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The Green Banks of Yarrow

DigiTrad:
BANKS OF GREEN WILLOW
BANKS OF GREEN WILLOW
BANKS OF YARROW (4)
BANKS OF YARROW (4)
BONNIE ANNIE
BONNIE ANNIE
THE BANKS OF GREEN WILLOW (2)
THE BANKS OF GREEN WILLOW (2)


Related threads:
(origins) Penguin: Banks Of Green Willow (67)
Banks of Green Willow - Cyril Tawney (12)
Lyr Add: Bonnie Annie (Child 24) (14)
Lyr Req: The Green Willow (P Farrell) (5)
Chord Req: Banks of Green Willow (44)
Lyr Add: A Ballad of the Green Willow (Heywood) (3)
Lyr Req: Banks of Green Willow (from Butterworth) (3)
Banks of Green Willow (8)
What is 'Green Willow' (40)


GUEST 11 May 03 - 01:06 PM
Malcolm Douglas 11 May 03 - 02:39 PM
IanC 28 Nov 03 - 09:04 AM
Barry Finn 28 Nov 03 - 10:40 AM
GUEST,roisin breatnach 28 Feb 07 - 07:18 AM
Scrump 28 Feb 07 - 08:53 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 28 Feb 07 - 12:24 PM
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Subject: the green banks of Yarrow
From: GUEST
Date: 11 May 03 - 01:06 PM

Hello! Im hoping someone out there can help me out!? i've recently started singing the song 'Love lar-i' (or 'Green banks of Yarrow')i was wondering if anyone could supply me with any knowledge, but specifically any thoughts on the last verse (which is:
       O make my love a coffin of the gold so yellow,
       Where the nails they are scarce and the deal it is narrow,
       and bury her under the green banks of Yarrow,
       love-lar-i love lily love lee

any ideas? i'm especially puzzled about the coffin descriptions? why 'scarce nails' and 'deal it is narrow'? my email is l.j.rutherford@ncl.ac.uk. Any thoughts will be much appriciated.
thanks, lucy


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Subject: RE: the green banks of Yarrow
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 11 May 03 - 02:39 PM

Just a textual corruption I should think, though I don't believe I've heard that particular set, which I suspect was found in Northern Ireland. It's been recorded by one or two revival performers; "Sisters Unlimited", for one (perhaps their sleevenotes indicate the source?) and possibly Bob Davenport. For further (general) information and links to other versions, see this earlier discussion: Banks of Green Willow.


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Subject: RE: the green banks of Yarrow
From: IanC
Date: 28 Nov 03 - 09:04 AM

I've only just found this little thread, while looking for something else.

From the context here, I would disagree with Malcolm that this is just a textual corruption. Looks more to me like a local variant where the singer embellished the description of the coffin to emphasise how grand it should be.

Deal forms a small tree, so its planks will always be narrow. The wood is very white, with a fine even grain. It was used, among other things, for the decking of very high class ships. A good example of the use of a similar descriptive phrase is in Captain Frederick Marryat's "The Three Cutters" (Chapter One — Cutter the First).

"The deck, you observe, is of narrow deal planks as white as snow; the guns are of polished brass; the bitts and binnacles of mahogany: she is painted with taste; and all the mouldings are gilded."

Nails were quite scarce in early times. Until well into the industrial revolution, they were made by hand. For larger items, including almost all furniture prior to the availability of cheap manufactured nails, wooden dowels (trenails) were used. Screws would come much later. Making a coffin using (scarce) nails would indicate that it was a fine object and relatively costly. Trenails are still used in timber framed houses and (usually called dowels in this context) in furniture.

:-)


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Subject: RE: the green banks of Yarrow
From: Barry Finn
Date: 28 Nov 03 - 10:40 AM

As an a side on the nails. When sailors came to the islands in the South Pacific the islanders valued nails so much that the women would bargin for them with their bodies. The sailors started pulling the nails in order to have the pleasure of their company. In a few cases some of the ships were almost dismanteled.

Barry


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Subject: Lyr Add: LOVE LAR I / THE GREEN BANKS OF YARROW
From: GUEST,roisin breatnach
Date: 28 Feb 07 - 07:18 AM

LOVE LAR I / THE GREEN BANKS OF YARROW

We hadn't sailed far and we hadn't sailed any
We hadn't sailed far and we hadn't sailed any
When she cried out aloud for her baby
Love lar I love lily love lee

Up came the sea captain he spoke very boldly
Up came the sea captain he spoke very boldly
Saying I can get for you anything that you want
Love lar I love lily love lee

Oh fetch me a woman and let her stay near me
Oh fetch me a woman and let her stay near me
Oh fetch me a woman and let her stay near me
Love lar I love lily love lee

Up came the sea captain he spoke very boldly
Up came the sea captain he spoke very boldly
Saying I can do anything that any woman can
Love lar I love lily love lee

Hold your tongue foolish man don't you talk vainly
Hold your tongue foolish man don't you talk vainly
For you never knew what your mum did for you
Love lar I love lily love lee

Oh take me by the middle and lift me so softly
Oh take me by the middle and lift me so softly
And throw me over shipboard both me and my baby
Love lar I love lily love lee

Sometimes she did sink sometimes she did float it
Sometimes she did sink sometimes she did float it
Until she came to the green banks of Yarrow
Love lar I love lily love lee

Build my love a coffin of gold so yellow
Where the nails they are scarce and the deed it is narrow
And bury it under the green banks of Yarrow
Love lar I love lily love lee
Love lar I love lily love lee


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Subject: RE: the green banks of Yarrow
From: Scrump
Date: 28 Feb 07 - 08:53 AM

LOL Barry :-)


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Subject: RE: the green banks of Yarrow
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 28 Feb 07 - 12:24 PM

Comment by IanC on 'deal' may be misleading. Originally, the word, from Low German, applied to a plank, used in decking, etc. 'Deal' is usually applied to fir or pine, and in British usage is a sawn plank no more than seven inches wide and three inches thick. In the British timber trade, deal was a sawn plank 9 inches wide, no more than 3 inches thick, and at least 6 feet long (often 12 feet in England and 11 feet in the U. S.).

Not pertinent here, but cabinet makers used to apply
the term 'deal' to furniture made of less desirable woods, such as elm, often in narrow widths when compared with wide boards of mahogany, etc., used in better furniture.


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