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Info Barbara Allen

DigiTrad:
BARBARA ALLEN
BARBARA ALLEN (2)
BARBARA ALLEN (5)
BARBARA ELLEN (3)
BAWBEE ALLAN


Related threads:
(origins) Origins: Sarah Makem's 'Barbara Allan'? (16)
(origins) Origins of: Barbara Allen, is there a story ? (37)
Origins: Barbara Allen (246)
(origins) Why Did Barbara Allen Refuse? (113)
Lyr Req: Barbary Allen #84 (Sheila Kay Adams) (6)
Barbara Allen earliest version? (80)
(origins) ADD: Barb'ry Allen (32)
Lyr Req: 'Barbara Allen' different versions (75)
Lyr Add: Bobby Allen (Afro-American) (3)
Chord Req: Tom Rush's 'Barb'ry Allen' (5)
Lyr Req: 2nd word of Phoebe Smith's barbara Allen (20)
Lyr Req: Bob Dylan's 'Barbara Allen' (3)
Lyr Req: steve tilston's barbry allen (5)
Lyr Req: Barbara Allen (Vic Legg) (2)
Lyr Req: Barbara Allen (from Shirley Collins) (2)
Lyr Req: susan reed's barbara allen #84 (5)
Lyr Req: Barbara Allen (#84, Hedy West) (3)
Lyr Req: Barb'ry Allen (from Tom Rush) (6)
Barbara Allen anomoly (32)
Lyr Req: Barbara Allen (from Jimmy Stewart) (4)
Lyr Req: Fred Jordan's Barbara Allen (5)
Barbara Allen in '30's Film (37)
Lyr Req: Barbara Allen (7)
Barbarra Ellen (15)


Greg P. 15 Jan 97 - 09:15 PM
alarose@ncwc.edu 16 Jan 97 - 11:22 AM
Jerry Friedman, jfriedman@nnm.cc.nm.us 16 Jan 97 - 01:53 PM
Ralph Butts 17 Jan 97 - 08:01 AM
wfoster@unanov.una.edu [Bill Foster] 17 Jan 97 - 08:15 AM
Moira Cameron, moirakc@internorth.com 20 Jan 97 - 02:06 AM
Justin jkodn@prolifics.com 20 Jan 97 - 10:28 AM
Paul Jay 24 Jan 97 - 09:18 PM
Elaine B. 04 Feb 97 - 10:50 PM
Bert Hansell 05 Feb 97 - 08:09 AM
mbrinkmoeller@voyager.net 05 Feb 97 - 07:50 PM
Bert Hansell 06 Feb 97 - 07:49 AM
08 Feb 97 - 01:11 AM
Dick Wisan 08 Feb 97 - 01:18 AM
Dick Wisan (still trying) 08 Feb 97 - 01:24 AM
Barry Finn 07 Feb 98 - 01:26 AM
Art Thieme 07 Feb 98 - 01:08 PM
Barry Finn 07 Feb 98 - 01:23 PM
07 Feb 98 - 02:17 PM
Art Thieme 07 Feb 98 - 05:09 PM
Bruce O. 07 Feb 98 - 05:43 PM
therapon 18 Feb 98 - 01:58 AM
Paul Stamler 18 Feb 98 - 02:58 AM
18 Feb 98 - 10:19 AM
Bruce O. 18 Feb 98 - 04:37 PM
therapon 19 Feb 98 - 01:32 PM
Bill D 19 Feb 98 - 03:27 PM
Bruce O. 19 Feb 98 - 03:52 PM
Bruce O. 19 Feb 98 - 05:53 PM
Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca 19 Feb 98 - 06:20 PM
Jerry Friedman 19 Feb 98 - 11:17 PM
Bruce O. 19 Feb 98 - 11:41 PM
Bruce O. 20 Feb 98 - 12:18 AM
therapon 20 Feb 98 - 09:01 AM
Bruce O. 20 Feb 98 - 01:07 PM
Jerry Friedman 20 Feb 98 - 02:06 PM
Bruce O. 20 Feb 98 - 02:50 PM
therapon 20 Feb 98 - 03:32 PM
20 Feb 98 - 04:11 PM
Art Thieme 22 Feb 98 - 10:24 PM
Art Thieme 23 Feb 98 - 10:15 AM
Bill D 23 Feb 98 - 11:38 AM
Bill D 23 Feb 98 - 11:57 AM
Bruce O. 23 Feb 98 - 12:12 PM
Bruce O. 23 Feb 98 - 05:57 PM
GUEST,skottie 30 Sep 17 - 10:34 PM
GUEST,henryp 01 Oct 17 - 06:12 AM
EBarnacle 01 Oct 17 - 11:05 AM
FreddyHeadey 01 Oct 17 - 12:11 PM
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Subject: Info Barbara Allen
From: Greg P.
Date: 15 Jan 97 - 09:15 PM

I would like to find out more about history and artist that have recorded it.


