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Folk Opera: The Transports (Bellamy, et al.)

DigiTrad:
AROUND ME BRAVE BOYS
BRISK YOUNG WIDOW
NOSTRADAMUS
OAK, ASH, AND THORN
On Board a 98
THE BARLEY AND THE RYE
THE GOOD LUCK SHIP
THE OLD SONGS
WE HAVE FED OUR SEA FOR A THOUSAND YEARS


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CET 07 Jun 02 - 04:00 PM
Les from Hull 07 Jun 02 - 04:05 PM
GUEST,IB 07 Jun 02 - 04:20 PM
Ed Pellow 07 Jun 02 - 04:21 PM
pavane 07 Jun 02 - 05:04 PM
Uncle_DaveO 07 Jun 02 - 05:09 PM
CET 07 Jun 02 - 05:18 PM
GUEST,MCP, Lyric Add 07 Jun 02 - 05:30 PM
Hrothgar 08 Jun 02 - 06:39 AM
CET 08 Jun 02 - 09:19 AM
Banjo-Flower 08 Jun 02 - 10:34 AM
gnomad 08 Jun 02 - 02:49 PM
RolyH 08 Jun 02 - 04:18 PM
CET 09 Jun 02 - 07:03 AM
GUEST,MCP, Tune Add 09 Jun 02 - 08:31 AM
johnross 09 Jun 02 - 03:07 PM
GUEST,karen k 10 Jun 02 - 12:32 AM
Anglo 10 Jun 02 - 01:30 AM
dick greenhaus 10 Jun 02 - 10:10 PM
GUEST,jackbell 14 Jun 02 - 12:54 PM
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Subject: The Transports
From: CET
Date: 07 Jun 02 - 04:00 PM

When I was in university in the late seventies, a musician friend of mine told me about a folk opera called The Transports, which was based on traditional songs about people sentenced to transportation. I remember he sang a song from it that as far as I can remember went something like:

"Oh, the dark and bitter night And oh, the windy day For my love has been snatched far, far from my sight And the transports will take her away"

This was a beautiful song. Unfortunately, that's all I can remember of it.

I believe there is a recording of The Transports, but I haven't been able to find it in almost 25 years. Does any one know anything about it? Is it available on CD ?(that's probably too much to hope for).

Thanks

CET


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Subject: RE: The Transports
From: Les from Hull
Date: 07 Jun 02 - 04:05 PM

Topic Cd TSCD459 - it's wonderful


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Subject: RE: The Transports
From: GUEST,IB
Date: 07 Jun 02 - 04:20 PM

Here's a page with soundclips and the story behind 'The Transports': http://www.bens.connectfree.co.uk/pb/TRANSP.HTM


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Subject: RE: The Transports
From: Ed Pellow
Date: 07 Jun 02 - 04:21 PM

Available from Topic Records. More details on this page


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Subject: RE: The Transports
From: pavane
Date: 07 Jun 02 - 05:04 PM

A lovely song, one of my favourites from the album. It shows what a great loss the tragic death of Peter Bellamy was to the folk world.


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Subject: RE: The Transports
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 07 Jun 02 - 05:09 PM

One thing: It's not "based on traditional songs"; it's all composed music based on Peter Bellamy's great knowledge of British traditional styles.

It is indeed a wonderful set of music, and well worth having and listening to over and over and over and over.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: The Transports
From: CET
Date: 07 Jun 02 - 05:18 PM

Thank you all. This is going on my "to buy" list, once we've finished paying for our vacation to Scotland.

Edmund


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Subject: ADD: The Black and Bitter Night (The Transports)
From: GUEST,MCP, Lyric Add
Date: 07 Jun 02 - 05:30 PM

This takes me back to 1980 when I did the music for (and sang the Human Turnkey in) a version of The Transports put on at the National Folk Festival by Herga Folk Club, with a cast that included Jim Mageean, Johnny Collins, Ann Lennox-Martin and Mel Dean (all regulars at the club then).

The song referred to above is actually The Black And Bitter Night and here is the version as sung by Mike Waterson on the original recording. (I'll put the tune up when I've got a bit more time)

Mick


THE BLACK AND BITTER NIGHT
(Peter Bellamy)

It is cold, sad and lonely in this dismal cell,
No solace comes up with the day
My heart knows an anguish that no tongue can tell
Since they've taken my true love away.

Chorus:
Oh the black and bitter night,
And oh, the weary day.
My love has been snatched far, far from my sight,
And the transports will bear her away.

When first in this prison so deep was my pain
Then she came and she banished dismay.
But now in despondence I'm drowning again
For they've taken my true love away.

Though surrounded by horrors yet we found delight,
For where love is no sorrow can stay.
But misery and squalour swim back to my sight
Now they've taken my true love away.

Aye, the grasses still grow and the streams still down flow
And the blackbird still sings on the spray.
But in dank, dreary dungeons there's nothing but woe
Since they've taken my true love away.

Well, if I were a seagull I'd fly to her side;
And it's there that I wish I could stay.
But soon the cruel prison ships leave with the tide
And they're bearing me true love away.

