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Lyr Add: The Grey Cock (NOT Penguin version)

DigiTrad:
GREY COCK
GREY COCK (2)
NIGHT VISITING SONG
OH, ARE YOU SLEEPING MAGGIE
SWEET WILLIAM'S GHOST
WESTRON WYND (3)


Related threads:
Lyr Req: A version of Sweet William's Ghost (5)
Lyr Req/Add: The Cocks Are Crowing (31)
Lyr Req: Sweet William's Ghost (Hughie Jones) (23)
Child's 'Grey Cock' (19)
Lyr Req: Lover's Ghost (30)
Lyr Req/Add: My Pretty Crowing Chickens (10)
Lyr Req: Willie-O (from Cathal McConnell) (11)
Penguin: The Grey Cock (24)
Lover's ghost (9)
Lyr Req: The Lover's Ghost (5)
Lyr Req: Lover's Ghost (request only) (3)
Lyr Req: Well Met, My Own True Love (14)


Uncle_DaveO 01 Oct 02 - 05:21 PM
Malcolm Douglas 01 Oct 02 - 08:17 PM
Uncle_DaveO 01 Oct 02 - 10:51 PM
Uncle_DaveO 01 Oct 02 - 10:52 PM
toadfrog 01 Oct 02 - 11:28 PM
Malcolm Douglas 01 Oct 02 - 11:40 PM
Uncle_DaveO 02 Oct 02 - 10:06 AM
Willa 02 Oct 02 - 02:11 PM
Desert Dancer 02 Oct 02 - 05:22 PM
toadfrog 02 Oct 02 - 10:18 PM
Malcolm Douglas 03 Oct 02 - 04:27 AM
toadfrog 03 Oct 02 - 03:03 PM
Uncle_DaveO 31 Jul 03 - 12:02 PM
John MacKenzie 31 Jul 03 - 12:17 PM
GUEST,MMario 31 Jul 03 - 12:24 PM
Malcolm Douglas 31 Jul 03 - 01:33 PM
GUEST,Lighter 04 Aug 03 - 02:26 PM
GUEST,Q 04 Aug 03 - 03:53 PM
The Sandman 08 Mar 16 - 09:42 AM
GUEST,leeneia 09 Mar 16 - 01:13 AM
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Subject: Lyr Add: THE GREY COCK (not Penguin version)
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 01 Oct 02 - 05:21 PM

The Grey Cock

I must be going, no longer staying
The burning Thames I have to cross
And my feet must be guided without a stumble
Into the arms of my dear lass.

And when he came to his true love's window
He stood on tiptoe upon a stone
And there he rapped at his true love's window,
"Oh, my dear love, are you alone?"

She raised her head from her down-soft pillow
And snowy were her milk-white breasts
Sayin', "Who's there, who's there, at my bedroom window,
"Disturbing me from my long night's rest?"

"Oh, I'm your lover, and don't discover.
"I pray you to rise, love, and let me in
"For I'm fatigued out of my long night's journey.
"Besides, I'm wet unto the skin."

Now this young girl rose and put on her clothing
She went downstairs for to let him in
Oh, they kissed, shook hands, and embraced each other
Until that long night was near an end.

"Oh, Willie, dear, oh my dearest Willie
"Where is that colour you'd some time ago?"
"Oh, Mary dear, the clay has changed me.
"I'm but the ghost of the man you knew."

"Oh, cock, oh, cock, oh my handsome cockerel,
"I pray you not crow until it is day,
"And your wings I'll make of the very best beaten gold,
"Your comb I'll make of the silvery grey."

But the cock, he crew, and he crew so fully;
He crew three hours before it was day
And before it was day, my love had to go away
Neither by the light of the moon or the light of day.

"Oh, Willie dear, oh, my dearest Willie,
"Whenever shall I see you again?"
"When the fish, they fly, love, and the sea runs dry, love,
"And the rocks, they melt by the heat of the sun."

From the singing of A.L. Lloyd in the early 50s, a collection done with Ewan McColl, called "The Scottish and English Popular Ballads".

