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Origins: Common European Folksong/tunes

GUEST,Alistair 12 May 05 - 04:50 AM
GUEST,Allen 12 May 05 - 05:00 AM
GUEST,Masato 12 May 05 - 10:19 AM
GUEST,Alistair 13 May 05 - 04:27 AM
Micca 13 May 05 - 04:36 AM
Les in Chorlton 14 May 05 - 02:20 AM
Wilfried Schaum 14 May 05 - 05:46 AM
Les in Chorlton 15 May 05 - 03:45 AM
GUEST,Alistair 16 May 05 - 06:17 AM
Wolfgang 18 May 05 - 06:36 AM
greg stephens 18 May 05 - 07:19 AM
GUEST,Alistair 18 May 05 - 03:14 PM
Wolfgang 18 May 05 - 03:31 PM
sian, west wales 18 May 05 - 04:07 PM
greg stephens 18 May 05 - 05:23 PM
alanabit 19 May 05 - 11:33 AM
GUEST,Allen 19 May 05 - 01:37 PM
sian, west wales 19 May 05 - 05:32 PM
Les in Chorlton 20 May 05 - 03:10 PM
GUEST,Allen 20 May 05 - 03:20 PM
GUEST,andymac 20 May 05 - 05:11 PM
Les in Chorlton 21 May 05 - 02:35 AM
Stephen R. 22 May 05 - 12:30 AM
Les in Chorlton 22 May 05 - 02:52 AM
GUEST, Topsy 22 May 05 - 03:01 AM
Les in Chorlton 22 May 05 - 03:40 AM
GUEST,Allen 22 May 05 - 04:45 AM
GUEST, Topsy 22 May 05 - 05:46 AM
GUEST,Ian, Guest 25 May 05 - 10:20 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 25 May 05 - 10:51 PM
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Subject: Origins: Common Western European Folksong/tunes
From: GUEST,Alistair
Date: 12 May 05 - 04:50 AM

Living here in Kent (UK) I have become interested if there are any common links between tunes and songs from this side of the English Channel / La Manche and the other. I've tried all sorts of searches here and in google with little success in finding out anything much(there are some references to Lord Marlborough (UK) and Marlbrook (France) being common to a tune similar to 'He's a Jolly Good Fellow'). Does any one have any ideas or thoughts? Are there common Western European Songs?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Common European Folksong/tunes
From: GUEST,Allen
Date: 12 May 05 - 05:00 AM

Actualy I thought He's a Jolly Good Fellow is derived from Marlbrouk.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Common European Folksong/tunes
From: GUEST,Masato
Date: 12 May 05 - 10:19 AM

See We Won't Go Home Until Morning at The Traditional Ballad Index.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Common European Folksong/tunes
From: GUEST,Alistair
Date: 13 May 05 - 04:27 AM

Is Malbrouk/For he's a jolly good fellow/The bear went over the mountain the only cross fertilization of songs across the Channel/North Sea? I find it quite hard to believe that there are not other songs out there. Here in East Kent the Channel is only 22 miles wide. I doubt that singing could be heard from one side to the other! I suspect, however, there must have been contact between the two communities even if there were wars between the countries. When you consider how songs spread across these Western Isles and onto America it seems as though there really was some cultural barrier in popular music between the continent and the islands. Has anyone else any more thoughts?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Common European Folksong/tunes
From: Micca
Date: 13 May 05 - 04:36 AM

We were in Catalonia in Spain (British group from London, Dorchester, Huddersfield) and during the procesion the Catalan band in front of us played a long A tune intro, but to their complete astonishment ALL the British group sang along (in English)to the B tune/Chorus when it came around, apparently the tune is a very well known and traditional tune all around the Mediterranian, To us it was "Roll out the barrel"!!!!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Common European Folksong/tunes
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 14 May 05 - 02:20 AM

I guess it is easy to say, but do tunes travel so much easier than than words? Alan Stivel plays collections of tunes from Brittany, Wales, Ireland, Scotland ......... sometimes simply different versions of the same tune.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Common European Folksong/tunes
From: Wilfried Schaum
Date: 14 May 05 - 05:46 AM

