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Lyr Req: All Honour To The Longbow

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GUEST,Gin 12 May 02 - 05:20 PM
Sorcha 12 May 02 - 05:32 PM
Midchuck 12 May 02 - 10:24 PM
Dave Bryant 13 May 02 - 06:01 AM
GUEST,Gin 09 Jun 02 - 04:05 PM
GUEST,greg stephens 09 Jun 02 - 04:29 PM
Mr Red 09 Jun 02 - 06:13 PM
Gareth 09 Jun 02 - 06:25 PM
greg stephens 09 Jun 02 - 06:30 PM
The Pooka 09 Jun 02 - 07:32 PM
Snuffy 09 Jun 02 - 07:46 PM
The Pooka 09 Jun 02 - 07:57 PM
Dave Bryant 10 Jun 02 - 06:22 AM
Nigel Parsons 10 Jun 02 - 07:30 AM
DMcG 10 Jun 02 - 02:25 PM
GUEST,ozmacca 10 Jun 02 - 06:56 PM
Amos 10 Jun 02 - 06:57 PM
Rank 10 Jun 02 - 08:14 PM
GUEST,ozmacca 10 Jun 02 - 10:18 PM
GUEST,JohnB 11 Jun 02 - 12:36 PM
Gareth 11 Jun 02 - 06:57 PM
Teribus 12 Jun 02 - 08:14 AM
Amos 12 Jun 02 - 08:59 AM
DonD 12 Jun 02 - 09:41 PM
GUEST,ozmacca 12 Jun 02 - 10:10 PM
GUEST,ozmacca 12 Jun 02 - 10:19 PM
GUEST,Gin 14 Jun 02 - 07:06 PM
Midchuck 14 Jun 02 - 10:43 PM
Mr Red 15 Jun 02 - 06:18 AM
The Pooka 15 Jun 02 - 11:42 PM
MMario 12 Apr 04 - 02:44 PM
pavane 13 Apr 04 - 01:29 PM
GUEST 04 Feb 12 - 05:06 AM
GUEST,Gin/Brillig 08 Aug 13 - 04:21 PM
Jim Dixon 09 Aug 13 - 12:39 AM
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Subject: All Honour To The Longbow
From: GUEST,Gin
Date: 12 May 02 - 05:20 PM

I learnt this song about 25 years ago from a fellow singer who cannot remember the source! Does anyone know it? It has a chorus of "All honour to the longbow, which merry men of yore, With hand and heart and early morning greenwood forest bore."

The first verse starts

"The tent is pitched, the target reared, the ground is measured out."

I have the rest of the words (I think!)but cannot ascertain the provenance!


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Subject: RE: All Honour To The Longbow
From: Sorcha
Date: 12 May 02 - 05:32 PM

Sounds like it MIGHT be an SCA or RennFaire song.....


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Subject: RE: All Honour To The Longbow
From: Midchuck
Date: 12 May 02 - 10:24 PM

Kind of interesting.

There's a song by Tim Ryan, I think, titled "Say Goodbye to Montana." It's a very pretty song and several other cowboy music types have picked it up, and I sing it myself. It's obviously derived from McMurty's "Lonesome Dove," but that's so obvious that it's tribute, not stealing.

Anyway, the last verse goes:

All honor to the Cowboy, his praises we'll sing, 'Cause you never sold your saddle, and that's the most important thing.

I wonder if Ryan heard the song of which you enquire at some point, or if it's coincidence...

Peter.


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Subject: RE: All Honour To The Longbow
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 13 May 02 - 06:01 AM

Sounds interesting - why not post all of the words.


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Subject: Lyr Add: ALL HONOUR TO THE LONGBOW
From: GUEST,Gin
Date: 09 Jun 02 - 04:05 PM

Rest of the words as best I can recall. Still seeking a writer!

ALL HONOUR TO THE LONGBOW

CHORUS:
All honour to the longbow, which merry men of yore,
With hand and heart and early morning greenwood forest bore

The tent is pitched, the target reared, the ground is measured out
For the weak arm, 60 paces, and a hundred for the stout.
Come gather ye together the youthful and the fair
And poets' praise, in distant days the victor shall declare.

Let busy creatures lay aside the needle and the thread,
To prick the golden centre with a pointed arrow head
Ye sportsmen quit the stubble, ye fishermen the stream.
In glory stand before the billy and eye the rowley gleam

Oh, famous is the archer's sport- twas honoured long ago
The god of wit, the god of love, bore both of them the bow
Love laughs today if youth desires with blushes in his cheek
And wit is heard in every word the merry archer speaks.

