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Barbara Allen anomoly

DigiTrad:
BARBARA ALLEN
BARBARA ALLEN (2)
BARBARA ALLEN (5)
BARBARA ELLEN (3)
BAWBEE ALLAN


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Lyr Req: Fred Jordan's Barbara Allen (5)
Barbara Allen in '30's Film (37)
Lyr Req: Barbara Allen (7)
Barbarra Ellen (15)


GUEST,Percy 04 Jan 05 - 11:11 PM
Amos 04 Jan 05 - 11:26 PM
GUEST,Percy 04 Jan 05 - 11:30 PM
Leadfingers 05 Jan 05 - 12:26 AM
Bob Bolton 05 Jan 05 - 12:31 AM
GUEST 05 Jan 05 - 12:57 AM
Lanfranc 05 Jan 05 - 06:45 AM
GUEST 05 Jan 05 - 10:46 AM
treewind 05 Jan 05 - 10:48 AM
Big Jim from Jackson 05 Jan 05 - 11:01 AM
Big Jim from Jackson 05 Jan 05 - 11:03 AM
Joybell 05 Jan 05 - 05:30 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 05 Jan 05 - 06:25 PM
Lighter 05 Jan 05 - 06:48 PM
Uncle_DaveO 05 Jan 05 - 07:40 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 05 Jan 05 - 07:54 PM
Don Firth 05 Jan 05 - 08:03 PM
Malcolm Douglas 05 Jan 05 - 08:32 PM
Don Firth 05 Jan 05 - 09:04 PM
Malcolm Douglas 05 Jan 05 - 09:08 PM
Amos 05 Jan 05 - 09:18 PM
Don Firth 06 Jan 05 - 12:07 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 06 Jan 05 - 12:41 PM
Billy Weeks 06 Jan 05 - 01:01 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 06 Jan 05 - 04:51 PM
Joybell 06 Jan 05 - 05:11 PM
kytrad (Jean Ritchie) 06 Jan 05 - 06:35 PM
jaze 06 Jan 05 - 09:29 PM
Uncle_DaveO 07 Jan 05 - 03:14 PM
Tannywheeler 07 Jan 05 - 04:57 PM
GUEST,Percy 08 Jan 05 - 01:06 AM
GUEST,Skivee, cookieless 08 Jan 05 - 01:54 PM
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Subject: Barbara Allen anomoly
From: GUEST,Percy
Date: 04 Jan 05 - 11:11 PM

If young William was buried in the choir (assumingly under flagstone), then how on earth did his rose grow OUT of the coffin, UP through the stone, ACROSS the church floor, OUT the door (or window) OVER (how far?) to the church wall to join up with B.A.'s briar? I've heard of some horticultural feats, but this has to be one of the best yet...
Percy


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Subject: RE: Barbara Allen anomoly
From: Amos
Date: 04 Jan 05 - 11:26 PM

Well, let's not make any assumptions here. For one thing, at least one version that discusses the entwining rose and briar says nothing about the different locations of burial. It's one of the related Barbry Ellen links -- not sure which. For another the parts of a church are often loosely named. For a third, the rose and the briar growing out of true lovers' bosoms int heir graves is a common theme...for example, it is reconstructed completely in "Lord Lovell". So who knows which verses were borrowed from whence?

A


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Subject: RE: Barbara Allen anomoly
From: GUEST,Percy
Date: 04 Jan 05 - 11:30 PM

A,
In my version the verse goes as follows: "BA was buried in the old church yard, young William IN THE CHOIR...etc (my caps). As we all know that's the part of the church that lies e-west.


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Subject: RE: Barbara Allen anomoly
From: Leadfingers
Date: 05 Jan 05 - 12:26 AM

They Buried her in the old church yard
Sweet Williams grave was by her
They grew and they grew by the old church wall
The Red Rose and the Briar

Is the verse that I have , which at least makes sense !


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Subject: RE: Barbara Allen anomoly
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 05 Jan 05 - 12:31 AM

G'day Percy,

What do you mean - anomoly? It rhymes!

Regard(les)s,

Bob


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Subject: RE: Barbara Allen anomoly
From: GUEST
Date: 05 Jan 05 - 12:57 AM

Sheesh, talk about conjuring upa straw man. Does every church that ever was have a stone floor? No. Ever been in a dirt floor church? I have. So what are you worried about?


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Subject: RE: Barbara Allen anomoly
From: Lanfranc
Date: 05 Jan 05 - 06:45 AM

Anomoly is itself an anomaly!

Alan (ducking and running!)


