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Origins: Two Magicians

DigiTrad:
HIDE WILLIE HIDE
THE TWO MAGICIANS
TWA MAGICIANS
TWO MAGICIANS


Related threads:
Lyr Req: The Two Magicians (A. L. Lloyd) (18)
Lyr Req: Coal-Black Smith? / Two Magicians (25)
Chords Req: Two Magicians (14)
Lyr Req: Two Magicians -at Reed College Renn Fayre (5)
Twa Magicians (7)


Jambell 02 Nov 01 - 10:15 AM
masato sakurai 02 Nov 01 - 10:52 AM
Abby Sale 02 Nov 01 - 10:59 PM
GUEST,Sledge 03 Nov 01 - 01:32 AM
Ralphie 03 Nov 01 - 09:32 AM
Hollowfox 03 Nov 01 - 10:12 AM
Crane Driver 03 Nov 01 - 09:40 PM
kytrad (Jean Ritchie) 04 Nov 01 - 03:43 PM
Liz the Squeak 05 Nov 01 - 01:58 AM
Liz the Squeak 05 Nov 01 - 01:59 AM
Joe Offer 05 Nov 01 - 06:44 PM
Malcolm Douglas 05 Nov 01 - 09:11 PM
Joe Offer 06 Nov 01 - 03:00 AM
Joe Offer 06 Nov 01 - 04:19 AM
Malcolm Douglas 06 Nov 01 - 11:26 AM
Joe Offer 06 Nov 01 - 11:40 AM
Malcolm Douglas 06 Nov 01 - 11:55 AM
robinia 30 Nov 01 - 01:05 PM
GUEST,MCP 30 Nov 01 - 04:07 PM
CraigS 30 Nov 01 - 05:52 PM
kytrad (Jean Ritchie) 30 Nov 01 - 07:01 PM
Malcolm Douglas 30 Nov 01 - 08:23 PM
GUEST,robinia 01 Dec 01 - 03:15 AM
GUEST,robinia 01 Dec 01 - 03:29 AM
GUEST,MCP 01 Dec 01 - 05:02 AM
Amos 01 Dec 01 - 11:05 AM
GUEST,robinia 02 Dec 01 - 12:52 AM
GUEST,robinia 02 Dec 01 - 01:11 AM
GUEST,MCP 02 Dec 01 - 04:10 AM
GUEST,MCP 02 Dec 01 - 04:57 AM
Susanne (skw) 02 Dec 01 - 09:16 PM
GUEST,MCP 03 Dec 01 - 06:11 AM
Susanne (skw) 03 Dec 01 - 05:44 PM
magician 04 Dec 01 - 08:45 AM
GUEST 04 Dec 01 - 05:22 PM
Fiddlegrrl 24 Mar 03 - 12:34 PM
IanC 24 Mar 03 - 12:42 PM
Fiddlegrrl 24 Mar 03 - 12:54 PM
MMario 24 Mar 03 - 01:09 PM
Malcolm Douglas 24 Mar 03 - 01:15 PM
Fiddlegrrl 24 Mar 03 - 03:12 PM
Mr Happy 24 Mar 03 - 03:25 PM
Dita 25 Mar 03 - 07:57 AM
Dave Bryant 25 Mar 03 - 09:07 AM
Malcolm Douglas 25 Mar 03 - 09:23 AM
GUEST,judmat 06 Apr 04 - 07:09 AM
GUEST,judmat 06 Apr 04 - 07:24 AM
pavane 06 Apr 04 - 07:49 AM
GUEST,judmat 13 Apr 04 - 09:03 AM
Jim Dixon 25 Jan 11 - 04:26 PM
Nigel Parsons 18 Feb 11 - 06:16 AM
theleveller 18 Feb 11 - 06:51 AM
GUEST,Bob Coltman 18 Feb 11 - 03:35 PM
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Desert Dancer 18 Feb 11 - 05:43 PM
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SPB-Cooperator 21 Feb 11 - 10:50 PM
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Subject: Two Magicians?
From: Jambell
Date: 02 Nov 01 - 10:15 AM

Hello All-

I am trying to remember (though I may have dreamed it) a version of the Two Magicians. I remember a version that was somewhat rock, but is not Steeleye Span or Llyod. It was sung by a man, but I don't think it was John and Tony.

Any ideas, I would appreciate.

Josh


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Subject: RE: Help: Two Magicians?
From: masato sakurai
Date: 02 Nov 01 - 10:52 AM

Martin Carthy?


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Subject: RE: Help: Two Magicians?
From: Abby Sale
Date: 02 Nov 01 - 10:59 PM

You sure not Span? They do do it on Now We Are Six


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Subject: RE: Help: Two Magicians?
From: GUEST,Sledge
Date: 03 Nov 01 - 01:32 AM

Try Bob Fox on "box of gold".

Cheers

Sledge


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Subject: RE: Help: Two Magicians?
From: Ralphie
Date: 03 Nov 01 - 09:32 AM

It's also the opening track on an LP my band "Crows" recorded on 1980......Long out of print, sadly (Not everyones opinion!!)
PM me and we can sort something out??
Ralphie


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Subject: RE: Help: Two Magicians?
From: Hollowfox
Date: 03 Nov 01 - 10:12 AM

Ewan MacColl? A.L. Lloyd?


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Subject: RE: Help: Two Magicians?
From: Crane Driver
Date: 03 Nov 01 - 09:40 PM

Ewan MacColl or Bert Lloyd - somewhat rock?

