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Tune Req: The Mower/Ile (Isle) de France^^

sue@questor-cp.demon.co.uk 12 Oct 98 - 03:45 AM
Susan of DT 12 Oct 98 - 02:32 PM
sue@questor-cp.demon.co.uk 13 Oct 98 - 04:10 PM
PKD on Teesside 21 Jul 99 - 07:29 AM
Joe Offer 21 Jul 99 - 07:44 AM
SueH 21 Jul 99 - 12:38 PM
SueH 21 Jul 99 - 05:04 PM
SueH 21 Jul 99 - 05:10 PM
SueH 21 Jul 99 - 06:39 PM
alison 21 Jul 99 - 10:01 PM
PKD on Teesside 22 Jul 99 - 02:58 AM
Joe Offer 22 Jul 99 - 04:00 AM
SueH 22 Jul 99 - 05:18 AM
GUEST,Oz Childs 25 Jun 01 - 02:54 AM
Wolfgang 25 Jun 01 - 04:03 AM
Bat Goddess 25 Jun 01 - 09:24 AM
Bob Bolton 25 Jun 01 - 09:27 AM
Malcolm Douglas 25 Jun 01 - 10:40 AM
Malcolm Douglas 25 Jun 01 - 03:00 PM
Jim Hancock 25 Jun 01 - 07:13 PM
GUEST,SueH 26 Jun 01 - 05:12 AM
Martin Graebe 27 Jun 01 - 02:16 AM
Malcolm Douglas 27 Jun 01 - 09:04 AM
SueH 22 Aug 01 - 08:17 AM
Jim Dixon 01 Oct 08 - 09:46 PM
pavane 02 Oct 08 - 10:25 AM
pavane 02 Oct 08 - 10:31 AM
pavane 02 Oct 08 - 11:12 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 02 Oct 08 - 09:03 PM
Malcolm Douglas 03 Oct 08 - 12:33 AM
pavane 03 Oct 08 - 01:37 AM
pavane 03 Oct 08 - 01:37 AM
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Subject: The Mower/Ile (Isle) de France
From: sue@questor-cp.demon.co.uk
Date: 12 Oct 98 - 03:45 AM

Has anyone heard of either of these two tunes. Again, I have the lyrics. Both have been sung by Martyn Wyndham-Read, The Mower is supposed to be an old English folk song, the Ile de France is about a convict ship. I can't find either of them anywhere.

Many thanks

Sue


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Subject: RE: The Mower/Ile (Isle) de France
From: Susan of DT
Date: 12 Oct 98 - 02:32 PM

We have a song called "THE MOWER" in the database. Is this the one you want?


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Subject: RE: The Mower/Ile (Isle) de France
From: sue@questor-cp.demon.co.uk
Date: 13 Oct 98 - 04:10 PM

I don't think this is the same song. The lyrics to 'The Mower' begins...'A mower in the month of June...' & goes on to describe the fact that the mower in the song has lost his wife & children, & God is taking them in the same way as he scythes the grass. The Ile de France describes the transportation of a prisoner whose convict ship is sunk; he is recued & given a posthumous pardon because he is thought to have been drowned.

Sue


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Subject: RE: The Mower/Ile (Isle) de France
From: PKD on Teesside
Date: 21 Jul 99 - 07:29 AM

Nick Jones sings The Isle of France on one of his early recordings. Early 1970s ??

Cheers


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Subject: ADD: Ile (Isle) de France^^
From: Joe Offer
Date: 21 Jul 99 - 07:44 AM

The Nic Jones lead was what I needed to find it.


ISLE OF FRANCE

Oh the sky was dark and the night advanced
When a convict came to the Isle of France
And around his leg was a ring and chain
And his country was of the shamrock green.

"Oh I'm from the Shamrock", this convict cried
"That has been tossed on the ocean wide.
For being unruly, I do declare
I was doomed to transport these seven long years.

