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TAB or Notation to 'Sovay'

DigiTrad:
SOVAY
THE FEMALE HIGHWAYMAN
THE MALE FEMALE HIGHWAYMAN


Related threads:
Origins: Solvay, Solvay / Sovay (32)
Tune Req: Sovay (20)
Time signature????? (20)
Lyr Req: Sovay / Sylvie (17)


GUEST,Kudzuman 17 Jun 02 - 03:27 PM
Mrrzy 17 Jun 02 - 03:28 PM
GUEST,Paul 17 Jun 02 - 03:41 PM
GUEST 17 Jun 02 - 04:13 PM
GUEST,kudzuman 17 Jun 02 - 08:07 PM
michaelr 17 Jun 02 - 08:26 PM
Malcolm Douglas 17 Jun 02 - 09:01 PM
michaelr 18 Jun 02 - 03:05 AM
pavane 18 Jun 02 - 03:10 AM
GUEST 18 Jun 02 - 03:17 AM
alison 18 Jun 02 - 03:19 AM
alison 18 Jun 02 - 03:21 AM
Malcolm Douglas 18 Jun 02 - 11:00 AM
pavane 18 Jun 02 - 01:37 PM
GUEST,Kudzuman 18 Jun 02 - 02:42 PM
alison 18 Jun 02 - 08:52 PM
michaelr 18 Jun 02 - 09:25 PM
pavane 19 Jun 02 - 01:55 PM
Malcolm Douglas 19 Jun 02 - 08:51 PM
michaelr 20 Jun 02 - 01:28 AM
GUEST,kudzuman 20 Jun 02 - 09:53 AM
GUEST,sovay tab 08 Feb 06 - 11:46 PM
pavane 09 Feb 06 - 02:08 AM
pavane 09 Feb 06 - 02:11 AM
GUEST,DB 09 Feb 06 - 09:14 AM
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Subject: TAB or Notation to 'Sovay'
From: GUEST,Kudzuman
Date: 17 Jun 02 - 03:27 PM

Hi all,

Looking for TAB or Notation to "Sovay" (Martin Carthy does a great version of this!) also known as Newry Town. The "top" rhythmn seems very steady, but what's happening underneath is a booger. I can play the thing, but I want to write out my version and can't get a handle on what the timing is. Where the pickup note is, or does it start on the beat, etc. Any help anyone? Thanks!!

Kudzuman


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Subject: RE: TAB or Notation to 'Sovay'
From: Mrrzy
Date: 17 Jun 02 - 03:28 PM

I like the Pentangle version but can't answer your question, so whoever does, can you answer for both versions if they differ? Thanks!


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Subject: RE: TAB or Notation to 'Sovay'
From: GUEST,Paul
Date: 17 Jun 02 - 03:41 PM

Kudzuman

In Martin Carthy's book (A Guitar in Folk Music) he writes the notation 'free form' ie without a time signature or bar lines, as he doesn't feel that it fits a rigid structure.

If you want to post an email address, I'll send you a scanned copy of it (it's melody line only)

Paul


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Subject: RE: TAB or Notation to 'Sovay'
From: GUEST
Date: 17 Jun 02 - 04:13 PM

On one of Martin Carthy's sleeve notes (can't remember which - he's done a few versions) he says that the time signature is 1/1


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Subject: RE: TAB or Notation to 'Sovay'
From: GUEST,kudzuman
Date: 17 Jun 02 - 08:07 PM

Paul,

Thanks for the info. Martin is beloved by myself and many others and I understand the weirdness of the timing of this song. If he has no time signature then it doesn't help my case, but thanks for asking. Mucho appreciated!

Kudzuman


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Subject: RE: TAB or Notation to 'Sovay'
From: michaelr
Date: 17 Jun 02 - 08:26 PM

About the song's name: it's my theory that "Sovay" is a misspelling of "Solveig", which is Danish for Sylvia.
Any comments?

Cheers,
Michael


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Subject: RE: TAB or Notation to 'Sovay'
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 17 Jun 02 - 09:01 PM

Probably not; I don't see what a Danish name would be doing here. The most common name certainly is Sylvia, though there are also examples of:

Sylva
Shilo
Priscilla
Sally
Silvy
Sylvie
Silvia
Phoebe
Salvay
Sovie
Zillah
Nelly
Salvay
Cecilia
Janie
Silvery


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Subject: RE: TAB or Notation to 'Sovay'
From: michaelr
Date: 18 Jun 02 - 03:05 AM

Malcolm, I was just thinking out loud: Sovay is not a common name in English, if indeed it is a name at all. (I certainly haven't seen it anyplace but this song.) At the same time, it is the exact phonetic spelling for Solveig. And we know there has been much traffic between Scandinavia and the British Islands over the centuries.

