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Lyr Req/Add: Bright Silvery Light of the Moon

08 Sep 02 - 05:26 AM (#778993)
Subject: bright silvery light of the moon/p.byrne
From: bradfordian

I recently saw Packie Byrne & Breda McKinney and she sang (beautifully) this song which I believe is one of Packies' compositions. I slipped up not requesting the words or getting his latest CD (do't know if this is on it or not)at the time (he was busy fending off his admirers). Does anyone have these lyrics or know of any current recordings of this song?
brad.


08 Sep 02 - 05:33 AM (#778995)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: bright silvery light of the moon/p.byrne
From: Herga Kitty

Anni Fentiman has recorded Silvery Moon on "Constant Lovers", Dragon Records, DRGNCD981. It's listed as trad, and the album notes say Packie learned it from his mother, although it is a variant of an English parlour song. Anni learned it after hearing Tim Edwards sing it at the Herga club.

Kitty


08 Sep 02 - 06:00 AM (#779005)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: bright silvery light of the moon/p.byrne
From: GUEST,Storyteller

This is one of those songs which would probably have disappeared if Packie hadn't preserved it. The notes by Mike Yates to the CD Donegal & Back! just issued by Veteran VT132CD state that it is possibly from an early 19th century stage play. Mike Yates goes on to say that the song appeared on an English broadside, and that a version of the song was collected in Gloucestershire before the Great War by Alfred Williams who later published the text in his Folk Songs of the Upper Thames.

Packie Byrne told Mike Yates that there are at least a dozen airs to the song, but that the one he uses comes from the Glens of Antrim and that he got the words from a Sarah Hegarty of Donegal.

If Kitty doesn't beat me to it I'll try to note the words for you.


08 Sep 02 - 07:15 AM (#779024)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: bright silvery light of the moon/p.byrne
From: Bonnie Shaljean

Peta Webb also used to sing it (beautifully) and I THINK she recorded it on one of her early albums, perhaps her first. As with My Granny's Woollen Vest, this is another frustrating situation where I know I have these words somewhere (Packie wrote them out for me) but finding them is another matter. I didn't see them when I went on my recent dig through my song files and really have no time now, so if one of the others posts them I'll nab a copy too. Incidentally, I seem to remember - at least back in the old days - Packie calling this "Song To The Moon" but I could be mistaken.

I could be mistaken about this too, but I suspect some of the words in this version are Packie originals.


08 Sep 02 - 07:19 AM (#779028)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: bright silvery light of the moon/p.byrne
From: Kenny B (inactive)

Foster & Allen have recorded it on the CD "Memories"


08 Sep 02 - 09:45 AM (#779060)
Subject: Lyr Add: LAMENT TO THE MOON and BRIGHT SILVERY...
From: GUEST,Storyteller

Here are the words as I've taken them down from Packie's singing, and I'm sure that Bonnie Shaljean will be able to correct any mishearings that I may have made. It is a tribute to Packie's artistry that he transforms this rather maudlin piece into a beautiful and very moving song.

LAMENT TO THE MOON

As I strayed along at the close of the day,
About the beginning of June,
'Twas there in the glade I espied a fair maid,
As she sang her lament to the moon.

Roll along, silv'ry moon; guide the traveller on his way,
Whilst the nightingale sings her sweet tune.
There is no time so sweet, as when true lovers meet,
By the bright silvery light of the moon.


My love was young, and a bold fisherman,
His arms were brawny and strong.
His voice was clear, and a pleasure to hear
When singing an old shanty song.

But his boat went down, and my true love had found
A grave 'neath the deep angry sea,
Never more to return, and its for him I'll mourn,
Till the day that the clay covers me.

He bought me a ring; we appointed the day;
For its married we were to be soon.
But alas to my grief, he now lies in the deep,
Cut down like a rose in full bloom.

Roll along, silv'ry moon; guide the traveller on his way,
Whilst the nightingale sings her sweet tune.
There is no time so sweet, as when true lovers meet,
By the bright silvery light of the moon.


As sung by Packie Byrne, and recorded by Mike Yates (London, 1974).
Issued on Topic LP 'Packie Manus Byrne: Songs of a Donegal Man' 12TS257 1975, and on Veteran CD 'Donegal & Back! Songs, ballads and whistle tunes from Packie Byrne' VT132CD, 2002.

Walton's Treasury of Irish Songs and Ballads gives an anonymous version where the dead youth appears as one of the heroes of the 1916 Easter Rising:

THE BRIGHT SILVERY LIGHT OF THE MOON

As I went out from my cot at the close of the day,
About the beginning of June,
By a jessamine shade I beheld a fair maid,
And she sadly complained to the moon;
"Roll on, silvery moon, guide the traveller's way,
While the nightingale sings in full tune;
But never again with my lover I'll stray
By the sweet silvery light of the moon."

