Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafemuddy

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


Lyr Req: Country Life/Hurrah for the Country Life

DigiTrad:
COUNTRY BOY (2)
COUNTRY LIFE


Related threads:
Lyr Add: Old Cock Crows (12)
Folklore: Country Life lyric meaning? (16)
Obfuscatory vocabulary. (57)
Lyr Req: Country Life parody 'I hate to rise....' (3)


paddymac 12 May 02 - 05:02 AM
Bonnie Shaljean 12 May 02 - 05:06 AM
Liz the Squeak 12 May 02 - 05:13 AM
Liz the Squeak 12 May 02 - 05:19 AM
GUEST,MCP 12 May 02 - 06:12 AM
Malcolm Douglas 12 May 02 - 09:23 AM
A Wandering Minstrel 12 May 02 - 10:40 AM
Noreen 12 May 02 - 10:55 AM
Malcolm Douglas 12 May 02 - 11:09 AM
artbrooks 12 May 02 - 01:55 PM
Dave the Gnome 12 May 02 - 05:34 PM
Sandy Paton 13 May 02 - 12:50 AM
IanC 13 May 02 - 04:52 AM
rich-joy 13 May 02 - 05:38 AM
Dave the Gnome 13 May 02 - 07:13 AM
Micca 13 May 02 - 02:32 PM
Ferrara 13 May 02 - 02:50 PM
Malcolm Douglas 13 May 02 - 08:03 PM
Anglo 14 May 02 - 01:03 AM
Wolfgang 16 May 02 - 04:04 AM
Desdemona 16 May 02 - 11:24 AM
Night Owl 16 May 02 - 12:22 PM
GUEST,pelrad 16 May 02 - 12:51 PM
Desdemona 16 May 02 - 01:08 PM
Jim Dixon 18 May 02 - 09:32 AM
Malcolm Douglas 18 May 02 - 10:32 AM
Jim Dixon 18 May 02 - 07:48 PM
Malcolm Douglas 18 May 02 - 08:42 PM
GUEST,ossonflags 24 Feb 03 - 02:15 AM
Mark Cohen 24 Feb 03 - 02:43 AM
GUEST,Raggytash 24 Feb 03 - 04:41 AM
GUEST,ossonflags 24 Feb 03 - 05:53 AM
Micca 24 Feb 03 - 08:08 AM
Compton 24 Feb 03 - 12:11 PM
JenEllen 24 Feb 03 - 12:15 PM
alanww 15 Jul 03 - 12:04 PM
Malcolm Douglas 15 Jul 03 - 01:44 PM
alanww 15 Jul 03 - 08:03 PM
Susanne (skw) 19 Jul 03 - 01:42 PM
GUEST,algenon 19 Jul 03 - 02:16 PM
Malcolm Douglas 19 Jul 03 - 02:24 PM
GUEST,eliza C 20 Jul 03 - 06:40 AM
GUEST,MurkeyChris 11 Oct 04 - 12:48 PM
masato sakurai 11 Oct 04 - 01:16 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 11 Oct 04 - 01:34 PM
Susanne (skw) 11 Oct 04 - 05:15 PM
Mark Cohen 11 Oct 04 - 05:49 PM
IanC 12 Oct 04 - 09:06 AM
MurkeyChris 29 Oct 04 - 09:46 AM
GUEST,Jake 21 Jan 08 - 03:06 PM
Folkiedave 21 Jan 08 - 04:49 PM
GEST 02 Nov 08 - 06:28 PM
stallion 02 Nov 08 - 07:06 PM
Jim Dixon 03 Nov 08 - 11:22 PM
VirginiaTam 04 Nov 08 - 02:19 AM
Steve Gardham 04 Nov 08 - 02:50 PM
Snuffy 04 Nov 08 - 08:01 PM
Nerd 04 Sep 12 - 11:33 AM
GUEST,Martina 12 Jun 14 - 12:58 AM
GUEST 12 Jun 14 - 03:41 AM
Joe Offer 11 May 16 - 02:32 AM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:






Subject: Hurrah for the country life
From: paddymac
Date: 12 May 02 - 05:02 AM

I heard this song for the first time on NPR yesterday. Unfortunately for the song collector in me, I was driving in heavy traffic and had my attention focused there. It was done in the style of a chantey. The chorus had lines like "I love to rise early in the morning, and walk among the new mown hay". I wish I had more details to offer, but I was really taken by the song and would love to know more about. I didn't catch who the recording was by, but the singing was by a male lead, and, I think, two fenale harmony parts. Has anybody else heard this song?

