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Lyr Req: Two Brothers

DigiTrad:
ROLLING OF THE STONES
THE TWO BROTHERS
THE TWO BROTHERS 3
THE TWO BROTHERS 4
TWO BROTHERS


Related threads:
Rolling of the stone - origin? (14)
INFO: Twa Brothers (3)


In Mudcat MIDIs:
John and William (collected by Josephine McGill, 1914, from an unnamed singer in Knott or Letcher County, Kentucky. Quoted by Bronson, Traditional Tunes of the Child Ballads, vol.I, 1959, from Josephine McGill's Folk-Songs of the Kentucky Mountains, 1917.)
The Two Brothers (collected by Josephine McGill, 1914, from an unnamed singer in Knott or Letcher County, Kentucky. Quoted by Bronson, Traditional Tunes of the Child Ballads, vol.I, 1959, from Josephine McGill's Folk-Songs of the Kentucky Mountains, 1917.)


robinia 08 May 02 - 02:22 AM
robinia 08 May 02 - 02:38 AM
GUEST 08 May 02 - 04:56 AM
GUEST,MCP 08 May 02 - 04:57 AM
rich-joy 08 May 02 - 07:02 AM
Malcolm Douglas 08 May 02 - 09:29 AM
robinia 09 May 02 - 11:34 PM
Malcolm Douglas 10 May 02 - 09:55 AM
Mrrzy 10 May 02 - 11:31 AM
robinia 11 May 02 - 07:10 AM
CapriUni 11 May 02 - 02:17 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 11 May 02 - 03:25 PM
Malcolm Douglas 11 May 02 - 04:22 PM
masato sakurai 11 May 02 - 07:24 PM
Malcolm Douglas 11 May 02 - 08:21 PM
masato sakurai 11 May 02 - 09:47 PM
Malcolm Douglas 11 May 02 - 10:00 PM
robinia 12 May 02 - 10:16 PM
Naemanson 23 Oct 03 - 03:16 AM
GUEST,Sadie Damascus 20 Mar 18 - 05:49 PM
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Subject: Two Brothers
From: robinia
Date: 08 May 02 - 02:22 AM

from an old LP of Rosalie Sorrels (since lost) I remember her singing a version of The Two Brothers with a wonderful tune and some beautiful verses (similar to but significantly different from the Beech Mountain version on the Digital Tradition). Does anyone have them? The tune is still in my head but only verse fragments remain (like the bit about mourning the birds out of their nest, the fish from out of the sea....) Thanks for any help you can give me.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Two Brothers
From: robinia
Date: 08 May 02 - 02:38 AM

I meant the Sharp version of the song. Sorry


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Two Brothers
From: GUEST
Date: 08 May 02 - 04:56 AM

Robinia - I'm not clear from your post if it's Sharp's versions your looking for, but if so, there are several from EFSSA in the DT under the title TWO BROTHERS, includingTwo Brothers 4 which has (more or less) the words you're looking for (verse 16):
    She hopped the red fish out of the sea,
The small birds out of their nests;
She hopped her true love out of his grave,
So he can't see no rest

(However I got that looking at my offline copy of the DT. When I first did a search for "Two Brothers" it didn't come up in the Forum/DT Search results. I got the song id using "Dunagan" - the source singer's name. More vagaries of search!)

I had a quick look at EFSSA and Sharp gives 13 tunes for the song but, at a quick glance, the Dunagan version is the only one with the words you're looking for.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Two Brothers
From: GUEST,MCP
Date: 08 May 02 - 04:57 AM

Sorry that last was me - forgot to add tag.

Mick (MCPearce0ATaolDOTcom)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Two Brothers
From: rich-joy
Date: 08 May 02 - 07:02 AM

sorry, but I thought this was a thread about that GREAT new PETE MORTON composition "The Two Brothers" (representing Israel and Palestine) - the words are on his site at Harbourtown records :
http://www.harbourtownrecords.com/morton.html
sorry can't do that thang ...
Cheers! R-J


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Two Brothers
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 08 May 02 - 09:29 AM

One other of the versions found by Sharp, in this case that from Mrs. Virginia Bennett at Burnsville, N.C., in 1918, contains a form of that verse:
She took her banjo in her arms,
Her harp strung to her back.
She harped till she harped the fowls from the air
And the fishes from the sea.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Two Brothers
From: robinia
Date: 09 May 02 - 11:34 PM

Yes, several of the Digitrad versions are similar to what Rosalie Sorrels sings on my lost LP, but I'd still like to recover "her" version .....


