Saturday, July 31, 2010

Song on

Really nice bouncy little thing in 6/8 time, but by whom? at 1:11:35 to 1:14:39 on "West Winds" broadcast Thursday, 29th July - archived at ...

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

'Hallelujah' - 2 Sacred Harp singings and a bluegrass gospel quartet

"Hallelujah" (#146), sung by the 1982 Holly Springs Sacred Harp Convention; led by Lucy Marie Heidorn. Shot by Alan Lomax and crew using four quad-split cameras, Holly Springs, Georgia, June 1982.

Singers from Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas shared in the blessings of the third annual Central Louisiana Sacred Harp Singing on Sept. 5, 2009. The singing in Ringgold, La., is held on the Saturday before the first Sunday in September. Singers use both the "Cooper" and "1991 [Denson]" Sacred Harp songbooks.

Cross Ties Band performing "Hallelujah" from the Sacred Harp songbook. Johnny Wright-treble vocal and pennywhistle; Randy Ellis-tenor vocal; Randy Garrett-alto and bass vocal and bowed bass fiddle; Bret Mulcay-bass vocal and guitar. Recorded at Burning Bush Baptist Church, Ringgold, Ga., 7-19-09.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

'Hallelujah' / video on Sacred Harp in Hoboken, Ga.

... leads with William Walker's Hallelujah in background ... by WaterTowerFilms |... "An Emmy Award-winning look at a small Southeastern town and the music that has served as its soundtrack for 150 years."

Notes on strumming - jig, 6/8 time

Taken at workshops led by Stephen Seifert and Lois Hornbostel at Indiana Dulcimer Festival in Woodburn, Ind., July 17-18 ... and uploaded to the blog because I lose notebooks all the time but so far (knock on wood!) haven't managed to lose a computer even in the clutter on my desk. So I know I'll have the notes to refer to when I need 'em.

I don't know what "RF" stands for. Right _____? Maybe the "f" ought to be a "t." I make up my own abbreviations, and it doesn't always work.

Stephen (in another workshop, on chording): "I think if a musician doesn't play scales from the heart, they're practically useless ..." - SS fingerpicks scales [demonstrates, with feeling] - "To me it's real music."

Compare this with what an actor told the tourists in a Dublin pub crawl, as reported in a recent feature story headlined "Between the Jigs and Reels" in The Irish Times:
... the Ha’penny Bridge Inn assumes the air of a cosy speakeasy (albeit one bathed in evening sunlight). Here Trish [one of the two actors narrating the show] advises us to distinguish a reel from a jig by testing the rhythm to see if it mirrors the three-syllable “butterfly” (a jig in 6/8 time) or the four-syllable “caterpillar” (a reel in 4/4 time). A veteran of Lord of the Dance , Trish is a fiddler with a colourful history and deliciously gossipy tales of life on the road with the Flatley entourage.

"Miss McDermott" - harp, guitar, guitar-lute - 2 from Germany, 1 from France

yooliah1981 ... also known as Princess Royal. Another tune by Turlough O'Carolan.
Arr. Dominig Bouchaud

Harmonisation&arr. Pascal Bournet, éditions musicales Transatlantiques.

Princess Royal Turlough O`Carolan - Gitarrenlaute

Sunday, July 25, 2010

'Sweet Potato' song - some links and leads

Nancy Raven, a children's singer-songwriter (?) in California, has lyrics on a 1987 CD titled The House We Live In, Vol. I ... attributes the song to the West Indies ...
Soon's we all cook sweet potatoes,
Sweet Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes,
Soon's we all cook sweet potatoes,
Eat 'em right up.

Soon's supper's et, momma hollers,
Momma hollers, momma hollers,
Soon's suppers et, momma hollers,
"Time to go to bed!"

Several verses more ... has a 30-second clip of "Soon As We All Cook Sweet Potatoes" from the album Pete Seeger At The Village Gate With Memphis Slim And Willie Dixon ... sounds right, same chorus judging by the clip

Saturday, July 24, 2010

"Song: A Guide To Art Song Style And Literature" [Paperback], by Carol Kimball

"Song: A Guide To Art Song Style And Literature" [Paperback], by Carol Kimball

Friday, July 23, 2010

2-part series on Emma Bell Miles in Smoky Mountain News
Emma Bell Miles, author of The Spirit of the Mountains (1905) and Our Southern Birds (1919), was one of the most competent non-fiction writers ever produced in the Southern Appalachians. Miles was also a better than average short story writer and poet. Her excellent drawings and paintings were used to illustrate her own books and graced the pages of numerous national publications. Her knowledge of the plant and animal life of her portion of the southern highlands was exceptional. She was a feminist in a world that hardly comprehended the concept. And she lived, at times, one of the most heartbreaking lives any writer has conducted — so much so that her early death at 39 came almost as a relief. Still, she was a writer, and her writing lives on.
"Capturing the beauty of common things" ... The Spirit of the Mountains, one of the most significant books ever written about and from within the southern mountains.

