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Lyr Req: The Arbutus (Paddy Graber)

DigiTrad:
ARBUTUS
THOMAS OF WINESBURY
WILLIE O' WINSBURY
YOUNG BARBOUR


Related threads:
Chords Req: Willie o' Winsbury (17)
Chord Req: Willy o' Winsbury (from Pentangle) (36)
Lyr Add: Willie o' Winesberry (5)
(origins) Origins: Willie O Winsbury (Child #100) (37)
willie of the winesbury (35)
Chord Req: Willie of Windsbury (8)
Lyr/Tune/Chords Req: John Barbour (9)
Seattle - Paddy Graber on radio (4)
Paddy Graber - a new CD (19)
Tom Barbary (8)
Lyr Req: Daughter Janet? / Willie o' Winsbury (12)


Joshua Kane - 01 Mar 99 - 02:37 PM
Barbara 01 Mar 99 - 03:59 PM
MMario 01 Mar 99 - 04:34 PM
mountain time 01 Mar 99 - 11:00 PM
Barbara 02 Mar 99 - 01:35 AM
Sandy Paton 02 Mar 99 - 10:33 PM
Barbara 03 Mar 99 - 04:29 AM
Jon Bartlett 03 Mar 99 - 04:46 AM
Jon Bartlett 03 Mar 99 - 04:50 AM
03 Mar 99 - 12:22 PM
mountain tyme 03 Mar 99 - 06:30 PM
hesperis 29 Mar 01 - 02:32 PM
Joe Offer 11 Nov 01 - 09:36 PM
Malcolm Douglas 11 Nov 01 - 10:25 PM
Deckman 11 Nov 01 - 10:42 PM
Malcolm Douglas 11 Nov 01 - 11:36 PM
Deckman 11 Nov 01 - 11:46 PM
GUEST,Susy 12 Nov 01 - 12:12 AM
Stewart 12 Nov 01 - 12:13 PM
Stewart 12 Nov 01 - 12:56 PM
Joe Offer 12 Nov 01 - 03:34 PM
Malcolm Douglas 12 Nov 01 - 04:46 PM
Stewart 12 Nov 01 - 05:20 PM
Malcolm Douglas 12 Nov 01 - 05:46 PM
Stewart 12 Nov 01 - 06:58 PM
Deckman 12 Nov 01 - 07:28 PM
Barbara 13 Nov 01 - 07:58 AM
Alice 06 Jan 02 - 12:57 PM
Don Firth 06 Jan 02 - 03:14 PM
Stewart 06 Jan 02 - 04:11 PM
Joe Offer 06 Jan 02 - 07:23 PM
Alice 06 Jan 02 - 07:36 PM
Malcolm Douglas 06 Jan 02 - 09:04 PM
GUEST,robinia 07 Jan 02 - 08:26 AM
GUEST,del@unb.ca 16 Jan 02 - 08:25 AM
Malcolm Douglas 16 Jan 02 - 10:16 AM
Stilly River Sage 16 Jan 02 - 01:58 PM
GUEST 23 Jun 04 - 08:45 PM
Malcolm Douglas 23 Jun 04 - 09:36 PM
Stewart 23 Jun 04 - 09:49 PM
GUEST 24 Jun 04 - 07:14 AM
semi-submersible 24 Jun 04 - 08:04 PM
Malcolm Douglas 24 Jun 04 - 09:56 PM
kendall 20 Aug 04 - 07:44 PM
GUEST 20 Aug 04 - 08:04 PM
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Subject: The Arbutus - Grater or Graber ?????
From: Joshua Kane -
Date: 01 Mar 99 - 02:37 PM

I have long enjoyed the folksong "the Arbutus" which appears on Gordon Bok's CD "Return to the Land"

I am trying to track down the authorship of the piece as well as a copy of sheet music for it. In the liner notes for the CD they list the authorship as Trad/ Graber, which I assume means the text is a traditional piece of unknown origins and the tune or it's arrangement is being credited to someone named Graber or Grater if the search engine odf this site is correct.

Maybe I even have it backwards. any help with info on the origins of the oiece and where I ccan find a copy of music for it would be appreciated. I can be reached at JoshuaKane@aol.com

Thanks in advance.


