Posts tagged ‘Lyrics’

Song: Three Mavens

In the lead up to Great Northern War, I’ve been thinking on the songs I’ve been packing away in my arsenal. I think that must have been seeping into my subconscious, because at roughly 2am this morning I had a song pop into my head, almost fully formed. I’ve worked on it through the day, and I bring you my song:

Three Mavens (to the tune of Three Ravens)

There were three mavens sat on a bench
Down a down they tore her down
Staring at a badly dressed wench
With a down
The one of them said to her friend
Look how badly that dress is hemmed
With a down truly truly they tore her down

That outer layer’s Florentine
Down a down they tore her down
But that chemise is from an earlier time
With a down
That’s a Viking circlet on her head
Why does she mix her period
With a down truly truly they tore her down

They called her over eagerly
Down a down they tore her down
And she stepped to those mavens three
With a down
She hoped for wisdom and new friends
They lectured her on fashion trends
With a down truly truly they tore her down

This fact will shock you and appall
Down a down they tore her down
The garb she wore was borrowed all
With a down
She quickly saw she was outclassed
Her first event shall be her last
With a down truly truly they tore her down

I’m releasing this song under a CC0 Waiver. For those familiar with Creative Commons, this is the least restrictive licence they supply.


CC0

To the extent possible under law,

Kristine Sihto

has waived all copyright and related or neighboring rights to
Three Mavens.
This work is published from:

Australia.

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Songs 5: Annachie Gordon

I fell quite in love with this song when I heard Sinead O’Connor performing it (here).  So of course, I ran off immediately to research where it came from, and listen to a heap of other performers doing it.

Annachie Gordon does not strictly fall within the period covered by the SCA.  It’s Child Ballad 239, Roud 102, and it’s earliest appearance (that my admittedly limited research could find) is cca. 1824, though in 1828 it was apparently listed in Buchan‘s “Ancient Ballads and Songs 2”, suggesting it may be at least a few decades older.

This song has gone through a few odd permutations.  At some point, the town of Buchan (pronounced Buck-an) became the town of Harking, which doesn’t actually exist.  This seems to happen in a fair amount of folk songs, where often the song is passed on purely by ear, resulting in a “Chinese Whispers” style evolution.  Indeed, this phenomenon has happened a few times with this song, Lord Saltoun becoming Lord Salting or Sultan, Auchanachie being shortened to Annachie, and at one point our hero became Hannah Le Gordon (you may need to scroll across on the link to see) when the song moved south from Scotland into England.

Almost all commercial versions of this song can be tracked back to the rendition performed by Nic Jones (unfortunately I don’t have a link to the song to offer), and all renditions using the place name “Harking” can be tracked back to Mary Black (who, it seems, misheard Nic Jones).  Thanks to the Mudcat Cafe  for their lovely thread I got this info from.

In the tradition of singers everywhere, I’ve tweaked this song until it makes vocal and logical sense to me, so there’s a good possibility that you won’t find this exact set of lyrics anywhere else.  However, it’s close to most commercial versions.

Buchan is bonny, and there lives my love.
My heart lies on him and cannot remove.
It cannot remove for all that I have done,
And I never will forget my love Annachie.
For Annachie Gordon, he’s bonny and he’s braw,
He’d entice any woman that ever him saw.
He’d entice any woman and so he has done me
And I never will forget my love Annachie.

Down came her father and he’s standing at the door
Saying, “Jeannie, you are trying the tricks of a whore.
You care nothing for a man who cares so much for thee,
You must marry Lord Saltoun and leave Annachie.
For Annachie Gordon, he’s barely but a man.
Even though he may be pretty but where are his lands?
The Lord Saltoun’s lands are broad and his towers they run high.
You must marry Lord Saltoun and leave Annachie.”

“With Annachie Gordon I beg for my bread
But before I marry Saltoun his gold to my head,
His gold to my head and fringes straight down to my knee,
I will die if I don’t get my love Annachie.
And you who are my parents to church you may me bring
But unto Lord Saltoun I’ll never bear a son.
Not a son or a daughter, I will never bend my knee
And I’ll die if I don’t get my love Annachie.”

Jeannie was married and from church she was brought home,
And when she and her maidens so merry should have been,
When she and her maidens both merry should have been
She runs into her chamber and she cries all alone.

“Come to bed now Jeannie me honey and me sweet,
To stile you, my mistress, it would be so sweet.”
“Be it mistress or Jeannie it’s all the same to me,
But in your bed, Lord Saltoun, I never will lie.”
And down came her father and he’s spoken with renown,
Saying “You that are her maidens, go loosen up her gown!”
And she fell down to the floor, so close down by his knee,
Saying “Father, look, I’m dying for me love Annachie.”

