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Origins: She Moves through the Fair

DigiTrad:
SHE MOVED THROUGH THE FAIR


Related threads:
Tune Req: She Moved Through The Fair (17)
She Moved Through The Fair (17)
Lyr Req: She Moves through the Fair (30)
(origins) Origin: She Moved Through the Fair (81)
Lyr Req: She Moved through the Fair (18)
Lyr Req: She Moved through the Fair: Gaelic (38)
Lyr Add: 'She moved through the fair' versions (24)
She moved through the fair - repeats? (6)
Tune Req: She Moved through the Fair (17)
She Moved Through the Fair - advice (70)
Lyr Req: She Moved Through the Faire parody-d (10)
Lyr Req: He Moved through the Fair (35)
Lyr Req: She Moves through the Fair (13)
Lyr Req: she walked through the fair / She Moved.. (9) (closed)
Help: Davey Graham: She moved through the fair (16)
She Moved through the Fair - recordings (13)
Lyr/Chords Req: She Moved through the Fair (6)
Chords Req: She Moved through the Fair (4)


Lisa 25 Feb 97 - 01:12 PM
Valerie 25 Feb 97 - 06:00 PM
Susan of DT 25 Feb 97 - 09:02 PM
LaMarca 26 Feb 97 - 05:29 PM
Martin Ryan 27 Feb 97 - 04:17 AM
Martin Ryan 27 Feb 97 - 04:32 AM
Susan of DT 27 Feb 97 - 04:19 PM
Berna-Dean 28 Mar 97 - 02:05 PM
Murphy@globalbiz.net 02 Apr 97 - 07:50 PM
MARTIN RYAN 03 Apr 97 - 05:01 PM
Kymbo 09 Apr 97 - 04:22 AM
Muriel Doris 17 Apr 97 - 08:59 PM
cleod 03 May 97 - 12:37 PM
dick greenhaus 04 May 97 - 11:07 PM
05 May 97 - 10:20 PM
dick greenhaus 06 May 97 - 02:15 PM
Kim 12 May 97 - 12:57 PM
cleod 19 May 97 - 10:41 AM
Philippa 29 May 99 - 09:35 AM
HåvardR 29 May 99 - 09:43 AM
Philippa 29 May 99 - 09:47 AM
Erin 29 May 99 - 05:40 PM
SingsIrish Songs 29 May 99 - 09:38 PM
SingsIrish Songs 29 May 99 - 09:44 PM
SingsIrish Songs 29 May 99 - 09:59 PM
Marlor 29 May 99 - 10:43 PM
Barry Finn 30 May 99 - 12:14 AM
Brakn 30 May 99 - 07:32 AM
Helen 30 May 99 - 08:29 AM
HåvardR 30 May 99 - 12:20 PM
Dan 01 Jun 99 - 09:42 AM
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pam 01 Jun 99 - 04:02 PM
Alice 01 Jun 99 - 10:10 PM
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Subject: She Moves Through the Fair
From: Lisa
Date: 25 Feb 97 - 01:12 PM

Hello All,

"She Moves Through the Fair" has been one of my favorite celtic songs for several years, but I have no idea of its origins, or the story behind the song. Perhaps this information does not exist, but if anyone is aware of it, I would much appreciate your help. My favorite verse is the third one, which some singers leave out:

People say no two ere were wed, but one has a sorrow that never was said, and she smiled as she passed me, with her goods and her gear, and that was the last that I saw of my dear.

Heart-breaking, isn't it? (I always like sad songs best.]

Thanks for your help,

Lisa


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Subject: RE: She Moves Through the Fair
From: Valerie
Date: 25 Feb 97 - 06:00 PM

I love sad songs too!

According to the Ossian Publication "Folksongs & Ballads Popular in Ireland - Volume 1" (a jaunty little title, I know), and according to what I believe to be popular mythology, this beautiful tune / song goes back to Medieaeval times.

I have heard that the tune came to Ireland from the Middle East, via Europe, and also that it is a Gypsy melody. I can't say if either (or both) theories are correct though. I've always preferred to think that the tune wandered around continents in search of a home. Van Morrison's version is stunning.

Don't know if this counts as "information", but hope it's of interest.

Valerie


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Subject: RE: She Moves Through the Fair
From: Susan of DT
Date: 25 Feb 97 - 09:02 PM

In the last verse her ghost visits him, so she died before they could be wed. The verse you quaoted is in the DT.


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Subject: RE: She Moves Through the Fair
From: LaMarca
Date: 26 Feb 97 - 05:29 PM

The Irish poet, Padraic Colum, had all four verses in one of his collections. He was also a folklorist who produced many fine collections of mythology from different lands, so he was probably setting down a trad. poem rather than claiming he wrote it.

The song is found in the Tinker (non-Romany Irish and Scottish gypsies) tradition; Maggie Barry does a haunting rendition...


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Subject: RE: She Moves Through the Fair
From: Martin Ryan
Date: 27 Feb 97 - 04:17 AM

There is a lovely North of Ireland version called "Out of the Window" - which is on its way to the DT.I think its in Sam Henry's "Songs of the People" collection.

Colum certainly seems to have tidied up a folk version in writing his poem.His set (which is the standard one sung), has perhaps become a bit hackneyed (despite Van the Man's efforts!).A fine traditional singer called Aine Ui CHeallaigh recently recorded the "Out ofthe WIndow" version

Regards


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Subject: RE: She Moves Through the Fair
From: Martin Ryan
Date: 27 Feb 97 - 04:32 AM

Mea culpa! The Sam Henry version is already in the DT as "Our Wedding Day"

Regards


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Subject: RE: She Moves Through the Fair
From: Susan of DT
Date: 27 Feb 97 - 04:19 PM

Can't trust those titles, can you. In general, if you don't find a song by title, try a phrase or unusual word.


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Subject: RE: She Moves Through the Fair
From: Berna-Dean
Date: 28 Mar 97 - 02:05 PM

This Irish folk song is also known as "The Wedding Song", as the last words in many of the verses are "and this she did say, it will not be long love, til our wedding day". As above Martin Ryan already sent you in that direction.


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Subject: RE: She Moves Through the Fair
From: Murphy@globalbiz.net
Date: 02 Apr 97 - 07:50 PM

There is a version of this that a friend I knew long ago had: Paddy Tunny, and he had his version collected in Northern Fermanagh. The first verse is the same as the later Lagan-Valley version that most people know, but the second verse is nice:

She moved away from me as she moved through the fair With hand-clappen dealers whose voice wrent the air her cheeks were as roses and her feet ne'er touch the ground And all that gazed on her were silent around.

There's a rumor that Paddy wrote this verse himself, but what if he did--it's a good song.


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Subject: RE: She Moves Through the Fair
From: MARTIN RYAN
Date: 03 Apr 97 - 05:01 PM

Paddy Tunney wrote at least that verse!


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Subject: RE: She Moves Through the Fair
From: Kymbo
Date: 09 Apr 97 - 04:22 AM

Seems that Sinead O'connor does a nice little number on this one on an Megastar Celtic complimation album called 'Common Ground'. Should have the lyrics on it too. Does anyone know if she's made an exclusively folkie CD?


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Subject: RE: She Moves Through the Fair
From: Muriel Doris
Date: 17 Apr 97 - 08:59 PM

Yet another version called Our Wedding Day in Folk Songs of Britain and Ireland, edited by Peter Kennedy. The words are a bit different than most -- she runs away with someone else -- "I'd lost my wee darling through courting too slow.".

No suggestion as to the origin.


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Subject: RE: She Moves Through the Fair
From: cleod
Date: 03 May 97 - 12:37 PM

I have the lyrics to this...just e-mail me at cleod@netasia.net and i'll send it to anyone who needs them.


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Subject: RE: She Moves Through the Fair
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 04 May 97 - 11:07 PM

Hi cleod- Why not post them here, so everybody can share them?


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Subject: RE: She Moves Through the Fair
From:
Date: 05 May 97 - 10:20 PM

Hi,

It's interesting that this song should raise so much interest. Seamas Ennis traced as a version of the Bold Forester, but indeed, it goes back to a version found in South Uist--in the Gaelic, I'm afraid. I don't suppose anyone wants the words?

Dave Murphy


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Subject: RE: She Moves Through the Fair
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 06 May 97 - 02:15 PM

Speaking for the Digital Tradition, we ALWAYS want the words.


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Subject: RE: She Moves Through the Fair
From: Kim
Date: 12 May 97 - 12:57 PM

I know a version of She Moves Through The Fair that is on an old album by Alfred Deller, the countertenor. The album is called The Cruel Mother. I'm looking for a CD version of it as the LP my dad bought at a concert in Elsinor Castle in 1959 is a little beat up now. I know the lyrics are on the back of the cover, I'll post them if they are legible.Many of the songs on this are from the Childs collection.


