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Origins: Níl Sé Ina Lá/ Border Affair/Spanish ...

DigiTrad:
SPANISH IS THE LOVING TONGUE


Related threads:
(origins) Origins: Spanish Is the Loving Tongue (95)
Who wrote 'Spanish is Loving Tongue'? (25)
Lyr req Yiddish Is a Loving Tongue (3)


Cruiser 01 Dec 03 - 07:37 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 01 Dec 03 - 09:52 PM
GUEST,Cruiser 01 Dec 03 - 10:39 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 02 Dec 03 - 01:34 PM
Cruiser 02 Dec 03 - 02:33 PM
Cruiser 02 Dec 03 - 02:42 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 02 Dec 03 - 08:57 PM
Lighter 21 Feb 13 - 06:58 PM
MartinRyan 21 Feb 13 - 08:02 PM
Lighter 21 Feb 13 - 08:06 PM
GUEST,Beachcomber 22 Feb 13 - 07:27 AM
Lighter 22 Feb 13 - 08:03 AM
Lighter 22 Feb 13 - 05:29 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 22 Feb 13 - 06:21 PM
Lighter 16 May 14 - 08:50 AM
Lighter 16 May 14 - 11:58 AM
Jack Campin 16 May 14 - 03:02 PM
Lighter 16 May 14 - 05:18 PM
Lighter 17 May 14 - 12:49 PM
Lighter 19 May 14 - 08:53 AM
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Subject: Origins: Níl Sé Ina Lá/ Border Affair/Spanish ...
From: Cruiser
Date: 01 Dec 03 - 07:37 PM

From the liner notes of the excellent David Wilkie CD 'Cowboy Ceilidh':


Níl Sé Ina Lá/ Border Affair

{Quote}

"An interesting thing happened while we were working up Badger Clark's 'Border Affair' with Laoise and Johnny at Sulán Studios in Ballyvourney (I add: County Cork, Ireland). They recognized the melody as 'Níl Sé Ina Lá', a traditional Irish song of drinking 'til the light of dawn"

{End Quote}

Hear sound clips of the song and all the other CD tracks below @

Cowboy Ceilidh


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Subject: RE: Origins: Níl Sé Ina Lá/ Border Affair/Spanish ...
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 01 Dec 03 - 09:52 PM

There is a strong coincidence. In lines 5-6 there are some differences with the Billy Simon tune given for "A Border Affair" and reproduced in both "Git Along Little Dogies by White and "Ten Thousand Goddammed Cattle by Katie Lee, but otherwise the tune is very similar.

Billy Simon says he worked out the tune (he couldn't read or write music), which was written out later by Dorothy Youmans. This is the tune usually published for "A Border Affair." Was Billy Simon's tune a half-remembered old melody? Or are we really using the melody set to the poem by Dorothy Youmans? Where would Simon have heard Nil Sé Ina Lá? Or was his original tune different, as suggested below? (He was a cowhand, at one time wagon boss for the King Ranch in Arizona).

The tune used by Cowboy Ceilidh is not the same one used by Bill Simon on an LP issued in 1972 by the Arizona Friends of Folklore (Northern Arizona University), "Cowboy Songs 22 (AFF 33-2); "which differs in many respects from the one I wrote down in 1933"- John I. White, 1975, "Git Along Little Dogies," p. 130-131. The sheet music in White is close to the tune used on "Cowboy Ceilidh" with the exception of the differences in lines 5-6 as noted above. He does not reproduce the music from Simon's LP.
I have never heard Simon's recording so can't make a comparison.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Níl Sé Ina Lá/ Border Affair/Spanish ...
From: GUEST,Cruiser
Date: 01 Dec 03 - 10:39 PM

Q,

A good detailed reply.