The mind is too numb to boggle

LOL


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Subject: RE: Help: Two Magicians?
From: kytrad (Jean Ritchie)
Date: 04 Nov 01 - 03:43 PM

Is this the song beginning: O she looked out of the window as white as any silk, and he looked into the window as black as any silk.....? Chorus is

Hullo, hullo hullo, hullo, you coalblack smith-
You have done me no harm;
You shall never change my maiden name
That I have kept so long.
I'd rather die a maid, yes but then she said,
And be buried all in my grave-
Than to have such a nasty, husky-dusky, musty- fusky
Coal-black smith! A maiden I will die!

Have the rest of the words if they're wanted. Jean


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Subject: RE: Help: Two Magicians?
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 05 Nov 01 - 01:58 AM

Hey Ralphie - I remember that!! I may even have bootlegged it. We certainly booked a band called Crows for our club down in Dorset then... of course it may not have been the same band... we booked them 3 times and they never did turn up.... ever.....

LTS


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Subject: RE: Help: Two Magicians?
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 05 Nov 01 - 01:59 AM

By the way Ralphie - what's the rest of your name? It wouldn't be Jordan would it??

LTS


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Subject: ADD Version: Twa Magicians^^
From: Joe Offer
Date: 05 Nov 01 - 06:44 PM

Click for related thread

Click for lyrics in Digital Tradition

Hmmm. You'd think we'd have more versions of this. Jean, please post what you have if it's different from what we have. I found this version on a CD I picked up recently. Any others?
-Joe Offer-


TWA MAGICIANS

She looked out of the window
As white as any milk
He looked out of the window
As black as any silk

Refrain
"Hello, hello, hello, hello
You coal black smith
You have done me no harm
You never shall have me maidenhead
That I have kept so long
I'd rather die a maid-o,"
And then she said,
"And be buried all in me grave,
Than to have such a nasty,
Husky, dusty, fussy, musty
Coal black smith!
A maiden I shall die!"

She became a hare,
A hare all on the plain,
And he became a good greyhound
And fetched her back again.
Refrain

She became a duck,
A duck all on the stream
And he became a water-dog
And fetched her back again
Refrain

She became a fly
A fly all in the air
And he became a spider
And carried her to his lair
Refrain

She became a dove
A dove all in the air
And he became another dove
And they flew pair in pair
Refrain

She became a plaid
A plaid all on the bed
And he became a coverlet
And gained her maidenhead
Refrain


As recorded by Nancy Thym on "If I Had Wings Like Noah's Dove," Thym's notes say her version came from the singing of a blacksmith named Mr. Sparks, Minehead, Somerset, August 8, 1904.

Child #44^^

Here's the Traditional Ballad Index entry on this song:

    Twa Magicians, The [Child 44]

    DESCRIPTION: A (blacksmith) sees a girl who pleases him, and sets out to sleep with her. She tries to foil him with magic transformations, but he proves as sorcerous as she, and gains her maidenhead
    AUTHOR: unknown
    EARLIEST DATE: 1828 (Buchan)
    KEYWORDS: magic seduction rape shape-changing
    FOUND IN: Britain(England,(Scotland(Aber))
    REFERENCES (10 citations):
    Child 44, "The Twa Magicians" (1 text)
    Bronson 44, "The Twa Magicians" (1 version plus 11 versions of "Hares on the Mountain")
    GreigDuncan2 334, "The Twa Magicians" (1 fragment)
    BarryEckstormSmyth pp. 442-445, "The Two Magicians" (notes plus a copy of Buchan's text and a stanza of "Hares on the Mountain")
    Leach, pp. 152-154, "The Twa Magicians" (1 text)
    PBB 25, "The Twa Magicians" (1 text)
    Sharp-100E 20, "The Two Magicians" (1 text, 1 tune) {Bronson's #1}
    DBuchan 47, "The Twa Magicians" (1 text)
    DT 44, MAGICN2*
    ADDITIONAL: Bob Stewart, _Where Is Saint George? Pagan Imagery in English Folksong_, revised edition, Blandford, 1988, p. 40, "The Two Magicians" (1 text, 1 tune)

    Roud #1350
    RECORDINGS:
    A. L. Lloyd, "Two Magicians" (on Lloyd3, BirdBush1, BirdBush2) [tune by Lloyd]
    CROSS-REFERENCES:
    cf. "Hares on the Mountain" (theme)
    cf. "Les Metamorphoses (Metamorphoses)" (theme)
    NOTES: Sharp bowdlerizes "gain my maidenhead" to "change my maiden name" (!) -PJS
    Bronson believes that the ballad "Hares on the Mountain" is a very-much-worn-down version of this piece. This is, at best, currently beyond proof; personally, I don't believe it.
    The idea of gaining a lover who is changing shape has ancient roots. We find it in Ovid's "Metamorphoses," where Peleus (the father of Achilles) finds Thetis in a cave and attempts to couple with her. To defeat him, she turns into a bird, a tree, and a tigress. The latter scares him off, but eventually he catches her while asleep (XI.225ff.). And Zeus, of course, used myriad guises to gain access to women. For other examples, see Emily Lyle, Fairies and Folk: Approaches to the Scottish Ballad Tradition, Wissenschaflicher Verlag Trier, 2007, p. 138.
    Bob Stewart, p. 41, proposes an alternate explanation, that the song derives from early Christian legends of saints combatting shape-changing priests. In medieval Catholic England, it is true that these stories would likely have been better-known than Ovid. But the parallels are less close. In any case, it seems to me there are plenty of shape-changing tales in folklore which might provide the root of this song!
    Lyle, p. 81, suggests that this is a "levelling" ballad, with the low-status blacksmith pursuing a member of (presumably) the gentry or even the nobility. Unfortunately, with so few substantial British texts to work from, I think this has to remain speculation. She also suggests (p. 82) that the song is a "conception story"-- that is, a tale of how some significant figure came to be born. I agree that it has many of the hallmarks of such a tale, but of course the drawback is that there is no hint in the extant versions that the lady becomes pregnant, let alone bears a noteworthy child. - RBW
    Last updated in version 2.5
    File: C044

    Go to the Ballad Search form
    Go to the Ballad Index Instructions
    Go to the Bibiography
    Go to the Discography

    The Ballad Index Copyright 2010 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.


