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Origins: Is Green Sleeves really Irish?

DigiTrad:
GREENSLEEVES
GREENSTAMPS
LADY GREENSLEEVES


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Mary Lebus 03 Mar 99 - 08:04 PM
Bruce O. 03 Mar 99 - 09:30 PM
Pete M 03 Mar 99 - 09:53 PM
Bruce O. 03 Mar 99 - 10:16 PM
Bruce O. 03 Mar 99 - 10:28 PM
Bruce O. 03 Mar 99 - 10:57 PM
Bob Bolton 04 Mar 99 - 01:35 AM
Mary Fitzgerald 04 Mar 99 - 08:14 AM
Bruce O. 04 Mar 99 - 11:15 AM
mm 04 Mar 99 - 03:43 PM
Scotty Rotten 04 Mar 99 - 05:10 PM
Bruce O. 04 Mar 99 - 06:26 PM
Zorro 05 Mar 99 - 11:36 AM
Bruce O. 05 Mar 99 - 12:17 PM
Helen 05 Mar 99 - 05:48 PM
j0_77 06 Mar 99 - 12:18 AM
Don Meixner 06 Mar 99 - 02:05 AM
Ferrara 06 Mar 99 - 02:34 PM
Bruce O. 06 Mar 99 - 03:16 PM
08 Mar 99 - 04:46 PM
j0_77 08 Mar 99 - 06:45 PM
Bruce O. 08 Mar 99 - 08:25 PM
An observer 08 Mar 99 - 09:25 PM
Bruce O. 08 Mar 99 - 09:48 PM
j0_77 08 Mar 99 - 10:37 PM
Bruce O. 08 Mar 99 - 11:32 PM
j0_77 08 Mar 99 - 11:54 PM
Pete M 09 Mar 99 - 02:56 PM
Philippa 11 Mar 99 - 12:06 PM
Steve Parkes 11 Mar 99 - 12:26 PM
Bruce O. 11 Mar 99 - 01:20 PM
j0_77 11 Mar 99 - 01:49 PM
j0_77 11 Mar 99 - 01:58 PM
Jerry Friedman 11 Mar 99 - 03:56 PM
Jerry again 11 Mar 99 - 04:11 PM
catspaw49 11 Mar 99 - 04:58 PM
Bruce O. 11 Mar 99 - 05:24 PM
Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca 11 Mar 99 - 09:11 PM
GUEST,dalton@vet.upenn.edu 20 Apr 04 - 09:30 AM
Pied Piper 20 Apr 04 - 10:11 AM
Georgiansilver 20 Apr 04 - 10:39 AM
pavane 20 Apr 04 - 12:21 PM
s&r 20 Apr 04 - 12:36 PM
GUEST,JTT 20 Apr 04 - 01:10 PM
GUEST,JTT 20 Apr 04 - 01:14 PM
GUEST,Obie 20 Apr 04 - 05:04 PM
GUEST,sorefingers 20 Apr 04 - 05:26 PM
Betsy 21 Apr 04 - 09:27 AM
GUEST,leeneia 21 Apr 04 - 09:32 PM
Malcolm Douglas 21 Apr 04 - 09:56 PM
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Subject: Was Green Sleeves originally an Irish Tune?
From: Mary Lebus
Date: 03 Mar 99 - 08:04 PM

I've been told that Green Sleeves is based on an old Irish Tune. I was told that the Gaelic title had the word Mountain in it. Does anyone know anything about this? TIA, Mary


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Subject: RE: Is Green Sleeves really Irish?
From: Bruce O.
Date: 03 Mar 99 - 09:30 PM

What old Irish tune? The oldest Irish tune known is "Callino" which goes back to 1582, but "Greensleeves" goes back to 1580.


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Subject: RE: Is Green Sleeves really Irish?
From: Pete M
Date: 03 Mar 99 - 09:53 PM

The commonly accepted origin is that is was composed by Henry VIII, but I don't know if there is any documentary proof. Bruce can you add anything?

