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Lyr Req: There was an old woman tossed up in a...

GUEST,Five Miles from Anywhere Dog 26 Mar 05 - 03:55 PM
GUEST 26 Mar 05 - 04:21 PM
rumanci 26 Mar 05 - 04:27 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 26 Mar 05 - 04:30 PM
Malcolm Douglas 26 Mar 05 - 04:57 PM
GUEST,Five Miles from Anywhere Dog 27 Mar 05 - 03:35 PM
hesperis 27 Mar 05 - 08:50 PM
Desert Dancer 27 Mar 05 - 09:20 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 29 Mar 05 - 01:29 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 29 Mar 05 - 01:46 PM
Celtaddict 29 Mar 05 - 08:28 PM
Celtaddict 29 Mar 05 - 08:28 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 29 Mar 05 - 09:16 PM
Jim Dixon 03 Apr 05 - 04:58 PM
Malcolm Douglas 03 Apr 05 - 05:07 PM
Muttley 04 Apr 05 - 07:24 AM
GUEST,Diana 19 Nov 10 - 10:16 PM
GUEST,Lara 16 Jun 12 - 10:51 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 16 Jun 12 - 02:39 PM
MGM·Lion 16 Jun 12 - 11:17 PM
The Borchester Echo 17 Jun 12 - 05:41 AM
MGM·Lion 17 Jun 12 - 06:18 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 17 Jun 12 - 01:50 PM
GUEST,Guest 04 Nov 13 - 06:23 PM
Mo the caller 23 Mar 17 - 05:49 AM
Mo the caller 23 Mar 17 - 06:14 AM
Mo the caller 23 Mar 17 - 06:20 AM
Mo the caller 23 Mar 17 - 06:22 AM
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Subject: Does anyone know this?
From: GUEST,Five Miles from Anywhere Dog
Date: 26 Mar 05 - 03:55 PM

Hello everyone, I think that Bagpuss might know the answer to this one.... In the episode where Emily finds a basket there is a song about an old woman who flew up in a basket to brush the cobwebs out of the sky (true story). Anyway, I am trying to find the name of the original song which was apparently about a young lady from Fife? If anyone can help that would be great.


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Subject: RE: Does anyone know this?
From: GUEST
Date: 26 Mar 05 - 04:21 PM

OLD WOMAN, OLD WOMAN

There was an old woman tossed in a basket.
Seventeen times as high as the moon;
But where she was going no mortal could tell,
For under her arm she carried a broom.

"Old woman, old woman, old woman," said I,
"Whither, oh whither, oh whither so high?"
"To sweep the cobwebs from the sky;
And I'll be with you by-and-by


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Subject: RE: Does anyone know this?
From: rumanci
Date: 26 Mar 05 - 04:27 PM

and it featured on the first "Morris On" album I think


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Subject: RE: Does anyone know this?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 26 Mar 05 - 04:30 PM

There are many of these nursery rhymes about the old woman. A few are here including the cobweb verses: Old Woman

Also see Opie, The Oxford Nursery Rhyme Book.


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Subject: RE: Does anyone know this?
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 26 Mar 05 - 04:57 PM

Formerly pretty widespead among children and Morris dancers, and known since the mid 18th century. See Iona and Peter Opie, Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes, no. 545, for detailed references (including the fact that the song, commonly sung to the tune of Lilibulero, was a favourite of Oliver Goldsmith's).

A Scottish form is in the DT: There was a Wee Wifie

In the Forum: Searching for Song: 'O`Sullivans March' (includes verse from Ireland formerly sung to that tune.)

I don't find any reference to Fife, though.


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Subject: RE: Does anyone know this? (Old woman/Cobwebs)
From: GUEST,Five Miles from Anywhere Dog
Date: 27 Mar 05 - 03:35 PM

Thank you for your help everybody. :)


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Subject: RE: Does anyone know this? (Old woman/Cobwebs)
From: hesperis
Date: 27 Mar 05 - 08:50 PM

True story?


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Subject: RE: Does anyone know this? (Old woman/Cobwebs)
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 27 Mar 05 - 09:20 PM

So, the tune, "Old Woman Tossed Up in a Blanket," is that the tune to the song, or just a tune inspired by the rhyme?

