Saturday, April 05, 2014

Creolization, hybridity, cross-pollination, crossover and/or all of above: "Give Me Your Hand" / "Tabhair Dom do Lámh" / "Da Mihi Manum" / "Gje Meg Handa Di" ** UPDATED x1 ** w/ dulcimer tab


Stumbled across this while I was looking for examples of folk hymnody … And it struck me, partly because I like the song, and partly because I'm not entirely comfortable with what I'm researching about creolization in immigrant communities in the upper Midwest and Chicago. I like James Leary's idea that creolization isn't limited to "tropical climes where European traders, soldiers, missionaries, and colonizers encountered African, Arab, and East and American Indian peoples" in the Caribbean but also occurs in "polkabilly" dance music of the upper Midwest, where "musical interactions have long been distinguished by egalitarianism, by freewheeling accommodation and blending across complex boundaries. Here reside North Coast creoles." (Click here for more.) But at least in the Illinois music I'm studying, the interactions have been complex.

Here reside Prairie State Creoles? Well, yes, maybe, but …

Postmodernist students of cultural globalization find creolization a useful concept, but they also talk about "hybridity" (click here and here). "Crossover" fits, too. Doesn't sound all postmodernist and academic, either, but it applies to everything from Dolly Parton and Taylor Swift to Anyway, the influences and correspondences I'm looking for are subtle and complex, and I don't have a good word for them.

Cross-pollination? Plays off the same metaphor as hybrid musical genres. Might work. And we have a lot of hybrid corn growing in Illinois. Closer. Getting warmer. But not there yet.

Some clips from YouTube, which is what got me started.

Planxty in HD - Tabhair Dom do Lámh (1973 RTE). The legendary Planxty in concert at the national stadium in 1973, with "Give me your hand", is Tabhair Dom do Lámh. And Three Drunken Maidens. Banna ceoil traidisiúnta Éireannach é Planxty a bhunaigh Christy Moore, Andy Irvine, Donal Lunny agus Liam Ó Floinn i mBaile Átha Cliath sna seachtóidí.

Ensemble Passacaglia. Written in 1603 by Rory O'Cathan (Ruairi 'Dall' O'Cathain) a blind Irish harper, as a response to an apology by Lady Eglington of Ayrshire. "Ensemble Passacaglia [of Massachusetts] was formed in 2001 when Lisa Esperson, Tom Hanna and I became intrigued with the striking combination of winds, plucked strings and percussion. A mutual affinity for medieval and renaissance music brought us together as accompanists for the vocal ensemble the Solstice Singers, and soon thereafter we started performing as a trio. We began incorporating music from the Middle East into our concerts, finding richness in the cross-cultural influences suggested by the intricate rhythms and melodies. In 2007 Molly Johnston joined us, adding the warm and resonant sound of viola da gamba to the mix.

Sondre Bratland and Annbjørg Lien. Traditional Irish tune with Norwegian lyrics ("Give Me Your Hand"). Annbjørg Lien plays the Swedish instrument nyckelharpa ( From a TV documetary on Sondre Bratland, 2005. So how, as Elizabeth Barrett Browning never would have thought to ask, do I creolize thee? Let's count the ways. We've got a song composed in Gaelic by an Irish harper for a Scottish patron popularized by an Irish traditional band translated from English into Norwegian and sung by a Norwegian vocalist backed by a Swedish instrument.

Kurt Nilsen og Helene Bøksle /m KORK - Gje meg handa di, ven. Minnekonsert fra Oslo domkirke lørdag 30. juli 2011. (KORK is the orchestra for Norwegian radio -- it's an acronym with the "K" from "Kringkasting," which means broadcasting, and "-ORK" from the Norwegian word for orchestra.)

Dulcimer tablature by Judith Giddings, a retired special ed professor who finger-picks MD arrangements of Carolan and other harp music.

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