Barbara Allen

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Gleena
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Barbara Allen

Post by Gleena » Tue Aug 06, 2013 12:59 am

Hi,

Have been listening to you sing "Barbara Allen" lately from The Second Three Years. I first learned it as a child growing up in the US in the 70s, along with other English, Irish and Australian traditional tunes, as well as the standard American ones. (As an aside, I was really puzzled that God Save the Queen had the same melody as My Country Tis of Thee when I first heard it as a young girl.)

I seem to remember I learned many more verses than you sing - understandably, you'd have to cut them - but I also learned a totally different melody. Is the tune you use traditional, or one you wrote? And does the actual melody survive or just the words?
Yank at large, hiding in London
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Shows: 32 in five countries and on the ocean.

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frank
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Re: Barbara Allen

Post by frank » Tue Aug 06, 2013 4:10 pm

It's a really old song so there's a lot of different variations. The melody is one I've found on a bunch of different recordings, old EFDSS tapes and so on, so I'm pretty sure that's authentic. I did some editing to the words, basically cutting it down a bit so it wasn't too long.
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JerseyGirl
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Re: Barbara Allen

Post by JerseyGirl » Tue Aug 06, 2013 10:11 pm

Gleena, Frank-

Do you know of an old English (I believe) song called Gran McCray Macrushkin ( spelled phonetically!)?

My Dad taught it to us kids to sing to his grandmother- Grand Ma Jennings, who was born in England and came to the US as a young woman. It was a special occasion song and she loved when we sang it to her- mushed up lyrics and all!

Gleena
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Re: Barbara Allen

Post by Gleena » Wed Aug 07, 2013 12:14 am

Thank you very much for taking the time to answer me, Frank, I appreciate it. :)

JerseyGirl, Frank will probably know far more than me, but we didn't learn anything like that. Wish we had!

We learned (as I remember, I was in kindy, first and second grade ish) Greensleeves, Barbara Allan, and Sweet William on a variety of instruments and sang them. I'm not sure if it was in school - I think it was - or church choir, because that could be it, too.

I remember Barbara Allan particularly because it had eleventy thousand verses or something like that and Mississippi summers are hot and muggy and I had to sit still.

The more interesting thing*, of course, is that the Star Spangled Banner's tune is an English drinking song. (To Anacreon in Heaven)



*More interesting to ME, I should say, but whenever I start talking about this sort of thing I can empty a room quite quickly.
Yank at large, hiding in London
https://twitter.com/Gleena
Shows: 32 in five countries and on the ocean.

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