Roud Index Search


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Subject: RE: Help: Two Magicians?
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 05 Nov 01 - 09:11 PM

Mr. Sparks' tune, as noted by Cecil Sharp, can be heard at  Mudcat Midis:

Coal Black Smith

See also  Bold Black Smith  for a little more related discussion.


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Subject: ADD: Twa Magicians (Child #44)^^
From: Joe Offer
Date: 06 Nov 01 - 03:00 AM

The text in the Digital Tradition is similar to what's in Child, but I thought I'd post the Child text. Thanks to MMario - he gave me a text copy of all the Child Ballad texts.
-Joe Offer-


THE TWA MAGICIANS

The lady stands in her bower door,
As straight as willow wand;
The blacksmith stood a little forebye,
Wi hammer in his hand.

Weel may ye dress ye, lady fair,
Into your robes o red;
Before the morn at this same time,
Ill gain your maidenhead.

Awa, awa, ye coal-black smith,
Woud ye do me the wrang
To think to gain my maidenhead,
That I hae kept sae lang!

Then she has hadden up her hand,
And she sware by the mold,
I wudna be a blacksmiths wife
For the full o a chest o gold.

Id rather I were dead and gone,
And my body laid in grave,
Ere a rusty stock o coal-black smith
My maidenhead shoud have.

But he has hadden up his hand,
And he sware by the mass,
Ill cause ye be my light leman
For the hauf o that and less.

O bide, lady, bide,
And aye he bade her bide;
The rusty smith your leman shall be,
For a your muckle pride.

Then she became a turtle dow,
To fly up in the air,
And he became another dow,
And they flew pair and pair.
O bide, lady, bide, &c.

She turnd hersell into an eel,
To swim into yon burn,
And he became a speckled trout,
To gie the eel a turn.
O bide, lady, bide, &c.

Then she became a duck, a duck,
To puddle in a peel,
And he became a rose-kaimd drake,
To gie the duck a dreel.
O bide, lady, bide, &c.

She turnd hersell into a hare,
To rin upon yon hill,
And he became a gude grey-hound,
And boldly he did fill.
O bide, lady, bide, &c.

Then she became a gay grey mare,
And stood in yonder slack,
And he became a gilt saddle,
And sat upon her back.

Was she wae, he held her sae,
And still he bade her bide;
The rusty smith her leman was,
For a her muckle pride.

Then she became a het girdle,
And he became a cake,
And a the ways she turnd hersell,
The blacksmith was her make.
Was she wae, &c.

She turnd hersell into a ship,
To sail out ower the flood;
He caed a nail intill her tail,
And syne the ship she stood.
Was she wae, &c.

Then she became a silken plaid,
And stretchd upon a bed,
And he became a green covering,
And gaind her maidenhead.
Was she wae, &c.

Source: Child - the English & Scottish Popular Ballads
This is the only text in Child for this song.

Child #44^^


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Subject: ADD Version: Two Magicians^^^
From: Joe Offer
Date: 06 Nov 01 - 04:19 AM

Here's the version from One Hundred English Folksongs, edited by Cecil Sharp (1916). It's almost the same as the Nancy Thym version I posted above, but it has fewer verses and the beginning makes more sense.
-Joe Offer-

THE TWO MAGICIANS

She looked out of the window
As white as any milk
He looked into the window
As black as any silk

Refrain
"Hulloa, hulloa, hulloa, hulloa
You coal black smith
You have done me no harm
You never shall change my maiden name
That I have kept so long
I'd rather die a maid,"
Yes, but then she said,
"And be buried all in my grave,
Than I'd have such a nasty,
Husky, dusky, musty, fusky
Coal black smith!
A maiden I will die!"

Then she became a duck,
A duck all on the stream
And he became a water-dog
And fetched her back again
Refrain

Then she became a hare,
A hare upon the plain,
And he became a greyhound dog
And fetched her back again.
Refrain

Then she became a fly
A fly all in the air
And he became a spider
And fetched her to his lair
Refrain^^^


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Subject: RE: Help: Two Magicians?
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 06 Nov 01 - 11:26 AM

The set in Child was taken from Buchan's Ballads of the North of Scotland (I, 24; 1828), and was the only Scottish example known to Bronson; the Sparks set was the only known English one, and the only one with a tune.  Apart from that mistake in the first verse, Nancy Thym has just added a couple of verses onto the end, which appear to be anglicisations of material from the Scottish set.  Any other "versions" appearing on record will be modern adaptations, not traditional; the best-known one probably being A.L. Lloyd's re-write, set to another tune (he didn't say, so far as I know, whether it was traditional or his own).  À propos of that, Lloyd commented "Dr. Vaughan Williams once said: The practice of re-writing a folk song is abominable, and I wouldn't trust anyone to do it except myself."

The Traditional Ballad Index accuses Sharp of bowdlerisation; since the original MS transcription of Mr. Sparks' singing has maiden name, and since Sharp only edited for publication, I think we can be confident that Mr. Sparks sang maiden name as noted.  Autres temps, autres mœurs; it is a mistake to imagine that the turn-of-the-century collectors were necessarily more prudish (as we might call it now) than those from whom they collected.