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Subject: Lyr Add: SHE MOVED THROUGH THE FAIR
From: cleod
Date: 19 May 97 - 10:41 AM

In response to Mr.Greenhaus...thanks for the suggestion, but it's not that easy to do on my computer...anyway, I'll just post the short (more popular) version, as opposed to the long one, which has bags of lyrics...here goes...

SHE MOVED THROUGH THE FAIR

My young love said to me, "My mother won't mind
And my father won't slight you for you lack of kind."
And she stepp'd away from me and this she did say,
"It will not be long, love, till our wedding day."

She stepp'd away from me and went thro' the fair,
And fondly I watch'd her move here and move there,
And then she went homeward with one star awake,
As the swan in the evening moves over the lake.

Last night she came to me, she came softly in,
So softly she came that her feet made no din.
And she laid her hand on me and this she did say,
"It will not be long, love, till our wedding day."


I got this from a book but Sinead O'Connor also sang this on "The Long Black Veil" with The Chieftains.
Line Breaks
added.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: She Moves Through the Fair
From: Philippa
Date: 29 May 99 - 09:35 AM

Dave Murphy (5.5.97) Yes, I'd like the S Uist version! Is it to be found in Margaret Fay Shaw's book? I'm familiar with the English language song as sung by Paddy Tunney, Áine uí Cheallaigh and Jane Cassidy (Sam Henry collection) and , of course, as arranged by Padraic Colum, but I didn't know of a gaelic coneection.


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Subject: RE: She Moves Through the Fair
From: HåvardR
Date: 29 May 99 - 09:43 AM

Hmm! This might be sligthly blasphemous, but has anyone heard the parody "She fell trough the flare (floor)"?

Håvard


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Subject: RE: She Moves Through the Fair
From: Philippa
Date: 29 May 99 - 09:47 AM

Håvard, there's a space for you here:


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Subject: RE: She Moves Through the Fair
From: Erin
Date: 29 May 99 - 05:40 PM

Mary Black sings another version on the album "Collected". ' Does anyone have the lyrics??


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Subject: Lyr/Chords Add: SHE MOVED THROUGH THE FAIR
From: SingsIrish Songs
Date: 29 May 99 - 09:38 PM

In all the times I've heard this song sung, it seems everyone leaves out verse three (which Lisa mentioned) and it changes the feel of the song immensely! So I am going to post the lyrics again with verse three and chords as well... --SingsIrish Songs

SHE MOVED THROUGH THE FAIR

 D--(C----Bm---C----D)---------C------------D---
My young love said to me, "My mother won't mind
--------------------(Bm)-----------C------------D---
And my father won't slight you for your lack of kine."
---------------------(Bm)--------C------------D---
And she stepp'd away from me and this she did say:
----(C---Bm--C--D)-------------------C-------D---
"It will not be long, love, till our wedding day."


She stepp'd away from me and she moved through the fair,
And fondly I watched her go here and go there,
Then she went her way homeward with one star awake,
As the swan in the evening moves over the lake.

The people were saying no two were e'er wed,
But one has a sorrow that never was said,
And I smiled as she passed with her goods and her gear,
And that was the last that I saw of my dear.

I dreamt it last night that my young love came in,
So softly she entered, her feet made no din,
She came close beside me and this she did say,
"It will not be long, love, till our wedding day."

 and 
added to space chords.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: Chords Add: SHE MOVED THROUGH THE FAIR
From: SingsIrish Songs
Date: 29 May 99 - 09:44 PM

Guess that idea with the chords didn't work! Here's the proper placement...

(D)My (C)young (Bm)love (C)said (D)to me, "My (C)mother won't (D)mind
And my father won't (Bm)slight you for (C)your lack of (D)kine."
And she stepp'd away (Bm)from me and (C)this she did (D)say:
"It (C)will (Bm)not (C)be (D)long love till our (C)wedding (D)day."


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Subject: RE: She Moves Through the Fair
From: SingsIrish Songs
Date: 29 May 99 - 09:59 PM

Thanks for fixing that Joe!

Mary


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Subject: RE: She Moves Through the Fair
From: Marlor
Date: 29 May 99 - 10:43 PM

Hi Lisa: I have to agree. It's one of the most hauntingly beautiful songs I've ever heard. Canada's CBC used to have a program hosted by a gentleman named Max fergusson. H'e play that song every onece in a while. I was blown away the first time I heard it.


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Subject: RE: She Moves Through the Fair
From: Barry Finn
Date: 30 May 99 - 12:14 AM

Harvard, if you have the parody "She Fell Through The Floor" it would be far more scandelous if you didn't post it here, now. Barry


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Subject: RE: She Moves Through the Fair
From: Brakn
Date: 30 May 99 - 07:32 AM

My favourite version was by Sandy Denny when she was with Fairport Convention.

Mick Bracken


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Subject: RE: She Moves Through the Fair
From: Helen
Date: 30 May 99 - 08:29 AM

Hi all,

An Australian singer, Kavisha Mazzella does a lovely version of this too on her CC called Mermaids at the Well

Helen


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Subject: RE: She Moves Through the Fair
From: HåvardR
Date: 30 May 99 - 12:20 PM

This is somewhat embarassing, I was sure I had the lyrics for the parody written down at home, but I haven't. (blushing, and hoping someone will rescue him)

The chorus however , as far as I remember, goes:

She stepp'd away from me and she fell through the flare,
Through the linoleum and down the stairs
And she stepp'd away from me and this she did say:
AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaiiiiiiiii (bump)

sorry, Håvard


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Subject: RE: She Moves Through the Fair
From: Dan
Date: 01 Jun 99 - 09:42 AM

Can anybody tell me how I can get the tune to this. I love the words but have no idea how it goes. Thanks.


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Subject: RE: She Moves Through the Fair
From: alison
Date: 01 Jun 99 - 10:32 AM

Dan,

Go to the she moved through the fair Lyrics in the database and scroll to the bottom... click where it says "Click here to play"... you'll hear the tune.....

slainte

alison


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Subject: RE: She Moves Through the Fair
From: pam
Date: 01 Jun 99 - 04:02 PM

Hello out there...

I'm stepping out onto the thread for the first time with my little circus umbrella over my head for balance, so try not to laugh me off the page for this.

I'm brand new to traditional music, and I love She Moves Through the Fair as well. I just can't get it out of my head that it's fundamentally the same song as My Lagan Love (except for a lovely chord change in the b figure of Lagan). They're both very sweet and I've been wondering whether there's something in the origin of the two that accounts for the similar melody...Ah well to paraphrase Father Mulcahy in M*A*S*H, "...i'ts all just Sleepy Lagoon played fast."

By the way, it's pretty amazing that there's a place like this to have this sort of conversation!! Nice to be here.

Pam


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Subject: RE: She Moves Through the Fair
From: Alice
Date: 01 Jun 99 - 10:10 PM

It's good to have you here, Pam. Yes, I noticed a few notes of similarity between the two.


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Subject: RE: She Moves Through the Fair
From: Helen
Date: 02 Jun 99 - 12:24 AM

Hi all,

Here is a
midi file of She Moved Through the Fair http://members.aol.com/ReelyKEELY/midi.html

I suspect it might be a Barry Taylor sequence but it isn't credited with any names for the sequencing.

Helen


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Subject: RE: She Moves Through the Fair
From: Philippa
Date: 02 Jun 99 - 01:13 PM

Dave Murphy (5 May 1997) - yes, I do


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Subject: RE: She Moves Through the Fair
From: SingsIrish Songs
Date: 03 Jun 99 - 01:49 AM

I just came across this post at rec.music.celtic I quote:

"Anúna [Anuna] are currently preparing to record this piece - and have confirmed with MCPS in Dublin that Padric Colum only wrote one verse of the four existing verses, therefore the traditional version has only three verses, not four as with Colum's version:
"My young love..." "She stepped away..." & "Last night..."

Can anyone give me any further verses or preferably information on this song?

Thank you

Michael McGlynn http://www.anuna.ie "

That would explain why that third verse is so often left out...

SingsIrish


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Subject: RE: She Moves Through the Fair
From: DanMulligan
Date: 08 Jun 99 - 10:53 AM

A very interesting variation on this tune was recorded on Ashley MacIssac's CD, Hi, how are you today? It is titled "Sad Wedding Day" on this CD, and is sung in gaelic. Dan


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Subject: RE: She Moves Through the Fair
From: GUEST,Jana
Date: 09 Aug 00 - 12:09 PM

Hello,

Love all the info on She Moves. But no one has really touched on the actual story behind the song. Has this man married another and she's coming in the night to haunt him? "The people we're saying no two were ere wed" He didn't marry the girl moving through the fair. Anyone know?

Thanks!


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Subject: RE: She Moves Through the Fair
From: Alice
Date: 09 Aug 00 - 12:23 PM

she died before they could marry, so her ghost came in at night to him (she came so softly that her feet made no din)


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Subject: RE: She Moves Through the Fair
From: Naemanson
Date: 09 Aug 00 - 12:53 PM

I always thought that the bride to have died before the wedding. That's why: (a) her feet made no din; and (2) the song exists in the first place.