Pete M


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Subject: RE: Is Green Sleeves really Irish?
From: Bruce O.
Date: 03 Mar 99 - 10:16 PM

There's an old thread with info on "Greensleeves", maybe a mont or so before Christmas, 1997. Forum Search may be necesary to find it. No reference to "Greensleves" prior to the Stationers' Register entry of the ballad in early Sept. 1580 has ever been found. That King Henry bit is romantic nonsense for which there is no evidence at all, but there are always those to whom evidence or lack of it has no bearing at all on their cherished beliefs.


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Subject: RE: Is Green Sleeves really Irish?
From: Bruce O.
Date: 03 Mar 99 - 10:28 PM

Credit where credit is due. It was Hyder E. Rollins in the notes to the song of Greensleeves in his reprint of 'A Handefull of Pleasant Delites' (1924?) that cited all the Stationers' Register entries relevant to Greensleeves and showed it was obviously not in the now lost earlier edition of The Handfull.. (under a different name) that established that Greensleeves was a new song in 1580, and the song and tune were unknown earlier.


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Subject: RE: Is Green Sleeves really Irish?
From: Bruce O.
Date: 03 Mar 99 - 10:57 PM

The old thread is of Nov. 1997, 'Greensleeves History of', but just 'Greensleeves' in Forum Search will find it.


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Subject: RE: Is Green Sleeves really Irish?
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 04 Mar 99 - 01:35 AM

G'day Mary Lebus and all,

I have seen somewhere, in some learned musical tome, Greensleeves described as a typical example of the sort of Italian Violin tunes that arrived in England with the new-fangled violin and its attendant bunch of Italian violin masters in the 16th century ... the same time at which, according to this book, the traditional music of most of Britain was buried under new tunes that suited the radically new instrument.

Regards,

Bob Bolton


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Subject: RE: Is Green Sleeves really Irish?
From: Mary Fitzgerald
Date: 04 Mar 99 - 08:14 AM

I asked Gaelic speaker Bill Maguire of the Memphis Dulcimer Festival what he thought. He did note that Grian Sliabh (pronounced Green Sleeve) may indeed be a couple of Irish words. Grian = sun, and sliabh = mountain. As far as the Henry VIII connection, I believe he may have maintained a couple Irish harpers at his court. If he's responsible for the absolutely dreadful lyrics in English, one may speculate that he put them to a perfectly decent Irish tune! He is also supposed to have compared Ireland to an Irish harp, something in regard to the difficulty of keeping the country in tune, but you'll need to contact a more compleat scholar than me for an exact quote!


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Subject: RE: Is Green Sleeves really Irish?
From: Bruce O.
Date: 04 Mar 99 - 11:15 AM

I have no doubt that more Irish tunes than "Callino" were known in England in the 16th century, and I've made a case for "Bragandary" and cited evidence that the McPeake's "Monaghan Fair" was that sung in England about 1597, as "Derry's Fair", (both on my website) but without evidence I take speculations to be just that much more hot air to be ignored.

The earliest copies of "Greensleeves" and "Callino" are in lute tablature, as are many other 16th century tunes in England. What tablature was used for violins in 16th century England and where are examples of such to be found?


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Subject: RE: Is Green Sleeves really Irish?
From: mm
Date: 04 Mar 99 - 03:43 PM

Sliabh (pronounced kind of like sleeve) is the Irish for mountain; however, many tunes were played promiscuously in Ireland, England, Scotland, Wales, Brittany, the Basque country, Scandinavia etc, when people sailed around a lot...


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Subject: RE: Is Green Sleeves really Irish?
From: Scotty Rotten
Date: 04 Mar 99 - 05:10 PM

I think it has been said that Greensleeves was written by a lute composer named John Johnson while serving as Lutenist for the King or Queen of England...Johnson also wrote some variations on it ...so did Francis Cutting...these two were active in the late 16th- early 17th century...if you come across these give them a listen, they're exceptional!...Scotty


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Subject: RE: Is Green Sleeves really Irish?
From: Bruce O.
Date: 04 Mar 99 - 06:26 PM

Francis Cutting's variations on "Greensleeves" are in Cambridge University MS Dd.3.18 fol. 8v (lute) and Dd.4.12 fol. 25 (cittern). John Ward has noted that "Greensleeves" is a descant on the romanesca ground, and gave a setting for two lutes of the treble and ground from Folger Shakespeare Library MS 1610.1, f. 5 in 'Music for a Handefull of Pleasant Delites', Journal of the American Musicological Society, X, 157 (1957). Being of no fixed melody, "Greensleeves" was somwhat different each time it was set down.