See Mainly Norfolk


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Hurrah for the country life
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 12 May 02 - 05:06 AM

It's GOTTA be The Watersons on their great album "For Pence And Spicy Ale" made back in the 70s.

Which brings me to a question of my own: "So merrily upon the..." what?? Sounds like "laylum". Anybody know what a Laylum is??


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Hurrah for the country life
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 12 May 02 - 05:13 AM

There has been another thread about this 'what is the laylan' or what ever the spelling, but because I'm a partial technophobe and naturally blonde, I can't find the thread or do a link if I could.

It should be in the Digitrad as it's a very popular song for chorus singing.

LTS


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: Lyr Add: COUNTRY LIFE^^^
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 12 May 02 - 05:19 AM

It's called 'The Country Life'

COUNTRY LIFE (from Digital Tradition)

chorus:
I like to rise when the sun she rises,
early in the morning
And I like to hear them small birds singing,
Merrily upon their layland
And hurrah for the life of a country boy,
And to ramble in the new mowed hay.


1. In spring we sow at the harvest mow
And that is how the seasons round they go
but of all the times choose I may
I'd be rambling through the new mowed hay.

2. In summer when the summer is hot
We sing, and we dance, and we drink a lot
We spend all night in sport and play
And go rambling in the new mown hay

3. In autumn when the oak trees turn
We gather all the wood that's fit to burn
We cut and stash and stow away
And go rambling in the new mown hay

4. In winter when the sky's gray
we hedge and ditch our times away,
but in summer when the sun shines gay,
We go ramblin' through the new mowed hay.

5. Oh Nancy is my darling gay
And she blooms like the flowers every day
But I love her best in the month of May
When we're rambling through the new mown hay

6. I like to hear the Morris dancers
Clash their sticks and drink our ale
I like to hear those bells a-ringing
As we ramble in the new mown hay

Recorded by Watersons - For Pence and Spicy Ale
@English @harmony @chorus
filename[ COUNTRYL
TUNE FILE: COUNTRYL
CLICK TO PLAY
DC & SOF


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Hurrah for the country life
From: GUEST,MCP
Date: 12 May 02 - 06:12 AM

The song is in the DT as Country Life.

There is some discussion of laylum in Obfuscatory vocabulary

Mick


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Hurrah for the country life
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 12 May 02 - 09:23 AM

The Watersons only recorded the chorus and verses 1 and 4 of the DT text. I've just trawled through twenty-odd websites that have the song in various forms; only one of them credits any source (surprise). Several have additional verses that also appear in the DT, but none have all (except for one which has just been copy-pasted from the DT without acknowledgement). Since at the moment I can't find any references to traditional examples apart from the Watersons' source (Mick Taylor of Hawes in Wensleydale), I'm assuming that all the other verses are modern additions made up by people who learned the song from the record (directly or at several removes) and thought it wasn't long enough.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Hurrah for the country life
From: A Wandering Minstrel
Date: 12 May 02 - 10:40 AM

I think it is meant to be "Ley Land"


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Hurrah for the country life
From: Noreen
Date: 12 May 02 - 10:55 AM

Agreed, Malcolm, particularly since some of the new additions don't make sense:

In autumn when the oak trees turn
We (...) go rambling in the new mown hay

Huh?

I've not heard any of those verses (apart from 1 & 4) despite hearing the song sung many times at various festivals around the country.

P.S. Liz, yer letting the (blonde) side down, girl- learn yer clickies!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Hurrah for the country life
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 12 May 02 - 11:09 AM

Ley, lay, lee or lea, all meaning "fallow", are not unlikely readings.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Hurrah for the country life
From: artbrooks
Date: 12 May 02 - 01:55 PM

Oh, I like big birds, I like small birds
I like birds of every size.
But if they wake me before the sun rises
I'll poke their little birdy eyes out!

Ah, the folk process...with thanks and apologies to the Fredonia, New York folk music community.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Hurrah for the country life
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 12 May 02 - 05:34 PM

I sing one collected off a Derek and Dorothy Elliot (Yorkshire Relish) album which starts

"Behold in me a jolly farmer, that live in the fields so green
And I like to rise up early, when the pretty little violets are seen"

The remainder of the sentiment is very similar to the one above. Unfortunately I don't have the album any more and cannot remember any details of the writer, arranger or any such.