I doubt the song would have been created in the first place if they got married and lived happily ever after. And if it had been written about an actual marriage I doubt people would have kept the song alive without that element of tragedy.


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Subject: RE: She Moves Through the Fair
From: okthen
Date: 09 Aug 00 - 12:55 PM

i'm dredging this up from an aged memory but i was told that the couple were engaged to be married but she died before the wedding day

"and she made her way homeward with one star awake

as the swan in the evening moves over the lake"

she was shot by mistake by hunters who thought she was a swan

the night visiting lore is that an engaged couple would spend the night together before the wedding and that if anything happened to either of them the ghost of the departed would visit the other.

i can't remember the titles but there are songs where on the "night before" although the parents would turn a blind eye to the situation they would also tie pots and pans etc. beneath the bed so that the couple could sleep together but not energetically!

cheers

bill


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Subject: RE: She Moves Through the Fair
From: Lox
Date: 09 Aug 00 - 09:22 PM

There's a film starring Daniel Day Lewis about a dentist (passionately obsessed with oral hygiene) who goes to work in South America. I think Argentina, to be precise, but can't quite remember.

Anyway, he sings "She moved...etc..." in Irish whilst in the bath (steady now!).

It's a good film, but it's been a while since I saw it, so if anyone else has seen it and can remember the name, please post it.

You will then hear it as it was meant to sound (though abridged to a certain extent)


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Subject: RE: She Moves Through the Fair
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 09 Aug 00 - 09:36 PM

The "swan" image is just that; a poetic image of a sort particularly popular in Ireland, usually with no deeper significance.  So far as being mistaken for a swan and shot goes; well, that's a completely different story.

Malcolm


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Subject: Lyr Add: SHE MOVED THROUGH THE FAIR
From: BigDaddy
Date: 10 Aug 00 - 01:33 AM

Okay, to muddy the waters a little more:

My young love said to me, "My mother won't mind,
And my father won't slight you for your lack o' kine."
And she stepped away from me and this she did say,
"It will not be long love till our wedding day."

She stepped away from me and she moved through the fair
And fondly I watched her move here and move there,
As homeward she went with one star awake
As a swan in the evening moves over the lake.

The people were saying, "no two were e'er wed,
But one has a sorrow that ne'er can be said."
She passed close beside me with her goods and her gear
And that was the last that I saw of my dear.

Last night she came to me, my dead love came in.
So softly she entered, her feet made no din.
She stepped close beside me, and this she did say:
"It will not be long love, 'til our wedding day."

I feel it's important to establish the fact that she's dead by the last verse. And the way I learned it (as written here) does that.

HTML line breaks added. --JoeClone, 23-Jul-02.


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Subject: RE: She Moves Through the Fair
From: Alice
Date: 10 Aug 00 - 02:00 AM

okthen/bill, I think your memory has mixed this up with another song,click here MOLLY BAWN.


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Subject: RE: She Moves Through the Fair
From: GUEST,Barry Finn
Date: 10 Aug 00 - 02:31 AM

Still wouldn't mind if someone posted the parody "She Fell Through The Floor". Thanks, Barry


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Subject: RE: She Moves Through the Fair
From: okthen
Date: 10 Aug 00 - 04:12 AM

Alice

you may well be right about mixing the two songs up but,i'm pretty sure that's how i heard the story. maybe the person who told me had them mixed up?

i'll try and research this from C SHARP HOUSE but that could take a while

cheers

bill


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Subject: RE: She Moves Through the Fair
From: GUEST,JTT
Date: 10 Aug 00 - 07:49 AM

Padraic Colum told me when I was a child that he had written She Moved Through the Fair and was extremely chuffed to find it listed as "traditional" and "anonymous" within his lifetime. He saw this as a high compliment.


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Subject: RE: She Moves Through the Fair
From: IanC
Date: 10 Aug 00 - 08:21 AM

JTT

The Contemplator looks useful on this.

"The original words were an old ballad from Donegal which was collected in 1909. The words were "reworked" by Padraic Colum to this version. Alternate titles and variants include, Our Wedding Day and Out of the Window."

Cheers!
Ian


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Subject: RE: She Moves Through the Fair
From: Lox
Date: 10 Aug 00 - 02:32 PM

Dear "...."

What are the words in Irish?


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Subject: RE: She Moves Through the Fair
From: Bernard
Date: 10 Aug 00 - 06:48 PM

It's what is known as a 'demon lover ballad', meaning that one of the partners has already died before the start of the song, so to speak.

The 'fair' means a field of flowers.


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Subject: RE: She Moves Through the Fair
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 10 Aug 00 - 09:11 PM

Unless it just means "the fair", as in one of those events you go to that involve buying and selling livestock etc.  It is not a "demon lover" ballad; the reference to death is recent (20th. century I think, though John Moulden would know for sure), though it is of course very romantic.

Beware of reading things into songs for which there is no evidence beyond wishful thinking...

Malcolm


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Subject: RE: She Moves Through the Fair
From: Bernard
Date: 12 Aug 00 - 04:44 AM

Not my opinion, chuck, I read it somewhere a LONG time ago...


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Subject: RE: She Moves Through the Fair
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 12 Aug 00 - 08:07 AM

Fair enough; I still think it's wrong, though.


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Subject: RE: She Moves Through the Fair
From: P05139
Date: 12 Aug 00 - 10:30 AM

OK, everyone's mentioning the Sinead O'Connor version, but Boyzone also did a fantastic version which can be found on the B-Side of the single "A Different Beat" or Track 14 of the album of the same name.

Ronan Keating's voice suits the song perfectly, so there!


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Subject: RE: She Moves Through the Fair
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 12 Aug 00 - 11:10 AM

Boyzone?  Good heavens.  Mind you, good as so many of the contemporary recordings of the song are, to my mind they're really "covers" rather than distinct variants in their own right, at least for the moment.

I was maybe a bit abrupt earlier, Bernard; sorry about that.  I should really have gone into more detail.  A look at other traditional versions will soon make it plain what sort of fair we're talking about!  As to the supernatural element, in the traditional versions that I've seen, with one exception, the young man loses his love, not to death, but either for an unspecified reason (as in the version Paddy Tunney heard from Barney MacGarvey in 1960, and printed in The Stone Fiddle) or, more usually, to another man; as in, for example, Our Wedding Day (in Kennedy, mentioned above by Muriel Doris; there is another version, from Sam Henry's Songs of the People, here: Our Wedding Day ) or My young love said to me (Paddy Tunney).

The exception is Margaret Barry's four-verse version; this is virtually identical to Padraic Colum's rewrite, but instead of "she came softly in", she sang "my dead love came in".  I strongly suspect that it was she who introduced that bit to the song, and in so doing completely changed its meaning.  That would be some time in the 1940s or 50s, presumably.  As it happens, I think that it was a stroke of genius, but it does mean that any speculation as to the deeper meaning of that particular version of the song can only be subjective and personal; a matter of opinion, not fact.  I'm hoping that John Moulden will look in and tell me if I'm hopelessly wrong in my guess, and that somebody will post the Gaelic version that gets mentioned from time to time.

Malcolm


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Subject: Lyr Add: SHE MOVED THROUGH THE FAIR
From: Catrin
Date: 12 Aug 00 - 03:50 PM

I once had a sweetheart, I loved her right well
I loved her far better than my tongue can tell
Her parents did slight me for my want of gear
Adieu to all pleasure, since I lost my dear

She went away from me and she moved through the fair
Where hand-clapping dealers' loud shouts rent the air
The sunlight around her did sparkle and play
Saying "It will not be long love, 'til our wedding day"

When dew falls on meadows and moths fill the night
When the glow from the grease hawk(?) on the hearth throws half light
I'll slip from my casement and I'll run away
Then it will not be long love, till our wedding day

Then according to promise, at midnight I arose
But all that I found there were her bloodstained clothes
Now it's out through the window and plain for to see
Oh gone is my love and murdered is she

Now my own, how I loved her, as much as my life
And yes, my intention was to make her my wife
My poor heart lies bleeding for the girl I adored
I will pray for her soul now, what can I do more?

I dreamed last night that my dead love came in
She came in so easy that her feet made no din
She came stepping up to me and this she did say
"It will not be long love, 'til our wedding day"

Probably a bit of a mish mash that - it's words a friend gave to me and I haven't got a clue where they came from. Might help in the discussion though.

And yes, one of my favourites too.

Catrin


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Subject: RE: She Moves Through the Fair
From: P05139
Date: 12 Aug 00 - 04:23 PM

Yes, Malcolm, BOYZONE! They are Irish after all!


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Subject: RE: She Moves Through the Fair
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 12 Aug 00 - 05:31 PM

I must try to listen to that...  The version Catrin posted above seems to be mainly Paddy Tunney's (verses 1-4), with a verse 5 that may have come from the version in Kennedy (or one like it) and a final verse that could be from the Barney MacGarvey version I mentioned, and which Paddy recorded on The Wild Bees' Nest.

