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Hal An Tow: notes?

DigiTrad:
HAL AN TOW
SUMER IS ICUMEN IN


Related threads:
Lisa Knapp's Hal-an-Tow (11)
Lyr Req: Hal n Toe? / Hal an Tow (26)
Lyr Req: Sumer Is Icumen In/Summer Is A-Coming In (30)
Lyr/Tune Add: Helston Hal an Tow (21)
What does 'Hal an Tow' mean? (89)
Lyr Req: May songs (5)
Want first verse to Hal an Tow. (26)
Lyr Req: alt. verses to Hal An Tow (21)
Hal and Toe / Hal and Tow (20)
hal an tow. What's it about? (5)
Hal an Tow (34)
Hal an Tow (10)
Hal and Tow (5)


nonie 17 Dec 97 - 12:59 PM
Jon W. 17 Dec 97 - 01:28 PM
Barry 17 Dec 97 - 08:22 PM
Alan of Australia 18 Dec 97 - 01:36 AM
Wolfgang Hell 19 Dec 97 - 08:50 AM
Bruce O. 19 Dec 97 - 09:26 AM
Bruce O. 19 Dec 97 - 10:25 AM
Bert 19 Dec 97 - 10:59 AM
Nigel Sellars 20 Dec 97 - 05:16 PM
Bruce O. 20 Dec 97 - 06:08 PM
Jon W. 22 Dec 97 - 12:52 PM
Bruce O. 22 Dec 97 - 02:01 PM
Bruce O. 22 Dec 97 - 04:10 PM
dick greenhaus 22 Dec 97 - 09:11 PM
Susan of DT 22 Dec 97 - 09:23 PM
Bruce O. 22 Dec 97 - 09:29 PM
Bruce O. 22 Dec 97 - 10:16 PM
Bruce O. 23 Dec 97 - 01:43 AM
Pete M 23 Dec 97 - 05:09 AM
Bruce O. 23 Dec 97 - 01:51 PM
Bruce O. 23 Dec 97 - 10:15 PM
Bruce O. 24 Dec 97 - 01:16 PM
Bruce O. 18 Jan 98 - 06:10 PM
Bruce O. 26 Feb 98 - 08:01 PM
BAZ 27 Feb 98 - 08:25 PM
Bruce O. 01 Mar 98 - 06:37 PM
BAZ 01 Mar 98 - 06:44 PM
Bruce O. 02 Mar 98 - 12:41 PM
14 Apr 99 - 03:19 PM
SeanM 14 Apr 99 - 06:13 PM
15 Apr 99 - 12:00 PM
AndyG 15 Apr 99 - 12:52 PM
Penny 15 Apr 99 - 05:18 PM
Fred/Forsh 20 Oct 00 - 02:09 AM
Skivee 20 Oct 00 - 02:32 PM
Garry Gillard 21 Oct 00 - 10:27 AM
Snuffy 26 Oct 00 - 08:34 PM
kendall 08 Sep 01 - 09:16 AM
GUEST,Laurent 31 May 03 - 10:02 AM
GUEST,Allan in the Isle of Man 30 Mar 04 - 01:20 PM
Nerd 30 Mar 04 - 04:02 PM
Flash Company 31 Mar 04 - 05:40 AM
Snuffy 31 Mar 04 - 08:17 AM
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Subject: Hal An Tow: notes?
From: nonie
Date: 17 Dec 97 - 12:59 PM

DT has the text to "Hal An Tow," but no commentary. I'd love to see notes added re interpretations and history, since it's such a lovely confusion.

Does anyone have a nice definitive source, or do we just need to pool knowledge re "feathered goose=English arrows fletched with goose feathers" and the identity of Aunt Mary Moses, etc.?


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Subject: RE: Hal An Tow: notes?
From: Jon W.
Date: 17 Dec 97 - 01:28 PM

I love the song, don't know much about it, your interpretation of feather goose was an eye opener to me but it makes sense, I had always wondered about that verse. The recording I have of it, by a local band called Tenpenny, has the following verse which is not in the DT version:

John the Bum(?) went marching on
'Til he met with Sally Dover
He kissed her once, he kissed her twice
He kissed her three times over

The chorus makes me think this might be a seafaring song - Hal (as in halyard) and tow being synonyms for hauling or pulling on a rope (something sailors used to do a lot of) and if you spell the second line "Jolly rum below"...well you get the idea. Thoughts?


