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Lyr Req: Three Witches ... at Chelmsford (1589)

swiss 27 Apr 05 - 07:27 PM
Susan of DT 27 Apr 05 - 08:10 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 27 Apr 05 - 10:12 PM
Amos 27 Apr 05 - 11:41 PM
GUEST,Mathew Hopkins 28 Apr 05 - 07:02 AM
swiss 28 Apr 05 - 08:01 AM
Gypsy 28 Apr 05 - 11:08 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 29 Apr 05 - 01:15 AM
swiss 29 Apr 05 - 04:43 AM
greg stephens 29 Apr 05 - 07:27 AM
Amos 29 Apr 05 - 08:24 AM
Abby Sale 29 Apr 05 - 09:01 AM
GUEST,MMario 29 Apr 05 - 09:35 AM
Malcolm Douglas 29 Apr 05 - 09:40 PM
Jim Dixon 10 May 09 - 11:30 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 11 May 09 - 02:03 AM
McGrath of Harlow 11 May 09 - 06:34 PM
GUEST,I'm actually researching this now---here ya 30 Jul 10 - 10:09 PM
greg stephens 31 Jul 10 - 03:43 AM
Cats 31 Jul 10 - 07:58 AM
Jim Dixon 03 Aug 10 - 10:20 PM
Alan Day 04 Aug 10 - 04:35 AM
GUEST,Courtier 30 Jul 13 - 12:56 PM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 30 Jul 13 - 01:52 PM
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Subject: lyrics from 1589 witch trial
From: swiss
Date: 27 Apr 05 - 07:27 PM

Does anyone recognise these lyrics and know the rest of the ballad?
It was composed shortly after the hanging of three witches from Dagenham following their trial at Chelmsford Court in 1589.

So listen Christians to my song,
The hangman's swung his rope
And on these gallows hath been done
An end to Satan's hope

Give the news to Chelmsford town
To all the world be spread
A crew of evil witches have gone down
Hang'd by the neck, all three are dead.

Thanks!


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Subject: RE: lyrics from 1589 witch trial
From: Susan of DT
Date: 27 Apr 05 - 08:10 PM

Probably not a very old song, but see also Susanna Martin in the database


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Subject: RE: lyrics from 1589 witch trial
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 27 Apr 05 - 10:12 PM

Dear SWISS -

What is the source for your knowledge of these lyrics? When, Where, Who? How did you encounter them?

Sincerely,
Gargoyle


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Subject: RE: lyrics from 1589 witch trial
From: Amos
Date: 27 Apr 05 - 11:41 PM

Oddly enough the only source I have been able to find for those words is an Oxford General Certificate of Secondary Education examination which cites the source as reliable and then gives no origin or provenance for it! The PDF file of the exam is here.

Pretty poor example to scholars, I dare say!


A


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Subject: RE: lyrics from 1589 witch trial
From: GUEST,Mathew Hopkins
Date: 28 Apr 05 - 07:02 AM

I recall the ballad well and was wont to sing it as a lad.

Burn 'em
Burn 'em all

MH

WFG


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Subject: RE: lyrics from 1589 witch trial
From: swiss
Date: 28 Apr 05 - 08:01 AM

The lyrics came from the OCR website and as it said it was a reliable source, i was hoping i would be able to find the rest of the ballad!
I am trying to find songs written in response to specific witch trials. If anyone knows of any others it would be really helpful.

Thanks!
Swiss


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Subject: RE: lyrics from 1589 witch trial
From: Gypsy
Date: 28 Apr 05 - 11:08 PM

I think i would have at contacting the publisher, and asking them where their source is. Might be an option.


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Subject: RE: lyrics from 1589 witch trial
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 29 Apr 05 - 01:15 AM

SWISS - I can only guess you are in grammer school - certainly NOT Oxford!!!



PLEASE list the FULL URL address (http etc etc) where you found the lyrics.



Do you have any other specific "witch trials" country, city, date in mind? Must they be from the era of the trial - or would an Americanized Musical of the Crucible suffice?



Sincerely,

Gargoyle


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Subject: RE: lyrics from 1589 witch trial
From: swiss
Date: 29 Apr 05 - 04:43 AM

Dear Gargoyle

The website is:
http://www.ocr.org.uk/OCR/WebSite/Data/Publication/Specimen%20Assessment%20Materials/cquartetOCRTempFile1IYLPu54HJ.pdf

I'm sorry that i wasn't more specific about my research. I am interested in finding other comparable ballads about witch trials in England from around the same period as the one above.
So far i haven't come across any other ballads that are so specific to an event.
If anyone has any suggestions they would be greatfully received

Thanks!
Swiss


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Subject: RE: lyrics from 1589 witch trial
From: greg stephens
Date: 29 Apr 05 - 07:27 AM

There was definitely a 17th century song called the Lancashire Witches, but I cant give you a reference right now, I'm afraid. I'm sure someone will oblige if you cant find it youself.


