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Origins: History behind 'Willow Garden'

steve@midrange.ca 26 Oct 98 - 05:53 PM
Big Mick 26 Oct 98 - 08:42 PM
Alice 26 Oct 98 - 08:45 PM
Alice 26 Oct 98 - 08:47 PM
Big Mick 26 Oct 98 - 08:49 PM
Alice 26 Oct 98 - 09:00 PM
allan S. 26 Oct 98 - 09:24 PM
Liam's Brother 27 Oct 98 - 07:41 AM
Thanks, but still searching. 27 Oct 98 - 10:43 AM
Bruce O. 27 Oct 98 - 12:17 PM
Liam's Brother 27 Oct 98 - 07:23 PM
To Liams brother 28 Oct 98 - 03:07 PM
Alan of Australia 29 Oct 98 - 06:21 AM
Bill in Alabama 29 Oct 98 - 07:33 AM
Jerry Friedman 29 Oct 98 - 01:01 PM
GUEST 05 Sep 06 - 05:37 PM
The Sandman 06 Sep 06 - 02:49 AM
GUEST,Jim 06 Sep 06 - 11:27 AM
GUEST,Annie 03 Jun 10 - 03:38 AM
GUEST 09 Apr 15 - 01:48 PM
Steve Gardham 09 Apr 15 - 04:28 PM
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Subject: History behind
From: steve@midrange.ca
Date: 26 Oct 98 - 05:53 PM

I have heard the Bluegrass song "Down In the Willow Garden" for years. Apparently there is an Irish version called "Sally Garden". I have a sense that this is based on a true story, yet I can find no reference to the murder of Rose Connelly. I believe that this story is most likely from Ireland, I would really appreciate it if someone could bring me up to speed on the story behind this song.

Regards,

Steve Latimer steve@midrange.ca


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Subject: RE: History behind
From: Big Mick
Date: 26 Oct 98 - 08:42 PM

Hi Steve,

Ossian's Folksongs and Ballads of Ireland, Vol. 2 indicates the following:

Although the words are in apoem by W.B. Yeats in a publication of 1889, a song called 'The Rambling Boys of Pleasure' was composed in the 18th century. Its first verse goes: 'It's down in Sally's garden O, there hangs rosies three.' Yeats certainly found his inspiration in these lines. The air is 'The Maids of Mourne Shore'.

All the best,

Mick


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Subject: RE: History behind
From: Alice
Date: 26 Oct 98 - 08:45 PM

Do you mean "Down By The Sally Gardens" by William Butler Yeats?


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Subject: RE: History behind
From: Alice
Date: 26 Oct 98 - 08:47 PM

Mick, that's weird, while I was typing a reply, you were posting one, too. alice


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Subject: RE: History behind
From: Big Mick
Date: 26 Oct 98 - 08:49 PM

Great Minds, my friend. **smile**

By the way, are on ICQ?

Mick


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Subject: RE: History behind
From: Alice
Date: 26 Oct 98 - 09:00 PM

No, I tried ICQ once, but had problems getting it to work... don't know if it's because I am on a Mac. I do have a chat room at my website...
http://www.mcn.net/~acflynn/chat.html
You have to make an 'appointment' (send me a time) to meet me there, cause I rarely check in there. alice


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Subject: RE: History behind
From: allan S.
Date: 26 Oct 98 - 09:24 PM

I had an old 78 by Richard Dyer Bennet With the Sally Garden Song More like a simple Love song . In the John and ALlan Lonax book there is the willow garden song with the Rose Connelly verse. The Encyclopedia of folk music has a strange version, with the following THe balad is of West Virginia origin and is said to be based in a true case history The following line"ENRAGED WAS I FOR I CLEARLY SAW I WAS TRICKED BY A FOOL PHARMACIST is strange . Does this imply that she was pregnant and an abortion did not work??? I remember that Tom Paley sang the words " A girl that looks so much like me" instead of the words Rose Connalee Would this imply an insectious relationship where he impregnated his own iligiment sister. Allan S. 


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Subject: RE: History behind
From: Liam's Brother
Date: 27 Oct 98 - 07:41 AM

Hi Steve!

There are 2 books, actually indexes: 1. Native American Balladry, and 2. American Balladry from British Broadsides by Malcolm Laws. Rose Connolly is not in the latter (which I have). That leads me to believe that it is in the former (which I don't).

Rose Connolly certainly didn't come from a W.B. Yeats poem so that means, if what you heard is correct, that it came from You Rambling Boys of Pleasure (a really fine folk song). It didn't. You Rambling Boys of Pleasure isn't about murder and isn't really a ballad but a song.

See if you can get a look at Native American Balladry.

All the best.


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Subject: Lyr Add: WILLOW GARDEN
From: Thanks, but still searching.
Date: 27 Oct 98 - 10:43 AM

Thank you for your help, but I am still looking. I found the Yeats poem, but I think the reference to "Salley Garden" may have put some off track.