DRO

Click for Penguin "Grey Cock" thread


Grey Cock and Grey Cock 2 in the Digital Tradition.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Grey Cock (NOT Penguin version)
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 01 Oct 02 - 08:17 PM

Oh, it's the "Penguin" version alright, even if recorded before that book was published. You have to remember that Lloyd was one of the editors. This set was recorded a couple of times from Cecilia Costello in Birmingham, 1951: either she sang it slightly differently on each occasion, or Lloyd changed a few words on this particular recording; at all events, one of Mrs. Costello's verses was omitted both in Lloyd's recording and in the Penguin book.

Would you quote the source information from the record, if you have it?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Grey Cock (NOT Penguin version)
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 01 Oct 02 - 10:51 PM

Would that I had that set of records! Seven hours of unaccompanied ballads, sung by A.L. Lloyd and Ewan McColl. Wonderful!

In about 1958, I think it was, I borrowed the set from an acquaintance. I had to put up my ENTIRE folksong collection, probably thirty or thirty-five records at the time, as hostage for that set's safe return to him.

I don't remember the publisher label, but the label went out of business and the masters were sold to another company, and thence, as I understand it, to an English company, which I'm informed has no interest in reissuing the set.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Grey Cock (NOT Penguin version)
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 01 Oct 02 - 10:52 PM

As to "Not the Penguin Version", I searched the DT, and the version in the DT is said to be the Penguin Version, and is not this that I have posted.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Grey Cock (NOT Penguin version)
From: toadfrog
Date: 01 Oct 02 - 11:28 PM

Dave O, a question. I have disks 1 and 2 of a set also called "The English and Scottish Popular Ballads," recorded by Folkways, beginning in or about 1964. FG 3509 and 3510. Could those be a later generation of the same recordings? No one much on Mudcat seems to be familiar with the ones I have.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Grey Cock (NOT Penguin version)
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 01 Oct 02 - 11:40 PM

There are two Grey Cocks in the DT; neither is from the Penguin book. Neither claim to be, though you may have been confused by the new references at the top of each page to the Mudcat Midi entry, which is from Penguin.

GREY COCK is a standard night-visiting song transcribed from a Ewan MacColl record, with no traditional source named.

GREY COCK (2) is a fake, dog's-breakfast collation cobbled together from four quite separate texts and two different tunes (!) by Stephen Sedley (1967), who, I'm afraid, didn't know what he was talking about; though it's understandable that he was fooled by the extravagant reactions consequent on the discovery of Mrs. Costello's Grey Cock, which was just exactly what people were hoping for at the time. Hugh Shields (The Grey Cock: Dawn Song or Revenant Ballad? (Ballad Studies, ed. E.B. Lyle, 1976) has debunked the supernatural theory, but it will doubtless take another quarter of a century to filter through here. As I said earlier, the "supernatural" elements in her text are (as Shields demonstrated) borrowed from another, completely unrelated song.

The "Penguin" set has been posted to the Forum in 1998: Lyr Add: THE GREY COCK or THE LOVER'S GHOST

...and in 2000: THE GREY COCK or THE LOVER'S GHOST

The text you've posted is, as I've said, a very slightly modified set of these two last.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Grey Cock (NOT Penguin version)
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 02 Oct 02 - 10:06 AM

I see that you are right. My search had only found the (2) version, for some reason.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Grey Cock (NOT Penguin version)
From: Willa
Date: 02 Oct 02 - 02:11 PM

Eliza Carthy sings this on "Waterson:Carthy" TSCD 475 Sleeve notes say "The song comes from a recording made in the '60s of a Mrs.Cecilia Costello, an Irish woman living in Birmingham." The words are as in the first post to this thread.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Grey Cock (Penguin version)
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 02 Oct 02 - 05:22 PM

I've added (that is, transcribed) some more background to the Penguin: The Grey Cock thread, available above.

