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Lyr Add: The Bonny Moon

Related threads:
Lyr Req/Add: Bright Silvery Light of the Moon (20)
Lyr Req: Silvery Moon (from Aoife Clancy) (7)


In Mudcat MIDIs:
Roll On, Silver Moon [J.W. Turner]


nutty 10 Feb 03 - 05:38 PM
Joe Offer 10 Feb 03 - 07:25 PM
Malcolm Douglas 10 Feb 03 - 08:46 PM
nutty 11 Feb 03 - 12:53 AM
nutty 11 Feb 03 - 01:15 AM
Joe Offer 11 Feb 03 - 01:30 AM
bradfordian 11 Feb 03 - 05:09 AM
nutty 11 Feb 03 - 07:30 AM
nutty 11 Feb 03 - 07:50 AM
bradfordian 11 Feb 03 - 08:10 AM
Joe Offer 11 Feb 03 - 11:40 AM
Malcolm Douglas 11 Feb 03 - 12:28 PM
nutty 11 Feb 03 - 12:51 PM
GUEST,MCP 11 Feb 03 - 01:55 PM
nutty 11 Feb 03 - 02:00 PM
nutty 11 Feb 03 - 02:20 PM
Malcolm Douglas 11 Feb 03 - 03:00 PM
GUEST,MCP 11 Feb 03 - 06:21 PM
nutty 11 Feb 03 - 06:39 PM
GUEST,Q 11 Feb 03 - 08:39 PM
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Subject: Lyr Add: The Bonny Moon
From: nutty
Date: 10 Feb 03 - 05:38 PM

I have given the song what I believe may be its original title although it is also known as ...

Sweet Silver Moon
Roll on Silver Moon
Sweet silver Light, bonny Moon
Sweet silver light of the moon.

I started out looking for lyrics but became fascinated with the movement of this song from England to the USA and back again pronbably via Ireland.

It appears among the Bodleian Broadsides in the 1820's as a simple three verse song.
In the 1840's it seems to have swept the USA and there is sheet music not just for the song (the words of which were accepted as traditional) but there are Silver Moon quicksteps , foxtrots and Marches and sets of variations to these compositions.

The two verses that I have included in Italics seem to have been added when the song returned to the British Isles and appeared on Broadsides printed in Cork. I feel they add to the song but then I love sentimental songs.

I have not found any trace of the modern chorus that I have heard sung the "There is no song so sweet as when to lover's meet. By the bright, silver light of the moon".
I ould be grateful for any info regarding that and the modern tune as it differs considerably from the sheet music versions.

The Bonny Moon

As I came to my cot at the close of the day
About the beginning of June
By a jessamine shade I espied a fair maid
As she sadly complained to the moon
Roll on, silver moon, guide the traveller's way
While the Nightingale's song is in tune
But I never again with my lover will stray
By thy sweet silver light, bonny moon


On the banks of the Shannon , for hours we've strayed
Where the lambkins so fondly did play
The blackbird and thrush, joined their notes on each bush
And the meadows were charming and gay
There he showed me the ring and appointed the day
And wedded we were to be soon
But, alas, to my grief he lies cold in his clay
By thy sweet silver light bonny moon



As the hart on the mountain, my love he was brave
So handsome, so manly, and clever
So kind and sincere, he loved me so dear
Oh, Edwin , thy equal was never
But now he is dead and gone to his death bed
Cut down like a rose in its bloom
He's fallen asleep and poor Jane's left to weep
By thy sweet silver light, bonny moon


In the dead of the night when the stars shine so bright
I thought I beheld his sweet form
I rushed to embrace but alas t'was a dream
Oh, where then ,my love, have they borne?
Now the willow I'll wear, I shall mark my despair
Bewailing my lovers sad doom
But welcome cold death, It shall end all my care
By thy sweet silver light , bonny moon



His grave I will seek until morning appears
I will weep for my lover so brave
I'll embrace the cold earth and will wash with my tears
The daisies that bloom on his grave
Ah, never again can my bosom know joy
With my Edwin I trust to be soon
And lovers may weep o'er the spot where we sleep
By thy sweet silver light , bonny moon


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Subject: ADD: Roll On, Silver Moon
From: Joe Offer
Date: 10 Feb 03 - 07:25 PM

Well, here's one version.



ROLL ON, SILVER MOON
(J.W. Turner)

1. As I stray'd from my cot at the close of the day,
'Mid the ravishing beauties of June,
'Neath a jessamine shade I espied a fair maid
And she plaintively sighed to the moon....

