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Origins: John o' Dreams (Bill Caddick)

25 Sep 97 - 12:54 AM (#13112)
Subject: John O' Dreams
From: Ron

The words to John o' Dreams were set to Tchaikovsky's music. Anyone know which Tchaikovsky piece. Also, to who or to what does John o' Dreams refer? The only other reference I can find is in Shakespeare where he refers to John a' Dreams.


25 Sep 97 - 01:07 AM (#13115)
Subject: RE: John O' Dreams
From: Joe Offer

Hi, Ron, it's adapted from Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 6, Pathetique.
-Joe Offer-

Here are the lyrics we have in the Digital Tradition. Any corrections?

JOHN OF DREAMS (from DT)
(Bill Caddick)
C F C / C F C / C G Am / C F C / C F C

When midnight comes, good people homeward tread;
Seek now your blankets and your feather bed.
Home is the rover, his journey's over.
Yield up the nighttime to old John of Dreams,
Yield up the nighttime to old John of Dreams.

Across the hills the sun has gone astray;
Tomorrow's cares are many dreams away
Home is the rover, her journey's over.
Yield up the darkness to old John of Dreams,
Yield up the darkness to old John of Dreams.

Both man and master in the night are one;
All things are equal when the day is done.
The Prince and the plowman, the slave and the freeman.
All find their comfort in old John of Dreams,
All find their comfort in old John of Dreams.

Now as you sleep the dreams come winging clear;
The hawks of morning cannot harm you here.
Sleep is a river, flows on forever,
And for your boatman choose old John of Dreams,
And for your boatman choose old John of Dreams.

-----------------------------------------------------------------

Words copyright by Bill Caddick, Music by Tchaikovsky (tune
borrowed from a southern Italian lullabye entitled Piva Piva).

Recorded on Fashioned in the Clay, FSI-104, Gordon Bok, Ann Mayo
Muir, and Ed Trickett. Also recorded by Mick Maloney on the
Green Linnet label, SIF-1010.

filename[ DREAMJON
TUNE FILE: DREAMJON
CLICK TO PLAY
DC



Here's one Italian song entitled "Piva Piva." Does it sound like the theme from Pathetique at all? Not to me. You decide: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-aSUFDGG-Sc


25 Sep 97 - 07:26 AM (#13133)
Subject: RE: John O' Dreams
From: Wolfgang (Hell)

It is the main theme of the second part of that symphony.

And Tchaikovsky took it from an Italian folksong (source of that information: Mick Moloney). Wolfgang


25 Sep 97 - 10:25 AM (#13148)
Subject: RE: John O' Dreams
From: Ron

Thanks for the info re: Pathetique. Still, as to the lyrics - who was, who is, or what was John o' Dreams?


25 Sep 97 - 11:06 AM (#13153)
Subject: RE: John O' Dreams
From: Jon W.

From the context of the song, my guess would be a mythical figure not unlike The Sandman. I.E. dreams personified. The song seems to be simply a wish for the listener to have pleasant dreams. Your Shakespearean reference might shed a little more light. Who was the character John A'Dreams? What play?

I like the song a lot, seems like a great one to end a concert with.


26 Sep 97 - 04:22 AM (#13225)
Subject: RE: John O' Dreams
From: Wolfgang (Hell)

To improve upon what I wrote yesterday from memory, here is what Mick Moloney writes on the cover of a vinyl from '78:
"This is another I learned from Sean Cannon. The words were written by Bill Caddick from Wolverhampton. The tune he took from Peter Tchaikovsky's...Pathetique. However, Sean Cannonwas informed by Toni Savage, who studied opera and belcanto in Italy, that the tune was borrowed by the Russion composer from a Southern Italian lullaby entitled Piva Piva [any help, Ezio, or other Italians?]. So, in a remarkable way, the tune has come full circle."
After typing this I found that the gist of this information can actually be found in the notes to this song in the database. I'm impressed. Nevertheless I'll submit it, since maybe not everybody looks it up there.
Wolfgang


26 Sep 97 - 11:12 AM (#13239)
Subject: RE: John O' Dreams
From: Bill in Alabama

John-a-dreams is mentioned in HAMLET, Act 2, scene 2, line 568. The only gloss I can find for the reference is that, in Shakespeare's day it was used to refer to a "sleepy, dreaming idler." I'll check more sources later.