If I was a herring I'd wait by the slip,
Though I waited a year and a day.
Then through the wide oceans I'd follow the ship
That is bearing me true love away.

So lovers cling fast to each pleasure you find
And cherish each moment of play.
For all you will have is what stays in your mind
Once they've taken your true love away.


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Subject: RE: The Transports
From: Hrothgar
Date: 08 Jun 02 - 06:39 AM

I dunno about your priorities. I'd rather have a copy of "The Transports" than have a holiday in Scotland.

:-))


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Subject: RE: The Transports
From: CET
Date: 08 Jun 02 - 09:19 AM

Ah, well the holiday in Scotland has already happened. Now we have to pay off the Master Card. It was worth it, though.

Edmund


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Subject: RE: The Transports
From: Banjo-Flower
Date: 08 Jun 02 - 10:34 AM

fond memories of being part of "The Transports "at Beverley Folk Festival in 1988

Gerry


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Subject: RE: The Transports
From: gnomad
Date: 08 Jun 02 - 02:49 PM

Further fond memories-Kempton Park Festival, one night only, billed as original cast and I think it was true, absolutely rivetting.

This album is one of the few from the LP era that regularly gets me opening the old record player, well worth seeking out either the LP, or the new CD.

Walk around seems to have been adopted by the shanty circuit as being the real thing.


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Subject: RE: The Transports
From: RolyH
Date: 08 Jun 02 - 04:18 PM

Buy it now! It is a classic


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Subject: RE: The Transports
From: CET
Date: 09 Jun 02 - 07:03 AM

Is The Transports a musical play, or more in the nature of a series of songs on a common theme?

CET


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Subject: RE: The Transports
From: GUEST,MCP, Tune Add
Date: 09 Jun 02 - 08:31 AM

CET - it was written in the style of a ballad opera - the story based on the first Transports sent to Australia. To quote the original record cover: "The tale is presented as a cycle of new compositions in the idiom of traditional English folk song, linked by narrative passages in the style and to the medodies of broadsheet-ballads of the time"

Here is the promised tune for The Black And Bitter Night.

Mick

THE BLACK AND BITTER NIGHT
(Peter Bellamy)

It is| cold, sad and| lone-ly in| this dis-mal| cell,
No| sol-ace comes| up with the| day-|-
My| heart knows an| an-guish that| no tongue can| tell
Since they've| ta-ken my| true love a-|way-|-||.


Oh the| black and| bit-ter night,
And| oh, the| wea-ry| day-|-
My| love has been| snatched far|, far from my| sight,
And the| trans-ports will| bear her a-|way-|-.||



X: 1
T:Black And Bitter Night
M:3/4
L:1/4
Q:1/4=105
C:Peter Bellamy
K:C
G/A/|G F D|C E G|G B, G,|C2
(E/D/)|C E F|G A (c/A/)|d3-|d2
(c/d/)|e c> e|d c G|A F c|G2
E/D/|C E F| G A c|d3-|d||
E> D|C2 E|\
M:2/4
L:1/4
G> F|\
M:3/4
L:1/4
E2
F|G2 (E/F/)|(G A) c|d3-|d2
(c/d/)|e c e|d2 c|A F c|G2
E/D/|C E F|G A c|d3-|d2||


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Subject: RE: The Transports
From: johnross
Date: 09 Jun 02 - 03:07 PM

When Peter Bellamy autographed my copy of The Transports, he added a banner to the highest mast in the ship. On the banner, it says, "QANTAS".


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Subject: RE: The Transports
From: GUEST,karen k
Date: 10 Jun 02 - 12:32 AM

This became a very quick favorite when it first came out and continues to be a favorite today. It's brilliant. Great story, great songs, great singers and it even raptly held the attention of 6 boys, ages 12-15, who made up a special education class I had in 1984 at a residential treatment facility for kids with severe emotional and behavior problems. They loved it! Thanks, Peter.


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Subject: RE: The Transports
From: Anglo
Date: 10 Jun 02 - 01:30 AM

Uncle DaveO says: "One thing: It's not "based on traditional songs"; it's all composed music based on Peter Bellamy's great knowledge of British traditional styles."

At the risk of being over-pedantic, though Peter wrote both words and music for all the characters' songs, much of the narrative continuity was expressed through the songs he sang (in the original production and on the CD) in his own role of Street Singer. Here the words were his, of course, but the tunes were traditional.


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Subject: RE: The Transports
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 10 Jun 02 - 10:10 PM

CAMSCO carries the CD. $13.98 and well worth it.


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Subject: RE: The Transports
From: GUEST,jackbell
Date: 14 Jun 02 - 12:54 PM

The Transports is a brilliant piece of music/theater. I was lucky enough to see at the most unfortunate event, the Peter Bellamy memorial concert in London in 1992. The day was spent with various performers doing sets including Young Tradition and Peter Bellamy songs and the evening included a performance of the Transports with a who's who of British folk. It was amazing.

It's a shame that the piece is not performed to often.

jack


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