Click for lyrics in Digital Tradition


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Subject: RE: The Arbutus - Grater or Graber
From: Barbara
Date: 01 Mar 99 - 03:59 PM

I'd bet that's Paddy Graber, and he's capable of supplying either the tune or the words, or both.


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Subject: RE: The Arbutus - Grater or Graber
From: MMario
Date: 01 Mar 99 - 04:34 PM

I have been told that some music publishers will also use trad/{name} to indicate a known composer whose work is now public domain. Usually with lesser known. This came up during a discussion of copyright at a studio - how true it is, I don't know

MMario


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Subject: RE: The Arbutus - Grater or Graber
From: mountain time
Date: 01 Mar 99 - 11:00 PM

I posted a thread request several months ago asking for a song I sang years ago with the words "trailing arbutis" a clinging southern USA vine in it. No response. I am wondering if this is the same song. I was under the aged impression the A. P. Carter Family might have recorded it. I have asked Bill Clifton, Benny & Vallie Cain, Lee Moore, Red Rector and others but none remembered the song.


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Subject: RE: The Arbutus - Grater or Graber
From: Barbara
Date: 02 Mar 99 - 01:35 AM

mountain thyme, it's the story of a royal young woman, promised by her father to a rich man, who is forced to strip before everyone to be checked for her maidenhood, after she vows love for a commoner. She is transformed into an arbutus, and the young man into - something else - the wind? or is it another tree in this one? I don't recall. The tape is around someplace. I'll look later. Is that the song you want?
Blessings,
Barbara


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Subject: RE: The Arbutus - Grater or Graber
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 02 Mar 99 - 10:33 PM

Gordon Bok was told that the text was traditional (or p.d.) and that Graber gave it the tune. We took his word for it. Is that information correct, Barbara?

Sandy


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Subject: RE: The Arbutus - Grater or Graber
From: Barbara
Date: 03 Mar 99 - 04:29 AM

Good question, Sandy. I know Gordon and Paddy have been corresponding, and I know Paddy Graber is an incredible gold mine of words and tunes. I'll check with Paddy and get back to you on that.
Blessings,
Barbara


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Subject: RE: The Arbutus - Grater or Graber
From: Jon Bartlett
Date: 03 Mar 99 - 04:46 AM

I always understood from Paddy that he wrote it. Our Archives (Vancouver Folk Song Society) has 5 recordings of it, 4 by PG and one by the late lamented John Dwyer. Paddys' earliest singing of it is dated 19 June 1974.


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Subject: RE: The Arbutus - Grater or Graber
From: Jon Bartlett
Date: 03 Mar 99 - 04:50 AM

Sorry, I should have added that it's a reworking of Child 100 - "Willie o Winsbury".


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Subject: RE: The Arbutus - Grater or Graber
From:
Date: 03 Mar 99 - 12:22 PM

I would love to know if either the words or the tune are in Public domain as i wish to record it on an upcoming cassette of poetry and song. If the rights for either the tune or words are held. Yhen I would appreciate knowing who to contact for permissions as well as where i can locate a copy of the music

Many thanks

Joshua Kane


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Subject: RE: The Arbutus - Grater or Graber
From: mountain tyme
Date: 03 Mar 99 - 06:30 PM

Thanks for the try Barbara. No this song story is not what I was looking for. I seem to remember the lyric being the dream of a Civil War lads love back home and how they had entwined before the conflict as he awakes under the Arbutis after being wounded.


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Subject: RE: The Arbutus - Grater or Graber
From: hesperis
Date: 29 Mar 01 - 02:32 PM

Tune?


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Subject: RE: The Arbutus - Grater or Graber
From: Joe Offer
Date: 11 Nov 01 - 09:36 PM

I'm wondering if the story of the Arbutus is strictly the invention of Paddy Graber, or is it a traditional story that Graber tied to Willie O Winsbury?
I discovered an arbutus tree in my fiancee's yard and I told her the story from this song. I thought it was traditional folklore, but maybe it isn't. Where does the Arbutus story come from?

