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Origins: Wildwood Flower / I'll Twine 'Mid the ...

DigiTrad:
I'LL TWINE 'MID THE RINGLETS
THE MAN WHO PICKED THE WILDWOOD FLOWER
WILDWOOD FLOWER


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(origins) Origins: Wildwood Flower (39)
Re: I'll Twine 'mid the Ringlets (Wildwood Flower) (13)
Tune Req: Sheet Music or ABC's for Wildwood Flower (8)
Lyr Add: Frail Wildwood Flower (from Miller Wikel) (12)
Lyr Req: Wildwood Weed (Jim Stafford, Don Bowman) (16)
Lyr Req: Poor Wildwood Flower (8)
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Lyr Req: I Am Waiting Essie Dear (Arthur W French) (11)


leeneia 01 Sep 18 - 06:53 PM
GUEST,Reynardine 01 Sep 18 - 12:21 AM
Taconicus 31 Dec 15 - 01:16 AM
Catamariner 30 Dec 15 - 06:12 PM
Catamariner 30 Dec 15 - 05:39 PM
GUEST,JB3 09 Oct 15 - 10:43 AM
Taconicus 12 Sep 15 - 01:23 AM
GUEST,Lighter 11 Sep 15 - 06:35 PM
Taconicus 11 Sep 15 - 01:32 PM
GUEST,Lighter 11 Sep 15 - 12:20 PM
Taconicus 11 Sep 15 - 10:28 AM
GUEST,Lighter 11 Sep 15 - 08:48 AM
GUEST,leeneia 11 Sep 15 - 07:51 AM
Taconicus 10 Sep 15 - 10:37 PM
GUEST 15 Apr 14 - 11:19 PM
GUEST,leeneia 27 Jan 14 - 09:23 AM
Taconicus 27 Jan 14 - 12:58 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 20 Jan 14 - 12:30 PM
Lighter 20 Jan 14 - 10:41 AM
GUEST,Jeff 20 Jan 14 - 10:33 AM
MGM·Lion 08 Nov 13 - 01:11 AM
Bill D 07 Nov 13 - 09:45 PM
Lighter 07 Nov 13 - 03:57 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 07 Nov 13 - 12:44 PM
Taconicus 07 Nov 13 - 10:52 AM
Lighter 05 Nov 13 - 06:55 PM
Taconicus 05 Oct 13 - 02:35 PM
GUEST,leeneia 05 Oct 13 - 01:14 PM
GUEST,leeneia 05 Oct 13 - 11:02 AM
Taconicus 04 Oct 13 - 07:45 PM
GUEST,leeneia 04 Oct 13 - 07:18 PM
Taconicus 03 Oct 13 - 11:07 PM
Taconicus 03 Oct 13 - 10:35 PM
GUEST,leeneia 03 Oct 13 - 10:50 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 02 Oct 13 - 01:13 PM
MGM·Lion 02 Oct 13 - 01:21 AM
Taconicus 02 Oct 13 - 12:41 AM
Taconicus 02 Oct 13 - 12:27 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 01 Oct 13 - 02:57 PM
Taconicus 01 Oct 13 - 02:26 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 01 Oct 13 - 12:40 PM
Taconicus 01 Oct 13 - 12:10 PM
GUEST,leeneia 01 Oct 13 - 10:55 AM
MGM·Lion 01 Oct 13 - 01:03 AM
Taconicus 30 Sep 13 - 08:35 PM
GUEST,leeneia 30 Sep 13 - 07:45 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 30 Sep 13 - 07:44 PM
Taconicus 30 Sep 13 - 05:30 PM
Taconicus 30 Sep 13 - 05:25 PM
Rumncoke 26 Sep 13 - 05:52 PM
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Subject: RE: Origins: Wildwood Flower / I'll Twine 'Mid the ...
From: leeneia
Date: 01 Sep 18 - 06:53 PM

Yes, as Taconicus showed, "aronatus" was the original word. We shall probably never know what flower it was or if the composer actually meant that word.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wildwood Flower / I'll Twine 'Mid the ...
From: GUEST,Reynardine
Date: 01 Sep 18 - 12:21 AM

I'd add that I have acquired a flowering vine, volunteering all over S.E. U.S. Zones 10 and 9, and possibly 8b, Antigonon leptospermum, one of whose common names is coralita. Normally it's a hot, shocking pink, but white and blush varieties exist. Not sure it's the right flower, but it fits the meter and is easily twined.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wildwood Flower / I'll Twine 'Mid the ...
From: Taconicus
Date: 31 Dec 15 - 01:16 AM

It may be that not all mid-19th century American amateur backwoods "flower namers" were as meticulous with Latin as you are, Catamariner. Someone may have taken "aro" (basic first-person singular present form of "to plow") and "natus" (basic nominative singular perfect participle of "born/spontaneously produced") and just stuck them together. As far as we know, the word never made it into any published botanical work.

