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Lyr Req: Binnorie (from Elizabeth Stewart, #10)

DigiTrad:
BINNORIE
BINNORIE (TWO SISTERS)
CRUELISH SISTER
OH, THE WIND AND RAIN (The Two Sisters)
THE CRUEL SISTER
THE SWAN SWIMS BONNIE (Two Sisters)
THE SWAN SWIMS BONNIE (Two Sisters)
THE TWA SISTERS
THE TWO SISTERS (7)
THE TWO SISTERS (8)
THE TWO SISTERS (9)
THE WIND AND RAIN (Two Sisters)
TWO SISTERS (12)
TWO SISTERS (13)
TWO SISTERS (Bonnie Broom)


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Roberto 01 Apr 05 - 08:51 AM
Roberto 02 Apr 05 - 03:34 AM
GUEST,Bob Coltman 02 Apr 05 - 07:28 AM
GUEST,Malcolm 02 Apr 05 - 07:51 PM
Gypsy 03 Apr 05 - 07:50 PM
Malcolm Douglas 03 Apr 05 - 09:12 PM
Roberto 04 Apr 05 - 04:00 AM
Matthew Edwards 05 Apr 05 - 05:27 AM
Big Tim 18 May 06 - 01:49 PM
GUEST,Big Tim 13 Jan 08 - 10:39 AM
Jack Blandiver 13 Jan 08 - 12:58 PM
Jack Blandiver 13 Jan 08 - 12:59 PM
GUEST,Big Tim 14 Jan 08 - 11:49 AM
Jack Blandiver 14 Jan 08 - 06:59 PM
Vic Smith 15 Jan 08 - 08:04 AM
maeve 15 Jan 08 - 08:12 AM
GUEST,Big Tim 15 Jan 08 - 11:55 AM
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Subject: Lyr Req: Elizabeth Stewart's BINNORRIE (#10)
From: Roberto
Date: 01 Apr 05 - 08:51 AM

From the double cd by Elizabeth Stewart, title: Binnorrie, Songs, ballads and tunes; Elphinstone Institute, University of Aberdeen EICD002 . Please, help me complete and correct this attempt to transcribe what Elizabeth Stewart sings. Thanks. R

There was twa sisters lived in this place
Oh heigh ho and binnorrie-O
Oh one was fair and the ither was deen
And the swan it swims sae bonnie-O

Dear sister, dear sister, will you tak' a walk
Wid ye tak' a walk doon by the miller's dam

Dear sister, dear sister, put you your fit on marble stane
An' so slyly, so slyly she gently pushed her in

Dear sister, dear sister, will ye gie to me your hand
An' it's I'll gie to you a' my hooses an' my land

Dear sister, dear sister, I ... to you my hand
For I've come here for to mak' ..(your hairt?) to droon

Noo, the miller he'd a daughter an' her bein' a maid
She went doon for some water for to bake

Dear father, dear father, there (?) swims in your dam
It's either a maid or a white milk swan

Noo the miller took a click and he clicked her oot
And he put her on the dyke for to drip and to dry

Noo the king's three archers, they cam' ridin' by
And they took three strands o' her bonnie yellow hair



....................

My sister Jane murdered me, they seemed ... to cry



She drooned me doon in the miller's dam

It was a' because she wanted my ain true love John



Her father, her father, him being the King

He done hung ... fae a tree and left her ...


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Elizabeth Stewart's BINNORRIE (#10)
From: Roberto
Date: 02 Apr 05 - 03:34 AM

Even at the Mudcat it is getting increasingly difficult to get answers to questions about traditional ballads, specifically the Child Ballads, especially when the question is about recordings that it seems don't circulate enough. Quite often, my only chance is Malcolm Douglas, that I thank very much. Is this just a wrong impression, or the number of people interested in real traditional music is lowering all the time? R


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Elizabeth Stewart's BINNORRIE (#10)
From: GUEST,Bob Coltman
Date: 02 Apr 05 - 07:28 AM

Roberto, I sincerely hope you're wrong that interest in the real traditional stuff is numerically shrinking.

In my own case I get fiercer & fiercer all the time in devotion to authentic tradition (a bit difficult to define I admit). And I would think the DT is playing a role in spreading traditional songs, as well as many that are non-. Hopefully there are MORE traditional fans around, not less. though how you would measure that I have no idea.