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Subject: Lyr Add: HAL AN TOW
From: Barry
Date: 17 Dec 97 - 08:22 PM

The verse with John the Bone seems to have come from the Furry Day Dance, May 8, celebrated in Helston, Cornwall. The following is from Peter Kennedy's recording of the townspeople of Helston, as they performed a dance through the town, at times passing through houses, snake like in the front & out the back doors. (St Michael is the patron saint of Helston).

Robin Hood & Little John
They both went to the fair-o
And we will to the merry green woods
To see what they do there-o
And for to chase-o
To chase the buck & doe.

Hal an tow jolly rumble-o
For we were up as soon as any day-o
And for to fetch the summer home
The summer & the may-o
For the summer is a come-o
And winter is a gone-o


Where are the Spaniards
That made so great a boast-o
For they shall eat the grey goose feather
And we shall eat the roast-o
In every land-o
The land where'er we go

As for St George-o
St George he was a knight-o
Of all the knights in Christendom
St George he has the right-o
In every land-o
The land where'er we go

But to a greater than St George
O Helston has the right-o
St Michael with his wings outspread
The Archangel so bright-o
Who fought the fiend-o
Of all mankind the foe

God bless Aunt Mary Moses
With all her power & might-o
And send us in merry England
Both by night & day-o
In every land-o
The land that e'er we go

HTML line breaks added. --JoeClone, 13-Jan-02.


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Subject: RE: Hal An Tow: notes?
From: Alan of Australia
Date: 18 Dec 97 - 01:36 AM

G'day,
There was also a verse about "The girt dog of Langport he burnt his long tail"(?) which was a reference to the Danes. Does anyone know it?

Cheers,
Alan


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Subject: RE: Hal An Tow: notes?
From: Wolfgang Hell
Date: 19 Dec 97 - 08:50 AM

Thanks for asking. It made me for the first time read the notes to this song in P. Kennedy (Ed.), Folksongs of Britain and Ireland. Here's most of them:
"Like the Furry Dance, the Hal-an-Tow is also performed at Helston on 8th May by a procession, now of school children, into the contry to gather flowers and branches...It was originally a dance song, but the steps are lost and the custom lapsed from about a century ago till 1930 when it was revived. The oldest surviving version was published by Sandys: 1846...The meaning of the title is disputed. According to one theory it is 'heave on the rope', an adaption by Cornish sailors from the Dutch 'Haal an het touw' ('tow' is pronounced to rhyme with 'cow' in Helston today). Other think it might refer to the heel and toe dance of The Monk's March, which is still danced in the English Cotswold morris tradition.
Mordon evidently inclined to this view, for he writes that it

has every sign of being a processional morris dance even to the slow part at the beginning of the chorus...

But it seems a pity with such a Cornish-sounding title to despair of finding a link with the old language. In 1660 Nicholas Boson of Newlyn said that there the may-pole was set up by men singing 'Haile an Taw and Jolly Rumbelow'. It looks from this as though 'tow' in the seventeenth century rhymed with 'awe'...In Cornish 'Hal an to' (taw) would appear to mean 'Hoist the roof'."

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Hal An Tow: notes?
From: Bruce O.
Date: 19 Dec 97 - 09:26 AM

I have been in Gene and Cowe,
Also in the land of Rumbelow,
Three mile out of hell

from 'Hykescorner', a play printed by Wynkyn de Worde in the early 16th century. I would be gratefull for any other information about the land of Rumbelow.


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Subject: RE: Hal An Tow: notes?
From: Bruce O.
Date: 19 Dec 97 - 10:25 AM

I should perhaps add that Rumbelow was apparently an island. A tag from an early song, probably the burden, has "Row, row, row to Rumbelow", and in one case the name of the boatman was Norman.


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Subject: RE: Hal An Tow: notes?
From: Bert
Date: 19 Dec 97 - 10:59 AM

I like the "Heel & Toe" explanation. It's many years since I've danced the Furry Dance but I do remember the Heel and Toe part, which kind of reminded me of The Palais Glide.