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Subject: Lyr Add: JOHN AND WILLIAM (from Josephine McGill)
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 10 May 02 - 09:55 AM

In versions of the song where the heroine deliberately raises the dead, she usually uses music, generally played on the harp or the flute; in some, however, she weeps or mourns to the same effect. In Child's version C, for example (from Motherwell's MS., noted "From the recitation of Mrs. Cunningham, Ayr"):
She ran distraught, she wept, she sicht,
She wept the sma brids frae the tree,
She wept the starns adoun frae the lift,
She wept the fish out o the sea.
Of the forty-one examples cited by Bronson, only one has her mourning, rather than charming, harping etc., birds out of trees and so on. I'm not familiar with Rosalie Sorrel's work, or what kind of sources she used, so I have no reason to suppose that the following is particularly close to her recording, but I give it anyway because it has a fine tune, though the text is a bit decayed.

JOHN AND WILLIAM

(Collected by Josephine McGill, 1914, from an unnamed singer in Knott or Letcher County, Kentucky)

O John and William walked out one day
To view the iron band.
Says John to William, "At any price
We'd better turn home again."

"O no", says William, "That never can be
That we'll return again,
For I'm the one loves pretty Susanne
And I will murder thee."

"What will you tell to my mother dear,
When she askès for her son John?"
"I left him at the cottage school
His lessons for to learn."

"What will you tell to my father dear,
When he askès for his son John?"
"I left him in the high wild woods
A-learnin' his hounds to run."

"What will you tell to my pretty Susanne,
When she askès for her true love John?"
"I left him in the grave-lie deep,
Never more to return."

She mourned the fish all out of the sea,
The birds all out of the nest;
She mourned her true love out of his grave
Because that she could not rest.

"What do you want, my pretty Susanne,
What do you want with me?"
"A kiss or two from your pretty bright lips
Is all I ask of thee."

"Go home, go home, my pretty Susanne,
Go home, go home, said he;
If you weep and mourn all the balance of your days
You'll never more see me."

Quoted by Bronson, Traditional Tunes of the Child Ballads, vol.I, 1959, from Josephine McGill's Folk-Songs of the Kentucky Mountains, 1917.

Child #49 (Bronson #49:29)
Roud no. 38

À propos the tune, Bronson commented: "This beautiful variant has relations with Young Hunting (68) and Lady Gay (79)."

I've made a midi from the notation as quoted by Bronson; until it appears at the Mudcat Midi Pages, it can be heard via the South Riding Folk Network site:

John and William (midi)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Two Brothers
From: Mrrzy
Date: 10 May 02 - 11:31 AM

And here I thought this was going to be the ballad that taught me (foreigner that I was) who won the Civil War - the guys in blue! Of course I had no idea which SIDE had worn blue, but hey, that's folk!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Two Brothers
From: robinia
Date: 11 May 02 - 07:10 AM

Thanks muchly for those "pretty Suzanne" mourning verses, Malcolm! They're almost exactly what Rosalie sings, though she changes the last to "you can weep and mourn all the balance of your days [your life?] but you'll never more see me." (An improvement, I think.) Other, earlier verses I recognize from other sources: the invitation to play or throw a ball, rejected because "I am too young, I am too small, brother leave me alone," the wee penknife.... ripping the holland shirt from gore to gore.... But how I wish I could simply transcribe Rosalie's tune, stuck in my head for over twenty years. It does seem especially wedded to that poignant final verse (and no, it's not Bronson's).... Are midis hard to do?


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE ROLLING OF THE STONES
From: CapriUni
Date: 11 May 02 - 02:17 PM

And then there is the version called THE ROLLING OF THE STONES, at the Contemplator's Francis J. Child Ballads site, here, though I can not make the lyrics match the tune as it plays... I think the tune is from another version of the song.

Gordon Bok, Ann Mayo Muir and Ed Tricket sing a version on one of their live albums (Minneapolis Concert, maybe?. It doesn't mention the rising from the grave, but there is one line that is creepily suggestive of vampires. Here are the lyrics as I remember them (can't find the liner notes at the moment:

Will you go to the rolling the stones
The tossing of the ball,
Or will you go to see pretty Susie dance among them all?

They had not danced but a single dance
Nor half the hall around,
When the sword that hung from her brother's side gave him a dreadful wound.

