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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


Related threads:
(origins) Origins: Wildwood Flower parody (2)
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Fiddle tabulature for Wildwood Flower (9)
(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)
Lyr Add: Wildwood Flower (3)
Help: wildwood flower sung by natalie merchant? (7)
Lyr Req: I Am Waiting Essie Dear (Arthur W French) (11)


Q (Frank Staplin) 26 Sep 13 - 04:10 PM
Rumncoke 26 Sep 13 - 05:49 AM
Taconicus 25 Sep 13 - 07:48 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 25 Sep 13 - 07:20 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 25 Sep 13 - 06:28 PM
Taconicus 25 Sep 13 - 05:07 PM
Taconicus 25 Sep 13 - 04:33 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 25 Sep 13 - 04:11 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 25 Sep 13 - 03:47 PM
Taconicus 25 Sep 13 - 03:45 PM
Taconicus 25 Sep 13 - 02:23 PM
MGM·Lion 25 Sep 13 - 02:13 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 25 Sep 13 - 01:37 PM
Taconicus 25 Sep 13 - 01:04 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 25 Sep 13 - 12:21 PM
GUEST,leeneia 25 Sep 13 - 05:52 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 24 Sep 13 - 07:20 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 24 Sep 13 - 07:11 PM
Taconicus 24 Sep 13 - 03:46 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 24 Sep 13 - 01:04 PM
GUEST,leeneia 24 Sep 13 - 11:53 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 23 Sep 13 - 09:08 PM
Taconicus 19 Sep 13 - 09:03 PM
Taconicus 19 Sep 13 - 08:59 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 09 Jun 12 - 12:13 PM
Genie 09 Jun 12 - 02:32 AM
GUEST,leeneia 21 May 12 - 11:22 PM
GUEST,Buffalo 21 May 12 - 12:01 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 06 Dec 11 - 03:22 PM
GUEST,reynardine 06 Dec 11 - 02:25 AM
GUEST,leeneia 03 Jul 11 - 07:54 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 03 Jul 11 - 01:34 PM
GUEST,leeneia 02 Jul 11 - 02:24 PM
GUEST,John Hempel 02 Jul 11 - 10:29 AM
GUEST 02 Jul 11 - 10:26 AM
GUEST,Owen 12 Jun 11 - 01:20 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 23 Apr 11 - 07:49 PM
GUEST,John Hempel 23 Apr 11 - 05:35 PM
GUEST,leeneia 22 Apr 11 - 11:40 AM
GUEST,John Hempel 21 Apr 11 - 01:11 PM
autoharper 14 Aug 09 - 05:01 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 14 Aug 09 - 04:54 PM
GUEST,fatmama 13 Aug 09 - 10:26 PM
Kaleea 25 Jul 06 - 05:31 PM
Bill D 25 Jul 06 - 11:28 AM
GUEST 25 Jul 06 - 05:46 AM
jaze 23 May 06 - 02:08 PM
Bill D 22 May 06 - 07:03 PM
GUEST 22 May 06 - 05:53 PM
GUEST,Eric Bram 23 Feb 06 - 05:45 AM
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Subject: RE: Origins: Wildwood Flower / I'll Twine 'Mid the ...
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 26 Sep 13 - 04:10 PM

Aconitum napellus is a European plant, but is grown in some American gardens.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wildwood Flower / I'll Twine 'Mid the ...
From: Rumncoke
Date: 26 Sep 13 - 05:49 AM

About the flower - no one seems to have mentioned the blue flowered aconitum napellus, or monkshood, wolfs bane, devils helmet etc.

The flower is an intense blue violet and the plant contains a deadly poison.

The root can be confused with horseradish (honest, officer) but an oily extract is warming to the skin and helps with joint pain - just don't have a cut or graze on the skin when applying it.

