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Origins: Blackwaterside

Related threads:
Lyr Req: Blackwaterside (28)
Lyr/Chords Req: Blackwaterside (Bert Jansch) (8)
Lyr/Chords Req: Blackwaterside (from Oysterband) (3)
Tune Req: Blackwaterside (Bert Jansch) (8)


In Mudcat MIDIs:
Abroad As I Was Walking


Margaret V 06 Apr 00 - 11:01 PM
DebC 07 Apr 00 - 11:15 AM
Ringer 07 Apr 00 - 01:00 PM
Malcolm Douglas 07 Apr 00 - 01:01 PM
GUEST 07 Apr 00 - 03:56 PM
Margaret V 08 Apr 00 - 01:48 AM
Bob Bolton 08 Apr 00 - 07:22 AM
Malcolm Douglas 09 Apr 00 - 10:50 AM
Margaret V 09 Apr 00 - 04:11 PM
Malcolm Douglas 09 Apr 00 - 07:46 PM
Alan of Australia 11 Apr 00 - 09:08 PM
GUEST,Phil Cooper 12 Apr 00 - 02:30 PM
greg stephens 14 Mar 03 - 05:35 AM
Steve Parkes 14 Mar 03 - 05:49 AM
GUEST,Philippa 14 Mar 03 - 08:00 AM
Hester 14 Mar 03 - 01:18 PM
GUEST,Claire 16 Aug 06 - 11:26 AM
Malcolm Douglas 17 Aug 06 - 02:59 AM
ard mhacha 17 Aug 06 - 03:59 AM
Malcolm Douglas 17 Aug 06 - 04:48 AM
ard mhacha 17 Aug 06 - 12:49 PM
GUEST,Claire 17 Aug 06 - 01:04 PM
greg stephens 17 Aug 06 - 01:04 PM
ard mhacha 17 Aug 06 - 01:38 PM
greg stephens 17 Aug 06 - 01:41 PM
ard mhacha 17 Aug 06 - 01:49 PM
GUEST,Claire 17 Aug 06 - 02:19 PM
greg stephens 17 Aug 06 - 02:22 PM
ard mhacha 17 Aug 06 - 03:13 PM
Malcolm Douglas 17 Aug 06 - 03:24 PM
Anglo 17 Aug 06 - 04:20 PM
GUEST,GK 18 Aug 06 - 05:42 AM
ard mhacha 18 Aug 06 - 06:37 AM
greg stephens 18 Aug 06 - 10:30 AM
ard mhacha 18 Aug 06 - 12:42 PM
GUEST 18 Aug 06 - 06:25 PM
Mudlark 18 Aug 06 - 09:05 PM
ard mhacha 19 Aug 06 - 06:44 AM
greg stephens 19 Aug 06 - 08:52 AM
ard mhacha 21 Aug 06 - 04:16 AM
GUEST 21 Aug 06 - 01:29 PM
GUEST 21 Aug 06 - 08:28 PM
Malcolm Douglas 21 Aug 06 - 11:05 PM
Malcolm Douglas 22 Aug 06 - 10:56 PM
GUEST,Billy Finn, Donegal, Ireland 13 Sep 07 - 09:21 PM
Declan 14 Sep 07 - 03:35 AM
The Doctor 14 Sep 07 - 07:23 AM
Bernard 14 Sep 07 - 10:43 AM
Mr Happy 14 Sep 07 - 10:57 AM
Jim I 14 Sep 07 - 12:24 PM
The Doctor 14 Sep 07 - 02:27 PM
GUEST,? 03 Nov 07 - 11:08 AM
greg stephens 03 Nov 07 - 11:31 AM
greg stephens 03 Nov 07 - 11:40 AM
Tradsinger 03 Nov 07 - 12:06 PM
GUEST,Jim Carroll 03 Nov 07 - 03:48 PM
GUEST 03 Nov 07 - 05:59 PM
greg stephens 03 Nov 07 - 06:08 PM
GUEST,Foolish girl 31 Aug 09 - 06:24 AM
Stringsinger 31 Aug 09 - 05:19 PM
Tradsinger 31 Aug 09 - 05:53 PM
gecko 31 Aug 09 - 07:43 PM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 31 Aug 09 - 08:20 PM
MGM·Lion 01 Sep 09 - 11:50 AM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 01 Sep 09 - 12:50 PM
GUEST,Blackwaterduncan 31 Aug 10 - 09:23 AM
GUEST,Ron A 26 Feb 11 - 11:45 AM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 26 Feb 11 - 03:31 PM
DanMan 23 Apr 11 - 01:37 AM
Joe Offer 23 Apr 11 - 02:08 AM
GUEST,Wooly Rhino 12 Oct 11 - 11:32 PM
GUEST,coinman 26 Oct 11 - 07:05 PM
GUEST,Coinman 26 Oct 11 - 07:21 PM
GUEST,GUEST, Jon Mason 28 Oct 11 - 08:25 AM
GUEST,Guest Sp 25 Nov 12 - 07:46 AM
mayomick 25 Nov 12 - 09:06 AM
Steve Gardham 25 Nov 12 - 01:13 PM
Steve Gardham 25 Nov 12 - 01:41 PM
GUEST,maggie connoes 15 Jan 13 - 10:52 PM
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Subject: Blackwaterside Origins
From: Margaret V
Date: 06 Apr 00 - 11:01 PM

Hi. Does anyone have information on the history of the song "Blackwaterside?" Irish? English? It would seem unnecessary for an Irish song to refer to "the Irish lad" so I've imagined it's English, but set in Ireland. Someone set me straight! Thanks. Margaret


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Subject: RE: Blackwaterside Origins
From: DebC
Date: 07 Apr 00 - 11:15 AM

Me too!!! I would love to have some more background on this one.

