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Lyr Add: Cheshire May-day song

DigiTrad:
CORNISH MAY CAROL
DRAWING NEARER TO THE MERRY MONTH OF MAY
MAY DAY CAROL
MAY DAY CAROL (2)
MAY MORNING CAROL
MAY MORNING DEW
QUEEN OF THE MAY


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Rank 16 May 03 - 07:31 PM
GUEST,John J...notaguest 17 May 03 - 05:56 AM
greg stephens 17 May 03 - 06:39 PM
Malcolm Douglas 17 May 03 - 10:01 PM
greg stephens 18 May 03 - 02:04 AM
masato sakurai 18 May 03 - 02:21 AM
Rank 18 May 03 - 12:57 PM
masato sakurai 18 May 03 - 02:04 PM
Malcolm Douglas 18 May 03 - 03:58 PM
Liz the Squeak 19 May 03 - 03:35 PM
greg stephens 19 May 03 - 05:55 PM
GUEST,Susie 01 May 16 - 05:17 AM
GUEST 01 May 16 - 05:23 AM
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Subject: Lyr Add: CHESHIRE MAYDAY CAROL
From: Rank
Date: 16 May 03 - 07:31 PM

The Cheshire May-day carol is similar in some respects to Drawing nearer the merry month of May in the DT. From Pete and Chris Coe Trailer LER 2077. Egerton-Leigh's Lays and legends of Cheshire. Tune: The painful plough. Note that names can be substituted.

CHESHIRE MAYDAY CAROL

All on this pleasant morning, together come are we,
        To tell you of a blossom that hangs on every tree.
We have stayed up all evening to welcome in the day,
        Good people all, both great and small, it is the first of May.

Good people all, both great and small, it is the first of May.

Rise up the master of this house, put on your chain of gold,
        And turn unto your mistress, so comely to behold.
Rise up the mistress of this house, with gold upon your breast,
        And if your body be asleep, we hope your souls are dressed.

Oh rise up Mister Wilbraham, all joys to you betide.
        Your horse is ready saddled, a-hunting for to ride.
Your saddle is of silver, your bridle of the gold,
        Your wife shall ride beside you, so lovely to behold.

Oh rise up Mister Edgerton and take your pen in hand,
        For you're a learned scholar, as we do understand.
OH rise up Mrs. Stoughton, put on your rich attire,
        For every hair upon your head shines like the silver wire.

Oh rise up the good housekeeper, put on your gown of silk,
        And may you have a husband good, with twenty cows to milk.
And where are all the pretty maids that live next door to you,
        Oh they have gone to bathe themselves, all in the morning dew.

God bless your house and arbour, your riches and your store.
        We hope the Lord will prosper you, both now and ever more.
So now we're going to leave you, in peace and plenty here,
        We shall not sing this song again, until another year.

Good people all, both great and small, it is the first of May.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Cheshire May-day song
From: GUEST,John J...notaguest
Date: 17 May 03 - 05:56 AM

Thanks for posting this Rank. Or should that be : thanks for posting this song, Rank?
This is the first May for many years that I haven't sung any May songs....this one looks worth learning.

Cheers,

John
(Altrincham, Cheshire)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Cheshire May-day song
From: greg stephens
Date: 17 May 03 - 06:39 PM

This looks rather like a literary concoction to me, rather than a traditional folk song. The first and third lines of each verse are surely traditional lines from the Swinton May Song/Padstow Maysong family of processional/money raising songs, but the second and fourth lines seem to me to come from a different style. They are also in a different metre from the Swinton Maysong tune.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Cheshire May-day song
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 17 May 03 - 10:01 PM

That's always the problem with quoting songs from records made by revival performers. You can't be sure if they're genuinely traditional or heavily re-written. Having said that, I haven't seen the book referred to, and have no reason -so far- to doubt its authenticity. I'd like to know, though, which Painful Plough tune is meant. There are quite a few possibilities, after all.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Cheshire May-day song
From: greg stephens
Date: 18 May 03 - 02:04 AM

My previous posting was a bit awry. What I was trying to say is that this song is cobbled together from bits of the Swinton May Song as far as I can see.The first and third lines of the Swinton May Song(or some similar song) have been used without the refrains to construct verses in a different metre, and then sung to a different tune.
    What I'm unclear about is whether this song is from a recent record or an older book. Could you give a bit more detail, Rank? I've done a certain amount of work on Cheshire traditional music, and I dont know this song, or the Egerton-Leigh book. Tell us more. I want a copy.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Cheshire May-day song
From: masato sakurai
Date: 18 May 03 - 02:21 AM

This book, which is in the bibliography of Child's Englsih and Scottish Popular Ballads (vol. 5, p. 535), may be the one.
Leigh, Egerton. Ballads and Legends of Cheshire. London, 1867.
~Masato


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Cheshire May-day song
From: Rank
Date: 18 May 03 - 12:57 PM

Record mentioned above was produced in 1972. Sleeve notes don't add anything else really.