Having said that, there are some important differences, since, as I said, none of them mention death.  Paddy's 4th. verse ran:

According to promise, at midnight he rose
But all that he found was the downfolded clothes.
The sheets they lay empty 'twas plain for to see
And out of the window with another went she.

Verse 5 looks like a conflation of two of the verses from Kennedy, with "soul" substituted for "welfare".  In MacGarvey's version, it's "true love", not "dead love".  Unless somebody can find a traditional source for it, I'd put money on it's being a recent re-write, though certainly an interesting twist to the story.  Oh, "grease-hawk" is given by Tunney as "greesagh", which I believe is Gaelic "griosach": "burning embers".

Malcolm


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Subject: RE: She Moves Through the Fair
From: Catrin
Date: 13 Aug 00 - 10:41 AM

Wow, Malcolm C. That is sooo interesting. I think it shows that the folk tradition, of songs evolving because of half remembered words and tunes, is still going on, even with all of todays technology which freezes songs into 'correct' versions. Perhaps that's a thread drift though.

I like the 'murdered' bit of the story though. I think it makes it more interesting. And the ghost bit too. Come to think of it, I always thought it was a ghost story and the references to 'dead' love, rather than 'true' love, were 'original'.

I am though, as always, only too ready to be proved wrong.

Cheers,

Catrin


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Subject: RE: She Moves Through the Fair
From: GUEST,mariankc@hotmail.com
Date: 13 Aug 00 - 01:02 PM

Has anyone heard the lovely version sung by Nana Mouskouri on her album of songs of the British Isles? It includes the 4 "classic" verses.This was my first exposure to this beautiful song. I agree that Sandy Denny's singing of it is superb also. Must say that "HE Moved through the Fair" (the version Nana sings) gave me the impression that the man had left the girl to pine despite the promise of marriage, and that the final ghostly reappearance was but her wishful fantasy.

BTW, I think my personal favorite song of all is "The Streets of Laredo." I suppose that's being discussed by another thread, eh? I shall have to find it. Michael Martin Murphey in performance (and perhaps on one of his albums) makes clear the Gaelic origins of "Streets."

Marian C.


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Subject: Lyr Add: SHE MOVES THROUGH THE FAIR (parody)
From: Snuffy
Date: 15 Aug 00 - 06:12 AM

I don't know the parody "She Fell Through the Flare", but here's Les Barker's take on the song.

SHE MOVES THROUGH THE FAIR

(Les Barker)

My young love said to me, "My mother won't mind,
And my father won't slight you for your lack of kind."
Then she put her arms around me and this she did say,
"It will not be long, love, till our wedding day."

She stepped away from me, and she moved through the fair,
She won some old goldfish and one teddy bear.
Then she made her way homeward, with one star awake,
It was too dark to see, and she fell in the lake.

Last night she came to me, my wet love came on.
And sadly she told me that Teddy had gone.
The she put her arms around me, and this she did say.
"It's goldfish and chips for your dinner today."

Sung by Alison Younger on Oranges And Lemmings, Mrs Ackroyd Records DOG007

Wassail! V


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Subject: RE: She Moves Through the Fair
From: Susanne (skw)
Date: 19 Aug 00 - 11:54 AM

Lovely, Snuffy! I hate parodies of songs I love, but some are actually very good!
Different topic: A friend tells me he has heard that this song originally had other lyrics, concerning a mother looking for her dead child. I've never heard this story before, but maybe someone else knows what this may refer to? - Susanne


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Subject: Lyr Add: SHE MOVED THROUGH THE FAIR (f. Mouskouri)
From: Alice
Date: 19 Aug 00 - 12:16 PM

Well, I love anything the way Nana Mouskouri sang it. I actually have always sung this changing it a little myself, because when the lyrics are first person male, I usually look for a way to have it make more sense for a woman singing it. Here are my slight changes for when I sing it:

His young love said to him,
My mother won't mind,
And my father won't slight thee,
For your lack of kine,
And she stepped away from him,
And this she did say,
It will not be long, love,
Til our wedding day.

She stepped away from him,
And she moved through the fair,
And he watched her fondly,
As she moved here and there,
And then she went homeward,
With one star awake,
As the swans in the evening,
Move over the lake.

Last night she came to him,
Her ghost came in,
She came so softly,
That her feet made no din,
And she layed her hand on him,
And this she did say,
It will not be long, love,
Til our wedding day.

So, not much different from the other version, but if you are a woman, better than singing words written for a man.

Alice


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Subject: RE: She Moves Through the Fair
From: poet
Date: 19 Aug 00 - 04:55 PM

20 years ago (before mudcat) the only source of lyrics open to me was what I could pinch from visiting singers. I once heard the misterious 3rd verse and then NEVER heard it again. so when I decided that I wanted to sing this song I took a liberty and wrote this verse in its place.

Oh my young love she left me for death came that night
and he took her away from the world and the light,
and the thoughts in my mind were of what she did say
that tommorrows the morning of our wedding day.

I have since of course found the missing verse but I find that I cannot imprint into my memory to replace the one that I wrote so i'm afraid I still sing my own words.


Graham (Guernsey)


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Subject: RE: She Moves Through the Fair
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 19 Aug 00 - 04:59 PM

There's a verse about small birds singing too, Derek Gifford sings it, but I've not got round to picking it off the tape yet. Anyone know where that came from?

LTS


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Subject: RE: She Moves Through the Fair
From: MartinRyan
Date: 19 Aug 00 - 06:44 PM

Malcolm

You're right about "gríosach" - I believe Paddy Tunney himself inserted it.

Regards


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Subject: RE: She Moves Through the Fair
From: Bagpuss
Date: 20 Aug 00 - 01:21 PM

The first version I heard of this was by All About Eve. Its one of the songs that first got me into singing folk songs.

Just to clarify, the second line ends in the word "kine" (meaning cattle - and therefore wealth), and not kind.

Bagpuss


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Subject: RE: She Moves Through the Fair
From: Catrin
Date: 29 Nov 00 - 05:24 PM

Refresh


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Subject: RE: She Moves Through the Fair
From: GUEST,Rebecca
Date: 13 Dec 00 - 12:50 AM

Helen put me onto this thread and i was a bit surprised to see that noone had mentioned the Loreena McKennitt version of the song.

It is absolutely amazing. I can't remeber which CD it is but its one of her earliest ones.

Anyway if you want to listen to a perfect vocalisation of this song have a listen to that one.

Rebecca


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Subject: Lyr Add: SHE MOVED THROUGH THE FAIR
From: Jimmy C
Date: 13 Dec 00 - 08:38 AM

I first heard this song when I was a youngster. My mother used to sing it, but her version of the first and last verses went like this.

Oh my young love said to me,
My mother won't mind,
And my father won't slight you,
For your lack of kind,
And she moved away from me,
And this she did say,
It will not be long, love,
'Til the next market day.

Last night she came to me,
My dead love came in,
So softly she entered,
Her feet made no din,
Then she laid her hand on me,
And this she did say,
It will not be long, love,
'Til our wedding day.

She sang the 2nd and 3rd verses as Big Daddy has posted above.

I believe she called the song "The Next Market Day".

HTML line breaks added. --JoeClone, 23-Jul-02.


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Subject: RE: She Moves Through the Fair
From: IanC
Date: 16 Feb 01 - 08:44 AM

Just to "correct" an earlier posting. You don't have to read "Kind" as "Kine" (very unlikely in the context of the song.

"Lack of kind" is an expression meaning lack of material wealth. It's still used occasionally today in East Anglia (UK)

Cheers!
Ian


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Subject: RE: She Moves Through the Fair
From: Greenbeer
Date: 16 Feb 01 - 10:02 AM

i recently started a thread on this very topic over on uk.music.folk, and received this personal reply from the musician David Kilpatrick which i am reprinting here to add to the pot. A bit ago we had an e-xchange with Dec Cluskey, of The Bachelors (1960s to present day Irish pop group who do their best to hide a natural love for traditional stuff). The theme was 'can you do a song without changing a chord?', or at least without moving more than a single finger on the left hand end of the guitar. I did a take on She Moved Through the Fair; OK, I cheated and added some bodhran and a mountain dulcimer drone backup, but essentially that guitar stays rooted in a 1-5-8 Irish harp style arpeggio, drop D.

http://artists.mp3s.com/artist_song/849/849221.html

It's been one my more successful songs. I'll admit to being influenced by Loreena McKennit anyway, but in this also by Hamish Imlach's final album before he died - both Hamish's most beloved ladies came over to Kelso for an 'in memoriam' concert on the day he was supposed to be booked to play at our club, a few weeks after his funeral. I'm pretty sure they did 'She Moves' that night as well, with Ian Mackintosh and Tich Frier on stage. It was Hamish's use of sweeping organ sounds that persuaded me to create the spatial swirling effects using the bodhran skin.

