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Tune Add: As Sylvie Was Walking

In Mudcat MIDIs:
As Sylvie Was Walking (from The Penguin Book Of English Folk Songs)
The Forsaken Maiden (Version of As Sylvie Lay Weeping version noted by Sabine Baring Gould from James Parsons of Lew Down, Devonshire, in October 1888: The Forsaken Maiden (A Maiden Sat A-Weeping))
Once I Had a True Love (version of As Sylvie Lay Sleeping: an 18th century example of the tune, from Wright's Complete Tutor For Ye [sic] Flute, c.1733, quoted by Stephen Sedley (The Seeds of Love, 1967).)


Alan of Australia 14 Jan 00 - 04:36 AM
Malcolm Douglas 07 Jul 00 - 05:06 PM
Dicho 25 May 02 - 05:14 PM
Dicho 25 May 02 - 05:41 PM
Malcolm Douglas 26 May 02 - 10:39 AM
Haruo 26 May 02 - 09:51 PM
Malcolm Douglas 26 May 02 - 10:01 PM
Dicho 26 May 02 - 11:05 PM
Haruo 27 May 02 - 05:11 AM
GUEST 27 May 02 - 05:25 AM
Haruo 27 May 02 - 05:29 AM
Malcolm Douglas 27 May 02 - 08:58 AM
Dicho 27 May 02 - 01:36 PM
GUEST,Jenny 05 Sep 05 - 01:13 AM
Peace 05 Sep 05 - 01:22 AM
GUEST,Jenny 06 Sep 05 - 09:11 PM
Malcolm Douglas 06 Sep 05 - 09:35 PM
GUEST,Jenny 14 Sep 05 - 12:50 AM
Richard Bridge 14 Sep 05 - 09:51 PM
Malcolm Douglas 15 Sep 05 - 03:53 AM
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Subject: As Sylvie Was Walking (tune only)^^
From: Alan of Australia
Date: 14 Jan 00 - 04:36 AM

G'day,
From the Penguin Book Of English Folk Songs, Ed Pellow's submission of the tune of As Sylvie Was Walking can be found here.

Previous song: All Things Are Quite Silent.
Next Song: The Banks Of Green Willow.

Cheers,
Alan ^^


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Subject: RE: Tune Add: As Sylvie Was Walking
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 07 Jul 00 - 05:06 PM

From the notes to the Penguin Book (1959):

"This song was sent to W. P. Merrick from Australia.  The singer, an 80-year-old woman born near Coleford, Gloucestershire, had been living in the Antipodes since 1855.  She had learned the song from her uncle, also from Gloucestershire.  The text has been amplified from versions sung to H. E. D. Hammond in 1906 by two Dorset women, Mrs. Hann of Stoke Abbot and Mrs. Russell of Upwey.  A version from Lew Down, Devon, appears in Songs of the West (Baring Gould and others, 1905) under the title of A Maiden Sat a-Weeping."  -R.V.W/A.L.L.

This version was collected by Tilly Aston from Mrs. Aston of Moonee Ponds, Victoria, Australia in 1911, and was first published in the Journal of the English Folk Dance and Song Society, vol. I p. 52.

@love @parting

There is another, fragmentary, version of this song on the DT:  Once I Had a Sweetheart, mysteriously copyrighted by one D. Adams, who obviously did not write it!

There is a longer broadside version at the  Bodleian Library Broadside Ballads,  (printer and date unknown):  Bunch of Green Ribbons  (large image).

There is also an entry at the Traditional Ballad Index:  As Sylvie Was Walking.

Mrs. Russell of Upwey's version, Poor Sally Sat a-Weeping was published in The Constant Lovers (ed. Frank Purslow, EFDS, 1972).

Malcolm


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Subject: Add: BUNCH OF GREEN RIBBONS
From: Dicho
Date: 25 May 02 - 05:14 PM

Lyr. Add: BUNCH OF GREEN RIBBONS

Once I had a sweetheart but now I have none,
He's gone, I'm forsaken, he's gone I'm forsaken,
He's gone, I'm forsaken and left all alone.

Last night in sweet slumber I fancied to see,
My own dearest jewel, my own dearest jewel,
My own dearest jewel sat smiling by me.

But when I awaked and found it not so,
My eyes they like fountains, my eyes they like fountains
My eyes they like fountains, with water did flow.

I set sail for Dublin, for France and proud Spain,
And boldly did venture, so boldly did enter,
And ne'er will return to old England again.

