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Origins: Wildwood Flower / I'll Twine 'Mid the ...

DigiTrad:
I'LL TWINE 'MID THE RINGLETS
THE MAN WHO PICKED THE WILDWOOD FLOWER
WILDWOOD FLOWER


Related threads:
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(origins) Origins: Wildwood Flower (39)
Re: I'll Twine 'mid the Ringlets (Wildwood Flower) (13)
Tune Req: Sheet Music or ABC's for Wildwood Flower (8)
Lyr Add: Frail Wildwood Flower (from Miller Wikel) (12)
Lyr Req: Wildwood Weed (Jim Stafford, Don Bowman) (16)
Lyr Req: Poor Wildwood Flower (8)
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Lyr Req: I Am Waiting Essie Dear (Arthur W French) (11)


GUEST,leeneia 25 Sep 13 - 05:52 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 25 Sep 13 - 12:21 PM
Taconicus 25 Sep 13 - 01:04 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 25 Sep 13 - 01:37 PM
MGM·Lion 25 Sep 13 - 02:13 PM
Taconicus 25 Sep 13 - 02:23 PM
Taconicus 25 Sep 13 - 03:45 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 25 Sep 13 - 03:47 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 25 Sep 13 - 04:11 PM
Taconicus 25 Sep 13 - 04:33 PM
Taconicus 25 Sep 13 - 05:07 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 25 Sep 13 - 06:28 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 25 Sep 13 - 07:20 PM
Taconicus 25 Sep 13 - 07:48 PM
Rumncoke 26 Sep 13 - 05:49 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 26 Sep 13 - 04:10 PM
Rumncoke 26 Sep 13 - 05:52 PM
Taconicus 30 Sep 13 - 05:25 PM
Taconicus 30 Sep 13 - 05:30 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 30 Sep 13 - 07:44 PM
GUEST,leeneia 30 Sep 13 - 07:45 PM
Taconicus 30 Sep 13 - 08:35 PM
MGM·Lion 01 Oct 13 - 01:03 AM
GUEST,leeneia 01 Oct 13 - 10:55 AM
Taconicus 01 Oct 13 - 12:10 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 01 Oct 13 - 12:40 PM
Taconicus 01 Oct 13 - 02:26 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 01 Oct 13 - 02:57 PM
Taconicus 02 Oct 13 - 12:27 AM
Taconicus 02 Oct 13 - 12:41 AM
MGM·Lion 02 Oct 13 - 01:21 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 02 Oct 13 - 01:13 PM
GUEST,leeneia 03 Oct 13 - 10:50 AM
Taconicus 03 Oct 13 - 10:35 PM
Taconicus 03 Oct 13 - 11:07 PM
GUEST,leeneia 04 Oct 13 - 07:18 PM
Taconicus 04 Oct 13 - 07:45 PM
GUEST,leeneia 05 Oct 13 - 11:02 AM
GUEST,leeneia 05 Oct 13 - 01:14 PM
Taconicus 05 Oct 13 - 02:35 PM
Lighter 05 Nov 13 - 06:55 PM
Taconicus 07 Nov 13 - 10:52 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 07 Nov 13 - 12:44 PM
Lighter 07 Nov 13 - 03:57 PM
Bill D 07 Nov 13 - 09:45 PM
MGM·Lion 08 Nov 13 - 01:11 AM
GUEST,Jeff 20 Jan 14 - 10:33 AM
Lighter 20 Jan 14 - 10:41 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 20 Jan 14 - 12:30 PM
Taconicus 27 Jan 14 - 12:58 AM
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Subject: RE: Origins: Wildwood Flower / I'll Twine 'Mid the ...
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 25 Sep 13 - 05:52 AM

Genie, never mind my question about the web site. When I downloaded the MIDI to Noteworthy Composer, I saw a footnote that mentioned Benjamin Tubb, so it must have come from his site.

Taconicus, thanks for the link to the music from Wisconsin. If you go to the second page, where the B part repeats, you see that the words are:

the myrtle so bright with its emerald hue
and the pale aronatus with eye of bright blue.

So the arnonatus may not exist anywhere but in this song.

