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Origins: Golden Vanity Variants

DigiTrad:
GOLDEN VANITY
SINKING OF THE GRAF SPEE
THE BOLD TRELLITEE
THE GOLDEN VANITY
THE GOLDEN VANITY (6)
THE GREEN WILLOW TREE
THE LOWDOWN LONESOME LOW
THE LOWLANDS LOW (7)
THE SWEET KUMADEE
THE TURKEY-ROGHER LEE and the YELLOW GOLDEN TREE


Related threads:
Recording of Golden Vanity (68)
MEANING of ' gaudie' in Sweet Kumadee?? (8)
golden vanity (10)
Donald Duck and The Golden Vanity (11)
Gold.Vanity. Can you REALLY sink a ship? (164)
translating the golden vanity (14)
Lyr Req: The Turkish Reverie (8)
Lyr Req: Lowlands Low (Warde Ford, Child #286) (6)
Lyr Req: Frank Proffitt's Lowland Low (#286) (6)
Lyr Req: johnny doughty's golden vanity (6)
Lyr Req: duncan williamson's golden vanity (5)
Lyr Req: ollie jacobs's golden vanity (bronson) (1)
Looking to ID This Song Lyric (Golden Vanity) (11)
Penguin: The Golden Vanity (3)
The Sweet Kumadee (14)


SINSULL 24 Mar 11 - 11:08 AM
Brian Peters 24 Mar 11 - 11:30 AM
Richard Mellish 24 Mar 11 - 07:50 PM
dick greenhaus 24 Mar 11 - 08:33 PM
Brian Peters 25 Mar 11 - 05:49 AM
Richard Mellish 25 Mar 11 - 08:03 AM
Brian Peters 25 Mar 11 - 08:06 AM
Richard Mellish 10 Apr 11 - 04:51 PM
The Sandman 10 Apr 11 - 05:44 PM
Jim Carroll 10 Apr 11 - 05:48 PM
The Sandman 10 Apr 11 - 05:52 PM
The Sandman 10 Apr 11 - 05:53 PM
The Sandman 10 Apr 11 - 05:58 PM
The Sandman 10 Apr 11 - 06:35 PM
Richard Mellish 24 Apr 11 - 12:18 PM
Brian Peters 12 May 11 - 05:42 AM
GUEST,Val bayley 24 Aug 11 - 12:47 PM
Stilly River Sage 24 Aug 11 - 01:57 PM
Joe_F 24 Aug 11 - 08:08 PM
GUEST,Grace 28 Aug 11 - 09:11 PM
Mysha 28 Aug 11 - 11:59 PM
GUEST,Iona 29 Nov 11 - 01:35 AM
Richie 09 Jan 14 - 05:55 PM
Lighter 09 Jan 14 - 07:58 PM
Richie 09 Jan 14 - 10:28 PM
Desert Dancer 10 Jan 14 - 12:44 AM
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Subject: RE: Golden Vanity Variants
From: SINSULL
Date: 24 Mar 11 - 11:08 AM

John Roberts does a version with the boy getting his revenge by sinking the Weeping Willow Tree and drowning all aboard. He survives to tell the tale.

That ship built in the Lowlands
Low low low
Born to ride the waves
Heigh Ho


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Subject: RE: Golden Vanity Variants
From: Brian Peters
Date: 24 Mar 11 - 11:30 AM

And what about the one in which the enemy vessel is the dreaded 'Turkish Roving Canoe'??


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Subject: RE: Golden Vanity Variants
From: Richard Mellish
Date: 24 Mar 11 - 07:50 PM

Apropos Sir Walter Raleigh: I have in my head the first verse of a version that mentions him but isn't the Child A version.

Sir Walter Raleigh has built him a ship
In the Netherlands.
She was built of the pine and the brave oak tree
But we feared she might be taken by the Spanish enemy,
Sailing in the lowlands low.

I'll try to trace who I heard that from.

While I'm here, I'll throw in a reminder of this thread Gold.Vanity. Can you REALLY sink a ship?

