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Lyr Req: Bushes and Briars

27 Oct 01 - 07:26 AM (#580837)
Subject: Bushes and briars
From: GUEST,David Essame

Hi, I'm trying to track down the words for "Bushes and Briars". It is listed in the traditional songs database, but with no supporting document. Can anyone help?


27 Oct 01 - 08:08 AM (#580846)
Subject: RE: Bushes and briars
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca

From http://www.recmusic.org/lieder/v/volkslieder/bushes.briars.html

Through bushes and through briars I lately took my way;
All for to hear the small birds sing and the lambs to skip and play.
I overheard my own true love, her voice it was so clear;
"Long time I have been waiting for the coming of my dear.
Sometimes I am uneasy and troubled in my mind,
Sometimes I think I'll go to my love and tell to him my mind.
And if I should go to my love, my love he will say nay,
If I show to him my boldness, he'll ne'er love me again."


27 Oct 01 - 09:57 AM (#580883)
Subject: RE: Bushes and briars
From: Malcolm Douglas

t's in the DT, of course, with midi:  BUSHES AND BRIARS:  as noted by Ralph Vaughan Williams from Charles Pottipher of Ingrave, Essex, in December 1903.  It wasn't a chance overhearing, as the DT notes suggest; Vaughan Williams had been specifically invited by the local Vicar's daughters to attend an old people's tea-party their father was giving, so that he could meet some real traditional singers. In fact, he only noted the first verse of Bushes and Briars from Mr. Pottipher, being then new to song-collecting, and later got the rest of the words from a broadside published by Fortey of Seven Dials.

Several broadside editions can be seen at Bodleian Library Broadside Ballads.  For example:

Bushes and briers  Printed between 1858 and 1885 by W.S. Fortey, Monmouth Court, Seven Dials [London].


27 Oct 01 - 01:51 PM (#580964)
Subject: RE: Bushes and briars
From: Lanfranc

The Essex version is perhaps the best known because of its inclusion in the film of Thomas Hardy's "Far From the Madding Crowd". Slightly strange, as the story is set in Dorset, and there is a Dorset version of the song, although not to such a pleasing tune. Fortey's broadside adds four verses which I have never heard sung by any Essex singer, all of whom stick to the four verses shown above, with the last two lines of each verse repeated, and sometimes with the first verse reprised at the end - usually to allow the audience to join in.

Like many other "as I rode out" songs, the words permit the expression of female sentiments and feelings by a male singer (Contrast the first pair of verses with the second pair).


28 Oct 01 - 07:29 AM (#581295)
Subject: RE: Bushes and briars
From: GUEST,Peter from Essex

I never knew that it was used in a film. I thought it was well known because it was the first song collected by RVW.

Drifting off topic a new housing development in Brentwood has a road named after Vaughan Williams.


28 Oct 01 - 05:41 PM (#581548)
Subject: RE: Bushes and briars
From: kytrad (Jean Ritchie)

I believe that the singer in, "Far From the Madding Crowd," was not the one seen to sing it, but was the voice of the lovely, late Isla Cameron. Am I right? Jean


28 Oct 01 - 07:20 PM (#581599)
Subject: RE: Bushes and briars
From: Tattie Bogle

There's a great CD by Jane and Amanda Threlfall (CD title "Morning Tempest") including "Bushes and Briars" and other RVW songs: they recently appeared at "Both Sides the Tweed 2" in Innerleithen - very impressive performance, with excellent accompanists. Tattie B


29 Oct 01 - 12:45 AM (#581731)
Subject: RE: Bushes and briars
From: GUEST,BigDaddy

Yes Jean, you're right! Isla Cameron sang a number of songs used in that film. My favorite was "The Bold Grenadier." "One morning, one morning, one morning in May, I spied a young couple a making of hay..." Other interesting notes about the soundtrack include a flute performance by James Galway (how young must he have been?) and fiddle by Dave Swarbrick.


29 Oct 01 - 04:51 AM (#581784)
Subject: RE: Bushes and briars
From: nutty

The book ..BUSHES AND BRIARS - Folksongs collected by Ralph Vaughan Williams (Edited by Roy Palmer).........second addition, with corrections ........has recently been re-released by Llanerch Press for around £10 . the ISBN number is 1 86143 072 2


29 Oct 01 - 08:28 AM (#581833)
Subject: RE: Bushes and briars
From: Malcolm Douglas

Llanerch Press


29 Oct 01 - 01:13 PM (#582040)
Subject: RE: Bushes and briars
From: KathWestra

Yes, Jean, it was Isla's singing of "Bushes and Briars" in "Far from the Madding Crowd" (one of my all-time favorite movies) that was my introduction not only to the song, but to Isla's singing. It inspired me to seek out and learn the song, which has had remarkable staying power over the years. I love its modal melody. I'm one of those who uses the last two lines of the verse as a refrain line -- in my mind,the only thing better than a good modal melody is the opportunity to sing it with good modal harmony!


