyeyes 01 Apr 01 - 05:53 PM
Sandy Paton 01 Apr 01 - 11:33 PM
Hollowfox 02 Apr 01 - 02:23 PM
catspaw49 02 Apr 01 - 02:43 PM
kytrad (Jean Ritchie) 02 Apr 01 - 06:02 PM
GUEST,Roll&Go-C 02 Apr 01 - 08:31 PM
Stewie 02 Apr 01 - 10:15 PM
GUEST,Roll&Go-C 03 Apr 01 - 09:08 AM
kytrad (Jean Ritchie) 03 Apr 01 - 03:54 PM
GUEST 03 Apr 01 - 05:44 PM
GUEST,Roll&Go-C 04 Apr 01 - 09:35 AM
IanC 04 Apr 01 - 11:26 AM
GUEST 04 Apr 01 - 02:03 PM
Amos 04 Apr 01 - 04:26 PM
McGrath of Harlow 04 Apr 01 - 04:48 PM
Mary in Kentucky 04 Apr 01 - 10:52 PM
Mary in Kentucky 05 Apr 01 - 02:03 PM
GUEST,Lanfranc sans cookie 05 Apr 01 - 08:27 PM
catspaw49 05 Apr 01 - 09:10 PM
Noreen 05 Apr 01 - 09:53 PM
IanC 06 Apr 01 - 06:00 AM
kytrad (Jean Ritchie) 06 Apr 01 - 07:05 PM
Mary in Kentucky 06 Apr 01 - 10:48 PM
rangeroger 08 Apr 01 - 12:24 AM
GUEST 15 Apr 01 - 06:33 PM
kytrad (Jean Ritchie) 16 Apr 01 - 07:05 PM
GUEST,Bruce O. 18 Apr 01 - 03:19 PM
MMario 19 Apr 01 - 12:59 PM
GUEST,Bruce O. 19 Apr 01 - 01:30 PM
Mary in Kentucky 19 Apr 01 - 01:55 PM
kytrad (Jean Ritchie) 19 Apr 01 - 07:27 PM
Mary in Kentucky 19 Apr 01 - 07:53 PM
kytrad (Jean Ritchie) 20 Apr 01 - 01:46 PM
kytrad (Jean Ritchie) 24 Apr 01 - 05:48 PM
Mary in Kentucky 24 Apr 01 - 05:55 PM
Sorcha 24 Apr 01 - 05:58 PM
Amos 24 Apr 01 - 09:51 PM
MMario 25 Apr 01 - 08:32 AM
kytrad (Jean Ritchie) 25 Apr 01 - 02:30 PM
MMario 25 Apr 01 - 02:41 PM
Hollowfox 25 Apr 01 - 02:44 PM
Greyeyes 25 Apr 01 - 04:53 PM
Greyeyes 25 Apr 01 - 04:55 PM
AllisonA(Animaterra) 25 Apr 01 - 05:04 PM
kytrad (Jean Ritchie) 25 Apr 01 - 06:37 PM
Mary in Kentucky 25 Apr 01 - 07:10 PM
McGrath of Harlow 25 Apr 01 - 07:27 PM
McGrath of Harlow 25 Apr 01 - 07:37 PM
Stewie 25 Apr 01 - 08:19 PM
Charley Noble 25 Apr 01 - 08:30 PM
catspaw49 25 Apr 01 - 08:35 PM
Noreen 25 Apr 01 - 09:08 PM
Night Owl 25 Apr 01 - 11:59 PM
IanC 26 Apr 01 - 05:33 AM
GUEST,Greyeyes at work 26 Apr 01 - 08:45 AM
GUEST,Greyeyes 26 Apr 01 - 08:56 AM
kytrad (Jean Ritchie) 26 Apr 01 - 02:42 PM
Hollowfox 26 Apr 01 - 05:21 PM
Greyeyes 26 Apr 01 - 06:00 PM
Greyeyes 26 Apr 01 - 06:03 PM
Sorcha 26 Apr 01 - 06:15 PM
Malcolm Douglas 26 Apr 01 - 08:46 PM
MMario 26 Apr 01 - 11:21 PM
GUEST,Greyeyes 27 Apr 01 - 05:46 AM
katlaughing 27 Apr 01 - 03:13 PM
McGrath of Harlow 27 Apr 01 - 09:15 PM
catspaw49 27 Apr 01 - 09:23 PM
Greyeyes 28 Apr 01 - 08:16 AM
kytrad (Jean Ritchie) 28 Apr 01 - 01:35 PM
Joe Offer 28 Apr 01 - 04:21 PM
kytrad (Jean Ritchie) 29 Apr 01 - 02:28 PM
GUEST 29 Apr 01 - 03:07 PM
Noreen 29 Apr 01 - 05:50 PM
Greyeyes 29 Apr 01 - 05:53 PM
Greyeyes 29 Apr 01 - 05:56 PM
Noreen 29 Apr 01 - 06:06 PM
Greyeyes 29 Apr 01 - 06:15 PM
McGrath of Harlow 30 Apr 01 - 07:48 AM
kytrad (Jean Ritchie) 30 Apr 01 - 04:42 PM
Burke 01 May 01 - 05:37 PM
GUEST,Sarah 24 Jan 11 - 11:07 PM
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Subject: The World is Old- request info
From: kytrad (Jean Ritchie)
Date: 29 Mar 01 - 07:43 PM

Just realized this might be the best place to find information I have been searching for, for at least forty years...seems no one has ever heard of it. It has two verses; the first:
The world is old tonight, the world is old
The stars around the fold do show their light,
do show their light;
And so they did, and so, a thousand years ago,
And so will do, good lads, when we lie cold.

ANY help would be greatly appreciated! Jean

Line Breaks <br> repaired (two ended with a parenthesis).
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: The World is Old- request info
From: Amos
Date: 29 Mar 01 - 08:00 PM

Jean Ritchie sang it on her "Kentucky Christmas Old And New" disk on the Greenhays label. But I do not find the words anywhere out there. Hope this helps.

235.World Is Old Tonight, Kentucky Christmas, Old and New, Greenhays GR 717 (1987), cut # 2

A


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Subject: RE: The World is Old- request info
From: catspaw49
Date: 29 Mar 01 - 08:17 PM

Hi Jean.........Are you looking for background/history type info or what? I doubt you are looking for the words!!!(:<))

BTW, line breaks are done here by placing one of these < and then a br then one of these > .....See the FAQ Teal thread for an example of all the html stuff that gets used or needed here. Here's your first verse re-done...I think.........

