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


O, mirk, mirk is this midnight hour (Lord Gregory)

DigiTrad:
LASS OF LOCH ROYALE (LORD GREGORY)
LORD GREGORY
LORD GREGORY (2)


Related threads:
Lyr/Chords Req: Lass of Acron? / Lass of Aughrim (23)
Lord Gregory (23)
Lyr Req: The Lass of Aughrim (20) (closed)
Help: Who was Lord Gregory? (13)


Thomas the Rhymer 09 Oct 02 - 10:53 AM
masato sakurai 09 Oct 02 - 12:04 PM
Thomas the Rhymer 09 Oct 02 - 09:56 PM
masato sakurai 10 Oct 02 - 09:51 AM
Thomas the Rhymer 10 Oct 02 - 10:19 AM
masato sakurai 11 Oct 02 - 08:45 AM
masato sakurai 11 Oct 02 - 09:00 AM
GUEST,leeneia 11 Oct 02 - 09:50 AM
masato sakurai 11 Oct 02 - 10:01 PM
Thomas the Rhymer 11 Oct 02 - 10:34 PM
Thomas the Rhymer 11 Oct 02 - 10:41 PM
Suzy Sock Puppet 05 Jun 13 - 05:01 AM
GUEST,leeneia 05 Jun 13 - 11:20 AM
GUEST,leeneia 05 Jun 13 - 11:22 AM
Joe Offer 06 Jun 13 - 01:19 AM
Jack Campin 06 Jun 13 - 05:22 AM
Jack Campin 07 Jun 13 - 08:32 AM
GUEST,leeneia 07 Jun 13 - 10:00 AM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:





Subject: O, mirk, mirk is this midnight hour
From: Thomas the Rhymer
Date: 09 Oct 02 - 10:53 AM

O, mirk, mirk is this midnight hour... a Lord Gregory version by Burns. The words are straight forward, and the tune is beautiful beyond compare. My question is this...

What is the tune? Where did it come from? Sounds like Shakespearean English to me... Sheer delight! ttr


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: O, mirk, mirk is this midnight hour
From: masato sakurai
Date: 09 Oct 02 - 12:04 PM

From: James Kinsley, The Poems and Songs of Robert Burns, vol. 3 (Oxford, 1968, pp. 1423-1425):

Thomson invited contributions to SC from 'Peter Pindar'--
John Wolcot (1738-1819), 'a contemptible scribbler [who], having
disgraced and deserted the clerical character . . . picks up in London a scanty livelihood by scurrilous lampoons under a feigned name' (Boswell, Life of Johnson, v. 415-16, note; cf. Epistle to Peter Pindar in English Satiric Poetry: Dryden to Byron, ed. James Kinsley and J.T. Boulton, 1966, pp. 160-8). His first offering was Lord Gregory:

Ah ope, Lord Gregory. thy door,
A midnight wanderer sighs,
Hard rush the rains, the tempests roar,
And light'nings cleave the skies.

Who comes with woe at this drear night--
A pilgrim of the gloom?
If she whose love did once delight,
My cot shall yield her room.

Alas! thou heard'st a pilgrim mourn,
That once was priz'd by thee:
Think of the ring by yonder burn
Thou gav'st to love and me.

But should'st thou not poor Marian know,
I'll turn my feet and part;
And think the storms that round me blow,
Far kinder than thy heart.

(Currie, iv. 39-40.) 'The Scots verses printed [in SMM] with that air [Lord Gregory]', Thomson wrote to Burns, 'are taken from the middle of an old ballad, called, The Lass of Lochryan, which I do not admire. I have set down the air therefore as a creditor of yours' (ibid. iv. 35). Burns knew at least one version of The Lass of Lochryan (in Herd's collection; see infra), and his gorge must have risen over Pindar's song. But he tactfully pronounced it 'beautiful', and offered Thomson his own 'set of Stanzas in Scots, on the same subject': 'My Song,' he said carefully, 'though much inferiour in poetic merit, has I think more of the ballad simplicity in it' (Letter 535; 26 January 1793).
The earliest surviving version of the ballad on 'fair Isabell of Rochroyall' is in Elizabeth Cochrane's manuscript song-book, made up in the early eighteenth century (Child no. 76A); another is in Herd
(i. 149-53); Jamieson had a third from oral tradition (Child, no. 76D); and a fourth was contributed by Burns's friend Alexander
Fraser Tytler to Scott's Minstrelsy (1803, ii. 49; Child, no. 76E).
The Cochrane version, which is the fullest, opens with Isabell's
dream of her lover, Lord Gregory. 'Banisht from kyth and kin', she
rides to Gregory's castle and begs admission. Gregory's mother answers for (and as) her son, and tells Isabell that he is at sea. Isabell goes away, lamenting; Gregory dreams that she is at the door, discovers his mother's treachery, and sets out to find his love. He meets up with her funeral, and dies of grief.
Burns takes over Pindar's romantic setting in ll. 1-4; he works for
the simplicity of folk-song rather than for 'the ballad simplicity' in ll. 5-16; but he comes as close as Pindar to English convention in the rest of the song. The air, described by Stenhouse as 'a very ancient Gallowegian melody' (Illustrations, p. 3), was first published in SMM, 1787, no. 5* with four stanzas of the ballad ('Oh open the door, Lord Gregory'). [...]