John Ward in 'Music for Elizabethan Lutes' I, 1992, Appendix F gives an inventory of John Johnson's lute scores, which does not include "Greensleeves". Appendix G is a discography of recordings of Johnson's music, but he points out for one by Anthony Rooley and James Tyler that includes "Greensleeves", that the tune is misattributed to Johnson, and should be 'anon'.


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Subject: RE: Is Green Sleeves really Irish?
From: Zorro
Date: 05 Mar 99 - 11:36 AM

I think I've mentioned this before but here it is again: An old folk singer, teacher Ed Badeaux told me that the song was written by a minstrel who fell in love with a lady who worked in the fields. The custom was for the ladies to wear long sleeve white blouses to protect their arms from the sun. The sleeves would turn green as they worked. I play the song, but don't sing it. Each time I tell Ed's story because Ed believed it to be true and I believed Ed. One time, some guy told me that it was indeed written about King Henry's wife as she had scars on her arms and wore long, green sleeved dresses to hide the scars. I like Ed's story better. It sounds more folksy. Z


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Subject: RE: Is Green Sleeves really Irish?
From: Bruce O.
Date: 05 Mar 99 - 12:17 PM

I don't see how anyone who knew the full version of "Greensleeves" (given on the other 'History' tread) could maintain that the lady worked in the fields. She is much closer to being a courtesan. There seems to be a much larger mythology of "Greensleeves" than history of Greensleeves. Where facts are wanting it does't take too much immagination to fill the gaps with plausable fictions.


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Subject: RE: Is Green Sleeves really Irish?
From: Helen
Date: 05 Mar 99 - 05:48 PM

Hi all,

Here is a site with the midi file of Greensleeves Variations. I don't know whether it is the same as the ones mentioned above, but it is well worth a listen. http://midiworld.com/earlymus.htm

For what it is worth, the Greensleeves tune never struck me as being particularly Irish - it reminds me more of the courtly dances e.g. French or Italian style of music. This is just my opinion (i.e. no fact involved whatsoever).

Helen


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Subject: RE: Is Green Sleeves really Irish?
From: j0_77
Date: 06 Mar 99 - 12:18 AM

hey wow man - noddy noddy noe!!! silly silly very silly I mean how could one even begin to trace the origin of a strain/theme - there are likely bundles of tunes like the Green Sl one and they too are difficult to trace. Come to think of it even modern tunes share 'phrases' etc these are sometimes borowed etc. I think all music has no nationality but may have a national charicter according to the player. I go with the accepted origin of the tune viz King Henry. English folk tunes display simple but beautiful structures and this one is a good example. I suppose with added embellishment any tune takes on a new image, then there may be changes to it's rhythm etc making it unrecognizable. The reverse is also possible. Can't now think of good examples. Suppose the 'classical' composers used lots of themes from folk music too. Thas is a fascinating topic. :)


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Subject: RE: Is Green Sleeves really Irish?
From: Don Meixner
Date: 06 Mar 99 - 02:05 AM

Mary,

No.

Don


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Subject: RE: Is Green Sleeves really Irish?
From: Ferrara
Date: 06 Mar 99 - 02:34 PM

I never realized before that there is an entire subdatabase (are you listening, Greenhaus? ... see French folksongs thread ... :) ) of folklore about folksongs. The fact is, we can't tell whether Henry VIII wrote it. He could have, but if so it's likely there would be documentation, if only because he would have wanted to brag about it. But it's the kind of story that gets around very well because it has appeal. I once read that Loch Lomond was written by a Scot who was about to be executed, but that turns out to be pure fakelore.