— the word in the sheet music —


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wildwood Flower / I'll Twine 'Mid the ...
From: Catamariner
Date: 30 Dec 15 - 06:12 PM

Argh. Should be "aranatus" -- aratrum is a human-powered plough called an "ard." Arrrrrrd.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wildwood Flower / I'll Twine 'Mid the ...
From: Catamariner
Date: 30 Dec 15 - 05:39 PM

I agree, "aronatus" (meaning "plough-born") puts it into a spring timeframe and the botanical name for this tulip-family wildflower is literally white flower blue-eyed. Guessing this was commonly known as an aronatus and that the rarity of the flower caused us to mislay the common name in favor of "alba coerulea oculata." Pictures of it are a perfect match to the song ("I'll twine 'mid the ringlets," not the mingled/mangled Carter family version "Wildwood flower").


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wildwood Flower / I'll Twine 'Mid the ...
From: GUEST,JB3
Date: 09 Oct 15 - 10:43 AM

The version my Grandfather sang didn't include those flowers. His first verse;

I'll entwine and I'll mingle my raven-black hair
With the roses so red and the lilies so fair
And my eyes will outshine even stars in the blue
Said I, knowing not that my love was untrue


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wildwood Flower / I'll Twine 'Mid the ...
From: Taconicus
Date: 12 Sep 15 - 01:23 AM

Was that my original guess? I don't recall that. I sometimes sing "amaranthus" but I don't have reason to think it was misremembered from anything in particular – how about "Oculatus"? I can decipher the Latin meaning or "aronatus" if it was supposed to mean something, but beyond that I don't know its origin.

Incidentally, there were many mentions of an "Alba Oculata" in botanical books of the period, described as "white with a blue eye," but that was a type of Phlox Drummondii. It's another possibility, though not a bright blue to my eye.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wildwood Flower / I'll Twine 'Mid the ...
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 11 Sep 15 - 06:35 PM

> Not every old botanical journal has yet been copied and indexed on Google books.

Very true, and not to quibble, but of it *was* a truly local name (rather than just someone's jumbled misrecollection of something else), it should still show up somewhere, particularly in the multiple volumes of the Dictionary of American Regional English, which lists many local names for flora and fauna.

In this case, of course, absence of evidence is not proof of absence, but if the name is authentic, its use must have been restricted to very few, very few, perhaps in Brooklyn or Riverside or in Namee's own family.

Your original guess that it's a misrecollection of "amaryllis" my be the best, in spite of the existence of Humilis....


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wildwood Flower / I'll Twine 'Mid the ...
From: Taconicus
Date: 11 Sep 15 - 01:32 PM

I agree. Incidentally, although you probably already know this, Cultivars aren't necessarily created through artificial breeding. Some occur naturally and are maintained under cultivation thereafter.

As for why the lyricist chose that name, it's probably just the name he heard when he saw the flower in 1850s and asked, "What is that?" Obviously, "aronatus" never caught on. The eventual common name that stuck was the more mundane "blue-eyed wildflower tulip" or just "blue-eyed tulip." Perhaps "aronatus" was a name used locally at the time that was never recorded, or perhaps he just made it up as a more "botanical" sounding name that would scan within the song. As you say, we'll probably never know. On the other hand, here we are 150 years later and we're still learning things, so who knows. Not every old botanical journal has yet been copied and indexed on Google books.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wildwood Flower / I'll Twine 'Mid the ...
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 11 Sep 15 - 12:20 PM

> meaning roughly "born of the plow" or "born of a plowed field." That could have fit a flower that appeared in fields shortly after they were plowed in the spring.

True enough, but it remains a mystery as to why VN would use a name that seems to be recorded nowhere else in science or literature.

The evidence I can gather online indicates that "Humilis Alba..." is a cultivar, so I wonder how many could be found growing wild in the mid-nineteenth century.

