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Origins: Let Him Go, Let Him Tarry

DigiTrad:
ALL AROUND MY HAT
FAREWELL HE
LET HIM GO, LET HIM TARRY


Related threads:
Lyr Req: Farewell He/She? (Adieu to Dark Weather) (17)
Lyr Req: Now She's Gone (from Jim Kweskin) (18)


JennieG 27 Jan 06 - 09:07 PM
Peace 27 Jan 06 - 10:09 PM
Peace 27 Jan 06 - 10:17 PM
Peace 27 Jan 06 - 10:28 PM
Peace 27 Jan 06 - 10:32 PM
JennieG 27 Jan 06 - 11:42 PM
fat B****rd 28 Jan 06 - 03:34 AM
Peace 28 Jan 06 - 03:51 AM
Peace 28 Jan 06 - 03:59 AM
GUEST,Bob Coltman 28 Jan 06 - 05:38 AM
GUEST, Topsie 28 Jan 06 - 07:24 AM
Flash Company 28 Jan 06 - 10:52 AM
JennieG 28 Jan 06 - 06:52 PM
Alice 29 Jan 06 - 12:40 PM
Malcolm Douglas 29 Jan 06 - 08:50 PM
JennieG 29 Jan 06 - 11:29 PM
Susan of DT 14 Feb 06 - 07:50 AM
HiHo_Silver 14 Feb 06 - 07:45 PM
Jim Dixon 01 Jul 09 - 12:51 PM
Phil Edwards 01 Jul 09 - 01:50 PM
GUEST,Ballyholme 01 Jul 09 - 08:06 PM
GUEST,MacJanet 08 Jul 09 - 06:03 AM
GUEST,Ballyholme 08 Jul 09 - 12:54 PM
The Vulgar Boatman 08 Jul 09 - 06:15 PM
GUEST,Jimmy C 08 Jul 09 - 06:47 PM
GUEST,Spidercake 19 Oct 10 - 01:06 AM
Steve Gardham 19 Oct 10 - 05:31 PM
GUEST,George UK 11 Jan 11 - 08:29 PM
GUEST,Cyil in Portsmouth 23 Aug 15 - 08:24 AM
dick greenhaus 23 Aug 15 - 11:58 AM
GUEST 08 Nov 16 - 11:21 AM
GUEST 10 Nov 16 - 05:48 PM
Thompson 10 Nov 16 - 05:51 PM
GUEST 10 Nov 16 - 05:59 PM
Thompson 10 Nov 16 - 06:15 PM
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Subject: Let him go, let him tarry
From: JennieG
Date: 27 Jan 06 - 09:07 PM

I have the words and chords to this song in a book that was originally published in 1949, and it simply noted as an "Old Irish Song". Is it an Irish song? Is it from the music hall? Words are in the Digitrad, and has been mentioned in previous threads but doesn't seem to have had a thread of its own.

It's a fun song to sing and I would appreciate any information.

Cheers
JennieG


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Subject: RE: Let him go, let him tarry
From: Peace
Date: 27 Jan 06 - 10:09 PM

"I told her that I remembered 'in a very early film, The Way to the Stars, a little girl comes out and sings 'Let him go let him tarry/Let him sink or let him swim"

'Oh my God!' Jean Simmons shouted. 'It was me! Arms akimbo, singing, 'He doesn't care for me/And I don't care for him!' Arms akimbo!'"


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Subject: RE: Let him go, let him tarry
From: Peace
Date: 27 Jan 06 - 10:17 PM

Let Him Go, Let Him Tarry

Snyder, Jerry (arr.) / Golden Guitar Folk Sing Book, Charles Hansen, Fol (1972), p 78


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Subject: RE: Let him go, let him tarry
From: Peace
Date: 27 Jan 06 - 10:28 PM

And look here

home.nycap.rr.com/eamonnmcgirr/radio.htm


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Subject: RE: Let him go, let him tarry
From: Peace
Date: 27 Jan 06 - 10:32 PM

More trivia:

'The Way to the Stars. 1945. Great Britain. Directed by Anthony Asquith. Screenplay by Terence Rattigan, Anatole de Grunwald. With John Mills, Michael Redgrave, Rosamund John. One of the best-loved and most poignant films about World War II, The Way to the Stars lyrically portrays the lives, loves, and deaths of British and American bomber pilots on an English airfield. Mills is a fatalistic pilot reluctant to marry his girlfriend, the Limeys try to get on with the Yanks, and sixteen-year-old Jean Simmons sings "Let Him Go, Let Him Tarry." 87 min.'