Can anyone help?

Cheers

DtG


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Hurrah for the country life
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 13 May 02 - 12:50 AM

Anyone know who contributed:

In autumn when the skies are drear,
We sit in the pub and drink good beer,
But in summer when the skies are clear
We go ramblin' in the new mown hay.

Can't remember from whom I heard it.

Sandy


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Hurrah for the country life
From: IanC
Date: 13 May 02 - 04:52 AM

Leyland (almost always spelt Ley or Lea) is still the correct term for temporarily sown grassland. As opposed to Meadow (or historically Meadowland) which is permanent pasture.

:-)
Ian


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Hurrah for the country life
From: rich-joy
Date: 13 May 02 - 05:38 AM

DtG : I have the "Yorkshire Relish" album, but just scanning the credits/contents data does not bring the "Country Life / Jolly Farmer" song into view!! When I've access to my wind-up gramophone, I'll play the tracks and see if I can be of more help!!
Cheers! R-J


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Hurrah for the country life
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 13 May 02 - 07:13 AM

Thanks R-J. Much apprecated.

DtG


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Hurrah for the country life
From: Micca
Date: 13 May 02 - 02:32 PM

and here is a link to the Parody in the other thread
link here


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Hurrah for the country life
From: Ferrara
Date: 13 May 02 - 02:50 PM

I was told, many years ago, (by Ron Davies?) that the laylums in "merrily upon their laylums" referred to standard phrases used in music by church or monastic choirs. Possibly fakelore, who knows?

I assumed it meant to compare the little birdies to singers in church, practicing standard words and tunes, or possibly repeating prayers sung in Latin.

Rita


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Hurrah for the country life
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 13 May 02 - 08:03 PM

Almost certainly Fakelore, as you suspect. It doesn't appear to be a very old song, and an ecclesiastical reference (particularly one to monastic choirs!) when the obvious meaning presents no difficulties, would seem to be vanishingly unlikely.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Hurrah for the country life
From: Anglo
Date: 14 May 02 - 01:03 AM

The Elliotts' version is from a BBC archive recording of Kit Jones, of Redmire, Yorks.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Hurrah for the country life
From: Wolfgang
Date: 16 May 02 - 04:04 AM

...merrily upon the ley lines? click for a not serious contribution

Wolfgang


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Hurrah for the country life
From: Desdemona
Date: 16 May 02 - 11:24 AM

It's a wonderful song; I especially like Mike Waterson's singing of it. I've always understood the line to be "merrily upon their laylums", and assumed it must mean branches, or nests, or summat that small birds would sing merrily upon!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Hurrah for the country life
From: Night Owl
Date: 16 May 02 - 12:22 PM

I heard the song as well on NPR......they said it was done by the Jones Family.....but I didn't catch the name of the cd it's on. AWESOME singing!!!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Hurrah for the country life
From: GUEST,pelrad
Date: 16 May 02 - 12:51 PM

Desdemona, that is what Mike Waterson told my father when he asked about the word. He made some joke about how they originally thought that laylums were little birdie limbs, but somehow discovered (he didn't say where or how) that the word referred to branches or limbs of a tree.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Hurrah for the country life
From: Desdemona
Date: 16 May 02 - 01:08 PM

Hey, cool; glad to have my "guess" confirmed!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Hurrah for the country life
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 18 May 02 - 09:32 AM

Garry Gillard's transcription has "laylum" instead of "leyland."

The Folk File mentions "the mysterious word 'laylum' that is sometimes found in English country folk songs" and says it may be derived from "lea-land."

The only other "laylum" I can find on the Internet is the Westshore Laylum Intermediate Care Home in British Columbia. I wonder how it got its name?

I recall reading somewhere that "laylum" is an old word that means "chorus" or "refrain"?It makes sense in the context of this song?but now I wonder if that wasn't someone's conjecture. I can't find it in any dictionary.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Hurrah for the country life
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 18 May 02 - 10:32 AM

That interpretation was an earlier guess from the Watersons, this time from Norma. I probably read the same reference as you, but I can't recall where, either. Mike's explanation isn't impossible by any means, but I still think it unlikely when we have a perfectly good -and verifiable- word which makes sense in the context.

Addy's Sheffield Glossary (1888), has the following:

LEY, sb. pasture or grassland. M[iddle] E[nglish] leye*.
"A close of pasture called Lay lands in Darnall." -Harrison.  "New Lays" in Eccleshall, anno 1807. M. E. leilond is equivalent to "New Land." When a field which has hitherto been arable is converted into pasture or grass land it is said to be "laid down to grass".