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Subject: RE: Help: Two Magicians?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 06 Nov 01 - 11:40 AM

Malcolm, do you think that Sharp's One Hundred English Folksongs contains all the verses Sharp collected? Note that the verses in the Nancy Thym recording coincide with verses in the Child version.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Help: Two Magicians?
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 06 Nov 01 - 11:55 AM

Yes; Sharp published the full text as he had it from Mr. Sparks, except for the final line of the refrain, which (pesumably to make better sense?) he changed to A maiden I will die, though his source had actually sung My maiden name shall die.
Transferred from a related thread.
-Joe Offer-

30-Nov-01 - 09:10 AM (#600867)
Subject: Two Magicians
From: robinia


Does anyone know when A.L. Lloyd reinvented "The Two Magicians," i.e., when he adapted the long unsung Buchan text (the only one Child gives for this ballad, without any tune of course) to a new tune? I assume it was around the 60's but would like more info.... And does anyone know English Folk-Songs for Schools (coll. and arr. by Gould and Sharp; Curwen, London)? I'm trying to date this tattered paperback (from which I learned the Sharp version of the same ballad) and can only tell, from the dedication that it was during the reign of George V...


The following post by robinia was copied from a duplicate thread. It has some additional information. --JoeClone
I 'm guessing it was around the 60's when A.L. Lloyd adapted the long unsung "Buchan text" (the only one that Child gives for "The Twa Magicians") to a new tune. Can anyone give me more info on this, like a more precise date for starters? Also, does anyone know when my tattered English Folk-Songs for Schools (coll. and arr. by Gould and Sharp; Curwen & Sons, London) might have been published? I know it was pre-1936, and Bronsen tells me that the Sharp tune and text to "The Two Magicians," which I first learned here, dates from 1905 .... I know how nitty-picky all this must sound, but I'm working on footnotes to a controversial scholarly project -- and the old ballad is a key part of it.

30-Nov-01 - 09:39 AM (#600884)
Subject: RE: Two Magicians
From: Malcolm Douglas


The book was first published in 1905, I believe.  Lloyd seems to have been as vague as usual about The Two Magicians; I don't recall ever coming across any substantive information about his treatment of it.


30-Nov-01 - 11:13 AM (#600943)
Subject: RE: Two Magicians
From: GUEST,MCP


Lloyd recorded it in 1966 so that would give you an upper limit on his version. There's a Carthy/Swarbrick live recording from 1966 also, but I'm not sure of which version. If it is the Lloyd one, you could try asking Martin Carthy.

And 1905 is the correct date for English Folk Songs For Schools (quite fast into print, as Sharp only collected the Somerset version in August 1904).

Mick


30-Nov-01 - 11:33 AM (#600952)
Subject: RE: Two Magicians
From: robinia


Thanks a bunch. Lloyd's recording date will satisfy scholars I hope (I did talk to Carthy some time ago: he was the one who told me that Lloyd was responsible for the new-old version.) And my, no wonder that old songbook of mine is fallling apart! The second posting of this thread was a goof, by the way. My apologies.....


30-Nov-01 - 12:13 PM (#600988)
Subject: RE: Two Magicians
From: Joe Offer


There is a related thread that turned into a very interesting discussion earlier this month. It's probably best to search for previous discussions on a subject, rather than starting a new thread - the discussions seem to develop better if they're not divided.
-Joe Offer-

So I transferred the other thread to here.



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Subject: RE: Help: Two Magicians?
From: robinia
Date: 30 Nov 01 - 01:05 PM

I'm curious about how people TAKE this ballad, my sense of it (comfirmed by Tony Barrand) being that it's commonly misinterpreted as a "rape song." See my website for a radically different view (and I'm hungry for feedback) or just share your sense of the song..


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Subject: RE: Help: Two Magicians?
From: GUEST,MCP
Date: 30 Nov 01 - 04:07 PM

(Joe - Not sure which thread I should be in now!)

There is another (very brief - 1 verse) source for this in the Greig-Duncan collection (from the prolific Bell Robertson), that doesn't seem to be in the Ballad Index citation:

She became a ship, a ship
And sailed upon the sea;
And he became a mariner, Aboard o' her gaed he,
Sayin', Bide lassie, bide,
And aye he bade her bide,
And be the brookie smith's wife,
And that'll lay your pride.



The notes say that the song was know to Mrs.Robertson's mother before the Buchan text was published and quotes several letters from Mrs.Robertson to Greig relating this (and the differences with the Buchan version).

robinia - I'm not sure about the "commonly misinterpreted as a rape song" (don't know where your web site is, so I can't see what your interpretation is). Lloyd in Folk Song In England devotes the best part of a page to the song with allusions to (amongst other things)shamanistic duels and the "Bronze age notion of the smith as an essentially superhuman being, a triumphant wonder-worker, the magical master of the Earth-Mother in whose belly metal grows.

In Willa Muir's Living With Ballads the song (interestingly indexed as The Twa Musicians) she describes it as "following a well-worn tradition of transformation contests in Europe and in Asia that may derive, it is said, from magical contests between Buddhist and Brahman saints." and going onto priest-kings and substitute sacrifices.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Help: Two Magicians?
From: CraigS
Date: 30 Nov 01 - 05:52 PM

Two things spring to mind:

1) The best version I have ever heard was by Fred Wedlock and Mike Evans, which they recorded on a (home-made) LP that they sold on their tour - about 1975

2) There was a version popular in the 70s which had an elaborate chorus, which went something like:

Hello,hello,hello,hello you coal-black smith You do to me great wrong To think to have my maidenhead which I have kept so long I'd rather die a maiden and be buried in my grave Than a lusty dusty ?????? coal-black smith My maidenhead should have.


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Subject: RE: Help: Two Magicians?
From: kytrad (Jean Ritchie)
Date: 30 Nov 01 - 07:01 PM

Joe- The lyric and the melody we sang is basically the same as Sharp's in "One Hundred English," so there's no reason to give those to you again. Small differences: We always sang, "I shall-never change my maiden name..." instead of "never shall." And although none of us girls would ever have admitted as much, we secretly thought that the "maiden name" was a coverup for "maidenhead..." Sharp did have a reputation for cleaning up the songs he wanted to print in school textbooks.

