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Mingalay variant/Civil war marching song

DigiTrad:
MINGULAY BOAT SONG


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GUEST,Sarah U. 02 Jan 05 - 09:00 PM
GUEST,Julia 02 Jan 05 - 09:53 PM
Lighter 02 Jan 05 - 10:10 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 03 Jan 05 - 12:09 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 03 Jan 05 - 01:47 AM
GUEST,Murray on Saltspring 03 Jan 05 - 10:13 PM
GUEST,Mingulay 04 Jan 05 - 06:10 AM
GUEST,Sarah U. 04 Jan 05 - 08:11 PM
Malcolm Douglas 04 Jan 05 - 09:30 PM
Lighter 04 Jan 05 - 11:15 PM
GUEST,Julia 05 Jan 05 - 05:01 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 05 Jan 05 - 05:31 PM
Lighter 05 Jan 05 - 06:45 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 05 Jan 05 - 08:07 PM
GUEST,dak 30 May 13 - 08:51 PM
GUEST,Ebor_Fiddler (Well-known pedant) 31 May 13 - 10:40 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 31 May 13 - 12:23 PM
Lighter 31 May 13 - 12:24 PM
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Subject: Mingalay variant/Civil war marching song
From: GUEST,Sarah U.
Date: 02 Jan 05 - 09:00 PM

Hi-
in my ever widening search for the provenance and age of the "Mingalay Boat Song", I was confounded to hear it sung on "Prairie Home Companion" this summer as a Civil War marching song ["marching home to -- can't remember the town name]. Exact same tune and sentiment. Did anyone else hear this, does any one know the song, and which came first: the nautical words by Hugh Robertson or the Civil War version? [Given that the original melody is "Creag Guarach", an old Scots hunting song and pipe tune.
Thanks!
Sarah


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Subject: RE: Mingalay variant/Civil war marching song
From: GUEST,Julia
Date: 02 Jan 05 - 09:53 PM

I believe Hugh Roberton was post civil-war, so unless someone wrote those words later, you may have an early variant. The tune is certainly old and may have had other lyrics before Roberton wrote "Home to Mingulay". Have you enquired of the Prairie Home people? Please let us know what you discover
Best-
Julia


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Subject: RE: Mingalay variant/Civil war marching song
From: Lighter
Date: 02 Jan 05 - 10:10 PM

I once spent many months poring over songs of the American Civil War, well-known and otherwise, and all I can say that I never noticed any whose tune was like "Mingulay" or which featured the lyrics you mention. Would bet that it was written within the past 25 years or so - maybe less.


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Subject: RE: Mingalay variant/Civil war marching song
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 03 Jan 05 - 12:09 AM

Four threads already with the correct spelling Mingulay, also one Mingilay, about 76 posts. This one is chasing its tail.

See thread 9698: Mingulay


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Subject: RE: Mingalay variant/Civil war marching song
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 03 Jan 05 - 01:47 AM

Sir Hugh Robertson, 1874-1952. He wrote the Mingulay words, but adapted an older tune, as pointed out by Sarah U. The tune does not seem to have been used for a lyric in any Civil War composition.

"Creag Guanach," the poem by D. McDonald, was posted by George Seto in thread 10414: Creag Guanach
The thread includes posting of "Eemis Stane" by Jim McLean


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Subject: RE: Mingalay variant/Civil war marching song
From: GUEST,Murray on Saltspring
Date: 03 Jan 05 - 10:13 PM

Pedantic note: it's Sir Hugh Roberton, with no S.


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Subject: RE: Mingalay variant/Civil war marching song
From: GUEST,Mingulay
Date: 04 Jan 05 - 06:10 AM

Written by Sir Hugh Roberton, tune traditional. The whole lot cobbled together very nicely. The School of Scottish Studies may give you more info re origins.


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Subject: RE: Mingalay variant/Civil war marching song
From: GUEST,Sarah U.
Date: 04 Jan 05 - 08:11 PM

Thanks Everyone for your help and info.! I found the lyrics to the "Civil War" version on the Prairie Home website, with no notes or attribution; it was performed back on 5/29 last year . I emailed them to ask for details about the song but no response yet. It is clearly derivative of "Mingulay", or vice versa; the lyrics are so close.
: )
Sarah


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Subject: RE: Mingalay variant/Civil war marching song
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 04 Jan 05 - 09:30 PM

Based on Roberton's lyric for certain; and not Civil War by any stretch of the imagination. "Mingulay" has a 1938 US copyright; if you look a little closer at the PHC site, you'll see that the words are credited "traditional and Garrison Keillor (2004)". They haven't done their homework properly, is all (The Water is Wide on the same programme is credited merely as "traditional", though anyone who has read the threads on that song here will know that there's rather more to it than that).

