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Lyr Req: Holmfirth Anthem

DigiTrad:
HOLMFIRTH ANTHEM


Related thread:
(origins) Origins: Holmfirth Anthem/Through the Groves (27)


Schantieman 23 Sep 02 - 01:22 PM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 23 Sep 02 - 05:36 PM
Malcolm Douglas 23 Sep 02 - 08:28 PM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 23 Sep 02 - 08:34 PM
Wolfgang 24 Sep 02 - 04:57 AM
GUEST,Sarah 24 Sep 02 - 05:19 AM
Ringer 24 Sep 02 - 11:04 AM
Malcolm Douglas 24 Sep 02 - 11:21 AM
GUEST,Sarah 24 Sep 02 - 11:29 AM
Ringer 24 Sep 02 - 01:04 PM
GUEST,Sarah 24 Sep 02 - 01:44 PM
Noreen 24 Sep 02 - 05:15 PM
Schantieman 25 Sep 02 - 02:03 PM
Snuffy 25 Sep 02 - 07:07 PM
Nigel Parsons 27 Sep 02 - 04:25 AM
Ringer 27 Sep 02 - 05:32 AM
Ringer 27 Sep 02 - 05:37 AM
Noreen 27 Sep 02 - 05:56 AM
Malcolm Douglas 27 Sep 02 - 10:22 AM
Ringer 27 Sep 02 - 11:48 AM
IanC 13 Oct 05 - 04:30 AM
Dave Hanson 13 Oct 05 - 05:26 AM
IanC 13 Oct 05 - 06:04 AM
Keith A of Hertford 13 Oct 05 - 06:34 AM
GUEST,CamoJohn 13 Oct 05 - 07:10 AM
Matthew Edwards 13 Oct 05 - 07:37 AM
Mrs. Holroyd 13 Oct 05 - 03:58 PM
Tootler 13 Oct 05 - 04:25 PM
Malcolm Douglas 13 Oct 05 - 05:27 PM
Tradsinger 14 Oct 05 - 02:18 PM
el_punkoid_nouveau 14 Oct 05 - 02:40 PM
Malcolm Douglas 14 Oct 05 - 04:18 PM
Matthew Edwards 04 Apr 06 - 08:32 AM
Joe Offer 09 Nov 06 - 01:37 PM
The Borchester Echo 09 Nov 06 - 01:55 PM
The Sandman 09 Nov 06 - 01:58 PM
The Sandman 09 Nov 06 - 02:06 PM
Matthew Edwards 09 Nov 06 - 03:48 PM
Joe Offer 09 Nov 06 - 04:06 PM
Matthew Edwards 09 Nov 06 - 05:28 PM
Tootler 09 Nov 06 - 05:49 PM
Matthew Edwards 09 Nov 06 - 06:28 PM
Folkiedave 09 Nov 06 - 06:41 PM
The Sandman 10 Nov 06 - 03:10 AM
nutty 10 Nov 06 - 05:59 AM
The Sandman 10 Nov 06 - 06:48 AM
Scrump 10 Nov 06 - 08:42 AM
r.padgett 10 Nov 06 - 11:07 AM
Matthew Edwards 10 Nov 06 - 01:00 PM
The Sandman 11 Nov 06 - 04:33 AM
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Subject: Holmfirth Anthem
From: Schantieman
Date: 23 Sep 02 - 01:22 PM

Hi guys

From time to time I sing 'Holmfirth Anthem' - a brilliant song in my humble opinion.

Trouble is, I'm not absolutely sure of the words. I've done a Digitrad search without success.

In particular:

Was it a 'sunny, summer's evening clear' when I walked abroad for pleasure?

?'The first evening thet e'er I beheld her
Was ever, ever, ever with the lass I adored' ?

.... We'd gone to Bradford for a curry one night and during the preceding pub crawl, sang this in an enormous smoke-stained Victorian pub, while the flamenco guitarist was having a rest. (There was virtually nobody else in the place). When we got to the bit about fighting he French and Spaniards, he got up and walked out!...

Anyway, back to the show: Can anyone put me straight?


Click for lyrics in the Digital Tradition


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Subject: Lyr Add: HOLMFIRTH ANTHEM
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 23 Sep 02 - 05:36 PM

Also From http://www.acronet.net/~robokopp/english/holmfirt.htm:

Holmfirth Anthem
The Pretty Flowers or Through the Groves
Melody - Traditional, from Yorkshire
J. Perkins?

 
|: Abroad for pleasure as I was a-walking
On one summer summer's evening clear :|
There I beheld a most beautiful damsel
Lamenting for her shepherd swain.
 
The fairest evening that e'er I beheld thee
Evermore with the lad I adore
Wilt thou go fight the French and Spaniards
Wilt thou leave me thus my dear?
 
No more to yon green banks will I take thee
With pleasure for to rest myself and view the lambs
But I will take thee to yon green gardens
Where the pretty flowers grow.