In the digital-trad tune given, there should be no pause after, "Yes, but then she said." It should go straight on into, "and be buried all in my grave." And the tempo is sprightly, as in this form it is meant to be humorous. Jean


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE TWA MAGICIANS
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 30 Nov 01 - 08:23 PM

The midi was made from Sharp's notation of Mr. Sparks' singing, rather than from the later piano arrangement, so we will have to blame him for the phrasing and tempo!  As I mentioned earlier, Sharp was not to blame for maiden name; that is how Mr. Sparks sang it.

Very few examples of the song have been found in tradition in Britain, and until relatively recently the Sparks variant carried the only known traditional tune for it (I discount for the moment the large number of Hares on the Mountain songs, sometimes considered relatives, but about which there is still disagreement); as Mike mentioned above, Greig-Duncan contains only a fragment, without a tune.

There is another traditional set with a tune, however, which was noted in the early 1930s by James Carpenter from Bell Duncan of Aberdeenshire, a prolific singer who also supplied the only known traditional tune for The White Fisher.  This remained unpublished until 1980, when it was included in Roy Palmer's Everyman's Book of British Ballads.

THE TWA MAGICIANS

(Noted by James Carpenter from Bell Duncan of Lambhill, Inch, Aberdeenshire)

The smith he stood in his smithy door,
An' she cam' by the door,
Could hardly stand for pride.
The smith he cried:
"Bide, lassie, bide,"
An' aye he bade her bide,
"An' be a brookie smith's wife,
An' that will lay your pride."


She became a ship, a ship,
An' sailed upon the sea,
An' he became a mariner,
An' aboard o' her gaed he.
"Bide, lassie, bide,"
An' aye he bade her bide,
"An' be a brookie smith's wife,
An' that will lay your pride."


She becam' a girdle
An' he becam' a cake,
An' a' things that she did become
The smith becam' her make.
And it's bide, lassie, bide,
An' aye he bade her bide,
An' be a brookie smith's wife,
An' that'll lay your pride.


She becam' a duke, a duke,
To puddle in a peel,
An' he becam' a drake, a drake,
Tae gie the duke a dreel.
And it's bide, lassie, bide,
An' aye he bade her bide,
"An' be a brookie smith's wife,
An' that'll lay your pride.


Palmer prints staff notation for the third and fourth verses and choruses.  A midi made from these goes to the  Mudcat Midi Pages,  and can be heard meanwhile via the  South Riding Folk Network  site:

The Twa Magicians (Bell Duncan set).

Quite close relatives of this tune turn up attached to, for example, The Forester (The Knight and the Shepherd's Daughter) and Johnny Sangster.


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Subject: RE: Help: Two Magicians?
From: GUEST,robinia
Date: 01 Dec 01 - 03:15 AM

Wow, I should have queried you guys before: you turn up some great material! But my "commonly misinterpreted as rape" comment, Mick, refers to audience reaction and not to esoteric scholarly research -- to what Tony Barrand said in an encouraging email to my website (sorry, it's www.reenchantmentofsex.com): that he and John are often "accosted with this 'rape song' argument after singing 'The Two Magicians' . . . we don't sing it much anymore because in certain audiences it can cast the wrong mood" I'm quoting a bit from memory here (and I'm correcting his "mod" which I assume was a typo for "mood"). I'm also surmising that these "certain audiences" were often on college campuses where political correctness (and the cult of feminine victimhood)loom large. SO.... it's nice to know that the ballad is still so very much alive. (And also very nice to get some good networking tips; being targeting by porn search engines can get you down....)


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Subject: RE: Help: Two Magicians?
From: GUEST,robinia
Date: 01 Dec 01 - 03:29 AM

PS to Charlie Baum, I figured out what I was doing wrong with that web site address. Finally. (Some of us are still computer-challenged)


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Subject: RE: Help: Two Magicians?
From: GUEST,MCP
Date: 01 Dec 01 - 05:02 AM

The address for robinia's site (invisible above) is The Re-enchantment of Sex: defense of a "rapist" erotic myth

Mick


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Subject: RE: Help: Two Magicians?
From: Amos
Date: 01 Dec 01 - 11:05 AM

Malcolm, Joe, MCP -- especially Malcom:

Your eruditiion and scholarly sweat is incredibly valuable. And I want to add, greatly appreciated by a large number of silent admirers.

Many, many thanks for the work, the shared information, the insight and new discoveries that add so much to the real flavor of the 'Cat.

Regards,

Amos


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Subject: RE: Help: Two Magicians?
From: GUEST,robinia
Date: 02 Dec 01 - 12:52 AM

Well yes, Mick, that's the title of my site. But the address--what you have to click if you want to see it is Or was that somehow already obvious?


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Subject: RE: Help: Two Magicians?
From: GUEST,robinia
Date: 02 Dec 01 - 01:11 AM

OK, I get the message that actual web addresses are not allowed on this forum -- or is it dot.coms? (a designation I picked out of total ignorance) Sorry to have been so slow on the uptake...


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Subject: RE: Help: Two Magicians?
From: GUEST,MCP
Date: 02 Dec 01 - 04:10 AM

robinia - there's no ban on the web address - the only problem was your formatting of it as <REENCHANTMENTOFSEX.COM>. All I did was reformat it correctly to appear as a link:
<a href="http://www.reenchantmentofsex.com">LinkText</a>

Have a look in the site map for technical things and it will show you how to do this.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Help: Two Magicians?
From: GUEST,MCP
Date: 02 Dec 01 - 04:57 AM

robinia - I didn't express the problem very well - it was you use of the greater/less-than (< >) signs around your address that caused the problem - they will make it look like an unrecognised HTML command and it will not appear in the display. If you'd omitted them your address would have displayed normally as (non-linking) text. Typing the form I gave above is the way to create a clickable link to your address. As well as the permanent technical note there's a thread running on these at the moment (something like 'Blue clickie things')

Mick
(Did I get a helpful editorial correction to my last post;if so thanks - MCP)


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Subject: RE: Help: Two Magicians?
From: Susanne (skw)
Date: 02 Dec 01 - 09:16 PM

Mick, I don't see your problem. Robinia's link worked all right for me, even though it gave the url and not the title. We can have it both ways now! Thanks, both of you. Now I'll be back to robinia's site, which looks quite interesting ...


