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Lyr Req: Martha the Watercress Girl

Jon Freeman 15 Feb 02 - 11:38 PM
masato sakurai 16 Feb 02 - 12:45 AM
masato sakurai 16 Feb 02 - 01:13 AM
nutty 16 Feb 02 - 03:19 AM
masato sakurai 16 Feb 02 - 03:32 AM
masato sakurai 16 Feb 02 - 03:53 AM
Jon Freeman 16 Feb 02 - 09:22 AM
masato sakurai 16 Feb 02 - 11:46 AM
Malcolm Douglas 16 Feb 02 - 12:50 PM
MMario 10 Apr 02 - 10:52 AM
John J 10 Apr 02 - 01:01 PM
Harry Basnett 10 Apr 02 - 02:21 PM
Herga Kitty 10 Apr 02 - 03:30 PM
Jim Dixon 10 Oct 10 - 01:38 AM
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Subject: Martha The Watercress Girl
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 15 Feb 02 - 11:38 PM

I can't seem to find it anywhere. All I can tell you is the song has a music hall feel to it. Someone in the Rhyl folk club used to sing it but I've not heard it anywhere else. The chorus goes something along the lines of:

And her hair hung down in tresses
As she walked to the stream that runs by the mill
She was gathering watercresses
Was Martha the watercress girl.

Thanks,

Jon


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Martha The Watercress Girl
From: masato sakurai
Date: 16 Feb 02 - 12:45 AM

This song, titled "The Watercress Girl", is on A Short History of John Kirkpatrick (Topic TSCD473), with this note: "A bequest from John Tams (a member of the original line-up of Umps and Drums), who found it all in a hotch-potch of fragments noted by Roy Palmer from the West Midlands singer George Dunn, published in the EFDSS journal in 1973."

~Masato


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE WATERCRESS GIRL
From: masato sakurai
Date: 16 Feb 02 - 01:13 AM

THE WATERCRESS GIRL
("Even without a knowledge of the original street ballad, one would have to conclude that the style and sentiment of this song made it unmistakably Victorian.")

1.
One day I took a ramble down by a running stream,
Where the water lilies gambol it was a lovely scene;
And there I saw a maiden, a maiden from the dell;
She was gathering watercresses 'twas Martha, the watercress girl.

Chorus:
Then her hair it hung in tresses,
Down by the stream that's close to the mill;
She was gathering watercresses,
Was Martha the watercress girl.

2.
I asked if she was lonely, she answered with a smile:
'Kind sir, I am not lonely, for here I daily toil.
I have to rise up early my cresses for to sell;
My Christian name is Martha--they call me the watercress girl.'

3.
The day is not far distant when Martha will be mine,
And on our wedding morning it will be nice and fine.
I'll have to rise up early and dress up like an earl,
To go and marry Martha, the sweet little watercress girl.

After verse 3, the last line of the chorus was varied to: 'Was my little watercress girl'.

From: Roy Palmer, Everyman's Book of British Ballads, 1980, pp. 189-190.

~Masato


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Martha The Watercress Girl
From: nutty
Date: 16 Feb 02 - 03:19 AM

The original broadside is here in the Bodleian Library ....no date is given unfortunately but the text is very recognisable.

THE WATERCRESS GIRL


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Martha The Watercress Girl
From: masato sakurai
Date: 16 Feb 02 - 03:32 AM

One more in the Library. The Water-cress Girl.

~Masato


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Martha The Watercress Girl
From: masato sakurai
Date: 16 Feb 02 - 03:53 AM

"Watercress Girl" by Clark Springs is on Various Artists: Tomorrow's Hits Today (CD info is HERE).

~Masato


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Martha The Watercress Girl
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 16 Feb 02 - 09:22 AM

Thanks all. I hate to admit this but I have the Palmer book but hadn't remembered seeing the song in there - I was quite convinced the song wasn't there - even had to check up now!

Anyway, it's made one more song for the dt and a little bit more info. For completeness, I have put a MIDI of the version in Everyman's Book Of Brittish Balads here in case MMario wants to grab it.

Thinking of faulty memories (or maybe it was how I heard it), I have put the chorus as I remembered it here. It is similar but with a few small changes. In this instance, for my own use, I think I prefer my possibly mis-remembered version.

Jon


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Martha The Watercress Girl
From: masato sakurai
Date: 16 Feb 02 - 11:46 AM

Jon, thanks for the MIDI. I have the Palmer book too, but I was unaware the song is in it until I consulted Plymouth Song Index.
John Kirkpatrick's audio clip is HERE.

