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I attended a wonderful singer-songwriter event yesterday evening. One of the sets was made up of three women who sang folk songs. Absolutely fantastic. Each of them sang and played a variety of instruments, all of which reminded me that I love writing folk songs myself. When I got home I decided to share a song from a few years ago. It's time it was taken out for a bit of a walk. ;)

 

 http://indiemusicpeople.com/songs.aspx?SongID=103004&ArtistID=129716

 

Folk tale in the Celtic tradition. 

Steffan Offerman: Music/instrumentation/arrangement
Billy Playle:Guitar
Robyn McKenzie: violin/vocals
Donna Devine: Lyric

 

Note: In earlier centuries, young men were captured by "press gangs" - often literally torn away from their lover's or their mother's side - and forced to serve on warships of the Royal Navy or in the British Merchant Navy. Although this activity occurred less often in Ireland than in England, nevertheless it did take place.

 

I hope some of you might enjoy it. :)

 

By Lake and By Lee

V1
I once loved a young man
By lake and by lee
And he promised that one day
We would cross the green sea
Oh, his blue eyes were bright
As he paid court to me

Chorus
But one night a full moon
Lit this old harbour town
The press gang lay waiting
And we saw them too late 
They tied him with ropes
And dragged him away

V2
I once loved a young man
By grove and by glen
Of all others the kindest
And the fairest of men
He asked should we marry
And I answered back 'When'

Chorus
But one night a full moon
Lit this old harbour town
The press gang lay waiting
And we saw them too late 
I fought hard to hold him
But we both met our fate

Bridge
Now I stand on the pier near the place where I fell
And drowned in the ocean, so legends would tell
Oh, we travelled the sea, as he'd promised to me
But he journeyed wide and I journeyed deep

Chorus
Oh, one night a full moon
Lit this old harbour town
The press gang lay waiting
And we saw them too late 
They tied him with ropes
And dragged him away

Outro 
I once loved a young man
By lake and by lee
And he promised that one day
We would cross the green sea

© 2010 Donna Devine
 
 

 

 

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Beautiful and sad at the same time ... thanks for sharing 

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Gary and Theresa, thank you for listening. :)

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I could hear this quite well as I read through it. Sad but in the wonderfully traditional way of Celtic folk.  I wrote something similar not too long back and it's got me to thinking about maybe having a folk lyric competition.  The thing that is most challenging about them is getting the historical content and context right or, in more modern ones, the vernacular, traditions, dress, etc if the lyric happens to be written about a different culture.  Requires one to do a little research which is never a bad thing. 

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Thanks for listening, Jonie. :) My co-writers did a lovely job.

 

I'd certainly take part in a folk lyric competition. And I love researching for the purpose of authenticity.

 

Taking things a step further - maybe the musicians here could even be persuaded to try their hand at composing folk-type tunes. ;) 

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Maybe a thought for the next collab contest. 

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Jonie, I was thinking: Given that there's not likely to be a rush of musicians wanting to compose for folk lyrics in a random collab situation, maybe it would work if there were A) a contest for folk lyrics, and B) the winning lyric were then given music by whichever composers braved the second-phase challenge. ;)  Seems to me there was a challenge/contest of this nature a few years ago, was there not? 

 

Anyway, just throwing ideas around.

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