* y should be the character yogh, but there is no html code for it.

We're rather south of Wensleydale, of course, but Yorkshire nonetheless. Addy also has the following:

LUM, sb. a narrow valley containing a stream of water.
(Goes on to list a number of local placenames deriving from it) ... A[nglo] S[axon] hlimme, a torrent.

And, in the addenda (volume 2):

LUM. A man at Dore spoke of what he called "wood bottoms", growing shrubs and trees, and not fit for mowing, as lums.

If we combine the two words (the second definition being perhaps the more likely in the circumstances) we then have a tract of rough pasture running to scrub and young trees and left alone by the farmer; ideal bird-territory. Of course, this is mere speculation. I shall have to look at the larger dialect dictionaries.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Hurrah for the country life
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 18 May 02 - 07:48 PM

Malcolm: You used a word I hadn't heard before, yogh, so I went searching for it. I found an article called Reminder about 4 medieval English Latin characters, which has an illustration near the bottom. Apparently there are specialized fonts, used by medieval scholars, that include the yogh. But it still isn't clear to me how a yogh would be pronounced.

And I might add, this web search was the starting point for one of those marvelous perambulations of the web that led, unpredictably, link by link, to The Fish Wars.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Hurrah for the country life
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 18 May 02 - 08:42 PM

It's a long time since my student days, but so far as I can remember, yogh is a sort of gutteral y with a trace of g in it, depending on the dialect involved. For example, "gate" is often pronounced more like "yate" in the North of England, the y having a trace of a lead-in sound to it which in other dialects becomes a full-blown g. There really ought to be an html code for it; scribal confusion with g and z led to quite enough misunderstandings in the past!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: Lyr Req: I like to rise when the sun is shining
From: GUEST,ossonflags
Date: 24 Feb 03 - 02:15 AM

Any one help with words to this waterson song please?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: I like to rise when the sun is shing
From: Mark Cohen
Date: 24 Feb 03 - 02:43 AM

Click here to find the lyrics of "Country Life". There's also this version, which I learned from Redmond O'Connell at Camp Harmony, the San Francisco Folk Music Club's New Year's campout, one year in the late 80's. I'm not sure if he wrote it, or if it was in fact Holly Tannen. Somebody out there may know.

Aloha,
Mark


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: I like to rise when the sun is shing
From: GUEST,Raggytash
Date: 24 Feb 03 - 04:41 AM

Ossenflags, you should have told me, I think I have a version of this on vinyl sung by Len Berry, formerly of Kirtlington and a damned fine singer to boot. I'll look it up tonight. Enjoyed the weekend in Whitby too, see you soon

Raggy


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: I like to rise when the sun is shing
From: GUEST,ossonflags
Date: 24 Feb 03 - 05:53 AM

Thanks everyone.
Raggy,was'nt it though! looking forward to moor and coast.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: Lyr Add: Country Boy (2) (Parody)
From: Micca
Date: 24 Feb 03 - 08:08 AM

I like this very much but I felt it was a bit short, so a coupla years ago I added some verses to bring it up to a "song length" I sent the result to Holly Tannen but have had no comment or reply yet.
my version now reads:-

Country Boy (2)
Cat Fox?, Holly Tannen? additional verses by Micca (V2-4)

I hates to rise when the sun she rises
Early in the morning.
I hates to hear them small birds singing
Merrily upon the lyelam
And a pox on the life of a country boy
Who's allergic to the new-mown hay.

I hate larks and I hate thrushes
I hate birds of every size
And when they start their bloody song
I want to poke them in their little eyes
And a pox on the life of a country boy
Who's allergic to the new-mown hay.

We get pollen from trees and grasses
Sticks to skin and sticks to clothes
And it gives me streaming eyes
And green stuff running from my nose
And a pox on the life of a country boy
Who's allergic to the new-mown hay.

I went to see an alternative therapist
Truth is a felt a bit of a prat
she prescribed oil of evening primrose
now I'm bloody allergic to that
And a pox on the life of a country boy
Who's allergic to the new-mown hay.

Acute seasonal rhinitis
is just another fancy name
for this bloody awful condition
but its hay fever just the same
And a pox on the life of a country boy
Who's allergic to the new-mown hay.