Deb


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Subject: RE: Blackwaterside Origins
From: Ringer
Date: 07 Apr 00 - 01:00 PM

I remember having seen it placed in East Anglia (England), but I can't remember the reference at all. Anyway, there is a River Blackwater there.


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Subject: RE: Blackwaterside Origins
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 07 Apr 00 - 01:01 PM

The version on the DT is from Jean Redpath's recording; she doesn't name a source, other than to say that it's Irish.  Probably most people who sing it nowadays are using the version recorded in the 1960s and '70s by, most notably, Sandy Denny and before her, Bert Jansch.  Jansch got it from Anne Briggs, who in turn -so far as I know- had it from A.L.Lloyd.  Lloyd may have got it from the BBC Sound Archives' recording (made by Peter Kennedy and S. O'Boyle in 1952) of Paddy and Mary Doran.

Peter Kennedy gives a version, Down By Blackwaterside, in Folksongs of Britain and Ireland.  That one came from the traveller Winnie Ryan, (Belfast, 1952), and has pretty much the tune we all know.  Versions with much the same text (but different tunes) were collected in the West Country around the turn of the century by, among others, Baring Gould (The Squire And The Fair Maid) and Gardiner (Abroad As I Was Walking).  The issue is muddied by the fact that there are other, overlapping songs such as Captain Thunderbolt (Down By The Shannon Side) and Down By The Riverside and another song called Down By Blackwaterside (The Irish Maid) which has a quite different story.  19th century broadsides of most of those can be found at the Bodleian Library site.  Kennedy is inclined to think that the English betrayal song found its way to Ireland, where it picked up the Blackwaterside locale from that song, and an Irish tune from...well, somewhere or other.  So far as I can tell, this hasn't been discussed in the Forum before.  Anybody else?

Malcolm


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Subject: RE: Blackwaterside Origins
From: GUEST
Date: 07 Apr 00 - 03:56 PM

there are Blackwaters in Cork and in Tyrone


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Subject: RE: Blackwaterside Origins
From: Margaret V
Date: 08 Apr 00 - 01:48 AM

Malcolm, I'd say you've got the discussion off to a good start! Thanks, all; I'll be watching for any additional information. And now to bed; just got back from a powerfully great Dick Gaughan performance. Listening to him made me proud to be a human. . . (is thread creep permissable if it's a thread you started yourself?) Margaret


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Subject: RE: Blackwaterside Origins
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 08 Apr 00 - 07:22 AM

G'day all,

(Unnamed) GUEST: Indeed there is a Blackwater in Dublin, for that is near enough to what the name means in Gaelic.

Regards,

Bob Bolton


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Subject: Lyr Add: ABROAD AS I WAS WALKING
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 09 Apr 00 - 10:50 AM

I thought I'd add one of the West Country songs I mentioned earlier.  You'll see the parts it has in common with Blackwaterside.  That doesn't prove a direct connection, of course; in other respects the songs are quite different, but on the face of it they do seem to be related lyrically.

ABROAD AS I WAS WALKING

Abroad as I was walking
Down by some greenwood side
I heard some young girl singing
"I wish I was a bride."
"I thank you, pretty fair maid
For singing of your song;
It's I myself will marry you."
"Kind sir, I am too young."

"The younger you are the better
More fitter for my bride
That all the world may plainly see
I married my wife a maid."
Nine times I kissed her ruby lips
I viewed her sparkling eye
I catched her by the lily white hand
One night with her to lie.

All the fore part of that night
How we did sport and play
And all the latter part of that night
I slept in her arms till day:
Till day, till day, till day
Till daylight did appear.
The young man rose, put on his clothes,
Said, "Fare you well my dear."

"What did you promise me last night
As I lay by your side?
You promised you would marry me
Make me your lawful bride."
"What I did promise you last night
Was in a merry mood;
I vow, I swear, I do declare
I'm not so very good.

Go down to your father's garden
Sit down and cry your fill
And when you think on what you've done
You blame your forward will."
"My parents brought me up
Like a small bird in a cage
And now I am with child by you
Scarce fourteen years of age.

It's other farmers' daughters
To market they do go
But I, poor girl, must stay at home
And rock the cradle o'er
To rock the cradle o'er and o'er
Sing hush 'ee, lullaby;
Was there ever a maid and a pretty fair maid
In love so crossed as I?"

Tune: Gardiner H.781. Mrs. Goodyear, Axford, Hants. August 1907

Text: Gardiner H.589. Alfred Porter, Basingstoke, Hants. Sept. 1906

Published by Frank Purslow in The Wanton Seed (EFDSS, 1968).

Already on the DT are a (related?) Scottish song,  AS I WENT OUT AE MAY MORNING, and an Appalachian version of Abroad as I was Walking, with even closer similarities to Blackwaterside:  PRETTY LITTLE MISS.

Malcolm


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Subject: RE: Blackwaterside Origins
From: Margaret V
Date: 09 Apr 00 - 04:11 PM

Malcolm, thanks for posting that West Country version and for the links to the songs in the DT. Is there a last line missing in the second verse of "Abroad as I was Walking?" These are all such interesting songs. They all feature a "that's what you get for being so loose" verse, but the Scottish version is the only one that recants a bit on the smugness or offers any comfort. "My parents brought me up like a small bird in a cage:" that's a phrase/concept I've never come across before. Is it a common image?


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Subject: RE: Blackwaterside Origins
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 09 Apr 00 - 07:46 PM

Whoops!  There is indeed a line missing.  It is:

One night with her to lie.

