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Origins: The Green Linnet

Joe Offer 07 Jun 20 - 12:22 AM
Joe Offer 07 Jun 20 - 12:25 AM
Steve Gardham 07 Jun 20 - 06:20 AM
JeffB 07 Jun 20 - 08:14 AM
GUEST,Peter Laban 07 Jun 20 - 08:53 AM
An Buachaill Caol Dubh 07 Jun 20 - 09:31 AM
Steve Gardham 07 Jun 20 - 04:10 PM
Lighter 08 Jun 20 - 12:21 PM
GUEST,Gordon Tyrrall 08 Jun 20 - 04:12 PM
Reinhard 09 Jun 20 - 02:43 AM
Jim Carroll 09 Jun 20 - 03:04 AM
Lighter 09 Jun 20 - 07:30 AM
Mr Red 09 Jun 20 - 07:49 AM
An Buachaill Caol Dubh 09 Jun 20 - 07:57 AM
JeffB 10 Jun 20 - 01:25 PM
An Buachaill Caol Dubh 10 Jun 20 - 02:00 PM
An Buachaill Caol Dubh 10 Jun 20 - 02:02 PM
Reinhard 10 Jun 20 - 02:20 PM
An Buachaill Caol Dubh 10 Jun 20 - 02:50 PM
JeffB 10 Jun 20 - 05:34 PM
An Buachaill Caol Dubh 11 Jun 20 - 11:00 AM
JeffB 14 Jun 20 - 07:05 AM
Jim Carroll 14 Jun 20 - 07:20 AM
Jim Carroll 14 Jun 20 - 07:21 AM
GUEST,Peter Laban 14 Jun 20 - 07:21 AM
GUEST 14 Jun 20 - 11:49 AM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 14 Jun 20 - 12:04 PM
JeffB 14 Jun 20 - 12:19 PM
An Buachaill Caol Dubh 15 Jun 20 - 11:35 AM
GUEST,Peter Laban 16 Jun 20 - 04:30 PM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 18 Jun 20 - 03:20 AM
leeneia 19 Jun 20 - 01:46 PM
An Buachaill Caol Dubh 19 Jun 20 - 02:56 PM
GUEST,Chris Wright 19 Jun 20 - 04:38 PM
GUEST,Gordon Tyrrall 20 Jun 20 - 03:41 AM
JeffB 20 Jun 20 - 08:27 AM
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Subject: Origins: The Green Linnet
From: Joe Offer
Date: 07 Jun 20 - 12:22 AM

Somebody sang this tonight, and I can't say I know anything about it. But Reinhard has it at Mainly Norfolk:

Lyrics
Dick Gaughan sings The Green Linnet

THE GREEN LINNET

Curiosity led a young native of Erin
For to view the lone banks of the Rhine
Where an empress he saw and the robe that she was wearing
All over with diamonds did shine
No goddess in splendour was ever yet seen
To equal this fair maid so mild and serene
In soft murmurs she cried, “Oh, my linnet so green
Sweet Boney, will I ne'er see you more”

The cold frosty Alps you did freely pass over
Which nature had placed in your way
At Marengo, Beltona around you did hover
All Paris rejoiced the next day
It grieved me the hardships you did undergo
The mountains that you travelled all covered with snow
But the balance of power your courage laid low
Sweet Boney, will I ne'er see you more

The crowned heads of Europe they were in great splendour
And they swore they would have you submit
But the goddess of freedom soon had them surrender
And they lowered their standards to your wit
Old Frederik's colours to France he did bring
His offspring found shelter under your wing
That year at Vienna you so sweetly did sing
Sweet Boney, will I ne'er see you more

What numbers of men there were eager to slay you
Their malice you viewed with a smile
Their gold through all Europe was found to betray you
They joined with the Mamelukes on the Nile
Like ravenous vultures their vile passions did burn
The orphan they slew and caused the widow to mourn
But my linnet he is gone and he never will return
Sweet Boney, will I ne'er see you more

I have roamed through the deserts of wild Abyssinia
And could yet find no cure for my pain
I will go and enquire at the isle of Saint Helena
But soft whispers murmur, “'tis vain”
Come tell me ye muses, come tell me in time
What nations I must rove my green linnet to find
Was he slain at Waterloo in France or on the Rhine?
No—he's dead on St Helena's bleak shore


