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Would you sing Peggy and the Soldier

DigiTrad:
PEGGY AND THE SOLDIER.
THE LAME SOLDIER


Les in Chorlton 17 Mar 04 - 02:13 PM
GUEST,MMario 17 Mar 04 - 02:21 PM
McGrath of Harlow 17 Mar 04 - 02:24 PM
Mary Humphreys 17 Mar 04 - 02:28 PM
Wolfgang 17 Mar 04 - 02:50 PM
Les in Chorlton 17 Mar 04 - 03:36 PM
Phil Cooper 17 Mar 04 - 03:48 PM
GUEST 17 Mar 04 - 03:49 PM
GUEST,Ed 17 Mar 04 - 04:00 PM
Les in Chorlton 17 Mar 04 - 05:40 PM
Malcolm Douglas 17 Mar 04 - 06:08 PM
McGrath of Harlow 17 Mar 04 - 08:18 PM
Abby Sale 17 Mar 04 - 11:59 PM
Malcolm Douglas 18 Mar 04 - 12:47 AM
Dave Bryant 18 Mar 04 - 10:16 AM
GUEST,MMario 18 Mar 04 - 10:19 AM
Les in Chorlton 18 Mar 04 - 03:07 PM
McGrath of Harlow 18 Mar 04 - 03:56 PM
Compton 18 Mar 04 - 05:50 PM
Dave Wynn 18 Mar 04 - 06:09 PM
Dave Wynn 18 Mar 04 - 06:15 PM
Richard Bridge 18 Mar 04 - 06:53 PM
Dave Wynn 18 Mar 04 - 07:13 PM
Richard Bridge 18 Mar 04 - 07:16 PM
McGrath of Harlow 18 Mar 04 - 08:05 PM
Les in Chorlton 19 Mar 04 - 01:41 PM
Uncle_DaveO 19 Mar 04 - 04:45 PM
Dave Wynn 19 Mar 04 - 07:31 PM
McGrath of Harlow 19 Mar 04 - 08:16 PM
Abby Sale 19 Mar 04 - 11:52 PM
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Les in Chorlton 20 Mar 04 - 07:51 AM
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Subject: Would you sing Peggy and the Soldier
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 17 Mar 04 - 02:13 PM

I first cam across Peggy and the Soldier through Martin Carthy and Dave Swarbrick in the 60's.

It's got a great tune and sense of purpose. I got the words the other day and they seem to give Peggy a pretty bad time for going off with the Soldier.

Would you sing it?


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Subject: RE: Would you sing Peggy and the Soldier
From: GUEST,MMario
Date: 17 Mar 04 - 02:21 PM

lessee - married woman with a child abandons the family and runs away with another man. He turns out to be a jerk and she returns home. Bitter husband dosn't believe her when she says she will remain faithful and rejects her.

Sounds pretty realistic.

If the genders were reversed it would probably be lauded.


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Subject: RE: Would you sing Peggy and the Soldier
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 17 Mar 04 - 02:24 PM

Here's the link to it - Peggy and the Soldier

Depends how sung. I'd trust Martin Carthy to sing it, though maybe not everybody. The point is, there's no triumph in the man's reaction, it's how things are. He's angry and bitter - but note, he's not violent towards her.

If it was the other way round and it was a husband coming back home afyer running off, I don't think many people would be surprised or uneasy because she wouldn't have him back.


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Subject: RE: Would you sing Peggy and the Soldier
From: Mary Humphreys
Date: 17 Mar 04 - 02:28 PM

Hi Les,
I have sung it on occasions. It reminds me of the 'Demon Lover' Child ballad story. Except that Peggy doesn't get to die horribly. I agree with you about the tune - it is good.
Maybe I will brush off the cobwebs from it & sing it a bit more....
Mary


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Subject: RE: Would you sing Peggy and the Soldier
From: Wolfgang
Date: 17 Mar 04 - 02:50 PM

The Johnstons also did sing it.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Would you sing Peggy and the Soldier
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 17 Mar 04 - 03:36 PM

He kicked and he beat her and he called her a whore
Saying get back to you John..........

John, her husband, he mounted on his high horse back,
He rode until he came to the water.
He abus-ed the wind and the waters, clear,
Sent Peggy off to sea with the soldier.

He abus-ed the man that builded the boat.
He abus-ed the captain that sailed her.
He abus-ed the wind and the waters, clear,
Sent Peggy off to sea with the soldier.

MMMMMM thoughtful advice


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Subject: RE: Would you sing Peggy and the Soldier
From: Phil Cooper
Date: 17 Mar 04 - 03:48 PM

Hedgehog Pie also did a version of it.


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Subject: RE: Would you sing Peggy and the Soldier
From: GUEST
Date: 17 Mar 04 - 03:49 PM

it was the SOLDIER not her husband who beat and kicked her -


People asked her where she was going,
She made not an answer, she couldn't say where,
For she'd been away to sea with the soldier.

When Peggy got back, it was late in the night,
And she was ashamed to be seen,
It was under the window she's listened a while,
To her husband a-nursing the baby.

"Now hushaba little one and don't you cry,
For your momma's gone and left you in sorrow,


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Subject: RE: Would you sing Peggy and the Soldier
From: GUEST,Ed
Date: 17 Mar 04 - 04:00 PM

Les, in singing a song like this, you are reporting something that happened. You're not making any judgements on how people behave by singing it.

Yes, I'd sing it.


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Subject: RE: Would you sing Peggy and the Soldier
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 17 Mar 04 - 05:40 PM

thanks again, again, McGrath spots the tension and the problem. The song is easy to engage but it needs to be sung carefully and sensitively because as most people have pointed out the plot is not simple or easy to reconcile.

Not William S but not bad for a folk song, if that's what it is


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Subject: RE: Would you sing Peggy and the Soldier
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 17 Mar 04 - 06:08 PM

The song derives from a broadside of the early-to-mid 17th century, in which Peggy comes home simply because she has run out of money; her husband forgives her. There are a couple of later editions at  Bodleian Library Broadside Ballads:

A new ballad of the souldier and Peggy

Sets from oral tradition are quite rare. There are two texts in the DT. PEGGY AND THE SOLDIER is taken from Martin Carthy's recording. It contains a lot of material that isn't in the only English traditional text I know of (and which he implied was his source) - I don't know where he got the rest of it. Perhaps it was adapted from THE LAME SOLDIER, collected by Lomax in Indiana. There's a Scottish version in the Greig-Duncan collection, but I don't think it had been published at the time.

See also the set at The Max Hunter Folk Song Collection:

Peggy And The Soldier

So far as I can remember, the Hedgehog Pie "version" was an arrangement of the Carthy redaction, not an independent one.


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Subject: RE: Would you sing Peggy and the Soldier
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 17 Mar 04 - 08:18 PM

"It reminds me of the 'Demon Lover' "

That had occurred to me. I suppose it's a story that has always happened from time to time (and still does), and people imagine how it might end up in different ways, either by making up different songs, or by adjusting and interpeting existing songs in different ways.

Threre's an echo of the Wraggle Taggle Gypsies family of songs too - both in the situation and even in the text -

John, her husband, he mounted on his high horse back,
He rode until he came to the water.


It's like a kind of sequel, but with the Gypsy turned to a Soldier, and imagined as a brute.


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Subject: RE: Would you sing Peggy and the Soldier
From: Abby Sale
Date: 17 Mar 04 - 11:59 PM

Would I sing it? Can't imagine why not. I have many, many times.
It's a very mild story as these things go. No murder, no death at all; no naughty words (but some good cursing), no politics, no blackmail, no racism - nearly a children's song.   

I learned this from President Taylor in 1966. He sang the Carthy version. Being too lazy to get up and look at the LP notes, I looked at the words & notes in the Carthy unofficial website. Carthy relates it, as Mary does above, to the House Carpenter songs.

I enjoyed the mistransription at that website:

They hadn't been sailing a week or more
When her love oh it turned to anger
He bit her and he kicked her he called her horse
And he back to her John in the morning

A bit more on its history:
Roud (#907)gives a reference-only entry (no text) for Peggy and the Soldier in Wm. Thackeray's broadside list (c1689)

Malcolm - I don't find a reference in G~D (though I often miss them). I see a ref to The Gallant soldier - Roud #5792. It's sometimes called (elsewhere) Peggy and the Soldier but seems to be a completely different song.

Roud lists the item Carthy (as you say) seems to be referencing - the text in Journal of the Folk-Song Society in 1930. That, says Roud, is from Dorset : Lackington (they also reprint a text in the Skene MS of mid 1600's.) Roud also gives a different English field reference to Peggy Went up the Street from a manuscript collection of Cecil Sharp, Folk Words p.256.

Anyway, it's a fine song.   It goes right in there with my list of trad songs involving "Truly Pissed Off People." All of a sudden at the end, Husband comes up from being a wipped wimp (see ROCKING THE CRADLE) to the strong character of the piece. You just wouldn't want to risk sailing on any boat builded by the man that builded Soldier's boat - or on any waters on which it might have sailed.


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Subject: RE: Would you sing Peggy and the Soldier
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 18 Mar 04 - 12:47 AM

The G-D reference is to Her Soldier (vol 6, 125-6). I don't have that one. Bruce Olson put the earliest date at about 1635. The other Peggy and the soldier is better known nowadays as Mary and her Gallant Soldier, I think; as you say, it's a completely different song.

"He bit her and he kicked her he called her horse"... I like that. What will they think of next!