Richard


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Subject: RE: Golden Vanity Variants
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 24 Mar 11 - 08:33 PM

Bronson includes 211 versions (with tunes)


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Subject: RE: Golden Vanity Variants
From: Brian Peters
Date: 25 Mar 11 - 05:49 AM

"Apropos Sir Walter Raleigh: I have in my head the first verse of a version that mentions him but isn't the Child A version.

I'll try to trace who I heard that from."

Yes, please do.


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Subject: RE: Golden Vanity Variants
From: Richard Mellish
Date: 25 Mar 11 - 08:03 AM

Brian,

Well, I've found the recording that I was looking for. The singer is Roy Harris.

The opening verse is partly but not entirely as I remembered it, and the tune is about the same; so I think what was in my head must have been a blend of his version with at least one other version – not surprising when so many versions have been collected and a good few of them have entered the Revival.

Roy's version starts with
    Sir Walter Raleigh built a ship
    In the Netherlands.
and the ship is the Sweet Trinity, as in Child A.

However this version is substantially different from Child A, so I suspect he put it together on the basis of Child A.

Are you able to contact him to enquire?

Richard


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Subject: RE: Golden Vanity Variants
From: Brian Peters
Date: 25 Mar 11 - 08:06 AM

Funnily enough I spent an afternoon at Roy's house in Cardiff only last Monday. I need to email him to thank him and Elaine for their hospitality, so will ask about that version then. I've probably got that record myself somewhere!


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Subject: RE: Golden Vanity Variants
From: Richard Mellish
Date: 10 Apr 11 - 04:51 PM

Brian said
> I've probably got that record myself somewhere!

There may be a record, but my recording is my own from one of Roy's visits to the Herga Folk Club.

Richard


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Subject: RE: Golden Vanity Variants
From: The Sandman
Date: 10 Apr 11 - 05:44 PM

roy is a member here, name of burl.


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Subject: RE: Golden Vanity Variants
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 10 Apr 11 - 05:48 PM

Roy's version starts with
Sir Walter Raleigh built a ship
In the Netherlands.
and the ship is the Sweet Trinity, as in Child A.

Sounds very like the version sung by John Faulkner and Sandra Kerr on their 'John and Sandra' Argo LP (circa 1969)
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Golden Vanity Variants
From: The Sandman
Date: 10 Apr 11 - 05:52 PM

here is an unusual version, it is a shadow of the original carter family[which seems hard to locate] version however.


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Subject: RE: Golden Vanity Variants
From: The Sandman
Date: 10 Apr 11 - 05:53 PM

er it is
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eydz4l07jl8


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Subject: RE: Golden Vanity Variants
From: The Sandman
Date: 10 Apr 11 - 05:58 PM

this is better
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s-ezyv6Ymuk


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Subject: RE: Golden Vanity Variants
From: The Sandman
Date: 10 Apr 11 - 06:35 PM

raymond crooke [above video] has the balance right between his voice and guitar, furthermore he can project his voice and his diction is good, and he keeps his accompaniment how it should be [accompaniment and simple], so that it does not distract from the singing.


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Subject: RE: Golden Vanity Variants
From: Richard Mellish
Date: 24 Apr 11 - 12:18 PM

Both of those singers spend a lot of time not singing, with just the "accompaniment" going on; which isn't at all my cup of tea. I was about to apologise for serious thread drift, but it occurs to me that the various treatments by different singers emphasise how popular this song still is.

Getting back closer to the subject: the different endings to the story also seem noteworthy.

In some versions, the boy is left in the sea to drown. In some, his messmates rescue him but he then dies on the deck. In some he threatens to sink his own ship, whereupon the captain decides to honour his promises. And there's at least one version where the boy does sink his own ship and somehow (unexplained) survives to reach land and tell his tale, while the captain and the rest of the crew drown.

Brian, Did you find out from Roy about his version? Was it from John Faulkner and Sandra Kerr?

Richard


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Subject: RE: Golden Vanity Variants
From: Brian Peters
Date: 12 May 11 - 05:42 AM

Richard - I finally got round to asking Roy about that version you recorded. He thinks he heard it originally from someone in the Critics Group on a record of sea songs, so your theory might be correct. Roy says that he then went to Child A for a text, remarking that "I couldn't resist a line like 'Shame on you for a cozening Lord'", partly with the aim of creating a version different from the standard ones.