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: The Arbutus - Grater or Graber
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 11 Nov 01 - 10:25 PM

I don't think Graber based it on any specific story, though people used to turn into trees all the time in the old days; a nasty habit which is rather discouraged nowadays.  I suspect that he was thinking of A.P. Graves'  My Love's an Arbutus,  though I could easily be wrong.  The Willie of Winsbury story is just a starting point, and scarcely a word of any traditional text is retained in his song so far as I can tell.

We're still looking for the tune for the DT, incidentally; can anybody tell us what it was?  I referred some time ago to the best-known (nowadays) Willie of Winsbury tune as a possible composition of Andy Irvine's, but I had only partly remembered the story; in fact, he set a text he found in a book (unspecified) to a tune from an unspecified "book of ballads" for a record he made with Anne Briggs, and only realised when it was too late that he'd been looking at the wrong page.  I did a bit of research a while ago, and discovered that the book was (hardly surprisingly) Child's English and Scottish Popular Ballads, and the tune really belonged to Fause Foodrage; the tune for Willie was on the next page but one.

Nobody seems to have realised that at the time (and I've never seen anybody make the point since, for that matter) so it's perfectly possible that Graber may have used that tune under the impression that it was appropriate; alternatively, he may have made up a completely different one of his own.  Somebody please tell us!


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Subject: RE: The Arbutus - Grater or Graber
From: Deckman
Date: 11 Nov 01 - 10:42 PM

I will contact the late John Dwyers daughter and ask if she has any informatin about this. I well remember John singing this ballad. CHEERS, Bob


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Subject: RE: The Arbutus - Grater or Graber
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 11 Nov 01 - 11:36 PM

Joe has kindly sent me a sound file of Gordon Bok's recording, and it's the Fause Foodrage tune that I suspected, only very slightly modified.  I'll work up a midi for the DT file.


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Subject: RE: The Arbutus - Grater or Graber
From: Deckman
Date: 11 Nov 01 - 11:46 PM

To Jon Bartlett ... I last saw Paddy Grabber 2 or 3 years ago at The Northwest Folkife Festival (known locally as the Seattle forklift festival)! Last I heard he was living in Surray, B.C. Could you get in touch with him to chase this saga down? CHEERS, Bob Nelson, Everett, Wa.


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Subject: RE: The Arbutus - Grater or Graber
From: GUEST,Susy
Date: 12 Nov 01 - 12:12 AM

John Dwyer got it from Paddy Graber and always said it was a relative of Will O' Winsbery. John sang it to Gordon Bok and was very unhappy with the way Gordon chose to record it. He preferred it the way he sang it, as a simple ballad. Paddy Graber will probably be at Seattle Song Circle's Rainy Camp in February and could be asked then either in person or by a letter addressed to Song Circle via Seattle Folklore Society.


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Subject: RE: The Arbutus - Grater or Graber
From: Stewart
Date: 12 Nov 01 - 12:13 PM

I have a tape from Paddy Graber on which he sings the Arbutus. Paddy has told me, and he also says on the tape, that it is a song his mother used to sing at home in Co Kerry. I could try and transcribe the tune. I just listened to it now, and some of what Paddy sings is more spoken, so I'll have to work on it.

S. in Seattle


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE ARBUTUS (Paddy Graber)^^^
From: Stewart
Date: 12 Nov 01 - 12:56 PM

Here are the lyrics. Later I'll work on the tune.

THE ARBUTUS
as sung by Paddy Graber (learned from his mother in Co Kerry)

Old King he has a daughter fair,
And Arbutus is her name
And he has gone a soldiering
To the king of the court of Spain
His harper sang of her gentle grace,
Of her beauty and her fame
And the Spanish King's declared his love,
And begged she might share his name

Old Irish king has hurried back home,
With all speed he could command
And he has told his daughter fair
That he has promised her hand
Her lovely eyes they filled with tears
And her cheeks blushed scarlet red
Oh father dear, I can't marry him,
In truth I'd rather be dead

Oh, you will do as I command,
I swear upon my sword
Go dress yourself in Bride's array,
I'll hear not another word
But father dear, I love a man,
Willoff Windsper (sp ?) is his name
And I'll not leave my own true love
For the hand of the King of Spain