Me, I'm tempted to change it to 'the pale blooming iris and vi'let so blue.' I don't feel like explaining about the mythical aronatus every time I sing the song.
==================
I'm going to introduce a new element here and mention that in my searches on the big sites for old American music (sites such as Levy, Duke, Indiana, Lib of Congress) I have come across a person named MaNd Irving. I forget whether Mand was a composer or lyricist, but I don't think it matters. He could have been one thing one day, and the other thing another day.

I can easily picture Mand being taken for Maud, especially in handwriting. In the Wisconsin example, the n in 'Maud' looks just like the n in 'Twine' in the title.

Isn't the feminine name Maud supposed to have an e on the end - Maude?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wildwood Flower / I'll Twine 'Mid the ...
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 25 Sep 13 - 12:21 PM

In "I'm Waiting for Thee," van Namee/Maud Irving has the lines "And blue-eyed forget-me-nots Are blossoming there;"

Would "and the blue-eyed forget-me-not..." work?

Unfortunately, the MS copy has no attribution to published source.

In the volume by Van Namee, he clearly gives "Maud Irving" as a synonym for his name in the poem, "I'm Waiting for Thee," so "Mand" seems unrelated.

In the brief article "Maud (given name)" in Wiki, "Maud" is the correct spelling for several female members of the nobility and actresses, so that spelling seems to be an alternate.
Their article on "Maude" lists actresses and others with that first name; also Maude as an English last name.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wildwood Flower / I'll Twine 'Mid the ...
From: Taconicus
Date: 25 Sep 13 - 01:04 PM

As I showed in the research, in the 19th century "Maud Irving" was a two-word given name, like Ann Marie or Peggy Sue, not a first name and last name, and it was used as such in works of fiction.

Personally, I use the lyric the pale amaryllis and [the] hyssop so blue, not because there's any historical justification for doing so, but because (1) there really is a pale amaryllis, (2) the hyssop flower really is "so blue," (3) it's at least conceivable that hyssop so blue could have resulted in the mondegreen eyes of bright blue of Wildwood Flower because of its similarity in sound, and most importantly (4) I think it sounds better. :-)


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wildwood Flower / I'll Twine 'Mid the ...
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 25 Sep 13 - 01:37 PM

Hyssop flowers may be pink, blue or white. A number of species, some used as garden plants. One American anise hyssop may be pink or lilac and another has bright red flowers.

Amaryllis is South African, rare in American cultivation, lavender and white. What is sold in America as Amaryllis is really Hippeastrum, the bright red now the commonest of those sold. Species are spread from Argentina to Mexico.

Forget-me-not (Myosotis) may be blue or white (the Northern Hemisphere species) and is common in moist gardens.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wildwood Flower / I'll Twine 'Mid the ...
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 25 Sep 13 - 02:13 PM

The late Pete Sayers of Newmarket, country singer extraordinaire, the only [I think] Englishman who had a regular radio program in Nashville, who died 2005, also noted radio comedian in his Radio Cambridge persona of "Denis of Grunty Fen"* used to sing a parody version about his very thin girlfriend, beginning

"My flower of the wildwood is skinny and tall
Without her Adam's apple she'd have no shape at all".

It continues in this vein. At one point, I recall, she found work as a stripper, but


Instead of shouting "take 'em off" they hollered "keep 'em on!".

I heard him sing it at an early Cambridge FF, & once interviewed him for my Folk Review column and got him to sing it again, but alas have lost the tape.

Does anyone else remember this version, or know any more of the words?

~M~

*A stretch of land near where I live in the Cambs fens, just south of Ely. Clement Freud, who was MP for the Isle of Ely as well as noted personality & tv chef, used to race a horse called Grunty Fen, which had several wins I believe.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wildwood Flower / I'll Twine 'Mid the ...
From: Taconicus
Date: 25 Sep 13 - 02:23 PM

Yes, Q, more probable is amaranthus (the word used in some versions of the song [e.g., The Pale Amaranthus, Shearin, Hubert G.; Combs, Josiah H., A Syllabus Of Kentucky Folk-Songs (1911)]). I just like the sound of amaryllis better, and the flower itself looks nicer than the amaranthus, but you're right about the geographical improbabliity.

