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Lyr Req: Lucy Wan (from Martin Carthy)

DigiTrad:
LIZZIE WAN


Related thread:
Penguin: Lucy Wan (15)


In Mudcat MIDIs:
Lucy Wan (as sung by Martin Carthy)


Brakn 11 Jun 99 - 09:41 PM
Alan B 12 Jun 99 - 09:01 AM
Brakn 12 Jun 99 - 02:34 PM
Alan of Australia 20 Jul 00 - 01:07 AM
Lena 20 Jul 00 - 01:26 AM
Lena 20 Jul 00 - 01:33 AM
Barbara 20 Jul 00 - 03:21 AM
Garry Gillard 20 Jul 00 - 07:52 AM
Brian Peters 29 Sep 08 - 09:27 AM
Surreysinger 29 Sep 08 - 10:42 AM
Malcolm Douglas 29 Sep 08 - 08:52 PM
Brian Peters 30 Sep 08 - 04:49 AM
Malcolm Douglas 30 Sep 08 - 10:19 AM
Brian Peters 30 Sep 08 - 10:27 AM
Mary Humphreys 30 Sep 08 - 10:53 AM
Brian Peters 30 Sep 08 - 11:17 AM
Mary Humphreys 30 Sep 08 - 01:00 PM
Bill D 30 Sep 08 - 01:33 PM
Malcolm Douglas 30 Sep 08 - 11:16 PM
Brian Peters 01 Oct 08 - 06:36 AM
GUEST,Bob Pegg 24 Feb 19 - 02:38 PM
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Subject: Lucy Wan as sung by Matin Carthy
From: Brakn
Date: 11 Jun 99 - 09:41 PM

I haven't heard this for years and would like to know it. I think it's slightly different than Lizzie Wan that's in the DT.

Mick Bracken


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Subject: Lyr Add: LUCY WAN (from Martin Carthy)
From: Alan B
Date: 12 Jun 99 - 09:01 AM

Fair Lucy she sat at her fathers door
Weeping & making moan
Along comes her brother dear
What ails thee Lucy Wan

Oh I ail and I ail dear brother she cried
And I'll tell you the reason why
For there is a child between my two sides
thats of you, dear brother, and I

And he has drawn out his good broad sword
That hans low down by his knee
And he has cutted of poor Lucy Wan's head
And her fair body in three

And outen then come her thick hearts blood
And outen then come the thin
And he is away to his mother's house
What ails thee Geordie Wan?

What is that blood on the point of your sword
My son come tell to me
Oh that is the blood of my greyhound,
he would not run with me

But your greyhound's blood it was ne'er so red
My son come tell to me
Oh that is the blood of my grey mare,
he would not ride with me

But your grey mare's blood it was ne'er so clear
My son come tell to me
Oh that not the blood of my grey mare
but tis the blood of my sister, Lucy

What will you do when you father comes to know
My son come tell to me
Oh I will set sail in a bottomless boat
An I shall sail the sea

And when will you come back again
My son come tell to me
When the sun and the moon dance on yonder hill
and that may never be


Enjoy

Alan B


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Subject: RE: Lucy Wan as sung by Matin Carthy
From: Brakn
Date: 12 Jun 99 - 02:34 PM

Thank you Alan B.


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Subject: RE: Lucy Wan as sung by Matin Carthy
From: Alan of Australia
Date: 20 Jul 00 - 01:07 AM

G'day,
Thanks to Malcolm Douglas the tune for "Lucy Wan as sung by Martin Carthy" can be found here at the Mudcat MIDI site.

Cheers,
Alan


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Subject: RE: Lucy Wan as sung by Matin Carthy
From: Lena
Date: 20 Jul 00 - 01:26 AM

Yes,thanks Alan B. I think I posed the question on the other related thread,but how comes Matin Carthy often has different versions?! Has he got a particular source(probably personal,like having heard them,I guess..)?! Lena


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Subject: RE: Lucy Wan as sung by Matin Carthy
From: Lena
Date: 20 Jul 00 - 01:33 AM

Besides,this ballad is terrible!!!! Cut her in three!?


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Subject: RE: Lucy Wan as sung by Matin Carthy
From: Barbara
Date: 20 Jul 00 - 03:21 AM

If it's sung by by Matin Carthy, does he only do it in the morning?
Sorry, it's been that kind of day...
Blessings,
Barbara


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Subject: RE: Lucy Wan as sung by Matin Carthy
From: Garry Gillard
Date: 20 Jul 00 - 07:52 AM

Wolfgang's transcription of Martin Carthy's singing is on my Watersons site here.