Aconitum so blue would fit very well.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wildwood Flower / I'll Twine 'Mid the ...
From: Taconicus
Date: 25 Sep 13 - 07:48 PM

Yes, he had a number of poems published in Peterson's under the name Maud Irving, and of course his big book of poetry published in 1868.

Here are the lyrics to Broken Harp published as a song in 1861, with music by a different composer. Pretty dreary, maudlin stuff, even with the flowers in it, but if you really want to try it I can supply you with the music:

Broken Harp
poetry by Maud Irving
music by N.P.B. Curtiss
Published by Russell & Tolman (Boston, 1861)


You bid me mend my broken harp,
And add another string;
You bid me strike an higher key,
And soar on higher wing.

Oh! friend, dear friend, you know not of
The broken ties, the woe;
You know not of the dark, dark clouds
That follow me where're I go
You know not of the dark, dark clouds
That follow me where're I go


You bid me treat the wrong I've felt,
With bitter withering scorn,
But oh, you know not how my heart
Is bleeding, sad, forlorn,

I cannot sing in cheerful strains,
When all my joys have fled,
When every flower of love and hope,
Their fragrance all, all have shed.
When every flower of love and hope,
Their fragrance all, all have shed.


Oh no, my lyre must wake the song,
The song of grief and woe;
For while I linger on this earth,
My heart no joy can know.

The clouds that float above my head,
Are not with silver lined,
And but a few short months will life
To earth my spirit bind.
And but a few short months will life
To earth my spirit bind.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wildwood Flower / I'll Twine 'Mid the ...
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 25 Sep 13 - 07:20 PM

"The Well Remembered Voice," poem by Maud Irving, appeared in The Peterson Magazine, vol. 35, Jan-June 1859.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wildwood Flower / I'll Twine 'Mid the ...
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 25 Sep 13 - 06:28 PM

Yes, that certainly is Maud on that sheet.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wildwood Flower / I'll Twine 'Mid the ...
From: Taconicus
Date: 25 Sep 13 - 05:07 PM

I've now received the second sheet music publication (Broken Harp) listed as being "Music by Mand Irving" and it appears to say Maud (not Mand) Irving (see the title page here).


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wildwood Flower / I'll Twine 'Mid the ...
From: Taconicus
Date: 25 Sep 13 - 04:33 PM

The possible explanations for his using that pseudonym (a very common practice in that century) are discussed on the Mystery of Maud Irving page. He didn't use it in his books, as far as I know, just in submitting poems to magazines.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wildwood Flower / I'll Twine 'Mid the ...
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 25 Sep 13 - 04:11 PM

"Broken Harp," Boston. 1861, is by N. P. B. Curtiss, a prolific songwriter and Mand Irving (poetry), no data. Dedicated to Miss Molly K. Moore, Calhoun Institute, Macon, Miss.

Mand = Maud? Possible, as you explain, but why would Van Namee use Maud Irving as a pseudonym in one of his books?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wildwood Flower / I'll Twine 'Mid the ...
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 25 Sep 13 - 03:47 PM

The two well-known amaranth ornamentals are caudatus (Deep purple) also called Love-lies-bleeding, and hypochondriacus (deep crimson) also called Prince's Feather. Both are from India.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wildwood Flower / I'll Twine 'Mid the ...
From: Taconicus
Date: 25 Sep 13 - 03:45 PM

I've already received one of the manuscripts, the one for One Fond Heart, and it is definitely printed as WORDS BY MAND IRVING, copyright 1860. If this is not a misprint (and I have no reason to think it is), then unless and until we receive actual printed sheet music of a song of that time clearly showing words by Maud Irving, it strikes me as likely that the actual author of the lyrics for I'll Twine Mid the Ringlets was this Mand Irving, not the Van Namee "Maud Irving" who wrote the poem in Gaudy's and other magazines. Which, of course, would mean that all the research I did on Maud Irving is likely irrelevant as far as I'll Twine Mid the Ringlets is concerned. It would also mean that every previous reference to "Maud Irving" as being the author of the words to the folk tune is incorrect.