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Green Linnet
From: Joe Offer
Date: 07 Jun 20 - 12:25 AM

Green Linnet, The

DESCRIPTION: "Curiosity bore a young native of Erin To view the gay banks of the Rhine" where he sees a "young empress" looking for her "green linnet." She recounts his exploits and says she will search until she finds him
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: before 1839 (broadside, Bodleian Johnson Ballads 227); c.1830 (Zimmermann)
KEYWORDS: Napoleon love separation bird
HISTORICAL REFERENCES:
1769 - Birth of Napoleon Bonaparte
1798 - Napoleon's Egyptian campaign. When his fleet is destroyed at the Battle of the Nile, he is forced to abandon the troops there
1809 - Napoleon divorces his first wife Josephine; he marries Maria Louisa of Austria in 1810
1814 - Napoleon exiled to Elba
June 18, 1815 - Battle of Waterloo
1821 - Death of Napoleon on Saint Helena
FOUND IN: Canada(Newf,Ont) Ireland
REFERENCES (9 citations):
Huntington-Whalemen, pp. 211-214, "The Green Linnet" (1 text, 1 tune)
Peacock, pp. 458-460, "The Green Linnet" (1 text, 1 tune)
AbbottFowkeEtAl 45, "The Green Linnet" (1 text, 1 tune)
O'Conor, pp. 10-11, "The Green Linnet" (1 text)
Zimmermann 30, "The Green Linnet" (2 texts, 1 tune)
Moylan 201, "The Green Linnet" (1 text, 1 tune)
OCroinin-Cronin 140, "Sweet Boney Will I E'er See You More" (4 texts, 1 tune)
WolfAmericanSongSheets, #826, p. 55, "The Green Linnet" (2 references)
DT, GRENLINN*

Roud #1619
RECORDINGS:
O. J. Abbott, "The Green Linnet" (on Abbott1)
Elizabeth Cronin, "Sweet Boney Will I E'er See You More" (on IRECronin01)

BROADSIDES:
Bodleian, Johnson Ballads 227, "Maria Louisa Lamentation. The Green Linnet," J. Catnach (London), 1813-1838; also Harding B 11(2326), Harding B 11(2327)[some illegible words], Harding B 11(3877), "Maria Louisas Lamentation"; Harding B 11(934), "Maria Louisa's Lamentation for the Green Linnet"; Harding B 25(1217)[largely illegible], "Maria Louisa's Lamentation"; Harding B 11(1421), 2806 b.11(72), 2806 c.17(158), 2806 c.18(134), "The Green Linnet" ("Curiosity bore a young native of Erin")
LOCSinging, as104930, "The Green Linnet," J. Andrews (New York), 1853-1859

CROSS-REFERENCES:
cf. "The Royal Eagle" (theme: Napoleon)
NOTES [315 words]: This song is curiously confused. The speaker seems to be Maria Louisa of Austria, Napoleon's second wife (it can hardly be his first wife Josephine; she died before Waterloo) -- but surely she would know her husband's career better than she seems to.
This apart from the fact that theirs was a political marriage, and neither party seems to have had any real affection for the other. (Napoleon died with the name of his first wife Josephine on his lips, and Maria Louisa, once Napoleon was exiled, quickly became involved with other men.)
The green linnet as a symbol for Irish nationalism occurs in "The Green Linnet" (where it may refer to Napoleon, or perhaps his son) and "Erin's Green Linnet" (where Daniel O'Connell seems to be the subject). The reason for this is not obvious, unless it has something to do with the linnet's reputation as a fine singer. - RBW
The ballad is recorded on one of the CD's issued around the time of the bicentenial of the 1798 Irish Rebellion. See:
Franke Harte and Donal Lunny, "The Green Linnet" (on Franke Harte and Donal Lunny, "My Name is Napoleon Bonaparte," Hummingbird Records HBCD0027 (2001))
Harte on the bird theme here: "The Irish have throughout history attributed the names of animals, and of birds in particular, to their various leaders... During the Jacobite period the Stuart Pretender was known as the 'Royal Blackbird' [a symbol of course shared by the Scots - RBW], Dan O'Connell was known as the 'Kerry Eagle,' and Charles Stewart Parnell was known as the 'Blackbird of Avondale;' so that it would not be strange for an Irish singer to find Napoleon Bonaparte referred to as the 'Royal Eagle,' or as in this song, the 'Green Linnet.'"
Broadside LOCSinging as104930: J. Andrews dating per Studying Nineteenth-Century Popular Song by Paul Charosh in American Music, Winter 1997, Vol 15.4, Table 1, available at FindArticles site. - BS
Last updated in version 5.1
File: SWMS211