But even if VN only saw them in a garden, he likely would have been impressed.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wildwood Flower / I'll Twine 'Mid the ...
From: Taconicus
Date: 11 Sep 15 - 10:28 AM

True, the scientific name doesn't match "Aronatus," but then I don't think "Humilis Alba Coerulea Oculata" would have fit very well into the song lyrics.

If this is actually the flower referred to in the original lyrics (as I now think at least 50% likely), "aronatus" would likely have been a local appellation. If so, it seems to have a Latin derivation, meaning roughly "born of the plow" or "born of a plowed field." That could have fit a flower that appeared in fields shortly after they were plowed in the spring. It could also fit a flower that appeared at about the time of spring plowing and planting. And that would make sense in this case, since botanically this is a wildflower tulip, which blooms only in the springtime.

Even though there is no written record of this particular flower being called the aronatus, since I now know there actually is a real flower that matches the original lyrics I feel better about using the word "aronatus" in the song.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wildwood Flower / I'll Twine 'Mid the ...
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 11 Sep 15 - 08:48 AM

Lovely find. It could well be the flower VN had in mind.

But why "aronatus"? We still haven't a clue.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wildwood Flower / I'll Twine 'Mid the ...
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 11 Sep 15 - 07:51 AM

The looks fit the bill, but the name is nothing like.

It's a beautiful flower, Taconicus. Thanks for the links.

I wonder where it's found.


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Subject: Have I found the Wildwood Flower "Aronatus"?
From: Taconicus
Date: 10 Sep 15 - 10:37 PM

Have I found the fabled, long-lost "aronatus" of the song?

Botanically a type of tulip, it's a (now) rare blue-eyed American wildflower with the scientific name "Humilis Alba Coerulea Oculata." I know of no other flower, let alone a wildflower, that matches the description. (Check the photo links below.)

"…and the pale aronatus with eyes of bright blue."

Humilis: small, humble, obscure.
Alba: white.
Coerulea: cerulean (azure, sky-blue).
Oculata: having eyes; catching the eye.

Humilis Alba Coerulea Oculata (photo)

Description from a seed catalog.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wildwood Flower / I'll Twine 'Mid the ...
From: GUEST
Date: 15 Apr 14 - 11:19 PM

Since it looks like this thread is back to trying to make botanical sense out of the lyrics, then as noted some yrs back, if you accept that we're talking about wild roses and lily of the valley (not daylilies!), all below are common wildflowers or English ornamentals and of a size suitable for entwining in a girl's hair, too.

I'll entwine and co-mingle my raven black hair
With the roses so red and the lilies so fair
And the myrtle so bright with its emerald hue
The pale angelica and violets so blue.

(NB: ordinarily, you accent the second syllable of Angelica, but switch to the third and all is resolved.)

John Hempel


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wildwood Flower / I'll Twine 'Mid the ...
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 27 Jan 14 - 09:23 AM

I like your amaranthus and hyssop, Taconicus. They are real plants, and so you don't have to explain to the audience about the mythical aronatus every time you sing the song.

Songs should make sense on their own.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wildwood Flower / I'll Twine 'Mid the ...
From: Taconicus
Date: 27 Jan 14 - 12:58 AM

Gardening author Ed Hume suggests the aronia. Others have suggested Amaranthus. I sing "the pale amaranthus and the hyssop so blue" because it sounds good, seems to fit, and the pale amaranthus is a wild flower, and so is the hyssop which can be "so blue." However, the most probable origin of the aronatus is that it's a mondegreen or was simply made up to fit the song.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wildwood Flower / I'll Twine 'Mid the ...
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 20 Jan 14 - 12:30 PM

It is doubtful that the author would have known the specific name of the plant, A. coronaria. It is a Mediterranean species, but has been spread widely by gardeners. I don't know how common it was with gardeners in 1860.
It is not an American wildflower, where other species of the genus are often called "windflowers."

(Species are classified by leaf, stamen, bract, achene, sepal and petal, characteristics and not by color.)


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wildwood Flower / I'll Twine 'Mid the ...
From: Lighter
Date: 20 Jan 14 - 10:41 AM

At this point I'm guessing that "aronatus" was Van Namee's completely muddled recollection of something we'll probably never guess at.

