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artist that sings The Water is Wide

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:
Lyr Req: Psalms sung to 'The Water is Wide' (36)
(origins) Water Is Wide - First American Version (40)
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) Origin: The Water Is Wide - Waly Waly (34)
(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) Origins: Waly, Waly - Water is Wide (29)
(origins) Water is wide: song history request (38)


ChildoftheSea 13 Jun 04 - 10:15 AM
Uncle_DaveO 13 Jun 04 - 10:19 AM
The Fooles Troupe 13 Jun 04 - 10:26 AM
MickyMan 13 Jun 04 - 11:18 AM
GUEST,Richard 13 Jun 04 - 12:26 PM
Amos 13 Jun 04 - 12:43 PM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 13 Jun 04 - 12:44 PM
Leadfingers 13 Jun 04 - 01:18 PM
GUEST 13 Jun 04 - 03:28 PM
Backstage Manager(inactive) 13 Jun 04 - 03:37 PM
Malcolm Douglas 13 Jun 04 - 03:50 PM
MudGuard 13 Jun 04 - 04:00 PM
Malcolm Douglas 13 Jun 04 - 04:36 PM
Joybell 13 Jun 04 - 07:08 PM
GUEST,leeneia 13 Jun 04 - 10:58 PM
The Sandman 12 May 12 - 02:12 PM
Big Al Whittle 12 May 12 - 03:44 PM
The Sandman 12 May 12 - 07:19 PM
Big Al Whittle 12 May 12 - 08:10 PM
GUEST,mando-player-91 12 May 12 - 09:26 PM
Nancy King 13 May 12 - 12:01 AM
PHJim 13 May 12 - 09:04 PM
GUEST,leeneia 13 May 12 - 09:36 PM
Seamus Kennedy 14 May 12 - 12:49 AM
The Sandman 14 May 12 - 04:19 AM
Big Al Whittle 14 May 12 - 06:44 AM
GUEST,John Foxen 14 May 12 - 10:40 AM
GUEST,leeneia 14 May 12 - 12:31 PM
The Sandman 14 May 12 - 04:50 PM
The Sandman 14 May 12 - 04:52 PM
Seamus Kennedy 14 May 12 - 05:14 PM
Tootler 14 May 12 - 06:51 PM
The Sandman 15 May 12 - 05:28 PM
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Subject: artist that sings The Water is Wide
From: ChildoftheSea
Date: 13 Jun 04 - 10:15 AM

I love the song "The Water is Wide" by Deanta. But when I looked up the lyrics, I found the traditional irish lyrics and fell in love with them. I was dissapointed to see that Deanta left out verses and changed some. I was wondering if there was an artist that stuck to the traditional version, all verses included.

Thanks!


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Subject: RE: artist that sings The Water is Wide
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 13 Jun 04 - 10:19 AM

I don't what "all the verses" are, so I can't answer that part of it, but Joan Baez did an appealing version all those years ago.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: artist that sings The Water is Wide
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 13 Jun 04 - 10:26 AM

So many artists, so many versions...


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Subject: RE: artist that sings The Water is Wide
From: MickyMan
Date: 13 Jun 04 - 11:18 AM

I believe hat is one of those songs that have literally thousands of verses, and each artist picks their own to perform.


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Subject: RE: artist that sings The Water is Wide
From: GUEST,Richard
Date: 13 Jun 04 - 12:26 PM

The generally accepted version consists of three main verses then the first verse repeated at the end.

The water is wide, I can't cros o'er.
Nor have I wings, That I might fly.
Build me a boat, that can carry two,
and both shall row,My love and I.

A ship there is,and sails the sea.
She's loaded deep,As deep can be.
But not so deep,As the love I knew,
and I know not if,I'll sink or swim.

When love is young, and love is fine,
'Tis like a gem, when first its new.
But love grows old, and waxes cold,
And fades away, like the morning dew.

Then repeat first verse.

There are many additions can be arranged as the singer sees fit.....


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Subject: RE: artist that sings The Water is Wide
From: Amos
Date: 13 Jun 04 - 12:43 PM

Richard,

I'd be a bit leery of defining the generally accepted version of a song so widely sung in so many versions. See the threads linked above. I am sure most singers know better than three verses! And I have heard as many sing the last verse differently than you have given it.

