Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafehuddy

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


Origins: At Jacob's Well (a Stranger Sought)

Joe Offer 20 Nov 10 - 09:58 PM
Joe Offer 20 Nov 10 - 10:35 PM
GUEST 21 Nov 10 - 12:14 AM
Joe Offer 21 Nov 10 - 01:10 AM
GUEST,cg 21 Nov 10 - 03:59 AM
GUEST,cg 21 Nov 10 - 04:04 AM
GUEST,Tim 21 Nov 10 - 05:32 AM
mikesamwild 21 Nov 10 - 05:58 AM
The Fooles Troupe 21 Nov 10 - 06:02 AM
GUEST,Georgina Boyes 21 Nov 10 - 07:04 AM
GUEST,Tim 21 Nov 10 - 12:29 PM
GUEST,Chris Brown 21 Nov 10 - 01:59 PM
GUEST,Tim 21 Nov 10 - 03:54 PM
Ruth Archer 21 Nov 10 - 04:02 PM
Joe Offer 22 Nov 10 - 01:21 AM
GUEST,Chris Brown 22 Nov 10 - 05:06 AM
Black belt caterpillar wrestler 22 Nov 10 - 07:35 AM
mikesamwild 22 Nov 10 - 07:46 AM
Ruth Archer 22 Nov 10 - 08:56 AM
Matthew Edwards 22 Nov 10 - 09:31 AM
GUEST 22 Nov 10 - 10:45 AM
GUEST 22 Nov 10 - 02:41 PM
GUEST 22 Nov 10 - 07:00 PM
Anglo 23 Nov 10 - 03:01 AM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:




Subject: ADD: At Jacob's Well (a Stranger Sought)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 20 Nov 10 - 09:58 PM

Jon Boden's Folk Song a Day for November 21 is "At Jacob's Well." I can't find anything about it here at Mudcat, and very little elsewhere. Golden Hind Music has lyrics:

Jacob's Well

At Jacob's Well, a stranger sought his drooping frame to cheer.
Samaria's daughter little thought that Jacob's God was near.

This had she known, her fainting mind for richer draughts had sighed,
Nor had Messiah, ever kind, those richer draughts denied.

This ancient well, no glass so true, Britannia's image shows.
Now Jesus walks our country through, but who the stranger knows?

Yet we must all the stranger know, or soon our lows deplore.
Behold! the living waters flow, come drink, and thirst no more.


© Golden Hind Music


I found a copy of the Methodist Magazine from 1891 that had the first two verses.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: At Jacob's Well (a Stranger Sought)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 20 Nov 10 - 10:35 PM

You'll find more anglocentric lyrics in the The Wesleyan Sunday-scholars' hymn book (1857)

Grigg.] HYMN 182. c.m.

1 AT Jacob's well a stranger sought
His drooping frame to cheer!
Samaria's daughter little thought
That Jacob's God was there.

2 This had she known, her fainting mind
For richer draughts had sigh'd;
Nor had Messiah, ever kind,
Those richer draughts denied.

3 This ancient well, (no glass so true,)
Britannia's image shows;
Now Jesus travels Britain through,
But who the stranger knows ?

4 Yet Britain must the stranger know,
Or soon her loss deplore;
Behold the living waters now,
Come, drink, and thirst no more.


Click here for an even earlier source, Hymns for the use of the Methodist new connexion, principally from the collection of J. Wesley, a Methodist hymnal from 1836 (same lyrics as 1857). The Methodist movement, followers of John and Charles Wesley, did not form a separate denomination in England until after John Wesley's death in 1791.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: At Jacob's Well (a Stranger Sought)
From: GUEST
Date: 21 Nov 10 - 12:14 AM

Poster: Reinhard
Jacob's Well seems to be a local tradition for Jon: The lyrics on Golden Hind Music cited by Joe are from the CD Hail Smiling Morn! by Nowell Sing We Clear; and the CD notes comment on their source: "Hail, Smiling Morn!, Old Foster, and Jacob's Well are from the Yorkshire pub Christmas singing traditions found in several parts of the city of Sheffield. Our versions are taken from The Joy of Christmas: Words & Music of Traditional & Local Carols, compiled and presented by Worrall Male Voice Choir, privately published, ca. 1980."