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Subject: RE: Is Green Sleeves really Irish?
From: Bruce O.
Date: 06 Mar 99 - 03:16 PM

The true facts are rarely as colorful as the fictions, and never get passed along as far, so I have no doubt that the colorful fictions will in most cases win out in the long run.

We are certainly permanently stuck with the nonsense about the Irish union pipes, where Grattan-Flood thought, quite erroneously, that 'union' was a corruption of 'Uillinn' (modern spelling), Gaelic for 'elbow', and so renamed them.

I'm still waiting for a bookseller's search to see if I can get the facsimile reprint edition of Duffy's 'Ballad Poetry of Ireland', 1843, to see what he really said about the connection of "Shule Aroon" with the Wild Geese (and hoping that book is where he said it).


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Subject: RE: Is Green Sleeves really Irish?
From:
Date: 08 Mar 99 - 04:46 PM

A BIG Thanks so much to all of you for your valuable input on Greensleeves. I'll certainly be visiting the archives (when I figure out how, I'm a newbie), and I'll check out the midi files.

Mary


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Subject: RE: Is Green Sleeves really Irish?
From: j0_77
Date: 08 Mar 99 - 06:45 PM

The Union Pipes - it is a battle field. To begin back in the 60's when nobody gave a darn about them they were called the Uillean Pipes. Now everybody and their dog are claiming that 1 The instrument is not really Irish and 2 It not really called a Uillean Pipes. Hmmm I suppose in time the Chinese will adopt Bluegrass and the Russians Klesmer. Uillean is Gaelic for Elbow - the Uillean Pipes means Elbow Pipes as opposed to Bag Pipes which as we all know are blown from the mouth. I am no authority on the subject but do wish to point out that during the evolution of the instrument Ireland was changing it's language to English. Especially 16/17 hundreds. Every student of the Pipes calls it Uillean - those who do not have some political agenda - I can never tell what that is. BTW a Union Pipe is like the modern Uillean Pipes but lacks the Regulators. Hope that helps :)


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Subject: RE: Is Green Sleeves really Irish?
From: Bruce O.
Date: 08 Mar 99 - 08:25 PM

Breandan Breathnach in 'Folk Music & Dances of Ireland', revised edition, 1977 says of the Irish pipes:
"A plausable explaination for the name 'union' is that this [tenor] regulator and the chanter were regarded as being joined together or being in unison with each other." [This 'union happened c 1765-85.

I quote him, also, from his article 'Piper Jackson' in the journal Eigse Cheol Tire (Irish Folk Music Studies), II, p. 41, 1974-75, ".. and while we are at it, it may be no harm to point out that Walker Jackson was a performer on the union (later misnamed uilleann) pipes, but...[on to an account of Ferrar]. Breathnach, quotes two lines of a piece published Mar. 5, 1796, where one Fitzpatrick of Cork in noted to have played Union Pipes.] [Breathnach, d. 1985 or 1986, was himself an expert piper and chairman of Na Piobairi Uilleann.]

Nicolas Carolan in an article 'The Irish Bagpipes' in 'Popular Music in 18th Century Dublin', 1985, says: "Nor is it possible to say when they acquired the name of union pipes, the historically correct name.


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Subject: RE: Is Green Sleeves really Irish?
From: An observer
Date: 08 Mar 99 - 09:25 PM

it is always fun to sit on the sidelines watching a 'battle of quotes and sources'. It is good scholarship to be sure that you are not just looking for reasons to justify what you simply want to believe. That is sort of like throwing the dart, then drawing the bulls eye.

It is my observation that Bruce O.works harder than about anyone I've seen to sort out the truth of the matter-and I have no doubt that if anyone presents hard facts that contradict his position, he will be be the first to acknowlege them.

In the matter at hand, if 'union' preceded 'elbow' as a common name for the pipes, it makes no difference whether "Uillean" is a good name or not (even though it actually is). Pipers will probably always continue to call them 'Uillean', and with good reason, but it just may be that they were called 'union' first.


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Subject: RE: Is Green Sleeves really Irish?
From: Bruce O.
Date: 08 Mar 99 - 09:48 PM

'Union Pipes' were around for a little over a century (c 118 or so years) before Grattan-Flood's 'Uillean' appeared.