In winter when the sky is grey
We sit and watch TV all day
But in summer when the sky is gay
We sit and watch TV all day
And a pox on the life of a country boy
Who's allergic to the new-mown hay.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: I like to rise when the sun is shining
From: Compton
Date: 24 Feb 03 - 12:11 PM

A likeable version is by the (old) Watersons..can't remember which LP / CD ..may have been "For pence and spicey ale"


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: I like to rise when the sun is shining
From: JenEllen
Date: 24 Feb 03 - 12:15 PM

Nice additions, Micca. Do you sing it "poke them in their little eyes-iz"? Enquiring minds,
Cookie


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: Lyr Add: COUNTRY LIFE
From: alanww
Date: 15 Jul 03 - 12:04 PM

The version I have sung for several years is as follows:-

COUNTRY LIFE

I like to rise when the sun she rises, early in the morning,
I like to hear them small birds singing, merrily among their ley land,
And hurrah for the life of a country boy,
And to ramble through the new-mown hay.


1        In spring we sow at the harvest mow,
Then we watch the corn as it starts to grow,
But of all the times to choose, I say,
I'll go rambling through the new-mown hay.

2        At the close of day when the work is done,
In the sunset glow of a summer sun,
Me and my true love do sport and play,
And go rambling through the new-mown hay.

3        In autumn when the leaves turn brown,
Its out with the plough to prepare the ground,
The weather gets cold and the skies are grey,
No more rambling through the new-mown hay.

4        In winter the days have a very short span,
So we hedge and we ditch as best we can,
But I'm thinking of the summer when the sun shines gay,
And the rambling through the new-mown hay.

5        We reap and sow, and we plough and mow,
That's how the seasons round do go,
And the trees are fine as we take their shade,
After rambling through the new-mown hay.

          ------

Having recently sung this at a concert to 2000+ people at Baltica 2003 folk festival in Latvia, which had a theme of hay making, I thought I ought to check its origins. Yes, I regretted not having checked in advance!

I have to admit that I initially obtained it from the oral tradition, never having heard the Waterson's version. I then tidied it up somewhat, in order to make it sound a bit more logical. This was particularly in the second line of the 1st verse, which would otherwise have been repeated in the last verse, and in verses 3 and 4.

From what has been said in the thread so far it sounds as though only two verses were originally written by "Mick Taylor of Hawes in Wensleydale" and the rest have developed from the oral tradition.

Has anyone any more info, eg when did Mick Taylor write it and was it for a particular occasion?

"After rambling ...!"
Alan
PS When asked I have always said that ley land is meadowland.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Hurrah for the country life
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 15 Jul 03 - 01:44 PM

I don't think anyone has suggested that Mick Taylor wrote the song; the Watersons got the set they recorded from him, that's all. Where did you get yours?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Hurrah for the country life
From: alanww
Date: 15 Jul 03 - 08:03 PM

Well I suppose it was only in 1998 ish that I obtained the song from two separate sources - one from Tony Day who runs the unaccompanied singing session in the Middle Bar of the Anchor Inn, which is a fringe event at Sidmouth Folk Festival, and the other being from Len [I am ashamed to say that I cannot recall his surname] who is a regular singer at the Bideford Folk Club in North Devon. Neither are Mudcatters. Next time I see them I will ask them their sources ...

"So we hedge and we ditch as best we can ...!"
Alan


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Hurrah for the country life
From: Susanne (skw)
Date: 19 Jul 03 - 01:42 PM

The connections between English and Low German being one of my hobby-horses, the above discussion reminded me that my grandmother used to speak of a piece of waterlogged land she owned as 'Leegland' (the double e pronounced like a Scottish -ay, i.e. very open, the g almost like a Scottish -ch). Seems to be no connection at all, though, because 'Leegland' meant 'bad land', not usable for grazing or farming. Sorry for the thread creep!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Hurrah for the country life
From: GUEST,algenon
Date: 19 Jul 03 - 02:16 PM

Laylum means 'chorus' - so "merrily upon their laylum" describes the song the birds are singing. Thats what I was lead to believe anyway.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Hurrah for the country life
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 19 Jul 03 - 02:24 PM

That was mentioned earlier in the discussion. As I said at the time, it seems very unlikely.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Hurrah for the country life
From: GUEST,eliza C
Date: 20 Jul 03 - 06:40 AM

Hiya,
They sing "laylum" and take it to mean "chorus". Hope this helps.
x ec


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: Origins: Country Life (the trad. one!)
From: GUEST,MurkeyChris
Date: 11 Oct 04 - 12:48 PM

Hi,

I'm writing about the traditional song Country Life as performed by the Watersons for my dissertation. Does anyone know anything about his origins such as how old it might be, who wrote it, if it was a popular song before the Watersons recorded it, etc.