Leenia, thanks for your lead about "Mand Irving." Following up on that, I found there are two songs listed as having "words by Mand Irving," one called Broken Harp (held at a library at Brigham Young University), and another called One Fond Heart (held at a Duke University library).

With publication dates of 1860 and 1861, this may well be the same author as the "Maud Irving" of I'll Twine Mid the Ringlets. Since these computer listings often make use of OCR (optical character recognition by computer) it may be that Mand may actually be Maud, since as you've pointed out the one letter can be confused for the other. We can't know until we examine the original sheet music. I've ordered them, will let you know what I find. You many have just located another two Maud Irving songs!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wildwood Flower / I'll Twine 'Mid the ...
From: Taconicus
Date: 25 Sep 13 - 03:45 PM

I've already received one of the manuscripts, the one for One Fond Heart, and it is definitely printed as WORDS BY MAND IRVING, copyright 1860. If this is not a misprint (and I have no reason to think it is), then unless and until we receive actual printed sheet music of a song of that time clearly showing words by Maud Irving, it strikes me as likely that the actual author of the lyrics for I'll Twine Mid the Ringlets was this Mand Irving, not the Van Namee "Maud Irving" who wrote the poem in Gaudy's and other magazines. Which, of course, would mean that all the research I did on Maud Irving is likely irrelevant as far as I'll Twine Mid the Ringlets is concerned. It would also mean that every previous reference to "Maud Irving" as being the author of the words to the folk tune is incorrect.

On the other hand, although the Mills Music Library (University of Wisconsin) copy is in cursive and certainly can be seen as being ambiguous as to whether "Maud" or "Mand" is written, I can't imagine that all the previous "Maud" references were based on a handwritten manuscript.

Well, that's the way research goes. We'll just have to see what we discover as other printed sheet music by Mand or Maud Irving are found.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wildwood Flower / I'll Twine 'Mid the ...
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 25 Sep 13 - 03:47 PM

The two well-known amaranth ornamentals are caudatus (Deep purple) also called Love-lies-bleeding, and hypochondriacus (deep crimson) also called Prince's Feather. Both are from India.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wildwood Flower / I'll Twine 'Mid the ...
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 25 Sep 13 - 04:11 PM

"Broken Harp," Boston. 1861, is by N. P. B. Curtiss, a prolific songwriter and Mand Irving (poetry), no data. Dedicated to Miss Molly K. Moore, Calhoun Institute, Macon, Miss.

Mand = Maud? Possible, as you explain, but why would Van Namee use Maud Irving as a pseudonym in one of his books?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wildwood Flower / I'll Twine 'Mid the ...
From: Taconicus
Date: 25 Sep 13 - 04:33 PM

The possible explanations for his using that pseudonym (a very common practice in that century) are discussed on the Mystery of Maud Irving page. He didn't use it in his books, as far as I know, just in submitting poems to magazines.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wildwood Flower / I'll Twine 'Mid the ...
From: Taconicus
Date: 25 Sep 13 - 05:07 PM

I've now received the second sheet music publication (Broken Harp) listed as being "Music by Mand Irving" and it appears to say Maud (not Mand) Irving (see the title page here).


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wildwood Flower / I'll Twine 'Mid the ...
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 25 Sep 13 - 06:28 PM

Yes, that certainly is Maud on that sheet.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wildwood Flower / I'll Twine 'Mid the ...
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 25 Sep 13 - 07:20 PM

"The Well Remembered Voice," poem by Maud Irving, appeared in The Peterson Magazine, vol. 35, Jan-June 1859.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wildwood Flower / I'll Twine 'Mid the ...
From: Taconicus
Date: 25 Sep 13 - 07:48 PM

Yes, he had a number of poems published in Peterson's under the name Maud Irving, and of course his big book of poetry published in 1868.

Here are the lyrics to Broken Harp published as a song in 1861, with music by a different composer. Pretty dreary, maudlin stuff, even with the flowers in it, but if you really want to try it I can supply you with the music:

Broken Harp
poetry by Maud Irving
music by N.P.B. Curtiss
Published by Russell & Tolman (Boston, 1861)


You bid me mend my broken harp,
And add another string;
You bid me strike an higher key,
And soar on higher wing.

