Archive for the 'Love' Category



The Great Silkie of Sule Skerry


h1 Thursday, March 1st, 2007

This is Child Ballad No.113
“The Great Silkie of Sule Skerry” is one of numerous tales of
the Silkies, or seafolk, known to the inhabitants of the Orkney
Islands and the Hebrides. These enchanted creatures dwell in the
depth of the sea, occasionally doffing their seal skins to pass
on land as mortal men. Legend has it that they then accept human
partners, and some families on the islands actually trace their
ancestry to such marriages. In more complete versions of the
ballad, the Silkie’s forecast of the death of himself and his son
eventually come to pass.
Thanks to Mudcat Cafe for that information
Lyrics:
[G] An earthly [F] nurse sits and [G] sings,
And aye, she [C] sings by [D] lily [G] wean,
And [C] little ken [D] I my bairn’s [G] father,
Far [F] less the land where he [G] dwells in.

For he came on night to her bed feet,
And a grumbly guest, I’m sure was he,
Saying “Here am I, thy bairn’s father,
Although I be not comely.”

“I am a man upon the land,
I am a silkie on the sea,
And when I’m far and far frae land,
My home it is in Sule Skerrie.”

And he had ta’en a purse of gold
And he had placed it upon her knee,
Saying, “Give to me my little young son,
And take thee up thy nurse’s fee.”

“And it shall come to pass on a summer’s day,
When the sun shines bright on every stane,
I’ll come and fetch my little young son,
And teach him how to swim the faem.”

“And ye shall marry a gunner good,
And a right fine gunner I’m sure he’ll be,
And the very first shot that e’er he shoots
Will kill both my young son and me.”

The House Carpenter


h1 Thursday, February 1st, 2007

“The House Carpenter” is a popular name for Child Ballad No. 243. The official names are “James Harris,” or “The Daemon Lover.” This ballad may have been partially inspired by an ancient myth that was a catalyst for Richard Wagner’s operatic masterpiece, “The Flying Dutchman.”
Lyrics:
[Em] “Well met, well met, my own true love,
well met, well met,” cried he.
“I’ve just returned from the salt, salt sea
[D] all for the love of [Em] thee.”

“I could have married the King’s daughter dear,
she would have married me.
But I have forsaken her crowns of gold
all for the love of thee.”

“Well, if you could have married the King’s daughter dear,
I’m sure you are to blame,
For I am married to a house carpenter,
and find him a nice young man.”

“Oh, will you forsake your house carpenter
and go along with me?
I’ll take you to where the grass grows green,
to the banks of the salt, salt sea.”

“Well, if I should forsake my house carpenter
and go along with thee,
What have you got to maintain me on
and keep me from poverty?”

“Six ships, six ships all out on the sea,
seven more upon dry land,
One hundred and ten all brave sailor men
will be at your command.”

She picked up her own wee babe,
kisses gave him three,
Said “Stay right here with my house carpenter
and keep him good company.

Then she putted on her rich attire,
so glorious to behold.
And as she trod along her way,
she shown like the glittering gold.

Well, they’d not been gone but about two weeks,
I know it was not three.
When this fair lady began to weep,
she wept most bitterly.

“I do not weep for my house carpenter
or for any golden store.
I do weep for my own wee babe,
who never I shall see anymore.”

Well, they’d not been gone but about three weeks,
I’m sure it was not four.
Our gallant ship sprang a leak and sank,
never to rise anymore.

One time around spun our gallant ship,
two times around spun she,
Three times around spun our gallant ship
and sank to the bottom of the sea.

Katie Morey


h1 Saturday, July 1st, 2006

Bob Gibson sang this on his “Folk Songs of Ohio” album in the early 1950s. It’s funny because it points out the age old adage that a man will chase a woman until she catches him. Men think they have it all under control and are always amazed to find that they have invariably been outwitted by clever, creative women. But hey, what a way to go!
Lyrics:
A] Come all you young and [E] foolish lads who [A] listen to my [E] story
I’ll [A] tell you how I [E] fixed a plan to [B7] fool miss Katie [E] Morey
Come-a-two-dit-a-rye-do-two-dit-a-ray come-a-two-dit-a-ry e-do-[C#m] dandy
[E] I’ll tell you how I [A] fixed a plan to [B7] fool miss Katie [E] Morey

I told her that my sister Sue was in yon lofty tower
And wanted her to come that way to spend a pleasant hour
But when I got her to the top, say nothing is the matter
But you must cry or else comply, there is no time to flatter
Come-a-two-dit-a-rye-do-two-dit-a-ray come-a-two-dit-a-rye-do-dandy
I’ll tell you how I fixed a plan to fool miss Katie Morey

