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Lyr Req: Mo Mary

Edmund 22 May 01 - 09:54 PM
Sorcha 22 May 01 - 10:01 PM
Murray MacLeod 22 May 01 - 10:02 PM
Uncle_DaveO 22 May 01 - 10:33 PM
Edmund 22 May 01 - 11:16 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 22 May 01 - 11:19 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 23 May 01 - 12:15 AM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 23 May 01 - 12:17 AM
Uncle_DaveO 23 May 01 - 12:44 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 23 May 01 - 07:51 PM
Malcolm Douglas 23 May 01 - 08:26 PM
Edmund 23 May 01 - 09:54 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 24 May 01 - 05:28 PM
GUEST,Philippa 25 May 01 - 04:51 PM
GUEST,Philippa 25 May 01 - 07:07 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 25 May 01 - 09:49 PM
GUEST,mumhnach 26 May 01 - 10:35 AM
Malcolm Douglas 26 May 01 - 01:44 PM
GUEST,Philippa 03 Sep 01 - 01:32 PM
Genie 19 Aug 08 - 03:17 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 19 Aug 08 - 05:39 PM
GUEST,Philippa 20 Aug 08 - 10:38 AM
GUEST,Source seeker 15 Apr 09 - 05:32 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 15 Apr 09 - 06:14 PM
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Subject: Lyr Req: Mo Mary
From: Edmund
Date: 22 May 01 - 09:54 PM

It is such a beautiful song .. but I know of only 9 lines. Is this just a fragment or is there more?


I tried the digi search before posting this. Thanks for any help ......... Edmund


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Subject: Lyr Add : Mo Mary
From: Sorcha
Date: 22 May 01 - 10:01 PM

Mo Mary
Words and Music by :
Arranged and adapted by:
Publisher:
From Scotland
Recorded by Harry Belafonte on:
45 : 47-6781, 47-9194, EPB-1022, DJ-80, SPD-24,
LP : LSP-1022, MP666001,
CD: CD97032, GOLD-072
Also recorded by:

Out on the hillside, by the sheiling, Mo Mary, my beloved.
Out on the hillside, by the sheiling, Mo Mary, my beloved.
Mo Mary, mo lennan, Mo Mary, my beloved.
On the hillside, by the sheiling, Mo Mary, my beloved.

And like the blue gentian gleaming,
On the hillside by the sheiling.
Purple blue in the sunlight are the eyes of my Mary.
Mo Mary, mo lennan, Mo Mary, my beloved.
On the hillside, by the sheiling, Mo Mary, my beloved.

Notes on scottish words:
sheiling=meadow,
lennan=sweetheart
gentian==an herb, with blue flowers


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Mo Mary
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 22 May 01 - 10:02 PM

You really are anxious, Edmund, aren't you?

Murray


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Mo Mary
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 22 May 01 - 10:33 PM

That's the extent of what I know, too. I sing the first first again after the second.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Mo Mary
From: Edmund
Date: 22 May 01 - 11:16 PM

Sorry Murray ... I kept thinking that my message hadn't gone out ... I'll get the hang of this computer smarts yet! ... meanwhile, how about another 15 verses or so ? .... Edmund


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Mo Mary
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 22 May 01 - 11:19 PM

The old LP, The Tartan, Scottish songs by Kenneth McKellar, has a fine version of this old song. I will dig it out and post more words (some are Gaelic, I can't reproduce those and they are Greek to me). A shieling is either a pasture (meadow) or a hut by the pasture. Sheeling, shealing, etc. etc. are all spellings that have been used. It is a very old word, 16th Century definitely but probably much older.


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Subject: Lyr Add: MO MARY
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 23 May 01 - 12:15 AM

On the McKellar album, the song is attributed to MacLeod and Kennedy-Fraser (no other information).

Last night by the shieling was Mary, my beloved.
Out on the hillside by the shieling, Mo Mary, my beloved.
Mo Mary, mo lennan, mo Mary, my beloved,
On the hillside by the shieling, mo Mary, my beloved.

Like the white lily blooming, in the peat bags dark water.
You are white as the lily, in the peat bags dark water.
Mo Mary, mo lennan, mo Mary, my beloved,
Like the white lily floating on the peat bags dark water.

Like the blue gentian blooming, wet with dew in the sunshine,
Are the eyes of my Mary, purple blue in the sunshine.
Mo Mary, mo lennan, Mo Mary, my beloved,
Lily white, blue gentian eyes, is mo Mary, My beloved.

I would like to know more about this beautiful song.
Sorcha?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Mo Mary
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 23 May 01 - 12:17 AM

My memory was faulty. There are no Gaelic passages in the McKellar version.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Mo Mary
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 23 May 01 - 12:44 PM

That would be "peat BOGS", not "bags".