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The Ballad Index Copyright 2020 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Green Linnet
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 07 Jun 20 - 06:20 AM

Hi Joe,
I can take it back to 1832 as it's listed in Catnach's catalogue of that year. However at the BL there is 'The Green Linnet' printed at Belfast in 1828. I haven't got a copy yet but its ref is BL 1078 k.5.40.

There are other 'Green Linnets' but these are later (one printed by Glasgow Poet's Box in 1852, and another by P. Hanley in 1883) however I think it very likely that the Belfast printing is our song.

Zimmerman c1830, broadside by W Kelly of Waterford you already have.

Keep safe
Steve


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Green Linnet
From: JeffB
Date: 07 Jun 20 - 08:14 AM

The speaker is, I’m pretty sure, one of the many young Irishmen known as the Wild Geese who enlisted into the French army in the belief that Bonaparte was at heart a revolutionary who would eventually liberate Ireland from British rule.

Events in the song are not chronological. The Mamelukes were defeated at the Battle of the Pyramids in 1798. Marengo was in 1800 in northern Italy against the Austrians. Old Frederick is probably Frederick William III of Prussia, who was soundly defeated at Jena in 1806. However, the royal family were not ‘sheltered’ by Bonaparte but fled to Russia. Vienna was taken in late 1805, not 1806 as the song says.

‘Beltona’ should perhaps be ‘Bellona’, goddess of war.

In his book ‘The Green Linnet’ Peter Wood says that Bonaparte was so-called because he habitually wore a green coat.

I think it was Kevin Conneff who sang some verses of the song on the Chieftains ‘Bonaparte’s Retreat’.


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Green Linnet
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 07 Jun 20 - 08:53 AM

I think it was Kevin Conneff who sang some verses of the song on the Chieftains ‘Bonaparte’s Retreat’.

It was Dolores Keane


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Green Linnet
From: An Buachaill Caol Dubh
Date: 07 Jun 20 - 09:31 AM

"Old Frederick" is Frederick the Great ("Alte Fritz"), and together with the colours taken at Jena and Auerstadt, Napoleon brought Frederick's sword to France. The line about "children" is metaphorical, and I would guess that it refers either to the conquered people of Prussia itself (now under Enlightened protection,you see) or to The Confederation of the Rhine, Napoleon's bringing numerous minor Germanic princedoms and little kingdoms into one state. Pretty much the same thing, though not all the population would have thanked Napoleon and "The Goddess of Freedom".

Those who were "eager to slay" Napoleon included not just the crowned heads of Europe but the oligarchy of the British State; hence the reference to "their gold through all Europe", and indeed their joining with the Mamluks, though this would be a conflation of the Battle of the Pyramids with the Battle of Alexandria, and presumably the [naval] Battle of the Nile. Since throughout the various Coalitions - against Revolutionary France and then the Napoleonic Empire and then Napoleon personally - Britain provided financial contributions to the Continental Powers for these to keep soldiers in the field, it could be argued that the exploited "lower orders" of Britain and of India, together with the slaves of the West Indies, provided the money to put the "lower orders" and serfs of Europe to war against the French Army and State, so that the citoyens of France could be returned to the condition they had endured before the Revolution. The song's reference to the Goddess of Freedom is pointed.

Perhaps the "Empress" might have sought Boney in South America, at least in spirit.


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Green Linnet
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 07 Jun 20 - 04:10 PM

There are numerous printings by Catnach and Pitts on the Bodl.site but none of them can definitely be dated earlier than the above 1828.


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Green Linnet
From: Lighter
Date: 08 Jun 20 - 12:21 PM

Dolores Keane's performance is a good example of how music can transform a pompous text into something splendid.