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Subject: RE: Let him go, let him tarry
From: JennieG
Date: 27 Jan 06 - 11:42 PM

Thanks Peace, it's getting earlier! 1945....doesn't quite make it "trad" as some of the Google sites say it is.

I can remember hearing it sung on radio by a female voice, a thousand years ago when I was a child, but I have no idea who was singing. I'd still like to know when it was written.

Cheers
JennieG


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Subject: RE: Let him go, let him tarry
From: fat B****rd
Date: 28 Jan 06 - 03:34 AM

I don't know about origins or whatever but you've reminded me that my Mother (97 this month) used to sing this to me when I was about three. At least now I know where she heard it. Thankyou.


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Subject: RE: Let him go, let him tarry
From: Peace
Date: 28 Jan 06 - 03:51 AM

992 Popular Music/1930's VINE, John THE WAY TO THE STARS: LET HIM GO, LET HIM TARRY Irish Song arr. John Vine. Paterson (1935) £1.00

from

www.gilbertandsullivanonline.com/ cbclassicalmusic/sheet-music/popular30s.html


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Subject: RE: Let him go, let him tarry
From: Peace
Date: 28 Jan 06 - 03:59 AM

BINGO!

Google

L Titles - Public Domain Music Song List

It still doesn't address the date it was written, but it does say it's 'traditional'.


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Subject: RE: Let him go, let him tarry
From: GUEST,Bob Coltman
Date: 28 Jan 06 - 05:38 AM

Is it a variant / cousin / ancestor of the song Vance Randolph collected in the Ozarks, subsequently popular among 50s-60s folkies, called "IF HE'S GONE, LET HIM GO?

If he's gone, let him go, let him sink or let him swim,
If he don't care for me, I'm sure I don't for him,
Why should I care, I'm so happy young and free,
For I can find another love much handsomer than he...

Bob


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Subject: RE: Let him go, let him tarry
From: GUEST, Topsie
Date: 28 Jan 06 - 07:24 AM

Let him go, let him tarry, let him sink or let him swim,
He doesn't care for me and I don't care for him.
He can go and get another, that I hope he will enjoy.
I'm going to marry a far nicer boy.

I used to sing this to myself when I was young and 'between boyfriends'.

It made me feel much better. There are probably more verses but I didn't need them.


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Subject: RE: Let him go, let him tarry
From: Flash Company
Date: 28 Jan 06 - 10:52 AM

First heard this at a VE Day party at Tabley House in Mid Cheshire, sung by one of the daughters of the house (a Miss Leicester-Warren) to her own piano accompaniment. I was about 8 years old at the time!
She also did 'What's the good of a Birthday'

FC


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Subject: RE: Let him go, let him tarry
From: JennieG
Date: 28 Jan 06 - 06:52 PM

1930s now, it's getting older! Perhaps it's a 'trad' tune with newer words. The words are certainly related to the Ozarks song aren't they. Can anyone who plays Irish music recognise the tune?

Cheers
JennieG


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Subject: RE: Let him go, let him tarry
From: Alice
Date: 29 Jan 06 - 12:40 PM

I started a thread on this song a few years ago. Not sure if it got lost in a Mudcat crash, but you can search to see if all the info is still on that thread.


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Subject: RE: Let him go, let him tarry
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 29 Jan 06 - 08:50 PM

A short form of the song was well known in the 1940s via a commercial recording by Barbara Mullen which was frequently played on the radio; that would be the form of it that I remember from childhood in the 1950s, I expect; unless it was the later recording by Shirley Abicair. It was described as "a traditional Irish song", and no doubt it was in that form, though similar forms of words were current in oral tradition in the South of England at the beginning of the 20th century.