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Mo Mary
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 23 May 01 - 07:51 PM

Just reproducing the sound on the McKellar recording- several spellings of the word including boghe, bogach, bogge. The pronounciation "bag" probably from Gaelic bogach, the origin of the word bog. I would still like to know moe about this song and its origin.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Mo Mary
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 23 May 01 - 08:26 PM

Well, Kenneth MacLeod and Marjory Kennedy-Fraser were the editors of Songs of the Hebrides, which first appeared in (I think) 1909.  It was a collection of Gaelic song harmonised according to the conventional drawing-room tastes of the day, with piano accompaniments.  Many of the songs were given with English language "singing" versions, which were not necessarily translations from Gaelic, and a number were composed by the editors themselves; usually this is made clear.  Probably this song is taken from that collection, which, though long out of print, is not difficult to find through public libraries.  It seems on the face of it to be unrelated to another song of the same name,  Mo Mhaire

Malcolm


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Mo Mary
From: Edmund
Date: 23 May 01 - 09:54 PM

Thanks, Dicho, for the additional lyrics. Pretty soon we will have enough to make a full song of it. There must be more words somewhere ... no one could make a piece as beautiful as that and cut it so short.

More lyrics! ... please somebody ... I'm dying to hear a full song instead of this lovely fragment. ... EDMUND


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Mo Mary
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 24 May 01 - 05:28 PM

Thanks, Malcolm. I will look up a copy of Songs of the Hebridies. It also explains the title on the McKellar album, "An Island Shieling Song."


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Mo Mhairi
From: GUEST,Philippa
Date: 25 May 01 - 04:51 PM

also recorded by Calum Kennedy
and I think I have heard it sung in Gaelic. "Mo leannan" means "my beloved" or "my lover"


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Subject: Lyr Add: MAIGHDEANNAN NA H-ÀIRIGH / SHIELING MAIDS
From: GUEST,Philippa
Date: 25 May 01 - 07:07 PM

Maighdeannan na h-Àirigh
(facail: Coinneach MacLeòid)

Thug mi 'n oidhche a-raoir 's mi bruadar
Mar ri nìonagan na buaile;
B'fhìnealt' uasal mìn na gruaigaich
Seinn nan duanag anns an àirigh.

(seist)
Thug mi 'n oidhche a-raoir san àirigh
Thug mi 'n oidhche a-raoir san àirigh
Chaith mi 'n-oidhche cridheil coibhneil
Mar ri maighdeannan na h-àirigh

Thug mi 'n oidhche a-raoir san àirigh
'S crodh a' sileadh bainne tàlaidh
'S dealt na h-oidhche sileadh coibhneis
Air na maighdeannan san àirigh.

'S cianail dùsgadh an fhir-fhuadain
'S e sìor-ionndrainn tìr a' bhruadair;
'S tiamhaidh buan da thar nan stuaghan
Ceòl nan gruagach anns an àirigh.

THE SHIELING MAIDS
(translation by Peadar Morgan from the Gaelic of Coinneach MacLeòid)

I spent last night in my dreams
In the company of the lassies of the cattle-fold;
Fine, noble and delicate were the damsels
Singing the ditties at the shieling

(chorus)
I spent last night at the shieling
I spent last night at the shieling
I passed the night hearty and friendly
In the company of the shieling maids

I spent last night at the shieling
When cattle were producing enticing milk
And the night-time dew was dripping kindness
On the shieling maids.

The exile's waking is sad
When he aye longs for the land of dreams;
Melancholic, eternal for him over the waves
(is) the music of the damsels at the sheiling.

from "Karoake Ceilidh", Comann an Luchd-Ionnsachaidh (CLI)

same air as the song with the line "On the hillside, by the sheiling, Mo Mhairi, my beloved" (according to my memory of the latter). also if anyone knows Bruce from Bathurst, he was looking at Mudcat for that song as recorded by K MacKellar back in 1999


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Mo Mary
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 25 May 01 - 09:49 PM

Philippa, you are right,leannan (and McKellar pronounced it this way) should be substituted for lennan in the song. Mo Mhairi probably was changed in the McKellar album to Mary for the sake of a wider audience; also in one line he seems to use My rather than Mo. The melody to The Shieling Maids would be interesting to hear. Is in in Midi anywhere? I have bookmarked the CLI site for going through later. Thanks for the information.


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE SOLITARY REAPER
From: GUEST,mumhnach
Date: 26 May 01 - 10:35 AM

THE SOLITARY REAPER
I'm irresistibly reminded of a poem I learned in school:

Behold her single in the field
Yon solitary highland lass,
Reaping and singing as she bends,
Stop here or gently pass.
Alone she cuts and binds the grain
And sings a solitary strain,
Oh, listen, for the vale profound
Is overflowing with the sound.

Will no one tell me what she sings?
Perhaps the plaintive numbers flow
Of old unhappy far-off things
And battles long ago.
Or is it some more humble lay,
Familiar matter of today?

