minstrel: A Calling-On Song

Lisa and Ken Theriot Lnktheriot at satx.rr.com
Tue Jun 10 17:15:43 PDT 2008


Vivien wrote:

[In point of fact - the *tune* is traditional.  It's the Earsdon Sword
Dance Song.  The Watersons have a recording of it on their classic album
_Frost and Fire_.   It appears to be 19th century based on internal
evidence.]

Cool; I didn't know it qualified as filk.  I recognize several passages
of the lyric from the original as well.  The Steeleye Span liner notes
say:

Songs similar to this one are used by the leaders of rapper and long
sword dance teams to preface the dancing and to drum up a crowd. The
duration of these songs depended on how long it took for a satisfactory
audience to assemble. It was customary to introduce each member of the
team as the son of a famous person such as Bonaparte, Nelson,
Wellington, etc. This, however is our own "calling-on", the tune and the
basis for the words coming from the captain's song of the Earsdon Sword
Dance Team.

And Ashley Hutchings said: "It's a completely contemporary song, but in
traditional style, which I wrote especially for the album."  That's a
bit disingenuous if the tune is identical and some of the lyrics are
"borrowed" but par for the course with filk.

Is the Watersons recording a parts version as well?  Is it the same as
the SS arrangement?


Adelaide



More information about the minstrel mailing list