I do think, though, that using recordings as a reference is a gigantic problem!!! As everyone's dollars shrink and CDs get dearer (and go out of print way fast), few of us have the resources to stay current on good recorded versions.

Hence when somebody references a record ("Mocky Floptoe has the best version of 'Ane Night or Twa Awa'' waxed in 100 years; it's on Purple Vervet Records out of Namooth, Nova Scotia--I'm pretty sure it was still available in 1997" or words to that effect) it is often hard to locate specific recorded versions.

And yet hearing the song is a million times better than seeing its text and hearing a midi tune sample however well done. What's needed is an archive of recorded versions that is as authoritative as the DT is for printed ones. Alas this runs into all kinds of problems with not just copyright but publication rights, and is probably impractical for that reason. Still I'd love to see a website devoted to an encylopedic archive of the best traditional song recordings--if they could not be complete, even samples would be helpful.

As to Elizabeth Stewart, being a Stewart, maybe there's a chance that recording will become more generally available. But who's got money to buy them all anyway? An archive is the answer if somebody can figure out how to do it.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Elizabeth Stewart's BINNORRIE (#10)
From: GUEST,Malcolm
Date: 02 Apr 05 - 07:51 PM

I'm surprised to hear that there are not transcriptions with the cd (which is certainly on my list for "when I have some money"). I'm from home just now, but will see what I can find out in a day or two when back in Sheffield.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Elizabeth Stewart's BINNORRIE (#10)
From: Gypsy
Date: 03 Apr 05 - 07:50 PM

Not got that cd. If you want the Child version, just give me a shout......have the books on the shelf. And yes, here is my vote that cd liner notes have LYRICS. Some o' these singers, you really need them.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Elizabeth Stewart's BINNORRIE (#10)
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 03 Apr 05 - 09:12 PM

"The" Child version? I think Roberto has all of those and more, but he is a completist, and interested (in this thread) only in an answer to the specific question he has asked.

I don't find any transcription, though it appears that a book is in preparation. Perhaps that will include transcriptions. Elizabeth learned the song from her more famous aunt Lucy, and recordings of her singing the ballad can be found also; whether words are quoted I don't know.


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE SWAN SWIMS SO BONNIE O (Lucy Stewart)
From: Roberto
Date: 04 Apr 05 - 04:00 AM

Yes, the Folkways lp (now available on cd) by Lucy Stewart dedicated to the Child Ballads has a beautiful recording of this ballad, and there is a booklet with the texts.

Here is Lucy Stewart's:

THE SWAN SWIMS SO BONNIE O
Lucy Stewart, Traditional singer from Aberdeenshire, Scotland, volume 1, Child Ballads, Folkways FG 3519, 1961

Oh, there were twa sisters lived in this place
Heigh ho, my nannie O
Een was fair an' the ither was deen
An' the swan swims so bonnie-O

Oh dear sister, dear sister, wid you take a walk
Heigh ho, my nannie O
Wid ye take a walk down by the miller's dam?
An' the swan swims so bonnie-O

Dear sister, dear sister, put you your foot on yon marble stone
Heigh ho, my nannie O
An' so slyly as she pushed her in
An' the swan swims so bonnie-O

Dear sister, dear sister, lend me your hand
Heigh ho, my nannie O
An' I will gie ye my gowd an' my land
An' the swan swims so bonnie-O

Oh I didna come here for to lend you my hand
Heigh ho, my nannie O
I come here for to see you drown
An' the swan swims so bonnie-O

Noo, the millert had a daughter an' she bein' the maid
Heigh ho, my nannie O
She came down for some water for to bake
An' the swan swims so bonnie-O

Dear father, dear father, swims in your milldam
Heigh ho, my nannie O
Either a maid or a white milk swan
An' the swan swims so bonnie-O

(…)

The king's three harpers, they been passin' by
Heigh ho, my nannie O
They've ta'en three locks o' her bonnie yellow hair
An' the swan swims so bonnie-O.

The verse omitted, that Lucy doesn't actuallt sing in the Folkways recording, is the one with the miller who "took a click and he clicked her out".

Matthew Edwards is helping me a lot with this transcription, that I think we're going to post soon. R


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Subject: Lyr Add: BINNORIE (Elizabeth Stewart)
From: Matthew Edwards
Date: 05 Apr 05 - 05:27 AM

This song appears on a wonderful double CD issued by the Elphinstone Institute (details here). It is the first in a planned series dedicated to the Traveller traditions of North East Scotland.