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Subject: RE: Would you sing Peggy and the Soldier
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 18 Mar 04 - 10:16 AM

Is this a request ?

Seriously I've never really considered applying political correctness to traditional folk songs. Even if many of them do breach modern social mores, I believe that these differences are an important issue in understanding how people felt in the past and how things have changed. Too many good songs would be lost or become merely of accademic interest if we go too far down that path. We might as well stop singing songs about sailing ships because they are no longer used commercially on any serious scale.


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Subject: RE: Would you sing Peggy and the Soldier
From: GUEST,MMario
Date: 18 Mar 04 - 10:19 AM

or those with swords, horses, shilings...


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Subject: RE: Would you sing Peggy and the Soldier
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 18 Mar 04 - 03:07 PM

We cannot easily or always tell folk songs from old songs because they overlap. Lots of old songs contain offensive references to black people, jewish people, women, children and so on.

Most singers and most audiences don't want to cause offence or hear offensive material. Whilst sailing ships cannot be offended people can.

That is why I raised the issue of Peggy and I feel clearer about singing a song in which a woman gets treated in a way most of us would not treat women.

As for political correctness, it seems that we need some guidlines when speaking, writing or singing about people who are not in a position to reply.

If people want to study the characterisation of e.g. black people in 19C sea songs, they should read them all and say what they find. I guess nobody much would want to go on and sing some of the songs that contain offensive references.


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Subject: RE: Would you sing Peggy and the Soldier
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 18 Mar 04 - 03:56 PM

Even if many of them do breach modern social mores

What "modern social mores" is it suggested that this song breaches? Actually, make the horse a car, maybe, and it'd be a story that could happen tonight anywhere.


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Subject: RE: Would you sing Peggy and the Soldier
From: Compton
Date: 18 Mar 04 - 05:50 PM

To the original question, yes if I could get my teeth round it...and the words would stick in my brain!!


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Subject: RE: Would you sing Peggy and the Soldier
From: Dave Wynn
Date: 18 Mar 04 - 06:09 PM

If the genre stopped singing songs that are abrasive to modern ears and modern mores wouldn't that be a cop out. Do we just exist to perform and amuse or do we also have a duty to inform and sustain.

It's a dilemma that I confront every time I sing a whaling or foxhunting song. I have chosen to continue singing them mainly because they have good tunes and story-lines and also because I believe they should be sustained in real time and not just in manuscripts and databases.

Spot (the anti-whaling and non foxhunting)Dog


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Subject: RE: Would you sing Peggy and the Soldier
From: Dave Wynn
Date: 18 Mar 04 - 06:15 PM

Having said that we have recently been asked to sing a song called My Brother Silvest. I have collected about four versions of this song one of which would find us in the courts for racism. We have chosen to edit the song of it's racist content and sing the unoffensive verses. But the decision does not rest easy with us. My view would be to drop it and upset the piper (he who pays).

Life just aint simple.

Spot


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Subject: RE: Would you sing Peggy and the Soldier
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 18 Mar 04 - 06:53 PM

So, censorship on another thread!


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Subject: RE: Would you sing Peggy and the Soldier
From: Dave Wynn
Date: 18 Mar 04 - 07:13 PM

Gently Richard.....perhaps self censorship is OK?


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Subject: RE: Would you sing Peggy and the Soldier
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 18 Mar 04 - 07:16 PM

Touche!


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Subject: RE: Would you sing Peggy and the Soldier
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 18 Mar 04 - 08:05 PM

But what is there in this song to make anyone feel it would merit censorship? (Unless it was sung in a way that seemed to celebrate the events contained, but that's not the song, it's the performance.)

Songs can exist in many variants. I see nothing wrong with choosing a variant that fits in with what you wish to say. Or, for that matter, giving birth to a fresh variant of your own. The variants have to have come from somewhere, after all, and the history of a song's development hasn't necessarily stopped, just because it's reached you.

There's an analogy with jokes. The same joke can be told in a way that is racist or non-racist. And there's no duty to tell the racist version just because that's the way we heard it, or to refrain from telling it in some other way.

For example, the joke about the men talking about how they named their children after various saints, because they were born on the saints' days, and then one says he called his son "Pancake" for the same reason - it actually becomes unfunny, when it's told in an Englishman, Scotsman and Thick Paddy way, whereas if they are just three unspecified friends, it can be quite a good one.


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Subject: RE: Would you sing Peggy and the Soldier
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 19 Mar 04 - 01:41 PM

"My view would be to drop it and upset the piper (he who pays)".

People who are offended by old songs don't generally pay anything much.

To be fair I think my original question has been well explored in the thoughtful way that these threads do.

Self cencorship in a climate of intollerance is worst than cencorship from powers that be. But that's not the issue.

I sing the song The Beggar - Dave Burland et al. It contains the line:

Neither Jew nor Turk will make me work whilst begging is as good as it is.

I feel it inappropriate to explain the historical significance and then distance myself. I simply sing

Their's no one who will make me work.......

I bit of history is lost but my country, my community, my folk club and my circle of friends include 'Jews and Turks'.

A very large number of women have been victims of male violence and I don't think we should sing songs without considering the historical context of that experience as well as that of the songs.


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Subject: RE: Would you sing Peggy and the Soldier
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 19 Mar 04 - 04:45 PM

Worried about songs that "violate today's mores"?

Fergoo'nessakes, the woman in this song violated THAT day's mores!
As well as today's.

What's more, it's a standard characteristic of the traditional ballads that they relate a story, and don't take sides! Or to put it another way, set up a dramatic conflict and then show it resolved by some means. What to make of it is left up to the singer and listener.

If you're going to censor or self-censor a folk-type song because it violates today's mores, would you reject or try to rewrite The Wee Cooper o' Fife? Much more objectionable than Peggy if you're looking for offense!

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Would you sing Peggy and the Soldier
From: Dave Wynn
Date: 19 Mar 04 - 07:31 PM

The song My Brother Sylvest I talked about contained some absolute words that offended me. In the 1920's (I guess this to be the approx date of the song) The line "Have you heard about the Jeffries Johnson fight Where the big buck Nigger fought the white" may have been acceptable but now they are repugnant and racist. The rest of the verse contains words of how he eventually wants to fight Jack Dempsey.

The absolute word I spoke about is obvious. It occurs in old shanties and other victorian songs but has no place in modern parlance. I have a natural desire to maintain my traditional culture but happily forego this at the expense of another's culture who existed in the west entirely due to the slave trade.

Regardless of my desire to sustain traditional songs , my abhorrence of exploitation and racism forbids me to even contemplate singing these songs.

I am white so perhaps another view may be different and may be not so sensitive. It's a tricky subject and perhaps best left alone.

Spot.


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Subject: RE: Would you sing Peggy and the Soldier
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 19 Mar 04 - 08:16 PM

Songs always change, both the actual songs we sing, and the way we sing them.

Otherwise we'd be singing in Middle English and not understanding a word of what we sang.


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Subject: RE: Would you sing Peggy and the Soldier
From: Abby Sale
Date: 19 Mar 04 - 11:52 PM

Ah! "Her Soldier." Greig gives a general title "The Old Soldier" from its first line there. It implies Greig must have been familiar with other versions that he didn't actually collect. Far as I can tell, it was not in one of his few published works. Other than Arthur Argo, few ever saw the manuscripts so no, Carthy is unlikely in the extreme to have found it in Greig.

This version sort of includes both endings. Husband rejects her and strongly makes her leave but then she "walks up and down." Husband sees the people sympathize with her and he relents and lets her come home.

As to its politics, that's crap. There's just nothing so vile and hateful in the song as to overturn its literary, historical & musical value. One might as well censor, expurgate or Bowdlerize The Merchant of Venice, Huck Finn, half of Burns and much of the Bible. And that's been done in each case.

Further, it's her paramour, nor her husband that abuses her. She's the one that abandoned home, hearth, husband and baby.


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Subject: RE: Would you sing Peggy and the Soldier
From: LadyJean
Date: 20 Mar 04 - 12:09 AM

Madame Bovary cheats on her husband and kills herself with arsenic, when things don't work out. The book's considered a classic. I reccomend reading the arsenic bit in the original. You miss a lot that way.
As a general rule I don't think much of people of either sex who cheat on their spouses.


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Subject: RE: Would you sing Peggy and the Soldier
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 20 Mar 04 - 07:51 AM

Spot on spot and spot on McGrath and thanks to you all


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Subject: RE: Would you sing Peggy and the Soldier
From: DonMeixner
Date: 20 Mar 04 - 08:20 AM

I will not stop singing a song because of it's apparent lack of political correctness. Songs of this nature are historical documents and glimpses into the past. I won't rewrite history unless what we have learned of it is incorrect and I won't rewrite a song unless it promotes racism.

Songs like Peggy and The Soldier were mini-morality plays like Pills O' White Mercury and meant to teach a lesson. Lessons good in 1759 and good in 2004.

Don


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Subject: RE: Would you sing Peggy and the Soldier
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 20 Mar 04 - 09:09 AM

Most times when we decide what to learn we make judgements about the content of the song and when we sing we make some kind of judgement about the audience.

Is their some kind of continuum between good judgement and some kind of censorship?

I guess PC can 'go mad' as people often say. But this can be an excuse for not considering some, usually a minority of the audience, are going to feel about the song.