She squeezed my hand and seemed quite pleased
Saying “I have got no fear sir, but father he has come this way
He may see us here sir. If you’ll but go and climb that tree
Till he has passed this way sir, we may gather our grapes and plumbs
We will sport and play sir.”
Come-a-two-dit-a-rye-do-two-dit-a-ray come-a-two-dit-a-rye-do-dandy
I’ll tell you how I fixed a plan to fool miss Katie Morey

I went straight way and climbed the tree not being the least offended
My true love came and stood beneath to see how I ascended
But when she got me to the top she looked up with a smile sir
Saying “you may gather your grapes and plumbs
I’ll run quickly home sir.”
Come-a-two-dit-a-rye-do-two-dit-a-ray come-a-two-dit-a-rye-do-dandy
I’ll tell you how I fixed a plan to fool miss Katie Morey

I straight way did descend the tree coming with a bound sir
My true love got quite out of sight before I reached the ground sir
But when the fox hide did relent to see what I’d intended
I straight way made a wife of her, all my troubles ended
Come-a-two-dit-a-rye-do-two-dit-a-ray come-a-two-dit-a-rye-do-dandy
I’ll tell you how I fixed a plan to fool miss Katie Morey

Time to stop this foolish song, time to stop this rhyming
Every time the baby cries, I wish that I was climbing
Come-a-two-dit-a-rye-do-two-dit-a-ray come-a-two-dit-a-rye-do-dandy
I’ll tell you how I fixed a plan to fool miss Katie Morey

Greensleeves


h1 Saturday, April 1st, 2006

La ghirlandata (1873)
Londra, Guildhall Art Gallery

. . . Greensleeves . . . Text below from: http://soundexp.com/history.html

In the 15th through the early 17th centuries, music began to be printed and sold. Musical themes spread rapidly throughout Europe, particularly those developed by the troubadours of Provence in earlier centuries. With the coming of the Renaissance, the Church lost some of its power to control ideas. The notion of courtly love, so despised by the clergy, was celebrated once again. Of course it was hardly taken seriously, but its imagery was still powerful and it sounded good.

There is a long standing debate over whether England’s King Henry VIII (circa: ) did, in fact, write “Greensleeves,” one of the most celebrated, and certainly most frequently performed, love songs ever written. It’s doubtful whether we can ever know for sure. This much we do know: Henry VIII was well educated and thought of himself as quite the Renaissance man. He played several instruments including organ, harp, and virginals, so he certainly could have picked out the melody. We have a love letter written by him to Anne Boleyn which displays an eloquence (and impatience) that leads one to believe he could have written the song’s lyrics. Lines from this letter such as “struck by the dart of love” sound a bit trite, but it shows he probably knew a decent metaphor when he heard one. Most likely the tune already existed and Henry simply added his own lyrics since this was a perfectly acceptable practice in those days. Henry, no doubt thought of himself as a latter day troubadour wooing his lady love. But, as Anne was to find out, like some other troubadours of olde, Henry was a fickle lover and quickly moved on the next muse.

Punning sexual allusions and bawdy language were quite common in the love songs of this period. The Renaissance delighted in images of outdoor lovemaking and thinly disguised it by employing the metaphor of dancing as in Thomas Morley’s song, “Now Is the Month of Maying” (‘Barley-break’ is Renaissance-speak for ‘a roll in the hay’)

The Spring, clad all in gladness,
Doth laugh at Winter’s sadness, fa la,
And to the bagpipe’s sound
The nymphs tread out their ground, fa la.
Fie then, why sit we musing,
Youth’s sweet delight refusing, fa la.
Say, dainty nymphs, and speak,
Shall we play at barley-break? fa la.

During the reign of Elizabeth I, Shakespeare, like other playwrights, sprinkled songs throughout his stage plays. We don’t have know the original melodies but, like Greensleeves, they were probably sung to well-known tunes of the day, whichever ones the actors happened to know. Although Shakespeare’s love sonnets are deeply moving, the love songs in his plays tend to be more for laughs. Slow ballads probably didn’t go over well with a rambunctious live audience just waiting for an excuse to throw rotten vegetables!
. . .

Lyrics:
. . . [Em] Alas, my love, you [D] do me wrong,
To [C] cast me off [B7] discourteously.
[G] For I have loved you [D] well and long,
[C] Delighting [B7] in your [Em] company.

Chorus:
[G] Greensleeves was all my [D] joy
[C] Greensleeves was my [B7] delight,
[G] Greensleeves was my [D] heart of gold,
And [C] who but my [B7] lady [Em] greensleeves.