Whate'er it was the maiden sang
As if her song could have no ending,
I watched her singing at her work
While o'er the sickle bending,
I listened, motionless and still,
And as I mounted up the hill,
The music in my heart I bore
Long after it was heard no more.

Can't remember the poet at the moment but I think I know how he felt.

HTML line breaks added --JoeClone, 2-Dec-01.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Mo Mary
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 26 May 01 - 01:44 PM

William Wordsworth.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Mo Mary
From: GUEST,Philippa
Date: 03 Sep 01 - 01:32 PM

Why didn't I find this thread when I did a search for "Mo Mary"?

The song "Maighdeanan na h-Airigh" was recently quoted by a participant in an on-line Gaelic discussion group. I wrote in to mention that this song has the same tune as "The Island Sheiling Song" and to ask whether there were Gaelic words to the latter. The response I received was that although thewords are not a translation, "Maighdeanan na h-Airigh" IS the Gaelic-language version of "The Island Sheiling Song".

According to the respondent, both sets of lyrics are found together in Marjory Kennedy-Fraser, "Songs of the Hebrides", Volume 1, published by Boosey and Hawkes about 1908. The song was collected in the isle of Barra by Marjory Kennedy-Fraser and Kenneth MacKellar. It is not clear which languagelyrics they collected, although Gaelic is still the main language of Barra and was even a century ago. The book attributes the Gaelic lyrics to Kenneth MacKellar and the English lyrics to Marjory Kennedy-Fraser. Ms Kennedy-Fraser was an arranger of songs. She adapted them for performance in genteel circles. She wasn't worried about keeping her "translations" true tothe original!

In the case of this song, it seems likely that the collectors had only a fragment of the original song and made up both Gaelic and English lyrics on that fragile basis.


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Subject: Mo Mary (The Gardners: Peter and Isabel)
From: Genie
Date: 19 Aug 08 - 03:17 PM

Very glad to see another verse or two to "Mo Mary."   

I heard this song performed by Peter and Isabel Gardner back in 1963 at Gerde's Folk City (Greenwich Village) and I bought their album "Folk Songs Far And Near" (Prestige ©1962).
In their version the shortage of verses wasn't a problem, as Isabel did wonderful flute interludes and they repeated the first verse.   But when I think of singing it, say, in a song circle, it comes out awfully short.

Beautiful song.


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Subject: Lyr Add: AN ISLAND SHEILING SONG (Kennedy-Fraser)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 19 Aug 08 - 05:39 PM

Philippa posted the Gaelic words to Maighdeanan na h-àiridh (An Island Sheiling Song); They are given with the music and English version by Marjory Kennedy-Fraser in "Songs of the Hebridies," vol. 1, pp. 32-36.
"Old refrain with Gaelic verses by Kenneth Macleod. The melody is taken down from the singing of Ann Macneill, Barra."
"Mairi is pronounced like the French Marie. The word leannan is pronounced "lennan." Copyright 1908 by M. Kennedy-Fraser. B. & H. 18129.

English words:

Lyr. Add: AN ISLAND SHEILING SONG
English words by Marjory Kennedy-Fraser

Last night by the sheiling
was Marie my beloved,
Out on the hillside by the sheiling,
My Mairi, my beloved
Mo Mhari, mo leannan,
mo Mhari, my beloved
On the hillside by the sheiling,
My Mairi my beloved.
2
Like the white lily floating
in the peat hag's dark waters,
Pure and white as the lily
in the peat hag's dark waters,
Mo mhairi, mo leannan,
Mo Mhairi, my beloved,
Like the lily white, floating
in the peat hag's dark waters.
3
Like the blue gentian blooming
Wet wi' dew in the sunshine
Are the eyes of my Mairi,
purple blue in the sunshine
Mo Mhairi, mo leannan,
Mo Mhairi, my beloved,
Lily white, pure, gentian eyed
is my Mairi, my beloved.

Songs of the Hebridies, vol. 1, 1908, Boosey & Hawkes; new ed. copyright 1922 by Boosey & Co.; coll. and arranged by Marjory Kennedy-Fraser and Kenneth Macleod.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Mo Mary
From: GUEST,Philippa
Date: 20 Aug 08 - 10:38 AM

if you look at the translation I provide, you will see how far Kennedy-Fraser and MacLeod strayed from the original! But at least they did publish Gaelic lyrics as well as their English language inventions (hardly translations)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Mo Mary
From: GUEST,Source seeker
Date: 15 Apr 09 - 05:32 PM

So the song was published in 1908. Does anyone have any idea how old it is? 19th century, 18th century, etc?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Mo Mary
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 15 Apr 09 - 06:14 PM

Guest, the song is a collected one; the English lyrics by Kennedy-Fraser 1908. Age not known, unless there is documentation somewhere.
Philippa might know more.


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