Malcolm

(Missing line fixed)


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Subject: RE: Blackwaterside Origins
From: Alan of Australia
Date: 11 Apr 00 - 09:08 PM

G'day,
Thanks to Malcolm the tune for "Abroad As I Was Walking" can be found here at the Mudcat MIDI site.

Cheers,
Alan


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Subject: RE: Blackwaterside Origins
From: GUEST,Phil Cooper
Date: 12 Apr 00 - 02:30 PM

Peta Webb recorded Blackwaterside to another tune on her topic album "I Have Wandered in Exile" from the early '70's. (Humorous aside): you mean the usual tune wasn't by Jimmy Page?


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Subject: RE: Blackwaterside Origins
From: greg stephens
Date: 14 Mar 03 - 05:35 AM

I note that an earlier posting(Malolm Douglas) attributes the now popular version to rcordings by Bert jansch/Anne Briggs/Sandy Denny. I have a strong feeling that all those versions came directly or indirectly from the singing of Isla Cameron, an actress/singer active in the folk scene late 50's on. Where she got it from, I couldnt say.


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Subject: RE: Blackwaterside Origins
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 14 Mar 03 - 05:49 AM

I learned it years ago from Tommy Dempsey, the well-known Brumie Irishman. I don't know where he had it from. His words are the same as the DT version, apart from some small details.

Steve


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Subject: RE: Blackwaterside Origins
From: GUEST,Philippa
Date: 14 Mar 03 - 08:00 AM

Blackwaterside as recorded by Liam Clancy (Vanguard album, circa 1968?) and Altan (vocals by Mairead ní Mhaonaigh, much more recently) appears to be an Irish version of this song.


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Subject: RE: Blackwaterside Origins
From: Hester
Date: 14 Mar 03 - 01:18 PM

In the liner notes of "Anne Briggs: a collection", A.L. Lloyd comments that:

"Anne's version is the one popularised from a BBC Archive recording of an Irish traveller, Mary Doran. Anne says her accompaniment 'is based on Stan Ellison's version'."

Cheers, Hester


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Subject: RE: Origins: Blackwaterside
From: GUEST,Claire
Date: 16 Aug 06 - 11:26 AM

I am resurecting this thread because I am puzzled and hope someone can help me out.

I am learning Paddy Tunney's version as sung on Voice of the People compilation. It has some of the same words but a very different and I think, haunting tune. I am curious if anyone has heard this version or knows what addtitional words may have been sung to this tune. I like this version because it does not have the sport and play verse, but rather is a lament for the situation. It is also interesting because the perspective of the singer seems to change through the song. Applologies if this is in another thread, but I have been looking and can't find reference. Here are the words that he sings.

As I roved out one bright summers morn
down by Blackwaterside
I be gazing on the flowers that did bloom all around
when a pretty Irish girl I spied
Twas red and rosy were her cheeks,
golden yellow was her hair
As I clasped her by the lilly white hand,
I said my young sweetheart fair

There be many a good man's daughter
Going round from town to town
There be many a good man's daughter
With her hair all hanging down
She'll be rocking the cradle the whole day long
singing lo la lo la lo
Was there ever a poor misfortunate girl
as easily led as you

That wasn't the promise you made to me
down by blackwaterside
that wasn't the promise you made to me
when you asked me to be your bride
That wasn't the promise you made to me
when you swore to be loyal and true
When fishes fly and seas run dry
I'll return and marry you


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Subject: RE: Origins: Blackwaterside
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 17 Aug 06 - 02:59 AM

Paddy Tunney learned that set from Paddy Doran (see Paddy Tunney, The Stone Fiddle. Dublin: Gilgert Dalton, 1979, 108-9). That means that my guess at Bert Lloyd's source, made six years back, was wrong; unless Mary Doran's set was very different from Paddy's.

On the whole, it seems more likely that the version popularised by so many Revival singers derives instead from Winnie Ryan of Belfast, who was recorded by Peter Kennedy and Sean O'Boyle in 1952. Her tune is much as the one now familiar, though the words have changed somewhat. If Bert Lloyd had a hand in it, though, that wouldn't be too surprising.

The Altan recording Philippa referred to a couple of messages (and 3 years) ago is precisely the Revival tune and text: they name their immediate source (Gráinne Nic Mhaonagail from Dobhir, Gaoth Dobhar, Donegal), but add "The song was collected in Co. Wexford from a traveller". Without specifics that isn't much help, and doesn't preclude Gráinne's having learned it from standard Revival sources while being vaguely aware that it came from a Traveller.

The Clancys got a lot of their songs from the folk clubs rather than directly from tradition, so I'd expect Liam's recording to be of the standard type as well; though, since I don't recall having heard it, that is mere speculation.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Blackwaterside
From: ard mhacha
Date: 17 Aug 06 - 03:59 AM

Malcolm it little matters which version of Blackwaterside Liam Clacy`s sings, this is one powerful rendering, well worth a listen.
It is close to the Paddy Tunney version above.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Blackwaterside
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 17 Aug 06 - 04:48 AM

Then of course it matters, powerful or not. If it's close to the Tunney set, then it isn't the standard Revival form, and the distinction is worth knowing about. Did Liam say where he got it?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Blackwaterside
From: ard mhacha
Date: 17 Aug 06 - 12:49 PM

Well Malcolm as I have it on a CD, I was more interested in listening to a great folk singer doing justice to a good song.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Blackwaterside
From: GUEST,Claire
Date: 17 Aug 06 - 01:04 PM

About Liam Clancy's version - is the similarity to Paddy Tunney's version in the words or in the tune. The PT tune and his ornamentation and pace are very compelling and I wonder if either of you have heard it coupled with different words, sund in a different style, and also if the Liam Clancy version has additional words. I do not have that album.

