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Tune Add: The Song of Wandering Aengus

DigiTrad:
WANDERING ANGUS (GOLDEN APPLES OF THE SUN)


Related threads:
Lyr/Chords Req: The Song of Wandering Aengus (35)
(DTStudy) DTStudy: Wandering Angus(Golden Apples of the Sun) (15)


GUEST,Bill Kennedy 14 Feb 02 - 02:06 PM
Peter T. 14 Feb 02 - 02:47 PM
Ned Ludd 14 Feb 02 - 04:12 PM
Amergin 14 Feb 02 - 04:37 PM
GUEST,MCP 14 Feb 02 - 06:47 PM
GUEST,MCP 14 Feb 02 - 06:49 PM
guinnesschik 14 Feb 02 - 07:00 PM
Peg 14 Feb 02 - 11:35 PM
The Pooka 15 Feb 02 - 01:56 AM
masato sakurai 15 Feb 02 - 06:02 AM
GUEST,JTT 15 Feb 02 - 06:22 AM
GUEST,Bill Kennedy 15 Feb 02 - 09:39 AM
Peg 15 Feb 02 - 09:41 AM
GUEST,JTT 15 Feb 02 - 10:27 AM
GUEST,MCP 15 Feb 02 - 12:07 PM
GUEST,Bill Kennedy 15 Feb 02 - 01:59 PM
Noreen 15 Feb 02 - 06:20 PM
masato sakurai 15 Feb 02 - 08:04 PM
Bill D 16 Feb 02 - 12:01 AM
GUEST,Bill Kennedy 04 Mar 02 - 08:57 PM
michaelr 04 Mar 02 - 10:36 PM
Rick Fielding 04 Mar 02 - 10:44 PM
GUEST 05 Mar 02 - 11:10 AM
Peter T. 05 Mar 02 - 12:10 PM
GUEST 06 Mar 02 - 10:06 AM
GUEST,Bill Kennedy 28 Mar 02 - 04:04 PM
GUEST,CraigS 28 Mar 02 - 05:21 PM
Francy 28 Mar 02 - 06:51 PM
CapriUni 28 Mar 02 - 07:35 PM
Deckman 29 Mar 02 - 12:17 AM
GUEST,Bill Kennedy 29 Mar 02 - 12:45 PM
GUEST,Bill Kennedy 29 Mar 02 - 12:46 PM
Charley Noble 29 Mar 02 - 04:30 PM
GUEST,Bill Kennedy 01 Apr 02 - 06:12 PM
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GUEST,Bill Kennedy 08 Apr 02 - 04:55 PM
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Subject: Song of Wandering Angus
From: GUEST,Bill Kennedy
Date: 14 Feb 02 - 02:06 PM

Been reading various postings recently, and also am a bit troubled by what often 'passes' for scholarship or accuracy. Being interested in this song of Yeats, I looked up the title for some links I may have missed, and was disturbed to find various previously published statements tossed off in an offhand way as if to say, 'Here it is, Dummy, can't you read?' when in fact, even your own Digitrad Lyrics are not Yeats' poem, but some variant that has developed. I am deeply and completely committed to this poem, and to its 'Song', and have done some research into it that I would share if anyone thinks it a worthy topic, as well as an attempt at a complete discography of recordings of this song, either to the commonly adopted melody, or to new settings.

First of all, the 'correct' text of the poem is available to anyone near a library, or who has Yeats' Poems on a bookshelf nearby. It shouldn't be that hard to verify lyrics before you print them.

As to the melody, just because Judy Collins says it's traditional in her songbook, should you accept that as fact? In all of the Irish airs printed in all the songbooks have you come across this 'traditional' tune? It is called what, exactly? What I have learned, first, by discussing it with Richie Havens (who has one of the great recordings of it on his 'Mixed Bag' release), and also by much reading and research is this:

Richie says he learned it from Dave van Ronk. Dave, on his live recording seems mystified by Judy Collins' copyright on the song (who he does credit on the recording), because as he says, he learned the song from Will Holt. Judy Collins herself says (in one of her autobiographies & in her songbook) that she learned the song from Will Holt, and also that somewhere she might have a tape of his that she learned it from. I am interested in this tape, because I believe that the droning, strumming accompaniment used by Richie and Dave VR was Will Holt's original contribution to the song (sort of). Judy's fingerpicking background music in her recording (SHE called it 'Golden Apples of the Sun', I believe so that it could be copyrighted that way) has never satisfied me, nor does she give the lyrics any real emotional reading, as far as I'm concerned, but that's a matter of taste, and others may disagree. Anyway, I was hoping to get in touch with Dave van Ronk when his health improved, to ask him about Will Holt's version (that someone else out there must have heard him perform somewhere, also?) but sadly, that chance is gone. I BELIEVE that Will might have himself learned it from John Jacob Niles or Richard Dyer-Bennett, neither of whom recorded it, but both of whom used that strumming style to accompany many of their songs, and one of whom, I can't remember which, is said to have been an influence on and teacher of Will's. That is not to say it could not have been Will's own invention, but it is not characteristic of his other recordings. The earliest recording I have found, is, as others have mentioned, Burl Ives' a capella version, on his 1952(?) or so release 'Burl Ives Sings Irish Songs' (I think that is the title, but I don't have my notes in front of me). On the sleeve notes to that recording he says he learned the song from the Irish actress Sara Allgood, who was an early Abbey Theater performer and would have learned it from Yeats himself, I think, though the evidence I have yet to find. The thing is, though it is possible that Will Holt, or Dyer-Bennett or Niles heard this recording of Ives, they may just have easily found the song in Yeats' own writing, as all three were interested in the 'Art Song' as well as the Folk Song, it would not surprise me. And some antipathy may have existed between at least Dyer-Bennett and Ives, from Ives HUAC testimony.