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Green Linnet
From: GUEST,Gordon Tyrrall
Date: 08 Jun 20 - 04:12 PM

It's a magnificent song. I think Tim Lyons made one of the first recordings of it, and Dick Gaughan took his superb version from him. If you have evidence of the song from 1828 you're not going to find anything much earlier,obviously. I uploaded my own version to the Covideo facebook site a few weeks ago - to resounding indifference! Never mind. It doesnt seem pompous to me - remembering the words I find quite easy because of the powerful imagery. I was very interested to read some of this here about the song too. Yes "old Frederick" is Fred the Great and the way the song begins echoes a common theme in Napoleonic ballads - the Bonny Bunch of Roses does the same thing - but weren't the Wild Geese from an earlier time (17th or 18th century)? Nevertheless - very interesting that a song like this,championing Bonaparte, had such popular support,even in Ireland. By the time of his death, most people were disillusioned about his liberal motives.


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Green Linnet
From: Reinhard
Date: 09 Jun 20 - 02:43 AM

O.J. Abbott from Hull, Quebec, sang The Green Linnet to Canadian folklorist Edith Fowke in 1957. This recording was included in 1961 on his Folkways album Irish and British Songs from the Ottawa Valley. Edith Fowke noted:

This is one of the many broadside ballads about Napoleon that circulated in Ireland shortly after Waterloo. As in most of them, the Irish sympathy is obviously with Napoleon: his English conquerors were even less popular than usual while the memory of the great 1798 rebellion was still green.

The romantic theme is historically unjustified for Napoleon's first wife, the Empress Josephine, had died before him; in any case, she had been far from a devoted wife, and Napoleon had had their marriage annulled in 1809. His second Empress, Marie Louise, whom he married in 1810, abandoned him in 1814. This was another of the songs learned from Mrs O'Malley.

O.J. Abbott sings The Green Linnet

Curiosity bore a young native of Erin
To view the gay banks of the Rhine,
When an Empress he saw, and the robe that she was wearing,
All over with diamonds did shine.
No goddess of splendour was ever yet seen
That could equal this fair one, so mild and serene.
In soft murmurs she says, “My linnet so green,
Are you gone, will I e'er see thee more?

“The cold lofty Alps you freely went over,
Which nature had placed in your way;
That Marengo Saloney around you did hover
All Paris rejoiced the next day.
It grieves me the hardships that you did undergo;
Over mountains you travelled all covered with snow;
The balance of power your courage laid low;
Are you gone, will I e'er see thee more?

“That numbers of men are eager to slay you,
Their malice you view'd with a smile;
Their gold through all Europe they sowed to betray you,
And joined with the Mamelukes on the Nile.
Like ravens for blood their vile passions did burn;
Orphans they slain and left widows for to mourn.
They say my linnet's gone; will he ever return?
Oh, sweet Boney, will I ever see you more?

“I will roam through the deserts of wild Abyssinia,
And yet find no cure for my pain.
Will I go and inquire at the isle of St. Helena?
Oh, no, we will whisper in vain.
Tell me, ye critics, oh tell to me in time,
Or this world I'll range over my green linnet for to find.
Was he slain at Waterloo, the Elba, on the Rhine?
If he was I shall ne'er see him more.”


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Green Linnet
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 09 Jun 20 - 03:04 AM

I don't believe the text to pe particularly 'pompous' - it iis very much in the style of the 'praise poets' who flourished in Ireland in the 18th and first half of the 19th centuries - there are books of the stuff - 'Songs of the Muster Poets' being typical
Many of the songs were translated from the Irish - few of them translated well (I am told - I don't have Irish), but they hang together perfectly in their native tongue
This may have been made "in the style of" rather than an established poet
I very much doubt if it fell within the abilities of a Hack - (a poor poet under pressure) - they had neither the time nor the talent

I was interested when our late friend, P. J. Crotty, the Clare flute player decided to put it on his C.D. not long before he died
He had played it for as long as we knew him but he wanted to listen carefully to it being sung by a good singer "So I can get the phrasing right"
Jim


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Green Linnet
From: Lighter
Date: 09 Jun 20 - 07:30 AM

Did Dolores Keane get the song from the Abbott recording?


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Green Linnet
From: Mr Red
Date: 09 Jun 20 - 07:49 AM

I was told that Irish songs with the word linnet in, were often references to independence fighters. This allusion re linnet has been explained on other threads in this parish.