Malcolm, yes I noted that th PT liner notes stated that it was collected from Paddy Doran, but I didn't know anything about him. Could you point me in the right direction to find out more? Was he a Connamarra style singer? Did he collect or live in a certain area of Ireland?

On a completely other note, I am about to cut another cd and as I compile the liner notes over the next several months, I was wondering if I might contact you off list to discuss song origins for the songs that I am planning to include.

Claire


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Subject: RE: Origins: Blackwaterside
From: greg stephens
Date: 17 Aug 06 - 01:04 PM

Malcolm Douglas(or anyone else): I commnted a way back on this thread, suggesting that the standard revival version of this song was popularised by Isla Cameron initially. The Anne Briggs/Clanceys etc versions came from hers. Anybody have any recollections or other information on this?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Blackwaterside
From: ard mhacha
Date: 17 Aug 06 - 01:38 PM

The version sung by Liam Clancy has as it first verse the following,

One evening fair as I took the air
down by Blackwaterside

it was in gazing all around me
that an Irish boy I spied.

There is also river Blackwater in Armagh, and I am sure it is a very common name for many rivers in Ireland


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Subject: RE: Origins: Blackwaterside
From: greg stephens
Date: 17 Aug 06 - 01:41 PM

ard mhacha: you seem to be getting very irritated because Malcolm Douglas wants to discuss variant versions of folksongs. Given the purpose of Mudcat, you must find it a very irritating forum altogether. I am sure there must be other forums that don't specialise in the discussions of folksongs: maybe they would be more suitable to your tastes?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Blackwaterside
From: ard mhacha
Date: 17 Aug 06 - 01:49 PM

gREG, If I give you the impression I am being agitated over an interesting discussion, you couldn`t be further ftom the truth. I suggest you read my helpful notes again.
I am now listening to Liam Clancy`s singing of this song, great stuff.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Blackwaterside
From: GUEST,Claire
Date: 17 Aug 06 - 02:19 PM

So the Liam Clancy version has the Paddy Tunney tune with the revivalist words? Maybe someone could clarify.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Blackwaterside
From: greg stephens
Date: 17 Aug 06 - 02:22 PM

I dont recall that Liam Clancey sang the paddy Tunney tune, but memory can be faulty. ard mahacha is the boy with the recording: what tune does he use. the "standard", or the other?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Blackwaterside
From: ard mhacha
Date: 17 Aug 06 - 03:13 PM

Greg if you Google, Blackwaterside Liam Clancy, you will hear Clancy singing a verse of the song on the Amazon Site.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Blackwaterside
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 17 Aug 06 - 03:24 PM

I don't know much about Paddy Doran. Paddy Tunney (Stone Fiddle) writes of meeting him at Glencar in (presumably) the early 1950s, and learning songs from him; Peter Kennedy and Sean O'Boyle recorded him and his wife Mary in Belfast in 1952. According to Kennedy, he was originally from New Ross, Co. Wexford. He was a Traveller; apparently of tinker rather than Romany stock. Several of their songs are in Kennedy's Folksongs of Britain and Ireland, and some 'field' recordings are available from Folktrax.

There are some further brief details at  http://www.folktrax.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/menus/performer_d.htm

Jim Carroll would know more, I expect.

Yes, Greg, I ought to have mentioned the Isla Cameron connection; but I had nothing useful to add. I've subsequently found a sound clip which may be of her singing it at http://www.folkways.si.edu/search/AlbumDetails.aspx?ID=1769#

Would you confirm that it's her? It's essentially the familiar tune and text; the recording was originally issued in 1962.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Blackwaterside
From: Anglo
Date: 17 Aug 06 - 04:20 PM

Well, I would say that Liam's version is much the same as Isla Cameron's, with some slight differences as you might expect. The tune is similar to, though not quite the same as, the version I remember from Anne Briggs, etc. The contours of the first half of the tune are the same, but the cadence at the end of the first line is different, and the distinctive flat 7 comes at a slightly different place. The second part of the tune is the same.

Paddy Tunney's tune is quite different.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Blackwaterside
From: GUEST,GK
Date: 18 Aug 06 - 05:42 AM

It is an IRISH tune refers to an IRISH river!

Here we go again the anti-irish mudcatter brigade pretending that our great tunes were English - Bollox your jealous of the fantastic musical tradition that Ireland has.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Blackwaterside
From: ard mhacha
Date: 18 Aug 06 - 06:37 AM

Greg did you hear Liam Clancy sing Blackwaterside on that short sample on the Amazon Site?.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Blackwaterside
From: greg stephens
Date: 18 Aug 06 - 10:30 AM

Alas, I'm too technologically challenged to listen to sound clips: I have ntl cable tv internet access and it doesn't do that sort of thing.
   My own memory (imperfect, possibly, and based on what Isla Cameron told me in the 60's) is that Isla got it, I think, from a Peter Kennedy related source. And sang it round the clubs, and I think recorded it, and that most of the subsequent version, including Clanceys etc, came from her interpretation.
Whatever the origins of the song, the "Irish Girl" line does suggest at least an influence from a British version of the song. Just as the tune "The Irish Washerwoman" was so-called in England: in Ireland it was commonly known as "The Washerwoman".   
However, the general flow of the lyrics, and the tune, sound totally Irish to me.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Blackwaterside
From: ard mhacha
Date: 18 Aug 06 - 12:42 PM

I am never too fussed as to which country a song originates from as long as it please me and if it is Scottish well fair play to the composer, Clancy sings it with great feeling.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Blackwaterside
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Aug 06 - 06:25 PM

liam sings every song with great feeling.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Blackwaterside
From: Mudlark
Date: 18 Aug 06 - 09:05 PM

I love this song,(tho have no idea what version, above, I'm singing), but heard it from an Irish lad, and love singing it. There was some question,from my source, as to whether it was , "go home, go home to your father's garden" or ..."to your father's castle..."