Oh! friend, dear friend, you know not of
The broken ties, the woe;
You know not of the dark, dark clouds
That follow me where're I go
You know not of the dark, dark clouds
That follow me where're I go


You bid me treat the wrong I've felt,
With bitter withering scorn,
But oh, you know not how my heart
Is bleeding, sad, forlorn,

I cannot sing in cheerful strains,
When all my joys have fled,
When every flower of love and hope,
Their fragrance all, all have shed.
When every flower of love and hope,
Their fragrance all, all have shed.


Oh no, my lyre must wake the song,
The song of grief and woe;
For while I linger on this earth,
My heart no joy can know.

The clouds that float above my head,
Are not with silver lined,
And but a few short months will life
To earth my spirit bind.
And but a few short months will life
To earth my spirit bind.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wildwood Flower / I'll Twine 'Mid the ...
From: Rumncoke
Date: 26 Sep 13 - 05:49 AM

About the flower - no one seems to have mentioned the blue flowered aconitum napellus, or monkshood, wolfs bane, devils helmet etc.

The flower is an intense blue violet and the plant contains a deadly poison.

The root can be confused with horseradish (honest, officer) but an oily extract is warming to the skin and helps with joint pain - just don't have a cut or graze on the skin when applying it.

Aconitum so blue would fit very well.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wildwood Flower / I'll Twine 'Mid the ...
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 26 Sep 13 - 04:10 PM

Aconitum napellus is a European plant, but is grown in some American gardens.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wildwood Flower / I'll Twine 'Mid the ...
From: Rumncoke
Date: 26 Sep 13 - 05:52 PM

the American Northern monkshood is Aconitum Noveboracense - sorry, I forgot to use an American species.

Iowa, Wisconsin, Ohio and New York are where it is found, but it is a threatened species due to its habitat being removed or polluted.

The European species was at one time widely used by florists as its colour was quite rare, and I'd be surprised if various Aconitum species were not grown to supply cut flowers in the 19th century. These days blue flowers are not so rare due to the work of plants men and scientists.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wildwood Flower / I'll Twine 'Mid the ...
From: Taconicus
Date: 30 Sep 13 - 05:25 PM

At long last, I've received a copy of the actual published sheet music to I'll Twine 'Mid the Ringlets. It pretty much matches what Genie wrote above in 2001. Here are the actual lyrics, verbatim (including original italics, punctuation, and capitalization):
I'll twine 'mid the ringlets
Of my raven black hair,
The lilies so pale
And the roses so fair,
The myrtle so bright
With an emerald hue,
And the pale aronatus
With eyes of bright blue.

I'll sing, and I'll dance,
My laugh shall be gay,
I'll cease this wild weeping
Drive sorrow away,
Tho' my heart is now breaking,
He never shall know,
That his name made me tremble
And my pale cheeks to glow.

I'll think of him never
I'll be wildly gay,
I'll charm ev'ry heart
And the crowd I will sway,
I'll live yet to see him
Regret the dark hour
When he won, then neglected,
The frail wildwood flower.

He told me he loved me,
And promis'd to love,
Through ill and misfortune,
All others above,
Another has won him,
Ah! misery to tell;
He left me in silence
No word of farewell!

He taught me to love him,
He call'd me his flower
That blossom'd for him
All the brighter each hour;
But I woke from my dreaming,
My idol was clay;
My visions of love
Have all faded away.