In 1961 was first printed the Macmillan edition of 'Essays & Introductions' of Yeats. This is about the exact time Will Holt began performing the song, and on p. 26 of that book, in Yeats' essay 'Speaking to the Psaltery', originally published in 1907, there is the musical notation to Yeats' own melody, transcribed on a C-clef by Arnold Dolmetsch and given here in some kind of tab by myself:
 c   c   c   c  c   d d   b
I went out to the hazel wood,
b a a c c b b d
Because a fire was in my head,
d c c c c d d b
And cut and peeled a hazel wand,
b a a c c b b d
And hooked a berry to a thread;
d d d d d d d d
And when white moths were on the wing,
d d d d d d d d
And moth-like stars were flickering out,
c d d b b a a c
I dropped the berry in a stream,
c d d b b a a c
and caught a little silver trout.
So, Yeats is both author of lyrics and composer of melody.

And Will Holt may have used Yeats' notation, or learned it from someone else who had, or from Ives' recording from the lips of Sara Allgood. But, Judy Collins nor anyone else, NOR YEATS himself, as he discusses in his essay, did set it to a traditional melody.

The complete discography may follow, if there is an interest. (And I share someone's, can't remember the person's name who posted it, love of Donovan's version, & have things to say about that, as well, about Donovan's shared poetic sensibilities with Yeats, and how the poem itself almost determines the melody, etc, but that is conjectural).

Bill Kennedy


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Subject: RE: Tune Add: Song of Wandering Angus
From: Peter T.
Date: 14 Feb 02 - 02:47 PM

I have been learning this from the Judy Collins version, and the tune you say is Yeats' is not even close to what she does. Can't comment on the other versions. yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Tune Add: Song of Wandering Angus
From: Ned Ludd
Date: 14 Feb 02 - 04:12 PM

I've only heard the Donovan song.How close are his lyrics to the poem?


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Subject: RE: Tune Add: Song of Wandering Angus
From: Amergin
Date: 14 Feb 02 - 04:37 PM

I have only heard Tommy Makem recite it......


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Subject: RE: Tune Add: Song of Wandering Angus
From: GUEST,MCP
Date: 14 Feb 02 - 06:47 PM

Althought the DT version of the words differ from Yeats', The Song Of Wandering Aengus (sic - the 'correct' text of the poem is available to anyone, title included ;-)), a previous thread does have The correct words (according to the Collected Poems that is. Exception some one in Yeats given as someone in the thread).

Mick


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Subject: RE: Tune Add: Song of Wandering Angus
From: GUEST,MCP
Date: 14 Feb 02 - 06:49 PM

Forgot to add - have you heard a recording of Yeats singing? - he was awful.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Tune Add: Song of Wandering Angus
From: guinnesschik
Date: 14 Feb 02 - 07:00 PM

Jean Redpath, a Scots music scholar and fine, fine singer did a beautiful version of the song. I'd highly recommend it to anyone looking for a "true" version.


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Subject: RE: Tune Add: Song of Wandering Angus
From: Peg
Date: 14 Feb 02 - 11:35 PM

My friend Barbara Blatner wrote a version of this; we recorded it with her playing piao and me singing and it is very nice...


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Subject: RE: Tune Add: Song of Wandering Angus
From: The Pooka
Date: 15 Feb 02 - 01:56 AM

I've long loved the poem (rather identify with poor ol' Aengus actually) but never KNEW it was a song, at all! Thank you! Wow.


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Subject: RE: Tune Add: Song of Wandering Angus
From: masato sakurai
Date: 15 Feb 02 - 06:02 AM

Jean Redpath sings this song on her album A Fine Song For Singing (Philo). I like it, too.

~Masato


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Subject: RE: Tune Add: Song of Wandering Angus
From: GUEST,JTT
Date: 15 Feb 02 - 06:22 AM

Was Yeats singing, or was he chanting? Yeats felt that poetry should be chanted in the bardic manner, and that was how he presented his poetry at readings.


