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Origin: The Water Is Wide - Waly Waly

DigiTrad:
OF LATE I'VE BEEN DRIVEN NEAR CRAZY
WALY WALY (JAMIE DOUGLAS)
WALY, WALY 2
WALY, WALY 3
WATER IS WIDE
WHEN COCKLESHELLS TURN SILVER BELLS (Waly, Waly)


Related threads:
(origins) Origins: Waly, Waly - Water is Wide (31)
Lyr Req: Psalms sung to 'The Water is Wide' (36)
(origins) Water Is Wide - First American Version (40)
artist that sings The Water is Wide (33)
Jamie Douglas(Child #204)June Tabor version source (3)
Lyr Req: Water is Wide (6) (closed)
Tune Req: A Ship Came Sailing (coll. Baring-Gould) (14)
Lyr Req: The River Is Wide...My Love and I (14)
The Water Is Wide (Susanna Hoffs) (9)
(origins) Lyr Req: Help! Version of Water Is Wide (23)
(origins) The Water is Wide - one more time! (43)
Lyr Req: there is a ship and she sails the sea (15)
Lyr Req: June Tabor's Waly Waly (6)
Help: Looking for recording of Water is Wide (36)
(origins) Water is wide: song history request (38)


MIRO@WEBTV.NET 18 Jan 97 - 08:20 PM
Susan of DT 18 Jan 97 - 08:59 PM
Marie Teven 19 Jan 97 - 05:54 PM
alarose@ncwc.edu 20 Jan 97 - 10:38 AM
Cristen 20 Jan 97 - 02:42 PM
02 Oct 98 - 03:43 PM
banfilidhe 02 Oct 98 - 10:48 PM
swood@ontheroad.com 03 Oct 98 - 02:24 AM
Kenn L. 03 Oct 98 - 11:03 AM
Bruce O. 03 Oct 98 - 01:26 PM
Bruce O. 03 Oct 98 - 02:37 PM
Barry Finn 05 Oct 98 - 04:09 PM
anne.... 05 Oct 98 - 05:06 PM
Big Mick 05 Oct 98 - 10:32 PM
Chet W. 06 Oct 98 - 09:39 PM
alison 07 Oct 98 - 04:42 AM
Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca 08 Oct 98 - 09:50 PM
anne.... 10 Oct 98 - 06:54 PM
alison 12 Oct 98 - 06:29 AM
Graeme 12 Oct 98 - 07:05 AM
anne.... 12 Oct 98 - 05:52 PM
12 Oct 98 - 07:21 PM
alison 13 Oct 98 - 04:27 AM
Graeme 13 Oct 98 - 04:38 AM
alison 13 Oct 98 - 10:16 AM
anne.... 13 Oct 98 - 05:20 PM
Graeme 13 Oct 98 - 05:59 PM
Nigel Parsons 10 Apr 09 - 03:58 PM
Mo the caller 10 Apr 09 - 04:53 PM
Snuffy 10 Apr 09 - 05:08 PM
Mo the caller 10 Apr 09 - 05:49 PM
Mo the caller 10 Apr 09 - 05:52 PM
Joe_F 10 Apr 09 - 07:57 PM
Nigel Parsons 11 Apr 09 - 11:39 AM
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Subject: Need lyrics to 'The Water is Wide...
From: MIRO@WEBTV.NET
Date: 18 Jan 97 - 08:20 PM

In the movie BOUNTY with Mel Gibson and Anthony Hopkins, one of the characters sings a nice song whose opening line is "The Water is Wide, I Can not Get O'er'. Because dialogue is being spoken during the song, many of the words are not discernable. Does anybody know all the lyrics to this song? Thanks.j
Messages from multiple threads combined.
-Joe Offer-

Threads on this song:

(Not an all-inclusive list. Some say Carrickfergus is a version of this song.)


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Subject: RE: Need lyrics to 'The Water is Wide...
From: Susan of DT
Date: 18 Jan 97 - 08:59 PM

Water is Wide is in the database. Search for water or wide or [water is wide]


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE WATER IS WIDE
From: Marie Teven
Date: 19 Jan 97 - 05:54 PM

This is how I sing it. No guarantees about accuracy.
I think I got it from the Mary Black version:

CHO: The water is wide I can't cross o'er
And neither have I wings to fly
Give me a boat that can carry two
And both shall row, my love and I

A ship there is, she sails the sea
She's loaded deep, as deep can be
But not as deep as the love I'm in
I know not if I sink or swim

For love is gentle and love is kind
And love's a jewel, when first it's new
But when it's old, it waxes cold
And fades away, like morning dew

Hope this helps...
Marie

HTML line breaks added. --JoeClone, 16-Jul-02.


