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'Faithful Johnny'

Abby Sale 14 Oct 99 - 09:30 AM
Stewie 16 Oct 99 - 09:23 AM
catspaw49 16 Oct 99 - 09:34 AM
20 Oct 99 - 05:25 PM
Barry Finn 20 Oct 99 - 08:56 PM
Murray on Saltspring 26 Oct 99 - 01:21 PM
Abby Sale 27 Oct 99 - 08:48 PM
Murray on SS 28 Oct 99 - 02:19 AM
Susanne (skw) 28 Oct 99 - 07:25 PM
Murray on SS 28 Oct 99 - 09:36 PM
Abby Sale 21 Nov 99 - 10:17 AM
Lesley N. 21 Nov 99 - 05:20 PM
masato sakurai 27 Jul 02 - 10:17 AM
masato sakurai 27 Jul 02 - 10:19 AM
masato sakurai 27 Jul 02 - 01:15 PM
masato sakurai 28 Jul 02 - 12:06 AM
masato sakurai 28 Jul 02 - 12:23 AM
masato sakurai 28 Jul 02 - 12:37 AM
Abby Sale 28 Jul 02 - 02:35 AM
masato sakurai 28 Jul 02 - 03:06 AM
John MacKenzie 28 Jul 02 - 05:31 AM
masato sakurai 28 Jul 02 - 06:23 AM
masato sakurai 01 Feb 03 - 05:10 AM
GUEST,ewfarm@airmail.net 07 May 04 - 03:28 PM
Malcolm Douglas 07 May 04 - 03:48 PM
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Subject: 'Faithful Johnny'
From: Abby Sale
Date: 14 Oct 99 - 09:30 AM

I have a lovely song (I don't usually sing "lovely" but on occasion...) called "Faithful Johnny" on records both by Redpath and the Dransfields. It begins 'When will you come again, My faithful Johnny' & the same version as both sing is in DT.

Neither gives any useful background on the song, though.

Might any know any story on it?

I thank you.


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Subject: RE: 'Faithful Johnny'
From: Stewie
Date: 16 Oct 99 - 09:23 AM

I do not have an answer to your question, but the 'hallow'een' stanza in particular makes one think that there could, or should, be a story behind the song. Neil Wayne of Free Reed Records put together the recent Dransfields compilation 'Up to Now'. He has a website: www.freedmus.demon.co.uk Why don't you try to contact one of the Dransfields through him and ask how they came by the song?


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Subject: RE: 'Faithful Johnny'
From: catspaw49
Date: 16 Oct 99 - 09:34 AM

Actually, its the story of an intrepid little outhouse that survived behind the the home of the Breakwind faamily for over 50 Halloweens before being destroyed by a methane explosion on Arbor day in 1949.

Sorry......Go on with your research.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: 'Faithful Johnny'
From:
Date: 20 Oct 99 - 05:25 PM

Stewie, thanks for the pointer. I'll give it a try. I think the Holloween part just is a time identifier, though. As in, "I'll be back in the fall." Or "When the heather hills is nine times brunt" (9 years) Etc.

catspaw49, yes, um, thanks...


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Subject: RE: 'Faithful Johnny'
From: Barry Finn
Date: 20 Oct 99 - 08:56 PM

Hi Abby, don't even know the song but it's so nice to see you drop in from time to time. I guess this means you've weathered the great southern storms of Fla. Hope you're in for a better winter. Good Luck. Barry


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Subject: RE: 'Faithful Johnny'
From: Murray on Saltspring
Date: 26 Oct 99 - 01:21 PM

The words are by "Mrs. Grant", presumably Mrs. Grant of Laggan (1755-1838), since her sort of relative Mrs. Grant of Carron is the author of only one song, it seems, namely "Roy's Wife of Aldivalloch". Anyway, the song was published by Thomson in Edinburgh in 1818, in "A Select Collection of Original Scottish Airs..." with accompaniments by Beethoven and Haydn. Beethoven gave an opus no. to this lot, "Twenty-five Scottish Songs", opus 108 (the only ones he did give an opus no. to). Thomson supplied the tune to him; where it came from is another question. Is this any help??