Your vows you’ve broken, like my heart,
Oh, why did you so enrapture me?
Now I remain in a world apart
But my heart remains in captivity.

chorus

If you intend thus to disdain,
It does the more enrapture me,
And even so, I still remain
A lover in captivity.

chorus

My men were clothed all in green,
And they did ever wait on thee;
All this was gallant to be seen,
And yet you wouldst not love me.

chorus

You couldst desire no earthly thing,
but still you hadst it readily.
Your music still to play and sing;
And yet you wouldst not love me.

chorus

Ah, Greensleeves, now farewell, adieu,
To God I pray to prosper thee,
For I am still thy lover true,
Come once again and love me. . . .

Wade in the Water


h1 Wednesday, March 1st, 2006

C01U.jpg

Camilla and I were on the road when I remembered this song and thought it would be a good one to record. I used my iBook and free cross platform software called Audacity along with my Samson C01U USB microphone. This is a great mic for the road because you don’t need an interface of any kind to record. You just plug into the USB jack and you’re good to go.

We discussed the song and decided make some changes. The original meaning of the song was inspired by John 5:4 in the Bible. “For an angel went down at a certain time into the pool and troubled the water. Then whoever first stepped in after the troubling of the water was made whole of whatever disease he had.” We changed the meaning to reflect Deuteronomy 31:3 “The LORD thy God, he will go over before thee, [and] he will destroy these nations from before thee, and thou shalt possess them: [and] Joshua, he shall go over before thee, as the LORD hath said.”

Lyrics:
[Am] Wade in the water
[Dm] Wade in the water [Am] children
[Am] Wade in the water
[C] God’s gonna [G] part the – [G] wa [Am] ter

Wade in the water
Wade in the water children
Wade in the water
God’s gonna part the – water[C]

Well who those children [G] dressed in [Am] red?
[C] God’s gonna [G] part the – [G] wa [Am] ter
[C] Must be the [G] children that Joshua [Am] led
[C] God’s gonna [G] part the – [G] wa [Am] ter

I said wade in the water
Wade in the water children
Wade in the water
God’s gonna part the – water

Nowl who those children dressed in black?
God’s gonna part the water
Goin’ to the promised land and never comin’ back
God’s gonna part the water

Said wade in the water
Wade in the water children
Wade in the water
God’s gonna part the – water

Well who those children dressed in green?
God’s gonna part the water
They’re marching to a land they never have seen
God’s gonna part the water

Wade in the water
Wade in the water children
Wade in the water
God’s gonna part the – water

Well who those children dressed in white?
God’s gonna part the water
They must be the children called Israelites
God’s gonna part the water

I said wade in the water
Wade in the water children
Wade in the water
God’s gonna part the – water

Wade in the water
Wade in the water children
Wade in the water
God’s gonna part the – water
God’s gonna part the – water
God’s gonna part the – water

(c) 2006
New lyrics by Roger McGuinn – McGuinn Music (BMI)
Camilla McGuinn – April First Music (ASCAP)

Red River Valley


h1 Thursday, September 1st, 2005

leadingpony.gif

I remember watching Roy Rogers when I was a Chicago cowboy in the 1940s. Bob Nolan and the Sons of the Pioneers sang Red River Valley in a movie by the same name. This song always reminds me of my childhood fantasies of riding the range with a cowboy hat and a good chestnut mare.
Lyrics:
Red River Valley

[G] From this valley they say you are going
We will miss your bright eyes and sweet smile [D]
[G] For they say you are taking the [C] sunshine
That has [D] brightened our path for a [G] while

Come and sit by my side if you love me
Do not hasten to bid me adieu
But remember the Red River Valley
And the cowboy who loved you so true

Won't you think of the valley you're leaving
Oh how lonely, how sad it will be?
Oh think of the fond heart you're breaking
And the grief you are causing to me

As you go to your home by the ocean
May you never forget those sweet hours
That we spent in the Red River Valley
And the love we exchanged mid the flowers

Repeat first verse

On Top Of Old Smokey


h1 Friday, July 1st, 2005

Smokey2.jpg

I remember lying on the floor in front of the big brown cathedral radio at my grandmother's house, listening to The Weavers sing 'On Top of Old Smokey.' It was on the 'Hit Parade' back then, just as popular as Coldplay, Weezer or Black Eyed Peas are today. It's still a great song. I recorded it with my new 7-string Martin, a 5-string banjo and bass, with a few Rickenbacker 12-string licks at the end.
Lyrics:
[D] On top of old [G] Smokey
All covered with [D] snow
I lost my true [A] lover
For courting too [D] slow

Courting 's a pleasure
And parting is a grief
But a false hearted lover
Is worst than a thief

For a thief he will rob you
And take what you have
But a false hearted lover
Will lead you to your grave

The grave will decay you
And turn you to dust
One girl in a thousand
That a poor boy can trust

For they'll hug and they'll kiss you
And tell you more lies
That the crossties on a railroad
Or the stars in th sky

So come all you young fellows
Take a warning from me
Never place your affection
On a green growing tree

For the leaves they will wither
And the roots will decay
And a false hearted lover
Will soon fade away

On top of old Smokey
All covered with snow
I lost my true lover
For courting too slow

So Early In The Spring


h1 Sunday, May 1st, 2005

early_spring.jpg

This is a sea chantey that got distilled, and transformed into a love ballad in the Appalachian Mountains. The origin is Scottish, but the lyrical style is obviously from the Southern United States. Many settlers to the New World brought their music with them, only to have it subtly changed over time.