~Masato


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: O, mirk, mirk is this midnight hour
From: Thomas the Rhymer
Date: 09 Oct 02 - 09:56 PM

Thanks Masato! I'm still confused tho... I had done some research on the words, and you embellished on them nicely... but it is the specific tune that I have on Volume six of the Linn Burns collection that I find to be remarkable... hence all this remarking... And I want to know if the tune has a name... ttr


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: O, mirk, mirk is this midnight hour
From: masato sakurai
Date: 10 Oct 02 - 09:51 AM

The recording is on Robert Burns: The Complete Songs, Vol.6 [with sound clip].

The tune is from James Johnson's Scots Musical Museum, I [1787], where it is set to "Oh open the door, Lord Gregory" (Child #76I). Bertrand Harris Bronson (Traditional Tunes of the Child Ballads, vol. II, 1962, p. 218) says of the tune:

"The Lass of Roch Royal" must have been circulating freely before the middle of the eighteenth century, because Child's A-text, from a manuscript of the second quarter of that century, is in a state obviously disordered by traditional transmission. Of the early music of the ballad we know nothing. The tune published in the Scots Musical Museum in 1787 does not inspire confidence in its authenticity, although--perhaps faute de mieux--it has been frequently reprinted. According to Stenhouse's note it is a "very ancient Gallowegian melody"--a statement which has no support from MS. or print, so far as I have been able to discover. On the other hand, it has some resemblance to a tune now generally known as "The Miller of Dee," which in one form or another was in circulation early in the eighteenth century--and undoubtedly earlier--and which appears with various texts in D'Urfy's Pills (e.g., 1719-20, V, 22, 29, 46; VI, 124. Cf. also Chappell, Popular Music, II, pp. 666-68; and Margaret Dean-Smith, A Guide to English Folk Song Collection, 1954, p. 120). As Johnson prints it, it is a modern minor tune in two strains, but it falls easily back into the Æolian mode.

Isla St Clair sings "Annie Of Lochroyan" (the text is from Scott's Minstrelsy) to this tune a cappella on Isla St Clair Sings Traditional Scottish Songs (Tangent TGSMC 112).

~Masato


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: O, mirk, mirk is this midnight hour
From: Thomas the Rhymer
Date: 10 Oct 02 - 10:19 AM

Masato,... ;-)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: O, mirk, mirk is this midnight hour
From: masato sakurai
Date: 11 Oct 02 - 08:45 AM

The lyrics and midi are HERE.

~Masato


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: O, mirk, mirk is this midnight hour
From: masato sakurai
Date: 11 Oct 02 - 09:00 AM

Burns's "Lord Gregory" is posted HERE.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: O, mirk, mirk is this midnight hour
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 11 Oct 02 - 09:50 AM

Thanks for giving us the link to the Contemplator site, Masato. I was curious about the tune, and you made it possible to hear it. I've decided to add that site to my Favorites.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: O, mirk, mirk is this midnight hour
From: masato sakurai
Date: 11 Oct 02 - 10:01 PM

(1) From William Stenhouse's note to the song "Lord Gregory" (The Scots Musical Museum, vol. 2, 1853 edition; rpt. Folklore Associates, 1962, p. 3):

This is a very ancient Gallowegian melody. The two verses adapted to the air in this collcction [sic], were compiled from the fine old ballad, entitled, "The Lass of Lochroyan," which was first published in a perfect state by Sir Walter Scott in his Minstrelsy of the Border, vol. ii. p. 411. Burns remarks, that "it is somewhat singular, that in Lanark, Renfrew, Ayr, Wigton, Kirkcudbright, and Dumfries-shires, there is scarcely an old song or tune, which, from the title, &c. can be guessed to belong to, or be the production of these counties.. This, I conjecture, is one of these very few, as the ballad, which is a long one, is called, both by tradition and in printed collections, 'The Lass o' Lochroyan,' which I take to be Lochroyan, in Galloway."--Reliques, p. 196.