This florid and idyllic fragment was called the Holmfirth Anthem because the people of Holmfirth, Yorkshire, were so fond of singing it and may still be heard in the Yorkshire Dales. J. Perkins lived near Holmfirth and was so musical he called one of his sons Mendelssohn Perkins. But he may not have really written the song at all, merely gained fame by arranging it for four voices, and that the song was far older than J. Perkins.


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Subject: RE: Lyr req: Holmfirth Anthem
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 23 Sep 02 - 08:28 PM

The DT texts are more-or-less identical (apart from the fact that the title of one is badly mis-spelled), and I imagine that "Home Firth" (!) was added by mistake; the text George has added here is also the same. We still sing it here in Yorkshire. "Pretty" is generally pronounced "Pratty", by the way.


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Subject: RE: Lyr req: Holmfirth Anthem
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 23 Sep 02 - 08:34 PM

Thanks Malcolm. I was just showing the reference at the bottom.

Seems like a nice song.


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Subject: RE: Lyr req: Holmfirth Anthem
From: Wolfgang
Date: 24 Sep 02 - 04:57 AM

On Garry Gillard's Watersons site (with notes): Holmfirth Anthem

Wolfgang

Holmfirth Anthem
Sung by The Watersons on their 1966 LP The Watersons and re-released on their 1994 CD Early Days.
Abroad for pleasure as I was a-walking
On one summer summer's evening clear
There I beheld a most beautiful damsel
Lamenting for her shepherd swain

The fairest evening that e'er I beheld thee
Evermore with the lad I adore
Wilt thou go fight the French and the Spaniards
Wilt thou leave me thus my dear?

No more to yon green banks will I take thee
With pleasure for to rest meself and view the lambs
But I will take you to yon green garden
Where the pretty pretty flowers grow


Source-note: Although the liner notes to The Watersons (1966 Topic 12T125) do not indicate the Watersons' source for this song, the following is as likely a source as any: A Fine Hunting Day: Songs of the Holme Valley Beagles (Leader LEE 4056), recorded by David Bland on March 24, 1973, released 1975. It just doesn't get more authentic than this recording: the "The Holmfirth Anthem" sung by the citizens of Holmfirth itself. This beautiful rendition is led by a local sheep farmer, Arthur Howard, at the Village Hall in Upperthong (in the Holme Valley). If one needs any confirmation that the singers are a touch lubricated (this was the last song of the evening), one need only listen for the crash of a trestle table at the end of the song. The Watersons may well have learned this song from the Holmfirth singers themselves and not from the recording, but the harmonies and phrasing of the original seem to indicate a strong link. (Note by Bob Hudson.)
New: 14 March 1998 | Now: 30 May 2001 | Transcribed by Garry Gillard, with thanks to Steve Willis for corrections, and to Bob Hudson for the note.


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Subject: RE: Lyr req: Holmfirth Anthem
From: GUEST,Sarah
Date: 24 Sep 02 - 05:19 AM

Locally, it's called Pratty Flowers!

Cheers Sarah


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Subject: RE: Lyr req: Holmfirth Anthem
From: Ringer
Date: 24 Sep 02 - 11:04 AM

Does the rest of Yorkshire pronounce "pretty" as pratty? (If they do I've never heard it.) The Watersons pronounce it "pretty". I once heard a know-it-all in a session try to maintain that pratty flowers were a specific variety of flower (cf gilly-flowers = antirhinums (sp?)). Any info?


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Subject: RE: Lyr req: Holmfirth Anthem
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 24 Sep 02 - 11:21 AM

I meant generally in this song. It's just a local pronounciation, so far as I know.


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Subject: RE: Lyr req: Holmfirth Anthem
From: GUEST,Sarah
Date: 24 Sep 02 - 11:29 AM

When I said locally, I meant local to Holmfirth, as that is the area where I live. There is (or was) also a pub called the Pratty Flowers.

There are many different Yorkshire dialect words - dpon't know how far 'pratty' extends.

Cheers Sarah


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Subject: RE: Lyr req: Holmfirth Anthem
From: Ringer
Date: 24 Sep 02 - 01:04 PM

But do you use "pratty" except in this anthem, Sarah? Do you or your neighbours ever say, eg to your daughter, "You're looking very pratty today"?


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Subject: RE: Lyr req: Holmfirth Anthem
From: GUEST,Sarah
Date: 24 Sep 02 - 01:44 PM

Nope - I don't claim to come from Yorkshire, I just live here. The local name for the song is, however, Pratty Flowers as opposed to pretty flowers.

Cheers Sarah

PS I don't sing either unfortunately (or fortunately). I'm a mere fiddler.


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Subject: RE: Lyr req: Holmfirth Anthem
From: Noreen
Date: 24 Sep 02 - 05:15 PM

Wherever I've heard this sung (Lancashire, Yorkshire and elsewhere) it's pronounced pratty, but never heard anyone pronounce it that way in speech.

Noreen
in Lancashire


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Holmfirth Anthem
From: Schantieman
Date: 25 Sep 02 - 02:03 PM

Thanks, everyone. I had looked in DT but didn't find it. I have now!