Stereotypes are easy targets for humour. I guess people from Cheshire are sick and tired of being characterised as new-rich country fools with no sense of heritage, who live in a flat boring place and do made up Morris dances. I have heard people use such a stereotype and get a laugh but I guess the same people wouldn't use the same jokes in clubs in south Cheshire. Good judgement and some kind of censorship?


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Subject: RE: Would you sing Peggy and the Soldier
From: DonMeixner
Date: 20 Mar 04 - 01:33 PM

Les,

I am often unclear what constitutes censorship. I am sure that a government declaring what can be read, seen, sung, and written is censorship. I believe that an editorial policy on what is published by a comic book company is not. The difference being that the government is applying the policy to everyone while the comic book company is only stating their policy on what they will publish in their books. If you draw a comic that Marvel Entertainment won't publish but Darhorse will you haven't been censored.

The only censorship that should be allowed is self censorship. Lets face it The Darktown Strutters Ball may or may not be a racist tune but perception aften becomes reality and to many people this is a racisit tune. I think fool hardy would be how I'd describe singing this song to a bi-racial audience in a general setting. Probably any audience in a general setting. Your decision to leave this song unsung isn't censorship it is wisdom. It isn't censorship because you chose not to sing it.

I think a sponsor or a venue has the right to say what is allowed from their stage. The performer can agree to those terms or play elswhere at a venue more suited to the music.

Lastly this is a very gray area. Many people will view any policy that disallows some art to be displayed or performed at one venue to be censorship. I don't.

I do remember I was a serious worry to my parents because I'd sing Phil Och's anti-war songs and they didn't meet with my Dad's republican mind set. I'd sing Baly James Duff (The Garden of Eden) and my girl friend who was in the throes of the new woman's movement would beat me up about sexist view of the song and the racist third verse.

Don


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Subject: RE: Would you sing Peggy and the Soldier
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 20 Mar 04 - 01:45 PM

"a racist tune" - I can't see how you can have a racist tune. A song yes, but that's not the same thing. One tune can have a dozen songs attached to it. Is that a linguistic quibble? Perhaps, but I keep on coming across people using the word in that way, and it blurs meaning.

............................

Cheshire? Down this end of the country the only associations that really has are cheese and cats.


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Subject: RE: Would you sing Peggy and the Soldier
From: DonMeixner
Date: 21 Mar 04 - 01:06 AM

Mac you are right. And it is the kind of quibble I like. The same mind set makes all snowmobiles Skidoos, all servicemen and women soldiers, and all music whether it is sung or instrumental, a tune.

I should have said a "racist song."

(Info just for the fun of it-----In Rhythym Riots and Revolution, the Reverend Billy James Hargis identified two Doc Watson instrumentals as communist inspired)

Don


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Subject: RE: Would you sing Peggy and the Soldier
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 21 Mar 04 - 06:22 AM

It always amuses me that two people can hear the same tune, and have totally different words, with totally different associations, going throught their mine. For example, one is hearing the Red Flag, and the other is hearing Maryland. One is hearing God Save the Queen, andteh other is hearing My Country Tis of Thee.


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Subject: RE: Would you sing Peggy and the Soldier
From: Garry Gillard
Date: 27 Dec 05 - 11:30 PM

Finding this thread in connexion with looking at this song again because of the fine recording of it by Martin Simpson on Kind Letters, I am disappointed to read the note from Abby Sale (17 March 2004).

Abby refers to my admittedly ridiculous mistranscription of one line ("horse" instead of "whore"), but he didn't tell me of my mistake so that I could correct it - and it's been there for five years now.

Garry


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Subject: RE: Would you sing Peggy and the Soldier
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 28 Dec 05 - 12:02 AM

Reinhard Zierke was running the site at the time Abby mentioned the mishearing. There wouldn't have been much point in telling you about it at that juncture, since you weren't maintaining it any longer.

It's not gone unnoticed that those sites have disappeared recently, so it's good to hear that you have once again taken up the reins and they are back online. Best of luck with it all; and, as before, if you want a hand with anything, let us know.


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Subject: RE: Would you sing Peggy and the Soldier
From: Garry Gillard
Date: 28 Dec 05 - 12:26 AM

You're right as usual, Malcolm. I didn't think of the timing. In my mind, I was (and am) still responsible for what I'd put up.

I'm still expecting Reinhard's material to reappear somewhere, but I also think I should continue to support my now inferior version of the Waterson/Carthy archive.

I'm more grateful than I can say for your message and your offer of support.

Garry


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Subject: RE: Would you sing Peggy and the Soldier
From: wysiwyg
Date: 28 Dec 05 - 09:15 AM

The only "non-PC" aspect of this I can see, as a woman, is the same feature I sometimes see in blues. And that is, the potential for stereotyping women as cheaters, lowlifes-- "Eve" as the source of sin and all the world's ills.

Frankly, I hate PC. But I do get tired of music that's oriented toward the negative in any form, especially when it's a musician's sole subject. Probably my sensitivity in that regard comes from knowing people well, in relationship, who take no responsibility for making any effort in the relationship and who then sing, loudly, all the bad-wimmin blues songs there ARE. :~)

It's not the song, per se, that is (might be) offensive. It's the blaminess of the singer. I don't see anyone in this thread as having that attitude! :~) But if I were in your audience, and your whole set were made of "victim" ballads-- during the break I might ask you what's up with that, or simply leave.

The PC war often to forget that the audience can usually vote with the feet. :~)

~Susan


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Subject: RE: Would you sing Peggy and the Soldier
From: Mo the caller
Date: 28 Dec 05 - 05:44 PM

I have an LP "Second Album" with that song on.
One of the things I like about Martin Carthy is the variety in his work, and I was struck by the different women on this LP. "The maid on the shore" and the girl with "Her box on her head" come out on top. Must listen to it again when I can get at the record player.


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Subject: RE: Would you sing Peggy and the Soldier
From: Abby Sale
Date: 29 Dec 05 - 09:53 AM

Garry, truly no dis intended. I think that's why I didn't show a link to the site. But, yes, I might have tried to send a note somewhere suggesting some editing. There were (as I recall from back then - I haven't looked recently) a number of oddities in the text. But I wouldn't scoff the totality - it's fine and I've used it myself many times.

Still, although it's not quite a real Mondegreen (that is, not a true "zersung" line - the meaning of the line remains correct and it's sound is close enough; only the specific word is wrong) it's funny, anyway.

In rereading the thread, however, I realize I haven't sung "Wee Cooper" in years. In this era of growing concern for a wife's secure place in the family, the song might help remind us that a wife should concede to her husband's wishes. It's a fine old moral ballad (Child #277) with a good tune. I think I'll sing it at the club this weekend.


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Subject: RE: Would you sing Peggy and the Soldier
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 29 Dec 05 - 11:43 AM

I was interested to find that, in the DT listing at the top of this thread, there are FOUR links to Peggy and the Soldier, and FOUR links to The Lame Soldier, and the content of each is identical, down to the initials of the original poster. No "Lame Soldier" text at all.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Would you sing Peggy and the Soldier
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 29 Dec 05 - 06:51 PM

The Lame Soldier and Peggy texts are different, and were provided by different people (Abby Sale and Dick Greenhaus, I think). The multiple links are down to the database failure earlier this year. There should be one only for each; this will be corrected in due course.


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Subject: RE: Would you sing Peggy and the Soldier
From: Garry Gillard
Date: 29 Dec 05 - 08:03 PM

Thanks for your kind note, Abby: I should not have taken it all so seriously, especially as it was funny. My "horse" is defensible: I guess I was thinking that the sailor had to "call her horse" so that she could ride back on it - altho in the very next line she is explicitly walking! Anyway, I've done my best to correct the whole text: Peggy and the Soldier.


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Subject: RE: Would you sing Peggy and the Soldier
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 29 Dec 05 - 09:11 PM

Martin's text is in any case either his own re-working (or Bert Lloyd's) of the two texts mentioned above; with just perhaps some input from the broadside test (but more likely some from Lloyd's fertile imagination).

At all events, it's unlikely that the song was ever sung in that form in real life. For what it's worth, the set noted by the Hammond brothers from Mr G Dowden of Lackington contained the verse

They had not been sailing past two weeks or three
Before Peggy and the soldier they could not agree.
He huffed her, he bruised her, he called her sea-whore
And bid her go back to her cuckold once more.

(Journal of the Folk-Song Society, vol 8 issue 34 (1930) pp 196-7)

The Lomax set (as quoted in the DT) has

They had not been sailing more than two weeks or three,
Till Peg and her soldier they two disagreed;
He kicked her and he cuffed her and he called her whore,
He bid her adieu to her own country.

As I've said, that episode doesn't appear in the original broadside song; so the issue here is really a discussion of a modern interpretation or re-write of the late 1960s, based on material found in oral currency in the early part of the 20th century.


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Subject: RE: Would you sing Peggy and the Soldier
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 30 Dec 05 - 04:19 AM

So, would you sing this beast of the oral and written traditon?


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Subject: RE: Would you sing Peggy and the Soldier
From: Mo the caller
Date: 30 Dec 05 - 06:31 AM

Malcolm says
"At all events, it's unlikely that the song was ever sung in that form in real life."
Butisn't Martrin Carthy real, or alive? Surely that's what tradition is, people singing things the way that feels right to them.


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Subject: RE: Would you sing Peggy and the Soldier
From: Wilfried Schaum
Date: 30 Dec 05 - 06:40 AM

The song is life as its best - or worst. And if the song has a fine tune, why not sing it? Wish I had your problems only ...