I swear you were a virgin fair
And my Chiefs did all agree
I command you now, cast off your gown,
That we might examine thee
Oh father dear don't shame me so,
I would rather you see me dead
Before you'd let your noble Chiefs
Search for my maidenhead

Cast off, cast off that berry brown gown
And stand upon that stone
For if ye be a virgin fair,
The truth it must be made known
Then she cast off her berry brown gown,
And the gown she let fall free
Yet here its hem it touched the ground,
She changed into a tree

Her love became that gentle sea breeze,
Through her branches he did play
And she has shed her soft brown bark
Until this very day

S. in Seattle^^^


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Subject: RE: The Arbutus - Grater or Graber
From: Joe Offer
Date: 12 Nov 01 - 03:34 PM

The version in the Digital Tradition is only slightly different. I think it's probably a transcription from Gordon Bok's recording. I think I'll submit the Graber version also and see what Dick wants to do with it. Any corrections or other information you can give us, Stewart?
Are there other sources for the "Arbutus" version of Child 100, or is Graber the only source?
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: The Arbutus - Grater or Graber
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 12 Nov 01 - 04:46 PM

Well, this is certainly getting confusing.  As I said earlier, the Fause Foodrage tune that Andy Irvine fitted by accident to Willie o' Winsbury is the tune used by Gordon Bok for Arbutus.  Prior to 1971, when Anne Briggs recorded Willie to the tune supplied by Irvine, it seems pretty unlikely that it would have been used by anyone else for a Winsbury variant, or for a song based on it; tunes found in tradition for the Child #100 family bear no resemblance to it.

Of course, Paddy Graber doesn't seem to have sung the song before 1974; did he use that tune, or another?  We now have two different accounts of its origin, both apparently from Mr. Graber (the only source for this song); I'd guess that further speculation on that front is fairly pointless until somebody can ask him directly, though on the face of it it seems unlikely to be a traditional song as such.

I've made a provisional midi from the Bok recording; heaven knows what the time-signature ought to be (my musical theory is very rudimentary) but it's recognisable enough.  Would Stewart confirm whether or not Paddy Graber used the same tune?  I'm not at present concerned if it's exactly right or not, just trying to establish a general correspondence.

Arbutus


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE ARBUTUS TREE (Paddy Graber)
From: Stewart
Date: 12 Nov 01 - 05:20 PM

Well, I rechecked my transcription of the lyrics from Paddy and compared to those in the DT (I don't know why I didn't look it up in the DT earlier) and have just a few corrections, so I'll post the corrected version below.

I also transcribed Paddy's talking about the song that I have on his tape. Paddy still talks with a nice Irish accent (not too thick) and is a delightful story-teller. Here is his background on the song:

"One of the songs I often heard my mother sing was The Arbutus Tree. Now, in and around our home, there's rocks and boulders, trees and old buildings, and in fact almost anything that you could possibly think of. There's songs and stories and poems made about them, usually to pass on a thought or concept, or to explain how they came about. And the arbutus tree, in the States it's known as the madrona, but in Ireland and also here in Canada it's known as the arbutus. The arbutus sheds it's bark the whole year round, and of course there has to be a reason for it. And we used to have an arbutus tree on our farm in Kilkeen (sp?), County Kerry. And it has to grow on very, very rocky soil, usually on an outcrop, and the sea breeze has to blow through the branches to be able to make it work, or at least make it grow halfway decently. Anyway, this is the song that explains how it came to be." Paddy Graber, Vacouver, B.C. Canada.