I know there are other threads on it, but no-one seems to have got beyond the bloke that taught it to the Watersons.

Cheers, Chris

'Cool as Folk' - my online folk radio show


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Country Life (the trad. one!)
From: masato sakurai
Date: 11 Oct 04 - 01:16 PM

Some info with lyrics is at Garry Gillard's site.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Hurrah for the country life
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 11 Oct 04 - 01:34 PM

No one seems to have looked in the Oxford dictionary.
The words layland, leyland, leland, leylond and leyk-(land) are all synonyms of Lealand.
Lealand is fallow land, or land laid down for grass. The word first appeared in print in the 14th century (glossed into modern English as leylond). I may have missed some of the various spellings. (OED)

Add comments by Malcolm Douglas to round out the definition and its history.

In the sense of the song, 'laylums' is just a corruption.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Country Life (the trad. one!)
From: Susanne (skw)
Date: 11 Oct 04 - 05:15 PM

Chris, I've nothing to contribute on the early history of the song beyond what has been mentioned (Watersons notes and thread 47543), but my notes include a parody called 'Country Boy'. Haven't checked, but it may have come from the DT or the Forum. As it's short, I'll re-post it here:

[1997:] Parody 'Country Boy' (by Cat Fox?, Holly Tannen?)

I hates to rise when the sun she rises early in the morning
I hates to hear them small birds singing merrily upon the lyelam
And a pox on the life of a country boy
Who's allergic to the new-mown hay

I hate larks and I hate thrushes early in the morning
I hate birds of every size merrily upon the lyelam
And when they start their bloody song
I want to poke them in their little eyes

In winter when the sky is grey early in the morning
We sit and watch TV all day merrily upon the lyelam
But in summer when the sky is gay
We sit and watch TV all day


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Country Life (the trad. one!)
From: Mark Cohen
Date: 11 Oct 04 - 05:49 PM

Susanne, when I heard that parody (from Redmond O'Connell in 1989 or so), it had a slightly different form. The first verse you gave was sung as a chorus, and the other two were, simply:

I hate larks and I hate thrushes
I hate birds of every size
And when they start their bloody row
I want to poke them in their little eyes

(CHORUS)

In winter when the sky is grey
We sit and we watch TV all day
But in summer when the sky is blue
We sit and watch TV all day

(CHORUS)

Aloha,
Mark


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Hurrah for the country life
From: IanC
Date: 12 Oct 04 - 09:06 AM

Q

Perhaps you didn't rad my comment earlier.

:-)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Country Life (the trad. one!)
From: MurkeyChris
Date: 29 Oct 04 - 09:46 AM

Hi guys,

Thanks for the help. That website is a great help, thanks masato sakurai.

Chris

Cool as Folk - fresh folk music from England and beyond


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Hurrah for the Country Life
From: GUEST,Jake
Date: 21 Jan 08 - 03:06 PM

Fascinating discussion of Layland/Laylum... I'd have to say that it's a matter of verbal tradition and lack of written lyrics until the song had "matured".

I was wondering if there's a commonly known sailor's version of this song. It often sounds like a pully-hauley chanty when I've heard it done a capella. Anyone know if this was ever put down on a broadside somewhere as a song of the sea?

jake@brigandsfolie.com


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Hurrah for the Country Life
From: Folkiedave
Date: 21 Jan 08 - 04:49 PM

Sheffield City Morris have sung a reggae version for years.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Hurrah for the Country Life
From: GEST
Date: 02 Nov 08 - 06:28 PM

I would be remiss if I failed to add a variant (or two) to this thread. :-)

Here is a variant recorded as Life Of The Country Boy by Ryan's Fancy (A Time Rith Ryan's Fancy ©1979, Boot Records). It has a YouTube video we just added today.

Another variant in our archive was recorded as New-Mown Hay by D'Arcy Broderick.

Both songs have similar lyrics to those in this thread with minor changes by the artists.

