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Lyr Req: The Ale Wife

Mac Tattie 28 Nov 01 - 03:36 PM
GUEST,MCP 28 Nov 01 - 06:46 PM
Mac Tattie 29 Nov 01 - 03:06 PM
John in Brisbane 01 Mar 05 - 01:23 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 01 Mar 05 - 01:50 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 01 Mar 05 - 02:32 PM
John in Brisbane 01 Mar 05 - 08:57 PM
Joe Offer 01 Mar 05 - 09:14 PM
Malcolm Douglas 01 Mar 05 - 09:57 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 01 Mar 05 - 11:28 PM
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Subject: The Ale Wife
From: Mac Tattie
Date: 28 Nov 01 - 03:36 PM

Looking for the words to the song "The Ale Wife". The ale wife, the drunken wife. The ale wife, she greeves me....? cheers.


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE ALE-WIFE
From: GUEST,MCP
Date: 28 Nov 01 - 06:46 PM

These are from the Greig-Duncan Collection

Mick

THE ALE-WIFE

(Source: Mrs Rettie)

The ale wife an' her barrelies
The ale wife sje grieves me
The ale wife and her barrelies
She'll ruin me entirely.

She's ta'en her barrels on her back
Her pint stoup in her han'
An' she's awa tae "Lowrin Fair"
Tae haud a rantin stan'.

But I hae ousen i' the pleuch
An' plenty o' guid corn
Fesh ben tae me anither pint
Tho' I should bef the morn



(Source: unrecorded)

The auld wife and her barrelie
The auld wife and her gin;
The auld wife and her barrelie
She's ruined me within.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Ale Wife
From: Mac Tattie
Date: 29 Nov 01 - 03:06 PM

Thanks guest MCP, I am shure there must be more even more verses arround, it's one of those tunes that lends it's self to adding in more lines. cheers


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Subject: Tune Add: THE ALE WIFE
From: John in Brisbane
Date: 01 Mar 05 - 01:23 AM

Hi Mac, it may be a few years on, but here's the version I know of The Ale Wife as collected by Ewan MacColl. I'll be reliant upon an old friend, Jim Murray, to supply the remaining verses and the remarkable story of how MacColl stumbled across it.

For any serious musos the following ABC notation is slightly awry in the lack of anacrusis, (and the fact that the dominant note is not the first note in the bar) but quite frankly I got sick of the errors caused by auto conversion from MIDI to ABC. It'll sound OK if you copy and paste it HERE. And good musos should be used to some unconventional display of folk music.

I'll follow up with the remaining lyrics in a few days.

Regards, John

X:1
T:The Ale Wife
M:3/4
L:1/8
Q:1/4=90
K:F
A,CD2D2-|DCA,A,A,2-|A,G,C2C2-|CEG2G2-|
w:Oh the ALE WIFE,_ the drunk-en wife,_ the ale wife_ she deeves me
GADDD2-|DCA,2A,2-|A,GAAG2-|GEDCD2||
w: my wif-ey wi'_ her bar-ley_ she'll ru-in and_ dec-cei-ve me.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Ale Wife
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 01 Mar 05 - 01:50 PM

Peggy Seeger sang a version, but it is not in the songbook I have.
Music of "The Ale Wife and Her Barrel" here: Ale Wife
?Same tune or different?

Music and a midi at www.traditional-music.org.
The Ale Wife (scroll down).
This large site is slow.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Ale Wife
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 01 Mar 05 - 02:32 PM

Leeds site- try again:
Ale Wife


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Ale Wife
From: John in Brisbane
Date: 01 Mar 05 - 08:57 PM

Hi Q, couldn't get your links to work, but they did serve to remind me that I have seen this song in print, some years ago. While the name of the book I can't recall, it was notable for the poor quality of the print. A number of the songs looked like indifferent photocopies where the note registrations were indecipherable.

In the case of the Ale Wife my memory is of the time signature changing every second bar in order to accomodate the vagaries of a rendition of a field recording.

I should add that I don't own this moderately large hard cover book.

Regards, John


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Ale Wife
From: Joe Offer
Date: 01 Mar 05 - 09:14 PM

Not much in the Traditional Ballad Index:

Ale-Wife and Her Barrel, The

DESCRIPTION: Singer's wife is an ale-seller and drunkard. She goes to market with her barrel; all know that he can't keep her out among men. Chorus: "The ale-wife, the drunken wife/The ale-wife she deaves me/My wifie wi' her barrelie/She'll ruin and she'll leave me"
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1931 (collected by Peter Buchan)

KEYWORDS: marriage abandonment commerce drink nonballad wife
FOUND IN: Britain(Scotland(Aber))
REFERENCES (1 citation):
MacSeegTrav 110, "The Ale-Wife and her Barrel" (1 text, 1 tune)
Roud #6031

ALTERNATE TITLES:
The Ale-Wife, the Drunken Wife
Notes: Despite its long history, this song does not seem to have spread outside Aberdeenshire. - PJS
File: McCST110


Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Instructions

The Ballad Index Copyright 2004 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.


What the heck is an Ale wife, anyhow? The alewives I know were a species of silvery fish that infested Lake Michigan in the early 1960's, and then died by the millions. One of my first jobs was doing yard work for a doctor who had a home on the shore of Lake Michigan in Racine, Wisconsin. I had to rake up dead, maggot-covered alewives from his beach and then pour oil over them and burn them. Yuck!
Do the fish have anything to do with the song?
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Ale Wife
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 01 Mar 05 - 09:57 PM

The Traditional Ballad Index entry contains errors and omissions. I really do think that it would be better to provide links to entries there, rather than copy-and-pasting them here; that way, revisions and corrections will be automatically available and we won't be perpetuating old mistakes, of which there are more than there ought to be. The "earliest date" is mis-typed, and should be 1831, not 1931. Unusually for the TBI, the date given (or, rather, intended) appears to be the date given by the collector rather than the date of publication (1977 in this case) of the book they saw it in.

First actual publication seems to have been The Illustrated Book of Scottish Songs (London, nd but c.1851; the second edition was 1854). Christie (Traditional Ballad Airs, 1876, I, 190-1) prints the same text, set to a tune of unspecified provenance.

It also appears, as mentioned earlier, in Greig-Duncan (III, 370) and in MacColl-Seeger. Neither the tune posted by John, not that linked to by Q, appears to be the one that MacColl and Seeger got from Maria Robertson.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Ale Wife
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 01 Mar 05 - 11:28 PM

John in Brisbane, the music comes up at the Leeds site if you go through Google (Search "Ale Wife" and look for Leeds in the listings). May have been discontinued.
The traditional-music.org takes forever, but eventually it comes up. It is the same music as shown at the Leeds site.

Does anyone have the Peggy Seeger version?


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