The archer's heart, though, like his bow, is a tough and sturdy thing.
Its pliance still annealing when affection pulls the string
And all his words and actions are like arrows, pointed well
To find the golden centre where true love and friendship dwell


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Subject: RE: All Honour To The Longbow
From: GUEST,greg stephens
Date: 09 Jun 02 - 04:29 PM

Who's this "greenwood forest bore" exactly?


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Subject: RE: All Honour To The Longbow
From: Mr Red
Date: 09 Jun 02 - 06:13 PM

Longbow is made of yew wood
Yeomen were originally archers - Yewmen got corrupted into yeomen.
This was pointed-out to me after I wrote a song and made the longbow out of ash - oops!


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Subject: RE: All Honour To The Longbow
From: Gareth
Date: 09 Jun 02 - 06:25 PM

A good tree is the Yew.

The leaves are deadly, the berries are deadly, and when it's cut and seasoned, it turns the Ash, and the Goose feather deadly as well.

Arrows were (I think) made of Ash. But I think you may possibly be incorrect on Yeomen - This would seem to predate the rise of the Longbow circa Edward II's time and indicated a tennant farmer, with a perpetual lease, usually on a number of male lives. Though to be fair a Yeoman would owe a number of days service.

Could be grounds for another thread here !

Gareth


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Subject: RE: All Honour To The Longbow
From: greg stephens
Date: 09 Jun 02 - 06:30 PM

Cant agree with you there on yeomen. early English forms of yeoman do not start with the early English forms of yew. cant do blue clickies, and cant be bothered to type out the relevant sections of the Oxford Etymological Dictionary, but it looks pretty conclusive to me.


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Subject: RE: All Honour To The Longbow
From: The Pooka
Date: 09 Jun 02 - 07:32 PM

Greg Stephens (lol)- gotta agree that typing Etymological Dictionary excerpts would be a reallybig greenwood forest bore. :) / We'll take your word on the issue of no-yew neo-yeo, man. / But what about the Yeos at Tullow?
--Father Murphy


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Subject: RE: All Honour To The Longbow
From: Snuffy
Date: 09 Jun 02 - 07:46 PM

Can't remember where I read it, but the English settlers round Wexford were called Yeos (possibly the same word as Yeomen) and their version of English missed out on the great linguistic changes in England in the late middle ages. So by the mid-16th century they were still speaking something like Chaucerian English, while in England it was more like Shakespearean.

Rather like several regions in America preserve archaic bits of the language that have moved on in the old country.

WassaiL! V


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Subject: RE: All Honour To The Longbow
From: The Pooka
Date: 09 Jun 02 - 07:57 PM

Snuffy - Well, that relates to my (frivolous) reference, above. From the song "Boolavogue", re the Wexford rising of 1798:

At Vinegar Hill, o'er the pleasant Slaney, Our heroes vainly stood back to back, And the Yeos at Tullow took Father Murphy And burned his body upon a rack.

I always assumed it was a shortened form of Yeomen.


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Subject: RE: All Honour To The Longbow
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 10 Jun 02 - 06:22 AM

At one time, each English parish was required to have a sufficient number of Yew trees to provide longbows for their population. Because of their poisonous fruit they would often be planted in the churchyard - the one place that animals would not have grazed. You can still find Yew trees in many churchyards to this day.


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Subject: RE: All Honour To The Longbow
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 10 Jun 02 - 07:30 AM

At least the squirrels in my local churchyard have no problems stripping the bark off some of the branches of our two yew trees.


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Subject: RE: All Honour To The Longbow
From: DMcG
Date: 10 Jun 02 - 02:25 PM

greg asked "Who's the greenwood forest bore?" Presumably its that guy reciting all 456 verses of "The Gest of Robin Hood"


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Subject: RE: All Honour To The Longbow
From: GUEST,ozmacca
Date: 10 Jun 02 - 06:56 PM

Gin, In your lyrics where you have "In glory stand before the billy"... would this have been the bill? As I remember it, the archer would step out in front of the ordinary footslogger to shoot, and a common weapon of the infantry at the time was the bill, a sort of pole-axe with a hook on the back very handy for pulling people off horses.


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Subject: RE: All Honour To The Longbow
From: Amos
Date: 10 Jun 02 - 06:57 PM

I would bet even money that song was written later than 1950 plus or minus 8 years! It has too many "almost right" turns of language in it that don't gel together. That's "only" my opinion of course!!

A


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Subject: RE: All Honour To The Longbow
From: Rank
Date: 10 Jun 02 - 08:14 PM

The English longbow was copied from the Welsh who did not use yew. It may well have been ash, but I can't remember exactly. English longbows were made from imported yew grown in warmer climes. They were in fact levied as duty on imports such as brandy. 25 staves per barrel or somesuch. English yew grows too slowly and not straight enough, so planting in churchyards was definately not for bowmaking. The most plausible reason is to keep stock out of the chuchyard. There is still a law in England which says that the local priest must maintain and provide the butts for archery practice. Our local vicar didn't seem too impressed however.