Garry


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lucy Wan (from Martin Carthy)
From: Brian Peters
Date: 29 Sep 08 - 09:27 AM

I'm trying to work out just where A. L. Lloyd might have got his 'Lydian' tune for Lucy Wan, as discussed in this thread. I've not heard the Martin Carthy recording, and am wondering whether (a) the MIDI linked in Alan of Australia's post is an accurate transcription (I guess so, if Malcom D had anything to do with it), (b) whether there is a recording of Lloyd himself singing it, and (c) whether Loyd's own version was precisely the same as the midi.
Anyone?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lucy Wan (from Martin Carthy)
From: Surreysinger
Date: 29 Sep 08 - 10:42 AM

Answer to question (a) Brian is that it is more or less as sung by Martin ... don't know the answers to the other questions, and would be interested to know myself.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lucy Wan (from Martin Carthy)
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 29 Sep 08 - 08:52 PM

Nobody seems to know. Jonathan Lighter has remarked elsewhere:

'No lydian 'Lucy' is mentioned by Bronson.

Nor does Lloyd instance 'LW' in Folk Song in England (1967) in his discussion of the extreme rarity of English lydianism. Martin Carthy's notes to his Byker Hill LP (also 1967) explain:

"A.L. Lloyd, from whom the song was learned, says that in the course of singing it over some thirty years he has emphasised the Lydian starkness of the tune and has also mildly adapted the original (and somewhat scrappy) text."'

He wondered if the tune might have been Irish, as the Lydian mode was more a bit more common there. We don't actually know that it was Lydian when Bert first got hold of it, of course, and in his notes to Skin and Bone (1992) Martin added

'The tune is one of the type that Bert favoured, being cast in one of the very unusual modes. I have not the slightest idea where Bert got it, or indeed if he made it up, but I declare that I don't give a toss, because the feel it generates is, for me, unforgettable...'

On a vaguely related topic (your online cd notes), Bert wasn't responsible for inserting the 'tall and taller' verse into 'The Daemon Lover'. That was Walter Scott, who seems to have made it up (along with another) to fill a perceived gap in the narrative.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lucy Wan (from Martin Carthy)
From: Brian Peters
Date: 30 Sep 08 - 04:49 AM

Malcolm:
Martin may not give a toss, but I'm curious - having seen a query on its origins raised by Chris Coe on a different forum. It is indeed a powerful tune, which is probably why the younger generation (Boden, Moray) have seized upon it so eagerly. I've suspected for some time that substitution of "invented" for "emphasised" in Martin's 1967 description would aid our understanding of the process. There is indeed nothing vaguely resembling the 'Lydian' melody in Bronson under 'Lucy Wan', but there is a tune of approximately the right shape under 'Edward' (#15, from Mrs. Canady, Endcott, Va.), which BHB labels Ionian, although it looks Mixolydian to me. Sharpen the fourth and omit the inconvenient flattened sevenths and, hey presto, you have a Lydian melody that certainly bears comparison with Bert's tune for 'Lucy'.

I'm thinking of writing a piece about the ballad and, having no access to Martin's recording or one by Bert, the only means I have of checking my theory is the MIDI on this site - hence my need to know whether it's accurately transcribed.

On the vaguely related topic, I'm unable to find the "tall and taller" verse in Child 243 F (from Scott's Minstrelsey). The demon does strike the topmast with his hand, which certainly implies that rapid growth has occurred - see also 243 C v22 (Buchan) - but where's that verse? And which was the other made-up verse?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lucy Wan (from Martin Carthy)
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 30 Sep 08 - 10:19 AM

I don't recall now whether I made the midi by ear or from memory, but will check. The basis was Martin's recording on Byker Hill.

Child's note on the Minstrelsy text of 'Lucy' explains:

'... first published in Scott's Minstrelsy, 5th edition, 1812 (F). William Laidlaw, who furnished the copy, inserted four stanzas of his own (6, 12, 17, 18, here omitted.'

A footnote gives provenance for that information:

'Carruthers, Abbotsford Notanda, appended to R. Chambers's Life of Scott, 1871, p. 122.'

Laidlaw, then, not Scott; though Scott, as we know, interpolated material of his own in other cases. In the 1812 edition, Scott prints the text with very little comment. The additional verses frequently appear in popular anthologies, sometimes in square brackets. No time to quote them now, but will return to that.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lucy Wan (from Martin Carthy)
From: Brian Peters
Date: 30 Sep 08 - 10:27 AM

Thanks - I should have read the notes more thoroughly.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lucy Wan (from Martin Carthy)
From: Mary Humphreys
Date: 30 Sep 08 - 10:53 AM

