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That means that the fragment collected by Mr. Hughes in Ireland was completed with some of the missing parts from just the right song. Both songs are modern variants of the same ancient broadside ballad with a little input from another old song-sheet. They have reached us on different transmission routes, but their trip was very similar: first was the broadside with scattered verses from older songs, then the "Folk" that stored these texts in their memory for a couple of decades, then the Folklore collectors who saved these verses from oblivion by writing them down and publishing their findings in books and then at last the Folk Revival singers who used them for new "old" songs.

It seems that the original "Oh Waly, Waly" was literally broken into pieces by the writers of all those broadsides. They systematically plundered Ramsay's text as well as those of other related songs. When the Folklorists started collecting they encountered these relics just around every corner. Apparently only the broadsides served as the conduit for these verses' transmission.

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The collectors found them among the "Folk" either in fragmentary versions of this particular broadside text or as floating verses in all kinds of different songs and then secured their subsequent survival. In case of "The Water Is Wide" the route of transmission is easy to follow. Some verses from these texts were then borrowed and included in "new" songs like "The Unfortunate Swain" and "I'm Often Drunk And Seldom Sober" that were published on popular broadside sheets during the second half of the 18th century and in the early 19th century.

Fragments of these songs were recalled by Mrs. Cox, Mr. Thomas and Mrs. Mogg during the years and for song collector Cecil Sharp. It was in effect a new song constructed from relics of two popular songs. He tried to put together a "Folk"-version of "Oh Waly, Waly" but the only connection to that old Scottish ballad was that the creators of the two broadside texts themselves had cribbed one respectively two verses from that song. Interestingly Sharp's methods were strikingly similar to those of the writers of "The Unfortunate Swain" and other broadsides.

They had compiled their songs from verses borrowed from different sources and claimed it was "new" while Sharp did exactly the same thing but preferred to regard his work as an "old" song. In fact both were only half right. In some way he had unwittingly followed the rules of the genre. A modern Folklorist will not regard his song as "authentic" but a professional author of broadside songs from the 18th or 19th century and also the singing "Folk" surely would not have been bothered by his methods. For some reason Sharp's song had a slow start.

His arrangement is still regularly performed by classical singers. Instead for some reason it is claimed that this "famous old song […] is widely known and sung throughout all English-speaking countries". I really wonder where he got that information. But I assume that he simply wanted to obscure the fact that he had learned it from a book.

In fact this song only became "famous" after Pete Seeger had recorded his version in He deleted one verse, played it in common time instead of the original triple rhythm and was the first one to call it "The Water Is Wide". Tunes and Songs as Sung by Pete Seeger p. The water is wide, I cannot get over And neither have I wings to fly.

Give me a boat that can carry two, And both shall row, my love and I. A ship there is and she sails the sea, She's loaded deep as deep can be. I leaned my back up against some. But first he bended, and then he broke, And thus did my false love to me. I put my hand into some soft bush, Thinking the sweetest flower to find. I pricked my finger to the bone, And left the sweetest flower alone. Oh, love is handsome and love is fine, Gay as a jewel when first it is new, But love grows old, and waxes cold, And fades away like summer dew. His string guitar was always tuned down so that the bass notes were big and round, filling the hall as would a string quartet.

His voice was clear, full of emotion and youthful exuberance. But he also reported that he had heard the song "later" in London as sung by Shirley Collins. So it seems it was already known in Folk Revival circles before it was recorded by Pete Seeger. Hester also sang Seeger's version although this was deliberately obscured in the liner notes written by Robert Shelton as Stacey Wiliams, his pseudonym for these kinds of jobs.

At least Sharp got some credit although he of course had never collected the song in the USA:. Joan Baez included it in in her Songbook , but without any credit to Seeger or Sharp. She also performed "The Water Is Wide" in her concerts although to my knowledge she didn't record the song for any of her early LPs. Here the song is credited as "traditional, arr. Dylan later reported that he had "heard a Scottish ballad on an old 78 record that I was trying to really capture the feeling of, that was haunting me [ Unfortunately it's not known which record he had listened to.