15 Oct 02 - 06:42 PM (#803905)
Subject: Tune Req: John O Dreams-Bill Caddick
From: Leadfingers

I've just had an argument about the tune Bill used for John O Dreams.
I think we agreed it was Peter Ilyitch,but which piece??? Help Please
without going through all of Tchaikovski's work.


15 Oct 02 - 06:58 PM (#803916)
Subject: RE: John O' Dreams
From: Joe Offer

Hi, Leadfingers. I moved you over to this thread, which has the answer to your question (Tchaikovsky, Symphony No. 6, Pathetique; lyrics copyright Bill Caddick, 1967). Hope you don't mind. I'll also cross-link to related threads.
-Joe Offer-


15 Oct 02 - 07:15 PM (#803934)
Subject: RE: John O' Dreams
From: Herga Kitty

Bill Caddick now sings the parody of his own song that was written by Les Barker, about eating biscuits in bed (Custard Creams).


15 Oct 02 - 07:24 PM (#803940)
Subject: RE: John O' Dreams
From: Joe Offer

Sounds fun - can anybody post lyrics to "Custard Creams"?
-Joe Offer-


15 Oct 02 - 07:30 PM (#803946)
Subject: RE: John O' Dreams
From: Leadfingers

Gawd I knew the 'Cat'was fast,but I didnt expect to get so much so
fast.Thanks,Joe,and all the other Catters . Especially as I lost the argument.I always thought it was from Sleeping Beauty.


19 Oct 02 - 08:43 PM (#806963)
Subject: RE: John O' Dreams
From: John Routledge

I have just heard the author of John o' Dreams singing it at Manchester Extravaganza.
Bill admitted he didn't know where the Shakespeare reference was.


20 Oct 02 - 06:45 AM (#807130)
Subject: RE: John O' Dreams
From: Harry Basnett

Bill performed this song plus many others off his new CD, 'Unicorns' at the Open Door Extravaganza 3 yesterday...sgame a few more people wern't there to enjoy it!
Jane and Amanda Threlfall, Roam and Martin Carthy are on today (see Manchester Extravaganza 3 thread ) - - get along if you can - - treat yourselves!


20 Oct 02 - 06:52 AM (#807131)
Subject: RE: John O' Dreams
From: Leadfingers

I Knowsomeone who has ALL of Les Barkers Books. Iwill try to get
Custard Creams for the Cat


20 Oct 02 - 08:00 AM (#807155)
Subject: RE: John O' Dreams
From: Leadfingers

And its nice to know Bill is still out there.I've not seem him for too long.


20 Oct 02 - 01:58 PM (#807293)
Subject: RE: John O' Dreams
From: Watson

That Len Basker wot rote Custard Creams sends Bill other alternative versions from time to time.
Next time you see Mr Caddick, ask him to do Reg o' Dreams, the song about John's lesser known brother.


20 Oct 02 - 02:20 PM (#807301)
Subject: RE: John O' Dreams
From: Leadfingers

I have spoken to my contact and will be able to supply custard creams
and the latest parody(I dont know if its Reg)in a few days,so hang fire there,catters.unless someone else comes up with it first


20 Oct 02 - 05:28 PM (#807372)
Subject: RE: John O' Dreams - favorite version
From: mmb

My all-time favorite version of this song is on Vol II, Track 5 of Bok, Muir & Trickett: The First 15 Years (Folk Legacy, 1992). Their harmonies and accompaniment are so delicate!
    When I first heard them perform it years ago, part of the intro was that John O-Dreams was a metaphor for Sleep, the Great Equalizer, needed by all persons, whatever their station in life.


16 Jun 03 - 12:43 PM (#967068)
Subject: RE: John O' Dreams
From: GUEST,Roy

Just browsin' this thread,where did lyrics for Custard Creams and Reg o' Dreams go.


16 Jun 03 - 08:06 PM (#967300)
Subject: DTADD: Custard Creams (Les Barker)
From: Bernard

CUSTARD CREAMS
(Les Barker)

Those midnight snacks bring what you always dread.
Crumbs in your blanket and your feather bed.
Crumbs without number
Keep you from slumber;
Yield up the night time to old custard creams.
Yield up the night time to old custard creams.

The late night sandwich and the ginger nut
Stick in your shoulder, lie underfoot.
Huntley and Palmer
There is no armour
Yield up the darkness to old custard creams
Yield up the darkness to old custard creams.

Barm cakes and biscuits, whole loaves of bread
Mate on your mattress, breed in your bed
One million croutons
All on one futon
And down your duvet there's old custard creams
And down your duvet there's old custard creams.