Oh! soften his heart, ye powers above,
And once let him know, and once let him know,
And once let him know what it is for to love.

But love unto me is a tormenting pain,
To grant love to those, to grant love to those
To grant love to those that will not love again.

I find I must love him, do all that I can,
I loved him so well, I loved him so well,
I loved him so well that he must be the man.

Don't laugh at my folly, maids learn to be wife,
And ne'er trust the young men, and ne'er trust the young men,
And ne'er trust the young men, but liberty prize.

But if he's got married, no mourn will I make,
I think it an honour, it must be an honour,
I am sure tis an honour to die for his sake.

There's no one shall know of the tears that I have shed,
But a Bunch of green ribbons, but a bunch of green ribbons,
But a bunch of green ribbons I'll wear round my head.

But since i'm so loyal to die for my dear,
I'll *chuse six young virgins, I'll chuse six young virgins,
I'll chuse six young virgins my coffin to bear.

Of all those young virgins which I do chuse here,
Instead of green ribbons, instead of green ribbons,
Instead of green ribbons a garland shall wear.

When I in the church, in my grave I'm laid deep,
I'll leave these fine garlands, I'll leave these fine garlands,
I'll leave these fine garlands to hang over my feet.

When any of the sex behold them in sight,
They may see I've been constant, they may see I've been constant,
They may see I've been constant to my own heart's delight.

Bodleian Ballads, see Malcolm Douglas, above, for reference to the broadsheet. Probably no later that the earliest part of the 19th century. *chuse = choose.
This is a delightful version, easy to sing and parody, and I couldn't resist posting it. I'm sure that it was often sung with smiles and giggles. It should be in the DT.
The subject of the song "has been done and overdone." Several songs with unrelated words came to mind- for one, The Man on the Flying Trapeze ("Once I was happy but now I'm forlorn")- which fit the rhythm of this song. Another I was reminded of was "You Are My Sunshine," although the meter is different ("When I awoke, dear, I was mistaken, so I ...."). The "six young virgins" lines find echos in the "Streets of Laredo."


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Subject: RE: Tune Add: As Sylvie Was Walking
From: Dicho
Date: 25 May 02 - 05:41 PM

The midi for "As Sylvie Went Walking doesn't play.


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Subject: Add: As Sylvie Was Walking: variants
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 26 May 02 - 10:39 AM

The midi works for me; perhaps the problem is at your end. So far as a tune for the broadside copy goes, this is one case where the traditional variants are still recognisably close to the 18th century tune (see below).

Some information to add:

Note: verse 4 in As Sylvie Was Walking in the DT contains an error of transcription. Line 3 should be:

He's a-gone and he's leaved me, he's a-gone, he's deceived me
As stated in the Penguin Book notes, the text given is a collation from three separate sources; in fact only verse 1 is given as noted from Mrs. Aston (who was the collector's mother, incidentally). Her text was as follows:

SYLVIA

(Noted by Tilly Aston, June 27th, 1911, from Mrs. Aston, Moonee Ponds, Melbourne, Australia)

As Sylvie was walking down by the riverside,
As Sylvie was walking down by the riverside,
And looking so sadly, and looking so sadly
And looking so sadly upon its swift tide.

She thought on the lover that left her in pride;
On the banks of the meadow she sat down and cried,
On the banks of the meadow, on the banks of the meadow
On the banks of the meadow she sat down and cried.

And there she sat crying, when her young man came by,
And he said, "My dear jewel, what makes you to cry?"
And she said, "I am vexed, love, and troubled in mind,
Through an unconstant lover who proved so unkind."

"Come, dig me a grave that is long, wide, and deep,
That I may lie down there and take a long sleep,
And strew it with laurels, and strew it with laurels,
And strew it with laurels and posies so sweet."

The above from The Journal of the English Folk Dance and Song Society, vol.I no.1, 1932. Mrs. Hann and Mrs. Russell's versions appeared in The Journal of the Folk Song Society, vol.3, issue 11, 1907. The additional material incorporated into the Penguin text breaks down as follows:

Verse 1:  Mrs. Aston
Verse 2:  Mrs. Aston (edited)
Verse 3, line 1:  Mrs. Aston
Verse 3, line 2:  Mrs. Aston (edited)
Verse 3, lines 3 and 4:  Mrs. Hann (from her first verse)
Verse 4:  Mrs. Hann (from her third verse, slightly edited)
Verse 5:  Mrs. Russell (her first verse)
Verse 6:  Mrs. Russell (her second verse)