But this was an exception to the rule and it seems that nearly everybody at that time learned the song directly or indirectly from Pete Seeger, either from live performances, from him personally, from the recording, or from any of the printed versions. Seeger's version has become a standard. But nowadays usually only four verses are sung: one "I put my hand into some soft bush […]" got lost sometime during the '60s. And now we have arrived again at the text I have quoted in the very first chapter:. This reduced version looks in fact very close to the original "Oh Waly, Waly": variant forms of two of these four verses — the third and the fourth - had already been part of that old Scottish ballad when it was first published by Thomson and Ramsay in Even though "The Water is Wide" as a song is not that old in fact the verses themselves are of great antiquity and it's fascinating to see that they have survived for so long.

The earliest variant of the first one was printed on a broadside as part of the song "I'm Often Drunk And Seldom Sober" around , the second "There is a ship They have survived for so long because of a complex process involving both written transmission and oral tradition.

The Mima Journals, Vol. 1: The Water is Wide

But it's also interesting to see how these verses have changed over the centuries. The earliest version of the last verse of looks a little bit different from the one used for "The Water Is Wide":. According to Robert Chambers , p. For the broadside text of "I'm Often Drunk And Seldom Sober" - published around - the words were modernized and the anachronisms deleted:.

When Mrs. Mogg from Somerset recalled this verse in for Cecil Sharp is was nearly identical to the one on the broadside. She only replaced "while it's new" with "when it is true":. But he also added something new by changing the last word of the first line from "pretty" to "fine" and the start of the second line from "love is charming" to "love's a jewel":. In Pete Seeger's version the second line looks a little bit different - "Gay as a jewel" instead of "love's a jewel" - and the traditional "morning dew" is changed to "summer dew".

But there is also one more anachronism directly taken from Ramsay's "Oh Waly, Waly": "waxes" replaces "groweth". In fact every new edit makes this line look older and more like the one in "Waly, Waly": "grows older" in the texts from the broadside and from Mrs. But in most of the versions used today the "morning" has returned and these days the second half of this verse looks surprisingly similar to the corresponding lines in "Oh Waly, Waly": every editor since Sharp has added one more element of the original text.

The Water Is Wide - Karla Bonoff And James Taylor

The first verse of "The Water Is Wide" also shows an interesting development. In the longer version of "I'm Often Drunk" it looks this way:. In the later edition with the abbreviated text "deep" was changed to "wide" and "cannot wade them" to "can't get over":. Mogg in was the first to use the phrase "the water is wide". That's a nice alliteration and it sounds much better than the original lines. Of course we don't know if she made it up herself or if she learned it that way from someone else:.

In Cecil Sharp decided to retain the first two lines sung to him by his informant. But it seems he didn't like the second half of this verse and he simply replaced it with something he wrote himself. That's the version of the first verse we know today. It was first made up by a writer of broadside ballads and then later edited both by an old lady from Somerset and an academic Folklorist.

A "Folk song" is usually the result of a complicated process and the input of the professional ballad writers and the professional Folklorists is often much greater than what the real "Folk" has contributed. And sometimes an "old" song is not that old and sometimes a Folklorist had to produce a "Folk song" himself, especially if he wasn't satisfied with what he had found among the "Folk".

But no matter who was involved in the creation of "The Water Is Wide": the song is still popular today and in the end that's what counts. Comments: Please use my blog or send a mail to info[at]justanothertune. And wale' wale' by yon River's side, Where my love and I was wont to gae. Wale' wale' gin Love be bonny, A little while when it's new.

But when it's old, it waxes cauld, And wears away, like morning Dew. I leaned my back unto an Aik I thought it was a trusty tree But first it bow'd and syne it brak Sae my true Love did lightly me. O gentle Death, when wilt thou come? For of my life I am weary. Oh, oh! Anthony's well shall be my Drink, Since my, true Love's forsaken me. Martinmass wind when wilt thou blow, and blow the green leafs of the Tree, O! Worsdale's new lyrics are worth quoting: Altho' so fondly Men profess to love us, without ranging, Their passions vary like their Dress, decaying, ever changing.