There was also some debate on the traditional or otherwise nature of 'She Moves', and the subject of the song. It is not a ghost story, as some people think; in one music book, the words 'my dear love came to me' were misprinted as 'my dead love came to me', and that's how the mistake started. The words were written by Percy French, or collected by him, and the tune may be traditional; it is widely published as traditional, and often never attributed to French. The actual story is of marital desertion, not death; the (more wealthy) bride moves in, but pretty swiftly leaves her intended husband and takes all her furniture, linen and clothes etc with her. The period the song refers to is one where pots and pans, nightshirts, stools, chests and so on were considered so valuable they were handed down through the generations and invading soldiery or local robbers would literally steal the shirt off your back. So a wealthy (in terms of 'gear') girl was a worthwhile catch. The narrator merely DREAMS his bride returned to him, and it doesn't imply that she is a ghost - just that he is alone.

David Kilpatrick


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Subject: RE: She Moves Through the Fair
From: wes.w
Date: 16 Feb 01 - 10:36 AM

Vague memory.. Malcom Douglas says Paddy Tunney on 'Wild Bees Nest', but perhaps also earlier on 'Irish Edge' (awful bright pink cover LP) where Paddy does a spoken intro to this song?
Confused by age... wes


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Subject: RE: She Moves Through the Fair
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 16 Feb 01 - 10:39 AM

As discussed earlier in this thread, the tune is traditional; Padraic Colum re-wrote the words at one point (I don't think that Percy French had any involvement) and most people who sing it nowadays are singing the verses as he re-worked them, with the exception of the "dead love" bit.  I've heard the misprint story and while it's obviously possible, I'd want to know which book it was!  I've suggested elsewhere that Margaret Barry was the most likely source of the change to "dead love", and have since found that "Songs of the People" makes the same suggestion.  Margaret Barry is the original source, so far as can be told, of pretty well all the "revival" recordings of the song, which are not so much versions in their own right as arrangements of her version.

Malcolm


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Subject: RE: She Moves Through the Fair
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 16 Feb 01 - 10:58 AM

Paddy Tunney did indeed record Out the Window on "The Irish Edge"; originally on Topic Records, since re-issued by Ossian.  I haven't heard that one, but I believe it's the version he got from his mother, Brigid; I Once Had a True-Love, on "The Wild Bees' Nest" was the version he got from Barney McGarvey of Clonkillymore.

Malcolm


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Subject: RE: She Moves Through the Fair
From: Seany
Date: 16 Feb 01 - 12:25 PM

Hard song to sing for a bloke ..

Did anyone mention that the final line -

'It will not be long love till our wedding day'

is indicating that the chap will die soon too and they will be united in the spirit world.


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Subject: RE: She Moves Through the Fair
From: GUEST,Michael Miland
Date: 16 Feb 01 - 12:47 PM

I'm still of two minds over the "kind" vs. "kine". I think either is possible. Kind can mean relatives, thus he lacks status or heritage (orphan?). Kine obviously could refer to cattle i.e. the kind of material wealth which a good catch would possess.


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Subject: RE: She Moves Through the Fair
From: Paul Mitchell
Date: 17 Feb 01 - 03:30 AM

Catlin, the version sung by Mary Black makes a reference to "The glow of the gree sark" (my spelling). When I first discovered the Mudcat I asked if anyone knew what this meant. Some one, and I can't remember who (sorry,) explained that it's a celtic word refering to the glowing embers of a fire, perhaps most typically seen in the wee hours of the morning whilst a sad, lonely person sits by the dying fire. That makes sense to me with the idea of the "half hearth" giving off "half light".

Paul


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Subject: RE: She Moves Through the Fair
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 17 Feb 01 - 09:09 AM

Well, I certainly answered Catrin's question rather earlier in this thread, and Martin Ryan kindly confirmed my reading of it.  As we said at the time, that particular line came from Paddy Tunney.


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Subject: RE: She Moves Through the Fair
From: Big Tim
Date: 17 Feb 01 - 11:25 AM

I read smwhere that the music was provided by Herbert Hughes, probably trad like most of his tunes. Hughes, Colum and Joseph Campbell were all frinds. "Wee Pat" as Campbell's mother called often went to the Campbell home in East Belfast for sunday dinner.


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Subject: RE: She Moves Through the Fair
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 17 Feb 01 - 03:36 PM

I've always liked it best without the third verse about "the people etc", and with "my dead love came in" for the last verse. The third verse is great, but it slows things down. I think it's more powerful with the story pared-down to just sufficient to tell it all, no spare flesh on the bones. That's how Margaret Barry sang it, and it's from her singing that the song won its present wide provenance, I think.

And the last line about "It will not be long love till our wedding day" - surely that's her reassuring him that they won't be parted long, because he'll be dying soon, and that'll be their waedding-day. So it's a happy ending.


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Subject: RE: She Moves Through the Fair
From: GUEST,Patrick Shields, the uniformed
Date: 18 Feb 01 - 10:22 AM

Can anyone give , for certain, the author of this wonderful song? We of the Georgia Mudcats and always thought it purely traditional.


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Subject: RE: She Moves Through the Fair
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 18 Feb 01 - 11:03 AM

Pá:draic Colum (I misspelt his name earlier) re-wrote some traditional verses, which was common practice amongst Irish poets at the time (cf. Yeats' Sally Gardens, for example).  These verses seem to have gone back into tradition almost immediately, alongside still-existing traditional versions and sung to the same traditional tune.  The "dead love" bit is a later alteration, as stated above.  "Trad. adapted Colum" would seem fair in the circumstances.  He died in 1972.

Malcolm


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Subject: RE: She Moves Through the Fair
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 18 Feb 01 - 11:42 AM

Always glad to be nudged into re-reading this absorbing thread. Thanks to Martin and Malcolm especially.

Having previously on Mudcat acclaimed Sean McMahon's antholology of Irish songs, prose and verse, Rich and Rare, I now have to put a question-mark against his editing. McMahon gives the four-verse version, and not only atributes it to Colum but states: "...so well known and so often sung that it is incorrectly regarded as traditional."

This version has "brothers" and "parents" in the first two lines, rather than "mother" and "father", and "my young love" rather than "my dead love" in the last verse.

In view of Colum's at least partial claim on the song, it would be interesting to know what elements of it have been documented as pre-dating him.


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Subject: RE: She Moves Through the Fair
From: GUEST,Chris
Date: 12 Jun 01 - 01:26 PM

Hi All.

I was informed by Dick Richardson, an excellent Sussex singer, that "the sorrow that never was said" is a reference to TB and that this was a common way of referring to the disease. I have always understood this to be a ghost story in verse - it's certainly haunting in every sense of the word.


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Subject: RE: She Moves Through the Fair
From: GUEST,Jan
Date: 12 Jun 01 - 06:30 PM

Does anyone out there remember going to a SPINNERS concert when this song was sung as a solo by Mick Groves he introduced it saying that he learned the first two verse from his mother and having been unsucessful in finding any other fragments he wrote two additional verses.

I don't have the words to hand but could find them if anyone is totally desperate

Jan L


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Subject: RE: She Moves Through the Fair
From: Susanne (skw)
Date: 12 Jun 01 - 07:06 PM

Jan, thanks for your offer, but the words are in the DT, and there are quite a number of threads on the song. (Try the 'Digitrad and Forum Search' box at the top of the threadlist to find both.)
I never heard that Spinners story, but it's quite possible and has happened with other songs. I'd have to compare the Spinners version with the other three that I have. From memory I'd say that only the third verse ('All the people were saying') may differ significantly from the other versions or perhaps not be in them at all. I'll check.


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Subject: Lyr Add: SHE MOVED THROUGH THE BAR (Kipper family)
From: fleetwood
Date: 12 Jun 01 - 09:15 PM

Then of course there is a version by the Kipper family:

164 SHE MOVED THROUGH THE BAR

My young love she says to me, "my mother won't mind,
And my father won't care, for with drink he is blind."
Then she leaned herself on me and she sang this refrain:
"It will not be long, love, till they open again."

She leaned away from me and she fell down the stairs.
And dimly I heard her crash here and crash there.
Then homeward she staggered just one over the eight,
And like the swan in the evening she fell into the lake.

Last night she come to me. Dead drunk she come in,
And so softly she belched I could scarce smell the gin.
Then she staggered against me and slurred this refrain:
"It will not be long, love, till they open again."

HTML line breaks added. --JoeClone, 23-Jul-02.