This song and its antecedent, Waly, Waly, is one of the oldest known songs in English and is documented through scores of iterations. A lot of information asbout can be found in the threads of discussion linked at the top of this one, and by searching for "Waly, Waly" in the Forum.

A


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Subject: RE: artist that sings The Water is Wide
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 13 Jun 04 - 12:44 PM

Child of the Sea, what verses are they that you feel are "traditional"? In the various threads we have at the Mudcat, there are, arguably, roughly 18 verses, separate and distinct. If you want to go through some of the threads you will find some of the information that, among others, Malcolm Douglas (I think), posted regarding some of the oldest versions collected and published.

What I'm trying to say is that there is not ONE OFFICIAL version of this song. Many people sing it, and have learned it from one person who had sung certain verses, whether that was the way they learned it or it fit a certain "time" length they wanted.

Personally, I enjoy any version I hear of the song.

Should this thread be folded into one of the others? Or perhaps the thread should say "Water is Wide - Official Version?"


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Subject: RE: artist that sings The Water is Wide
From: Leadfingers
Date: 13 Jun 04 - 01:18 PM

As George Seto says , Look at all the verses you can find , discard the ones you dont like and adapt the rest til you reach a manageable size . I have enough verses to Barbara Allen to sing it it for twenty five minutes if I wish , but dont really want a song more than six or seven verses long for normal use ! The 'Water is Wide' in the D T is more or less the same as I use !


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Subject: RE: artist that sings The Water is Wide
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Jun 04 - 03:28 PM

i love pete seeger's version


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Subject: RE: artist that sings The Water is Wide
From: Backstage Manager(inactive)
Date: 13 Jun 04 - 03:37 PM

Some of the versions that I have recordings of "The Water is Wide" are by: David Amram (instrumental), David & Lora Lee Amram, Joan Baez, Mary Black, Karla Bonoff, Eva Cassidy, Connie Dover, Bob Dylan & Joan Baez, Ed Gerhard (instrumental), Ronnie Gilbert & Pete Seeger, Steve Goodman, John Gorka, Priscilla Herdman, Carolyn Hester, Anne Hills & Jan Burda, Roger McGuinn, Mustard's Retreat, Fred Neil, Tim O'Brien, Niamh Parsons, Tom Paxton, Scuttlebutt (instrumental), Pete Seeger, Christopher Shaw, John Stewart & Buffy Ford, June Tabor, James Taylor, Lucie Blue Tremblay, and Kim Wallach.


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Subject: RE: artist that sings The Water is Wide
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 13 Jun 04 - 03:50 PM

Probably they all use the same tune, and will be arrangements of the usual form of the song that turns up on commercial recordings (though in some cases with verses added or subtracted, and words changed or moved around) which can be traced almost invariably to a set published early in the 20th century.

The Water is Wide, as most people know it, was found by Cecil Sharp in Somerset in the early years of the 20th century (the text is a collation from more than one singer); he published it between 1904 and 1906 in the UK, and in 1916 in the USA. The commonly-recorded form (popularised in the American folk revival by Pete Seeger, who got it from his sister Peggy, who seems to have got it from one of Sharp's books) is not Irish at all, but English. Seeger added a verse to it himself.

Part of the confusion over the song is that some early collectors, noticing that it shared verses with Waly Waly decided that it "must" be a "version" of that song; a misapprehension which has stuck, and is regularly repeated to this day. Sharp didn't actually make that claim, though he published it as Oh Waly Waly, commenting "The words are so closely allied to the well-known Scottish ballad ... that I have published [it] under the same title."

In truth only a few verses are shared (and not the "water is wide" verse); and many of these turn up in many other songs. For the uninitiated, such things are generally called "floating" verses, and are a commonplace of traditional song, capable of leading the unwary into guessing at all manner of connections which often turn out to be mere illusion. Whole songs are composed of such verses, and regularly lead folk into the error of assuming things like "Waly Waly and The Water is Wide are [versions of] the same song". That is a gross over-simplification. They share material, but are distinct, separate pieces.