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Subject: RE: Hal An Tow: notes?
From: Nigel Sellars
Date: 20 Dec 97 - 05:16 PM

The Oyster Band has a verse -- which I've seen in versions elsewhere -- refering to the wearing of the horns "Your father's father wore them, and your father wore them, too." Since the "horned god" Cerumnos is part of Celtic lore and the Cornish being Celtic, does suggest the entire ritual has fertility connotations? Or did the Oysters merely add a floater verse?


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Subject: RE: Hal An Tow: notes?
From: Bruce O.
Date: 20 Dec 97 - 06:08 PM

Horns, thats simply the traditional symbolism for a cuckold.


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Subject: RE: Hal An Tow: notes?
From: Jon W.
Date: 22 Dec 97 - 12:52 PM

If cuckoldry doesn't have fertility connotations what does? Where did the traditional symbolism come from? And, if you know the answer to that, where can I go to find the Holy Grail?

PS the horned verse is in both versions I've heard or read. I always thought it was a hunting horn. Dumb me. But it was singular in both. Maybe the song was cleaned up?


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Subject: RE: Hal An Tow: notes?
From: Bruce O.
Date: 22 Dec 97 - 02:01 PM

I don't know for sure, but Horned Vulcan was cuckolded by his wife Venus (with Mars), in a 17th century broadside ballad.
"Holy Grail' is a late addition to the Arthurian tales. It first appears as 'graal' in one of Chretein de Troyes Arthurian romances. It wasn't holy yet, and appears to have been a plate. On the 'Grail' see Graham Phillips & Martin Keatman's 'King Arthur, The True Story', 1992.


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Subject: Lyr Add: MARS AND VENUS... and CUPID'S REVENGE
From: Bruce O.
Date: 22 Dec 97 - 04:10 PM

Mars and Venus' love-makeing was usually figuratively as a battle in songs and ballads. 'Dub'd knight of the forked order' was another expression for 'cornuted' or 'horned'. An unreprinted broadside ballad of about 1650 in the Manchester collection is:

MARS AND VENUS IN OPPOSITION
For
When Mars and faire Venus were both in conjunction
The Cyclops beheld them with some of his fellowes
Poore Vulcan was horned by one of the function,
Whilst he silly Cuckold was blowing the bellowes:
Mars did unto Venus what his skill could afford her,
And dub'd Vulcan Knight of the new forked order.

This concludes:

And seeing that Vulcan was
so cunningly cornuted,
Let's horns so long as Acteons grow
they'l [sic] shall not be cornuted.

[Anyone that can understand this last line is doing better than I can.]

Venus' son Cupid, however, took a rather dim view of the 'battle' between Mars and Venus. A song in 'Merry Drollery', 1661, was expanded into a broadside ballad "Honesty is honesty, come off my mother, sirrah," with the tune direction, "Thomas you cannot." This has not been reprinted, and I do not have a copy. J. S. Farmer, 'Merry Songs and Ballads', I, p. 35, printed the song from a manuscript copy in the Bodleian Library, as follows:

Upon a certain day, when Mars and Venus met together,
All in a shady bower, wheras she did invite him thether;
But when Cupid did espy Mars hit the mark so narrow
He could not abide, but out he cryed
Come off my mother, Sirrah!

"Peace, boy!" quoth he, "and give consent, for Venus is a woman,
born to give the world content, and discontent to no man.
See how I hold her in mine armes," the boy thought he had run her through;
And then cryed the lad, as if he had been mad,
Come off my mother, Sirrah, Sirrah!
Come off my mother, Sirrah!

"I pray thee, Cupid, hold thy peace; I will not hurt thy mother;
Her smiles keep all the world at ease; all discontent is dead.
If thou will give me leave to draw my golden headed arrow,
Ile give thee a groat," "All's one for that,
Come off my mother, Sirrah, Sirrah!
Come off my mother, Sirrah!

"Peace boy!" quoth Venus, this is Mars the furious god of batle
All the heavenly plannets him obey, then cease thy needless prattle.
He is a god, and will command; hee'l neither beg nor borrow."
"-------Be he god or devi;, let him be more civill:
Come off my mother, Sirrah, Sirrah!
Come off my mother, Sirrah!

She tooke the child, and kist his cheek, saying "Mars his rage is over;
His friend that we all must keep; see, nothing thou discover;
He will not stay to trouble thee, heel go from hence to-morrow."
Come off my mother, Sirrah, Sirrah!
Come off my mother, Sirrah!