Lutheran hymns must have wandered over the channel, and their tunes are sometimes taken over from well known folksongs of these times,


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Subject: RE: Origins: Common European Folksong/tunes
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 15 May 05 - 03:45 AM

Who helped the Blacksmith court the Pilgrim?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Common European Folksong/tunes
From: GUEST,Alistair
Date: 16 May 05 - 06:17 AM

Sorry, Les in Chorlton, I have no idea what you are referring to? A search though Mudcat only brings me back to this thread. Perhaps your message has changed in cyberspace?

Certainly the Breton/Walsh/Irish/Scots connection is well known and Wales and Brittany share the same anthem in tune (and maybe in words?) with "Bro Gozh Ma Zadou" and "Land of My Fathers". I still suspect there must also have been some overlap at the narrower end of La Manche? It seems strange that it is so hard to pin much down when now the cultural and social links between Kent and Pas de Calais etc are close.

Would appreciate any other thoughts that any one else has.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Common European Folksong/tunes
From: Wolfgang
Date: 18 May 05 - 06:36 AM

I have a book full with British folksongs that have been translated into German. Most of them I never have heard sung in German.

Tunes to which I have heard German lyrics actually sung:

A man's a man for a' that
Should ould acquaintance
Greensleeves
A round (I don't remember the title) "Hey, ho..."

Several shanties have German lyrics too.

When I sung a German song at the Eurogathering most of the English speakers did know Englsih lyrics to that tune.

Sometimes, know tunes (from Britain or Ireland) are used to put music to German lyrics with no known tune:

Follow me up to Carlow has been used this way.

I'm sure a large book can be filled with 'European' tunes.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Origins: Common European Folksong/tunes
From: greg stephens
Date: 18 May 05 - 07:19 AM

The recent adoption of a Welsh national anthem tune in Brittany is no evidence whatever of any musical contact in the past. It would appear to me that the obvious and huge musical links vetween Ireland, Scotland, Wales and England are not duplicated between Brittany and Wales. The whole business of playing Welsh/Breton/Scottish/Irish tunes insuch a way as to sound like each other is a fairly recent bit of pan-Celticism. There are plentiful recordings of actual traditional music from all these countries recorded in the 1900-1950 period. I think the vbest thing is for anyone to listen to these recordings recordings critically before assessing the "Celtic" theories. Alan Stivell, like some modern Galicians and the Titanic soundtrack musicians, can make anything sound "Celtic". The more important question is, what did they used to sound like?
    As regards the musical porousness of the Channel, it seems surprisingly impervious really, when you consider it is only 20 miles of water.The north channel between Ireland and Scotland is of comparable width, and that proved no barrier at all to music. Given that we are all pretty much scraping about for many examples beyond Malbrook/Jolly good fellow, it would seem that there hasnt been that much trad music sharing over the recent centuries. The "beer Barrel Polka"(Roll out the Barrel) is not really an example of shared traditional music: it is an astonishingly succesful international pop song, which is a slightly different phenomenon. I would classify that alongside an Iranian guy I met recently, who did a great version of "Imagine". Not an example of longstanding cultural contacts between Liverpool and Teheran.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Common European Folksong/tunes
From: GUEST,Alistair
Date: 18 May 05 - 03:14 PM

Thanks for everyone's comments.

I've been looking through Peter Kennedy's 'Folksongs of Britain & Ireland' and the only connections between France & Britain that I have found, so far, in that mighty tome are the songs of the Channel Islands which are essentially French with no English connections and a folksinging fisherman from Cornwall who met with Breton Fishermen but nothing in the text suggests that they exchanged songs. I must admit I havent been through the whole book yet. It is enormous in size and content!

