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Chords Req: Open the Door Softly

DigiTrad:
OPEN THE DOOR SOFTLY


Related thread:
Gaelic song / Fosgal An Dorus (14)


rich-joy 15 May 02 - 06:11 PM
GUEST 15 May 02 - 09:45 PM
Callie 15 May 02 - 10:07 PM
rich-joy 16 May 02 - 07:59 AM
Susanne (skw) 16 May 02 - 03:43 PM
rich-joy 18 Feb 04 - 08:09 AM
rich-joy 18 Feb 04 - 08:25 AM
GUEST,skip landt 02 Jun 04 - 01:29 AM
rich-joy 02 Jun 04 - 05:56 AM
GUEST,Czeslaw 17 Oct 07 - 09:12 PM
GUEST,archie fisher 13 Jul 15 - 08:31 AM
GUEST,Andrew Calhoun 29 Dec 16 - 02:49 AM
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Subject: Open the Door Softly
From: rich-joy
Date: 15 May 02 - 06:11 PM

It's OK - I have the lyrics!!!

But I would like some help with the guitar chords!!!!!!!

I have Archie Fisher singing this on an old Trailer LP and have loved it since forever - now it's time to sing it myself. Can anyone be of assistance please???
Thanks. Cheers! R-J


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords Req: Open the Door Softly
From: GUEST
Date: 15 May 02 - 09:45 PM

See the Irish tune index at www.erols.com/olsonw for many early printings of the tune, under various titles.


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords Req: Open the Door Softly
From: Callie
Date: 15 May 02 - 10:07 PM

The song is from Brendan Behan's play "The Hostage", yes?

If you want an alternative version, as a student a bunch of us wrote tunes to the lyrics to put on the play (we couldn't find the actual tunes - looking back I guess we didn't really know how to look and didn't try too hard!). One of the tunes we wrote were to the lyrics of "Open the Door Softly".

If you're interested, I'd be happy to oblige (it's been sitting in a cupboard for some years!)

regards Callie


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Subject: RE: Chords Req: Open the Door Softly
From: rich-joy
Date: 16 May 02 - 07:59 AM

Thanks both Guest and Callie - and the link pixie!!

The version I am after the chords to, is the "Open the Door Softly, I've something to tell you dear ..." one ... I was unaware that it had featured in a Brendan Behan play.
I'd be interested to hear your tune Callie, but I confess I don't read music ...
Cheers! R-J


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Subject: RE: Chords Req: Open the Door Softly
From: Susanne (skw)
Date: 16 May 02 - 03:43 PM

Rich-joy, the song with the opening lines you quote is also on Alex Campbell's 'Big Daddy of Folk Music', where it is credited as Trad. The notes say Alex suspects an Irish origin but learned it from Pete Seeger and Archie Fisher. In notes to the song at the UWP archive some years ago I found this comment by 'SF': "Variously [but incorrectly] credited to Archie Fisher, Brendan Behan and Dion Boucicault."


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Subject: RE: Chords Req: Open the Door Softly
From: rich-joy
Date: 18 Feb 04 - 08:09 AM

refresh

still need help with the chords if anyone can oblige : thanks!

Cheers!
R-J


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Subject: RE: Chords Req: Open the Door Softly
From: rich-joy
Date: 18 Feb 04 - 08:25 AM

just found these notes by Bob Blackburn on Sara Grey's site re her Folk Legacy recording FS138, with Ed Trickett :


Open the Door Softly

Sara learned this from Archie Fisher, who recorded it on Xtra 1070. Joe Hickerson, head of the Archive of Folk Song at the Library of Congress, has uncovered two other versions of this song. One was printed as sheet music in London in 1924, with lyrics credited to Dion Boucicault and music "adapted from an old air" by Herbert Hughes. The text runs:

Open the door softly,
Somebody wants ye, dear.
Give me a chink no wider
Than you'll fill up with your ear.
Or if you're hard of hearing, dear,
Your mouth will do as well.
Just put your lips agan the crack,
And hear what I've to tell.