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Subject: RE: Is Green Sleeves really Irish?
From: j0_77
Date: 08 Mar 99 - 10:37 PM

I happen to think Green Slieves - is nice on the War Pipes too. Uillean sounds nice but I guess Union sounds nice too I can't decide which I like the best - how bout Villian - or Mule eeeean Pipes :) heee hawww


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Subject: RE: Is Green Sleeves really Irish?
From: Bruce O.
Date: 08 Mar 99 - 11:32 PM

Hey, I didn't say change the name again! I just get tired of the story that they got their name from the pumping by the elbow.


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Subject: RE: Is Green Sleeves really Irish?
From: j0_77
Date: 08 Mar 99 - 11:54 PM

I actually tried a fan and some old vacuum hoses once it was a great fun.


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Subject: RE: Is Green Sleeves really Irish?
From: Pete M
Date: 09 Mar 99 - 02:56 PM

Kinky!!!


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Subject: RE: Is Green Sleeves really Irish?
From: Philippa
Date: 11 Mar 99 - 12:06 PM

If you want more discussion about uillean pipes/ union pipes search this year's correspondence archives at http://listserv.hea.ie/irtrad-l.html It appears the two names are distinct from each other rather than one being a transliteration of the other, the Irish name referring to the bellows pressed by the elbow, the English-language name referring to the union of drones and chanter.
To get back to Greensleeves, a school teacher told us that it the song was about an army camp follower. Has anyone else heard that and does it make sense to you?


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Subject: RE: Is Green Sleeves really Irish?
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 11 Mar 99 - 12:26 PM

I've been led to beleive on several occasions (none of which I can recall to quote as an authority!) that Henry VIII composed quite a bit, this being one of the suitable occupations of a Renaissance gent in between persecuting the Irish and burning Catholics.

Steve


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Subject: RE: Is Green Sleeves really Irish?
From: Bruce O.
Date: 11 Mar 99 - 01:20 PM

King Henry was a musician and songwriter, but I've seen no evidence that he composed any tunes (nor did Wm. Chappell in PMOT). "Pastime with good Company" is a song by Henry VIII with music in BL MS Addl. 5665, (reprinted PMOT) with words only in BL MS Addl. 31922, but there is no evidence that he composed the tune. There are several more songs by Henry VIII in BL MS Addl. 31922 (MS reprinted By Fugel, Anglia XX), but no tunes for them. BL MS Royal Appendix 58, and 'Bassus', 1530, the first English songbook with music, contain songs from his court, but none are attributed to Henry VIII. Where is any evidence that Henry VIII composed a single tune?


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Subject: RE: Is Green Sleeves really Irish?
From: j0_77
Date: 11 Mar 99 - 01:49 PM

Re The autorities on Uillean Pipes - really I am not impressed and besides I feel like I should be an authority also - agreed I was born in the wrong century but heck this is a folk issue and we can forgive that little dent in my credentials. So as an authority I do hereby command - the Muleaaaannn Pipes shall be called Uillean Pipes.

Union Pipes are very rare these days - in fact I believe most examples are in Museums along with the books their fans wrote - also note the fans are in museums too.

Yup Green Slieves is Irish but Good Ole Henry as noted elsewhere just had to have it - along with the 47 or so babes he chopped up after he tired of their 'comforts' hey nonney nonney noe, if there had a been a Mormon Church for this ole rooster he need'nt have chopped up any - come to think of he could'a had a bunch more besides. Let's not even begin to dwell on burning people - what a smelly thing to do. Really. Makes ya sick huh. Rule is if your local rooster has a big appetite - don't be a prudish religion. Or get a smokeless and a good view. Donna .... yup it all happened again - another little cock's ***** so what are we gonna dieeee so it can't happen again? Bosnia , N Ireland, need I go on ...