~ Becky in Tucson


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Grey Cock (NOT Penguin version)
From: toadfrog
Date: 02 Oct 02 - 10:18 PM

Malcom, please correct me if I'm wrong, but I had thought there was no "traditional" As She Moves through the Fair, but that it was an art song composed by one Joseph Campbell. And I think I recall a previous thread where you remarked that Margaret Barry had added the "dead love." Am I mistaken in this?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Grey Cock (NOT Penguin version)
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 03 Oct 02 - 04:27 AM

At that time I thought it possible that the addition had come from her, but further investigation reveals that she learned the song from a John McCormack record, and that he sang dead love on that recording; he looks like the most likely culprit at the moment, but there's a story that occasionally surfaces to the effect that the change was due to a misprint in some book (or perhaps sheet-music); nobody ever seems to know precise details, though.

She Moved Through the Fair isn't really a traditional song, true; but it was made from traditional components, being based closely on versions of Out the Window / Next Market Day, and Margaret Barry's involvement with it confused the issue rather. It's a classic example of a bogus (though in this case very effective) supernatural interpretation being grafted onto a song that wasn't meant to be anything of the kind, though, which is why I mentioned it in the other Grey Cock discussion; perhaps unwisely!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Grey Cock (NOT Penguin version)
From: toadfrog
Date: 03 Oct 02 - 03:03 PM

I must have confused the two threads. On reading my message, I wondered where the one I replied to had gone.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Grey Cock (NOT Penguin version)
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 31 Jul 03 - 12:02 PM

I'm puzzled. In the first verse of the version I posted above, the text is:
             I must be going, no longer staying
                The burning Thames I have to cross


What's the significance of "the burning Thames"?   The Thames I know, of course, but "burning"?   Perhaps that the water is hurtful to a ghost?

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Grey Cock (NOT Penguin version)
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 31 Jul 03 - 12:17 PM

I have a recording of Lorna Campbell, and the Ian campbell Folk group singing exactly this version. They called it The Unquiet Grave.
Giok


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Grey Cock (NOT Penguin version)
From: GUEST,MMario
Date: 31 Jul 03 - 12:24 PM

no documentation to back this up - but I found the following statement -

"The "burning Thames" ...was the traditional folkloric boundary between the dead and the living."


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Grey Cock (NOT Penguin version)
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 31 Jul 03 - 01:33 PM

There's no evidence at all of that, I fear; someone probably made it up to explain the line. Still, people will make hopeful, romantic guesses and repeat them until they become received wisdom. According to Hugh Shields, it's probably a corruption of a line that appears in another night-visiting song, I Must Away; having originally been "The burning tempest". See above, and the other thread, for more details.

Presumably the Campbells called Mrs Costello's song The Unquiet Grave on the strength of the verses borrowed from Willy O, itself a broadside derivative of Sweet William's Ghost (Child 77). The Unquiet Grave (Child 78) is a different story, though there are some general similarities.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Grey Cock (NOT Penguin version)
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 04 Aug 03 - 02:26 PM

The MacColl-Lloyd recordings of "The English & Scottish Popular Ballads" appeared on the Riverside label around 1957-58. They were reissued (as were many Riverside LPs) on the Washington label.
The three Folkways albums, all sung unaccompanied by MacColl with, I think, some different ballads and/or versions, came out in the early '60s. You can still order the latter from Smithsonian Folkways, but the Riverside/Washington set is now a collector's item.

MacColl and Peggy Seeger also did a multi-album set of Child Ballads for Argo Records some years later. This was called "The Long Harvest,"
and many prefer it (Seeger actually accompanied a few cuts on various instruments). I still recall MacColl's scary rendition, a capella, of Mrs. Brown's text of "Lamkin."


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Grey Cock (NOT Penguin version)
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 04 Aug 03 - 03:53 PM

Brenning eyes, sparkling of their light- c. 1430. The burning threads of woven cloud unravel- 1821. Examples from the OED.
In other words, bright or luminous (poetic).


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Grey Cock (NOT Penguin version)
From: The Sandman
Date: 08 Mar 16 - 09:42 AM

i prefer the morning tempest , i have to cross.
what a shame some of the posters who have since died could not come back from the dead for a night, and tell us all about the afterlife, and the supernatural. i hope malcolm douglas and a l lloyd are getting on well.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Grey Cock (NOT Penguin version)
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 09 Mar 16 - 01:13 AM

I agree that it's probably something about a tempest.

However, there have been burning rivers because of terrible pollution and also because of fuel burning after escaping from wrecked ships.


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