This being the case, it is hard for us to be sure what the "complete" version you mention might actually be. The song (and others like it, related and unrelated) has been discussed here at considerable length in the past, though, and you might like to have a look at some of the earlier threads, to which links have now been added at the head of this page.

Once you've found the lyric that you know as the "complete" one, point us to it (don't bother to quote it here; it will almost certainly have been posted several times already) and people will then be able to tell you who has recorded it. If, as I suspect, you mean the Sharp collation (the "DigiTrad" example shown above as THE WATER IS WIDE derives from it, though the words have been changed around a bit), then people have been recording arrangements of it for a long while -some have already been mentioned- though it is only in recent years that the marketing boom in "Celtic" music has led people to imagine that it is an Irish song. There are related songs in Irish tradition, as in those of all other countries where English is spoken; but they have their own tunes, and rarely include the "water is wide" verse.


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Subject: RE: artist that sings The Water is Wide
From: MudGuard
Date: 13 Jun 04 - 04:00 PM

So is the song Carrickfergus related to it?
It has some very similar lines:

But the sea is wide and I cannot cross over
And neither have I the wings to fly


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Subject: RE: artist that sings The Water is Wide
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 13 Jun 04 - 04:36 PM

The whole issue is extraordinarily complicated (though not quite as impossible as the Died for Love group of songs) and pretty much incapable of satisfactory resolution. It's safest to say no more than that the songs belong to a loose, and very large, "family" (or group of families) with shared or overlapping characteristics, without necessarily being directly related to one another. Correspondences can be useful but it's unwise to attach too much weight to them on their own; you'll have noticed, for instance, comments made here in the past by people who seemed to be under the impression that all songs beginning "As I walked out" were related!

The subject has been covered quite extensively in older threads. We'd best try to keep to the one song here, I think, if we're not to make things too confusing. My own post was rather long, I fear; but intended to narrow the discussion down rather than expand on it.


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Subject: RE: artist that sings The Water is Wide
From: Joybell
Date: 13 Jun 04 - 07:08 PM

We all did/do don't we? Malcolm Douglas, as always, has covered it all, but here's my 2 cents worth.
Childofthesea - Listen to them all - that's my advice. Read all the various sets of lyrics. Search back as far as you can and learn as much as you can about the songs that you fall in love with. Mudcat is an excellent place to start.
Then sing the songs as you feel them. Include the verses you prefer and leave out the others.
I always try to introduce a song by briefly giving its background. I'm very careful to check my sources and always go back to the earliest printed example. Otherwise all I say is "I learned this from ...."
Good luck - the journey is just begining. From another Child of the Sea. Joy


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Subject: RE: artist that sings The Water is Wide
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 13 Jun 04 - 10:58 PM

Thanks for your informative post, Malcolm. I've often wondered about the history of this song. I've known it for years, and it's one of my favorites.


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Subject: RE: artist that sings The Water is Wide
From: The Sandman
Date: 12 May 12 - 02:12 PM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zTFZhmxkpbE&feature=youtu.be


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Subject: RE: artist that sings The Water is Wide
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 12 May 12 - 03:44 PM

very nice!

bet that concertina's worth a few quid! very nice tone to it!


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Subject: RE: artist that sings The Water is Wide
From: The Sandman
Date: 12 May 12 - 07:19 PM

thanks, yeah, and the actions very responsive


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Subject: RE: artist that sings The Water is Wide
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 12 May 12 - 08:10 PM

Put up your words

its a song I do, but I just do the ship verse and the rose in the wintergloom.

I'm not much good at tradsong

al


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Subject: RE: artist that sings The Water is Wide
From: GUEST,mando-player-91
Date: 12 May 12 - 09:26 PM

Pete Seeger
Roger Mcguinn
Joan Baez
Ronnie Gilbert with Pete Seeger
Simon Sisters


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Subject: RE: artist that sings The Water is Wide
From: Nancy King
Date: 13 May 12 - 12:01 AM

Surprisingly, my favorite version hasn't been mentioned yet -- that's the one done by Clarence Cooper of The Tarriers. Beautiful.