~Masato


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Martha The Watercress Girl
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 16 Feb 02 - 12:50 PM

Roy Palmer noted the song from George Dunn (b. 1887) of Quarry Bank, Staffordshire, on the 24th of May, 1971. The tune as printed in Everyman's Book of British Ballads was transposed up to G from the original key of F#.  Another set, noted by Mike Yates from Johnny Doughty of Rye, Sussex, appeared in English Dance and Song,vol.41, no.2, 1979; the song was also in the repertoire of Harry Cox of Catfield, Norfolk, and has been found in Newfoundland. Steve Roud (Folksong Index) assigns it his reference number 1541; the Roud number given in the notes to Harry Cox's The Bonny Labouring Boy (Topic TSCD512D, 2000) -16060- appears to be a mistake.


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Subject: Tune Add: THE WATERCRESS GIRL
From: MMario
Date: 10 Apr 02 - 10:52 AM

N-THE WATERCRESS GIRL
C-
A-
T-
S-140
K-G
B-3/4
F-from Everyman's Book of British Ballads
H-
M-5R-2 D-4 D-2 D-4 G-2 a-4 b-4 b-2_b-2 b-4
L-One day I took a ram-ble down by a run-ning stream Where the wa-ter li-lies gam-bol it was a love-ly scene
H-
M-5a-2 G-4 a-4 b-2 G-3 R-2 G-8 G-8 G-2 G-4
L-And There I saw a maid-en, a maid-en from the dell; She was gath-'ring wa-ter-cress-es 'twas Mar-tha the wa-ter-cress girl.
H-
M-5a-2 G-4 D-4 b-2_b-2 b-4 b-2 a-4 a-2 b-4
L-Then her hair it hung in tress-es, Down by the stream that's close to the mill; She was gath-'ring wa-ter-cress-es, was Mar-tha
H-
M-5a-3_a-4 R-4 D-4 D-2 D-4 G-2 a-4 b-4 b-2
L-the wa-ter-cress girl.
H-
M-5R-2 b-4 a-2 G-4 a-2 b-4 G-3 R-2 G-8 G-8
L-
H-
M-5G-2 G-4 F-2 E-4 D-4 b-2 R-2 b-4 D-4 F-4 a-4
L-
H-
M-5D-4 F-4 a-4 G-3_G-4 R-4 b-8 c-8 d-2 c#4 c-2 G-4
L-
H-
M-5b-4 b-2 a-4 G#4 a-4 b-2 a-4 G-4 F-5 E-8 D-2 G-8 b-8
L-
H-
M-5d-2 c#4 c-2 G-4 b-4 b-2 R-2 G-4 a-4 c-4 b-4
L-
H-
M-2a-5 E-8 F-4 G-2 R-4
L-
_


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Martha The Watercress Girl
From: John J
Date: 10 Apr 02 - 01:01 PM

There was an excellent TV drama called 'The Watercress Girl' shown on UK TV a few years back. I don't recall any songs, but if you see the programme advertised I can thoroughly recommend you view it.

John


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Martha The Watercress Girl
From: Harry Basnett
Date: 10 Apr 02 - 02:21 PM

Hi, John...

The U.K. drama series was based on the short stories by H.E. Bates methinks and was called "Country Matters."

All the best.......Harry.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Martha The Watercress Girl
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 10 Apr 02 - 03:30 PM

Harryoldham and John J - I remember Country Matters, but I think "few years" is a bit of an understatement. And I've a feeling that some of the stories were Coppard rather than Bates.

As soon as I saw the thread title I thought of John Kirkpatrick singing the song ....

Kitty


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE WATER-CRESS GIRL (from Bodleian)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 10 Oct 10 - 01:38 AM

From the Bodleian Ballads Catalogue: Harding B 11(4047):

THE WATER-CRESS GIRL

1. While strolling out one evening by a running stream,
Where the water-lilies growing, it was a lovely scene;
And as I was walking, a damsel I espied.
She was gathering water-cresses down by the streamlet side.

CHORUS: Her hair hung down in tresses,
Down by a streamlet, just in a dell.
She was gathering water-cresses,
Was this lovely water-cress girl.

2. I asked her if she were lonely. She answered with a smile:
"Oh! I am not so lonely. It is my daily toil.
I have to be up early my cresses for to sell."
She said her name was Martha, and known as the water-cress girl.

3. We often strolled together down by the running stream,
And since that time my Martha has become my queen.
Although she's poor, she's proved to me a very useful pal,
And a right good wife is Martha, my sweet little water-cress girl.


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