He may have just made it up, of course, to fit the line, but that would have been a little weird.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wildwood Flower / I'll Twine 'Mid the ...
From: GUEST,Jeff
Date: 20 Jan 14 - 10:33 AM

Here's a possibility: Could the "pale aronatus" refer to the white variety of Anemone coronaria? This is one of the colors of the "poppy anemone" that is a wildflower. (They also have blue, red, and pink kinds, too.) The white type has white petals, (pale). and a bluish center. Sometimes the blue color even extends outward a bit into the petals themselves. Very pretty, and it is a wildflower that grows in fields and meadows. Maybe "aronatus" could actually be anemone. Just a thought...


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wildwood Flower / I'll Twine 'Mid the ...
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 08 Nov 13 - 01:11 AM

Thanks, Bill. Any more on this parody version. To put in date context, I can state definitively having heard it sung by Pete Sayers at the first Cambridge Folk Festival in 1965. He was an English country singer who had travelled much in the US, ('[he]was a bluegrass musician and the first Englishman to appear at the Grand Ole Opry.': from the wikipedia entry on his daughter Goldie Sayers, who is a distinguished javelin thrower), where I suspect he would have learned this version. Can anyone confirm this, I wonder?

~M~


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wildwood Flower / I'll Twine 'Mid the ...
From: Bill D
Date: 07 Nov 13 - 09:45 PM

Missed this when MtheGM asked about the parody, but I'll add my version for completeness:

"My flower of the wildwood is (long) and she's tall
It it weren't for her Adam's apple she'd have no shape at all.
I can still see her standing underneath the trees,
Tying knots in her stockings to look like she's got knees"


I 'think' heard this 'somewhere' in Kansas before 1975. It adds little to the history of the original, but merely shows how minds work...


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wildwood Flower / I'll Twine 'Mid the ...
From: Lighter
Date: 07 Nov 13 - 03:57 PM

Nice research: striking but unpersuasive.

"Irving" in the example doesn't look like part of a binomial. One would expect to see it on the gravestone there if "Maud Irving" was a unit like "Mary Ann" or "Peggy Sue."

It's significant too that Maud Irving Kane seems to be the only "Maud Irving X" known anywhere. There are zillions of "Mary Anns" and "Peggy Sues," however.

I doubt anyone in 1860 would have assumed that "Maud Irving" on sheet music was a two-part given name rather than a full personal name any more than they would today.

"Willie," however, as in "Willie Ware" was indeed a female name or nickname, short for "Wilhelmina."


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wildwood Flower / I'll Twine 'Mid the ...
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 07 Nov 13 - 12:44 PM

These given names that seem illogical may have been more common in the past.
I have one, for a great grandfather. It is on my birth certificate.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wildwood Flower / I'll Twine 'Mid the ...
From: Taconicus
Date: 07 Nov 13 - 10:52 AM

Thanks, Lighter.

E.g.
Maud Irving Kane Cassidy (1879 - 1974)

Parents:
Cornelius VanSchelluyne Kane (1846 - 1913)
Eveleen Trowbridge Dayton (1845 - 1932)

Given name: Maud Irving

http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=30882212


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wildwood Flower / I'll Twine 'Mid the ...
From: Lighter
Date: 05 Nov 13 - 06:55 PM

I've just gotten around to looking at this thread. Taconicus: brilliant work!

Gratuitous opinion on a trivial point: I doubt that "Maud Irving" was ever a binomial given name like "Mary Ann" or "Peggy Sue." I've read more pages of 19th C. books and newspapers than I'd like to recall, and I don't believe I've ever seen the surname "Irving" (as in "Washington Irving") - or any other surname - used as the second element of a feminine given name.

But more important is the fact that until now, the assertion that the song was printed in 1860 was hardly more than a rumor. It's also interesting to see the original melody.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wildwood Flower / I'll Twine 'Mid the ...
From: Taconicus
Date: 05 Oct 13 - 02:35 PM

I've now updated my research entitled The Mystery of Maud Irving with part three, in which I lay out my doubts about whether J. William Van Namee actually wrote the lyrics to I'll Twine 'Mid the Ringlets.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wildwood Flower / I'll Twine 'Mid the ...
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 05 Oct 13 - 01:14 PM

Oops. I was wrong about those rests in the accompaniment. They are in fact original.

However, J.P. Webster did not include a trap drum part, the way Benjamin Tubbs did.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wildwood Flower / I'll Twine 'Mid the ...
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 05 Oct 13 - 11:02 AM

Taconic Mountains, Taconic orogeny, Taconicus - there ya go!, as my brother in Wisconsin would say.

