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Lyr Add: Tarry Woo' / Tarry Wool

DigiTrad:
TARRY WOOL


Related thread:
Tarry wool (what is it?) (13)


Barbara 30 Jan 05 - 03:56 PM
Barbara 30 Jan 05 - 04:00 PM
Joe Offer 30 Jan 05 - 04:41 PM
Joe Offer 30 Jan 05 - 06:06 PM
Snuffy 30 Jan 05 - 07:31 PM
Malcolm Douglas 30 Jan 05 - 07:45 PM
Ferrara 30 Jan 05 - 08:42 PM
Barbara 30 Jan 05 - 09:03 PM
Joe Offer 31 Jan 05 - 02:28 AM
nutty 31 Jan 05 - 05:36 AM
GUEST,Paul Burke 31 Jan 05 - 06:10 AM
Barbara 31 Jan 05 - 02:36 PM
Barbara 02 Feb 05 - 04:27 PM
nutty 02 Feb 05 - 06:36 PM
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Subject: Lyr Add: MORE words for Tarry Wool
From: Barbara
Date: 30 Jan 05 - 03:56 PM

We have one set in DT here: Tarry Wool
I learned the song about 25 years ago from Helen Kivnick, and she sang these words (though she thought perhaps she had the verse order wrong, and had forgotten one):

TARRY WOO'


Tarry woo, and Tarry woo,
Tarry woo is ill to spin,
Card it well, oh card it well,
Card it well e're ye begin:

When you have carded, wove* and spun;
Then your work is neary done.
When you woven, pressed & cleaned
You will have clothing for a Queen.

2.Poor, harmless creatures without blame
Clothe the back & cram the wame,
Keep us warm & hearty, too,
Wields(?) on us our Tarry woo.

3.A shepherd's, he has a happy life
Far from care and free from strife
Whilst the gimmers bleat & bay
And the lambkins skip and play

4.Who'd be a King, can any tell
When a shepherd lives so well
Lives so well & pays his due
With honest work & Tarry woo.

5.Here's to our blameless, harmless sheep
That o'er the hills and valleys creep
Whilst the gimmers bleat and bay
And the lambkins skip and play

6. Up you shepherds dance & skip
O'er the hills & valleys trip.
Singing the praise of Tarry woo
And the flock that bears it, too.

*I I think this word should be 'rolled' as in 'to make a rolag'.

In my next post I will put up another version of the words that I found online. I would be curious to know what Helen's source is, as well.
Blessings,
Barbara


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: MORE words for Tarry Wool
From: Barbara
Date: 30 Jan 05 - 04:00 PM

I found this version at this site: Henry Livingston Manuscript
It seems to come from some time around 1770 - 1780. Notice that the title is, as Helen told me "Tarry Woo" not "Tarry Wool" She pointed out that the lines will only rhyme if you sing 'woo'.
I think there must be typos or mondegreens in this version as well, but I am not finding an older source.
Blessings,
Barbara


TARRY WOO
1
Tarry woo, and Tarry woo,
Tarry woo is ill to spin,
Card it well, and card it well,
Card it well e're ye begin:
? When its carded, wrought and spun;
Then the work is half in done.
But when woven, drest & clean
It may be cladding for a Queen.

2
Sing up my bonny, harmless sheep
That feed upon the mountains steep
Bleating swiftly as they go
Thro the winters frost & snow.
Hart & hind & fallow Deer
Not by half so useful are
Freak things to him that heads the plow
Are all oblig'd to Tarry woo.

3
Up ye shepherds dance & skip
O'er the hills & valleys trip.
Sing up the praise of Tarry woo
Sing the flocks that bear it, too.
Harmless creatures without blame
That clothe the back & cram the vein,
Keep us warm & hearty, too,
Lay me on the Tarry woo.

4
How happy is a shepherd's life
Far fray courts & frae of strife
While the gammers bleat & baa
And the lambkin's answer maa
No such music to his ear
Of Thief or Fox he has no Fear
Sturdy shent & Colly, too
Will defend the Tarry woo.

5
He lives content & envy's none
Not e'en a monarch on his Throne
Though he the royal steepler sways
Has not sweeter Hollydays
Who would be a King, can only tell
When a shepherd sings so well
Sings so well & pay his due
With honest heart & Tarry woo.


Scottish air before 1787

TARRY WOO(L) - "is bad to spin - card it well before you begin - card it well and spin it too - Before you make it into TW" "For when carded, row'd & spun, then the wark is hofelins (halfways) done - but when woven dreet & clean, it may be cleading (clothing) for a Queen" - Knitting Song to tune (first part only): "Corn Rigs are bonny" - ROUD#1472 - HERD AMSS 1776 2 pp100-101 (w/o) - RAMSAY TTM 1794 - VOC LIB 1822 p201 - GOW, Nathaniel (1823) 1 p13 m/o - DICKINSON Dialect of Cumberland (quoted in Northall) - JFSS 2 1906 pp215-6 RVW John Mason, Dent, Yorksh 1904 - McCOLL SS 1953 p136 from Ramsay 5v/m - PALMER EBECS 1979 #12 pp33-34 RVW: John Mason -- Lizzie HAYGARTH & Mrs ROWE rec by PK, Dent, Sedbergh, W Yorksh 23/11/54: RPL 22326 with talk about "The Terrible Knitters of Dent"