Two fingers to you and especially the Argentinians.


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Subject: RE: All Honour To The Longbow
From: GUEST,ozmacca
Date: 10 Jun 02 - 10:18 PM

There's a wonderful "genuine" archer's song in Conan Doyle's Sir Nigel stories - can't remember which one - about the ....Gray Goose Feather/ And the land where the grey goose flew. As I recall, it would make a good pseudo-period song.

One day I'm going to have to dig up those books and read them again. They contain a lot of great atmosphere about the english archer and the chivalric period, and a lot of innaccurate and misleading victorian romance as well, but great reading for the not so serious student of the time when the longbow did rule the battlefield.


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Subject: RE: All Honour To The Longbow
From: GUEST,JohnB
Date: 11 Jun 02 - 12:36 PM

Sounds modern, SCA'ish or such to me why would an original song have the line "Oh, famous is the archer's sport- twas honoured long ago"? JohnB


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Subject: RE: All Honour To The Longbow
From: Gareth
Date: 11 Jun 02 - 06:57 PM

Actually it were two fingers to the French !

To show that despite thier bombast the Archers (mainley Welsh Mecenaries) could still pluck and draw a bow.

Gareth


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Subject: RE: All Honour To The Longbow
From: Teribus
Date: 12 Jun 02 - 08:14 AM

The "Yeos" referred to in Boolavogue are the locally raised Yeomanry regiments (normally cavalry units).

During the French Revolutionary War and the Napoleonic War militia regiments were raised for local/home defence. Infantry were referred to as Volunteers and cavalry as Yeomanry regiments. Men serving in these units could not be used on foreign service. Another raised primarily for home defence at that time were called Fencibles - they could be used as reserves for the regular army.


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Subject: RE: All Honour To The Longbow
From: Amos
Date: 12 Jun 02 - 08:59 AM

Wow -- what a site this is for learning details you knever knew! Thanks!

A


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Subject: RE: All Honour To The Longbow
From: DonD
Date: 12 Jun 02 - 09:41 PM

Eric Partridge says yeoman is "o.o.o." - 'of obscure origin' - but suggests it may be from 'young man' analogous to 'junker' in German. But of course he doesn't overlook possible links to Old Frisian ans Albanian! No reference to yew, so as they euphemistically say, "Forget yew!@"

BTW I ran into 'Fensibles' for the first time this Spring at Fort McHenry of Star Spangled Banner fame (musical justification for thread?) where a number of units of American defenders from Baltimore area were Fensibles.

Somehow the idea of English bowmen whose cloth yards (origin?) were the dominant military force in Europe before firearms being dependent on imported yew seems strange. If the exporting country/king had cut off the supply, the course of history would have been changed.


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Subject: RE: All Honour To The Longbow
From: GUEST,ozmacca
Date: 12 Jun 02 - 10:10 PM

Didn't the good bard Robert Burns join a regiment of Fencibles? I thought it was a generic term for volunteers/militia, whether they would be sent overseas on not.

Also - doesn't the "cloth yard" refering to the length of arrow shaft relate to the measure commonly used for - guess what - measuring cloth! Watch a seamstress hold the end of a strip of cloth between the hands, and then stretch one out to arm's length to measure (approximately) one good old imperial near'nuff yard. I'll bet they did the same thing back when, and the merchant was flogging his wares down the market. "Certainly ma'am, six yards of my finest Flemish... psssst, Harry, don't stretch so far lad, I wants ter make a profit 'ere."


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Subject: RE: All Honour To The Longbow
From: GUEST,ozmacca
Date: 12 Jun 02 - 10:19 PM

Back with the lyrics... and meant to mention this before... What's a "rowley gleam"? Would it refer to the gold at the centre of the target, and could it be "roundel gleam"? Or not?


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Subject: RE: All Honour To The Longbow
From: GUEST,Gin
Date: 14 Jun 02 - 07:06 PM

Yes, ozmacca, I think you are right on your explanations of bill and roundel gleam, and yes, I think this is a written and recent song- I would suspect my source collecetd it around 1972-5, but he can't recall. I remember him mentioning it areound then.

So-in spite of all this wonderful information- no-one knows who wrote it, then?


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Subject: RE: All Honour To The Longbow
From: Midchuck
Date: 14 Jun 02 - 10:43 PM

In the speech of his time did the Bard
Refer to his tool as his "yard."
But sigh no more, madams,
'Twas no longer than Adam's
Or mine, and not one-half so hard.