GEST Songs of Newfoundland and Labrador


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Hurrah for the Country Life
From: stallion
Date: 02 Nov 08 - 07:06 PM

Malcolm, having stumbled across the thread I must correct your gate - yate its is actually Yat thus the village of Chop Gate is Chop Yat and as my late father used to say shut t' yat.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: Lyr Add: THE OLD TUP
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 03 Nov 08 - 11:22 PM

Google Book Search finds one other song that contains "laylum":


THE OLD TUP

As I was going to Derby upon a market day,
I met the finest tupsie that ever was fed on hay.
    Say laylum, laylum, pitiful laylum lay.

The man that stuck the tupsie was up to the knees in blood.
The man that held the basin was washed away in the flood.
    Say laylum, etc.

And all the women in Derby came begging for his ears,
To make them leather aprons to last for forty years.
    Say laylum, etc.

And all the men in Derby came begging for his eyes,
To kick about in Derby, and take them by surprise.
    Say laylum, etc.

--from "Guising and Mumming in Derbyshire" by S. O. Addy, in "Journal of the Derbyshire Archaeological and Natural History Society," London: Bemrose & Sons Ltd., Vol. XXIX, January, 1907, page 32.

[This is obviously a version of THE DERBY RAM. Other versions have different nonsense words in the refrain:

1. That's a lie, that's a lie, that's a lie, a lie, a lie!

2. Hey ringle dangle, hey ringle day.

3. Hinky dinky, Bob-o-linky.

4. Hie me dingle Darby, to me Darby dingle day.

5. Yea, lads, yea, lads, joyful lay, lay, lay.

6. Failey, failey, lady, fallairy lay.]


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Hurrah for the Country Life
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 04 Nov 08 - 02:19 AM

merrily among their ley land,


Surely Folly Bridge sing ley land, but I have heard it sung in pubs by old timers as merrily all in the dawnin


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Hurrah for the Country Life
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 04 Nov 08 - 02:50 PM

'I like to hear the small birds sing their merry LAY.'
See Roy Palmer's Everyman's Book of English Country Songs p45
Laylum is obviously just one of those mishearings that one gets in oral tradition! I doubt the song is much older than 1890.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Hurrah for the Country Life
From: Snuffy
Date: 04 Nov 08 - 08:01 PM

In spring we sow at the harvest mow.

My interpretation of the line is that it means: "In spring we sow; and at harvest time we mow"

The way it is usually sung seems to imply that in spring there is a "harvest mow" and we sow at it.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Country Life/Hurrah for the Country Life
From: Nerd
Date: 04 Sep 12 - 11:33 AM

Just piping in to agree with Steve Gardham, and to add to Mudcat's collective knowledge on this song. The original line seems to have been "sing their merry lay" or "merrily sing their lay."

Steve's evidence was not entirely definitive, because it was based on Roy Palmer's transcription of a revival performance by Derek and Dorothy Elliott, not on a broadside or a source singer. The Elliotts' performance was apparently based on a recording of Kit Jones, a Yorkshire farmer, which I'd love to hear, just to confirm the word "lay." But until I do that, I still consider that text to be a product of professional folk-revival interpreters.

However, I've found an earlier text that is clearly a version of "Country Life," and that has "lay" rather than "laylum." It was published by Gavin Grieg in his Folk-Song of the North-East column in the Buchan Observer in around 1911, with the title "The Country Life" (column number CLXIX, for those who want to check it out). He got it from F.R. Brown, an amateur song collector, but gives no other account of who the informant might be. He notes that it sounds to him like it comes from "the south," by which it's unclear if he means the south of Scotland or even further south. His version of the "little birds" verse goes:

I like to hear the little birds
Merrily sing their lay
Hurrah for a life in the country
And a romping in the new-mown hay

It's intriguing to me that this earliest text is located so far north in Scotland and that it has subsequently been collected only in Yorkshire. I wonder if it would be traceable to other Scottish sources?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Country Life/Hurrah for the Country Life
From: GUEST,Martina
Date: 12 Jun 14 - 12:58 AM

Appropriate name Nerd, I've been researching old folk songs for decades and it is absolutely incredible how the Scots falsely claim the root of so many, even the venerable Bard Robert Burns plagiarised John Barleycorn, so how anyone can believe that this is Scottish is beyond belief, also there are suggestions that Scarborough Fair originated in Scotland, Good Grief is nothing sacred, long live English folk and God Bless Norma Waterson so good to see you back on the folk.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Country Life/Hurrah for the Country Life
From: GUEST
Date: 12 Jun 14 - 03:41 AM

The answer to leylum of whatever is obvious. It refers to a bird singing while perched on a Leyland tractor. Sorted.