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Subject: RE: Barbara Allen anomoly
From: GUEST
Date: 05 Jan 05 - 10:46 AM

It's a floating verse. There's a lot of them about. We even found a song that consists entirely of floating verses. It doesn't make a lot of sense, but that's how it was sung by the lady it was collected from.

Anahata


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Subject: RE: Barbara Allen anomoly
From: treewind
Date: 05 Jan 05 - 10:48 AM

Oops - cookie went AWOL - that was me!

Anahata


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Subject: RE: Barbara Allen anomoly
From: Big Jim from Jackson
Date: 05 Jan 05 - 11:01 AM

"Sweet William was buried anigh her" is the way I have often heard it.


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Subject: RE: Barbara Allen anomoly
From: Big Jim from Jackson
Date: 05 Jan 05 - 11:03 AM

I forgot to mention "Barbara was buried by the old church tower"


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Subject: RE: Barbara Allen anomoly
From: Joybell
Date: 05 Jan 05 - 05:30 PM

True-Love painted this theme on a little car I had. (Mini Moke = cute little baby jeep type car).
There were two skeletons lying together under the windows, along the side, with a rose and briar twining at the roof-top. A little owl with stars for eyes perched on top. The stars had moved up from below the skeletons, having been mined by a group of little dwarfs working with pick-axes underground. Barb'ry and Sweet William were wearing colourful leather boots but nothing else - well no - there were a few wisps of lace and silk floating around. Anyway not much.

People kept telling me their interpretations of what we were trying to say. We weren't saying anything actually. It was just an artist's inspiration. The best one was that it was a comment on the road toll! How boring! We singers of old songs live in a different space, don't we.

Hope this all helps. Cheers, Joy


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Subject: RE: Barbara Allen anomoly
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 05 Jan 05 - 06:25 PM

And he was buried in diamond stone
And she was buried in cold harber.
(a version collected by Sharp)
I suppose the listener would know what cold harber is.

Young Jimmy was buried in the new church-yard,
Bar'bra Allen was buried in the choir.
(Coll. in Virginia, in Bronson)
The singer, poetically challenged, was stuck for a word to rhyme with brier.

Oh she was buried in the old church-yard,
Sweet William was buried a-nigh her...
(Ritchie Family, KY, recorded by Jean Ritchie. From Bronson)
Now she sang sensible, intelligible songs!

A crowded church-yard- William, Jimmy, Sir John, etc., etc.


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Subject: RE: Barbara Allen anomoly
From: Lighter
Date: 05 Jan 05 - 06:48 PM

Holy crow, you guys! Don't you know that "Love Conquers ALL"???


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Subject: RE: Barbara Allen anomoly
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 05 Jan 05 - 07:40 PM

Q: You said

Jean Ritchie. From Bronson)
Now she sang sensible, intelligible songs!


Not "sang"; sings!   She's here on Mudcat.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Barbara Allen anomoly
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 05 Jan 05 - 07:54 PM

Yeah, I know Dave O. My brain is drained today.


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Subject: RE: Barbara Allen anomoly
From: Don Firth
Date: 05 Jan 05 - 08:03 PM

As I learned it. I'm not sure where, but I think it was out of A Treasury of Folk Songs compiled by John and Sylvia Kolb, a Bantam paperback I bought off a drugstore rack for 35¢ back in 1952. A great starter kit! No problem with anomalies in that version.

They buried her by the old church tower;
They buried him beside her
And out of his grave grew a red red rose
And out of hers a green briar.

They climbed and they climbed up the old church tower
'Til they couldn't climb any higher;
There they twined and they tied a true lovers' knot,
The red rose 'round the green briar.


[The red rose grew out of Sweet William's grave because his love was true. The briar grew out of Barbara's grave because she had "issues."]

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Barbara Allen anomoly
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 05 Jan 05 - 08:32 PM

Beware of trying to derive "meaning" from versions of songs found in tradition. They may be confused or altered and will get you nowhere except an almighty tangle. Similarly, texts heard on records or seen in books are potentially misleading if they don't tell you where they came from. Singers ("traditional" or professional) and, often enough, book editors, don't worry too much over whether or not the words make logical sense; and it really doesn't matter.

See, for instance, the recent discussion here that went into interminable and pointless length about whether or not it was possible to kill somebody with a "wee pen knife" and whether or not the term ought to be "weapon knife"; when all the time the words were clearly just a "ballad convention" with no pretense at all to (or undue concern for) strict realism.

That's the case here. It's just a poetic convention, not an anomaly or logical problem. Nobody worries about whether or not it's physically possible (ballads are full of physical impossibilities. So what?)

