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Origins: The Dove She Is a Pretty Bird

27 May 20 - 11:48 PM (#4055560)
Subject: Origins: The Dove She Is a Pretty Bird
From: Joe Offer

Need more research on this:

DOVE SHE IS A PRETTY BIRD

The dove she is a pretty bird, she sings as she flies
She brings us glad tidings and tells us no lies
She drinks the spring water for to make her voice clear
When her nest she is building and summer is near

Come all you young fellows take warning by me
Don't go for a soldier, don't join no army
For the dove she will leave you, the raven will come
And death will come marching at the beat of a drum

Come all you pretty fair maids, come walk in the sun
And don't let your young man ever carry a gun
For the dove, it will scare her, and she'll fly away
And then there'll be weeping by night and by day

@war @animal
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28 May 20 - 08:26 AM (#4055612)
Subject: RE: Origins: The Dove She Is a Pretty Bird
From: GUEST

I suspect it owes something to another song (or vice versa).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Cuckoo_(song)


28 May 20 - 08:30 AM (#4055613)
Subject: RE: Origins: The Dove She Is a Pretty Bird
From: Rain Dog

Yeah those bloody cuckoos. Come along and insert themselves into someone else's lyric.


28 May 20 - 08:35 AM (#4055615)
Subject: RE: Origins: The Dove She Is a Pretty Bird
From: cnd

I've always thought this was just one of the many mysterious songs that came from/led to The Cuckoo

The DT version's lyrics match almost exactly with a song by Judy Collins. She credited the lyrics to Ewan MacColl, as do most other people--though one set of liner notes to a Pete Seeger record (link) credits the words to MacColl and Peggy Seeger, but says the music is traditional.


28 May 20 - 08:53 AM (#4055617)
Subject: RE: Origins: The Dove She Is a Pretty Bird
From: GUEST

"Yeah those bloody cuckoos. Come along and insert themselves into someone else's lyric." Good one, Rain Dog. Next song will be, "Oh, the cowbird, she's a pretty bird, she warbles as she flies." ;-)


28 May 20 - 09:21 AM (#4055619)
Subject: RE: Origins: The Dove She Is a Pretty Bird
From: GUEST,Gerry

http://mysongbook.de/msb/songs/d/dove.html says, "To the tune of a Kentucky song about The Cuckoo, one of the widest-spread folk songs, also very well known in Britain, Ewan MacColl put some words about a different bird as a symbol of peace. [Hamish Imlach's version identical, apart from lines 3 and 4, with verses 1, 2, 4 by MacColl.] (Dallas, Wars 261)"


28 May 20 - 09:33 AM (#4055624)
Subject: RE: Origins: The Dove She Is a Pretty Bird
From: GUEST,Gerry

http://www.fresnostate.edu/folklore/ballads/CrAG30B.html says,

According to Ewan MacColl's book Journeyman: An Autobiography, re-edited and with an introduction by Peggy Seeger, 1990; revised edition, Manchester University Press, 2009, p. 268, this was one of the songs that came out of his first serious period of songwriting, when he was mildly influenced by Woody Guthrie, Seamus Ennis, and people he knew of through Alan Lomax. MacColl wrote that "I had recently become acquainted with English country songs through Bert [Lloyd]'s singing and through field-recordings made by Alan and it was these that provided models for my next group of songs which included 'The Dove,' 'The Trafford Road Ballad' (written for my son, Hamish), 'Cannily, Cannily,' 'Ballad of the Carpenter' and 'Go Down, You Murderers.'"


28 May 20 - 04:51 PM (#4055707)
Subject: RE: Origins: The Dove She Is a Pretty Bird
From: GUEST,leeneia

The European cuckoo and the cowbird lay their eggs in other birds' nests, but the American cuckoo does not.


29 May 20 - 12:59 AM (#4055751)
Subject: RE: Origins: The Dove She Is a Pretty Bird
From: Joe Offer

Oh, THAT'S why the song sounded so familiar - it's just another frickin' version of "The Cuckoo," with the names changed to protect the innocent. But come to think of it, why do we have such romantic thoughts about doves? Aren't they just white pigeons?

And who likes pigeons? We laugh at "Poisoning Pigeons in the Park," but would we laugh about Poisoning Doves?

Food for thought.

-Joe-


29 May 20 - 07:55 AM (#4055810)
Subject: RE: Origins: The Dove She Is a Pretty Bird
From: Thompson

The concept that the cuckoo was a pretty bird baffled me - the one we have in Europe is a trudging leaden-winged speckled bird that looks like a hawk with the rheumatiz - until I saw, today for the first time, a picture of the glamorous American cuckoo.