A German song about a warning to young girls of the soldiers billetting in town (with a fine tune) I didn't sing for some time until I was father of two daughters. Having been young and serving my time I know best what those guys want, and so I started to sing the song, often in the presence of my girls.


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Subject: RE: Would you sing Peggy and the Soldier
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 30 Dec 05 - 11:06 AM

Les in Chorlton insisted:

So, would you sing this beast of the oral and written traditon?

Given the word "beast", I know the answer you want.

My answer is, "You betcha, I'd sing it!" It's a good song, and I don't see any "beast" about it.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Would you sing Peggy and the Soldier
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 30 Dec 05 - 12:48 PM

Good point Dave, bad choice of the word beast on my part.

My original point concerned the treatment Peggy gets from the Soldier who seems to get away with it. I don't want to endorse violence to women just because it's a good song.

The other point about the song is that lots of people have had a hand in it, the folk process I believe, no problem with that, very much the opposite. Like most songs that have passed through the oral tradition they are not a puer and simple message from long ago they are the product of cultural evolution and sometimes have the marks of a number of cultures.


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Subject: RE: Would you sing Peggy and the Soldier
From: Abby Sale
Date: 03 Jan 06 - 09:00 AM

True to my word (as is invariable) I sang "Wee Cooper" at the club Sunday night. Good, small turn-out considering the day. Passed around printed copies of the chorus (Nickety-nackety...)

All sang along heartily. Minding that's a relatively conservative/huggie crowd (but not violently so) it went over quite well. No one seemed to object to the sentiments. You know, in song, in context. Of course, no one expects "a gentle wife" these days, either.

I've never worried about PC but I do self-censor if I believe a song/line to be actually harmful to any group. I can't imagine this song might promote wife beating.


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Subject: RE: Would you sing Peggy and the Soldier
From: Leadfingers
Date: 03 Jan 06 - 09:19 AM

Whu Oh Why does this ridiculous so called Political Correctness thing have to be raised about songs in the Tradition ?? The songs are 'Traditional' and are set 'way back then' when everybody's perspective differred greatly from ours . The mere singing of a good song with a good chorus about Fox Hunting , or Whaling , does not indicate that the singer supports Fox Hunting , or the mass slaughter of whales ! Equally , the fact that I fully believe in equal pay for equal work for women and men does NOT mean I will refuse to sing any old song in which the women are regarded as inferior IF it is a good song .
       We are in the same situation with the people who say Kipling was a racist - He was simply expressing the views of people AT THAT TIME - And what about "You're a better man than I am Gunga Din " ??


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Subject: RE: Would you sing Peggy and the Soldier
From: LesB
Date: 03 Jan 06 - 12:43 PM

Why would you not sing it? It's a folk song. I have a friend who used to sing "The White Hare", a song about hare hunting. He now won't sing it due to his PC ness. ( don't like fox hunting but it wouldn't stop he singing Dido Bendigo). It you take this further lets all not sing songs which mention war! Lets re-write the History books & leave out all the bits we don't like. Where will it end?
Cheers
Les (one of the other ones)


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Subject: RE: Would you sing Peggy and the Soldier
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 03 Jan 06 - 01:22 PM

"The songs are 'Traditional' and are set 'way back then' when everybody's perspective differred greatly from ours"

Maybe so, but as the history of "Peggy" shows Martin Carthy and AL Lloyd modified the old song in the 1960s, Ok with me but we are now singing a song that has elements more recent than some Beatles songs!

It seems to me that nobody who posts her would sing racist, anti-semitic or songs advocating child abuse. The problem is it has a great tune and a rattling set of words, but ignore it if you want Peggy comes off much worse than the soldier.   

"Whu Oh Why does this ridiculous so called Political Correctness thing have to be raised about songs in the Tradition ?"

Most people don't want to cause offence or be seen to advocate injustice. PC is one strategy for checking out people, ideas and situations. It is about as good or bad as the people who try to use it honestly or should we just call a spade a spade?


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Subject: RE: Would you sing Peggy and the Soldier
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 06 Mar 11 - 04:15 AM

Go on then Ms / Mr uhren

L in C#


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Subject: RE: Would you sing Peggy and the Soldier
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 06 Mar 11 - 05:38 AM

Great tune and great old lyrics - what is he beefing about???


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Subject: RE: Would you sing Peggy and the Soldier
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 06 Mar 11 - 06:34 AM

I posted the original in March 2004. Most of the debate above I found interesting but I guess most people will not read the fifty odd responses. I guess we will go round and round the same points or maybe people will just not bother and it will die away.

I will repeat just two points to save people the bother of reading the collective wisdom of above:

1. The song has been changed since about 1950- 60.
2. It seems to me that nobody who posts her would sing racist, anti-semitic or songs advocating child abuse.

L in C#


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Subject: RE: Would you sing Peggy and the Soldier
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 06 Mar 11 - 08:12 AM

It's rather like asking if you use Nescafe Gold Blend instant decaf coffee?


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Subject: RE: Would you sing Peggy and the Soldier
From: Lighter
Date: 06 Mar 11 - 08:43 AM

It seems to me that people's focus has changed significantly since the resurgence of feminism around 1970.

Before that, I think the typical reaction to the words would be that the husband is an irascible old coot who just went a little too far -just far enough to make his temper amusing.   For people other than victims and social workers, the plot, set in a ballad fantasy world, wouldn't have had much to do with everyday life.

Otherwise, I don't think anybody would have been singing the song - maybe especially singers like Martin Carthy!

Perspectives have changed, however. The fact of domestic brutality is now a familiar concept. So the song suddenly seems more uncomfortably realistic to a lot more people. The husband isn't just an irascible, crazy old coot whose temper makes him amusing - he's a wife-beater, and audiences are now sensitive to the wife's plight in a way that they weren't forty-odd years ago.

Evidence that "the tradition" is essentially dead is that nobody seeme to have suggested just leaving out or changing the lines about kicking and beating. Isn't that all that's needed to fix the song up?

Finally, many Americans may not realize that "abuse" also means to speak against harshly and unjustly, curse out, etc.


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Subject: RE: Would you sing Peggy and the Soldier
From: Noreen
Date: 06 Mar 11 - 08:52 AM

Les- and would you re-write all the great classics so that they had happy endings?

This song is a report of something that probably happened, and similar things occur today. It would be received well by an audience because they could imagine it happening, so it would be a good song to sing.

As has been said many times above, singing a song doesn't mean the singer agrees with what happens in the song!

I guess we will go round and round the same points...
It sounds from your latest post that you haven't taken anything from the replies you have got to your original question.


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Subject: RE: Would you sing Peggy and the Soldier
From: Noreen
Date: 06 Mar 11 - 08:56 AM

Lighter- it is the sailor, not the husband, who shows violence to Peggy.

Isn't that all that's needed to fix the song up?
You're another one who would whitewash history to leave out the unsavoury bits, then? Not many Child ballads would be still sung if you had your way!


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Subject: RE: Would you sing Peggy and the Soldier
From: The Sandman
Date: 06 Mar 11 - 09:08 AM

There is a version in the bodleian library with a different ending,SEE THE THREAD.DICK MILES Peggy and the soldier, look for pavanes posts


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Subject: RE: Would you sing Peggy and the Soldier
From: Lighter
Date: 06 Mar 11 - 09:50 AM

The song is fiction, not history.

If you want to sing it as is, go ahead. The issue seems to be whether singing it today for an audience of strangers would be tasteful and entertaining.

If you think not, you can either stop singing it or change it.

Of course, if you're using the song simply to make a historical point, that's another story entirely.


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Subject: RE: Would you sing Peggy and the Soldier
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 06 Mar 11 - 01:16 PM

Lighter, you make many good points which, no surprise I agree.

Noreen,

"Les- and would you re-write all the great classics so that they had happy endings?"

No.

I am trying to explor a larger point through this song. I guess the larger point is - how does the story content of a song affect whether we choose to sing it.

I will make this point again - most of us wouldn't sing songs with the N word in. To those who say songs should be changed I would simply say that's what people have been doing for hundreds of years. That is why their are so many versions of Geordie and loads of other songs.

It is difficult to make subtle points on here when we can't see each other and people like me are semi-literate (!). I just feel uncomfortable singing some verses of 'Peggy' and wondered if others felt the same same.

Cheers

L in C#


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Subject: RE: Would you sing Peggy and the Soldier
From: Lighter
Date: 06 Mar 11 - 01:20 PM

Thanks, Les. It's nice when somebody's listening.


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Subject: RE: Would you sing Peggy and the Soldier
From: GUEST,Allan Conn
Date: 06 Mar 11 - 01:44 PM

"As has been said many times above, singing a song doesn't mean the singer agrees with what happens in the song!"

We went to a community singing group. Just a bunch of folk who sung for their own enjoyment in a house. One week there were a couple of women who said they objected to The Wee Cuper O Fife which had been one of the songs done the previous week. One had even written a new end verse for it basically saying we all know it is wrong to beat your wife etc. She said she didn't think we should sing it as men shouldn't think it is ok to hit women. As I was the only man there I took it as a bit of an insult. I know very well that domestic violence is wrong and have never hit my wife. The song was good enough for my mother to sing to me when I was wee :-)

Basically they got their way because the majority of folk don't want to cause a fuss so minority views (and it was a minority view) take precedence if the minority is vocal enough.