Now about that midi - you can find a midi of the song on benjamin tubb's public domain music site. Somebody posted a link above, I believe. If I made another midi, it would sound very like that, because it would be the same notes generated by the the same computertized sounds.

Tubb's accompaniment is slightly more interesting than the original. The original has a simple pattern repeated over and over, while Tubb's version has a simple pattern too, but there are rests in it.
=========
Funny the way everybody else has lost interest in this thread now that they can't argue. The only thing to do now is to pick up an instrument or start singing. Bummer!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wildwood Flower / I'll Twine 'Mid the ...
From: Taconicus
Date: 04 Oct 13 - 07:45 PM

440 million years ago? No, I'm old but not that old. I picked the handle Taconicus because I live in the Taconic Mountains and I know a little Latin.

That's great you're playing it; I'd love to hear it. Do you think you could post a midi of it sometime?

P.S. - I'm writing a sequel about why I'm not really that sure.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wildwood Flower / I'll Twine 'Mid the ...
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 04 Oct 13 - 07:18 PM

I agree, Taconicus.   I'm pretty sure as well. I've been playing the music on the piano, with 'woodland warbling', as specified on the upper left corner of the music, on a sopranino recorder.

Meanwhile, I'm wondering if you are named after the Taconic orogeny.

"From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Taconic orogeny was a mountain building period that ended 440 million years ago and affected most of modern-day New England. A great mountain chain formed from eastern Canada down through what is now the Piedmont of the East coast of the United States."


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wildwood Flower / I'll Twine 'Mid the ...
From: Taconicus
Date: 03 Oct 13 - 11:07 PM

I see it was you, Leeneia, who said that. Thank you; you're too kind.

I was at Columbia University today checking the microfilm copy they have there of the only known copy of Van Namee's first book (under the pseudonym Willie Ware), Driftwood on the Sea of Life (1860). I was hoping to find a copy of the original poem for I'll Twine 'Mid the Ringlets, in there, as certain proof of his authorship. Unfortunately it wasn't in there, although Driftwood did contain copies of some of the other "Maud Irving" poems of his I had already found in magazines. For example, the poem "Gentle Words" on page 124 of the "Willie Ware" book Driftwood is the exact same poem as "Gentle Words Fall on the Heart" published under the "Maud Irving" byline in the periodical The Home Monthly.

There are other odd coincidences I noticed in the book. But nothing about twining wildflowers into hair, etc. Nor is it in his 1868 book poems (a copy of which I already had), so while I'm also pretty sure Van Namee is the lyracist of I'll Twine 'Mid the Ringlets, we still don't have certain proof.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wildwood Flower / I'll Twine 'Mid the ...
From: Taconicus
Date: 03 Oct 13 - 10:35 PM

On the "Mystery of Maud Irving" page I pointed out the apparent misprint (Mand) on the "One Fond Heart" sheet music (not on "Broken Harp" – which says Maud). Because the year (1860) is within one year of the other Maud Irving songs, it must be either a misprint or an attempt at "passing off" by using a false name so similar, not a coincidence.

Here's a link that gives a close-up of the "Broken Harp" sheet so you can see it's spelled correctly on that one.

Someone said finding the identity was the "holy grail," but for me that would be finding the original poem that Webster put music to for the song, and seeing if it's the same as in the song (and he really did write aronatus) or whether it was a different flower in the original poem. At least we know for sure that aronatus really was in the sheet music. :)


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wildwood Flower / I'll Twine 'Mid the ...
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 03 Oct 13 - 10:50 AM

oboyoboyoboy

Not only is the melody not quite the Carter version, it differs somewhat with every verse. I've printed it out from your site, Taconicus. My friends are going to like this.

To be accurate here, I feel the need to point out that the lyricist's name on 'One Fond Heart' and on 'Broken Heart' is not Maud, it's MaNd.

Meanwhile, that was good spotting about the lilies, the roses and the blue-eyed flowers, which occur in the song and in a poem by Van Namee. I for one am ready to conclude that Van Namee wrote the lyrics to 'I'll Twine Mid the Ringlets.'