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Subject: RE: Tune Add: Song of Wandering Angus
From: GUEST,Bill Kennedy
Date: 15 Feb 02 - 09:39 AM

Mick (sic) HA! yeah, I knew that Yeats spelled it Aengus, but I was making it easier for people to search, as Angus. One should never dumb things down, but, trying to be helpful! And yeas Yeats was probably tone deaf to hear him and as he spoke of himself, and his contemporaries. I was serious in asking if anyone knew what this traditional tune might be, though as I say, I don't think it exists anywhere else as a tune. I know Jean Redpath's recording and it is a good one, would like to know where she had it from. Without my extensive notes here is a brief list of places to hear it: Burl Ives - Songs of Ireland (title?) - as 'The Wandering of Old Aengus' Judy Collins - Golden Apples of the Sun - as same Dave Van Ronk - live in Canada (title?) - Song of Wandering Angus Richie Havens - Mixed Bag - as Song of Wandering Angus Jean Redpath - Fine Song For Singing - as -Song of Wandering Angus Christy Moore - (title?)


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Subject: RE: Tune Add: Song of Wandering Angus
From: Peg
Date: 15 Feb 02 - 09:41 AM

The CD which contains Barbara's version can be purchased at www.urbanmyth.com. There might be an mp3 of it , not sure.


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Subject: RE: Tune Add: Song of Wandering Angus
From: GUEST,JTT
Date: 15 Feb 02 - 10:27 AM

Angus is a Scots name, though, and Aengus is the name of the ancient Irish god in question.

Seems a bit odd to misspell something to be helpful...


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Subject: RE: Tune Add: Song of Wandering Angus
From: GUEST,MCP
Date: 15 Feb 02 - 12:07 PM

In fairness to Bill, and despite my ironic comment above, the DT has the title as Wandering Angus and the thread I linked to was titled Song Of the Wandering Angus (though the words I referred to were correctly titled), and as he said he was making it easier to search for these.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Tune Add: Song of Wandering Angus
From: GUEST,Bill Kennedy
Date: 15 Feb 02 - 01:59 PM

Thanks, Mick, I wasn't that clear in my response, but it was because DT uses Angus that I used it as well, any way, got cut off earlier from the list, there is also one most recently by Karen Casey - on Songlines (?) I think, or an earlier cd release, she does it in 3/4 time, very lovely as a waltz

there are a couple of recitations with music by Tommy Makem on Best of CD? (I think) and earlier 1960? by Serrafyn Mork, the last great troubador! no recording of Yeats himself reciting it, obviously, or we could hear the way he chanted, though I think he stopped doing it to psaltery fairly early on, certainly not after WWI

versions to different airs are by Donovan, as mentioned earlier & by Ceoltoiri, can't remeber the cd title

I will post someday soon the conmplete list with all correct references, sources, lp or cd availability etc as soon as I can get to my notes and have time to enter thanks for all the interest If anyone knows of any others I don't list (when my complete list is up) I would certainly like to hear of them

this may be thread creep or some other thing you have a name for, but since i had in fact registered, why did my posting come up as a guest? perhaps other GUESTS have also registered, but as I, don't know how to LOG ON as your registered name? also, and this is thread creep why complain so much about guests when so many of you don't use your own name either, but a nom de cyberspace?

sorry to digress, and thanks again Bill Kennedy


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Subject: RE: Tune Add: Song of Wandering Angus
From: Noreen
Date: 15 Feb 02 - 06:20 PM

Bill, go to Reset your Cookie under the Quich Links drop-down menu at the top of this page, to log in again as a member. If that doesn't work, post a request in the help and trouble forum (Help just below the Mudcat banner at top of page).

Interesting thread, wonderful poem.

Noreen


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Subject: RE: Tune Add: Song of Wandering Angus
From: masato sakurai
Date: 15 Feb 02 - 08:04 PM

Tommy Makem's recitaion (sound clip) is HERE.

~Masato


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Subject: RE: Tune Add: Song of Wandering Angus
From: Bill D
Date: 16 Feb 02 - 12:01 AM

hmmm...it is, of course, fascinating to follow these thigs back to original sources and find out what is 'right',,,but since I own two copies of the old Burl Ives record (had one for 38-39 years), the song will be forever imprinted in my mind like Burl did it.

"Authenticity" is fine, but what you 'like' is something else, and I never have been able to listen to the Jean Redpath version, as much as I like her.

I do hope Burl was close to the original....