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: At Jacob's Well (a Stranger Sought)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 21 Nov 10 - 01:10 AM

Hi, Reinhard, I'm waiting for the noted Mudcatter, Mr. Nowell Sing We Clear, to drop by and comment. He hails from Connecticut or somewhere like that, but speaks with a pronounced British accent.
Sounds to me like the hymn has a solid Methodist pedigree, but came into general use as a carol in Sheffield. Note that the hymn tells the story of the Woman at the Well from the Gospel of John. It's not a Christmas story - but is it used as a Christmas carol?
-Joe-


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: At Jacob's Well (a Stranger Sought)
From: GUEST,cg
Date: 21 Nov 10 - 03:59 AM

There's booklet on the origins of this carol by Chris Browne, unfortunately my copy has vanished into the filing system, but from memory the carol is 18th century.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: At Jacob's Well (a Stranger Sought)
From: GUEST,cg
Date: 21 Nov 10 - 04:04 AM

From the Sheffield Book of Village Carols, notes by Ian Russell. The words are incorrectly attributed to Hugh Bourne, founder of the Primitive Methodists. Chris Browne has found versions of the words in circulation before Hugh Bourne was born. The music is by James Leach of Wardle, Lancashire 1762 - 1798


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: At Jacob's Well (a Stranger Sought)
From: GUEST,Tim
Date: 21 Nov 10 - 05:32 AM

The Hymn Tune Index records the tune as Knaresborough :

Based on the last section of a set piece, 'Advent', by James Leach, in LeacJCHTA, pp. 135–6
Leach, James (formerly of Rochdale). A Collection of Hymn Tunes and Anthems adapted for a full choir by the late Mr James Leach published for the benefit of his widow and children.
London: T. Preston, & to be had of the widow, at Manchester, [1798–].

Apparently it appeared with At Jacob's Well words in 1801 in

        
Beaumont, John. The New Harmonic Magazine.
London: John Jauncey, Islington, 1801.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: At Jacob's Well (a Stranger Sought)
From: mikesamwild
Date: 21 Nov 10 - 05:58 AM

If I see Chris at today's carols I'll tell him of this interest.My booklet is buried in the shelves!


Perennial at local carols
'Do you know Jacob's Well ?' 'I didn't know he was poorly!'boom-boom!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: At Jacob's Well (a Stranger Sought)
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 21 Nov 10 - 06:02 AM

FYI - there is a little town called Jacob's Well in Queensland, not far from the Gold Coast.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: At Jacob's Well (a Stranger Sought)
From: GUEST,Georgina Boyes
Date: 21 Nov 10 - 07:04 AM

I'd be glad of more information about the dating of the "Jacob's Well" text.

Hugh Bourne (1772–1852) could quite easily have written a text that appeared in 1801, but although the hymn is widely attributed to him, I've also seen cautionary notes.

Does anyone have the title of Chris Browne's booklet, it sounds as though it would be very helpful.

We had our first carol rehearsal yesterday, so everything's getting into gear for a season of singing heart-raising carols.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: At Jacob's Well (a Stranger Sought)
From: GUEST,Tim
Date: 21 Nov 10 - 12:29 PM

I've stuck the dots and midi file for the version of Knaresborough in the Union Tune Book on Choralwiki at

http://www.cpdl.org/wiki/index.php/Knaresborough_%28James_Leach%29

Ian Russell's notes indicate that Jacob's Well is "Central to the tradition" of the Yorkshire village carols.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: At Jacob's Well (a Stranger Sought)
From: GUEST,Chris Brown
Date: 21 Nov 10 - 01:59 PM

Jacobs Well is found in lots of different versions on both sides of the Atlantic. All the versions stem from an original by Joseph Grigg (c1720-1768), a minister in London who retired early to St Albans. The text, based on John 4 v5-15,is about the difficulties faced by the Evangelical Revival in the mid 1700s. As people have said the first printing of text and tune together was in 1801 by John Beaumont, who was a musician and Methodist preacher from Holmfirth in Yorkshire.