No Face so fair, no Eye so bright, From roving to restrain them; As Boys, as whom gilded Toys delight, possess, and then disdain them. But just like John Gay they both didn't use the version from Thomson's Orpheus Caledonius but instead one that suited Ramsay's 8-line double-stanzas: Allan Ramsay's text remained available throughout the 18th century, not only because the Tea-table Miscellany were reprinted regularly: saw the 18th edition.

Robertson 18?? Smith 18?? Macpherson And of course it found a place in scholarly publications like The Garland of Scotia. M'Gibbon, Oswald, Bremner, and others, have much to answer for in the matter of pseudo-embellishment of our finest old airs. We have removed from 'Waly, Waly' the absurd trappings hung about its neck by these men".

The tune is completely different and for some reason the verse with the "cockle shells" has returned: When cockle shells turn silver bells, Then will my love return to me. When roses blow, in wintry snow, Then will my love return to me. Oh, waillie! But love is bonnie A little while when it is new! But it grows old and waxeth cold, And fades away like evening dew.

The water is wide l cannot get o'er And neither have I wings to fly. O go and get me some little boat To carry o'er my true love and I. A-down in the meadows the other day, A-gath'ring flow'rs, both fine and gay, A-gath'ring flowers, both red and blue, I little thought what love could do. I put my hand into one soft bush Thinking the sweetest flow'r to find, I prick'd my finger to the bone, And left the sweetest flow'r alone.

I leaned my back up against some oak, Thinking it was a trusty tree. But first he bended and then he broke, So did my love prove false to me. Where love is planted, O there it grows, It buds and blossoms like some rose; It has a sweet and a pleasant smell, No flow'r on earth can it excel. Must I be bound, O and she go free! Must I love one that does not love me! Why should I act such a childish part, And love a girl that will break my heart. There is a ship sailing on the sea, She's loaded deep as deep can be, But not so deep as in love I am; I care not if I sink or swim. O love is handsome and love is fine, And love is charming when it is true; As it grows older it groweth colder And fades away like the morning dew.

I put my hand into the bush Thinking the sweetest flower to find, I pricked my finger to the bone And leaved the sweetest flower alone. I leaned my back against some oak Thinking it was a trusty tree. First he bended, then he broke And so did my false love to me. There is a ship sailing on the sea But it's loaded so deep as deep can be, But not so deep as in love I am, I care not whether I sink or swim. Since my love's dead and gone to rest I'll think on her who I love best. I've sewed her up in flannel strong, Have another now she's dead and gone.

Sharp used two of his four verses for the extended text published in O down in the meadows the other day A-gathering flowers both rich and gay, A-gathering flowers both red and blue, I little thought what love could do. Where love is planted there do grow, It buds and blossoms just like some rose, For it has a sweet and a pleasant smell, No flower on earth can it excel. I fetched my back once against an oak, I thought it had been some trusty tree, For the first it bent and the next it broke, So did my love prove false to me.

Must I go bound and she go free? Must I love one that don't love me? Why should I act such a childish part To love a girl that will break my heart? This is clearly a relic of a different song although Sharp apparently also regarded it as related to the old Scottish "Oh Waly, Waly" because it included a variant form of one of its stanzas: The water is wide and I can't get over Neither have I got wings to fly.

Love is handsome, love is pretty, Love is charming when it is true; As it grows older it grows colder And fades away like the morning dew. I had two dogs under my father's table. They do prick their ears when they do hear the horn. When I'm dead, dear, it will be all over And I hope my friends will bury me. In London city the girls are pretty, Streets are paved with marble stones.

My true lover the clever a woman As ever trod on English ground. I'm often drunk but never sober, I'm a rover in every degree. When I'm drinking I'm always a-thinking How to gain my love's company. I had two dogs under my father's stable. When I'm dead ere it will be all over And I hope my friends will bury me.

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"The Water Is Wide" lyrics

Thomas only recalled four of them: the first, the second, the sixth and the third: Down in yon Meadow fresh and gay, Picking of Flowers the other day, Picking of Lillies red and blue: I little thought what Love could do. Where Love is planted there it grows, It buds and blossoms much like a Rose; And has a sweet and pleasant smell, No Flower on earth can it excel.