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Subject: RE: Tune Add: Song of Wandering Angus
From: GUEST,Bill Kennedy
Date: 04 Mar 02 - 08:57 PM

Well, here is the promised discography and some clarifications on the history - Yeats published 'The Song of Wandering Aengus' in 1897. In 1907 he published an expanded essay on his earlier 'Speaking to the Psaltery' of 1902, which was again reprinted in 1961 in 'Essays and Introductions'. In this essay he discusses his interest in reciting poetry in a bardic fashion, to psaltery accompaniment, as introduced to him by Florence Farr, and his going as far as having a half psaltery/ half lyre made for him by Arnold Dolmetsch. He also includes 6 poems and the musical notation for them, three taken from the recitations of Florence Farr, one from an A. H. Bullen, and two as he says " taken down by Mr. Arnold Dolmetsch from myself,'. The two of Yeats are 'The Song of the Old Mother' and 'The Song of Wandering Aengus'. The music is as in my first posting,

c c c c c d d b

I went out to the hazel wood,

b a a c c b b d

Because a fire was in my head,

d c c c c d d b

And cut and peeled a hazel wand,

b a a c c b b d

And hooked a berry to a thread;

d d d d d d d d

And when white moths were on the wing,

d d d d d d d d

And moth-like stars were flickering out,

c d d b b a a c

I dropped the berry in a stream,

c d d b b a a c

and caught a little silver trout.

The earliest recording of this poem to the 'melody' of Yeats is sung acappela by Burl Ives on: - 'Burl Ives: Songs of Ireland' Decca DL 8444 (ca. 1954) which he titles 'The Wandering of Old Angus' (William Butler Yeats). The liner notes state 'Burl Ives learned to chant this William Butler Yeats poem from the late actress Sara Allgood.' Sara Allgood was part of the early Abbey Theater and often gave recitations and songs as part of her performances there, independant of the plays that she performed in. (She might be best known to Americans as the Welsh mother in the John Huston film of Richard Llewelyn's 'How Green was My Valley'.) Burl IVes visitied Ireland in the early 50's, Allgood died in 1950, but he would have met her in Hollywood or more likely in New York theater.

The next recording is by Judy Collins to guitar accompaniment on: - 'Golden Apples of the Sun' Elektra EKS -7222 (1962, (re-released on cd by Wildflower in 2001) titled 'Golden APples of the Sun' (W. B. Yeats/J. Collins) The liner notes give this information - (which is also included in one of her autobiographies and somehwat in her songbook)

"Learned from the singing of Will Holt, this stunning song is a musical setting of a W. B. Yeats poem 'The Song of the Wandering Angus'. The haunting melody is probably the composition of Richard Dyer-Bennet. 'It is not a folk song,' says Judy. 'It tends to be an art song. It has a traditional feeling about it; the repetitiveness gives you the impression of an incantation, which the poem does too.' Of her learning it she remarks, 'I had heard the song almost two years ago. When I heard EWill Holt sing it late one night at the Gate of Horn, I was greatly impressed, and determined to learn it. Will sang it for me a number of times, and even gave me a tape of it. I lived with the Golden Apples of the Sun almost a year-and-a-half before I ever sang it, and then it burst out one day - almost of its own accord - while I was visiting friends. It took me a long time to assimilate it, but now it's part of me. I feel that the song has something to do with what people want - what they don't have - and sometimes the desire for these things is almost as satisfying as the getting.'"

mORE TO FOLLOW - bILL kENNEDY


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Subject: RE: Tune Add: Song of Wandering Angus
From: michaelr
Date: 04 Mar 02 - 10:36 PM

Bill - I'm confused. Are those lower-case letters supposed to be guitar chords - or what?

Michael


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Subject: RE: Tune Add: Song of Wandering Angus
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 04 Mar 02 - 10:44 PM

Fascinating thread. Thanks Bill. I've heard several (but not all) versions mentioned here, and what strikes me is that although the most 'common' tune used for the song is certainly not Yeats' "chant"...it seems very similar in "spirit"...almost as if someone (Dyer-Bennett gets my vote) thought...."Ah, I know what Yeats MEANT, I'll change this to the tune he really WANTED to sing"!! In other words, I suspect the musical inspiration DID come from Yeats' recording.

Of course I could be completely full of hot air! Fun to muse anyway.

Rick


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Subject: RE: Tune Add: Song of Wandering Angus
From: GUEST
Date: 05 Mar 02 - 11:10 AM

Michael - the lower case letters are the notes to each syllable. And yes, Rick, there has been some adjustment over time to make it more 'singable' but the continuous chant in lines five & six of each verse (again, with a note changed here or there by some) is certainly directly from Yeats.