I've heard 'pratty' sung as 'praty' (with a long a) and have been told it means potatoes. Anything in this?

And why summer summer's evening? ('cept coz that's the way it is!) I prefer sunny!

(I wouldn't dare sing this in Yorkshire though!)

Steve


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Holmfirth Anthem
From: Snuffy
Date: 25 Sep 02 - 07:07 PM

Praties for potatoes is an Irish, not a Yorkshire usage.

WassaiL! V


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Subject: ADD: Last of the pratty flowers
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 27 Sep 02 - 04:25 AM

And now, a whimsical addition!

(LAST OF THE) PRATTY FLOWERS
Nigel Parsons (music Ronnie Hazelhurst)

Abroad as I for pleasure walked,
Upon a summer's evening clear.
A beauteous maid I there beheld
Lamenting one most dear.

That fairest e'en that I saw thee
Forever with him I adore
Wilt thou go fight 'gainst France and Spain
And leave me thus my dear?

No more to those green banks we'll go
To watch the lambs, while peace we know
But I'll take thee to yon green fields
Where (the) pratty flowers grow

Written as a whimsy, keeping the meaning of the original, but adjusting to match the metre of the tune which most British television viewers will associate with Holmfirth. If (the) is included in the last line, it requires a 'grace note'
NP

for those who watched "Last of the summer wine", "Pratty Flowers" - the Holmfirth Anthem was sung by Compo when Seymour was sewing his trousers in the episode "Big Day at Dream Acres".


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Holmfirth Anthem
From: Ringer
Date: 27 Sep 02 - 05:32 AM

Can anyone cite any Yorkshire reference to "pretty" being pronounced pratty except in The Holmfirth Anthem?

(I'm fairly convinced it's an affectation only connected with this song, you see. But I've absolutely no evidence one way or the other. Except... why do the Watersons, Yorkshire born & bred, pronounce it normally?)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Holmfirth Anthem
From: Ringer
Date: 27 Sep 02 - 05:37 AM

PS: I'll accept Lancashire references as well, since Holmfirth is not far from the border.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Holmfirth Anthem
From: Noreen
Date: 27 Sep 02 - 05:56 AM

I will consult my sources!

(Sounds to me more of a Lancs/Yorks border, Dales pronunciation than East Yorks /Waterson country. Yorkshire is a big place!)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Holmfirth Anthem
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 27 Sep 02 - 10:22 AM

Sidney Oldall Addy's Glossary of Words used in the Neighbourhood of Sheffield (1888) has

PRATTY, adj. pretty. M.E. prati, A.S. prætig.

That pronounciation seems to be less common now than in former days.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Holmfirth Anthem
From: Ringer
Date: 27 Sep 02 - 11:48 AM

Malcolm, that's the first hard fact I've ever seen on the subject. So much for my being convinced! Thanks.


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Subject: Lyr Add: ABROAD FOR PLEASURE (Songster vn)
From: IanC
Date: 13 Oct 05 - 04:30 AM

The Watersons' version is taken from a music sheet in the possession of Frank Kidson, giving J. Perkins as the composer of the song. He apparently lived near Holmfirth and was supposedly so musical he called one of his sons Mendelssohn Perkins. I've looked up J. Perkinses and M. Perkinses in Yorkshire in both the 1881 and 1901 censuses and there isn't anybody who fits the bill and certainly no Mendelsson Perkins.

Kidson thought that J. Perkins had not really written the song at all, merely gained fame by arranging it for four voices, and that the song was far older than J. Perkins. He is probably right as his music sheet, with J. Perkins as author, is almost certainly No. 10 from Wood's Collection of Glees. Here's the British Library catalogue entry.

Author Perkins, J.
Title Pretty Flowers ... Song and Chorus known as the Holmfirth Anthem.
year   [1896]
descr. fol.
Series ( Wood and Sons. Wood's Collection of Glees, etc. No. 10)


The song occurs in various forms outside Yorkshire. Vaughan Williams noted a version in Hampshire and F. Keel foud a variant in Surrey in 1913.

The Bodleian Library Broadside Collection has a single version of this song ... see Bodlein Broadside Version. Being published in a songster, the song is almost certainly earlier than the date of 1850 given and the version shows signs of having been summarised from another song and incompletely recorded (e.g. "Darling" or something similar for "Evening" would make verse 2 a bit more sensible). Details are as follows.

Sheet Title: The Singer's Album
Printer:    Jacques, G. (Manchester)
Date:       c.1850
Imprint:    Printed, and Sold Wholesale and Retail, by G, Jacques, Oldham Road Library, Manchester
Illus. Ballads on sheet: 11 (the song is No. 8)
Note: Stamped: Bodleian Library, Percy Manning Collection, 1917. Large format
   
Copies: Firth b.28(36)


Here's a transcript.