This song was reworked about 1730 century, giving it a somewhat different meter, requiring a new tune, and was published as a single sheet song with music:

CUPID'S REVENGE.

'Twas on a certain day, when Mars and Venus met,
they both being young and gay, to pleasure quickly Sett.
But little Cupid roguishly, He watched them so Narrow,
He could not hide, but loud he Cry'd
Come off my Mother Sirrah, Sirrah, Sirrah
[Chorus] Sirrah come off my Mother Sirrah.

Dear Cupid hold your tongue, my pretty little Boy,
I'le not your Mother wrong, go your way to play,
O how I Claspt her in my armes as if I'de thrust her thorrow,
Zounds cry's the lad, as if he was Mad,
Come off my Mother, Sirrah, Sirrah &c.

Dear Cupid hold your peace, your Mother is a Woman,
We do this for our ease, in all the World 'tis Common,
Now if you will but give me leave to draw my Golden Arrow,
I'le give you a Groat, pish I value it not,

Come off my Mother, Sirrah, Sirrah &c.

Dear Cupid this is Mars, the furious God of Battle,
All Planets fears his force, pray cease your tittle tattle,
He's a God that do's command, he neither beggs or borrows,
Be he God or Devil, he ought to be civil,
Come off my Mother, Sirrah, Sirrah &c.

She clap't his pouting Cheeks, crying Mars fury over,
Our friendship 'tis he seeks, see nothing you discover,
He will not stay to trouble you, he'le be gone to Morrow,
He may go be hang'd, be curst be damn'd,
Come off my Mother, Sirrah, Sirrah &c.


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Subject: RE: Hal An Tow: notes?
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 22 Dec 97 - 09:11 PM

Bless you, Bruce


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Subject: RE: Hal An Tow: notes?
From: Susan of DT
Date: 22 Dec 97 - 09:23 PM

Doesn't one or more of the dancers wear the stag horn headdress of Curnunos in the ritual dance? Possibly connoting priesthood in an old sect? Might that be 'wore the horns' Isn't guessing wonderful


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Subject: RE: Hal An Tow: notes?
From: Bruce O.
Date: 22 Dec 97 - 09:29 PM

Thank you, Dick. But back to Hal an tow and Furry Dance. These songs look like English Mummers' Plays in miniature. There are a numbers of works on these, but the biggest selection of actual plays I've seen is R. J. E. Tiddy's, published postumously as 'The Mummer's Play', 1923, reprinted 1972. Some of these have short carols at the end, and in some plays the characters danced as the carols were sung.

Not noted as danced is the end song in the Plough Jack Play from North Lincolnshire

Good master and good mistress
As you sit round your fire
Remember us poor plough boys
Who plough the muck and mire
The muck it is so nasty
The mire it is so near
We thank you for civility
For what you've given us here.
We wish you a merry Xmas
And a Happy New Year.
Good master and good mistress
You see our fool's gone out [departed character in the play]
We make it our ability
To follow him about.


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Subject: RE: Hal An Tow: notes?
From: Bruce O.
Date: 22 Dec 97 - 10:16 PM

Susan you are correct. Alan, Brody, 'The English Mummers and Their Plays', p. 26, 1969, calls the horns a symbol of fertility in the Abbots Bromley Horn Dance. A picture is also given of 7 dancers wearing their (deer) antlers.


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Subject: RE: Hal An Tow: notes?
From: Bruce O.
Date: 23 Dec 97 - 01:43 AM

After thinking about this for a while, it seems that |I remember that the bull was the symbol of fertility in antiquity. Bull horns I could acccept as symbols of fertility, but deer antlers? Bulls--t.


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Subject: RE: Hal An Tow: notes?
From: Pete M
Date: 23 Dec 97 - 05:09 AM

In Celtic mythology the horned God was a fertility symbol and whilst in Northern Britain He was normally depicted as a naked man with bull horns but in the South deers antlers were more common, Hal an Tow is almost certainly a relic of a fertility rite, hence the presence of the horned God. The fact that Hal an Tow takes place on St Michaels day also co-incides with the timing of Beltane and the traditional may revels, May of course refering to Hawthorn noy the month of the same name. also a potent fertility symbol and guard against witchcraft.