CHORUS
Roll on, silver moon, guide the trav'ler his way,
While the nightingale's song is in tune;
I never, nevermore with my true love will stray
By thy soft silver beams, gentle moon.


2. As the hart on the mountain my lover was brave,
So noble and manly and clever,
So kind and sincere, and he loved me full dear,
Oh, my Edwin, his equal was never!
CHORUS

3. But, alas! he is dead, and gone to death's bed,
Cut down like a rose in full bloom;
And alone doth he sleep, while I thus sadly weep,
'Neath thy soft silver light, gentle moon....
CHORUS

4. His lone grave I'll seek out until morning appears,
And weep o'er my lover so brave;
I'll embrace the cold sod, and bathe with my tears
The sweet flowers that bloom o'er his grave....
CHORUS

5. Ah me! ne'er again may my bosom rejoice,
For my lost love I fain would meet soon;
And fond lovers will weep o'er the grave where we sleep,
'Neath thy soft silver light, gentle moon....
CHORUS


Source: Songs That Never Grow Old (1909, 1913, Syndicate Publishing Co.)
The first two verses of the Turner version can also be found in Everybody's Favorite Songs (Amsco Music Publishing, 1933)

Click to play


This page (click) has some interesting references to this song and several others. A search of the Levy Sheet Music Collection brings up several versions, mostly unattributed.
I have a book by Jon W. Finson called The Voices that Are Gone (Oxford University Press, 1994) that attributes the song to Jane Sloman, published in 1848. The Sloman version is at Levy, waiting for a willing Mudcatter to transcribe it.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Bonny Moon
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 10 Feb 03 - 08:46 PM

This is no.906 in the Roud Folk Song Index. It appears in the USA as Roll On Silver Moon (1919), and about 10 years later in Gloucestershire, as By Thy Sweet, Silver Light, Bonny Moon. In the 1840s (America again) it was Silvery Moon; on broadsides it seems most often to have been The Bonny Moon, or [By] Thy/The Sweet [Silver] Light Bonny Moon.

These headings seem to cover most or all of the Bodleian holdings, though many are also listed under other, slightly variant titles:

Bonny Moon

The sweet silver light, bonny moon

The sweet silver-light bonny moon (these last two by Haly of Cork).

Although Alfred Williams published a text (Folk Songs of the Upper Thames), most collectors seem to have let it go, as an early 19th century "pop" song of recent provenance; and not the sort of thing they were looking for. Sharp noted a set but didn't publish it. Gale Huntington (Songs the Whalemen Sang) quotes a set based on entries in the log of the Euphrasia (1849) and the Cortes (1847), commenting

"In the Euphrasia version of Silvery Moon there is this notation, "Roll on silver moon, etc." which may indicate that the last four lines of the first stanza were sung as a refrain or chorus... I doubt if many would call this a true folk song..."

At the Lester Levy Collection:

The Silver Moon, or, Roll on Silver Moon. Baltimore: G. Willig, n.d.

The Music of the Barker Family of the Old Bay State. Roll on Silver Moon New York: Firth Pond & Co., No.1 Franklin Square, 1848.

The Silver Moon. Ballad. Arranged for the Piano Forte by B.A. Burditt. Boston: Oliver Ditson, 115 Washington St., 1847.

The question of origin would be open, perhaps; England or the USA. At any rate, the song was widely issued on broadsides and as sheet music all around the same period (middle 1820s to middle 1840s). The Haly issues aren't dated, but there ought to be somebody round here who knows what period the business was active. They may have been the source of the couple of sets known to have been recorded in tradition in Ireland (Packie Byrne and Elizabeth O Croinin) but don't seem to have reached further.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Bonny Moon
From: nutty
Date: 11 Feb 03 - 12:53 AM

Thanks Joe and Malcolm. There are still some questions to be answered ...... particularly relating to the words.

With regards to Sloman version, Joe ....the Levy copies only credit him/her with writing the melody, no credits are given, on any of the sheet music, to whoever wrote the words.

I am very interested in hearing the Paddy Tunney version Malcolm ....Could you tell me where I might find it pleae??


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Bonny Moon
From: nutty
Date: 11 Feb 03 - 01:15 AM

The Traditional Ballad Index has this info .........

Silvery Moon, The

DESCRIPTION: The singer sees a girl lamenting in the moonlight. Her lover was true and brave, "but now he is dead, the youth once so gay... And he silently sleeps while I'm left here to weep By the sweet silver light of the moon."
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1847 (Journal of William Histed of the Cortes)
KEYWORDS: love death separation
FOUND IN: US(So)
REFERENCES (2 citations):
Randolph 800, "The Silvery Moon" (2 texts, 1 tune)
Huntington-Whalemen, pp. 233-234, "Silvery Moon" (1 text, 1 tune)

ALTERNATE TITLES:
Roll On, Silver Moon
File: R800

Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Instructions

The Ballad Index Copyright 2002 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.