ABROAD FOR PLEASURE

Abroad for pleasure as I was walking,
It was one summer's evening clear,
And there I beheld a most beautiful damsel,
Lamenting for her shepherd dear,

Dearest evening when shall I behold thee
Evermore the lad that I adore,
Wilt thou go fight with the French or Spaniards?
Shall I ever see thee more?

No more to yonder green banks will I take thee
With pleasure for to rest thyself,
And view yon lands, but I will take you
To yon green mountain, where the pretty flowers grow.

:-)
Ian


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Holmfirth Anthem
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 13 Oct 05 - 05:26 AM

As far as I know only the Watersons sing " pretty flowers " the alternative tile as already stated is ' The Pratty Flowers ' certainly in Yorkshire anyway.

eric [ in Yorkshire ]


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Holmfirth Anthem
From: IanC
Date: 13 Oct 05 - 06:04 AM

from "Those were the days" (1937) by Ammon Wrigley

... a fellow traveller from "over t'other side" said, "Do yo' know wat it wor coalled th'Holmfirth Anthem for?" "I suppose it was because the song had it's origin in the village" Ammon said. "Nah, awll tell yo' this tale just as mi nont Mary teld it I' yar haase a score o'toimes. Shoo comes fro' Holmflrth an' shoo said ther wor beawn to bi a grand concert I' Holmfirth at wor getten op bi a greight musicianer I' Huddersfilt. Soa he put pappers I'th' shop windows 'at said at cloise o'th concert ivverbody wod sing th' National Anthem. Soa one neet Daff o'th Bak Rooad an' Joss o'th'Pig Hoils an Billy Bluenoase wor drinking at Fat Doddy's an Daff said "It's getten abaat toime wi knew summat abaat this Nashunum Anthem, soa wi con bi larnin' th' chorus" "Yus, that's reight" BiUy said, "but wat soart of a song is this Nashunum Anthem"? "Nan o'Slap's is i yar haase" Daff said, "Shooll know summat. Goa an' tell her shoo's wanted Joss. When Nan came into the taproom Daff said, "What's this Nashunum Anthem wi're ole beawn to sing?'"Yo' greight bullyeds!" Nan said, "Aw'm sure ther nivver wor sich silly fooils ivver born of a woman. Aw wodn't ha' believed ther wor sich ignoramusers i'Holmfirth. It's "Pratty Flowers" that's wat it is" "Well nah mi nont Mary said it wor a grand concert an' when th' Chairmon said " Yo'll o' Stand up an' sing th' National Anthem" well up jumped Billy Bluenoase & Joss o'th'Pig Hoills an brasted off wi' Pratty Flowers. Then the ole fooak, women & childer an' ivverybody, started singin' it. Th' Chairmon kept shaati' an' wavin' is' arms for 'em to stop, but thi' thowt he wor conductin, an' thi sang till thi' guiders o' ther necks stuck aat loike whipstocks. By gum, Chairmon wor sum nattle abbaat it"

:-)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Holmfirth Anthem
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 13 Oct 05 - 06:34 AM

Wonderful story.
Just mad enough to be true.
I want it to be true.
Keith.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Holmfirth Anthem
From: GUEST,CamoJohn
Date: 13 Oct 05 - 07:10 AM

I sing it halfway between pretty and pratty.. "Pret-ee" I guess.
After all, the rest of the song isn't in Yorks dialect and if I think too hard about it I'll just forget the words :-)

Lovely song, though.
If you like it, try the Lealholm Anthem too.

CamoJohn


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Subject: Lyr Add: Through the Groves
From: Matthew Edwards
Date: 13 Oct 05 - 07:37 AM

That's a wonderful story Ian, which ought to be true!

Ken Stubbs remarked on the similarity to the song Through the Groves sung by Pop Maynard but so far as I know he didn't record or publish it. A recording by Brian Matthews made in 1961 appears on the Musical Traditions CD MTCD 400-401 Pop Maynard 'down the Cherry Tree'. This is my attempt at transcribing the words:-

Through the Groves

Through the groves as I was walking
Early on one summer morn,         
There I beheld the most fair pretty damsel,
Lamenting for her shepherd boy.   

Dearest Annie, shall I ever see you again
Sweet lass I fear?                        
For I'm going to fight the French and Spaniard
Canst thou spare me thus my dear?

Never more to the banks shall I take me
Isn't it a pleasure for to see those lambs.
So charming and so innocent
Sporting by their fleecy dams.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Holmfirth Anthem
From: Mrs. Holroyd
Date: 13 Oct 05 - 03:58 PM

I have two copies of the sheet music for Holmfirth Anthem which have been in my possession for over 30 years, and which were yellowed and dog-eared when I came across them.
The first one is No.10 of Woods Collection, entitled PRATTY FLOWERS The Popular Song & Chorus known as the HOLMFIRTH ANTHEM composed by J. PERKINS, published by J.Wood & Sons Ltd, Huddersfield and Bradford.Unfortunately, it is undated! It does give the last line of the first verse as "lamenting for her shepherd DEAR" (not SWAIN) as is popularly sung.
The second version, published again by Woods is entitled "The Yorkshiremsn's Birthright" "PRATTY FLOWERS" - Ancient Ballad and Chorus (The Holmfirth Anthem)by J. Perkins.