"When six of them they were up and passed
I was coming home to make up the last
When the winds did blow and the seas did roar
They cast me here on this foreign shore".

So then the coastguard he played a part
And with brandy he cheered the convict's heart
Although the night it is far advanced
You shall find a friend on the Isle of France.

So he sent a letter all to the queen
Concerning the wreck of the Shamrock Green
And his freedom came by a speedy post
For the absent convict they thought was lost.

"God bless the coastguard", this convict cried
"For he saved my life from the ocean wide
And I'll drink his health in a flowing glass
And here's to success to the Isle of France".

----
Traditional
Sung by Nic Jones on "Noah's Ark Trap"

JRO

Is the "Isle of France" a ship or an island? If a ship, then I hope Sandy will forgive the lack of italics.
thanks for the info, sue - I added the italics before Sandy caught me naming a ship without italics. (grin)
Anybody know the story behind this song?
-Joe Offer-^^


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Subject: RE: The Mower/Ile (Isle) de France
From: SueH
Date: 21 Jul 99 - 12:38 PM

Refresh

Ah, Alison, if you see this - I thought you knew EVERY SINGLE TUNE! All my illusions are shattered.....

Sue


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Subject: RE: The Mower/Ile (Isle) de France
From: SueH
Date: 21 Jul 99 - 05:04 PM

Wow Joe, thanks a million. I didn't know about Nic Jones singing it, & in fact I missed PKD's response to my original thread somehow. I don't suppose the tune is there as well, by any chance?

Alison suggested I refresh this thread after I'd posted to a thread which mentioned the Cock of the North, another of Martyn's songs. So, apologising for making my own thread creep, I'll just note here that I offered to get the tune for Cock of the North from Martyn, but my husband has just reminded me that he learns songs by ear & the only way to get a tune from him, particulrly an old one, is to get him to sing it through once to remind himself, then again very slowly so you can write down chords & notes. I may have the tape with it on somewhere though, so if anyone wants it I will sort out the tune.

Sue


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Subject: RE: The Mower/Ile (Isle) de France
From: SueH
Date: 21 Jul 99 - 05:10 PM

Oh sorry Joe, forgot to say - The Ile De France is a convict ship, I'm pretty sure (someone correct me if I'm wrong?)

SueH


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Subject: RE: The Mower/Ile (Isle) de France
From: SueH
Date: 21 Jul 99 - 06:39 PM

Just a bit more background information on these 2, Joe (& any other interested parties).

The Ile de France was recorded on Martyn's 'Emu Plains' LP in 1981, & had Nic Jones playing fiddle on it. The notes on it say:

'One of the many songs of the transportation of convicts to the penal settlements of New South Wales or Tasmania in the earlier years of the 19th century. This one is different from most in that the convicted man has finished his sentence & is shipwrecked on his way home. The song has every appearance of being made in Ireland rather than Australia, & was known on this side of the world, appearing in W. Percy Merrick's 'Folk Songs From Sussex 1912'. Other versions have turned up in Somerset & Leeds. The tune & opening verse was collected by Ron Edwards in Cairns, Queensland. Martyn got it from Edwards' 'Big Book of Australian Folk Songs', published in 1976.

and about 'The Mower': (from Martyn's 'Andy's Gone' LP - which also features Nic Jones on fiddle!)

'The Reverend Sabine Baring-Gould (1834-1924), squire, linguist, parson & teacher, folk-lorist & writer, was a great eccentric & Non-Conformist. Despite a 'county' background, at 32 he insisted on marrying an illiterate Yorkshire mill girl. A further mark of his eccentricity was his sleeping bat that hung from his shoulder while he lectured his students at Hurstpierpoint. These are just two incidents taken from dozens of similarly outrageous ones that occurred in his very full life, and this makes his typical Victorian prudery over folk song texts all the more surprising. Even his unpublished manuscripts are littered with comments such as 'original words very gross & I did not note them', or, 'indecent!'. With regard to the Mower, he said 'This song exists in several versions; they vary very much but all are objectionable & I have therefore entirely rewritten it.' He changed the old sexual folk metaphor of the mower who cuts down young maids' meadows with his keen sharp ever ready scythe for an equally old but far more respectable symbol, that of Death. Baring-Gould published the song in 'A Garland of Country Song', published 1895. The tune, he assures us, is the original one collected.'