"As the hart on the mountain my lover is brave,
And so handsome, so manly, and clean;
So kind, so sincere, and he loved me so dear,
Oh, Eamon, thy equal was never yet seen.
But now he is dead and gone to his lone bed,
Cut down like a flower in full bloom;
He had fallen asleep, and poor Jane's left to weep
By the bright silvery light of the moon.

"For he died for his country, my sweetheart so true,
For Ireland he gave his young life;
He fell with our heroes, when mourners were few,
Mid the rifle-fire, cannon, and strife.
And his brothers-in-arms, 'neath that bright Easter sun,
Fought and prayed that the dawn would come soon-
'Gainst the fierce, foreign foe, till the Vict'ry was won
By the sweet silvery light of the moon."

Elizabeth Cronin had the title 'Roll on, silvery moon' in one of her song-lists, but did not write down the words to it, and there do not appear to be any recordings of her singing it. Possibly Jean Ritchie (Kytrad) might remember if she ever heard Bess sing it.

I agree with brad that Breda McKinney also sings it beautifully - a true daughter of Inishowen!


08 Sep 02 - 01:30 PM (#779147)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: bright silvery light of the moon/p.byrne
From: bradfordian

Many thanks for that Storyteller, especially the comparative as it encourages debate and possible further research. I understand that Breda is currently undertaking a Masters degree based on the music of the Donegal region. I feel that she is providing a very useful channel (and much more as well)between Packie and the newer younger generations because she is part of that.
brad.


08 Sep 02 - 01:36 PM (#779151)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: bright silvery light of the moon/p.byrne
From: bradfordian

MUSICALLY, I mean (blush!)


08 Sep 02 - 03:33 PM (#779184)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: bright silvery light of the moon/p.byrne
From: Herga Kitty

Bonnie

I asked about Granny's woollen vest last Monday, when Packie was at Herga, and he said you'd phoned him about it, and I explained it was because I'd asked you for the words, and he said he'd send them - fingers crossed....

Kitty


08 Sep 02 - 04:58 PM (#779214)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: bright silvery light of the moon/p.byrne
From: Bonnie Shaljean

Hi Kitty - I did phone him, and then typed & posted the words in the relevant thread (a week or two ago) so if you look in there you'll find them.

Thanks so much Storyteller - sterling work!


08 Sep 02 - 05:08 PM (#779220)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: bright silvery light of the moon/p.byrne
From: nutty

The Bodleian Library has a number of Broadsides of this song usually with the lyrics of this
THE BONNY MOON

However, this broadside dates changes to the lyrics as March 3rd 1825 (unfortunately it is a poor copy and does not show fully the title of the original song) THE SWEET SILVER MOON
but it certainly shows that the song was in existance pre 1825


08 Sep 02 - 09:23 PM (#779366)
Subject: Lyr Add: BRIGHT SILVERY LIGHT (Patterson)
From: Stewie

This thread title reminded me of a song of that title, but of a very different ilk. It is a reworking of a traditional warhorse. I have it on an LP that was made from tapes supposedly smuggled out of Long Kesh. The only attribution is on the sticker on the vinyl - 'Patterson'. My spelling of the place name in the first stanza is a guess - it is pronounced 'Kill-al-lay'. Judging by their enthusiastic belting out of the refrain at the end of each stanza, the inmates of Long Kesh thoroughly enjoyed Fr McAteer's cheery rendition.

BRIGHT SILVERY LIGHT
(Patterson)

In the town of Kilallae (?), in the merry month of May
When snowdrops and primroses were in bloom
A young lassie passed me by and she gave me the glad eye
By the bright silvery light of the moon

She was my delight, she was such a lovely sight
With her pearly teeth and lovely golden hair
But I was such a loon for we married far too soon
By the bright silvery light of the moon

When she'd squandered all me dough, to her house I did go
What a terrible place to spend your honeymoon
With no fire in the grate-y, you could see right through the slates
By the bright silvery light of the moon

When we started off to bed, I was in an awful dread
I thought that we were going there too soon
But then upon a chair she placed her golden hair
By the bright silvery light of the moon

But there was worse in store when she started off to snore
And nearly blew the blankets from the room
And then upon a peg I saw her wooden leg
By the bright silvery light of the moon

I caught her by the head, I pulled her out of bed
Like a broken doll, she lay there in the gloom
And it nearly broke my heart to look at her spare parts
By the bright silvery light of the moon

So, lads, take my advice and look at your girl twice
For they're often out to fool a poor gossoon
Pull their legs, their teeth and hair and make sure that they're all there
By the bright silvery light of the moon

Source: Fr Barney McAleer 'Bright Silvery Light' on Various Artists 'Smash Internment: Live Recording in Long Kesh' R&O Records (Ireland) LP ROL 3002 [1972].