The other melodies I have heard for these titles sound very different from the Cowboy Ceilidh rendition.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Níl Sé Ina Lá/ Border Affair/Spanish ...
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 02 Dec 03 - 01:34 PM

The versions of Nil Sé 'Na Lá in the Forum are about loving, not drinking 'til break of day: Nil Sé Ina Lá

Any more information on this song? Age? Other sources?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Níl Sé Ina Lá/ Border Affair/Spanish ...
From: Cruiser
Date: 02 Dec 03 - 02:33 PM

A completely different melodic version of the song than the David Wilkie CD arrangement (from a Google search):



Nil Se Ina La


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Subject: Lyr Add: NÍL SÉ INA LÁ / IT'S NOT YET DAY
From: Cruiser
Date: 02 Dec 03 - 02:42 PM

These lyrics sound like an Irish drinkin' song to me:

Níl Sé ina Lá (Níl Sé'n Lá)
(It's Not Yet Day)

Chuaigh mé isteach i dteach aréir
is d'iarr mé cairde ar mhnaoi an leanna.
Is é dúirt sí liom "Ní bhfaighidh tú deor.
Buail an bóthar is gabh abhaile."
I went into a (public) house last night
and I asked the barwoman for credit
She said to me "You won't get a drop
Hit the road and go home."

Curfá:
Níl sé ina lá, níl a ghrá,
níl sé ina lá is ní bheidh go maidin,
níl sé ina lá is ní bheidh go fóill,
solas ard atá sa ghealaigh.
Chorus:
It's not yet day, it's not my love,
it's not yet day and it won't be 'till morning,
it's not yet day and it won't be yet,
A high light is in the moon.

Chuir mé féin mo lámh i mo phóca
is d'iarr mé briseadh scillinge uirthi.
Is é dúirt sí liom "Suigh síos ag bord
is bí ag ól anseo go maidin."
I put my hand in my pocket
and I asked for the change of a shilling.
She said to me, "Sit down at the table
And drink here until the morning."

"Éirigh i do shuí, a fhear an tí,
cuir ort do bhrístí is do hata
go gcoinne tú ceol leis an duine cóir
a bheas ag ól anseo go maidin."
"Rise up, man of the house,
put on your trousers and your hat,
'till you keep music with the good person
who'll be drinking here until morning."

Nach mise féin an fear gan chéill
a d'fhág mo chíos in mo scornaigh?
D'fhág mé léan orm féin
is d'fhág mé séan ar dhaoine eile.
Amn't I the senseless man
Who left my rent in my throat
I brought anguish on myself
and left others prosperous.

Link for lyrics


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Subject: RE: Origins: Níl Sé Ina Lá/ Border Affair/Spanish ...
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 02 Dec 03 - 08:57 PM

Thanks, Cruiser. The way the melody was played on the David Wilkie cut, I can't relate it to a drinking song.
The sound clip you found is nothing like the usual tune for "A Border Affair." Most confusing.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Níl Sé Ina Lá/ Border Affair/Spanish ...
From: Lighter
Date: 21 Feb 13 - 06:58 PM

I find no renditions of the Irish song that sound even remotely like the customary tune, played by Wilkie and Cowboy Celtic, of "Spanish is the Loving Tongue."

Am I missing something? Or was Wilkie told the wrong title?

Is the tune Irish at all? Why should we think so?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Níl Sé Ina Lá/ Border Affair/Spanish ...
From: MartinRyan
Date: 21 Feb 13 - 08:02 PM

Missed this thread, first time out. The first strain of the air played on Cowboy Ceilidh in the first link is certainly very similar to Níl sé 'na lá. Sample cuts before the second strain.

I don't know, offhand, how old the Irish air may be but can probably check if it's still of interest.

Regards

p.s. Irish (language) drinking songs bear little resemblance to The Student Prince school of music!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Níl Sé Ina Lá/ Border Affair/Spanish ...
From: Lighter
Date: 21 Feb 13 - 08:06 PM

Thanks, Martin. I'll listen again....


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Subject: RE: Origins: Níl Sé Ina Lá/ Border Affair/Spanish ...
From: GUEST,Beachcomber
Date: 22 Feb 13 - 07:27 AM

Right Martin, As one who has been there I know the melancholy that comes with the morning's sobriety.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Níl Sé Ina Lá/ Border Affair/Spanish ...
From: Lighter
Date: 22 Feb 13 - 08:03 AM

PS: Martin, anything else you can add would indeed be of interest.

Bill Simon's well-attested composition of the melody for Clarke's words would seem to make any connection, other than coincidental resemblance, to an Irish-language drinking song prima facie unlikely.