THE ARBUTUS TREE
as sung by Paddy Graber (learned from his mother in Ireland)

Our King he has a daughter fair,
and Arbutus is her name
And he has gone a soldiering
to the court of the king of Spain
His harper sang of her gentle grace,
of her beauty and her fame
And the Spanish King's declared his love,
and begged she might share his name

Our Irish king has hurried back home,
with all speed he could command
And he has told his daughter fair that he has promised her hand
Her lovely eyes they filled with tears
and her cheeks blushed scarlet red
Oh father dear, I can't marry him,
in truth I'd rather be dead

Oh, you will do as I command,
I swear upon my sword
Go dress yourself in Bride's array,
I'll hear not another word
But father dear, I love a man,
Will of Winsboro is his name
And I'll not leave my own true love
for the hand of the King of Spain

I swear you were a virgin fair
and my Chiefs did all agree
I command you now, cast off your gown,
that we might examine thee
Oh father dear don't shame me so,
I would rather you see me dead
Before you'd let your noble Chiefs
search for my maidenhead

Cast off, cast off that berry brown gown
and stand upon that stone
For if ye be a virgin fair,
the truth it must be made known
Then she cast off her berry brown gown,
and the gown she let fall free
Yet ere its hem it touched the ground,
she changed into a tree

Her love became that gentle sea breeze,
through her branches he did play
And she has shed her soft brown bark
until this very day.

Malcolm, The tune Paddy used is similar, but slightly different, from the tune you posted. Certainly they are related. I'll transcribe Paddy's tune and post it later. I'm sure Paddy's song goes back a long time. Most of his songs, he tells me, are versions that were in his family, at least in the early 1900's if not earlier.

Cheers, S. in Seattle


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Subject: RE: The Arbutus - Grater or Graber
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 12 Nov 01 - 05:46 PM

Thanks for that, Stewart.  Mind you, I'm even more puzzled, now; this sort of coincidence is vanishingly rare.  The tune Andy Irvine grafted onto Willie was a Scottish one belonging to a completely different song (from Christie's Traditional Ballad Airs of 1876-81) and how it came to be in Paddy Graber's family attached to a song based on Willie (and incorporating a plot development never found in any other version) prior to Irvine's involvement is rather a mystery.  I'm not doubting Mr. Graber, but it all seems very odd.


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Subject: RE: The Arbutus - Grater or Graber
From: Stewart
Date: 12 Nov 01 - 06:58 PM

OK, here's the tune I transcribed from Paddy Graber's singing of The Arbutus CLICK HERE. And the nwc file with the first verse CLICK HERE. The end of the second phrase is a little muddled because Paddy half speaks/sings it there. But it is certainly a variant of Malcolm's tune.

I'll be seeing Paddy again at Rainy Camp around the 1st of Feb and will ask him about it then.

Cheers, S. in Seattle


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Subject: RE: The Arbutus - Grater or Graber
From: Deckman
Date: 12 Nov 01 - 07:28 PM

Thanks for all your work Stewart ...and please tell Paddy "HOWDY" for me. CHEERS, Bob, up in Everett


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Subject: RE: The Arbutus - Grater or Graber
From: Barbara
Date: 13 Nov 01 - 07:58 AM

That Paddy is a character and a raconteur is not in doubt. I have long suspected that he is perfectly capable of making up both a song and a story about it. It's part of the his tradition, isn't it? I have heard him sing a song that he claims is a couple hundred years old about something terrible that happens to a kosher sporran (something like that), and how likely is either the song or the story to be true?
I have also tried to fit together all the various things he tells about his personal history and make them match world history without much luck. Would the man be bending the facts for to make a good tale? It seems possible.
Also, he is up in years -- I think he says he's pushing 90 -- and the stroke a couple years back has affected his ability to remember songs and tunes.
He is a gold mine of words and tunes, and he can talk both hind legs off a donkey, this slightly built, childlike man with a cane, a bad eye and an amazing ability to do bird calls. I often find myself making excuses to get away.
I expect to be at Rainy Camp this year, too, so I'll see you all then.
Blessings,
Barbara


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Subject: RE: The Arbutus - Grater or Graber
From: Alice
Date: 06 Jan 02 - 12:57 PM

I'm thoroughly confused by this thread - is the tune in the DT that is under the title Willie O' Winsbury the same as Arbutus, or not? Why is Arbutus still listed as Child #100 ballad if the tune is different?


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Subject: RE: The Arbutus - Grater or Graber
From: Don Firth
Date: 06 Jan 02 - 03:14 PM

Alice, the tune that Paddy Graber sings is not the same one that's attached to Willie of Winsbury in the DT. If you listen to the links posted by Malcolm Douglas (12-Nov-01 - 04:46 PM ) and Stewart (12-Nov-01 - 04:46 PM), and sort of split the difference, you'll have it pretty close. When Paddy sings it, he occasionally varies a note or two here and there.