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Subject: RE: Would you sing Peggy and the Soldier
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 06 Mar 11 - 01:49 PM

They sound like the sort of women who don't like being called ladies!!


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Subject: RE: Would you sing Peggy and the Soldier
From: The Sandman
Date: 06 Mar 11 - 01:58 PM

lighter, i am trying to point out to you , if you could bother to follow my directions to the other thread and the bodleian library, that there is another version[a very old broadside] with a completely different ending.
if you are only interested in arguing for the sake of it, then dont bother to learn more about the song


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Subject: RE: Would you sing Peggy and the Soldier
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 06 Mar 11 - 03:20 PM

GSS, you make the point so slightly, I am not entirely sure your message is getting through, as so often happens on here

Best wishes

L in C#


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Subject: RE: Would you sing Peggy and the Soldier
From: Tootler
Date: 06 Mar 11 - 03:38 PM

GSS,

Perhaps you could provide a link to the other thread because I couldn't find it. I did find the Bodleian reference and it was provided by Malcolm Douglas early on in this thread.

Interestingly, the version in the Bodleian has Peggy being accepted back by her husband. If you are unhappy with the version in the DT, then transcribe the version in the Bodleian and sing that instead. No wife (or lover) beating mentioned there at all.


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Subject: RE: Would you sing Peggy and the Soldier
From: The Sandman
Date: 06 Mar 11 - 04:03 PM

yes, well i am not allowed to tell the pillock to fuck off ,am i?
Subject: Dick Miles Peggy andTheSoldier
From: Good Soldier Schweik - PM
Date: 11 Jul 10 - 11:53 AM

here is a recording of this song on you tube
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xhAeV6EfzEs

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Subject: RE: Dick Miles Peggy andTheSoldier
From: Good Soldier Schweik - PM
Date: 13 Jul 10 - 07:27 AM

there is also a version by downes and beer,http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ViD49JqfjrQ&feature   on you tube

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Subject: RE: Dick Miles Peggy andTheSoldier
From: Continuity Jones - PM
Date: 13 Jul 10 - 10:10 AM

I prefer your version Dick, but I don't think you need that rambling introduction or to show your CD. It's Youtube, not a daytime talk show with Terry Wogan. Good version though. Do you live in a log cabin btw?

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Subject: RE: Dick Miles Peggy andTheSoldier
From: Good Soldier Schweik - PM
Date: 13 Jul 10 - 11:34 AM

C Jones, fair enough.
no I dont live in a log cabin,I live in a 19 century traditional stone farmhouse.
in my humble opinion this song doesnt need to be sung too fast, plus all that stuff about her husband John[who needs to know his name]is a bit of a mouthful to sing.
here is another version BrianPreston[aka Brian Dewhurst]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cKcgz4RQ5rs&feature=related

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Subject: RE: Dick Miles Peggy andTheSoldier
From: Continuity Jones - PM
Date: 13 Jul 10 - 12:55 PM

A 19 century traditional stone farmhouse?

I have it on good authority that stone farmhouse's ceased to be authentically 'traditional' between 1720 - 1736 (the end of the Safavid empire) and anything after that is actually a 'nu' stone farmhouse, or 'alt' stone farmhouse if it were built with a banjo.

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Subject: RE: Dick Miles Peggy andTheSoldier
From: Continuity Jones - PM
Date: 13 Jul 10 - 01:07 PM

re your anguish at her husband John. Reminds me of Willie O' The Winsbury which potters along well until the king's daughter's name turns out to be Janet, which as well as being an un-poetic and harsh sounding name, also sounds, to my ears anyway, like a character from a 1970's episode of Crossroads or Emmerdale Farm.


Will ye mairrie my dochter Janet
By the truth o your richt haun?
Or will ye marrie my dochter Janet
An A'll mak ye a laird o the laun

O A will mairry yer dochter Janet
By the truth o my richt haun
An I will mairry yer dochter Janet
But the de'il tak aa yer laun

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Subject: RE: Dick Miles Peggy andTheSoldier
From: Tootler - PM
Date: 13 Jul 10 - 06:24 PM

I liked your version too Dick, though I do agree that it would have been better to have gone straight into singing the song. Some that info about guitar tuning etc. could have been added to the written description you give when you upload the song.

I agree with you that the song is better sung at a steady tempo rather than the up tempo approach taken by the other two performances featured in this thread.

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Subject: RE: Dick Miles Peggy andTheSoldier
From: Good Soldier Schweik - PM
Date: 14 Jul 10 - 07:12 AM

I did not comment om the other performances, tempo is a very subjective decision.
fair comment Tootler, but I have been criticised by others[on other occasions] for not showing what i am doing.
so I thought showing the guitar might be helpful to aspiring guitarists

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Subject: RE: Dick Miles Peggy andTheSoldier
From: Tootler - PM
Date: 14 Jul 10 - 08:31 PM

I did not comment om the other performances, tempo is a very subjective decision.

True, but I was really just expressing a personal preference. I see no problem in that, I had no intention of denigrating the other performances.

I thought showing the guitar might be helpful to aspiring guitarists

An excellent idea and very useful. I generally find it interesting to watch what performers are doing in these videos. I was really suggesting that some of the technical details - key, tuning, stylistic matters etc. might be more useful in the description of the video where someone watching can more easily refer back to them while watching the video. The video itself then focuses entirely on the song, though there is certainly no harm in a brief introduction to the song and even, dare I say, a little bit of a plug for your CD.

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Subject: RE: Dick Miles Peggy andTheSoldier
From: Good Soldier Schweik - PM
Date: 15 Jul 10 - 07:15 AM

yes, Tootler ,I agree with you.

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Subject: RE: Dick Miles Peggy andTheSoldier
From: pavane - PM
Date: 15 Jul 10 - 07:32 AM

This broadside from around 1660 may be of interesttttttt


a new Ballad of the Souldier and Peggy

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Subject: RE: Dick Miles Peggy andTheSoldier
From: pavane - PM
Date: 15 Jul 10 - 07:35 AM

Oops - sticky key!

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Subject: RE: Dick Miles Peggy andTheSoldier
From: Good Soldier Schweik - PM
Date: 15 Jul 10 - 08:01 AM

thats intersting , difficult to read, but does the husband forgive peggy?

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Subject: RE: Dick Miles Peggy andTheSoldier
From: pavane - PM
Date: 15 Jul 10 - 08:08 AM

Yes he does (unlike our version) - there are two other prints, one is clearer, and the other is later. Just search the collection for Peggy and you can find them.

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Subject: RE: Dick Miles Peggy andTheSoldier
From: pavane - PM
Date: 15 Jul 10 - 08:11 AM

Here is a link to the Bodley search page

Note that the navigation links on the results pages DO NOT WORK! They used to, but it looks like someone has now mucked up the code.

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Subject: RE: Dick Miles Peggy andTheSoldier
From: olddude - PM
Date: 15 Jul 10 - 08:14 AM

Ya did good Dick, that is a fine rendition .. I love it

Dan

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Subject: RE: Dick Miles Peggy andTheSoldier
From: Good Soldier Schweik - PM
Date: 16 Jul 10 - 01:38 PM

thankyou OLD DUDE,I have just been sitting out in the sunshine playing it is a lovely sunny evening here in West Cork, been playing a bit of concertina too

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Subject: RE: Would you sing Peggy and the Soldier
From: darkriver
Date: 06 Mar 11 - 05:29 PM

Les,

As for political correctness, it seems that we need some guidlines when speaking, writing or singing about people who are not in a position to reply.

--Excellent statement! Thank you for stating it so concisely. If only more people got this....

And W y s i w y G !,
It's not the song, per se, that is (might be) offensive. It's the blaminess of the singer.

--Another excellent statement. Everything has its context.

Regards,

Doug


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Subject: RE: Would you sing Peggy and the Soldier
From: Tootler
Date: 06 Mar 11 - 06:20 PM

Thanks for that, Dick. I can see why your thread did not show up on the filter "andTheSoldier" was written as a single word. I suggest you contact a mudelf (Joe Offer is usually very helpful) and get it changed to put spaces where they should be so future searches will bring it up.


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Subject: RE: Would you sing Peggy and the Soldier
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 07 Mar 11 - 12:08 PM

I've been thinking about the original question, which is "Would you sing this song?"

I've decided that I might, because it provides a bridge between naive, doting 'Johnny' songs (in which a maiden is much too trusting) and the song 'As We March-ed down to Fenerio,' in which the maiden rejects the soldier come a-wooing and won't go away with him.

The song 'Peggy and the Soldier' could be viewed as a teaching song, advising young women not to go off with charming guys (esp military) who show up waggling bags of gold and making empty promises.

But I don't think I would ever sing it except as part of history lesson, so to speak.


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Subject: RE: Would you sing Peggy and the Soldier
From: GUEST,Alan Whittle
Date: 07 Mar 11 - 02:26 PM

Theres a great exposition and breakdown of his guitar technique on this song on the Paul Brady guitar tuition video. Not for the faint hearted. i doubt if any two humans have as intense a relationship as Paul brady does with the wood and the wire of his guitar.

As regards the song. if you want to sing it and the words seem offensive - well change them to somewthing that fits in more with our age. The original version is safely on the shelves of the library for the folksong scholars and preservation wallahs. No one can interfere with that. Nowever folksong is to express yourself. Life's not a rehearsal. How else will another age know that we trod the earth?

Of course you run the risk of being called snigger snogger and a navel gazer. But don't worry about those people who are just trying to mask their own lack of creativity.