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Subject: RE: Is Green Sleeves really Irish?
From: j0_77
Date: 11 Mar 99 - 01:58 PM

Oooopzzz - Henry VIII did many things but I am certain he did 'decompose' after he got done composing ...hmmmm


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Subject: RE: Is Green Sleeves really Irish?
From: Jerry Friedman
Date: 11 Mar 99 - 03:56 PM

According to the tutorial in my Recording Session software, the tune of "Greensleeves" has the form of an Italian dance called a passamezzo.


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Subject: RE: Is Green Sleeves really Irish?
From: Jerry again
Date: 11 Mar 99 - 04:11 PM

And Philippa, I didn't see anything in the IRTRAD-L archives that suggested the two words were independent. As "an observer" said, "union" seems to be recorded earlier, so there's a good chance that "uillean" derived from it with the help of folk etymology (just to bring this back on topic), but you can't be sure, and anyway people will call this instrument what they want.


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Subject: RE: Is Green Sleeves really Irish?
From: catspaw49
Date: 11 Mar 99 - 04:58 PM

I am truly impressed with the depth of knowledge/research/interest that all of you have shown in this subject. Where else could one find so many persuasive arguments on a subject that would seem to be so lacking in interest. Reading the title to this post my first inclination, as always, no matter how serious the subject, is a joke or a wisecrack, ie: "Is Greensleeves Really Irish? -- Who the hell cares?

But your arguments and knowledge prove once again that Mudcat is the most unique place on the web. And who wins the is it or isn't it contest? I'm forced to conclude that either a frog's ass is watertight or a chicken has lips.

catspaw


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Subject: RE: Is Green Sleeves really Irish?
From: Bruce O.
Date: 11 Mar 99 - 05:24 PM

[Subject Uillean]
At an exhibit at the Irish Harp Festival in Belfast in 1903, James Williamson 'played magnificently on the Irish pipes'. Also at the festival was an exibit of a 'set of Irish Union pipes'. I don't know where Wm. Grattan Flood first published his theroy that 'union' was a corruption of 'uillean', 'History of Irish Music', 1905, or 'The Story of the Bagpipe', 1911. most probably, but he also wrote numerous artciles.
Francis O'Neill, 'Irish Minstrels and Musicians', 1913, p. 42, refers to Uillean pipes and Grattan Flood, but doesn't give us a reference to Flood's 'Uillean'derivation. O'Neill discounts the story of 'woollen bagpipes' mentioned by Shakespeare, which were suggested to be 'Uillean pipes' (by Grattan Flood?), because Shakespere's 'woollen bagpipes' was a misprint for 'swollen bagpipes'.
O'Neill's chapter 19 is entitled 'Famous Performers on the Irish or Union Pipes'. Where Irish pipes are mentioned in chapter 16, 'Famous Bagpipe Makers', they are called Union pipes. It would appear that O'Neill was skeptical about 'Uillean', but didn't want to offend Flood.
So much was wrong in Grattan Flood's works that modern Irish music schollars rarely mention him at all. Too much of his history was bogus. Great strides have been made since Flood's time by completely ignoring Flood and starting over by finding real evidence.


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Subject: RE: Is Green Sleeves really Irish?
From: Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca
Date: 11 Mar 99 - 09:11 PM

So are "Union" pipes a different animal from "Uillean" pipes?

I suppose we should start a separate pipe thread. I am curious if anyone has ever tried to recreate and play those bizarre, Dr. Seuss-like, pipes that one sees in paintings of the old Dutch masters.


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Subject: RE: Is Green Sleeves really Irish?
From: GUEST,dalton@vet.upenn.edu
Date: 20 Apr 04 - 09:30 AM

Dear Zorro...

Is Ed Badeaux reachable in any way? I have a query about a photo he took.

Thanks,
FD


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Subject: RE: Is Green Sleeves really Irish?
From: Pied Piper
Date: 20 Apr 04 - 10:11 AM

The modern Uillean Pipes Evolved from an instrument called the Pastoral Bagpipe invented around about 1700 in the lowlands of Scotland.It had regulaters.
They only reached their present form in American vaudeville in the late 19th century.

PP


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Subject: RE: Is Green Sleeves really Irish?
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 20 Apr 04 - 10:39 AM

I have an old vinyl LP on which Roger Whittaker sings Greensleeves live...He announces it as a very old English Folk song...but then what would he know..He's Australian!