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Subject: RE: Info Barbara Allen
From: alarose@ncwc.edu
Date: 16 Jan 97 - 11:22 AM

Allen Lomax once wrote a huge book on American folk songs which includes this. Your local friendly public librarian may have a copy, or comparable resources.

No info on artists.


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Subject: RE: Info Barbara Allen
From: Jerry Friedman, jfriedman@nnm.cc.nm.us
Date: 16 Jan 97 - 01:53 PM

If I'm not mistaken (again), Pepys mentions the song in his diary (mid 1600s).


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Subject: RE: Info Barbara Allen
From: Ralph Butts
Date: 17 Jan 97 - 08:01 AM

There are many, many versions of this song - dozens of verses in some of the longer ones.

I have a half dozen or so, including, would you believe, the Everly Brothers.

...Tiger


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Subject: RE: Info Barbara Allen
From: wfoster@unanov.una.edu [Bill Foster]
Date: 17 Jan 97 - 08:15 AM

Your best bet is to consult the multi-volume collection entitled ENGLISH AND SCOTTISH POPULAR BALLADS, by Francis James Child; it's likely to be in any college or university library. Child lists numerous versions and, as I recall, discusses history and background to some slight extent. It was one of the most common ballads I heard as a child growing up in the Appalchians, and there are probably as many versions as there are singers.


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Subject: RE: Info Barbara Allen
From: Moira Cameron, moirakc@internorth.com
Date: 20 Jan 97 - 02:06 AM

There are thousands of versions of this song. Apparently there are more versions of this Child ballad than any other.

I've recorded a version on my newest album (not yet released) that I learned off of a Hedy West album (I'm not sure which on, however)

If you watch the movie "Scrooge" with Alistair Simms, you'll hear a rendition of Barbara Allen set to a beautiful tune (Which doesn't fit the song in my opinion.)

I think the song is best sung together with Frankie Armstrong's version of Child ballad "Brown Girl" Brown Girl has a similar story, but the women refuses to die for her lover; instead she promises to dance on his grave.


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Subject: RE: Info Barbara Allen
From: Justin jkodn@prolifics.com
Date: 20 Jan 97 - 10:28 AM

I think the reason it has been so popular in the US is that Burl Ives recorded it. Much of what he did became a kind of reference for many of the groups of the '60's "folk scare". A lot of people thought that Ives had recorded every "white" folk song, and Josh White every "black" folk song. It was common for kids to be brought up on Burl Ives.


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Subject: RE: Info Barbara Allen
From: Paul Jay
Date: 24 Jan 97 - 09:18 PM

I learned this song when I was a kid growing up in the Ozarks. It was always very popular there. I later found a very similer version in "The Ballad Book of John Jacob Niles"c1960. Library of Congress Catl. card # 60-1002. He has it listed as Child #84 "Bonny Barbara Allen", and Niles # 36A "Barb'ry Ellen" (the name I learned it by), and Niles # 36A "Barbara Allen"


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Subject: RE: Info Barbara Allen
From: Elaine B.
Date: 04 Feb 97 - 10:50 PM

Geordeanna McCulluch & the Clutha have a very beautiful version of an album called Sheath & Knife. other great stuff too!


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Subject: RE: Info Barbara Allen
From: Bert Hansell
Date: 05 Feb 97 - 08:09 AM

For an excellent modern interpretation listen to Johnny Cash's Ballad of Barbara.


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Subject: RE: Info Barbara Allen
From: mbrinkmoeller@voyager.net
Date: 05 Feb 97 - 07:50 PM

Years ago, Art Theme taught me a version of it called; 'the Cowboys Barbara Allen'... ...In Medicine Bow,where I come from, There was a fair maid dwellin' Made all the boys ride saddle sore and her name was Barbara Allen.


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Subject: RE: Info Barbara Allen
From: Bert Hansell
Date: 06 Feb 97 - 07:49 AM

That sounds great. What's the rest of it?


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Subject: RE: Info Barbara Allen
From:
Date: 08 Feb 97 - 01:11 AM

In 1950-51, there was a production of something called "The Dark of the Moon" in Cambridge (Mass). I think they did it in New York, later. It was a foggy, misty sort of play with music, built on a version of "Barbara Allen". But I never seen or heard that version anywhere else. Imperfectly remembered, here's a bit:
The witch-boy to the mountain came
A-pinin' to be human,
For he had seen the fairest one,
The dark-eyed Barb'ry Allen.

Oh, conjure-man, o conjure-man,
Please do this thing, I'm wantin'
Turn me into a human man,
For Barb'ry I'd be courtin'.
Does anybody know? Did they make that version themselves?


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Subject: RE: Info Barbara Allen
From: Dick Wisan
Date: 08 Feb 97 - 01:18 AM

Well, that didn't work. (I'm trying to make the editor behave.) My inquiry is about a production in Cambridge, Mass, in 1950-51 of a musical play called "Dark of the Moon". It was built around a version of Barbara Allen that I suspect they wrote themselves.