- Taken from published sheet music in the Department of Special Collections, Stanford University Libraries: I'll Twine 'Mid the Ringlets. Words by Maud Irving. Music by J.P. Webster. Copyrighted and Published (1860, 1862) by H.M. Higgins, 117 Randolph Street, Chicago. Pearson, engraver. (The "1860, 1862" signifies that this is from an 1862 compilation published by H.M. Higgins entitled "WESTERN GEMS: SONGS COMPOSED BY J.P. WEBSTER." The page showing I'll Twine 'Mid the Ringlets shows the 1860 date.) I'd post a scan online but Stanford requires permission for further reproduction.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wildwood Flower / I'll Twine 'Mid the ...
From: Taconicus
Date: 30 Sep 13 - 05:30 PM

Meh, I forgot to include show the italics. For some reason, three words in the sheet music were italicized:

...
He never shall know,
That his name made me tremble
...
Have all faded away.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wildwood Flower / I'll Twine 'Mid the ...
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 30 Sep 13 - 07:44 PM

Very good! Could you give a link?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wildwood Flower / I'll Twine 'Mid the ...
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 30 Sep 13 - 07:45 PM

Thanks very much, Taconicus! This is almost equivalent to finding the Fountain of Youth or the Philosopher's Stone. People have been searchng for this original a long time.

I never would have guessed that this song, one of the quintessential bluegrass songs, was written in Wisconsin and published in Chicago.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wildwood Flower / I'll Twine 'Mid the ...
From: Taconicus
Date: 30 Sep 13 - 08:35 PM

No one said it was written in Wisconsin. University of Wisconsin is just who digitized a collection of papers from the estate of the composer J.P. Webster. But yes, the sheet music was published in Chicago. In fact, that's why the sheet music has been so hard to find: the publisher's offices and warehouse were burned in the great Chicago fire. The copy I obtained is from a "pre-fire Chicago" collection at Stanford. Here's the info so you can get your own copy:

William R. and Louise Fielder Sheet Music Collection
Special Collections M701
Box 38, Folder 4
I'll twine Ômid the ringlets Chicago :H. M. Higgins,1860 [sic]

Contact: Stanford University,
Manuscripts Division of the Department of Special Collections
email: speccollref "at" stanford.edu
subject: Request for duplication services


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wildwood Flower / I'll Twine 'Mid the ...
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 01 Oct 13 - 01:03 AM

Now we are back with this song [for which I add my voice of thanks to Taconicus], could I ask again if anyone else recalls Pete Sayers' parody I quoted 25 sep 0213, or remembers hearing him sing it?

~M~


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wildwood Flower / I'll Twine 'Mid the ...
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 01 Oct 13 - 10:55 AM

Here's some info on Webster from Wikipedia:

"J.P. Webster was born in Manchester, New Hampshire on February 22, 1819. From an early age he expressed an interest and talent in music,... Afterwards he travelled extensively throughout the Eastern United States as a concert singer, including notable stays in New York and Madison, Indiana, where he performed with the famous "Swedish Nightingale" Jenny Lind, as her pianist. After years of travel, Webster eventually settled in Racine, Wisconsin.

Sometime before 1859 Webster developed what was commonly called "Lake Michigan Throat", a severe form of bronchitis, forcing him to abandon his singing career and move...to Elkhorn, Wisconsin. No longer having the strength in his voice for singing, Webster turned his attention to composing music."

So as I said, this 'bluegrass' song was written in Wisconsin.   

I think the connection to Jenny Lind adds a charming touch to this story.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wildwood Flower / I'll Twine 'Mid the ...
From: Taconicus
Date: 01 Oct 13 - 12:10 PM

Oh, sorry. When you said "written in Wisconsin" I thought you were talking about the "Maud Irving" lyrics. Those were probably written by Van Namee in the Riverside section of Monroe, Michigan, where most if not all of his other poetry of the time was apparently written. Later he moved to New York City and became very active in the spiritualist religion. He was also involved in the temperance movement.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wildwood Flower / I'll Twine 'Mid the ...
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 01 Oct 13 - 12:40 PM

The Great Chicago Fire destroyed supplies of many songs; Chicago was the home of several important publishers of sheet music.

I searched for the original sheet music of "My Pretty Quadroon," a beautiful song with abolitionist sentiments in the original, and found a copy at the Newberry Library, Chicago.
"My Pretty Quadroon," 1863, words and music by Mrs. Mary Dodge (posted in mudcat).
The Newberry Library also is a large repository of sheet music, ephemera and historical material in their Department of Special Collections.

The Stanford Catalogues are mutually shared with the University of Texas, another large repository, with many writers' manuscripts among other materials.