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Subject: RE: She Moves Through the Fair
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 12 Jun 01 - 10:37 PM

See also:  She Moved Through the Fair[e] parody


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Subject: RE: She Moves Through the Fair
From: Brían
Date: 12 Jun 01 - 11:48 PM

I beleive there is definitely a relationship btween this ballad and one titled "Green Grow the Laurels", which is in the digitrad search. I am afraid the melody that is on the midi won't support my claim, but I have a recording by a singer named Kevin McElroy from my area who sings "Green Grow the Laurels" to the same tune, but at a rollicking tempo. There is also a version of "An Sagairtín"(The Little Priest)a song about a woman who sees her lover on the road as he returns from college. She professes her love to him, but too late. He has become a priest. He says that perhaps he can baptise her children. It is the very same melody as "She Moves Through the Fair" on the album Bláth na nÓige by Máirtín Tom Sheanín, although I recognise that melodies of irish tunes are very interchangable. There is a version of "An Sagairtín" in Amhráin Chlainne Gaedheal, but I don't have a copy to compare the melody. That collection was published in 1905. I thought I would mention this, because no one else has, and I would love some more discussion on this.

Brían.


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Subject: RE: She Moves Through the Fair
From: GUEST,Laura
Date: 10 Aug 01 - 12:44 PM

Was just wondering if anyone could recommend a good book with a rendition of this for piano. Thanks to whoever posted the chords above. Am always looking for easy piano books with renditions of traditional folk songs. Title suggestions for easy piano books would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks.


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Subject: RE: She Moves Through the Fair
From: GUEST,SlowAlan
Date: 11 Aug 01 - 09:50 AM

Yes I think that is right, Padraic Colum usually indicated where he was using traditional material. I have always thought he wrote the entire thing...the extrememly good poetry of the piece is an indication that it was in fact written by a poet and not an oral piece pieced up by farm workers.. I think he wrote it to sound like an old ballad, and even "left verses out of it" to add to its mystery.


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Subject: RE: She Moves Through the Fair
From: Paul from Hull
Date: 13 Aug 01 - 06:12 PM

Superb song...though I havent heard the Sandy Denny version, regrettably, cos I'm a BIG fan of hers.....

I post mainly for the benefit of Lox though, who posted about the Film in which Daniel Day Lewis sings the song.

The blurb about the Film (which is called 'Eversmile, New Jersey) can be found here:

http://uk.imdb.com/Title?0097302

(apologies for not knowing how to do 'Blue Clicky Things')


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Subject: RE: She Moves Through the Fair
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 13 Aug 01 - 07:29 PM

"The extremely good poetry of the piece is an indication that it was in fact written by a poet"

I suppose that's mean to get an argument going, but that's not such a good thing to do in a thread which is 96 posts long already.

It's absolute rubbish of course, in my view, if it's suggesting that farm workers, and the oral process, isn't every bit as capable of producing great poetry as any individual poet (and a poet might of course also be a farm labourer, and often is and has been). But it's the kind of rubbish that might get an interesting argument going.

So maybe you should step outside and say that again, SlowAlan.


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Subject: RE: She Moves Through the Fair
From: ard mhacha
Date: 14 Aug 01 - 03:19 PM

McGrath, My Uncle Robert Burns would have been proud of you. Slan Ard Mhacha.


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Subject: RE: She Moves Through the Fair
From: GUEST,Keltik
Date: 14 Dec 01 - 12:52 PM

my small contribution on the thread creep (and thread CPR) on the topic of recorded versions....

Owain Phyfe and the New world renaissance band do a fantastic version on thier cd "Odessey"

gives me goose bumps every time...


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Subject: RE: She Moves Through the Fair
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 15 Dec 01 - 12:47 PM

I sometimes sing dead love and sometimes dear. When she comes to him alive i enjoy the double meaning that can be made of " It will not be long love till our wedding day". when she says it at the fair he takes it to mean no, but at night it cleary means yes. I don't care if I have misunderstood an original meaning, it works for me.
Payment in kind is a commonplace and a legal expression in UK meaning payment in goods or services rather than money.
Keith.


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Subject: RE: She Moves Through the Fair
From: Mr Happy
Date: 10 Jun 02 - 08:11 AM

i recently heard someone sing another parody version, including 'with one star awake, she couldn't see her way home and she fell in the lake'

anyone got the rest of this?


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Subject: RE: She Moves Through the Fair
From: Snuffy
Date: 10 Jun 02 - 09:06 AM

Sounds like the Les Barker version which is further up the thread: Date: 15-Aug-00 - 06:12 AM

WassaiL! V


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Subject: RE: She Moves Through the Fair
From: GUEST
Date: 12 Jan 04 - 02:02 PM

Brían mentioned An Sagairtín in his message of 12 June 2001, so I just thought I'd let you know that the lyrics are posted. I can't say I've noticed any special resemblance between these songs.


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Subject: RE: Origins: She Moves Through the Fair
From: GUEST
Date: 14 May 06 - 12:36 PM

This is another example of the Irish stealing a tune from us English, calling it their's and getting all the credit. From reading posts on this site the impression given is that mudcatters are aware that the irish do not have the intelligence to grow potatoes let alone write songs!


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Subject: RE: Origins: She Moves Through the Fair
From: GUEST,DB
Date: 14 May 06 - 12:37 PM

That's true they even stole guinness from us!


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Subject: RE: Origins: She Moves Through the Fair
From: GUEST,therealme
Date: 14 May 06 - 12:39 PM

I always felt this song was most powerful as a simple lyric of love and desire, without the tiresome and clumsy gear of TB and murder and elopement and betrayal and ghosts and shape-shifters and visually-challenged hunters and things that don't go bump in the night and general doom. (Have I covered everything?) There are few parallels in song or poetry to the unresolved erotic tension of the final verse, in which the prospective bridegroom's fiance sneaks to his bed, "lays her hand on him", and says, "It will not be long, love, till our wedding day." That is, if you're thinking of them as real, flesh-and-blood people.


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Subject: RE: Origins: She Moves Through the Fair
From: Alice
Date: 31 Aug 06 - 10:45 PM


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Subject: RE: Origins: She Moves Through the Fair
From: GUEST,The piper
Date: 15 Jan 07 - 03:52 PM

Whatever the origins, recent or otherwise of the beautiful lyrics, this tune is probably pretty ancient, since it fits easily on the bagpipes [ I've figured out an arrangement so it can't be too difficult]. The scale on the pipes has slightly different intervals, that don't fit exactly with the "do-reh-me..." scale, which is probably why so many many pipe tunes don't quite sound right when played on other instruments,e.g the piano, and some of these tunes are seriously old. "The flowers of the Forest" which, legend has it, commemorates the dead of Flodden {1514} has been played, literally for centuries,and will no doubt still be played in the distant future,
Graham


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Subject: RE: Origins: She Moves Through the Fair
From: billbunter
Date: 15 Jan 07 - 03:56 PM

I recall somewhere The flowers o the Forest was dedicated to the Ettrick archers who died at Flodden - about 60 of them


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Subject: RE: Origins: She Moves Through the Fair
From: Taconicus
Date: 22 Jun 07 - 10:33 PM

Our Wedding Day/Moved Through the Fair


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Subject: Lyr Add: SHE MOVED THROUGH THE FAIR (Padraic Colum
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 27 Jun 07 - 12:43 AM

With Google Book Search, you can view "Wild Earth and Other Poems" by Padraic Colum, 1916, which contains this poem. I don't think this exact version has been posted at Mudcat before. I have boldfaced the differences between this version and the version in the DT.

SHE MOVED THROUGH THE FAIR

My young love said to me, "My brothers won't mind,
And my parents won't slight you for your lack of kind."
And she stepped away from me and this she did say:
"It will not be long, love, till our wedding day."

She stepped away from me and she moved through the fair,
And fondly I watched her go here and go there,
Then she went her way homeward with one star awake,
As the swan in the evening moves over the lake.

The people were saying, no two were e'er wed
But one had a sorrow that never was said,
And I smiled as she passed with her goods and her gear,
And that was the last that I saw of my dear.

I dreamt it last night that my young love came in,
So softly she entered, her feet made no din;
She came close beside me and this she did say,
"It will not be long, love, till our wedding day."


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Subject: RE: Origins: She Moves Through the Fair
From: Jim Lad
Date: 27 Jun 07 - 02:50 AM

That's a lovely song.
What's it about?


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Subject: RE: Origins: She Moves Through the Fair
From: Taconicus
Date: 27 Jun 07 - 02:22 PM

Jim asks what it's about. I agree, most of the versions (including the four-verse one currently popular) don't make much sense. Is it supposed to be a maxim that "two never wed but one had a sorrow that never was said"? I never heard that before.

I think the following seven-verse version makes more sense, yet retains a delicious ambiguity. Did she run away with another? Did she kill herself? What was the "sorrow that never was said"? Did she return, or (more probably) is that his fantasy or a dream? We're never quite sure--but the words make sense in any of those cases.

Our Wedding Day/She Moved Through the Fair

My young love said to me, "My brothers won't mind.
"Nor will my parents slight thee for thy lack of kind."
Then she placed her hand on me and this she did say:
"It will not be long, love, till our wedding day."

Then she stepped away from me and moved through the fair.
And fondly I watched her move here and move there.
Then she turned her way homeward with but one star awake.
Like the swan in the evening moving over the lake.