I think I know now why my mother said
That gentlemen don't take tarts to bed
And when you're restive
Blame the digestive
You'll find no comfort with old custard creams
You'll find no comfort with old custard creams.


16 Jun 03 - 08:15 PM (#967302)
Subject: RE: John O' Dreams
From: Bernard

Before anyone asks, Huntley and Palmer was a British biscuit manufacturer... they were taken over by Nabisco in 1982, and ceased trading in 1989...

How's that for thread creep?!


16 Jun 03 - 08:17 PM (#967303)
Subject: RE: John O' Dreams
From: Gorgeous Gary

It's also an old Clam Chowder favorite; there's a nice version on their SALVAGED CD.

-- Gary


17 Jun 03 - 02:47 AM (#967396)
Subject: RE: John O' Dreams
From: Gurney

The tune to John-O-Dreams may have distant origins, but I heard a recording once of the exact tune, except for the last note of the repeated last line, and the credit was given to two lads from Glenn Miller's trumpet section.

It was on the radio, I was driving, and I've never bothered to verify.
This was just a few years after Bill wrote it.

I suspect that at one stage Bill thought HE wrote the tune, because somewhere I have a song sheet saying "Words and music by Bill Caddick"
Yo carn't trust Brummies nohow!


17 Jun 03 - 05:08 AM (#967448)
Subject: RE: John O' Dreams
From: Watson

Gurney, Bill has never claimed that he wrote the tune. He has always acknowledged it was from Tchaikovsky.
...and how does someone born half-way between Wolverhampton and Dudley, now living in Shropshire become a Brummie?


17 Jun 03 - 06:27 PM (#967984)
Subject: RE: John O' Dreams
From: vectis

Tine please to les's ditty
Mary


18 Jun 03 - 11:26 AM (#968447)
Subject: RE: John O' Dreams
From: GUEST,Roy

Ta for the biscuits.


18 Jun 03 - 11:30 AM (#968451)
Subject: RE: John O' Dreams
From: MMario

vectis - Les's ditty uses the tune of "John o' Dreams' - see the midi via the DT link to J. o' Dreams at the top of the page


19 Jun 03 - 05:44 AM (#968906)
Subject: RE: John O' Dreams
From: Gurney

Watson, I did say "suspect," and for a good reason. Bill himself sold me the song-sheet at a gig of his in Coventry. I don't know who printed it. About 1973. Good Grief.
There isn't a Bow Bells for Brummigem. Halfway down the road from Coventry will do. Dont take it too seriously.
There isn't a Brummigem either. Long ago, in a serious attempt to find the origin, I laboriously went through the Doomsday Book looking for it. No Birmingham, but there was a Brymwichham. Sounds near enough folk memory for me. Regards.


27 Jun 03 - 07:50 AM (#973223)
Subject: RE: John O' Dreams
From: GUEST,Pete Thomas

Broadside would have been by John Crane who did a whole series ofBills songs in the early 70's including a booklet of King Sun and Queen Moon. I have also got a set of songs from Pete Coe in the same series.

Pete Thomas


04 May 05 - 01:24 AM (#1477598)
Subject: RE: John O' Dreams
From: Blackcatter

Any one have more info on the John O' Dreams connection - who he was, etc?

Blackcatter


04 May 05 - 02:12 AM (#1477609)
Subject: RE: John O' Dreams
From: akenaton

I think "John o' dreams" would be based on the old scots lullaby "Dream Angus".

Angus was a mythical gaelic figure who brought dreams to sleeping children.
The dreams were always good and brought peace .
"Dreams to sell, fine dreams to sell,
Angus is here with dreams to sell.
Hush little baby and sleep without fear,
Angus has brought you a dream my dear"


04 May 05 - 03:55 AM (#1477626)
Subject: RE: John O' Dreams
From: Boab

Possible, Akenaton, but in my opinion not very likely. There is quite a number of similar songs in the theme. Mind you, you do mention another great song, "Dream Angus".


04 May 05 - 07:51 AM (#1477755)
Subject: RE: John O' Dreams
From: RobbieWilson

Why don't you ask the horse himself? music@billcaddick.co.uk


04 May 05 - 09:36 AM (#1477806)
Subject: RE: John O' Dreams
From: Blackcatter

done. I'll let you know what I hear.