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Subject: RE: Origins: Blackwaterside
From: ard mhacha
Date: 19 Aug 06 - 06:44 AM

It is garden.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Blackwaterside
From: greg stephens
Date: 19 Aug 06 - 08:52 AM

This interesting thread prompted me to see what recordings I have, and the only version I could find of the song was a copied tape someone gave me years ago, of Anne Briggs. What intrigues me is: who is playing the guitar on the song? I sort of feel, from what I recall of the era, that it is probably the legeendary Johnny Moynihan. Could someone with an LP or CD, with notes on, tell me who it was?
   I case she recorded it more than once,the tape has Martinmas Time before Blackwaterside, and the Snow it Melts the Soonest after it.
   ard mhacha: it is surely interesting to watch songs moving round the world isn't it? It's lovely seeing how they subtly change as they do so. Unfortunately (see a few posts back on this thread), some people have a fanatic desire to claim "ownership" of songs for their own locality, often on the very dubious basis of placename references in songs. And these references, of course, can often be the first bit of a song that changes as it moves (compare Derby, Fyvie and Fennario for another wellknown folk classic).


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Subject: RE: Origins: Blackwaterside
From: ard mhacha
Date: 21 Aug 06 - 04:16 AM

Many songs I have heard from I was a boy in Ireland were borrowed from various lands, but sang with enthusiasm and feeling irrespective of their origin.
Bheir mio o, Ho ro mo my nut brown maiden, Fear an bata, all from Scottish Gaelic I have heard sung at many a Feis in the north of Ireland, and to-day, with the Fleadhs taking the place of the Feis, these songs along with with many other Scottish Gaelic songs are still sung and loved by all.   Long may it continue, as long as the good people continue to give their time and hard work to the Fleadhs these songs will be with us away into the distant future.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Blackwaterside
From: GUEST
Date: 21 Aug 06 - 01:29 PM

Dave Shannon and Sam Bracken c. 1970 used to sing a version of the song which began "one morning fair as I chanced the air...". Wonderful...


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Subject: RE: Origins: Blackwaterside
From: GUEST
Date: 21 Aug 06 - 08:28 PM

How interesting. It does seem that Paddy Tunney's version is really the odd one out. I wonder if anyone has heard another set of words to his tune?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Blackwaterside
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 21 Aug 06 - 11:05 PM

"The odd one out" only in the sense that it wasn't adopted much by Revival singers. As we've seen, Paddy Tunney got his set from Paddy Doran. Peter Kennedy recorded the Doran set, and also one from Winnie Ryan; it was, apparently, the latter set which Isla Cameron learned. Likely, Liam Clancy learned it from her. Cameron and Clancy both seem to have made changes to Winnie Ryan's melody, which resulted in the form that we're now familiar with, and which has since been sung by everybody and his or her dog.

Some alterations were also made to Winnie Ryan's text at quite an early date, if it was indeed the source of the Revival form. Even if it wasn't, it's pretty clear that all examples of the well-known form (including the Cameron and Clancy recordings, and the later Altan arrangement) derive from a single source; and not so very long ago.

The song group (Roud 564, Laws P18) is reasonably large, but the Irish "Blackwater" localisation is rare in tradition, and seems to have been introduced from other "Blackwaterside" songs on different subjects. As to other songs sung to the Doran/Tunney tune, I don't know at the moment; but I'll post the melody here as abc as soon as I have time; perhaps it will be helpful to others.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Blackwaterside
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 22 Aug 06 - 10:56 PM

Here are both tunes for comparison.

X:1
T:Down by Blackwaterside
S:Winnie Ryan, Belfast, 1952
N:BBC recording 18551
N:Roud 564, Laws P18
B:Kennedy, Folksongs of Britain and Ireland. No 151 p 351.
L:1/8
Q:1/4=100
M:3/4
K:Bb
D FF|B3 c (3ded|
w:One morn-ing fair, I took_ the
M:4/4
c3 c BB _AG|
w:air Down by Black-wa-ter-
M:3/4
F2 (3zDF (3GFG|B3 D (3EDE|F2-(3FCD (3EDC|B,3 B, HB,|]
w:side O, then, gaz_ing all a-round__ me_ 'Twas an Ir_ish girl I spied.

X:2
T:Blackwater Side
S:Paddy Tunney; previously Paddy Doran (early 1950s).
B:Paddy Tunney, The Stone Fiddle. Dublin: Gilbert Dalton, 1979; 108-9.
N:Roud 564, Laws P18
L:1/8
Q:1/4=100
M:4/4
K:Eb
e d|c2 (de) c2 (BF)|(GF) E2 C2 (EF)|(GB-B) (G/F/) E3 E|
w:Oh as I roved_ out one_ morn_ing fair, down_ by__ Black_wa-ter
E6 E F|(3G2F2G2 B2 (cd)|e3 c d2 e c|d (GG) =A (3B2-c2d2|
w:side, I being gaz_ing all a_round (e) me, when an I-rish_ young girl_ I
c6 c B|(3G2F2G2 B2 c d|(3e2c2d2 e c|d (G-G=A) (3B2c2d2|
w:spied. Oh for red and (e) ros-y it was her cheeks, gol-den yel-low__ was_ her
c6 (ed)|c2 (de) c2 (BF)|(3G2F2E2 C2 E F|B2 G F E3 E|E6|]
w:hair. I_ caught her_ by the_ lil-y white hand and I said: "My young la-dy fair."