A piece of it (this is from memory & may be garbled) goes like this:

The witch-boy to the mountain came, A-pinin' to be human, For he had seen the fairest one, The dark-eyed Barb'ry Allen.

Oh conjure-man, oh conjure-man Please do this thing, I'm wantin'. Make me into a human man, For Barb'ry I'd be courtin'.

Has anybody seen or heard anything like that _outside_ that play?


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Subject: RE: Info Barbara Allen
From: Dick Wisan (still trying)
Date: 08 Feb 97 - 01:24 AM

Foof! Forgot to put in the breaks. Just the verses:

The witch-boy to the mountain came.
A-pinin' to be human.
For he had seen the fairest one,
The dark-eyed Barb'ry Allen.

Oh conjure-man, oh conjure-man,
Please do this thing I'm wantin'
Make me into a human man.
For Barb'ry I'd be courtin.

If this works, it's because I put in the HTML "Break" sign, which (if I can get this right) looks like:

<BR>


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Subject: RE: Info Barbara Allen
From: Barry Finn
Date: 07 Feb 98 - 01:26 AM

This was tucked way back, thought I'd bring it up for the recent thread. Barry


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Subject: RE: Info Barbara Allen
From: Art Thieme
Date: 07 Feb 98 - 01:08 PM

Well, I did put lyrics for Dael Bray's 1962 version of "The Cowboy's Barbara Allen" here a while ago-but now it's gone?????? Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: Info Barbara Allen
From: Barry Finn
Date: 07 Feb 98 - 01:23 PM

Art, this is not the same thread, this was started back in Jan. 97, I just brought it back up because of the recent post, thought it would be of current interest. Barry


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Subject: RE: Info Barbara Allen
From:
Date: 07 Feb 98 - 02:17 PM

New thread is LYR ADD: Barb'ry Allen


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Subject: RE: Info Barbara Allen
From: Art Thieme
Date: 07 Feb 98 - 05:09 PM

TRULY SORRY folks! I'll get this to sink in my head eventually. Thanks for your tolerance and your patience! Art


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Subject: RE: Info Barbara Allen
From: Bruce O.
Date: 07 Feb 98 - 05:43 PM

You'll have to go some to match some of my goof-ups. You never saw something I made up yesterday for ballad-l, because I sent it to the Irish music list, where I doubt anyone had the vaguest idea what it was about, except for a few that are also on ballad-l.


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Subject: RE: Info Barbara Allen
From: therapon
Date: 18 Feb 98 - 01:58 AM

The song's been explained to me as an allegory on the tortured relationship between Scotland (Barb'ry Allen) and England (Sir John Grey). England, therefore, is benevolent and presumably wants only the best for Scotland. But Scotland's cruel stand-offishness ruins their relationship (and, in the end, Scotland). Not a subtle reading, but y'all get my point. A possible (though not necessary) corollary of that interpretation is that we should understand the ballad as originally English propoganda. Does anyone know the historical circs. of the late 16th century vis-a-vis these two lands (since I gather the ballad is at least that old)? Or any specific information on the song's origins? Or, simply, your thoughts.


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Subject: RE: Info Barbara Allen
From: Paul Stamler
Date: 18 Feb 98 - 02:58 AM

I have my doubts that the song is meant as an allegory about anything; it has always struck me as a straightforward narrative song about two people who lose each other through what we would now call poor communication skills. And I also doubt that Burl Ives had much to do with the song's widespread popularity, since it was ubiquitous in the English-speaking world long before he was born.

As to recordings, there are hundreds of great ones. Among my favorites are Hedy West's (which, by the way Moira, is on "Old Times and Hard Times", Folk-Legacy), Shirley Collins's ("Power of the True Love Knot", Hannibal, and probably also elsewhere), Art Thieme's cowboy version ("Outright, Bold-Faced Lies", Kicking Mule), and a wonderful version with steel guitar on a Library of Congress record I found in the library with its jacket missing. I think there's also a Woody Guthrie recording, recently reissued.
Peace. Paul (who once dated someone named Barbara Allen, and lived to tell the tale.)


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Subject: RE: Info Barbara Allen
From:
Date: 18 Feb 98 - 10:19 AM

This two links is getting confusing. See thread 'Barb'ry Allen' also. I'll bring it to top.


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Subject: RE: Info Barbara Allen
From: Bruce O.
Date: 18 Feb 98 - 04:37 PM

Therapon, see the other thread for early history.


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Subject: RE: Info Barbara Allen
From: therapon
Date: 19 Feb 98 - 01:32 PM

Thanks, Bruce, but unfortunately the history related in the other thread is more of the manuscript-tradition type. It doesn't address what the song, if it is more than a straightforward narrative, might be about. One reason to take it as an allegory is the rose that grows from Sir John Grey's grave. His is an explicitly English, as oppposed to Scottish, name, and the rose often stands for England, as in the House of the Rose. Witness "the red rose of England shall flourish no more" (The Death of Queen Jane).

P.S. Is there any way to combine the two threads so that you don't have to call them up separately? It would save time both for those with the questions and those with the answers.