This music manuscript book of Henry Livingston, Jr.'s was given by Henry's granddaughter, Gertrude Thomas, to her nephew, William Sturgis Thomas, the same year that she gave him Henry's poetry manuscript book. The book was then given by William S. Thomas to his son, W. Stephen Thomas, and is now owned by his son, Stephen Livingston Thomas, as part of The Thomas Collection.
Since Henry Livingston's poetry manuscript passed to Gertrude Thomas from her sister Susan by accident (it was thought by Susan's daughter to have burned, but Gertrude found it in a bookcase she inherited from Susan), the poetry manuscript might have been come into Gertrude's possession in the same way. The music manuscript has Henry's son Edwin's signature on the back, and Edwin lived with his sister Susan.

There are 207 pages in the manuscript book, but only the pages above are currently prepared for inclusion in this website. The others will be added soon.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: MORE words for Tarry Wool
From: Joe Offer
Date: 30 Jan 05 - 04:41 PM

Hi, Barbara-
Judging from the background information, I think the version in the Digital Tradition is from Bruce Olsen, although the initials SOF would make one think it's from Susan of DT. Is the tune (click) the same one you learned, Barbara?

I can usually make out some of the entries from folktrax.org, but the one you posted above has me stumped. All I can make out is that there's a version in Roy Palmer's Everyman's Book of English Country Songs. The folktrax bibliography is here (click), and the discography is here (click). There's no entry in the Traditional Ballad Index.

Anybody know of recordings of this song?

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: ADD Version: Tarry Wool
From: Joe Offer
Date: 30 Jan 05 - 06:06 PM

Tarry Woo'

Oh, tarry wo', oh tarry wo',
Tarry woo' is ill to spin
Card it well, oh card it well,
Card it well ere you begin.

When it's carded, wove and spun,
then your work is nearly done,
But when it's woven, dressed and clean,
it will be clothing for a queen.

Up you shepherds, dance and skip,
o'er the hills and valley trip,
Sing of the praise of tarry woo',
and of the flock that bears it too.

Poor harmless creatures, without blame,
they clothe the back and cram the wame,
Keep us warm and hearty too,
weel's on us our tarry woo'

Sing of my bonny harmless sheep
that feed upon yon mountains steep,
Sweetly bleating as they go,
through the weary winter's snow.

Hart and hind and fallow deer
not by half so useful are,
From kings to him that holds the plough,
all are obliged to tarry woo'.

How happy is the shepherd's life,
far from court and free from strife,
Whilst his gimmers bleat and bay
and the lambkins skip and play.

Who'd be a king, can any tell,
when a shepherd lives so well,
Lives so well and pays his due
with honest heart and tarry woo'?

He lives contented, envies none,
e'en not the monarch on his throne,
Though he the royal sceptre sways
he has no sweeter holidays.

And no such music to his ear,
of thief or foe he has no fear.
For steady Kate and Curly too
will defend the tarry woo'.


tarry: Stockholm tar was used a good deal to put on the cuts of infections of sheep.
wame: belly
plough: formerly pronounced "ploo," as indeed it still is in some areas
gimmers: young female sheep.
Kate and Curly: names of sheepdogs. In the Allan Ramsay version, the names of breeds of sheepdog are given here: "kent and colly' (collie)

Verse 1 can be used as a chorus

text obtained by Ralph Vaughan Williams in 1904 from a Mr. John Mason of Dent, North Yorkshire, who "only knew one verse traditionally, but supplied the rest from a version given in a local newspaper."

source: English Country Songbook, Roy Palmer, 1979

Tune is exactly the same as what's in the Digital Tradition: Click to play.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: MORE words for Tarry Wool
From: Snuffy
Date: 30 Jan 05 - 07:31 PM

Joe I have a recording of the song on the Cambridge Crofters' eponymous LP (Barleycorn CR76 Stereo, 1976). The tune is close to that in the DT, and appears to be a version of Mr Mason's.The sleeve notes say:
Farming songs were often associated with the farming year and its jobs. This traditional song from Yorkshire would have been sung by the shepherds at sheep-shearings and the feasts that followed. When wool was England's wealth, the shepherd was highly respected among countrymen. The song is similar in its enthusiasm to the songs of the Copper family in Sussex.


TARRY WOOL

Tarry wool, oh tarry wool,
Tarry wool is ill to spin,
Card it well, oh card it well,
Card it well ere you begin.


When it's carded, wove and spun;
Then your work is nearly done.
But when it's woven, dressed & clean
It'll be a clothing for a Queen.

Up you shepherds run & skip
O'er the hills & valleys trip.
Singing the praise of tarry wool
And in the flock that serves it well.

Poor, harmless creatures without blame
They clothe our back & cramp the whame,
Keep us so warm & hearty, too,
Well on us our tarry wool.

