Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafemuddy

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


Origins: Lily Of The West

DigiTrad:
FLORA THE LILY OF THE WEST
THE LILY OF THE NET


Related threads:
Lily of the West -history of (19)
Róise na nAmhrán's Lily of the West (16)
(origins) Origins: Flora Lily of the West (41)
Help: 'Lily of the West' known during Civil War? (40)
Lyr Req/Add: The Lily of the West (Knopfler/Chieft (20)
Lyr Add: Lily of the Net (3)


Jim Krause 02 Oct 02 - 12:17 AM
Haruo 02 Oct 02 - 04:41 AM
Nigel Parsons 02 Oct 02 - 04:57 AM
GUEST,Murray MacLeod 02 Oct 02 - 08:07 AM
Kim C 02 Oct 02 - 10:20 AM
Jim Krause 02 Oct 02 - 10:25 AM
GUEST,Arkie 02 Oct 02 - 11:42 AM
GUEST 02 Oct 02 - 12:52 PM
GUEST 02 Oct 02 - 01:57 PM
MartinRyan 02 Oct 02 - 03:11 PM
Brían 02 Oct 02 - 03:40 PM
GUEST,tim ryan 21 Jun 11 - 07:10 PM
Midchuck 22 Jun 11 - 04:09 PM
Don Firth 22 Jun 11 - 04:36 PM
frogprince 22 Jun 11 - 08:44 PM
GUEST,leeneia 23 Jun 11 - 01:48 PM
GUEST 23 Jun 11 - 02:00 PM
GUEST,leeneia 23 Jun 11 - 04:39 PM
Midchuck 23 Jun 11 - 04:58 PM
MGM·Lion 23 Jun 11 - 11:03 PM
GUEST,leeneia 24 Jun 11 - 01:59 AM
T in Oklahoma (Okiemockbird) 02 Sep 17 - 02:25 PM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:









Subject: Origins: Lilly Of The West
From: Jim Krause
Date: 02 Oct 02 - 12:17 AM

While on an extended camping trip in Pennslyvania, several of us were seated around in a large tent singing old songs. One fellow sang "The Lilly Of the West" so well. I began to wonder about the origins of the song, how old it might be and so forth. Does anybody know? The version that we heard that night is quoted below.
Jim

Lilly Of The West
When first I came to Ire - land, some pleasure for to find.
It's there I spied a damsel fair, so pleasing to mind.
Her rosy cheeks and sparkling eyes, like arrows pierced my breast.
And they call her lovely Molly - O, the Lilly of the West.

One day as I went wal - king, down by the shady grove,
I spied a lord of high degree, conversing with my love.
As she sang a song, de - lightfully, while I was sorely pressed.
Saying I bid adieu, to Molly - O, the Lilly of the West.

I stepped up with my rapier, and my dagger in my hand.
And I dragged him from my false love, and boldly did bid him stand.
But being mad with desperation, I swore I'd pierce his breast,
I was then deceived by Molly - O, the Lilly of the West.

I then did stand my trial, and boldly I did plea.
A flaw was in my indictment found, and that soon had me free.
That beauty bright I did adore, the judge did her address,
He said "go you faithless Molly - O", the lilly of the West

Now that I've gained my liberty, a roamin' I will go.
I'll ramble through old Ireland, and travel Scotland o'er.
Though she thought to swear my life away, she still disturbs my rest,
I still must style her Molly - O, the Lilly of the West.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Lilly Of The West
From: Haruo
Date: 02 Oct 02 - 04:41 AM

Is the ll in Lilly intentional? That sort of thing can wreak havoc when you're trying to search the DT or wherever. Might not hurt to reproduce the lyrics with canonical "Lily":

Lily Of The West

  1. When first I came to Ire - land, some pleasure for to find.
    It's there I spied a damsel fair, so pleasing to mind.
    Her rosy cheeks and sparkling eyes, like arrows pierced my breast.
    And they call her lovely Molly - O, the Lily of the West.

  2. One day as I went wal - king, down by the shady grove,
    I spied a lord of high degree, conversing with my love.
    As she sang a song, de - lightfully, while I was sorely pressed.
    Saying I bid adieu, to Molly - O, the Lily of the West.

  3. I stepped up with my rapier, and my dagger in my hand.
    And I dragged him from my false love, and boldly did bid him stand.
    But being mad with desperation, I swore I'd pierce his breast,
    I was then deceived by Molly - O, the Lily of the West.