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Subject: RE: Info Barbara Allen
From: Bill D
Date: 19 Feb 98 - 03:27 PM

therapon..the best you could do would be to open two windows and view them alternately...or even side by side if you desire...so you could look back and forth and compare...


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Subject: RE: Info Barbara Allen
From: Bruce O.
Date: 19 Feb 98 - 03:52 PM

Therapon,
Fanciful history sells so much better than real history. Publishers have long known that. In Rollins' 'Cavalier and Puritan', p. 77, is reprinted a ballad by Martin Parker, "An Exact Description of the Manner of How His Majesty and His Nobles Went to the Parliament on Monday, April 13, 1640" (ZN701). It was printed at the Horse-shoe in West Smithfield (by Ed. Griffith's widow). It had been entered in the Stationers' Register on March 20 (Rollins' 'Analytical Index', #2548). Having copies ready to sell to the observers of the parade at the time was great for sales. Parades are parades, seen one, seen them all, and we need not bother with the facts, they just mess up our pretty pictures.


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Subject: RE: Info Barbara Allen
From: Bruce O.
Date: 19 Feb 98 - 05:53 PM

According to the 'Encylopedia Britannica' the last Sir John Grey died in 1461. This was a little over 200 years before Pepys first mention of the song "Barbara Allen". Where is the first mention of the supposed connection of Sir John Grey with "Barbara Allen"?


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Subject: RE: Info Barbara Allen
From: Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca
Date: 19 Feb 98 - 06:20 PM

Bruce O. -- some of the earlier reports of speeches in the English parliament were entirely made up by the hack writing them. I believe that Samuel Johnson used to do this in his younger days -- he'd know the gist of the speech, and provide the particulars himself.


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Subject: RE: Info Barbara Allen
From: Jerry Friedman
Date: 19 Feb 98 - 11:17 PM

I'm inclined to agree with Bruce and Paul in finding no allegory in "Barbara Allen". And I don't understand why some people (not necesssarily anyone here) seem to think that art is more important if it's an allegory (a tradition that in the west dates back at least to the Jews' accepting the Song of Songs into the biblical canon).

However, I'm more on Therapon's side in believing that the question must be addressed by literary judgement of early lyrics of the song, possibly guided by tradition. The factual history of the song contributes knowledge of early lyrics (and the historical period in which you might look for comparisons), but nothing that I see that helps us understand those early lyrics.

Incidentally, even if we knew the original version and could tell for sure it wasn't an allegory, later changes might still have allegorical intent. And if "Sir John Grey" in some version is meant as a typical English name, then there's no point in comparing it to real Sir John Greys.

And also incidentally, we'll probably never know the answer (unless in that missing ur-version, the lover's name is Sir John Bull and Barbara's grave grows a thistle).


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Subject: RE: Info Barbara Allen
From: Bruce O.
Date: 19 Feb 98 - 11:41 PM

On the other thread I pointed out another song earlier than any known version of "Barbara Allen" that told the same story, but without the last 'rose bush and briar' verse. Later versions rarely change the meaning of earlier ones. They are not written by historians who know more about the subject than the author. No matter how variant the text may be of "The Demon Lover/ The House Carpenter", no matter who performs some wversion well, Laurence Price's ballad 'A Warning to married women" of Feb. 1657 is the original of the Child ballad, and accoring to that the woman was a Mrs. Jane Renalls of Plymouth, and the seaman was a James Harris, and the point of departure was Plymouth. There are many several other names for the principals that turn up in later traditional versions, these prove nothing about the original ballad. The border widow's lament in DT is not a version of the ballad. Some have taken this to be the original version of Price's ballad. It is a song based on Prices's ballad, but actually on the massacre of Glencoe in Feb. 1692. Robert Burns stated that Dr. Blacklock told him that. I have an unpublished early copy of the song from a Scots MS of c 1715 (much earlier than any version yet published) that proves this to be correct. So much for another fanciful theory.


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Subject: RE: Info Barbara Allen
From: Bruce O.
Date: 20 Feb 98 - 12:18 AM

The real truth is usually more interesting that the speculative history. I was the 1st to point out that Child #243 was by Laurence Price. I was the 1st to find that it was entered in the Stationers Register in Feb. 1657. I also (alone, so far) maintain that is was probably based on a real tale that Price got in exaggerated form from Plymouth. The ballad copy with Price's initials was published in the Euing Collection, 1972. Although John Russel Smith's catalog of the collection in 1856 didn't note the author, the sale catalogue of the Heber collection, c 1832, did, and I knew the author years before the only copy identifying it with Price was published. H. E. Rollins' in 'Analytical Index to the Ballad Entries' had identified all the Child ballads that had earlier appeared as broadside ballads in the 17th century, all but one, that is, he overlooked the entry of Price's balad, Child #243. Besides that I also pointed out Price's authorship of two other Child ballads (#106, "The Famous Flower of Serving Men", and #147, "Robin Hood's Gollden Prize") and two English folksongs in a book review in 'Journal of the Folklore Society of Greater Washington', IV, p. 28, 1973. Factual histories are fun to work out and there's still lots to be done. Why bother with speculative interpretations?