If you really want to examine "meaning", then you need to look at the earliest available texts. They don't even contain those verses.


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Subject: RE: Barbara Allen anomoly
From: Don Firth
Date: 05 Jan 05 - 09:04 PM

True indeed, Malcolm. A horse is never just a horse, it's always a "milk-white steed" or a "dapple grey." A woman's hand is never just a hand, it's usually a "lily-white hand." There are stock words and phrases that crop up in ballads all the time. People can drive themselves nuts trying to make perfect sense out of ballad conventions. Sometimes it just isn't there.

But sometimes ballad conventions do make perfect sense if you know what's going on. One that throws a lot of people is "my false true-love." Not the contradiction it seems to be. My "true-love" is the woman I truly love. If she's false to me, then she is "my false true-love."

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Barbara Allen anomoly
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 05 Jan 05 - 09:08 PM

Oh, absolutely. They often do make perfect sense (even if they seem a little odd, to begin with, to the modern sensibility); it just doesn't matter very much when they don't.


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Subject: RE: Barbara Allen anomoly
From: Amos
Date: 05 Jan 05 - 09:18 PM

A similar interminable, but fun, discussion was had about whether it would be possible to sink the Spanish enemy with a bit and augur while floating alongside her.

A


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Subject: RE: Barbara Allen anomoly
From: Don Firth
Date: 06 Jan 05 - 12:07 PM

Wow, could that kid tread water!

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Barbara Allen anomoly
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 06 Jan 05 - 12:41 PM

How about that cowboy, already wrapped up in white linen, but able to give a long discourse on his mis-spent life?


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Subject: RE: Barbara Allen anomoly
From: Billy Weeks
Date: 06 Jan 05 - 01:01 PM

I learned it as 'they buried her beside the church and him BESIDE the choir' which makes perfect sense. People do getburied that way. Provided they are dead.


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Subject: RE: Barbara Allen anomoly
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 06 Jan 05 - 04:51 PM

Didn't the choir object?


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Subject: RE: Barbara Allen anomoly
From: Joybell
Date: 06 Jan 05 - 05:11 PM

Ah! but it's such fun playing this game isn't it? I also particularly liked the "Golden Vanity" discussion.

I often gaze at cuckoos to see if the do indeed "wobble" as they fly (ours are different from American ones of course). They don't, as it turns out, although they don't "warble" either.
Thornbills on the other hand do wobble as they fly.

Oh the thornbill she's a pretty bird
She wobbles as she flies.

Not the same ring to it somehow. Cheers, Joy


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Subject: RE: Barbara Allen anomoly
From: kytrad (Jean Ritchie)
Date: 06 Jan 05 - 06:35 PM

Uncle DaveO, and Q. It's OK to say, "she sang..." as that has been in my repertoire since I was born. The track used as the opening one on the "Rose and Briar" CD was done for Folkways (the 2-record set of Child Ballads in America-now issued on one CD by Smithsonian/Folkways)
in 1961. But,"she sings" is still OK too- I think!


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Subject: RE: Barbara Allen anomoly
From: jaze
Date: 06 Jan 05 - 09:29 PM

Barbry Allen was buried in the old churchyard
Sweet William was buried beside her
Out of Sweet William's heart there grew a rose
Out of Barbary Allen's a briar
They grew and grew in the old churchyard
til they could grow no higher
At the end they formed a true lover's knot
and the rose grew round the briar.

OK, they still had to grow out of the coffins and up thru the ground, but then true love is an amazing thing!


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Subject: RE: Barbara Allen anomoly
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 07 Jan 05 - 03:14 PM

Not necessarily through coffins. For a long, long time corpses were buried in no more than a winding sheet, or shroud.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Barbara Allen anomoly
From: Tannywheeler
Date: 07 Jan 05 - 04:57 PM

It's one of the great blessings of life to be able to say of Jean Ritchie "She sings..." (IMHO)(tenses are sometimes important), and "...anigh her.." is the rhyme I remember, too. Not so weird.   Tw


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Subject: RE: Barbara Allen anomoly
From: GUEST,Percy
Date: 08 Jan 05 - 01:06 AM

Thankyou one and all. It has been most enjoyable watching you all go at it!
Percy


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Subject: RE: Barbara Allen anomoly
From: GUEST,Skivee, cookieless
Date: 08 Jan 05 - 01:54 PM

They threw them down in some dark hole,
which was photosynthesis denyin'
So nothin' grew from their gory tombs
and nothin' did en-twi-an
Does that take care of the matter?


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