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Subject: RE: lyrics from 1589 witch trial
From: Amos
Date: 29 Apr 05 - 08:24 AM

Swiss:

An excellent example of how not to cite a source. It is really silly that the perfesser who wrote that test document did not bother to say where his ditty came from. He might easily have made it up!   I am sorry I cannot be more help to you. But there's a lesson in good scholarship for you!

A


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Subject: RE: lyrics from 1589 witch trial
From: Abby Sale
Date: 29 Apr 05 - 09:01 AM

From the TOTALLY reliable (sometimes Happy File)

In a way - from a song that invents the trial -

        In the third of May, to Carleile did come
        A kind curteous child, that cold much of wisdome.

(a boy comes to Arthur's court and says sooth by means of a mantle. It will discover any untrue wife. In Gwen's hands it becomes different colors. Blushing, she runs from the room. Kay's layde tries it:)
        18. When shee had taen the mantle, and cast it her about,
        Then was shee bare all above the buttoc-ckes.

(Of Gwen:)
        36.'Shee is a bitch and a witch, and a whore bold;
        King, in thine owne hall, thou art a cuchold.'

        (And, it turns out, so are all the other knights.)

"The Boy And The Mantle", Child #29. (No tune in Bronson)


AND

In Isobel Gowdie's "Second Confession" at her trial on 5/3/1662, she admitted to this broomstick spell:

        Horse and Hattock,
        Horse and go,
        Horse and pelatis, Ho, ho! [pelage, animal hair?]

_Gambit Book Of Popular Verse_, Geof Grigson


AND (although this is certainly not what you wanted to know about but is historically as significant,

Senator Joe McCarthy enjoyed several good years of "witch hinting" and star chamber trials in the early 1950's. There are several songs about it.


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Subject: RE: lyrics from 1589 witch trial
From: GUEST,MMario
Date: 29 Apr 05 - 09:35 AM

there are a couple in the Bodlian Broadsheet collection - not from witch burnings - but one about an Irish witch (thrown in jail) and multiple copies of the Lancashire witches - also one ballad about witches and bees and a song based on the witches from the scottish play.


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Subject: RE: lyrics from 1589 witch trial
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 29 Apr 05 - 09:40 PM

None relate to Chelmsford. I find no references in the usual indexes. Contact the examination people, and get back to us if they are able to provide substantive information.

If they can't, incidentally, we may need the name of the person who provided the "reliable" quote. It may well be genuine, but I'll believe that when I see it.


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Subject: RE: lyrics from 1589 witch trial
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 10 May 09 - 11:30 PM

From Elizabeth I and Tudor England by Miriam Greenblatt (New York: Benchmark Books, 2001).


A NEW BALLAD OF THE LIFE AND DEATHS OF THREE WITCHES
ARRAIGNED AND EXECUTED AT CHELMSFORD
5 JULY 1589

List Christians all unto my Song
'Twill move your Hearts to Grace.
That Dreadful Witchcraft hath been done,
Of late about this place;
But Three that cried the Devil's Name
With those who did them follow,
Now to Justice are brought home
To swing upon our Gallow....

As to the Story now to tell
The Truth I will Declare,
It was the Witches Children small
That they did not Beware;
For God into these infants' Hearts
Did pour the Light of Reason,
And all against their Mothers spoke
Of Witchcraft and of Treason.

So listen Christians to my Song
The Hangman's swung his rope,
And on these Gallows hat been done
An end to Satan's Hope;
Give the News from Chelmsford Town
To all the world be spread,
A crew of Evil Witches have gone Down
Hang'd by the neck, all three are Dead.


*
The above book was written for "elementary and junior high school" students, and as such, its sources are apparently not as well documented as we might like.

Google Books indicates that the same song is also given in the following books, but they do not provide a complete image of the relevant pages:

Harris, Anthony. Night's Black Agents: Witchcraft and Magic in Seventeenth-Century English Drama. Manchester [Eng.]: Manchester University Press, 1980.

Haining, Peter. The Witchcraft Papers: Contemporary Records of the Witchcraft Hysteria in Essex, 1560-1700. Secaucus, N.J.: University Books, 1974.


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Subject: RE: lyrics from 1589 witch trial
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 11 May 09 - 02:03 AM

Thank you Mr. Dixion - four years down the road - Google Books helps to tie many a loose end together. It is an amazing world. Capture while we can - if the UK solicitor attitude holds sway over radio and public venues in the US - sources of this kind can not be far behind their regulation.

What EVER prompted YOU to go looking into such a minor long dead thread?