There are plenty of clues herein too. Multiple explanations are not mutually exclusive, in fact they make the word more valuable in context.


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Green Linnet
From: An Buachaill Caol Dubh
Date: 09 Jun 20 - 07:57 AM

Considering the metre and structure, at least, I'd suggest it's been made "in the style of" Thomas Campbell, Glasgow poet, best known in his own day for "The Pleasures of Hope", a long didactic poem. Among his shorter pieces is "The Exile of Erin". I should think this possible influence - not overlooking the native tradition, naturally - has been suggested before and elsewhere.

By the way, the Wild Geese was indeed the term for those Jacobites who left Ireland "after Aughrim's great disaster" to take service in Continental armies, principally that of France. Nevertheless, following this exodus from the last decade of the seventeenth century, the tradition of the Irish winning battles for everyone except themselves continued throughout the eighteenth, with the Irish Brigade gaining great distinction (with the inevitable losses, too) at Ramillies and Fontenoy. Among the "Irish Legion" of Napoleon's army - two infantry regiments - were some followers of Emmet who had been rescued from their British captors en route to their being transported as slaves. Finally, Napoleon's habitual green tunic, with red collar and cuffs, was the "petit tenue" of a cavalry regiment, Les Chasseurs a Cheval de la Garde Imperiale.


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Green Linnet
From: JeffB
Date: 10 Jun 20 - 01:25 PM

I made a really silly mistake over Delores Keane, but at the risk of seeming petty, I maintain that Frederick the Great, Der Alte Fritz, died in 1786.


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Green Linnet
From: An Buachaill Caol Dubh
Date: 10 Jun 20 - 02:00 PM

Yes, he did! But Napoleon, having struck a contemplative pose beside Frederick's tomb while Gros or J-L David made a quick sketch, did take Frederick's sword as a trophy, and either he or one of his Marshals is said to have remarked, "That's peyed thaim back fur Rossbach, so it has, ey, Wee Man?" (Official version: "Thus is Rossbach avenged")

The original versions of soldiers' sayings are generally to be preferred, not unlike old songs I suppose, though it's true that

<>

is more poetic and sonorous than Victor Hugo's "Le mot de Cambronne".


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Green Linnet
From: An Buachaill Caol Dubh
Date: 10 Jun 20 - 02:02 PM

Used the French << sign for quotations; should have read,

"La Garde meurt, et ne se rend pas!"

""*[//]) {> ::::


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Green Linnet
From: Reinhard
Date: 10 Jun 20 - 02:20 PM

«La Garde meurt, et ne se rend pas!»

can be typed with HTML entitites as

&laquo;La ... pas!&raquo;


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Green Linnet
From: An Buachaill Caol Dubh
Date: 10 Jun 20 - 02:50 PM

I'm guessing that that means, type   «   before the intended quotation, write the quotation, then type   »   after it, and the result will be as your first line above.
(Thanks for taking the time, and I'll try it if ever a quotation from Napoleon prove relevant to any future discussion!). Good Luck. ABCD.


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Green Linnet
From: JeffB
Date: 10 Jun 20 - 05:34 PM

Ah ha! Thanks for clearing that up.


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Green Linnet
From: An Buachaill Caol Dubh
Date: 11 Jun 20 - 11:00 AM

No trouble (the bit about Gros and David was, of course, an exaggeration or downright lie, though there is a picture of N at F's tomb, and this was intended for a basso-relievo on some monument in Paris). In addition to F's sword, and the belt & sheath, N also took some of the colours borne by the Prussian Guard all those years previously; this, if accurately recorded, does seem a bit forceful, since as far as I understand it colours taken in a battle would be retained as trophies, but not those from earlier wars.
Anyway, glad to know there are some singers with an interest in every detail of a historical song. There's another Thread at present about The Isle of St Helena (can't recall if I've seen your own name there). Good Luck.

ABCD, Citoyen, Sans-Culotte, all for Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity, but sufficiently grounded in the Reason promoted by the Philosophes of the Enlightenment, and aware of the excesses of the Mob when steered by people with their own agendas, to recognise the dangers of allowing slogans to be accorded an importance as mere sounds to be bayed incessantly rather than subjected to logical analysis. A personal observation which may be made calmly here without fear of brutish shouting-down.


