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Barbara Allen

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BARBARA ALLEN
BARBARA ALLEN (2)
BARBARA ALLEN (5)
BARBARA ELLEN (3)
BAWBEE ALLAN


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The Sandman 10 May 20 - 04:35 AM
The Sandman 10 May 20 - 04:49 AM
GUEST 10 May 20 - 06:08 AM
Steve Gardham 10 May 20 - 06:30 AM
Steve Gardham 10 May 20 - 06:34 AM
Jim Carroll 10 May 20 - 07:17 AM
The Sandman 10 May 20 - 07:36 AM
Vic Smith 10 May 20 - 08:11 AM
GUEST,henryp 10 May 20 - 08:21 AM
Jim Carroll 10 May 20 - 08:34 AM
Jim Carroll 10 May 20 - 08:42 AM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 10 May 20 - 12:40 PM
The Sandman 10 May 20 - 01:10 PM
Jim Carroll 10 May 20 - 02:50 PM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 10 May 20 - 06:40 PM
Tony Rees 11 May 20 - 01:18 AM
The Sandman 11 May 20 - 03:30 AM
The Sandman 11 May 20 - 03:39 AM
The Sandman 11 May 20 - 03:44 AM
The Sandman 11 May 20 - 03:54 AM
The Sandman 11 May 20 - 04:09 AM
The Sandman 11 May 20 - 04:12 AM
The Sandman 11 May 20 - 04:14 AM
The Sandman 11 May 20 - 04:25 AM
The Sandman 11 May 20 - 04:26 AM
The Sandman 11 May 20 - 04:46 AM
GUEST,Gerry 11 May 20 - 05:29 AM
Vic Smith 11 May 20 - 07:25 AM
The Sandman 11 May 20 - 08:24 AM
The Sandman 11 May 20 - 08:34 AM
Vic Smith 11 May 20 - 09:38 AM
Ross Campbell 13 May 20 - 08:03 PM
The Sandman 14 May 20 - 02:04 AM
Richard Mellish 14 May 20 - 04:39 AM
Vic Smith 14 May 20 - 06:29 AM
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Subject: Barbara Allen
From: The Sandman
Date: 10 May 20 - 04:35 AM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CsJNCJUU4rE
Pepys described this song as an old Scotch ballad


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Subject: RE: Barbara Allen
From: The Sandman
Date: 10 May 20 - 04:49 AM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V_PoPY-mDpA a different version


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Subject: RE: Barbara Allen
From: GUEST
Date: 10 May 20 - 06:08 AM

I believe that in the days of Pepys anything from north of London could be described as 'Scottish'.


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Subject: RE: Barbara Allen
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 10 May 20 - 06:30 AM

Not quite, GUEST.
The specific word used was always 'Scotch'. Otherwise you are correct.

In the 17th/18th centuries many stage songs were written and performed in a pseudo rustic/provincial style,(think Oirish) and much of the flowery stuff was written in mild pseudo-Scottish and referred to as 'Scotch'. Unfortunately for researchers a lot of the mush was adopted by Scots themselves and printed in such as Ramsay's tea-table Miscellany in the 1730s.


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Subject: RE: Barbara Allen
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 10 May 20 - 06:34 AM

As far as I can make out there were 2 distinct versions of BA on the go in London in the 17th century. The well printed 'Scarlet Town' version I personally think is not the one, Mrs Knipp performed. I think she more likely sang the slightly more flowery 'Sir John Graeme' version printed by Ramsay a few decades later. This would better qualify for the descriptor 'Scotch'. But as they say, currently I have no proof of this, just a hunch.