Maybe I should just list the discography as I know it, and then flesh out the details. Here are three basic categories: 1- More or less to Yeats' tune, by year & artist:

1954 - Burl Ives - Decca DL 8444 - 'Burl Ives: Songs of Old Ireland' titled - 'The Wandering of Old Aengus' - acapella

1962 - Judy Collins - Elektra EKS 7222 - 'Golden APples of the Sun' titled - 'Golden Apples of the Sun' - guitar accompinament, fingerpicking - later on 'So Early in the Spring' (1971) & re-released on CD in 2001 as double cd with 'Maid of Constant Sorrow' on Wildflower label

1966 - Dave Van Ronk - Verve/Forecast F23 3309 - 'No Dirty Names' - title - 'Song of the Wandering Angus' - guitar, droning strum style - later live version recorded in 1967 on 1997 Collectors Classics CD (Just a Memory) JAM 9132-21997 - 'Live at Sir George Williams University'

1974 - Richie Havens - Polydor SF S 6201 - 'Mixed Bag II' - title - 'Wandering Angus' - guitar, droning strum style

1986 - Christy Moore - Green Linnet SIF 3302 (recorded march 1984) - 'Ride On' - title - 'Song of Wandering Aongus' (yes, with an 'o'!) - guitar -later on compilation 'Now & in Time to be, A Musical COllection of Works of W. B . Yeats' Grapevine records, 1997 GRA CD 219 - now spelled 'Aengus'

1987 - Jean Redpath - Philo CD PH -1110 - 'A Fine SOng for Singing' - title - 'Song of Wandering Aengus' - guitar, cello

1997 - Karan Casey - Shanachie 78007 - 'Songlines' - title 'The SOng of Wandering Aengus' - violin, guitar, waltz time

2 - recitations, with & without musical background

1956 - Siobhan McKenna - Spoken Arts 707 - 'Irish Ballads, Folksongs & Lyrics read by Siobhan McKenna' - title - 'The Song of Wandering Angus'

1959 - William Butler Yeats, Sobhan McKenna, Michael MacLiammoir - Spoken Arts 753 'The Poens of William Butler Yeats read by....' - title - 'The Song of Wnadering Aengus' - read by Michael MacLiammoir

1964 - Seraffyn, the Last Great Troubador (Seraffyn Mork) - 'Of Love, of War, of Many Things' - title - 'The Song of Wandering Aengus' - lute excercise, & background soprano vocalising by Carolyn Wilmshurst

1995 - Tommy Makem - Shanachie 52040 'From the Archives' - title - 'Song of the Wandering Aengus' - spoken, guitar accompaniment

3 - tunes other than Yeats'

1971 - Donovan - Pye Records Dawn DNLD 4001 - 'H. M. S. Donovan' - title - 'The Song of the Wandering Aengus' - music by Donovan Leitch - later reissue Beat Goes On cd - BGO 11p6 1998

1992 - Ceoltoiri (Connie McKenna, Sue Richards, Karen Ashborrk) - Maggies Music, MMCD 202 - 'Silver Apples of the Moon' - title - 'Song of Wandering Aengus' - set to Northumbrian tune by Sue RIchards, 'Gan to the Kye wi' me'

4 - recordings I have not heard yet

1986 - Angelo Branduardi - 'Angelo Branduardi canta Yeats' - sung in Italian! (using the melody of Donovan Leitch)

1993 Bill Douglas - Hearts of Space 11035 - 'Kaleidoscope' - title - 'Golden Apples of the Sun' - piano instrumental?


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Subject: RE: Tune Add: Song of Wandering Angus
From: Peter T.
Date: 05 Mar 02 - 12:10 PM

Thank you. I now sing this after a fashion, and it is good to have the serious back history. In our conversation about it, Rick Fielding mentioned that there was a second guitarist in Judy's version, whose strum is perhaps more relevant? Is there no version by Richard Dyer-Bennett anywhere in the process, since he seems to have been the modern node?

yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Tune Add: Song of Wandering Angus
From: GUEST
Date: 06 Mar 02 - 10:06 AM

To continue, and to answer Peter's questions, in checking discography and by e-mail to his nephew, David Dyer-Bennet, there is no recording of Wandering Aengus by him, and no record of it in his repertoire, doesn't mean he didn't know it from Burl Ives, but...not likely, the Dyer-Bennet node may be incorrect. I do know that Will Holt was a student of Dyer-Bennet, and learned some of his strumming accompaniment from him, as well as his love of the 'art song'. It seems very coincidental that the first mention of Will Holt performing it would be so soon after the Macmillan edition of Yeat's 'Essays & Introductions' was released in 1961 (Judy Collins claims to have heard him perform it at the Gate of Horn in Chicago about then). By both Judy Collins & Dave Van Ronk it would appear that Will Holt may be the sole source of this version of the song, and knowing something about Will's interest and devotion to 'art song' and theater pieces (Brecht, etc.) it is entirely possible and quite likely that having found Yeats' essay 'Speaking to the Psaltery' that Will Holt taught himself the song and in the spirit of Yeats' discussion of psaltery accompaniment devised the strumming technique used by both Dave Van Ronk and Richie Havens. In conversation with Richie Havens two years ago, he says he learned it directly from Dave Van Ronk, so that link is clear. Judy may still have the tape she got from Will Holt who taught her the song, and it may have him strumming on it, or it m,ay be just vocal, I hope to hear it someday if it still exists, but Judy has not responded to my e-mails (surprise!). It is known how Burl Ives learned it, directly from Yeats through Sara Allgood. Those others that wrote thier own melody, or set it to another melody are also accounted for above. I don't know where Christy Moore, Jean Redpath, and Karan Casey first heard the song, or who they may have learned it from, but I would guess, perhaps Casey got it from Christy Moore. He and Jean may have learned it from recordings of Richie Havens or Dave Van Ronk or Judy Collins, there is nothing in the way they perform it that can point to someone as a source the way Richie's version points to Dave (and his link to Will Holt for the strumming style is lost now that Dave is gone, can't ask him, though he acknowledges Will on the recording as his source for the song). I hope to contact Christy, Karan and Jean in the near future (Karan is playing here this month in a small club where there is a good chance I can talk to her about it.) and ask them. Hope this has been or will be useful to someone, it has had me obsessed for a bit! Bill


