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John Riley

DigiTrad:
FAIR MAID WALKING
GEORGE REILLY (6)
JOHN RALLY
JOHN REILLY
JOHN RILEY
THE YOUNG AND SINGLE SAILOR


Related threads:
(origins) Origins: John Riley (5)
Lyr/Chords Req: John Riley (Tim O'Brien) (10)
Chords Req: John Riley (O'Brien/Clark) (4)


Lonesome EJ 23 Nov 99 - 01:18 PM
Ed Pellow 23 Nov 99 - 01:37 PM
Marion 23 Nov 99 - 01:44 PM
dick greenhaus 23 Nov 99 - 04:22 PM
Betty 23 Nov 99 - 04:22 PM
Susanne (skw) 23 Nov 99 - 07:33 PM
Lonesome EJ 24 Nov 99 - 01:28 AM
Alan of Australia 24 Nov 99 - 07:15 AM
Frank Hamilton 24 Nov 99 - 11:34 AM
Steve 24 Nov 99 - 03:28 PM
Susanne (skw) 24 Nov 99 - 06:48 PM
Susan of DT 25 Nov 99 - 05:25 PM
lamarca 26 Nov 99 - 10:56 AM
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Subject: John Riley
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 23 Nov 99 - 01:18 PM

Looking for the lyrics and any other background info on a traditional(I think) song called John Riley. A search of the data base revealed a same-named song that had been done by Pete Seeger, but the lyrics are not what I remember. I have heard the version I am thinking of done by the Byrds, and I believe by Joan Baez. First line is "Fair young Maid, all in her garden
Strange young man came riding by..."


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Subject: RE: John Riley
From: Ed Pellow
Date: 23 Nov 99 - 01:37 PM

If you search the database for John Reilly you'll find what you're looking for

Ed


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Subject: RE: John Riley
From: Marion
Date: 23 Nov 99 - 01:44 PM

For what it's worth, the lyrics and chords to John Riley (the way Joan Baez sang it, at least) are in the "Ballads and Old Songs" section of Rise Up Singing. I don't remember how it was titled in the book, or if it listed a Child ballad number.

Marion

PS. I find that song very moving. This is because the man I love has, as the song says, "found another love, and he and his love both [living together] be", and I aspire to be able to "wish them health and happiness where they live across the sea."

I remember someone else started a thread asking how to heal a broken heart, and somebody suggested that she should sing the songs our ancestors sang about the same struggles. This was good advice; singing John Riley has given me insight into how deep love can be, and how loving somebody is not so much about wanting them for yourselves as about desiring their well-being....

Mushy today, Marion


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Subject: RE: John Riley
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 23 Nov 99 - 04:22 PM

Hint. DON'T try to look things up by proper names. There are too many variations. You're much better off with a phrase or even some odd words from the song.


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Subject: RE: John Riley
From: Betty
Date: 23 Nov 99 - 04:22 PM

That is a lovely thought, Marion, and good advice as well.


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Subject: RE: John Riley
From: Susanne (skw)
Date: 23 Nov 99 - 07:33 PM

I have the song as sung by Joan Baez, but I've also got something called John Riley which is more of a drinking song, with a much livelier tune. The only line I can remember just now is 'Your honour John Riley is dry' and demanding a beaker of ale or something from his love. Has anyone heard of this song? - Susanne


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Subject: RE: John Riley
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 24 Nov 99 - 01:28 AM

Thanks, found the lyrics in the Database. Was this a Child Ballad? What I love about this story/song is what is not said- John's testing of his Love to see if she has been and will remain true to him, her determination that she will. Does she in fact recognize him? And then the surprise happy ending when we discover that the "strange young man" is in fact John. Like most excellent traditional songs it has the essential elements: a beautiful melody and a great story.

Oh, and Marion- Whatever happens I hope your story has an ending as happy.


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Subject: RE: John Riley
From: Alan of Australia
Date: 24 Nov 99 - 07:15 AM

G'day,
It's not a Child ballad, but there are many very similar songs of the broken token variety. If you're wondering, it's not at all strange that she doesn't recognize him - if he goes to sea as a puny 16 year old & returns 7 years later as a brawny weatherbeaten seaman with a big bushy beard. (And a girl in every port).

Cheers,
Alan


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Subject: RE: John Riley
From: Frank Hamilton
Date: 24 Nov 99 - 11:34 AM

It's interesting to note that this legend goes back to 1600's in China. The Field Museum in Chicago has an exposition of Chinese clothing in which the characters of the John Riley story are depicted. The man returns from the wars to test the fidelity of his intended.

One of my fave versions is Pete Seeger's on the 10" LP Darlin' Corey which needs to be released as a CD by Folksays/Smithsonian.

Frank


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Subject: RE: John Riley
From: Steve
Date: 24 Nov 99 - 03:28 PM

the very fine English singer Steve Knightley sings a version of John Riley to a different tune and with an intriguing twist at the end, it is recorded on an albun called Folk Music by Show of Hands


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Subject: RE: John Riley
From: Susanne (skw)
Date: 24 Nov 99 - 06:48 PM

And Tony Cuffe sings the version I like best - not of John Riley as such, but the 'testing' situation - where in the end the guy reveals himself and the girl tells him to sod off because he's dared to doubt her. Very sensible course!

BTW: Any ideas on my earlier posting? I'm still hoping. - Susanne


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Subject: RE: John Riley
From: Susan of DT
Date: 25 Nov 99 - 05:25 PM

a search for @token will give you 28 songs. if we are missing any of your favorites, post them.


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Subject: RE: John Riley
From: lamarca
Date: 26 Nov 99 - 10:56 AM

KathWestra led a workshop at NOMAD called "The Infamous Broken Token", where we all did versions of the song format; some serious, but mostly parodies. The songs sung were:

KathWestra: The Piano Leg - by Biggs Tinker and John "Broken-token" Riley - by Sara Newcomb and ?

Judy Cook: The Dark-eyed Sailor - trad., Vermont

Caroline Paton: The Plains of Waterloo(?) and Hind Horn - trad, Newfoundland

Mike Agranoff: an enormously complex ballad involving multiple lovers and broken tokens (including a NY subway token) and transvestites, written by Mike Agranoff

George Stephens: That's the Ticket - Art Thieme

Mary LaMarca: Hind Horn - trad., England and Roger and Nancy - Les Barker

We didn't even get to Claudy Banks, Angus Hempstead or an actual version of John Riley...A silly and good time was had by all!


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