The neighbors were saying we two ne'er would wed
For one had a sorrow that never was said.
But I smiled as she passed with her goods and her gear.
And that was the last time that I saw my dear.

Then according to promise at midnight I rose,
But I found nothing of her but linen and clothes.
The window was open; my young love was gone.
And I left behind to wander alone.

Oh love, my young love, what is this path you chose?
You have taken the thistle; forsaken the rose.
The thistle will wither; it soon will decay,
While the red rose turns fallow, and its petals fall away.

Now if I had two wings, like an eagle I'd fly.
I would fly to my young love's side, and it's there that I'd lie.
In a bed of green ivy I'd leave myself down,
And with my two folded wings I would my love surround.

Last night she came to me, my young love came in.
So softly she came that her feet made no din.
Then she lay down beside me, and this she did say:
"It will not be long, love, till our wedding day."


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Subject: RE: Origins: She Moves Through the Fair
From: Jim Lad
Date: 27 Jun 07 - 02:31 PM

I'll shut the door behind me.


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Subject: RE: Origins: She Moves Through the Fair
From: Declan
Date: 27 Jun 07 - 02:34 PM

That's Les Barker's parody posted by Snuffy earlier in this thread.


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Subject: tab
From: GUEST,mac the knife
Date: 26 Nov 07 - 12:04 PM

am looking for a version of the music as played by a guy called scholley on youtube or somthing similair. have got a couple of versions, one in dadgad thats nice but want somthing "fuller". any suggestions?


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Subject: RE: Origins: She Moves Through the Fair
From: Bryn Pugh
Date: 27 Nov 07 - 04:53 AM

It is possible to play the tune 'melodically' using open G - 1st - 6th D B G D G D

or, as I prefer, open C

1st - 6th E C G C G E, or 'low' C, at your preference. Try a D minor shape at the 5th, for effect. I have chords other than the F barre at 5th position, and G barre at 7th, if any one wants 'em : there is Am, F, G, Caug and Bb.

Bryn, the aspiring guitarist (!)


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Subject: RE: Origins: She Moves Through the Fair
From: Bryn Pugh
Date: 27 Nov 07 - 04:58 AM

PS :

(that'll learn me not to press the 'transmit' so quick !)

apart from never having come to terms with DADGAD (notwithstanding many years of trying, in both sense of the word), played in DADGAD it sounds very 'harsh' to me, and not at all in keeping with the gentleness of the melody.

It was my understanding that Padraig Colum wrote, or made, the song. I am happy to accept that his might have been a re-working of earlier material, if not a translation from a Goidelic Celtic language.

Again, despite trying, Brythonic Celtic is the only stream I have mastered - sorry for thread-creep, fellow 'Catters !


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Subject: RE: Origins: She Moves Through the Fair
From: Owen an geal gael
Date: 02 Sep 08 - 02:36 AM

Here's an Idea...Hands up all those who want his love to be "dead"!...Mines uP!!


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Subject: RE: Origins: She Moves Through the Fair
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Sep 08 - 04:41 AM

There was a thread around a while ago about songs which "got to you". My personal unit of measurement is whether the short hairs on the back of my neck, move.
I have heard many versions of this song but one which had the short hairs jumping up and down is by Joe Brown on his "Hitting The High Spots" album.
He is accompanied by his daughter, Sam and the backing includes such unexpected instruments as ukulele and didgeridoo??
I've been an admirer of Joe as a guitarist since the 50s and have heard various jaunts by him into folk music (he is an accomplished fiddler as well) but this goes down as my all-time favourite Joe Brown track.
It starts off rhythmically and powerful and goes UP from there.
I've searched for a link but can't find one.
If the idea of Joe Brown + folk music is a difficult one for you, Try keeping an open mind and give it a listen if you come across the album.

Eddie


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Subject: RE: Origins: She Moves Through the Fair
From: romany man
Date: 02 Sep 08 - 02:22 PM

Nearly every romany singer has this song in their list of songs. though they dont often sing the old songs in public, there are thousands of songs that most people wont hear and a few songs they will, will there be travellers in heaven is a great song but not widely known


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Subject: RE: Origins: She Moves Through the Fair
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 03 Sep 08 - 03:13 AM

This version, she sings like glass!!!Turn it loud, and enjoy!


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KCpajl7UH3w


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Subject: RE: Origins: She Moves Through the Fair
From: GUEST,machree01
Date: 03 Sep 08 - 08:40 AM

Anthony Keaarns singing She Moved Through the Fair.

          http://ie.youtube.com/watch?v=N2CVdm5iRpo


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Subject: RE: Origins: She Moves Through the Fair
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 03 Sep 08 - 01:29 PM

machree01 , Thank you!..very nice version!..Maev and Anthony should sing together, someday!!!


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Subject: RE: Origins: She Moves Through the Fair
From: Owen an geal gael
Date: 04 Sep 08 - 07:24 AM

OK?....Perhaps "want" is a little strong?
Hand up those who 'prefer' her dead!


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Subject: RE: Origins: She Moves through the Fair
From: GUEST,Oliver
Date: 04 Apr 09 - 10:56 AM

Interesting to read the thoughts about this song, which I have been practising in countertenor voice. I heard a very nice version on Youtube by a countertenor here - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GAA3KewWfFQ.

My take on it is that she died, presumably of an illness - and that is the "sorrow" that is referred to. It might have been TB, as that was common in the 19th Century, but to say that the "sorrow that never was said"always meant this, seems a bit unlikely as the verse says "no two ever were wed... but one had a sorrow" etc, which would suggest "no two people ever get married, but one is dying of TB.."

What do you think is meant by "goods and gear" - was she trading in the fair/ been buying things in the fair?


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Subject: RE: Origins: She Moves through the Fair
From: meself
Date: 04 Apr 09 - 11:14 AM

Precisely.


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Subject: RE: Origins: She Moves through the Fair
From: meself
Date: 04 Apr 09 - 11:14 AM

(Which is to say, either/or/both).


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Subject: RE: Origins: She Moves through the Fair
From: Canberra Chris
Date: 04 Apr 09 - 08:22 PM

Mudcat is great for collecting such strings of comment and information on songs, so thanks. Songs such as this work for me because they remain ambiguous, and don't spell out the story. So I tend to stick with versions that don't add extra explanatory verses or words to round it off - as also Dominic Behan did with Carrickfergus for example, but that is several other threads.

This is just personal preference of course, those who want to straighten picture frames live here too, and it is often only through their intervention that we have the song at all and can then trace it back.

Our minds want to recognise or project patterns, so we clothe what we hear with meaning and in our imagination we fill out a picture or create a story, and that is part of the pleasure of our response in hearing or singing a song. So we practice being sad about an imagined grief, just as a kitten practices being fierce, or scared, or brave. With a song lke this, it can be the grief we choose.

Chris


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Subject: RE: Origins: She Moves through the Fair
From: ard mhacha
Date: 05 Apr 09 - 07:00 AM

So strange not to find any reference to John McCormack`s singing of this song, McCormack singing the last verse adds "my dead love came in".
You can be sure this recording is much older than any of the recordings mentioned here and by far the best rendition of this song.
On You Tube.


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Subject: RE: Origins: She Moves through the Fair
From: GUEST,Raz
Date: 24 Feb 10 - 05:27 PM

I am no expert but the melody of "She Moved Thru' the Fair" reminds me of Molly Ban, which is also about a young maiden being shot because she was mistaken for a swan. Although I believe that she was going to visit her uncle, so... this may have no relevence to your myth. But there seems to be a little connection.


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Subject: RE: Origins: She Moves through the Fair
From: Gallus Moll
Date: 24 Feb 10 - 07:10 PM

Many years ago I heard Adam MacNaughton sing this parody (at Glenfarg Folk Festival I think)- if I remember correctly!:

My young love said to me, as she moved thro' the flair,
Through a hole in the linoleum tae the flat doon the stair,
As she moved away from me, this she did say -- Aaaaaaaaarrrggghhhh!!!

(Adam sang it most meaningfully - resultant hysterics!)


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Subject: RE: Origins: She Moves through the Fair
From: MtheGM
Date: 24 Feb 10 - 10:58 PM

Nobody has recorded on this long thread ~ tho ard mhacha just above comes nearest ~ that when we were all singing this song in mid-50s when Margaret Barry's famous rendition hit the Revival, Karl Dallas (or Fred, as he was known then) asked her in an interview where she had learned it ~ parents, other Travellers?. "Oh no," she replied' "I learned it off a gramophone record by Count John McCormack". Karl reminded of this during the recent BBC4 Folk Britannia series.