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Subject: RE: The Mower/Ile (Isle) de France
From: alison
Date: 21 Jul 99 - 10:01 PM

Hi sue,

I have done the tune for Cock of the North

I don't know the tunes you are looking for, but if someone sends me a real audio or GIF I'll be happy to do them for you.

slainte

alison


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Subject: RE: The Mower/Ile (Isle) de France
From: PKD on Teesside
Date: 22 Jul 99 - 02:58 AM

Hi,

I'm pretty sure the "The Isle of France" is an Island. This guy is shipwrecked from a ship called the Shamrock Green, and is washed up on The Isle of France, where he is met by a coastguard. That has got to be dry land ?

I've always had it in my mind that it was Madagasca, but a search of material at home last night has failed to confirm that, so God knows where I've got the idea!

Cheers

Paul


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Subject: ADD: Isle de France^^
From: Joe Offer
Date: 22 Jul 99 - 04:00 AM

I think I like this rendition a little better. In this version, it sounds like "Shamrock" refers to the convict's country, not to his ship.
-Joe Offer-

THE ISLE DE FRANCE
(traditional)

Oh, the sun went down, and the moon advanced
When the convict came to the Isle de France;
Upon his leg was the ring and chain,
And his country was of the Shamrock green.

Then the coastguard came to the island beach
Till the convict's boat was within his reach,
And he asked, while tears from his eyes did rain,
"Were you born, young man, of the Shamrock green?"

"Oh, I am a Shamrock," the convict cried,
"That has been tossed on the ocean wide!
For being unruly, I do declare,
I was doomed a transport for seven years.

"When six of these was past and gone,
We were coming home for to make up one,
When the stormy winds did so blow and roar
I was cast up here on this foreign shore."

Then a speedy letter went to the Queen
About the shipwreck of the Shamrock green,
Then his freedom came by a speedy post
To the absent convict they thought was lost.

"God bless the coastguard," the convict cried,
"Who saved my life from the ocean wide.
I will drink his health in a flowing glass,
So here's success to the Isle de France!"


From Penguin Australian Songbook
The Isle de France was ceded to Britain in 1814 and was later named Mauritius. The ballad appears to date from before the change of name, yet the "letter to the Queen" hints at after 1837.
JRO

MIDI file: ISLEDE~1.MID

Timebase: 192

Name: Isle de France
Text: By (traditional)
Copyright: From "Penguin Australian Songbook"
Key: D
TimeSig: 3/4 24 8
Start
0384 1 62 110 0142 0 62 000 0002 1 64 110 0046 0 64 000 0002 1 66 110 0094 0 66 000 0002 1 66 110 0094 0 66 000 0002 1 66 110 0160 0 66 000 0032 1 59 110 0142 0 59 000 0002 1 61 110 0046 0 61 000 0002 1 62 110 0094 0 62 000 0002 1 62 110 0094 0 62 000 0002 1 62 110 0160 0 62 000 0032 1 69 110 0142 0 69 000 0002 1 69 110 0046 0 69 000 0002 1 71 110 0094 0 71 000 0002 1 73 110 0094 0 73 000 0002 1 74 110 0160 0 74 000 0032 1 73 110 0094 0 73 000 0002 1 69 110 0094 0 69 000 0002 1 71 110 0094 0 71 000 0002 1 71 110 0094 0 71 000 0002 1 71 110 0160 0 71 000 0128 1 69 110 0094 0 69 000 0002 1 71 110 0094 0 71 000 0002 1 73 110 0094 0 73 000 0002 1 74 110 0160 0 74 000 0032 1 73 110 0094 0 73 000 0002 1 69 110 0094 0 69 000 0002 1 71 110 0094 0 71 000 0002 1 73 110 0094 0 73 000 0002 1 71 110 0160 0 71 000 0032 1 62 110 0142 0 62 000 0002 1 64 110 0046 0 64 000 0002 1 66 110 0094 0 66 000 0002 1 67 110 0094 0 67 000 0002 1 66 110 0160 0 66 000 0032 1 59 110 0142 0 59 000 0002 1 61 110 0046 0 61 000 0002 1 62 110 0094 0 62 000 0002 1 62 110 0094 0 62 000 0002 1 62 110 0160 0 62 000
End