He may go or he may stay, he may sink or he may swim,
I do think in my own heart I am quite as good as him.
Aye and if he get another girl we both will agree.
I will defy the lad for ever - let him go, farewell he.

(George Smith, Fareham, Hampshire, 1906. Quoted in Reeves, The Everlasting Circle, 108-9).

It's generally considered to belong to the group of songs found in tradition as Farewell He, Fare Thee Well Cold Winter, and so on; examples of which are known from Ireland, England and Scotland; and, of course, America and Canada. How far each is related to the others isn't always easy to tell, as not all of the characteristic verses always appear, and some examples may just be coincidental assemblies of floating verses.

The "Let him go let him tarry" sequence, for instance, seems to have been introduced from elsewhere; and a couple of examples from the South of England acquired the chorus of an American song, I'll be all Smiles Tonight (1879), somewhere along the way. English sets tend to have tunes very reminiscent of the Music Hall; more so than the Irish set here, though it wouldn't surprise me at all if that one had a stage origin, as Jennie suggested.

Examples fall into two main groups in the Roud Folk Song Index: 803 (which includes the set I quoted from above) and 1034 (which includes the set of Let Him Go Let Him Tarry printed in Walton's Treasury of Irish Songs & Ballads, 1947).

There have been discussions here relating to Farewell He in the past, and others, mostly irrelevant, that have touched on Let Him Go. One thread at least contains some useful references:

Farewell He/She? (Adieu to Dark Weather)

The DT files are

Let him go, let him tarry (source not identified)
Farewell He (apparently from an unidentified Jean Redpath record; traditional source not credited)
All Around my Hat (modern collation which incorporates material from Farewell He)

Broadside editions of Farewell He can be seen at Bodleian Library Broadside Ballads. Some are transcribed in the thread indicated above, but this should provide a full list:

Farewell He


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Subject: RE: Let him go, let him tarry
From: JennieG
Date: 29 Jan 06 - 11:29 PM

Thanks folks, you are terrific. It was indeed Shirley Abicair - "The Girl With The Zither" wasn't she? - that I remember hearing. I shall check out the other threads, when I tried searching they didn't come up.

Cheers
JennieG


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Subject: RE: Let him go, let him tarry
From: Susan of DT
Date: 14 Feb 06 - 07:50 AM

Farewell He was Jean Redpath's Folk Legacy Record, Frae My Ain Country, FSS-49.


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Subject: RE: Let him go, let him tarry
From: HiHo_Silver
Date: 14 Feb 06 - 07:45 PM

.This song was performed many times by Marg Osbourn who sang with Don Messer And His Islanders on his TV program out of Halifax, N. S., Canada   sometime in the 70's or early 80's. Would expect that she also recorder it
at some time.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Let Him Go, Let Him Tarry
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 01 Jul 09 - 12:51 PM

Billboard Magazine (viewable through Google Books) says LET HIM GO LET HIM TARRY was recorded in 1945 by Evelyn Knight & The Jesters – Decca 18725-B. (It was the B-side of CHICKERY CHICK.)


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Subject: RE: Origins: Let Him Go, Let Him Tarry
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 01 Jul 09 - 01:50 PM

One of the games my Mum used to play with me when I was little (around the time we won the World Cup) was to hold on to me & refuse to let go; when I, inevitably, called out "Let me go!" she'd reply with

"Let me go, let me tarry, let me sink or let me swim"

Which doesn't really make much sense, but there it is. It's stuck in my mind because it's the only thing I remember hearing her sing spontaneously.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Let Him Go, Let Him Tarry
From: GUEST,Ballyholme
Date: 01 Jul 09 - 08:06 PM

The late Richard Hayward - an actor, writer and ballad singer from Northern Ireland sang the song in one of his films in 1938.

Richard made many records during his career (mainly for the Beltona label) and also claimed to have written a number of songs (e.g., The Humour is on Me Now).