--Stewie.


17 Sep 02 - 09:26 AM (#785961)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: bright silvery light of the moon/p.byrne
From: GUEST,Storyteller

nutty, thanks for the link to the Bodleian Catalogue. That's very interesting that the song appears to be earlier than 1825. I've just been reading the excellent notes to the tracks on the Topic Voice of the People series by Rod Sradling and Mike Yates Musical Traditions: VotP.

In a note to a short fragment of the tune By the Bright Silvery Light Of the Moon on Vol. 16 Track 7, Mike Yates credits the words to a J W Turner in 1847.

The fragment is hard to distinguish, but it is played on accordeon and tambourine (and what sounds like a loud drum!), by a group of Wrenboys out on St Stephen's Day in 1976, recorded by Doc Rowe. It sounds as if a good time was being had by all!!

Mike Yates also notes that The Anthology of Irish Traditional Music on Dejavu RetroGold Collection R2CD40-107 includes a re-issue of an early 78 of the tune as played by Richard Hayward.


17 Sep 02 - 04:55 PM (#786129)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: bright silvery light of the moon/p.byrne
From: ard mhacha

And don`t forget Derrymacash`s version, "Jane Faloon" on his new Humours of Lewisham Vol 2. Ard Mhacha.


17 Sep 02 - 06:04 PM (#786174)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: bright silvery light of the moon/p.byrne
From: Aidan Crossey

Albeit penned by Jimmy Creaney!

Cheers, ard mhacha


01 Oct 08 - 12:02 PM (#2454875)
Subject: RE: Req/ADD: bright silvery light of the moon/p.by
From: Geoff Wallis

Here's another version of the song cited by Stewie - this one's from Fermanagh.

In the early month of May in the town of Killala
Where the nettles and the holly were in bloom
This young girl she passed me by and she give me the glad eye
Beneath the bright silvery light of the moon.

It was true love at first sight and for me a great delight
So we soon began to step it up and down;
On that day in Killala we were married right away
Beneath the bright silvery light of the moon.

When she squandered all my dough 'til her home I had to go
Such a place to spend our honeymoon
With no fire in the grate, you could see out through the slates.
Beneath the bright silvery light of the moon.

Then said she "We'll go to bed". I was in an awful dread
For I knew that I was going far too soon,
For there upon a peg she hung up her wooden leg
Beneath the bright silvery light of the moon.

There was worse in store for me, for when she began to snore
Sure she blew the blankets all around the room,
And there upon a chair lay her teeth, her golden hair,
Beneath the bright silvery light of the moon.

So it's young men take my advice, always look at your girl twice
For they're always out to catch a soft groom.
To make sure that she's all there, pull her teeth, her leg, her hair,
Beneath the bright silvery light of the moon.


04 Apr 11 - 08:20 AM (#3128188)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req/ADD: Bright Silvery Light of the Moon
From: Mr Happy

This lovely song was performed at Frodsham session last night, but a much gentler, slower version than I've been able to find on the web.


Here's F & A doing it, for the gist of the tunehttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Urgn0LetACI


04 Apr 11 - 09:34 AM (#3128211)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req/ADD: Bright Silvery Light of the Moon
From: Sandy Mc Lean

Ryan's Fancy


08 Apr 11 - 09:43 PM (#3131649)
Subject: Lyr Add: THE SILVER MOON (J. W. Turner)
From: Jim Dixon

From The Boston Melodeon, Volume 3 By B. F. Baker & L. H. Southard (Boston: Oliver Ditson & Co., 1850), page 12—where the tune appears in 4-part harmony:


THE SILVER MOON.
"Words partly written, and music arranged, by J. W. Turner."

1. As I strayed from my cot, at the close of the day,
To muse on the beauties of June,
'Neath a jessamine shade I espied a fair maid,
And she sadly complained to the moon:

CHORUS: Roll on, silver moon, guide the trav'ler his way,
While the nightingale's song is in tune;
I never, never more with my true love will stray,
By the sweet silver light of the moon.

2. As the hart on the mountain, my lover was brave,
So handsome and manly to view;
So kind and sincere, and he loved me most dear;
O Edwin, no love was more true.

3. But now he is dead, and the youth once so gay
Is cut down like a rose in full bloom;
And he silently sleeps, and I'm thus left to weep
By the sweet silver light of the moon.

4. But his grave I'll seek out, until morning appears,
And weep for my lover so brave;
I'll embrace the cold earth, and bedew with my tears
The flowers that bloom o'er his grave.

5. O, never again can my heart throb with joy.
My lost one I hope to meet soon;
And kind friends will weep o'er the grave where we sleep,
By the sweet silver light of the moon.


24 May 20 - 10:56 PM (#4054954)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req/Add: Bright Silvery Light of the Moon
From: Joe Offer

needs cleanup