The day that Jeannie married was the day that Jeannie died,
And the day that young Annachie came home on the tide.
And down came her maidens all wringing of their hands
Saying “Oh, you’ve been so long, you’ve been so long upon the sands.
Oh, so long upon the sands, so long upon the flood,
They have married your Jeannie and now she lies dead.”

“You that are her maidens, come take me by the hand
And lead me to that chamber where my love she lies in.”
And he kissed her cold lips until his heart it turned to stone,
And he died there in that chamber where his love she lies in.

My rendition:  Annachie Gordon

As an aside, I found another version, not based on Nic Jones’ version.  Raymond Crooke looks like he’s an excellent resource, look for him either on YouTube or here.

Songs 3: I Have a Yong Suster

Also called “The Riddle Song“.

I learnt this one a few months back, it’s a lovely little bouncing ditty that’s easy to memorise.  I originally found it here, along with numerous other sets of lyrics, which I shall probably get to sometime in the future.

I have a yong suster
Fer biyonde the see;
Many ben the drueries
That she sente me.

She sente me the chery
Wythouten ony ston,
And so she dide the dowve
Wythouten ony bone.

She sente me the brere
Wythouten ony rynde,
She bad me love my lemman
Wythouten longynge.

How sholde ony chery
Ben wythouten ston?
And how sholde ony dowve
Ben wyhtouten bon?

How shold any brere
Ben wythouten rynde?
How sholde I love my lemman
Wythouten longynge?

Whan the chery was a flour
Than hadde it non stone;
Whan the dowve was an ey,
Than hadde it non bon.

When the brere was unbred,
Than hadde it non rynde;
When the mayden hath that she loveth,
She is wythouten longynge.

Some notes on the meanings of various words here (Please note that I’ve utilised the glossary listed on Mudcat as I don’t think I could improve upon it.  My own understanding of these terms is derived directly from this list.):

brere: briar, thorny stem of rose
dowve: dove
drueries: tokens, gifts
ey: egg
fer: far
flour: flower
lemman: lover
longynge: longing
ony: any
rynde: bark, rind
see: sea
ston: stone
suster: sister
unbred: not yet sprouted, in seed
wythouten: without

This particular song dates back to C. 1430, and is listed in MS Sloane 2593, along with Adam Lay I-BowndenI syng of a mayden, I have a gentil cok, and others.

Every version of this I have heard has the same basic melody, and all include (basically) the same chorus, though I’ve not found it used in conjunction with the lyrics on any written source on the internet.  “Partum quartum pare dissentum, peri meri dictum domine” appears to be nonsensical pseudo-latin.  I have been unable so far to ascertain whether or not the tune and the chorus are attached to these lyrics in period.

You can find my rendition here:  I Have a Yong Suster.

As always, feel free to download this for your own usage.  Please don’t publish it elsewhere, direct people to this site instead.

Songs 1: Adam Lay I-Bownden

I’ve been planning for a while to start putting together a book of songs for the solo SCA singer.  Mainly because there doesn’t seem to be much singing happening in the Northern Reaches that I’ve seen, and those songs I have heard around and about seem to be focussed on the Known Words that Eric the Fruitbat put together (you can find it here).  This is a lovely text, but there is little in the way of actual period material in there.  It would, I think, be nice to have a one-stop-shop of period and near-period lyrics whose tunes are easy to find online.

I have no intention of putting songs into this text unless I know them.  Thus I am starting a second challenge, where I will attempt to gather together 50 period or near-period songs, learn each by heart, and track the origins of the song as well as possible.  I will do this with only the aid of the internet, as I don’t read music.

Today I’m learning “Adam Lay I-Bownden“.  The lyrics come from a Sloan manuscript, held by the British Museum, who have dated the work from c.1400.

Adam lay i-bowndyn,
bowndyn in a bond,
Fowre thowsand wynter
thowt he not to long

And al was for an appil,
an appil that he tok.
As clerkes fyndyn wretyn
in here book.

Ne hadde the appil take ben,
the appil taken ben,
Ne hadde never our lady
a ben hevene quen.

Blyssid be the tyme
that appil take was!
Therfore we mown syngyn
Deo gracias!

These words are the ones I’ve transcribed directly from Wikipedia, the original Middle English version.

The original tune for these lyrics is lost.  However, there have been a number of performers who have come up with their own tunes.  I found a lovely version of this on YouTube, performed by “The Medieval Babes”, this is the version I’m learning.  I have only one criticism of their performance.  They pronounce “app-le” rather than “app-il”.  I can understand the pronunciation if they were working on a transcribed version which spelled apple in the modern way, however, the original seems to offer a different pronunciation.

I like this tune mainly for its simplicity and its constant beat pattern.  To hear my rendition of this song, please click on the link below.   I don’t mind if people download it for their own usage, just please don’t publish it elsewhere without checking with me first.

Adam Lay I-Bownden

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