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Subject: RE: Would you sing Peggy and the Soldier
From: The Sandman
Date: 07 Mar 11 - 02:27 PM

I sing it all the time, and I dont beat up women.


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Subject: RE: Would you sing Peggy and the Soldier
From: GUEST,Alan Whittle
Date: 07 Mar 11 - 02:45 PM

You sing it ALL the time!

I bet the women piss off after a couple of days without being beaten up....


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Subject: RE: Would you sing Peggy and the Soldier
From: GeoffLawes
Date: 07 Mar 11 - 07:24 PM

Hedgehog Pie & Dave Burland - Peggy and the Soldier YOUTUBE


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Subject: RE: Would you sing Peggy and the Soldier
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 08 Mar 11 - 03:50 AM

Thanks Mr Whittle for your straightforward suggestions of what to do with P& the S, and you thoughtful comment on GSS and his brave attempt to sing the song for so long

L in C#


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Subject: RE: Would you sing Peggy and the Soldier
From: The Sandman
Date: 08 Mar 11 - 05:45 AM

Thats why I only tour intermittently, The rest of the time I am in a padded cell, as a result of singing the song, Its an unusual mental condition, that they have yet to find a name for.


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Subject: RE: Would you sing Peggy and the Soldier
From: Bernard
Date: 08 Mar 11 - 06:32 AM

PATS Syndrome?!

;o)


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Subject: RE: Would you sing Peggy and the Soldier
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 08 Mar 11 - 06:55 AM

The husband isn't just an irascible, crazy old coot whose temper makes him amusing - he's a wife-beater,

Read the song, Lighter - there's no indication whatsoever that the husband is a wife-beater. No suggestion he is "an irascible crazy old coot" either. His wife runs off with another bloke, leaving him caring for the baby. She comes back and he doesn't trust her enough to have her back. The same way that in similar circumstances a deserted wife might not want the man back. It's what happens.


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Subject: RE: Would you sing Peggy and the Soldier
From: Lighter
Date: 08 Mar 11 - 07:58 AM

Who's doing the kicking and beating is secondary to the question raised by Les, which I believe was about the song's current viability as entertainment.

My opinion about the song's appeal and why audiences might not be amused by it today still stands.

Your opinion differs? Fine with me, but in cases like this singers shouldn't be surprised if some of the people they're singing to are offended.

I'm not saying they should or shouldn't be offended. I'm explaining why I think they are.


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Subject: RE: Would you sing Peggy and the Soldier
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 08 Mar 11 - 11:06 AM

Another good one Ms/Mr


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Subject: RE: Would you sing Peggy and the Soldier
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 08 Mar 11 - 11:07 AM

Sorry

Another good one Ms/Mr Lighter

L in C#


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Subject: RE: Would you sing Peggy and the Soldier
From: GUEST,Alan Whittle
Date: 08 Mar 11 - 11:39 AM

PEGGY AND THE SOLDIER.

It's of a old soldier come down from the sea,
His musket all over his shoulder,
It's on pretty Peggy he's cast his eye,
And she's cast her eye on the soldier.

Oh, me gold; me silver, it shall be thine,
I'll give you all me gold and me plunder,
If you will leave land, leave your husband behind,
And come away to sea with the soldier.

John, her husband, he mounted on his high horse back,
Expecting for to meet her by the water,
But when he got there it was late in the day
And she'd gone away to sea with the soldier.

Oh, they hadn't been sailing but a week or more,
When her love it did turn all to anger.
He beat her, he kicked her, he called her "whore,"
Sent her back to her John in the morning.

As Peggy walked up, as Peggy walked down,
People asked her where she was going,
She made not an answer, she couldn't say where,
For she'd been away to sea with the soldier.

When Peggy got back, it was late in the night,
And she was ashamed to be seen,
It was under the window she's listened a while,
To her husband a-nursing the baby.

"Now hushaba little one and don't you cry,
For your momma's gone and left you in sorrow,
But if she comes back, well, she can't stay here,
She can go back to sea with her soldier."

"Oh, open the door, love, and let me in,
And I'll never prove false any longer."
"You can go from me door; you can leave me alone,
You can go back to sea with your soldier.

John, her husband, he mounted on his high horse back,
He rode until he came to the water.
He abus-ed the wind and the waters, clear,
Sent Peggy off to sea with the soldier.

He abus-ed the man that builded the boat.
He abus-ed the captain that sailed her.
He abus-ed the wind and the waters, clear,
Sent Peggy off to sea with the soldier

Lets be clear, is this the version we are talking about?


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Subject: RE: Would you sing Peggy and the Soldier
From: Brian Peters
Date: 08 Mar 11 - 12:02 PM

There is an echo of 'The Demon Lover' here, but in that ballad she is running away with the man (or at least his ghost) to whom she was previously betrothed, which puts a different slant on it. I've never been comfortable with telling anyone what they should and shouldn't sing, but personally I don't find much in this song that would make me want to sing it. The female character has no redeeming features and getting sent back to spend her life with an abusive man is just what she deserves. That's pretty much the sum of it; we are invited to agree with the soldier's judgement that she's a whore. Not much nuance there.

I suppose it could be wrapped in some kind of introduction about outdated moral judgements, but I'm not sure whether it would be worth it. There are old songs in which giving a thrashing to a scolding or lazy wife is presented as justifiable and even amusing. I don't need to sing those ones either.


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Subject: RE: Would you sing Peggy and the Soldier
From: The Sandman
Date: 08 Mar 11 - 12:51 PM

I disagree, Brian, it is very good example of life.
It does not have a happy ending, all three characters, Behave foolishly, the one character who deserves sympathy, is the girl, she is tempted[havent we all been]and treated badly by two men, she asks for forgiveness and does not get it.
its actually fairly representative of what happens often in real life, it is a very good song.however there is aversion which does have a happy ending, which could be sung as an alternative.
give me Peggy and the Soldier any day above bloody boring Lord Randall, STILL ONE MANS POISON IS ANOTHER MANS PASSION.


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Subject: RE: Would you sing Peggy and the Soldier
From: The Sandman
Date: 08 Mar 11 - 12:52 PM

OR PERHAPS one mans poison is another mans poisson.


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Subject: RE: Would you sing Peggy and the Soldier
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 08 Mar 11 - 01:00 PM

International Women's Day hey?

L in C#


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Subject: RE: Would you sing Peggy and the Soldier
From: Brian Peters
Date: 08 Mar 11 - 01:08 PM

"all three characters, Behave foolishly, the one character who deserves sympathy, is the girl, she is tempted[havent we all been]and treated badly by two men, she asks for forgiveness and does not get it."

OK Dick, that is another way of looking it. Make that your intro and the song gets a bit more interesting...


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Subject: RE: Would you sing Peggy and the Soldier
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 08 Mar 11 - 01:36 PM

"...the one character who deserves sympathy..." - how about the baby?

But on what grounds does Brian Peters brand the husband as "an abusive man"?


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Subject: RE: Would you sing Peggy and the Soldier
From: Brian Peters
Date: 08 Mar 11 - 01:43 PM

The husband is abusive only in the sense that he hurls abuse somewhat indiscriminately at various characters and inanimate entities. However, what I was actually referring to was that the husband "sent Peggy off to sea with the soldier", i.e. back to the man who had beaten, kicked and insulted her.


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Subject: RE: Would you sing Peggy and the Soldier
From: The Sandman
Date: 08 Mar 11 - 03:44 PM

since we dont know the babys age , it could be anything, we dont know if the baby is awre of the situation ,
But the baby has one CARING parent, so why does the baby need sympathy?


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Subject: RE: Would you sing Peggy and the Soldier
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 09 Mar 11 - 03:36 AM

Look I am loosing the will here but the child and its mother are probably homeless and poor.

Why don't we let it go I suspect we have squeezed the last drop of wisdom out of each other

Thanks to all

L in C#


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Subject: RE: Would you sing Peggy and the Soldier
From: GUEST,Alan Whittle
Date: 09 Mar 11 - 05:38 AM

Well no not really les. I think you miss the point. As readers of these pages will know i got taken to task over my George Joseph Smith song at last year's Tolpuddle Festival.
http://www.bigalwhittle.co.uk/id22.html


A member of the audience pointed out that two women were killed in England every week as a consequence of domestic violence, and my song treated violence to women as though it were a joke. In America , where every right thinking fourteen year old has the right to carry an Uzi for leisure and sporting activities - one suspects the statistics are even worse.

I think the song that Brian Peters was probably thinking of was The wee Cooper of Fife, which ian Campbell used to do a great version of. Well if you never heard it you can imagine - Brian's chunky guitar work, John Dunkerly's twinkling banjo, the harmony of Ian and Lorna's voices and Swarbrick's violin weaving in an out of the melody.

I've already mentioned Paul Brady's genius level guitar on Peggy and the Soldier.

For my song, I think there's no way forward. But can we consign these traditional pieces and the attendant musicianship to the scrap heap - I'd say no. Adapt the lyrics, write new ones - don't lose the music.

Its the trouble with you guys - you think tradition means frozen in amber. cos martin carthy and the Copper family do it that way - that's the way it must be. With all due respects paid, tradition means we must evolve. The audience that gives the artist his feeling of belonging in a community is the determinant of whether this music survives.