The great popularity of the song seems to have been its appearance in Collection of Hymns for Camp-Meetings, Revivals,Etc for the use of Primitive Methodists. This was published by Hugh Bourne around 1820. Its effects can be found in popular culture, place names, pubs and elsewhere.

For those who want a less anglocentric version the normal American way was to replace Britain with Columbia. However Asahel Nettleton in his Village Hymns did a major rewrite that made it independent of place.

If anyone wants one of my booklets, they are available for £3.50 including postage. Please email me at cbrowo-at-tesco.net replacing the -at- with the @ sign.

Chris Brown


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: At Jacob's Well (a Stranger Sought)
From: GUEST,Tim
Date: 21 Nov 10 - 03:54 PM

Thanks for the Village Hymns info.


http://books.google.com/books?id=Gh03AAAAMAAJ&pg=PA68#v=onepage&q&f=false

HYMN 80. C. M.

Newmark. Barby.

1 At Jacob's well a stranger sought
His drooping frame to cheer :
Samaria's daughter little thought
That Jacob's God was near.

2 This had she known, her fainting mind
For richer draughts had sigh'd ;
Nor had Messiah, ever kind.
Those richer draughts deny'd.

3 The man, who came on earth to die,
How few appear to know !
The friend of sinners, passing by,
Is still esteem'd a foe.

4 The sinner must the stranger know,
Or soon his loss deplore ;
Behold ! the living waters flow ;
Come— drink, and thirst no more.

Knaresborough (? in a more original, less fuguing form than the Union Tune Book version) is number 45 in the 1823 Bridgewater Collection of Sacred Music at

http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=L-gaAAAAYAAJ&dq=Collection%20Sacred%20Music&pg=PA45#v=onepage&q&f=false


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: At Jacob's Well (a Stranger Sought)
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 21 Nov 10 - 04:02 PM

"It's not a Christmas story - but is it used as a Christmas carol?"

Yes, Joe - Jacob's Well is definitely sung as a village (or pub) carol around Sheffield. Ian Russell's Village Carols Festival is next weekend, and I expect it will get more than one airing. It's one of my favourites.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: At Jacob's Well (a Stranger Sought)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 22 Nov 10 - 01:21 AM

But there are carols for other seasons, Ruth. Is this woman-at-the-well carol used mostly for Christmas?

-Joe-


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: At Jacob's Well (a Stranger Sought)
From: GUEST,Chris Brown
Date: 22 Nov 10 - 05:06 AM

The song used to be a general hymn in the 19th Century. It was excluded from the Primitive Methodist Hymn Book, which was compiled in the 1840s, because the UK equivalent of the Better Music Movement disapproved of the tune, and because of its popularity it found homes outside the chapels. The one that has endured is the carol tradition in the pubs and streets of South Yorkshire and Deryshire. There it is sung widely and regularly between mid November and New Year. For further information see the Village Carols website.

Chris


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: At Jacob's Well (a Stranger Sought)
From: Black belt caterpillar wrestler
Date: 22 Nov 10 - 07:35 AM

Perhaps that I should point out the the Larks of Dean Quire regularly perform this as it was also central to the Lancashire carolling tradition!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: At Jacob's Well (a Stranger Sought)
From: mikesamwild
Date: 22 Nov 10 - 07:46 AM

Chris, glad you were at Worrall ( it should be on Songs of Praise TV on Dec 5th I was told)

Did the carol find its way out to the GlenRock carollers via a direct link, as they had originators in the Sout Pennines. Dave Eyre did quite a lot to forge new links.