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Subject: RE: artist that sings The Water is Wide
From: PHJim
Date: 13 May 12 - 09:04 PM

This is the first song I ever heard my wife sing. She sings it with the verses, similar, but not exactly like the one submitted by GUEST,Richard, plus one that goes something like:

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


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Subject: RE: artist that sings The Water is Wide
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 13 May 12 - 09:36 PM

down in the meadow the other day,
a-gath'rin flowers both fine and gay,
a-gath'rin flowers both red and blue,
I little thought what love can do.


(I believe I learned it from soprano Elly Ameling.)


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Subject: RE: artist that sings The Water is Wide
From: Seamus Kennedy
Date: 14 May 12 - 12:49 AM

Lovely, Dick! (Glad I put the comma in.)


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Subject: RE: artist that sings The Water is Wide
From: The Sandman
Date: 14 May 12 - 04:19 AM

"Seamus Kennedy does the DEFINITIVE version on his 'Party Pieces' CD.


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Subject: RE: artist that sings The Water is Wide
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 14 May 12 - 06:44 AM

Ah yes lovely Dick - that see-thru gusset really works for you....!


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Subject: RE: artist that sings The Water is Wide
From: GUEST,John Foxen
Date: 14 May 12 - 10:40 AM

It's such a beautiful song and I worked out an arrangement that I was really pleased with.
But after we performed it at our local club (Haverfolk) a fiendishly talented little git called Trevor Sharples came up with a devastating parody called My Bottom Is Wide . We now get more requests for that than the original :-(


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Subject: RE: artist that sings The Water is Wide
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 14 May 12 - 12:31 PM

Most parody is to the ear what graffiti is to the eye - the mean, lazy exploitation of someone else's honest effort. That one sounds like a good example.


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Subject: RE: artist that sings The Water is Wide
From: The Sandman
Date: 14 May 12 - 04:50 PM

most parodies imo are inferior to the original, an exception is the hard times of old england, i believe it was a parody of the roast beef of old england


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Subject: RE: artist that sings The Water is Wide
From: The Sandman
Date: 14 May 12 - 04:52 PM

When mighty Roast Beef was the Englishman's food,
    It ennobled our brains and enriched our blood.
    Our soldiers were brave and our courtiers were good

       Oh! the Roast Beef of old England,
       And old English Roast Beef!

    But since we have learnt from all-vapouring France
    To eat their ragouts as well as to dance,
    We're fed up with nothing but vain complaisance

       Oh! the Roast Beef of Old England,
       And old English Roast Beef!

    Our fathers of old were robust, stout, and strong,
    And kept open house, with good cheer all day long,
    Which made their plump tenants rejoice in this song--

       Oh! The Roast Beef of old England,
       And old English Roast Beef!

    But now we are dwindled to, what shall I name?
    A sneaking poor race, half-begotten and tame,
    Who sully the honours that once shone in fame.

       Oh! the Roast Beef of Old England,
       And old English Roast Beef!

    When good Queen Elizabeth sat on the throne,
    Ere coffee, or tea, or such slip-slops were known,
    The world was in terror if e'er she did frown.

       Oh! The Roast Beef of old England,
       And old English Roast Beef!

    In those days, if Fleets did presume on the Main,
    They seldom, or never, return'd back again,
    As witness, the Vaunting Armada of Spain.

       Oh! The Roast Beef of Old England,
       And old English Roast Beef!

    Oh then we had stomachs to eat and to fight
    And when wrongs were cooking to do ourselves right.
    But now we're a . . . I could, but goodnight!

       Oh! the Roast Beef of Old England,
       And old English Roast Beef!


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Subject: RE: artist that sings The Water is Wide
From: Seamus Kennedy
Date: 14 May 12 - 05:14 PM

Thanks Dick. A well-placed comma works wonders. And your version is exquisite.


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Subject: RE: artist that sings The Water is Wide
From: Tootler
Date: 14 May 12 - 06:51 PM

Of course, there is always this version of The Water is Wide ;)


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Subject: RE: artist that sings The Water is Wide
From: The Sandman
Date: 15 May 12 - 05:28 PM

hardly definitive, in fact ts fucking awful


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