Child numbers are based, not on the tune, but on the basic story line, leaving room for what may appear at first glance to be substantial differences. When Child put a group of ballads under the same number, it was because he had concluded after thorough analysis that they were all variations that had sprung from a common source. Hence, Lord Randal, Jimmy Randall, Wee Croodlin' Doo, and (believe it or not!) Billie Boy (a parody) are all Child #12. A friend of mine did a research paper on Lord Randal and found over 1,013 different versions, all telling the same basic story and containing many of the same elements (e.g.question and answer dialog, with at least one line ending with the word "mother"). He found variations all over Europe, in the Middle East, and on down to North Africa, in many different languages. Some of the old ballads really got around.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: The Arbutus - Grater or Graber
From: Stewart
Date: 06 Jan 02 - 04:11 PM

It seems the link I posted above to the midi has morphed and no longer works. So here's a link to my web page posting of Arbutus which contains a link to the midi here.

Cheers, S. in Seattle


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Subject: Tune Add: THE ARBUTUS (Paddy Graber)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 06 Jan 02 - 07:23 PM

And here's Stewart's MIDI in MIDItext
-Joe Offer-

MIDI file: ARBUTUS.MID

Timebase: 192

Name: The Arbutus
Text: By tr. from Paddy Graber by Stewart Hendrickson
Tempo: 100 (600000 microsec/crotchet)
TimeSig: 6/8 24 8
Key: F
Start
0000 1 60 110 0094 0 60 000 0002 1 60 110 0160 0 60 000 0032 1 65 110 0094 0 65 000 0002 1 65 110 0160 0 65 000 0032 1 67 110 0094 0 67 000 0002 1 69 110 0160 0 69 000 0032 1 69 110 0094 0 69 000 0002 1 67 110 0160 0 67 000 0032 1 65 110 0046 0 65 000 0002 1 64 110 0046 0 64 000 0002 1 62 110 0160 0 62 000 0032 1 67 110 0094 0 67 000 0002 1 64 110 0160 0 64 000 0032 1 60 110 0094 0 60 000 0002 1 62 110 0256 0 62 000 0224 1 65 110 0094 0 65 000 0002 1 65 110 0160 0 65 000 0032 1 64 110 0094 0 64 000 0002 1 62 110 0160 0 62 000 0032 1 60 110 0094 0 60 000 0002 1 57 110 0160 0 57 000 0032 1 62 110 0094 0 62 000 0002 1 57 110 0160 0 57 000 0032 1 57 110 0046 0 57 000 0002 1 55 110 0046 0 55 000 0002 1 55 110 0160 0 55 000 0032 1 53 110 0046 0 53 000 0002 1 53 110 0046 0 53 000 0002 1 53 110 0160 0 53 000 0032 1 55 110 0094 0 55 000 0002 1 57 110 0094 0 57 000 0002 1 62 110 0160 0 62 000
End

This program is worth the effort of learning it.

To download the latest version of MIDItext and get instructions on how to use it click here

ABC format:

X:1
T:The Arbutus
M:6/8
Q:1/4=100
K:F
CC2FF2|GA2AG2|F/2E/2D2GE2|CD5|FF2ED2|CA,2DA,2|
A,/2G,/2G,2F,/2F,/2F,2|G,A,D13/8||


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Subject: RE: The Arbutus - Grater or Graber
From: Alice
Date: 06 Jan 02 - 07:36 PM

Yes, Don, I understand about variations of songs having the same number in the Child ballads. My question is regarding the use of the "Fause Foodrage", as Malcolm pointed out (his post of 12/Nov/01). When I tried the link posted earlier, it didn't work any more, so that is one reason I refreshed the thread.

Alice


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Subject: RE: The Arbutus - Grater or Graber
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 06 Jan 02 - 09:04 PM

With all due respect to Paddy, I can't believe his story about this song, given what we know so far.  I'd be grateful for anything he might care to add to this discussion, particularly if it clears up the confusion we face at present. If I am wrong, I would be glad to know it; if I am not, it would be good to have the truth on record.