Another example of this phenomenon is Jean Ritchie's song 'Nottamun Town,' which only survived by being brought to North America. When, as a Fulbright Scholar she visited Nottingham, England to research the roots of the song, it had completely disappeared in its original form.

Appalachian Traditional Music, A Short History:

http://www.mustrad.org.uk/articles/appalach.htm

Lyrics:
SO EARLY IN THE SPRING

[A] It being early in the spring
I went on board to serve my [E] king
[A] Leaving my dearest [F#m] dear behind
She [E] oftimes swore her heart was[F#m] mine

As I lay smiling in her arms
I thought I held ten thousand charms
With embraces kind and a kiss so sweet
Saying We'll be married when next we meet

As I was sailing on the sea
I took a kind opportunity
Of writing letters to my dear
But scarce one word from her did hear

As I was walking up London Street
I shoved a letter from under my feet
Straight lines being wrote without any blot
Saying seldom seen is soon forgot

I went up to her father's hall
And for my dearest dear did call
She's married, sir, she's better for life
For she has become a rich man's wife

If the girl is married, whom I adore
I'm sure I'll stay on land no more.
Straight lines being wrote without any blot
Saying seldom seen is soon forgot

So come young lads take a warn from me
If in love you'll ever be
For love is patient,love is kind,
Just never leave your love behind

It being early in the spring
I went on board to serve my king
Leaving my dearest dear behind
She oftimes swore her heart was mine

New words and new music by Roger McGuinn (C) 2005 McGuinn Music (BMI)

Gypsey Rover


h1 Tuesday, May 4th, 2004

This is one of the great songs I performed night after night with the Chad Mitchell Trio back in the early 60s. It's a sweet love song for May.
Lyrics:
[A] Gypsy [E7] rover, come [A] over the [E7] hill, [A] down through the valley so [E7] shady
He [A] whistled and he [E7] sang til the [A] green woods [F#m] rang and [A] he won the [D]heart of a [A] lady [E7]

Ah dee doo ah dee doo da day, ah dee doo ah dee day dee
He whistled and he sang til the green woods rang
And he won the heart of a lady

She left her fathers castle gate, she left her own fine lover
She left her servants and her state, to follow the gypsy rover

Ah dee doo ah dee doo da day, ah dee doo ah dee day dee
He whistled and he sang til the green woods rang
And he won the heart of a lady

Her father saddled up his fastest stead, roamed the valleys all over
Sought his daughter at great speed and the whistling gypsy rover

Ah dee doo ah dee doo da day, ah dee doo ah dee day dee
He whistled and he sang til the green woods rang
And he won the heart of a lady

He came at last to a mansion fine, down by the river Clady
And there was music and there was wine, for the gypsy and his lady

Ah dee doo ah dee doo da day, ah dee doo ah dee day dee
He whistled and he sang til the green woods rang
And he won the heart of a lady

He is no gypsy, my father, she said, but lord of these lands all over
And I will stay til my dying day, with my whistling gypsy rover

Ah dee doo ah dee doo da day, ah dee doo ah dee day dee
He whistled and he sang til the green woods rang
And he won the heart of a lady

Silver Dagger


h1 Wednesday, February 11th, 2004

Dagger.jpg

Silver Dagger is a song I first heard in the early 60s on a Joan Baez album. I loved the beautiful melody and the way Joan sang and played it. This was a ladies song. I always wished I could sing it, but I minded doing songs of the opposite gender, so I changed the gender of the song with a few words.
Lyrics:
Silver Dagger

I won't [A] sing love songs, I'll wake your [D] mother

She's sleeping [A] there, right by your [Bm] side

And in her [G] right hand is a sliver [Em] dagger

She says that [G] you can never be my [A] bride

All men are false, so says your mother

They tell you wicked, loving lies

The very next evening, they'll court another

Leave you alone to pine and sigh

Your daddy is a handsome wrangler

He's got a chain five miles long

From every link a heart does dangle

Of some fair maid he's loved and wronged

I'll court another tender maiden

And hope that she will be my wife

For you've been warned and you've decided

To sleep alone all of your life

(C) 2004 MCGUINN MUSIC / Roger McGuinn