Considerably different in tone is a four-verse version sung by Teresa in the first act of Brendan Behan's play The Hostage (1958). Explaining that she's "always been a very serious girl," she relates in song how the only time she's ever laughed was "the time the holy picture fell, I And knocked my old granny cold, / While she knitted and sang an old Irish song." Presumably Behan wrote these words himself to fit the older song.
Pete Seeger sings one verse of "Open the Door" on Love Songs for Friends and Foes, Folkways FA 2453.

Open the door softly, I've something to tell you, dear.
Open it up no widerthan the crack upon the floor.
Open the door softly,I've something to tell you, dear.

Warm summer grasses have whispered it in your ear.
Skeins of shining watersask you patiently to hear.
Tall lonely timbers have taught it to the deer.

Sad winds in autumnwill tell you as they pass by.
Wild geese flying eastwardleave their music in the sky.
Listen at eveningand answer the wild birds' cry.

(repeat first verse)


Cheers! R-J


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Subject: RE: Chords Req: Open the Door Softly
From: GUEST,skip landt
Date: 02 Jun 04 - 01:29 AM

I remember this from the Pete Seeger record mentioned above. It seems to me that he sang it a capella and then perhaps played it on a whistle. My recollection is that there was no accompaniment. (And in fact the whistle part may just be in my own version).

The haunting quality of the tune in Seeger's version results, I think, from its harmonic simplicity. I hear only one chord change, which would be going a full step down on guitar when you get to the words "crack upon the floor."

Specifically, if you accompanied the song in G (and it would be a very spare accompaniment), when you got to that phrase, you'd go down to F, and then return to G. (Or if you played in A, you'd go down to G and then back to A).

Hope this helps. If you like this tune, and if Archie's version is anything like Pete's, you should find the "Love Songs for Friends and Foes" album -- he has at least one other song on that album that has the same feeling. As I recall the words are "my true love came to me/she softly came in/so softly she came that her feet made no din/she turned her head toward me/and this she did say/it will not be long, love,/'fore our wedding day."

Skip Landt


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Subject: RE: Chords Req: Open the Door Softly
From: rich-joy
Date: 02 Jun 04 - 05:56 AM

Thanks Skip!!
I ended up performing it unaccompanied - just the once, so far- but now my sister says she'll work on harmonising with me for the next outing of it!!

Those words you quote sound like an excerpt from "She Moved Through the Fair" - also lovely.


Cheers! R-J


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Subject: RE: Chords Req: Open the Door Softly
From: GUEST,Czeslaw
Date: 17 Oct 07 - 09:12 PM

Carolyn Hester, on her early "Traditions" album, recorded a version of "She Moves Through the Fair" that is actually a medley. The opening of the piece is one verse from "Open the Door Softly", followed by the entirety of "She Moves Through the Fair". Carolyn credits Pete Seeger for teaching the song to her.


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Subject: RE: Chords Req: Open the Door Softly
From: GUEST,archie fisher
Date: 13 Jul 15 - 08:31 AM

Re Open the door softly ... A fragment from Pete Seeger's "Goofing Off Suite" LP (the opening three lines that is) augmented for my 1968 debut album. Pete told me he heard it from an unnamed old Irish singer way back.


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Subject: RE: Chords Req: Open the Door Softly
From: GUEST,Andrew Calhoun
Date: 29 Dec 16 - 02:49 AM

These are the chords I've found. It's best to sing the flat 7. against the G before going to the Dm chord.

G                                     F                   C            G
Open the door softly, I've something to tell you, dear.
G                                           Dm       Am      G
Open it up no widerthan the crack upon the floor.
G             Em   G            F                     C          G
Open the door softly,I've something to tell you, dear.

Warm summer grasses have whispered it in your ear.
Skeins of shining water ask you patiently to hear.
Tall lonely timbers have taught it to the deer.

Sad winds in autumn will tell you as they pass by.
Wild geese flying eastward leave their music in the sky.
Listen at evening, and answer the wild birds' cry.


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