This program is worth the effort of learning it.

To download the March 10 MIDItext 98 software and get instructions on how to use it click here

ABC format:

X:1
T:Isle de France
M:3/4
Q:1/4=120
K:D
D11/2E/2|FFF2B,3/2C/2|DDD2A3/2A/2|Bcd2cA|
BBB3A|Bcd2cA|BcB2D3/2E/2|FGF2B,3/2C/2|DDD7/4||

^^


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Subject: RE: The Mower/Ile (Isle) de France
From: SueH
Date: 22 Jul 99 - 05:18 AM

Hi Joe

This is getting really interesting! I also think the 'shamrock' refers to his being from Ireland. I've had a look on a number of sites relating to convict transportation & there are comprehensive shipping lists; I can't find a record of a ship named the Shamrock. Equally, there was a ship named the Ile de France, but it wasn't built until 1926!

The only other possibility, as far as I can see, is that the region of France from Paris to the coast (Le Havre, etc) is named Ile-de-France, so I suppose he could have been shipwrecked when almost back (presumably being taken back to England, rather than Ireland), if the ship was blown off course. It might explain the 'speedy reply'! Mind you, you could hardly call what is now the English Channel 'the ocean wide'.....

As I can't let go of anything once I've started, I shall keep searching around to see if I can find out anything else.

I had a look around for sites on Baring-Gould as well but there don't appear to be any with song collections.

Sue


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Subject: RE: The Mower/Ile (Isle) de France
From: GUEST,Oz Childs
Date: 25 Jun 01 - 02:54 AM

A little late to join the thread, but readers of the Patrick O'Brian stories will know that the Isle of France is the old name for Mauritius, in the Indian Ocean. A ship bound from Sydney to the Cape of Good Hope and England could plausibly be blown ashore there, especially if it stopped at Colombo (in Sri Lanka) first.


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Subject: RE: The Mower/Ile (Isle) de France
From: Wolfgang
Date: 25 Jun 01 - 04:03 AM

I think there should be a link here to a similar thread which answers some of the questions here: Shamrock Green.

Wolfgang


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE MOWER^^^
From: Bat Goddess
Date: 25 Jun 01 - 09:24 AM

Curmudgeon here.
I've been singing THE MOWER now for many years. I first got it from The Best of A. L. Lloyd, Prestige. It is also in Lloyd's book, Folksong in England. But since these are both out of print...

As I was out a-walking on the fourteenth of July,
I met a maid and I asked her age and she gave me this reply:
"I have a little meadow which I have held in store,
And it's only due I should tell you true, it never was mowed before."

She said, "Me charmin' young man, if a mower that you be,
I'll give you good employment, so come along with me."
It was me good employment. As I wandered up and down,
With me tarrin' scythe I did contrive to mow her meadow down.

Now me courage being undaunted as I stepped out on the ground,
With me tarrin' scythe I then did strive to mow her meadow down.
I mowed from nine to dinner-time. It was far beyond me skill.
I was obliged to yield and to quit the field and her grass was growin' still.

The more she kissed and did protest, this fair maid being so young,
I thought her two bright sparklin' eyes were like the risin' sun.
She says, "Young man, I'll sharpen your scythe. Come place it in me hand,
And perhaps you'll consent to come again and mow me meadowland."