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Subject: RE: Barbara Allen
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 10 May 20 - 07:17 AM

We know for certain that these ballads have been around for a lot longer than people have formerly suggested - all Pepys's statement proves is that Bab's was an old lady at the time of the Great Fire of London
I'm just trying to (carefully) scan the fascination dissertation on the old songs and legends from our crumbly 2nd edition of Wedderburn's Complaynt of Scotland for a friend and am struck by actually how long these motifs have been around 'The Frog and the Mouse' was a comparative youngster
There is not the slightest reason why Barbara Allen should not have originated in Svotland - or France, or Norway, or even ancient Greece
Dying for love obviously pre-dates Orpheus - why should not the song
Jim


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Subject: RE: Barbara Allen
From: The Sandman
Date: 10 May 20 - 07:36 AM

I first heard this song as a child in the fifties a cleaner woman who was irish used to sing it while working.
i dont know its exact origin, the versions i sing use the word ken which is a scottish dialect word


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Subject: RE: Barbara Allen
From: Vic Smith
Date: 10 May 20 - 08:11 AM

This is the start of a review which I wrote in 2006 If you want to read it in its entirety, you will have to follow this link to https://www.mustrad.org.uk/reviews/rumscum.htm

"When I first got involved with folk songs, I wasn't really sure what I was looking for. I knew what I didn't want; I didn't want to hear any schoolmarmy voices singing the likes of:

    In Scarlet Town where I was born.
    There was a fair maid dwelling,
    Made every youth cry, "Well-a-day".
    Her name was Barbara Allen.

"Whatever happens", I can remember saying to myself, "I will never want to sing Barbara Allen." That opinion lasted until the opening concert of the TMSA festival in Kinross in 1970. I watched as a young red-haired man was introduced. He looked at the audience with his serious eyes and started singing:

    It fell aboot last Martinmas time
    When the green leaves were doon-falling
    Sir John the Graeme frae the North Country
    Fell in love wi' Barbaree Ellen.

I was utterly captivated by the power, timelessness and majesty of the expressive singing. I knew by the time that he had finished the first verse that I wanted to learn that version and that here was an utterly compelling singer. This was the first time that I heard Stanley Robertson. If I had known that I was going to be listening to the nephew of Jeannie Robertson; the cousin of Lizzie Higgins, my expectations might have been higher, but I don't think I knew that until after I had heard him."


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Subject: RE: Barbara Allen
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 10 May 20 - 08:21 AM

Dick, d'ye ken John Peel? From around 1824.


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Subject: RE: Barbara Allen
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 10 May 20 - 08:34 AM

The ballad is timeless and has no boundaries
CLARE VERSION

Peggy Seeger's father Charles made an extensive study of it's history and tunes and issued an album of 31 variants- my personal favourites being the first by I N Marlor, Boyd's Cove, NC and the last by black Texas convict, Moses 'Clear Rock' Platt
The notes of the Library of Congress albums are usually available for free download from Smithsonian should anybody be interested
Jim


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Subject: RE: Barbara Allen
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 10 May 20 - 08:42 AM

Don't know if it's temporary, but the notes are no longer available for the album, but Seeger's study can be found elsewhere
There's also masses of information on the incredibly helpful 'Bluegrass Messenger' site
Jim


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Subject: RE: Barbara Allen
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 10 May 20 - 12:40 PM

I agree that the word 'ken' is not solely or necessarily Scottish.


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Subject: RE: Barbara Allen
From: The Sandman
Date: 10 May 20 - 01:10 PM

pseud and henry p,i have only heard it used in recent times by scottish people, it is certainly not a london expression or an east anglian or midland expession, do you ken john peel was a cumberland hunting song. it indicates that it was a border expression?


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Subject: RE: Barbara Allen
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 10 May 20 - 02:50 PM

It's a Northern expression too Dick - and Cunberland
D'ye ken John Peel
Jim


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Subject: RE: Barbara Allen
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 10 May 20 - 06:40 PM

It comes from old English/Norse.