Verse 7 is quite another matter, and comes, not from any of the three ladies mentioned, but from a set collected by Sabine Baring Gould from James Parsons of Lew Down, Devonshire, in October 1888; the editors have rewritten it to fit the pattern of Sylvie. Mr. Parsons sang it thus:

I'll spread my sail of silver,
I'll steer toward the sun,
And thou, false love, will weep for me,
And thou, false love, will weep for me,
For me when I'm gone.
Mr. Parsons' text as originally noted appears in James Reeves, The Everlasting Circle (Heinemann, 1960):

THE FORSAKEN MAIDEN

(Noted by Sabine Baring Gould from James Parsons, Lew Down, Devon, 1888)

A maiden sat a-weeping
Down by the sea-shore.
What ails my pretty Sally,
What ails my pretty Sally
And makes her heart sore?

Because I am a-weary
A-weary in my mind.
No comfort and no pleasure,
No comfort and no pleasure
Henceforth can I find.

I'll spread my sail of silver,
I'll loose my rope of silk.
My mast is of the cypress tree,
My mast is of the cypress tree
My track is white as milk.

I'll spread my sail of silver,
I'll steer toward the sun,
And thou, false love, will weep for me,
And thou, false love, will weep for me,
For me when I'm gone.

The song appeared, as A Maiden Sat A-Weeping, in Baring Gould's Songs of the West, with some unnecessary editorial changes which need not concern us here, beyond the fact that in each verse the third line is repeated three times rather than two, as above. Here is a midi of Mr. Parsons' tune, made from the notation in that book:

The Forsaken Maiden (midi)

Baring Gould thought the tune to be 16th century, but later opinion would place it in the early 18th. Stephen Sedley (The Seeds of Love, 1967) states: "The text of this song... first appears in [the ballad-opera] The Beggar's Wedding (1729), though it is not known if it originated there". (According to Bruce Olson, 1729 was actually the date of the 4th edition.) Sedley's text is a collation made from Mrs. Hann's set and a broadside example; he does however also quote an 18th century example of the tune, from Wright's Complete Tutor For Ye [sic] Flute, c.1733. Here is a midi:

Once I Had a Truelove: c.1733 (midi)

The song is number 170 in the Roud Folk Song Index.

Other versions were noted by Cecil Sharp, and it was still turning up in tradition in the 1960s and '70s; both Phoebe Smith and Paddy Tunney had sets of it, and another, from Edith Smith, a servant at Coleby Hall in Lincolnshire (via Maurice Ogg) was printed in English Dance and Song vol.43 no.2, 1981.


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Subject: RE: Tune Add: As Sylvie Was Walking
From: Haruo
Date: 26 May 02 - 09:51 PM

The As Sylvie midi doesn't play for me, either.

And what does the spelling "chuse" mean, if anything? Is it pronounced differently than "choose"? Or is it a regionally preferred spelling? Or a random vagary? Or intended to suggest illiteracy (like putting "kernel" in dialogue to stand for "colonel")?

Liland


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Subject: RE: Tune Add: As Sylvie Was Walking
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 26 May 02 - 10:01 PM

The midi problem is probably to do with your browser; have you allowed another program to take over the file association? Chuse is just an alternative spelling of choose, now obsolete.


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Subject: RE: Tune Add: As Sylvie Was Walking
From: Dicho
Date: 26 May 02 - 11:05 PM

Liland, I * chuse and put the common spelling at the bottom of the posting. As Malcolm says, it is a variant spelling, and is in the OED.
The midi should be corrected. If it was just the browser, others should refuse to play as well.


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Subject: RE: Tune Add: As Sylvie Was Walking
From: Haruo
Date: 27 May 02 - 05:11 AM

Exactly. It's that particular midi that won't play. Tells me
Cannot open 'http://media.mudcat.org/midi/SYLVWALK.mid'. Please verify that the path and filename are correct and try again.

Suggestion: Check the web site or content source for information about playing this content. (Error=8004022F)

Other DT midis I can play no problem.

As for "chuse", I didn't see the footnote, just the asterisk in the text. But of course I knew that it was a variant of "choose", I was mostly wondering if it had implications for performance (pronunciation difference, e.g.).

Liland


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Subject: RE: Tune Add: As Sylvie Was Walking
From: GUEST
Date: 27 May 02 - 05:25 AM

I think Malcolm was referring to the file at: www.mudcat.org/alanofoz/as sylvie was walking.mid (Mentioned as can be found 'here' in the first message) which does work.

