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Origins: Laura Lee / Aura Lee / Nora Lee

DigiTrad:
AURA LEE
MAMA SINGS


Related threads:
Lyr Req: Laura Lee (from Wayne Newton) (35)
Breakthrough in 'Aura Lee' Scholarship (5)
Elvis/ Love Me Tender/Nora Lee (3)
Lyr Req: Sweet Nora Lee? / Aura Lee (3) (closed)


roro 26 Dec 98 - 12:50 PM
Alice 26 Dec 98 - 01:02 PM
Joe Offer 26 Dec 98 - 11:06 PM
John Hindsill 27 Dec 98 - 12:58 PM
roro 29 Dec 98 - 01:40 AM
Dani 29 Dec 98 - 09:39 AM
Bruce O. 29 Dec 98 - 04:04 PM
GUEST,Q 14 Nov 02 - 10:20 PM
masato sakurai 15 Nov 02 - 04:13 AM
open mike 15 Nov 02 - 04:52 AM
Jim Dixon 26 Jan 04 - 07:36 AM
Splott Man 26 Jan 04 - 07:42 AM
masato sakurai 26 Jan 04 - 08:19 AM
dick greenhaus 26 Jan 04 - 05:34 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 27 Jan 04 - 01:10 PM
dick greenhaus 27 Jan 04 - 02:02 PM
Jim Dixon 27 Jan 04 - 02:09 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 27 Jan 04 - 02:33 PM
Joe Offer 27 Jan 04 - 08:14 PM
Amos 27 Jan 04 - 09:09 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 27 Jan 04 - 09:40 PM
Amos 27 Jan 04 - 10:28 PM
masato sakurai 24 May 04 - 06:18 AM
Davetnova 24 May 04 - 02:19 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 24 May 04 - 03:58 PM
Davetnova 25 May 04 - 03:44 AM
Davetnova 25 May 04 - 03:46 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 25 May 04 - 07:50 AM
Joe Offer 19 Feb 09 - 09:14 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 20 Feb 09 - 12:42 AM
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Subject: laura lee
From: roro
Date: 26 Dec 98 - 12:50 PM

I need the words and tune to the old song "Laura Lee" or "Lauralee" or "Loralee". Thanks for any help!


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Subject: RE: laura lee
From: Alice
Date: 26 Dec 98 - 01:02 PM

The title is "Aura Lee". You will find the lyrics by searching the database using the box in the upper right corner of this page. Type in [aura lee] with square brackets, and it will be the first to come up on the list.


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Subject: DTADD: NORA LEE / AURA LEE
From: Joe Offer
Date: 26 Dec 98 - 11:06 PM

I'm going to transfer over a message from Big Mick about a related song.
Subject: RE: want to find a song

From: Big Mick

Date: 10-Oct-98 - 03:07 PM

OK Klaus, here you go. Here are the words to "Nora Lee" from the "Folksongs and Ballads of Ireland, Book 4" collection by Ossian. By the way, Joe, the notes are as follows: "Nora Lee, also known as 'Aura Lee' in America, has Been around for a long time. One version was unearthed by Richard Hayward and recorded in the 1940's. If the tune sounds familiar -- you're right: it's much better known as 'Love Me Tender', an Elvis Presley classic. The copyright notice on Love Me Tender says: 1950 words and music by Elvis Presley & Vera Matson. This seems a bit cheeky -- the tune is definitely the same as Nora Lee." I agree.

NORA
4/4

All beside a small green hill,
'neath a rowan tree
Sang a blackbird low and sweet,
sang of Nora Lee

Chorus
Nora Lee, Nora Lee, laughing through the fair
springtime goes the way you walk,
and swallows in the air.

In your blush the rose was born,
In your voice a song
Your soft eyes a bright blue star,
lost its light among

Chorus

When the mistletoe is green
Midst the winter snows
Sunshine in your face is seen
In your cheeks the rose---

Chorus

Though beside the small green hill
No glad bird may sing
In my heart your song endures--
Take my golden ring

Chorus


Here's the Traditional Ballad Index entry on "Aura Lea":