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Subject: RE: 'Faithful Johnny'
From: Abby Sale
Date: 27 Oct 99 - 08:48 PM

Murray on Saltspring,

That's about pretty damn specific. Thank you. The best I've had from most others, & likely where it comes to current knowledge, is a 1927 _Daily Express_ songster.

Dransfield received it as nearly all standard English.

There's a single word in it, however, that will date the version one hears - a key, in a sense. If "light" appears in v.2, l.3, then the version is from Dransfield - almost certainly - even if Redpath is singing!

Good song.

Barry, thank you. Winter is great in Florida. Especially for our emergent group, the Folking Roly Rounders. Singing folksong while inline skating is much better in winter - nearly impossible in high summer.


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Subject: RE: 'Faithful Johnny'
From: Murray on SS
Date: 28 Oct 99 - 02:19 AM

Here's the words as set by Beethoven:

When will you come again, My faithful Johnnie,
When will you come again?
"When the corn is gathered,
and the leaves are withered,
I will come again, my sweet and bonnie,
I will come again."

Then winter's winds will blow, my faithful Johnny,
Then winter's winds will blow.
"Though the day be dark with drift,
that I cannot see the lift,
I will come again, my sweet and bonnie,
I will come again."

Then will you meet me here, my faithful Johnny,
Then will you meet me here?
"Though the night be halloween,
When the fearful sights are seen,
I would meet thee here,my sweet and bonnie,
I would meet thee here!"
.


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Subject: RE: 'Faithful Johnny'
From: Susanne (skw)
Date: 28 Oct 99 - 07:25 PM

Abby, Jean Redpath says in her notes that she got the song from the Dransfields, so it's hardly surprising the versions should be so alike.

[1987:] Robin and Barry Dransfield [...] learned it from Johnny Handle who stumbled across it in a school song book. The "Merry Piper Song Book for Schools" [...] is the only printed source I have found and that publication claims that this is an "old Scottish Melody". (Notes 'Jean Redpath')


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Subject: RE: 'Faithful Johnny'
From: Murray on SS
Date: 28 Oct 99 - 09:36 PM

Footnote: the pedant in me regrets that I typed "faithful" with an ell, for the text says "faithfu'". Some may be mystified by the 'lift' Johnnie can't see: it's just an old Scots word for "sky".


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Subject: RE: 'Faithful Johnny'
From: Abby Sale
Date: 21 Nov 99 - 10:17 AM

THanks Susanne. I see you've put that on your good website. I'm glad to see this as Redpath's earlier record notes imply that she got it from that songbook rather than, as you show, got it from Dransfield but _found_ it in the songbook later.

Murray on SS: Good. Those are the words I have (except for light/lift) and the end of line two, BUT there's a problem. I'm not at all sure those are the words Beethoven used. (I'm really hung up on this song & can't quit 'till get as much as I can.) I've asked Inter-Library Loan for both Thomson's 1818 "A Select Collection of Original Scottish Airs..." and a copy of the Beethoven. That you pointed to. Seems all of Beethoven's Scottish song treatments were actually commissioned by Thomson. He wasn't an antiquarian, just a businessman and had no compunction about "improving" texts. One thing I've had info on that differs from your comment: Seems Thomson generally did not supply the actual text to B. (although he _may_ have in this case;) just a simple tune, the mood & subject matter. It was up to B. to set the lines & Thomson would squeeze the words in when he printed.

Further, I can't wait till I eyeball those books - there seem to be several texts available. If you look to the art song treatments. I now have a classical music CD that drops the second 'my faithful Johnny,' as you give, but has a completely different third verse. I've heard a clip at CDConnection that claims to be Beethoven but uses the Dransfield/Handle first line. I don't know if these are varient back-translations from the German or English texts collected elsewhere.

But it does seem very clear that you had that first-ever- printing right as being Thomson's. Hmm.


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Subject: RE: 'Faithful Johnny'
From: Lesley N.
Date: 21 Nov 99 - 05:20 PM

Elizabeth Grant wrote several songs (though Roy's Wife is her best known). She also wrote Rising of the Lark (http://www.contemplator.com/folk2/riselark.html). Well, o.k. that makes three for certain - but I'm sure I've run across others as well... How's that for an unverified fact? Oh dear - wish I had time to look through things..