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Subject: RE: Info Barbara Allen
From: therapon
Date: 20 Feb 98 - 09:01 AM

The people who do speculative interpretations are interested in questions which factual histories cannot answer. Less in what the song was that was sung, rather in why it was sung. These, if you prefer, are literary and perhaps sociological questions, as opposed to strictly historical ones. But these are narrow categories, more profitably approached in conjunction with one another than in exclusion of one another.


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Subject: RE: Info Barbara Allen
From: Bruce O.
Date: 20 Feb 98 - 01:07 PM

The death knell of that kind of thinking and logic (called traditional) was sounded on Nov. 18, 1660 when Mr. Wren gave a lecture to Lord Brouncker, Robert Boyle (Boyle's Law), Mr. Bruce, Sir Robert Moray, Sir Paul Neile, Dr. Wilkins, Dr. Goddard, Dr. Petty, Mr. Ball, and Mr. Hill at Oxford University. The following year, with addition members to the group, it was called the Royal Society, but the formal royal charter wasn't issued until 1663, and about that time Robert Hook (Hooke's Law) became one of two 'curators of experiments'. Issac Newton didn't join until Dec. 22, 1671. I will here give my own interpretation modus operandi of the Royal Society. Don't speculate, go out and observe carefully, collect facts and try to systematize them.

The speculative method of determining the number of teeth in a horse's mouth hadn't worked. One needed a horse. Speculation about how many Angels can dance on the head of a pin will probably continue until we have a better supply of Angels. [I think the 1990's will be called the decade of the 'Great Angel Hysteria', but it hasn't produced a single bona fide Angel, so we can't even clone enough for the experiment, and the question remains unanswered to the best of my knowledge.]

C. P. Snow (a scientist) wrote a book in 1959 pointing out the great gap between the literary intellectuals and scientists, noting it was the literati who named themselves as the only intellectuals, leaving out Edwin Hubble, John von Neumann, Norbert Wiener, Albert Einstein, Niels Bohr, and Werner Heisenberg.

Snow suggested in 'The Two Cultures', 1963, that a 'third culture' would arise that would bridge the gap between the literati and the scientists. This is far from realization as yet. Norm Cohen, who commented on 'The Origins of John Henry' in a recent thread, bridged that gap. However, scientists didn't know he was a world class researcher in folklore, and folklorists didn't know we was a world class scientist.

In the second sentence of the Introduction of 'The Third Culture' p. 17, 1995, John Brockman wrote 'In the past few years, the playing field of American intellectual life has shifted, and the traditional intellectual has become increasingly marginalized.'

The reason is simple. The speculative approach has led to very few advances in human progress. The steam engine, electricity, telephone, automobile, modern medicine aren't from literati.

[The gap was almost bridged in the late 18th century when Ann Home married John Hunter. She wrote the now lesser known 'The Flowers of the Forest' that's in the 1st volume of 'The Scots Musical Museum' in 1772, shortly before her marriage. Her song of c 1782, "Alknomook, or the Death Song of the Cherokee Chiefs" has been collected at least in Michigan and Virginia, as a traditional song. While she entertained the likes of Handel (who composed a tune for her "My mother bids me bind my hair") in the drawing room, her husband, sometimes with her father, were busy in a backyard labratory dissecting corpses. John Hunter is known as the father of modern surgery. John's brother, William, wasn't a researcher, but he was a good doctor and made a lot of money. He used it to buy old manuscripts. His collection, now the Hunterian Collection of MSS at Glasgow University Library is one of the best collections of renaissance MSS that there is, anywhere. In these we find the early versions of many folktales that are still around.]

I never saw the first laser, but two months after it first worked I saw the 2nd one work. This was not the work of literati. One of my high school friends, J.T.R., no literati, figured out a way to use one (his wife is a chemist and viola player). He didn't like the way that phono needles ruined his recordings. He figured out how to use a laser to read and write on a plastic disk, and got it to work in 1965. It's called a compact disk, and he has somewhere around 30 patents on it, all of the basic ones. He doesn't work alone anymore. He figured out the basics of a system with no moving parts, and formed his own company to develop it. Last year Microsoft invested heavily in it, and they are now expanding the research and support staff and looking for a bigger building.

Nathan Kappani wrote many papers on optical fibers, which practically nobody read, until small solid state lasers were developed, and then, boom, many thousands of messages could be sent simultaneously over a single fiber. Kappani wasn't a literati, but his English was excellent, although not his native language

Speculative thinking just doesn't work very well. The results are usually proven wrong, although it sometimes it takes a while to do this. We just can't predict very well. Something totally unexpected usually happens to shake us out of our fondest beliefs. Homo Sapiens isn't as sapiens as he would like to believe.