"The pale aronatus" is in the sheet music Taconicus located. Many have speculated about the identity of this flower, without conclusion.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wildwood Flower / I'll Twine 'Mid the ...
From: Taconicus
Date: 01 Oct 13 - 02:26 PM

Two things. First, Van Namee (Maud Irving) apparently lived in Brooklyn, NYC, both pre-1860 and afterward. However, many of his poems were bylined "Riverside," Monroe, Mich. - possibly a vacation residence.

Second, I've received permission from Stanford to make copies of and distribute the sheet music (which is now in the public domain), as long as I cite them as the source. So I'm going to try to scan the sheets and post them online so you all can enjoy learning the original music (which is a bit different from the Carter's Wildwood Flower version).


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wildwood Flower / I'll Twine 'Mid the ...
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 01 Oct 13 - 02:57 PM

It will be interesting to see them. Some scores have been printed with songs in the DT. If the sheets cannot be scanned into mudcat, perhaps you (or someone) would prepare the score for entry.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wildwood Flower / I'll Twine 'Mid the ...
From: Taconicus
Date: 02 Oct 13 - 12:27 AM

As promised, here is the Sheet music to I'll Twine 'Mid the Ringlets (if the link works).


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wildwood Flower / I'll Twine 'Mid the ...
From: Taconicus
Date: 02 Oct 13 - 12:41 AM

OK, that method of linking doesn't work. Instead, click on this link to go to The Mystery of Maud Irving, then scroll to the bottom of that page and click on the "Sheet music to I'll Twine 'Mid the Ringlets" link at the top of the last paragraph.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wildwood Flower / I'll Twine 'Mid the ...
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 02 Oct 13 - 01:21 AM

Re my request above for the Pete Sayers "Skinny & tall" variant. I googled these words & got the following on the google index --


~~mudcat.org: Origins: Wildwood Flower / I'll Twine 'Mid the ...
http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=4074
17 Feb 1998 ... Oh my flower of the wildwood was skinny and tall 'Cept for her adam's apple, she had no shape at all I can still see her there, sittin' under the ...~~

i.e. a link to THIS thread; but above doesn't occur on this thread, or SFAICS on any of the links above to other threads re this song or the DT.

Any idea where I might find the song ref'd to in this index entry?

~M~


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wildwood Flower / I'll Twine 'Mid the ...
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 02 Oct 13 - 01:13 PM

Thanks, Taconicus. Nice to have the sheet music.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wildwood Flower / I'll Twine 'Mid the ...
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 03 Oct 13 - 10:50 AM

oboyoboyoboy

Not only is the melody not quite the Carter version, it differs somewhat with every verse. I've printed it out from your site, Taconicus. My friends are going to like this.

To be accurate here, I feel the need to point out that the lyricist's name on 'One Fond Heart' and on 'Broken Heart' is not Maud, it's MaNd.

Meanwhile, that was good spotting about the lilies, the roses and the blue-eyed flowers, which occur in the song and in a poem by Van Namee. I for one am ready to conclude that Van Namee wrote the lyrics to 'I'll Twine Mid the Ringlets.'

Thanks for enriching our music and for finally, finally solving the mystery of the fair aronatus.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wildwood Flower / I'll Twine 'Mid the ...
From: Taconicus
Date: 03 Oct 13 - 10:35 PM

On the "Mystery of Maud Irving" page I pointed out the apparent misprint (Mand) on the "One Fond Heart" sheet music (not on "Broken Harp" – which says Maud). Because the year (1860) is within one year of the other Maud Irving songs, it must be either a misprint or an attempt at "passing off" by using a false name so similar, not a coincidence.

Here's a link that gives a close-up of the "Broken Harp" sheet so you can see it's spelled correctly on that one.

Someone said finding the identity was the "holy grail," but for me that would be finding the original poem that Webster put music to for the song, and seeing if it's the same as in the song (and he really did write aronatus) or whether it was a different flower in the original poem. At least we know for sure that aronatus really was in the sheet music. :)


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wildwood Flower / I'll Twine 'Mid the ...
From: Taconicus
Date: 03 Oct 13 - 11:07 PM

I see it was you, Leeneia, who said that. Thank you; you're too kind.