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Subject: RE: anyone know lyrics to 'The Water is Wide...
From: alarose@ncwc.edu
Date: 20 Jan 97 - 10:38 AM

I've heard the second verse as:

I leaned my back against an oak, thinking it was a mighty tree. But first it bent, and then it broke, And so did my false love to me.


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Subject: RE: anyone know lyrics to 'The Water is Wide...
From: Cristen
Date: 20 Jan 97 - 02:42 PM

Hi Miro,
"The Water Is Wide" lyrics are listed on the Digital Tradition. I found them by searching for the phrase "Water is wide." You can also find them through the keywords "water", "love" and "plant". Marie Teven's response gives the first two and then the fifth verse given by the DT, the latter a bit different –

"Oh love be handsome and love be kind
Gay as a jewel when first it is new
But love grows old and waxes cold
And fades away like the morning dew."

alarose is pretty much on the mark re: the second verse, although DT's version has the phrase "Thinking it was a trusty tree" rather than "Thinking it was a mighty tree". The DT version has seven verses. Enjoy!

HTML line breaks added. --JoeClone, 16-Jul-02.


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Subject: water is wide
From:
Date: 02 Oct 98 - 03:43 PM

I recently received words from Betty Ramsey, the wife of Buck Ramsey, who recently died. Buck was a cowboy as a young man and was injured in a horse accident. The remainder of his life was spent recalling the songs of the past. The song I was sent was basically "The water is wide". Betty told me she thought the song was "Waly Waly". What is the origin of the song-Author etc? and if anyone has anymore verses I would enjoy sharing them with Bucks Wife.


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Subject: RE: water is wide
From: banfilidhe
Date: 02 Oct 98 - 10:48 PM

"Wally Wally" and "the Water is Wide" have similar(if not identical) melodies, and share a common lyric at one point. But the lyrics as a whole are different. "Wally Wally" is English where "The Water is Wide" is Irish is another difference. Both songs are avalable on the database( I know cause I looked both up out of curiosity).Insedently, another similar song to "The Water is Wide" is "Karrickfergus"(sp?). The Chorus is very similar to the first verse of "The Water is Wide"


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Subject: Lyr Add: CARRICKFERGUS (from Van Morrison)
From: swood@ontheroad.com
Date: 03 Oct 98 - 02:24 AM

I had library book until this morning of Irish, Scottish, and English tunes that had Waly Waly in it. Sorry I can't remember the title of the book, but you can probably find the music in this database. I knew the song with the same melody first as Carrickfergus, as it was recorded by Van Morrison and the Chieftains on Irish Heartbeat, in which the lyrics are:

I wished I had you in Carrickfergus
Only for nights in Ballygrand
I would swim over the deepest ocean
The deepest ocean to be by your side

But the sea is wide and I can't swim over
And neither have I wings to fly
I wish I could find me a handy boatman
To ferry me over to my love and die

The lyrics in the book were used "But the water is wide and I can't get o'er."

Hope this helps

HTML line breaks added. --JoeClone, 16-Jul-02.


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE WATER IS WIDE (from Buck Ramsey)
From: Kenn L.
Date: 03 Oct 98 - 11:03 AM

Here are the verses not listed in your database that Buck had written down:

Had I but known before I loved,
The aching pain that love could bring,
I'd have locked my heart with keys of gold
And tied it fast with a silver string.

Oh love it is a painful thing,
Like blossoms trampled in the rain,
But blossoms grow again each spring,
My love will never grow again.

He was quite the wordsmith and possibly could have created verses. Thanks everyone!

HTML line breaks added. --JoeClone, 16-Jul-02.


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Subject: RE: water is wide
From: Bruce O.
Date: 03 Oct 98 - 01:26 PM

There isn't much that can be said with assurance about songs made up of floating lyric verses.