by George Ellison of Bryson City, N.C.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Around the world w/ "Galway Piper" ["Rakes of Mallow"] - and to England with Parson Brown's sheep

Two versions with notes [verbatim] from YouTube

Halle, Germany.
Der Song Galway Piper von Seldom Sober Company am 31. 10. 2009 [Halloween] in Halle am Bahnhof! Super Band! Super Song! check it out:

Taipai, Taiwan. Taiwanese oboist Wanchen Hsieh (謝宛臻) plays Galway Piper with 徐錫隆老師,王般若老師,陳瑞賢老師,萬靜伶老師, live recording, in Taipei recital hall, Oct. 2007

Also: it "is a well-known Irish drinking tune because of another version of the lyrics, The Rakes of Mallow.

The Session cites The Galway Piper/The Sligo Polka: Matt Molloy

Fiddler's Companion refers to "Rakes of Malow"

Easy piano version in D at

Harmonica tab at

Mudcat Cafe
Lyr Req: Rakes of Mallow (other lyrics to tune?) Subject line: Lyr Req: how I cheated old parson brown out of a [dress and half a crown] ...

William Pratt, Printer, 82, Digbeth, Birmingham [c. 1850]

SPOKEN: They were very hard times for poor folks! Faider had lost his work cause he was getting old and couldn't do much; so I went to Parson Brown's and asked him for some broken wittles; but he wouldn't gi' me ony, but sot the dog at me, and sent me beeak broken hearted. When I came beeak, who should there be [but] faider wi' one o' Parson Brown's fat wether sheep. There, said the old man, that's the first time I ever robbed in my life; but they won't let me work, and I can't starve. Egad! I was nation pleased to see the old sheep; I ran and kissed mother, father, and the old sheep and all, and ran up and down, singing—

CHORUS: Faider stole the parson's sheep
And we shall have both pudding and meat,
And a merry Christmas we shall keep,
But I mayn't say aught about it.


As I was in the field one day,
I saw our parson very gay,
Romping Molly on the hay,
And turn her upside down, sir.
And for fear it shouldn't be known,
A suit of clothes and half-a-crown,
Were all given me by Mr. Brown,
For I to come and tell about it.

SPOKEN: He! He! He! I thought parson would have gone ramping mad. He stamped and swore it was the biggest lie that ever was told; but the folks wouldn't believe him. They all run out of church and cried shame of parson. He sent a big book at me, but it hit an old lady on the head. Down she went and parson plump on top of her. I ran off, singing—

CHORUS: I have done old Parson Brown
Of a suit of clothes and half-a-crown,
For telling all the folk around
What he had done to Molly.

In Bodleian Library Broadside Ballads ...

Misc. links - Irish dance tunes Beginner’s FAQ, An Coimisiún in America - An Coimisiún le Rincí Gaelacha (CLRG) Defines light jig, single jig, treble jig, reel, slip jig, hornpipe, treble jig, etc., with rules for CLRG competitions, dance schools. - Irish Solo Set Dances—Behind the Names - contains this gem:
Better known in the American South and among modern American fiddlers as "Mississippi Sawyer," the melody was called "The Downfall of Paris" in Europe and this title was at one time retained in parts of Tennessee and the Ozarks. It was played early in the 19th century when the allies entered Paris after the battle of Waterloo, but "on that occasion (the British commander) Wellington sharply put a stop to it, and the offending Royal Regiment played instead 'Croppies Lie Down.' Apart from being played by military bands on every conceivable occasion, its 'one tormenting strum, strum, strum' was the delight of amateur pianists throughout Britain" (Winstock, 1970; pg. 105).

Friday, July 16, 2010

One way to tell the difference between a jig and a reel

In an Irish Times review Friday, July 16, of the Traditional Irish Music Pub Crawl in Dublin by Siobhán Long:
Onwards we amble to the Ha’penny Bridge Inn, the first of two family owned pubs which offer punters a decent taste of native Dublin drinking houses, though neither have a particular reputation for traditional music. The upstairs room in the Ha’penny Bridge Inn assumes the air of a cosy speakeasy (albeit one bathed in evening sunlight). Here Trish [one of the two actors narrating the show] advises us to distinguish a reel from a jig by testing the rhythm to see if it mirrors the three-syllable “butterfly” (a jig in 6/8 time) or the four-syllable “caterpillar” (a reel in 4/4 time). A veteran of Lord of the Dance , Trish is a fiddler with a colourful history and deliciously gossipy tales of life on the road with the Flatley entourage.
Headline: "Between the jigs and reels." Looks like the copydesk liked it, too.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

"The Kerry Dance" - John McCormack and others on YouTube, and two (possibly) dulcimer-friendly arrangements

... but if you want to hear the trombone duet, you'll have to find it on YouTube yourself!