Could anyone supply me with the texts/tunes of te two references cited, please?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Bonny Moon
From: Joe Offer
Date: 11 Feb 03 - 01:30 AM

Boy, I wish I could give you those other texts, Nutty. The Randolph book is the four-volume Ozark Folksongs - it's not in my one-volume edition. Gale Huntington's Songs the Whalemen Sang is another book I've been seeking for a long time.
I copied over the Traditional Ballad Index formatting to your post. There are tags in the original that you can't post, but I know a workaround.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Bonny Moon
From: bradfordian
Date: 11 Feb 03 - 05:09 AM

See also this thread: http://www.mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=51211#779060
Brad.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Bonny Moon
From: nutty
Date: 11 Feb 03 - 07:30 AM

Thanks Bradfordian .... I had searched for this thread but couldn't find it .
It was actually the thread that got me interested in the song in the first place.
It almost finishes the search but not quite .................


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Bonny Moon
From: nutty
Date: 11 Feb 03 - 07:50 AM

Just re-read the 12.53 posting
Don't know where my reference to Paddy Tunney came from (can't have woken up properly) I did of course mean Packie Byrne.
His lyrics are of course in the thread that Bradfordian provided the link to.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Bonny Moon
From: bradfordian
Date: 11 Feb 03 - 08:10 AM

Nutty, let's exchange versions at the Yorkshire Gathering
(BTW, did I previously ask you about a song called Travelling Through The Storm?)

Brad.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Bonny Moon
From: Joe Offer
Date: 11 Feb 03 - 11:40 AM

Thanks, Brad. I thoought I searched throroughly enough, but I guess I didn't. I crosslinked the two threads. Any other threads or DT entries that should be included?
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Bonny Moon
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 11 Feb 03 - 12:28 PM

SILVERY MOON

(Noted on the ships Euphrasia [1849] and Cortes [1847])

I strayed from my cot at the close of the day,
To muse on the beauties of June
By the Jessamin shade I espied a fair maid
And she sadly complained to the moon
Roll on silver moon guide the traveller his way
While the nightingale sings in tune
For never never more with my love will I stray
By the sweet silver light of the moon.

It's a hart on the mountain my lover was brave
So handsome so manly to view
So kind and sincere and he loved me so dear
Edwin my love was more true
But now he is dead and the youth once so gay
Is cut down like a rose in full bloom
But he silently sleeps while I'm left thus to weep
By the sweet silver light of the moon.

But his grave I'll seek out until morning appears
And weep for my lover so brave
I'll embrace the cold earth and bedew with my tears
The flowers that bloom o'er his grave
Oh never again can my heart throb with joy
My lost one I hope to meet soon
And king friends will weep o'er the grave where we sleep,
By the sweet silver light of the moon.

Gale Huntington, Songs the Whalemen Sang, 1964; reprinted Dover, 1970.

Huntington includes this in the section "Parlor Songs that went to Sea". He notes:

"In the Euphrasia version of "Silvery Moon" there is this notation, "Roll on silver moon, etc." which may indicate that the last four lines of the first stanza were sung as a refrain or chorus. The opening lines of the Cortes version read:

As I went to my cot at the close of the day
'Twas about the beginning of June.

I doubt if many would call this a true folk song, but Williams includes it in his Folk Songs of the Upper Thames, p. 128."

The Cortes, out of New Bedford, 1847. MS book of songs collected by William Histed. New Bedford Public Library, New Bedford, Mass.
The Euphrasia, out of New Bedford, 1849. Journal/log, Peabody Museum, Sale, Mass.

Huntington doesn't specify the source of the tune he prints; presumably, though, not the MSS indicated above. In fact, it's almost identical to the tune at the Midi Pages (though, having been generated by Noteworthy, that one is full of what I take to be unintended rests); here it is anyway, for comparison.