On the other hand, although the Mills Music Library (University of Wisconsin) copy is in cursive and certainly can be seen as being ambiguous as to whether "Maud" or "Mand" is written, I can't imagine that all the previous "Maud" references were based on a handwritten manuscript.

Well, that's the way research goes. We'll just have to see what we discover as other printed sheet music by Mand or Maud Irving are found.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wildwood Flower / I'll Twine 'Mid the ...
From: Taconicus
Date: 25 Sep 13 - 02:23 PM

Yes, Q, more probable is amaranthus (the word used in some versions of the song [e.g., The Pale Amaranthus, Shearin, Hubert G.; Combs, Josiah H., A Syllabus Of Kentucky Folk-Songs (1911)]). I just like the sound of amaryllis better, and the flower itself looks nicer than the amaranthus, but you're right about the geographical improbabliity.

Leenia, thanks for your lead about "Mand Irving." Following up on that, I found there are two songs listed as having "words by Mand Irving," one called Broken Harp (held at a library at Brigham Young University), and another called One Fond Heart (held at a Duke University library).

With publication dates of 1860 and 1861, this may well be the same author as the "Maud Irving" of I'll Twine Mid the Ringlets. Since these computer listings often make use of OCR (optical character recognition by computer) it may be that Mand may actually be Maud, since as you've pointed out the one letter can be confused for the other. We can't know until we examine the original sheet music. I've ordered them, will let you know what I find. You many have just located another two Maud Irving songs!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wildwood Flower / I'll Twine 'Mid the ...
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 25 Sep 13 - 02:13 PM

The late Pete Sayers of Newmarket, country singer extraordinaire, the only [I think] Englishman who had a regular radio program in Nashville, who died 2005, also noted radio comedian in his Radio Cambridge persona of "Denis of Grunty Fen"* used to sing a parody version about his very thin girlfriend, beginning

"My flower of the wildwood is skinny and tall
Without her Adam's apple she'd have no shape at all".

It continues in this vein. At one point, I recall, she found work as a stripper, but


Instead of shouting "take 'em off" they hollered "keep 'em on!".

I heard him sing it at an early Cambridge FF, & once interviewed him for my Folk Review column and got him to sing it again, but alas have lost the tape.

Does anyone else remember this version, or know any more of the words?

~M~

*A stretch of land near where I live in the Cambs fens, just south of Ely. Clement Freud, who was MP for the Isle of Ely as well as noted personality & tv chef, used to race a horse called Grunty Fen, which had several wins I believe.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wildwood Flower / I'll Twine 'Mid the ...
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 25 Sep 13 - 01:37 PM

Hyssop flowers may be pink, blue or white. A number of species, some used as garden plants. One American anise hyssop may be pink or lilac and another has bright red flowers.

Amaryllis is South African, rare in American cultivation, lavender and white. What is sold in America as Amaryllis is really Hippeastrum, the bright red now the commonest of those sold. Species are spread from Argentina to Mexico.

Forget-me-not (Myosotis) may be blue or white (the Northern Hemisphere species) and is common in moist gardens.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wildwood Flower / I'll Twine 'Mid the ...
From: Taconicus
Date: 25 Sep 13 - 01:04 PM

As I showed in the research, in the 19th century "Maud Irving" was a two-word given name, like Ann Marie or Peggy Sue, not a first name and last name, and it was used as such in works of fiction.

Personally, I use the lyric the pale amaryllis and [the] hyssop so blue, not because there's any historical justification for doing so, but because (1) there really is a pale amaryllis, (2) the hyssop flower really is "so blue," (3) it's at least conceivable that hyssop so blue could have resulted in the mondegreen eyes of bright blue of Wildwood Flower because of its similarity in sound, and most importantly (4) I think it sounds better. :-)


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wildwood Flower / I'll Twine 'Mid the ...
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 25 Sep 13 - 12:21 PM

In "I'm Waiting for Thee," van Namee/Maud Irving has the lines "And blue-eyed forget-me-nots Are blossoming there;"

Would "and the blue-eyed forget-me-not..." work?