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Subject: RE: Barbara Allen
From: Tony Rees
Date: 11 May 20 - 01:18 AM

This song was still being sung in the oral tradition in Australia in the 1990s, in the repertoire of the Bobbin family of Eden, New South Wales, who cut timber from the forests for many generations:

John Meredith recording Carrie Milliner (1993)

- Tony


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Subject: RE: Barbara Allen
From: The Sandman
Date: 11 May 20 - 03:30 AM

interesting to see John Meredith. Carrie used little ornamentation in her style


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Subject: RE: Barbara Allen
From: The Sandman
Date: 11 May 20 - 03:39 AM

>https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NqHJ4V893e0


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Subject: RE: Barbara Allen
From: The Sandman
Date: 11 May 20 - 03:44 AM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sgP3xoOrJic


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Subject: RE: Barbara Allen
From: The Sandman
Date: 11 May 20 - 03:54 AM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tzgTZ6v4P6s sarah makem


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Subject: RE: Barbara Allen
From: The Sandman
Date: 11 May 20 - 04:09 AM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9WjccsBqoGE jean redpath


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Subject: RE: Barbara Allen
From: The Sandman
Date: 11 May 20 - 04:12 AM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rs-A0tIsrjg Ewan MacColl


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Subject: RE: Barbara Allen
From: The Sandman
Date: 11 May 20 - 04:14 AM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NqHJ4V893e0 JOAN BAEZ


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Subject: RE: Barbara Allen
From: The Sandman
Date: 11 May 20 - 04:25 AM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7o5Lm1b8KGY JOE HEANEY


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Subject: RE: Barbara Allen
From: The Sandman
Date: 11 May 20 - 04:26 AM

I prefer joe heaneys version to any of the other trad singers and to Ewan MacColls


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Subject: RE: Barbara Allen
From: The Sandman
Date: 11 May 20 - 04:46 AM

Sarah makem had an interesting version too


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Subject: RE: Barbara Allen
From: GUEST,Gerry
Date: 11 May 20 - 05:29 AM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NPG6gVnhZeY Art Thieme (Cowboy's Barbara Allen).


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Subject: RE: Barbara Allen
From: Vic Smith
Date: 11 May 20 - 07:25 AM

I could put up the recorded version that I have of Gordon Hall's version of Barbara Allen but some of the contributors here are getting on on years and might not live to hear all of it.....


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Subject: RE: Barbara Allen
From: The Sandman
Date: 11 May 20 - 08:24 AM

i prefer joan baez or burlives version to art thieme no offence to any mudcatters
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QTg1zOzij4I


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Subject: RE: Barbara Allen
From: The Sandman
Date: 11 May 20 - 08:34 AM

put it up vic, please it might be shorter than his.version of lord randall


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Subject: RE: Barbara Allen
From: Vic Smith
Date: 11 May 20 - 09:38 AM

I have recorded versions of both, Dick, and can tell you that his Lord Randall is a mere fragment in comparison.


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Subject: RE: Barbara Allen
From: Ross Campbell
Date: 13 May 20 - 08:03 PM

Matthew Wilson has put up (on Soundcloud) a huge collection of his family's recordings going back decades. Search for "Knight, Briggs et al". There are gems in that collection.

Among them is this version of Barbara Allen, by my old friend Andrew Knight (RIP). I haven't been able to identify the source of this variation which unusually has a refrain. Any suggestions would be welcome.

Ross

https://soundcloud.com/knight-briggs-et-al/andrew-knight-barbara-ellen


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Subject: RE: Barbara Allen
From: The Sandman
Date: 14 May 20 - 02:04 AM

thanks i remember andrew knight and also his father who was always at whitby recording everything in the singarounds, thanks


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Subject: RE: Barbara Allen
From: Richard Mellish
Date: 14 May 20 - 04:39 AM

Yes Vic, do please put that one up. Gordon Hall is always worth hearing.


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Subject: RE: Barbara Allen
From: Vic Smith
Date: 14 May 20 - 06:29 AM

Richard - you make me feel guilty. I have over 100 recordings of Gordon to digitise and ad to the Sussex Traditions database but other projects -my own and commissions - keep coming to the top of my 'to do' list
In the meantime, could I refer you to the 242 items - articles, recordings, references etc. that you can find on the SxT database at https://sussextraditions.org/collection/page/24/?search_query=gordon%20hall


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