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Subject: RE: Would you sing Peggy and the Soldier
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 09 Mar 11 - 06:31 AM

Alan,

I feel sure I agree with what you say:

"cos martin carthy and the Copper family do it that way - that's the way it must be. With all due respects paid, tradition means we must evolve. The audience that gives the artist his feeling of belonging in a community is the determinant of whether this music survives."

Can't speak for MC but I feel sure he has spoken as you have about "The Living Tradition"

Game on

L in C#


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Subject: RE: Would you sing Peggy and the Soldier
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 09 Mar 11 - 11:13 AM

Your drops of wisdom are a bit suspect, Len, in this case.

the child and its mother are probably homeless and poor.

The child is not homeless, but at home with its father - no information of how poor they are. The mother left them both, of her own accord. I suppose that might have been partly because the soldier in the case seemed better off, but that'd be pure speculation. Her choice anyway.


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Subject: RE: Would you sing Peggy and the Soldier
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 09 Mar 11 - 01:22 PM

Sorry, lost in confusion, you are correct

L in C#


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Subject: RE: Would you sing Peggy and the Soldier
From: Brian Peters
Date: 09 Mar 11 - 01:51 PM

"I think the song that Brian Peters was probably thinking of was The wee Cooper of Fife"

Yes, Al. The title I was thinking of was actually 'The Wife Wrapt in Wether's Skin', but that's the same ballad anyway. 'A Week's Work Well Done' in 'Marrow Bones' has much the same theme - it's worse if anything. Like I said, I'm against banning songs, but each of us inevitably makes judgements about what is appropriate for our repertoire, our intended audience and our own conscience, and for me the above are beyond the pale (though I believe Emily Portman's done a rewrite of 'Wether's Skin' which sounds very interesting). On the other hand I do sing 'The Demon Lover' which, as discussed above, has some common features with 'Peggy and the Soldier'.

Les might have lost the will to live, but I think his original question was an interesting one. Not least because I've heard the Brady version of 'Peggy' / 'Mary' several times without ever really making out the words.


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Subject: RE: Would you sing Peggy and the Soldier
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 09 Mar 11 - 01:55 PM

I seem to remember Martin Carthy (at one of the National festivals at Sutton Bonington) saying he doesn't sing Fanny Blair any more, because he no longer thinks Young Higgins was innocent?

Kitty


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Subject: RE: Would you sing Peggy and the Soldier
From: GUEST,Alan Whittle
Date: 09 Mar 11 - 02:08 PM

Well things are changing in society, not just in folksong circles. They ran a series of Billy Bunter stories serialised in the morning on Radio 7. Apparently some kids were really traumatised by the sound of Quelch giving Bunter six of the best. they certainly never repeated them.

Its probably all for the best - but surely there is such a lot that we must not throw away. technique - not just instruments, but story telling in a song, the singer engaging with the piece. the essence of the piece - not merely the literal words and meaning.


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Subject: RE: Would you sing Peggy and the Soldier
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 09 Mar 11 - 05:22 PM

Where does the notion come that a song in which bad stuff happens should be shunned on the grounds that it is recommending that listeners act that way?

Nobody assumes that Macbeth is advocating murder, or Othello is in favour of marital violence.


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Subject: RE: Would you sing Peggy and the Soldier
From: The Sandman
Date: 09 Mar 11 - 05:44 PM

"I seem to remember Martin Carthy (at one of the National festivals at Sutton Bonington) saying he doesn't sing Fanny Blair any more, because he no longer thinks Young Higgins was innocent?"
Jesus ,what crap.
Martin is a fine performer, But his views are just his views, his thoughts are always worth considering, but they are not some sort of Gospel
The song Tom Dooley,It transpires that he was innocent, so do we not sing the song? my answer is sing the song, then either point this out in the introduction[as Doc Watson does] or add another verse as I have done, songs are living entities, and to quote Martin Carthy again, the only harm that can be done to a folk song is not to sing it.
so can this politically correct piffle, stop


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Subject: RE: Would you sing Peggy and the Soldier
From: el_punkoid_nouveau
Date: 09 Mar 11 - 05:53 PM

I first came across this song recorded by Jack The Lad in the mid 1970s. I thought it was a good song then, and I still do - it tells a story, and it has a good tune. It also has the scope for a lot of emotion in the singing.

So I still sing it - even if none of it was the fault of the winds and the waters clear!

epn


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Subject: RE: Would you sing Peggy and the Soldier
From: GUEST,Alan Whittle
Date: 09 Mar 11 - 06:44 PM

Piffle it may be, but its there.

Check out the comments on Paul Brady's Arthur MacBride on YOUtube. Dick. Quite a few are horrified by the bloody backs, but what is also commented is the wee little drummer beaten flat as a shoe. Someone points out that we are talking about the murder of a child.

And this is when the song is performed with faultless virtuosity. How such material will keep from turning to lead in less skilled hands, I'm not sure.

Its the achilles heel in all this preserving the tradition business. the point is that society does change - attitudes. In a way the blues guys have gone through all this - it would be interesting to hear what a player like Scott Ainslie thinks - Scott sounds more like Robert Johnson than Robert Johnson. Amongst the Johnson canon are songs about beating up women.

And yet the blues seem to be in reasonable shape and have found ways forward to adapt and address modern audiences.


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Subject: RE: Would you sing Peggy and the Soldier
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 09 Mar 11 - 11:59 PM

I have never taken it that the little wee drummer knocked flat as your shoe in Arthur McBryde was dead ~~ just knocked down. Still, it does seem at that an unnecessary piece of violence towards a juvenile bystander who was only there to do his job ~~ drawing the potential audiences attention so that they would listen to the sergeant's spiel.

Presumably the recruiting party were on the way to recruit somewhere; tho where they expected to find the sort of crowd appropriate for recruiting activities on Xmas day, traditionally a festival spent at home with the family, not any sort of fair-day, is not quite clear.

But I realise I have followed Al into a drift about some anomalies in a song other than that with which this thread is concerned.

Sorry.

~Michael~


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Subject: RE: Would you sing Peggy and the Soldier
From: Brian Peters
Date: 10 Mar 11 - 05:50 AM

"Where does the notion come that a song in which bad stuff happens should be shunned on the grounds that it is recommending that listeners act that way?"

A fair point (although for myself I've been speaking purely personally and not demanding that anyone else shun anything). One of the distinguishing features of the great traditional ballads is that, in general, they don't moralize on the often violent or distressing events they describe. The ballad narrator is more often than not a neutral observer.

'The Wife Wrapt in Wether's Skin' is a very different story, though. It's not neutral, but sympathises 100% with the husband, presenting the beating of his wife as entirely justified by her laziness. To quote one version, he "makes the ill wife good" while, in the the version Al mentioned, other similarly afflicted husbands are urged to call up 'The Wee Cooper of Fife' to teach their own lazy wives a lesson. I don't think that it's possible to sing that song without seeming to sympathise with domestic abuse - not without a rewrite, anyway.

In 'Peggy and the Soldier' the story is told from a less subjective standpoint, but it still portrays the protagonists in a very black-and-white way and, to me at least, suggests the implication: "that's just typical of a woman". The Good Soldier said above that the story is "typical of life", but I'd hazard a guess that many more men walk out on their families than do women, so although the scenario of the song no doubt exists, it holds up a distorting mirror.

All I'm suggesting is that we think about the stories of the songs we sing, about whether we're sufficiently comfortable with them to give a committed performance. Different singers will draw the line defining what's acceptable in different places. Personally, I don't think that the fact that a song sounded great when Paul Brady or Martin Carthy recorded it is sufficient reason to want to sing it myself.


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Subject: RE: Would you sing Peggy and the Soldier
From: Brian Peters
Date: 10 Mar 11 - 06:00 AM

And regarding 'Fanny Blair' which Kitty mentioned, that's another one in which the narrator is far from neutral. We are told directly that Fanny has lied in court, and when in the last verse the mob declares Higgins innocent and Fanny a perjuring whore, it's pretty clear that right-minded people are expected to be on the same side.

Anyone whose circle of friends includes teachers will have heard of instances in which children make false accusations of physical or sexual abuse. Nonetheless sexual abuse of children is real and not uncommon, so to sing 'Fanny Blair' runs the risk of appearing to downplay that reality.

I suspect strongly that FB would have been heard scarcely at all in the folk clubs of England, were it not for the magnificent tune.


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Subject: RE: Would you sing Peggy and the Soldier
From: Bounty Hound
Date: 10 Mar 11 - 06:11 AM

To answer Les's original question, yes I would, and I do.

Why? I have always considered traditional song to be the 'soap opera' of it's time, all human life is there. As has been pointed out before, singing a song about a specific subject does not mean that you condone the subject matter, any more than the writers of Eastenders when the plot follows a violent or controversial turn, or the news correspondent reporting on a violent incident.

Lets not get politically correct with the tradition. We should show some respect for the intelligence and understanding of our listener.

Perhaps though, we should, as responsible performers, carry a range of leaflets about the subjects covered in our songs, and make the statement at the end 'If you have been affected by any of the issues contained in these songs, phone the helpline on……….'. And of course, any CD's for sale must now go under the counter, in plain packaging, just in case the bright colours encourage youngsters to take up folk music!

Sing it loud and proud Les.

John


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Subject: RE: Would you sing Peggy and the Soldier
From: Howard Jones
Date: 10 Mar 11 - 07:21 AM

When this was first posted I wondered "Why wouldn't you?" and I still don't really understand the objections.