They picked him up, and they carried him along,
And laid him there on the ground
And there he lay till the break of day
Nor made no single sound

Susie charmed the birds from the sky, the fish from out the bay
And she lay all night in her true lover's arms,
And there was content to stay.

Will you drink of the blood,
The white wine or the red,
Or will you go and see pretty Susie when that I am dead?

This was the first version of the song that I learned, and for quite a while I couldn't figure out if she was dancing with her brother, and he happened to fatally wound himself with his own sword (Just how clumsy can you get?). Now that I know this song's "siblings", it seems pretty clear that in this version, the jealous murderer is Susie's brother, not the true love's brother. Whether that's because her brother had incestuous feelings for her, or simply didn't like the match, I can't say...


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Two Brothers
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 11 May 02 - 03:25 PM

Other threads on this subject (no help with Sorrels, however): Two Brothers This one also has a posting of "The Suffolk Miracle."
Twa Brothers
Max Hunter versions and Clickee here: Two Brothers

In searching the DT, do not capitalize brothers. Search both two and Twa. Joe Offer mentioned seven versions using the Forum search for Twa brothers, but I didn't find all of them.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Two Brothers
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 11 May 02 - 04:22 PM

Rolling of the Stones  is already in the DT.  The set at Lesley's site was noted by Eloise Hubbard Liscott from Mrs. Mary E. Harmon of Cambridge, Massachussetts, and was first published in Linscott's Folk Songs of Old New England (1932?). The tune is the right one, but the arrangements on that site can sometimes swamp the melody and lead to confusion. Lesley names the book but not the source singer. Two lines were missing from Mrs. Harmon's version (as quoted by Bronson; I haven't seen the Linscott book); I don't know who has "restored" them, but a few other details have also been altered from the original, including the substitution of at her true love's side for by Bell's side.

The DT set is described as "sung by Joe Hickerson"; I presume that it derives from the Harmon set; the tune is the same. An additional tune is given from The Young Tradition, which appears to be a simplified form of Mrs. Harmon's. Until you find the sleevenotes, I'm assuming that the Bok recording is a collated text made from part of the Harmon set and part of the fragment recorded by The Young Tradition, set probably to the tune they used. They got both tune and text from Oscar Brand. Heaven knows where Brand got it.

Her brother's side seems likely in the circumstances to be a memory lapse on the part of Bok/Muir/Tricket, so I don't think you need to be looking at dark incestuous sub-texts in this particular case.

None of this, of course, brings us any nearer to an answer to Robinia's question. It seems not unlikely that Rosalie Sorrel recorded a text collated from several different versions (common practice at the time), so we really need somebody who possesses the record...


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Two Brothers
From: masato sakurai
Date: 11 May 02 - 07:24 PM

The Contemplator's midi arrangement is from the Linscott book (published by Macmillan in 1939; reprinted by Dover; p. 279). The words in the book are quoted by Bronson, verbatim with her note ("The next two lines are missing") too.

~Masato


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Two Brothers
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 11 May 02 - 08:21 PM

Which leaves us still wondering where those additions and alterations came from. When you say "the midi arrangement", do you mean the arrangement on Lesley's site or just the tune? (Bearing in mind that I've only seen the single-line tune quoted by Bronson).


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Two Brothers
From: masato sakurai
Date: 11 May 02 - 09:47 PM

The score in Linscott is arranged for piano version.

~Masato


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Two Brothers
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 11 May 02 - 10:00 PM

Ah, I see; thankyou for clearing that up.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Two Brothers
From: robinia
Date: 12 May 02 - 10:16 PM

I was wrong -- Bronson does have pretty much the same tune that Rosalie uses; it's #17 -- Sharp MSS 3458 / 2547. Also in Sharp and Karpeles, 1932, I, pp 65 (A)-66. Sung by Mrs Lizzie Roberts and Mrs. Smith (but Rosalie doesn't use Mrs. Smith's "variant"), Hot Springs, NC, 1916. All this documentation by way of Bronson of course. Now to do some collating myself.....


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Two Brothers
From: Naemanson
Date: 23 Oct 03 - 03:16 AM

Does anyone have the chords worked out for The Rolling Of The Stones?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Two Brothers
From: GUEST,Sadie Damascus
Date: 20 Mar 18 - 05:49 PM

I realize this conversation occurred fifteen years ago, but no one answered the question about "Will you drink of the blood?". What does it mean?


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