He eventually dropped the song because (I hope he won't mind me quoting him, but I think the point he makes is an important one that should inform all of us singers) "my head was in it, not my heart, never a good reason for singing any song". He also makes some self-deprecatory remarks about the likely quality of the song you have on tape and suggests you should listen to Burl Ives' version instead - but that's Roy. Modest to the last. I bet it's a cracker really.


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Subject: RE: Golden Vanity Variants
From: GUEST,Val bayley
Date: 24 Aug 11 - 12:47 PM

loads of variety, but no last verse, where did I hear this?

well the moral of this tale
It is surely plain to see
before you join the fight identify your enemy
Or you'll end up in that loe and lonesome etc.


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Subject: RE: Golden Vanity Variants
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 24 Aug 11 - 01:57 PM

There are lots of last verses, concluding the story, but this added one of yours sounds like it comes through the filter of a singer who felt the need to draw conclusions. Putting a "moral" on the end of the song may be representative of a certain period in time when morals to stories or songs were popular, so this was added on. You know, a trend, akin to the types of messages you find on historic gravestones or the tendency for novels of a period to all have happy endings or sad endings, depending on the popular or religious sentiment.

SRS


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Subject: RE: Golden Vanity Variants
From: Joe_F
Date: 24 Aug 11 - 08:08 PM

Richard Dyer-Bennet also sings a version (The Golden Vanity this time -- essentially the same as given by Amos 22 Jul 04) on the LP MG 20007 ("Tom Glazer sings Olden Ballads" on one side, "Richard Dyer-Bennet sings Old Ballads" on t'other).


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Subject: RE: Golden Vanity Variants
From: GUEST,Grace
Date: 28 Aug 11 - 09:11 PM

Here's the cool rendition of "The Golden Vanity" by Crooked Still

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H4J9ZV62vBs


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Subject: RE: Golden Vanity Variants
From: Mysha
Date: 28 Aug 11 - 11:59 PM

Hi,

I know of two Dutch translations of Golden Vanity, both by Lennaert Nijgh. However, they are quite different.

One, De Gulden Hoorn (The Golden Horn), among those here, has the boy taking an auger, making 24 holes in the Dunkirk enemy ship while its crew dices and drinks, and after his return being at first refused, but when he threatens the Golden Horn as well and his crew mates threaten to hang the captain, he eventually gets his full reward: Three chests with gold and silver, and the captain's daughter in marriage.

The other, De Noordzee (The North Sea), something like this, has the boy drilling 3 holes in the Spanish enemy ship, and after his return being denied, but eventually rescued by the crew, only to die on the deck and be given back to the sea.

It would be interesting to see where these two fit in; what the English versions were that Nijgh translated from.

Bye
                                                                Mysha


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Subject: RE: Golden Vanity Variants
From: GUEST,Iona
Date: 29 Nov 11 - 01:35 AM

I know of a very admirable version of "The Golden Vanity" done by Tommy Makem in his album The Song Tradition. Makem and Clancy also did this song in their album The Makem and Clancy Collection.


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Subject: RE: Golden Vanity Variants
From: Richie
Date: 09 Jan 14 - 05:55 PM

Hi,

The text with "Sir Walter Raleigh built a ship in the Netherlands" is probably from George Edwards. Edwards sent it in in 1934- it's Flanders F2 version in Ancient Ballads. Edwards grandfather was from the British Isles.

This is his family version. Another completely different version was collected from Edwards by Cazden. So it raises questions about the authenticity of the first text.

Richie


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Subject: RE: Golden Vanity Variants
From: Lighter
Date: 09 Jan 14 - 07:58 PM

One of my favorite folkie versions was done by Rick Lee as "The Merry Golden Tree."


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Subject: RE: Golden Vanity Variants
From: Richie
Date: 09 Jan 14 - 10:28 PM

This is evidently traditional from Granny Baird, Mo. pre1924 Lane/Hudson/Randolph B

Then says Sir Raleigh, what will we do?
Oh the lowland, lonesome sea,
The Turkish Robbery it will cut us in two,
As she sailed on the lowland lonesome low,
As we sail on the lonesome sea.

