Monday, May 15, 2017

Folksong, 2017/18, Term 1: An Acre of Land (Sing ovey and ivy)


https://youtu.be/NC1DLVhuDKU


Acre Of Land

The word 'ivery' in this song is a dialect pronunciation of the word 'ivy'.
 
My father left me an acre of land
There goes this ivery,
My father left me an acre of land,
And a bunch of green holly and ivery.


 
I ploughed it with my ram’s horn,
There goes this ivery,
My father left me an acre of land,
And a bunch of green holly and ivery.


I sowed it with my pepper box,
There goes this ivery,
My father left me an acre of land,
And a bunch of green holly and ivery.

 
I harrowed it with my bramble bush,
There goes this ivery,
My father left me an acre of land,
And a bunch of green holly and ivery.


I reaped it with my little penknife,
There goes this ivery,
My father left me an acre of land,
And a bunch of green holly and ivery.


 
I sent it home in a walnut shell,
There goes this ivery,
My father left me an acre of land,
And a bunch of green holly and ivery.


I threshed it with my needle and thread,
There goes this ivery,
My father left me an acre of land,
And a bunch of green holly and ivery.

 
I winnowed it with my handkerchief,
There goes this ivery,
My father left me an acre of land,
And a bunch of green holly and ivery.


I sent it to mill with a team of great rats,
There goes this ivery,
My father left me an acre of land,
And a bunch of green holly and ivery.
 

The carter brought a curly whip,
There goes this ivery,
My father left me an acre of land,
And a bunch of green holly and ivery.

The whip went pop and the waggon it stopped.
There goes this ivery,
My father left me an acre of land,
And a bunch of green holly and ivery.



Here is another version with the same tune, slightly different lyrics (remember, folk songs are like that, and that's okay. You don't need One True Right Version- just pick.  Or mix.  It's okay, relax and have fun with them!)
:

My father he left me an acre of land,Sing ovey, sing ivy.My father he left me an acre of land,Sing holly, go whistle and ivy.

I ploughed it one morning with a ram's horn,Sing ovey, sing ivy.I sowed it all over with two pepper corns,Sing holly, go whistle and ivy.

I harrowed it next with a bramble bush...

And reaped it all with my little penknife...

The little mice carried it into the barn...

I threshed it there with a fine goose quill...


The cat she carried it into the mill...

The miller he said that he'd work with a will...

My father he left me an acre of land,Sing ovey, sing ivy.My father he left me an acre of land,Sing holly, go whistle and ivy.


Friday, May 12, 2017

Folksongs 2017-18, Term 1: A Nice Field of Turnips

We thought it would be fun to have something connected to harvest for this term.
We found this gem:

 That's a Nice Field of Turnips

That's a nice little farm over there
a lovely little farm over there
That's a nice little farm
a lovely little farm
that's a nice little farm over there!

2 That's a nice field o'turnips over there
3 Little pony
4 Good crop of corn
5 Fine bunch o'pigs
6 Lovely flock of sheep
& so on

Click on the speaker for a recording here: https://www.efdss.org/efdss-education/resource-bank/resources-and-teaching-tools/there-s-a-nice-field-of-turnips-over-there

This may seem a bit silly at first, but it's a good work and play song. Try it out and see how you'll find it creeping into daily life. A child may sing "There's a yummy plate of pancakes over here," and you may respond, "That's a fine display of manners over there." Or perhaps you'll find yourself singing,   "That's a lovely crop of children on my stairs."

Singing songs together is the point of folk songs, after all, and once you do that, they become part of the soundtrack of your lives. Your children will look back and remember singing together as one of their favourite things to do as a family.  Make singing together part of your family culture.

I just know there is a darling crop of AO singers out there.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Folksongs 2017-18: The Outlandish Knight

by Dulac, Golden Age of Poetry artist
I first knew this song as a long poem.  When I was 10 I spent my Christmas week in the hospital laid up with a bad case of a pneumonia (my temperature reached 106).  I had to receive pencillin via injections around the clock, every four hours, which I loathed but was too sick to fight about it.  One of my Christmas presents was the Golden Treasury of Poetry, edited by Louis Untermyer and illustrated by Joan Walsh Anglund.  (this was my copy, but it's also been republished with this cover.) It was from my aunt, who always gives the best gifts.

I read it from cover to cover, I think, spending that week in the hospital with nothing to do. I loved poetry before that week, I loved it even more afterwards.

The Outlandish Knight was one of my favourites.  The spunky, clever would-be victim turning the tables on the villain and tossing him into the brink gave me much satisfaction.  
I was delighted to learn that it was also a folk song which I could sing with my own children.

An outlandish knight came from the north lands
He courted a lady fair
He said he would take her to those northern lands
And there he would marry her

Go fetch some of your fathers gold
And some of your mothers fee
And two of the horses from out of the stables
Where there stands thirty and three

She’s mounted on the lilly white steed
And he the dapple gray
They’ve rode til they come unto the sea side
Three hours before it was day

Lights off Lights off, your lily white steed
Deliver it unto me
Six pretty maidens have I drowned here
And the seventh will surely be thee
Take off take off
Your silken gowns
Deliver them unto me
For I do feel that they are too fine
To rot in the sun salt sea.

If I take off my silken gowns
And turn your back on me
For it is not fitting that such a cruel world
A naked woman should see

And cut away the brambles so sharp
The brambles from of the brim
For I do feel that they’ll tangle my hair
And scratch my tender skin

So he’s turned his back all on the fair maid
And leant down over the brim
She’s taken him by his slander waist
and tumbled him into the stream

Lie there, lie there, you false-hearted man,
Lie there instead of me,
For six pretty maidens have you drowned here
The seventh hath drown-ed thee

You can also find this at Contemplator.com. They share this information about the background of the song:

"This ballad is known throughout Great Britian and Ireland, as well as northern and southern Europe. It appears in several collections as May Colvin, the earliest of which is Herd's Ancient and Modern Scottish Songs (1776).This ballad is Child Ballad #4 (Lady Isabel and the Elf Knight)."

Outlandish probably just refers to the knight living in the border country that was not quite England and not quite Scotland- a place short on law and long on outlaws. 

In some versions of the song he's an elfen knight. 

You can read more about several variations and recordings here.