Aura Lea

DESCRIPTION: "When the blackbird in the spring On the willow tree Sat and rock'd, I heard him sing, Singing Aura Lee." In praise of a "maid of golden hair." The singer describes how even the bird praise her. He begs her hand in marriage
AUTHOR: Words: W. W. Fosdick / Music: George R. Poulten
EARLIEST DATE: 1861
KEYWORDS: courting love nonballad lyric
FOUND IN: US
REFERENCES (3 citations):
RJackson-19CPop, pp. 14-17, "Aura Lea" (1 text, 1 tune)
Fuld-WFM, p. 117, "Aura Lea--(Love Me Tender)"
DT, AURALEE*

Notes: At times like this, one wishes we had a keyword, "Great-tune-lousy-words."
Originally published as a minstrel tune in 1861, verses were printed by both Union and Confederate presses, and the first important parody ("Army Blue") was used by the West Point class of 1865.
As for what Elvis Presley did with the tune, the less we say of that here, the better. - RBW
File: RJ19014

Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Instructions

The Ballad Index Copyright 2004 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.


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Subject: RE: laura lee
From: John Hindsill
Date: 27 Dec 98 - 12:58 PM

Laura Lee is a song...written by Stephen Foster.
The first lines:
    Why has thy merry face gone from my side Leaving each cherished place cheerless and void?
I stumbled on this accidentally on Jack's Harmonica Page at http://www.harmonicacountry.com/foster/lauralee.html
If this is the song you were looking for, glad to help.


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Subject: RE: laura lee
From: roro
Date: 29 Dec 98 - 01:40 AM

Thank you all so much. It seems that what I was looking for was a combination of the two---my dad often "filled in" words he couldn't remember (or tunes) with others that he could. It was definitely the words to the Stephen Foster song that I was remembering, but stretched to the tune of Love Me Tender--at least partly. Thank you for helping me to solve the mystery!


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Subject: RE: laura lee
From: Dani
Date: 29 Dec 98 - 09:39 AM

I've unearthed a version from the cobwebs of my memory:

Aura Lee Aura Lee Maid of golden hair sunshine came along with thee and music filled the air


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Subject: RE: laura lee
From: Bruce O.
Date: 29 Dec 98 - 04:04 PM

"Aura Lea", is in the Levy sheet music collection (Mudcat's links), Box 24, item #2. The copy there is dated 1861. I had to use DT's composer information for searching, because 'Aura Lee' doesn't work.


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Subject: ADD: Laura Lee (Stephen Foster)
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 14 Nov 02 - 10:20 PM

"Aura Lea" is mis-titled "Aura Lee" in the DT. Needs correction. The sheet music is in the Levy Collection as noted by Bruce O.
"Nora Lee:" This song, in this thread, should be in the DT. It seems close to "Aura Lea." Which came first? "Aura Lea" is 1861. Any firm data?
"Laura Lee" by Stephen Collins Foster has not been posted in its entirety. It may be found accurately reproduced at the University of Pittsburgh site: Foster songs . Perhaps not distinctive enough to deserve posting.
The Pittsburgh website has many of the "unknown" Foster songs.

This thead needs a new title: "Aura Lea, Nora and Laura Lee."

Laura Lee
(Stephen Foster)

Why has thy merry face
Gone from my side,
Leaving each cherished place
Cheerless and void?
Why has the happy dream,
Blended with thee,
Passed like a flitting beam,
Sweet Laura Lee?
Why has the happy dream,
Blended with thee,
Passed like a flitting beam,
Sweet Laura Lee?

Far from all pleasure torn,
Sad and alone,
How doth my spirit mourn
While thou art gone!
How like a desert isle
Earth seems to me,
Robbed of thy sunny smile,
Sweet Laura Lee!
How like a desert isle
Earth seems to me,
Robbed of thy sunny smile,
Sweet Laura Lee!

When will thy winning voice
Breathe on mine ear?
When will my heart rejoice,
Finding thee near?
When will we roam the plain
Joyous and free,
Never to part again,
Sweet Laura Lee?
When will we roam the plain
Joyous and free,
Never to part again,
Sweet Laura Lee?