'Why' questions always have a near infinity of answers, and no one knows any way of figuring out which answer is 'right'. It's 'how' questions that lead to positive results. ['Why' did the chicken cross the road? I have no idea; I've never been able to communicate very well with any chicken that I've known. 'How' did the chicken cross the road. Many that I've noted didn't make it across; they aren't very smart (the sky is falling, the sky is falling); they walked until it was too late. Chickens are not totally flightless, I've seen them fly to about 5 1/2 feet high, but don't remember how far they could go. I wasn't a chicken rancher for very long, and really didn't enjoy chopping off their heads. It used to be popular to say don't be a turkey, soar with the eagles, but a bird brain is a bird brain, regardless of the body it's in.]

Back to 'right'. Here I'm at a handicap because there is really no precise definition of right, correct, perfect, fact, or truth. They are just theoretical concepts that prove handy in many situtations, but we don't know for certain if any of them really exist. This is somewhat akin to the Heisenberg uncertainty principle in quantum mechanics (reciprocal speading in elecronics is really the same thing, and very important in the design of the circuitry that allows you to read this). We can narrow down the size of a box, in which they must be found, to some extent, but we can't give a precise statement of exactly where they are.

The real question is 'how', not 'why'. Quite simple, really.


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Subject: RE: Info Barbara Allen
From: Jerry Friedman
Date: 20 Feb 98 - 02:06 PM

As a Ph.D. in physics, I have to answer your comments, Bruce. First of all, I was not saying that later versions change the meaning of earlier ones. I was saying that later versions may have different meanings. For instance, the story of Hamlet can be traced back to an episode in the history of Denmark by Saxo Grammaticus. But a great deal in Shakespeare's play is not in Saxo.

On the same subject, Bruce, your logic seems to suggest that we not bother to ask whether Shakespeare's Hamlet contains any material on irresolution or what kind of person would pretend to be insane or the power of ideas received from art in influencing our decisions. (The last is something I see as important in the play.) Some of those questions may be undecidable, and heaven knows many have disagreed on them, but anyone staging the play has to address them.

To get back to "folk" music, I don't know whether Tommy Makem has ever commented on his intention in the words of "Four Green Fields". Should my lack of knowledge prevent me from considering that it might be an allegory, or indeed concluding that it is one? I enjoy it much more because of that obvious interpretation. (For those who don't know the song, I believe it's in the DT--and I recommend it.)

What good is speculating on whether some version of Barbara Allen might be an allegory? Well, someone might choose to perform it based on that interpretation, perhaps even talking to the audience about the speculation (but I hope not presenting it as fact) before singing. Or someone might be prompted to write his or her own song describing the relation between England and Scotland as a relation between a man and a woman. Or the discussion might interest someone in learning something about British history.

You mention Niels Bohr as an intellectual, Bruce, and I admire his work in physics greatly. He also believed that everything must be complemented with its opposite--for example, physics must be complemented with poetry.


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Subject: RE: Info Barbara Allen
From: Bruce O.
Date: 20 Feb 98 - 02:50 PM

I have one of those Ph. D. things too. Mine was in P. Chem. but my job title was Physicist. I was also a doctoral thesis research advisor and that of post-docs, and a world class researcher and leader in my field, but now retired. [You can check me out in 'American Men of Science'.]

But are these later revised versions really to be considered the same song? I don't consider them so. Shakespeare's 'Hamlet' isn't considered to be a version of Saxo Grammaticus' history.

I did mention a few instances of complementarity between science and the arts, but it would be impossible for any one person to try to list them all. I know that several others that contribute here (and are singers and instrument players) including Susan of DT, have professional scientific backgrounds, too.

Songs can (and for me often did) interest one in history, but they rarely provide accurate history. See, e.g., the English and Scottish early versions of "Chevy Chace" noted in my internet broadside index. The songs are practically the same until the last few verses where losses on each side are noted, then the differences become striking.


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Subject: RE: Info Barbara Allen
From: therapon
Date: 20 Feb 98 - 03:32 PM

Ah, but isn't that exactly what's interesting? Why do the songs for the respective sides record the number of losses differently? Presumably, because each side wanted to represent itself as having succeeded. One could explore the implications of such self-representation in many ways. That the numbers differ shows that in one respect, the songs are historically inaccurate. But, if you go beyond what they say to what they might mean (i.e., why they say what they say), they begin to tell you other things about their history. Personally, I think such revelations constitute more important knowledge about the past than the knowledge of how many men actually died in the battle, but I recognize that in the context of this discussion, that opinion is only one of many. That is an argument we could address later. Right now, all I want to know is, does anyone think that such a question does not fall within the provenance of the historian?


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Subject: RE: Info Barbara Allen
From:
Date: 20 Feb 98 - 04:11 PM

Methodologies is the new thread for the last and future postings along this line.


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Subject: RE: Info Barbara Allen
From: Art Thieme
Date: 22 Feb 98 - 10:24 PM

In Del Bray's B.A. it states of the rose and the thorn: "They tangled 'round the MARKER ROCKS, They couldn't grow no higher, And there they formed a true love knot, The rose and the thorny briar.