The world is old tonight, the world is old
The stars around the fold do show their light,
Do show their light;
And so they did, and so, a thousand years ago,
And so will do, good lads, when we lie cold.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: The World is Old- request info
From: Sorcha
Date: 29 Mar 01 - 08:29 PM

(pssst, hey Amos....kytrad is Jean Ritchie)


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Subject: RE: The World is Old- request info
From: catspaw49
Date: 29 Mar 01 - 08:39 PM

LOL....I already sent him a PM Sorch.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: The World is Old- request info
From: Amos
Date: 29 Mar 01 - 10:04 PM

I shoulda posted to the foot-in-mouth thread! Boy, and here I was fgeeling like one of Spaw's smart fellers!

Sorry for pointing out the obvious, Jean. On the other hand, you don't know who I really am either! :>)

Regards,

A


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Subject: RE: The World is Old- request info
From: kytrad (Jean Ritchie)
Date: 30 Mar 01 - 02:06 PM

No, Amos, I don't...do you have a friend named Andy?

And thanks, Spaw, for the reprints and the advice- but I'd SWEAR that I did the <> brackets right. I think the FORUM is out to embarrass me!

Re the song: Here's the story. Way back in the 1930s, one of my sisters wrote and directed a Christmas play at the Hindman Settlement School, and included this "Shepherds' Song." She has passed on now and no other soul in the world, it seems, can find where she got the song. Maybe she wrote it herself! But somehow I don't think so- it MUST have a source. I think it's very beautiful and it certainly SOUNDS ancient... Jean


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Subject: RE: The World is Old- request info
From: catspaw49
Date: 30 Mar 01 - 03:03 PM

Well now this is really a quest then isn't it? Here we have a song that the only known recording seems to be by the person asking the question about any possible history! Now that's unique!!! Okay, so the best way I can help is to get this thread to the attention of afew of our "real scholars" and see if they have anything that's somewhat similar and might be either the song itself or the basis for it. I'll look around, but if we can get Bruce O. and Stewie and some others in on this there's a LOT better chance of success.

Sounds like fun........Thanks Jean, and BTW, I'm the Andy half of Amos.....or at least we have some exchanges between us that sound like one of their routines.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: The World is Old- request info
From: Amos
Date: 30 Mar 01 - 03:04 PM

Jean, luv,

No friends named Andy that I own up to! :>) It's more of a New England thing, I reckon. And for the current context, let me just add, I count myself an admirer of yours!

Regards,

A


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Subject: RE: The World is Old- request info
From: Noreen
Date: 30 Mar 01 - 05:36 PM

This is a puzzler- never heard the song, I'm sorry, but I wish you luck in your search, Jean.

Noreen


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Subject: RE: The World is Old- request info
From: kytrad (Jean Ritchie)
Date: 30 Mar 01 - 06:30 PM

Here's the second verse, now that I've got my brackets working- Ahem!

The world is still tonight, the world is still
The snow on vale and hill like wool lies white, like wool lies white,
And so it did, and so, a thousand years ago,
And so will do, my love, when we like will.

I wish I knew how to get the tune online for you, but I don't as yet. Maybe my son can do it (always call on the kids if you need help!)... or Amos, if you have the Ky Christmas CD and you know all about these things...???

Jean


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Subject: RE: The World is Old- request info
From: mousethief
Date: 30 Mar 01 - 06:47 PM

Ms. Ritchie, is it possible your sister wrote it?

(just a stab in the dark here...)

Alex


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Subject: RE: The World is Old- request info
From: Stewie
Date: 30 Mar 01 - 07:48 PM

Hi Jean, it is great to have you here. The lyrics are lovely, particularly the first verse, but I have never come across it. I agree with Amos that, at least on the surface, it looks to be of New England or British origin. Where is Sandy? I reckon he'd be the person most likely to be of help. The first verse is reminiscent of A.E. Houseman's style. Perhaps it is a poem set to music but, on the printed page at least, the final line of the second stanza reads a little awkwardly to me.

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: The World is Old- request info
From: catspaw49
Date: 30 Mar 01 - 07:49 PM

Well.......I wrote to some and I also started a thread in the hopes of snaring some others.

Jean......Check in at SONG SCHOLARS-Unique Challenge-Need Help also as some are posting some responses there. McGrath for instance, just commented on it having a Stephen Foster feel to him. Anyway, check in there too and we'll keep trying.

I can't think of any similar request in the past and that makes this one unique....and a bit of fun too. Obviously, she could have written it "out of the air" but knowing your family history and the number of songs you all heard and sang, I can understand how you could think she drew all or part of it from somewhere else.

BTW....nosy jerk that I am......which sister?

Spaw

Link fixed, I think. Spaw, is this what you had in mind? -JoeClone 30-Mar-01.


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Subject: RE: The World is Old- request info
From: catspaw49
Date: 30 Mar 01 - 07:51 PM

Oooppssss........Forgot to close the link......Sorry.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: The World is Old- request info
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 30 Mar 01 - 07:52 PM

Hi Jean. You know our Mousethief-guy might just have it. I've checked out some resources (good day for it..'cause I've got a cold, and pouring over old books and the internet is definitely a better option than lying in bed begging Heather for orange juice!)

A friend of mine was trying to find a complete text of a song her Grandfather used to sing in Newfoundland, and we searched for months with absolutely no luck. Tried everything, from local songbooks, old Broadway-style sheetmusic, and everything that the internet could provide. Finally she was speaking to one of her Aunts (who'd been unaware of the search) "Oh, that ol' thing, he just used to make 'em up out of his head"! My friend was "Gobsmacked". 'Seems some songwriters hardly even KNEW they WERE songwriters.

Good luck

Rick


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Subject: RE: The World is Old- request info
From: Amos
Date: 30 Mar 01 - 08:02 PM

I am confident it is nowhere on the normal search engine trail. Tried 'em all. So its back into the annals of personal memory and many a volume of long-forgotten lore...