Lyrics copy-pasted from the link cited above.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: laura lee
From: masato sakurai
Date: 15 Nov 02 - 04:13 AM

Two editions of "Laura Lee" in the Levy collection:

Title: Laura Lee. Song.
Composer, Lyricist, Arranger: Written and Composed by Stephen C. Foster.
Publication: Baltimore: F.D. Benteen, 1851.
Form of Composition: strophic with refrain (and instrumental interlude)
Instrumentation: piano and voice
First Line: Why has thy merry face Gone from my side First line of refrain Passed like a flitting beam, Sweet Laura Lee? [text varies with each verse]
Advertisement: ads on back cover for F.D. Benteen stock
Plate Number: 2150
Subject: Courtship & love
Call No.: Box: 067 Item: 094

Title: [Foster-Hall Reproductions]. Laura Lee. Ballad. Arranged for the Guitar.
Composer, Lyricist, Arranger: Written & Composed by S[tephen] C[ollins] Foster.
Publication: Baltimore: F.D. Benteen & Co., 1852.
Form of Composition: strophic with refrain
Instrumentation: piano and voice
First Line: Why has thy merry face Gone from my side First line of refrain Sweet Laura Lee!
Engraver, Lithographer, Artist: Webb
Plate Number: 2371
Subject: Courtship & love
Subject: Death
Subject: Emotion--pain
Call No.: Box: 071 Item: 077

MIDI from Public Domain Music: The Music of Stephen Collins Foster

~Masato


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Subject: RE: laura lee
From: open mike
Date: 15 Nov 02 - 04:52 AM

or the three Lee sisters: Aura, Nora and Laura


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Subject: Lyr Add: AURA LEA (Fosdick, Poulton, 1861)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 26 Jan 04 - 07:36 AM

From the sheet music at The Lester S. Levy Collection of Sheet Music

I have italicized the differences between the Levy version and the version in the DT.

AURA LEA
(Words, W. W. Fosdick. Music, George R. Poulton. 1861.)

When the blackbird in the spring, on the willow tree,
Sat and rocked, I heard him sing, singing Aura Lea.
Aura Lea, Aura Lea, maid of golden hair;
Sunshine came along with thee, and swallows in the air.

CHORUS: Aura Lea, Aura Lea, maid of golden hair;
Sunshine came along with thee, and swallows in the air.


In thy blush the rose was born, music, when you spake.
In thine azure eye the morn, sparkling, seemed to break.
Aura Lea, Aura Lea, birds of crimson wing
Never song have sung to me as in that sweet spring. CHORUS

Aura Lea! the bird may flee the willow's golden hair,
Swing through winter fitfully, on the stormy air.
Yet if thy blue eyes I see, gloom will soon depart;
For to me, sweet Aura Lea is sunshine through the heart. CHORUS

When the mistletoe was green, midst the winter's snows,
Sunshine in thy face was seen, kissing lips of rose.
Aura Lea, Aura Lea, take my golden ring.
Love and light return with thee, and swallows in the spring. CHORUS


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: laura lee / Aura Lee / Nora Lee
From: Splott Man
Date: 26 Jan 04 - 07:42 AM

Any time you take a pill
Take it orally.
'Cos you know the other way
Is more painfully.

Allan Sherman


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Subject: Lyr Add: AURA LEE
From: masato sakurai
Date: 26 Jan 04 - 08:19 AM

There's a song sheet titled "Aura Lee" at Levy (Click here), with other differences in words.

Title: Song Sheet (1) Aura Lee. (2) Ella Ree
Composer, Lyricist, Arranger: na
Publication: n.p., n.d.: , .

AURA LEE

When the blackbird, in the Spring,
Warbling o'er the lea,
Sat and rock'd, I heard him sing,
Singing: Aura Lee,
Aura Lee, Aura Lee,
Maid of golden hair,
Sunshine came along with thee,
And swallows in the air.

CHORUS:Aura Lee,
    Aura Lee, Aura Lee,
    Maid of golden hair,
    Sunshine came along with thee,
    And swallows in the air.

When the Mistletoe, ever green
'Midst the winter snows,
Fairer face was never seen
Kissing lips of rose.
Aura Lee, Aura Lee,
Take this golden ring,
Love and light it brings to thee,
And swallows in the spring.

CHORUS:


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: laura lee / Aura Lee / Nora Lee
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 26 Jan 04 - 05:34 PM

And the less couth among us used to sing:

"Love me tender, Love me long
Love me, Aura Lee."


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: laura lee / Aura Lee / Nora Lee
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 27 Jan 04 - 01:10 PM

Egad! Love me tenderLY. Humpff!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: laura lee / Aura Lee / Nora Lee
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 27 Jan 04 - 02:02 PM

Q-
Pedantry and Elvis don't miz worth a damn.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: laura lee / Aura Lee / Nora Lee
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 27 Jan 04 - 02:09 PM

Wasn't "Love me tender" an established saying BEFORE the song was written? A quote from Shakespeare or something?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: laura lee / Aura Lee / Nora Lee
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 27 Jan 04 - 02:33 PM

Always liked the Delta songs the younger Elvis did, used to listen to them on the radio while driving in the Delta, but when he sang "Love me----" I stopped listening.
TenderLY isn't pedantry, just good old grade school grammar- Forget the -ly, etc., and get a rap on the hand- oh, the good old days!