MARKER ROCKS were put on top of graves out west for one purpose only---to keep WOLVES from digging up the body!! And that's why "they couldn't grow no higher".

AND there weren't no bells out there either (at least not at first). The cattle just moaned their heads off though---as in Del Bray's version.

And WHAT'S THE SONG ALL ABOUT?? No politics at all!! It's about 2 kids in love and their FAILURE TO COMMUNICATE!! Pride gets in the way! A universal human story told over and over. If he were still around Joe Campbell'd probably agree.

Art


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Subject: RE: Info Barbara Allen
From: Art Thieme
Date: 23 Feb 98 - 10:15 AM

I should've added a "SMILE" to the above after seeming to take an obviously more modern version of B.A. so seriously. (By B.A. I mean Barbara Allen and not a scholastic degree of any kind; none of those here. (SMILE AGAIN) Being so new to the computer, how DOES one indicate all the facial expressions, body language, tone of voice and all the other ways we indicate our emotions or that we might be only kidding? When I tell a tall tale everyone knows it's that and it's supposed to be funny. Not so in print on this computer. It projects deadly seriousness. Even jokes are less funny on this. Art


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Subject: RE: Info Barbara Allen
From: Bill D
Date: 23 Feb 98 - 11:38 AM

well, there are the infamous 'smileys' where it's done sideways with textlike.... :-), or, for a wink... ;-)...or a frown....:-(, there are hundreds of these, some amazingly creative)...you can learn 'em if you please...(I usually just use *smile* or *grin* or *wink*, or whatever because I am a mediocre typist) and if you know certain tricks, you can do this (wink)! But that depends on knowing where to find the little icon and using that naughty 'html' stuff...I'm hoping to persuade Max to provide a set of 'inhouse' icons sometime, because linking to one 'out there' depends on the page being 'up', and it tempts folk to post pictures that are too big...Max is almost ready to give us a way to post tunes, so maybe 'small' icons would be ok too.....stay tuned...(not necessary to say that to a musican, huh?)


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Subject: RE: Info Barbara Allen
From: Bill D
Date: 23 Feb 98 - 11:57 AM

oh....you can go here (or many other places) to find lists of 'smileys'


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Subject: RE: Info Barbara Allen
From: Bruce O.
Date: 23 Feb 98 - 12:12 PM

Art's last paragraph in his posting of 10:24 P.M. puts it in a nutshell. No one could do better, as far as I can see.


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE RUINED LOVERS
From: Bruce O.
Date: 23 Feb 98 - 05:57 PM

[Indent even numbered lines in verses]

THE RUINED LOVERS.

Being a rare Narrative of a young Man that dyed for his cruel Mistress, in June last, who not long after his own death, upon a consideration of his intire Affection, and her own coyness, could not be comforted, but lingered out her dayes in Melancholy, fell desperate sick, and so dyed.

Tune of, Mock-beggers Hall Stand Empty.
[For tune see Simpson's BBBM, p. 155 and p. 517.]

Mars shall to Cupid now submit,
for he that gain'd the glory;
You that in Love were never yet,
attend unto my story,
For it is new, 'tis strange and true
as ever age afforded;
A tale more sad, you never had
in any Books recorded.

A Young-man lately lov'd a Maid
more than his life or fortune,
And in her ears the same convey'd,
for thus he did importune:
Dear, pity me, the Lover cry'd,
Sweet let thy heart come to me;
And often said unto the Maid,
Love me, or you'l undo me.

I never was ingag'd before,
I must and will be true t'ye,
Love never made me cry and roar,
untill I saw thy beauty.
No creature cou'd of flesh and bloud,
bring more delight unto me:
Which makes me cry perpetually,
Love me, or you'l undo me.

He made Adresses to the Maid,
and profered to advance her:
I cannot love thee, then she said,
pray take it for an answer:
In many wayes, he sung her praise,
Love shot his Arrow thorow me,
Why did not he, do so to thee,
Love me, &c.

She made him such a straight reply,
he durst no more come near her:
Quoth he I will go home and dye,
since there is nothing dearer.
The joyes of all the Christian World,
(said he) are nothing to me;
'Tis Death only, can set me free:
Love me, &c.

He took his Bed, he rag'd and burn'd,
(sure this must greatly grieve him.
His schorchin love was wuickly turn'd
into a burning Feaver:
And then he dy'd, but first he cry'd,
O! will she not come to me:
Then sheds a tear; his last words were,
Love me, or you'l undo me.

The second part, Containing the misery, sorrow, and death of the Maid.

To the same tune.

The Virgin when she heard news
was very greatly troubled;
And when ye coffin'd Corps she views,
her woes were all redoubled;
And hast thou dy'd for me she cry'd,
thou hast in love out-run me,
Too late I may, thus sadly say,
Thy death hath quite undone me.

