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Author Topic: Theme of the Month for February 2020: Rivers, Lakes, Seas, Water etc  (Read 3475 times)

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Clive Williams

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Re: Theme of the Month for February 2020: Rivers, Lakes, Seas, Water etc
« Reply #60 on: February 29, 2020, 10:18:47 PM »

Thanks everyone; on to the next theme! As ever, please feel free to post any late contribs to the end of this thread, no problem!

Jesse Smith

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Re: Theme of the Month for February 2020: Rivers, Lakes, Seas, Water etc
« Reply #61 on: March 11, 2020, 04:31:53 PM »

My very late contribution (which annoys me to do, because I think hardly anyone sees these once the month is no longer current).

The Banks of the Dee

Helena got to this one before me last month, but hopefully mine is sufficiently different in style. With a set of Morris slows thrown in at the end because why not. This one gave me a surprising degree of trouble to get where I wanted it. I guess because as a double jig there's really no place to rest in between phrases.
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Anahata

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Re: Theme of the Month for February 2020: Rivers, Lakes, Seas, Water etc
« Reply #62 on: March 11, 2020, 05:16:02 PM »

Well I saw it...
And a very morris-worthy and danceable rendition too!
Also good to have some historical detail about the tune.
It was on my list of possibles for last month.
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Peadar

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Re: Theme of the Month for February 2020: Rivers, Lakes, Seas, Water etc
« Reply #63 on: March 11, 2020, 07:12:00 PM »

 Nice tune.
Before I listened to it I wondered which Dee....as I listened to it decided it could only be the Welsh Dee...so kind of surprised to read that "The Banks f the Dee" is a Scottish song. Have you got the words?
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Jesse Smith

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Re: Theme of the Month for February 2020: Rivers, Lakes, Seas, Water etc
« Reply #64 on: March 11, 2020, 07:35:44 PM »

Anahata, thank you for the compliment! I had to work pretty hard on this one to get it to the point where it started to feel musical to me. I picked it cause I thought, "You know, Morris tune, how hard could it be?" but there's quite a distance between learning the notes and getting the right rhythm and fluidity.

Peadar, I found the words here: https://www.americanrevolution.org/war_songs/warsongs17.php. The song was written John Tait in 1775, from the perspective of a woman whose lover was shipping over "to quell the proud rebels" in the American colonies. The "proud rebels" took to the song as well, and it was popular in the colonies, including some parody versions with lyrics telling the Tories to go back home to the banks of the Dee.

I assumed the Dee is the river in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, but I read somewhere that John Tait was actually Irish, and there is a River Dee in eastern Ireland, so who knows, really.

The tune was originally used for an earlier Irish bawdy song called "Langolee". I saw a suggestion online that the tune was originally written by Handel before it had any words attached to it, but I haven't been able to find any other source for that idea.
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Rob Lands

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Re: Theme of the Month for February 2020: Rivers, Lakes, Seas, Water etc
« Reply #65 on: March 12, 2020, 10:46:51 AM »

Lango Lee is in lots of manuscripts including Roose.0510  where it was called New Lango Lee. My notes on that "transcription" were
N:This is the tune to a ballad of the same name. The tune is in the
N:'The Compleat Tutor for the Fife' (London, 1770) and
N:'The Compleat Tutor for the Hautboy' (London, 1770).
N:The "New" may connect it to new words for the ballad as the tune can be found without "New".
N:The tune is also very similar to 'Banks of the Dee'.
B:John Roose, Manchester 1850

I didn't find the connection with Handel at the time, that interesting.  The notes made are just a start indicating it is pre 1770.
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Tone Dumb Greg

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Re: Theme of the Month for February 2020: Rivers, Lakes, Seas, Water etc
« Reply #66 on: March 13, 2020, 11:26:54 AM »

Another late entry. I didn't think this was up to posting standard, but I just listened back to it and it's not as bad as I thought so I decided to post it, instead of deleting it.

https://soundcloud.com/greg-bradfield-smith/down-the-burn-davie-lad

I got the tune from from Joshua Jackson's book. I've never heard it played by anyone else, but I'm sure it must have been.

Down The Burn Davy Lad first appeared, as a song with a different tune, in William Thompson's Orpheus Caledonius of 1825 and is believed to have been composed by Robert Crawford, who wrote "Tweedside". The last verse, which contained rather tame references to ladies sticky out bits, was considered unfit for the ears of polite, late 18th C society and Robert Burns was asked, by the later Thompson, George, publisher of numerous musical works, to write a new verse to replace it, which he did after some persuasion, in September 1793.

At some point  the song had acquired a different tune...this one, which is the tune Burns used. Burns was told by his friend, Robert Riddell's father, that this air was composed by David Maigh, the keeper of the Laird of Riddell's blood slough hounds.

Here endeth the lesson. I love learning the background to these old tunes.
« Last Edit: March 13, 2020, 11:30:25 AM by Tone Dumb Greg »
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