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Subject: RE: Help: Two Magicians?
From: GUEST,MCP
Date: 03 Dec 01 - 06:11 AM

I think there's been some mudcat editorial intervention since yesterday. For example the source text yesterday (from my computer cache was:

(sorry, it's <WWW.REENCHANTMENTOFSEX.COM>):

whereas now there's a proper HTML link inserted as:
(sorry, it's <A href="http://www.reenchantmentofsex.com/">http://www.reenchantmentofsex.com/</A>):

If you check the source for the robinia message above at: 30-Nov-01 - 01:05 PM, the text "See my website " is also followed by the (still unedited) <REENCHANTMENTOFSEX.COM>

On reading the original posts I realised that there must have been a link/URL intended. I looked at the source and put up a proper link to the site.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Help: Two Magicians?
From: Susanne (skw)
Date: 03 Dec 01 - 05:44 PM

Sorry, I missed that! Must have been a Joeclone at work, because Joe usually leaves a message when he edits.
Nope, it was Joe. I don't usually annotate fixed links or corrections of typographical errors, unless I see a teaching opportunity. I do make note when I add line breaks, because there's almost always a need for teaching there (and I have a ready-made note for that one).
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Help: Two Magicians?
From: magician
Date: 04 Dec 01 - 08:45 AM

i thought there was only one


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Subject: RE: Help: Two Magicians?
From: GUEST
Date: 04 Dec 01 - 05:22 PM

The papers at the site above mentioned are all first class - I'd advise anyone interested in the subject(not just in Child 44 but in all the folk song material many of us put away in the 70's as "sexist")to read them closely. Jon Bartlett


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Subject: RE: Help: Two Magicians?
From: Fiddlegrrl
Date: 24 Mar 03 - 12:34 PM

I'm ressurecting this old thread because I had a question.   I'm still kind of new to the MudCat -- I've seen this done before so hopefully it's the right thing to do (as opposed to starting a new thread). :)

Here are my conclusions on the discussion so far:

If I'm reading this correctly, we only have a couple of versions of "The Two Magicians", One is Buchan's version, which Child includes in his collection. The other is the only one we have a tune for, which originates with a Mr. Sharp and is included in Cecil Sharp's collection. There's the A.L. Lloyd version too, which appears to be an attempt to adapt the Buchan version and set it to music. We're not sure if it's A.L. Lyod who wrote the tune or not.

(Is that right? Yes/no? If I'm missed something, please correct me! :) )

Okay, here's my question: where did the Sparks recording come from? Who collected it? Is there a reference made to it in one of those scholarly books on ballads somewhere? I have Cecil Sharp's ONE HUNDRED ENGLISH FOLKSONGS and he doesn't make mention of Sparks. I'm curious to know who collected that version.

Related question, sorta: did Alan Lomax ever collect a version of this song? I have the CLASSIC BALLADS OF BRITAIN AND IRELAND cd's from Rounder, which are, if I understand right, an abridgement of previously released Lomax recordings. I'm wondering if "The Two Magicians" was ever collected by Lomax and perhaps included in some of these earlier recordings.

Thanks for the help!

xo,
E. Bess


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Subject: RE: Help: Two Magicians?
From: IanC
Date: 24 Mar 03 - 12:42 PM

Sung by Mr Sparks (Blacksmith) Minehead, Somerset, Collected by C. Sharp 1904.


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Subject: RE: Help: Two Magicians?
From: Fiddlegrrl
Date: 24 Mar 03 - 12:54 PM

Okay! And reference to that is made where? (I'm not familiar with all of Sharp's work.)

xo,
E. Bess


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Subject: RE: Help: Two Magicians?
From: MMario
Date: 24 Mar 03 - 01:09 PM

August 8, 1904 according to Bronson


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Subject: RE: Help: Two Magicians?
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 24 Mar 03 - 01:15 PM

Earlier in this thread, for one! Sharp didn't as a rule give his sources' names in One Hundred English Folksongs, but Mr Sparks' set has been widely published by Sharp and others, with collecting details: to be absolutely precise, it was noted on the 8th of August.

Maud Karpeles (ed), Cecil Sharp's Collection of English Folk Songs (OUP 1974)

Maud Karpeles (ed), The Crystal Spring: English Folk Songs Collected by Cecil Sharp (OUP 1975 and 1987)

The Journal of the Folk Song Society (vol. II issue 6 1905)

...and so on. All known traditional versions have been mentioned in this thread, I think; Lomax did not find any.


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Subject: RE: Help: Two Magicians?
From: Fiddlegrrl
Date: 24 Mar 03 - 03:12 PM

Ooop! And so it was! *groan*

Thank you kindly for setting me straight. I've been reading your posts, Malcolm, and I'm quite in awe at how knowledgable you are about all of this stuff.

Thanks again.

xo,
E. Bess


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Subject: RE: Help: Two Magicians?
From: Mr Happy
Date: 24 Mar 03 - 03:25 PM

a 'coal blacksmith' verse i heard recently was;

'then she became a sheet, asheet all on the bed,
and he became a duvet and he popped her maidenhead'

hello, hello, etc


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Subject: RE: Help: Two Magicians?
From: Dita
Date: 25 Mar 03 - 07:57 AM

I have always understood that A L LLoyd used the tune of another Child ballad for his 60's version, and not a new tune of his own.
I will have to look tonight for my source of this information.