- anon.

Peter.


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Subject: RE: All Honour To The Longbow
From: Mr Red
Date: 15 Jun 02 - 06:18 AM

SOED CD ROM says (amongst other things not contradictory to the above)
Yeoman of the Guard - a member of the bodyguard of the sovereign of England (orig. archers appointed at the accession of Henry VII, now ceremonial);
I was originally told the connection Yew/Yeo by re-enactment archers at a fair on Bosworth field replete with tents, horses and swords. The local chapter of the toxophilite brotherhood were offering allcomers target practice, dress optional!
Oh yes, the SOED CD ROM also says of yeoman --- ME. [Prob. reduced form of young man s.v. YOUNG a.]

BTW & FWIW but it is relevant - I saw a road name last night "Wanshot Close" and thats no bull
I'll get my doublet .........


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Subject: RE: All Honour To The Longbow
From: The Pooka
Date: 15 Jun 02 - 11:42 PM

Teribus - just now saw your explanation re the Yeos in "Boolavogue". Thanks very much. / And Fencibles, or Fensibles, too! Never knew that. / Amos - yeah. There's nothing like the Mudcat.


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Subject: RE: All Honour To The Longbow
From: MMario
Date: 12 Apr 04 - 02:44 PM

refresh


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Subject: RE: All Honour To The Longbow
From: pavane
Date: 13 Apr 04 - 01:29 PM

Even Isaac Asimov wrote a piece on the longbow, pointing out that it was the English 'unsecret weapon', easily seen but never successfully copied, maybe because it needed a lifetime of practice.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: All Honour To The Longbow
From: GUEST
Date: 04 Feb 12 - 05:06 AM

I remember this sung on a 'Folk on Friday' in the 1970s I guess back when I still had hair. I recorded it on tape (now lost). I just googled the chorus today as the tune popped into my brain.

What I remember is:

"The tent is pitched the target raised" (not reared), then as given with the chorus:

"All honour to the longbow, ye merry men of yore
With hound and horn in the early morn on the greenwood forest floor."

As to who sang it, I have no idea, but my memory says they were from the NW of England and they also sang the Agincourt Anthem.

I realise I am 8 years after everyone else, but I hope it helps. Good tune and I am an archer so that's why it stuck.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: All Honour To The Longbow
From: GUEST,Gin/Brillig
Date: 08 Aug 13 - 04:21 PM

As part of a performance recently we did the usual plea about this song and found a man who knew it and had sung it many years ago. We have therefore been supplied with the missing information.
"Bowmeeting at Arley Hall‏" This song, known to us as "All Honour to the Longbow:" Colonel Lee Egerton of Tatton wrote the words in 1861 and Jim Kelly of Bullock Smithy put the tune to it. It can be found, I am told, in "Songs and Ballads of Cheshire." We are indebted to Mr Steve Mills of Snelson, Macclesfield for this information.

So now we know! I thought that you all would like to know, too. He also knows the words to what we called "The Battle of Rhuddlan" but I think he called something like "The Cheshire Minstrel Army", or some such.


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Subject: Lyr Add: A BOWMEETING SONG
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 09 Aug 13 - 12:39 AM

From Ballads & Legends of Cheshire edited by Egerton Leigh (London: Longmans & Co., 1867), page 172:


A BOWMEETING SONG.
Sung at the meeting of Cheshire Archers at Arley Hall, 1851.

1. The tent is pitched, the target reared, the ground is measured out,
For the weak arm sixty paces, and one hundred for the stout;
Come gather ye together then, the youthful and the fair,
And poet's lay to distant day the victor shall declare.

2. Let busy fingers lay aside the needle and the thread,
To prick the golden canvas with a pointed arrow head;
Ye sportsmen quit the stubble, ye fishermen the stream,
Fame and glory stand before you, brilliant eyes around you beam.

3. All honour to the long bow, which many a battle won
Ere powder blazed or bullet flew from arquebus or gun;
All honour to the long bow, which merry men of yore
With hound and horn at early morn in greenwood forest bore.

4. Oh famous is the archer's sport, 't was honoured long ago;
The god of love, the god of wit, bore both of them a bow;
Love laughs to-day in beauty's eye and blushes in her cheek,
And wit is heard in every word that merry archers speak.

5. The archer's heart, though like his bow a tough and sturdy thing,
Is pliant still and yielding when affection pulls the string;
All his words and all his actions are like arrows pointed well
To hit that golden centre where true love and friendship dwell.

6. They tell us in that outline which the lips of beauty show
How Cupid found a model for his heart-subduing bow,
The arrows in his quiver are the glances from her eye,
A feather from love's wing it is that makes the arrow fly.


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