It's the old triangle - A leaves B for C, it doesn't work out and A tries to go back to B and is rejected. It happens all the time, to all combinations of the sexes. One of the things I like about folk music is the way an apparently old song can tell a bang up to date story.

None of the characters behave particularly well, not even the husband although he is perhaps the one most to be sympathised with. But the song makes no comment, simply tells the story.


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Subject: RE: Would you sing Peggy and the Soldier
From: The Sandman
Date: 10 Mar 11 - 07:47 AM

exactly, Howard.


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Subject: RE: Would you sing Peggy and the Soldier
From: Lighter
Date: 10 Mar 11 - 12:07 PM

"We should show some respect for the intelligence and understanding of our listener."

Yes, but there are some listeners who will not extend the same respect to you.

It's a simple if regrettable fact.

I believe that Brian and I are in agreement that if a song makes you uncomfortable, or if you believe it will make members of your audience uncomfortable, there's no reason on earth to sing it.

Personally, I think "Peggy and the Soldier" is a bit much but that "Arthur MacBride" is perfectly harmless. Who cares why, except that the more bizarre the objection, the less likely others will share it. The less bizarre, the more likely.

As for "The Wife Wrapped in Wether's Skin": just as it is possible to think of the song as an endorsment of wife-abuse, it's equally possible to find it harmlessly amusing because of the husband's ingenuity and because the blows are cushioned by the thick sheep's pelt. If he'd been a real-life wife-beater instead of just a humorous fiction, he wouldn't have needed the sheepskin as an excuse.

But the point remains that nobody's forcing anyone to sing or not to sing anything. It's up to you.

Sing what you like and expect some criticism - sane or crazy, PC or otherwise.


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Subject: RE: Would you sing Peggy and the Soldier
From: GUEST,Alan Whittle
Date: 10 Mar 11 - 12:19 PM

'it's equally possible to find it harmlessly amusing because of the husband's ingenuity and because the blows are cushioned by the thick sheep's pelt. If he'd been a real-life wife-beater instead of just a humorous fiction, he wouldn't have needed the sheepskin as an excuse.'

He always sounded like a bit of a turd to me. So did Mr Quelch, with his 'gimlet eye'.


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Subject: RE: Would you sing Peggy and the Soldier
From: Richard Mellish
Date: 10 Mar 11 - 05:04 PM

One of the very few folk songs that were taught at any of my schools was The Wee Cooper o' Fife. At the time it was evidently considered perfectly suitable for young minds (male ones, that school being a single-sex one).

The next versions of The Wife Wrapped in Wether's Skin that I heard were both sung by women: Hedy West and Norma Waterson. Draw your own conclusions.

Another song that got some stick earlier in this thread is My Brother Sylveste. That clearly belongs in the genre of tall tales, and no part of it deserves to be taken seriously. If anyone does want to take offense, a better justification than the mere presence of the "N" word would be that a character who "killed forty" people (of whatever race) is the hero.

Richard


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Subject: RE: Would you sing Peggy and the Soldier
From: Brian Peters
Date: 11 Mar 11 - 08:08 AM

Howard Jones wrote:
"When this was first posted I wondered "Why wouldn't you?"

I think the question for me, Howard, is "Why would you?". For me to take the trouble to learn a song and find a place for it in my repertoire, I have to be actually enthused by it, not merely satisfied that it isn't really very offensive. Earlier in the thread various posters discussed whether the question was a matter of censorship or self-censorship, but to me it's neither - it's just making a choice.

There are several contributors here that I know and respect, who find no reason not to sing 'Peggy'. That's fine - like I said, different people draw the line in different places. One old friend of mine sings 'Fanny Blair', and I'm not about to start a fight with him just because I find the song questionable. I don't actually believe in selecting only songs that won't offend anyone (some people are very easily offended!), but 'Peggy' - as Lighter said - makes me a bit uncomfortable, that's all.

As for 'The Wife Wrapped in Wether's Skin', Hedy West seems to have recorded it in 1965, when feminism had yet to make much impact on our culture. I was surprised to hear that Norma had sung it, but then I remembered that she did sing 'Willy Went to Westerdale', which A. L. lloyd at least seemed to think was a version of Child 277. I'm not convinced of that, but whether it is or not, it contains no reference to wife-beating.


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Subject: RE: Would you sing Peggy and the Soldier
From: Paul Davenport
Date: 11 Mar 11 - 01:17 PM

'For me to take the trouble to learn a song and find a place for it in my repertoire, I have to be actually enthused by it'
I think Brian has pinned down the nub of this thread. Why would you sing a song that didn't touch your innermost being? There are literally thousands of songs out there and thats not mentioning the ones you didn't write. Why waste your time (life) on stuff that doesn't move you? That said, i sometimes sing stuff because it appalls me and I float it out there in the hope that other souls will be equally appalled. perhaps I don't want to feel alone? So I sing songs about incest, whaling, injustice, 'honour' killings and so on…I don't support them, I abhor them but if we don't speak about the dark then it remains there to threaten us. I have a mate who sings a particularly graphic version of 'Little Sir Hugh' because he's terrified that what represents it will happen again.


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Subject: RE: Would you sing Peggy and the Soldier
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 11 Mar 11 - 01:44 PM

Thanks Paul, as ever a very thoughtful and thought provocking post.

L in C#


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Subject: RE: Would you sing Peggy and the Soldier
From: Bounty Hound
Date: 11 Mar 11 - 02:10 PM

'Why would you sing a song that didn't touch your innermost being?'

Because the rest of the band like the song and want to do it, because it's a song that you know will be well received by your audience, because you have been asked to do a specific song for a specific event.....

There are all sorts of possible reasons why someone might sing a song they do not particularly like, however, by and large I agree with both Paul Davenport and Brian Peters, I certainly find it easier to learn a song that I like or that says something to me (and that may have nothing to do with the lyrical content, there are several songs I perform regularly that have little to say lyrically, but are, none the less, cracking good songs).

I'll repeat what I said earlier, traditional song is 'soap opera', all human life is there, and singing a song about a specific subject does not mean that the singer condones that subject.

So with respectful nods in the direction of Paul and Brian, I'll qualify my advice to Les.

If you like the song, sing it loud and proud!

John


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Subject: RE: Would you sing Peggy and the Soldier
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 11 Mar 11 - 02:21 PM

Fair enoughski John

"If you like the song, sing it loud and proud!"
Can't argue with that

L in C#


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Subject: RE: Would you sing Peggy and the Soldier
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 11 Mar 11 - 06:32 PM

If it's actually old, the song may have been meant as a teaching song. It says 'look what can happen if you go off with a stranger.'

In the late middle ages, there was a social problem where certain men traveled the countryside, marrying and abandoning one woman after another. Picture a young woman without no eduction, who's never been more than three miles from home. Where would she learn to be suspicious of a confidence man?

This kind of song may stand between that era and the era of Pretty Peggy, who lowers her eyelids demurely and tells Captain Willie to get lost, declining to wind up among the camp followers when he's tired of her.


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Subject: RE: Would you sing Peggy and the Soldier
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 11 Mar 11 - 06:38 PM

It's just an old song from a different time, an anachronism, Les has created a controvercy where there is none.

Dave H


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Subject: RE: Would you sing Peggy and the Soldier
From: GUEST,Alan Whittle
Date: 12 Mar 11 - 03:31 AM

I suppose the reason I have learned songs in the past that i felt not much affinity to - and in some cases have disliked, is to learn the guitar techniques - plus you often inadvertently pick up the vocal traits of the original.

There was probably another way of learning the techniques, but I was too dim to work it out.


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Subject: RE: Would you sing Peggy and the Soldier
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 12 Mar 11 - 04:03 AM

Hey Dave, don't you go accusing me of anything. As you well know, I guess, controvercy is rare thing on this place where people always take a long and concidered view and never overstate a case, exagerate or get personal. And neither did I!

But seriuosly, it was an honest question and most people have treated it in that way and I really value most of what people have said

L in C#


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Subject: RE: Would you sing Peggy and the Soldier
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 12 Mar 11 - 06:49 AM

...an old song from a different time, an anachronism..."

I can't see anything the least anachronistic about the song, apart from the horse, perhaps. It could, and I'm sure does, happen today.


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Subject: RE: Would you sing Peggy and the Soldier
From: The Sandman
Date: 12 Mar 11 - 07:46 AM

in my opinion the story is superior to Lord Randall, why does anyone bother with a song such as Randall which has so little to recommend it, why not sing bbaa baa black sheep , or jack and jill, the storyline is on a par with lord randall.still as I said earlier one mans poison is another mans poisson


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Subject: RE: Would you sing Peggy and the Soldier
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 12 Mar 11 - 08:17 AM

The SONG not the deed McGrath.

Dave H


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Subject: RE: Would you sing Peggy and the Soldier
From: GUEST,Alan Whittle
Date: 12 Mar 11 - 08:35 AM

'why does anyone bother with a song such as Randall which has so little to recommend it'

Well you might be going round Tesco one day,and there in the frozen section Jamie Oliver has a new line out -'eels boiled in a brew'.   If you hadn't heard that song, you might have been tempted.

just an idea.


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Subject: RE: Would you sing Peggy and the Soldier
From: LadyJean
Date: 12 Mar 11 - 10:49 PM

I was thinking of "The Fair Flower of Northumberland". Of course she's an unmarried teenage girl. But she elopes with a man who also calls her a whore.

Happily, when she goes home her family forgives her, at least her mother does.

And the tune is wonderful.


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