Tradsinger (sent from abroad).


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: Origins: Country Life/Hurrah for the Country Life
From: Joe Offer
Date: 11 May 16 - 02:32 AM

The Traditional Ballad Index has two Items for songs with this title, and they're confusing to me:

Country Life (I), The

DESCRIPTION: The singer describes the joy of living and working in the country, reporting "I like to rise when the sun she rises, Early in the morning... And hurrah for the life of the country boy." He describes the work done on the farm in each season
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1976
KEYWORDS: home farming nonballad
FOUND IN: Britain
REFERENCES (1 citation):
DT, COUNTRYL*
CROSS-REFERENCES:
cf. "The Country Life (II)" (chorus lyrics)
cf. "A Sweet Country Life" (theme)
cf. "The Brisk and Bonny Lass (The Brisk and Bonny Lad)" (theme)
cf. "The Contented Countryman" (theme)
cf. "I Like to Be There" (form, lyrics)
File: DTcountr

Country Life (II), The

DESCRIPTION: "Behold in me a farmer's son so jolly." The singer tells what he likes about farming: fields and flowers, birds singing, "milking the old dun cow," hearing the cock crow early, his Mary, ... "I do not like a city life." "A country life's the best"
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1911 (Greig)
KEYWORDS: farming nonballad
FOUND IN: Britain(Scotland(Aber),England(North))
REFERENCES (2 citations):
Greig #169, p. 2, "The Country Life" (1 text)
Palmer-ECS, #20, "The Old Cock Crows" (1 text, 1 tune)

Roud #6297
CROSS-REFERENCES:
cf. "The Country Life (I)" (chorus lyrics)
cf. "A Sweet Country Life" (theme)
NOTES: The chorus is close to "The Country Life" (I) but this song has no seasonal verses. Each verse of "The Country Life" (I) is a variation on "rambling in the new-mown hay," which appears here only in the chorus. Greig says it "seems to hail from the south." - BS
Last updated in version 3.7
File: Grg169b

Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Song List

Go to the Ballad Index Instructions
Go to the Ballad Index Bibliography or Discography

The Ballad Index Copyright 2015 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.

Barbara posted this second song in a thread titled The Old Cock Crows, the only title she and I found for the song.


Version I refers only to the Digital Tradition lyrics for the song, which I believe are a transcription of the Watersons recording:

COUNTRY LIFE

chorus:
I like to rise when the sun she rises,
early in the morning
And I like to hear them small birds singing,
Merrily upon their layland
And hurrah for the life of a country boy,
And to ramble in the new mowed hay.


1. In spring we sow at the harvest mow
And that is how the seasons round they go
but of all the times choose I may
I'd be rambling through the new mowed hay.

2. In summer when the summer is hot
We sing, and we dance, and we drink a lot
We spend all night in sport and play
And go rambling in the new mown hay

3. In autumn when the oak trees turn
We gather all the wood that's fit to burn
We cut and stash and stow away
And go rambling in the new mown hay

4. In winter when the sky's gray
we hedge and ditch our times away,
but in summer when the sun shines gay,
We go ramblin' through the new mowed hay.

5. Oh Nancy is my darling gay
And she blooms like the flowers every day
But I love her best in the month of May
When we're rambling through the new mown hay

6. I like to hear the Morris dancers
Clash their sticks and drink our ale
I like to hear those bells a-ringing
As we ramble in the new mown hay

Recorded by Watersons - For Pence and Spicy Ale
@English @harmony @chorus
filename[ COUNTRYL
TUNE FILE: COUNTRYL
CLICK TO PLAY
DC & SOF
The DT also has a parody from an uncertain source:

COUNTRY BOY (2)
(Cat Fox?, Holly Tannen?)

I hates to rise when the sun she rises
Early in the morning.
I hates to hear them small birds singing
Merrily upon the lyelam
And a pox on the life of a country boy
Who's allergic to the new-mown hay.

I hate larks and I hate thrushes
I hate birds of every size
And when they start their bloody song
I want to poke them in their little eyes

In winter when the sky is grey
We sit and watch TV all day
But in summer when the sky is gay
We sit and watch TV all day
from singing of Lani Herrmann

@parody @country
filename[ CNTRYBY2
TUNE FILE: COUNTRYL
CLICK TO PLAY
RG


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 21 October 1:40 PM EDT

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.