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Subject: RE: Tune Add: Song of Wandering Angus
From: GUEST,Bill Kennedy
Date: 28 Mar 02 - 04:04 PM

Just to keep the obesession going! 2 things to add or update - spoke with Karan Casey last evening who confirmed that she learned the version she sings from the singing of Christy Moore (though she does change the tempo to waltz time) and in checking a Decca records discography, it seems that the Burl IVes recording might actually have been released in 1958, which brings it closer to Will Holt, though I still think the publication of Yeat's book in 1961 is his source. Could be both, or neither!


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Subject: RE: Tune Add: Song of Wandering Angus
From: GUEST,CraigS
Date: 28 Mar 02 - 05:21 PM

A version not as yet mentioned was recorded by New Zealander Chris Thompson on an album for The Village Thing label ca. 1969. Since I am not familiar with the other versions, and do not have a net& sound equipped computer, I cannot comment on whose tune he used, but I suspect it was his own.

As an aside, Yeats may have been tone deaf, but he could paint pictures a lot better than Babe Ruth or Arnold Palmer.


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Subject: RE: Tune Add: Song of Wandering Angus
From: Francy
Date: 28 Mar 02 - 06:51 PM

Another version well worth listening to is Sean Tyrrell's on his latest CD "The Orchard"...You won't be disappointed......Frank Of Toledo


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Subject: RE: Tune Add: Song of Wandering Angus
From: CapriUni
Date: 28 Mar 02 - 07:35 PM

I lent my Complete Poems of W. B. Yeats to a friend, so I can't check it right now, but I do remember there are some scores for melodies he wrote in one or other of the appendices... Don't remember if "Song of the Wandering Aengus" is among them, or not (for some reason, I think not -- I think they were only included for songs which were originally part of his plays).


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Subject: RE: Tune Add: Song of Wandering Angus
From: Deckman
Date: 29 Mar 02 - 12:17 AM

You have NEVER heard this poem sung correctly, until you've heard Don Firth! CHEERS, Bob


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Subject: RE: Tune Add: Song of Wandering Angus
From: GUEST,Bill Kennedy
Date: 29 Mar 02 - 12:45 PM

thanks for the tips, the Sean Tyrell was at the top of my list for new purchases anyway, but didn't know this was on it, & I'll search now for the Chris Thompson.


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Subject: RE: Tune Add: Song of Wandering Angus
From: GUEST,Bill Kennedy
Date: 29 Mar 02 - 12:46 PM

and look forward to hearing Don Firth's version some time. recorded?


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Subject: RE: Tune Add: Song of Wandering Angus
From: Charley Noble
Date: 29 Mar 02 - 04:30 PM

I always thought the Judy Collins' melody was similar to that of "The Great Silkie" but then again I could well be wrong again.


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Subject: RE: Tune Add: Song of Wandering Angus
From: GUEST,Bill Kennedy
Date: 01 Apr 02 - 06:12 PM

just heard it, it should go into category 3, - 1993 Bill Douglas - Hearts of Space 11035 - 'Kaleidoscope' - title - 'Golden Apples of the Sun' - piano, orchestra, and vocals by Therese Schroeder Sheker, Bill Douglas original composition


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Subject: RE: Tune Add: Song of Wandering Angus
From: GUEST,Bill Kennedy
Date: 08 Apr 02 - 10:17 AM

just heard the Chris Thompson 'village thing' CD version - now in category 3 - it's definitely his own composition, and not a very inspired one, to my ear. It's interesting how much he sounds like Donovan (vocally, and in some ways on the acoustic guitar, though he's obviously a better guitarist) on this recording, don't know if he was aware of Donovan's version and wanted to try his hand at writing his own, or if he was just drawn to the poem and knew nothing of Donovan's version. waiting to receive the Sean Tyrell cd, I assume is after Christy Moore's version, but not certain. Will update later. Would it be of any use or interest to anyone (and to whom would it be sent) if I sent a cassette of all these recordings to Mudcat? Or can I offer to duplicate a cassette of all of it to anyone who sends me a blank tape? (and maybe postage?) Bill