04 May 05 - 03:26 PM (#1478097)
Subject: RE: John O' Dreams
From: Den

I think its just giving sleep a personality. When I was a kid in Ireland my mother used to refer to the night as old Johnny Dark. She would say, "its time for bed Old Johnny Dark's down." Scared the crap out of us to I must admit imagining this wierd old guy creeping around outside.


09 May 05 - 12:06 PM (#1480760)
Subject: RE: John O' Dreams
From: Blackcatter

Here's the response from Bill Caddick:

Hello Tom,

Thanks for the interest. It was a very long time ago but I seem to
remember a black and white TV version of "Hamlet" (this may be fantasy but I think it was actually filmed in Denmark) starring Richard Chamberlain (he of "Dr. Kildare fame in those days) and John o' Dreams was mentioned. I'd already thought of Tchaikovsky's theme from his No. 6 Symphony as a great tune (!) and the two just went together. The melody is "flattened out" a bit but is always recognised as Pete's as far as PRS etc are concerned. Will that do?

Cheers, Bill


09 May 05 - 03:29 PM (#1480977)
Subject: RE: John O' Dreams
From: Blackcatter

refresh


10 May 05 - 09:18 AM (#1481585)
Subject: RE: John O' Dreams
From: Blackcatter

refresh


16 Dec 13 - 06:32 AM (#3584499)
Subject: RE: Origins: John o' Dreams
From: GUEST,Angela Brown

I realise this thread is a few years old, but Scottish poet, William Sharp in 1906, tells a beautiful folk tale about A man referred to as John o' Dreams under his pseudonym Fiona Macleod in 'The Lynn of dreams'. I love the story so much that I was looking for more information on John o' Dreams as a folkloric figure.


16 Dec 13 - 07:19 AM (#3584511)
Subject: RE: Origins: John o' Dreams
From: Mr Red

Yo carn't trust Brummies nohow!
Whom youm accusin of bein a Brummie? Owr Kid
AFAIK Bill wus frum Wolverhampton ma mon. A million miles distant - culturally!
Nar he's aliven in Telford, (He got a free downgrade ) and at the last count ran an acoustic session once a month in the Black Swan, Jackfield.
see here


13 Jul 17 - 01:52 AM (#3865827)
Subject: DT Correction: John o' Dreams (Bill Caddick)
From: Joe Offer

Somebody sent me an email questioning the Digital Tradition lyrics to "John o' Dreams," and I figured I'd better check. I found two Bill Caddick performances, but he leaves out the last verse in the first one. Here's my transcription. Differences from the Digital Tradition are in italics. Any corrections?
-Joe-


JOHN O' DREAMS
(Bill Caddick)

When midnight sings, good people homeward tread;
Seek now your blankets and your feather bed.
Home is a rover, his journey's over.
Yield up the nighttime to old John o' Dreams,
Yield up the nighttime to old John o' Dreams.

Across the hill the sun has gone astray;
Tomorrow's cares are many dreams away.
The stars are flying, your candle's dying,
Home is the rover, her journey's over.
Yield up the darkness to old John o' Dreams,
Yield up the darkness to old John o' Dreams.

Both man and master in the night are one;
All things are equal when the day is done.
The Prince and the Ploughman, the slave and the freeman.
All find their comfort with old John o' Dreams,
All find their comfort with old John o' Dreams.

Now as you sleep the dreams come winging clear;
The hawks of morning cannot harm you here.
Sleep is your river, float on forever,
And for your boatman choose old John o' Dreams,
And for your boatman choose old John o' Dreams.

-----------------------------------------------------------------

Words copyright by Bill Caddick, Music by Tchaikovsky (tune
borrowed from a southern Italian lullabye entitled Piva Piva).

I listened to this Bill Caddick performance - he stops after the first line of the fourth verse, so I can't verify the fourth verse.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zlDMBojZbpE

A kindly Mudcatter sent me a Bill Caddick studio recording of the song from an album titled Unicorns-Disk 1, so the above is my transcription from the two Bill Caddick recordings.

Here are the Mudcatter's notes, comparing Caddick to the Redpath recording:
    Hi Joe
    Bill re-recorded this for a CD 'Unicorns' in 2002. The version there is similar to the Jean Redpath version, but with several small differences.

    Some changes sound much better to me:
    'The prince and _the_ ploughman...'

    Some worse:
    'When midnight _sings_ ...'
    'Home _is_ a rover.'.'
    '_Float_ on forever'..'

    Which is 'right' I've no idea. Anyway, have a listen.