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Subject: RE: Origins: Blackwaterside
From: GUEST,Billy Finn, Donegal, Ireland
Date: 13 Sep 07 - 09:21 PM

The best version of Blackwaterside is by Anne Briggs.
I think she accompanies the song on guitar, slightly out of tune.
Bert Jansch and Led Zeppelin brought the tune to a different place.
Anne Briggs.....what a talent!!!
Billy


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Subject: RE: Origins: Blackwaterside
From: Declan
Date: 14 Sep 07 - 03:35 AM

Altan have recorded two different versions of this song. The first (source mentioned above) is more or less the version as sung by Annie Briggs. They have also recorded the Paddy Tunney version, which they have called "As I roved out" to avoid confusion between the two versions. Of course this could cause confusion with the many other songs that go under the title "As I roved Out".


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Subject: RE: Origins: Blackwaterside
From: The Doctor
Date: 14 Sep 07 - 07:23 AM

Tony Rose recorded it on 'Young Hunting', the words as DT, to the alternative tune given. The only printed copy I have is in a book called '100 Folk Songs and New Songs', by Alasdair Clayre. The words again are the same, the tune sounds like a variant and looks like Malcolm's X1 above, and the notes credit it to the singing of Isla Cameron. Listening to Tony's tune there seemed to be a melodic similarity to 'The first time ever'.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Blackwaterside
From: Bernard
Date: 14 Sep 07 - 10:43 AM

Debra Cowan (Mudcatter DebC) also does a great version of the song on her album 'The Long Grey Line' (yes, the UK spelling!), and the Oysterband version (from Rise Above) is the theme to Ali O'Brien's Sounds of Folk on Radio Britfolk and Oldham Community Radio.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Blackwaterside
From: Mr Happy
Date: 14 Sep 07 - 10:57 AM

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=9-2uP1ztiZk


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Subject: RE: Origins: Blackwaterside
From: Jim I
Date: 14 Sep 07 - 12:24 PM

I'm puzzled! 'Doctor' above says that the Tony Rose notes attribute the song to the singing of Isla Cameron. I've just checked my sleeve of "Young Hunting" and he doesn't mention Isla instead citing Louis Killen as the inspiration for Tony's style of singing the song.

On the record itself the song is attributed "trad: coll Kennedy"


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Subject: RE: Origins: Blackwaterside
From: The Doctor
Date: 14 Sep 07 - 02:27 PM

Apologies. My contribution was not clear. The credit to Isla Cameron is in the book '100 Folk Songs'.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Blackwaterside
From: GUEST,?
Date: 03 Nov 07 - 11:08 AM

Many versions of this song have surfaced over the years including in the Led Zeppelin song titled "Black Mountainside".


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Subject: RE: Origins: Blackwaterside
From: greg stephens
Date: 03 Nov 07 - 11:31 AM

I queried who played the guitar on the Anne Briggs recording earlier, whether it was her or Johnny Moynihan.After consulting Johnny Moynihan on this, I can now confirm it was Anne Briggs, and she was copying(or adapting) Stan Ellison's guitar part, as mentioned earlier on this thread. Stan was a Manchester guitarist.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Blackwaterside
From: greg stephens
Date: 03 Nov 07 - 11:40 AM

For those who like to follow the twists and turns of the revival, the tradition, an the two sides of the Irish Sea: I have just listened to the link to Isla Cameron's recording earlier(released 1962).That version of the tune was indeed the one printed in Alisadair Clare's book, which gave her singing as the source for it. However, by the end of the 60's, after the popularisation of a slightly dissimilar tune by Anne Briggs, Isla Cameron had adjusted her version to correspond very closely to Anne's. That change certainly affected my opinion of who learned what from whom! Broadlty speaking, I thought Anne Briggs learned it off Isla cameron. Well, if she did, she changed it a bit, and Isla changed hers to match. The folk process.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Blackwaterside
From: Tradsinger
Date: 03 Nov 07 - 12:06 PM

Interesting thread. All I can contribute is that a lot of southern English gypsies sang a song usually called 'Down by the Old Riverside' or variants of that title, which has all the Blackwaterside verses and more. There are various versions of it on the new Brazil family CD put out by Musical Traditons. See
http://www.mustrad.org.uk/records.htm
.
I was always intrigued by the double standards in the song - the boy promises to marry the girl, seduces her and then says he wouldn't marry someone who did such a thing. (Bastard!)

As to the origins, all I can say is that the English versions tend to be longer which suggests it travelled Westwards across the Irish Sea. But that's only a theory,

Tradsinger


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Subject: RE: Origins: Blackwaterside
From: GUEST,Jim Carroll
Date: 03 Nov 07 - 03:48 PM

Sheila Stewart sings a beautiful version which she learned in Ireland.
I have always associated it with the North East of Ireland, but there are a number of Blackwaters and we were told by Travellers that when a tinsmith died, it was a custom among them to throw his tools into the one in Kerry.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Origins: Blackwaterside
From: GUEST
Date: 03 Nov 07 - 05:59 PM

I have an old recording on tape from a programme by Tommy Sands from Downtown Radio this is the version by Liam Clancy and I doubt if it can be bettered by any of the other singers mentioned here.
Mr Happy your man sounds like an awful imitation of Van Morrison, dreadful.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Blackwaterside
From: greg stephens
Date: 03 Nov 07 - 06:08 PM

GUEST I am so sorry you are feeling out of sorts.Perhaps a laxative, or a soothing inhalation of clarisage and feverfew?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Blackwaterside
From: GUEST,Foolish girl
Date: 31 Aug 09 - 06:24 AM

The worst thing....not by Blackwaterside though, I experienced it. And paid.
Not the first, not the last to be charmed by sweet words, black hair and blue eyes.