~ Becky in Tucson


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Subject: Lyr Add: AN OLD WOMAN
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 29 Mar 05 - 01:29 PM

The rhyme in Opie, Iona and Peter, 1955, "The Oxford Nursery Rhyme Book, p. 70:

Lyr. Add: AN OLD WOMAN

There was an old woman tossed up in a basket,
Seventeen times as high as the moon;
Where she was going I couldn't help but ask it,
For in her hand she carried a broom.
Old woman, old woman, old woman quoth I,
Where are ypi going to up so high?
To brush the cobwebs off the sky!
May I go with you? Aye, by-and-by.a


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Subject: RE: Does anyone know this? (Old woman/Cobwebs)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 29 Mar 05 - 01:46 PM

The words posted by Guest, 26 Mar 05, appear in "The Real Mother Goose," published in 1916 in an attractive and popular edition with watercolors by Blanche Fisher Wright. This was one of several "Mother Goose" collections, containing rhymes not in earlier 'Mother Goose' but taken from other books.
The entire volume, complete with the Wright watercolors, is on line: Mother goose

No tunes were attached to these rhymes.


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Subject: RE: Does anyone know this? (Old woman/Cobwebs)
From: Celtaddict
Date: 29 Mar 05 - 08:28 PM

Minor change; the way I learned it as a child was
line 3   Where she was going I couldn't but ask it
(means the same, but "help" alters the scansion)
line 6   O whither, O whither, O whither so high
(also means the same, but echoes the repetition of "old woman")


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Subject: RE: Does anyone know this? (Old woman/Cobwebs)
From: Celtaddict
Date: 29 Mar 05 - 08:28 PM

And I too would be interested to know, to what does the "true story" comment apply?


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Subject: RE: Does anyone know this? (Old woman/Cobwebs)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 29 Mar 05 - 09:16 PM

Celtaddict, here is the 'whither' version from Halliwell, Nursery Rhymes of England, 1846, Ninth Class, Gaffers and Gammers:

CLXXX, p. 91
There was an old woman toss'd up in a basket
Nineteen times as high as the moon;
Where she was going I couldn't but ask it,
For in her hand she carried a broom.

Old woman, old woman, old woman quoth I,
O whither, o whither o whither, so high?
To brush the cobwebs off the sky!
Shall I go with thee? Aye, by and by.

From 'Infant Institutes,' 8vo, London, 1797, p. 15.

Halliwell is on line, but I copied it in my files and don't have the address. A look in google should find it quickly.


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Subject: RE: Does anyone know this? (Old woman/Cobwebs)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 03 Apr 05 - 04:58 PM

"In the episode..." Episode of what?


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Subject: RE: Does anyone know this? (Old woman/Cobwebs)
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 03 Apr 05 - 05:07 PM

Halliwell is at http://www.presscom.co.uk/nursery.html


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Subject: RE: Does anyone know this? (Old woman/Cobwebs)
From: Muttley
Date: 04 Apr 05 - 07:24 AM

Tim Hart (of Steeleye Span fame) did an album about 20 years ago (+ or - a couple of years) Called "My Favourite Nursery Rhymes" by Tim Hart and Friends (the friends basically consisted of anyone who had ever played, sung or both with SS over the years)

On it he recorded what is probably the closest thing I have ever heard to what can only be called a "Heavy Metal Nursery Rhyme"

Their rendition of Humpty Dumpty was something that, given the 'aggressiveness' of the guitar work, both Black Sabbath and Deep Purple - not to mention Pink Floyd - would have been proud to call their own!!!

However, on the same album Maddy Prior vocalised "There Was An Old Woman" and the lyrics ran

There was an old woman tossed up in a basket,
Ninety-nine times; as high as the moon
What she did there I could not but ask it
Foer in each hand she carried a broom

Old woman, old woman, old woman, said I
Where do you go to, up so high
To sweep the cobwebs from the sky
And you may come with me if you can fly

A beautiful version of the song: lingering and lilting

And perfectly suited to Maddy's beautiful voice


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Subject: RE: Does anyone know this? (Old woman/Cobwebs)
From: GUEST,Diana
Date: 19 Nov 10 - 10:16 PM