13 Jul 17 - 02:12 AM (#3865830)
Subject: RE: Origins: John o' Dreams (Bill Caddick)
From: Joe Offer

Well, lacking a Bill Caddick recording, let me post a transcription of Jean Redpath's recording. I've always appreciated Jean's scholarship.

JOHN O' DREAMS
(Bill Caddick)

When midnight comes and people homeward tread,
Seek now your blanket and your feather bed;
Home comes the rover, his journey's over.
Yield up the nighttime to old John o' Dreams,
Yield up the nighttime to old John o' Dreams.

Across the hills the sun has gone astray,
Tomorrow's cares are many dreams away;
The stars are flying, your candle's dying,
Yield up the darkness to old John o' Dreams,
Yield up the darkness to old John o' Dreams.

Both man and master in the night are one,
All things are equal when the day is done;
The Prince and Ploughman, the slave and freeman,
All find their comfort in old John o' Dreams,
All find their comfort in old John o' Dreams.

And when sleep comes, the dreams are running clear;
The hawks of morning cannot reach you here.
Sleep is a river, flows on forever,
And for your boatman choose old John o' Dreams,
And for your boatman choose old John o' Dreams.



Jean Redpath recording (from A Fine Song for Singing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M9MsQ_vlHsY


13 Jul 17 - 02:23 AM (#3865831)
Subject: RE: Origins: John O' Dreams (Bill Caddick)
From: Joe Offer

We Americans learned the song on the Folk-Legacy Fashioned in the Clay album by Gordon Bok, Ann Mayo Muir, and Ed Trickett. Here's their recording and my transcription of it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IFH_mhiUpwI

JOHN O' DREAMS
(Bill Caddick)

When midnight comes, good people homeward tread,
Seek now your blankets and your feather bed;
Home is the rover, his journey's over.
Yield up the darkness to old John o' Dreams,
Yield up the darkness to old John o' Dreams.

Across the hills the sun has gone astray,
Tomorrow's cares are many dreams away;
Home is the rover, her journey's over.
Yield up the nighttime to old John o' Dreams,
Yield up the nighttime to old John o' Dreams.

Both man and master in the night are one,
All things are equal when the day is done;
The Prince and the Plowman, the slave and the freeman,
All find their comfort in old John o' Dreams,
All find their comfort in old John o' Dreams.

Now as you sleep the dreams come winging clear;
The hawks of morning cannot harm you here.
Sleep is a river, flows on forever,
And for your boatman choose old John o' Dreams,
And for your boatman choose old John o' Dreams.


Almost the same as what's in the Digital Tradition. I guess we must have gotten the DT lyrics from Bok-Muir-Trickett.

Still, does anyone have the definitive Bill Caddick lyrics?

While we're waiting for definitive Bill Caddick lyrics, here's a nice performance by Rachel Ries & AnaÔs Mitchell https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rm3ofBThXP8


13 Jul 17 - 02:41 AM (#3865833)
Subject: RE: Origins: John O' Dreams (Bill Caddick)
From: Peter the Squeezer

Yet another version by Les Barker


RON OF DREAMS

When midnight comes good people homewards tread
They don't see me they all see John instead
I'm just the other's less famous brother
Turn out your light I'm only Ron of Dreams
Turn out your light I'm only Ron of Dreams

Across the hills the sun has gone astray
The world's ignored me just like Yesterday
He's got charisma,He's John - I isna
Here in the darkness You'll find Ron of Dreams
Here in the darkness You'll find Ron of Dreams

Both man and master in the night are one
All things are equal except maybe Ron
The prince and the ploughman,the slave and the free man
All take no notice of old Ron of Dreams
All take no notice of old Ron of Dreams

My brother John is all they ever see
That bastard Caddick never noticed me
Him and Tchaikovsky,they wrote me offski
They said,I quote:"Man who's old Ron of Dreams?"
They said I quote:"Man who's old Ron of Dreams?"


13 Jul 17 - 07:19 AM (#3865857)
Subject: RE: Origins: John O' Dreams (Bill Caddick)
From: Steve Shaw

The tune comes from the second subject group of the first movement of Tchaikovsky's Symphony no 6, the Pathetique.


03 Aug 17 - 03:52 AM (#3869634)
Subject: RE: Origins: John O' Dreams (Bill Caddick)
From: Joe Offer

Still looking for definitive Bill Caddick lyrics.