The standard by which all others are measured (with what looks like a very nice landscape from Co. Kerry in the video clip, no less), the old 78 by John McCormack - Kerry Dance. Irish music:

French jazz violinist Stephane Grappelli and traditional Irish fiddler Frankie Gavin perform a jam session on a very old Irish Melody:

The Kerry Dance - Atar Trio & Yeela Avital. An Irish song performed in a live concert in Tel Aviv, June 2009. "Scottish fantasy" - special concert with Atar Piano Trio and Soprano Yeela Avital. Ofer Shelley - piano, Tanya Beltser - violin, Marina Kats - cello, Yeela Avital - Sopran.

Background on "The Kerry Dance," James T. Molloy and tab for a diatonic dulcimer tuned D-F#-A arranged by Merv Rowley at looks like a very nice arrangement in 6/8 time

Free Sheet Music, Kerry Dance for Easy Celtic Piano Solo in G in 3/4 time - demo on YouTube - Links to PDF file at

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Swedes on Cumberland Gap?

[Nils R. Caspersson, "Diatonisk and the Dulcimer" Voices: Journal of New York Folklore 34 (2008)]

No time to sort this out now so I'll just post links for the time being and come back to it later ...

In his article "Diatonisk and the Dulcimer" in Voices: Journal of New York Folklore 34 (Fall-winter 2008), available on line at, Nils R. Caspersson says the following:
James E. Thomas (c. 1850–1933) was the earliest documented and most prolific dulcimer maker. This farmer from Bath in southeastern Kentucky is credited with the dulcimer’s distinctive hourglass form with heart-shaped sound holes. While there is no known record of how or from whom Thomas learned to make dulcimers or how he developed his distinctive design, there is evidence of Swedish Lutheran immigrants in the Cumberland Gap, the area where western Virginia, southeastern Kentucky, and northern Tennessee meet. Adam S. Johnston, a soldier in the 79th Pennsylvania Veteran Volunteer Infantry Regiment, kept a diary (now held in the Library of Congress) from September 14, 1861, to October 2, 1864. On June 4, 1862, Johnston wrote, “Left Cowen’s Station and marched over the Cumberland mountains to Cumberland Gap or Sweden Valley,” continuing, “June 5. Left Sweden Cove Valley camp and marched through Jaspertown.”

Thomas could certainly have seen and heard a Swedish psalmodikon in the Cumberland Gap region. ...
That sounded kind of goofy to me, since I'm familiar with the Cumberland Gap area, at least around Harrogate on the Tennessee side, and I didn't recognize the geographical names. Nor do I remember a Swedish community there. So while I was checking references for another article, I went looking for Sweden Cove Valley.

Couldn't find it around Cumberland Gap.

But I did find one northwest of Chattanooga. It's called Sweden's Cove, and it leads from the edge of the Cumberland Plateau down a cove, or mountain valley, to Battle Creek and the Tennessee River valley near Jasper, Tenn. (Russ Manning's book 40 Hikes in Tennessee's South Cumberland has a good description.) "Cowen's Station" would be Cowan, on the northwest side of Sewanee Mountain, and "Jaspertown" would be Jasper on the southeast side. As near as I can tell, the Yankee army would have crossed the mountain not far from where I-24 does now at Monteagle ... and followed the cove down to Battle Creek and Jasper.

So Casperson has the wrong gap. He's off by 200 miles.

In the late spring of 1862, the 79th Pennsylvania was of the 4th Brigade of a federal army commanded by Gen. James Scott Negley, based in Shelbyville, Tenn. In the first two weeks of June, it took part in a feint against the Confederate strongpoint at Chattanooga to force another Confederate army to withdraw from Cumberland Gap 200 miles to the northwest. Here's what a regimental history says about the campaign:

Negley's Expedition to Chattanooga May 28-June 17.
Jasper, Sweeden's Cove, June 4.
Chattanooga June 7-8.

* * *
On the 29th of May, General Negley was ordered to proceed with an independent force consisting of infantry, cavalry, and artillery across the monutains to Chattanooga. Colonel Hambright was now in command of the brigade which formed part of the force, and Major Mellinger of the regiment. The enemy's pickets were first encountered at Waldon Ridge. They fell back, as Negley advanced, upon their main body under command of General Adams, drawn up in line of battle ready to dispute the passage of Sweden's Cove. Three companies of the Seventy-ninth, under Captain Klein, were thrown forward as skirmishers, which scoured the hills and brought in a few prisoners.