Zillah, Cecilia, and Phoebe? Interesting - I wasn't aware of such wide-ranging variants. What can you tell us about the origin?

Cheers,
Michael


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Subject: RE: TAB or Notation to 'Sovay'
From: pavane
Date: 18 Jun 02 - 03:10 AM

The printed versions in the Bodley Ballad library are mostly Sylvie. I didn't see one there with Sovay (Maybe I just didn't find it).

What did Carthy mean by time signature 1/1? Surely that would be identical logically to 2/2 and 4/4, i.e. one semibreve/whole note to a bar. Did he mean 1/4? From recollection, it seems like 4/4 with maybe an odd bar of something else thrown in.


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Subject: RE: TAB or Notation to 'Sovay'
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Jun 02 - 03:17 AM

Some discussion of the time signature in this thread

Yes Pavane it's 1/4. My mistake


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Subject: RE: TAB or Notation to 'Sovay'
From: alison
Date: 18 Jun 02 - 03:19 AM

here's an old thread where we tried to figure out the time signature... theres a few tunes there as well....


slainte

alison


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Subject: RE: TAB or Notation to 'Sovay'
From: alison
Date: 18 Jun 02 - 03:21 AM

great minds eh guest?... *grin*

slainte

alison


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Subject: RE: TAB or Notation to 'Sovay'
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 18 Jun 02 - 11:00 AM

Noreen's link also leads to Frank Purslow's speculation on the origin of the song (18th century pleasure gardens), which is as close, I would imagine, as we can get at the moment.

Sovay is one of the less common names used, but has attained its prominence through frequent recording by Revival performers. At a guess I'd say that it's a dialectal pronounciation of Sophie, as the Sovay variant was collected in Somerset, where f tends to mutate to v. The earliest print versions have Sylvia; the resemblance to Solveig has to be just a coincidence, I think.

Roud number 7, Laws N21.

Carthy's remark about 1/1 time in English folksong was not meant to be taken too seriously; it was an amusing throwaway that he and Swarbrick used to come out with regularly when introducing Sovay. There was some serious intent, though, the point being that the way people actually sing a song can often only be approximately categorised into a simple time-signature. I think it was Percy Grainger who was of the opinion that the best way of notating folk songs was to omit bar lines entirely, and just write everything down exactly as sung. So far as I can remember, the song has most usually been notated in 3/2 or in a compound time including bars in 3/2, though it has also been "ironed out" variously into 6/8 and 4/4. 3/2 variants have been found in Canada, and I'd expect that to have been the usual rhythm used in the 19th century for it. 3/2 was actually quite common among English traditional singers, it seems.


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Subject: RE: TAB or Notation to 'Sovay'
From: pavane
Date: 18 Jun 02 - 01:37 PM

Bar lines are useful for indicating accented notes, even if the time signature is irregular.

The human brain also has a limit on the number of items it can process at a time (7 +/- 2 is the usual estimate), and bar lines split the tune into understandable groups.

So they are important elements of any tune, in the same way that words and paragraphs are not essential, butmakereadingmucheasierwhenused!


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Subject: RE: TAB or Notation to 'Sovay'
From: GUEST,Kudzuman
Date: 18 Jun 02 - 02:42 PM

Thanks all you brilliant people. You're right Alison...great minds *grin right back atcha* Now I gotta go learn how to count above 4. Groan!!!

Kudzuman


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Subject: RE: TAB or Notation to 'Sovay'
From: alison
Date: 18 Jun 02 - 08:52 PM

Hi Kudzuman.... nice to have a name for you.... all the guests tend to look the same ... *grin*


slainte

alison


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Subject: RE: TAB or Notation to 'Sovay'
From: michaelr
Date: 18 Jun 02 - 09:25 PM

For what it's worth, I'll add the lyrics I've been singing:

Solveig (trad.)

Solveig, Solveig, Solveig one day
She dressed herself in man's array
With a brace of pistols all by her side
To rob her true love, to rob her true lover she did ride

As she was riding over the plain
She met her true love, ring on his hand
Stand and deliver, kind sir, she said
And if you do not, and if you do not your life I'll have

He offered up all his gold in store
And still she craved for wanting more
That diamond ring that I see you wear
O hand it over, o hand it over and your life I'll spare

From my diamond ring I would not part
For it's a token from my sweetheart
Shoot and be damned then, you rogue, said he
And you'll be hanged, and you'll be hanged for murdering me

Next morning in the garden green
Young Solveig and her love were walking
He saw his watch hanging from her cloak
Which made him blush, lads, which made him blush, lads, like any rose

Why do you blush, you silly young man?
I could have had that ring on your hand
`Twas I who robbed you all on that plain
So here's your gold, love, so here's your gold and your watch again

I only did it for to know
If you would be a man or no
If you had given up that ring, she said
I'd have pulled the trigger, I'd have pulled the trigger and shot you dead

I'm don't know where the part about "I'd have pulled the trigger and shot you dead" comes from, but I quite like it. This version is from a Christina Crawley, from a Putumayo Celtic Women's collection (sorry, I only have a tape, so no exact info).