Good singing to all - Tom^^^


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Subject: RE: The Mower/Ile (Isle) de France
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 25 Jun 01 - 09:27 AM

G'day all,

I just came across this refreshed thread. This is a song in which I am interested, because there is a lost Australian version. John Manifold collected the first verse only in 1962 from Mrs Webb of Toowong, Queensland. Ron Edwards, who worked with Manifold from the early 1950s, collected a variant first verse a couple of years later (presumably, also in Queensland). Edwards subsequently found a broadside version in the National Library, Dublin (1987).

None of this finds the version I want - the one faintly recollected by Mrs webb, from her father, describing a convict released from servitude and sailing home - but being wrecked on the Victorian coast and ending up on the Ballarat(southern Australian) goldfields at the time of the Eureka Rebellion, 1854. As Mrs Webb could not remember any of the relevant words, Manifold used a British version (from Sussex?) in the Penguin Australian Song Book.

I greatly regret that this version has never surfaced. I have even written my own version of it (but don't perform it these days ... I might be muddying the waters!).

Regards,

Bob Bolton


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Subject: RE: The Mower/Ile (Isle) de France
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 25 Jun 01 - 10:40 AM

A kind thought, Tom, but Bert Lloyd's set is the one in the DT that Susan referred to long ago when this thread was young.  Here is an updated link to it:  THE MOWER  The tune is not in the DT yet, but a midi made from notation in Lloyd's Folksong in England can be heard via  The Mudcat Midi Pages:

The Mower

Malcolm


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE MOWER^^
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 25 Jun 01 - 03:00 PM

Since this thread has been summoned back from the Great Beyond, I may as well answer part of the original question:

THE MOWER

(Tune traditional, noted by Sabine Baring Gould from James Parsons; words by Baring Gould)

A mower in the month of June
With tarring scythe am I.
To left, to right, I sweep and smite,
Before the dew is dry.
The daisy and the buttercup
Before me bow the head,
What blooméd fair in summer air,
Lies withered, cold, and dead.

There's one doth mow, full well I know,
That passeth through the land,
With scythe more keen, he mows the green,
And letteth little stand.
Me unforgot, he sought my plot
Where blooméd babies three,
And pretty wife, there with his knife
He shore them all from me.

At fall of e'en, when skies are green,
Above the sun's decline,
I there behold blow flowers of gold,
And think those flowers are mine.
On scythe I stoop, in humble hope,
That mower'll ease my pain.
In Eden sweet, I then shall greet
My pretty flowers again.

From A Garland of Country Song, S. Baring Gould and H. Fleetwood Sheppard, 1895 (reprinted Llanerch Publishers, 1998). Baring Gould commented:
"The Mower is a song that exists in several versions, as The Buxom Lass by Jackson, of Birmingham, as The Little Farm by Paul, of St. Andrew's St., London, as The Weary Ploughman, as The Mower by Catnach and Hodges. They vary much, but all are objectionable, and I have therefore entirely re-written the song. The melody is without much character, yet this song is a very favourite one throughout England, and we have included the air for that reason, and that alone."

Links are to copies of the broadsides cited, at Bodleian Library Broadside Ballads; there are plenty of others from other printers there, too.

In fairness to Baring Gould, no respectable publisher at that time would have printed the original text, though the Broadside printers were bound by no such considerations; though to today's eyes it seems innocent enough, the sexual metaphor was meat too strong for the drawing-room. Baring Gould retained the original text in his manuscripts, and Martin Graebe quotes it in his introduction to the reprint cited above. As for the tune, judge for yourselves; a midi goes to The Mudcat Midi Pages; as a temporary measure it can be heard via the South Riding Folk Network site:

The Mower (1895)

THE MOWER

(As originally noted by Sabine Baring Gould from James Parsons)

As I walked out one morning fair, the fourteenth of July
I met a maid, she asked my trade, I made her this reply
It is my occupation, love to ramble up and down
And with my scythe in order, love, to mow the meadow down