Unfortunately, the MS copy has no attribution to published source.

In the volume by Van Namee, he clearly gives "Maud Irving" as a synonym for his name in the poem, "I'm Waiting for Thee," so "Mand" seems unrelated.

In the brief article "Maud (given name)" in Wiki, "Maud" is the correct spelling for several female members of the nobility and actresses, so that spelling seems to be an alternate.
Their article on "Maude" lists actresses and others with that first name; also Maude as an English last name.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wildwood Flower / I'll Twine 'Mid the ...
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 25 Sep 13 - 05:52 AM

Genie, never mind my question about the web site. When I downloaded the MIDI to Noteworthy Composer, I saw a footnote that mentioned Benjamin Tubb, so it must have come from his site.

Taconicus, thanks for the link to the music from Wisconsin. If you go to the second page, where the B part repeats, you see that the words are:

the myrtle so bright with its emerald hue
and the pale aronatus with eye of bright blue.

So the arnonatus may not exist anywhere but in this song.

Me, I'm tempted to change it to 'the pale blooming iris and vi'let so blue.' I don't feel like explaining about the mythical aronatus every time I sing the song.
==================
I'm going to introduce a new element here and mention that in my searches on the big sites for old American music (sites such as Levy, Duke, Indiana, Lib of Congress) I have come across a person named MaNd Irving. I forget whether Mand was a composer or lyricist, but I don't think it matters. He could have been one thing one day, and the other thing another day.

I can easily picture Mand being taken for Maud, especially in handwriting. In the Wisconsin example, the n in 'Maud' looks just like the n in 'Twine' in the title.

Isn't the feminine name Maud supposed to have an e on the end - Maude?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wildwood Flower / I'll Twine 'Mid the ...
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 24 Sep 13 - 07:20 PM

Taconicus previously linked the poem, "I'm Waiting for Thee," in post above.
Sorry for the duplication.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wildwood Flower / I'll Twine 'Mid the ...
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 24 Sep 13 - 07:11 PM

The volume by J. William Van Namee," Home monthly: Devoted to Home Education, Literature, and Religion,, vol. 5, Edited by Rev Wm. M. Thayer, D. C. Childs & C0., Cornhill, Boston.ontains poems by Van Namee, some of which have Maud Irving added parenthetically after his name.
One such is "I'm Waiting for Thee," p. 83, which has lines suggestive of "I'll Twine 'Mid....."
http://www.ergo-sum.net/music/MaudIrving.html.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wildwood Flower / I'll Twine 'Mid the ...
From: Taconicus
Date: 24 Sep 13 - 03:46 PM

I've located a library that seems to have the original 1860 sheet music for I'll Twine Mid the Ringlets and I've ordered it. I'll let you know when (and if) I get it.

Meanwhile, you can see a copy of what is supposedly the composer's version of the music online at the University Of Wisconsin Digital Collections, here. It isn't the published sheet music, however, it's a handwritten, undated, unsigned manuscript with the music and lyrics to one verse of "I'll Twine Mid the Ringlets" that was presumably among private papers from the estate of the composer, J.P. Webster. I have no reason to believe it's not authentic, but since it's not the published sheet music there's no way to tell for sure if it's the original music.

Incidentally, as I posted on the other thread, I've done some research and found some additional "Maud Irving" poems identifying their author as J. William Van Namee, using "Maud Irving" as his pseudonym (he was writing for "ladies' magazines" of the time). You can see what I found HERE. As far as I know (please correct me if you know otherwise), this is the first time anyone (since the 19th Century, anyway) has identified Van Namee as the probable author of the 1860 Twine lyrics.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wildwood Flower / I'll Twine 'Mid the ...
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 24 Sep 13 - 01:04 PM

The midi looks like the one in pdmusic, found under Joseph Philbrick Webster, 1860. Is this the one, Genie?