X:1
T:Silvery Moon
B:Gale Huntington, Songs the Whalemen Sang, 1964.
N:Text: William Histed, MS songbook (Ship Cortes, 1847).
N:Text: Log of the Ship Euphrasia, New Bedford, 1849.
N:The tune has been added from another, unnamed source.
L:1/8
Q:1/4=100
M:4/4
K:D
F3/ 2E/|D2 DF (BA) FD|C2 E F G2 (ED)|
w:I_ strayed from my cot_ at the close of the day, To_
C2 EF G2 BA|F6 DE|FF F2 F2 ED|
w:muse on the beau-ties of June By the Jes-sa-min shade I es-
dd d2 (dB) GE|(DF) BA (AG) EC|
w:pied a fair maid_ And she sad-*ly com-plained_ to the
D6 (FE)|D2 DF (BA) FD|C2 EF G2 ED|
w:moon Roll_on sil-ver moon_ guide the trav-eller his way While the
C2 EF G2 (BA)|A6 DE|FF FF F2 ED|
w:night-in-gale sings in_ tune For_ ne-ver ne-ver more with my
d2 dd (dB) GE|(DF) B3/2 A/ A2 GE|D6|]
w:love will I stray_ By the sweet_ sil-ver light of the moon.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Bonny Moon
From: nutty
Date: 11 Feb 03 - 12:51 PM

Over 200 broadsides in the Bodleian were printed by Haly of Cork but very few are dated.

The few that are range from 1854 to 1866.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Bonny Moon
From: GUEST,MCP
Date: 11 Feb 03 - 01:55 PM

For information: The version in Williams' Folk Songs of the Upper Thames is essentially the same as nutty's 3 unitalicised verses in the 1st post, with only slight textual differences. It was collected from Henry Cook of Arlington, Bilbury. I'll post it if anyone wants the exact version for completeness.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Bonny Moon
From: nutty
Date: 11 Feb 03 - 02:00 PM

Joe ....the version you posted is attributed to J.W.TURNER.

I'm interested to know if that attribution refers to both words and music.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Bonny Moon
From: nutty
Date: 11 Feb 03 - 02:20 PM

Thanks Mick .....we probably don't need the words but I'd be very interested to hear the tune.

Any chance you could post an ABC??


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Bonny Moon
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 11 Feb 03 - 03:00 PM

Alfred Williams collected no tunes. He intended to go back for them, but never had the opportunity.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Bonny Moon
From: GUEST,MCP
Date: 11 Feb 03 - 06:21 PM

nutty

As Malcolm said, Williams collected no tunes (cost me £20 pounds that - I decided not to buy a copy at £10 for that reason, then went back half an hour later to buy it after all and it had gone. It cost me £30 for the copy I have now).

In his Preface he says: "I had no time to obtain tunes, my chief concern being to save the words before they had completely disappered by reason of the death of the singers - chiefly the most aged of the villagers, male and female"

He also starts his Introduction: "Let it at once be understood that my intention never was merely to gather folk-songs for the purpose of adding to the more or less undigested mass of materials in the collections already existing. That is not my business. What I wanted to do was, as nearly as I could, to complete the work I have undertaken in my prose volumes and to leave a permanent record of the language and activities of the district in which I find myself."

(He also ends the Introduction: "The songs themselves , as far as singing goes are practically defunct. There is no need to revive them. To do so, in fact, would be impossible. It is also undesirable. We live in a new age, almost in a new world. Life has changed. There are other amusements. We move at a quicker pace. Time and custom decide what shall or shall not continue. Fashions change in everything accept modifications. It is the same with morris-dancing. Where a desire to sing or dance does not exist naturally, and is not spontaneous, no amount of artificial activity will suffice to restore the practice. Though you should resuscitate it for a time the life would not be permanent. You cannot graft a dead branch on to living body. Let us, then, be content to say that the folk-song is dead. But we want to preserve the words, not for their artistic or strictly literary value, but in order to have records of that which amused, cheered, consoled, and so profoundly affected the lives of the people of an age that has for ever passed away." Plus ca change!)

Mick


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Bonny Moon
From: nutty
Date: 11 Feb 03 - 06:39 PM

Thanks Mick ..... Thank Goodness Williams was wrong .....now I know why the revival was so important.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Bonny Moon
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 11 Feb 03 - 08:39 PM

I have looked at the versions in Vance Randolph, Ozark Folksongs, vol. 4, pp.319-320 (# 800). The two versions are very close to the one posted by Malcolm Douglas from Gale Huntington, especially B, from Miss Grace Hahn, Fayetteville, Arkansas. She called it "Roll On, Silver Moon."
One probable correction to Huntington's text- Verse 2, line 1, should be: LIKE a hart on the mountain, my lover was brave.

Version A, Verse 2, line 1, changes to "Like the heart of a maiden, my lover was brave." We do not have the red deer and "hart' would not be known to many. The other noticeable difference in in verse 3, where line 4 is "In the soft silvery lighted bonnie moon."

The same sheet music applies to both versions.


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