I first heard this song sung many more years ago than I can remember, by Kathleen Fawthrop, one of the EFDSS stalwarts from Bradford, who insisted that the last line should be sung as "Where the pra-a-aty flowers grow"

On the back page is a version of "On Ilkla Moor Baht 'at" with a curious "extra verse" which goes
"God Bless the man that kills a pig
And gives his neighbour a fry
And after that a lump o' fat
And then a gurt stand pie"


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Holmfirth Anthem
From: Tootler
Date: 13 Oct 05 - 04:25 PM

The Watersons are from Hull which is in East Yorkshire and Holmfirth is in West Yorkshire and they way they speak in the two areas is quite different.

My wife comes from near Holmfirth and I have always heard it sung Pratty Flowers round there. The tune is also popular with brass bands locally.

I now live in Middlesbrough (North Yorkshire) and how they speak here is different again. As someone said earlier, Yorkshire is a large county and accents (and dialect, such as is left) varies quite a lot across the county.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Holmfirth Anthem
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 13 Oct 05 - 05:27 PM

See IanC's post above for the approximate publication date of the first example mentioned by Mrs Holroyd.

Roy Palmer (Bushes and Briars: Folk Songs Collected by Ralph Vaughan Williams. Lampeter: Llanerch, 1999, p 178) refers to an 18th century slip song, 'The Maiden's Complaint for the Loss of her Shepherd' as the earliest known form of a longer song from which the 19th century versions presumably derive. Copies are at the British Library and in the Madden collection at Cambridge; approximate date 1790.

The Roud Folk Song Index lists the song group at number 1046, and includes a set in Christie's Traditional Ballad Airs I, 1876, 222-3, which would likely be more closely related to the earlier form; textually, the resemblance to Holmfirth and its closer relatives is fairly slight.

The question of pronounciation was dealt with in this (recently revived) thread a couple of years ago; but with the posts currently out of order, it may be difficult to see that. Hence perhaps the tendency to labour the point.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Holmfirth Anthem
From: Tradsinger
Date: 14 Oct 05 - 02:18 PM

The Roud index, which I regard as the bible on English-language collected songs, gives 17 entries for Holmforth Anthem/Abroad for Pleasure/Through the Groves, which it treats as variants of the same song. Curiously, collectors did not start to note Yorkshire versions of the song until the 1960s, but variants of it were collected, mainly in Hampshire, in the early years of the C19. There is an 1850 broadside which has the same words as the Holmforth Anthem.

A Hampshire version which I sing goes:

Through the groves as I was a-walking, out one summer's evening clear (repeat)
Twas there I spied a beautiful damsel, lamenting for her shepherd dear
Lamenting for her shepherd dear.

Boldly then I stepped up to her and she blushed as I drew near
I said 'Fair maid, what is your trouble, and what makes you lamenting here?'

She said 'Kind sir, if you can believe me, my trouble's more than I can bear
For my true lover, he's gone and left me, across the seas, I know not where.

Oh, where's my shepherd, I love him dearly, how could I love him any more
He's gone, he's gone, he's gone and left me, I ne'er shall see him again, I fear.

Down by yonder flowery garden, where the river runs so clear
'Twas there I left this maid lamenting, and down her cheek there ran a tear.

I rather like this. You think it's going to be a broken token ballad where the girl recognises the bloke when he reveals himself to her ... so to speak ... but instead he just b*****s off and leaves her crying. No happy ending there, then.

Gwilym


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Holmfirth Anthem
From: el_punkoid_nouveau
Date: 14 Oct 05 - 02:40 PM

Well how would T'Watersons know how to pronounce it - they're from 'Ull!

My life in Folk Clubs started in Penistone, nobbut a stones throw from Holmfirth. The song was often sung at the close of an evening, and everyone stood for it, much in the way of a National Anthem. For which the rest of God's Own use Ilkley Moor. I digress - it was always sung as pratty flowers. I never knowingly heard anyone say it this way in common speech, but then when you live with something like that, you don't notice it...

epn - condemned to a life South o't' Trent!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Holmfirth Anthem
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 14 Oct 05 - 04:18 PM

A broadside of c.1850 is quoted above, and is close in essentials to the Holmfirth set. I wouldn't say it has "the same words", but Holmfirth certainly includes some of its oddities. Is there another, Gwilym, or is that the one you meant?

As to pronounciation, we probably now have as much confirmation of that as anybody could reasonably want or need.

What tunes were used for examples found in the south and west? Are they related?


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Subject: Lyr Add: 'TWAS THROUGH THE GROVES
From: Matthew Edwards
Date: 04 Apr 06 - 08:32 AM

This is the Hampshire version as sung by Daniel Wigg. The words are rather different from the other versions given above.