By the way we have quite a few Jacob's Ladder's round here on hilly walks, was that a religious link too signifying toil ? Or just a Biblical allusion like the road to hell?.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: At Jacob's Well (a Stranger Sought)
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 22 Nov 10 - 08:56 AM

Hi Joe,

As Chris has indicated above, the Sheffield carolling tradition takes place in what could be broadly termed the Christmas season. So yes.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: At Jacob's Well (a Stranger Sought)
From: Matthew Edwards
Date: 22 Nov 10 - 09:31 AM

Joe is quite right to be puzzled by the adoption of this song as one of the pivotal carols of the Christmas season in the villages of South Yorkshire and Derbyshire as on the surface there is nothing seasonal whatsoever about the song. The clue I think lies in the glorious tune by James Leach, which is very strongly related to the music for other more obviously seasonal carols, not least with the exciting bass parts.
Apart from the excellence of the tune, another element which goes to ensure the continuing popularity of the song as a pub carol, and which probably also led to its expulsion from the Primitive Methodist Hymn Book, is the final line:-
"Come drink and thirst no more."
Anyone who has ever heard the vigourous enthusiasm with which this line is repeated in the crowded front room of the Royal in Dungworth, will be under no illusion but that this is 'really' a drinking song thinly disguised as a hymn!

Matthew


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: At Jacob's Well (a Stranger Sought)
From: GUEST
Date: 22 Nov 10 - 10:45 AM

The carolling in this area (call it the South Pennines if you like) starts after Armistice Sunday (not the first Sunday after Armistice as is mistakenly sometimes thought). To be even more precise, they sing at the Black Bull at Ecclesfield starting on the Thursday after Armistice Sunday, the Traveller's at Oughtibridge on the Saturday and the Royal Hotel Dungworth and the Blue Ball Worrall on the Sunday.

"Jacob's Well" is indeed central to the tradition and is used (to answer Joe's original query) as a carol at Christmas. A number of other songs are sung at this time which really have, well let's say not a lot to do with Xmas. It should be noted the repertoire in Dungworth has changed since I started going there in 1972.

Details of the current repertoire of the Glen Rock Carolers and when the songs were added can be found here.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: At Jacob's Well (a Stranger Sought)
From: GUEST
Date: 22 Nov 10 - 02:41 PM

Sorry that guest was me.
    Who??? -Joe Offer-


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: At Jacob's Well (a Stranger Sought)
From: GUEST
Date: 22 Nov 10 - 07:00 PM

The Village Quire also sing it - and it went down a bomb at Pontardawe Folk Club last Friday!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: At Jacob's Well (a Stranger Sought)
From: Anglo
Date: 23 Nov 10 - 03:01 AM

Just saw this thread. All the info above is good. As Joe's "Mr Nowell Sing We Clear" (I think), not from Connecticut, but currently from upstate New York via Vermont and originally Worcestershire and Anglesey, I will say that we (NSWC) learned it from one of the Sheffield Carol publications, probably from Ian Russell.

Doing our Xmas program based from Vermont, Nowell Sing We Clear changed the line "Yet Britain must the stranger know" to "Yet we must all must the stranger know" since our touring schedule mostly takes us through NEW England.

We kept the "Britannia" reference though :-)

We have been touring and recording since 1975. The show changes some every year. We will be on the road again starting in the first weekend in December. This year we have a performance at the Millennium Stage in Washington DC, so there will probably be a video archive on their website.

Should anyone be interested, our recordings (including Jacob's Well) may be sampled at the site Joe mentioned above (Golden Hind Music).

And Joe, no-one in England would think that I have a pronounced British accent. I'll be testing this out next spring when I go back for a short tour with Debra Cowan. I'll see what it's like taking Coals to Newcastle.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 23 September 3:54 PM EDT

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.