Agreed that the link via the DT doesn't though. It was reported in the help forum a coupe of years ago...


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Subject: RE: Tune Add: As Sylvie Was Walking
From: Haruo
Date: 27 May 02 - 05:29 AM

That works for me. Dicho?

Liland


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Subject: RE: Tune Add: As Sylvie Was Walking
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 27 May 02 - 08:58 AM

I see that we were talking at cross purposes; I had assumed that you were both talking about the midi linked to directly from this thread. I've looked at the DT midi file now, and the reason it won't play is because the music doesn't start until the 646th bar! I think this sort of error (this is not the only case) is due to the way the files are generated in the first place, but it would be the work of a few minutes only for someone with the appropriate password to fix it.


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Subject: RE: Tune Add: As Sylvie Was Walking
From: Dicho
Date: 27 May 02 - 01:36 PM

Liland, interesting point. How was chuse (and other words) pronounced by the "author" when the broadside was printed some 200 years ago? A bit of research and some guesswork would be needed. Mostly we just apply our own pronunciations.

In my dialect, predominantly southern Rocky Mountain with a smattering of Hispanic vowels and some Texian, I say "chuze." The "u" is "oo. Aren't the vowels ah, ay, ee, oh, oo? Thus Tuesday is "Toosday." Note: Dangerous thread creep!


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Subject: RE: Tune Add: As Sylvie Was Walking
From: GUEST,Jenny
Date: 05 Sep 05 - 01:13 AM

A query for Malcom Douglas: Malcom, do you know of the whereabouts any other songs collected by Tilly Aston? I have some references to her family's music making from her Reminiscences, but would like to track down the actual songs if possible.


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Subject: RE: Tune Add: As Sylvie Was Walking
From: Peace
Date: 05 Sep 05 - 01:22 AM

ASTON, Tilly
Singable Songs by Tilly Aston ...
Melbourne : Robertson & Mullens Ltd., 1924
8vo, 31pp. Paper covers.

Also see

www.newcastle.edu.au/services/library/ collections/archives/int/acquisitions1997rb.pdf -


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Subject: RE: Tune Add: As Sylvie Was Walking
From: GUEST,Jenny
Date: 06 Sep 05 - 09:11 PM

Thanks, but alas, 'Singable Songs' are Tilly Aston's own poems: interesting early Australiana, but not folk songs.


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Subject: RE: Tune Add: As Sylvie Was Walking
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 06 Sep 05 - 09:35 PM

So far as I know, Tilly only sent the one song to W P Merrick; the notation was in braille. Merrick (an enthusiastic folk song collector) was losing his sight and had established quite a wide international circle of braille correspondents. In a typed letter to Lucy Broadwood (dated 3 October 1911) he said, of Sylvie:

"... sent to [m]e by a blind Australian teacher of singing, as learnt and noted from her mother, a native of Gloucestershire ... I have had it transcribed from the Braille type in which it was written."

That's all that I copied from the letter, but I'm fairly sure that he went on, in that or a later letter, to say that he hoped to get more songs from Miss Aston. Unfortunately, there seem to be no signs that he ever did.

The correspondence is in the Broadwood Collection, held at the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library at Cecil Sharp House in London. The item reference is LEB/5/339.


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Subject: RE: Tune Add: As Sylvie Was Walking
From: GUEST,Jenny
Date: 14 Sep 05 - 12:50 AM

Malcolm, thats extremely helpful. Thank you!


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Subject: RE: Tune Add: As Sylvie Was Walking
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 14 Sep 05 - 09:51 PM

Interesting.

The tune I have for this song (from my late wife) is similar but different. Unfortunately I do not know where she got that version and now cannot ask, but when she was singing professionally and semi-professionally (long before I knew her) most of her and her band's stuff was pretty diligently researched.

I will try to find the opportunity to ask her first husband, who may remember.


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Subject: RE: Tune Add: As Sylvie Was Walking
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 15 Sep 05 - 03:53 AM

Joan Baez recorded an arrangement; her source may have been Cynthia Gooding, but I haven't managed to get details of that as yet. Pentangle in turn recorded an arrangement of the Baez arrangement (so far as I can tell) and assumed that it was an American variant; they re-added some of the English text.

My impression is that there wasn't a traditional "American version" at all, but that the song was picked up there by revival performers. I'd be glad of any details anyone might be able to add re. Cynthia Gooding's set, which seems to have been the earliest; I think Caroline Hester also recorded an arrangement, after Gooding but before Baez.


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