'TWAS THROUGH THE GROVES

'Twas through the groves the other day
One morning by the break of day,
'Twas there I heard a fair maid say,
The lad I love is gone astray.

O hark, O hark, what voice I hear,
I think it is my dearest dear.
If I had wings I would fly to him
To see what love, true love could bring.

If I had a lock fixed to my breast
I'd keep it locked whilst life shall last,
With a golden lock and a silver key
To keep my heart from going astray.

Over hills and dales and shady rocks
Where shepherds do attend their harmless flocks,
Over hills and dales and valleys low
The hills and dales were covered with snow.

On the banks of lilies I lay my head,
The heavens above shall be my comrade.
There I will lay till the break of day,
The harmless lambs shall round me play.

Roud Index #1046

Collected by George Gardiner from Mr Daniel Wigg at Preston Candover by Alresford, Hants, July 1907. The text is as printed in James Reeves, The Everlasting Circle, (London, Heinemann, 1960) p.165.
Gardiner's mss., which are held at the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library, include the music to this song.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Holmfirth Anthem
From: Joe Offer
Date: 09 Nov 06 - 01:37 PM

I got this personal message today:
    The words are incorrect, you have cited the watersons version.the version, sung by the people of Holmfirth, Should be Shepherd dear[not swain]and view the land,not view the lambs, yours respectfully.
I don't have time to research the song myself, but I think I'd disagree with the questioning of "swain" and agree with the questioning of "view the lambs." Anybody care to submit corrections to the DT version of the lyrics?

Here are the DT lyrics:

HOLMFIRTH ANTHEM

1. Abroad for pleasure as I was a-walking
    On one summer summer's evening clear (repeat 1st 2 lines)
    There I beheld a most beautiful damsel
    Lamenting for her shepherd swain (bis)

2. The fairest evening that e'er I beheld thee
    Evermore with the lad I adore
    Wilt thou go fight the French and Spaniards
    Wilt thou leave me thus my dear?

3. No more to yon green banks will I take thee
    With pleasure for to rest myself and view the lambs
    But I will take thee to yon green gardens
    Where the pretty flowers grow

From the singing of the Watersons.
From the village of Holmfirth in Yorkshire.
@parting @love
filename[ HOLMFRTH
TUNE FILE: HOLMFRTH
CLICK TO PLAY
JB
    10 Nov: I listened to the Watersons recording on their Early Days CD - the DT version is an exact transcription of what the Watersons sing, so we're not likely to want to change the DT entry.
    -Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Holmfirth Anthem
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 09 Nov 06 - 01:55 PM

I'm from a part of Yorkshire even more distant from the village of Holmfirth than the Watersons and thus speak with absolutely no authority. However, I've never heard "shepherd dear" (even though it rhymes with "evening clear"). But "lambs" rather than "lands"? Yes.

The flowers though, I think, ought to be "pratty".


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Holmfirth Anthem
From: The Sandman
Date: 09 Nov 06 - 01:58 PM

go to, what is traditonal folk music thread, click on to the message from Scrump, third from last ,and all will be revealed.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Holmfirth Anthem
From: The Sandman
Date: 09 Nov 06 - 02:06 PM

HEREIT is http;//white rose saddleworth. net/news15. htm
thats supposed to be a full colon after http


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Holmfirth Anthem
From: Matthew Edwards
Date: 09 Nov 06 - 03:48 PM

I'm not sure that when talking about a traditional song there can ever be a 'correct' version, only versions which are true to their traditional sources. Its clear from the posts in this thread and here Origins: Holmfirth Anthem/Through the Groves that there are lots of versions from all round England, dating back to 1790, or possibly 1782.

However given that the arrangement of Pratty Flowers by J. Perkin around 1857 for the Holmfirth Choral Society standardised the words and tune for local usage at least, it would seem fair to say that if you are going to sing this in or around Holmfirth it would be better to fall in with the accepted local tradition.

The original copy by Perkin had "view the lands" whereas most later local copies are given as "view the lambs" so that is what is generally sung nowadays, but it is possible to slur your words so that nobody will notice. However anybody singing "shepherd swain" instead of "shepherd dear" will definitely attract a hard glare in this part of Yorkshire. Elsewhere, including neighbouring parts of Yorkshire, "swain" is regarded as correct so that poor visitors who have learned the 'definitive' version in Upperthong will find themselves reviled on the other side of the moor.

There are also (to an outsider) a bewildering number of different ways of distributing the lines between solo and choral parts, but nevertheless the song is best experienced in a tumultuous chorus where the final lines seem to be repeated endlessly in a lung bursting wave of sound that carries all before it until the furniture crashes to the floor.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Holmfirth Anthem
From: Joe Offer
Date: 09 Nov 06 - 04:06 PM

For the sake of this discussion, I think it's worthwhile to copy-paste the message from Scrump:
    Thread #95495   Message #1880303
    Posted By: Scrump
    09-Nov-06 - 12:22 PM
    Thread Name: So what is 'TRADITIONAL' Folk Music ?
    Subject: RE: So what is 'TRADITIONAL' Folk Music ?