But I'm willing to be persuaded. Will listen in the car, and try not to crash.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Níl Sé Ina Lá/ Border Affair/Spanish ...
From: Lighter
Date: 22 Feb 13 - 05:29 PM

OK.

The Wilkie tune is this one:

http://thesession.org/tunes/9567

That's totally unlike the "usual" tune called "Níl Sé Ina Lá" as recorded by Clannad and others.

Was the Irish name added recently and arbitrarily to Bill Simon's?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Níl Sé Ina Lá/ Border Affair/Spanish ...
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 22 Feb 13 - 06:21 PM

No resemblance that I can see between Simon's tune for Badger Clarke's "A Border Affair (Spainsh Is a Loving Tongue)" ant the Irish melody.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Níl Sé Ina Lá/ Border Affair/Spanish ...
From: Lighter
Date: 16 May 14 - 08:50 AM

The very first tune in "Cathal McConnell Teaches Irish Pennywhistle" (Woodstock, NY: Homespun Tapes, 1996), is "It's Not Yet Day (Neil Shay Na Law)."

"Cowboy Celtic" also appeared in 1996, probably too late to have picked up the tune title from McConnell's book. (The tune itself was already long associated with the Clarke's cowboy poem.)

McConnell's tune is essentially identical to the usual "Loving Tongue" tune. The final measures of lines 2 and 4 are just slightly different.

McConnell sings an English translation of the Irish song under the title "There's the Day" on his album, "Long Expectant Comes at Last" (2000).(Shouldn't that be "Long Expected..."? Oh well.)

The earliest appearance of the tune itself, and how it came to be associated with both a 20th century cowboy poem by a known author and an Irish Gaelic drinking song, remain a mystery.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Níl Sé Ina Lá/ Border Affair/Spanish ...
From: Lighter
Date: 16 May 14 - 11:58 AM

Meant to say, "essentially identical to the *first half* of the usual 'Loving Tongue' tune." McConnell only gives the one part, and his great singing of "There's the Day" likewise has just one part.

I don't see the tune under any likely English title in either Petrie or O'Neill.

It seems unlikely to me that a *two-part* melody attached no earlier than about 1920 to a (now) very popular American song really comes from the *one-part* melody of a seemingly older Gaelic song apparently unknown in America.

McConnell's tune is such a simple rise and fall that mere coincidence might account for its appearance in America.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Níl Sé Ina Lá/ Border Affair/Spanish ...
From: Jack Campin
Date: 16 May 14 - 03:02 PM

"Nil Se Ne La" is in one or other of Eamonn Jordan's "Whistle and Sing" books. I can't find mine right now. The first dates to the mid-1970s, the second to (I think) 10 years later.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Níl Sé Ina Lá/ Border Affair/Spanish ...
From: Lighter
Date: 16 May 14 - 05:18 PM

Thanks for the lead, Jack. It's in "Whistle and Sing!" (crt. 1974, pub. 1975), p. 9.

It's the same as McConnell's tune, but the emphases are different enough to make it sound rather less like the American melody.

I'm more inclined than ever to see the resemblance between the tunes "Nil Se Ne La" and "A Border Affair" as coincidental.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Níl Sé Ina Lá/ Border Affair/Spanish ...
From: Lighter
Date: 17 May 14 - 12:49 PM

P. W, Joyce gives a tune called "It Is Day" in "Ancient Irish Music" (1873), p. 58; he gives another version called "It Is Not Day, No, Nor Morning" in "Old Irish Folk Music and Songs" (1909) as collected by John Edward Pigot between 1840 and 1850. To judge from Joyce's brief notes, both tunes belong to the drinking song discussed above.

The 1909 version also carries the words of the Gaelic "Mad Buck-Goat," recorded by the Chieftains some years ago.

Neither of Joyce's tunes is anything at all like the Jordan-McConnell melody.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Níl Sé Ina Lá/ Border Affair/Spanish ...
From: Lighter
Date: 19 May 14 - 08:53 AM

Having listened further to the Simon tune and played both the Irish and the American tunes, I'm now quite persuaded that the resemblance is coincidental.

It is more apparent on the page, particularly in McConnell's version, than when the tunes are played.


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