I know this rhyme from my childhood and the tune is Lillibullaro a Northern Ireland marching song. It is a satirical ballad said to be by Lord Thomas Wharton and set to music by Henry Purcell. I made a musical box of the rhyme when I was a student in London in the 70's and Iona Opie helped me to identify the tune.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: There was an old woman tossed up in a...
From: GUEST,Lara
Date: 16 Jun 12 - 10:51 AM

The actual lyrics are:

There was an old woman tossed up in a blanket
Seventeen times, as high as the moon
And where she was going I couldn't but ask it
For under her arm, she carried a broom

"Old woman, old woman, old woman" said I
"Wither, oh wither, oh wither so high?"
"To sweep the cobwebs from the sky!"
"May I come with you?"
"Aye by-and-by!"

And by the way, the song is called 'There Was An Old Woman'


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: There was an old woman tossed up in a...
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 16 Jun 12 - 02:39 PM

Whose 'actual' lyrics? Do yours pre-date the 1797 version printed in Halliwell 1846, etc.?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: There was an old woman tossed up in a...
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 16 Jun 12 - 11:17 PM

'Actual lyrics' & 'the song is called' are not phrases to be used of a traditional song!

No-one seems to have identified the tune often used as Lilliburlero.

~M~


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: There was an old woman tossed up in a...
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 17 Jun 12 - 05:41 AM

The tune is LILIBURLERO, as identified by Malcolm Douglas above.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: There was an old woman tossed up in a...
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 17 Jun 12 - 06:18 AM

Sorry I missed that ~~ but wiki & all other googled refs confirm my spelling.

Bullen a-la!

~M~


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: There was an old woman tossed up in a...
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 17 Jun 12 - 01:50 PM

"Lilliburlero" in the Traditional Ballads Index.

The Opies date the first appearance of "There was an old woman...." to 1784, in a Gammar Gurton's Garland.


"There was a wee wifie rowed up in a blanket" (Old Scottish version).
See DT, lyrics and melody. Chambers 1847.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: There was an old woman tossed up in a...
From: GUEST,Guest
Date: 04 Nov 13 - 06:23 PM

From Séamus Ennis, "Masters of Irish Music" LP:

There was an old woman wrapped up in a blanket,
Fifty times as high as the moon;
Where she was going I couldn't but ask her,
For in her hand she carried a broom.
Old woman, old woman, old woman said I,
Where are you going in your blanket so high?
Where are you going in your blanket so soon?
I'm sweeping the cobwebs off of the moon.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: There was an old woman tossed up in a...
From: Mo the caller
Date: 23 Mar 17 - 05:49 AM

The Scottish version in the DT has a slightly different tune (I was searching for a song of that name but found just the tune).


THERE WAS A WEE WIFIE

There was a wee wifie row't up in a blanket,
Nineteen times as hie as the moon;
And what she did there I canna declare,
For in her oxter she bure the sun.

"Wee wifie, wee wifie, wee wifie," quo' I,
"O what are ye doin' up there sae hie?"
"I'm blawin' the cauld cluds out o' the sky."
"Weel dune, weel dune, wee wifie!" quo' I.

No mention of Fife here, maybe the Wee Cooper of Fife and his wife have got mixed in.

DT says the tune is The Rock and the Wee Pickle Tow, but if you click the link above and want to hear it there is a blue "click to Play" link that doesn't work, and a picture of a loudspeaker + arrow that does (it puts a midi file on your computer which you then play)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: There was an old woman tossed up in a...
From: Mo the caller
Date: 23 Mar 17 - 06:14 AM

My granddaughter asks me to sing it because she likes to play with my long handled 'feather' duster, and I once sang it when showing her how to sweep the cobwebs from the ceiling.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: There was an old woman tossed up in a...
From: Mo the caller
Date: 23 Mar 17 - 06:20 AM

And isn't folk music a spiders web. Tunes with various sets of words; similar words to different (but similar words); dances with the same title (but asking for 32 bar jig).


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: There was an old woman tossed up in a...
From: Mo the caller
Date: 23 Mar 17 - 06:22 AM

Drat. Just as that disappeared I noticed that

"similar words to different (but similar words)" should have been
similar words to different (but similar) tunes


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