Who'd be a King, can any tell
When this shepherd he lives so well
Lives so well & pays his due
With honest work & tarry wool.

I'd be surprised if this is the only commercial recording from the revival, but it's the only one I've heard. (PS - I must have forgotten the bit about it being from Yorkshire - most of the Cambridge Crofters' stuff was Scottish, and I have assumed for the last 30 years that this was too.)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: MORE words for Tarry Wool
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 30 Jan 05 - 07:45 PM

The song was also found in Scotland, appearing in print from the late 18th century (see notes copied from Peter Kennedy above).


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: MORE words for Tarry Wool
From: Ferrara
Date: 30 Jan 05 - 08:42 PM

Read something today, can anyone tell me if it's true? Said that in some villages, (at least up to about 1800), shepherds who died were buried with a bit of wool in their hands, so St. Peter would know they had to be with their flocks and so had a valid reason for not attending church regularly.

??


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: MORE words for Tarry Wool
From: Barbara
Date: 30 Jan 05 - 09:03 PM

Dunno about that one Ferrara, but in my internet prowls, trying to find the words, I learned that tar is made from one part "roamy tar from America" and 4 or 5 parts rancid butter. Yech. I can see why you want to get it out.
I see everyone's words say "wove" twice. Thing is, when you are working with wool, first you shear the sheep, then you take the wad of wool and card it (pull all the fibers straight in one direction by brushing it between two big curved short toothed brushes). Then you peel it off one of the carders and roll it loosely (into a rolag) and then you feed one end of the rolag to your bobbin or spinning wheel and stretch it out while the wheel twists it up. Then you can think about weaving it, waulking it (slamming it around a table wet, to even it out and size it), and then cut it up and sew it.

Thanks Joe, that looks close to Helen's words. And the tune is just about the same.

Blessings,
BArbara


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: MORE words for Tarry Wool
From: Joe Offer
Date: 31 Jan 05 - 02:28 AM

And while we're on the subject, we have Waulking songs and other Wool stuff here (click). I'm still wondering if they really used urine to waulk the wool in my favorite sweather - and if that's why it smells bad when it's wet...
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: MORE words for Tarry Wool
From: nutty
Date: 31 Jan 05 - 05:36 AM

Joe ..... In brief, Alum was traditionally mined from the North Yorkshire cliffs (Near Whitby). This was put into huge pits(which can still be seen) and mixed with urine (collected daily from the local population) .
The resulting mixture was used by the dyeing and weaving industry to set the dyes of the wool.
Presumably they will still need to use something similar today.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: MORE words for Tarry Wool
From: GUEST,Paul Burke
Date: 31 Jan 05 - 06:10 AM

"When it's carded, wove and spun,
then your work is nearly done,"

That should be ROVED and spun- "roving" is giving the first twist to the wool, prior to spinning it.

Suuffy- also recorded by Derek and Dorothey Eliot on Yorkshire Relish, must have been about the same time as your recording.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: MORE words for Tarry Wool
From: Barbara
Date: 31 Jan 05 - 02:36 PM

Do you know what a wet sheep smells like, Joe? Most of the fragrant wool sweaters that I have been around either smell like lanolin (from the sheep) or mothballs (from the storage chest).
Does it smell bad like peed on, or bad like large wet animal?
Blessings,
Barbara


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: MORE words for Tarry Wool
From: Barbara
Date: 02 Feb 05 - 04:27 PM

Found this at the Fell Pony Museum website:

Salving Sheep

Before the days of sheep dips, from the 16th century until the beginning of the 20th, it was a known practice in Cumbria to "salve" sheep with a mix of tar and rancid butter. This involved parting the fleece at regular intervals along the animal's side and smearing the mixture onto the skin with one finger. It was done from the middle of October to the middle of November and was supposed to kill off lice, keds, ticks and so on which would otherwise feed on the sheep's skin or suck blood from her. It was a long and smelly job and a man could only salve a dozen or so a day, so to deal with a big flock took weeks. His pay was 2 pence a day.

The recipe called for 16 lb of butter to 4 quarts of soft, "roany" tar which was an American import; this quantity salved between 35 and 40 sheep. It was expensive, costing 8d a sheep in 1868, whereas dipping, which came into use from around then, cost only 1½d. Kirkby Stephen farmers had their own recipe, using oil and tallow. Yet the habit seems to have died hard, even though salved wool sold less well than clean wool. Salved wool was still sold as late as 1890, when wool at Appleby was reported as selling at the following rates: "Half bred hogg, 8d to 9d; black-faced (salved) 4d to 4½d; black-faced (unsalved) 5d to 5½d per lb."

One of the first farmers to take to dipping his sheep was Mr Irving of Shap Abbey in 1850 who used "Biggs' Preparation" for his aged sheep and "McDougall's" for hoggs.

In 1905 due to an outbreak of sheep "scab", Government regulations began to compel farmers to dip sheep, and the ancient salve was completely replaced by the commercial soluble "dipping powders".


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: MORE words for Tarry Wool
From: nutty
Date: 02 Feb 05 - 06:36 PM

And if anyone is interested in Alum ... theres more info here

Alum Quarrying


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