My original interest was quickened and then quenched. Quickened because of a family paper written in the 1930's on Salem - and then quenched when the trials of interest were identified as English.

Sincerely,
Gargoyle

Jeremy Banks at the "Pilgram Museum" in Lyden NL is probably quivering in rage to imagine that "public domain" has encroached upon a sponsored stipend funded through a Yankee university.


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Subject: RE: lyrics from 1589 witch trial
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 11 May 09 - 06:34 PM

Listed below are over 730 Essex Women and Men accused of being or consorting with WITCHES. First in 1560, last in 1675.

Including "1589 ~ 'Goodwife' Upney of Dagenham
1589 ~ Joan Uptney of Dagenham
1589 ~ Francisca Uptney of Dagenham
1589 ~ Agnes Whitland of Dagenham"


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Subject: Lyr Add: THREE WITCHES ... EXECUTED AT CHELMSFORD
From: GUEST,I'm actually researching this now---here ya
Date: 30 Jul 10 - 10:09 PM

^^
List Christians all unto my song
Twill move your Hearts to Grace,
That dreadful Witchcraft hath been done
of late about this place.
But three that cryed the Devills name
With those that did them follow,
Now to Justice are brought home
To swing upon our Gallow.

Theres scarce a month within these Yeares
But Witchcraft fowle is done,
And manie are the weeping teares
These Satans Fiendes have rung.
Though they sought Mercie ere the rope
Soon as the Judgments read
Who gainsays the Devills Hope
Is all when they are dead.

A vile long life they have run on
Regarding not their end,
Their minds still bent to crueltie
Not minding to amends.
Men and cattle they Bewitched,
No peace they gave to Rest,
But yet in time their partes were switched
By marks upon their Breasts.

As to the Storie now to tell
The truth I will Declare,
It was the Witches Children small
That they did not be ware.
For God into their Infants Hearts
Did pour the light of Reason,
And all against the Mothers spoke
of Witchcraft and of Treason.

Evil were the tales of their demands
Sprung from the Depts of Hell,
And terrible the work of their Commaunds
As did the Children tell.
Now has the Judge the Sentence read
And ended in our town
The rule of Imps and Spells and Dread
For manie miles around.

So listen Christians to my Song,
The Hangmans swung his rope
And on these Gallows hath been done
An end to Satans Hope.
Give the News from Chelmes-forde Town
To all the World be spread,
A crew of evil Witches have gone down,
Hanged by the neck, all three are dead.


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Subject: RE: lyrics from 1589 witch trial
From: greg stephens
Date: 31 Jul 10 - 03:43 AM

GUEST I'm actually researching this now:
Where have you found this document?? I am intrigued by this.


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Subject: RE: lyrics from 1589 witch trial
From: Cats
Date: 31 Jul 10 - 07:58 AM

Do you have a tune?


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Subject: RE: lyrics from 1589 witch trial
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 03 Aug 10 - 10:20 PM

See these search results from Google Books (click). You will see the titles of 4 books that contain the song beginning "List Christians all unto my song/Twill move your Hearts to Grace"—or at least a quote from it. By following links, you can find out more about the books and maybe even locate a library that has them.


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Subject: RE: lyrics from 1589 witch trial
From: Alan Day
Date: 04 Aug 10 - 04:35 AM

There is a very interesting story regarding "The Sea Witch of Orkney" Janet Forsyth. The version, I wrote a song about, was that her boyfriend was suspected to be on a ship in trouble off the coast of Orkney and she rowed in mountainous waves in a small rowing boat to it and guided them to safety. The villagers reported her as a witch and she was tried and sentenced to burn on the stake. She was saved by her boyfriend and members of the crew, who broke her out of Stronsay Prison.
She was later reported to be seen working in a clothes shop in Manchester.
Al


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Three Witches ... at Chelmsford (1589)
From: GUEST,Courtier
Date: 30 Jul 13 - 12:56 PM

This ballad is also cited in:

Oldridge, Darren, The Devil in Tudor and Stuart England (Stroud, 2010)

This is a fascinating (though admittedly long dead) thread that pertains to my own research. If any have any other suggestions of ballads relating to witchcraft I would be most keen to hear about them.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Three Witches ... at Chelmsford (1589)
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 30 Jul 13 - 01:52 PM

Also belatedly for Cats, Peter Haining, 1974 The Witchcraft Papers (one of the books linked by Jim's search above) gives "To the tune of Bragandary Down, & etc" with the entry for the song.

Despite the fact that the tune was listed for many ballads, Simpson in The British Broadside Ballad and Its Music, states that the tune is lost. Bruce Olson however did have a possible candidate for the tune; see the thread: Music for Bragandary. You can see the his full notes for the tune in the Mudcat copy of Bruce's website: Bragandary and the abc here: abc file - see B542


Mick


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