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Subject: RE: Origins: She Moves through the Fair
From: MtheGM
Date: 24 Feb 10 - 11:21 PM

... tho, altho Barry's phrasing was much redolent of McCormack's [on youtube], it shd be noted that her version differed from his in the 2nd verse: he sang the "The people were saying 'no two were e'er wed'" version; while she sang the "She stepped away from me ... swan in the evening moves over the lake" one; so she would appear to have learned a reworking [the Padraic Colum one?] from somewhere. Neither of them sang both these verses, tho many singers [see thread passim] do.

Worth mentioning perhaps also that Rosamond Lehmann's memoir of the death of her beloved daughter was pubd 1967 under title of The Swan In The Evening.


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Subject: RE: Origins: She Moves through the Fair
From: GUEST,Sky
Date: 29 Nov 12 - 11:53 AM

Can't help with origin but enjoyed the very learned discussion,
Youse guys is marvellous so yez are!


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Subject: RE: Origins: She Moves through the Fair
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 30 Nov 12 - 04:00 AM

I remember listening to a recording of Margaret Barry singing this song, she introduced it saying ' this is a very old song, and it continues to be old ' amazing wonderful woman.

Dave H


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Subject: RE: Origins: She Moves through the Fair
From: GUEST
Date: 20 Jan 13 - 01:50 PM

Here it is being sung.


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Subject: RE: Origins: She Moves through the Fair
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 20 Jan 13 - 04:08 PM

I recorded Out of the window a while back; it's a lovely song, but (perhaps because of the unfamiliar title) it's attracted a complete lack of interest from the listening public. Here it is, though:

Out of the window


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Subject: RE: Origins: She Moves through the Fair
From: GUEST,Guest from Land of Oz
Date: 22 Oct 13 - 08:51 PM

Having waded through the posts and being still not much wiser, I have to agree that the bare bones of the story is what makes it haunting and captures our imagination, distinguishing traditional folk songs from more anecdotal ballads.

I don't know much about medieval Irish culture but we only need to look at cultures around the world today to imagine that perhaps this young woman was not in charge of her own destiny and had naiively misjudged her family's reaction. She does not appear to have actually broached the subject of marrying the impoverished young man so perhaps she went home and dropped the bombshell. It also seems rather strange for a young woman to be going home from market alone in the small hours of the morning carrying her goods - was she attacked? Maybe she was already pregnant, maybe she was hastily married off to an older man (the thistle in the longer version?) Maybe she was unhappy at being unable to marry her young love and killed herself or maybe she died in childbirth. There are no end of possibilties but it does feel more like a song of thwarted love of the Romeo and Juliet genre than one of betrayal. It invites the listner to fill in the gaps.


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Subject: RE: Origins: She Moves through the Fair
From: GUEST,banksie
Date: 23 Oct 13 - 03:46 AM

I have read before (somewhere...I thought here on Mudcat) that the sorrow was TB, which was (so I read) both quite common in Ireland and not spoken about publicly.

It is one of the finest examples of telling a complete story in a truly concise fashion. And if it is TB then I thing the story is complete. A `time line' would then go something like this:

Boy meets girl, they fall in love, plan to marry. Her parents are OK with this idea despite him not being that well off.

They meet at an event of some kind (a fair) and go about their separate business. But this happens to be the last time they meet because she has TB and by the time she gets home she falls ill with it and dies.

He dreams she comes to him (or she does as a ghost) and tells him (`it will not be long love till our wedding day') that he too has TB and will soon die. The word `dream' here might be appropriate actually, as I assume the latter stages of TB might lead to hallucinations and/or delirium.


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Subject: RE: Origins: She Moves through the Fair
From: GUEST
Date: 03 Nov 13 - 06:32 PM

It was collected in Donegal around 1903 by a team that included the musicologist Herbert Hughes who had been brought up in Belfast (Hughes was then 22). He collected traditional airs and transcribed folk songs in North Donegal in August 1903 with his brother Fred, the extraordinary F.J. Bigger, and John Campbell, all from Belfast.    "Dedicated to seeking out and recording such ancient melodies as were yet to be found in the remoter glens and valleys of Ulster, he produced in 1904 Songs of Uladh (ancient name for Ulster) with Joseph Campbell, illustrated by Joseph's brother John Campbell and paid for by Bigger, who freely spent his own money, time and inexhaustible energy in supporting and publicising the creative talents and endeavours of others involved in the Irish Cultural Revival" - Bigger was an Anglican who lived on the Antrim Road in Belfast.

F.J. Bigger was an incredible man, and was probably the prime mover and financer behind these and other collecting endeavours. See http://www.ardrighbooks.com/fjb.html .

The version of "She Moved..." collected by Hughes, Campbell and Bigger was adapted by the Irish poet Padraig Colum, and was published by Hughes in 1909. Later Colum decided another verse was needed between the existing second and third verses. He often claimed to have written all four verses, but there seems to be no doubt that he simply adapted the original three (see next paragraph).

In Irish Country Songs, Volume 1, 1909 by Herbert Hughes, the earliest published version that I have so far found, "She moved thro' the fair" is on page 46. Hughes states that the words are by "Padrẚic Colum adapted from an old ballad". That seems to be pretty definitive. It contains only these three verses, which I have copied here from the 1909 original as follows:

My young love said to me, "My mother won't mind
And my father won't slight you for your lack of kind",
And she stepp'd away from me and this she did say,
"It will not be long, love, till our wedding day."

She stepp'd away from me and she went thro' the fair,
And fondly I watch'd her move here and move there,
And then she went homeward with one star awake,
As the swan in the evening moves over the lake.

Last night she came to me, she came softly in,
So softly she came that her feet made no din,
And she laid her hand on me and this she did say
"It will not be long, love, till our wedding day."

The song is spread over pages 46 to 48, and includes the music for the melody and a piano accompaniment. The melody is the same as the one that I have always known.

I don't see anything in those words to suggest she had died, or gone away, or disappeared. Just two devoted lovers. Anything added later is just not being true to the simple and beautiful original, including Colum's subsequently added verse which includes the spurious "and that was the last that I saw of my dear".   Did he do this (and other subsequent wording changes to the original three verses) just to spice up the song a bit?

What a debt we owe to these chaps and all those other collectors who went out and about the country to listen and write down what they heard. Hughes and Campbell also collected "My Lagan Love" in Donegal in 1903. They are also credited with collecting the tune for "Down by the Salley Gardens", from which the familiar song was arranged by Hughes in 1909 using the poem of that name written by William Butler Yeats in 1899. (The tune used was the reel called "An Traigh Mughdhorna", or "The Moorlough Shore". I have listened to this reel and it is identical to "Down By..." except for the pace.)

The Irish musical heritage is filled with such achingly beautiful melodies. But what of the wonderful tunes and songs that have been missed and lost forever?


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Subject: RE: Origins: She Moves through the Fair
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 04 Nov 13 - 03:35 AM

GUEST - agreed in principle about the later additions... except that some of them may not be additions at all. Certainly anything to do with death seems to have been grafted on later, but the desertion verse harks back to the song noted down by Sam Henry as "Our Wedding Day" - which seems fuller and is probably just as old.


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Subject: RE: Origins: She Moves through the Fair
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 05 Nov 13 - 03:36 AM

This is Paddy Tunney's version as I remember it - not sure who the singers is here, but a nice rendition, and it's Paddy's tune.
http://songsskirtsandscones.net/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/Out-of-the-window.mp3

Jim Carroll

Out of the Window.
My young love said to me, my mother won't mind
And my father won't slight you for your lack of kind
And she stepped away from me and this she did say:
It will not be long, love, till our wedding day

She stepped away from me and she moved through the fair
Where hand clapping dealers' loud shouts rang the air
The sunlight about her it did sparkle and play
And it will not be long love until our wedding day.

When dew falls on meadow and moths fill the night
When the glow of the ashes in the hearth throws half light
I'll slip from the casement and we will run away
And then it will not be long love until our wedding day

According to promise at midnight I rose
But all that I found were the down folded clothes
The sheets they lay empty it was plain for to see
That out of the window with another went she

If I were an eagle and had wings to fly
I would fly to my loves castle and it's there I would lie
On a bed of green ivy I would lay myself down
And it's with my two fond wings I would my love surround


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Subject: RE: Origins: She Moves through the Fair
From: GUEST,Bryan Murphy
Date: 05 Nov 13 - 06:35 PM

Thanks Phil and Jim. I will have to research this further. My own feeling is that both "Our Wedding Day" and "Out of the Window" are later than and have borrowed from "She Moved Thro' the Fair", but I could be totally out to lunch. I will need to do more digging.   Perhaps you have better info about these two ballads. Neither of them appears in the 1873 book "Ancient Irish Music" which comprises "100 airs hitherto unpublished, many of the old popular songs, and several new songs", but that may mean nothing I suppose. They could have been collected after 1873.

More anon.

A correction to my previous (and first ever) anonymous "GUEST" submission: W. B. Yeats published his poem "Down by the Salley Gardens" in 1889, not 1899 as I had misremembered - Yeats was then about 24. Apologies for the off-topic digression.


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Mudcat time: 20 April 1:42 AM EDT

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