Thanks for enriching our music and for finally, finally solving the mystery of the fair aronatus.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wildwood Flower / I'll Twine 'Mid the ...
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 02 Oct 13 - 01:13 PM

Thanks, Taconicus. Nice to have the sheet music.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wildwood Flower / I'll Twine 'Mid the ...
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 02 Oct 13 - 01:21 AM

Re my request above for the Pete Sayers "Skinny & tall" variant. I googled these words & got the following on the google index --


~~mudcat.org: Origins: Wildwood Flower / I'll Twine 'Mid the ...
http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=4074
17 Feb 1998 ... Oh my flower of the wildwood was skinny and tall 'Cept for her adam's apple, she had no shape at all I can still see her there, sittin' under the ...~~

i.e. a link to THIS thread; but above doesn't occur on this thread, or SFAICS on any of the links above to other threads re this song or the DT.

Any idea where I might find the song ref'd to in this index entry?

~M~


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wildwood Flower / I'll Twine 'Mid the ...
From: Taconicus
Date: 02 Oct 13 - 12:41 AM

OK, that method of linking doesn't work. Instead, click on this link to go to The Mystery of Maud Irving, then scroll to the bottom of that page and click on the "Sheet music to I'll Twine 'Mid the Ringlets" link at the top of the last paragraph.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wildwood Flower / I'll Twine 'Mid the ...
From: Taconicus
Date: 02 Oct 13 - 12:27 AM

As promised, here is the Sheet music to I'll Twine 'Mid the Ringlets (if the link works).


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wildwood Flower / I'll Twine 'Mid the ...
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 01 Oct 13 - 02:57 PM

It will be interesting to see them. Some scores have been printed with songs in the DT. If the sheets cannot be scanned into mudcat, perhaps you (or someone) would prepare the score for entry.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wildwood Flower / I'll Twine 'Mid the ...
From: Taconicus
Date: 01 Oct 13 - 02:26 PM

Two things. First, Van Namee (Maud Irving) apparently lived in Brooklyn, NYC, both pre-1860 and afterward. However, many of his poems were bylined "Riverside," Monroe, Mich. - possibly a vacation residence.

Second, I've received permission from Stanford to make copies of and distribute the sheet music (which is now in the public domain), as long as I cite them as the source. So I'm going to try to scan the sheets and post them online so you all can enjoy learning the original music (which is a bit different from the Carter's Wildwood Flower version).


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wildwood Flower / I'll Twine 'Mid the ...
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 01 Oct 13 - 12:40 PM

The Great Chicago Fire destroyed supplies of many songs; Chicago was the home of several important publishers of sheet music.

I searched for the original sheet music of "My Pretty Quadroon," a beautiful song with abolitionist sentiments in the original, and found a copy at the Newberry Library, Chicago.
"My Pretty Quadroon," 1863, words and music by Mrs. Mary Dodge (posted in mudcat).
The Newberry Library also is a large repository of sheet music, ephemera and historical material in their Department of Special Collections.

The Stanford Catalogues are mutually shared with the University of Texas, another large repository, with many writers' manuscripts among other materials.

"The pale aronatus" is in the sheet music Taconicus located. Many have speculated about the identity of this flower, without conclusion.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wildwood Flower / I'll Twine 'Mid the ...
From: Taconicus
Date: 01 Oct 13 - 12:10 PM

Oh, sorry. When you said "written in Wisconsin" I thought you were talking about the "Maud Irving" lyrics. Those were probably written by Van Namee in the Riverside section of Monroe, Michigan, where most if not all of his other poetry of the time was apparently written. Later he moved to New York City and became very active in the spiritualist religion. He was also involved in the temperance movement.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wildwood Flower / I'll Twine 'Mid the ...
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 01 Oct 13 - 10:55 AM

Here's some info on Webster from Wikipedia:

"J.P. Webster was born in Manchester, New Hampshire on February 22, 1819. From an early age he expressed an interest and talent in music,... Afterwards he travelled extensively throughout the Eastern United States as a concert singer, including notable stays in New York and Madison, Indiana, where he performed with the famous "Swedish Nightingale" Jenny Lind, as her pianist. After years of travel, Webster eventually settled in Racine, Wisconsin.

Sometime before 1859 Webster developed what was commonly called "Lake Michigan Throat", a severe form of bronchitis, forcing him to abandon his singing career and move...to Elkhorn, Wisconsin. No longer having the strength in his voice for singing, Webster turned his attention to composing music."

So as I said, this 'bluegrass' song was written in Wisconsin.   