A short bio of Elizabeth Grant is at Elizabeth Grant (http://www.users.globalnet.co.uk/~crumey/elizabeth_grant_i.html) At Andrew Crumey's wonderful site on Scottish Writers.


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Subject: Lyr Add: FAITHFU' JOHNIE
From: masato sakurai
Date: 27 Jul 02 - 10:17 AM

FAITHFUL JOHNNY in the DT is from the singing of the Pratie Heads and Jean Redpath. Sound clip for Redpath's "My Faithful Johnny" is HERE; Eileen McGann's clip of "Faithful Johnny " is HERE. Also discussed at the thread: 'Faithful Johnny', where the Beethoven version is posted. However, a recent edition (and recording) of the Beethoven arrangement uses a longer version, and of course the melody is much more sophisticated. The 1890 edition of Beethoven: Schottiche Lieder (C.F. Peters, pp. 8-9) has the first 3 satnzas only.

FAITHFU' JOHNIE (Der treue Johnie)
(1st setting, 1809-10)
Ann Grant

When will you come again, my faithfu' Johnie,
When will you come again?
"When the corn is gathered,
And the leaves are withered,
I will come again, my sweet and bonny,
I will come again."

Then winter's winds will blaw, my faithfu' Johnie,
Then winter's winds will blaw;
"Though the day be dark wi' drift,
That I canna see the lift,
I will come again, my sweet and bonny,
I will come again."

Then will you meet me here, my faithfu' Johnie,
Then will you meet me here?
"Though the night were halloween
When the fearfu' sights are seen,
I would meet thee here,my sweet and bonny,
I would meet thee here."

O come na by the muir, my faithfu' Johnie,
O come na by the muir.
"Though the wraiths were glinting white
By the dim elf-candles' light,
I would come to thee, my sweet and bonny,
I would come to thee."

And shall we part again, my faithfu' Johnie,
Shall we part again?
"Sae lang's my eye can see, Jean,
That face so dear to me, Jean,
We shall not part again, my sweet and bonny,
We shall not part again."

SOURCE: Beethoven Werke XI, 1 (Schottische und walisische Lieder), edited by Petra Weber-Bockholdt (G. Henle Verlag, 1999, pp. 104-109); and Beethoven: Volkslied-Bearbeitungen [Folksong Arrangements], Vol. 17 (Deutsche Grammophon 453 786-2) [CD]

The author is Anne (MacVicar) Grant (1755-1838) (Info is HERE).

~Masato


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Subject: RE: 'Faithful Johnny'
From: masato sakurai
Date: 27 Jul 02 - 10:19 AM

The author is Anne (MacVicar) Grant (1755-1838) (Info is HERE).


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Subject: RE: 'Faithful Johnny'
From: masato sakurai
Date: 27 Jul 02 - 01:15 PM

Sound clip for Beethoven's "Faithfu' Johnie" (Op.108 No.20) sung by Wolfgang Holzmair is HERE.

~Masato


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Subject: RE: 'Faithful Johnny'
From: masato sakurai
Date: 28 Jul 02 - 12:06 AM

Faithfu' Johnie, First version of Op. 108 nr. 20, Hess 203, with lyrics and MIDI:

"This first version of this folksong (one of the first written by Beethoven for George Thomson) is notably different from the final version (sent to Thomson in August 1812). The piano part is a good deal more active and difficult, with triplet 16th notes throughout the piece except in the very first and very last measures. George Thomson wrote Beethoven that the arrangement was "very brilliant and truly excellent but the piano part is too difficult, and contains too many roulades to be generally played here." Thomson also had in the meantime found a better version of the melody, which was used to write op. 108 nr. 20. In addition, it is apparent that between the two versions Beethoven found out that the text involved a conversation between two people; between the woman's and the man's words in the lyrics, Beethoven inserted a two-measure ritornello as a clear separation. This is supported further by the echo of the rising phrase with the question "When will you come again?" which emphasizes this crucial phrase and its inquiring nature."

The two versions (scores) are in Beethoven Werke XI, 1; the C.F. Peters edition, as well as several recordings, has the final version only.