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Subject: RE: The World is Old- request info
From: catspaw49
Date: 30 Mar 01 - 08:14 PM

Yeah Amos...been there too. Tried all my favorite engines and a boatload of phrases and word groups......no joy.

Sorry about the cold Rick......Keep it up there wouldja'? I got enough problems. But I think you have a good point. Karen and I were talking tonight about a comment I made that cracked her up. She asked where that was from and I think it was original.....but I'm not sure. Maybe its a variant based on something else I can't recall (a category that's growing by volumes daily). I guess that's sorta' why Jean's question here hit me. We've had some threads on that idea too.

Anyway.......

Spaw


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Subject: RE: The World is Old- request info
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 30 Mar 01 - 08:17 PM

I've sent the words to Ian Russell, the driving force behind the Village Carols project, in the long-shot hope that he might recognise it, or suggest someone who might.


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Subject: RE: The World is Old- request info
From: Noreen
Date: 30 Mar 01 - 08:43 PM

I'm listening to Jean singing the song now on Real Player, on an archived radio programme Shrunken Planet Playlist for Dec 23, 2000. It does sound very old, and lovely... I think it's going to stay in my head...

Noreen


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Subject: RE: The World is Old- request info
From: Mary in Kentucky
Date: 30 Mar 01 - 09:29 PM

Thanks Noreen, it's at 1:25:43 on the clip, the RealPlayer slider is ~half-way across.

I'm "runnin' my traps" on this one, Jean...will know more after this weekend at the gathering in Lexington!


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Subject: RE: The World is Old- request info
From: wysiwyg
Date: 30 Mar 01 - 10:05 PM

I hope Burke takes a look. She knows a lot about the older stuff... have not heard the tune but could it be from the Sacred Harp tradition? If so Burke is likely to spot it. I just asked Hardiman-- he is steeped in old Anglican lore, and does not recognize it.

~S~


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Subject: RE: The World is Old- request info
From: Joe Offer
Date: 30 Mar 01 - 11:27 PM

I checked every resource I could think of, with no luck. I thought of the York Christmas Play or the Shepherds' Play, but that didn't pan out - couldn't find all the plays, so that's a vague possibility.
-All mention of the song points to none other than Jean Ritchie. It's a haunting tune - I really like it.
So, either it was written by Jean Ritchie, or it's "traditional" (I understand that means Sandy Paton wrote it).

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: The World is Old- request info
From: Giac
Date: 31 Mar 01 - 08:23 AM

refresh


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Subject: RE: The World is Old- request info
From: Amos
Date: 31 Mar 01 - 01:02 PM

That tune is unusually built -- it sounds like it was written in Chaucerian England or Medieval times -- almost like a Gregorian chant. It sounds as old as Greensleeves to me, and closely related, as such things go. No later than early Renaissance, is my guess. Jean, it is a beautiful performance.

That doesn't mean the song itself is that old, unless you take the "thousand years" literally, which I wouldn't. But it is indicative that if the song was composed in America it was by someone exposed to pretty pure legacy material from, oh, 1200-1600, say. Which could be many branches of Appalachian song, for example. I wonder if it could have been a Cornish tune?

A


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Subject: RE: The World is Old- request info
From: catspaw49
Date: 31 Mar 01 - 01:10 PM

I'm anxious to hear Jean get back on this one Amos since the possibility is similar to what I alluded to earlier. The roots of so many Appalchian songs are from that tradition and the Ritchie family's exposure to them make writing something in that style or creating a variant on a piece heard years before is a possibility.

I also heard back from Sandy Paton who is up to his proverbial ass in Alligators at the moment, but ran a copy of the words to share with Caroline too. Nothing ringing bells now, but..........

Spaw


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Subject: RE: The World is Old- request info
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 31 Mar 01 - 01:47 PM

Great radio archive there, and Jean Ritchie's song makes the hairs stand up on my neck. A trace of a sprig of thyme in the tune maybe.


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Subject: RE: The World is Old- request info
From: kytrad (Jean Ritchie)
Date: 31 Mar 01 - 02:30 PM

My heartfelt thanks to all of you for your research, suggestions and compliments... my own search has covered many, many years, so I knew it wouldn't be easy. Spaw- the sister was Pauline, twelfth in line from the top (I'm the end, # 14). No, I'm fairly certain she did not write it herself, nor did I. Stewie- Yes, I had thought it might be a poem set to music, but the lyric & melody seem almost "of a piece" to me; I can just see the shepherds sitting round a fire, and one of them saying these words, the tune kind of falling on them(the words) as he goes. And I love that second verse, especially, "and so will do, my love, when we like will" (like wool lie white). I think the word structure contributes to the fact (or the feeling) that it's a very old piece. McGrath of Harlowe- That's what made me remember the song; I was a very small child when I first heard Pauline sing it, then the whole family sang it, and "the hairs stood up on my neck," and the song moved in and never left me.

When we were recording "Kentucky Christmas-Old & New," I wanted to give a source for "The World is Old," and realized that I was the only one who knew it now!

So, everybody, thanks for trying- maybe some day.....Jean


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Subject: RE: The World is Old- request info
From: Big Mick
Date: 31 Mar 01 - 02:55 PM

That is an amazing cut!! I, like others here, was taken completely by the arrangement and performance. I then did the same, ............ all the search engines, and several emails to folks that might have a clue.....nothing. You are right, Spaw, this is a quest.

Mick


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Subject: RE: The World is Old- request info
From: GUEST,Bruce O.
Date: 31 Mar 01 - 03:13 PM

McGrath, if you sent it to Russell you might not recognize it when it comes back. He okayed for publication two MSS that I sent to FMJ, except he wanted it all rewritten (with a dopey reference to an inaccurate reprint). I gave up on FMJ (except for my review in the last issue- new editor of FMJ) and the manuscripts (Callino and Derry's Fair) are on my website.


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Subject: RE: The World is Old- request info
From: kytrad (Jean Ritchie)
Date: 01 Apr 01 - 04:55 PM

I don't know whether it'll be of any help in the search, but my sister Pauline Ritchie went to Wellesley College (on a scholarship for smart students from the KY hills), and the play in which she used the song was written & produced by her shortly after her graduation (I'll have to research the year, but it was around 1934 or '35), at the tiny school where she worked, The Hindman Settlement School in Kentucky. Jean


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Subject: RE: The World is Old- request info
From: Sorcha
Date: 01 Apr 01 - 05:07 PM

Well, Jean, at least you are not the only one who knows it NOW and we can all say we learned it from Jean R, the SOURCE!! LOL! One more song saved from Oblivion....