In an article 'Some notes on "O Waly Waly" in The Journal of the English Folk Dance & Song Society, 1954, J. W. Allen attempted to classify 30 total texts into Down in the Meadows (Picking Lillies), Jamie Douglas, Waly Waly, and The Water is Wide. Subsequently discovered chapbook and traditional texts cross the boundaries, so there doesn't seem to be any clear way of separating songs by these titles, except for Jamie Douglas (Child #204.

Even the early copies of the Scots Waly Waly are not completely unambiguous. A four verse song called "Waly Waly" was given (with music) in Orpheus Caledonius, 1725. A ten verse version was given (without music) in vol. II of The Tea Table Miscellany, c 1727. With a different fourth verse, and some trivial variants in other verses, a ten verse version is in vol. I of Orpheus Caledonius, 1733. With minor differences this later was reprinted in vol. II of The Scots Musical Museum. None of these have "The water is wide" verse.

The Water is Wide verse is a merely another floating verse in many songs, including some called The Water is Wide.

There is a two verse Water is Wide song in the Greig-Duncan collection where the 2nd verse actually seems related to the Water is Wide verse.

In a medley of song lines and parodies of song lines in the Interlude of the Four Elements, 1519, we find:

A hundred winter the water was deep,
I can not tell you how broad.

Is this an early parody of The Water is Wide verse?


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Subject: RE: water is wide
From: Bruce O.
Date: 03 Oct 98 - 02:37 PM

"Carrickfergus" can be found several places on the web, even as a RealAudio

Excerpt from "The Seamans leave taken from his sweetest Margery", c 1660. (ZN2431 in my broadside ballad index on the web)

I have seven ships upon the sea,
and they are laden to the brim;
I am so inflam'd with love to thee,
I care not whether I sink or swim.
......

If I had wist before I kist,
that love had been so ill to win;
My heart I would have clos'd in gold,
and pin'd it with a silver pin.


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Subject: RE: water is wide
From: Barry Finn
Date: 05 Oct 98 - 04:09 PM

See Waly Waly thread march 97 for more on these songs. Barry


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Subject: RE: water is wide
From: anne....
Date: 05 Oct 98 - 05:06 PM

Carrickfergus is one of my favorite songs. I think that the "Carrickfergus" is an Irish version. And "Water is wide" is an English/Scots version the same version whish is known in America. If you want to listen to the tunes Cedric Smith is singing the song on Loreena McKennith's album "Elemental" another version is to be found on "Lilith Fair album performed by Indigo Girls, Tara Mclean and Sarah McLachlan. Through the years many Irish artist has performed this song. anne....


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Subject: RE: water is wide
From: Big Mick
Date: 05 Oct 98 - 10:32 PM

I believe the Wolfetones did "The Water Is Wide" on their Irish To The Core" album.

Mick


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Subject: RE: water is wide
From: Chet W.
Date: 06 Oct 98 - 09:39 PM

The song has become widely associated in this part of the country with the coastal islands of South Carolina and Georgia. It was the title of Pat Conroy's first novel, about his first year of teaching in the school on Daufuskie Island in SC.

Chet W.


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Subject: RE: water is wide
From: alison
Date: 07 Oct 98 - 04:42 AM

/hi,

Carrickfergus is a town just outside Belfast on the shores of Belfast Lough. It has a beautiful Norman Castle.

Slainte

alison


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Subject: RE: water is wide
From: Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca
Date: 08 Oct 98 - 09:50 PM

I've heard many versions of this song, although the one sung by Van Morrison was the first one I heard that had the verse about "my childhood friends".

All of them seem to have the verse about the stones:

Well, in Killkenny, it is recorded On marble stones there, as black as ink.

What is the significance of these stones? What is recorded on them? Are there such stones in Kilkenny?


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Subject: RE: water is wide
From: anne....
Date: 10 Oct 98 - 06:54 PM

I would really like to hear the version by Van Morrison, on what album is it recorded? According to the lyrics it is the Carrickfergus version, alias the Irish version. The black stones in Kilkenny, I never saw them, but if anyone knows anything about them, we are waiting to hear something. Sory for my spelling, but I'm Danish, so.............. Love from anne....


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Subject: RE: water is wide
From: alison
Date: 12 Oct 98 - 06:29 AM

Hi Anne,

It's on Van Morrison and the Chieftains in Ireland. Personally I don't like the version, but then there are very few verions of Carrickfergus that I do like.

Good song though...