I don't want to spend the $18 or more either. That will buy me a couple of good steaks at the market.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wildwood Flower / I'll Twine 'Mid the ...
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 24 Sep 13 - 11:53 AM

Hi, Genie. Where did you find that MIDI of the original melody? What website?

Q, thanks for the info, but I don't think I care to spend $18 on one song.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wildwood Flower / I'll Twine 'Mid the ...
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 23 Sep 13 - 09:08 PM

M1621.W is the entry given at pdmusic for the Library of Congress number for sheet music of "I'll Twine 'Mid....." from 1860.

A duplication services form may be requested from the Library of Congress. An online order form may be accessed using this url: http://www.loc.gov/duplicationservices/order

The cost is $US18.00 (or more, depending on the work involved) to process the order. MC, VISA, accepted.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wildwood Flower / I'll Twine 'Mid the ...
From: Taconicus
Date: 19 Sep 13 - 09:03 PM

I believe M1621.W is the Library of Congress category.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wildwood Flower / I'll Twine 'Mid the ...
From: Taconicus
Date: 19 Sep 13 - 08:59 PM

Since no one knows for sure what the original lyric was, I now sing the version that makes the most sense: "The pale Amaryllis and hyssop so blue" – because there IS a pale Amaryllis flower, and the hyssop IS "so blue" (here's a photo: Hyssop)


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wildwood Flower / I'll Twine 'Mid the ...
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 09 Jun 12 - 12:13 PM

The lyrics are on the pdmusic.org site (1860, link second column under Maud Irving).
Link:
http://www.pdmusic.org/webster/jpw60itmtr.txt

Still looking for sheet music.

In pdmusic.org, what reference does their code [M1621.W] refer to?

To repeat, there are no botanical names 'emanita' or 'islip', nor are the names known as common or vulgar names for any flowers.

In the lyrics on pdmusic.org, it is the myrtle "with an emerald hue" and the "pale aronatus with eyes so bright blue."

There is no flower with the botanical name 'aronatus'. See Stearn, Botanical Latin. It is not known as a common or vulgar name for a flower.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wildwood Flower / I'll Twine 'Mid the ...
From: Genie
Date: 09 Jun 12 - 02:32 AM

This is supposed to be a MIDI of the original (J P Webster) tune to "I'll Twine 'Mid The Ringlets". It does resemble what most of us know today as "Wildwood Flower" but it seems to have changed a good deal over the past 150 years.


BTW, on the pdmusic.org website I did not find the lyrics.

Genie


PS,
After singing "emelita" or "emanita" and "islip" for a number of years, I've decided to go with "the pale oleander and violets so blue," because of the sound of those words and because I'm not sure there are flowers called "emelita" or "emanita" or "islip" or whether any of those are blue.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wildwood Flower / I'll Twine 'Mid the ...
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 21 May 12 - 11:22 PM

That makes much more sense, Buffalo, and is grammatical to boot. But I'm not going to change how I sing it.

"I woke from my dream, and all idols was clay..."

I would miss the naive and unworldly damsel from up the holler too much.


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Subject: Lyr Add: WILDWOOD FLOWER
From: GUEST,Buffalo
Date: 21 May 12 - 12:01 AM

Here's my version, put together from some of the lyrics above and others. The first verse is as I saw it in a very unofficial old folk song book in probably the late fifties. The rest is, as I said, a mix of many versions and maybe a word here and there I stuck in to help with the flow. I had no better luck than the rest of you with botanical reference to emanita or islip.