The CD has been reviewed by Ian Olson on Musical Traditions. Alison McMorland is writing a book Doon the Dukker on the life and music of Elizabeth Stewart and her family, which will give the words to the songs.

So until that book appears what follows is the best that Roberto and I can manage with the text:-

Binnorie

1. There was twa sisters lived in this place
Oh heigh ho and binnorrie-O
2. Oh one was fair and the ither was deen
And the swan it swims sae bonnie-O

3. Dear sister, dear sister, will you tak' a walk
4. Wid ye tak' a walk doon by the miller's dam

5. Dear sister, dear sister, put your fit on marble stane
6. An' so slyly, so slyly she gently pushed her in

7. Dear sister, dear sister, will ye gie to me your hand
8. An' it's I'll gie to you a' my hooses an' my land

9. Dear sister, dear sister, I'll [lend ?] to you my hand
10. For I've come here for to mak' sure that you droon

11. Noo, the miller he'd a daughter an' her bein' a maid
12. She went doon for some water for to bake

13. Dear father, dear father, there swims in your dam
14. It's either a maid or a white milk swan

15. Noo the miller took a [click ?] and he clickéd her oot
16. And he put her on the dyke for to drip and to dry

17. Noo the king's three archers, they cam' ridin' by
18. And they took three strands o' her bonnie yellow hair.

19. One day when they a [?]
20. My sister Jane murdered me, they seeméd to cry

21. She drooned me doon in the miller's dam
22. It was a' because she wanted my ain true love John

23. Her father, her father, him being the King
24. He done hung fae a tree and left her for to dee

Notes
l.9 I'm sure what she actually sings is "I'll lend to you my hand" leaving out the vital word 'no'! Roberto hears an 'r' here and suggests looking for a Scots word meaning 'refuse'.
l.15 'Click' or 'cleek' appear in a number of versions of this song, but it sounds more like 'wheek' to me.
l.16 The vowel sound in 'drip' sounds to me more like a long 'e' (i:), but there doesn't seem much point in writing "dreep".
l.19 This remains unintelligible to me; especially the last couple of syllables. The line sounds something like "one day when they a' rose to a hame on high".


I'd like to add that the way Elizabeth sings this song is a delight; with her lovely phrasing and a control of pace that is an example to any singer.

Thanks, Roberto for starting this thread.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Binnorie (from Elizabeth Stewart, #10)
From: Big Tim
Date: 18 May 06 - 01:49 PM

Aberdeen (Scotland), US based singer Norman Kennedy included "Binnorie" on his album "I Little Thocht My Love Wid Leave Me". Anyone unfamiliar with Norman's great traditional style singing should buy the album and give themselves a treat, imo.

What does "binnorie" actually mean?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Binnorie (from Elizabeth Stewart, #10)
From: GUEST,Big Tim
Date: 13 Jan 08 - 10:39 AM

Probably a place name. Closest I can get is 'Minnonie' in Aberdeenshire.

Marked on a detailed map that I have are: Braes of Minnonie, Peth (path) of Minnonie, and, Mill Water. The river in question is the infant Ythan.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Binnorie (from Elizabeth Stewart, #10)
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 13 Jan 08 - 12:58 PM

I've always understood Binnorie to be a contraction of 'By Norham' - Norham being a village some miles inland along the River Tweed from Berwick. There is a castle; and there are (were) mill dams...

For the definitive melody see 'The Northumbrian Minstelsy'.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Binnorie (from Elizabeth Stewart, #10)
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 13 Jan 08 - 12:59 PM

...or even 'The Northumbrian Minstrelsy'....


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Binnorie (from Elizabeth Stewart, #10)
From: GUEST,Big Tim
Date: 14 Jan 08 - 11:49 AM

'By Norham' - that's interesting. Can I ask why have you always understood that Sedayne? BTW, Norham is in England, just (!). It is mentioned by Walter Scott in 'Marmion' - 'Day set on Norham's castled steep'.

The entry for 'Norham' in 'Brewer's Britain & Ireland' makes no mention of the ballad and it usuallly does if a particular place is associated with a well known song.

