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Lyr Req: Cruel Mother (#20, Hedy West)

26 Aug 05 - 03:34 AM (#1550015)
Subject: Lyr Req: Hedy West's Cruel Mother #20
From: Roberto

Please, help me complete and correct this transcription. Thank you. R

The Cruel Mother
Hedy West, Ballads, Topic 12T163, 1967. Collected by Cecil Sharp in North Carolina in 1918.

There was a lady in New York
All alone and loney
She fell in love with her father's clerk
All down by the greenwood sidey

As she was going over the bridge
All alone and loney
She found herself a-growing big
All down by the greenwood sidey

She leaned her back against an oak
All alone and loney
First it bended, then it broke
All down by the greenwood sidey

She leaned herself against a thorn
All alone and loney
There she had two little babes born
All down by the greenwood sidey

She ........ keen and sharp
All alone and loney
She pierced those little babes to the heart
All down by the greenwood sidey

She laid them under a bunch of rue
All alone and loney
She prayed to the Lord they'd never come to
All down by the greenwood sidey

As she was walking cross the porch (?)
All alone and loney
She saw two little babes at play
All down by the greenwood sidey

O babes, O babes, if you were mine
All alone and loney
I'd dress you up in silk so fine
All down by the greenwood sidey

Mother, O mother, when we were thine
All alone and loney
You neither dressed us coarse nor fine
All down by the greenwood sidey

Mother, O mother, ...
All alone and loney
You'all always carry the key to Hell's Gate (?)
All down by the greenwood sidey


26 Aug 05 - 10:13 AM (#1550250)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Hedy West's Cruel Mother #20
From: s&r

Probably 'drew a knife...'


compare to this selection from the Digitrad

Stu


26 Aug 05 - 10:53 AM (#1550270)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Hedy West's Cruel Mother #20
From: Paul Burke

"took a penknife keen and sharp" scans better...

don't let anyone in the Matty Groves threads see this, or this thread will end up resemblimg MOABST down there.


26 Aug 05 - 11:00 AM (#1550274)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Hedy West's Cruel Mother #20
From: Roberto

My lp is a little bit ruined at this point, but it seems the verb has a "k" sound. R


26 Aug 05 - 11:06 AM (#1550278)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Hedy West's Cruel Mother #20
From: Bill D

She carried a penknife both keen and sharp
All alone and loney
She pierced those little babes to the heart
All down by the greenwood sidey

Mother, O mother, for our sakes
All alone and loney
You'all always carry the key to Hell's Gate (?)
All down by the greenwood sidey


also...both Ferrara & I seem to hear in the first refrain line
"all along, Little Omie..or "Lomie"

listen, and see if you don't agree

it's not a standard text, but Hedy didn't do it like everyone else.


26 Aug 05 - 11:16 AM (#1550288)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Hedy West's Cruel Mother #20
From: Roberto

Thank you very much. Yes, it seems you get it right. I would choose "all along, little Omie". R


26 Aug 05 - 05:13 PM (#1550548)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Hedy West's Cruel Mother #20
From: Little Robyn

'She's taken a penknife keen and sharp'
is the way I used to do it.
I haven't heard Hedy's version.
Robyn


27 Aug 05 - 04:39 PM (#1551011)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Hedy West's Cruel Mother #20
From: Desert Dancer

I've not heard the recording, but it looks as though the text is from Sharp's The Cruel Mother "H" set (in English Folk Songs of the Southern Appalachians, sung by Mrs. Mary Gibson at Marion, North Carolina, Sept. 3, 1918:

There was a lady in New York,
   All along little Omy,
She fell in love with her father's clerk,
   All down by the greenwood sidey.

SHe was a-going across the bridge,
She found herself a-growing big.

She leant herself against an oak;
First it bent and then it broke.

She leant herself against a thorn;
And there she had two little babes born.

She carried a penknife both keen and sharp;
She pierced those little babes to the heart.

She burried them under a bunch of rue;
She prayed to the Lord they'd never come to.

When she was a-walking across the porch,
She saw two little babes at play.

O babes, O babes, if you were mine,
I'd dress you up in silk so fine.

Mother, O mother, when we were yours
You neither gave us coarse nor fine.

Mother, O mother, for our sakes
You'll always carry the keys of Hell's gates.

--

Several of the other versions use "All alone and a-loney".

I'll post the tune in a moment.

~ Becky in Tucson


27 Aug 05 - 05:25 PM (#1551060)
Subject: Tune Add: THE CRUEL MOTHER
From: Desert Dancer

X:1
T:Cruel Mother (H)
C:Trad.
N:C. Sharp, EFFSA
Q:1/4=130
V:1
M:2/2
L:1/8
K:F
F2 |G2 A2 G2 F2 |G2 A2 G2 F2 |c3 c c2 cc |A4 G2 F2 |G2 A2 G2 FF |G2 A2 C2 A,2 |C2 AA F2 F2 |D4 F2 |]

~ Becky in Tucson
(distracted and delayedby Max's broadcast on PalTalk)


27 Aug 05 - 06:35 PM (#1551120)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Hedy West's Cruel Mother #20
From: Bill D

hmmm...seems like the Child ballad might have been mixed with the story of "Omie Wise", at least in the use of a few words.

"you hear what you expect to hear"


27 Aug 05 - 07:04 PM (#1551144)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Hedy West's Cruel Mother #20
From: The Borchester Echo

Straying just a little off topic, Maggie Holland's All Alone, a contemporary song which she wrote based on an actual family tragedy, uses this variant tune of The Cruel Mother, Maggie being a great admirer of Hedy West's banjo style. It's beautifully done though very hard to listen to. As she writes in the notes to Getting There (irr 035), "for once, I have no need to apologise for the occasional break in my voice".


28 Aug 05 - 05:43 PM (#1551772)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Hedy West's Cruel Mother #20
From: GUEST

Becky in Tucson (Desert Dancer) - if you found that text without knowing the cover notes to the Hedy West record, that was well done. And the tune you posted is exactly what Hedy sings on the record, too.


28 Aug 05 - 05:48 PM (#1551775)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Hedy West's Cruel Mother #20
From: OldPossum

Oops, that Guest at 5:43 was me. I forgot I had logged out.


28 Aug 05 - 06:37 PM (#1551795)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Hedy West's Cruel Mother #20
From: Desert Dancer

OldPossum, fortunately Roberto did include the note Collected by Cecil Sharp in North Carolina in 1918, which is a pretty big tip-off. Back in the old days folkies had to get things from books, instead of just from other folkies' recordings... and the big books were easier to get hold of. :-)

~ Becky in Tucson


28 Aug 05 - 07:00 PM (#1551812)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Hedy West's Cruel Mother #20
From: Malcolm Douglas

Nevertheless, the compliment is deserved. You know your onions, as the saying goes.

The "big books" can certainly be a problem nowadays. I had to photocopy all four volumes of Bronson; it took nearly two years, on and off! At some point I'll have to do the same with Sharp-Karpeles; although I do have a copy to hand, it isn't mine, and the real owner will eventually want it back...


28 Aug 05 - 07:01 PM (#1551814)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Hedy West's Cruel Mother #20
From: snarky

I can't read that Midi crap! Becky can you hum a few measures? time signature? tempo? keys?


28 Aug 05 - 07:30 PM (#1551848)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Hedy West's Cruel Mother #20
From: Malcolm Douglas

It isn't midi, but abc notation, specially developed for the easy notation in plain ascii text of Western European folk music. To hear a midi rendition, or see a conversion to staff notation, simply go to   http://www.concertina.net/tunes_convert.html   and copy-and-paste the abc into the conversion window.

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