WILDWOOD FLOWER

I will twine and will mingle my waving black hair
With the roses so red and the lilies so fair
The myrtle so green with an emerald hue
The pale emanita and islip so blue

Oh he taught me to love him and promised to love
To cherish me always, all others above
I woke from my dreaming, my idol was clay
All passion for living had all flown away

He promised to love me and called me his flower
A blossom to cheer him thru life's weary hour
How my heart now is breaking, no mis'ry can tell
He left with no warning, no words of farewell

I will sing, I will dance, and my life shall be gay
I'll banish this weeping, drive sorrow away
Tho my heart now is aching, he never shall know
How his name makes me tremble, my pale cheeks to glow

I will sing, I will dance, and my life shall be gay
I will charm every heart in the crowd I survey
I'll live yet to see him regret the dark hour
He loved and neglected this frail wildwood flower

Repeat first verse


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wildwood Flower / I'll Twine 'Mid the ...
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 06 Dec 11 - 03:22 PM

Emilia in the southeastern U. S. is the introduced E. sonchifolia, found is South Carolina, Georgia and farther south (its normal color is lilac), or the also introduced E. fosbergii found in Texas-Louisiana and California (also lilac to purplish). Both have the common name "tasselflower."

As to what was meant in the songs, this is just idle speculation.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wildwood Flower / I'll Twine 'Mid the ...
From: GUEST,reynardine
Date: 06 Dec 11 - 02:25 AM

Still haven't figured out about ameliter/emelita/ amanita (tho had a good laugh at poison phalluses), but "eyes' look" has been a folkloric name for dayflower - the truest of true blues- tradescantia, its slightly more indigo relative, and chicory, an introduced member of the daisy family, whose flowers are a delightful baby blue. All of these have flexible stems, easily twined and mingled with hair of any color, and all close a bit after noon. There is a composite called emilia with a suitably flexible stem. Usually it's brilliant red, but according to Bailey's Hortus Second, one species has a white or pale pink variety.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wildwood Flower / I'll Twine 'Mid the ...
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 03 Jul 11 - 07:54 PM

Thanks for the hints on searching, Q.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wildwood Flower / I'll Twine 'Mid the ...
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 03 Jul 11 - 01:34 PM

Leeneia, the "source" at pdmusic indicates a Library of Congress Call Number.
I looked at the records that they have online (nothing by Maud Irving) but several songs by J. P. Webster, in three catalogues, but "I'll twine...." not listed.

Try communicating with them using the Call number listed at pdmusic, M1621.W. Their catalogues are not complete, as I found in another search, and items do get "misplaced.".

If you can't find it there, keep hunting and good luck!
I hunted all over for the original "My Pretty Quadroon" and found it in a library in Chicago (I had to give a donation, but they were prompt and sent a complete scan of the sheet music).


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wildwood Flower / I'll Twine 'Mid the ...
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 02 Jul 11 - 02:24 PM

Someday I'd like to find what I mentioned before: the original sheet music (if any) for this song. It would be nice to see the lyrics, the melody and the accompaniment. Even the cover art. Sometimes when we do that, we get an interesting surprise.

So John, climb down. I saw Genie's words. No post posted by someone 150 years later is as good as the original sheet music.

Maybe if I find the song in an antique store, I could put it up for sale for $135,000,000, just like Mr. Lehman (see other thread on that.)


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wildwood Flower / I'll Twine 'Mid the ...
From: GUEST,John Hempel
Date: 02 Jul 11 - 10:29 AM

Oops to the above, make that 21 April, and it seems I forgot to enter my name, too.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wildwood Flower / I'll Twine 'Mid the ...
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Jul 11 - 10:26 AM

Hi Owen,
See my post from 11 Apr. We agree on all but oleander - good!

But, I think angelica, accenting the third syllable, is a far better deduction than oleander, and here's why, both phonetically and botanically. In all of this, keep in mind that AP Carter traveled into remote hollows in the '20s to transcribe these songs, many of which had been passed down by oral tradition - he could often only write what he heard - there was no songbook.