The song that I am referring to goes as follows:

Down in the willow garden, where me and my love did meet,
There we sat a-courtin'. My love dropped off to sleep.
I had a bottle of burgundy wine, which my true love did not know,
And there I poisoned that dear little girl, down on the banks below.

I drew a saber through her, which was a bloody knife.
I threw her in the river, which was a dreadful sight.
My father often told me that money would set me free,
If I would murder that dear little girl whose name was Rose Connelly.

Now he sits in his cabin high, wipin' his teary eye,
A-lookin' at his own dear son upon the scaffold high.
My race is run beneath the sun. The devil is waiting for me,
For I did murder that dear little girl whose name was Rose Connelly.

If anyone knows more about this story, or where and when it originated, I would be grateful for their comments.

Steve Latimer


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Subject: RE: History behind
From: Bruce O.
Date: 27 Oct 98 - 12:17 PM

"Down by the Willow Garden" is Laws' F6, and is in DT. Laws, 'Native American Balladry', cites other traditional texts and a Library of Congress recording, but gives no history. I think Lomax's version in DT is the only version with the title "Down by the Willow Garden", and Laws' title is "Rose Connoley".


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Subject: RE: History behind
From: Liam's Brother
Date: 27 Oct 98 - 07:23 PM

Steve, I wanted to mention that The Everly Brothers recorded it on their "Songs Our Daddy Taught Us" LP back about 1958.

All the best, Dan


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Subject: RE: History behind
From: To Liams brother
Date: 28 Oct 98 - 03:07 PM

Thank you for mentioning the Everly Brothers album. I'll try to find it. We have a very good radio folk show in Toronto on Saturday afternoons, perhaps they will have this album.

I have only heard it on an old "Best of Bluegrass" tape that I have, I believe the artist is Charlie Monroe and in the movie "Raising Arizona" where the female lead whose name escapes me is singing it as a lullaby to a baby. Not the most comforting lullaby, is it?


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Subject: RE: History behind
From: Alan of Australia
Date: 29 Oct 98 - 06:21 AM

G'day,
The Everly Brothers version of "Rose Connolly" is on the "Bringing It All Back Home" double CD, a Hummingbird production for BBC Television (Northern Ireland).

I also have a version somewhere on an old Peter & Gordon album.

As I heard the story of "Sally Gardens", Yeats needed a song in a hurry for some function & wanted to use "Ye Rambling Boys of Pleasure". When he couldn't find the words in time he wrote "Sally Gardens", set to an older tune.

Cheers,
Alan


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Subject: RE: History behind
From: Bill in Alabama
Date: 29 Oct 98 - 07:33 AM

Steve:

For what it's worth; I learned the ballad from my grandfather when I was a boy in southeast Tennessee; He called the song *Willow Garden*, and it is basically the same set of verses you listed; the victim's name, however, is Rosalie. In our part of the mountains, the song is sung to the same tune as *Rosin the Beau*.


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Subject: RE: History behind
From: Jerry Friedman
Date: 29 Oct 98 - 01:01 PM

Yeats said his poem was an extension of a fragment sung to him by "an old woman of Ballisodare", if memory serves.


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Subject: RE: Origins: History behind 'Willow Garden'
From: GUEST
Date: 05 Sep 06 - 05:37 PM

Just to clarify this, because it confused me:

The Sally Gardens by Yeats has nothing to do with Down in a Sally Garden, or Rose Connelly, except a similar opening line.

Having said that, The latter song sounds Irish.


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Subject: RE: Origins: History behind 'Willow Garden'
From: The Sandman
Date: 06 Sep 06 - 02:49 AM

sallys is the irish name for willows, which grow here like weeds, but they are handy for basket making and firewood.


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Subject: RE: Origins: History behind 'Willow Garden'
From: GUEST,Jim
Date: 06 Sep 06 - 11:27 AM

I first heard this song, I think from the New Lost City Ramblers, with the words, "I had a bottle of burglar's wine." Otherwise, I think it was the way Steve Latimer transcribed it.

Sorry if I spelled "burglar's" incorrectly.


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Subject: RE: Origins: History behind 'Willow Garden'
From: GUEST,Annie
Date: 03 Jun 10 - 03:38 AM

I was also interested in the origins of this ballad and came across this on the net, it is the best explanation I have found so far and it seems very plausible. I hope this helps to abate your curiosity!

Click here

(The actual background explanation is a little ways down and was sent in by a Mr. Bob Moore)


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Subject: RE: Origins: History behind 'Willow Garden'
From: GUEST
Date: 09 Apr 15 - 01:48 PM

Who was Rose Connelly historically?   That name is too specific to be random... I think this song conveys an actual event in Ireland long ago.


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Subject: RE: Origins: History behind 'Willow Garden'
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 09 Apr 15 - 04:28 PM

All of the 8 published versions I have are American although I feel sure I have heard Irish revival singers singing it. Laws also thought of it as American otherwise he'd have put it in his other book. I see no reason to believe it is anything other than an American original.


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