Bert's tune sounds like he tried to sing the one collected by Ella Bull in Cottenham , Cambridgeshire in about 1904 from Charlotte Dann and failed to reproduce it accurately.( A not uncommon occurrence with Bert.)
The Cottenham song ( the only version collected in England to my knowledge, apart from a fragment in Hampshire) is a straightforward major mode song with the last two lines being repeated - this was not done in either Bert or Martin's version.
Bert went to the Child ballads to pad out the text which comprised only the living will verses and fragments of the earlier part of the song. Charlotte called the song "Lucy".She said she did not remember where she learnt the song - not surprising considering its content and the fact that she may have been aware of similar activities in neighbouring fenland families.
Charlotte had been approached by the nice young middle-class Ella Bull, the daughter of the family where she was once a servant in the mid-1870s who remembered her singing the songs as she worked in the house. I can imagine it was a great shock for Charlotte to be asked to repeat the songs for prospective publication when she was visited by Ella in the early years of the 1900s.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lucy Wan (from Martin Carthy)
From: Brian Peters
Date: 30 Sep 08 - 11:17 AM

>> Bert's tune sounds like he tried to sing the one collected by Ella Bull in Cottenham , Cambridgeshire in about 1904 from Charlotte Dann and failed to reproduce it accurately.( A not uncommon occurrence with Bert.) <<

Do you think so, Mary? I tried hard to get from one to the other and couldn't really hear it. Of course he would have known all about Mrs. Dann's version, having adapted it for the Penguin Book, but it seems a completely different shape to that of the MIDI tune here.

Mrs. Dann's text certainly implies that Lucy has been murdered by a family member, but doesn't mention the incest motive as clearly as the North American versions - I wonder whether she was aware that this was what the ballad was about? The singer of the Hampshire fragment you mentioned does seem to have known this, even though his lyric didn't make it at all clear. Thanks for those details, anyway.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lucy Wan (from Martin Carthy)
From: Mary Humphreys
Date: 30 Sep 08 - 01:00 PM

I suspect that the true nature of the story would have been well-known to Charlotte, but it wasn't something you talked about in front of non-family members - especially daughters of your ex-employer!
It is significant that very few versions were ever collected anywhere, probably because collectors would not have been trusted with such dreadful secrets of the sources' society.
Charlotte gave Ella Bull a fragmentary version of the song, leaving out all the relevant incest details and insisting that she did not know where she had learnt the song. Most of her other songs were attributed to her mother, who lived even deeper in the fens.
Fascinating stuff, eh?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lucy Wan (from Martin Carthy)
From: Bill D
Date: 30 Sep 08 - 01:33 PM

I just listened to Martin's version of "Lucy Wan" for the first time, and was almost startled by the approach..(having learned a much more 'standard' version from Lisa Null).

Since Martin admits he has emphasized even more what he got from Bert Lloyd, it 'feels' to me as if Bert's version came from someone who never had a 'tune' in the standard sense, but rather sang/chanted the poem in a personal way to convey the starkness.

Just my impression. I'd sure be curious to know the real origin.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lucy Wan (from Martin Carthy)
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 30 Sep 08 - 11:16 PM

I doubt if Bert's tune owed anything to Charlotte Dann, though her version was first published in 1932 and he will have come across it in the Journal (he does seem to have told Martin that he had been singing it since the '30s).

Bill's comment fits with my own suspicion that there is something of the old trichord playground tune about this one, though elaborated. Brian's suggestion was also first published in 1932; I fear that I'm a bit vague about fourths and flattened sevenths in this context, though, and would need pointing to the notes that needed to be changed to achieve the effect described.

The full Scott 'Daemon Lover' text, incidentally, can be seen at Google Books: Minstrelsy, II, 427. I won't post the 'extra' verses to this thread; I don't want to digress any further at this interesting point.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lucy Wan (from Martin Carthy)
From: Brian Peters
Date: 01 Oct 08 - 06:36 AM

Thanks for the link to Scott, Malcolm. I'll email you a copy of the music (I can't do abc) with putative alterations marked.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lucy Wan (from Martin Carthy)
From: GUEST,Bob Pegg
Date: 24 Feb 19 - 02:38 PM

Oh it's very late in the day, but I'll put in my two penn'orth.

Bert Lloyd, I believe, was enamoured of the Lydian Mode. He gave it some attention in his Third Programme programme about Bartok (Bartok as a Folklorist? - I'm relying on recollections of more than 50 years ago for all of this). His version of Lucy Wan had a tune that was quite clearly - deliberately you might even say - Lydian. It used only the first five notes of the Lydian scale, which served to emphasise the raised fourth.

In the late 1960s I heard Bert sing Lucy Wan at least a couple of times, one of them in our folk club in the Royal Sovereign, Kirkstall, Leeds (long since demolished) around 1967. It was in the Sovereign that I asked from the audience where the tune was from, and he fudged his reply, and henceforth I assumed that he'd made it up.

Nothing wrong with that, and I'd go along with Martin Carthy - what we've ended up with is a chillingly memorable song. Provenance is secondary.


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