She said, my pretty young man, a mower if you be
I'll find you some employment if you'll go along with me
My mother hath a meadow, that's (kept) for you in store
It's on the dew, I tell you true 'twas never mowed before

All in my little meadow, you'll find nor hills nor rocks
I pray you do not leave me 'till my hay is all in pokes
O mower man you promised me, you promised me that day
You would not bear your scythe elsewhere 'till you had cut my hay

I answered fairest maiden I can no longer bide
For I must go across the hills far, far away and wide
But if the grass be all cut down in the country where I go
Then I'll return to you again, your meadow for to mow

Now summer being overpast, and harvest being o'er
The mower gone, I'm left alone my folly to deplore
And where he's gone, I cannot tell, 'tis far beyond the hill
And I must yield and quit the field where the grass is growing still

Malcolm^^


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Subject: RE: The Mower/Ile (Isle) de France
From: Jim Hancock
Date: 25 Jun 01 - 07:13 PM

Hi In the version I have the ship is the Shamrock Green and I am similarly of the opinion that the Isl;e Of France is madagascar but can't offer any authoritive support for that statement other than it being one of those things I seem to have always believed.

All the best Jim


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Subject: RE: The Mower/Ile (Isle) de France
From: GUEST,SueH
Date: 26 Jun 01 - 05:12 AM

Well Malcolm, wonderful, & thank you very much.
I don't suppose you've got the dots? I could ask Martin but I don't think he's played it for so long, he'd have to sit down & play it through note by note. I suppose I could just work it out from the tape, come to that....
SueH


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Subject: RE: The Mower/Ile (Isle) de France
From: Martin Graebe
Date: 27 Jun 01 - 02:16 AM

Malcolm has covered off the Mower nicely so I won't add more on that. Baring-Gould did, though, collect two versions of 'The Isle of France' and it is another song that fascinates me because of the differences between the versions. For example, in one version the convict lives - in the other he dies and the coastguard sings his praises. I plan to do some work on this one when I've finished some of the other zillions of things I've promised people.

Martin Graebe


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Subject: RE: The Mower/Ile (Isle) de France
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 27 Jun 01 - 09:04 AM

Martin's website devoted to Baring Gould is here:  Sabine Baring-Gould and the folk songs of South-West England

Sue: if you don't have software which can extract notation from the midi above, let me know your current email and I'll send you the staff.

Malcolm


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Subject: RE: The Mower/Ile (Isle) de France
From: SueH
Date: 22 Aug 01 - 08:17 AM

Thanks Malcolm - and sorry for the delay in replying, again! My free time's rather limited & so I go for weeks without having a chance to look at the forum. I started working on a new PC in May & have only just managed to get back in as a member, there seemed to be some problem with my cookie, so I couldn't even access the threads I had on trace (which included this one)! And this last month it's been festivals etc.
I do have the software, thank you, & I'm very grateful for the midi.

Regards SueH


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE MOWER (from Bodleian)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 01 Oct 08 - 09:46 PM

From the Bodleian Library allegro Catalogue of Ballads,
Harding B 11(1929):

THE MOWER.

It was one summer's morning on the fourteenth day of May*,
I met a fair maid, she ask'd my trade, I made her this reply:
"For by my occupation I ramble up and down,
With my taring** scythe in order to mow the meadows down."

She said, "My handsome young man, if a mower that you be,
I'll find you some new employment if you will go with me,
For I've a little meadow long kept for you in store.
It was on the dew, I tell you true, it ne'er was cut before."

He said, "My pretty fair maid, if it is as you say,
I'll do my best endeavours in cutting of your hay,
For in your lovely countenance I never saw a frown,
So, my lovely lass, I'll cut your grass, that's ne'er been trampled down."

With courage bold undaunted, she took him to the ground,
With his taring scythe in hand to mow the meadow down.
He mowed from nine till breakfast time, so far beyond his skill,
He was forced to yield and quit the field, for the grass was growing still.

