Origins: Spanish Lady, et al To Thread - Forum Home

The Mudcat Café TM
https://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=107856
8 messages

Origins: Spanish Lady, et al

18 Jan 08 - 11:08 PM (#2239778)
Subject: Origins: Spanish Lady, et al
From: Big Jim from Jackson

I recently played McEvoy's "Spanish Lady", Frank Harte's "Willie Taylor", Clancys and Makem's "Red Haired Mary", and Tom Sweeney's "Galway City" on my radio show. All four share essentially the same tune. Are any of them the "origional", or do they derive from a common source? Do any other songs share this tune?


19 Jan 08 - 07:12 AM (#2239919)
Subject: RE: Origins: Spanish Lady, et al
From: Brendy

A ballad by the name of Spanish Lady was registered in England on December 14, 1624 with the 'Stationers' Company' from what I can gather.

'Galway City' is an Irish version of it, as far as I know.

B.


19 Jan 08 - 07:35 AM (#2239927)
Subject: RE: Origins: Spanish Lady, et al
From: Emma B

A slightly different version from the one in the DT
^^
As I went out through Dublin City
At the hour of twelve o´clock at night
Who should I see but a Spanish lady
Washing her feet by candle light
First she washed them and then she dried them
Over a fire of ambry coals
In all my life I never did see
A maid so sweet about the soles

Whack fol the toor a loor a laddy
Whack fol the toor a loor a lay
Whack fol the toor a loor a laddy
Whack fol the toor a loor a lay

I stopped to look but the watchman passed
Says he, "Young fellow, the night is late
Along with you home or I will wrestle you
Straight away through the Bridewell gate"
I threw a look to the Spanish lady
Hot as the fire of ambry coals
In all my life I never did see
A maid so sweet about the soles

As I walked back through Dublin City
As the dawn of day was o´er
Who should I see but the Spanish lady
When I was weary and footsore
She had a heart so filled with loving
And her love she longed to share
In all my life I never did see
A maid who had so much to spare
Now she´s no mot for a puddle swaddy
With her ivory comb and her mantle so fine
But she´d make a wife for the Provost Marshall
Drunk on brandy and claret wine
I got a look from the Spanish lady
Hot as a fire of ambry coals
In all my life I never did meet
A maid so sweet about the soles

I´ve wandered north and I´ve wandered south
By Stoney Batter and Patrick´s Close
Up and around by the Gloucester Diamond
And back by Napper Tandy´s house
Old age has laid her hands upon me
Cold as a fire of ashy coals
But where is the lonely Spanish lady
Neat and sweet about the soles?
As I was leaving Dublin City
On that morning sad of heart
Lonely was I for the Spanish lady
Now that forever we must part
But still I always will remember
All the hours we did enjoy
But then she left me sad at parting
Gone forever was my joy

I love this song. When I was at school our music teachers wife was a professional singer who came in to sing to a group of early adolescents!
She sang this song in such an erotic way that it left no doubt what the lyrics were about!!!
My first real introduction to 'Folk Music' :)


19 Jan 08 - 08:50 AM (#2239944)
Subject: RE: Origins: Spanish Lady, et al
From: Susan of DT

Related songs:
    WHEELFOR   Wheel of Fortune
    DUBLNCTY   Dublin City
    DUBLNCT2   Chester City
    DUBLNCI2   Spanish Lady (2)


19 Jan 08 - 09:16 AM (#2239955)
Subject: RE: Origins: Spanish Lady, et al
From: Bernard

'Spanish Lady' is an euphamism for 'prostitute', or so I've heard...


19 Jan 08 - 07:55 PM (#2240293)
Subject: RE: Origins: Spanish Lady, et al
From: Big Jim from Jackson

Thanks, one and all. 1624! Wow! And it seems to be a song about a naughty naughty girl and a peeping tom!   :-)
            Jim


20 Jan 08 - 07:52 PM (#2240921)
Subject: RE: Origins: Spanish Lady, et al
From: Mrrzy

I have a lovely version of Spanish Lady by Theo Bikel of all people, and it isn't about a spanish lady as much as about a lovely woman washing her feet... She had 20 18 16 14, 12 10 8 6 4 2 none, she had 19 17 15 13, 11 9 7 5 3 and 1. Round and round the wheel of fortune, where she stops it wearies (worries?) me / fair young girls are all deceiving / sad experience teaches me...

Also the Clancy Bros say that their Galway City is directly based on Spanish Lady. Not sure on which album they explain that.


20 Jan 08 - 08:45 PM (#2240944)
Subject: RE: Origins: Spanish Lady, et al
From: Big Jim from Jackson

Tom Sweeney (cousin to Tommy Makem) does Galway City with the counting as illustrated above. The chorus is different, though. I admire the tune, and each song is quite different, although "Spanish Lady" and "Galway City" seem to have the strongest similarity.