The reason this has stuck with me for so long, was that I liked the tune, and wondered what ballad it had come from.

However if Malcolm dosn't know I doubt I'l never find out.

john.


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Subject: RE: Help: Two Magicians?
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 25 Mar 03 - 09:07 AM

Martin Carthy (with a great backing by Swarb) sang the Bide Lady Bide version on his first LP. I much prefer it to the Steeleye (Away, away, away, away) version. It's quite fun to use a verb suitable to what the Smith has turned into to introduce the chorus, ie Greyhound Dog - Barking Bide, Lady Bide, Saddle - Squeaking etc.

BTW Liz - Yes Ralphie (Jordan) was a member of Crows !


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Subject: RE: Help: Two Magicians?
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 25 Mar 03 - 09:23 AM

I'd be interested to know where Lloyd got his tune; do please add any information you come up with. I may easily have missed something that is well-known elsewhere; it was only a couple of years ago, for example, that I noticed that the tune Lloyd used for his Jack Orion was the same one that Andy Stewart used for Donald Where's your Trousers (and I still don't know what it's really called)! I did work out where Andy Irvine got the tune for Willy of Winsbury all by myself, but I'm sure that plenty of other people knew already.


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Subject: RE: Help: Two Magicians?
From: GUEST,judmat
Date: 06 Apr 04 - 07:09 AM

have recently discovered steeleye span. Would love to have the words as you have described them for two magicians.


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Subject: RE: Help: Two Magicians?
From: GUEST,judmat
Date: 06 Apr 04 - 07:24 AM

weeeeellll Ive continued down the page and discovered all the words and more......many thanks
anyone can see me - I'm very, very green!!!


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Subject: RE: Help: Two Magicians?
From: pavane
Date: 06 Apr 04 - 07:49 AM

I have in my archives a recording (from Swansea Sound's folk program long ago) by Crows...not the Two Magicians though.


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Subject: RE: Help: Two Magicians?
From: GUEST,judmat
Date: 13 Apr 04 - 09:03 AM

Recently went to my first Steeleye concert - the sound was terrible----------- but the double cd 'Present' absolutely fantastic. Hence my following up the words and tunes.
Thank you Pavane. Would love to hear it. How does one go about this project?


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Subject: ADD Version: THE TWA MAGICIANS
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 25 Jan 11 - 04:26 PM

From Noctes Ambrosianae, Volume 2 by John Wilson et al. (Edinburgh and London: W. Blackwood and Sons, 1827), page 137:


THE TWA MAGICIANS.

The lady stands in her bower door,
As straight as willow wand;
The blacksmith stood a little forbye,
Wi' hammer in his hand.

Weel may ye dress ye, lady fair,
Into your robes o' red,
Before the morn at this same time,
I'll loose your silken snood.

Awa, awa, ye coal-black smith,
Wud ye do me the wrang,
To think to gain my virgin love,
That I hae kept sae lang?

Then she has hadden up her hand,
And she sware by the mold,
I wudna be a blacksmith's wife
For a' the warld's gold.

O! rather I were dead and gone,
And my body laid in grave,
Ere a rusty stock o' coal-black smith
My virgin love should have.

But he has hadden up his hand,
And he sware by the mass,
I'll cause ye be my light leman,
For the hauf o' that and less.

CHORUS: O bide, lady bide,
And aye he bade her bide;
The rusty smith your leman shall be,
For a' your meikle pride.

Then she became a turtle dow,
To fly up in the air;
And he became another dow.
And they flew pair and pair.
O bide, lady, bide, &c.

She turn'd herself into an eel,
To swim into yon burn;
And he became a speckled trout,
To give the eel a turn.
O bide, lady, bide, &c.

Then she became a duck, a duck,
Upon a reedy lake;
And the smith wi' her to soom or dive,
Became a rose-kamed drake.
O bide, lady, bide, &c.

She turned herself into a hare,
To rin ower hill and hollow;
And he became a gude greyhound,
And boldly he did follow.
O bide, lady, bide, &c.

Then she became a gay grey mare,
And stood in yonder slack;
And he became a gilt saddle,
And sat upon her back.
O bide, lady, bide, &c.

Then she became a het girdle,
And he became a cake;
And a' the ways she turned hersel,
The blacksmith was her make. [=match}
O bide, lady, bide, &c.

She turned herself into a ship,
To sail out-ower the flood;
He ca'd a nail intil her tail,
And syne the ship she stood.
O bide, lady, bide, &c.

Then she became a silken plaid,
And stretch'd upon a bed:
And he became a green covering,
And thus the twa were wed.

LAST CHORUS: Was she wae, he held her sae,
And still he bade her bide;
The rusty smith her leman was,
For a' her meikle pride.

    Threads combined. Messages below are from a new thread.
    -Joe Offer-


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Subject: ADD Version: The Two Magicians
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 18 Feb 11 - 06:16 AM

THE TWO MAGICIANS

O She looked out of the window,
As white as any milk;
But He looked into the window,
As black as any silk.

Hulloa, hulloa, hulloa, hulloa, you coal black smith!
O what is your silly song?
You never shall change my maiden name
That I have kept so long;
I'd rather die a maid, yes, but then she said,
And be buried all in my grave,
Than I'd have such a nasty, husky, dusky, musty, fusky, coal black smith
A maiden I will die.

Then She became a duck,
A duck all on the stream;
And He became a water dog,
And fetched her back again.
Hulloa, &c.

Then She became a hare,
A hare all on the plain;
And He became a greyhound dog,
And fetched her back again.
Hulloa, &c.