The cavalry was held under cover in the timber, and the artillery, which had been brought up and advantageously posted, opened fire. A few shells sent the enemy flying in confusion, when the cavalry emerging from the woods, gave chase. Two miles out he was overtaken when a spirited skirmish ensued in which his loss was considerable.

Without further opposition the command advanced, and arrived in front of Chattanooga on the 7th of June. The enemy was found on the opposite side of the river, well intrenched, close to the bank, and on the summit of the hill overlooking the stream, and prepared with artillery to dispute the crossing. ...By mid-June Negley's brigade was back in camp at Shelbyville, "having been absent but fourteen days, had two engagements with the enemy, and performed a toilsome march of two hundred and eighty-four miles.
No mention of any psalmodikons, though. And it sounds like the Yankees were too busy to go looking for any.

But ... could the exchange have gone the other way? Could a psalmodikon-totin' Swedish Lutheran of the 79th Pennsylvania have met up with a "damsel with a dulcimer" between skirmishes and compared musical notes?

It's not beyond the realm of possiblity, although I don't think it's very likely. The 79th Pennsylvania was recruited in Lancaster County, in Pennsylvania Dutch country, and its muster rolls show what appear to German, English and Scots-Irish names in about the proportion you'd expect in eastern Pennsylvania. I didn't spot any Swedish names, but I'm sure there were some Lutherans among the Pennsylvania Germans. Would they have carried a Swedish musical instrument, though?

Besides, I don't think the folks in Sweden's Cove Valley were Swedes.

When I did a Google search on Sweden's Cove, Tennessee, I found this in a RootsWeb listserv under subject line: Re: [TNMARION] SWEETEN/SWEDEN COVE :
> Don't get me in the middle of this. LOL Yes there is some evidence that it
> was originally Sweetons Cove but it will always be Sweden's Cove to me. As
> long as I was living in that area that's what everybody called it. The
> Marion county soil survey published by the USDA in the 1950's labels it
> Swedens. Earlier maps go back and forth between Sweetens, Sweetons and
> Swedens. It was officially changed by the USGS to Sweetens first in 1991
> and
> then reaffirmed in 2002.
And it was in response to this post:
> > Just going to add my 2 cents in here on this. I know we have had this
> > conversation many times on the list with no clear conclusion. I think
> Bill
> > McConnell did find some evidence at one time that the cove was actually
> > Sweeten's Cove on official records. My Dad's family lived in the Cove
> and
> > he has always callled it Sweeten's Cove. He grew up there in the 30's &
> > 40's. I can remember thinking when I was kid, what an odd name for a
> > place. When I asked about it, Daddy said the Cove was named like so many
> of
> > the others in the area -- after the Sweeton/Sweeten family -- e.g.
> Mitchell
> > Cove, Hargis Cove, Ladd's Cove, Dove, Martin Springs, etc.
> >
> > Moses Sweeton & John Sweeton were in Marion Co. in 1830 and there were
> > several others there through 1860.
> >
> > As others have said, I think it all just depends on who you talk to -- how
> > they prounounce it and how they spelled it. :)
So it's pretty clear the Swedes weren't necessarily Swedes, they were Sweetons.

Sweeton is an English name, according to, a Variant of English Sweeting, which means "from a medieval personal name, originally an Old English patronymic from Swet(a) (see Sweet) ... from Middle English sweting ‘darling’, ‘sweetheart’, hence a nickname for a popular and attractive person, or for somebody who habitually addressed people with the term." A distribution map shows occurrences of the name in the north of England and western Scottish lowlands.

So my best guess is the Sweetons were from the same parts of England and Scotland as the vast majority of other settlers in the southern Appalachians. And there's no reason why any other them would have been familiar with a musical instrument that was just beginning to be used halfway across the world in Scandinavia in 1830 when they settled in Marion County, Tenn.

Absence of evidence, of course, isn't necessarily evidence of absence. But in this case, I think it comes as close as you can possibly get.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Some Kilkenny cats, plus a cat and a cow from the James Joyce Centre in Dublin

So what's a blog without cat pictures?

Besides, I'm beginning to realize I'm never going to get back to blogging our trip to Ireland last m ..., uh let's make that month before last. So I'd better start piecemealing them into the blog one by one.

Starting with the Kilkenny cats ... which, both the proverbial fighting cats and the hurling and Gaelic football teams fielded by the Kilkenny County Board of the Gaelic Athletic Association ... the Kilkenny GAA (logo at right) for short ... As Americans it was patiently explained to us that: (1) hurling is not about throwing up, unless perhaps if your team loses, but an ancient Irish sport that sounds like a cross between soccer and Cherokee Indian stickball; and (2) Gaelic football is more like rugby than American football. Hurling is considered the dominant sport in Kilkenny.