Now, phonetically, I don't see a misunderstood word starting O being replaced with one starting with A. The sounds are just to common and distinct. Plus, the d in 'and' is rarely pronounced. Now run the first two together in comparison - An'ge / An'(dt)h' There is no contest with that vs. 'O le' - the 'le' doesn't come till the third syllable, and both 'an'ge'li-' and 'an' th' le-' match. Oleander only wins on the last syllable, but the score may not be that overwhelming in that frame. I've lately noticed that many English and New Englanders put an r on the end of words ending in a vowel, so it seems not that unlikely that at some point angeli-ca became angeli-ker.

Now, botanically, the first thing you read about oleander is that IT IS POISONOUS, and apparently more than just a little. It's also non-native (to either the US or England), and thus NOT A WILDFLOWER. Then, have a look at angelica and oleander. Which, aesthetically, seem more appropriate to put in one's raven black hair.

If you knew how angelica is ordinarily pronounced but you'd never heard the song, and someone handed you these lyrics, I think you'd pretty quickly figure that you'd accent the third syllable to make it all work. But if you knew nothing of the plant (as, I suppose AP didn't) and heard it accented on the wrong syllable to boot, it seems to me that you could pretty easily write 'And the Leader' in place of 'AngeLIca' with barely a shrug, and keep writing.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wildwood Flower / I'll Twine 'Mid the
From: GUEST,Owen
Date: 12 Jun 11 - 01:20 PM

I believe that the most common misheard words are: Emerald dew, should be, emerald hue. Wavin black hair, should be, raven black hair. The pale and the leader, with eyes so blue, should be, the pale oleander and violets so blue.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wildwood Flower / I'll Twine 'Mid the ...
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 23 Apr 11 - 07:49 PM

The lyrics can be found in pdmusic:
Ill twine mid the ringlets

Leeneia, I skimmed the thread and missed it too. Genie posted them. And since aronatus, whatever Maud Irving had in mind, will never be known, it is pointless to speculate.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wildwood Flower / I'll Twine 'Mid the ...
From: GUEST,John Hempel
Date: 23 Apr 11 - 05:35 PM

@ leeneia: Well, if you had first read or at least skimmed the comments in this thread, as I did before I posted, you'd find the 1860 lyrics, with source. Search for aronatus – you'll come to it.   And then why is it unfair to call something botched if it makes no sense? That is the whole reason for this thread.   It's well known that AP Carter roamed the hollows of southwest VA and beyond, collecting songs, but I've never heard anyone claim that he had any understanding of plants. If he got Wildwood Flower from one of his expeditions, I suspect that he wrote as close to what he was hearing and let it go at that. He liked the melody, like you.   But some people find greater appreciation from both the music and lyrics that they can understand.   It's called visual imagery.   What I tried to come up with are lyrics that phonetically approximate the Carter lyrics while keeping the flowers as common as possible.   Since my first post I've noted that Iris Dement, who I like a lot, has lyrics that are better that the Carters, but IMHO still fall short in the broadly understood category (hyssop perhaps (altho more known as an herb and native to Asia & the Mediterranean, but as noted above, emanita??)


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wildwood Flower / I'll Twine 'Mid the ...
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 22 Apr 11 - 11:40 AM

I just searched for this on the sheet music sites I know of:

Library of Congress
Indiana University
Lester Levy

None of them seemed to have it. Anybody know of any other sources?

From what I can tell on this thread, nobody's seen the sheet music. It's unfair to call the 1860 song 'botched' when we don't even know what lyrics it had.

Me, I don't care what the flowers are, because to me the joy of the song lies in its wonderful melody.