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Subject: RE: The World is Old- request info
From: GUEST,Bruce O.
Date: 01 Apr 01 - 05:33 PM

I'm beginning to think my guess on the 'Song Scholar' thread may be right. Date fit's nicely.


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Subject: RE: The World is Old- request info
From: Greyeyes
Date: 01 Apr 01 - 05:53 PM

I don't think this will help but further to Stewie's comment about Houseman, there is a definite ring of Keats about the words as well, particularly his "The Eve of St.Agnes":

St.Agnes' Eve - Ah bitter chill it was!
The owl, for all his feathers, was a-cold;
The hare limp'd trembling through the frozen grass,
And silent was the flock in woolly fold.

And they are gone: aye, ages long ago
These lovers fled away into the storm.


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Subject: RE: The World is Old- request info
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 01 Apr 01 - 11:33 PM

Sandy and Caroline also struck out, Jean. Sorry. I'm pretty much with the "old carol" group of theorists, though. I'll try to look some more when I escape all these alligators, but I doubt that I have any book on the shelves that you haven't already examined.

Sandy


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Subject: RE: The World is Old- request info
From: Hollowfox
Date: 02 Apr 01 - 02:23 PM

Jean, it's a long shot, but you might want to write to Wellesley College, perhaps to the head reference librarian. Pauline might have gotten it out of a collection of recitations, holiday verse, or something like that while she was at college. My library has quite a collection of such material that would fit the time requirement, so I've started looking through it as time allows. I've also tried various editions of Granger's Index to Poetry, assuming that "The world is old" is the first line.
You might want to try the many websites devoted to poetry; some of them are devoted to just such searches as this.
WYSIWYG (and others) - anything in your church library(s)?


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Subject: RE: The World is Old- request info
From: catspaw49
Date: 02 Apr 01 - 02:43 PM

Hey 'Fox.....Funny you should mention that as I took the poetry with Jean's time frame in mind & Bruce's ideas with me today to a unique library not far from me. They have, literally, VOLUMES of possibilities and I'm there every few weeks. Lots of period and older material that might fit the bill.

JEAN.....I bet you know the place since you have played there in the past. Its the Wagnall's Memorial in Lithopolis, funded by the Wagnall's fortune (Funk&Wagnalls) and they have an excellent collection of older material. I talked with a friend there and she will keep an eye out and I'll be back and and search a little more in a few weeks.

If nothing else, as Sorcha said, you have some interested folks with a song they now know and it will be one of those things that kinda' lurks in the back of the mind.....so don't give up. Might happen!!

Spaw


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Subject: RE: The World is Old- request info
From: kytrad (Jean Ritchie)
Date: 02 Apr 01 - 06:02 PM

Hey, I'm flabbergasted and thrilled at such dilligence and concern- my sincere thanks to all of you researchers... you know, it won't be a tragedy if we never find it, but it's been bothering my mind for so long! I think though that if it CAN be found, it will be through the efforts of this team.

A good idea about writing to Wellesley; maybe I'll do that, or any of you can, if you like. And- I was at Wagnalls' Memorial less than two years ago, and never did I dream that they had that kind of a library. Live & learn!


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Subject: RE: The World is Old- request info
From: GUEST,Roll&Go-C
Date: 02 Apr 01 - 08:31 PM

Here's a long shot. Once upon a time Jean was trying to remember where the line "We'll never pay rent for our mansion (in Heaven)" came from and a friend of mine in Michigan, Gunther Schmidt, tracked it down in RODEHEAVER'S GOSPEL SONGS by F.M. Lehman, 1914. Who knows, maybe this song's in there too!

Good luck in the hunt, Charlie from ME


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Subject: RE: The World is Old- request info
From: Stewie
Date: 02 Apr 01 - 10:15 PM

Charlie, a bit of thread creep - you'll find a wonderful essay about Homer Rodeheaver here (if you are interested):

Click

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: The World is Old- request info
From: GUEST,Roll&Go-C
Date: 03 Apr 01 - 09:08 AM

Well, Stewie, now those who want something more to rake through have got it! Amazing what you can turn up. I'd personally like to see the lyrics to his anti-alcohol song "De Brewer's Big Hosses"; I'm intrigued and may well creep onwards.


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Subject: RE: The World is Old- request info
From: kytrad (Jean Ritchie)
Date: 03 Apr 01 - 03:54 PM

Yes, Charlie, I know Mr Rodeheaver's work very well- being around Southern Baptists all my life, but you must admit that, "The World is Old..." is not quite his style nor sound! Never pay rent for our mansions- that line came into my head when a stranger asked me, via phone, if I knew any songs about how poor people (or mountain people?) felt about the Hereafter- did they think of it in material terms, etc. And I remembered we used to sing, while our missionary lady played the pump-organ, "There's No Disappointment in Heaven.," and the phoning person, who was writing an article or something, got very excited, loved the song. So, Charlie, YOU must be that person- or know who he/she is? Come on, confess.


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Subject: RE: The World is Old- request info
From: GUEST
Date: 03 Apr 01 - 05:44 PM

Searched through my poetry collection and several websites, but couldn't find it . don't know why I thought I recognised it, but I did. I'm in my sixties, so perhaps I've heard your version and it's lingered. I love your phrase 'the song moved in and never left me', it's exactly how I feel, certain songs just decide I should sing them, rather than the other way about, it seems.


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Subject: RE: The World is Old- request info
From: GUEST,Roll&Go-C
Date: 04 Apr 01 - 09:35 AM

Jean, I was just reviewing the lyrics of "There's No Disappointment in Heaven" the other day in my consideration of a feline parody entitled "No Hairballs in Heaven." Yes, I'm still Charlie and I wish you well on your search.


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Subject: RE: The World is Old- request info
From: IanC
Date: 04 Apr 01 - 11:26 AM

Jean

I've been looking carefully at this since you first posted. I've found nothing on the web but, looking at the style, if it were English I'd say it looks like Laurie Lee or, at a pinch, Thomas Hardy. Doesn't look mediaeval to me though it could be from a more modern style "mystery play" (of which there are one or two. I'll keep searching.