I was at Columbia University today checking the microfilm copy they have there of the only known copy of Van Namee's first book (under the pseudonym Willie Ware), Driftwood on the Sea of Life (1860). I was hoping to find a copy of the original poem for I'll Twine 'Mid the Ringlets, in there, as certain proof of his authorship. Unfortunately it wasn't in there, although Driftwood did contain copies of some of the other "Maud Irving" poems of his I had already found in magazines. For example, the poem "Gentle Words" on page 124 of the "Willie Ware" book Driftwood is the exact same poem as "Gentle Words Fall on the Heart" published under the "Maud Irving" byline in the periodical The Home Monthly.

There are other odd coincidences I noticed in the book. But nothing about twining wildflowers into hair, etc. Nor is it in his 1868 book poems (a copy of which I already had), so while I'm also pretty sure Van Namee is the lyracist of I'll Twine 'Mid the Ringlets, we still don't have certain proof.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wildwood Flower / I'll Twine 'Mid the ...
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 04 Oct 13 - 07:18 PM

I agree, Taconicus.   I'm pretty sure as well. I've been playing the music on the piano, with 'woodland warbling', as specified on the upper left corner of the music, on a sopranino recorder.

Meanwhile, I'm wondering if you are named after the Taconic orogeny.

"From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Taconic orogeny was a mountain building period that ended 440 million years ago and affected most of modern-day New England. A great mountain chain formed from eastern Canada down through what is now the Piedmont of the East coast of the United States."


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wildwood Flower / I'll Twine 'Mid the ...
From: Taconicus
Date: 04 Oct 13 - 07:45 PM

440 million years ago? No, I'm old but not that old. I picked the handle Taconicus because I live in the Taconic Mountains and I know a little Latin.

That's great you're playing it; I'd love to hear it. Do you think you could post a midi of it sometime?

P.S. - I'm writing a sequel about why I'm not really that sure.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wildwood Flower / I'll Twine 'Mid the ...
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 05 Oct 13 - 11:02 AM

Taconic Mountains, Taconic orogeny, Taconicus - there ya go!, as my brother in Wisconsin would say.

Now about that midi - you can find a midi of the song on benjamin tubb's public domain music site. Somebody posted a link above, I believe. If I made another midi, it would sound very like that, because it would be the same notes generated by the the same computertized sounds.

Tubb's accompaniment is slightly more interesting than the original. The original has a simple pattern repeated over and over, while Tubb's version has a simple pattern too, but there are rests in it.
=========
Funny the way everybody else has lost interest in this thread now that they can't argue. The only thing to do now is to pick up an instrument or start singing. Bummer!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wildwood Flower / I'll Twine 'Mid the ...
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 05 Oct 13 - 01:14 PM

Oops. I was wrong about those rests in the accompaniment. They are in fact original.

However, J.P. Webster did not include a trap drum part, the way Benjamin Tubbs did.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wildwood Flower / I'll Twine 'Mid the ...
From: Taconicus
Date: 05 Oct 13 - 02:35 PM

I've now updated my research entitled The Mystery of Maud Irving with part three, in which I lay out my doubts about whether J. William Van Namee actually wrote the lyrics to I'll Twine 'Mid the Ringlets.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wildwood Flower / I'll Twine 'Mid the ...
From: Lighter
Date: 05 Nov 13 - 06:55 PM

I've just gotten around to looking at this thread. Taconicus: brilliant work!

Gratuitous opinion on a trivial point: I doubt that "Maud Irving" was ever a binomial given name like "Mary Ann" or "Peggy Sue." I've read more pages of 19th C. books and newspapers than I'd like to recall, and I don't believe I've ever seen the surname "Irving" (as in "Washington Irving") - or any other surname - used as the second element of a feminine given name.

But more important is the fact that until now, the assertion that the song was printed in 1860 was hardly more than a rumor. It's also interesting to see the original melody.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wildwood Flower / I'll Twine 'Mid the ...
From: Taconicus
Date: 07 Nov 13 - 10:52 AM

Thanks, Lighter.

