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Origins: background: 'Master Kilby'

GUEST,Mrbisok@aol.com 06 Apr 03 - 05:16 PM
Malcolm Douglas 06 Apr 03 - 09:10 PM
mg 06 Apr 03 - 09:17 PM
Joe Offer 01 May 04 - 06:54 PM
Malcolm Douglas 01 May 04 - 07:45 PM
GUEST,MCP 02 May 04 - 11:52 AM
GUEST,MCP 02 May 04 - 12:04 PM
GUEST,Tunesmith 02 May 04 - 03:06 PM
Reinhard 20 Dec 09 - 12:07 PM
GUEST,OldNicKilby 21 Dec 09 - 04:50 AM
Phil Edwards 21 Dec 09 - 05:24 AM
Tim Chesterton 10 Sep 10 - 03:07 AM
pavane 10 Sep 10 - 05:43 AM
GUEST,OLDNICKILBY 10 Sep 10 - 05:45 AM
pavane 10 Sep 10 - 06:09 AM
pavane 10 Sep 10 - 06:15 AM
Tim Chesterton 10 Sep 10 - 11:13 AM
Steve Gardham 10 Sep 10 - 02:48 PM
Tim Chesterton 10 Sep 10 - 03:21 PM
Tim Chesterton 10 Sep 10 - 04:59 PM
Steve Gardham 10 Sep 10 - 07:24 PM
Tim Chesterton 21 Sep 10 - 02:59 PM
Steve Gardham 21 Sep 10 - 05:44 PM
Tim Chesterton 21 Sep 10 - 07:36 PM
Joe Offer 21 Sep 10 - 08:49 PM
Steve Gardham 22 Sep 10 - 07:15 PM
Tim Chesterton 22 Sep 10 - 09:00 PM
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Subject: background: 'Master Kilby'
From: GUEST,Mrbisok@aol.com
Date: 06 Apr 03 - 05:16 PM

I need/want just a bit of background for the song "Master Kilby"
It sounds very British, but is it?
This song can't be from the folk tradition; who wrote it? Around when?
-- thanks, Harold from Hawthorne, NJ


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Subject: RE: background: 'Master Kilby'
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 06 Apr 03 - 09:10 PM

So far as can be told, Master Kilby has been found once only in tradition; Cecil Sharp noted it from Harry Richards of Curry Rivel in Somerset, in January of 1909. That's all we know; it doesn't seem to have been published on broadside sheets.

Benjamin Britten published an "art music" arrangment of it, but you can be pretty sure that anyone who sings it now learned it from Nic Jones' recording, at one remove or another.

Why can't it be "from folk tradition"?


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Subject: RE: background: 'Master Kilby'
From: mg
Date: 06 Apr 03 - 09:17 PM

it's beautiful and Gordon Bok sings it on "Never Grow Old" with Anne Hills and Cindy Magson..

mg


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Subject: ADD: Master Kilby
From: Joe Offer
Date: 01 May 04 - 06:54 PM

Master Kilby

In the heat of the day
When the sun shines so freely
There I met Master Kilby
So fine and so gay

Well, I pulled off my hat
And I bowed to the ground
And I said 'Master Kilby
Oh, where are you bound?'

I'm bound for the west
In hope to find rest
In the arms of my dear Nancy
I'll build a new nest

And if I was the master
Of ten thousand pounds
In bright gold and silver
Or in King William's crowns

I would part with it all
With my own heart so freely
It's all for the sake
Of my charming Nancy

She's the fairest of girls
She's the choice of my heart
And her skin shines like silver
In every part

Oh, I gave her some kisses
It was down on the sea shore
But still she lay asking
Lay asking for more

transcribed from Never Grow Old CD, Anne Hills and Cindy Mangsen (lead vocal by Gordon Bok on this cut)

Notes from CD booklet: Nic Jones found this gem in the Journals of the English Folk Song Society, and recorded it on his album From the Devil to a Stranger.


This Lieder page (click) has a slightly different version:

    Master Kilby
    (arrangement by Benjamin Britten (1913-1976)

    In the heat of the day
    When the sun shines so freely,
    There I met Master Kilby,
    So fine and so gay.

    Then I pull'd off my hat
    And I bowed to the ground
    And I said: "Master Kilby,
    Pray where are you bound?"

    "I am bound for the West,
    There in hopes to find rest,
    And in Nancy's soft bosom
    I will build a new nest.

    "And if I were the master
    Of ten thousand pounds
    All in gay gold and silver
    Or in King William's crowns.

    "I would part with it all
    With my own heart so freely,
    But it's all for the sake
    Of my charming Nancy.

    "She's the fairest of girls,
    She's the choice of my own heart,
    She is painted like waxwork
    In every part".


This page implies that there's a transcription of the Nic Jones recording in the Digitrad, but I sure didn't find it.