21 Nov 03 - 02:30 PM (#1058660)
Subject: Lyr Add: BUSHES AND BRIARS (Sandy Denny)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)

Lyr. Add: BUSHES AND BRIARS (Sandy Denny)
(Thistles and Thorns)

I can't believe that it's so cold
And there ain't been no snow.
The sound of music it comes to me
From every place I go.
Sunday morning there's no one in church,
But the clergy's chosen man
And he is fine, I won't worry about him.
Got the book in his hand.

Oh, there's a bitter east wind, and the fields are swaying,
The crows are 'round their nests.
I wonder what he's in there a saying
To all those souls at rest.
I see the path which leads to the door,
And the clergy's chosen man.
Brushes and briars
You and I,
Where do we stand?

I wonder if he knows I'm here,
Watching the briars grow.
And all these people beneath my shoes,
I wonder if they know.
There was a time when every last one,
Knew a clergy's chosen man.
Where are they now?
Thistles and thorns,
Among the sand.

I can't believe that it's so cold
And there ain't been no snow.
The sound of music, it comes to me
From every place I go.
Sunday morning there's no one in church,
But the clergy's chosen man.
Bushes and briars,
Thistles and thorns
Upon the land.

Copyright Sandy Denny, U. F. O. Music, 1972.
Scroll down for chords and lyrics: Bushes and Briars
(www.informatik.uni-hamburg.de/~zierke/sandy.denny)
Cover by No Grey Faith also given.


22 Nov 03 - 01:58 PM (#1059162)
Subject: Lyr Add: BUSHES AND BRIARS / BUSHES AND BRIERS
From: Jim Dixon

Transcribed from the broadside images at Bodleian Library Broadside Ballads.

BUSHES AND BRIERS (sic)

Through bushes and through briers I lately took my way,
All for to hear the small birds sing, and the lambs to skip and play.
I overheard my own true-love. Her voice it was so clear.
Long time I have been waiting for the coming of my dear.

I drew myself to a tree, a tree that did look green,
Where the leaves shaded over us. We scarcely could be seen.
I sat myself down by my love till she began to mourn.
I'm of this opinion that my heart is not my own.

Sometimes I am uneasy and troubled in my mind.
Sometimes I'll think I'll go to my love and tell to him my mind.
And if I should go to my love, my love he will say nay.
I show to him my boldness, he'd ne'er love me again.

I cannot think the reason young women love young men,
For they are so false hearted young women to trepan,*
For they are so false hearted young women to trepan,
So the green grave shall see me, for I can't love that man.

[*Trepan – Archaic - tr.v. -To trap; ensnare.]


22 Nov 03 - 02:59 PM (#1059174)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Bushes and briars
From: Malcolm Douglas

Which one? Here is a list of their holdings: Bushes and briers


22 Nov 03 - 04:56 PM (#1059226)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Bushes and briars
From: Jim Dixon

I looked at them all and they were practically identical.

If you find any differences, feel free to post them.


22 Nov 03 - 05:38 PM (#1059245)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Bushes and briars
From: Q (Frank Staplin)

In the Bodleian Colection, the last lines of the one with the earliest verifiable date are:
The green grave shall please me
If I can't have that man.
Harding B11(498), 1813-1838.

The one copied by Jim Dixon probably is Firth c.18(141), 1858-1885, Catnac (sic) Press by W. S. Fortney, London, with the last lines:
So the green grave shall see me,
For I can't love that man.

A shift in meaning here.

Brier is the preferred spelling so does not deserve (sic); briar is a variant.
Vide Webster's Collegiate and OED. Briar is later, but has become equally common. Both descend from brere, still found in dialect according to the OED.


25 Nov 03 - 12:05 AM (#1060364)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Bushes and briars
From: Jim Dixon

Here's what my American Heritage Dictionary says:

bri·er also bri·ar n. Any of several prickly plants, such as certain rosebushes or the greenbrier.
bri·ar also bri·er n. 1. A Mediterranean shrub or small tree (Erica arborea) whose hard, woody roots are used to make tobacco pipes. 2. A pipe made from the root of this plant or from a similar wood.

I was ignorant of the distinction between briar and brier until now. Thanks for calling my attention to it.

I realize a British dictionary might have a different take on it, but I don't own one.

Anyway, by using the word "sic" I didn't mean to label "brier" as an error. I only wanted to call attention to the fact that the spelling in the broadside was different from the spelling in the original request. This is useful information to anyone who uses a search engine, regardless of whether either spelling is standard. Since "sic" is simply Latin for "thus", I believe it's legitimate to use it this way.