We need a link to the lyric you mentioned, but didn't quote:

http://prairiehome.publicradio.org/programs/2004/05/29/scripts/marchsong.shtml


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Subject: RE: Mingalay variant/Civil war marching song
From: Lighter
Date: 04 Jan 05 - 11:15 PM

Ugh. And again ugh. For a real Civil War folksong, find Frank Proffitt's rendition of "Old Abe is in the White House," which he learned from one of his grandfathers, I believe. Tnen compare it with both the PHC travesty and any of the "parlor" songs of the age.
An interesting exercise in diction, point of view, and the value of experience.

See also "The Battle of Shiloh's Hill," mentioned in another thread.

Will post lyrics to Proffitt's song when I can dig them out.


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Subject: RE: Mingalay variant/Civil war marching song
From: GUEST,Julia
Date: 05 Jan 05 - 05:01 PM

Keillor has done this before, singing his version of "The Golden Vanity" I guess he figures he is carrying on an old tradition... maybe he is? So is there anything realy wrong with that?
Julia


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Subject: RE: Mingalay variant/Civil war marching song
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 05 Jan 05 - 05:31 PM

The Golden Vanity is an old song. The Mingulay war song is not. Apples and oranges. But no, nothing wrong, unless he claims historical validity.


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Subject: RE: Mingalay variant/Civil war marching song
From: Lighter
Date: 05 Jan 05 - 06:45 PM

And there's nothing wrong with *liking* Keillor's song either - but be advised it's just a quick & easy collection of sentimental attitudes that have nothing at all to do with the Civil War.

I can't find Proffitt's text of "Old Abe" at the moment, but here's how I remember it. One stanza may have dropped out along the way, not sure:

Old Abe is in the White House, he's a takin' of a snooze,
Old Grant is a-bustin; his gut with the booze,
We're out in rain and snow, and we ain't got no shoes,
But still we're marchin' on.

Cho:
      Glory, glory, hallelujah!
      Glory, glory, hallelujah!
      Glory, glory, hallelujah!
      But still we're marchin' on.

Old Abe he freed the Colored man, glory hallelu!
Old Abe he freed the Colored man, glory hallelu!
Now I wish he'd come along and free me too!
As we go marchin' on.

When you shoot a rebel, there is one thing that is sure,
When you shoot a rebel, there is one thing that is sure,
When you shoot a rebel, up will jump a dozen more,
But still we're marchin' on.

(I can hear Proffitt in his North Carolina hills with his homemade fretless banjo now....)


Another fragment that sticks in my mind is John Galusha's stanza about the Irish Brigade, retrieved by the Warners around 1940. No more has ever been found:

This day will be remembered by Americay's noble sons.
If it hadn't been for Irishmen, what would our Union done?
'Twas hand to hand we fought 'em, all in the br'ilin' sun,
When, stripp'd to the pants, we did advance, at the Battle of Bull Run!


(Never mind that both fights at Bull Run [Manassas] were Yankee defeats! It's the ornery pride that gets you. And is there
a Civil War movie that recognizes so well the simple reality of a battle in the "br'ilin' sun" ?)


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Subject: RE: Mingalay variant/Civil war marching song
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 05 Jan 05 - 08:07 PM

Steam-dozen Abe Lincoln songs came out during the Civil War. A few are very good (perhaps not scholarly, but illustrate people's thoughts at the time). One that I copied out of American Memory some time ago, called "Abraham's Covenant," I am going to post later.


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Subject: RE: Mingalay variant/Civil war marching song
From: GUEST,dak
Date: 30 May 13 - 08:51 PM

I heard this song performed in the Sculpture Garden in St. Paul on Prairie Home Companion. It was performed by a woman and I have always remembered this song. Date was before 1983, probably late 1970's.
PHC records do not go back this far, but I would love to know who the performer was.


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Subject: RE: Mingalay variant/Civil war marching song
From: GUEST,Ebor_Fiddler (Well-known pedant)
Date: 31 May 13 - 10:40 AM

I suppose it is possible that soldiers from the invading Scots Army in 1644 - during The Civil War - could have used the original words to the Mingulay tune as a marching song, but it's unlikely because it's in 3/4 and most marching soldiers have two feet.


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Subject: RE: Mingalay variant/Civil war marching song
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 31 May 13 - 12:23 PM

The "original" words are 20th C.


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Subject: RE: Mingalay variant/Civil war marching song
From: Lighter
Date: 31 May 13 - 12:24 PM

Have just remembered the missing stanza of "Old Abe":

Winter is a-comin' and it's gettin' mighty cold,
Winter is a-comin' and it's gettin' mighty cold,
Soon all the generals will be huntin' for their holes,
But still we're marchin' on.


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