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Green Linnet
From: JeffB
Date: 14 Jun 20 - 07:05 AM

How to use the 'Blue Clicky' thingy is beyond me. I wish someone would explain it in normal English. I can click on the 'Make a Link' hypertext at the bottom of the page, I can even copy-and-paste an electronic address into the top box, but how does one 'Link Text'? I'm sure it's not difficult, it's just a matter of clicking a mouse on things, but .... on what?

Anyway, I have found a charming print of Bonarparte, in his Green Linnet costume, eagerly snaffling Old Fritz's sword and sash. It can (perhaps) be seen here - www.pbslearningmedia.org/resource/xir779787fre/emperor-napoleon-i-contemplating-the-swo-xir779787-fre/

Interesting but rather obscure that NB should wear a cavalry uniform when he was an artillery man.


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Green Linnet
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 14 Jun 20 - 07:20 AM

put the address in the top box - your chowsen title (pref in capitals to be noticed) and press "create link
Which will take you to a new page
If the address you are giben appears in purple don't bother testing it, just copy it - go back to your post (top left box) and paste it into your post

CARROLL MACKENZIE COLLECTION
Jim


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Green Linnet
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 14 Jun 20 - 07:21 AM


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Green Linnet
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 14 Jun 20 - 07:21 AM

'but how does one 'Link Text'?'

Thisrefers to the text you want your link to appear as so rather than, for example :

www.pbslearningmedia.org/resource/xir779787fre/emperor-napoleon-i-contemplating-the-swo-xir779787-fre/

if you want it to appear as : a charming print of Bonarparte, in his Green Linnet costume

then you type (or paste) that text in the link text box and your link will appear as :

a charming print of Bonarparte, in his Green Linnet costume


Do check if the link works before posting. In this case the link you posted above goes to a 404.


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Green Linnet
From: GUEST
Date: 14 Jun 20 - 11:49 AM

Like the one you generated Peter! (generated a Mudcat local link)

a charming print of Bonarparte, in his Green Linnet costume (generated by hand!)

Mick


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Green Linnet
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 14 Jun 20 - 12:04 PM

Last post was me. Didn't notice my cookie had gone.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Green Linnet
From: JeffB
Date: 14 Jun 20 - 12:19 PM

Oh right. Thanks everyone. How on earth people just know these things is beyond me. Honestly, it just isn't obvious unless you KNOW, is it? Or is it just me? I suppose it is ....

Sorry the link went to a 404. Is that like Room 101? Or a postbox on the far side of the moon?


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Green Linnet
From: An Buachaill Caol Dubh
Date: 15 Jun 20 - 11:35 AM

With regard both to the uniforms favoured by Napoleon, and to his visiting the tomb of Frederick at Potsdam (following the defeat of the Prusso-Saxon Army at the twin battles of Jena and Auerstadt; Marshal Davout's III Corps won the latter against odds of about three to one)----

While there are pictures of Buonaparte in the uniform of an Artilleur, these are in the main from later in the century; by the time he came to prominence he was a General, and would therefore have worn the regulation uniform for that rank, a dark blue coat with gold embroidery for all arms of the service (and different sashes, weight of embroidery, patterns of plumes and edging to hats, and so on). The familiar image of Bonaparte crossing the Alps by J-L David, or a painting by J-A Gros of him leading the assault on the Pont d'Arcole, show this uniform.

When on campaign, however, Napoleon habitually wore the uniform of a light Cavalry regiment, the Guard Chasseurs, originally the Consular Guard; the full title, and a slight indication of the uniform's appearance, may be seen in the posting of 9th June above (time given as 7.57AM). A portrait by Francois Gerard, now in the Chateau of Chantilly, shows this "petit tenue"; the lapels, the "revers", are of the same dark green as the body of the tunic, piped with scarlet. I should think this preference for plainness served a number of functions ( not the least being its convenience in the field ), including the visual reminders that Le Petit Caporal was "one of the boys" and that he cared nothing for the display of sumptuous uniforms ( or, by implication, for the "tinsel show" of Crowns, and Robes of vermine ). Alte Fritz himself had done the same thing, funnily enough - and had said a crown was just a hat that let in the rain.