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Subject: Lyr Add: OLD MAY SONG + NEW MAY SONG
From: masato sakurai
Date: 18 May 03 - 02:04 PM

"Old May Song" and "New May Song" are quoted in Chambers' Book of Days, vol. 2, pp. 547-548 (with music).
                         OLD MAY SONG

All in this pleasant evening, together comers [?come are] we,
    For the Summer springs so fresh, green, and gay;
We'll tell you of a blossom and buds on every tree,
    Drawing near to the merry month of May.

Rise up, the master of this house, put on your chain of gold,
    For the Summer springs so fresh, green, and gay;
We hope you're not offended, [with] your house we make so bold,
    Drawing near to the merry month of May.

Rise up, the mistress of this house, with gold along your breast,
    For the Summer springs so fresh, green, and gay;
And if your body be alseep, we hope your soul's at rest,
    Drawing near to the merry month of May.

Rise up, the chilren of this house, all in your rich attire,
    For the Summer springs so fresh, green, and gay;
For every hair upon your head[s] shines like the silver wire,
    Drawing near to the merry month of May.

God bless this house and harbour, your riches and your store,
    For the Summer springs so fresh, green, and gay;
We hope the Lord will prosper you, both now and evermore,
    Drawing near to the merry month of May.

So now we're going to leave you, in peace and plenty here,
    For the Summer springs so fresh, green, and gay;
We shall not sing you May again until another year,
    For to draw you these cold winters away.

                         NEW MAY SONG

Come listen awhile unto what we shall say,
Concerning the season, the month we call May;
For the flowers they are springing, and the birds they do sing,
And the baziers* are sweet in the morning of May.

When the trees are in bloom, and the meadows are green,
The sweet-smelling cowslips are plain to be seen;
The sweet ties of nature, which we plainly do see,
For the baziers are sweet in the morning of May.

All creatures are deem'd, in their station below,
Such comforts of love on each other bestow;
Our flocks they're all folded, and young lambs sweetly do play,
And the baziers are sweet in the morning of May.

So now to conlcude, with much freedom and love,
The sweetest of blessings p[r]oceeds from above;
Let us join in our song that right happy may we be,
For we'll bless with contentment in the morning of May.†

    * The bazier is the name given in this part of Lancashire to the auricula, which is usually in full bloom in April. [....]
    † This last line would read better thus:
    'For we're blest with content in the morning of May.'
T.F. Thiselton Dyer also quotes these songs (with minor differences) in British Popular Customs, Present and Past (George Bell, 1876, pp. 219-220), with this note (to "New May Song"): "The Chesire May-song is very similar to this."(underline added)

~Masato


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Cheshire May-day song
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 18 May 03 - 03:58 PM

Both songs from the Book of Days are quoted in this earler discussion: Lyr Add: Swinton May Songs #'s 1 and 2. The Old Song was also posted at Lyr Add: SWINTON MAY SONG.

Beside the Leigh book, which was re-printed by E. J. Morton in 1972, two Cheshire May songs are included, with music, in Dorothy Dearnley's Seven Cheshire Folk Songs (OUP 1967). One begins All in this pleasant evening together come are we, and is likely much the same as the one under discussion here. I haven't seen it, so I can't say what tune was used.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Cheshire May-day song
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 19 May 03 - 03:35 PM

The Wilsons do a cracking version of this on their album 'Stocking Tops'.

Trouble with Mayday songs is, they are all starting to sound like the same song. There are only so many times (31) you can go walking on a May morning, and only so many people in the household you can say hello to.

I suspect that Pete Coe heard a song very similar, decided to tweak it a bit and called it the Cheshire Mayday song because that's where he was at the time......

I'm going to learn the Dorset Floral Dance, the Plaistow Mayday song and possibly the Upstairs Toilet Anthem soon.

