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During the next 30 minutes songs tell some stories. Some people. As I roved out of the nation's outstanding folk art is produced by Riverside radio WRP are in New York City a grant from the National Association of educational broadcasters. But today our tireless courting marriage and other notions. Mom used to tell me about. Courting when she grew up. We might as well start there. The old fashioned way of courting she called it began with walking and talking. When you walked in talked with somebody that was well fairly serious but when you got really serious you called it setting up you go and see the boy I would call on his girl and sit up all night with her the most of the night. And they'd sit before the fire usually courtship was usually done the wintertime would be a nice cozy time to do it from the fireplace and all folks would retire to bed and that the room and
sort of the chaperone the young people I suppose that was the idea. And anyway the houses are very small those days that I would sleep and snore peacefully back there in the back the room and the young people would sit in front of fire and be very quiet. Of course everything they did had to be very quiet so as not to wake up the old folks. Well when we were growing up my mother and the folks around the community used to sing songs about how good it was to be a bachelor and sort of songs making fun of boys courting. Are there ways of courting how bashful they were and so on. And that's our Creech over on Pan mountain had a song that they called Aunt Sal song because that was the only song she would ever saying outside of church songs. And it was one of the songs sort of making fun of the boys when they came to set up with the girls on that I'll sing it for you now. Yes. I know.
Oh yeah. I thought. That never. When. Times were well the chick Crowell. How do you do. Good morning sir. Glad to see. He was very he was very early. If this is what you know.
Now when he goes live then yander girls that don't know how to know. It was carton back in Kentucky in the old days old fashioned Korten. It's improved some since then I say at least I didn't find it quite that tough when I was growing up. Pretty tough though because I was the 14th child in a family of 14 there was 11 girls and so found in a boy I was pretty hard. Well to go on the subject of courtship today I want to talk a little bit about a man who sings a lot of Korten songs from Kentucky and who most of you have heard from or heard off his name is John Jacob Niles and he's a Kentucky man not from the mountains but from the Bluegrass part of the state. He has his own adaptations of Southern Appalachian songs. He proudly admits this too so we're not telling anything else who of us saying that. And his own adaptations of our mountain dulcimer he's built his larger sort of
improved one for the stage. This sounds very lovely. He's a talented writer and composer. He has good taste. And one of the early he was one of the early pioneers in collecting songs from the mountain. So we're very grateful to him. I'd like you to hear a song now sung by John Jacob now from his tradition record number 1 0 3 6. It's called an evening with John Jacob Niles and he's singing I mean the notion now. One morning on Morning when the weather was bad they. Were taking. Me to the I'm going to get married him and. I'm going to get married I'm in the north or daughter and all of her hits you're loosed from all the world should you want when you are but
I'm turning 16 mothers. I'm going to get married I mean. I'm going to get married I'm an old war daughter did all the rule what prompted this plan to launch. And knowing yourself is only in the sand. I mean. I'm going to get married I suppose. You should try this new thing. Cause. My I'm going to get married. I'm going to get married or happen to you. He has he's not been able to say nothing your mother
calls there's. A job. Well that's another song about marriage seem to be any number of them. We have one that's known as the Ritchie old song which is sort of a longing song about getting married. And I mean we used to sing it a lot over washing the dishes because as I said before there were quite a few girls in our family 11 to be exact. My goodness we just it was pretty desperate and it got up to 13 14 15 years old you know looking around for fillers. So we used to wash the dishes and sing the song and little by little around through the neighborhood it got to be known as the Richie all made song that comes from England I suppose way back along the line somewhere.
It's called I want to be married. True.
They won't. Well marriage is a I'm trying to get married was a subject of many many songs but there were other things to sing about too in connection with courtship in love and marriage. But notions. One of these is the theme of sort of deserted love art love laments or love betrayed and one song which there are many many versions of the beautiful and haunting. Come all ye fair and tender ladies are as it's called on this record come all fair maids. I
suspect that's a mistake in the title because the song really is the more you fair and tender ladies. It's Sunday you bet Pete Seeger and it's on his Folkways album Number 2 0 0 3. The album is called Darling Cory but the song is called Mani fair and can you ladies let's listen to it now. And then. Then. Go. Home and leave a phone call about it. Oh oh oh little. Old Mole. In the box live in the.
Same little with the school over there. I wish I could both swallow. The flow. Oh would. You to my. Holds true love. And when he'd steal plough deny. Global swallow. Knowing it's neither. Still see. The been stolen. Drugs the smoke troublous blow. Hole don't you. The. Card. With. The head.
Of the US. Bought up on the. South West. A. Little later. Than one in the Han. I was young and. Like the slope of the summer was on the. Stop and Go. That was a lovely meant about young men that will leave you and love you and leave you. And now I'd like to sing for you a love song which doesn't draw any conclusions it doesn't doesn't make it in LA MANSON It doesn't say somebody left me it doesn't say I'd like to get married or anything else it is just an expression of love. This is I gave my love a cherry.