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Subject: RE: Tune Add: Song of Wandering Angus
From: GUEST
Date: 08 Apr 02 - 03:23 PM

Some quick corrections for you off the top of my head (this is the first I've seen of your posts):

The poem was first published in 1899 (not 1897), in the book "The Wind Among the Reeds" and is based upon a myth fragment known as "Aisling Oengus". Details of Yeats poem in this collection can be found here:

http://www.bartleby.com/146/

Yeat's Society of New York gives this discography of Yeats recordings, not much different than yours:

http://www.yeatssociety.org/ydiscog.html

The Christy Moore version is titled "The Ballad of Wandering Aengus" from his "Ride On" CD (see his website):

http://www.christymoore.net/lyrics/aengus.html

You should also search under that title, as well as simply "Wandering Aengus".

As to your history of the recordings done by US folk scare artists, you are missing what may be an important link--a recording of the song by revival artists Bud & Travis, who have it on their 1960 Liberty Records recording titled "Natural". Frank Hamilton, who is an old Chi town folkie may be able to tell you more about them. I don't have Frank's contact info to hand, but someone here likely can get you in touch with him.

Alan Ng's excellent Irish tune index has info here:

http://alan-ng.net/irish/tunography/tune.asp?ID=2626

If you are truly serious about researching the recordings of this poem, you should try two sources directly:

The Yeats Society of Sligo, to see if they know what recordings of the poem exist:

Yeats Society Sligo, Hyde Bridge, Sligo, Ireland. Tel: +353 (0)71 42693 Fax: +353 (0)71 42780 Email: info@yeats-sligo.com

And Nicholas Carolan at the Irish Traditional Music Archive:

http://www.itma.ie/

They don't have an email, you must call, write, or fax them with queries. Nicholas Carolan (the director) likely either knows off the top of his head what recordings of the poem set to music have been made, or can direct you to someone who does. Another person to try is Finbar Boyle of Claddagh Records, who has an encyclopedic knowledge of Irish recordings.

It may be that Christy picked up the song from American revival artists, but I think it more likely he got his version from the Makem's or someone in the Irish folk community. However, considering the Burl Ives story about the connection to Abbey Theatre folk, your link may end up there.

Can you give us specific information on audio recording(s) of Yeats' performance of the poem? I haven't ever come across a recording by him of that particular poem, but I'm not much of a Yeats fan.

Good luck with your search.


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Subject: RE: Tune Add: Song of Wandering Angus
From: GUEST
Date: 08 Apr 02 - 03:43 PM

Sorry--forgot to mention the Bud & Travis recording is the "Golden Apples of the Sun" title, I think--your discussion of the Judy Collins song is what made me think of it. She may have gotten from Will Holt, and Bud & Travis may have gotten it from his as well. They also played in those old days at the Gate of Horn. At any rate, they would have been well known at the time in the Chicago folk community.


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Subject: RE: Tune Add: Song of Wandering Angus
From: GUEST,Bill Kennedy
Date: 08 Apr 02 - 04:55 PM

thanks, guest, I have seen most of what you refer to, and I don't usually accept everything on the web as authentic, I have seen references top Yeats having written the poem in 1897, the 'Winds among the reeds' collection wa published in 1899, I remember vaguely that the poem was previously published in some newspaper or other, but i might be mistaken. The Christy Moore typo of Aongus is take directly from the lp 'Ride On', which I own. It was cleaned up for the compilation cd, and I trust your description of the cd re-issue of 'Ride On' that it was corrected there as well. I was unaware of the Bud & TRravis versiion, which they orignally recorded in 1960, that may be a Will Holt link, though Judy says she learned it from Holt, not Bud & Travis. I will find the cd re-issue and listen to see how they performed it.

meanwhile i have found a few more recorded versions to acquire and listen to,

Joyce Hope Suskind Martyn Bates Susan SHore Carla Lother Roger latzgo

I am sure they may be others.


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Subject: RE: Tune Add: Song of Wandering Angus
From: GUEST
Date: 08 Apr 02 - 05:23 PM

Bill, a google search of Bud & Travis brings up a fascinating little tidbit on their unusual guitar style, referred to at this page as "The Mariachhi Slap".

http://www.locksley.com/btslap.htm

It just might be their style is the unique one you are looking for?