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Subject: RE: The Arbutus - Grater or Graber
From: GUEST,robinia
Date: 07 Jan 02 - 08:26 AM

Just to add to the mystique of the song. When I first came to Seattle, I was very taken with Discovery Park and the nude young woman artistically perched in one of its bluffside madrona (arbutus) trees. She explained that she was posing for her boyfriend and got tired of climbing down every time a walker appeared; so she stayed put while we talked and discovered that we'd both moved to Seattle from Pittsburgh... She'd never heard the ballad or the story of the maiden turned into arbutus tree; she'd just picked the perfect tree. So now, when I hear the song, I think of the legend ... and how beautifully a natural redhead can fit into the sinuous limbs of a full-grown madrona (which sheds red bark to bare a smooth pea-green "skin"). I hope her boyfriend got some good shots; it was a lovely picture...


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Subject: RE: The Arbutus - Grater or Graber
From: GUEST,del@unb.ca
Date: 16 Jan 02 - 08:25 AM

My mother remembers an old song with the a line something like this- my loves an arbutus by the borders of leen.

Does anyone have any idea what the name of the song is. I'm interested in getting the lyrics for the whole song.

Thank sDebbie


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Subject: RE: The Arbutus - Grater or Graber
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 16 Jan 02 - 10:16 AM

That's My Love's an Arbutus, a poem by A.P Graves, set to a traditional tune the name of which I foreget.  If nobody deals with it meanwhile, I'll see to it when I have a chance.


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Subject: RE: The Arbutus - Grater or Graber
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 16 Jan 02 - 01:58 PM

Bob, Don, et al,

I remember Dad's singing this song, and I remember his interest in the work of Bok, but Susy is the best source on how the two mingled. I have boxes and boxes of words and tapes and albums that have yet to be opened and organized. Soon, very soon. . .

Say "hi!" to Paddy for me, one of you, at Rainy Camp.

Maggie


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Subject: RE: The Arbutus - Grater or Graber
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Jun 04 - 08:45 PM

I was listening to a double CD "Troubadours of Folk" yesterday and one of the songs is called "Willie of Winsbury" by Sweeneys Men, sung I think by Andy Irvine, later of Planxty. I recognised it as the same tune used for "Farewell Farewell" written by Richard Thompson of Fairport Convention, which appeared on the Fairport album "Liege and Lief" and was sung by the late Sandy Denny (who also sings a nice version of the gospel "This Train" on the Troubadours CD. Apparently Liege and Lief was released in 1969 so it predates Paddy Grabers 1974 tune.

Concerning the Arbutus, last week (17th and 18th June) I saw the Arbutus (or "Strawberry Tree") around the Lakes of Killarney, Co. Kerry, in the Republic of Ireland. In the British Isles it only grows as a native in parts of Kerry (chiefly the Killarney Lakes and nearby hills), parts of West Cork, and near Lough Gill in Co. Sligo. Otherwise it is associated with SW Europe. It is also sometimes planted in parks and arboretums and may sometimes escape from cultivation as in North Wales and parts of Southern England.

It can be recognised from quite a distance by the bright green glossy foliage, somewhat resembling a willow (it is also about the size of a largish willow tree). Very unusually for a tree it flowers in autumn, and the somewhat strawberry-like fruits form through the winter and next spring; I saw several fruits myself. The specific Latin name, "unedo" means "I eat (only) one", indicating that one fruit is enough.

It seems to prefer rocky areas though is indifferent to acid (eg granote or sandstone) or alkaline (limestone) soils, though it seems to prefer the lower lying more sheltered areas and avoids exposed hillsides. Apparently it was more common in Ireland several centuries ago but declined due to its use for charcoal (apparently their is a place name in Co. Mayo which indicates the former presence of Arbutus, this forming a link between the nearby Lough Gill in Sligo and the much more distant sites in Kerry, etc.