Cheers!br> Ian


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Subject: RE: The World is Old- request info
From: GUEST
Date: 04 Apr 01 - 02:03 PM

IanC; I agree with you - Hardy was the first source I looked at : do hope someone solves this


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Subject: RE: The World is Old- request info
From: Amos
Date: 04 Apr 01 - 04:26 PM

The lyrics could be Victorian (Hardy's era) but the tune is certainly older by far, IHO.

A


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Subject: RE: The World is Old- request info
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 04 Apr 01 - 04:48 PM

William Barnes might be another idea - since he wrote in Dorset dialect, if he did write it, the spelling he'd likely have used might fox the average search engine.


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Subject: RE: The World is Old- request info
From: Mary in Kentucky
Date: 04 Apr 01 - 10:52 PM

...still working...

Could it be an art song she learned while at Wellesley? Perhaps another language? Die Welt ist alt

I'm looking mostly in the Kentucky resources.

This is fun.


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Subject: RE: The World is Old- request info
From: Mary in Kentucky
Date: 05 Apr 01 - 02:03 PM

Just heard from a professor at UK (Go Big Blue!) who teaches Appalachian music, and he is unfamiliar with a mountain source for this one. He also doesn't know of any WPA records in KY but will keep an ear out. The Wellesley connection is looking more plausible. I still need to hear from some Kentucky historians.

Jean, when I mention the song to people, they say, "Oh yes, that's familiar, didn't Jean Ritchie sing that?" !!!!!


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Subject: RE: The World is Old- request info
From: GUEST,Lanfranc sans cookie
Date: 05 Apr 01 - 08:27 PM

Wow!

What a magical song - can't add much to the quest except an additional dose of curiosity at this point.

I've bookmarked the Shrunken Planet site for future reference.


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Subject: RE: The World is Old- request info
From: catspaw49
Date: 05 Apr 01 - 09:10 PM

Jean, when I mention the song to people, they say, "Oh yes, that's familiar, didn't Jean Ritchie sing that?" !!!!!

LOL Mary!!!! I think that's what makes this one so interesting!!!!

Spaw


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Subject: RE: The World is Old- request info
From: Noreen
Date: 05 Apr 01 - 09:53 PM

Lanfranc- good site, isn't it? I listened to the whole of the programme!


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Subject: RE: The World is Old- request info
From: IanC
Date: 06 Apr 01 - 06:00 AM

Trouble with this one is it strikes a chord with me, but not because Jean Ritchie sings it. I've been trying out British poets and got hits on A. E. Housman and Charles Kingsley, both of whom have written poems including "the world is old" as part of the main message. Neither of them is "it" though.

Still looking!
Ian


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Subject: RE: The World is Old- request info
From: kytrad (Jean Ritchie)
Date: 06 Apr 01 - 07:05 PM

Mary in Kentucky- Would that UK professor be my friend Ron Pen? He does know many things...I think that I had already quizzed him about this, though. I see him every June at the Hindman Settlement School's Family Folk Week.


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Subject: RE: The World is Old- request info
From: Mary in Kentucky
Date: 06 Apr 01 - 10:48 PM

Why yes, it is in fact Ron! He is not familiar with any Appalachian source. I spoke with one historian today, and she mentioned the library archives in Frankfort which may have some documentation of ballads. She felt more strongly though that Wellesley should be contacted. Perhaps they have program lists, etc. in the music department there.


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Subject: RE: The World is Old- request info
From: rangeroger
Date: 08 Apr 01 - 12:24 AM

Refresh.

Didn't want to see it fall off the bottom.

rr


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Subject: RE: The World is Old- request info
From: GUEST
Date: 15 Apr 01 - 06:33 PM

Refresh


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Subject: RE: The World is Old- request info
From: kytrad (Jean Ritchie)
Date: 16 Apr 01 - 07:05 PM

Thanks, Rangeroger and other refreshers- I feel I owe it to you to take some action, so today I wrote to the Wellesley Music Library (hope there is such a thing) and inquired about the elusive song. Gave them my email address & phone. So. Now we wait to see when/if comes an answer! I looked up my sister's grad. year- 1940


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Subject: RE: The World is Old- request info
From: GUEST,Bruce O.
Date: 18 Apr 01 - 03:19 PM

The chorus of the song "Two for tonight" is "This world belongs to two for tonight", and I thought it might be of interest to compare the whole song to what kytrad gave.

However, on inquiry through the Levy collection website I was told that it's not given in the Levy collection because it's still copyrighted, and they won't make one a copy unless you get an ok from the copyright holder. I give up.


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Subject: RE: The World is Old- request info
From: MMario
Date: 19 Apr 01 - 12:59 PM

refresh


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Subject: RE: The World is Old- request info
From: GUEST,Bruce O.
Date: 19 Apr 01 - 01:30 PM

The only suggestion I can think of at this point is to go to your local library and in the main and reference sections look for old pop song and movie histories - 'Two for tonight', 1935, starring Bing Crosby and Joan Bennett.


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Subject: RE: The World is Old- request info
From: Mary in Kentucky
Date: 19 Apr 01 - 01:55 PM

I found a short, partial clip of "Two for Tonight" here at CD now. [http://www.cdnow.com/cgi-bin/mserver/SID=574937875/pagename=/RP/CDN/FIND/album.html/ArtistID=CROSBY*BING/ITEMID=495187] Can't tell much about the song, but maybe somebody else has the chorus to it...or the words.


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Subject: RE: The World is Old- request info
From: kytrad (Jean Ritchie)
Date: 19 Apr 01 - 07:27 PM

What's this have to do with, "The World is Old?" "Two for Tonight" is a modern pop song, written in 1998!