If anyone doubts the fertility part of these cerimonies, there is a reference some where that I can't lay my hands on at the moment to a complaint by a 16th century member of the "moral majority" that of the score of young females in his village who had gone to the fields "...scarce one had returned a maid!"


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Subject: Tune Add: CUPID'S REVENGE
From: Bruce O.
Date: 23 Dec 97 - 01:51 PM

Here's the tune for a song above.

X:1
T:CUPID'S REVENGE
M:C
K:G
0 G|c3/2d/2 (c/2d/2)e|d3e|=fA A/2B/2)c|B3c|dd/2 e/2 de|\
d3c|BgB(A/2G/2)|G3||B|d3/2e/2dc|BdGd|e3/2f/2g(f/2e/2)|
^dB2(e/2f/2)|gBfB|GEBe|d3/2 B/2 (A/2B/2) c|B/2G3/2z/2c/2A|\
d/2Bz/2g/2ge/2|d3/2B/2 (A/2B/2)c|B/2G3/2z/2|]


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Subject: RE: Hal An Tow: notes?
From: Bruce O.
Date: 23 Dec 97 - 10:15 PM

The Journal of the English Folk Dance and Song Society, 9, pp. 1-41, 1960, contains an article by E. C. Cawte, Alex Helm, R. J. Marriot and N. Peacock, "A Geographical Index of the Ceremonial Dance in Great Britain". Ceremonial dances are there classified. There are few such dances from Wales or Cornwall (see fold out map between pages 39 and 40, and the index). The Abbots Bromley Horn Dance (Staffordshire) is the only known ceremonial, 1620-1956, where the participants used horns. There is a possibilty horns were used in a long defunct dance at Seighford in the same county. This is in Anglo-Saxon England, not Celtic England. So this can hardly be tied in any way to the Celtic god Cerunnos (His name is found only on an altar in Paris)

Nora Chadwick, in her book 'The Celts' points out the bull is a symbol of strength and virility, but says nothing about fertility).

The verse quoted above for "Hal an Tow" about wearing horns (also in the version in DT) is obviously about cuckolding, not about a horned god.

I fail to see anything in song, dance, or folk play relating to any horned god.


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Subject: RE: Hal An Tow: notes?
From: Bruce O.
Date: 24 Dec 97 - 01:16 PM

Back to the original question.

A description of the days activity, connected to the "Furry-Day Song" (Hal an tow) at Helston on May 8, was given in 'The Gentleman's Magazine', June, 1790. This was partially reprinted in R. Bell's 'Ancient Poems, Ballads, and Songs of the Peasantry', 1857. (The internet link to a copy of this has disappeared.) Whether this was in Dixon's edition of 1846 I do not know.

James Reeves, 'The Everlasting Circe', 1960, gives the complete text of "The Gentleman's Magazine' note (from a secondary source). He further adds that Cecil Sharp publish an account obtained from a man who danced a part in the late 19th century in 'The Morris Book'. part V, 1913.

Reeves, in a note on Aunt Mary Moses points out that 'aunt' in Cornwall could be simply a term of affection, but also notes that it might be 17th century slang for a prostitute, and adds that this might also be the case for Aunt Ursula Birdwood in "The Padstow May Song" (of which he gives two texts).


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Subject: Lyr Add: PADSTOW MAY SONG
From: Bruce O.
Date: 18 Jan 98 - 06:10 PM

In a text of the Padstow May song given by Lucy Broadwood in JFSS, #20, 1916, we find the horns thus:

Thou might'st have shown thy knavish face,
Thou might have tarried at home O,
But thou shalt be an old cuckold,
And thou shalt wears the horns.
Chorus: With Hal-an-tow, and jolly rumble O,
For summer is acome O, and winter is ago.
And in every land O, the land that ere we go.


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Subject: RE: Hal An Tow: notes?
From: Bruce O.
Date: 26 Feb 98 - 08:01 PM

Bringing this back for comparison to new thread. Link to Bell's 'Early Ballads' has reapeared in slightly different form. For link to it click on this Forum's 'Links' to 'Sixteenth Century Ballads'.