This song is also on a John Wesley Harding CD called Trad Arr Jones, and on one by Alasdair Roberts called The Crook of My Arm. I did not find a Britten recording, or one by Nic Jones.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: background: 'Master Kilby'
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 01 May 04 - 07:45 PM

The first text will have been learned from Nic Jones' arrangement of the song; he made various changes to the wording ("skin shines like silver", for example), which are followed almost exactly. I do hope they credit him. The second is closer to what Harry Richards actually sang back in 1909, though one of his verses is omitted. I have an vague feeling that I came across something relating to this not long ago, but unfortunately I can't remember what it was, so that's no help.

Nic's recording appeared on From the Devil to a Stranger (in the Bulmer vaults) and on Unearthed (Mollie Music, 2001). Alasdair Roberts' arrangement I have never heard, but it will derive from the Jones take.
    Thanks for the reminder, Malcolm - I added the attribution from the Mangsen/Hills CD booklet.
    -Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: background: 'Master Kilby'
From: GUEST,MCP
Date: 02 May 04 - 11:52 AM

Britten did a version in the volume of songs with guitar accompaniment. It's a comparatively simple chordal accompaniment as I recall (as opposed the the more startling accompaniment to Bonny At Morn in the same volume) - I can't check at the moment - the music seems to have disappeared since I moved. I'm sure I've got a recording of these and I'll post details if I find it.

Mick


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Subject: RE: background: 'Master Kilby'
From: GUEST,MCP
Date: 02 May 04 - 12:04 PM

One recording came to hand quite quickly - Bushes And Briars - and other English Folk Songs - Timothy Walker, guitar and James Griffett, tenor. (LP, Hyperion A66005, 1980. I don't know if it or CD equivalent is available now. The complete Britten folk song arrangments - 4 vol with piano, 1 with harp and 1 with guitar were released on CD about 6/7 years ago I think).

The words are exactly as given by Joe above for the Britten arrangement.

Mick


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Subject: RE: background: 'Master Kilby'
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 02 May 04 - 03:06 PM

I must admit that when I sing this song ( learnt from Nic's recordings) I change " so fine and so gay" to " along the highway" !


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Subject: RE: Origins: background: 'Master Kilby'
From: Reinhard
Date: 20 Dec 09 - 12:07 PM

oh dear, one more of the political correct faction that suck all spirit and meaning out of life. Go away!


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Subject: RE: Origins: background: 'Master Kilby'
From: GUEST,OldNicKilby
Date: 21 Dec 09 - 04:50 AM

I live in a village called Kilby which means literally "The place of the child of noble birth". It is an old village going back some 1500 years or more. It is linked to Wistow where one of the sons of Offa(I think) was murdered in around 850
There is a spinney in Kilby called "Lady Maisry's Spinney". I have done a fair bit of research as to wether there is a connection with these two songs but as yet I am unable to make a connection .Any thoughts folkies?


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Subject: RE: Origins: background: 'Master Kilby'
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 21 Dec 09 - 05:24 AM

Cecil Sharp thought it was a fragment of a "Vauxhall" (i.e. music-hall) song which had gone wild, and that Master Kilby had probably been Master Cupid. Sheer speculation, though.


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Subject: RE: Origins: background: 'Master Kilby'
From: Tim Chesterton
Date: 10 Sep 10 - 03:07 AM

Anyone know where to find the words Harry Richards sang in 1909?


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Subject: RE: Origins: background: 'Master Kilby'
From: pavane
Date: 10 Sep 10 - 05:43 AM

Further information:

Michael Raven published a guitar arrangement "Master Kilby" with tab in "English Folk Guitar 2", noting it as a "tune collected by Kitson". Looks like the same tune to me.


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Subject: RE: Origins: background: 'Master Kilby'
From: GUEST,OLDNICKILBY
Date: 10 Sep 10 - 05:45 AM

Tell us a bit more. Was the song collected by Sharp?


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Subject: RE: Origins: background: 'Master Kilby'
From: pavane
Date: 10 Sep 10 - 06:09 AM

From Songs of Country Life and Custom by C. J. Sharp - 1916 (As mentioned above)

Is "Master Kilby" a corruption of " Master Cupid ?" The tune seems to be the first half of a play-house or Vauxhall air based on some Irish original. Cf. the various Scottish and Irish airs in the Appendix of Moffat and Kidson's Minstrelsy of Ireland, Nos. xv to xx, pp. 340 and 341


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Subject: RE: Origins: background: 'Master Kilby'
From: pavane
Date: 10 Sep 10 - 06:15 AM

See above (Michael Douglas). Cecil Sharp noted it from Harry Richards of Curry Rivel in Somerset, in January of 1909.


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Subject: RE: Origins: background: 'Master Kilby'
From: Tim Chesterton
Date: 10 Sep 10 - 11:13 AM

It's marginally helpful to know that it's found in 'Songs of Country Life and Custom' by C.J. Sharp. However, I live in western Canada, thousands of miles from Cecil Sharp house, and that book does not seem to be available on any variant of Amazon, or on Abebooks, or the local library system in my city, and there's no internet access to the journals of the folk song society!