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Subject: RE: The World is Old- request info
From: Mary in Kentucky
Date: 19 Apr 01 - 07:53 PM

I think this song was sung by Bing Crosby in 1935. The song clip linked to above was a recent record of that sound track. I think I read somewhere that they didn't even make records of sound tracks in 1935. Anyway, Bruce referred to the chorus of that song which has similar words to "The World is Old." Of course, I'm just guessing about all this stuff that occurred way before I was born. ;-)


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Subject: RE: The World is Old- request info
From: kytrad (Jean Ritchie)
Date: 20 Apr 01 - 01:46 PM

Sorry- I barked too soon! It was the copyright date I was seeing- 1998. The clip,I saw when reading further, is from the movie(?), "Going Hollywood, 193_(cuts off here). Anyway, I cannot see any similarities either in lyric or melody to "World is Old." Thanks, though! Jean


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Subject: RE: The World is Old- request info
From: kytrad (Jean Ritchie)
Date: 24 Apr 01 - 05:48 PM

Well. I have heard from Wellesley College and it looks as though news is coming through any day- the Music Library is mailing it via p.o. so I'm watching for the postman. I'm refreshing this thread- in anticipation! Jean


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Subject: RE: The World is Old- request info
From: Mary in Kentucky
Date: 24 Apr 01 - 05:55 PM

We're waiting too!


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Subject: RE: The World is Old- request info
From: Sorcha
Date: 24 Apr 01 - 05:58 PM

Whoo whoo! Lots of us are waiting.......this has to be one of the most fascinating things I have seen for years. I hope it's good news, Jean.


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Subject: RE: The World is Old- request info
From: Amos
Date: 24 Apr 01 - 09:51 PM

My breath is positively baited!!! (Oh, c'mon, yopu know me better than thatt. I know I shoulda said 'bated!)

A


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Subject: RE: The World is Old- request info
From: MMario
Date: 25 Apr 01 - 08:32 AM

If this leads to success ( and I hope it does! ) the story would make a nice testimonial for Dick. Yes, it relates more to the MudCat then the DT - but without the DT the Mudcat probably woudn't be what it is...


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Subject: RE: The World is Old- request info
From: kytrad (Jean Ritchie)
Date: 25 Apr 01 - 02:30 PM

OK. I'll break down and give you the main source, revealed in the email from Wellesley's indefatigable music librarian, Pamela Bristah:

"It is in an anthology, 'The English Carol Book,' edited by Martin Shaw and Percy Dearmer (London: Mowbray, 1921)... It is titled, 'The World is Old,' the composer is Joseph Moorat, and the words are by Lawrence Housman."

She'll send a copy of the song when she receives the anthology on interlibrary loan.

TA-DA!!! Thanks to all of you, Jean


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Subject: RE: The World is Old- request info
From: MMario
Date: 25 Apr 01 - 02:41 PM

HUZZAH!


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Subject: RE: The World is Old- request info
From: Hollowfox
Date: 25 Apr 01 - 02:44 PM

Awll-Riight!!


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Subject: RE: The World is Old- request info
From: Greyeyes
Date: 25 Apr 01 - 04:53 PM

Do you suppose Lawrence Housman might be related to AE Housman? Stewie suggested him as a possible source of the words right up the top. It would be an astonishing educated guess if there's a connection.


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Subject: RE: The World is Old- request info
From: Greyeyes
Date: 25 Apr 01 - 04:55 PM

I've just checked the Oxford Companion to Eng Lit and they were brothers. Stewie that is unbelievable!


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Subject: RE: The World is Old- request info
From: AllisonA(Animaterra)
Date: 25 Apr 01 - 05:04 PM

This is just great! I've been following this thread with fascination and it's so great you got your answer, Jean! Congratulations! My dad calls a search like this a "grail", and you've certainly looked high and low for this one.


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Subject: RE: The World is Old- request info
From: kytrad (Jean Ritchie)
Date: 25 Apr 01 - 06:37 PM

I remembered that someone had mentioned the name, "Housman," and scrolled back to Stewie's note to check it. Incredible that A.E. and Lawrence were brothers...it seems the age of the world was much thought upon in the Housman family! I'm waiting now for the song copy, to see how well my sister remembered it.


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Subject: RE: The World is Old- request info
From: Mary in Kentucky
Date: 25 Apr 01 - 07:10 PM

WHOOPEE!


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Subject: RE: The World is Old- request info
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 25 Apr 01 - 07:27 PM

Congratulations. Perseverance pays off.

Lawrence Housman was the brother of AE - he wrote a whole series of short plays about St Francis, as well as other stuff.

He was a committed pacifist, and very active in the Peace Pledge Union - Housmans Bookshop in London near King's Cross in the Caledonian Road commemorates his name, since the house above it was bought largely with funds given by him. It was for many years where Peace News was published, and provided offices for all kinds of movement organisations. And it publishes the Housmans Peace Diary, which is a handy collection of contacts all over the world.

I know this because I used to work for Peace News back in the 60s - I'm kicking myself I didn't think of Lawrence Housman, since it sounded so like his brother, but I knew it wasn't in AE's collected works. But I've got the St Francis Plays, and I suspect this carol might actually be on my shelves all along.


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Subject: RE: The World is Old- request info
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 25 Apr 01 - 07:37 PM

Oh - one correction. The spelling is Laurence, not Lawrence.

I've had a rapid flick through teh St FRancis plays, and couldn't find this. But here is a carol from one of them which you might like:

"Who knocks tonight so late?"
The weary porter said.
Three kings stood at the gate;
Each with a crown on head.

The serving man bowed down;
The inn was full, he knew.
Said he, "In all this town
Is no fit place for you."

A light the manger lit;
There lay the Mother meek,
Said they, "This place is fit:
Here is the rest we seek."

They loosed their latchet strings;
So stood they all unshod.
Come in, ye kings, ye kings,
And kiss the Feet of God!


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Subject: RE: The World is Old- request info
From: Stewie
Date: 25 Apr 01 - 08:19 PM

It is great that it has been found. I had no idea that A.E. had a brother. Evidently, Laurence was much more prolific than his brother. There is a library of his works catalogued here:

Laurence Housman

I found one of his poems on-line. Given that it was Anzac Day yesterday here in Oz, it seems appropriate to the moment:

A Dead Warrior

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: The World is Old- request info
From: Charley Noble
Date: 25 Apr 01 - 08:30 PM

A great dig!


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Subject: RE: The World is Old- request info
From: catspaw49
Date: 25 Apr 01 - 08:35 PM

I was going up to Wagnall's on Friday and hadn't checked back here yet.......just figured I'd get any additional before I went and now LOOK AT THIS!!!!!!! Mary sent me a PM and I am simply amazed that it has all come together! Jean, you did it!!!!