Thanks for all posts. It's a beautiful song, so true and sad.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Blackwaterside
From: Stringsinger
Date: 31 Aug 09 - 05:19 PM

Dubh Linn (Black pool).....Anglicized as Dublin.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Blackwaterside
From: Tradsinger
Date: 31 Aug 09 - 05:53 PM

English traveller versions often refer to "The Old Riverside" and tell the whole story - Boy meets girl, promises marriage, seduces her, tells her to go back to her father, she refuses to go home 'in disgrace', so boy drowns girl and runs away to sea. A sordid little tale. Look up the Brazil family versions.

Tradsinger


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Subject: RE: Origins: Blackwaterside
From: gecko
Date: 31 Aug 09 - 07:43 PM

Polly Bolton's version is on the Bert Jansch Encomium 'People on the Street' and is a very unusual treatment of this lovely song. I love it but realise it may not be to the taste of the traditionalists.
YIU
gecko


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Subject: RE: Origins: Blackwaterside
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 31 Aug 09 - 08:20 PM

I was just looking at this and noticed that Malcolm's abc for the Paddy Tunney version has an error in bar 10 (which is musically incomplete above; the triplet is incorrect). I've put the correct version below. I've also changed the key signature to refelect the fact that it's a Lydian mode tune, though in The Stone Fiddle it's notated with key signature Eb and the As in the music have natural accidentals.

Mick


X:2
T:Blackwater Side
S:Paddy Tunney; previously Paddy Doran (early 1950s).
B:Paddy Tunney, The Stone Fiddle. Dublin: Gilbert Dalton, 1979; 108-9.
N:Roud 564, Laws P18
L:1/8
Q:1/4=100
M:4/4
K:EbLyd
e d|c2 (de) c2 (BF)|(GF) E2 C2 (EF)|(GB-B) (G/F/) E3 E|
w:Oh as I roved_ out one_ morn_ing fair, down_ by__ Black_wa-ter
E6 E F|(3(G2F2)G2 B2 (cd)|e3 c d2 e c|d (GG) A (3(B2c2)d2|
w:side, I being gaz_ing all a_round (e) me, when an I-rish_ young girl_ I
c6 c B|(3G2F2G2 B2 c d|e c3 d2 e c|d (G-GA) (3(B2c2)d2|
w:spied. Oh for red and (e) ros-y it was her cheeks, gol-den yel-low__ was_ her
c6 (ed)|c2 (de) c2 (BF)|(3G2F2E2 C2 E F|B2 G F E3 E|E6|]
w:hair. I_ caught her_ by the_ lil-y white hand and I said: "My young la-dy fair."


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Subject: RE: Origins: Blackwaterside
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 01 Sep 09 - 11:50 AM

Way back, 9 years ago[!], the OP added a comment in reply to another post, saying she had been struck by the phrase Bird In A Cage in one version posted which she hadn't come across before, and asking, was it in any other versions? Nobody ever answered so far as I could see: so, in case she is still wondering —

There is a version, or a related song, actually called Bird In A Cage, titled thus on DT, and in DT's named source:- Stephen Sedley's Seeds Of Love book from all those years ago. It has a structure and a tune closely related to the T·For·Tommy family of songs, even including the uninvolved narrator 'lean[ing] his back to a garden wall to hear two lovers talk', but does not have any analogous chorus to that group.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Blackwaterside
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 01 Sep 09 - 12:50 PM

In her post, she referred to the Scottish version, but in fact the phrase is in the West Country version that Malcolm posted: Abroad As I Was Walking, from The Wanton Seed, from the Gardiner mss. Stephen Sedley's version in the Seeds of Love was collated from Sharp and Gardiner according to the notes on the song page.

I haven't got The Seeds of Love, so I can't check for exact sources against those given for , but it's possible the lines My parents brought me up like a small bird in a cage are from the same source! Of course they may have just been floating.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Origins: Blackwaterside
From: GUEST,Blackwaterduncan
Date: 31 Aug 10 - 09:23 AM

Just to rile EVERYBODY!



Blackwaterside


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Subject: RE: Origins: Blackwaterside
From: GUEST,Ron A
Date: 26 Feb 11 - 11:45 AM

I have ben thinking about the origins of this beautiful song, which I would like to throw in as a theory, based on the real history of the Ireland.

Queen Elizabeth (the first) sent her commander Henry Bagenal as Marshall of Ireland to sort out the Irish rebel Hugh O'Neill, 2nd Lord of Tyrone, who was causing the Tudor monarch a great deal of trouble at the time.

The English had built an outpost on the banks of the river Blackwater very near to O'Neill's power base. Seeing this as a threat O'Neill laid siege to the outpost. Bagenal was obliged to send 4000 men to both relieve & resupply the outpost. Unfortunately for the English, O'Neill got word of their approach & arranged an ambush, killing nearly all of the English troops & mortally wounding their commander Bagenal. This become the known later as the battle of the Yellow ford.

Could this song be a thinly vailed reference to Irish History?