So - if someone has a copy of the lyrics SHarp wrote down in 1916, could they maybe post it?

And if there's a pdf of a tune, that would be wonderful too!


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Subject: ADD Version: Master Kilby
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 10 Sep 10 - 02:48 PM

Okay, Tim
Sharp's version was also published with tune in :-
Journal of the Folk Song society No20 p272
Cecil Sharp's Collection of English Folk Songs, Vol 1, Karpeles, p408
The Crystal Spring p66

The third item above is still very much available on Amazon etc as it was widely published in different formats.

But here is the text as given (presumably faithfully) in Karpeles.

MASTER KILBY

In the heat of the day
When the sun shines so freely,
Then I met Master Kilby
So fine and so gay.

Then I pulled off my hat
And I bowed to the ground,
And I said master Kilby,
Pray where are you bound?

I am bound for the West,
Where in hopes to find rest,
And in Nancy's soft bosom
I will build a new nest.

She's the fairest of girls,
She's the joyest of my own heart,
She's painted like waxwork
In every part.

And if I was the master
of ten thousand pound,
Or in gay gold and silver,
Or in King William's crown,

I would part with it all
With my own heart so freely
But it's all for the sake
Of my charming Nancy.

She's the fairest of girls,
She's the joyest of my own heart,
She's painted like waxwork
In every part.

Then I give her more kisses,
it was on the sea shore,
But still she lay asking,
Lay asking for more.

I would part with it all
With my own heart so freely
And it's all for the sake
Of my charming Nancy.

FWIW IMO it's a typical Irish broadside piece somewhat mangled. Anyone looking for the original should be looking for a 'Charming Nancy'. The 'Master Kilby' title is a red herring.

If you need any more certainty of what was recorded by Sharp you need to contact the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library or wait a few more years till the manuscripts come online.


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Subject: RE: Origins: background: 'Master Kilby'
From: Tim Chesterton
Date: 10 Sep 10 - 03:21 PM

Thank you very much, Steve - that's really helpful.


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Subject: RE: Origins: background: 'Master Kilby'
From: Tim Chesterton
Date: 10 Sep 10 - 04:59 PM

P.S. My apologies if the previous post seemed a little testy. I've been listening to and playing traditional music for a few years, mainly picking it up from the Internet and from CDs by Nic Jones, Martin Carthy et al, but have only just discovered the existence of Cecil Sharp house and the Library etc. I have no idea what services I (living in Canada) can access from them, but I'm definitely going to find out, and on my next visit to England (my parents live in the Midlands) I'm definitely going to visit Cecil Sharp House and see what it has to offer.


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Subject: RE: Origins: background: 'Master Kilby'
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 10 Sep 10 - 07:24 PM

Tim,
If you haven't already done so an online visit is to be recommended.
Apart from the stupendous Roud Index, the Take 6 project gives online access to 6 enormous manuscript song archives and there are currently moves to include midis on each song. Unfortunately the Sharp Mss are not yet online.


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Subject: RE: Origins: background: 'Master Kilby'
From: Tim Chesterton
Date: 21 Sep 10 - 02:59 PM

Got my (second-hand) copy of 'The Crystal Spring' in the mail from the UK today. I took a quick look inside and it looks really good! Many thanks, Steve, for pointing me in the direction of this great song collection.


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Subject: RE: Origins: background: 'Master Kilby'
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 21 Sep 10 - 05:44 PM

You're welcome.
Crystal springs, frolicking lambs, bright phoebuses and May morning dews don't do a lot for me, but that says more about me than the collection. I prefer the meatier stuff in the Purslow books.


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Subject: RE: Origins: background: 'Master Kilby'
From: Tim Chesterton
Date: 21 Sep 10 - 07:36 PM

OK, I just googled 'the Purslow books' (being ignorant of all this stuff, you know!), and I guess they'll be on my Christmas list!


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Subject: RE: Origins: background: 'Master Kilby'
From: Joe Offer
Date: 21 Sep 10 - 08:49 PM

Sooner or later, all of the collections of traditional song should be available online. It seems to me that it's just criminal to restrict access to these collections, which came from people who got no compensation for their songs.
-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Origins: background: 'Master Kilby'
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 22 Sep 10 - 07:15 PM

Tim,
The whole set of 4 were on Ebay recently. Might still be there. Of course 'Marrow Bones' is in a current edition available from the EFDSS and hopefully 'Wanton Seed' will be on the shelves shortly.


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Subject: RE: Origins: background: 'Master Kilby'
From: Tim Chesterton
Date: 22 Sep 10 - 09:00 PM

Yes, I saw the recent edition of Marrow Bones at EFDSS; Amazon don't seem to stock it. Don't worry, I'm making my list and checking it twice...


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