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If there are thousands, thousands in a Room, My true love she carries the brightest Bloom, Sure she is some chosen one, I will have her or I'll have none. I saw a Ship sailing on the Deep, She sail'd as deep as she could swim; But not so deep as in Love I am, I care not whether it sink or swim. I set my Back against an oak, I thought it was a trusty tree, But first it bent and then it broke So did my false Love to me. If Roses be such prickly Flowers, They should be gather'd while they're green, And he that loves an unkind Lover, I'm sure he strives against the stream.

A new love song. In the original text the rhymes worked much better: I have seven ships upon the sea, and all are laden to the brim; I am so inflam'd with love to thee, I care not whether I sink or swim.

James Taylor - The Water Is Wide Lyrics | ohyqukecew.cf

I'le rather travel into Spain, where I'le get love for love again; The compiler of this "new song" was surely well acquainted with old popular songs but his abilities as a poet left something to be desired. Around a slightly edited text was included in a small collection of song-texts: The Merry Songster. Being a Collection of Songs [ The first verse looks a little bit different and in the last a correct rhyme-word was inserted into the first line: Down in a Meadow both fair and gay, Plucking a Flower the other day, Plucking a Flower both red and blue, I little thought what Love could do.

A new Song, [London? They are all listed in the catalogue of Scottish chapbooks on the website of the University of Glasgow: Bruce's address : to which are added, The blue cockade; Sorrow and care; The unfortunate swain, Printed and sold by C. Randall, Stirling The shady grove. To which are added, The maid's complaint for Jockey. Happy Lizzy, blooming maid. The lass of Primrose-hill. The unfortunate swain. She wakes, Sabina wakes, Printed by J. The happy fire-side. Vulcan's cup. The maid's complaint for Jockey, Printed by M. Randall, Stirling [ ?

Advice to the fair, Printed by M. The only differences to the other texts were that one of the original verses was missing and that the lilies took over the main role in the first verse: Four Excellent Songs Intituled, I. Picking Lillies. The Sailor's Lamentation. Low down in the Broom. Willie is the Lad for me, [Newcastle upon Tyne? The captain's frolic. Picking lillies, 3. The distressed saillors [sic] on the rocks of Scylla. To which are added, Tippet is the dandyo.

The toper's advice. Picking lilies. The dying swan, Printed by J. On the other hand it is impossible to say how much he has edited the tunes: Down in yon meadow fresh and gay, I was pulling flowers the other day; I was pulling flowers both red and blue, But I little knew what love could do. For there love's planted, and there it grows, It buds and blooms like any rose, It has such a sweet and a pleasant smell, That nought on earth can it excel. I put my band into a bush, Thinking a sweet rose there to find ; But prick'd my fingers to the bone, And left the sweetest rose behind.

If roses be such prickly flowers, They should be pull'd when they are green; So he that finds an inconstant love, l'm sure he strives against the stream. I see a ship sailing on the sea, As heavy laden'd as she can be; But she's not so deep, as in love I am, What is't to me though she sink or swim? Must I go bound, and she go free? Must I love one that loves not me?

Why should I act such a childish part, As to love a fair one that breaks my heart? And still think on her when she's dead and gone. In the informative notes three informants are credited: A ship came sailing over the sea, As deeply laden as she could be; My sorrows fill me to the brim, I care not of I sink or swim. I put my hands into a bush, I thought a lovely rose to find, I pricked my fingers to the bone, And left this lovely rose behind.


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But 'tis in vain, I wish I had my heart again, I'd lock it in a golden box, I'd fasten it with a silver chain. Ten thousand ladies in the room My love she is the fairest bloom [ Shall I play such a childish part, For woman's love to break my heart. Ten thousand lovers in the room But my true love the fairest bloom I'm sure she is the fairest one, I will have her, or else have none. I put my hand into a bush. It was sent to him — apparently without a text - by "Lady Lethbridge as sung by her old nurse": After the turn of the century the collectors still found more relics of the song.