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Subject: RE: 'Faithful Johnny'
From: masato sakurai
Date: 28 Jul 02 - 12:23 AM

On the additional stanzas, the editor of the Werke says: "From a manuscript never before published. Communicated to the editor, and the last two stanzas added by Mrs. Grant." (Werke: Kritischer Bericht, p. 75). The correct spelling of the author is "Anne Grant" (with e).


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Subject: RE: 'Faithful Johnny'
From: masato sakurai
Date: 28 Jul 02 - 12:37 AM

"the editor" in the quotation just above, which is George Thomson's words, is therefore Thomson.


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Subject: RE: 'Faithful Johnny'
From: Abby Sale
Date: 28 Jul 02 - 02:35 AM

Good work, as usual, Masato. I got that Holzmair CD when this thread was first working. He's a pretty fair singer for a trained voice. Seems the song is a standard in the leider repetoire both in German and English. When the B took the song back the new works snuck in. Dyer-Bennett cut it, too.

As I wrote, I did set out to get the original publication from Inter-library Loan. I really wondered what the actual original words were for certain. To my surprise, I got bunches to the original 18-teens books sent to me. They were very upscale, tea-table editions but there were a bunch. There were many original poems, trad songs, re-workings of trad and quite a few new & rehashed Burns. All given musical treatments and pre- & postludes by known composers. Thomson was one of Burns' major publishers and he included a memorial dedication when Burns died part-way through the series.

Since I couldn't precisely identify which volume the song was in, I kept getting wrong ones about 12 (some repeats) - never got the right one & finally had to give up. But I still wonder. Dyer-Bennett also cut it but he used the leider rather than the "folk" version.

Are you confident of your identification of Mrs. Grant? She seemed hard to pin down.

Last, I had some contact with Barry Dransfield about it. It remains one of his favorite songs and I think I enjoy his treatment of it best. It was Carthy that suggested changing lift to light for the Anglo-understanding of it. Reasonable.

Still a fine song.


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Subject: RE: 'Faithful Johnny'
From: masato sakurai
Date: 28 Jul 02 - 03:06 AM

The Werke says "Englischer Text von Anne Grant (1755-1838), deutscher Text von S.H. Spiker (1786-1858)" (Kritischer Bericht, p. 76); Beethoven: Volkslied-Bearbeitungen says the poem is by "Anne Grant."

~Masato


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Subject: RE: 'Faithful Johnny'
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 28 Jul 02 - 05:31 AM

Lift/licht/light?....Giok


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Subject: RE: 'Faithful Johnny'
From: masato sakurai
Date: 28 Jul 02 - 06:23 AM

I think this is the word (Scots Dictionary).

lift:
The lift is a literary name for the sky. The word comes from the Old English lyft, and is related to the modern German luft, which also means sky.

~Masato


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Subject: RE: 'Faithful Johnny'
From: masato sakurai
Date: 01 Feb 03 - 05:10 AM

Janet Baker's recordings of Scottish songs have been reissued on Haydn - Beethoven: Scottish Folk Song Arrangements, etc.(TESTAMENT SBT 1241), which includes "Faithfu' Johnie", accompanied by Yehudi Menuhin (violin), George Malcolm (piano) and Ross Pople (cello).


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Subject: RE: 'Faithful Johnny'
From: GUEST,ewfarm@airmail.net
Date: 07 May 04 - 03:28 PM

I have a family history written by a great aunt in the late 1890's and in it she recalled a party in the spring of 1854 where a person [my husband's great-grandfather] sang in "high clear tones 'Roy's Wife'" and gives all the words but not the music. I am looking for the music - and have been for years. Hopefully someone here can point in the correct direction.

Thanks!
Sandi


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Subject: RE: 'Faithful Johnny'
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 07 May 04 - 03:48 PM

Most standard Scottish song books have it. Online, there are several sets at the Lester Levy Sheet Music Collection. Here is a direct link to one example:

Roy's wife of Aldivalloch

Easier to read on a screen is the music in Scots Minstrelsie: A National Monument of Scottish Song:

Scots Minstrelsie vol I (scroll down a little to locate the thumbnails).


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