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Subject: ADDPOP: Love Me Tender
From: Joe Offer
Date: 27 Jan 04 - 08:14 PM

Well, we have all the others. I think we ought to have this one, too:

Love Me Tender
(recorded by Elvis Presley)
(words & music by Vera Matson - Elvis Presley, 1956)

Love me tender,
Love me sweet,
Never let me go.
You have made my life complete,
And I love you so.
    Love me tender,
    Love me true,
    All my dreams fulfill.
    For my darlin' I love you,
    And I always will.
Love me tender,
Love me long,
Take me to your heart.
For it's there that I belong,
And we'll never part.

Love me tender,
Love me dear,
Tell me you are mine.
I'll be yours through all the years,
'Til the end of time.

(When at last my dreams come true
Darling this I know
Happiness will follow you
Everywhere you go).


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Laura Lee / Aura Lee / Nora Lee
From: Amos
Date: 27 Jan 04 - 09:09 PM

I learned it as a child beginning "As the blackbird..." also. Wonder where that branched into or from the Levy version?

A


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Laura Lee / Aura Lee / Nora Lee
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 27 Jan 04 - 09:40 PM

Amos, it's "As the Blackbird..." in some of the books. One is "Heart Songs, Melodies of Days Gone By," p. 398. Many copies of this book were sold or given with "The National Magazine."


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Laura Lee / Aura Lee / Nora Lee
From: Amos
Date: 27 Jan 04 - 10:28 PM

Thanks, Q!
A


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Laura Lee / Aura Lee / Nora Lee
From: masato sakurai
Date: 24 May 04 - 06:18 AM

The "As the blackbird in the spring" lyrics are also those in The Most Popular College Songs (Hinds, Hayden & Eldredge, 1904, 1906, p. 15).


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Laura Lee / Aura Lee / Nora Lee
From: Davetnova
Date: 24 May 04 - 02:19 PM

There are a nice set of lyrics to this tune here That one glass more
and a british version from about the same time here Murray collection version.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Laura Lee / Aura Lee / Nora Lee
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 24 May 04 - 03:58 PM

Murray-Glasgow
Trying again for the Murray Index, see Davetnova above-
What was the name of the version? I have tried to give a link directly to songs there, but with no success. It seems you have to browse the list.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Laura Lee / Aura Lee / Nora Lee
From: Davetnova
Date: 25 May 04 - 03:44 AM

Blue clicky went wrong heres the adress - www.cc.gla.ac.uk\courses\scottish\ballads\mu23y1006.htm


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Laura Lee / Aura Lee / Nora Lee
From: Davetnova
Date: 25 May 04 - 03:46 AM

The American one is "That one Glass more" the Murray one is "One Glass More"


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Laura Lee / Aura Lee / Nora Lee
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 25 May 04 - 07:50 AM

Thanks. Didn't think to use the MS numbers to get the songs.
One Glass More


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Laura Lee / Aura Lee / Nora Lee
From: Joe Offer
Date: 19 Feb 09 - 09:14 PM

As most of us did, I learned this tune from the Elvis recording of Love Me Tender." Are there any subtle differences in the tunes of the two songs? If I sing "Aura Lee," are people going to scoff and say I got the tune from Elvis?

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Origins: Laura Lee / Aura Lee / Nora Lee
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 20 Feb 09 - 12:42 AM

The "Aura Lee" I know is the one posted by Masato from a song sheet; the song sheet published by Johnson (at American Memory) has the same lyrics.
The lyrics are much simplified from those of the 1861 sheet music by Fosdick and Poulton.
Not the same words at posted by Masato, but this youtube version is close to the way I remember my grandfather sang it. Dave Matthews sings the lyrics, which are printed in "Heart Songs," p. 398.
Aura Lee

The song has a much different emphasis from the Elvis song, although the basic tune seems similar. Listen to Matthews, and see what you think.

Where did the simplified lyrics of the song sheets and "Heart Songs" come from? I would guess that they date to the Civil War, following closely on publication of the sheet music.


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