I leaned my back against an oak, I thought it was a trusty tree, But first it bent,then it broke, And so did my false love to me.

Steve Goodman:The Water Is Wide Lyrics

In yonder deep there swims a ship, She swims as deep as deep can be, Not half so deep as I am in love, I little care if I sink or swim. The melody, by the way, is very different different from all the others we have come across so far: As I walked out one morning in May, A-gathering flowers all so gay, I gathered white and I gathered blue, But little did I know what love can do.

Seven ships on the sea, Heavy loaded as they can be, Deep in love as I have been, But little do I care if they sink or swim. But it's only the musical phrase in first two bars that is similar while the rest of the song is very different: The same can be said about the variant of "Young Hunting" he refers to Karpeles, Appalachians, No. The first with nine verses and a chorus can be found for example on a song-sheet printed by John Pitts in London Johnson Ballads , at BBO : Many cold winters nights I've travell'd, Until my locks were wet with dew, And don't you think that I'm to blame, For changing old love for new.

I lean'd my back against an oak, Thinking it had been some trusty tree; At first it bent and then it broke And so my false lover proved to me. In London City the girls are so pretty, The streets are paved with marble stone, And my love she is as clever a woman As ever trod on English ground. If love is handsome and love is pretty, And love is charming while its new, So as love grows older it grows colder, But fades away like the morning dew. I laid my head on a cask of brandy, It was my fancy I declare; For when I'm drinking I'm always thinking How I shall gain my love's company.

There is two nags in my fathers stable, They prick their ears when they hear the hound; And my true love is as clever a women As ever trod on England's ground You silly sportsmen leave off your courting, I'll say no more till I have drank, For when I'm dead it will be all over, I hope my friends will bury me. Chorus: I'm often drunk, but seldom sober, I am a rover in every degree; When I'm drinking I'm often thinking How shall I gain my love's company.

In London City, the girls are pretty, The streets are pav'd with marble stones, And my love she is as sweet a woman As ever trod upon English ground. I wish I was in Dublin city, As far as e'er my eyes could see, Or else across yonder briny ocean, Where there are no lawyers can follow me. O love is handsome and love is pretty, And love is charming while it is new, So as love grows older, it does grow colder, But fades away like the morning dew. I laid my head on a cask of brandy, It was my fancy as you may see; For when I'm drinking I'm always thinking How I shall gain my love's company.

There is two nags in my father's stable, They prick their ears when they hear the hounds; And my true love is as neat a man [sic! I am deep in love, but I dare not show it, My heart is lock'd up in thy breast; I will plainly let the whole world know it, A troubled mind can take no rest. I'll lean my head on a cask of brandy, That is my fancy I do declare; For when I'm drinking, I'm always thinking, How shall I gain that young lady fair. I wish my love was one red rose, And planted down by yonder wall, And I myself was one drop of dew, That in her bosom I might fall.

I wish my love and I were sailing, As far from land as one could see; Yes, sailing over the deepest waters, Where love and care would not trouble me. For the seas are deep, and I cannot wade them, And neither have I wings to fly; I wish I had some jolly boatman, To ferry over my love and I.

I wish I was in Covel's Castle, Where the marble stones are as black as ink, Where the pretty girls they all adore me I'll sing no more until I drink. On the sheet music available at Music for the Nation: American Sheet Music, Library of Congress composer and songwriter Ned Straight is only credited as the arranger so the tune may be older and perhaps even the one used for the original "Peggy Gordon": I wish my love and I were sailing, As far from land as far can be, Far, far across the deep blue water, Where I'd have none to trouble me.

The sea is deep, I can't swim over, Neither have I the wings to fly, But I will hire some jolly sportsman, To carry o'er my love and I. O love is warming, O love is charming, Love's quite handsome while it's new! But as love grows older, love grows colder, And fades away like the morning dew. It was all in the sweet month of April, While summer flowers were in their bloom, Trees were budding, sweet birds were singing; Times ain't with me as they have been. Great Jehovah, have mercy on me! My comrades, come to set me free; I never courted but one fair lady; Her name was Polly, she told me.

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