At any rate, Kilkenny's athletic cats are named for the proverbial cats, and our tour guide Jonathan told us the stories of the fighting cats. The parts about Lord Cromwell's army and German mercenaries in the English army of King George III are probably apocrophal, but the story is a point of pride in Kilkenny. And the athletic teams pattern their colors, black and amber, after those of what we'd call an orange tomcat in the United States. We even spotted a black-and-amber bar (two doors down from an oriental restaurant) on Parliament Street in Kilkenny.

We found another cat in Kilkenny, this one on the sign for Kyteler's Inn, a pub on that dates back to the 14th century. At least the stories do. Its website relates:
The original owner of this Inn was Dame Alice le Kyteler who was born in Kilkenny in the year 1263. In her time she gained much notoriety not least because she acquired four husbands and a considerable fortune. Her enemies eventually conspired to accuse her of witchcraft and have her burned at the stake. It is now generally accepted that the charges against Dame Alice and her associates were trumped up but what is on record as been certainly true is that Kyteler's Inn was "a place of merrymaking and good cheer".
Across the top of the website is a fine representation of what must be Dame Alice's black cat.

And there's another black cat on the pub sign at 27 Saint Kierans St. Here, for all the cat lovers , is a closeup.

My other Irish cat picture is from a mural in a little cafe in the James Joyce Centre at 35 North Great Georges St. in Dublin. It wasn't serving when we visited, on a midweek morning before the tourist season really gets going, but the mural was quite nice - sort of a montage of scenes from "Ulysses."

There's not only a cat, there's also a cow. At first I thought of Cows on Parade in Chicago, but a placard explained it the idea came from a public art installation project in Zurich, which is also where Chicago got its inspiration.

Friday, July 09, 2010

"Musical fairytale" by a "post-folk band" from Latvia: I don't know what the video is all about, but I like the music

The photography, too ...

English title "Once Upon A Time." Musical fairytale by Dace Micane Zalite, Ilga Reizniece un Gatis Gaujenieks.

The blurb on YouTube is some help:
Now released also on DVD. An alarming run by two children through the center of Riga towards the Latvian Statue of Liberty. What is driving these children to run so early in the morning? What has happened?

In the meadow of Laima, the Goddess of Fate, flowers and medicinal plants combine their natural healing herbs in a communal tea to heal the injured Janis and Laima.
So I guess it's whatever you want to make of it.

The band is Iļģi ... which describes itself as a "Latvian post-folk band" ... started out as straight folk before independence, banned by the USSR ... more rock and world music orientation now ... here they are live at a club in Riga ...

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Psalmodikon - "an instrument for the mediocre musician"

Several YouTube clips from Sweden, including Psalmodikon Études no. 1 and 2, by Vidar Lundbaeck ... No. 1, below, as played by the group "Psalmodikonisterna" in Hallaryd, Smalandia, Sweden

In his notes on Étude no. 2, below, Lundbaeck says, "My psalmodikon is homemade and the model is "invented" by pastor Dillner around 1820. The melodystring is made of sheepguts, also hommade. The fingerboard have numbers from 1-8. and the music is written by numbers. I have 7 resonating strings in order to make more sound. They say this is an instrument for the mediocre musician. :=)"

Other links:

Psalmodikonisterna - in Hallaryd, Sweden ...
PSALMODIKONISTERNA - Verksamheten startade med en bygg och spelkurs i Göteryd 9 - 11 mars 2007. Vi började bygga på fredagen kl 17, byggde klart och övade på lördagen och spelade i Högmässan på söndagen kl 11 !!
Ett härligt gäng med tummen på rätt ställe deltog i en helgkurs under ledning av Rodney Sjöberg från Trollhättan, ordförande i Nordiska Psalmodikonförbundet och en av Sveriges främsta psalmodikonbyggare.
Also a blurb on Musikfamiljen Lundbäcks Program page - under Vidar Lundbäcks soloprogram -
"Den ljusa dag framgången är"
om psalmsång genom tiderna. Vi följer bl.a. SvPs 501 från 1695 års koralbok fram till 1987, inklusive en folklig koralvariant från södra Småland. Publiken deltar aktivt genom att pröva på att sjunga psalmer från olika tidsepoker, i några fall ackompanjerat av psalmodikon.
With pix of Lundbäck playing seated at a table. Vidar and Ingegerd Lundbeck reported on their group in Hallyard in the Spring 2009 issue of Nordic-American Psalmodikonforbundet.