My thanks to everyone too for grabbing onto this, it was just an odd request and damn if it didn't work out! Simply amazing. And once again, STEWIE IS SIMPLY UNBELIEVABLE!!!!!!! Somebody started a thread thanking him for something the other day and it gave several of us a chance to sing his praises. I said then that in one discussion we were having, Stewie accidentally posted to the wrong thread and I am so used to believing him that I took his word as gospel even though it made no sense!!!

BTW Jean, Stewie is excellent on Old Timey and Appalachian stuff....He always amazes you with an extra tidbit when you think the subject has been exhausted. What really is a riot is that Stewie lives in Australia....Northern Territories I believe.

Anyway.........Thanks to all of you and CONGRATULATIONS JEAN!!!!

Spaw


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Subject: RE: The World is Old- request info
From: Noreen
Date: 25 Apr 01 - 09:08 PM

Great news Jean!


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Subject: RE: The World is Old- request info
From: Night Owl
Date: 25 Apr 01 - 11:59 PM

congratulations Jean!!!!!


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Subject: RE: The World is Old- request info
From: IanC
Date: 26 Apr 01 - 05:33 AM

Oh Lord!

Got the wrong brother! Never thought it would be Lawrence.

Lawrence Housman (1865-1959)

The illustrator, author and poet Laurence Housman was born in Bromsgrove, one of seven children (the eldest brother was A. E. Housman). He had a difficult childhood - his mother died when he was a young child, and the family lived in some degree of poverty. In 1882 he went with his sister Clemence Housman to Lambeth, where he studied at the City and Guilds Art School. Following this, he studied at South Kensington from 1887, and started book illustration in the following year. Early work appeared in a magazine called the Universal Review, then he illustrated books by George Meredith, Christina Rossetti (Goblin Market), and then two books of his own fairy stories in the mid-1890s - A House of Joy and A Farm in Fairyland, and later illustrated The Field of Clover. He stayed very close to his sister Clemence, who engraved for him, the pair finally settling in Street, Somerset in the 1920s. Both lived to an advanced age, she dying in 1955, he a few years later at the age of 95. As well as the illustration and poetry, Housman wrote a book on the artist Boyd Houghton, and did bookbinding.

Sorry!
Ian


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Subject: RE: The World is Old- request info
From: GUEST,Greyeyes at work
Date: 26 Apr 01 - 08:45 AM

I'm almost embarassed to admit we've got a copy of the 1913 edition of the English Carol Book in my library. I have it in my hand. Unfortunately the song index on our catalogue doesn't extend to carol anthologies, which is why I wasn't able to track the song down, there are just too many volumes for me to go through them all. Sorry.

Jean, if you'd like me to scan it & e-mail it to you let me know. Your memory of the words is almost flawless. I'll post them later.

Paul


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Subject: RE: The World is Old- request info
From: GUEST,Greyeyes
Date: 26 Apr 01 - 08:56 AM

From the Preface:- "We have also to thank Mr Joseph Moorat and Mr Laurence Housman for the two Carols (Nos.47 and 50) from there nativity play "Bethlehem". (47 "Noel, Noel, Noel" and 50 "The World is Old")


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Subject: RE: The World is Old- request info
From: kytrad (Jean Ritchie)
Date: 26 Apr 01 - 02:42 PM

Well, I'm pleased with the congratulations but it was as much you folks as I, who did the job. Like all this hoopla with the Dulcimer these days- I merely introduced it!

But it is great to learn all this about Laurence Housman, which I should have known already. Now I am determined to get to know him better- he's my kind of writer. I spelled it Lawrence because that's the way Wellesley's librarian spelled it...I even reread her letter to be sure (and I notice that even IanC spells it BOTH ways). I guess, the eye just plays funny tricks.

Greyeyes, you mentioned reference to a play from which the carol was taken. Pamela Bristah writes: "...there is a rare item...in Special Collections...if ever up this way you could arrange to see it... AUTHOR Housman, Laurence, 1865-1959
TITLE Bethlehem; a nativity play...performed with
music by Joseph Moorat...December, MCMIL
IMPRINT New York, The Macmillan Company; London,
Macmillan and Co., Ltd.
NOTE One leaf of publisher's advts. at the back
NOTE Blue cloth decorated in green and gilt floral

This play is probably the one my sister used, or to which she referred. And thanks, Paul; I would like your scan of the lyric. Love and thanks to all, Jean


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Subject: RE: The World is Old- request info
From: Hollowfox
Date: 26 Apr 01 - 05:21 PM

Jean, you can say you only asked the question, but if you hadn't asked, we wouldn't have had the delight of searching, and finding, this beautiful piece. The questions are what really keeps things moving here, after Max.


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE WORLD IS OLD (Laurence Housman)^^
From: Greyeyes
Date: 26 Apr 01 - 06:00 PM

Here are the words transcribed from The English Carol Book. If anyone would like a scan can they PM me an e-mail address.


THE WORLD IS OLD
Words by Laurence Housman
Music by Joseph Moorat

The world is old to-night,
The world is old;
The stars around the fold
Do shine there their light.
And so they did, and so,
A thousand years ago,
And so will do, dear love,
When you lie cold.

The world is still to-night,
The world is still;
The snow on vale and hill
Like wool lies white.
And so it was, and so,
A thousand years ago,
And so will do, dear lads,
When we lack will.
^^


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Subject: RE: The World is Old- request info
From: Greyeyes
Date: 26 Apr 01 - 06:03 PM

And yes I do know the difference between there and their, but frequently mistype them. Twice in one thread today; AAARRRGGGHHH.


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Subject: RE: The World is Old- request info
From: Sorcha
Date: 26 Apr 01 - 06:15 PM

I'm so glad it's found! And, actually, Jean found it herself, via MudCat suggestions, yes, but she did it herself!! Whoopeee!


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Subject: RE: The World is Old- request info
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 26 Apr 01 - 08:46 PM

Out of interest, there's a 1927 copy of Housman's Bethlehem available just now through Alibris, at $34.00:  Bethlehem, a Nativity Play.  The link will probably work for a short time only.

Malcolm


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Subject: RE: The World is Old- request info
From: MMario
Date: 26 Apr 01 - 11:21 PM

Is the music in the carol book? I'd like a scan of that if it is.


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Subject: RE: The World is Old- request info
From: GUEST,Greyeyes
Date: 27 Apr 01 - 05:46 AM

Yes it is MMario, I've got your address already so I'll send it tonight.


