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Gibb Sahib Folklore: Source for The Hornet And The Peacock (8) RE: Folklore: Source for The Hornet And The Peacock 22 Sep 14


Thanks to all who provided information in this thread.

I am currently exploring performing this song. I'll be wanting to sing it to the tune presumably sung by Ives. I say presumably because I have not heard Ives' recording - originally released in 1950. However, I have seen Eddy's volume, with the version collected from Ohio - and this is, so far as I'm presently able to tell, the only documented version with tune.

I am aware that this was probably not the "original" tune - or rather, not the tune imagined the ballad would be sung to when it was created. However, it's a tune that got connected with the ballad in some subsequent performances, with which my own performances would be engaging.

I conjecture that Ives used Eddy's (1939) book. Why? Because: presumed lack of other sources when he made his 1950 recording. While Eddy's informant only supplied one verse, Ives would have (I speculate) married it's tune to lyrics sourced from the several available broadside sources. I conjecture further that the Folkways recording, by Wallace House (1954) took its cue from Ives' performance, because: It includes the "non-original" tune married to the broadside text, and Ives' recording, billed as it was on a recording of "America's Musical Heritage," would have been a likely source.

If anyone has other ideas, about this transmission of versions/interpretations, I'd be pleased to hear them.

The Eddy / Ives(?) / House melody was used by the composer Clare Grundman in an arrangement for concert band, composed in 1952. I speculate, too, that Grundman used Ives' 1950 recording as a source. It is with the Grundman band arrangement that I am engaging, hence my interest in this particular tune being attached to "Hornet and Peacock."

Incidentally, I haven't seen any evidence to indicate that this ballad was ever very popular. In this regard, it is curious that Grundman included it in his arrangement, "Fantasy on American Sailing Songs." I read this as more evidence to suggest that Grundman came upon the song, rather by happenstance, on Ives' album set and supposed it was a reasonably popular "American sailing song"even though it wasn't.


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