With regard to the "charming print" above, the uniform worn by Napoleon would not be accurate even if the green colour were much faded, since not only is that green too light, the revers are white. It seems like a conflation of the Chasseur uniform and the other uniform Napoleon sometimes wore, that of a Grenadier a Pied de la Garde Imperiale; another portrait by J-L David, of Napoleon in his Study, 1812, shows this uniform, dark blue habit with white revers and red, squared cuffs piped white. This will be the uniform worn by Napoleon in a rather muted representation of that same visit to Frederick's tomb, painted by Nicolas Ponce-Camus and exhibited at the Salon of 1810.


Finally, and not to dispute anything about the origin of the informal title "Green Linnet" being found in Napoleon's habitual campaigning uniform (albeit mostly hidden under the even more famous "redingote gris" or greatcoat), do remember that just as the colour of the Bourbons was white, that of Napoleon and his dynasty was green.

Some may be interested in this wee snippet of related "tradition": an example of coded words and passwords can be found in this Green/White, Bonapartist/Bourbonniste division. Briefly, in order to establish the sympathies of a stranger, or confirm what side a suspected agent supported, the question, "do you like beans?" would be asked, and soon enough it would then be asked which kind someone preferred....
If the situation involved anything conspiratorial, it was not enough to say "green" or "white"; the next stage was to offer a handful of beans of the appropriate colour, the expected response being for someone to take just three, saying as he did so, "Father, Son, and Holy Spirit". The pattern had also been used during the Revolution itself, only then the question itself had been much less surprising, since it was concerned with White wine and Red, the colour of the Phrygian Cap of Liberty.

Good Luck.


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Green Linnet
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 16 Jun 20 - 04:30 PM

,Like the one you generated Peter!'

Obviously, Mick. I used JeffB's given links as an example, hence the advice to check them.


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Green Linnet
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 18 Jun 20 - 03:20 AM

Sorry Peter - I wasn't sure if that was the intent or not!

Mick


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Green Linnet
From: leeneia
Date: 19 Jun 20 - 01:46 PM

When I consider how many deaths and how much suffering he caused, I cannot imagine singing a love song about Bonaparte.

A few years ago I picked up a library book about the translation of Egyptian hieroglyphics. Attendant upon the story of the Rosetta Stone, the book told of the terrible suffering of French soldiers who were simply set down on Egyptian sands with no water anywhere. It was not only terrible, it was utterly brainless. How dare Bonaparte not even inquire what kind of land was there?

The man who did most of the cracking of hieroglyphics was Jean Francois Champollion. His brother was a newspaper publisher, and he was often in danger of imprisonment because he was trying to determine how many Frenchmen were being killed in Bonaparte's wars. Bonaparte and his authorities did not want that number getting out.


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Green Linnet
From: An Buachaill Caol Dubh
Date: 19 Jun 20 - 02:56 PM

Whether it's to be classed as a "love-song" or as a moral exemplar or as a lament in which natural human sympathy might have been accompanied by sympathy with the principles of Revolution ultimately comes down to personal opinion, supported to a greater or lesser degree by knowledge of various aspects of the times.

In 1798, when the Egyptian Campaign began, Napoleon was a General of Division under the command of the Directoire. Only in 1799 did he become First Consul. The plan for a French invasion of the Levant, with a further strategic objective, had been discussed in French military and political circles since Napoleon's childhood.
It's hardly the place to introduce any more specific references, or argue a pro-Bonapartist position or an anti-Bonapartist. Many a revered former leader has done his share of wading in blood, some of them stepping further than Napoleon; few, however, have been as charismatic in his own time and afterwards as Le Petit Caporal.


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Green Linnet
From: GUEST,Chris Wright
Date: 19 Jun 20 - 04:38 PM

One of my all-time favourite recordings full stop is of Kevin Mitchell singing this song in 1971:

http://www.tobarandualchais.co.uk/en/fullrecord/63040


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Green Linnet
From: GUEST,Gordon Tyrrall
Date: 20 Jun 20 - 03:41 AM

That is a superb version of the song. I know Kevin a little but I've not heard him sing this before. He cuts it short - or the audience applause did that for him!


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Green Linnet
From: JeffB
Date: 20 Jun 20 - 08:27 AM

A magnificent rendition.


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