As far as I remember there were no Nude ladies (!!!) in the branches of the Arbutus trees I saw, though I was looking mostly for 2 rare dragonflies which occur at Killarney, 1 of which occurs nowhere else in Ireland and the other probably only occuring at 1 site in Co. Cork. Although I was unsuccessful at seeing either species in Killarney, I did see the latter species at the Co. Cork site.

Someone mentioned their mother knowing of a song with the line "My love's an Arbutus by the borders of Leen". Possibly there is some connection with Lough Leane (also known as the Lower Lake of Killarney, where the Arbutus also grows). Apparently though the name Leane may be derived from a person who mined copper, etc, in the area. There are the remains of a Bronze Age Copper Mine on Ross Island in the Lower Lake where Copper and other metals were mined from about 4000 years ago (and also commerically for some years until the earlier part of the 19th century). Perhaps as a result of the minerals, 2 characteristic seaside plants, Sea Pink (Thrift) and Sea Campion, grow around the area of the old mines, which are otherwise rare or unknown inland though common on the coast.

Here endeth the (Botany) lesson. Anyway, it is a lovely if sad tune.


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Subject: RE: The Arbutus - Grater or Graber
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 23 Jun 04 - 09:36 PM

I've explained in this thread (or another; there are several on the subject) that the tune Andy Irvine used for Willy of Winsbury really belonged to a completely different song: Fause Foudrage. It is a Scottish tune; he inadvertently copied it from the wrong page in Child's English and Scottish Popular Ballads. It doesn't belong, traditionally, to Willy at all.

I don't for a minute believe Paddy Graber's claim that he learned Arbutus from his mother; and especially not to that tune. I'm pretty sure that he made it up all by himself; but it appears that he won't say, which is a pity; it isn't bad work.

The other Arbutus referred to was written by Alfred Percival Graves, to a traditional Irish melody; but that, too, has been gone into in detail elsewhere, and the information can easily be found via the onsite search engine.


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Subject: RE: The Arbutus - Grater or Graber
From: Stewart
Date: 23 Jun 04 - 09:49 PM

Paddy Graber has recorded this song, The Arbutus, with commentary on his new CD "Paddy Graber - The Craic Was Great." More information is HERE. You can judge for yourself. Personally, I find it a very nice song, regardless of where it comes from.

Cheers, S. in Seattle


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Subject: RE: The Arbutus - Grater or Graber
From: GUEST
Date: 24 Jun 04 - 07:14 AM

Fause Foodrage - sounds like a psychosomatic ailment?

I wonder whether the poet Alfred Perceval Graves mentioned above was related to the poet Robert Graves? The reason I say this is I know that the latter was the half brother of Philip Perceval Graves, a journalist (responsible apparently for the uncovering of the Antisemitic "Protocols of (The Learned Elders of) Zion" as a forgery by Russian (Tsarist era) police thugh apparently based on an earlier Antimasonic tract from Napoleonic times).

Philip P. Graves was I think from Co. Kerry, home of the Arbutus tree in Ireland and was also known as an entomologist ("Bug Hunter" to Mudcatters).


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Subject: RE: The Arbutus - Grater or Graber
From: semi-submersible
Date: 24 Jun 04 - 08:04 PM

More botany:
Some of my neighbours in SW British Columbia observed that if you try to transplant a small Arbutus menzeisii, you need to make sure you replant it with the same compass orientation. I guess it is a shock for an observant young tree to find the sun suddenly shining from the wrong side...


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Subject: RE: The Arbutus - Grater or Graber
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 24 Jun 04 - 09:56 PM

Alfred Percival Graves was Robert's father. A century ago he was very well known indeed.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Arbutus - Grater or Graber
From: kendall
Date: 20 Aug 04 - 07:44 PM

There are some questions about this song, one of them is; how did the king swear she was a virgin, and how did his chiefs know to agree? Can't imagine a father acting like that, He'd be locked up today!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Arbutus - Grater or Graber
From: GUEST
Date: 20 Aug 04 - 08:04 PM

Minor correction - Philip Perceval Graves was from Ballylickey near Bantry, Co. Cork, though he certainly did visit Co. Kerry as a naturalist. The Arbutus also grows in West Cork near Glengarriff, where I have seen it.


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