Another big book is Michael Raven's 'English Country Dance Tunes' Two tunes spring out in connection with this subject. First is the tune 'La Rotta' which he says is Italian in origin and was found in a 14th century English church music book. The second is titled 'Fete Champetre' No source is given for this but the name would suggest a French origin. Micael Raven states at the beginning of the section of the book that contains these tunes (Tunes published before 1730) "As a whole they reflect the dominant position held by English musicians in the late Renaissance. Many were published on the Continent and were much admired there." Later he says that tunes such as the 'Volt' and the 'Canario' were part of an "international musical vocabulary" He says that the English versions in his book were taken back to the Continent by English Lute players who were supposed to be the best in Europe.

I highly recommend both books.

I hope that this might jog some memories some where and further musical links across the Channel may be discovered. Certainly Michael Raven's book would suggest that it was common?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Common European Folksong/tunes
From: Wolfgang
Date: 18 May 05 - 03:31 PM

A recent example is Martin Carthy singing the old ballad Willie's Lady to a Breton tune. The same tune has been used for a quite successful pop song in Germany (sung by a Dutch group).

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Origins: Common European Folksong/tunes
From: sian, west wales
Date: 18 May 05 - 04:07 PM

Depends on what you're looking for. I have a friend who does a lecture on the Lord Randall variations throughout Europe. And it seems to me that fiddlers tunebooks from previous centuries show some French/Italian/etc crossover. And I heard another friend lecture on a 'style' of Welsh poetry / songs / tunes that actually trace back across Europe and the middle East to India of the something-th century. (Verses that muse, "If all the fields were paper, and all the sea ink, and all the reed-beds pens ..." type of thing.

I did do some prodding on this subject a few months back. Alan Stivell actually asked me if I thought there was any mileage in a project trying to identify one pan-celtic tune and working up a trans-national project on it. But I couldn't find anyone (I did ask a number of experts) who thought that we'd be able to find a tune that was common across enough of the celtic nations.

sian


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Subject: RE: Origins: Common European Folksong/tunes
From: greg stephens
Date: 18 May 05 - 05:23 PM

Stivell, the trouble is, is barmy on the subject of "Celticness", and can't recognise any musical communications historically that dont fit his theories. This limits him is a source of useful information or opinion. I'm judging him by what I know of his public utterances, I've not met him. He may be a little more subtle in person...I would very much like to find out. But basically, if you believe Scotland and Brittany have a lot in common culturallly, but that Scotland and England don't: you're several sandwiches short of a picnic(or three reels short of a fest noz).


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Subject: RE: Origins: Common European Folksong/tunes
From: alanabit
Date: 19 May 05 - 11:33 AM

I had an experience similar to Micca's several years ago, when I happened to be in Basel, for the Baseler Carnival. They have a tradition of flute and drum bands. Two of the most popular tunes were familiar to me as the melodies for, "The British Grenadier" and "The Girl I left Behind Me".


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Subject: RE: Origins: Common European Folksong/tunes
From: GUEST,Allen
Date: 19 May 05 - 01:37 PM

That could either be modern, or due to the long history of Germans serving alongside the British. German bandmasters (and clarinetists) were much in demand too.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Common European Folksong/tunes
From: sian, west wales
Date: 19 May 05 - 05:32 PM

He's a nice enough person ... although I only spent about half a day in his company. And I think you've got a point; he was looking for something that probably doesn't exist for the sake of proving a 'celtic' hypothesis. Still, he's done a lot of his own research and seemed genuinely interested in learning about Welsh trad music in Wales today.

sian


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Subject: RE: Origins: Common European Folksong/tunes
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 20 May 05 - 03:10 PM

Ok, I have to go the take away has arrived.