  4. I then did stand my trial, and boldly I did plea.
    A flaw was in my indictment found, and that soon had me free.
    That beauty bright I did adore, the judge did her address,
    He said "go you faithless Molly - O", the Lily of the West

  5. Now that I've gained my liberty, a roamin' I will go.
    I'll ramble through old Ireland, and travel Scotland o'er.
    Though she thought to swear my life away, she still disturbs my rest,
    I still must style her Molly - O, the Lily of the West.

BTW, what is the odd hyphenation in the first line of v. 1 and the first and third lines of v.2 meant to convey? Is it related to the spaced-out "Molly - O"?

Haruo

PS: Done with "Automatic Linebreaks" turned off! :-)

Title changed for search purposes by Mud Elf. I have left the spelling in the body as posted, but changed the title so that this may be found by search engine


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Lilly Of The West
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 02 Oct 02 - 04:57 AM

Haruo: presumably the dash(-) is meant to indicate phrasing as the first two vesres have 13 syllables in line 1 whereas the others have 14,
V1 would thus have a pronunciation of "I-er-land" (like the football chant "EnGerLand!".
V2 would require two notes put to the first syllable of Walking.

Nigel


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Lilly Of The West
From: GUEST,Murray MacLeod
Date: 02 Oct 02 - 08:07 AM

Anyone who hasn't heard Holly Tannen's parody "Lily of the Net" should click on the link at the top of this thread. Funniest song I have ever learned.

Murray


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Lily Of The West
From: Kim C
Date: 02 Oct 02 - 10:20 AM

A lot of folks like this song with the Lakes of Ponchartrain melody - but looking back at some of the other discussions, this isn't the usual melody- ALTHOUGH, I am given to understand that this particular tune is itself very very old.

I believe I have read - and I'm just rattling my brain here - that one of the more traditional melodies is in a minor key, and somehow related to the House of the Rising Sun melody. Mister's uncle, an old folker in his own right, sings it that way.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Lily Of The West
From: Jim Krause
Date: 02 Oct 02 - 10:25 AM

Kim, A guitar teacher of mine many years ago gave me an arrangement of the minor version you mention.

Thanks to Mud Elf for the spelling korrecshun. Sumthymes I don't dew verrie gud, espeshullie lait at nyte.

Jim


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Lily Of The West
From: GUEST,Arkie
Date: 02 Oct 02 - 11:42 AM

I have seen references relating this song to Star of the County Down. I'll leave it to the scholarly types to argue the pros and cons.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Lily Of The West
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Oct 02 - 12:52 PM

See thread 36904, Help, Lily of the West, clickie at top of thread, exp. comments by Malcolm Douglas.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Lily Of The West
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Oct 02 - 01:57 PM

Does anyone know if the tune that Show Of Hands use is a traditional tune ?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Lily Of The West
From: MartinRyan
Date: 02 Oct 02 - 03:11 PM

Arkie

Star of the County Down is often used as the melody - I do it meself!

Regards


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Lily Of The West
From: Brían
Date: 02 Oct 02 - 03:40 PM

I have a version of this song by a Róise Bean Mhic Grianna(Rose Green) The melody appears to be THE HIRING FAIR AT HAMILTONSBAWN, but much slower, which is in the DT, but the midi is not working.

Rose, born in 1879 in Co. Donegal, Ireland, learned her songs from a variety of sources, as a servant girl in Co. Tyrone and the Laggan and as a tatie hoker in Scotland. She apparently learned this version from people on Arranmore Island returning from Chicago and Beaver Island, Michigan.

THE LILY OF THE WEST

I just came down from Lover's Well some pleasure for to find,
A handsome girl from Michigan so pleasing to my mind;
With rosy cheeks and sparkling eyes this arrow's pierced my breast
And they called her handsome Mary, the Lily of the West.

I courted her for many a day, her love I sought to gain
But too soon she slighted me which caused me grief and pain;
She stole away my liberty and deprived me of my rest
And they called her handsome Mary the Lily of the West.

As I roved out one evening down by a riverside
I spied a lord of high degree conversing to my bride;
He sang a song so merrily whilst I was sore oppressed
And he sang to handsome Mary, the Lily of the West.

I rushed up to my rival, a dagger in my hand,
I tore her from his arms and did him boldly stab;
Being mad with desperation my dagger pierced his breast
And I was betrayed by Mary, the Lily of the West

Yup, that's right. All her fault.      