03 Aug 17 - 06:28 AM (#3869667)
Subject: RE: Origins: John O' Dreams (Bill Caddick)
From: Georgiansilver

John o' Dreams
Author: words-Bill Caddick; music Tchaikovsky


When midnight comes and people homeward tread
Seek now your blanket and your feather bed
Home comes the rover, his journey's over
Yield up the nighttime to old John o' Dreams
Yield up the nighttime to old John o' Dreams

Across the sky, the sun is gone astray
Tomorrow's cares are many dreams away
The stars are flying, your candle's dying
Yield up the darkness to old John o' Dreams
Yield up the darkness to old John o' Dreams

Both man and master in the night are one
All things are equal when the day is done
The prince and the ploughman the slave and the freeman
All find their comfort in old John o' Dreams
All find their comfort in old John o' Dreams

When sleep it comes the dreams are rushing clear
The hawks of morning they cannot reach you here
Sleep is a river, flow on forever
And for your boatman choose old John o' Dreams
And for your boatman choose old John o' Dreams


03 Aug 17 - 07:14 AM (#3869673)
Subject: RE: Origins: John O' Dreams (Bill Caddick)
From: GUEST,Mark Bluemel

I can't transcribe this at work, but the originator sings it himself
here - anyone fancy transcribing it?


03 Aug 17 - 04:22 PM (#3869753)
Subject: RE: Origins: John O' Dreams (Bill Caddick)
From: GUEST,Mark Bluemel

I've now listened to Bill's version on YouTube. This must be the same as Joe referenced in his post at "13 Jul 17 - 01:52 AM", changing song at the start of the last verse :-(

Joe's transcription there seems to match what I hear, and what I remember - including the last verse. I think I first heard it sung by Sean Cannon nearly 40 years ago.

I suspect a lot of people have learnt the song second or third hand - probably from Christy Moore (I note that it's another song that seems to have been claimed by the Emerald Isle - can people not understand that Christy Moore singing something doesn't make it Irish? Let's hope one day he'll cover "Rule Brittania" or "The Star Spangled Banner" just for the fun of making people think they're Irish too).

Most of the variations seem to me to have lost a lot of the original's poetry.


03 Aug 17 - 11:28 PM (#3869810)
Subject: RE: Origins: John O' Dreams (Bill Caddick)
From: Joe Offer

Thanks, Mark and Georgiansilver. I'm convinced that we have it fairly close to perfect now.
-Joe-


25 Feb 18 - 07:28 PM (#3907951)
Subject: RE: Origins: John o' Dreams (Bill Caddick)
From: GUEST,Mick Pearce (MCP)

I've been scanning (and indexing) my old song folders recently and I'm often reminded of songs I used to sing years ago and should do again.

As I was about to do this song I thought I'd check my transcription against Mudcat and none of the version here seem to be the way Bill Caddick sings it. So here's the version he recorded on Rough Music. I checked my transcription against the record (1 error - I had as asleep instead of as you sleep in the last verse), so I believe this to be correct. I've marked the changes compared to Georgiansilver's version above.

JOHN O'DREAMS
(words:Bill Caddick; music:PI Tchaikovsky)

When midnight sings good people homeward tread
Seek now your blankets and your feather bed
Home is the rover, his journey over
Yield up the nighttime to old John o' Dreams x2

Across the hill, the sun has gone astray
Tomorrow's cares are many dreams away
The stars are flying, your candle's dying
Yield up the darkness to old John o' Dreams x2

Both man and master in the night are one
All things are equal when the day is done
The prince and the ploughman, the slave and the freeman
All find their comfort with old John o' Dreams x2

Now as you sleep your dreams come winging clear
The hawks of morning cannot harm you here
Sleep is your river, float on forever
And for your boatman choose old John o' Dreams x2

Source: Bill Caddick, lp Rough Music, 1976


While on the song. I've listened to 2 versions of Piva Piva on youtube and fail to see any resemblance to the Tchaikovsky theme. It may have derived from an Italian tune, but it doesn't seem to be this one. Ideas?


