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Lyr Req: Death and the Lady (from Cecil Sharp)


Related threads:
Penguin: Tune Add: Death and the Lady (6)
Lyr/Tune Add: Death and the Lady (2) (7)
Lyr Req: Death and the Lady (2) (closed)

GUEST,joel 16 Aug 06 - 12:55 AM
Peace 16 Aug 06 - 01:04 AM
Malcolm Douglas 16 Aug 06 - 02:21 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 16 Aug 06 - 08:07 PM
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Subject: Lyr Req: Cecil Sharp's 'Death and the Lady'
From: GUEST,joel
Date: 16 Aug 06 - 12:55 AM

Does anyone have the lyrics to the version of "Death and the Lady" which appears in Cecil Sharp's "100 English Folksongs"?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Cecil Sharp's 'Death and the Lady'
From: Peace
Date: 16 Aug 06 - 01:04 AM

Death and the Lady
Early 1700's
Music by: unknown
Lyrics by: unknown
Cover artist: unknown

Let's go back quite a ways and look at what is the genesis for much of our popular music, the English folk song. It should come as no surprise that in a time before modern medicine and social reforms, when death came often, easy, and early that it would be the subject of many songs.

This song "Death and the Lady" taken from a Dover reprint of Cecil Sharps 1916 collection entitled "One Hundred English Folks Songs" probably matured in the early 1700's although the theme is as old as storytelling itself. A young maiden in her prime meets death on the road tries with out success to bargain for her life, and dies six months later.

One of the problems with edited collections is the question of what was left on the cutting room floor. Surely after evolving for nearly 300 years there are more verses. As it is Dr. Kubler-Ross could just about have used this song to illustrate her research into the Five Stages of Grief.

Denial, or in this case discovery as she initially fails to recognize or acknowledge death as he stands before her.

Anger or resentment. The young lady belittles death, questions his right to be there.

Bargaining, way big on bargaining with offers of riches, trying to arrange what Dr. Kubler-Ross describes as a period of temporary truce.

Depression and finally Acceptance as she composes her epitaph.

This song has it all, and it neatly ties things up coming full circle. When she meets death, his clothing is made of cold earthen clay and the song ends "Just in her bloom she was snatched away, Her clothing made of cold earthen clay.

Enjoy this beautiful old ballad (SCORCH format)

listen to MIDI version


(Scroll down about 1/3 way.)

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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Cecil Sharp's 'Death and the Lady'
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 16 Aug 06 - 02:21 AM

For some strange reason the link to lyrics at that site actually produces something called "In Huskin' Time". Same for the midi and the scorch plugin link.

For more on the background of the song group, see thread  Tune Add: Death And The Lady.

One Hundred English Folksongs' is still, so far as I know, available in paperback from Dover publications. The set of 'Death and the Lady' came from Mrs R Sage at Chew Stoke, Somerset; Sharp noted it from her on 11 January 1907. Mrs Sage was 75. The published text is a little amended in places; her "cold earth of day" is changed to "cold earthen clay", for example.

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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Cecil Sharp's 'Death and the Lady'
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 16 Aug 06 - 08:07 PM

I have put the lyrics by Sharp in thread 12930, for comparison with another version. Death and the Lady

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