Slainte

alison


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Subject: RE: water is wide
From: Graeme
Date: 12 Oct 98 - 07:05 AM

Tim

The line in my version goes:

In Kilkenny, it is reported/There are marble stones/as black as ink.........

Marble stones, as far as I am aware were smooth stones used for beating the water out of clothes before drying them. Being Kilkenny, these rocks were probably basalt, hence their being black. Just why such a thing should be featured in the Carrickfergus song beats me, but remember the singer is thinking about his home while in a drunken haze - ("I'm drunk today/And I'm seldom sober") so maybe that's why!

Cheers!

Graeme


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Subject: RE: water is wide
From: anne....
Date: 12 Oct 98 - 05:52 PM

It just came into my mind, that I have seen in Ireland some sort of black stone the same kind of stone they used to make blackboards of in old times. Children had one each insted of notebooks. The structure of the this black stone is that it kind of is formed in layers.

In Danmark we use the type of stone on the roofs, I do not know the name in English. In Danish it's "Skifer" Well this has not much to do with music, but I hope it is okay, even if I'm wrong. regards anne....


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Subject: RE: water is wide
From:
Date: 12 Oct 98 - 07:21 PM

It's called 'slate' in the United States.


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Subject: RE: water is wide
From: alison
Date: 13 Oct 98 - 04:27 AM

Hi,

It's called slate in Ireland too.

Slainte

alison


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Subject: RE: water is wide
From: Graeme
Date: 13 Oct 98 - 04:38 AM

But it isn't slate that he's talking about in the song........!

Cheers!

G


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Subject: RE: water is wide
From: alison
Date: 13 Oct 98 - 10:16 AM

Hi,

I always reckoned he was talking about headstones... seeing as he himself is dying in that verse.

Just my opinion though.

Slainte

alison


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Subject: RE: water is wide
From: anne....
Date: 13 Oct 98 - 05:20 PM

Yes it is ofcause a headstone!! It's the only thing that makes sence.

anne....


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Subject: RE: water is wide
From: Graeme
Date: 13 Oct 98 - 05:59 PM

Marble Stones - again!

I've just found out that there is a beautiful Serpentine Marble (very dark green) found in Connemara - but that's miles away from Kilkenny! I work in the geology department of an oil company - perhaps I'll ask someone there can help us out on this one!

Graeme


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Subject: RE: The Water Is Wide - Waly Waly
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 10 Apr 09 - 03:58 PM

Sang the tune this morning (Good Friday) it's in some hymnals for "When I survey the wondrous cross"!


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Subject: RE: The Water Is Wide - Waly Waly
From: Mo the caller
Date: 10 Apr 09 - 04:53 PM

It's years since I've been to church, but how can anyone sing that to anything but Rockingham.


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Subject: RE: The Water Is Wide - Waly Waly
From: Snuffy
Date: 10 Apr 09 - 05:08 PM

Agreed Mo: it has to be Rockingham.

But how about using Rockingham for TWIW?


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Subject: RE: The Water Is Wide - Waly Waly
From: Mo the caller
Date: 10 Apr 09 - 05:49 PM

No, it has a different feeling completely.


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Subject: RE: The Water Is Wide - Waly Waly
From: Mo the caller
Date: 10 Apr 09 - 05:52 PM

I suppose someone will come up with some tale about the tune being collected in the village of Rockingham with some other words.
But I still won't think they fit.


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Subject: RE: The Water Is Wide - Waly Waly
From: Joe_F
Date: 10 Apr 09 - 07:57 PM

Headstones are sometimes made of slate, at least in the U.S. That has the disadvantage that the layers sometimes split apart. But it has the advantage that, if the stone manages to stay in one piece, the inscription does not weather in the least. Go to an old graveyard in this country, and you will see that on slate stones the inscriptions are still perfectly sharp even after 250 years -- even the scored guidelines are still visible -- whereas on a marble stone after 100 years the lettering is so washed out as to be illegible. The marble, I suppose, was prettier at the beginning.


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Subject: RE: The Water Is Wide - Waly Waly
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 11 Apr 09 - 11:39 AM

Having posted (above) about sining "When I Survey" to the tune of "Waly Waly" I thought I ought to consider singing "The water is wide" sometime soon.
I found myself sliding into the tune for "Dirty old town". There are some distinct similarities to "The water is wide".
Deliberate by the writer, or just me segueing into fancy?

Cheers
Nigel


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