Mick


27 Feb 18 - 01:08 PM (#3908377)
Subject: RE: Origins: John o' Dreams (Bill Caddick)
From: The Sandman

When midnight sings good people homeward tread
Seek now your blankets and your feather bed
Home is the rover, his journey over
Yield up the nighttime to old John o' Dreams x2

Across the hill, the sun has gone astray
Tomorrow's cares are many dreams away
The stars are flying, your candle's dying
Yield up the darkness to old John o' Dreams x2

Both man and master in the night are one
All things are equal when the day is done
The prince and the ploughman, the slave and the freeman
All find their comfort with old John o' Dreams x2

Now as you sleep your dreams come winging clear
The hawks of morning cannot harm you here
Sleep is your river, float on forever
And for your boatman choose old John o' Dreams x2
ok but maybe not as good as
1. when midnight comes and
2.when sleep it comes the dreams come[ running ] clear
3.sleep is a river flowing on forever
the fact the song might orally evolve is one of the aspects that make it a folk song


28 Feb 18 - 05:53 AM (#3908499)
Subject: RE: Origins: John o' Dreams (Bill Caddick)
From: The Sandman

Subject: RE: Origins: John O' Dreams (Bill Caddick)
From: Steve Shaw - PM
Date: 13 Jul 17 - 07:19 AM

The tune comes from the second subject group of the first movement of Tchaikovsky's Symphony no 6, the Pathetique."
but apparantly not an original but a folk tune


28 Feb 18 - 07:11 AM (#3908516)
Subject: RE: Origins: John o' Dreams (Bill Caddick)
From: GUEST,Mick Pearce (MCP)

I just report what Bill sang Dick, both on record and on the youtube video referenced above (though there he sings journey's over). As to changing it when you sing it, that's up to the singer; I do it all the time.

As regards the Pathetique's theme origin I checked up only on the reference above here (and in another thread I think) that it was derived from Piva Piva, which it doesn't seem to be. In the youtube video - from 2016 - Bill says that he "finally found out last year that the actual tune is an Italian folk tune". I haven't been able to verify even that.

Mick


28 Feb 18 - 08:18 AM (#3908526)
Subject: RE: Origins: John o' Dreams (Bill Caddick)
From: Steve Shaw

Where did you get the information that it's derived from a folk tune, Dick? I can't find that anywhere. What I do know is that it's one of the most beautiful and accomplished pieces of orchestral writing that I know. There are several strands in the second subject group (which is why I call it a group), the Caddick song tune being closely derived, I'd say, mostly from the first strand in which the tune is played fairly simply but with amazing ebb and flow. There's another quicker theme, then the "song tune" comes back with a different accompaniment in 12/8, and then a final strand, just before Tchaikovsky's Big Bang, in which the tune is reprised finally and poignantly on the clarinet along with "a dying fall." I've loved this movement for over forty years. My most treasured recording of it is Mravinsky conducting the Leningrad Phil in the 1957 mono version. Sorry for the gushing digression!


28 Feb 18 - 08:42 AM (#3908533)
Subject: RE: Origins: John o' Dreams (Bill Caddick)
From: GUEST,Mick Pearce (MCP)

Steve - see the posts above: Wolfgang (Hell) - 27th Aug 07 and Wolfgang (Hell) - 26th Aug 97.

It certainly isn't derived from Piva Piva (you can hear several version of that on youtube), and I can't find anywhere online suggesting an Italian folk song derivation.

Mick


28 Feb 18 - 09:04 AM (#3908535)
Subject: RE: Origins: John o' Dreams (Bill Caddick)
From: The Sandman

i got that information from bill caddick himself, he actuially says so on his live gigs


28 Feb 18 - 09:08 AM (#3908538)
Subject: RE: Origins: John o' Dreams (Bill Caddick)
From: The Sandman

here it is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zlDMBojZbpE


28 Feb 18 - 09:43 AM (#3908550)
Subject: RE: Origins: John o' Dreams (Bill Caddick)
From: Steve Shaw

I saw Bill at the Tree Inn Folk Club about twenty or more years ago. He sang the song song but said nothing about the folk tune connection. I'd have pounced on him had he done so! A couple of blokes with guitars and a voice and meself used to do the song with me on me moothie. I'm not claiming anything, Dick, just intensely curious about the origin of this amazing piece of music.


01 Mar 18 - 12:57 AM (#3908669)
Subject: RE: Origins: John o' Dreams (Bill Caddick)
From: The Sandman

he is introducing it like that in more recent years and at the present moment ,in my opinion quite plausible when you think of how many other classical composers borrowed from the folk tradition and then mde variations etc


03 Mar 18 - 01:28 PM (#3909265)
Subject: RE: Origins: John o' Dreams (Bill Caddick)
From: Tattie Bogle

Hymn-writers too: plenty of examples.


03 Mar 18 - 02:46 PM (#3909271)
Subject: RE: Origins: John o' Dreams (Bill Caddick)
From: GUEST,Mick Pearce (MCP)

You don't think he's introducing it like that because someone read the post above from '97 and told him?