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Lily Of The West
From: GUEST,tim ryan
Date: 21 Jun 11 - 07:10 PM

i have a handwritten copy of the song dated june 1830 from licking county ,ohio.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Lily Of The West
From: Midchuck
Date: 22 Jun 11 - 04:09 PM

I learned Joan Baez's version back in the early '60s, but I've heard the version first posted above done by the Chieftains, with the Tramps and Hawkers/Lakes of Ponchartrain/etc., etc. melody, and I like it. But the lines, "I stepped up with my rapier, and my dagger in my hand, and I dragged him from my false love, and boldly did bid him stand" always make me think, "Here, hold this dagger for me, wouldya?" How did he have enough hands?

Peter


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Lily Of The West
From: Don Firth
Date: 22 Jun 11 - 04:36 PM

I put that sort of thing into the same catagory as
Go saddle for me my milk-white steed
And bridle me my pony-o. . . .
I mean, how many horses have we got here? One with both saddle and bridle, or two partially dressed horses?

Gotta be a bit loose about these things, I guess. If you try to be too literal, you can drive yourself 'round the bend and chip a tooth while you're singing.

Don Firth


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Lily Of The West
From: frogprince
Date: 22 Jun 11 - 08:44 PM

The variants I heard first always hsd "When first I came to Louisville", which would date them to when Kentucky was the western frontier. I hadn't heard the song set in Ireland until now.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Lily Of The West
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 23 Jun 11 - 01:48 PM

Hi, Midchuck. I too heard Joan Baez sing this. The words I remember are:

I stepped up to my rival, my dagger in my hand.
I seized him by the collar and I boldly bade him stand.

(He probably seized him by the lapel, but that wouldn't scan.)

It's occurred to me how false and hypocritical these words are. The jerk has a knife, his rival is unarmed and taken by surprise, yet the jerk terms himself bold.

I've never liked this song.

What a blessing it would be if someone, somewhere, could find a cure for jealousy and possessiveness.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Lily Of The West
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Jun 11 - 02:00 PM

    Poster appears to be Dan Milner (brother of Liam), who needs to reset his cookie.

This one was frequently printed on ballad sheets (i.e. broadsides) during the 19th century, so it's that old at least. Most songs that appeared on broadsides were written for the trade but, still often enough, traditional songs were printed too.

Click on http://bodley24.bodley.ox.a c.uk/cgi-bin/acwwweng/ballads/image.pl? ref=2806+b.9(276)&id=12035.gif&seq=1&size=0 for a broadside printed in Dublin ca. 1867.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Lily Of The West
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 23 Jun 11 - 04:39 PM

Thanks for the link, Guest. I enjoyed seeing the old format. Some fun typos, too.

I like the second song on the same sheet, where the man declares his instant love, and the maiden replies, "Young man, you're dreaming, or else you're scheming."

Dear Abby (advice columnist here) recently had a column telling how to recognize an abuser. One sign is that the abuser meets the future victim and demands a serious relationship instantly. Fortunately for the maidens in folksongs, this always seems to turn out okay.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Lily Of The West
From: Midchuck
Date: 23 Jun 11 - 04:58 PM

Fortunately for the maidens in folksongs, this always seems to turn out okay.

You must listen to different folksongs than I do. In traditional ballads, survival rate for the female lead is maybe 50-60%. In Bluegrass, it's zero. If the chick lives, it ain't really bluegrass.

Peter


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Lily Of The West
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 23 Jun 11 - 11:03 PM

There is also the fact of their astounding fertility! One shag and they are in the club. Absolutely invariably and without exception; and they know it ~~

"And now you've had your will of me pray tell to me your name
So when this dear little baby come I might call him the same"

~Michael~


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Lily Of The West
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 24 Jun 11 - 01:59 AM

MthGm, reminds me a book review I once saw with the title "Unmarried Teenage Girls Always Have Boy Babies."

I understand that soap opera males have the same astounding fertility.

Midchuck, good point. I should have said that if the maiden succumbs to the instant lover, the song doesn't go into the unfortunate sequelae.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Lily Of The West
From: T in Oklahoma (Okiemockbird)
Date: 02 Sep 17 - 02:25 PM

Here is an updated link to the broadside.

Lily of the West and Lovely Mary of Shannonside


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 16 November 2:26 AM EST

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.