25 Nov 03 - 01:40 AM (#1060382)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Bushes and briars
From: Q (Frank Staplin)

The distinction between brier and briar is nil when the word is familiarly applied to spiny plants.

Digression-
The OED has this for the Erica whose root is used to make pipes:
Brier, briar, formerly bruyer, heath; erroneously identified with the preceding word [the brier-briar of the song]. The white heath, Erica arborea.
In 1869, in the Tobacco Trade Review, the word briar, later brier, began to be substituted for bruyer.
Why bruyer was dropped is not explained; perhaps it was hard to wrap the tongue around. At the time Meerschaum (a corruption by the Germans of the translated Persian name kef-i-darya for a form of sepiolite- sea foam) was a sharp competitor.


04 Dec 03 - 06:01 AM (#1065349)
Subject: Tune Add: BUSHES AND BRIARS
From: GUEST,MCP

I was looking at this song for another reason unconnected with this thread, and I notice that the tune given in the DT, although referring to Mr. Pottipher, does not seem to be his tune. Neither do the words there agree with the broadside RVW used, which seems to be the one linked to by Malcolm above. I give here Mr. Pottipher's tune (from the Roy Palmer book referred to above) and for comparison, the DT tune as given and transposed for comparison with Mr. Pottipher's.

Mick



X: 1
T:Bushes And Briars (RVW from Mr. Charles Pottipher)
M:3/4
L:1/4
S:Bushes And Briars - Folk Songs Collected By Ralph Vaughan Williams - Roy Palmer
K:G Aeo
D| A/G/ A> G|F G>
w:Through bush-es and through bri-ars
A|B/c/ d (c/B/)|HA2
w:I late-ly took my_ way
(B/c/)|d2 (c/A/)|B2 A|G2 (A/F/)|D2
w:All_ for to_ hear the small birds_ sing
C/C/|D/ B/-B2|A2 (B/A/)|G2
w:And the lambs to_ skip and play
(B/c/)|d2 (c/A/)|B2 A|G2 (A/F/)|D2
w:All_ for to_ hear the small birds_ sing
C/C/|D/ B/-B2|A2 (B/A/)|G2|]
w:And the lambs to_ skip and play


Click to play


X: 2
T:Bushes And Briars (DT - transposed)
M:4/4
L:1/4
S:DT - transposed
K:G Dor
D|G G A G|F G2
w:Through bush-es and through bri-ars
A|B c d (c/B/)|A3
w:I late-ly took my_ way
(B/c/)|d ((3:2c/B/A/) B A|G (A/F/) D
w:All_ for to__ hear the small birds_ sing
C/C/|D B A ((3:2B/c/A/)|G3
w:And the lambs to skip and__ play
(B/c/)|d ((3:2c/B/A/) B A|G (A/F/) D
w:All_ for to__ hear the small birds_ sing
C/C/|D B A ((3:2B/c/A/)|G3|]
w:And the lambs to skip and__ play

X: 3
T:Bushes And Briars (DT)
M:4/4
L:1/4
S:DT
K:C Dor
G|c c d c|B c2
w:Through bush-es and through bri-ars
d|e f g (f/e/)|d3
w:I late-ly took my_ way
(e/f/)|g ((3:2f/e/d/) e d|c (d/B/) G
w:All_ for to__ hear the small birds_ sing
F/F/|G e d ((3:2e/f/d/)|c3
w:And the lambs to skip and__ play
(e/f/)|g ((3:2f/e/d/) e d|c (d/B/) G
w:All_ for to__ hear the small birds_ sing
F/F/|G e d ((3:2e/f/d/)|c3|]
w:And the lambs to skip and__ play

To play or display ABC tunes, try concertina.net


04 Dec 03 - 11:06 AM (#1065488)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Bushes and briars
From: Malcolm Douglas

Ambiguous notes in the DT strike again, it seems. Although they imply that the text and tune are Mr Pottipher's, they aren't. I have no idea where the tune as given there may have come from. Probably it was transcribed from someone's memory, and derives previously from one of the many revival recordings of the song. Once transposed it's actually very close in terms of note-pitches, though the phrasing is rather different and some decoration has been added.