Mick


03 Mar 18 - 03:06 PM (#3909276)
Subject: RE: Origins: John o' Dreams (Bill Caddick)
From: Andy7

I always thought the first line of the last verse would scan better as

"When sleep arrives, the dreams come running clear"


03 Mar 18 - 10:44 PM (#3909330)
Subject: RE: Origins: John o' Dreams (Bill Caddick)
From: Joe Offer

Here's a vocal version of the Italian song entitled "Piva Piva." Does it sound like the theme from Pathetique at all? Not to me. Nice song, though. You decide: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MylNDZRouVI


04 Mar 18 - 05:15 AM (#3909354)
Subject: RE: Origins: John o' Dreams (Bill Caddick)
From: The Sandman

joe , Bill, did not mention piva piva , do myou not think he might be referiing to another folk tune, why not just contact him he has a website.,
Iam busy at the moment i have a gig this afternoon and do not have time


05 Mar 18 - 06:55 PM (#3909671)
Subject: RE: Origins: John o' Dreams (Bill Caddick)
From: Steve Shaw

Very nice, Joe. Nothing to do with the Pathetique theme, though. We could send the guy a guitar tuner for his birthday... :-)


05 Mar 18 - 08:01 PM (#3909679)
Subject: RE: Origins: John o' Dreams (Bill Caddick)
From: Joe Offer

Well, it's the Digital Tradition that says the Tchaikovsky melody was borrowed from "Piva Piva," and I wonder where the DT got that info.

We all agree that the tune is in Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 6, Pathetique, but I always thought the meloday was a Tchaikovsky original. Anybody know Tchaikovsky's tune sources for Pathetique?

-Joe-


05 Mar 18 - 09:04 PM (#3909691)
Subject: RE: Origins: John o' Dreams (Bill Caddick)
From: Steve Shaw

I've looked into this quite a bit and I can find no reference anywhere to its being a borrowed tune. My strong feeling is that it's an original composition. I'd gladly defer to anyone whose scholarship can trump mine!


05 Mar 18 - 10:23 PM (#3909696)
Subject: RE: Origins: John o' Dreams (Bill Caddick)
From: Joe Offer

Yeah, Steve, that's my inclination, too. I'm always tempted to delve deeper into the folk origins of classical music - but I've never gotten very far. I was intrigued by the recent thread about Baba Yaga, but was unable to find any traditional source for Mussorgsky's tune about the witch in Pictures at an Exhibition.

-Joe-


05 Mar 18 - 10:37 PM (#3909698)
Subject: RE: Origins: John o' Dreams (Bill Caddick)
From: RTim

So should we forget that the Author himself - Bill Caddick, has maintained for years that it is a Tchaikovsky melody.
It just might be his memory of the tune and not a prefect rendition.......been known to have happened else where...........and what difference does it make??

It's just a Bl**dy good song, and one I used to sing my kids to sleep with often.

Tim Radford


06 Mar 18 - 03:03 AM (#3909719)
Subject: RE: Origins: John o' Dreams (Bill Caddick)
From: The Sandman

why not contct Bill Caddick , and yes it is a very good song, he has more recently stated at his gigs that it is a folk tune , so contact him


10 Mar 18 - 07:15 PM (#3910417)
Subject: RE: Origins: John o' Dreams (Bill Caddick)
From: Tattie Bogle

It's always a bit of fun in a folk session to tell your bemused compatriots rhat you are going to sing a wee song by Tchaikovsky...and then launch into either "John O' Dreams" or "Custard Creams" (in my case probably the latter.)


13 Oct 18 - 04:12 PM (#3956482)
Subject: RE: Origins: John o' Dreams (Bill Caddick)
From: Brian May

Cracking song Custard Creams . . . cracked me up anyway.

Must admit I like Peter Rowan's version of John O'Dreams


14 Oct 18 - 11:12 AM (#3956583)
Subject: RE: Origins: John o' Dreams (Bill Caddick)
From: GUEST,Ray

Once tried it with a pianist playing the Tchaikovsky tune from the dots and it doesnít actually fit so itís an adaptation at best.


14 Oct 18 - 04:44 PM (#3956647)
Subject: RE: Origins: John o' Dreams (Bill Caddick)
From: Tattie Bogle

Change of time sig, that's all. Basic melody the same! Pianist should have ignored the dots and done it by ear!