PS We gardeners often speak of flowers having eyes. Certain varieties of phlox, for instance.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wildwood Flower / I'll Twine 'Mid the ...
From: GUEST,John Hempel
Date: 21 Apr 11 - 01:11 PM

Regardless of what someone wrote in 1860, it's pretty obvious that that was probably a botched transcription of something going much farther back. Two notes: a) I passed this along to Fred Bartenstein and he read them on his Banks of the Ohio show a few yrs back. b) I feel some personal connection to this song since the first time I first heard it was when Maybelle played it on her autoharp on our highschool stage (Jefferson High, Annandale VA, in the spring of 1966 or 67). Besides the autoharp, I remember she had these really cool hightop, lace-up boots. One of the history teachers there, Mr. Blevins, was active in a folk music organization and arranged for her to come play for our American Civilization classes.

If you accept that we're talking about wild roses and lily of the valley, all the flowers below are 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.

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


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wildwood Flower
From: autoharper
Date: 14 Aug 09 - 05:01 PM

The melody we call "The Wildwood Flower" has always seemed (to me) similar to the melody of "Bony on St. Helena" (AKA "Buonaparte").
-Adam Miller


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wildwood Flower
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 14 Aug 09 - 04:54 PM

The speculation is pointless.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wildwood Flower
From: GUEST,fatmama
Date: 13 Aug 09 - 10:26 PM

anyone consider these are plants of medicinal (poisonous) origin and islip could be hyssop? or hyacinth. maybe she planned on getting even!!!! or stoned. remember laudanum?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wildwood Flower/define the word emani
From: Kaleea
Date: 25 Jul 06 - 05:31 PM

"I'll Twine 'Mid the Ringlets" (1860)
(aka: Wildwood Flower)

                                                                     
Music by Joseph Philbrick Webster, 1819-1875
                                                                                             
Words by Maud Irving


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wildwood Flower/define the word emanita
From: Bill D
Date: 25 Jul 06 - 11:28 AM

Back then, they mostly just sang the songs according to what they thought they heard....wasn't too much 'research' going on.
Why, even Mudcat had to be typed out on an old typewriter and corrected with white-out. Sometimes it took weeks for a page to be carried down to the post office and mailed to the next member for comment! ...and 'guests' would lay traps and hijack the mail and alter the words. Maybe that's where 'eyes' instead of 'Iris' got in?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wildwood Flower/define the word emanita
From: GUEST
Date: 25 Jul 06 - 05:46 AM

I heard John Carter Cash talking about this on CMT and he said that one word that A.P. Carter recorded incorrectly was eyes instead of iris.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wildwood Flower/define the word emanita
From: jaze
Date: 23 May 06 - 02:08 PM

The Joan Baez Songbook lists the line as "I'll twine with my mingles of raven black hair". And Genie- I don't think I'll ever hear "Take It Easy" the same way again! ROTFLMAO


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wildwood Flower/define the word emanita
From: Bill D
Date: 22 May 06 - 07:03 PM

"these" lyrics? Which lyrics? Lee Moore certainly didn't write the original song. Almost everyone has sung the song, so there are many, many versions and interpretations.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wildwood Flower/define the word emanita
From: GUEST
Date: 22 May 06 - 05:53 PM

these lyrics were written by lee moore. he was a member of the wheeling jamboree, and he did the night show as the coffee drinking nighthawk. I loved listening to him when i was a kid in Nove scotia. he would play and sing every night live on air with his guitar and spun records all night. this was back in the late fifties early sixties. I got to see him live at the the edison hotel in toronto about 1969, he was just as good as on the radio. I am rambling on but i hope this help you a bit. yours truly Guy Melanson Http://www.guymelanson.com


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wildwood Flower
From: GUEST,Eric Bram
Date: 23 Feb 06 - 05:45 AM

Well, Q, obviously spontaneous generation doesn't occur, as we all know (perhaps you were being facetious or just playful in calling me on that). But from the Latin it makes sense to me that the word "aronatus" -- "created by plowing" (not "born of the plow"; that would be "aratronatus", as John Dyson of Indiana University points out) -- would refer to a wildflower that seems to spring up almost overnight from freshly plowed soil. That fits in with the backwoods spirit of the song, too. And that's the way I sing it.

- Eric Bram (Bramicus)


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