04 Dec 03 - 12:42 PM (#1065544)
Subject: ADD Version: Bushes and Briars
From: Joe Offer

The notes in the Digital Tradition certainly are misleading. I wonder where they came from. for that matter, where did the text and tune come from? The first tune Mick posted above is the one found in Bushes and Briars, Folk Songs Collected by Ralph Vaughan Williams (Roy Palmer, 1983). Jim Dixon's text above is the one Palmer used in the book - although it appears that it was Vaughan-Williams himself who mated the text to the tune.
Note that in the Palmer book, The verses are split differently, and the last line of the verse is repeated. Here are the notes from Palmer:
    In the late autumn of 1903, after giving a lecture on folk song at Brentwood (Essex), Vaughan Williams was approached by two middle-aged ladies. They explained that their father, the Vicar of Ingrave, was about to give a tea-party for some old people in the village, who might conceivably know some songs. Vaughan Williams accepted an invitation to attend, met various singers, and returned the following day, 4 December, 1903, to note 26 songs. Up to that time, he wrote: 'I knew and loved the few English folk songs which were then available in printed collections, but I only believed in them vaguely, just as the layman believes in the facts of astronomy; my faith was not yet active.'
    When Vaughan Williams heard 'Bushes and Briars' he 'felt it was something he had known all his life'. It was the first folk song he noted, only three months after Cecil Sharp's first, 'The Seeds of Love'. The singer was a seventy-year-old labourer, Charles Pottipher, who, when asked about this and other of his songs, said: 'If you can get the words the Almighty will send you the tune.' Vaughan Williams took down the melody, commenting: 'It is impossible to reproduce the free rhythm and subtle portamento effects of this beautiful tune in ordinary notation. 'He noted the words of the first verse only, later completing the text from a Broadside issued by Fortey of Seven Dials.


04 Dec 03 - 12:54 PM (#1065550)
Subject: Lyr Add: BUSHES AND BRIARS
From: Joe Offer

I suppose it's a bit confusing to explain how the Palmer book uses the text Jim posted. How's this?

BUSHES AND BRIARS

Through bushes and through briers I lately took my way,
All for to hear the small birds sing, and the lambs to skip and play.*

I overheard my own true-love. Her voice it was so clear.
Long time I have been waiting for the coming of my dear.

I drew myself to a tree, a tree that did look green,
Where the leaves shaded over us. We scarcely could be seen.

I sat myself down by my love till she began to mourn.
I'm of this opinion that my heart is not my own.

Sometimes I am uneasy and troubled in my mind.
Sometimes I'll think I'll go to my love and tell to him my mind.

And if I should go to my love, my love he will say nay.
I show to him my boldness, he'd ne'er love me again.

I cannot think the reason young women love young men,
For they are so false hearted young women to trepan,**

For they are so false hearted young women to trepan,
So the green grave shall see me, for I can't love that man.

*repeat the second line of each verse
**[Trepan – Archaic - tr.v. -To trap; ensnare.]


Click to play


04 Dec 03 - 07:53 PM (#1065742)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Bushes and briars
From: Compton

Hold you hard about the film...Isla Cameron was the Folk Song advisor AND sang "The Bold Grenadier" while the rain washed the cross off the grave...but (as Isla had a very scottish accent)..I'll bet a shilling (!!) that Julie Christie really did sing Bushes and Briars...I actually remember Isla Cameron singing on a TV programme (wish I could remember the programme) with Syd Carter and a pubescant Martin Carty


09 Dec 03 - 02:44 PM (#1068629)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Bushes and briars
From: Keith A of Hertford

If Julie was not singing Bushes And Briars at that harvest supper, she was a remarkable mime.
I am prepared to believe that Gabriel Oak was miming the flute.

Her voice it was so clear,

Keith.


10 Nov 04 - 07:50 PM (#1322898)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Bushes and briars
From: Stewie

I just heard a beaut rendition of the text as posted above by Jim. The performance was by Jane and Amanda Threlfall in Mickleby, Yorkshire, Jan 2000. Lovely! This thread cleared up my inability to work out what they were singing re 'trepan'. I was wondering why they were singing about slimy sea cucumbers or 'trepang' that the Macassans came down in times gone by to harvest off our coast here in the Northern Territory of Oz! Thanks to Tony in Darwin for introducing me to the music of the Threlfalls.

--Stewie.


28 May 08 - 07:19 AM (#2350875)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Bushes and briars
From: The Sandman

http://ie.youtube.com/watch?v=ojVFPeU0YQU


28 May 08 - 07:22 AM (#2350880)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Bushes and briars
From: The Sandman

http://ie.youtube.com/watch?v=PtQCmZII-DQ&feature=related


28 May 08 - 07:33 AM (#2350884)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Bushes and briars
From: The Sandman

Peter Dashwood,ex EFDSS,was the dance co ordinator/Instructor for the dance scenes in Far From the Madding Crowd,he had to teach Julie Christie and Terence Stamp,how to do the dances.
when I played Kiveton park folk club earlier this year,I met his widow.
During the first half of my gig,I sang the song,during the break she introduced herself[we had in fact met before many years ago when I played in ceilidh bands with Peter Dashwood calling]and she informed me very definitely that Isla Cameron was the singer.
Dick Miles


28 May 08 - 05:03 PM (#2351369)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Bushes and briars
From: kytrad (Jean Ritchie)

Yes, I agree, Dick. I know Isla's voice, and no other voice could that have been, singing, "Bushes and Briars." Also, Isla had a Scottish accent only when she wanted to!    Jean