E.g.
Maud Irving Kane Cassidy (1879 - 1974)

Parents:
Cornelius VanSchelluyne Kane (1846 - 1913)
Eveleen Trowbridge Dayton (1845 - 1932)

Given name: Maud Irving

http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=30882212


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wildwood Flower / I'll Twine 'Mid the ...
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 07 Nov 13 - 12:44 PM

These given names that seem illogical may have been more common in the past.
I have one, for a great grandfather. It is on my birth certificate.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wildwood Flower / I'll Twine 'Mid the ...
From: Lighter
Date: 07 Nov 13 - 03:57 PM

Nice research: striking but unpersuasive.

"Irving" in the example doesn't look like part of a binomial. One would expect to see it on the gravestone there if "Maud Irving" was a unit like "Mary Ann" or "Peggy Sue."

It's significant too that Maud Irving Kane seems to be the only "Maud Irving X" known anywhere. There are zillions of "Mary Anns" and "Peggy Sues," however.

I doubt anyone in 1860 would have assumed that "Maud Irving" on sheet music was a two-part given name rather than a full personal name any more than they would today.

"Willie," however, as in "Willie Ware" was indeed a female name or nickname, short for "Wilhelmina."


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wildwood Flower / I'll Twine 'Mid the ...
From: Bill D
Date: 07 Nov 13 - 09:45 PM

Missed this when MtheGM asked about the parody, but I'll add my version for completeness:

"My flower of the wildwood is (long) and she's tall
It it weren't for her Adam's apple she'd have no shape at all.
I can still see her standing underneath the trees,
Tying knots in her stockings to look like she's got knees"


I 'think' heard this 'somewhere' in Kansas before 1975. It adds little to the history of the original, but merely shows how minds work...


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wildwood Flower / I'll Twine 'Mid the ...
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 08 Nov 13 - 01:11 AM

Thanks, Bill. Any more on this parody version. To put in date context, I can state definitively having heard it sung by Pete Sayers at the first Cambridge Folk Festival in 1965. He was an English country singer who had travelled much in the US, ('[he]was a bluegrass musician and the first Englishman to appear at the Grand Ole Opry.': from the wikipedia entry on his daughter Goldie Sayers, who is a distinguished javelin thrower), where I suspect he would have learned this version. Can anyone confirm this, I wonder?

~M~


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wildwood Flower / I'll Twine 'Mid the ...
From: GUEST,Jeff
Date: 20 Jan 14 - 10:33 AM

Here's a possibility: Could the "pale aronatus" refer to the white variety of Anemone coronaria? This is one of the colors of the "poppy anemone" that is a wildflower. (They also have blue, red, and pink kinds, too.) The white type has white petals, (pale). and a bluish center. Sometimes the blue color even extends outward a bit into the petals themselves. Very pretty, and it is a wildflower that grows in fields and meadows. Maybe "aronatus" could actually be anemone. Just a thought...


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wildwood Flower / I'll Twine 'Mid the ...
From: Lighter
Date: 20 Jan 14 - 10:41 AM

At this point I'm guessing that "aronatus" was Van Namee's completely muddled recollection of something we'll probably never guess at.

He may have just made it up, of course, to fit the line, but that would have been a little weird.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wildwood Flower / I'll Twine 'Mid the ...
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 20 Jan 14 - 12:30 PM

It is doubtful that the author would have known the specific name of the plant, A. coronaria. It is a Mediterranean species, but has been spread widely by gardeners. I don't know how common it was with gardeners in 1860.
It is not an American wildflower, where other species of the genus are often called "windflowers."

(Species are classified by leaf, stamen, bract, achene, sepal and petal, characteristics and not by color.)


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wildwood Flower / I'll Twine 'Mid the ...
From: Taconicus
Date: 27 Jan 14 - 12:58 AM

Gardening author Ed Hume suggests the aronia. Others have suggested Amaranthus. I sing "the pale amaranthus and the hyssop so blue" because it sounds good, seems to fit, and the pale amaranthus is a wild flower, and so is the hyssop which can be "so blue." However, the most probable origin of the aronatus is that it's a mondegreen or was simply made up to fit the song.


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