Whether he laid claim to Let Him Go, Let Him Tarry, I don't know.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Let Him Go, Let Him Tarry
From: GUEST,MacJanet
Date: 08 Jul 09 - 06:03 AM

I heard it performed at a folk festival in Inverness in April 1978. I only ever heard it once, the lyric has stuck in my mind, and wow - I googled a chunk of lyric, and here it is. Can anyone provide a link to a recording? I'll have a hunt with the clues in this thread. I guess this is all over now and noone will reading it anyway.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Let Him Go, Let Him Tarry
From: GUEST,Ballyholme
Date: 08 Jul 09 - 12:54 PM

In my experience it's never really been a song that had a great deal of popularity with "folk" performers in Ireland but was more often sung by more MOR Irish singers.

I do know that jazz singer Ottilie Patterson (formerly of Chris Barber's band) did record it on an EP called (wait for it!) "Ottilie Swings the Irish".


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Subject: RE: Origins: Let Him Go, Let Him Tarry
From: The Vulgar Boatman
Date: 08 Jul 09 - 06:15 PM

O corpulent son of no father... I thought I was alone in having parents who sang this to me.
The Mudcat is the Guardian of all Knowledge.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Let Him Go, Let Him Tarry
From: GUEST,Jimmy C
Date: 08 Jul 09 - 06:47 PM

My mother sang this song many times. I think it was from an old Delia Murphy recording.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Let Him Go, Let Him Tarry
From: GUEST,Spidercake
Date: 19 Oct 10 - 01:06 AM

I found a fragment of this song while transcribing my great-great-great grandfather's 1842 sea journal (with his unique spelling):

Adue to bleak Winter

Ile sing and be merry since I no my love is lost
Ile sing and be merry when a casion I do see
Ile rest whe ime weary
Let him go fare well hee
Let him sink or let him swim
For since he has deceived me I do no care for him
I wish him beter fortune
My self some beter grace
And I hope to be provided for in a far beter place.

It's a bit choppy. Maybe he was jotting down words as someone else was singing.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Let Him Go, Let Him Tarry
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 19 Oct 10 - 05:31 PM

Any more interesting fragments in there, Spidercake? Any refs to chanties or work songs of any kind?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Let Him Go, Let Him Tarry
From: GUEST,George UK
Date: 11 Jan 11 - 08:29 PM

I remeber this song being sung on the BCC radio by a young lady going back to the 1940`s. It was a weekly show which started with her singing "Let him go let him tarry etc etc" it had a Irish theme.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Let Him Go, Let Him Tarry
From: GUEST,Cyil in Portsmouth
Date: 23 Aug 15 - 08:24 AM

I remember it being sung by - I think it was Barbara Mullen - in a radio programme in the 1940s. I seem to remember that either she was a leprechaun, or there was one involved in the programme.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Let Him Go, Let Him Tarry
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 23 Aug 15 - 11:58 AM

I first heard it sung by Gracie Fields. 1940s


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Subject: RE: Origins: Let Him Go, Let Him Tarry
From: GUEST
Date: 08 Nov 16 - 11:21 AM

There is a version of this on a CD by Relative Harmony from Guelph, Ontario, Canada, The CD is called Rolling Home.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Let Him Go, Let Him Tarry
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Nov 16 - 05:48 PM

The tune( Let him go) is sometimes used for the Lightbob's Lassie song, although the song has another probably older tune.I am away from my CDS but have a recording of the song to both tunes and will check tomorrow


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Subject: RE: Origins: Let Him Go, Let Him Tarry
From: Thompson
Date: 10 Nov 16 - 05:51 PM

Let him go to his aul mother now and set her mind at ease
I hear she is an aul aul woman, very hard do please
For spiting me and talking ill is what she's always done
Because that I would marry her GREAT BIG UGLY SON!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Let Him Go, Let Him Tarry
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Nov 16 - 05:59 PM

woops senile moment the tune for the Lightbob is not "let him go" it is "I know where I'm going" both sung to me by my mother in the 50s


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Subject: RE: Origins: Let Him Go, Let Him Tarry
From: Thompson
Date: 10 Nov 16 - 06:15 PM

Here's a version sung by Bridie Gallagher with a certain brio.


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