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Subject: RE: Hal An Tow: notes?
From: BAZ
Date: 27 Feb 98 - 08:25 PM

The Hal an Tow as performed at Helston isn't a dance but is a type of Mummer's play. The players are people of all ages who run through the streets blowing whistles and Shouting OGGIE OGGIE OGGIE OY OY OY!. The play begins with an address of welcome in Cornish and then the song begins. after each verse a short play is enacted the first with St. George killing the dragon and the second with St.Michael Killing the devil.
I haven't checked out the tune given by Bruce yet but the tune used at Helston isn't the one used by the Oyster Band etc.


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Subject: RE: Hal An Tow: notes?
From: Bruce O.
Date: 01 Mar 98 - 06:37 PM

Tune I gave is for a song I gave earlier, and has nothing to do with folk song, procession, dance or mummers' play.


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Subject: RE: Hal An Tow: notes?
From: BAZ
Date: 01 Mar 98 - 06:44 PM

Sorry Bruce I leaped before I looked
BAZ


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Subject: RE: Hal An Tow: notes?
From: Bruce O.
Date: 02 Mar 98 - 12:41 PM

I've done that more times than I care to admit to. And I've scrolled up to find something, and forgotten what part of it was by the time I scrolled back to my message.


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Subject: RE: Hal An Tow: notes?
From:
Date: 14 Apr 99 - 03:19 PM

Refresh

Kernow bys vyken!


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Subject: RE: Hal An Tow: notes?
From: SeanM
Date: 14 Apr 99 - 06:13 PM

Someone a while back mentioned tht they believed that this might be a sea shanty of some variety... I personally don't see it, though .

It doesn't have a good set structure to work to, and in addition, there are many mentions of the song being widespread through many non-seafaring communities in England well before the spread of the penny broadsides.

My two bits, at least...

M


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Subject: RE: Hal An Tow: notes?
From:
Date: 15 Apr 99 - 12:00 PM

For another site with WWI song lyrics - *CLICK HERE*


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Subject: RE: Hal An Tow: notes?
From: AndyG
Date: 15 Apr 99 - 12:52 PM

Flattering [1], but what does WWI have to do with this topic ?

Inquiring minds need to know.

AndyG

[1] Its my website.


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Subject: RE: Hal An Tow: notes?
From: Penny
Date: 15 Apr 99 - 05:18 PM

Not entirely on message, but I was fascinated last year by an automaton in Helston Museum. A cabinet with a small window, through which could be seen a chain of dancers turning round and processing around each other while the Furry Dance played. All made by a local enthusiast with found parts, so the people were not consistent in size or style. But it was such fun!


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Subject: RE: Hal An Tow: notes?
From: Fred/Forsh
Date: 20 Oct 00 - 02:09 AM

My (Late) Dad, Alan Forshaw, some In Oz may remember, sang in a groupe called Rumbellow, he always insisted that this came about because they were asked to sing the song as often. "don't scorn the crest it must be worn it was the mark when you were born, your farthers farther wore it and your farther wore it too, Hal an tow ..etc. people like lionel o'keef or tom suttor (Darwin) may point you towards a recording of this song, by the group.


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Subject: RE: Hal An Tow: notes?
From: Skivee
Date: 20 Oct 00 - 02:32 PM

The horn to me seemed to be a reference to continueing the tradition of Morris dance. The song title is clearly, as we noted on our Ironweed album, two metheods for moving freight


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Subject: RE: Hal An Tow: notes?
From: Garry Gillard
Date: 21 Oct 00 - 10:27 AM

A. L. Lloyd's notes about this song are at the bottom of this page.

Garry


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Subject: RE: Hal An Tow: notes?
From: Snuffy
Date: 26 Oct 00 - 08:34 PM

I like Nigel Sellars' idea (20-Dec-97) about the horns verse being a 'floater' from elsewhere, as its connection to the other verses seems tenuous, but it appears to have got attached to the song well before the Oyster Band recorded it.
It would make sense for this to be part of a straightforward hunting song, and nothing to do with cuckoldry. Shakespeare's version would lend credence to this theory, the last two lines possibly being a refutation of the cuckold significance. Where did he get this song? Stratford is only about 40 miles from Abbots Bromley - is there a connection?

AS YOU LIKE IT (William Shakespeare)

ACT IV, SCENE II - Another Part of the Forest.