She says, "My handsome young man, you did promise me and say
You'd do your best endeavours in cutting of the hay,
For in my little meadow, you'll ne'er find hills nor rocks,
So I pray, young man, don't leave me, till you see my hay in cocks."

He said, "My pretty fair maid, I can no longer stay,
But I'll go to Newry, in cutting of the hay,
But if I find the grass is cut in the country where I go,
It's then perhaps I may return, your meadow for to mow."

Now her hay being in order, and harvest being all o'er,
This young man's gone and left her sad case for to deplore,
But where he's gone I do not know, so far beyond my skill,
I was forced to yield and quit the field, for grass is growing still.

[*Harding B 25(1275) has "14th of July"—which is a better rhyme.]
[**Some other broadsides have "tarring" or "tearing"]


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: The Mower/Ile (Isle) de France^^
From: pavane
Date: 02 Oct 08 - 10:25 AM

Back to The Ile of France for a moment.

I have a recording of Nic Jones singing it live, and he states in the introduction that his version, as collected, was an incomplete song, which was filled out by Cecil Sharp. I will see if I can transcribe exactly what he says (Or maybe even post the clip of him saying it). I think Nic did a lot of research on his songs, so I believe what he says.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: The Mower/Ile (Isle) de France^^
From: pavane
Date: 02 Oct 08 - 10:31 AM

Do we know where the Australian book of Folk songs got it?
(The Ise of France). I wouldn't be surprised if all recent versions lead back to Nic Jones.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: The Mower/Ile (Isle) de France^^
From: pavane
Date: 02 Oct 08 - 11:12 AM

I have now uploaded Nic's spoken introduction to the song onto my web site.

To listen, go to the site
Click on Private Area link
Enter the password which is nicjonesclips
(Exactly as shown, must be lower case)

You will then see the link to the clip.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: The Mower/Ile (Isle) de France^^
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 02 Oct 08 - 09:03 PM

The earliest version of "The Mower" in the Bodleian Collection, as posted by Jim Dixon (with slight variations from sheet to sheet) is dated c. 1813-1838 (Catnach) and c. 1819-1844 (Pitts).

The DT copy of A. L. Lloyd has a mistake in the last verse, first line, which should read
'Oh(Now), the more she kissed and did protest, this fair maid...', not-
'Now the mower she kissed and did pretest,...'.
Otherwise only very slight differences in Lloyd from the DT.

A. L. Lloyd, Folk Song in England, 1967, pp. 188-189, with music.

The meaning of taring (tarring) scythe is obvious, but I couldn't find the adj. in the OED or Grose, except with reference to tarring (and feathering), or to tares.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: The Mower/Ile (Isle) de France^^
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 03 Oct 08 - 12:33 AM

Nic got the song from Sharp's 'English County Songs'. The tune and main text was noted by W Percy Merrick from Henry Hills at Shepperton in March 1900, and was first printed in the Journal of the Folk-Song Society, I (3) 1901, 123. Mr Hills (who had probably learned the song in his youth in Sussex) had 5 verses, some a bit muddled, so additional material was interpolated from 'another traditional Sussex version'; the source wasn't identified, and I don't know of any other versions found in Sussex in those days, nor does Roud list any (Henry Burstow knew it, of course, but I don't think his set was ever noted by any of the collectors who visited him). Sharp got several versions in Somerset, and most of the major collectors of the day came across it.

Nic changed the words hardly at all, and the tune very little.

The Australian text (the singer remembered only the tune and one verse) is mostly the expanded form of Mr Hills' version as published by Sharp. Not from Nic, but from the same printed source.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: The Mower/Ile (Isle) de France^^
From: pavane
Date: 03 Oct 08 - 01:37 AM

Thanks Malcolm. This seems to contradict what Nic said. Did you listen to the clip?


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: The Mower/Ile (Isle) de France^^
From: pavane
Date: 03 Oct 08 - 01:37 AM

Sorry, it CONFIRMS what he said! I misread it first time.


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