Kultuurilaegas (Culture Chest), a website on Estonian folk culture, has this ...
Psalmodikon (in Estonian moldpill ‘trough instrument') is a relatively new instrument, dating from 1829 in Sweden, constructed on the basis of monochord and hummel. It has the shape of an overturned small trough, there is only one string with fingerboard and note marks underneath, and it is played with a bow. The instrument spread widely in Lutheran regions to accompany spiritual music, including also Estonian peasants. It was easy to make and was used to teach and accompany choral singing at home, and in smaller schools and church congregations who could not afford other instruments. Because of its primitive design, the instrument is mistakenly often considered rather ancient.

"Det finns djup i Herrens godhet"

Sifferskrift by Kathy Pedersen, 2006. Text by Britt G. Hallqvist. Tune: Paderborn 1765.

Det finns djup i Herrens godhet. Ingmar Johansson soloist. YouTube says: "Det finns djup i Herrens godhet från den stora tittarsuccén "Minns du sången" (the swedish version of Gaither homecoming) som sändes under tre säsonger (1998-2000) med totalt 25 program och 182 andliga sånger på svenska." And links to the page for a DVD.

No. 285 in the 1986 psalmbook. Recorded on December 31, 2009 in the church of Östra Ryd (Österåker), Sweden.

Hallkvist was a poet, translator (J.R.R. Tolkein among others including Goethe and Shakespeare) and a prolific hymn writer. ...

Text in a group of psalms and songs on memorial page for a young girl in Sweden:
Det finns djup i Herrens godhet,
och dess gränser ingen ser.
Det finns värme i hans domslut,
mer än någon frihet ger.
Det finns underbar förlossning
i det blod som göts en gång.
Det finns glädje bortom graven
och en framtid full av sång.

Det finns nåd för nya världar,
mycket större än den här,
nya skapelser och tider,
nåd för allt som blir och är.
Det finns underbar förlossning
i det blod som göts en gång.
Det finns glädje bortom graven
och en framtid full av sång.

Gud, för uppbrott och förvandling
lär oss glömma bort vårt jag.
Driv oss ut att bygga broar
till en okänd morgondag.
Det finns underbar förlossning
i det blod som göts en gång.
Det finns glädje bortom graven
och en framtid full av sång.

Wikipedia article on "Det finns djup i Herrens godhet" at in Swedish and in English.

The tune Paderborn w/ MIDI file is in "an Alphabetical list of the tunes from the UK Methodist hymn book - Hymns & Psalms - on the Family Friendly Churches website in the U.K. Identified as a "German folk melody adapted in Paderborn Gesangbuch (1765)." HP598.

Their MIDI file is a nice gospel-y (well, as gospel-y as you can get in MIDI format), and the PowerPoint slide (available at No. 598 in this diectory gives this text by Charles Wesley:
Because thou hast said:
'Do this for my sake'.
The mystical bread
We gladly partake;
We thirst for the Spirit
That flows from above,
And long to inherit
Thy fullness of love.
A second verse, too.

"De nære ting"

Norwegian pop song of the 1940s. Lyrics by Arne Paasche Aasen, performed by Kurt Foss and Reidar Bøe ...

Blurb on YouTube: Kurt Foss (01.01.1925--17.10.1991) og Reidar Bøe (25.05.1925--08.08.1969), sangere (duo), komponister og revyartister, begge fra Bergen.
Kurt Foss var gift med ►Torhild Lindal fra 1958. De var to av de som regel ni kjuaguttene som ble landskjente i 1938--1942 som Bergens Munnspillorkester.
Foss og Bøe gikk i samme klasse på Dragefjellet skole, og oppdaget fort at stemmene deres kledde hverandre. Bøe sang melodistemmen, Foss over- og annenstemme. Like etter krigen begynte de å arbeide profesjonelt som duo, og platedebuterte 1947 med «Grønlandsvisa»/«Paitepu».

And this information on another YouTube clip: Her synger "Radiofantomene" Kurt Foss & Reidar Bøe sin klassiske og eviggrønne vise om "De Nære Ting"! Teksten er opprinnelig ett dikt av Arne Paasche Aasen og det er originalinnspillingen fra 1951 vi hører. Melodien har de skrevet selv!

Wikipedia has info in a bio on Kurt Foss in English (!): 'together with Reidar Bøe[,] Kurt Foss created the hugely popular duo "Radiofantomene" ("The Radio Phantoms") that was active throughout the 1940s, 50s and 60s. ... [in list of popular songs] and also "De nære ting" ("The Things Near") in 1951, that song was also with lyrics by Arne Paasche Aasen.'

Norwegian text at ...
Ditt sinn monne flyve så vide omkring,

det er som du glemmer de nære ting,

det er som du aldri en time har fred,

du lengter bestandig et annet sted.

Du syns dine dager er usle og grå,

hva er det du søker, hva venter du på?

Når aldri du unner deg rast eller ro,

kan ingen ting vokse og intet gro.

Gå inn i din stue, hvor liten den er,

så rommer den noe ditt hjerte har kjær.