Could it be that the girl in the song who is so badly deceived is Queen Elizabeth the first, the Irish lad who deceives her O'Neill & the garden the girl is told to go back to be her father's (Henry the Eigth) Hampton court palace?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Blackwaterside
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 26 Feb 11 - 03:31 PM

Nah. It's about Blackpool & the 100-times-a-day scenario that's played out even out of season. They've even built a sculture in honour of all countless innocences lost & hearts broken:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/tixylix/3734598641/


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Subject: RE: Origins: Blackwaterside
From: DanMan
Date: 23 Apr 11 - 01:37 AM

Hello all,

I apologize for bumping a very old thread, but I was wondering if anyone out there could help me to locate a recording of Paddy Doran's version of "Blackwaterside". It was recorded by Peter Kennedy in 1952 and possibly aired on his BBC radio show before eventually getting released on the Folktrax cassette "Puck Fair - Irish Tinker Singers Vol. 3" (FTX-168, now out of print).

I've been able to locate recordings of "Blackwaterside" by Paddy's wife Mary Doran as well as Winnie Ryan, but Paddy's version has thus eluded me.

You can contact me here on the forum or you can contact me directly at res122orm (AT) frontier.com

THANKS!!

P.S. I'm happy to share my recordings if anyone is interested. Just drop me a line.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Blackwaterside
From: Joe Offer
Date: 23 Apr 11 - 02:08 AM

Hi, Dan -
You may want to contact Mudcatter Dick Greenhaus by personal message, or at http://www.camscomusic.com/

Dick has had the rights to reissue some of the Kennedy Folktrax recordings - maybe yours is one of them.

Good luck.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Origins: Blackwaterside
From: GUEST,Wooly Rhino
Date: 12 Oct 11 - 11:32 PM

There is a "Blackwater River" running through the town of Fermoy, in the County Cork. It's a pretty wide and powerful stream, and I wouldn't be surprised if it were the largest of the Blackwater Rivers in Ireland. Fermoy was a garrison town in the bad old days of English occupation, so there would have been a fair few people there who were not Irish.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Blackwaterside
From: GUEST,coinman
Date: 26 Oct 11 - 07:05 PM

I watched Eric Claptons' 2010 "Crossroads" DVD yesterday. Bert Jansch said in the intro It was a Scottish Folk song.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Blackwaterside
From: GUEST,Coinman
Date: 26 Oct 11 - 07:21 PM

Back tracking, I watched again just to make sure. What he said was "A Traditional IRISH song". Sorry about the last post.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Blackwaterside
From: GUEST,GUEST, Jon Mason
Date: 28 Oct 11 - 08:25 AM

Hi all,

Going back to the "Bird In A Cage" issue above, am very interested in this as have been wondering about social context of Blackwaterside and all those songs of a girl getting led on and left pregnant - and wondering how much they were:

a) Ribald songs laughing at her misfortune
b) Punitive moralising warning girls of the dangers of relations with young men
c) Heartfelt expressions of anguish at unreturned love and betrayal

I appreciate the answer will have become "all of the above" from how they've been sung since "composition", but very curious about to what extent they were each possibility - and the "Bird In A Cage" reference feels like it's relevant to this! Would be grateful for any thoughts!

Jon


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Subject: RE: Origins: Blackwaterside
From: GUEST,Guest Sp
Date: 25 Nov 12 - 07:46 AM

The American variant of "Blackwaterside"/"The Irish Girl"( "Good Morning My Pretty Little Miss")has a reference to "a little bird in the cage."

I can sing as lonesome a song
As any little bird in the cage.
O sixteen weeks astray have gone. And
scarcely fifteen years of age."


I see "Bird kept in a cage" is in the Pepys ballad "The Western Knight":

"...Now may I Hue from joyes exilde,
like a bird kept in a cage
fifteen weeks gone with child,
and but fourteen years of age.
Farewell, farewell, thou faithlesse Knight,
sith thou wilt me forsake,
oh heavens grant all maidens bright,
by me may warning take."

The Scottish Child Ballad "The Broom Of Cowdenknowes" seems to scan very well to the tune of Blackwaterside. (Child variant C quoted below).

"It was on a day whan a lovely may
Was cawing out her father's kye,
And she spied a troop o'gentlemen,
As they war passing bye.
"O show me the way, my pretty maid,
O show me the way the way," said he;
"My steed has just now rode wrong,
And the way i canna see." etc


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Subject: RE: Origins: Blackwaterside
From: mayomick
Date: 25 Nov 12 - 09:06 AM

Caveat Lector : I've been told on a number of occasions that I am prone to making musical connections where none exist .

Does anybody think that the melody might have been in Ewan Macoll's head when he composed The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Blackwaterside
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 25 Nov 12 - 01:13 PM

I have certainly thought the 2 tunes had marked similarities, and you may well be right, Mick. The opening couple of bars are very similar and the phrasing. When did MacColl write his song?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Blackwaterside
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 25 Nov 12 - 01:41 PM

Antone wishing to look at the history in print of this ballad in England and Ireland going back to about 1670 will find useful info at

http://www.mustrad.org.uk/article/dungheap.htm

Article 19 The Distressed Maid. I wrote this some time ago so there may be further things to add. Tried to do blue clicky but don't know if it worked. Paddy Tunny's version seems to be a concoction of various pieces, some of them from 'The Distressed Maid', a beautiful song ne'ertheless.

Back in the thread someone suggested a list of possible motives for writing the song. In my experience these songs set out as warnings not to fall into the same trap. The 17th century ballads often use the word 'warning' in the title. Of course as the songs are rewritten for new audiences the purposes can change. Even some of the Child Ballads seem to have started out in this way.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Blackwaterside
From: GUEST,maggie connoes
Date: 15 Jan 13 - 10:52 PM

my grandmother is singing on some of these cds i would like to get it if i can but dont no how to order it she is singing many songs her name is mary connors recorded puck fair she is singing with paddy doran blind man can see if u could pleas help i would love to get it for daddy u can contac me on connors886@gmail.com thank you


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