Again turning. I guess. I want to sing that song for you for a special reason and the special reason was because I wanted to play
a very sort of specialized version of the song sung by the English countertenor Alfred Deller. He got himself on the lute the song was written actually bad Desmond Dupree. And you could hear it on the vanguard record number 479 and the three ravens. Now for a dollar has a being a countertenor has a kind of a strange voice and takes a bit of getting used to. But I like it very much. And here he is singing I Will Give my love an apple was. The last. We
know it was. My. Phone. CUOMO my phone was. Oh oh. There was. How will you have my love an apple beautifully sung by countertenor Alfred Deller.
Oh through Scotland and England and Ireland. One song we found when we were over there was consistently sung in many versions and that's a very strange song. It's a very strange very ancient song about the marriage of a girl to a boy who was too young. She was in some versions 21 and he was 12 or something like that. Very farfetched we think. But back in the old days I suppose they did make very early marriages. Still this is a strange song. And John Dies sings it your for you from her second Vanguard album Number 9 0 9 for the trees. They do grow high. Jury. Believes they do agree. Many's the time my true love I've seen many. Watched. On these young.
Brothers. Meet Rader you who married me who is too young. I'm twice. His But. Daughter do. You. Oh I married you lot. For you to wait. Do.
You see those lists and which one. Is the maiden. One. It was. Fathers cus son I spied on the phone. With. Him. 60 is good.
The trees they do grow have sung by John Dyer's a song that's found all throughout England Scotland and Ireland and many different versions. When we were in Scotland so hunting songs on our tour bright I think I've told you before about Jim Macbeth He's a very wonderful singer and a tinker man in Scotland. He travels around and sings at football matches and at fairs and things like that. He had a song which is really lovely subject of love and he called it come all your lonely lovers and I actually started singing it recognize the song as the bonnie light or boy or the bunny Plowman boy. Here's Jim McBeth from Scotland to sing to me.
This poem of a boy I mean you hear a gun say are you know about your money. Darwinian in my father's garden. When my love made me he threw a round Martin they're going to be and we we both sit down on the ground Porter do come please. Go off where you're well and I love them still in my room and in their sacks and leaves I wear are pulled down on a more weary here in that dreary wood pile where our poor down on mine.
The part of Bush world where my garden part of ones while I go where are you oh well I know a lot of them still in my own way. Nose to it. He did though a bit. But when he's staying where rings are a mix. Go where you will and I will still in my home I do love beautiful love songs and we as you can tell we've been going on and on with these lovely lyrical expressions of love.
Well they're expressions of love and their longings for marriage and their joys and heartaches of courtship but we haven't talked any about the ways of courtship the kind that to Kentucky in America with this last song. My mother told me one of the ways of courting when she was growing up was that with the old at the old play parties and you get a partner get on the floor and you can really make some well you can get some some chording done on the dance floor. Here's one of the songs that I grew up with sung for you now by Ed McCurdy This Way down yonder in the pop up patch and it's Electra to a five and the record is called A Treasury of American folk songs here's way down yonder in the pop up patch. More. Oh where oh where oh where is. The line where oh where is dear and eyes are way down yonder in the palm of my own looking up almost by the minute pockets begin to Hamas bowing upon its being in a Hamas commander find its way down yonder in the palm of.
My own mall more. Come on boys let's go find her. Come on boy let's go find her. Come on boy let's go find her way down yonder in the park home. With all Big Mama's going to pockets along the golf was going amongst all the bomb was quite a motorbike goes way down yonder. Off by. More and. More. One of the oldest songs I know is the funny old song about bachelor's hall. I don't know whether it's a girl song or boy song it has some verses to do with shoes and sort of starts out as a girl's lament and sort of an angry voice but underneath it all they like it they like business of the boys coming Gorton and the boys complain in the in the bachelor's hall is bound to be biased.
This is from a family in Kentucky. And his neck and others. When I get married to a man. The girls and. The girls are directed. Nice. Horse. To go.
To school you know cheering too. Well I do hope you've enjoyed coming along with us today and I hope you can join us again next week when we travel through the folk music of America and the British Isles. Many of the portions of this program were compiled from recordings made by Gene Ritchie and her husband. She was on the bright scholarship in the British Isles. In her next
program Mrs. Richie will play some of her recordings made at an Irish wedding straw boys at the wedding. The program was produced by Isidore hoodlum and directed by Stuart silver. As I would have done with with Jean Ritchie is a recorded production of Riverside radio WY. They are in New York City produced under a grant from the National Association of educational broadcasters. This is the NEA E.B. Radio Network.
As I roved out
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Courtship Marriage and Other Notions
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University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Hosted by folksinger Jean Ritchie, As I Roved Out explores folk music of America and the British Isles and the people who make it.
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Chicago: “As I roved out; 2; Courtship Marriage and Other Notions,” University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed April 25, 2024,
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APA: As I roved out; 2; Courtship Marriage and Other Notions. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from