LTS


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Cheshire May-day song
From: greg stephens
Date: 19 May 03 - 05:55 PM

The intriguing thing about the Swinton May Song(posted earlier) is its near identity to the celebrated Padstow Maysong in words and music. I've never heard this satisfactorily explained(or even that seriously discussed). Padstow and Swinton(near Manchester) are a long way apart, and we do not have(as far as I know) similar songs collected in between. Did the collectors fail to spot any linking songs in Worcester and Somerset? Or are we talking Cornish miners coming to the Worsley coal mines? Or Lancahire coast fishermen mackerel fishing early in the season off Cornwall? The mystery is compounded by the the tune of the second Swinton Song(the Baisers) being very remniscent of the slow bit of the Padstow song(O where is St George?).
Anyone know any more on this?


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Subject: Lyr Add: CHESHIRE MAY SONG
From: GUEST,Susie
Date: 01 May 16 - 05:17 AM

Egertonj-Leigh went out of his way to try to collect ANY Cheshire folk songs he found, before he published his 1867 book - he was very disappointed. There was hardly anything left.

This one is a traditional one with what appears to be "chapel" verses added to it. It does sound very like the Padstow one to me...

CHESHIRE MAY SONG
All on this pleasant evening, together cometh we,
For the summer springs, so fresh and green and gay
To tell you of a blossom that buds on every tree.
Drawing near to the merry month of May.

Rise up the master of this house, all in your chain of gold,
We hope you'll not be offended, this night we make so bold

Rise up the mistress of this house, with gold upon your breast,
And if your body be asleep, we hope your soul's at rest.

Sweet Flora, in her prime, down by yon river see
Where the fields and the meadows look gay
Where the little birds are singing, sweet flowers are springing
And the summer springs, so fresh, green and gay.

He hanged on a tree our Saviour for to be
And so did our Lord God provide
To clothe and feed our bodily need
And to save our souls when we die.

Now again comes the spring, which causes us to sing
And every living creature to rejoice
For giving thanks to him that sends us everything
That is needful for man and for beast.

Oh! This is pleasant singing, sweet flowers they are springing
And the summer springs, so fresh, green and gay
Right happy are those people who in their hearts give thanks
Full and still, to their great Lord alway.

God bless your house and company, your riches and your store.
And all within your gates, we wish you ten times more

In the midst of peace and plenty, we wish to leave you here
We will come no more a-singing, until another year.

"Copied for me [Egerton Leigh, bef. 1866] by George Leigh of Lymm;… it is the song now sung in the Lymm district."


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Subject: Lyr Add: CHESHIRE MAYDAY CAROL
From: GUEST
Date: 01 May 16 - 05:23 AM

The other one in his book [an original of which I have] is this. His notes at the end of both songs are of some interest.
The verses with the names in may well have been added for his immediate circle of family and friends. There was a tradition of singing hunting songs in the 'upper hundred' Cheshire families in the 19th c. The "Tarporley Hunt 1833" song - brilliant song! - lists the families who rode with the Cheshire hunt. He would have known them all.

CHESHIRE MAYDAY CAROL

All on this pleasant morning, together come are we,
For the summer springs, so fresh and green and gay
To tell you of a blossom that hangs on every tree.
Drawing near to the merry month of May.

Oh this is pleasant! Singing sweet May-flower is springing
And summer comes, so fresh and green and gay.

Rise up the master of this house, all in his chain of gold,
And turn unto your loving wife, so comely to behold.

Rise up the mistress of this house, with gold upon your breast,
And if your body's sleeping, we hope your soul has rest.

Oh rise up Mister Wilbraham, all joys to you betide. [Mr A.R.]
Your steed stands is ready saddled, a-hunting for to ride.

Your saddle is of silver, your bridle of the gold,
Your bride shall ride beside you, so lovely to behold.

Oh ! rise up Mister Edgerton and take your pen in hand, [Mr D. C.]
For you're a learned scholar, as we do understand.

Oh! rise up Mrs.Stoughton, put on your rich attire, [Mistress E. F.]
You are to have some noble lord or else some wealthy squire.

Oh! rise up the little ones, the flower of all your kin
And blest be the chamber their bodies lie within.

Oh rise up the good housekeeper, all in her gown of silk,
And may she have a husband good, with twenty cows to milk.

And where are all the fair maids that used here to dance,
Oh they have gone abroad from hence, to spend their lives in France..

God bless your house and arbour, your riches and your store.
We hope the Lord will prosper you, both now and ever more.

So now we're going to leave you, in peace and plenty here,
We shall not sing this song again, until another year.

Pp 239 & 240, "Ballads & Legends of Cheshire", Egerton Leigh, August 1866. [copied by him from Palatine Anthology : a collection of ancient poems and ballads, relating to Lancashire and Cheshire, by Halliwell-Phillipps, J. O. (James Orchard), 1820-1889 [Published 1850.]


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