Enter JAQUES and Lords, like foresters.
Jaq Which is he that killed the deer?
1 Lord Sir, it was I.
JaqLet's present him to the duke, like a Roman conqueror; and it would do well to set the deer's horns upon his head for a branch of victory. - Have you no song, forester, for this purpose?
2 LordYes, sir.
JaqSing it: 't is no matter how it be in tune, so it make noise enough.
           SONG
 What shall he have, that killed the deer?
His leather skin, and horns to wear.
Then sing him home.
Take thou no scorn, to wear the horn;
It was a crest ere thou wast born.
Thy father's father wore it,
And thy father bore it.
The horn, the horn, the lusty horn,
Is not a thing to laugh to scorn.
 [Exeunt.

Wassail! V


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Subject: RE: Hal An Tow: notes?
From: kendall
Date: 08 Sep 01 - 09:16 AM

Our friend Bernie is a lurker, and, no doubt he will see this thread. If he has something to add, he will say so. It looks like it is pretty well covered though.


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Subject: Lyr Add: HAL-AND-TOW (from The Revels)
From: GUEST,Laurent
Date: 31 May 03 - 10:02 AM

The title seems to be Hal-and-tow
Here are the lyrics from the Revel's CD "Seasons for singing : a celebration of country life" (Revels records CD1095).

Hal-and-tow

It was the crest when you was born;
Your father's father wore it,
And your father wore it too.

Hal-an-tow, jolly rumble O!
We were up long before the day-O
To welcome in the summer,
To welcome in the May-O;
For summer is a comin'in,
And winter's gone away-O!

What 'appened to the Spaniards
That made so great a boast-O?
They shall eat the feathered goose,
And we shall eat the roast-O...

Robin Hood and Little John,
They've both gone to the fair-O.
And we will to the merry green wood
To hunt the buck and hare-O...

God bless Aunt Mary Moses
In all her power and might-O,
And send us peace to England,
Send peace both day and night-O...

There must be a version by the Oyster Band too.

A bientôt
Laurent


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Subject: RE: Hal An Tow: notes?
From: GUEST,Allan in the Isle of Man
Date: 30 Mar 04 - 01:20 PM

Might the reference to the horns not also have a connection with Herne the Hunter?

Also am I correct in thinking that the song may have some connections with the Spanish Armada (eg the "What happened to the Spaniards?" and the reference to the Queen (Queen Elizabeth the First?). This might explain some of the sea faring references, though it wouldn't suprise me if the song dated before this period and has simply evolved.


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Subject: RE: Hal An Tow: notes?
From: Nerd
Date: 30 Mar 04 - 04:02 PM

The problem with Susan of DT's point is that no-one wears antlers in THIS dance. For Bruce to say she is right because in Abbots Bromley they wear antlers is a bit of a stretch. Abbots Bromley is another dance done in another place at another time. If they sang about "wearing the horn" at AB, or if they wore horns at Helston, we'd have something.

Another brief note on this song. In the booklet to the new Watersons box set, one of the W's (Norma I think, but it's at home and I'm not there now...) says that Mike Waterson added the first verse that they sing. She then, in the interview, says "Since Man Has Been Created...," suggesting that the verse in question began that way. But if you listen to the version they actually recorded, the first verse is "Take the scorn and wear the horn...." Is it possible that Mike added this bit of Shakespearean folksong to Hal An Tow in the early 60s? Abby Sale in another thread mentioned a book with this verse connected to the chorus (but no other verses) in 1892. Can anyone confirm? Also, is there such a verse as "since man has been created...?"


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Subject: RE: Hal An Tow: notes?
From: Flash Company
Date: 31 Mar 04 - 05:40 AM

Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch in The Amazing History of Troy Town has a character called Caleb singing:-
Oh, where be the French dogs?
Oh, where be they O?
They be down i' their long boats
All on the salt say,O!
Up flies the kite,
An' down flies the lark, O!
Wi' hale an' tow, rumbelow-'

Not quite sure that it scans to the tune, but obviously from a similar source.
Troy Town is a very recognisable Fowey, still the most beautiful sight you will ever see!

FC


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Subject: RE: Hal An Tow: notes?
From: Snuffy
Date: 31 Mar 04 - 08:17 AM

More like the Padstow song, FC


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