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Subject: RE: The World is Old- request info
From: katlaughing
Date: 27 Apr 01 - 03:13 PM

WOW!

Mudcat at its best! Just wonderful to read through!

Thanks and congratulations!

kat


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Subject: RE: The World is Old- request info
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 27 Apr 01 - 09:15 PM

And here's a link to another carol Laurence Housman wrote, with a picture of him. And yet another one Both with midis and scores.(Though they are neither of them as good as the World is Old, in my opinion anyway.)


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Subject: RE: The World is Old- request info
From: catspaw49
Date: 27 Apr 01 - 09:23 PM

Don't you just love it?

Jean spent all those years and never ran across it......Then we all ask everybody, check sources, make suggestions, search all over the damned net.......and then it's found.

BUT...........

Have you noticed though that now that we know what to look for ........IT'S EVERYWHERE!!!!!!!! Ya' gotta' admit it's pretty humorous.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: The World is Old- request info
From: Greyeyes
Date: 28 Apr 01 - 08:16 AM

"we all ask everybody, check sources, make suggestions, search all over the damned net"

And Jean found it by ASKING A LIBRARIAN.

We're not quite obsolete yet.


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Subject: RE: The World is Old- request info
From: kytrad (Jean Ritchie)
Date: 28 Apr 01 - 01:35 PM

Ms. Bristah went a step further to be helpful, by giving the name of the index wherein she found the piece:
De Charms, Desiree, and Paul F. Breed
Songs in Collections: an index
Detroit: Information Service c1966

The index in now out of print, but she says every library has one. That's certainly good to know. Jean


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Subject: RE: The World is Old- request info
From: Joe Offer
Date: 28 Apr 01 - 04:21 PM

A tune, a tune, my kingdom for a tune! Noteworthy format is preferable, but I'll take a scan or anything for this one. Oh, I see MMario beat me to the punch on asking Greyeyes for it, so I'll just grin and be lazy and let MMario do the transcription.

Greyeyes, you have "do shine there light," and Jean has "their." Which is in the printed version?

Just got the scan from Greyeyes. It's definitely "shine their light," but it's shown as "show their light" under the music and "shine" where the lyrics are posted without lyrics.

So, the only major difference between the printed version and Jean's is the mention of "dear love" in the first verse and "dear lads" in the second - those don't make much difference, but the printed version has "when we lack will," which I think makes a bit more sense.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: The World is Old- request info
From: kytrad (Jean Ritchie)
Date: 29 Apr 01 - 02:28 PM

My understanding of that last line (when we like will) is, as I indicated before, "when we, as does the snow, like wool lie white." Was not Mr. Housman using the word, "lack" as an older way of saying, "like?" Otherwise, what does, "When we lack will," mean, in the context of the verse? Lacking (being short of) the will to do what? Explain, please, you scholars.


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Subject: RE: The World is Old- request info
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Apr 01 - 03:07 PM

kytrad: I think your 'like will' interpretation is correct


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Subject: RE: The World is Old- request info
From: Noreen
Date: 29 Apr 01 - 05:50 PM

I understand the last line to mean poetically, 'when we are dead' i.e. the living have free will, the dead do not... sounds awkward explained, but it works in the language of the verse.

Noreen


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Subject: RE: The World is Old- request info
From: Greyeyes
Date: 29 Apr 01 - 05:53 PM

Doesn't it mean "when we are no more". As in no longer conscious. He's talking about the eternity of nature compared to our own mortality. The world is already old when we are young, it's been around for thousands of years, and will be around for thousands more after we "lie cold" in our graves and "lack will" ie sentience, after we're dead. That's how I read it.


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Subject: RE: The World is Old- request info
From: Greyeyes
Date: 29 Apr 01 - 05:56 PM

Sorry Noreen, crossed post.


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Subject: RE: The World is Old- request info
From: Noreen
Date: 29 Apr 01 - 06:06 PM

Well, looks like we agree on that, Greyeyes! (You express it better though.)


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Subject: RE: The World is Old- request info
From: Greyeyes
Date: 29 Apr 01 - 06:15 PM

Not better, just more verbose. :-)


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Subject: RE: The World is Old- request info
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 30 Apr 01 - 07:48 AM

I don't think that the original written words have any greater validity than the words as recycled over many years in Jean's memory. If anything the other way round - some of the edges have been rounded off to fit the needs of a song as opposed to a written poem. I think I prefer Jean's, especially the last line.

Songs need to develop variants. I sometimes feel. I know that when I sing my own songs they vary a good bit. The same way when you tell a story or a joke it won't be exactly the same each time.


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Subject: RE: The World is Old- request info
From: kytrad (Jean Ritchie)
Date: 30 Apr 01 - 04:42 PM

Well, but don't both interpretations boil down to the same meaning? So be it.


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Subject: RE: The World is Old- request info
From: Burke
Date: 01 May 01 - 05:37 PM

My library has 2 editions of Bethlehem & they seem to be fairly widely held. Neither have music. Our copies are available through interlibrary loan & other libraries' copies should be, check with your local library. The edition kytrad mentions is Bethlehem only. The other ed. has more: Bethlehem : a nativity play ; the Pageant of Our lady & other poems / by Laurence Housman. London : Macmillan, 1902. 85 p. The other poems are 8 Christmas songs.

Preface
All the songs of the 'Nativity Play' together with the whole of the 'Pageant of Our Lady' and the 'Christmas Songs,' which are here printed, were designed to be set to music by my friend, Mr. Joseph Moorat. Standing thus separate from their context, their appeal to the reader is necessarily incomplete.

The World is Old is sung by the Shepherds after a choral introduction as the curtain opens at the start of the play.


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Subject: RE: Origins: The World is Old (Laurence Housman)
From: GUEST,Sarah
Date: 24 Jan 11 - 11:07 PM

I know this is an old thread - but I just discovered this amazing song and wanted to know more about it.

I found this:
http://www.hymnsandcarolsofchristmas.com/Hymns_and_Carols/world_is_old.htm

Houseman was correct! And the music was by Joseph Morrat.Source: Martin Shaw and Percy Dearmer, The English Carol Book, Second Series (London: A. R. Mowbray & Co. Ltd., 1913), Carol #50.


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