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Lyr Req: Foreign Lander

GUEST,jazzcat 01 Aug 02 - 02:41 PM
Joe Offer 01 Aug 02 - 03:07 PM
Joe Offer 01 Aug 02 - 04:11 PM
masato sakurai 01 Aug 02 - 10:43 PM
kytrad 02 Aug 02 - 07:22 PM
kytrad 03 Aug 02 - 06:24 PM
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Subject: Foreign Lander lyrics
From: GUEST,jazzcat
Date: 01 Aug 02 - 02:41 PM

Does anyone know the lyrics to the song "Foreign Lander". It can be heard on Rory Block's "I've Got a Rock in My Sock" album.

Thank you!!!


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Subject: RE: Foreign Lander lyrics
From: Joe Offer
Date: 01 Aug 02 - 03:07 PM

OK, this is supposed to be in Jean Ritchie's book, Singing Family of the Cumberlands (called "I've Been a Foreign Lander"), and also in the Armstrong Family recording Wheel of the Year. I have both, but can't find them just now. anybody got 'em?
I did find it on a recording by Martha Hall on the Folkways recording Mountain Music of Kentucky, but I can't understand it well enough to come up with a decent transcription.
I'm guessing the Rory Block recording is the same song. I don't have that one, but I see that Block lists it as "traditional."
-Joe Offer-

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Subject: Lyr Add: FOREIGN LANDER (from Jean Ritchie)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 01 Aug 02 - 04:11 PM

Well, when you look long enough....
-Joe Offer-


I've been a foreign lander, full seven long years and more;
Among the bold commanders, where the thundering cannons roar.
I've conquered all my enemies, both all on land and sea;
It is my dearest duel, your beauty has conquered me.

If I should build a ship my love, without the wood of tree,
That ship would burst asunder if I prove false to thee.
If ever I prove false my love, the elements will turn,
The fire will freeze to ice, my love, the sea will rage and burn.

Don't you remember Queen Ellen, all in her flowery reign,
As she walked out of her paradise, to cleanse the golden chain?
Her beauty and behavior, none with her could compare,
But you, my dearest darling, are more divinely fair.

I wish I was a turtledove, just fluttering from my nest;
I'd sing so clear in the morning, with the dew all on my breast;
So sweetly would be the music, so doleful and sad the tune,
I'd sing so clear in the morning in the beautiful month of June.

I wish I was ten thousand mile, all on some lonesome shore,
Or among the rocky mountains, where the wild beasts howl and roar.
The lark, the lily owl, the eagle, and the little swallow too,
I would give them all, my dearest love, if I was married to you.

from Singing Family of the Cumberlands, by Jean Ritchie
(Oak Publications, 1955 - with illustrations by Maurice Sendak[!])

Jean, any comments you can give us on the song?

-Joe Offer-

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Subject: RE: Foreign Lander lyrics
From: masato sakurai
Date: 01 Aug 02 - 10:43 PM

Rory Block's sound clip is HERE.


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Subject: RE: Foreign Lander lyrics
From: kytrad
Date: 02 Aug 02 - 07:22 PM

Joe, gotta go watch the storm- big thunder and heavenly fireworks outside! I'll write later- Foreign Lander was my Dad's proposal song to Mom... Jean

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Subject: RE: Foreign Lander lyrics
From: kytrad
Date: 03 Aug 02 - 06:24 PM

Next day: Magnificent storm! Washed away all my petty little woes, and put Life back into proper perspective... My Dad's "Foreign Lander" is, as far as I know, the only variant around our part of Kentucky. The lyrics which you printed from SINGING FAMILY of the CUMBERLANDS, are the ones sung by my dad, Balis W. Ritchie, and his cousin Jason Ritchie. They were natives of Knott County, KY, so I guess the song came from there, and before that, Scotland/England.

Martha Hall, my second cousin Herman Hall's wife, lived in our village, Viper, KY. She learned some songs from us, and when John Cohen came visiting Roscoe Holcomb, I think he recorded her...she was a shy woman and wouldn't sing for just anyone. As for Rory Block's recording, I can only guess. Her treatment is very agressive and different (it's usually a sweet, gentle song), but basically she seems to have our original song underneath. Isn't she Alan Block's daughter? George and I used to know Alan when he had a sandal shop in Greenwich VIllage next to Izzy Young's Folklore Center. We attended many a rent party for Alan and his wife, in their loft flat, and they gave me my first guitar at one of those parties! Anyway, Alan may have learned, "Foreign Lander" at one of these evenings, and later passed in on the Rory. An example of how folk songs 'travel...' Jean

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