    I found this on the web which might clarify things a bit (or not, depending on whether you can speak the lingo) regarding the Holmfirth Anthem:

    It's origin, apart from it's creation is most unclear. Ammon Wrigley in "Those were the days" tells us that the musical setting was written by Joe Perkins in about 1850, but that the words Ammon suggests were strung together by three or four handloom weavers in some Holmfirth alehouse. Ammon recounts the following meeting at an inn on the moors and a fellow traveller from "over t'other side" said, "Do yo' know wat it wor coalled th'Holmfirth Anthem for?" "I suppose it was because the song had it's origin in the village" Ammon said. "Nah, awll tell yo' this tale just as mi nont Mary teld it I' yar haase a score o'toimes. Shoo comes fro' Holmflrth an' shoo said ther wor beawn to bi a grand concert I' Holmfirth at wor getten op bi a greight musicianer I' Huddersfilt. Soa he put pappers I'th' shop windows 'at said at cloise o'th concert ivverbody wod sing th' National Anthem. Soa one neet Daff o'th Bak Rooad an' Joss o'th'Pig Hoils an Billy Bluenoase wor drinking at Fat Doddy's an Daff said "It's getten abaat toime wi knew summat abaat this Nashunum Anthem, soa wi con bi larnin' th' chorus" "Yus, that's reight" BiUy said, "but wat soart of a song is this Nashunum Anthem"? "Nan o'Slap's is i yar haase" Daff said, "Shooll know summat. Goa an' tell her shoo's wanted Joss. When Nan came into the taproom Daff said, "What's this Nashunum Anthem wi're ole beawn to sing?'"Yo' greight bullyeds!" Nan said, "Aw'm sure ther nivver wor sich silly fooils ivver born of a woman. Aw wodn't ha' believed ther wor sich ignoramusers i'Holmfirth. It's "Pratty Flowers" that's wat it is" "Well nah mi nont Mary said it wor a grand concert an' when th' Chairmon said " Yo'll o' Stand up an' sing th' National Anthem" well up jumped Billy Bluenoase & Joss o'th'Pig Hoills an brasted off wi' Pratty Flowers. Then the ole fooak, women & childer an' ivverybody, started singin' it. Th' Chairmon kept shaati' an' wavin' is' arms for 'em to stop, but thi' thowt he wor conductin, an' thi sang till thi' guiders o' ther necks stuck aat loike whipstocks. By gum, Chairmon wor sum nattle abbaat it"

    From http://whiterose.saddleworth.net/news15.htm with thanks


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Holmfirth Anthem
From: Matthew Edwards
Date: 09 Nov 06 - 05:28 PM

Er, Joe - if Scrump had checked this thread he/she would have seen that IanC had already posted that identical quotation from Ammon Wrigley over a year ago (13 October 2005). The article is superbly entertaining, but since it was first published in 1937 it isn't much help with establishing any facts about this song except to note that the song titled by Perkin as "Pratty Flowers" was by then (ie 1937) already widely known as The Holmfirth Anthem.

By the way Ammon Wrigley was a wonderful dialect writer, poet, and songwriter and his Brown Hare of Whitebrook is really good song indeed. He deserves more attention than he has had so far.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Holmfirth Anthem
From: Tootler
Date: 09 Nov 06 - 05:49 PM

My wife is from near Holmfirth and "Shepherd dear" is what I have always heard sung.

Oh and Matthew Edwards; in your enthusiam about the chorus, you forgot to mention that the only proper accompaniment is a brass band.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Holmfirth Anthem
From: Matthew Edwards
Date: 09 Nov 06 - 06:28 PM

Tootler - why might this song need accompaniment????

This is indeed a great favourite tune with brass bands, but the notion of combining a chorus of hunters from the Holme Valley AND a brass band would blow more holes in the Albert Hall than anyone could imagine!

Dave Eyre swears that over in Dungworth "shepherd swain" is the rule, which illustrates my original point that this song has a number of different local versions - all of which are traditional to a particular village, or even to a particular pub - so that nobody can claim that there is a 'correct' version and that nobody should try to impose what they believe to be right, but should rather respect the ways local singers use.

This is a much loved song and tune, which is kept alive because so many people enjoy it - even if not all of them can agree on how it should be sung.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Holmfirth Anthem
From: Folkiedave
Date: 09 Nov 06 - 06:41 PM

Hear Hear, and so it may go for other songs........

Billy Mills - a long time singer at Dungworth who died aged well past 80, used to sing "Christmas Tree". The words he sang were a mish-mash of misheard lyrics - but Bill sang it that way consistently all the years I knew him.