Then She became a fly,
A fly all in the air;
And He became a spider,
And fetched her to his lair.
Hulloa, &c.


NP

This does seem a bowdlerised version of The Two Magicians
Having searched for this by both title, and distinctive line. This version appears not to be in the DT
This version is from:
"English Folk-Songs for Schools" (Curwen Edition 6051)
collected and arranged by S Baring Gould, M.A. and Cecil J. Sharp, B.A.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Two Magicians
From: theleveller
Date: 18 Feb 11 - 06:51 AM

I think the origins of this song go right back to the Bronze Age when metal workers (smiths) were believed to imbue the objects they made with magical properties (indeed, the metal itself had special powers). They were also often shamans who, in their travels between the living world and the Otherworld shapeshifted into animal form – especially water birds, dogs, elks etc. Mike Williams' excellent book, 'Prehistoric Belief' gives a good insight into this.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Two Magicians
From: GUEST,Bob Coltman
Date: 18 Feb 11 - 03:35 PM

Does anyone know of an alternate source for the Bell Duncan set (the Aberdeenshire tune to Twa Magicians printed by Roy Palmer in his Everyman's Book of British Ballads)?

The link posted by the late Malcolm Douglas on 30 Nov 2001 (see above) has long been taken down by the South Riding website.

I'd love to find this tune if there's any way to do it. Can anyone help?

Thanks!

Bob


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Subject: RE: Origins: Two Magicians
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 18 Feb 11 - 04:41 PM

Nigel Parsons: That version makes an appearance (with little harvested for the DT carets - ^^^ - in spite of its not appearing in the DT, for some reason) earlier in this same thread: Subject: ADD: Two Magicians^^^ From: Joe Offer - PM, Date: 06 Nov 01 - 04:19 AM as taken from Sharp "One Hundred English Folk Songs", with the only difference being "You have done me no harm" instead of "What is your silly song?".

~ Becky in Tucson


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Subject: RE: Origins: Two Magicians
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 18 Feb 11 - 04:55 PM

Bob, according to what Malcolm wrote, "Twa Magicians" midi in the Mudcat collection is the same as he posted on the South Riding site. (The rest of the site still exists, you could also inquire with the folks there at http://www.folk-network.com/.

~ Becky in Tucson


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Subject: RE: Origins: Two Magicians
From: GUEST,Brian Peters
Date: 18 Feb 11 - 05:25 PM

I was speaking recently to some of the people involved in the Carpenter project, and it seems there is the prospect that his material will see the light of day in the forseeable future.

I'm not at home at the moment, but I do have at home a printout from the microfilm in Cecil Sharp House of the Bell Duncan set. If you can't find it anywhere else, Bob, PM me in about a week's time and I'll see what I can do.

The remarkable thing about Bell Duncan's version is, not only that she altered the melody at the point the story moves from intro to actual shape-shifting, but that Carpenter appears to have collected it from her more than once, and on the second occassion both tunes were different. But I'd like to have that corroborated by the Carpenter experts before you take it as gospel.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Two Magicians
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 18 Feb 11 - 05:43 PM

That's exciting news about the Carpenter collection, Brian.

btw, I'm really sorry to be missing your concert tomorrow in Anaheim. I'm now over in that part of the world every other two weeks -- but unfortunately not these two! Am sending my husband, though...

~ Becky in Tucson


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Subject: RE: Origins: Two Magicians
From: GUEST,Brian Peters
Date: 18 Feb 11 - 09:42 PM

Tell him to say hello. Sorry I won't be meeting you.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Two Magicians
From: GUEST,Bob Coltman
Date: 21 Feb 11 - 03:31 PM

Becky, hi, thanks for your note. I'm mystified, if the two tunes really are supposed to be the same, for the mudcat "Twa Musicians" tune is the same as the standard set long known to all. My guess is, that wasn't the tune Bell Duncan was singing. Could I be wrong?

Brian, I'm also excited by the news about the Carpenter collection, especially regarding the two versions of the tune. It looks like I will need to take you up on your offer, as my contact at South Riding, while willing to help, implies finding the tune will not be easy. I'll PM you if nothing shows up about a week from now.

Bob


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Subject: RE: Origins: Two Magicians
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 21 Feb 11 - 05:16 PM

"The Twa Magicians," as posted by Jim Dixon, is the work of John Wilson (1785-1854) Professor of Moral Philosophy at the University of Edinburgh. It appeared as part of a comic sketch in the very prestigious, very widely read, Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine for Dec., 1828, Number 40 in the long-running series of "Noctes Ambrosianae," by several authors. Wilson's text appears to bowdlerize that published by Peter Buchan in the very same year and reprinted by Child as his sole example. "Maidenhead" becomes "silken snood" and "virgin love."

A few other lines are revised. The Scots "dreel" ("a swift violent motion") given by the drake is also gone.

Wilson and his editors missed the "nail/tail" business because they lived in a pre-Freudian age when, in polite literature, a cigar was *always* a cigar.

FWIW, the character "Timothy Tickler," who sings the song, was based on Wilson's uncle, Robert Sym (1750-1844). Sym was 78 in 1828, probably too old to have learned a new ballad from Buchan. But Wilson most likely thought it was the sort of song that Sym might have taken to in his youth.

Wilson is responsible for James Hogg's cognomen of "The Ettrick Shepherd." The character of that description in "Noctes" is based on Hogg.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Two Magicians
From: SPB-Cooperator
Date: 21 Feb 11 - 10:50 PM

There are interesting parallels in Eastern European folk song. The Czech/Moravian song 'Promeny' - changes in English follows a similar story where she becomes a house, a fish to try to escape her suitor.
If/when I get time I'll post the Czech words and a translation - fortunately it is not in an old dialect!


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