På ropet i skogen skal ingen få svar,

finn veien tilbake til det du har.

Den lykken du søker bak blående fjell,

kan hende du alltid har eiet den selv.

Du skal ikke jage i hvileløs ring,

men lær deg å elske de nære ting.

Tekst: Arne Paasche Aasen. Tone: Kurt Foss og Reidar Bøe.
Which Babelfishes (is Babelfish a verb? is now) as follows:
Your mind fly make a difference so wide around,

det er som du glemmer de nære ting, it is that you forget the close thing,

det er som du aldri en time har fred, it is that you never have one hour of peace,

du lengter bestandig et annet sted. you yearn always somewhere else.

Du syns dine dager er usle og grå, You think your days are miserable and gray,

hva er det du søker, hva venter du på? what are you looking for, what are you waiting for?

Når aldri du unner deg rast eller ro, When you wish you never break or rest,

kan ingen ting vokse og intet gro. nothing can grow and nothing grows.

Gå inn i din stue, hvor liten den er, Go into your room, how small it is,

så rommer den noe ditt hjerte har kjær. it can accommodate the slightly your heart loved.

På ropet i skogen skal ingen få svar, The cry in the forest will not be answered,

finn veien tilbake til det du har. find your way back to what you have.

Den lykken du søker bak blående fjell, The happiness you are looking behind blående mountains,

kan hende du alltid har eiet den selv. You may have always owned it ourselves.

Du skal ikke jage i hvileløs ring, You should not chase the restless ring

men lær deg å elske de nære ting. but learn to love the close stuff.
Babelfish's stuff is close enough, I guess.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Online edn. of New Grove Dictionary

On the Hemingways Studio website at ... Canadian ... I don't know much about it, but it looks they've managed to get the whole dictionary (link to TOC here) up on their website. This morning I Googled into the article on Norway ... surfed around after I printed it out, checked the article on the Cittern. Which saves me a trip up to school. Overview as follows:
Cittern [cithren, cittharn, citharen]
(Fr. cistre; Ger. Cither, Cythar, Zister, Zitter; It. cetra, cetera, cetara; Sp. citara, cithara, citola).

A plucked instrument with wire strings that achieved its greatest importance in the 16th and 17th centuries. Although it was regarded as a classical revival of the ancient GreekKithara (from which its name derives) in Italian Renaissance humanist culture, its direct precursor was the medieval Citole.
The whole article would come to nine pages printed out.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Notes on 'Lovsynger Gud den Vældige, den Vise'

Can't track it down. But I found a Danish psalmbook (1819 edn. of the 1797 psalmbook of N.H. Balle, see below) called Evangelisk-kristelig Psalmebog: til Brug ved Kirke- og Huus-Andagt that checks out, i.e. has the song. In Google Books on a search for keywords "evangelisk kristelig psalmebog 446" ... this is the same hymn as No. 111 in the Norwegian chorale book I copied at St. Olaf ... "Lovsynger Gud den Vældig den Vise" ... text of No. 446 at pages 366ff. It has its own melody ("Egen Melodie"), according to the headnote in the Danish psalmbook.

Text (my transcription - I'm especially suspicious of my capital "U's" ... they may be A's ... and I had a hard time with the old-fashioned German letters anyway):
1. Lovsynger Gud, den Vældige, den Vise, Sovsynger Herrens Miskunhed! Hans Storhed alle Himlens Uander / prise Fra Evighed til Evighed. Men us han ogsaa er en Fader. Paa ham sign Mennesket saa trygt forlader. Saa vidner hver henrundet Aar, hver Morgensoel, som skisn [skiøn?] fremgaaer.

2. Vi sade for os et Leveaar hensvinde: O takker Gud, some gav os det! Fra ham kom hver en Dag, vi saae oprinde, Fra ham etnvert vort Uandedræt. Alt hvad vi ere, hvad vi hare, hver Trost, hvert Haab, hver Fryd var Herrens Save. End naar os kummer trykte ned, Vor Frelse var hans Øiemed.

Two more verses ... oh @#$%! why bother? They take up the rest of page 367, and I can find it online if I need it ...
I can't find this text in the Danske Salmebog online, suspect it's a new hymn in the 1819 book that didn't catch on with congregations.

Google has this info on the book:
Evangelisk-kristelig Psalmebog: til Brug ved Kirke- og Huus-Andagt
Danske folkekirke
0 Reviews
Trykt udi det Kongl. Vaisenhuses Bogtrykkerie og paa dets Forlag, 1819 - Reference - 672 pages
"Collecter, Epistler og Evangelier ..., " p. [483]-672.