For some reason I've always associated the song with Aberdeenshire but I've been wrong before!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Binnorie (from Elizabeth Stewart, #10)
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 14 Jan 08 - 06:59 PM

The 'By Norham' refrain is right there in Child - see http://www.sacred-texts.com/neu/eng/child/ch010.htm (Child#10 W) - though there are other possibilities!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Binnorie (from Elizabeth Stewart, #10
From: Vic Smith
Date: 15 Jan 08 - 08:04 AM

I'm sorry that I haven't seen this thread before; I've not been a long term peruser of Mudcat.....
Could I suggest that Elizabeth's words that she sings of Binnorie are as follows? Having lived, as a boy, in the house of my grandmother (who was a singer and born in rural north Aberdeenshire in the 1880s) has obviously been a considerable help in the matter.

There was twa sisters lived in this place
Oh heigh ho and binnorrie-O
Oh one was fair and the ither was deen
And the swan it swims sae bonnie-O

Dear sister, dear sister, will you tak' a walk
Wid ye tak' a walk doon by the miller's dam

Dear sister, dear sister, put you your fit on marble stane
An' so slyly, so slyly she gently pushed her in

Dear sister, dear sister, will ye gie to me your hand
An' it's I'll gie to you a' my hooses an' my land

Dear sister, dear sister, I winna gie tae you my hand
For I've come here for to mak' sure that ye droon

Noo, the miller he'd a daughter an' her bein' a maid
She went doon for some water for to bake

Dear father, dear father, there swims in your dam
It's either a maid or a white milk swan

Noo the miller took a click and he clicked her oot*
And he put her on the dyke for to drip and to dry

Noo the king's three archers, they cam' ridin' by
And they took three strands o' her bonnie yellow hair

One day when their arrows, they were aiming high
"My sister Jane murdered me." they seemit tae cry

"She drooned me doon in the miller's dam.
It was a' because she wanted my ain true love John"

Her father, her father, him being the King
Had her hung fae a tree and left her there for tae hing.


* The Scots Dialect Dictionary compiled by Alexander Warrack (Waverley Press) defines click as to seize, catch up hastily, grab. My granny used to say to me, "Click ma tigs fae the press, laddie, I'm goin' tae hing oot the washin'." - Grab my pegs from the cupboard....

Elizabeth's version is certainly a glorious one. I would suggest that the three best versions of this ballad collected from Scots travellers all come from women who at one time all lived in the same street, Gaval Street, Fetterangus - Jane Turriff (born Jane Stewart), Lucy Stewart and her neice Elizabeth - all related and all quite remarkable singers, though Lucy's "other-worldly" singing and tune would be my favourite.
The most interesting thing about Elizabeth's version is that third from last verse about the archers. Many old versions suggest that the king's musicians (harpers, fiddlers or pipers) come upon the corpse and mutilate it, usually taking the breast-bone, to make an instrument and cut the hair to make strings. They then return to the king's court where the instrument "sings its lain" - plays on its own - and tells the king and queen its sororicidal story followed by the hanging/burning/stabbing of the murderer. In his album notes to the Folkways Lucy Stewart Goldstein says, "Child considered the heart of the ballad to be the making of a musical instrument from the drowned sister's body, the instrument in turn revealing the identity of her murderer. Most recently collected texts have eliminated this supernatural motif." This is certainly the case with both Lucy's and Jane's versions, which makes the whistling arrows tell the story in Elizabeth's version all the more interesting.

AND PROBABLY MOST IMPORTANTLY....
There will be an increasingly rare opportunity to hear Scots traditional ballads singing from a great Scots traveller singer at an English folk club when I have booked
ELIZABETH STEWART
to sing at
The Royal Oak
Station Street,
Lewes
East Sussex
on
Thursday April 3rd 2008


For futher details email me or have a look at
our website

And I shall certainly be asking her where the "archers" verse came from.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Binnorie (from Elizabeth Stewart, #10
From: maeve
Date: 15 Jan 08 - 08:12 AM

Oh, would I love to hear Elizabeth Stewart, in April, Vic Smith!

maeve


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Binnorie (from Elizabeth Stewart, #10)
From: GUEST,Big Tim
Date: 15 Jan 08 - 11:55 AM

Thanks Sedayne: your link has downloaded as 18 pages in Microsoft word. Will take some time to study properly but the reference to Tweed mill dams certainly points in a definite geographical direction.

Norman Kennedy's sleeve notes are:

'This wonderful ancient ballad (Child#10) is known far and wide - usually as Binnorie in Scotland but as The Two Sisiers in North America. The old singers I knew had different ways of singing the ballad - some with more verses than others. I frequently sing it at waulkings among weavers in America to shrink newly woven blanketing, so many people know it and happily join in the chorus lines'.


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