Richie


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Subject: RE: Golden Vanity Variants
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 10 Jan 14 - 12:44 AM

Sinsull mentioned the version that John Roberts sings. I was just enjoying it recently, from his CD, "Sea Fever, Songs of Ships and the Sea" GHM-108 (2007) http://www.goldenhindmusic.com/. Here are the notes and lyrics from that site.

~ Becky in Long Beach

The Weeping Willow Tree

The Weeping Willow Tree was given to the Vermont collector Helen Hartness Flanders by Lena Bourne "Grammy" Fish of E. Jaffrey, NH. Since this version of The Golden Vanity has a twist in the tail, folklorists have suggested that Mrs. Fish rewrote the ending. I learned it from my dear friend the late Margaret MacArthur of Marlboro, VT.

A sailing ship was fashioned to sail the southern seas
    Down in the Lowlands low,
She was handsome, she was tall, and as trim as trim could be
The name of the ship was the Weeping Willow Tree
    This ship built in the Lowlands, Lowlands low,
    Born to ride the waves, hi, ho.

Her crew were hearty seamen, as brave as brave could be
    Lads from the Lowlands low,
Her decks were broad and wide, and as white as white could be
And on her sail was printed a weeping willow tree
    In this ship built in the Lowlands, Lowlands low,
    Born to ride the waves, hi, ho.

This worthy ship was chosen to sail the Spanish Main
    Far from the Lowlands low,
Our captain he was shrewd, he was also proud and vain
And he hoped by his shrewd dealings a fortune for to gain
    In this ship built in the Lowlands, Lowlands low,
    Born to ride the waves, hi, ho.

As our ship was sailing all on the southern seas
    Far from the Lowlands low,
We met a Spanish ship called the Royal Castilee
And they jeered at the crew of the Weeping Willow Tree
    This ship built in the Lowlands, Lowlands low,
    Born to ride the waves, hi, ho.

The captain called his cabin boy, as he had done before,
    A lad from the Lowlands low,
He said, Boy, you can swim, and your stroke is swift and sure
That sassy Spanish ship, she'll never reach the shore
    You'll sink her in the ocean low, low, low,
    You'll sink her in the ocean low.

In your hand you'll take an augur, and swim to her side
    For we're from the Lowlands low,
And there you'll bore a hole, and you'll bore it deep and wide
For five hundred pounds in gold and to be first mate besides
    You'll sink her in the ocean low, low, low,
    You'll sink her in the ocean low.

So that was the end of the Royal Castilee
    She sank in the ocean low,
Her lofty sails so high and her haughty air so free
They were buried in the depths of the raging southern sea
    We sunk her in the ocean low, low, low,
    We sunk her in the ocean low.

The cabin boy exclaimed, Sir, I now demand my fee
    You knave from the Lowlands low,
Five hundred pounds in gold you now must give to me
And I also am first mate of the Weeping Willow Tree
    This ship built in the Lowlands, Lowlands low,
    Born to ride the waves, hi, ho.

You'll get no gold from me, boy, for causing this wreck
    You thief from the Lowlands low,
And he took the cabin boy by the nap of the neck
And he threw him overboard from the Weeping Willow's deck
    He threw him in the ocean low, low, low,
    He threw him in the ocean low.

Ah, but he still carried the augur as he had done before
    The lad from the Lowlands low,
His heart was full of vengeance and his stroke was swift and sure
Instead of boring one hole, he bored twenty-four
    In that ship built in the Lowlands, Lowlands low,
    Born to ride the waves, hi, ho.

This ship was two hundred leagues from the shore
    Far from the Lowlands low,
The captain and his crew they never reached the shore
And the wilds seemed to say, Fare thee well for evermore
    To that ship built in the Lowlands, Lowlands low,
    Born to ride the waves, hi, ho.

But one brave hearty seaman escaped the raging sea
    'Twas the lad from the Lowlands low,
He was picked up by a ship, so it has been told to me
And he told to us the tale of the Weeping Willow Tree
    That ship built in the Lowlands, Lowlands low,
    Born to ride the waves, hi, ho.


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Mudcat time: 16 September 5:57 PM EDT

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