One of my, and the audience's, favorite songs.

Cheers,
Michael

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Subject: RE: Time signature????? From: michaelr Date: 18-Jun-02 - 09:20 PM

Dang it, I just posted to the wrong thread!

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Add Thread To Tracer


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Subject: RE: TAB or Notation to 'Sovay'
From: pavane
Date: 19 Jun 02 - 01:55 PM

It is quite similar to Carthy's text, from memory.

That verse doesn't seem to be present in some of the texts in the Bodleian Ballad Library (Sylvia's request and William's denial) which all seem to be pretty much identical.

It is interesting (to me, at least) that there is an apparently earlier song called "Roger's request and Sylvia's denial", but there is no hint of a highwayman in that one.

PS. I am still puzzled by the Bodley listing the song under the subject Transvestism, rather than (perhaps) disguise!


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Subject: RE: TAB or Notation to 'Sovay'
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 19 Jun 02 - 08:51 PM

It's Bert Lloyd's text, bar a few inadvertent alterations; I expect Christina Crawley learned it from one of his records. Lloyd's Sovay used the tune collected by H.E.D. Hammond in Dorset (though Lloyd stated specifically that he had altered it a bit from the original) and a text collated from several different traditional sets; it is, therefore, not itself a traditional version of the song, which would be one reason for the confusion on the subject.

Of course, Lloyd himself was no respector of textual integrity, being apparently unable to decide whether he considered himself to be a scholar or a traditional singer: the first he certainly was, though compromised by his unwillingness -sometimes, inability- to cite evidence for his assertions; the second he was probably not, though undoubtedly extremely influential. Martin Carthy (and almost every revival singer who has ever recorded or performed this song, whether they realise it or not, and at whatever remove) learned it from Bert. Though initially he used a different final verse, Carthy has recorded it several times, most recently using the final verse quoted above.


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Subject: RE: TAB or Notation to 'Sovay'
From: michaelr
Date: 20 Jun 02 - 01:28 AM

Thank you for that information, Malcolm. As a singer who has cobbled his repertoire together from tapes, LPs and aural transmission, with supplied background information of varying degrees of dubiousness, I find it very helpful to learn from the scholars here at Mudcat.

Cheers,
Michael


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Subject: RE: TAB or Notation to 'Sovay'
From: GUEST,kudzuman
Date: 20 Jun 02 - 09:53 AM

Thanks to all who responded and all the great historical background on the song. I also heard Roger Nicholson use that same tune that Martin Carthy uses to a song he did on his "Nonesuch For Dulcimer" recording entitled Newry Town. Thanks again all!!

Kudzuman


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Subject: RE: TAB or Notation to 'Sovay'
From: GUEST,sovay tab
Date: 08 Feb 06 - 11:46 PM

was wondering if anyone had a tab to Sovay for guitar.

email is littlemantisshadow@sbcglobal.net

thanks


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Subject: RE: TAB or Notation to 'Sovay'
From: pavane
Date: 09 Feb 06 - 02:08 AM

If you can find an abc file, you could try running it through my (Windows) program HARMONY, which now has guitar tab.

Find it at my site

(However, I have just discovered a small bug in the current version 3.4.1. Play Selected Voices doesn't work if you select more than one voice! Will be fixed in the next version)


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Subject: RE: TAB or Notation to 'Sovay'
From: pavane
Date: 09 Feb 06 - 02:11 AM

And in reply to the previous (OLD) question, the printed copies seem to be entitled "Sylvia's request and William's denial".


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Subject: RE: TAB or Notation to 'Sovay'
From: GUEST,DB
Date: 09 Feb 06 - 09:14 AM

'Kudzuman', the original poster to this thread (back in 2002), stated that 'Sovay' was also known as 'Newry Town' (Newlyn Town?) - probably not. 'Sovay' is about a female highwayman whilst 'Newry/Newlyn Town' concerns a thief who is taken by 'Ned Fielding's Crew' and subsequently hung (presumably on 'Tyburn Tree'). I believe that the generic title for the latter song is 'The Flash Lad'.
In my youth I was a great fan of both Bert Lloyd and Martin Carthy (still am, in fact!) and got the (very similar) tunes to these two songs completely mixed up. I recently heard a tape of Bert Lloyd, singing in a folk club in the 60s, and the tune that he used for 'Newlyn Town' is different from the one that he used for 'Sovay' - although similar enough to confuse a musical tyro like me!
Of course Martin Carthy recorded both songs - must go back to those recordings and listen to the tunes that he used.


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