1797 salmebog - N.H. Balle brought out a revision of Thomas Kingo's Danske Salmebog, according to Encyclopædia of Religion and Ethics (Volume 7), ed. James Hastings, John Alexander Selbie and Louis Herbert Gray. Their account of the book (p. 31) cites Pontoppidan's 1740 revision of Kingo, adds:
Another attempt in the same direction was made by N.H. Balle, bishop of Seeland, who in 1797 produced a revision of Kingo's book under the title Evangelisk-Kristelig Salmebog ('Evangelical Christian Hymn-book'). The attempt failed, however, because of the feebleness of the verse; and more than half a century passed before any real improvement was effected. This at length was brouhgt about, mainly through the influence of Nikolai Frederik Severin Grundtvig (1783-1872) ...
What I take from all of this: The hymn didn't catch on and was quite forgotten after Grundtvig's hymns in Denmark and Ludvig Lindeman's in Norway changed the course of Dano-Norwegian hymnody. The survey of Danish hymnody in the companion to the Lutheran Book of Worship just says the 1797 psalmbook was unsuccessful.

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Introductory overview of Irish ballads

By Rick Ring, special collections librarian, a brief intro to "Irish Ballads" for the Notes for Bibliophiles website of the Providence (R.I.) public library on March 17, 2009.
Happy St. Patrick's Day! In honor of the day, I offer here a short history of Irish ballads, taken from various sources. We have almost 1,100 of these in the Potter & Williams Irish collection, and I'm digitizing them when I find the time.

Street singers were known all over Europe. For centuries in Germany, Italy, France, and other countries they sold broadsheets dealing with the same topics popular today—love, crime, geniuses and freaks, disasters, famous outlaws, and politics. The trade flourished in England since the sixteenth century, and it was imported to the English-speaking eastern towns of Ireland in the late seventeenth century. Before printing their own ballads, the Anglo-Irish sang British ones. In the early part of the nineteenth century the broadside ballads became popular in the Irish countryside. In the poorest houses they might be pasted on the walls, under the effigy of a saint or a portrait of Napoleon or some national hero.
* * *
Who wrote them? Some of the best ballads were taken from a traditional fund of anonymous ballads, often modified to address the moment. The topical songs were generally written by a staffer (some would say a hack poet) in the print shop, for pay. Some of the better writers like Oliver Goldsmith apparently wrote ballads in their youth anonymously. Some ballads were simply contributed by people who had something to say—rather like a blog is used today—a short burst from a personal platforrm, widely circulated and often soon forgotten. A number of them were written by teachers in small towns and villages, sometimes called “hedge schoolmasters,” in memory of the Penal Days when Catholic schools were forbidden, and had to be kept secretly in remote places. Often these teachers were, next to the landlord and the priest, the most important people in the parish.

Other writers of ballads were amateur poets, who like today’s vanity or self-publishers, would pay to have their own texts printed and circulated. They could easily afford copies of their own work—the average ballad went for 10 pence per dozen in the 1860s, or a halfpenny apiece. In fact, it was a lucrative source of revenue for printers, and some of them lived entirely on ballad production in cities like Dublin, Cork, and Belfast. Most of the ballads in our collection were gathered in Cork & Belfast in the mid-1860s, and sent to the donor of the collection, Alfred Williams, in 1879.
There's more, altho' not much. Still a very good starting place.

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Mary Black sings 'Mo Ghile Mear'

More information and other clips at DVD available from The Scottish and Irish Music Store at ALL CELTIC MUSIC website. £11.26. Also a used copy on

Friday, July 02, 2010

Prairieland Dulcimer Strings in 2008

Found while sorting papers in the basement, this picture taken at the Sangamon County Historical Society's "Cemetery Walk," Oak Ridge Cemetery, Springfield, October 2008.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Quote: 'magically harmonic [Russian Orthodox] tunes that seemed like a combination of Mozart sonatas and Appalachian folk melodies'

From Bruce Feiler, Where God Was Born: A Journey by Land to the Roots of Religion (New York: William Morrow-HarperCollins, 2005). In the middle of a detailed account of the Russian Orthodox Compound of St. Mary Magdeline in Jerusalem, "a two-story white sandstone church built in 1888 by Czar Alexander III with seven gilded, bulbous domes that look like a bouquet of giant garlic cloves" (365), this description of an evening service:
The only other people in the church were about a dozen nuns in black habits and head scarves, as well as a bishop who emerged from behind the screen [iconostasis] waving an incense holder, giving the room the mesmerizing smell of allspice and cinnamon. The service was conducted by a nun chanting in Slavonic, the ancient Slavic liturgical language that sounds Russian, only sweeter. The sweetness was enhanced by three sisters standing behind her, singing magically harmonic tunes that seemed like a combination of Mozart sonatas and Appalachian folk melodies. Their voices were plaintive, as if coming through a grammophone. (366)