But the criptiv Blacksmith and Pilgrim refered to the use of the tune 'A Blacksmith courted me' for the hymn 'To be a pilgrim'.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Common European Folksong/tunes
From: GUEST,Allen
Date: 20 May 05 - 03:20 PM

Yeah, and the tune name is Monksgate.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Common European Folksong/tunes
From: GUEST,andymac
Date: 20 May 05 - 05:11 PM

Well,
I was at a talk the other day discussing the similarities between Scandinavian (mostly Norwegian)and Scottish versions of some of the Child ballads.
If you think of the antiquity of some of these songs and the long-standing links between the UK (but Scotland and Ireland in particular) and Scandinavia, then it shouldn't some as much of a surprise, should it?
Furthermore, in one of the Ballads, the Two Sisters (Binnorie) there was reference to links to motifs in versions that have known Balkan themes.
Child himself discourses on known examples of mostly Scandinavian and Southern European versions of the Ballads in his work, as well as versions from Germany and Poland. In fact he implies that the Ballads would have been pretty much common currency, at least in terms of themes if not language...
As for tunes, I'm not so sure, but I would think it reasonable to believe that there will be common or similar tunes emanating from Central Europe and having been carried here by Romany or other itinerant peoples, though I will say I don't know of any. Which may be more of a comment on my ignorance regarding tunes/preference for traditional songs...

Not quite sure if this is relevant as much of the thread so far has concentrated on the Celtic parts of Europe, but there is Northern Europe too, and historically the languages there would have been similarly Germanic in origin...

andymac


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Subject: RE: Origins: Common European Folksong/tunes
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 21 May 05 - 02:35 AM

How do tunes and songs travel?

They seem to travel best when large groups of culturaly connected people move to somewhere else, like English people to the Appalachians or Scots to the north of Ireland.

Am I correct in assuming that people who argue for some kind of pan-Celtic music are suggesting that the roots of some current music, in Ireland, Scotland, Wales, the Isle of Man and Brittany, grow out of an historical Celtic past?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Common European Folksong/tunes
From: Stephen R.
Date: 22 May 05 - 12:30 AM

Well, the Hungarian musicologists think, or once thought (I'm not at all up to date on this), that some similarities could be observed between Hungarian folk tunes and those of the Ob-Ugrians (Khanty & Mansi, formerly Ostyak & Vogul). And it seems that there *ought* to be some residual likeness of Breton tunes with those of Cornwall & Wales, although no one seems to be able to come up with anything concrete. Galicia (the one in NW Spain) has now been added to the Celtic category; I suppose the next step would be either old Galatia (now in Turkey) or Galicia in Western Ukraine, but so far no one seems to have claimed them . . . ;)

Stephen


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Subject: RE: Origins: Common European Folksong/tunes
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 22 May 05 - 02:52 AM

The obvious link to search for is Hungary, Finland and the Basques since they have similar none Indo-European languages.

Anybody tried that?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Common European Folksong/tunes
From: GUEST, Topsy
Date: 22 May 05 - 03:01 AM

Or links between the Basques and the Georgians in the Caucasus?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Common European Folksong/tunes
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 22 May 05 - 03:40 AM

Why these then Topsy?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Common European Folksong/tunes
From: GUEST,Allen
Date: 22 May 05 - 04:45 AM

Some people believe the Caucasian languages (Adighe particularly) are realted to Euskadi (Basque).


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Subject: RE: Origins: Common European Folksong/tunes
From: GUEST, Topsy
Date: 22 May 05 - 05:46 AM

And I read somewhere that both the Basque and Georgian populations have an unusually high proportion of people with the blood group O rhesus negative, suggesting that they might possibly be descended from the same ancestors.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Common European Folksong/tunes
From: GUEST,Ian, Guest
Date: 25 May 05 - 10:20 PM

Why are there two versions of "For he's a jolly good fellow" ? I can't find a discussion of this on the internet. In America we tend to sing "which nobody can deny," while in Britain they sing "and so say all of us."


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Subject: RE: Origins: Common European Folksong/tunes
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 25 May 05 - 10:51 PM

Good question. "And so say all of us" is less inclusive than the American, but that doesn't help with your query.

A few notes- Fuld says the earliest printing is in an American songster, "The Old Clown's "W-H-O-A January" Songster," 1870, NY.
Because the verse includes the word 'jolly' some say it is English in origin, but jolly is an old word, widespread in English, so I don't think its use is any help.

(The tune is much older, used for "Malbrouk" in the 18th c., and even earlier use is discussed by Fuld and others).


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