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Subject: RE: Tune Add: Song of Wandering Angus
From: GUEST,Bill Kennedy
Date: 09 Apr 02 - 01:03 PM

well, listened to the Bud & Travis, - found it on my 'In Person at the Cellar Door' lp, which was a year or two later than the 'Naturally' studio release it first appeared on. I never found it in a search because they, also, before Judy did so, for some reason title it 'Golden Apples of the Sun'. Being in Chicago, Gate of Horn, etc. it's not unlikely that they also picked up the song from Will Holt OR Will Holt picked it up from them. But, they do not use the strumming technique of Dave van Ronk and Richie Havens, (nor thier famous/infamous Mariachi Slap) just some nice fingerpicking (not Judy's version) and harmony singing. The Liberty records sleeve credit is "adapted by Dashiell and Henderson" (Bud & Travis), so the only person left who would know if that rapid strumming droning guitar technique originated with Will Holt, is Judy Collins, who is not talking (to me anyway!, which leads me to say, no one seems to be interested in this thread much, and I should just drop it, but having started it I will continue to update each new version I find, and again offer to send cassettes of them to anyone who is interested. I have no sound card, no cd burning capability, but could do something at the radio station sometime with directions, or could meet someone someday somewhere to put this all on the DT web somehow.) Susan Shore has recorded her own setting of the poem, pleasant, nicer than Christ Thomson's to my ear, it's on her 'Old 281' cd, Buckthorn, 1995.

I haven't mentioned before Sibelius, who also set this poem to music, part of his 'Six Songs of Wandering' suite.


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Subject: RE: Tune Add: Song of Wandering Angus
From: GUEST,Bill Kennedy
Date: 09 Apr 02 - 03:22 PM

should add response to previous guest, Alan ng's site is pretty interesting generally, but useless in this case, he only has the Karan Casey recording, I have all the others I mention, except new one's I find and than acquire, he has no info about any original Irish air related to Yeats.

Yeats never recorded this poem that I am aware of, and it would have to have been recorded during the period of time in which he was experimenting with the psaltery to be of any use here.

as for any other experts, I don't pass myself off as an expert on anything, but as far as I have found, the info I have collected about recordings and settings of this poem is the most complete anywhere so far, and the reason I post it here is so that anyone else looking for this info can find it. maybe should post it elsewhere as well, and soon will clean up this thread and repost it under a different heading I guess. thanks for your insights and directions to various things.


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Subject: RE: Tune Add: Song of Wandering Angus
From: GUEST
Date: 09 Apr 02 - 03:34 PM

And more power to your elbow there, Bill! I did manage to find a mp3 of Bud & Travis version, but since I'm not familiar with the Burl Ives version, I wouldn't know how to compare.

But I will say this--the actress you mention, Ms. Allgood, was a major player at the Abbey at the time of it's founding and a fairly close associate of Yeats.

If I were you, I'd focus on trying to track down the tune Burl Ives uses on the Irish side. As I said, either Nicholas Carolan or Finbar Boyle, both of whom have encyclopedic knowledge of recordings and tunes both, may well be able to help you. I don't have Claddagh Records/Finbar's email , but I'm pretty sure it is at their website. Finbar is a wonderfully helpful person. So let us know if you find anything more out.

I wish you'd get as much response on this one as Raglan Road! You know, this poem is #4 on the Irish Times "Best Loved Irish Poems" list, and Raglan Road #5!

Another suggestion is that you post a query in the newsgroups, and to the Irish Traditional Music mailing list (you can do that through the archive web page). There may well be folks with more knowledge of the song in those forums than there are here.


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Subject: RE: Tune Add: The Song of Wandering Aengus
From: GUEST
Date: 27 Oct 09 - 02:11 PM

Hi everybody,
Just reading all the info about The song of Wandering Aengus, and I find it very interesting. My name is Mai Hernon and I am a traditional singer from Sligo and I have just recorded the song on my new CD called Easter Snow. It will be out hopefully before Christmas but you will be able to get it off my website www.maihernon.com.
I heard a few different versions of this song and the are all nice but in working on it we came up with our own version. I do hope for any of you out there that might look me up, or my version of the song/poem that you like it.
Thank you all for all the info and comments on the air and song itself.
Best wishes
MAI


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Subject: RE: Tune Add: The Song of Wandering Aengus
From: GUEST
Date: 26 Aug 12 - 09:14 AM

Christy Moore's version is beautiful.


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Subject: RE: Tune Add: The Song of Wandering Aengus
From: Bill D
Date: 26 Aug 12 - 12:35 PM

You can hear a 'bit' of the Burl Ives version here

I have just listened to versions by Karen Casey,Caroline Herring, Bud & Travis, Christy Moore, Donovan, Dave Van Ronk and Judy Collins....

The only versions which come reasonably close to what Bill Kennedy posted on 2002 as THE tune are the original Burl Ives and Judy Collins. Bud & Travis start out kinda similar, but soon diverge. Christy Moore, using the 'basic' tune, does this kinda hesitant 'bounce' along the words...sounding very Irish, but to me, distracting.

I still have not heard anything to match Ives old acapella recording. (Dave Van Ronk does... well... Dave Van Ronk-ish guitar thumping)

A couple of the others just seem to have decided that they should 'make the song their own' ...and gone off at odd angles.

"de gustibus non disputandum"


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Subject: RE: Tune Add: The Song of Wandering Aengus
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 26 Aug 12 - 02:14 PM

Thanks for the link, Bill. I never knew Burl Ives could sing like that.


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