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Subject: RE: Is Green Sleeves really Irish?
From: pavane
Date: 20 Apr 04 - 12:21 PM

I haven't seen any mention in the above discussion that

a) We are talking about two things, a tune and a song

b) Various different lyrics have been set to the tune

c) The tune is a 3/4 (slowed down) member of a large tune/song family, most of which are in 6/8.
For one well known example, we have 'Shepherd oh Shepherd'

d) The Morris Dance tune Greensleeves is also related, more distantly


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Subject: RE: Is Green Sleeves really Irish?
From: s&r
Date: 20 Apr 04 - 12:36 PM

Isn't Roger Whittaker from South Africa or at any rate the African Continent?


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Subject: RE: Is Green Sleeves really Irish?
From: GUEST,JTT
Date: 20 Apr 04 - 01:10 PM

Does it matter? I've always thought of Greensleeves as an English song. The tune and form certainly sound more English in their presentation than Irish.

But an awful lot of tunes that might be passionately claimed by one country are equally passionately regarded as "mine" by another territory! Look at all the Irish tunes that those damn Eastern Europeans claim as their own, and vice versa!

Play the music and love it for what it is!


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Subject: RE: Is Green Sleeves really Irish?
From: GUEST,JTT
Date: 20 Apr 04 - 01:14 PM

Oh, and by the way, while griann is sun and sliabh is mountain, Irish wears its adjectives the other way around. It would be meaningless as "Griann Sliabh", and if you wanted to say "sunny mountain" it would be something like Sliabh na Gréinne. So I think that one's a non-runner. Or non-sunner.


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Subject: RE: Is Green Sleeves really Irish?
From: GUEST,Obie
Date: 20 Apr 04 - 05:04 PM

Please allow me to prove beyond a doubt that Greensleeves predates 1580 by at least 300 years.
How many remember the old tv show "Robin Hood"?
One of Robins Merrymen was a minstrel who played a lute.
Robin lived in the days of Richard I (The Lion Heart) 1157-1199 AD
Robin's minstrel played Greensleeves on his lute quite often and sometimes sang the lyrics.
Therefore I would deduct that it must date to at least the late 12th century and is English beyond a doubt. LOL :-}


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Subject: RE: Is Green Sleeves really Irish?
From: GUEST,sorefingers
Date: 20 Apr 04 - 05:26 PM

Obie has the proof - so now Mr Gibson you cannot argue with us about it any longer! Therefore Greensleaves is Wanky as well.


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Subject: RE: Is Green Sleeves really Irish?
From: Betsy
Date: 21 Apr 04 - 09:27 AM

How many English ( and Scottish ) songs will it take the Irish to claim as their own before the Irish are finally happy.????


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Subject: RE: Is Green Sleeves really Irish?
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 21 Apr 04 - 09:32 PM

We shall never know. It was a time when people moved about without need for passports or visas, when many musicians were itinerant, when the authorship of a tune by a commoner was unimportant.

We do know, however, that when we sing about love, we don't sing about sleeves. And as a dedicated gardener, I can assure you that white sleeves turn brown, not green, after a while. So I lean toward a Celtic origin with the word "Sliabh" in there somewhere. But we all know I could be wrong.


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Subject: RE: Is Green Sleeves really Irish?
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 21 Apr 04 - 09:56 PM

This is a very old thread, and was pretty pointless in the first place, founded as it was on a bizarre misapprehension. It's a pity that it wasn't allowed to rest in peace, in the oblivion which it deserved. If there is any connection whatever here with the Gaelic sliabh, then I am certainly Genghis Khan.

The idea is ridiculous, and could only could have been suggested by somebody who understood nothing of linguistic or musical history; but folk music studies are bedevilled with such foolishness, as anyone who has spent even a little while looking at such things will know all too well. Everybody is an expert; everybody has a theory. They never seem to have any evidence, curiously enough.

It is time to consign this thread once more to the grave. It was unkind to exhume it; it would be worse to force it to drag on out here in some sort of painful half-life, which is all that is left to it.


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