Were those the wrong words? And whose words were the right words?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Holmfirth Anthem
From: The Sandman
Date: 10 Nov 06 - 03:10 AM

sure, ok,
but then there is one definitive version published here on mudcat, with lambs instead of land, and swain, instead of dear.
so perhaps an amendment can be made,so people are aware how it was sung before the Watersons recorded it,.
as an independent outsider, as dear rhymes with clear, and lands seems more likely than lambs, I go wIth the Saddleworth version.
    PLUS the information from Mick Haywood who has been involved in yorkshire traditional music for forty years, and would have sung and heard the song, many times in its original location.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Holmfirth Anthem
From: nutty
Date: 10 Nov 06 - 05:59 AM

DICK ... THE WHOLE POINT OF MUDCAT is that there are no definitive versions but that people are made aware of differences such as these.

If you are wanting a definitive version to appear in the Digital Tradition Database - that is a different matte. You need to contact Dick Greenhaus about that.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Holmfirth Anthem
From: The Sandman
Date: 10 Nov 06 - 06:48 AM

I am wanting people to be aware that there are other ways of singing it, than the way the Watersons RECORDED IT, and that I have been told by a well informed AUTHORITY, that before the Watersons recorded it, it was sung as I have described it.
   In practice, if mudcat print a version[ the watersons ].people, [particuarly from other countries],will assume it is the definitve version,when it appears it is   probably not the version sung by people from Holmfirth.
The best accompaniment to the song is a pint at the Nook.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Holmfirth Anthem
From: Scrump
Date: 10 Nov 06 - 08:42 AM

Just seen this thread. I think the best thing to do to settle which is the definitive version is to ask the good denizens of Holmfirth what they actually sing. (Pity, I used to have a mate from there years ago but we've lost touch, or I could have asked him.)

With that in mind, the only recording I've heard is by the Holmfirth Rotary Club, and they definitely sing "shepherd dear". I think they do sing "lands" rather than "lambs" but of course these two words sound very similar when sung, so it's difficult to be 100% certain. And yes, they do sing "pratty" rather than "pretty", and the song is entitled "Pratty Flowers". So that seems to back up the Captain's theory that these are the correct words.

But as to whether the Watersons were 'wrong' to use slightly different words is difficult to prove, because the song's origins are not entirely clear (the Ammon Wrigley stuff I posted as only one explanation; there are others). Holmfirth may have laid claim to it as their anthem, but for all we know it could have originated elsewhere in Yorks (or even outside the county... maybe even Lancs - shock horror! ;-)), and there could be slight local variations as there are with many old songs. Maybe the Watersons got theirs from East Yorks - I don't know if it says on the album sleeve where they claim to have got it from (does it? anyone know?)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Holmfirth Anthem
From: r.padgett
Date: 10 Nov 06 - 11:07 AM

Swain s/b dear

Controversy over land and lambs

I 'prefer land' but Barry Bridegwater sings lambs

He was member of Holmevalley Tradition and now leads the tradtional South Yorkshire Carol session at 'The Fountain' Ingbirchworth having taken over a year or two ago from Cyril Latimer who died

Both Barry and Cyril (did) pitch in the lead note to the songs unlike Dungworth where there is an organist playing

Barry also sings 'Merry mountain Child' from Arthur Howard which was not sung before he took over

Pratty Flowers is often sung at least twice and is the final song usually

Ingbirchworth is the nearest recognised Sth Yorks carol session to Holmfirth being about 200 yards from West Yorks boundary

Holmfirth being in West Yorkshire

Ray


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Holmfirth Anthem
From: Matthew Edwards
Date: 10 Nov 06 - 01:00 PM

Captain Birdseye, a number of people have gone to great lengths to demonstrate that this inspiring song has lots of variations; that there are traditions of singing it in many other places besides Holmfirth; that the song existed before J.Perkin composed his Pratty Flowers arrangement which subsequently became known as the Holmfirth Anthem; and that even in Holmfirth the words have changed over time.

Why then are you still seeking the chimera of a 'definitive' version? Who will that help? You say that people from other countries may be misled into thinking that the version given in the DT is definitive. However anybody seeking further information about the song can easily find more than they bargained for here and elsewhere, and I am sure that the Watersons and Dick Greenhaus would all be horrified to think that anybody regarded the words printed in the DT as the only acceptable version or that there is any other version which has a higher claim to authority. The notes to the DT state that these are the words sung by the Watersons - I find that an accurate statement of fact. The notes also state that the song comes from the village of Holmfirth - this too is an accurate statement of fact. On this thread and elsewhere people from other countries can go on to learn that the song has genuine traditional variants in Holmfirth and other places in Yorkshire and England.

I relish the fact that a song can exist in so many different forms and at different times, and so long as people continue to sing it and adapt it then the song remains part of a tradition which is alive and evolving. If people come to believe there is only one 'correct' way to sing it then the tradition will have come to an end.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Holmfirth Anthem
From: The Sandman
Date: 11 Nov 06 - 04:33 AM

that is exactly the problem with one version on mudcat ,Iwould like to see the alternative [in my opinion the original,] put in AS WELL.IF I HAD NOT raised the topic, people from other countries might not be aware that the Watersons version, is not the only one, please take note of people like R padgett, who do know what they are talking about.PLEASE read my posts CAREFULLY.


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