I think the connection to Jenny Lind adds a charming touch to this story.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wildwood Flower / I'll Twine 'Mid the ...
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 01 Oct 13 - 01:03 AM

Now we are back with this song [for which I add my voice of thanks to Taconicus], could I ask again if anyone else recalls Pete Sayers' parody I quoted 25 sep 0213, or remembers hearing him sing it?

~M~


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wildwood Flower / I'll Twine 'Mid the ...
From: Taconicus
Date: 30 Sep 13 - 08:35 PM

No one said it was written in Wisconsin. University of Wisconsin is just who digitized a collection of papers from the estate of the composer J.P. Webster. But yes, the sheet music was published in Chicago. In fact, that's why the sheet music has been so hard to find: the publisher's offices and warehouse were burned in the great Chicago fire. The copy I obtained is from a "pre-fire Chicago" collection at Stanford. Here's the info so you can get your own copy:

William R. and Louise Fielder Sheet Music Collection
Special Collections M701
Box 38, Folder 4
I'll twine Ômid the ringlets Chicago :H. M. Higgins,1860 [sic]

Contact: Stanford University,
Manuscripts Division of the Department of Special Collections
email: speccollref "at" stanford.edu
subject: Request for duplication services


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wildwood Flower / I'll Twine 'Mid the ...
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 30 Sep 13 - 07:45 PM

Thanks very much, Taconicus! This is almost equivalent to finding the Fountain of Youth or the Philosopher's Stone. People have been searchng for this original a long time.

I never would have guessed that this song, one of the quintessential bluegrass songs, was written in Wisconsin and published in Chicago.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wildwood Flower / I'll Twine 'Mid the ...
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 30 Sep 13 - 07:44 PM

Very good! Could you give a link?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wildwood Flower / I'll Twine 'Mid the ...
From: Taconicus
Date: 30 Sep 13 - 05:30 PM

Meh, I forgot to include show the italics. For some reason, three words in the sheet music were italicized:

...
He never shall know,
That his name made me tremble
...
Have all faded away.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wildwood Flower / I'll Twine 'Mid the ...
From: Taconicus
Date: 30 Sep 13 - 05:25 PM

At long last, I've received a copy of the actual published sheet music to I'll Twine 'Mid the Ringlets. It pretty much matches what Genie wrote above in 2001. Here are the actual lyrics, verbatim (including original italics, punctuation, and capitalization):
I'll twine 'mid the ringlets
Of my raven black hair,
The lilies so pale
And the roses so fair,
The myrtle so bright
With an emerald hue,
And the pale aronatus
With eyes of bright blue.

I'll sing, and I'll dance,
My laugh shall be gay,
I'll cease this wild weeping
Drive sorrow away,
Tho' my heart is now breaking,
He never shall know,
That his name made me tremble
And my pale cheeks to glow.

I'll think of him never
I'll be wildly gay,
I'll charm ev'ry heart
And the crowd I will sway,
I'll live yet to see him
Regret the dark hour
When he won, then neglected,
The frail wildwood flower.

He told me he loved me,
And promis'd to love,
Through ill and misfortune,
All others above,
Another has won him,
Ah! misery to tell;
He left me in silence
No word of farewell!

He taught me to love him,
He call'd me his flower
That blossom'd for him
All the brighter each hour;
But I woke from my dreaming,
My idol was clay;
My visions of love
Have all faded away.

- Taken from published sheet music in the Department of Special Collections, Stanford University Libraries: I'll Twine 'Mid the Ringlets. Words by Maud Irving. Music by J.P. Webster. Copyrighted and Published (1860, 1862) by H.M. Higgins, 117 Randolph Street, Chicago. Pearson, engraver. (The "1860, 1862" signifies that this is from an 1862 compilation published by H.M. Higgins entitled "WESTERN GEMS: SONGS COMPOSED BY J.P. WEBSTER." The page showing I'll Twine 'Mid the Ringlets shows the 1860 date.) I'd post a scan online but Stanford requires permission for further reproduction.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wildwood Flower / I'll Twine 'Mid the ...
From: Rumncoke
Date: 26 Sep 13 - 05:52 PM

the American Northern monkshood is Aconitum Noveboracense - sorry, I forgot to use an American species.

Iowa, Wisconsin, Ohio and New York are where it is found, but it is a threatened species due to its habitat being removed or polluted.

The European species was at one time widely used by florists as its colour was quite rare, and I'd be surprised if various Aconitum species were not grown to supply cut flowers in the 19th century. These days blue flowers are not so rare due to the work of plants men and scientists.


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