(2) From James C. Dick, The Songs of Robert Burns (1903; rpt Folklore Associates, 1962, p. 398):

No. 138. O mirk, mirk is this midnight hour. Thomson's Scotish Airs [sic], 1798, 38. 'Written for this work by Robert Burns. Air, Lord Gregory.' Among the Dalhousie MS. in Brechin Castle. The tragic ballad of Lord Gregory, containing about sixty stanzas, better known as Fair Annie of Lochryan, is the foundation of Burns's verses. The earliest printed fragment is in Herd's Scottish Songs, 1776, i, 149, entitled The bonny lass o' Lochryan. Two double stanzas, with the tune, were engraved in the Scots Musical Museum, 1787, No. 5. This was one of the few historical ballads which made an impression on Burns. Thomson had informed him that Dr. Wolcot had written a song on the subject, and he replied on January 26, 1793, by enclosing a copy of the verses in the text. A few weeks before his death, Burns touched up the song, and sent a copy to his friend Alex. Cunningham.
The tune is not in print before the Scots Musical Museum, 1787, No. 5. According to Stenhouse, it is an old Gallowegian melody. The music is also in Urbani's Scots Songs, 1792, 1; and Dale's Scotch Songs, 1794, iii, 119.

~Masato


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: O, mirk, mirk is this midnight hour
From: Thomas the Rhymer
Date: 11 Oct 02 - 10:34 PM

O, mirk, mirk is this midnight hour,
And loud the tempest's roar;
A waefu' wanderer seeks thy tower-
Lord Gregory ope thy door!

An exile frae her father's ha',
And a' for the sake o' thee;
At least some pity on me shaw,
If love it may na be.

Lord Gregory, mind'st thou not the grove,
By bonny Irwine-side,
Where first I owned that virgin-love
I lang, lang had denied.

How often didst thou pledge and vow,
Thou wad for aye be mine;
And fond my heart, itsel sae true,
It ne'er mistrusted thine.

Hard is thy heart, Lord Gregory,
And flinty is thy breast;
Thou dart of Heaven that flashest by,
O wilt thou give me rest!

Ye mustering thunders from above
Your willing victim see!
But spare, and pardon my fause love
His wrangs to Heaven and me!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: O, mirk, mirk is this midnight hour
From: Thomas the Rhymer
Date: 11 Oct 02 - 10:41 PM


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: O, mirk, mirk is this midnight hour
From: Suzy Sock Puppet
Date: 05 Jun 13 - 05:01 AM

From "Songs and Tunes of the Wilderness Road," Ralph Lee Smith & Madeline MacNeil:

Child 76: A 


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: O, mirk, mirk is this midnight hour
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 05 Jun 13 - 11:20 AM

I'm interested in tunes, so I've made a MIDI of Lord Gregory as it appears on Contemplator's site. If you play or sing and don't know the Contemplator, I suggest you check it out. I'll put a link in.

The link just above has notes for only part of the song. (It's a different tune, but not real different.) I guess they want me to pay $9.99 for a few measures.

I have sent the MIDI for the melody to Joe, after removing some fiddlesque ornaments. It's high and would take a true soprano or tenor to sing it. However, it's in a good key for instruments, involving Am, E and Dm with a possible C for a little relief from sorrow. I'm sending the MIDI to Joe for posting, and it should appear here in the fulness of time.

Check back.

Click to play (joeweb)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: O, mirk, mirk is this midnight hour
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 05 Jun 13 - 11:22 AM

Here's that URL:

http://www.contemplator.com/folk.html


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: O, mirk, mirk is this midnight hour (Lord Gregory)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 06 Jun 13 - 01:19 AM

And here's Leeneia's MIDI:

Click to play (joeweb)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: O, mirk, mirk is this midnight hour (Lord Gregory)
From: Jack Campin
Date: 06 Jun 13 - 05:22 AM

I have the version from Nathaniel Gow's Vocal Melodies of Scotland in my Scottish flute pages (ABC, staff notation, QuickTime and MIDI):

http://www.campin.me.uk/Flute/Webrelease/Flute/03Air/03Air.htm

The alternating 8-bar/7-bar structure is found in a lot of hymns, and it sounds like a hymn tune to me.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: O, mirk, mirk is this midnight hour (Lord Gregory)
From: Jack Campin
Date: 07 Jun 13 - 08:32 AM

...and I think I can guess which hymn: there's a strong resemblance to Martyrs.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: O, mirk, mirk is this midnight hour (Lord Gregory)
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 07 Jun 13 - 10:00 AM

Thanks for the tune, Jack. That one, with it's big jump at the front and its triplets, is very interesting. You have a fine site.

I'm going to print out your 'Lord Gregory' and add it to my flute collection.


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 August 12:10 PM EDT

[ 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.