Had I a thousand worlds, I would
give them all to restore thee,
For I am guilty of thy bloud,
how dare I satand before thee;
I am a Murdress, woe is me,
Let all true Lovers shun me;
And I must cry untill I dye,
Thy death hath, &c.

It is in vain for me to live,
thy memory will haunt me,
I only have short Reprieve,
thy sorrows daily daunt me;
Where ever thy, dead Corps do lye,
(since thou in death hast won me)
I will be laid, a wofull Maid,
Thy death hath quite undone me.

With that the tears fell from her eyes
she could no longer bear it,
For Love and Death did tyrannize,
she could no longer bear it.
Pray have me home to bed she cry'd,
my sorrows over-run me
I am rewarded for my pride;
Thy death hath quite undone me.

She took her bed and in her head,
a thousand frantick dreans are,
Sadly she lyes, and in her eyes
a hundred flowing streams are;
What wretched fool am I? cry'd she,
O whether am I going? [whither
Poor soul (she cry'd) and so she dy'd:
Thy death hath, &c.

Let all fair Maids that are in love,
by this poor Soul take warning,
Lest that like her, you sadly prove
the purchase of her scorning:
Let all by this, mend what's a miss,
before grief over run-[ye];
Lest you be forc'd to die, and cry,
Thy death hath quite undone me.
FINIS

London, Printed for F. Coles, T. Vere, and J. Wright. [1663- 74]

This issue of this song seems to be the earliest extant, and may or may not antedate the mention of "Barbara Allen" in Pepys diary on Jan. 2, 1666. The ballad from which the tune is derived cannot be dated precisely. Ebsworth in 'Roxburghe Ballads' VII, p. 763 puts it at 1636-42, but Harper printed ballads in 1643, and even issued a chapbook in 1660. I think from this tune citation (c 1640-50?, and not used on any other known broadside ballad) that the ballad above is probably a reissue of one of the late 1640's or 50's. The repeat in the 3rd from last verse is the type of error one finds in reprints, where the typesetter's eyes strayed from the correct line on his text source. [Ballads were mostly reprinted from a copy of the most recent previous issue, so errors accumulated. This give rise to some reprinted ballads with strange titles when the old copy had the top torn off, and some strange tune directions, too, ones that won't fit the ballad.]

I strongly suspect, but can't definitely prove, that "Barbara Allen" was based on the above song.


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Subject: RE: Info Barbara Allen
From: GUEST,skottie
Date: 30 Sep 17 - 10:34 PM

well, I still don't know if " a which boy to the mountain came" ( barbara allen} was written by the playrights or is another version of the original ballad?


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Subject: RE: Info Barbara Allen
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 01 Oct 17 - 06:12 AM

Library Lectures Go To Manchester

These popular lectures are now venturing beyond the walls of Cecil Sharp House for the first time, taking place this autumn at the magnificent Chetham's Library in Manchester.

THE BALLAD OF CHETHAM'S LIBRARY: MUSIC AND PRINTING WORKSHOP
FRIDAY 27 OCTOBER 2017, 4.30PM - 6.30PM FREE

Come and listen to ballad singer Jennifer Reid talk about her recent research trip to Bangladesh, where she explored Manchester and Lancashire song traditions, and how they relate to Bangladeshi songs of the same type. Jennifer will also perform a couple of folksongs from the Lancashire area similar to "Barbara Allen", whose long and fascinating history will be described in depth during Vic Gammon's Library Lecture later on in the day.

Again as an introduction to Vic Gammon's talk, participants will be able to get a free letterpress version of "Barbara Allen" as produced by local printer Graham Moss from Incline Press in Oldham. There will be a chance to finish these copies with your own choice of illustrations by the hand of artist Desdemona McMannon and printer Stephen Fowler, who will provide a number of specially commissioned rubberstamps for this workshop.

2/3 Barbara Allen: Broadside Ballad, Theatre Song, Traditional Song by Vic Gammon
Friday 27 October, 7–8.30pm

3/3 Drink, Song and Politics in Early Modern England by Angela McShane
Thursday 30 November, 7–8.30pm


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Subject: RE: Info Barbara Allen
From: EBarnacle
Date: 01 Oct 17 - 11:05 AM

My first exposure to Barbra Allen was a written version during my callow childhood in the 1950s. It was sung by a frontiersman accompanying a youth from one town to another via the wilderness. The youth is the narrator of the book. Among his comments was that he was surprised at the amount of noise the frontiersman made while walking through the forest, constantly singing the song except when hunting. [Various verses appear here and there though the text.] I don't recall the name of the book.


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Subject: RE: Info Barbara Allen
From: FreddyHeadey
Date: 01 Oct 17 - 12:11 PM

thanks hp
here are the links for Manchester Oct 27, 2017

4.30PM - 6.30PM FREE
http://library.chethams.com/whats-on/the-ballad-of-chethams-library-music-and-printing-workshop/ 



7PM - 8.30PM £8
http://library.chethams.com/whats-on/barbara-allen-broadside-ballad-theatre-song-traditional-song-with-vic-gammon/ 


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